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Read Ramayana Balakanda - Sarga 5

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  • Read Ramayana Balakanda - Sarga 5



    The previous four Sargas gave the background of how Rāmāyaṇa got to be written and how it went into people.

    The actual story of Rāmāyaṇa starts with this Sarga. It gives a splendid description of the city of Ayōdhyā, including its physical layout, its people and the activities. It is surprising, how closely, this description matches any modern city that is doing exceptionally well.
    1.5.1
    ஸர்வாபூர்வமியம் யேஷாமாஸீத்க்ருத்ஸ்நா வஸுந்தரா ।
    ப்ரஜாபதிமுபாதாய ந்ருபாணாம் ஜயஸாலிநாம் ॥
    sarvāpūrvamiyaṃ yēṣāmāsītkṛtsnā vasundharā ।
    prajāpatimupādāya nṛpāṇāṃ jayaṡālinām ॥
    This earth, in all its entirety and fullness
    has had been under the care of
    many successful kings starting from Prajāpati.

    The origins of earth have been imagined and conceived in many ways by many peoples on the face of earth. Even with all the advances in sciences today there are still gaps in our understanding of the origins of earth and there are many imaginations to fill those gaps in the folklore of science.

    Poems like Rāmāyaṇa (and their counterparts in other parts of the world) record the legend of the origins of earth as known at that time.

    But the most important aspect that needs to be appreciated from these starting Ṡlōkas, is that the longing of humans to trace back to their origins is eternal and persistent.
    1.5.2
    யேஷாம் ஸ ஸகரோ நாம ஸாகரோ யேந காநித: ।
    ஷஷ்டி: புத்ரஸஹஸ்ராணி யம் யாந்தம் பர்யவாரயந் ॥
    yēṣāṃ sa sagarō nāma sāgarō yēna khānitaḥ ।
    ṣaṣtiḥ putrasahasrāṇi yaṃ yāntaṃ paryavārayan ॥
    One among them is known as Sagara
    with sixty thousand sons.
    He dug the earth to create oceans
    and hence oceans are known as Sāgaras.
    1.5.3
    இக்ஷ்வாகூணாமிதம் தேஷாம் ராஜ்ஞாம் வம்ஸே மஹாத்மநாம் ।
    மஹதுத்பந்நமாக்யாநம் ராமாயணமிதி ஸ்ருதம் ॥
    ikṣvākūṇāmidaṃ tēṣāṃ rāj˝āṃ vaṃṡē mahātmanām ।
    mahadutpannamākhyānaṃ rāmāyaṇamiti ṡrutam ॥
    This glorious story known as Rāmāyaṇa
    emerged from the descendents of
    the dynasty of great king Ikshwāku.
    1.5.4
    ததிதம் வர்தயிஷ்யாமி ஸர்வம் நிகிலமாதித: ।
    தர்மகாமார்தஸஹிதம் ஸ்ரோதவ்யமநஸூயயா ॥
    tadidaṃ vartayiṣyāmi sarvaṃ nikhilamāditaḥ ।
    dharmakāmārthasahitaṃ ṡrōtavyamanasūyayā ॥
    I will spread this in the entire world.
    This story, which delves into the
    aspects of Dharma, Artha and Kāma
    is worth listening from end to end
    without apprehensions and prejudices.

    This Ṡlōka, perhaps, is the most important Ṡlōkas about Rāmāyaṇa. It tells why and how one should care about Rāmāyaṇa.
    1.5.5
    கோஸலோ நாம முதித: ஸ்பீதோ ஜநபதோ மஹாந் ।
    நிவிஷ்ட: ஸரயூதீரே ப்ரபூததநதாந்யவாந் ॥
    kōsalō nāma muditaḥ sphītō janapadō mahān ।
    niviṣtaḥ sarayūtīrē prabhūtadhanadhānyavān ॥
    The great and vast country known as Kōsala,
    on the banks of the river Sarayu,
    is replete with food and riches
    and is full of happiness.

    Of late, we are recognizing that a country should not be measured by its GNP (Gross National Product), but by it happiness index.

    It is interesting that, that is exactly the measure mentioned in this Ṡlōka, regarding the country, Kōsala, in addition to the GNP (Dhana, Dhānya).
    1.5.6
    அயோத்யா நாம நகரீ தத்ராஸீல்லோகவிஸ்ருதா ।
    மநுநா மாநவேந்த்ரேண யா புரீ நிர்மிதா ஸ்வயம் ॥
    ayōdhyā nāma nagarī tatrāsīllōkaviṡrutā ।
    manunā mānavēndrēṇa yā purī nirmitā svayam ॥
    The well known city called Ayōdhyā is in that kingdom.
    It is built by Manu, the lord of peoples, himself.
    1.5.7
    ஆயதா தஸ ச த்வே ச யோஜநாநி மஹாபுரீ ।
    ஸ்ரீமதீ த்ரீணி விஸ்தீர்ணா ஸுவிபக்தமஹாபதா ॥
    āyatā daṡa ca dvē ca yōjanāni mahāpurī ।
    ṡrīmatī trīṇi vistīrṇā suvibhaktamahāpathā ॥
    It is a rich and big city that spans an area of
    twelve Yōjanas in length and three Yōjanas in width,
    divided and connected by well laid out grand avenues.
    Yōjana is a measure of distances in those days.
    It is interpreted to be equivalent to
    5 miles by some scholars and 8 miles by others.
    1.5.8
    ராஜமார்கேண மஹதா ஸுவிபக்தேந ஸோபிதா ।
    முக்தபுஷ்பாவகீர்ணேந ஜலஸிக்தேந நித்யஸ: ॥
    rājamārgēṇa mahatā suvibhaktēna ṡōbhitā ।
    muktapuṣpāvakīrṇēna jalasiktēna nityaṡaḥ ॥
    It is resplendent with well divided royal pathways
    that are washed daily and decorated with flowers strewn around.
    1.5.9
    தாம் து ராஜா தஸரதோ மஹாராஷ்ட்ரவிவர்த்தந: ।
    புரீமாவாஸயாமாஸ திவம் தேவபதிர்யதா ॥
    tāṃ tu rājā daṡarathō mahārāṣtravivarddhanaḥ ।
    purīmāvāsayāmāsa divaṃ dēvapatiryathā ॥
    King Daṡaratha, the developer of mighty kingdoms,
    made this city as his abode
    just as the chief of Dēvas made the heaven as his abode.
    1.5.10
    கவாடதோரணவதீம் ஸுவிபக்தாந்தராபணாம் ।
    ஸர்வயந்த்ராயுதவதீமுபேதாம் ஸர்வஸில்பிபி: ॥
    kavātatōraṇavatīṃ suvibhaktāntarāpaṇām ।
    sarvayantrāyudhavatīmupētāṃ sarvaṡilpibhiḥ ॥
    It is a gated city with arched entrances.
    It has well laid out market streets.
    It is full of machineries and armories.
    People with skills in building every type of artifact lived there.
    1.5.11
    ஸூதமாகதஸம்பாதாம் ஸ்ரீமதீமதுலப்ரபாம் ।
    உச்சாட்டாலத்வஜவதீம் ஸதக்நீஸதஸங்குலாம் ॥
    sūtamāgadhasambādhāṃ ṡrīmatīmatulaprabhām ।
    uccāttāladhvajavatīṃ ṡataghnīṡatasaṅkulām ॥
    It is teeming with eulogists and genealogists.
    It is shining with abundance,
    surrounded by stately edifices decorated with flags,
    and hundreds of cannons mounted on them.

    When things are in abundance, skills and arts of every sort, even those of obscure value, flourish. People can make a living even by singing eulogies and praising genealogies. A city bristling with them speaks for its prosperity.
    1.5.12
    வதூநாடகஸங்கைஸ்ச ஸம்யுக்தாம் ஸர்வத: புரீம் ।
    உத்யாநாம்ரவணோபேதாம் மஹதீம் ஸாலமேகலாம் ॥
    vadhūnātakasaṅghaiṡca saṃyuktāṃ sarvataḥ purīm ।
    udyānāmravaṇōpētāṃ mahatīṃ sālamēkhalām ॥
    It is wide and big. It is full of mango orchards.
    It is skirted by the majestic Sāla trees.
    It is surrounded by many great suburbs.
    It has many women performing artists.

    The grandeur of the city of Ayōdhyā matches our imagination of any great modern city.

    However, today's riches are built on top of painful damage to the environment.

    This description of Ayōdhyā gives the hope that it is, indeed, possible to build great cities without damaging the environment.
    1.5.13
    துர்ககம்பீரபரிகாம் துர்காமந்யைர்துராஸதாம் ।
    வாஜிவாரணஸம்பூர்ணாம் கோபிருஷ்ட்ரை: கரைஸ்ததா ॥
    durgagambhīraparighāṃ durgāmanyairdurāsadām ।
    vājivāraṇasampūrṇāṃ gōbhiruṣtraiḥ kharaistathā ॥
    It has fortifications and impassable moats
    to protect it from invaders.
    It boasts of numerous
    horses, elephants, cows, camels and donkeys.
    1.5.14
    ஸாமந்தராஜஸங்கைஸ்ச பலிகர்மபிராவ்ருதாம் ।
    நாநாதேஸநிவாஸைஸ்ச வணிக்பிருபஸோபிதாம் ॥
    sāmantarājasaṅghaiṡca balikarmabhirāvṛtām ।
    nānādēṡanivāsaiṡca vaṇigbhirupaṡōbhitām ॥
    It is filled with provincial kings who
    arrived there to pay their dues and tributes.
    Its splendor is accentuated by the presence of
    businessmen that arrived from a wide variety of lands.
    1.5.15
    ப்ராஸாதை ரத்நவிக்ருதை: பர்வதைரிவஸோபிதாம் ।
    கூடாகாரைஸ்ச ஸம்பூர்ணாமிந்த்ரஸ்யேவாமராவதீம் ॥
    prāsādai ratnavikṛtai: parvatairivaṡōbhitām ।
    kūtāgāraiṡca sampūrṇāmindrasyēvāmarāvatīm ॥
    It is like Amarāvati, the city of Indra
    filled with palaces and mansions
    adorned with precious stones and
    rising like beautiful mountains.

    There is a natural beauty to the mountains. Bringing the same beauty out of artificial buildings is not easy.

    But the aesthetic finish and facades of the palaces and mansions of Ayōdhyā make them comparable to mountains in beauty and splendor.
    1.5.16
    சித்ராமஷ்டாபதாகாராம் வரநாரீகணைர்யுதாம் ।
    ஸர்வரத்நஸமாகீர்ணாம் விமாநக்ருஹஸோபிதாம் ॥
    citrāmaṣtāpadākārāṃ varanārīgaṇairyutām ।
    sarvaratnasamākīrṇāṃ vimānagṛhaṡōbhitām ॥
    The amazing city with its octagonal layout
    is shining with high rise buildings,
    varieties of precious stones and
    the best of the women folk.
    1.5.17
    க்ருஹகாடாமவிச்சித்ராம் ஸமபூமௌ நிவேஸிதாம் ।
    ஸாலிதண்டுலஸம்பூர்ணாமிக்ஷுகாண்டரஸோதகாம் ॥
    gṛhagāḍhāmavicchidrāṃ samabhūmau nivēṡitām ।
    ṡālitaṇḍulasampūrṇāmikṣukāṇḍarasōdakām ॥
    It is filled with residences built
    on leveled ground abutting each other densely.
    Food grains like rice are aplenty and
    the water is sweet like sugar cane juice.
    1.5.18
    துந்துபீபிர்ம்ருதங்கைஸ்ச வீணாபி: பணவைஸ்ததா ।
    நாதிதாம் ப்ருஸமத்யர்தம் ப்ருதிவ்யாம் தாமநுத்தமாம் ॥
    dundubhībhirmṛdaṅgaiṡca vīṇābhiḥ paṇavaistathā ।
    nāditāṃ bhṛṡamatyarthaṃ pṛthivyāṃ tāmanuttamām ॥
    That exceptional city echoed with
    the sounds of the musical instruments,
    Veena, Mṛdangam, Dundhubhi and Panava.
    1.5.19
    விமாநமிவ ஸித்தாநாம் தபஸாதிகதம் திவி ।
    ஸுநிவேஸிதவேஸ்மாந்தாம் நரோத்தமஸமாவ்ருதாம் ॥
    vimānamiva siddhānāṃ tapasādhigataṃ divi ।
    sunivēṡitavēṡmāntāṃ narōttamasamāvṛtām ॥
    Like an abode afloat in paradise
    with souls that arrived there through Tapa
    it is filled with exquisitely built dwellings
    full of the best of the people in the world.
    1.5.20-22
    யே ச பாணைர்ந வித்யந்தி விவிக்தமபராபரம் ।
    ஸப்தவேத்யம் ச விததம் லகுஹஸ்தா விஸாரதா: ॥
    ஸிம்ஹவ்யாக்ரவராஹாணாம் மத்தாநாம் நர்ததாம் வநே ।
    ஹந்தாரோ நிஸிதை: ஸஸ்த்ரைர்பலாத்பாஹுபலைரபி ॥
    தாத்ருஸாநாம் ஸஹஸ்ரைஸ்தாமபிபூர்ணாம் மஹாரதை: ।
    புரீமாவாஸயாமாஸ ராஜா தஸரதஸ்ததா ॥
    yē ca bāṇairna vidhyanti viviktamaparāparam ।
    ṡabdavēdhyaṃ ca vitataṃ laghuhastā viṡāradāḥ ॥
    siṃhavyāghravarāhāṇāṃ mattānāṃ nardatāṃ vanē ।
    hantārō niṡitaiḥ ṡastrairbalādbāhubalairapi ॥
    tādṛṡānāṃ sahasraistāmabhipūrṇāṃ mahārathaiḥ ।
    purīmāvāsayāmāsa rājā daṡarathastadā ॥
    That city, where Daṡaratha lived,
    has thousands of highly skilled and great warriors,
    capable of killing the roaring and virulent
    lions, tigers, boars in a jungle with or without weapons,
    yet principled enough not to aim their arrows at
    people who are found lonely or fleeing away in fear,
    or not having reasonable support in their defense,
    or not being seen, but only heard.
    1.5.23
    தாமக்நிமத்பிர்குணவத்பிராவ்ருதாம் த்விஜோத்தமைர்வேதஷடங்கபாரகை: ।
    ஸஹஸ்ரதை: ஸத்யரதைர்மஹாத்மபிர்மஹர்ஷிகல்பைர்ருஷிபிஸ்ச கேவலை: ॥
    tāmagnimadbhirguṇavadbhirāvṛtāṃ dvijōttamairvēdaṣaḍaṅgapāragaiḥ ।
    sahasradaiḥ satyaratairmahātmabhirmaharṣikalpairṛṣibhiṡca kēvalaiḥ ॥
    The Brāhmaṇas of the city are Mahātmas,
    virtuous, established in upholding truth, and
    well versed in Vēdas and the six Vēdāngas
    performing the Agni rituals as per the custom.
    Many of them are comparable to Maharshis
    and others can be called Ṛshis on their own right.
    Six Vēdāngas: Ṡiksha, Vyākaraṇa, Chandas, Nirukta, Jyōtisha and Kalpa.

    It is interesting that Brāhmaṇas of the city are mentioned at the end, after everything and everyone else.



    Brāhmaṇas in cities are like scientists employed by the industry, with focus on 'applied research'.

    Brāhmaṇas in the Vanas are like scientists in the laboratories, with focus on 'fundamental research'. Nature is their laboratory.

    This Ṡlōka describes the Brāhmaṇas who live in the cities. Note that this Ṡlōkas compares them with Ṛshis, but doesn't call them quite so.


    இத்யார்ஷே ஸ்ரீமத்ராமாயணே வால்மீகீயே ஆதிகாவ்யே
    ஸ்ரீமத்பாலகாண்டே பஞ்சம: ஸர்க: ॥
    ityārṣē ṡrīmadrāmāyaṇē vālmīkīyē ādikāvyē
    ṡrīmadbālakāṇḍē pa˝camaḥ sargaḥ ॥
    Thus concludes the fifth Sarga
    in Bāla Kāṇḍa of the glorious Rāmāyaṇa,
    the first ever poem of humankind,
    composed by Vālmeeki.

    We completed reading 235 Ṡlōkas out of ~24,000 Ṡlōkas of Vālmeeki Rāmāyaṇa.
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