Baala Kaanda - Sarga 61
In the previous Sarga, Viṡwāmitra created an alternate heaven for Triṡaṅku. In this Sarga, he feels that the southern direction did not work well for him and goes to another place in the westerly direction to continue Tapa.


Meanwhile, the king of Ayōdhyā, by name Ambarisha starts performing a Yaj˝a. His sacrificial animal is abducted by Indra, because there are lapses. His Purōhita advices him to get another animal or a human for the sacrifice. Ambarisha, after searching everywhere in vain for a substitute, happens to come across Ṛiceeka. He succeeds in bringing the middle son of Ṛiceeka, by name Ṡunahṡepha, as the substitute.
1.61.1
விஸ்வாமித்ரோ மஹாத்மாத ப்ரஸ்திதாந் ப்ரேக்ஷ்ய தாந்ருஷீந் ।
அப்ரவீந்நரஸார்தூலஸ்ஸர்வாம்ஸ்தாந் வநவாஸிந: ॥
viṡvāmitrō mahātmātha prasthitān prēkṣya tānṛṣīn ।
abravīnnaraṡārdūlassarvāṃstān vanavāsinaḥ ॥
O tiger among men!
Then the Mahātma Viṡwāmitra,
addressing the Vana-dwelling Ṛshis
that were about to return to their Vanas, said:
1.61.2
மஹாந் விக்ந: ப்ரவ்ருத்தோऽயம் தக்ஷிணாமாஸ்திதோ திஸம் ।
திஸமந்யாம் ப்ரபத்ஸ்யாமஸ்தத்ர தப்ஸ்யாமஹே தப: ॥
mahān vighnaḥ pravṛttō'yaṃ dakṣiṇāmāsthitō diṡam ।
diṡamanyāṃ prapatsyāmastatra tapsyāmahē tapaḥ ॥
We have encountered many impediments
having come southward.
We will go in another direction and do our Tapa there.
1.61.3
பஸ்சிமாயாம் விஸாலாயாம் புஷ்கரேஷு மஹாத்மந: ।
ஸுகம் தபஸ்சரிஷ்யாம: பரம் தத்தி தபோவநம் ॥
paṡcimāyāṃ viṡālāyāṃ puṣkarēṣu mahātmana: ।
sukhaṃ tapaṡcariṣyāma: paraṃ taddhi tapōvanam ॥
We would rather go and do Tapa more comfortably
in the larger Pushkara in the westerly direction.
Would that not make a better Vana for Tapa?
A large body of fresh water along with a large area of shore around it is called a Pushkara.


I cannot help but think of the 'Outer Banks' along the coast of North Carolina, a four hour drive from where I live.
1.61.4
ஏவமுக்த்வா மஹாதேஜா: புஷ்கரேஷு மஹாமுநி: ।
தப உக்ரம் துராதர்ஷம் தேபே மூலபலாஸந: ॥
ēvamuktvā mahātējāḥ puṣkarēṣu mahāmuniḥ ।
tapa ugraṃ durādharṣaṃ tēpē mūlaphalāṡanaḥ ॥
Saying thus, the supremely radiant, great Muni
went on to do intense and unstoppable Tapa in the Pushkara,
surviving just on fruits and roots.
1.61.5
ஏதஸ்மிந்நேவ காலே து அயோத்யாதிபதிர்ந்ருப: ।
அம்பரீஷ இதி க்யாதோ யஷ்டும் ஸமுபசக்ரமே ॥
ētasminnēva kālē tu ayōdhyādhipatirnṛpaḥ ।
ambarīṣa iti khyātō yaṣṭuṃ samupacakramē ॥
At about the same time, the reputed king of Ayōdhyā
known as Ambarisha, started performing a Yaj˝a.
1.61.6
தஸ்ய வை யஜமாநஸ்ய பஸுமிந்த்ரோ ஜஹார ஹ ।
ப்ரணஷ்டே து பஸௌ விப்ரோ ராஜாநமிதமப்ரவீத் ॥
tasya vai yajamānasya paṡumindrō jahāra ha ।
praṇaṣṭē tu paṡau viprō rājānamidamabravīt ॥
Indra abducted the sacrificial animal of that Yaj˝a.
As the horse could not be seen, the Purōhita said to the king:
Anyone performing a hundred Yaj˝as automatically becomes Indra. So the one who is presently in the position of Indra cannot take lightly of anyone performing any Yaj˝a.


A parallel in modern times would be the case of a rising star in a corporate setting or in public life.


Obviously, the incumbent will always be looking for every opportunity to pull him down. But the incumbent should make sure that the grounds for pulling him down are solid. Otherwise it can backfire, and the incumbent would lose his own credibility.

Dear you, Thanks for Visiting Brahmins Net!
JaiHind! Feel free to post whatever you think useful, legal or humer! Click here to Invite Friends




So, the Purōhita points out some Adharma done by Ambarisha.
1.61.7
பஸுரத்ய ஹ்ருதோ ராஜந் ப்ரணஷ்டஸ்தவ துர்நயாத் ।
அரக்ஷிதாரம் ராஜாநம் க்நந்தி தோஷா நரேஸ்வர ॥
paṡuradya hṛtō rājan praṇaṣṭastava durnayāt ।
arakṣitāraṃ rājānaṃ ghnanti dōṣā narēṡvara ॥
O king! The animal has been taken away.
It has disappeared because of your violation of Dharma.
O ruler of peoples! Even minor lapses
by a king can prove to be fatal!
1.61.8
ப்ராயஸ்சித்தம் மஹத்த்யேதந்நரம் வா புருஷர்ஷப ।
ஆநயஸ்வ பஸும் ஸீக்ரம் யாவத் கர்ம ப்ரவர்ததே ॥
prāyaṡcittaṃ mahaddhyētannaraṃ vā puruṣarṣabha ।
ānayasva paṡuṃ ṡīghraṃ yāvat karma pravartatē ॥
O bull among men!
Quite a significant expiation is called for now.
You must immediately procure
another animal or human for sacrifice
to keep the activities of the Yaj˝a moving.
1.61.9
உபாத்யாயவச: ஸ்ருத்வா ஸ ராஜா புருஷர்ஷப ।
அந்வியேஷ மஹாபுத்தி: பஸும் கோபிஸ்ஸஹஸ்ரஸ: ॥
upādhyāyavacaḥ ṡrutvā sa rājā puruṣarṣabha ।
anviyēṣa mahābuddhi: paṡuṃ gōbhissahasraṡa: ॥
Hearing those words of the Purōhita,
the king, a bull among men,
went in search of the right animal,
with an offer of thousands of cows in exchange.
1.61.10-11
தேஸாந் ஜநபதாம்ஸ்தாம்ஸ்தாந் நகராணி வநாநி ச ।
ஆஸ்ரமாணி ச புண்யாநி மார்கமாணோ மஹீபதி: ॥
ஸ புத்ரஸஹிதம் தாத ஸபார்யம் ரகுநந்தந ।
ப்ருகுதுந்தே ஸமாஸீநம்ருசீகம் ஸந்ததர்ஸ ஹ ॥
dēṡān janapadāṃstāṃstān nagarāṇi vanāni ca ।
āṡramāṇi ca puṇyāni mārgamāṇō mahīpatiḥ ॥
sa putrasahitaṃ tāta sabhāryaṃ raghunandana ।
bhṛgutundē samāsīnamṛcīkaṃ sandadarṡa ha ॥
O dear prince of Raghu dynasty!
As he was thus searching all the
lands, cities, rural areas, Vanas, and auspicious Āṡramas,
he came across Ṛiceeka, who lived with his wife and sons
on the mountainside of Bhṛgu Tunga.
This story, without fail, stirs multiple emotions. And those emotions may cloud our minds from seeing the nuances of the story.


First of all, the Yaj˝a was interrupted. Any significant Yaj˝a that is interrupted or abandoned midway would cause significant issues to the performer and his kingdom.


It is like abandoning the construction of a nuclear reactor or a thermal power plant or hydro-electric power plant midway, right before erecting the security constructs. It will leave many threads open - ecologically, financially, legally and socially.


Second, why does the king have to search every nook and cranny of the country, instead of snatching an animal or getting a person, say, someone who is already on death row? The answer is that not every animal and every person qualifies for the sacrifice.


Third, why does the king offer a hundred thousand cows, instead of grabbing the right person or animal when he finds one? Because the king is a Dhārmika, and because his Purōhita has already warned him against lapses. So the animal or person has to be 'willing' and should be properly compensated for.


Fourth, why did the king make the request to Ṛiceeka, specifically? The answer is that he must have been making the same request to everyone wherever he went. And he must have been repeating the same request to Ṛiceeka.


Fifth, why did Ṛiceeka and his wife simply state their preferences about their sons, rather than explicitly granting or denying the request of the king?


This, indeed, is one of the most intriguing aspects of this story. The Rāmāyaṇa only makes a brief mention of some stories without giving full details, just as we have seen in the case of Ksheera Sāgara Mathanam. May be a full version of the story, if available elsewhere, would have the answer to this question.


Sixth, why does the middle son offer himself, without any hue and cry, even before the offer is made explicitly by the parents? The smoothness with which this story moves in this regard is certainly intriguing, to say the least!


Ṛiceeka saying that the oldest is dear to him and his wife saying the youngest is dear to her implying that the middle one is dispensable sounds odd and even terrible.


But it refers to a commonly observable pattern. The oldest son becomes close to a father because he shares the responsibilities and worries of the father before the other sons do. The youngest son becomes dear to the mother, because she breastfeeds and plays with him longer than the older children.


Nevertheless, I would assume that they would not have been willing to let the middle one go. But there must have been something binding upon them, that is not evident here. They must have faced some obligation like Yudhishṭhara faced when he had to choose only one among the four brothers to be revived, by the Yaksha.










1.61.12-13a
தமுவாச மஹாதேஜா: ப்ரணம்யாபிப்ரஸாத்ய ச ।
ப்ரஹ்மர்ஷிம் தபஸா தீப்தம் ராஜர்ஷிரமிதப்ரப: ।
ப்ருஷ்ட்வா ஸர்வத்ர குஸலம்ருசீகம் தமிதம் வச: ॥
tamuvāca mahātējāḥ praṇamyābhiprasādya ca ।
brahmarṣiṃ tapasā dīptaṃ rājarṣiramitaprabhaḥ ।
pṛṣṭvā sarvatra kuṡalamṛcīkaṃ tamidaṃ vacaḥ ॥
The supremely radiant and glowing king
paid reverences to Ṛiceeka,
the Brahmarshi, who was glowing with Tapa.
After gaining his pleasure, he asked him
about his well-being and said:
1.61.13b-14a
கவாம் ஸதஸஹஸ்ரேண விக்ரீணீஷே ஸுதம் யதி ।
பஸோரர்தே மஹாபாக க்ருதக்ருத்யோऽஸ்மி பார்கவ ॥
gavāṃ ṡatasahasrēṇa vikrīṇīṣē sutaṃ yadi ।
paṡōrarthē mahābhāga kṛtakṛtyō'smi bhārgava ॥
O blessed one, born into the Bhṛgu lineage!
If you could give me your son,
in exchange for a hundred thousand cows,
as a substitute for the sacrificial animal,
I would be able to accomplish my endeavor.
1.61.14b-15a
ஸர்வே பரிஸ்ருதா தேஸா யாஜ்ஞீயம் ந லபே பஸும் ।
தாதுமர்ஹஸி மூல்யேந ஸுதமேகமிதோ மம ॥
sarvē parisṛtā dēṡā yāj˝īyaṃ na labhē paṡum ।
dātumarhasi mūlyēna sutamēkamitō mama ॥
I went everywhere searching for
a sacrificial animal, but in vain.
I hope you will be able to give one of these sons of yours
in exchange for the right amount.
1.61.15b-16a
ஏவமுக்தோ மஹாதேஜா ருசீகஸ்த்வப்ரவீத்வச: ।
நாஹம் ஜ்யேஷ்டம் நரஸ்ரேஷ்ட விக்ரீணீயாம் கதஞ்சந ॥
ēvamuktō mahātējā ṛcīkastvabravīdvacaḥ ।
nāhaṃ jyēṣṭhaṃ naraṡrēṣṭha vikrīṇīyāṃ katha˝cana ॥
Hearing those words, the supremely radiant Ṛiceeka said:
"No matter what, I will not be able to sell my eldest son!"
1.61.16b-17a
ருசீகஸ்ய வச: ஸ்ருத்வா தேஷாம் மாதா மஹாத்மநாம் ।
உவாச நரஸார்தூலமம்பரீஷம் தபஸ்விநீ ॥
ṛcīkasya vacaḥ ṡrutvā tēṣāṃ mātā mahātmanām ।
uvāca naraṡārdūlamambarīṣaṃ tapasvinī ॥
Hearing those words of Ṛiceeka,
the mother of those sons, the Mahātmas,
said to Ambarisha, a tiger among men:
1.61.17b-18
அவிக்ரேயம் ஸுதம் ஜ்யேஷ்டம் பகவாநாஹ பார்கவ: ।
மமாபி தயிதம் வித்தி கநிஷ்டம் ஸுநகம் ந்ருப ।
தஸ்மாத்கநீயஸம் புத்ரம் ந தாஸ்யே தவ பார்திவ ॥
avikrēyaṃ sutaṃ jyēṣṭhaṃ bhagavānāha bhārgavaḥ ।
mamāpi dayitaṃ viddhi kaniṣṭhaṃ ṡunakaṃ nṛpa ।
tasmātkanīyasaṃ putraṃ na dāsyē tava pārthiva ॥
O king! Bhagawan Ṛiceeka,
descendant of the lineage of Bhṛgu,
said that he cannot sell the eldest of the sons.
Ṡunaka, the youngest of the sons is very dear to me.
Hence I cannot give him, the youngest of all, away.
1.61.19
ப்ராயேண ஹி நரஸ்ரேஷ்ட ஜ்யேஷ்டா: பித்ருஷு வல்லபா: ।
மாத௄ணாம் ச கநீயாம்ஸஸ்தஸ்மாத்ரக்ஷே கநீயஸம் ॥
prāyēṇa hi naraṡrēṣṭha jyēṣṭhāḥ pitṛṣu vallabhāḥ ।
māt ṇāṃ ca kanīyāṃsastasmādrakṣē kanīyasam ॥
O foremost among men!
In general, the older sons are dear to the father
and the younger sons, to the mother.
Hence I will protect the youngest of my sons.
1.61.20
உக்தவாக்யே முநௌ தஸ்மிந் முநிபத்ந்யாம் ததைவ ச ।
ஸுநஸ்ஸேபஸ்ஸ்வயம் ராம மத்யமோ வாக்யமப்ரவீத் ॥
uktavākyē munau tasmin munipatnyāṃ tathaiva ca ।
ṡunaṡṡēphassvayaṃ rāma madhyamō vākyamabravīt ॥
O Rāma! Hearing those words of the Muni and his wife,
the middle son, by name Ṡunahṡepha said, on his own:
1.61.21
பிதா ஜ்யேஷ்டமவிக்ரேயம் மாதா சாஹ கநீயஸம் ।
விக்ரீதம் மத்யமம் மந்யே ராஜந் புத்ரம் நயஸ்வ மாம் ॥
pitā jyēṣṭhamavikrēyaṃ mātā cāha kanīyasam ।
vikrītaṃ madhyamaṃ manyē rājan putraṃ nayasva mām ॥
O king! Father indicated that he would not sell the eldest
and mother said that she would not sell the youngest.
I conclude that they mean they will sell me, the middle one!
Please take me with you.
1.61.22
கவாம் ஸதஸஹஸ்ரேண ஸுந:ஸேபம் நரேஸ்வர: ।
க்ருஹீத்வா பரமப்ரீதோ ஜகாம ரகுநந்தந ॥
gavāṃ ṡatasahasrēṇa ṡunaḥṡēphaṃ narēṡvaraḥ ।
gṛhītvā paramaprītō jagāma raghunandana ॥
O prince of Raghu dynasty!
Taking Ṡunahṡepha in exchange
for one hundred thousand cows,
the king felt very happy and left.
1.61.23
அம்பரீஷஸ்து ராஜர்ஷீ ரதமாரோப்ய ஸத்வர: ।
ஸுந:ஸேபம் மஹாதேஜா ஜகாமாஸுமஹாயஸா: ॥
ambarīṣastu rājarṣī rathamārōpya satvaraḥ ।
ṡunaḥṡēphaṃ mahātējā jagāmāṡumahāyaṡāḥ ॥
The renowned and supremely radiant Rājarshi Ambarisha
got Ṡunahṡepha on his chariot immediately,
and left instantaneously.
இத்யார்ஷே ஸ்ரீமத்ராமாயணே வால்மீகீயே ஆதிகாவ்யே
ஸ்ரீமத்பாலகாண்டே ஏகஷஷ்டிதம: ஸர்க: ॥
ityārṣē ṡrīmadrāmāyaṇē vālmīkīyē ādikāvyē
ṡrīmadbālakāṇḍē ēkaṣaṣṭitamaḥ sargaḥ ॥
Thus concludes the sixty first Sarga
in Bāla Kāṇḍa of the glorious Rāmāyaṇa,
the first ever poem of humankind,
composed by Vālmeeki.

We completed reading 1793 Ṡlōkas out of ~24,000 Ṡlōkas of Vālmeeki Rāmāyaṇa.