Bala Kanda Sarga 24

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Ramayana - Bala Kanda

Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties

Bala Kanda Sarg 24 in English

Introduction - While crossing over the River Ganga, sage Vishvamitra sails them through its confluence with River Sarayu, which flows at their capital Ayodhya. The sage leads them to a deadly forest on the other bank of River Ganga and narrates about the provinces Malada and Karusha and the ambushing nature of demoness Tataka, preparing him to kill her.

1. Then, in the fresh of the morning those enemy destroyers, Rama and Lakshmana, arrived at the riverbank of Ganga keeping sage Vishvamitra ahead of them, which sage has just completed his ritualistic chores of dawn. [1-24-1]

2. All those sages of Kaama's hermitage that are the great souls and scrupulous ones in their vows, have positioned an auspicious ferryboat within the reach in the river, and then they said to sage Vishvamitra. [1-24-2]

3. You may board the boat keeping the princes ahead of you, and we wish you to proceed on a prosperous route without the shift of time. So said the sages. [1-24-3]

4. Sage Vishvamitra on saying 'it must be so,' to those sages and revering them in his turn, cruised the river that itself is cruising towards ocean, along with both the princes. [1-24-4]

5, 6a. On coming to the midstream of water there Rama heard an unusual and increasing noise of gushy waters along with his younger brother, and that brilliant one Rama desired to know its significance. [1-24-5, 6a]

6b, 7a. Rama then asked the eminent sage Vishvamitra in the midst of the river, "what is this turbulent sound sire, as though slashing water?" [1-24-6b, 7a]

7b, 8a. On hearing the inquisitive words of Raghava that virtue-souled sage Vishvamitra started to tell the significance of that sound. [1-24-7b, 8a]

8b, 9a. On Mt. Kailash Brahma created a great lake at his will, oh, tigerly-man Rama, hence that is called Maanasa Lake. [1-24-8b, 9a]

9b, 10, 11a. That river which spontaneously flows out of that Maanasa Lake surrounds Ayodhya city is this one, the River Sarayu. Because this has originated from a lake, saraH, this is known as Sarayu. And because it flows from Brahma's Lake it is a merited river. This is the remarkable noise of such a Sarayu River in its coursing towards River Ganga, generated by the collision of their waters, and Rama, offer regards to these rivers, respectfully." So said Vishvamitra to the princes. [1-24-9b, 10, 11a]

11b, 12a. Offering their salutations to River Sarayu and Ganga those two most virtuous and agile footed princes proceeded further on reaching the southern riverbank. [1-24-11b, 12a]

12b, 13a. On seeing a horrendous and uninhibited forest, Rama, the son of the best king Dasharatha asked the eminent sage Vishvamitra. [1-24-12b, 13a]

13b, 14a. Oh, impenetrable is this forest fraught with swarms of crickets, brutish predators, and vultures, which are all horribly strident. [1-24-13b, 14a]

14b, 15a. Various vultures are screeching with fierce sonority, and tigers, wild boars, and elephants render this forest atypical. [1-24-14b, 15a]

15b, 16a. Indeed, what is this wretched forest that is dense with Dhava, Ashvakarna, Arjuna, Bilva (Eagle marmelos), Tinduka (Diospyros melanoxylon), Patala (Bignonia suaveolens), and Badari trees." Thus Rama asked Vishvamitra. [1-24-15b, 16a]

The botanical names of the trees mentioned in the text are Grislea Tormentosa, Shorea Robusta, Echites Antidysenterica, Bignonia Suaveolens, Aegle Marmelos, and Diospyrus Glutinosa. I have omitted the Kutaja (Echites) and the Tinduka (Diospyros melanoxylon). Griffith.

16b, 17a. The resplendent and the great saint Vishvamitra then said to Rama, "I will tell you, oh, my boy Rama, whose is this wretched forest. [1-24-16b, 17a]

17b, 18a. Once these were vast provinces, oh, best one among men, designed by gods and known as Malada and Karusha. [1-24-17b, 18a]

The word mala da is malam dyati khaNDayati iti mala da that which abolishes excreta, but not filth itself. karusha is kaa ruusha remover of hunger. If mortal hunger is there excreta will be there and then mortality of Indra is at stake. Hence if hunger is eliminated there will be nothing filthy. Once these provinces were such hunger removers equalling to heaven, but deteriorated in their heaven-on-earth attributes, owing to demoness Tataka.

18b, 19a. Once upon a time, oh, Rama, mortal impurities of filth and hunger completely stained Indra when he eliminated demon Vritra, as he committed the sin of killing of a Brahman, where the demon Vritra was incidentally a Brahman. [1-24-18b, 19a]

19b, 20a. The gods and ascetically rich sages then started to bathe feculent Indra with their handy vessels for the riddance of his defilement. [1-24-19b, 20a]

20b, 21a. On giving filth and hunger emerged out of the body of Mahendra here on the earth then the gods were gladdened. [1-24-20b, 21a]

21b, 22a. As and when Indra was without desecration and hunger as well, and thus purified, then gladdened about this place he gave it an unexcelled boon. [1-24-21b, 22a]

22b, 23a. These provinces that bear the impurity of my body shall become resourceful and they shall attain renown in world as Malada and Karusha." Thus Indra gave boon to this place. [1-24-22b, 23a]

23b, 24a. On observing the honour accorded by wise Indra to these places gods praised the controller of demon Paaka, namely Indra saying, 'splendid, splendid it is.' [1-24-23b, 24a]

24b, 25a. For a long time these habitations Malada and Karusha were affluent, oh, enemy subjugator Rama, and people were happy with wealth and provisions. [1-24-24b, 25a]

25b, 26, 27a. Later at sometime, a yaksha female who is a guise changer at her wish, possessor of the strength of a thousand elephants, wife of clever Sunanda, and she whose son is demon Mareecha, the one equal to Indra in his bravery, prevailed here, let you be safe Rama. [1-24-25b, 26, 27a]

27b, 28a. That demon Mareecha is round shouldered, huge headed, cavernous mouthed, and gigantic bodied one, and he is always terrifying the people. [1-24-27b, 28a]

28b, 29a. And Raghava, that malevolent Tataka is always destroying the inhabitations at Malada and Karusha. [1-24-28b, 29a]

29b, 30a. She lives about one and half yojana distance from here, and by which reason this became the forest of Tataka, owing to her gruesome activities, for that reason only a headway is to be made, to eradicate her and her activities. [1-24-29b, 30a]

This verse also means 'where there is the forest of Tataka there we have to go.' The above is another shade of that verse.

30b, 31a. Depending upon the strength of your own self-confidence you have to eradicate this evildoer, and assigned by me you have to make this province free from thorniness. [1-24-30b, 31a]

Great persons accomplish their deeds by their self-confidence, kriyaa siddhiH sattve bhavati mahataam, na upakaraNe not by their hardware.

31b, 32a. Indeed, none is able to enter this sort of province, Rama, destroyed by the hazardous and invincible unearthly being who turned into a demoness, namely Tataka, hence you have to make the provinces habitable. [1-24-31b, 32a]

32. As to how that ghoulish Tataka destroyed this entire forest, rendering it as a devastated place, without refraining from it even today, all that is narrated." So said Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-24-32]

श्रीमद्वाल्मीकियरामायणे बालकाण्डे चतुर्विंशः सर्गः ॥१-२४॥

ततः प्रभाते विमले कृत आह्निकम् अरिन्दमौ ।
विश्वामित्रम् पुरस्कृत्य नद्याः तीरम् उपागतौ ॥१-२४-१॥
ते च सर्वे महात्मानो मुनयः संश्रित व्रताः ।
उपस्थाप्य शुभाम् नावम् विश्वामित्रम् अथ अब्रुवन् ॥१-२४-२॥
आरोहतु भवान् नावम् राजपुत्र पुरस्कृतः ।
अरिष्टम् गच्छ पन्थानम् मा भूत् काल विपर्ययः ॥१-२४-३॥
विश्वामित्रः तथा इति उक्त्वा तान् ऋषीन् प्रतिपूज्य च ।
ततार सहितः ताभ्याम् सरितम् सागरम् गमाम् ॥१-२४-४॥
तत्र शुश्राव वै शब्दम् तोय संरम्भ वर्धितम् ।
मध्यम् आगम्य तोयस्य तस्य शब्दस्य निश्चयम् ॥१-२४-५॥
ज्ञातु कामो महातेजा सह रामः कनीयसा ।
अथ रामः सरिन् मध्ये पप्रच्छ मुनि पुङ्गवम् ॥१-२४-६॥
वारिणो भिद्यमानस्य किम् अयम् तुमुलो ध्वनिः ।
राघवस्य वचः श्रुत्वा कौतूहल समन्वितम् ॥१-२४-७॥
कथयामास धर्मात्मा तस्य शब्दस्य निश्चयम् ।
कैलास पर्वते राम मनसा निर्मितम् परम् ॥१-२४-८॥
ब्रह्मणा नरशार्दूल तेन इदम् मानसम् सरः
तस्मात् सुस्राव सरसः सा अयोध्याम् उपगूहते ॥१-२४-९॥
सरः प्रवृत्ता सरयूः पुण्या ब्रह्म सरः च्युता ।
तस्य अयम् अतुलः शब्दो जाह्नवीम् अभिवर्तते ॥१-२४-१०॥
वारि संक्षोभजो राम प्रणामम् नियतः कुरु ।
ताभ्याम् तु तावुभौ कृत्वा प्रणामम् अतिधार्मिकौ ॥१-२४-११॥
तीरम् दक्षिणम् आसाद्य जग्मतुर् लघु विक्रमौ ।
स वनम् घोर संकाशम् दृष्ट्वा नरवरात्मजः ॥१-२४-१२॥
अविप्रहतम् ऐक्ष्वाकः पप्रच्छ मुनि पुंगवम् ।
अहो वनम् इदम् दुर्गम् झिल्लिका गण संयुतम् ॥१-२४-१३॥
भैरवैः श्वापदैः कीर्णम् शकुनैः दारुण आरवैः
नाना प्रकारैः शकुनैः वाश्यद्भिः भैरव स्वनैः ॥१-२४-१४॥
सिंह व्याघ्र वराहैः च वारणैः च अपि शोभितम् ।
धव अश्वकर्ण ककुभैः बिल्व तिन्दुक पाटलैः ॥१-२४-१५॥
संकीर्णम् बदरीभिः च किम् नु एतत् दारुणम् वनम् ।
तम् उवाच महातेजा विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः ॥१-२४-१६॥
श्रूयताम् वत्स काकुत्स्थ यस्य एतत् दारुणम् वनम् ।
एतौ जनपदौ स्फीतौ पूर्वम् आस्ताम् नरोउत्तम ॥१-२४-१७॥
मलदाःकरूषाः च देव निर्माण निर्मितौ ।
पुरा वृत्र वधे राम मलेन समभिप्लुतम् ॥१-२४-१८॥
क्षुधा चैव सहस्राक्षम् ब्रह्म हत्या सम् आविशत् ।
तम् इन्द्रम् मलिनम् देवा ऋषयः च तपोधनाः ॥१-२४-१९॥
कलशैः स्नापयामासुः मलम् च अस्य प्रमोचयन् ।
इह भूम्याम् मलम् दत्त्वा देवाः कारुषम् एव च ॥१-२४-२०॥
शरीरजम् महेन्द्रस्य ततो हर्षम् प्रपेदिरे ।
निर्मलो निष्करूषः च शुद्ध इन्द्रो यथा अभवत् ॥१-२४-२१॥
ततो देशस्य सुप्रीतो वरम् प्रादाद् अनुत्तमम् ।
इमौ जनपदौ स्फीतौ ख्यातिम् लोके गमिष्यतः ॥१-२४-२२॥
मलदाःकरूषाः च मम अंग मल धारिणौ ।
साधु साधु इति तम् देवाः पाकशासनम् अब्रुवन् ॥१-२४-२३॥
देशस्य पूजाम् ताम् दृष्ट्वा कृताम् शक्रेण धीमता ।
एतौ जनपदौ स्फीतौ दीर्घ कालम् अरिन्दम ॥१-२४-२४॥
मलदाःकरूषाः च मुदिता धन धान्यतः ।
कस्य चित् अथ कालस्य यक्षी काम रूपिणी ॥१-२४-२५॥
बलम् नाग सहस्रस्य धारयन्ती तदा हि आभूत् ।
ताटका नाम भद्रम् ते भार्या सुन्दस्य धीमतः ॥१-२४-२६॥
मारीचो राक्षसः पुत्रो यस्याः शक्र पराक्रमः ।
वृत्त बाहुर् महा शीर्षो विपुला अस्य तनुर् महान् ॥१-२४-२७॥
राक्षसो भैरव आकारो नित्यम् त्रासयते प्रजाः ।
इमौ जनपदौ नित्यम् विनाशयति राघव ॥१-२४-२८॥
मलदांश्च करूषांश्च ताटका दुष्ट चारिणी ।
सा इयम् पन्थानम् आवृत्य वसति अध्यर्ध योजने ॥१-२४-२९॥
अत एव च गन्तव्यम् ताटकाया वनम् यतः ।
स्व बाहु बलम् आश्रित्य जहि इमाम् दुष्ट चारिणीम् ॥१-२४-३०॥
मत् नियोगात् इमम् देशम् कुरु निष्कण्टकम् पुनः ।
न हि कश्चित् इमम् देशम् शक्तो हि आगन्तुम् ईदृशम् ॥१-२४-३१॥
यक्षिण्या घोरया राम उत्सादितम् असह्यया ।
एतत् ते सर्वम् आख्यातम् यथा एतत् दारुणम् वनम् ।
यक्ष्या च उत्सादितम् सर्वम् अद्य अपि न निवर्तते ॥१-२४-३२॥

इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदिकाव्ये बाल काण्डे चतुर् विंशः सर्गः ॥ इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये बालकाण्डे चतुर्विंशः सर्गः ॥१-२४॥


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