Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 12

Sargam [Chapter]: 12
Aśvamedha Sacrifice Planning

[In consultation with sage Riṣyaśriṇga and several other sages, a decision was taken to perform the Aśvamedha sacrifice and arrangements were made to perform this great sacrifice.]

After spending a long charming time like this, the pretty spring season arrived and the desire to perform the fire sacrifice arose in the mind of the king. 12.1

Then after bowing his head to the god like Brahmin and after pleasing him told, "let us conduct the fire sacrifice so that children are born and the continuity of the family can be assured". Then he chose him as his official priest. 12.2

The well honoured Brahmin assented and requested the King to collect the required materials and also release the horse. 12.3

Thereafter the King spoke the following words to the best of his ministers Sumantra, "Oh Sumantra, please summon immediately Sujajñā, Vāmadeva, Jābāli, Kaśyapa and family priest Sage Vaṣiṣṭha along with foremost among the Brahmins who are well versed in Vedas to act as official priests." 12.4-12.5

There upon the fast moving Sumantra went with great speed, gathered and brought all those Brahmins who had completely mastered the Vedas. 12.6

Then the soul of Dharma, the King Daśaratha, worshipped all of them with Dharma and wealth and said the following gracious words to them. 12.7

"I am suffering with intense sorrow due to the need for sons and because of that there is no happiness for me. It is my intention to perform the horse sacrifice for realization of my wish." 12.8

"For that reason, I am desirous of performing the fire sacrifice according to Vedic specifications and I shall obtain fulfilment of my desire by the grace of sage Riṣyaśriṇga." 12.9

The Brahmins lead by sage Vaṣiṣṭha, hearing the words of the king, praised him and blessed that the Fire sacrifice would be well done. 12.10

Then the priests lead by sage Riṣyaśriṇga said, "Let the materials needed be procured and let the horse be released." 12.11

"It is good, that the righteous thought of begetting sons has entered your mind. Surely you would get four sons of immense prowess." 12.12

Hearing the words of the Brahmin, the King was mightily pleased and he spoke these auspicious words to his ministers. 12.13

"As per the orders of our Teachers [Gurus], all material needed may please be procured and a horse may be released under the protection of able warriors and let a priest accompany them." 12.14

"The hall for conducting fire sacrifice may be erected according to well laid procedures of Kalpa, on the northern side of river Sarayu and let auspicious rites be performed there uninterrupted." 12.15

"In this best of sacrifices omissions and difficulties should not happen and all kings should be able to fulfill their desires by it." 12.16

"In this sacrifice conducted by learned men, the Brahma Rākṣasas would be looking to find faults and if they find they would destroy the doer as well as the sacrifice immediately." 12.17

"Because of that it should be done in the manner as specified by the scriptures and arrangements are to be made to complete it properly as you are experts in this matter." 12.18

Then all the ministers said that they would do accordingly and as ordered, the fire sacrifice would be performed. 12.19

Then the Brahmins praised the great King who was a master in Dharmas and after being permitted went back to their places. 12.20

Then after the Brahmins had departed, the great and glorious King sent away his ministers and entered the palace. 12.21

This is the end of Twelfth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.