Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 13

Sargam [Chapter]: 13
Aśvamedha Sacrifice Arrangements

[In consultation with Vaṣiṣṭha all arrangements for conducting the Aśvamedha sacrifice is being done.]

After one year, spring came again and the valiant King Daśaratha, for begetting a son, entered the sacrificial pavilion to perform the Horse Sacrifice. 13.1

After saluting and worshipping the great Brahmin Vaṣiṣṭha, according to the prescribed procedure for begetting children said with humility. 13.2

"Oh foremost among sages, Oh Brahmins, may this sacrifice be performed according to rules prescribed, so that no obstruction to it will ever arise." 13.3

"You are affectionate towards me and also a friend. Be my spiritual guide and you alone should take over the burden of performing this sacrifice." 13.4

In answer to what was told by the king, that great among Brahmins told, "All things would be done as you had planned." 13.5

Then Sage Vaṣiṣṭha summoned venerable Brahmins experienced in fire sacrifice related activities, venerable and most righteous people well versed in architecture, skilled workers, makers of bricks, carpenters, diggers, men adept in calculation, artisans, dancers and actors, men having a clean background, people well versed in scriptures, well informed and knowledgeable people and told them, "The commencement of the fire sacrifice is very near and all of you as per the orders of the king, quickly bring thousands of bricks and also engage yourselves in all the subsidiary activities. 13.6-13.9

"Let many homes for the Brahmins be erected and let them be provided with all comforts and food in them." 13.10

"And also for citizens of other towns engaged in many works, houses may be erected along with food as well as entertainment " 13.11

"And in the same way, extremely good food be provided for the commoners attending the function as per rules and they all be treated well and not shabbily or carelessly." 13.12

"People from other castes also should be treated honourably and they should not be insulted to lust or anger." 13.13

"Those people who are busy with ritual related activities and the sculptors should be properly honoured and taken care of; all of them should be made contended by giving enough money. Without leaving out any activity, everything should be managed well and in that manner should take care of everything with your whole heart full of love and affection. Then all of them approached Vaṣiṣṭha and told him like this, "Everything will be well arranged and nothing would be left out and we will attend to it as instructed, No activity would be such that people would tease us about it." 13.14-13.17

Then Vaṣiṣṭha summoned Sumantra and told him, "Invite all righteous kings to this function." 13.18

"Bring in Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Merchants and Śūdras in thousands from all countries with due honour and convene them here." 13.19

"I am informing you to go and personally invite Janaka, the King of Mithilā, who is courageous person of true valour, proficient in all scriptures, expert in Vedas and an ancient ally of King Daśaratha with due honours." 13.20-13.21

"Afterwards, you please go and bring the lion among kings, the King of Kasi who is affectionate and talks sweetly." 13.22

"Then, please bring the old King of Kekaya, who is a great observer of Dharma and who is the father in law of King Daśaratha, along with his sons." 13.23

"Then you should bring Romapāda, the prosperous King of Anga and a very close friend of Daśaratha, with due honours." 13.24

"Please invite kings from countries on the east side, Kings of Sindhu and Śamvara countries, kings of Saurāṣṭra and kings of South with due honours." 13.25

"Please also invite the kings of other countries, who are friendly with us, along with retinues, relatives and friends." 13.26

Hearing these words of Vaṣiṣṭha, the truly valorous Sumantra speedily dispatched virtuous and auspicious men to bring the kings. 13.27

Honouring the words of the sage Sumantra himself set out to personally invite King Janaka and other kings. 13.28

All the workers involved in the fire sacrifice, having completed the task assigned to them informed about it to the very great sage Vaṣiṣṭha. 13.29

Then the well pleased great Brahmin sage Vaṣiṣṭha told addressing all of them, "No gift should be given casually or with insult or with contempt. If done, it results in the destruction of the donor." 13.30

Kings of several countries travelling day and night arrived in the city of Ayodhyā carrying with them various kinds of gifts. Then the well pleased Vaṣiṣṭha addressed Daśaratha and told, "Oh lion among men, as per your invitation many noble kings of various places have arrived and I have honoured them according to their merit." 13.31-13.33

"Oh King, arrangements for the fire sacrifice has been completed by well-balanced experts. Now you can leave to the hall of Fire sacrifice to perform the Yagna." 13.34

"Oh King, please visit the hall of fire sacrifice where all your desires of the mind have been given shape and is constructed in such a way, that it deserves to be seen." 13.35

According to the words of Vaṣiṣṭha, Riṣyaśriṇga and King of the world entered the sacrificial hall on an auspicious day, when there was an auspicious star." 13.36

Then the great sage Vaṣiṣṭha and other great Brahmins entered the sacrificial hall in accordance with Śāstra and in accordance with tradition and then sage Riṣyaśriṇga began the sacrificial rites. 13.37

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