Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 20

Sargam [Chapter]: 20
Daśaratha's Reluctance

[Daśaratha feels that Rāma is too young to oppose these great Rākṣasas. He requests the sage to take him along with the army. The sage gets very angry.]

Having heard the words of Viśvāmitra, that great king, for a little time lost his senses, quickly regained and spoke as follows: 20.1

"My lotus eyed Rāma is less than sixteen years of age and I do not think that he has ability to fight with Rākṣasas." 20.2

"An Akshouhini of army is under my command and control. I would go along with them and will fight with those night rangers [Rākṣasas]." 20.3

"My army servants are warriors, mighty, powerful, skilled in use of weapons and are fit to fight with Rākṣasas in a battle; Rāma does not fit to do battle with them." 20.4

"I myself, with a bow in hand, would engage in a battle with Rākṣasas and protect the fire sacrifice till I have life in me." 20.5

"I shall personally come there, protect you for doing the penances and see that the sacrifice goes ahead without any obstacles as Rāma is not fit to lead that job." 20.6

"Rāma is a child, not learned in warfare, does not know the strength and weaknesses of the army, has not acquired strong weapons and is not proficient in warfare with Rākṣasa who use deceit." 20.7

"I do not like to live even a moment separated from Rāma and Oh tiger among sages, Rāma is not fit to take lead in the battle." 20.8

"Oh Brahmin with excellent penance, If you are intending to take Rāma with you, please also take me and my army with you." 20.9

"Oh Kauśika, sixty thousand years have passed since I was born and I obtained Rāma with great deal of efforts and so it is not proper for you to take him. " 20.10

"Among my four sons, I have greatest affection to Rāma and being the eldest one with more responsibility according to Dharma, does not merit to be taken." 20.11

"Oh great sage, how powerful are those Rākṣasas? Whose sons are they? Who are they? What is their size? Who is giving them protection?" 20.12

"Oh Brahmin, how can Rāma or me retaliate against those treacherous and deceitful Rākṣasas?" 20.13

"Oh God like person, how can Rāma or me stay and fight against those wicked natured Rākṣasas who are proud of their strength?" Having heard the words of the King, the sage Viśvāmitra spoke: 20.14-2015

"Oh noble one, born in the Pulastya clan, there is a Rākṣasa named Rāvaṇa, who is of great strength and valour. He has been granted many boons by Lord Brahma. Accompanied by several other Rākṣasas, he is troubling the world." 20.16

"It is heard that he is brother of Lord Kubera and son of a great sage called Visrawas and he is the King of all Rākṣasas with great valour." 20.17

"Though possessed of great strength, he himself never created any impediments to the fire sacrifice but he is prompting two Rākṣasa Subāhu and Mārīcha to create obstacles." 20.18-20.19

When the sage spoke in this manner, addressing the sage, King Daśaratha told, "I am myself not capable to fight with that evil minded one." 20.20

"Oh great follower of Dharma, please extend your favour to my unfortunate little son and also me. You are my Guru as well as God." 20.21

"Even devas, asuras, Yakṣas, birds and great serpents are not capable of enduring Rāvaṇa in a battle. What to say of men?" 20.22

"Those Rākṣasas pull out the power of the warriors with whom they fight, Oh great sage, either with my forces or with my sons, I would not be able to fight with him or his forces." 20.23

"Oh Brahmin, though my son resembles devas, he is not experienced in a war fare and I would not be able to part with my dear child and send him with you." 20.24

"Further, those destroyers of Yagna named Subāhu and Mārīcha, who are the sons of Sundha and Upasundha resemble Yama, the God of death and so I will not send my son with you." 20.25

"Mārīcha and Subāhu are great warriors; they are well instructed in warfare. But I, along with my friends, can combat one of them only." 20.26

That King of Brahmins, Kauśika, hearing these prattling of the King flew into very great ire and resembled a sage in the form of a raging fire ball kindled with clarified butter and other offerings. 20.27

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