Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 23

Sargam [Chapter]: 23
Lord Shiva's Hermitage

[They reach the confluence of Sarayu and Ganges rivers. They come across a holy hermitage. On query from Rāma, Viśvāmitra tells him that it is the Hermitage of Lord Shiva.]

When the sun rose at dawn, that great sage Viśvāmitra told the descendants of Kākutstha sleeping on the bed. 23.1

"Oh Rāma, the darling son of Kausalya, the early dawn has come out. Oh Lion among men, perform your morning rituals." 23.2

Those kings, who were great men, hearing the pleasing words of the saint, bathed, offered water ablations and chanted the divine prayer. 23.3

Those greatly valorous ones, after performing the morning rituals with great joy, went to sage Viśvāmitra, saluted him and got ready for further journey. 23.4

Then those two heroic ones travelled further and reached the auspicious confluence of Sarayu River with River Ganges, which goes in three ways. 23.5

They saw there the hermitage of contemplative ascetics, who were doing penance for thousands of years. 23.6

Becoming extremely happy to see those blessed hermitages, Rāma asked the great soul Viśvāmitra: 23.7

"Whose blessed hermitage is this? Which great celebrated sage lived here? Both of us are curious and inquisitive to know about this." 23.8

Hearing those words, the great sage smiled and said, "Oh Rāma, I will tell you who lived in this hermitage." 23.9

"When the god of love had a body, he was called by the name of Kama [passion] by wise people. He with a naughty intention, once braved with Shiva, the God of Gods Lord Shiva, who was doing deep penance according to rules here and Lord Shiva roared at the god of love disapprovingly at this spot." 23.10-23.11

"Oh son of Raghu clan, the angry Shiva saw him with his third eye which destroyed the evil minded love god and all his limbs fell down from his body." 23.12

"That great soul Lord Shiva completely burnt down Kāma's body and Kāma became one without body by the great anger of the god of gods." 23.13

"Oh Rāma, thereafter, he became very famous as Ananga [bodiless] and the place where he gave up his body [aṅga] is known as Anga Deśa." 23.14

"Oh Rāma, his hermitage is blessed and from olden times the sages, who were his disciples, did penance here; sin can never occur in this place." 23.15

"Oh Rāma, who is auspicious to look at, let us spend the night here, which is in between two holy rivers and then we will cross the river." 23.16

"Oh best among men, we will take bath, chant our prayers, do the oblations in fire and enter this divine hermitage completely purified so that we can live here comfortably." 23.17

Those sages with their distant sight perceived their discussion and they became extremely happy; On their approaching, gave them water to wash their feet, water to drink and then offered great hospitality to sage Viśvāmitra. 23.18-23.19

Then later, they accorded hospitality to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa; Sage Viśvāmitra applauded them for their great hospitality. 23.20

Those saints, with a balanced mind, did rituals and meditation of the dusk. they were followed by Rāma and others. Then those sages, who observed good penance, took those guests in to their hermitage. The guests stayed in the hermitage of Shiva there comfortably. 23.21

That eminent observer of Dharma, sage Viśvāmitra, entertained those attractive sons of the King with delightful stories. 23.22

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