Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 31

Sargam [Chapter]: 31
Journey to Mithilā

[The sages tell Rāma that they are going to Mithilā to participate in a great Yagna being conducted by Janaka. They also tell him about the great bow of Lord Shiva which King Janaka is having. During the halt of night, on seeing a glowing forest, Rāma asks sage Viśvāmitra about it.]

Then the brave Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, who made a great achievement, with a happy heart, resided there for the night. 31.1

When the night turned in to morning, they performed the morning rituals and both of them together approached sage Viśvāmitra and other sages. 31.2

Those two, who talk very sweetly, saluted the sage Viśvāmitra, who was shining like fire, and spoke these courteous words. 31.3

"Oh tiger among sages, we, who are your attendants, have come in front of you. Oh great sage, order us as to what is to be done." 31.4

All the sages, after hearing these words, keeping Viśvāmitra as their leader spoke as follows: 31.5

"Oh great men, Janaka, the King, who is the great follower of Dharma, is going to conduct a Yagna and we are going there." 31.6

"Tiger among men, if you also accompany us, you would be able to see there a wonderful gem of a bow." 31.7

"Oh great man, in earlier times, it was given by devas at a Yagna and it has matchless power in a horrible war and it is divinely lustrous. 31.8

"No Gandharwa, no deva, no asura and no Rākṣasa can lift and tie the string to it; what to say of men?" 31.9

"Though many kings were inquisitive about the bow, none of them were able to tie the bow string." 31.10

"Oh tiger among men, you can see that bow belonging to the King of Mithilā and oh son of Kakustha clan, you can also see the wonderful Yagna which he is going to conduct." 31.11

"Oh tiger among men, Oh one with a strong middle, once a King of Mithilā, after conducting a Yagna, requested for a supreme bow from all the devas." [Devaratha, the grandfather of Janaka was that king.] 31.12

"Oh Rāghava, that bow is being regularly worshipped in the King's palace, especially during festival of bows with various types of sandal pastes, with various types of scented smokes as well as with smoke of aloe." 31.13

Saying all these, those great sages started for their journey; those groups of sages and sons of Kākutstha clan bid farewell to the gods of the forest. 31.14

"Greetings and wishes of safety to you. We are going from Siddha Āśrama to the northern bank of River Ganges and travel towards the Himalaya Mountains." 31.15

Saying like this, the tiger among sages Viśvāmitra, who had riches of penance, started their journey towards the northern side. 31.16

Travelling along with the great sage, his very close followers, who were the knower of Brahman, travelled in one hundred carts 31.17

All the animals and birds, as well as all those who lived in Siddha Āśrama, closely followed the great saint Viśvāmitra, who was rich in penance; but the sage made the animals and birds to go back. 31.18

After travelling a long distance with effort, when they saw the sun is about to set, those group of sages struck camp on the banks of River Sona. 31.19

Those sages with unlimited luster, took bath after the sun set, offered oblations in the fire and all of them sat before sage Viśvāmitra who had matchless lustre. 31.20

Rāma as well as Lakṣmaṇa worshipped the sage and also sat in front facing the great Viśvāmitra. 31.21

Then Rāma, with great lustre, inquisitively asked Viśvāmitra, with a wealth of penance, who was the tiger among sages. 31.22

"Oh Lord, what is this place which shines with thick forest? I would like to hear about it in brief from you." 31.23

Motivated by the words of Rāma, that sage, who does great penance, started telling about that place in the middle of other sages. 31.24

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