Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 38

Sargam [Chapter]: 38
King Sāgara’s Story

[King Sāgara of Ayodhyā has two wives Kesini and Sumathi. After penance Kesini gets one son called Asamanjā and Sumathi gets sixty thousand sons called Sāgaras. Asamanjā was mischievous and is banished from the country. King Sāgara decided to do Aśvamedha Yajña.]

After relating that story to Rāma, the son of Kuśika again spoke these words to the son of Kākutstha. 38.1

"In earlier times, there was a great valorous King called Sāgara in Ayodhyā. He was a soul of Dharma and desired to have children." 38.2

"Oh Rāma, Kesini the princess of Vidarbha, who was a follower of truth and Dharma, was his eldest wife." 38.3

"Sumathi, whose prettiness no one excelled in earth, daughter of King Ariṣṭanemi, was his second wife." 38.4

"The King accompanied by these two wives reached Bhrigu Prasravana of Himalayas and started doing great penance." 38.5

"When hundred years were over, pleased with his penance, sage Bhrigu, who had taken up truth as a penance, gave him a boon." 38.6

"Oh King without any blemishes, you would get great progeny and oh best among men, you would also acquire great fame." 38.7

"One of your wife would beget one son to perpetuate your race and the other wife would give birth to sixty thousand sons." 38.8

"These words of the sage made those two queens happy and they said to the sage after saluting him in a pleasing voice." 38.9

"Oh Brahman, which of us will get one son and which of us many sons; we would like to know. Let your words become the truth." 38.10

"Sage Bhrigu, who was a great follower of Dharma, after hearing their words told, "In this matter, you please use your free will." 38.11

"Would you like one son, who perpetuates the race, or many sons, who are greatly valorous, famous and have great enthusiasm?" 38.12

"Oh Rāma, Oh son of Raghu clan, having heard the words of that great sage, Kesini, in front of the King, chose to have one son who will perpetuate their clan." 38.13

"Then the sister of Garuda named as Sumathi accepted sixty thousand sons having great valour, fame and enthusiasm. 38.14

"After going round the sage, bowing their head to him and saluting him with folded hands, they went back to their city, Oh Rāma." 38.15

"After passage of time, Kesini, the wife of Sāgara, gave birth to a famous son called as Asamanjā." 38.16

"Oh tiger among men, then Sumathi gave birth to a gourd like egg, which when broken gave birth to sixty thousand sons." 38.17

"The maids placed them in pots filled with ghee [clarified butter] and made them grow. They attained youth after a long time." 38.19

"Oh best man, Oh son of Rāghu clan, Asamanjā the son of Sāgara, every day got hold of other children, dipped them in the river Sarayu, threw them in the waters of the river and rejoiced while they were crying." 38.20

"When this evil one started tormenting his citizens and delighted in causing them hurt, this son was banished from that town." 38.21

"Asamanjā had a valiant son called Amśumān; he was courteous in speaking and was beloved of all the world." 38.22

"After great passage of time, the thought of conducting a Yagna came in the mind of Sāgara and he decided for doing it." 38.23

"Oh Rāma, then King Sāgara, who was expert in Vedas, consulted high priests regarding the rituals of the Yagna and commenced performing that Yagna." 38.24

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