Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 4

Sargam [Chapter]: 4
Entrusts Singing of Epic to Lava and Kuśa

[Kuś and Luv, two princes living in Vālmīki 's hermitage, are entrusted with the singing of Rāmāyaṇa and they sing it in various places and are summoned by Lord Rāma to sing in his court and they both sing Rāmāyaṇa in the court of Rāma, before Rāma.]

The great divine sage Vālmīki , possessing knowledge of the soul, composed the story of Rāma, who gained his kingdom, using varied and appropriate words. 4.1

That sage recited this in five hundred cantos using twenty four thousand verses in six Kānḍas [sections] and also composed the Uttarā Kanda. 4.2

The greatly intellectual and able Vālmīki , after composing the Uttarā Kanda and also after indicating the future event, thought of as to who should be employed to sing and propagate it. 4.3

Thereafter Kuśa and Lava, clad in ascetic robes, appeared before the honourable sage Vālmīki and touched his feet. 4.4

Kuśa and Lava were famous princes and were the followers of Dharma and they were brothers blessed with a sweet voice and were living in the hermitage. 4.5

Seeing their intelligence, blessed with Vedas, both of them were initiated in to Vedas. 4.6

That genius of history has composed the entire Rāmāyaṇa which details the great story of Sītā as well the slaying of the grandson of Pulastya Rishi. 4.7

The twins, who were aces in singing, were learned in melody and pitch. The two brothers who had a sweet voice appeared to be Gandharvas in human form. Being very handsome, sweet tone in regular speech, they appeared to be exact, purely extracted images of Lord Rāma. They resembled each other completely in the pretty form, recitation and in singing as well the three measures of time and possessed complete mastery of the seven notes, formed and adopted from the musical instruments. They chanted the epic which had amorous, compassionate, fearful, as well as fearless, violent and sad moods. 4.8-4.11

Those two princes, who were disciplined and well versed disciples, who were solidly based on Dharma, learnt by note that epic, completely and chanted it as per the instruction of sage Vālmīki before the assembly of sages, Brahmins and saints. 4.12-4.13

Both of them, who were great, dignified and endowed with good features, chanted this great epic standing at a particular place in front of honoured ascetics who were seated. 4.14

Hearing that, all the sages, having experienced great wonder, were overcome with tears of joy in their eyes and said "Great, Great" to Lava and Kuśa. 4.15

All of those sages, who loved Dharma, were pleased and praised those praiseworthy singers Kuśa and Lava. 4.16

"How surprising! The recital consisted of sweet verses and described what happened long ago and described it as if they were present at that moment of happening." 4.17

"Both of them chanted the theme in perfect unison having entered the Shadja and other notes in a perfect manner." 4.18

Praised this way by those great people, they stood further with sweetness and in great style. 4.19

One sage presented a fully sanctified water pot, another one who was pleased gave them, who were very famous, cloth made of bark. 4.20

The work composed by the great sage caused great wonderment and came to an end and became a foundation stone for future poets. 4.21

They, who were expert in all sorts of song styles, were greatly admired and sang it well in streets as well as avenues and almost everywhere and was once seen by Lord Sri Rāma himself. 4.22-4.23

After that Rāma, the destroyer of enemies, invited those two well deserving brothers Lava and Kuśa to his palace and extended deserving hospitality. 4.24

The Lord, who was the tormentor of his enemies, occupied the divine golden throne and was surrounded by his brothers and his ministers. 4.25

That one, who was greatly disciplined, saw both of them, who were handsome, addressed Bharatha, Lakshmana and Śatrughna and told. 4.26

"Listen completely to this song from these singers, who shine like devas, the epic which is composed by using appropriate and great words" and then he urged those two singers to commence. 4.27

Both of them melodiously sang in melodious and ample voice, after tuning their musical instruments in a greatly distinct and musical way. 4.28

Those poems were greatly comfortable for hearing to the assembly of men, all their sense organs and their mind. 4.29

"These two sages, who have all the attributes of royal persons, are Kuśa and Lava. They have done great penance. Even for me, it appears beneficial to listen to the history told by these great ones. Please listen to it carefully." 4.30

Thereafter encouraged by the words of Lord Rāma, they chanted according to rules so that Rāma as well as those assembled, who were desirous of a peaceful mind could hear it, fixing their mind on it. 4.31

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