Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 42

Sargam [Chapter]: 42
Bhagīratha's Penance

[Amśumān became the King and later his son became the king. Both were not able to take any action regarding the bringing of Ganga. Bhagīratha was the son of Dilipa. After he became the King, he started doing great penance addressed to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma was pleased and told that Ganga can come to earth only if Lord Shiva agrees to receive her on his heads.]

"Oh Rāma, when King Sāgara did the penance of time [death], his subjects accepted the virtuous Amśumān as their king." 42.1

"Oh son of Raghu clan, that King Amśumān was great; he begot the great Dilipa who was greatly famous as his son." 42.2

"Oh son of Raghu clan, he, after vesting his kingdom on Dilipa, performed strict penance on the peak of Himalayas." 42.3

"Having lived for thirty two thousand years, that famous Amśumān, having reached the forest of penance, became one with wealth of penance and attained heaven." 42.4

"King Dilipa, with great lustre, having heard about the killing of his grandfathers, became burdened with sorrow; but in spite of great thought could not reach to any conclusion." 42.5

"He was always thinking as to how Ganga could be brought down and how she can be used for the ablation of his grandfathers so that they can be helped to go to heaven; but he could not arrive at any conclusion." 42.6

"He, being blessed with the virtue of Dharma, daily thought about it and at that time a virtuous son named Bhagīratha was born to him." 42.7

'Dilipa, who had great lustre, was interested in performing many Yajñas and ruled as king for thirty thousand years." 42.8

"Oh tiger among men, Oh Rāma, that King Dilipa, not able to arrive about doing action towards the salvation of his grand fathers, became sick and attained his penance with time." 42.9

"That King went to the land of Indra, as a result of good deeds done by him, after giving the kingdom to his son Bhagīratha." 42.10

"Oh son of Raghu clan, Bhagīratha was a royal sage, great follower of Dharma and a person with great lustre; As he did not have any child, he was desirous of having one." 42.11

"Oh son of Raghu clan, being interested in bringing down the Ganges, Bhagīratha entrusted his kingdom to his ministers and started penance with all his senses controlled at Gokarṇa with both arms held high, surrounded on all four sides by fire, standing under the sun and taking only food once in a month. He continued this for a long number of years." 42.12

"Oh strong one, thousands of years passed away when he was doing this rigid austerities; God Brahma, who was the lord of all men, was highly pleased by the illustrious king." 42.13-42.14

"Then Lord Brahma came in front of him with various Devas and spoke to the great Bhagīratha engaged in penance." 42.15

"Oh valorous one, Oh Bhagīratha, oh lord of all people, I am very much pleased by your penance done with discipline and your great austerities. Please ask for boons that you want." 42.16

"That greatly lustrous one and the strong Bhagīratha told the grandfather of all the world, after approaching and saluting him." 42.17

"Oh God, if you are pleased with my penance and if they are worthy of giving a boon, please make me do the funeral rites with ablations of water to the sons of King Sāgara." 42.18

"Let the ashes of those auspicious grandfathers of my father be immersed by the waters of Ganga so that ultimately they may go to heaven." 42.19

"Oh god, bless the clan of Ikshvāku with children so that the clan is not terminated with me and this is the other boon which is being asked by me." 42.20

"Hearing these apt words, the grandfather of the entire world gave an auspicious reply with sweet letters and words." 42.21

"Oh great charioteer, your wish of the mind that the Ikshvāku clan should continue to grow would be fulfilled. You be safe" 42.22

"If the golden River Ganga, who is the daughter of Himalayas, was to fall on earth, only Lord Shiva would be capable of receiving her. So you may make entreaties to him." 42.23

"The earth will not able to tolerate the fall of Ganga, oh king, I am not finding anyone other than Lord Shiva capable to receive her." 42.24

"Having told like this, that God of the world talked also with Ganga and went to heavens along with the three devas and Marut gaṇas." 42.25

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