Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 43

Sargam [Chapter]: 43
Bhagīratha's Bringing of Ganga

[Bhagīratha does penance to Lord Shiva who agrees to hold the falling Ganga on his head. Ganga wanted to drag him along with her to Rasātala. Lord Shiva imprisoned her in his matted hair. Bhagīratha again did penance and Shiva left her drop by drop. She divided herself in to seven streams. One river followed Bhagīratha to the ocean and on the way she destroyed the Yajña of sage Jahnu, who drank her completely. As per the request of devas, he released her through his ear. Ganga reached the ocean. Bhagīratha did obsequies with her water. His fathers reached heaven.]

"Oh Rāma, after the god of gods had gone back, pressing the earth with his great toe, He meditated on Lord Shiva for one year." 43.1

"After one year was over, that consort of Uma, who was saluted by the entire world, told the following to the great king." 43.2

"Oh best among men, I am pleased with you and I shall fulfil your desire. I would hold by my head the daughter of the Mountain." 43.3

"Then the elder daughter, who was golden, who was saluted by all the worlds, took a great form; fell down from the sky on the auspicious head of Lord Shiva with unbearable speed. 43.4

"That goddess, extremely difficult to contain, thought within herself that she would seize Lord Śiva and with him enter the nether worlds."43.5

"Knowing her intentions the three eyed God Lord Shiva became angry and made up his mind to send her back to heavens." 43.6

"That sacred river fell on the head of Lord Shiva, which looked like a cave, made of matted hair on his head, which looked like Himalaya Mountain." 43.7

"The river, got enveloped in the matted hair of Lord Shiva, was not able to come out of the matted hair in spite of all her efforts and was not able to reach the earth." 43.8

"Ganga went round in side that matted hair and was not able to come out; Bhagīratha again adopted austerities for several years since he was not able to see her." 43.9

"Oh Son of Raghu clan, Lord Parameshvara was immensely pleased by his great penance and released Ganga, drop by drop, which made a lake called Bindusara." 43.10

"When Ganga was released, it formed itself in to seven streams capable of conferring prosperity; Hlādinī, Pāvanī, Nalinī were the three holy streams of Ganga which travelled east ward." 43.11- 43.12

"Suchakshu, Sītā and the great river called Sindhu travelled towards the west." 43.13

"Among them, the seventh followed King Bhagīratha and the most brilliant royal sage Bhagīratha travelling on a divine chariot marched forward." 43.14

"Falling from the sky on the head of Lord Shiva and from there falling on earth, that water which was flowing made intense sound." 43.15

"With fishes, turtles and other several type of water animals, that river which had fallen on earth shined." 43.16

"Then devas, sages, Gandharvas, Yakṣas, host of Siddhas with great astonishment looked at Ganga which was falling from the sky on to the earth." 43.17

Then devas in the chariots as large as great cities drawn by excellent restless horses as well as on elephants were staying there." 43.18

"To see the matchless descent of Ganga, devas and beings with great lustre arrived on earth." 43.19

"That sky devoid of any clouds, shined as if there were hundred suns due to the shine of ornaments of those speedily descending devas." 43.20

"Due to sky being filled with several sea animals and serpents which were not stable but kept on moving, the sky appeared to be filled with streak of lightning." 43.21

"With thousand splashes of water foams, it looked as if it was filled with flocks of swans or white autumnal clouds." 43.22

"Ganga was at some places flowing rapidly, in some other places flowing in a curved fashion, in some places the river was wide, in some places it was going down, rising high in some other places and in some other places flowing slowly." 43.23

"In some places water was dashing with water repeatedly, water was rising up and coming down." 43.24

"The water which was thrown down from head of Lord Shiva, which fell on earth, freed it from all impurities and looked splendid." 43.25

"Devas, sages and Gandharvas, as well as those who lived on earth, touched the water which fell from the head of Shiva as it was sacred." 43.26

"Those who have fallen down on earth due to curse, being anointed with water of Ganga were freed from their curse." 43.27

"They, with great lustre due to water which cleansed their sins, again rose to the sky and entered their own celestial worlds." 43.28

"People greatly rejoiced on seeing the shining water of Ganga and got rid of their tiredness by taking bath in her waters." 43.29

"That royal sage Bhagīratha, with a great lustre, mounting the divine chariot, rode forward and the river Ganga followed behind him." 43.30

"Oh Rāma, when Ganga was following behind the chariot of Bhagīratha, groups of saints, devas, asuras, Rākṣasas, Kinnaras, serpents, foremost among the Gandharvas, Yakṣas and Apsarās also followed the chariot of Bhagīratha, besides water animals travelling in the water." 43.31-43.32

"Ganga, the famous and greatest among rivers, which could destroy the sins of all beings, flowed forward in the same direction in which Bhagīratha drove." 43.33

"Later, while flowing, it inundated the sacrificial ground of sage Jahnu, the performer of many Yajñas." 43.34

"Oh Rāma, that sage, who was performing a Yajña, seeing the pride and fury of that river, flew in to great rage and surprisingly drank all the waters of that river." 43.35

"Then devas and sages, along with Gandharvas, were greatly surprised seeing that and worshipped that great soul sage Jahnu, best among men. They also worshipped Ganga and requested her to be the daughter of this sage." 43.36-43.37

"Then the sage Jahnu, with great lustre, was greatly pleased and released the waters of Ganga through his ears; therefore Ganga is also called Jahnavi." 43.38

"Ganga, the best among the rivers, following the chariot of Bhagīratha, reached the ocean and also entered the Rasātala to fulfil the desires of Bhagīratha." 43.39

"That great royal sage, after having brought the Ganga with his great efforts, with a great sorrow saw the heaps of ashes of his grandfathers." 43.40

"Oh Rāma, thereafter, that excellent waters of Ganga inundated those heaps of ashes and freed, purged their sins and send them to heaven." 43.41

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