Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 53

Sargam [Chapter]: 53
Śabala and Viśvāmitra

[A great feast is arranged by Śabala and Viśvāmitra is greatly impressed. He feels that Śabala should belong to him. In spite of offer of great wealth, Vasiṣṭha refuses to part with Śabala.]

"Oh destroyer of enemies, Rāma, once these words were spoken by Vasiṣṭha to Śabala, the wish fulfilling cow made all arrangements to fulfil the desires of each and every one as per their desire." 53.1

"Sugarcane, honey, puffed rice in good containers, invigorating drinks, excellent syrups, and different kinds of food were made available." 53.2

"Hot rice heaped similar to Mountains, savoury foods, pulses and rivers of milk and curds, various type of juices, food items with six different tastes filled in containers and preparations made of Jaggery were distributed in thousands." 53.3-53.4

"Oh Rāma, all the members of the army of Viśvāmitra were completely satisfied and highly pleased; the place was filled with well-fed and happy people." 53.5

"Then the royal sage Viśvāmitra, royal priests, lady family members were also satisfied and pleased by the food." 53.6

"Having been honoured along with his ministers, counsellors and attendants, Viśvāmitra was filled with delight and spoke the following words to Vasiṣṭha," 53.7

"Oh Brahmin, you are worthy of being worshipped. I have been received with warmth and respect; I feel honoured. Oh expert in speech, please listen to my following words." 53.8

"Please give Śabala to me and I would give you hundred thousand cows. Oh god like sage, this Śabala is like a precious gem and the King of all my gems. Śabala really belongs to me. Brahmin, following Dharma, please give her to me." 53.9

"That god like sage, the soul of Dharma and eminent among sages, after Viśvāmitra addressed him like this, replied as follows to the king." 53.10

"Oh king, I will not give you Śabala even if you give me hundred thousand cows or even hundred crores cows or heaps of silver." 53.11

"Oh killer of enemies, Viśvāmitra, it is not proper to take away this cow from my proximity as the relation between me and Śabala is like the relation between man of Dharma and his fame." 53.12

"For our oblation to the Gods and manes, for our necessities of living, for maintenance of fire, for sacrificial offering to Gods and for our fire sacrifices, we are dependent on this cow." 53.13

"Oh royal sage, we are dependent on this cow for our knowledge and offering in fire telling Swāhā and Vaṣaṭ." 53.14

"She is my only possession and provides satisfaction to me at all times. Oh King, these as well as for various other reasons, I cannot give Śabala to you." 53.15

"Viśvāmitra who was an expert in conversation, hearing the words of Vasiṣṭha, spoke with excitement." 53.16

"I shall give you fourteen thousand elephants with gold ornaments around their neck and body; further adorned with lots and lots of gold." 53.17

"I shall give you eight hundred golden chariots drawn by four horses, each decorated with tinkling bells." 53.18

"Oh sage of great penance, I shall give you eleven thousand mighty horses of good breed originating from good countries". 53.19

"I shall give you one crore of youthful cows with distinctly separated colours, please give me Śabala." 53.20

"Oh Brahmin, I shall give you as much gold or gem stones as you desire and all that and more, please give me Śabala." 53.21

"After the godly and valorous Viśvāmitra spoke like this, Vasiṣṭha replied, "Oh King, I will not give Śabala to you." 53.22

"She is my jewel, she is my wealth, she is everything to me and she is my life." 53.23

"Oh King, she is needed for me for Yajñas to be conducted in the month beginnings, during the full moon and also for several of my activities." 53.24

"Oh King, this is the foundation of all my activities and so there is no use of telling further useless words as I shall never give this cow, which fulfils all desires." 53.25

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