Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 61

Sargam [Chapter]: 61
Viśvāmitra's Penance and Sunasepha's Story

[Viśvāmitra does penance in Puṣkara. The sacrificial animal of King Ambariṣa is stolen and his priests suggest that he can give a human being in sacrifice instead of the horse. King approaches sage Richaka and buys from him his middle son Śunahśepha.]

"Oh Tiger among men, after that, the great sage Viśvāmitra after bidding farewell to all those sages who were on their way, spoke to the dwellers of forest like this." 61.1

"In the southern side, a great obstruction has taken place and so we will go to another place to do our penances." 61.2

"Oh great ones, on the western region, there is a vast space known as Puṣkara. That forest is suitable for doing our penance. Let us all go there and carry out further penances without being disturbed." 61.3

"That exceeding powerful great sage reached Puṣkara and living on fruits and roots, which were grown there, started performing matchless intense penance." 61.4

"At that time, Ambariṣa, the well-known King of Ayodhyā, commenced to perform a Yagna." 61.5

"The sacrificial animal of the performer at that time was stolen by Indra and when it could not be seen, the priest addressed the King and told." 61.6

"Oh King, the animal has been stolen away due to wrong policies followed by you and a King who fails to protect the sacrificial animal perishes." 61.7

"Oh best among men, for this we have to do an act of redemption. If the animal is not available speedily, bring a man, who can be sacrificed, instead of the beast." 61.8

"Oh great man, that great intellectual king, having heard the words of the priest, started searching for a man with a compensation of one thousand cows." 61.9

"Oh Child, who is the delight of the clan of Raghu, that King after searching over many countries, cities, villages, forests and sacred hermitages reached the Bhruguthunga Mountains where he saw the sage Richika seated along with his wives and sons." 61.10-61.11

"That greatly resplendent King bowed before the Brahmin sage, who was shining because of his great penance, enquired about his and his families welfare and then told him." 61.12

"Oh sage Richaka, who is the lucky descendent of the Bhrigu clan, if you sell one of your sons for being used as a sacrificial animal, for the cost of hundred thousand cows, my purpose would be fulfilled." 61.13

"I roamed and searched in all countries for the sake of completing the Yagna but could not get a lad for being used as a sacrificial animal and so it would be proper for you to give one of your sons for this price." 61.14

When the extremely brilliant sage Richaka heard these words, he told, "Oh great man, under no circumstances I would sell my eldest son." 61.15

"Having heard the words of Richaka to the great king, the mother, who also was an expert in penance, addressed Ambariṣa, the foremost among men, and told." 61.16

"The venerable descendent of the Bhrigu clan sage Richaka says that he cannot give the eldest son. I cannot give the youngest son Śunaka to you as he is my pet son." 61.17-61.18

"Oh best among men, normally the eldest son is dear to their father and the youngest is pet to mother and hence I will protect the youngest." 61.19

"Hearing the proper replies from the sage and his wife, their middle son Śunahśepha himself spoke on his own." 61.20

"Oh king, my father says that the eldest son cannot be sold and my mother says that the youngest son cannot be sold and so I consider that I am to be sold and so you can take me away." 61.21

"Oh son of the Raghu clan, the King receives Śunahśepha after giving hundred thousand cows and was extremely pleased." 61.22

"The greatly lustrous and famous royal sage Ambariṣa mounted his chariot with Śunahśepha and instantly went away." 61.23

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