Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 1

Section: I
Bala Kaṇḍa [Boyhood Section]

[This book first describes reasons why Vālmīki decided to narrate the Rāmāyaṇa and ends with the return of Rāma and his brothers in Ayodhyā after their marriage.]

Sargam [Chapter]: 1
Samkshepa Rāmāyaṇa

[Sage Vālmīki approaches sage Nārada and enquires about the ideal man in the world worth to be praised and told to people. Sage Nārada replies that he is Śrī Rāma, the son of Daśaratha and tells the summary of Rāmāyaṇa Story.]

The great sage Vālmīki asked Sage Nārada who always is busy in meditation and mastering the Vedas and who is the greatest among people who knows Vedas: 1.1

[Sage Nārada is the son of Brahma and a great devotee of Vishnu. He is a constant traveller and travels through all the worlds. It is believed that he creates tension so that good results would occur.]

"Who exists at present in this world with all good qualities, who is valorous, who is the one devoted to just action, who is grateful and who tells only truth in all circumstances?" 1. 2

"Who is that man with all the good characters, who does only good to all animals, who is extremely knowledgeable, who is capable of doing rightly all actions and who only shows love outside?" 1.3

"Who is that man who attracts minds of others, who has won over his anger, who is sparkling, who does not have jealousy and who in war even makes devas fear struck?" 1.4

"I am extremely anxious to know about such a person. Hey sage, only you are capable of telling me about a man with all these qualities." 1.5

Sage Nārada, who knows everything that happens in all the three worlds, after hearing all the words of Vālmīki  with happiness addressed Vālmīki  and started telling "Be pleased to hear." 1.6

"Those characteristics that you have narrated are many and rare. I would think over and tell you about a man who has all these qualities." 1.7

"There is a Prince, who is born in the Ikshvāku clan, who is called Rāma, who is famous among people, who keeps his mind under control, who is a great hero, who is shining, who is firm in his resolves and who attracts others." 1.8

"He is knowledgeable, just, good orator, gentleman, killer of his enemies, having thick shoulders and long hands, who has conch like neck and who has pretty cheeks." 1.9

"He has broad chest, great archer, hidden shoulder bones, suppresses his enemies, has long hands, good head, handsome forehead and pretty gait." 1.10

"He has proportionate height and other organs, he has equally divided organs, he is of black colour, he is famous, he has a thick chest, broad eyes and pretty body and is a symbol of good omen" 1.11

"He knows Dharma (just action), he has taken an oath to speak truth, he is interested in the welfare of his people, he is famous, he knows everything, he is pure, he is approachable to those who depend on him, he takes care in saving people who are dependent on him, he is equal to God Brahma, he is wealthy, he is capable of protecting everyone and he can destroy his enemies." 1.12

"He protects all animals, he protects various castes, he observes his own dharma (just action) and protects his own people." 1.13

"He knows the essence of four Vedas and six Vedāngas, he has great knowledge of the science of archery, he has great and minute knowledge of all sciences, he has clear understanding of everything and he quickly understands." 1.14

"He is dear to all the world, soft natured, capable and is attained by good people - similar to the rivers like Sindhu (Indus) attaining the sea." 1.15

"He is fit to be worshipped, treats every one as equals, always appears as lovable, increases the happiness of Kausalya and is one with all good qualities." 1.16

"He is immense in stature like the ocean, he is great in his courage like the Himalaya Mountains, he is valorous like Lord Vishnu, and as pleasant to see as the full moon." 1.17

"His anger is like fire at the time of deluge, his patience is like mother earth, his sacrifice is equal to that of Kubera and in his truthfulness he is like God of Death." 1.18

[Yama, God of Death, is supposed to be Epitome of Dharma.]

"The King Daśaratha, with a loving wish to do good to people, wanted to make Rāma, who has all the above qualities, who is a great hero, who has all sterling qualities, who wanted to do good to his people, who is a dear and who is his eldest son, as the future king." 1.19-1.20

[During those times in India, it was a custom to designate the crown prince as Yuvarāja - Young King.]

"Hearing about the various preparations for his coronation, Daśaratha's wife Kaikeyi reminded him of the two boons he had given to her and requested that Rāma should be sent to forest and Bhārata should be crowned." 1.21

[Daśaratha gave these two boons during a war in which when the axle of his chariot broke, Kaikeyi who was with him maintained the balance using her thumb.]

"That King Daśaratha, bound by justice to obey his promise, ordered his son Rāma to go and live in the forest." 1.22

"Because of the order of his father and love towards Kaikeyi, that valorous Rāma went to the forest to protect the truth." 1.23

"It seems that Lakshmana who is humility personified, who increases the happiness of Sumitrā, who is a dear brother and who does good to his brother, exhibiting affection towards his brother, accompanied his brother who was going to the forest." 1.24

"That Sītā, who is the darling wife of Rāma, who is a reflection of his soul, who does happy deeds to him, who was born in the family of Janaka, who was created by the illusion of Gods, who is the epitome of perfection and who is the greatest among women, accompanied Rāma like Rohiṇī accompanies the moon God." 1.25-1.26

"That soul of Dharma [just action] was accompanied by all the citizens and his father Daśaratha for a long distance, reached the place of Guha, the chief of hunters and a very dear friend and sent back the chariot driver at a place called Śṛngibera." 1.27

"Rāma along with Sītā, Lakshmana and Guha stayed there." 1.28

"Those three traveling from that forest to another and crossing several rivers full of flowing waters, under the instruction of Sage Bhāradvāja reached a place called Chitrakūṭa, constructed a pretty temporary forest house [literally house made of leaves] and lived there happily." 1.29-1.30

"When Rāma reached Chitrakūṭa, afflicted by sorrow of parting with his darling son, Daśaratha went to heaven." 1.31

"After his death though sages like Vaṣiṣṭha requested him to become King, that very strong Bhārata did not wish to be King." 1.32

"Wishing for the blessings of Rāma, he started to the forest." 1.33

"Bhārata, who is the first among people wanted to follow Dharma, humbly requested Rāma with a broad vision and a true hero." 1.34

"You who know Dharma is truly our King." But Rāma, who is merciful, who had a smiling face, who was famous and who was very strong, did not wish for Kingdom as per the orders of his father." 1.35

"Hence, Rāma, who was the elder brother of Bhārata, gave his foot wear as his representative to rule the kingdom and sent back Bhārata from there." 1.36

"Bhārata, whose desire was not fulfilled, started serving the foot wear of Rāma, ruled the Kingdom from Nandī Grāma and waited for Rāma's return." 1.37

"As soon as Bhārata went back, Rāma, who was truthful, who has control over his senses and who was firm in his resolve, fearing the return of more people from the town entered the Daṇḍaka forest." 1.38

"It seems that lotus eyed Rāma, after entering the forest and killing an Asura called Virādha, visited sages like Sārabhaṅga, Sutīkṣṇa and Agastya." 1.39

"As per the wishes of Agastya, he happily received with happiness bow, sword and two inexhaustible quivers belonging to Indra." 1.40

"All the great sages along with people of the forest approached Rāma, who was living in the forest, with a request for killing of Asuras and Rākṣasas." 1.41

"He promised them that he would do according to their wish." 1.42

"Rāma took an oath to kill Rākṣasa in war and assured the great sages living in Daṇḍakāraṇya forest who were equal to the fire God." 1.43

"Sūrpanakhā, who can assume any form she likes and who was living in a place called Janasṭhāna in the forest was disfigured by Rāma who was also living there." 1.44

[But in the main book, it is mentioned that Lakshmana disfigured her.]

"Afterwards he killed Khara, Triśirās and Dūṣaṇa along with their followers, who came to attack him after hearing the words of Sūrpanakhā." 1.45

"Rāma, who was living in that forest, also killed fourteen thousand Rākṣasas, who were living in Janasṭhāna." 1.46

"Hearing about the killing of his relatives, Rāvaṇa losing his senses due to extreme anger, requested the Rākṣasa called Mārīcha to help him." 1.47

"Hey Rāvaṇa, enmity with Rāma, who is extremely strong, is not good" told Mārīcha to Rāvaṇa. 1.48

"Led by God of death, Rāvaṇa kicked off his advice and went to the hermitage of Rāma along with Mārīcha." 1.49

"After leading those two princes far away, using the help of Mārīcha who was an adept in magic and after killing Hawk Jatāyu, Rāvaṇa abducted Sītā who was the wife of Rāma." 1.50

[In the main story, the killing of Jatāyu was after the abduction.]

"Seeing the death of Hawk Jatāyu and from him hearing that Rāvaṇa has abducted Sītā, Rāma became pained with sorrow and cried and became agitated." 1.51

"Rāma, along with that sorrow, cremated Hawk Jatāyu and when he was searching for Sītā in the forest saw a Rākṣasa called Kabandha who was having an ugly ferocious look." 1.52-1.53

"Rāma who was very strong killed that Rākṣasa and also cremated him. That Rākṣasa went to heaven." 1.54

Dharma was following his precepts and had renounced the world." 1.55

"That resplendent one, who killed his foes, went and saw Śabarī and she duly worshipped Rāma, the son of Daśaratha." 1.56

"Then he was seen by the monkey Hanuman on the shores of river Pampa. As per the advice of Hanuman, he signed a treaty with Sugrīva." 1.57

"That very strong Rāma related his story to Sugrīva from the beginning especially the part which happened to Sītā." 1.58

"That monkey Sugrīva, after hearing everything, signed with pleasure the treaty with fire as witness." 1.59

"Afterwards that sorrowful King of monkeys told with love towards Rāma, about his enmity with Bali and other news." 1.60

"At that time Sugrīva specially told about the strength of Bali and Rāma promised that he would kill Bali." 1.61

"But Sugrīva had doubts about Rāma's prowess to kill Bali." 1.62

"He showed him the Mountain like skeleton of Asura Dundubhi, who was killed by Bali, so that he could gain more confidence in Rāma." 1.63

"That very strong Rāma, who had long hands which reached his thighs, examined the huge skeleton and using his thumb of the right foot threw the skeleton for a distance of ten yojanas without any effort." 1.64

"Not only that, with a single arrow he split into two, the seven Sāla trees and also the nearby Mountain and the underworld." 1.65

"Convinced by these actions, the monkey chief who had a happy frame of mind took him to the cave called Kiṣkindha." 1.66

"Then that monkey chief Sugrīva, who had a colour similar to gold, roared and hearing that huge sound the King of monkeys Bali came out." 1.67

"After consoling Tara [that Rāma will not kill an innocent one] when he fought with Sugrīva, Rāghava killed him with one single arrow." 1.68

"After killing Bali, as per the wishes of Sugrīva, Rāghava made Sugrīva the King of that kingdom." 1.69

"That King of monkeys Sugrīva called all monkeys and send them to different directions to locate Sītā." 1.70

"Hearing the words of Hawk Sampattī, Hanuman jumped and crossed the great ocean which is one hundred yojanas broad." 1.71

"After reaching the city of Lanka ruled by Rāvaṇa, he saw Sītā who was always thinking about Rāma in the Asoka forest." 1.72

"He gave the ring of Rāma to Sītā, told her all the news including the treaty with Sugrīva, consoled her and destroyed the tower in Asoka forest." 1.73

"After killing five commander in chiefs, seven sons of ministers and the great hero Akṣaya Kumara, Hanuman was caught by them." 1.74

"Because of the boon of Brahma, knowing that he was free from the tie of the arrow and tolerating those Rākṣasas leading him, that valorous Hanuman, after burning the entire city of Lanka except Sītā, reached back to inform the good news to Rāma." 1.75-1.76

"That Hanuman who was having immeasurable strength and intelligence, after reaching Rāma, went round him and told him the good news that he has seen Sītā." 1. 77

"After that Rāma along with Sugrīva reached the shores of the great ocean and created a turmoil in the ocean by his arrows which were equal to the power of Sun." 1.78

"The lord of the ocean presented himself in his true form before him and as suggested by him, Sri Rāma built a bridge on the ocean with the help of Nala." 1.79

[Nala was the son of the deva architect Viśvakarma.]

"Reaching the city of Lanka by that bridge, Rāma rescued Sītā after killing Rāvaṇa but felt very much ashamed." 1.80

"He told Sītā hard words in front of the assembly of men and Sītā unable to tolerate the words jumped in to the fire." 1.81

"At that time knowing from the God of Fire that Sītā is without any blemish, Rāma after being worshipped by all devas became very happy." 1. 82

"By this great action of Rāghava all the three worlds including movable and immovable beings, devas, sages and others became very happy." 1.83

"Wonder of wonders, Rāma without any worry and filled with happiness, became very much contented after installing Vibhīṣaṇa as the King of Rākṣasas and thus completing his duties." 1.84

"After giving life to all monkeys by the boon of devas, Rāma surrounded by all his friends, started towards Ayodhyā in the Puṣpaka Vimāna." 1.85

"After reaching the hermitage of sage Bhāradvāja, Rāma who was truly valorous sent Hanuman to Bhārata." 1.86

"Then along with Sugrīva, conversing about the stories of the past, Rāma travelled in Puṣpaka Vimāna and reached Nandi Grāma." 1.87

"That holy Rāma, along with his brothers removed the Jata [matted hair] and along with Sītā assumed the kingship." 1.88

"The people of Ayodhyā, became filled with happiness and satisfaction, were looked after well, became very just, were devoid of any diseases, were very healthy and were devoid of any fear of scarcity." 1.89

"Men never saw the death of their children and women were always Sumangalis and Virtuous." 1.90

"In the Kingdom of Rāma, there was no fear from fire, no beings died by drowning in water, there was no fear from wind, similarly no fear from fever, there was no problems due to hunger and there was no fear of thieves." 1.91-1.92

"Towns and countries were full of wealth and grains and all people lived happy daily like those in Kritā Yuga." 1.93 "This Rāma with immense fame, having performed one hundred horse sacrifices, having given in charity lot of gold, having given ten thousand crores of cows and lot of wealth to Brahmins is going to attain the world of Brahma." 1.94-1.95

"This Rāma is going to establish one hundred times more royal families. He is going to make the four fold castes to engage themselves in the duties of their caste." 1.96

"After ruling this world for ten thousand years, he is going to attain the world of Brahma." 1.97

"Those who read this story of Rāma which is holy, which is capable of removing sins, which gives holy deeds and which is equivalent to Vedas would get rid of all their sins." 1.98

"Those who read this history of Rāma, which gives life, would along with their sons, grandsons, relatives and friends would live in heaven after their death." 1.99

"A Brahmin who reads this will attain mastery over words, Kshatriya will get land, Vaiṣya would get more business and Śūdra would get more fame." 1.100

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