The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the birth of kusha and lava which is chapter 59 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fifty-ninth chapter of the Patala-Khanda (Section On The Nether World) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 59 - The Birth of Kuśa and Lava

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śeṣa said:

1-8. Then Lakṣmaṇa, having made Sītā cross Gaṅgā in a boat to the other bank, took her by hand and went to the forest. On the way she who was marked with her face parched up, walked. Her good (i.e. delicate) feet were hurt with thorns. She tumbled at every step. At that time Lakṣmaṇa carrying out the order of Rāghava took her into the very fearful forest causing misery, in which there were fierce dense trees like barbula, khadira. śleṣmātaka, ciñciṇīka, which were dry due to wild fire. Serpents living in the hollows of trees and getting very angry, hissed. Owls causing fear to the minds of people, cried. (In the forest) artless, very wrathful, tigers, lions, foxes, and elephants, eaters of human beings were noticed. Buffaloes, hogs which were wicked, which were marked with two fangs, afflicted the minds of beings. Sītā seeing such a forest suffered from grief through fear. With her feet pricked by thorns she said (these) words to Lakṣmaṇa.

Jānakī said:

9-12. O hero, I do not see (here) hermitages resorted to by sages and giving joy to the eyes. Nor do I see their wives having a great treasure of penance. I am only seeing fearful birds and dry trees. This entire forest is being burnt by wild fire. I notice you too with your eyes full of tears. At every step I am experiencing a thousand ill omens. Therefore, O best hero, tell me whether I of a wicked heart, am abandoned by the noble Rāma. Tell it to me quickly.

13-18. Hearing these words, Lakṣmaṇa, overpowered with grief, and with tears (flowing) on his face checked, then said nothing. She, afflicted with grief and moving with Lakṣmaṇa in that forest only looked at his face and again spoke to that hero; yet, he, desiring to see something, did not say anything to her. Then, (when) she asked him, she very much insisted (on getting a reply). When Lakṣmaṇa was asked by Sītā persistently, he with his throat choked and repeatedly repenting, told her the reason why she was deserted. Hearing those words like (the fall of) the thunderbolt, she, (though) free from any disease, became like a good creeper with its roots cut off. Just then the Earth did not take (back) this daughter (i.e. Sītā) of her, since she believed that Rāma would not abandon sinless Sītā.

19-24. Seeing Sitā fallen down, Lakṣmaṇa, eager (to revive her) revived her by means of breezes produced by (the movements of) the tips of sprouts. Having regained consciousness, she said, “O brother-in-law, do not joke. How does the descendant of Raghu abandon me who am sinless?” Having thus moaned much, she, having seen Lakṣmaṇa full of grief, being fully distressed, fell unconscious on the ground. Having regained consciousness after a while, she full of grief and hurt by sorrow, (and) remembering Rāma’s feet, said: “How does that very intelligent, great Raghunātha who along with the monkeys restrained the ocean for my sake, abandon me? How will that great hero abandon me by(relying) upon the words of the washerman? Now, my destiny is unfavourable.”

25-32. Saying so the daughter of the Videha(-king) again swooned. Seeing her unconscious he wept in a tone affected by emotion. Having regained consciousness she who was very much distressed, looked at Lakṣmaṇa who was afflicted with grief and whose throat was choked, and said to him: “O Lakṣmaṇa, go to Rāma, the (very) image of Dharma and the treasure of glory, and tell him these my words in the presence of the treasure of penance: ‘Even knowing me to be sinless, you abandoned me. Does it behove your family, or is it the fruit of your knowledge of the sacred texts? You abandoned me who was always attached to your feet, who always ate what was left over by you. For all that my destiny is the cause (i.e. is responsible). O best among excellent warriors, may you have welfare everywhere. Remembering you mentally, in deeds and speech, I shall just hold my breath (i.e. Jive) in the forest. All others were mentally abandoned by me, O you born in the family of Raghu. O lord of the earth, you alone should be my husband in every birth: I who remember your feet, have all my sins destroyed and have become the best chaste lady.’

33-39. O best of the Raghus, convey all my message to my mothers-in-law. ‘I (though) sinless, have been abandoned in the very fierce forest. I remember your feet in the forest, full of herds of deer. The very noble Rāma abandoned me (though) pregnant in the forest.’ O Lakṣmaṇa, listen to my words. May well-being come to you. Now preserving well Rāma’s semen (in my womb), I would give up my life. As you are proving true Rāma’s words, you will have prosperity. One serving the lotus-like feet of Rāma, and depending upon another, has to do it. I should be favoured, and be remembered at times.” Saying so, she fell unconscious on the ground in front (of Lakṣmaṇa). Seeing Jānakī unconscious, Lakṣmaṇa became afflicted. Saumitri (i.e. Lakṣmaṇa) fanned her with the ends of his garment, and having saluted her who had regained consciousness, he repeatedly consoled her with sweet words.

Lakṣmaṇa said:

40-43a. This I (i.e. I Just) go to Rāma; and will tell him everything. Near you, there is the great hermitage of the sage Vālmīki.

Speaking thus to her, he being afflicted and full of tears, turned round, and shedding tears, sorrowfully went to king Rāma. Seeing her brother-in-law going, Jānakī with amazed eyes (said): “This my noble brother-in-law is joking. How (is it that) Rāghava abandoned me who was dearer to Rāma than his own life!”

43b-50. Thinking like this, she looked at him with unwinking eyes. Realising on his having crossed Jāhnavī (i.e. Gaṅgā) that her desertion by Rāma was a fact, she fell down, was in a very great peril, and fainted. At that time swans brought water from all places and sprinkled (it over her). Sweet fragrant breezes blew. Elephants with the tips of their tongues full of(i.e. wet with) water, washed as it were, her body covered with dust. Deer came near her with their eyes full of wonder. At that time, trees were full of flowers, without the spring (i.e though it was not the spring season). When this was the time (i.e. when so much time passed), the chaste lady regained consciousness and being very much afflicted with grief, and saying ‘Rāma, Rāma’, moaned. “O lord, O friend of the poor, O good treasure full of pity, how do you abandon me in the forest without my fault?” She talked like this; she wept again and again. She looked here and there: and she again and again became unconscious.

51-55a. At that time revered Vālmīki had come tothe forest. At that time he heard weeping with piteous words. He then said to his disciples: “Find out from the interior of the forest who is weeping in a distressed tone in the forest.” Ordered by the sage, they went to the place where Jānakī saying ‘Rāma, Rāma’ and full of a flood of tears, was sitting. Seeing that they eagerly came back to the sage Vālmīki. Having heard the words uttered by them, the sage then went (there). Seeing that heap of penance (i.e. Vālmīki), Jānakī who looked upon her husband as a deity, (said):

55b-58. “My salution to the sage, the image of the Vedas, the ocean of religious acts of austerity.” He greeted that Sītā who was saying like this with blessings. “Live long with your husband; obtain two bright sons. Who are you? Why have you come to the fearful forest? Why are you like this? Tell me everything, I would (like to) know the cause of your sorrow.” Heaving and with tremor produced in her body, Rāma’s wife then spoke with piteous words to the sage:

59-63. “Listen to my significant words—the cause of all my sorrow. Know me to be the servant of king Raghunatha. I have been abandoned without a fault. I do not know the reason for that. By Rāma’s order Lakṣmaṇa left me here and went (back).” Vālmīki, consoling Sītā having lotus-like eyes and lotus-like face full of tears, and who had said like this, spoke to Sītā: “Know me to be the sage Vālmīki who is your father’s preceptor. O Vaidehī, do not be afflicted, come to my hermitage. O you who look upon your husband as a deity, suppose that your father’s house is (situated) at a different place. In such an act (i.e. when such an act is done), let me be angry with the king (i.e. Rāma) (i.e. I would be angry with Rāma, and not withyou).”

64. Hearing words like these, Jānakī who looked upon her husband as a deity, who was full of affliction, and whose face was full of tears, was a little happy.”

Śeṣa said:

65-68. Having consoled her whose eyes were full with the flood of grief, Vālmīki took her to his auspicious hermitage full of the groups of female ascetics. She, going after Vālmīki, the treasure of penance, shone like a charming star going after the moon. Having reached his hermitage full of sages, Vālmīki told the female ascetics aboutJānakī who had come to his hermitage. Vaidehī, of a noble mind, saluted all the female ascetics. Being very much delighted, they embraced one another.

69-72. That treasure of penance, Vālmīki, said to his disciples: “Construct a beautiful hut of leaves for Jānakī.” Hearing these very pleasant words of Vālmīki, they constructed an attractive hut with leaves and (pieces of) wood. Waiting upon Vālmīki and eating (i.e. subsisting upon) fruits, Vaidehī, a chaste wife, lived in it. Jānakī who looked upon her husband as a deity muttering ‘Rāma, Rāma’, (both) mentally and in words, passed her days there.

73-80a. At (the proper) time Jānakī gave birth to two sons, having charming bodies, and having the likeness of Rāma and like (the two) Aśvins. Hearing about the birth of the two sons of Jānakī, the sage was delighted; he who knew the sacred prayers, performed the purificatory rites like the ceremony performed at the time of the birth of a child. Vālmīki performed (these) rites with darbhas and the hair of a cow’s tail. So the two sons have well-known names Kuśa and Lava. Vālmīki also performed the auspicious riteswhere she free from menstrual excretion (i.e. who had given birth to a child) remained, in such a way that she having lotus-like eyes, was very much delighted in her heart. The same day, Śatrughna, with a few soldiers, had, after killing Lavaṇa, come to Vālmīki’s pleasant hermitage at night. At that time Vālmīki had directed Śatrughna: “Do not tell Rāma about Jānakī’s sons. I shall (later) tell it (to him).” The attractive sons of Jānakī grew there (i.e. in Vālmīki’s hermitage). Vālmīki brought up the two joyful excellent (boys) with bulbs, roots and fruits. The two, very charming like the moon of the first day of the bright half (of a month), were purified (with rites) in due course.

80b-86. The two charming ones were initiated into sacred study (by Vālmīki). Having initiated them into sacred study, the sage taught the two boys the Vedas with their six limbs. He taught them the science of archery with its secrets and Rāmāyaṇa. Vālmīki gave them two bows well adorned with gold; (the bows were) unbreakable, had strings, and were best in warding off the groups of enemies. (He gave them) two inexhaustible quivers full of arrows, and two swords. He (also) gave to Jānakī’s two sons, shields that could not be pierced through. The two archers who had mastered the Vedas, gladly moving in the hermitage, shone like the two bright Aśvins. Seeing (her) two excellent sons holding swords and shields, Jānakī was very much delighted and gave up (the grief) due to her desertion (by Rāma). O brāhmaṇa, I have told you this account of the birth of Jānakī’s sons. Hereafter listen to the cutting off of the arms of the soldiers that took place.

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