Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “vishvamitra relates the story of his hermitage” and represents Chapter 29 of the Bala-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Bala-kanda].

Chapter 29 - Vishvamitra relates the story of his hermitage

[Full title: Vishvamitra relates the story of his hermitage and commences the sacrifice].

To the most glorious Shri Ramacandra making enquiry concerning the forest, the illustrious Sage Vishvamitra made answer:—

“O Rama, this is the place at which the Blessed Lord Vishnu, the first among the gods, dwelt, observing his yogic practices for immeasurable years and previous to that, it belonged to the glorious Vamana. This spot is called Siddha-ashrama, for here, these great souls practised austerities with success. At that time, Bali the son of King Virocana, conquered Indra and other devas, together with the deities of the wind and he ruled over the three worlds. When Bali initiated a sacrifice, the devas, under the leadership of Agni approached Shri Vishnu in this hermitage and said: ‘O Lord, the son of Virocana, King Bali is observing a great sacrifice; while it is yet incomplete, come to our aid. The Lord grants the requests of those who seek His favour, therefore, by the power of Your Yoga and for our own good, take the form of a dwarf (Vamana) and secure our welfare.’ Meantime, O Rama, the Sage Kashyapa, resplendent as fire, who was endowed with supreme lustre by virtue of his yogic practices, with his spouse Aditi, having completed a thousand years’ austerities, began to praise Madhusudana, the conferrer of boons, saying: ‘O Supreme Purusha, You are adored through austerity and You dost grant the fruit of austerity, Your nature is knowledge and asceticism, it is by virtue of austerity that I behold You. O Lord, in Your body I see the whole world animate and inanimate. In You Who art beginningless and indescribable, I take refuge.’

“The blessed Vishnu was pleased with this prayer and said to the sinless Sage: ‘O Kashyapa, mayest you see perfection, you have merited a boon, ask what you desirest.’

“Then Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, answered: ‘O Blessed Lord, Aditi, the gods and I beseech You to grant this boon—Become the son of my sinless wife and myself. O Lord, become the younger brother of Indra and assist the sorrow-stricken devas. This spot, by Your grace, shall then be known as Siddha-Ashrama.’ (Hermitage of the Perfect Ones.)

“Upon this, the resplendent Vishnu was born of the womb of Aditi as the incarnation Vamana and disguised as a mendicant, he approached King Bali. Of him, he requested a piece of ground that could be covered by three strides, and having obtained what he asked, he covered the whole universe in three steps.

“This restful hermitage formerly belonging to Vamana, whose devotee I am, is enjoyed by me. Here the rakshasas wreak destruction. O Lion among men, remain here and slay them. O Rama, to-day let us enter the Siddha- Ashrama together. O Friend, this hermitage is not only mine but thine also.”

Accompanied by Shri Ramacandra and Lakshmana, the holy sage entered the hermitage, which appeared as beautiful as the autumn moon attended by the planet Punarvasu. When the sages dwelling in the Siddha-Ashrama perceived Shri Vishvamitra, they rose and saluted him with joy. Having duly honoured the resplendent sage, they entertained the princes in a fitting manner.

Having rested awhile, the two princes humbly and respectfully addressed the holy sage, saying: “O Great Sage, inaugurate your sacrifice to-day, may it be attended with good fortune. This place is the Siddha-Ashrama, we wish you success in your undertaking.”

Thereupon the great sage with due preparation, his mind subdued, began the sacrifice while the two princes kept vigil. Having passed the night in this manner, in accordance with the prescribed rules, they performed their ablutions, repeating the mantram silently, they then paid respect to Shri Vishvamitra and occupied their seats as do those performing a fire-sacrifice.

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