by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “vishvamitra tells of his ancestors and the dynasty of king kusha” and represents Chapter 32 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].
“O Rama, in times of yore, there was a king named Kusha, he was the son of a brahmin, a noted ascetic, faithful to his vows, conversant with dharma and ever revered by the virtuous. He wedded a high-born woman of great beauty named Bhidharvi, and begat four sons, each resembling himself.
Their names were Kushamba, Kushanabha, Umuritarajasa and Basu; these four princes were mighty and active, and desirous of teaching them the duties of a kshatriya, the truthful and righteous King Kusha addressed them as follows:—
“‘O My Sons, protect and nourish your subjects, this practice is productive of great merit.’
“In order to carry out the instructions of their sire, these princes founded four cities and named them after themselves. The mighty Kushamba called his city Kaushambi, and the righteous Kushanabha founded the city of Mahodaya. O Rama, Prince Umuritarajasa founded the city named Dharmaranya and the Prince Basu called his city Giribrat, also named Basumati. This city was surrounded by five mountain peaks and the river Magadhi or Shona meandering through the mountains resembled a lovely garland. O Rama, this stream the Magadhi flows towards the east and irrigates the fruitful fields on either bank.
“O Prince of Raghu, Kushanabha took in wedlock a nymph named Ghritaci and by her had one hundred beautiful daughters, who on reaching maturity were delightful to look upon. One day, clad in lovely dresses, in beauty of form unparalleled they wandered in the garden like lightning amidst the clouds. Singing, dancing and playing on instruments they seemed to be divine forms which had materialised and descended on the earth, or like the stars in the firmament.
“Seeing those lovely and virtuous princesses, Vayu the wind god thus addressed them:
‘I entreat you all to be wedded to me; give up your mortal form, I will render you immortal. Remember youth is passing and youth among mortals passes even more swiftly; wedded to me, you will be beautiful for ever.’
“The damsels listened to the improper speech of the wind god and replied mockingly:
‘O Deity of the Wind, you knowest all that is passing in the hearts of men, but we know what is passing in your heart. Why dost you insult us, O Wind? O Vayu, who art renowned for your wisdom, we virgins by the power of our devotion and self-control can effect your downfall, but because the merits of the righteous come to nought when they cause harm to others, we shall preserve our sacred vows inviolate. O Stupid One, heaven forfend that we choose husbands for ourselves without first seeking the approval of our honoured sire. He is as a god to us and our master, and we shall wed the husbands he chooses for us.’
“The wind god was enraged and entering their bodies, twisted and distorted them. Thus afflicted, the princesses in tears, approached their father for assistance.
“The king was grieved to see his daughters in this condition and said:
‘O speak, what has occurred? Who, disregarding justice, has deformed you? Tell me all.’
The monarch was deeply moved by this event and his heart became heavy.”