by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “shri vasishtha refuses to help king trishanku” and represents Chapter 57 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].
The heart of Vishvamitra was heavy, remembering his disgrace, and he was filled with remorse at having borne enmity to Shri Vasishtha.
Having practised severe austerities for a thousand years, the Grandsire of the world, Shri Brahma appeared before Vishvamitra and said: “O Son of Kaushika, you have surpassed the royal sages in your great asceticism, you shalt, therefore, be numbered among them.” Having thus spoken, Shri Brahma with the gods went to Brahmaloka.
Vishvamitra was filled with shame and with bowed head, overcome with grief, thus spoke: “Alas! In spite of prolonged austerities, the gods still hold me to be a royal sage. I deem this state no reward for the penance I have undergone.”
O Rama, with renewed resolve, Vishvamitra, pre-eminent in the field of endeavour began his life of mortification anew.
At this time, the great King Trishanku of the House of Ikswaku, fully self-subdued and a lover of truth, resolved to initiate a sacrifice in order to enter heaven in his physical body. Summoning the holy Sage Vasishtha, he communicated his intention to him, but the Mahatma Vasishtha, having duly considered the matter, said: “O King, this cannot be.”
Discouraged by Shri Vasishtha and for the purpose of fulfilling his design, the monarch went southwards to where the sons of Shri Vasishtha abode, leading lives of purity and ascetism. When King Trishanku beheld the sons of his own Guru, that great and illustrious sage, he was full of shame, and with bowed head offered salutation to them, addressing them in great humility saying, “O Protectors of those who seek refuge in you, I come to seek your aid. O Holy Ones, I besought your sire to assist me in the observance of a sacrifice and he discouraged me. I have, therefore, come to seek your help in the matter. O Sons of my Holy Guru, I offer salutations to you. Again and again, I bow down to you, O Holy Ones, and beseech you to officiate at the proposed sacrifice, which I desire to undertake for the fulfilment of my design, namely that I may ascend to heaven in my embodied state. Discouraged by the holy teacher Vasishtha, I consider that you alone are able to assist me. Should you refuse me, there is none in whom I may take refuge. The kings of the House of Ikshvaku have always sought guidance of their spiritual preceptor in time of need, and the holy and learned Sage Vasishtha has ever upheld the dynasty and, following him, you alone are my instructors