Ramayana of Valmiki
by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “ila regains her natural state” and represents Chapter 90 of the Uttara-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., Uttara-kanda].
Chapter 90 - Ila regains her natural State
[Full title: Ila regains her natural State through the Performance of the Ashvamedha Sacrifice].
Rama having related the story of the marvellous birth of Pururavas, the illustrious Lakshmana and Bharata enquired of him once more, saying:—
“After Ila had passed a year with the son of the Moon-god, what did she do? O Lord of the Earth, tell us all!”
Thus questioned by his two brothers in affectionate tones, Rama continued to relate the story of Ila, the son of Prajapati, and said:—
“That hero, having recovered his manhood, the extremely intelligent and illustrious Budha called together the Sages, the extremely noble Samvarta, Cyavana the son of Bhrigu, the Ascetic Arishtanemi, Pramodana, Modakara and the Hermit Durvasa.
When they were all assembled, the eloquent Budha, able to discern the truth, said to those Sages, his friends, who were endowed with great power:—
“‘Learn what has happened to that long-armed king, the son of Kardama, so that his happiness may be re-established!’
“While those Twice-born were conversing thus, Kardama came to that forest accompanied by Paulastya, Kratu, Vashat-kara, and Omkara of great effulgence.
All those ascetics, happy to find themselves together and wishing to be of service to the Lord of Bahli, each voiced their views about him; Kardama, however, expressed himself with extreme wisdom for the good of his son, and said:—
“‘O Twice-born Ones, hear what I have to say for the happiness of the prince. I see no remedy apart from the God who has the bull as his emblem. There is no sacrifice greater than the Ashvamedha, which is dear to the heart of the mighty Rudra. Let us therefore perform this mighty sacrifice.’
“Thus spoke Kardama and all the foremost of Sages approved these means of propitiating Rudra.
“Thereafter a Rajarishi, the disciple of Samvarta, the Conqueror of Hostile Citadels, whose name was Marutta, performed that great sacrifice which took place near Budha’s hermitage, whereupon the glorious Rudra was extremely gratified and, the ceremony being accomplished, the consort of Uma, in an excess of joy, addressed all those Sages, in Ila’s presence, saying:—
“‘I am pleased with your devotion in the Ashvamedha Sacrifice. O Illustrious Brahmins, what shall I do for this King of the Bahlis?’
Thus did the Lord of the Gods speak, and the Sages, in deep recollection, caused the Lord of the Gods to look upon them with favour so that Ila might regain his manhood. Then Mahadeva, gratified, gave him back his virility and having conferred that favour on Ila, the mighty God disappeared.
“The Horse-sacrifice being complete and Hara having rendered himself invisible, all those Twice-born, of penetrating gaze, returned whence they had come. The king, however, renouncing his capital, founded the city of Pratishthana in the central region, which was unsurpassed in splendour, whilst Shashabindu, that Rajarishi, Conqueror of Hostile Cities, dwelt in Bahli. From that time Pratishthana became the residence of King Ila, the valiant son of Prajapati, and, his time having come, he went to Brahma’s abode.
“The son of Ila, the King Pururavas succeeded him in Pratishthana. Such is the merit of the Ashvamedha Sacrifice, O Bull among Men. Ila, who was formerly a woman, became a man again, which would have been impossible by any other means.”