The Ramayana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1891 | ISBN-13: 9788171101566

This page describes Chapter XLII of the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the largest Sanskrit epics of ancient India revolving around the characters Rama, Sita and Ravana. It was orignally authored by Valmiki at least over 2500 years ago. This is the first book of the Bāla-kāṇḍa (Bala-kanda) of the Ramayana, which consists of 24,000 Sanskrit metrical verses divided oer seven books.

When Sagara had bowed to the influence of Time, the subjects selected the righteous Aṃśumat for their king.

O descendant of Raghu, Aṃśumat proved a great ruler. And his son, the celebrated Dilīpa, was also a great king.

O Raghu’s son, consigning to Dilīpa his kingdom, Aṃśumat entered upon rigid austerities on the romantic summit of the Himavat.

Having for the space of thirty-two you sand years carried on austerities in the woods, that highly famous one, crowned with the wealth of asceticism, attained the celestial regions.

The exceedingly powerful Dilīpa, hearing of the destruction of his grand-fathers, was stricken with grief; yet he could not ascertain his grandfathers, was stricken with grief; yet he could not ascertain his course about it.

He constantly thought as to how Gaṅgā could be brought down, how to perform their watery rites, and how to deliver them.

As that pious one furnished with self-knowledge was always meditating upon this, an eminently virthous son was born to him named Bhagīratha.

Performing numerous sacrifices, the mighty king Dilīpa reigned for thirty thousand years.

And without having arrived at any definite decision in regard to their deliverance, the king, O puissant one, being attacked with an ailment, breathed his last.

Having sprinkled his son Bhagīratha in the way of installing him in the kingdom, that prime of men, the king, by virtue of his own acts, repaired to the region of Indra.

O descendant of Raghu, that royal saint Bhagīratha was possessed of righteousness. And being without issue, and desiring to obtain it, the mighty monarch consigned his kingdom and his subjects to the care of his counsellors, and engaged in bringing down Gaṅgā.

And, O Raghu’s descendant, restraining his senses, and eating once a month, and surrounding himself with five fires, and with arms upraised, he for a long lapse of time performed austerities at Gokarṇa. And as he was performing his terrible austerities, a thousand years rolled away.

And thereat that possessor of the six attributes and lord of all creatures, Brahmā, was well pleased with that high-souled monarch. And presenting himself together with the celestials, the Grand-sire thus spoke to the high-souled Bhagīratha engaged in austerities.

O Bhagīratha, O mighty monarch, pleased am I with you. O lord of men, on account of your ardent austerities: do you, O you of excellent vows, ask for the boon you would have.

Thereupon that great car-warrior, the highly powerful and mighty-armed Bhagīratha, with clasped hands, said to the grand sire of all creatures,

If adorable one, you are pleased with me, if you would grant me the fruit of my asceticism, may Sagara’s sons receive water at my hands; and on the ashes of those high-souled ones being laved by the waters of Gaṅgā, may my great-grand-father without fail repair to heaven!

And, O divine one, I beseech you, may our line never languish for want of offspring. May, O God, this prime boon light upon Ikṣvāku’s race!

When the king had said this, the Grand-sire addressed him these sweet and auspicious words composed of melting letters.

O mighty car-warrior Bhagīratha, high is this your aim. Be it so, good betide you, you enhancer of the Ikṣvāku line.

This Haimavatī Gaṅgā, Himavat’s elder daughter, even her to hold, O king do you employ Hara.

For Gaṅgā’s fall, O king, Earth will not be able to sustain. And to hold her, O king find I none save the wielder of the Trident.’

Having thus addressed the monarch, and greeted Gaṅgā, the creator of the worlds repaired to heaven with the celestials.

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