The Ramayana

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

This page describes Chapter XLIII 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 that god of gods had gone away, Bhagīratha, O Rāma, pressing the earth with his thumb, spent a year in adoring Śiva.

And when the yea was complete, Umā’s lord, Paśupati, worshipped of all the worlds, spoke to the king, saying,

O foremost of men, I am well pleased with you: I will do what will before your welfare. I will hold the Mountain’s daughter on my head.

Then, O Rāma. that one bowed to by all creatures, the elder daughter of Himavat, assuming an exceedingly mighty shape, with irresistible impetus precipitated herself from the welkin upon Śiva’s gracious head.

And that divine one, Gaṅgā, exceedingly difficult to sustain, thought, ‘I will enter the nether regions, carrying off Śaṅkara by my streams.’

Knowing her proud intention, the adorable Hara waxed wroth; and the three-eyed deity set his heart upon enveloping Here

O Rāma, as that sacred one plunged upon Rudra’s holy head of tangled locks, resembling Himavat she could by no means reach the earth, despite all her endeavours; nor did she obtain egress from under the matted locks. And she wandered there for many a year.

And finding Gaṅgā in this plight, Bhagīratha became again engaged in high austerities. And thereupon Śiva, O descendant of Raghu, was exceedingly gratified; and cast Gaṅgā off in the direction of the Binḍu lake. And as she was let off seven streams branched out from her.

And the three streams of the excellent Gaṅgā of auspicious waters took an easterly direction; while the Sucakṣu, the Sītā, and that mighty river the Sindhu flowed on the auspicious west.

And the seventh followed Bhagīratha’s car. And that royal saint, the exceedingly puissant Bhagīratha, mounted on a superb car, went before; and Gaṅgā followed him. And she descended from the welkin upon Śaṅkara’s head, thence alighting upon the earth.

And there her waters flowed with thundering sounds. And earth looked beautiful with swarms of fallen and falling fishes, and tortoises, and porpoises.

Then celestials and saints and Gandharvas and Yakṣas and Siddhas mounted on excellent elephants and horses and cars resembling cities, looked on Gaṅgā descending upon earth.

And the celestials stationed on cars were struck with surprise; and all creatures marvelled at the excellent descent of Gaṅgā.

And eager to witness the spectacle, celestial hosts of immeasurable energy thither and the effulgence of their ornaments, the firmament free from clouds, shone as if with an hundred suns.

And the sky was graced with fast-fleeting porpoises and serpents and fishes resembling playing lightning; and the welkin scattered with pale foam-flakes by thousands, appeared as if it was scattered with autumnal clouds swarming with cranes.

And the river proceeded sometimes rapidly, and sometimes awry, and sometimes in volumes and sometimes sloping, and sometimes ascending and sometimes languidly; and sometimes water clashed with water.

Sometimes ascending an upland, it descended it no a dell. And the pellucid and pure water first descending upon Śaṅkara’s head, and thence on to the earth, appeared exceedingly beautiful.

And there the saints and the Gandharvas, as well as the inhabitants of the earth, touched the sacred water flowing from Bhava’s body.

And those that had fallen from the sky to the earth in consequence of some curse of other, having bathed there, and thereby having their sins washed an removed by that sanctifying water, again ascended the sky and entered the celestial regions.

And through the agency of that shining water, all beings, feeling delight, rejoiced, and having bathed in Gaṅgā, became cleansed from sin.

And stationed on an excellent car that mighty king, the royal saint Bhagīratha, went first, and Gaṅgā went at his back.

The gods, and the saints, and the Daityas, and the Dānavas, and the Rākṣasas, and the foremost of Gandharvas and Yakṣas, and the Kinnaras, and the mighty Uragas, and the Serpents, and the Apsaras, O Rāma, and the acquatic animals in a body following Bhagīrahta’s car, with glad hearts went in the wake of Gaṅgā.

Whither soever king Bhagīratha went, the famous Gaṅgā, foremost of streams, capable of destroying all sins, went.

And Gaṅgā flooded the sacrificial ground of the high-souled Jahnu of wonderful deeds, as he was performing a sacrifice.

Thereat, O Rāghava, reading her insolence, Jahnu, waxing wroth, drank up all her wonderful waters. Thereupon, the deities, and the Gandharvas, and the saints, struck with amazement fell to worshipping that foremost of men, the high-souled Jahnu.

And that highly energetic lord, being propitiated, let Gaṅgā off through his ears. Therefore it is that Gaṅgā goes by the name of Jahnu’s daughter.

Then Gaṅgā again began to follow Bhagīratha’s car. And having reached the ocean, that foremost of streams, with the object of accomplishing that work, entered into the subterranean regions.

Having carefully brought Gaṅgā, that royal saint, Bhagīratha, beheld his grand-fathers deprived of senses, and reduced to ashes.

The excellent waters of Gaṅgā overflowed that heap of ashes; and thereupon, O best of the Raghus, they their sins purged; attained heaven.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: