The Ramayana

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

This page describes Chapter LIII 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.

Thus addressed by Vasiṣṭha, that bestower of all that was desired, Śabala, O destroyer of your foes, brought forth everything that was desired by everyone.

And she produced sugarcanes, and honies, and fried rice, and excellent Maireyas, (A kind of wine prepared from molasses). A preparation of milk rice, and costly drinks, and various viands, and heaps of warm rice resembling hills, and other kinds of edibles, and soups, and Dadhikalyas, together with silver plates by thousands filled with meats of diverse tastes.

And, O Rāma, the tarry of Viśvāmitra being superbly entertained by Vasiṣṭha, heartily filled, became exceedingly gratified.

And the royal saint, Viśvāmitra himself, together with the priests and Brāhmaṇas and the inmates of the inner apartment, was also heartily filled.

And being hospitably entertained with his courtiers and counsellors and retainers, he, exceedingly de-lighted, spoke to Vasiṣṭha, saying.

Received and excellently entertained have I been by you, O Brāhmaṇa, who thyself art worthy of being honoured. Do you, O you conversant with speech, listen to me. I will tell you a word.

Do you bestow on me Śabala for an hundred thousand kine. O worshipful one, verily this one is a jewel; and as it is the function of kings to acquire jewels, do you confer on me Śabala; for, O twice-born one, this one by right belongs to me.

Thus addressed by Viśvāmitra, the righteous and adorable Vasiṣṭha best of ascetics, replied to that lord of earth.

O king, neither for an hundred thousand nor for an hundred Koṭi of kine, nor yet for heaps of silver, will I part with Śabala. O subduer of enemies, this one deserves not to be separated from my side.

Even like to the fame of the mighty, this Śabala is ever joined with me. my oblations to the gods and the Pitṛs as well as my subsistence itself are established even in her. And my Agnihotras, (Maintenance of the perpetual fire). bali, (Offering to the spirits of air) and Homa (Burnt offerings) depend upper her.

And, O royal saint, my Svāhākāras and Vaṣaṭkāras[1] as well as my various lore depend upon her.

All this is so: there is no doubt about it. Verily she is my all; and in her do I find my delight. And many are the reasons, O king, why I cannot give to you Śabala.’

Thus addressed by Vasiṣṭha, that one versed in speech, Viśvāmitra, eagerly rejoined.

I shall confer upon you fourteen thousand elephants decked in gold chains and gold neck-omaments and hooks.

I will confer upon you eight hundred golden cars furnished with bells and reins, and each yoked with four white horses; and, O you of auspicious vows, I will confer upon you one thousand and ten high-mettled horses of noble breeds; and I will confer upon you a koṭi of youthful and variegated kine, do you grant to me Śabala.

And as much of gems and gold, O best of regenerate ones, as you will ask for, shall I bestow upon you: do you grant me Śabala.’

Thus besought by the intelligent Viśvāmitra, that adorable one replied, saying, ‘O king, Śabala I will not by any means give.’

This is verily my jewel: this is verily my riches: this is verily my all: this is verily my subsistence. And this is my Darśa.[2] Gifts to Brāhmaṇas on occasions of sacrifice, and this my Paurṇamāsa,[3] and this my various sacrifices with dakṣiṇās; and, O king, this my various rites.

This, O king, is without doubt, the root of all my rites. And what need of dilating? This one bestowing everything that is desired will I not part with.

Footnotes and references:


Sacrifice performed with the exclamation of svadhā and Vaṣaṭ respectively.


Bi-monthly sacrifice, performed at change of the moon by persons maintaining a perpetual fire.


A ceremony performed at the full moon by persons maintaining a perpetual fire.

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