Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter VIII - Dasaratha’s reply to viswamitra

Valmiki added:—

1. [Sanskrit available]
On hearing these words of Viswamitra, the tiger among kings remained speechless for a moment, and then besought him in the lowliness of his spirit.

2. [Sanskrit available]
Rama my lotus-eyed boy is only of fifteen years of age. I do not see he is a match for the Rakshasas.

3. [Sanskrit available]
Here is a full akshauhini legion of my soldiers; of whom, Oh my Lord! I am the sole commander; surrounded by them I will offer battle to the Rakshasas cannibals.

4. [Sanskrit available]
Here are my brave generals who are well disciplined in warfare; I will be their leader in the height of war with my bow in hand.

5. [Sanskrit available]
Accompanied with these, I can offer fight to the enemies of the gods, and to the great Indra himself, in the same manner as the lion withstands the wild elephants.

6. [Sanskrit available]
Rama is but a boy who has no knowledge of the strength of our forces, and whose experience has scarcely stretched to the battle field beyond the inner apartments (of the house).

7. [Sanskrit available]
He is not well trained in arms, nor is he skilled in warfare. He does not know to fight with a foe, arrayed in the order of battle.

8. [Sanskrit available]
He only knows how to walk about in the gardens of this city and amidst the arbours and pleasant groves.

9. [Sanskrit available]
He only knows how to play with his brother princes, in the flowery parks set apart for his play within the precincts of the palace.

10. [Sanskrit available]
Now a days, Oh Brahman! he has become by a sad reverse of my fortune, as lean and pale as the withering lotus under the dews.

11. [Sanskrit available]
He has no taste for his food, nor can he walk from one room to another, but remains ever silent and slow brooding over his inward grief and melancholy.

12. [Sanskrit available]
In my great anxiety about him, O chief of sages, I have been, with my family and dependants, deprived of the gist of our bodies, and become as empty clouds of autumn.

13. [Sanskrit available]
Can my boy, so young as he is, and thus subjected to distemper, be fit to fight at all, and again with those marauders who rove about at nights.

14. [Sanskrit available]
Oh thou high-minded sage! it is one's affection for his son that affords him far greater pleasure than his possession of a kingdom, or his connection with beauteous females, or even his relish for the juice of nectar.

15. [Sanskrit available]
It is from paternal affection that good people (engage to) perform the hardest duties and austerities of religion, and any thing which is painful in the three worlds.

16. [Sanskrit available]
Men are even prepared under certain circumstances to sacrifice their own lives, riches and wives; but they can never sacrifice their children: this is the nature with all living beings.

17. [Sanskrit available]
The Rakshasas are very cruel in their actions and fight deceitful warfares: so that Rama should fight them, is an idea which is very painful to me.

18. [Sanskrit available]
I that have a desire to live, cannot dare to live for a moment in separation from Rama; therefore thou shouldst not take him away (from me).

19. [Sanskrit available]
I have O Kausika! passed nine thousand rains in my lifetime, ere these four boys were born to me after much austerity.

20. [Sanskrit available]
The lotus-eyed Rama is the eldest of these without whom the three others can hardly bear to live.

21. [Sanskrit available]
This Rama is going to be conveyed by thee against the Rakshasas; but when I am deprived of that son, know me certainly for dead.

22. [Sanskrit available]
Of my four sons he is the one in whom rests my greatest love. Therefore do not take away Rama—my eldest and most virtuous son from me.

23. [Sanskrit available]
If thy intention Oh sage, is to destroy the force of night wanderers, take me there accompanied by the four kinds (elephants, horse, chariots and foot soldiers) of mine army.

24. [Sanskrit available]
Describe to me clearly what these Rakshasas are, how strong they are, whose sons they be and what their size and figure.

25. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me the way in which the Rakshasas are to be destroyed by Rama or my boys or by myself, when they are known to be treacherous in warfare.

26. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me all these, Oh great sage! that I can calculate the possibility of our making a stand against the fiercely disposed Rakshasas in the open field, when they are certainly so very powerful.

27. [Sanskrit available]
The Rakshasa named Ravana is heard as being very powerful, he is brother of Kuvera himself, and is the son of the sage Visravas.

28. [Sanskrit available]
If it is he, the evil minded Ravana, that stands in the way of thy rites, we are unable to contend with that pest.

29. [Sanskrit available]
Power and prosperity in all their flourish come within the reach of the living at times, but they disappear at others.

30. [Sanskrit available]
Now a days we are no match for such foes as Ravana and some others. Such is the decree of destiny.

31. [Sanskrit available]
Therefore, O thou, that art acquainted with law, do this favour to my son, (as not to take him away); unlucky as I am, it is thou that art the arbiter of my fate.

32. [Sanskrit available]
The gods, and Asuras, the Gandharvas and Yakshas, the huge beasts, birds and serpents are unable to fight with Ravana: what are we human beings in arms to him.

33. [Sanskrit available]
That Rakshasa holds the prowess of the most powerful, we cannot afford to fight with him, nor even with his children.

34. [Sanskrit available]
This is a peculiar age in which good people are made powerless; I am moreover disabled by old age and want that spirit (that I was expected to possess) derived as I am from (the most powerful) race of the Raghus.

35. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me O Brahmana! if it is Lavan the son of Madhu (the notorious Asura) that disturbs the sacrificial rites; in that case also I will not part with my son.

36. [Sanskrit available]
If it be the two sons of Sunda and Upasunda terrible as they are like the sons of the sun, that disturb your sacrifice, in that case also I will not give my son to thee.

37. [Sanskrit available]
But after all, O Brahman, shouldest thou snatch him from me (by dint of the supernatural power that thou possessest), then I am also dead and gone with him. I do not see any other chance of a lasting success of thy devotion (except by my death).

38. [Sanskrit available]
Saying these gentle words, the descendant of Raghu was drowned in the sea of suspense with regard to the demand of the sage, but being unable to arrive at a conclusion, the great king was carried away by the current of his thoughts as one by the high waves of the sea.

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