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Chapter 64: Dasharatha is Cursed

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Dasharatha is Cursed


King Dasaratha continued to narrate to Kausalya how he went to the aged parents of the deceased sage and informed about the death of their son and its cause, how he escorted them to their son to the river where he was lying dead, how embracing the boy they wept and offered libations of water to his spirit, how invested with an ethereal body, the spirit ascended to heaven while consoling the aged couple and finally how, having cursed the king that he too would die of agony caused by the separation from his son, the aged couple gave up their lives. Having thus narrated the story of his getting the curse long back and loudly weeping, king Dasaratha dies of grief.

Chapter [Sarga] 64 in Detail

vadhamapratiruupam tu maharsestasya raaghavah |

vilapanne va dharmaatmaa kausalyaam puna rabraviit || 2-64-1

The high souled Dasaratha, while lamenting about the unworthy killing of that sage, spoke further to Kausalya as follows:

tat ajnaanaan mahat paapam kritvaa samkulita indriyah |

ekah tu acintayam buddhyaa katham nu sukritam bhavet || 2-64-2

Having done that great sin inadvertently, having my senses confounded and I being alone, I thought of using my reason of what best can be done.”

tatah tam ghatam aadaya puurnam parama vaarinaa |

aashramam tam aham praapya yathaa aakhyaata patham gatah || 2-64-3

“Taking the best water fully in that pitcher, I went to that hermitage by the path as directed by the young sage.

tatra aham durbalaav andhau vriddhaav aparinaayakau |

apashyam tasya pitarau luuna paksaav iva dvijau || 2-64-4

tan nimittaabhir aasiinau kathaabhir aparikramau |

taam aashaam mat krite hiinaav udaasiinaav anaathavat || 2-64-5

 “There I saw the frail, blind and aged parents of the young sage. They were without a guide to support them, as birds whose wings were cut-off. Without any other occupation, they were narrating words only about their son. Having no protector and being immobile they lost the hope of their son, because of me.”

shokopahatacittashca bhayasamtrastacetanah |

taccaashramapadam gatvaa bhuuyah shokamaham gatah || 2-64-6

 “With my mind afflicted by grief and worried about the impending peril, I fell a prey to further grief after reaching the hermitage.

pada shabdam tu me shrutvaa munir vaakyam abhaasata |

kim ciraayasi me putra paaniiyam ksipram aanaya || 2-64-7

 “Hearing the sound of my foot-steps, that sage spoke as follows: “O, son! Why are you late? Give me the water soon.”

yan nimittam idam taata salile kriiditam tvayaa |

utkanthitaa te maataa iyam pravisha ksipram aashramam || 2-64-8

”My dear son! Your mother is regretting why you are playing in water in this manner. Enter the hermitage quickly.”

yad vyaliikam kritam putra maatraa te yadi vaa mayaa |

na tan manasi kartavyam tvayaa taata tapasvinaa || 2-64-9

 “O, son! My dear! If any disagreeable thing has been done by your mother, or me, you, as a sage ought not have kept it in your mind.”

tvam gatis tu agatiinaam ca caksus tvam hiina caksusaam |

samaasaktaah tvayi praanaah kimcin nau na abhibhaasase || 2-64-10

 “We being helpless, you are our refuge. We being blind, you are our eyes. Our lives are encircled around you. Why are you not talking with us?”

munim avyaktayaa vaacaa tam aham sajjamaanayaa |

hiina vyanjanayaa preksya bhiitah bhiitaiva abruvam || 2-64-11

 “As though fearful in mind to behold the ascetic, I spoke to him in a tone which was indistinct inarticulate and without some consonants?"

manasah karma cestaabhir abhisamstabhya vaag balam |

aacacakse tu aham tasmai putra vyasanajam bhayam || 2-64-12

 “Having strengthened the firmness in my speech and having abandoned fear in my mind by deliberate efforts, I told him of the alarm that awaited him of his son’s death.”

ksatriyo aham dasharatho na aham putrah mahaatmanah |

sajjana avamatam duhkham idam praaptam sva karmajam || 2-64-13

 “I am Dasaratha, belonging to warrior- class. I am not your high-souled son. This calamity created by my own act, despised by noble men, befell upon me.”

bhagavamh ca apahastah aham sarayuu tiiram aagatah |

jighaamsuh shvaa padam kimcin nipaane vaa aagatam gajam || 2-64-14

 “O, venerable sage! Wearing a bow in hand, I came to the bank of Sarayu River with an intent to kill an elephant arrived to a ford (for drinking water) or any other wild animal.”

tatah shrutah mayaa shabdo jale kumbhasya puuryatah |

dvipo ayam iti matvaa hi baanena abhihatah mayaa || 2-64-15

 “Then by me was heard the sound of a pitcher being filled with water. Guessing it as an elephant, I killed it with an arrow.”

gatvaa nadyaah tatah tiiram apashyam isunaa hridi |

vinirbhinnam gata praanam shayaanam bhuvi taapasam || 2-64-16

 “Thereafter, reaching the bank of the river there, I saw an ascetic lying dead on the ground, with the arrow pierced into his heart."

bhagavan shabdam aalaksya mayaa gaja jighaamsunaa |

visristah ambhasi naaraacah tena te nihatah sutah || 2-64-17

 “O, honorable sage! With a desire to kill an elephant by targeting the sound, I released an iron arrow, and thus your son was killed (hit)”

tatastasyaiva vacanaadupetya paritapyatah |

sa mayaa sahasaa bana uddhrito marmatastadaa || 2-64-18

 “Approaching as per his request, closer to him who was suffering from pain, I took out the arrow soon from his vital part.”

sa ca uddhritena baanena tatra eva svargam aasthitah |

bhagavantaav ubhau shocann andhaav iti vilapya ca || 2-64-19

 “Soon after taking out the arrow, he worried about both of you the parents, lamenting that you were blind and there itself he attained Heaven”

ajnaanaat bhavatah putrah sahasaa abhihatah mayaa |

shesam evam gate yat syaat tat prasiidatu me munih || 2-64-20

 “Unknowingly and unexpectedly your son was killed by me. It has happened like that. Let the honorable sage command me what to do in this matter."

sa tat shrutvaa vacah kruuram nihshvasan shoka karshitah |

naashakattiivramaayaasamakartum bhagavaanrisih || 2-64-21

Hearing that cruel news pronounced by me, confessing my sin, that venerable sage could not resist his severe anger.”

sabaaspapuurnavadano nihshvasan shokakarshitah |

maam uvaaca mahaa tejaah krita anjalim upasthitam || 2-64-22

 “That sage with great splendor, whose face was filled with tears and troubled by sorrow, spoke with a sigh to me who came near him with joined palms”

yady etat ashubham karma na sma me kathayeh svayam |

phalen muurdhaa sma te raajan sadyah shata sahasradhaa || 2-64-23

 “If you have not told me about this shameful deed yourself, O. king, your head would have burst instantly into a hundred thousand pieces."

ksatriyena vadho raajan vaanaprasthe vishesatah |

jnaana puurvam kritah sthaanaac cyaavayed api vajrinam || 2-64-24

 “A killing brought about by a warrior premeditatedly and in particular to a hermit, would expel even Indra from his post.”

saptadhaa tu phalenmuurdhaa munau tapasi tisthati |

jjnaanaadvisrijatah shastram taadrishe brahmacaarini || 2-64-25

 “The head of a dispatcher of a weapon with a knowledge of the matter on a sage established in austerity or such an unmarried student practicing sacred study, gets burst into seven pieces.”

ajnaanaadd hi kritam yasmaat idam tena eva jiivasi |

api hi adya kulam nasyaat raaghavaanaam kutah bhavaan || 2-64-26

 “You are still surviving because you have done it unknowingly. Not even you, but today the whole of Ikshvaku dynasty would have been no more, if it is not the case.”

naya nau nripa tam desham iti maam ca abhyabhaasata |

adya tam drastum icchaavah putram pashcima darshanam || 2-64-27

rudhirena avasita angam prakiirna ajina vaasasam |

shayaanam bhuvi nihsamjnam dharma raaja vasham gatam || 2-64-28

 “He spoke to me thus: “O, king! Now we want to see, as our last look, our son whose body is drenched in blood, with his garment of deer-skin scattered from him, lying unconscious on the ground and who is subjected to the dominion of Yama (god of death). Take both of us to that place.”

atha aham ekah tam desham niitvaa tau bhrisha duhkhitau |

asparshayam aham putram tam munim saha bhaaryayaa || 2-64-29

 “Thereafter, taking both of them, who were weeping profusely, to that place, I for one made that sage and his wife to touch their son.”

tau putram aatmanah spristvaa tam aasaadya tapasvinau |

nipetatuh shariire asya pitaa ca asya idam abraviit || 2-64-30

 “Approaching their son, that miserable couple touched their son’s body and fell on it . Then, his father spoke as follows.”

na nv aham te priyah putra maataram pashya dhaarmika |

kim nu na aalingase putra sukumaara vaco vada || 2-64-31

 “My dear boy! You are not offering salutation to me, nor do you talk to me. Why are you sleeping on the floor? Are you angry?”

na tvaham te priyah putra maataram pasya dhaarmika |

kim nu naaligase putra sukumaara vaco vada || 2-64-32

 “O, righteous son! I am beloved to you. Otherwise, see your mother. Why are you not embracing, my son? Utter some words, O delicate youth!”

kasya vaa apara raatre aham shrosyaami hridayam gamam |

adhiiyaanasya madhuram shaastram vaa anyad vishesatah || 2-64-33

 “Whose sweet and heart touching voice, reciting one sacred text or the other in particular at the end of the night, shall I hear from now?”

ko maam samdhyaam upaasya eva snaatvaa huta huta ashanah |

shlaaghayisyati upaasiinah putra shoka bhaya arditam || 2-64-34

 “O, son! Who after taking bath, worshipping the goddess of dawn, and offering oblations in fire, will be sitting beside me and talking confidently looking at me, as I was afflicted with grief and fear?”

kanda muula phalam hritvaa ko maam priyam iva atithim |

bhojayisyati akarmanyam apragraham anaayakam || 2-64-35

 “Who will feed me, like a beloved guest is fed, with roots and fruits while I am sitting without any work, without fetching anything and without having any guide making me to walk?”

imaam andhaam ca vriddhaam ca maataram te tapasviniim |

katham putra bharisyaami kripanaam putra gardhiniim || 2-64-36

O, delicate youth! How can I support your mother, who is blind, aged and a poor woman in a pitiable condition, longing for her son?”

tistha maa maa gamah putra yamasya sadanam prati |

shvo mayaa saha gantaa asi jananyaa ca samedhitah || 2-64-37

 “O, son! Come to a halt. Do not go to Yama’s abode. You can proceed tomorrow with me and with your mother.”

ubhaav api ca shoka aartaav anaathau kripanau vane |

ksipram eva gamisyaavah tvayaa hiinau yama ksayam || 2-64-38

 “Bereft of you, afflicted with grief, without any protection in the forest and poor, both of us also will come soon along with you to Yama’s abode.”

tatah vaivasvatam dristvaa tam pravaksyaami bhaaratiim |

ksamataam dharma raajo me bibhriyaat pitaraav ayam || 2-64-39

 “Thereafter, seeing Yama, I shall tell these words to him. ‘O, Yama! Excuse me. Let this boy nourish his parents.’ ”

daatumarhati dharmaatmaa lokapaalo mahaayashaah |

iidrishasya mamaakshayyaa mekaamabhayadaksinaam || 2-64-40

 “The most glorious and high souled Yama, the guardian of the world will be obliged to give this solitary imperishable boon in the form of fearlessness to me, who is in such a condition.”

apaapo asi yathaa putra nihatah paapa karmanaa |

tena satyena gaccha aashu ye lokaah shastra yodhinaam || 2-64-41

 “O, son! This criminal killed you. As it is true that you were sinless, you will soon obtain the realms as reached by those who die fighting with weapons.”

yaanti shuuraa gatim yaam ca samgraamesv anivartinah |

hataah tu abhimukhaah putra gatim taam paramaam vraja || 2-64-42

 “O, son! Move on to that which is the highest state, which is obtained by the warriors, who do not return even while being killed, from the direction facing their enemies in battles.”

yaam gatim sagarah shaibyo diliipo janamejayah |

nahuso dhundhumaarah ca praaptaah taam gaccha putraka || 2-64-43

 “Obtain the destiny which was obtained by Sagara, Saibya, Dileepa, Janamejeya, Nahusha and Dundumara.”

yaa gatih sarva saadhuunaam svaadhyaayaat patasah ca yaa |

bhuumidasya aahita agneh caeka patnii vratasya ca || 2-64-44

go sahasra pradaatririnaam yaa yaa gurubhritaam api |

deha nyaasa kritaam yaa ca taam gatim gaccha putraka || 2-64-45

 “O, son! Obtain that destiny, which is obtained by all the sages, by those who studied scriptures, by an act of austerity, by a gift of the land, by him who has maintained sacred fire, who has taken a vow of marrying a single wife, who gifts a thousand cows, who are owed to the service of the preceptor and that which is obtained by those who have abandoned their body (by journeying to Himalayan Mountains, or drowning themselves in water or leaping into the flames)”

na hi tu asmin kule jaatah gacchati akushalaam gatim |

sa tu yaasyati yena tvam nihato mama baandhavah || 2-64-46

 “The one born in the race of sages will not obtain an unsafe destiny. The person, who killed you, my son, will obtain that bad destiny.”

evam sa kripanam tatra paryadevayata asakrit |

tatah asmai kartum udakam pravrittah saha bhaaryayaa || 2-64-47

 “Thus, that sage repeatedly wept there pitiably. Then he, along with his wife, started doing the ceremony of offering water to his demised son.”

sa tu divyena ruupena muni putrah sva karmabhih |

svargamaadhyaaruhat khsipram shakrena saha kharmavit || 2-64-48

 “The pious son of the sage on his part soon ascended the Heaven, wearing a wonderful form along with Indra (the king of celestials) as a result of his own pious acts.”

aababhaase ca vriddhau tau saha shakrena taapasah |

aashvaasya ca muhuurtam tu pitarau vaakyam abraviit || 2-64-49

 “That son of the sage who was together with Indra, talked to his parents. Consoling his parents for a while, he spoke the following words.”

sthaanam asmi mahat praaptah bhavatoh paricaaranaat |

bhavantaav api ca ksipram mama muulam upaisyatah || 2-64-50

 “I obtained the supreme state because of my service to both of you. You will also obtain soon my vicinity.”

evam uktvaa tu divyena vimaanena vapusmataa |

aaruroha divam ksipram muni putrah jita indriyah || 2-64-51

 “The son of the sage, whose senses were subdued, thus spoke and by a wonderful aero plane with beautiful form, quickly reached Heaven.”

sa kritvaa tu udakam tuurnam taapasah saha bhaaryayaa |

maam uvaaca mahaa tejaah krita anjalim upasthitam || 2-64-52

 “That ascetic with great splendor along with his wife soon performed the ceremony offering water to his dead son and spoke to me, who was standing near him with folded hands.”

adya eva jahi maam raajan marane na asti me vyathaa |

yat sharena eka putram maam tvam akaarsiir aputrakam || 2-64-53

 “O, king! You have made me, without a son, by killing my one and the only one son, by an arrow. You kill me also now. I am not frightened about death.”

tvayaa tu yad avijnaanaan nihatah me sutah shucih |

tena tvaam abhishapsyaami suduhkham atidaarunam || 2-64-54

"Since you have killed my holy son through ignorance, I shall pronounce a most painful and very cruel curse on you.”

putra vyasanajam duhkham yad etan mama saampratam |

evam tvam putra shokena raajan kaalam karisyasi || 2-64-55

 “O, king! Even as I am suffering from agony now because of the loss of my son, in the same manner; you will also die due to agony caused by the loss of your son.”

ajjnaanaattu hato yasmaat ksatriyena tvayaa munih |

tasmaattvaam naavishatyaashu brahmahatyaa naraadhipa || 2-64-56

 “O, king! Since the sage was killed by you, belonging to the warrior class, through ignorance, the son of killing a Brahmin will not take possession of you.”

tvaamapyetaadrisho bhaavah kshiprameva gamisyati |

jiivitaantakaro ghoro daataaramiva dakshinaa || 2-64-57

 “A feeling similar to this, which makes the life awful and extinct, will indeed quickly come to you, even as a merit accrues to the donor of a donation to the priest.”

evam shaapam mayi nyasya vilapya karunam bahu |

citaamaaropya deham tanmithunam svargamabhyayaat || 2-64-58

 “Pronouncing the curse thus on me, that couple wept many times pitiably, placed their body on the funeral pile and proceeded to heaven.”

tadetacchintayaanena smaritam paapam mayaa svayam |

tadaa baalyaatkritam devi shabdavedhyanukarsinaa || 2-64-59

 “O, Kausalya! The sin I myself committed through ignorance on that day, by invoking an arrow and hitting an invisible object the sound of which was heard, I remember it now on reflection over it.”

tasyaayam karmano devi vipaakah samupasthitah |

apathyaih saha sambhukte vyaadhirannarase yathaa || 2-64-60

 “O, Kausalya! As a disease comes sometime after eating a nutriment mixed with forbidden things, this present occurrence came as a result of the sinful act by me long ago.”

tasmaan maam aagatam bhadre tasya udaarasya tat vacah |

yad aham putra shokena samtyaksyaamy adya jiivitam || 2-64-61

 “O, my dear lady! Those words of that noble sage, saying that I shall give up my life due to grief for the loss of my son, have come true to me now.”

cakshurbhyaam tvaam na pashyaami kausalye saadhu maamsphrisha |

ityuktvaa sa rudamstrasto bhaaryaamaaha ca bhuumipah || 2-64-62

 “O, Kausalya! I am not able to see you with my eyes. Touch me well” Thus speaking, King Dasaratha, terribly weeping said to his wife as follows:

etanme sadrisham devi yanmayaa raaghave kritam |

sadrisham tattu tasyaiva yadanena kritam mayi || 2-64-63

 “O, queen! The wrong that was done by me in respect of Rama was not befitting of me. But the good that was done by Rama in my case was worthy only of him.”

durvrittamapi kah putram tyajedbhuvi vicakshanah |

kashca pravraajyamaano vaa naasuuyetpitaram sutah || 2-64-64

 “Which wise man on this earth can abandon his son, even if he is of a bad conduct? Which son, even if he is sent to an exile, cannot become angry with his father?”

yadi maam samsprished raamah sakridadya labheta vaa |

yamakshayamanupraaptaa drakshyanti na hi maanavaah || 2-64-65

 “Can Rama now touch me or approach me forth with? Men who attained the world of Yama (god of death) cannot even see their kith and kin.”

caksusaa tvaam na pashyaami smritir mama vilupyate |

duutaa vaivasvatasya ete kausalye tvarayanti maam || 2-64-66

 “O, Kausalya! I am not able to see you with my eyes. My memory- power is fading away. Messengers of Yama (god of death) are hastening me to come.”

atah tu kim duhkhataram yad aham jiivita ksaye |

na hi pashyaami dharmajnam raamam satya paraakyamam || 2-64-67

 “What can be more sorrowful than the fact I am not able to see Rama, who knows righteousness and who is a truly brave man, at the time of my death?”

tasyaadarshanajah shokah sutasyaapratikarmanah |

ucchosayati me praanaanvaari stokamivaatavah || 2-64-68

 “The grief arising out of non-appearance of that son, who performs unparalleled actions, is parching up my life, as sun- shine dries up a water drop”

na te manusyaa devaah te ye caaru shubha kundalam |

mukham draksyanti raamasya varse panca dashe punah || 2-64-69

 “They are not humans but celestials, who will be able to see again in the fifteenth year, the beautiful face of Rama, wearing his handsome ear-rings.”

padma patra iiksanam subhru sudamstram caaru naasikam |

dhanyaa draksyanti raamasya taaraa adhipa nibham mukham || 2-64-70

 “The fortunate can see the face of Rama, looking like a moon, with its eyes resembling lotus leaves, with beautiful eye brows, with a comely row of teeth and a charming nose.”

sadrisham shaaradasya indoh phullasya kamalasya ca |

sugandhi mama naathasya dhanyaa draksyanti tan mukham || 2-64-71

 “Fortunate are they, who can see the sweat smelling face of Rama, resembling the autumnal moon and also a full- blown lotus.”

nivritta vana vaasam tam ayodhyaam punar aagatam |

draksyanti sukhino raamam shukram maarga gatam yathaa || 2-64-72

 “Happy ones can see Rama, who having finished his exile, will come to Ayodhya like the planet Venus coming from a journey.”

kausalye citta mohena hridayam siidatiiva me |

vedaye na ca samuktaan shabdasparsharasaanaham || 2-64-73

 “O, Kausalya! My heart is sinking down by delusion of mind. I am not able to grasp the related sound, touch and the smell.”

cittanaashaadvipadyante sarvaanyevendriyaani me |

kshinasnehasya diipasya samsaktaa rashmayo yathaa || 2-64-74

 “All of my senses are getting scared away due to mental break down, as rays of light of a lamp whose oil is exhausted, starts splattering.”

ayam aatma bhavah shoko maam anaatham acetanam |

samsaadayati vegena yathaa kuulam nadii rayah || 2-64-75

 “This grief caused by my own self is collapsing me, who am helpless and insensible, like a river bank being collapsed by the floods of a river stream.”

haa raaghava mahaa baaho haa mama aayaasa naashana |

haa pitripriya me naatha haadya kvaasi gatah suta || 2-64-76

 “O, mighty armed! O, Rama! O, annihilator of my grief! Alas! O, darling of your father! O, my protector! O, my son! Where have you gone?”

haa kausalye nashisyaami haa sumitre tapasvini |

haa nrishamse mamaamitre kaikeyi kulapaamsani || 2-64-77

 “O, Kausalya! O, Sumitra, the miserable! Alas! O, Kaikeyi, the cruel one! My enemy! The disgrace of my family! I am going to die.”

iti raamasya maatushca sumitraayaashca sannidhau |

raajaa dasharathah shocan jiivita antam upaagamat || 2-64-78

In this manner, King Dasaratha weeping as aforesaid reached the end of his life in the presence of Kausalya and Sumitra.

yathaa tu diinam kathayan nara adhipah |

priyasya putrasya vivaasana aaturah |

gate ardha raatre bhrisha duhkha piiditah |

tadaa jahau praanam udaara darshanah || 2-64-79

King Dasaratha of noble appearance, thus speaking, who was already miserable and distressed for sending his son to exile, felt afflicted with extreme grief by the time the mid- night passed and forthwith abandoned his life.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande catuhsastitamah sargah

Thus completes 64th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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