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Chapter 4: Rama Hears the Ramayana Recited by His Own Sons

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Rama Hears the Ramayana Recited by His Own Sons



Valmiki composed twenty four thousand verses and taught them to Lava and Kusha, the sons of Rama and Seetha. The two youngsters sing the ballad [a simple song] among the assemblages [gathering] of sages and saints, and win laurels. Rama on seeing the boys singing on the streets and king's ways of Ayodhya, brings them to his palace, and summons all his brothers and ministers to listen to the ballad. Rama himself is put to the turmoil, for the ballad sung by these youngsters narrates the legend of Seetha. But he himself collecting his calm, Rama paid his attention to listen the 'Legend of Seetha' sithaayah charitam mahaan as Valmiki calls Ramayana.

Rama Hears the Ramayana Recited by His Own Sons

Chapter [Sarga] 4 in Detail

praapta raajyasya raamasya vaalmiikir bhagavaan rishhih |

chakaara charitam krithsnam vichitra padam arthavat || 1-4-1

The godly saint Valmiki composed Ramayana on Rama's retrieving [regaining] kingdom, wording admirably and meaningfully. [1-4-1]

chatur.hvi.mshat sahasraani shlokaanaam uktavaan risih |

tathaa sarga shataan pa.ncha shhat kaandaani tathaa uttaram ||1-4-2

Sage Valmiki said Ramayana in twenty four thousand verses, in six hundred chapters, in six books, likewise an end-piece too. [1-4-2]

kritvaa tu tan mahaapraajnah sa bhavishyam saha uttaram |

chintayaamaasa konvetat prayunjiiyaad iti prabhuh ||1-4-3

Though that great scholar composed thus with leading and sequel [subsequent development] legends, that godly saint thought over thus 'really, who will render all this ballad...' [1-4-3]

tasya chintayaamaanasya maharshher bhaavitaatmanah |

agrihniitaam tatah paadau muni veshau kushii lavau || 1-4-4

Then Lava and Kusha who are in the attire [dress] of hermits have touched the feet of that contemplative [marked by concentration on spiritual things] soul Valmiki, who is now thoughtful. [1-4-4]

kushii lavau tu dharmajnau raaja putrau yashashvinau |
bhraatarau svara sa.mpannau dadarsha aashrama vaasinau || 1-4-5

Glorious Kusha and Lava are the virtue knowing princes, and they are endowed with melodious voice, besides being the residents of the same hermitage, thus Valmiki saw them saluting [touching] at his feet. [1-4-5]

sa tu medhaavinau drishhtvaa vedeshhu parinishhtitau |

vedopabri.mhanaarthaaya tau agraahayata prabhuh || 1-4-6

On seeing that pair intellectuals who are proficient [well versed] in Veda-s that self-reliant sage Valmiki made those two to memorize the epic, as the epic Ramayana is composed only to reinforce the import [significance] of Veda-s, as an ancillary [subsidiaries]. [1-4-6]

kaavyam raamaayanam kritsnam siitaayaah charitam mahat |

paulastya vadham iti evam chakaara charita vratah || 1-4-7

That sage with observed sacred vows has rendered the entire epic in the name of 'Ramayana', 'Sublime Legend of Seetha' and 'elimination of Ravana'. [1-4-7]

paathye geye cha mathuram pramaanaih tribhir anvitam |

jaatibhih saptabhih yuktam tanhtrii laya samanvitam ||1-4-8

To read or to sing it is melodious, adaptable to music with three scales and sevenfold tune, and orchestral to the tunes of string-instrument and rhythm included... [1-4-8]

rasaih shri.ngaara karuna haasya raudra bhayaanakaih |

viraadibhii rasair yuktam kaavyam etat agaayataam ||1-4-9

Aesthetics like romance, pathos [artistic representation evoking pity or compassion], comic, fury, fright, valor etc., embodying the epic is sung [by Kusha, Lava.] [1-4-9]

tau tu gaandharva tattvajnau sthaana muurcchana kovidau |

bhraatarau svara sa.npannau gandharvaah iva ruupinau || 1-4-10

They are conversant with the art of music and proficient with the pitch and pausing their voices, and those two brothers have not only a wealthy voice, but they also look like celestial [suggesting heaven or divinity] singers. [1-4-10]

ruupa lakshana sa.npannau madhura svara bhaashhinau |

bi.mbaat iva uthiitau bimbau raama dehaat tathaa aparau || 1-4-11

They have charm in their appearance and melodiousness in their voice, they are like the two reflections of one original object, and thus they came out from the body of Rama, separately. [1-4-11]

tau raaja putrau kaartsnyena dharmyam aakhyaanam uttamam |

vaacho vidheyam tat sarvam kritvaa kaavyam aninditau || 1-4-12

They the princes have memorized that virtue-expounding [explaining] epic, the best; in its entirety and in doing so, they rendered that epic faultlessly. [1-4-12]

rishhiinaam cha dvijaatiinaam saadhuunaam cha samaagame |

yatha upadesham tattvajnau jagatuh tau samaahitau || 1-4-13

They sung the epic as schooled, well aware of its content and intent, among the assemblages of sages, scholars and also of eminent persons, with their best concentration [1-4-13]

mahaatmanau mahaabhaagau sarva lakshna lakshitau |

tau kadaachit sametaanaam rishhiinaam bhavita aatmanaam || 1-4-14

madhye sabham samiipasthau idam kaavyam agaayataam |

Once those two great-souls who endowed [to provide with something freely or naturally] with musical talent and with all remarkable features, sung this epic, standing nearby the midst of a gathering of sages and pious souls. [1-4-14-15a]

tat shrutvaa munayah sarve baashhpa paryaakulekshanaah || 1-4-15

saadhu saadhviti taa uuchuh param vismayam aagataah |

On hearing that, the eyes of all the sages were overspread with tears of happiness, and they appreciated saying, 'splendid, splendid is this...' [1-4-15b-16a]

te priita manasah sarve munayo dharma vatsalaah || 1-4-16

prashasha.nsuh prashastavyau gaayamaanau kushii lavau |

All those saints being the saint-patrons of virtue are pleased at heart, and praised the praiseworthy Kusha and Lava, while they are singing. [1-4-16b-17a]

aho giitasya maadhuryam shlokaanaam cha visheshhatah || 1-4-17

chiranirvrittam api etat pratyaksham iva darshitam |

"The melody of the ballad [a simple song], especially the meaning of verses, aha! Superb... though this has happened long-ago it is shown like the one happening presently... [1-4-17b-18a]

pravishya taa ubhau susthu tathaa bhaavam agaayataam || 1-4-18

sahitau madhuram raktam sa.npannam svara sa.mpadaa |

"On getting into the mood of the epic, those two sang its import [significance] in one tune, that too melodiously and rapturously [ecstasy], marinating the pitch and tune..." So said the saints. [1-4-18b-19a]

evam prashasyamaanau tau tapah shlaaghyaih maharsibhih || 1-4-19

sa.nraktataram atyartham madhuram tau agaayataam |

While the great saints of blessed ascetics are appreciating that way, those two melodiously sang very effectually [effectively] and very meaningfully. [1-4-19b-20a]

priitah kashchin munih taabhyaam sa.nsthitah kalasham dadau || 1-4-20

prasanno valkalam kashchid dadau taabhyaam mahaayashaah |

And someone, a pleased saint, got up and bestowed a handy vessel to them... another reputed sage, lauding them contributed a jute robe. [1-4-20b-21a]

anyah krisnaajinam adad yajna suutram tathaa aparah || 1-4-21

kashchit kamandalum pradaan maunjiim anyo mahaamunih |

brusiimanyah tadaa praadat kaupiinam aparo munih || 1-4-22

taabhyaam dadau tadaa hristah kuthaaram aparo munih |

kaasaayam aparo vastram chiiram anyo dadau munih || 1-4-23

jataabandhanam anyah tu kaastha rajjum mudaanvitah |

yajna bhaandam risih kashcit kaasthabhaaram tathaa parah || 1-4-24

audumbariim brusiim anyah svasti kechit tadaa avadan |

aayusyam apare praahur mudaa tatra maharsayah || 1-4-25

daduh cha evam varaan sarve munayah satyavaadinah |

And another sage bestowed a black-deerskin, and like that yet another a sacred thread... someone gave a water-pot and another great saint a girdle [an article of dress encircling the body usually at the waist] of maunja grass to singers, while that way another contributed an under cloth; another sage gladly contributed a hatchet [a short-handled ax often with a hammerhead to be used with one hand] to them, another a saffron clothe [dress], and yet another saint bestowed a cloth-wrapper; another delivered tuft-headband also, and another enchanted for their singing ballad handed out a sacrificial vessel, and another a bundle of firewood sticks, and yet another gave a plank-seat of audambari wood, and other called forth blessings, and someone then happily chanted bless-hymns for longevity... there by all the truth-avowing [obeying] saints, those that are great sages have thus bestowed boons. [1-4-21b-26a]

aashcharyam idam aakhyaanam muninaa sa.nprakiirtitam || 1-4-26

param kaviinaam aadhaaram samaaptam cha yathaa kramam |

"Surprising is this well-said rendering [delivering] of Valmiki... it is the subsistence [existence] for tomorrow's poets... and this is completed sequentially, as well... [1-4-26b-27a]

abhigiitam idam giitam sarva giiteshhu kovidau || 1-4-27

aayusyam pushhti jananam sarva shruti manoharam |

prashasyamaanau sarvatra kadaachit tatra gaayakau || 1-4-28

rathyaasu raaja maargeshhu dadarsha bharataagrajah |

While this song that generates longevity and prosperity, and one that is melodious one to all ears is being sung everywhere in streets and king's ways and while those two singers who are experts in singing any kind of music are being appreciated everywhere, Rama has seen them. [1-4-27b-29a]

sva veshma cha aaniiya tato bhraatarau sa kushii lavau || 1-4-29

puujayaamaasa puja arhau raamah shatrunibarhanah |

Then on seeing them Rama, the enemy-eliminator, fetched those honor-worthy bothers, Lava and Kusha, to his palace and honored them. [1-4-29b-30a]

aasiinah kaa.nchane divye sa cha si.mhaasane prabhuh || 1-4-30

upopavistaih sachivaih bhraatribhih cha samanvita |

He that king Rama is then surrounded by his ministers and brothers that are sitting his nearby, he himself sat on a divine golden throne. [1-4-3b-31a]

drishhtvaa tu ruupa sa.mpannau viniitau bhraatarau ubhau || 1-4-31

uvaacha lakshmanam raamah shatrughnam bharatam tathaa |

Having seen the mannerly brothers endowed with beautiful features, Rama spoke to Lakshmana, and Shatrughna, and Bharata likewise. [1-4-31b-32a]

shruuyataam etad aakhyaanam anayoh deva varchasoh || 1-4-32

vichitraartha padam samyak gaayakau samachodayat |

Rama said to thus, "Let this ballad [a simple song] be keenly heard from these divinely resplendent [shining brilliantly] brothers, for it contains versatile words and meanings...' and thus he motivated the singers. [1-4-32b-33a]

tau cha api madhuram raktam svachittaayata nihsvanam || 1-4-33

tan.htrii layavat atyartham vishrutaartham agaayataam |

Even those two singers have sung the ballad melodiously and effectually, with their clear and clarified voices, like the melody of string and rhythmic instruments, with very clear and meaningful intonation [the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech]. [1-4-33b-c]

hlaadayat sarva gaatraani manaa.msi hridayaani cha |

shrotraashraya sukham geyam tad babhau janasansadi || 1-4-34

Enthralling [charming] courtier's bodies, minds and hearts also, and thus that song sone forth (sone - a subjective unit of loudness for an average listener equal to the loudness of a 1000-hertz sound that has an intensity 40 decibels above the listener's own threshold of hearing) as it is for all ears, bearing a comfort in its manifestation [materialization], among the gathering of the people. [1-4-34]

imau munii paarthiva lakshanaanvitau

kushii lavau cha eva mahaatapasvinau |

mamaa api tad bhuuti karam prachakshate

mahaanubhaavam charitam nibodhata || 1-4-35

"These two saint-like Kusha and Lava, who also possess kingly features, but they are great hermits... this narration is endowing good fortune to me also, listen to that great efficacious [effective]  legend [of Seetha...]" [So said Rama to those courtiers.] [1-4-35]

tatah tu tau raama vachah prachoditau

agaayataam maarga vidhaana sa.mpadaa |

sa cha api raamah parisad.h gatah shanair

bubhuushhaya aasaktamanaa babhuuva || 1-4-36

Then those two singers, motivated by Rama's words, sang the ballad [a simple song] in maarga system, for they are well versed in it, then even Rama, who is also in the congregation [assembly of persons or gathering], again to pacify his mind, [for the story of Seetha puts his mind to turmoil,] became interested at heart [to continue listening Seetha's story...] [1-4-36]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande caturthah sargah

Thus, this is the 4th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate


Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Balakanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties.

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

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