Samkshipta Ramayanam

from Balakanda of

Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam

Samkshipta Ramayanam - in all its glory !!! The first chapter of Balakanda in Srimad Valmiki Ramayan , has a brief narrative of the complete Ramayana story . In a hundred slokas of the first chapter of Balakanda, we have Narada narrate the story of Rama, a king of Ikshwaku line ! The Narada narrative is in response to Valmiki's question which forms the first five slokas of Balakanda . Valmiki wanted to know as to who is the best person ( Nara ) among the whole world . Narada's reply covers the complete story of Ramayana in the subsequent ninety five slokas.

We are delighted to bring the chapter 1 in its entirety , the hundred slokas !! As stated it is also called Samkshipta Ramayanam .

Compressing the whole Ramayana into ninety five slokas requires being very brief and in fact the slokas are as cryptic as the Sutras of Sanskrit lore. The translation necessarily follows the compressed style of the story. To some extent it may sound stilted , yet it is beautiful.

Parayana or daily recital of this chapter is part of traditional lore. Any number of families follow the practice of Parayana .

While it is integral part of Balakanda - we are creating special page for the ease of the readers. We are bringing Samkshipta Ramayanam in Sanskrit Devanagari script , as well as Telugu and Kannada script with Telugu and English translations. Else where on this page we are also listing all the variations of scripts in which it is presented.

om tat sat

!! Sankshipta Ramayanam !!

!! Balakanda !!

The ascetic Valmiki asked Narada the best among those skilled in expression , who remains diligent in the study of Vedas who himself is an ascetic, the following question.

"Who is the person that is full of all virtues, knows all Dharmas , speaks only truth, and is full of firm resolve ? Who wants the best for all living beings, who is full of knowledge, who is capable, who is of pleasing looks, who is a personification of courage, who has overcome the anger ? Who is possessed of splendor, free of jealousy , can terrify even the gods when he is angry ? Oh Master of all ascetics ! I have a great curiosity and I would like to know about such a person ( Nara ) . Oh Master of all Ascetics ! you are in the know of everything. Please tell me. " .

Narada who is possessed of the knowledge of all the three worlds , having heard the words of the Seer Valmiki being delighted spoke as follows.

"Oh Great Seer !! It will be difficult for one to have all the virtues described by you. Even so I will tell you of a great person who is endowed with all such qualities. There is one descendent in the line of Ikshwakus who is well known by the name of Rama. Rama is man of great self control , a great warrior , radiant , and has brought all senses under control. He is intelligent , knows the science of right conduct , eloquent , glorious, and he is exterminator of all foes. He has broad shoulders, powerful arms and a neck shaped as a conch. He has broad chest , a mighty bow, and is capable of subduing the internal foes. He is a tall person with well proportioned limbs. He has soft and agreeable complexion. He is mighty, has large eyes and auspicious marks".

" SriRama is a righteous man knowing all aspects of dharma. He always abides by the truth. He is always intent on the good of the people. He is illustrious, full of wisdom, pure in his dealings, and a man of self control. He is equal to a Prajapathi, affluent and a slayer of his enemies. He is protector of all living beings and a staunch defender of faith. He is protector of his own dharma and protector of his people. He is well versed in Vedas and the science of Vedas. He has mastered the science of archery. He knows all the scriptures. He is possessed of sharp memory and a quick wit. He is liked by all the worlds, pious, high minded and shrewd ".

" Like all the rivers joining the ocean, he is sought by the all the righteous people. He is noble. He is alike to all and wears a pleasing countenance. The son of Kausalya is endowed with all excellences. He is deep like ocean. He is firm like Himalayas. He is like Vishnu in prowess and is pleasing like Moon. In the show of anger he resembles the destructive fire at the end of creation. He is equal to mother Earth in forbearance. He is an equal of Kubera in munificence and equal to God of dharma in matters of truth".

" Rama possessed of unfailing prowess and possessed of all excellences, is the eldest and he is possessed of all the highest virtues and is the beloved son of Dasaratha. Dasaratha following the advice of the council and for the benefit of all decides on anointing Rama as the crown prince".

" Witnessing the preparations for anointing Rama as the crown prince , the Queen Kaikeyi sought the two boons owed by the king . She wanted Rama to be sent to forests and her son Bharata be made the crown prince. The king who is the follower of righteous conduct thus caught in the web of right conduct had to send Rama to the forests. Rama too committed to follow the conduct of righteousness, started for the forests to keep the word of his father".

"Lakshmana the son of Sumitra is adorned with modesty and is a favorite of brother Rama. Lakshmana too followed his brother out of affection ".

" Rama's wife Sita is dear to him as life and is ever friendly to him. She is the daughter of Janaka and is endowed with all excellence like a goddess. She is the best among all women. She too followed SriRama like Rohini followed the celestial Moon".

"The citizen of Ayodhya as well as Dasaratha too followed SriRama for a distance. Then after meeting Guha who is his devotee, SriRama left his entourage and sent away his charioteer at Sringaverapura on the banks of the river Ganges. Then SriRama along with Sita and Lakshmana as well as Guha moved on in the forests and crossed the river Ganges which is full of water".

"Then following the instructions of Sage Bharadvaja Sita Rama and Lakshman reached Chitrakoot which is on the banks of the river Mandakini. Having built a beautiful cottage, the three lived there like celestials. When Sita Rama and Lakshmana left for Chitrakoot , king Dasaratha unable to bear the separation dies".

"After the death of king Dasaratha , Sage Vashista along with other prominent Brahmanas requested Bharat to to take over the responsibility of the governing the kingdom. Bharata who has no desire for kingship refused. Then he left for forests to seek out SriRama. Meeting SriRama who is ever committed to truth , Bharata pleads with SriRama saying " you are the elder. You are the best, only you should be the king of Ayodhya".

"Rama who always tries to please others, who is always magnanimous, who has a great reputation and always wore a pleasing look did not want the kingdom in order to follow his fathers wishes. Giving his sandals as his representation , the elder brother of Bharata repeatedly asked Bharata to rule the kingdom and sent him back ".

" Although his objective has not been achieved , Bharata having touched Rama's feet ruled from Nandigrama , awaiting the return of SriRama. After the departure of Bharata noticing that the people and citizen continue to visit him and realizing that this causes disturbance to the ascetics, SriRama entered Dandaka forests ".

" Having entered the thick forest the great Rama killed the ogre Viradha. Then he visited the great Ascetic Sarabhanga. Similarly he visited with Suthishna, Agastya and Agastya's brother too. Following the directions of Agastya , obtaining a bow , a sword and a pair of quivers containing inexhaustible arrows, all of which were bestowed by Indra SriRama was very pleased ".

"While he was living there all the ascetics requested SriRama to destroy the ogres as they disturb their penance. SriRama heard their requests and took a vow to destroy those ogres to satisfy those ascetics who are equal to fire in their determination ".

" There is a demoness by name Surpanakha. She is able to take any form she wishes. Rama disfigured her ( without killing her). Instigated by Surpanakha the ogres Khara , Trisira and Dushana along with many other ogres came battle ready. Then SriRama killed all of those ogres based in Janasthana , including Khara ,Trisira , Dushana and fourteen thousand ogres ".

" Learning about the killing of those ogres close to him Ravana, very much angered approaches Maricha for help. Then Maricha tried to dissuade Ravana by telling him that enimity with SriRama is not good and that Rama is too powerful. Not heeding his words, Ravana whose time has come approached the hermitage of SriRama along with Maricha ".

" There after managing to send the two princes away from the hermitage , Ravana abducts the wife of SriRama and also kills the vulture Jatayu ( who tried to obstruct the path of Ravana) . Seeing that mortally wounded vulture and hearing that Maithili has been carried away, with his mind agitated Raghava became very sorrowful . Even then he performed the cremation of the vulture Jatayu ".

" Searching for Sita in the forest , SriRama saw an ogre by name Kabandha who is of terrible form. Then he killed Kabandha and cremated his dead body. As a result Kabhanda ascended to heaven. While ascending he told Rama to see Sabari a devotee of SriRama and a pious hermitess who is good at attending to people. Then SriRama went to Sabari and was duly worshipped by him ".

" Then SriRama met Hanuman on the banks of lake Pampa . Following the words of Hanuman SriRama met with Sugriva. SriRama tells Sugriva all the events leading to the kidnapping of Sita. Sugriva too having heard SriRama , realizing that helping SriRama is in his own self-interest, with fire as his witness , Sugriva took a vow of friendship to help SriRama ".

" Then on a query by SriRama, Sugriva related with great sorrow the feelings of love and differences he had with Vali his elder brother. Then SriRama took a vow to kill Vali. Then Sugriva related to SriRama about the extraordinary powers of Vali since Sugriva was having misgivings about the prowess of SriRama ".

" To highlight the prowess of Vali , Sugriva then showed the dead body of Dundubhi which looked like a mountain. SriRama too kicked the dead body over a distance of ten yoajanas with his big toe. To further reassure Ram took his bow and shot an arrow which went through seven big trees and a mountain and the all the subterranean regions. the arrow then returned to his quiver with the same speed ".

" Then Sugriva full of confidence went to cave like Kishkindha along with SriRama. Then golden looking Sugriva roared loudly. Hearing that roar Vali the king of Vanaras came out . Though dissuaded by Tara , Vali took on Sugriva. Then SriRama killed Vali with one arrow. Then having killed Vali , as per his words Rama crowned Sugriva as the king in Kishkindha ".

" Then the king of vanaras called all the vanaras and sent them in all directions to search for Sita. Then the most powerful Hanuman hearing the words of Sampathi jumped across the ocean which is hundred yojanas long. Then he reached Lanka ruled by Ravana. There he saw Sita in contemplation sitting under the Ashoka tree ".

" Presenting the signet ring as a token sent by Srirama , explaining the background and giving her the confidence, Hanuman started demolishing the entrance of the orchard ".

" Then Hanuman killed the five army generals as well as the seven sons of the ministers and crushed Akshaya kumara. Then he allowed himself to be bound by the astra, though knowing that he is free because of the boons granted by his father. He bore the pain caused by the capture . Then he burnt the whole of Lanka except for the grove where Sita is located. There after he came back to tell SriRama that Sita is safe. On his return having circumbulated SriRama he informed SriRama that he had seen Sita ".

" Then going to the shore of the ocean along with Sugriva , Rama shook the ocean with his arrows which are as powerful as the rays of the Sun. Then the ocean, the Lord of all rivers, showed himself. Then as advised by him SriRama has a bridge built by Nala ".

" Then reaching Lanka through the bridge , Srirama kills Ravana. Then approaching Sita hesitant to accept her, Rama uses harsh words . Sita too unable to bear the harsh words entered the fire. Then hearing the words of the God of fire that Sita is without blemish Rama was very happy. All Gods too were happy and praised SriRama ".

" All the beings of the three worlds including all ascetics were delighted with the accomplishments of SriRama. Then SriRama crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. Having accomplished all the tasks Rama too was pleased. Then Rama brings back to life all the Vanaras with the help of boons form devatas. There after SriRama leaves for Ayodhya on the Pushpaka vimana ".

" Then SriRama went to he hermitage of Bharadvaja and sent Hanuman to Bharat. During the travel on the Pushpaka with Sugriva and the entourage , SriRama told the past history as they reached Namdigrama. Dis-entangling his matted hair at Nandigrama, SriRama then met all his brothers. SriRama was then crowned as the King along with Sita and thus he regained his kingdom ".

" All people were happy and delighted. They would always tread on the path of righteousness. Free of fear and also free of fear of any ailments, people lead a life of contentment and happiness . In that kingdom there will be no death of sons. There will be no widows. And women leading a life of chastity, will lead a happy life with their husbands. There will be no fear of fire nor will be living beings have a fear of drowning. There will be no fear of wind or fever. There will be no fear of starvation or fear of thieves. The cities and the regions will be full of riches and food grains. There the people will be living happily as they were doing in the age of Kritayuga "

" SriRama will perform many Aswamedha and Suvarnaka sacrifices. He will give crores of cows as gifts to Brahmins. Having given unlimited no of gifts Ram will achieve great fame. Raghav will establish royal dynasties with hundred times more prosperity. The people of the four castes of the society follow their respective duties. Having ruled for ten thousand years and ten hundred years SriRama will ascend Brahmaloka ".

"This story of SriRama is auspicious and a tool for wiping out sins. This is treated on par with vedas. Those who read this everyday will be free from all sins. Those who read this will obtain longevity of life. Their children and grand children will be blessed. In the end they obtain freedom from life ".

"The Brahmins reading this will attain eminence in eloquence, Kshatriyas will will obtain lordship over the earth, the vaisyas will secure profits of their profession. The sudras too attain superiority in their own class ".

॥ ओम् तत् सत् ॥

|| om tat sat ||

Thus ends the chapter 1 of Balakanda