Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam

Balakanda Chapter 18

Birth of Sri Rama !

With Sanskrit text in Devanagari, Telugu and Kannada

निर्वृत्ते तु क्रतौ तस्मिन् हयमेधे महात्मनः।
प्रतिगृह्या सुरा भागान् प्रतिजग्मुः यथागतम् ॥

'The Aswamedha sacrifice as well as the sacrifice intended to procure progeny performed by the highsouled King having been completed , the celestials who partook in their share of the offerrings too returned to their respective abodes'

Eighteenth Sarga

The Aswamedha sacrifice as well as the sacrifice intended to procure progeny performed by the high souled King having been completed , the celestials who partook in their share of the offerings too returned to their respective abodes`

Having completed the sacred vows , the king along with the queens entered the city accompanied by the servants soldiers and carriers

All the kings who came to witness the sacrifice have been honored by the king Dasaratha according to their accomplishments. The kings too were very much pleased. They bowed low to Sage Vasisht and started back for their respective lands. The soldiers of the glorious kings delighted with the honors received from the king Dasaratha were shining brightly.

After all the visiting kings have left, then king Dasaratha too entered the city following Sage Rishyasrumga the best of Brahmans. The sage Rishyasrumga having been duly worshipped then left along with his wife Shanta. He was followed by the king ( Romapada). Dasaratha too followed them for a while before taking leave.

Having bid farewell to all , the king felt happy. Thinking about the birth of his sons the the king lived happily.

After the completion of Yaga six seasons have rolled on. Then after twelve months, on the ninth day of the month of Chiatra during the fourth quarter of the star Pushyami presided over by Aditi, SriRama was born to Kausalya, with five planets in their ascendancy. And Jupiter in conjunction with Moon appeared in Karka. At that auspicious time SriRama was born. He is the leader of all the three worlds and respected by all. He is endowed with all that is good.

He is the delight of the scion of Ikshwakus. He represents half the power of Vishnu. He has well proportioned limbs, eyes with reddish tinge as well as a booming voice resembling the sound of kettle drums. With a son of great prowess , Kausalya shone much like Aditi who had the vajrayudha wielding Indra as her son.

Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata who represnted a fourth of Vishnu's prowess. He is endowed with all virtues, and is the embodiment of true valor. Then the two sons Lakshmana and Satrughna were born to Sumitra. They were skilled in the use of all weapons and were endowed with fourth part of Vishnu's prowess.

Bharata always of pleasing manners, was born under the star of Pushyami and the auspicious constellation of Meena. Lakshmana and Satrughna were born under the star Aslesha in the constellation of karkata when the Sun was over the meridien. The four sons whom are endowed with excelent qualities were born at different times. When they were born Gandharvas sang melodiously. The Apsaras danced. The kettle drums made their resounding noises. Flowers flew down from the heavens.

Ayodhya celebrated the event like a great festival with participation of people. The main throughfares were full of actors and dancers putting on their shows. The streets marked with rush of people were full of bards singing songs of praise. The king gave away gifts to the entourage and gave away thousands of cows and gold coins to Brahmins.

On the eleventh day the king celebrated the ceremony of giving names. Sage Vasishta peformed the ceremony with delight , naming Kausalya's son as Rama and Sumitra's sons as Lakshmana and Satrughna and Kaikeyi's son as Bharata. The king offered food the the citizen as well as people from the vilages. For Brahmins he gave away variety of jewels. Then he got appropriate ceremonial rituals related to the birth performed.

Among the four sons , Rama the eldest gave the most pleasure to the King. He also became dear to all, very much like the creator himself is admired by all . All the princes learnt Vedas. They are fighters. They were always of the intent of working for the benefit of the people . They were endowed with wisdom and were repositories of all excellences.

Among them Rama bore himself with great lustre and is possessed of true prowess. He is the delight of all. Like moon he is withhout blemish. He is skillful in all actions while riding an elephant , a horse and a chariot. He is skillful in the arts of archery . He is devoted and always involved in serving his father.

From his childhood Lakshmana is always devoted to his elder brother Rama and is the delight of all. He will forget his own comforts and take care of Rama's needs. He is virtually Rama's other soul. The best of men Rama too would not sleep unless Lakshman is next to him. He would not take the tasty food brougt for him. When Rama goes for hunting on a horse he would be there with him walking on foot. Lakshmana's brother Satrughna too is like him. he is dearer to Baharata than his own life. Satrughna also has deep respect for Bharata.

The Dasaratha felt supreely delighted with his foursons very much like the teh Brahma himself with the gods surrounding him. The four sons were endowed with rich wisdom , adorned with all virtues, all knowing and farsighted . King Dasaratha, the father of those four sons possessing unique glory and splendour, too rejoiced like Brahma the ruler of Universe.

Those four, who are like tigers among men were devoted to study of Vedic studies. They were well versed in the art of archery and were always devoted to the service of parents. Then the king whose mind is given to piety deliberated with family priests about the princes marriage. While the king was deliberating thus the great sage Viswamitra possessed of unique glory arrived at his court in Ayodhya.

Seeking an audience with the king , he announced to the gate keepers. " Announce my arrival to the King. I belong to the line of Kusa, My name is Viswamitra , the son of King Gadhi'. Hearing that arnnouncement of sage, spurred on by that command the gate keepers ran to the Kings palace. They reached the kings palace and conveyed the arrival of Viswamitra to the king.

The king delighted to hear those words went forth along with his priests to receive like Indra went to receive Brahma. Seeing that sage radiating the power of his penance the king was very happy. Then the king offered ritual waters for cleaning etc.

The sage having received the offerings enquired after the welfare of king and the kingdom. " O King ! I hope your treasury , kingdom , frends and relatives are all safe. Are all the vassals under your control and are all enmies subdued? Are all the sacrficial duties and duties to the citizens going apace as they should be ?'

Then the sage aproached Vasishta and exchaged greetings and there after met all others too and exchanged greetings as appropriate and as required . They all then entered the court and took their places according to their ranks`

Thrilled with joy , the higly magnanimous king then spoke with the sage after offering him due worship. ' O , Maharshi! your arrrival gives us a delight like obtaining nectar for one self, like rain water in an area of drought, like the birth of a son for one without a son through his wife, like the recovery of treasue for one who lost his, like the joy of great festivals. O Maharshi welcome to you '.

'O Great One! what is your desire. What should I do ? You deserve to receive what ever is required. Your arrival here is considered as our luck. To day I feel as though my birth stands fulfilled and my life is fulfilled . You were intially known as Rajsrshi and later attained the tittle of Brahmarshi . Hence you are worthy of our adoration. Your coming here is wonderful and our house is purified. Please let me know what is the resaon for your arrival. I am ready to fulfill your wishes'.

'Oh Kausika ! Please do not have any concerns about your needs. You are equivalent of Gods to us. I will have the works completed without remainder. O Brahmarshi ! with your arrival I consider that all the religious merits attained by me have borne fruit.'

Hearing those words of prayer which were not only pleasing to heart but also to ears , the sage whose renown occassioned by his excellences is spread far and wide, and who was distinguished by his virtues, experienced supreme delight.

Thus ends the chapter 18 of Balakanda in Ramayana.

||om tat sat ||

इति हृदयसुखं निशम्य वाक्यं
श्रुतिसुखमात्मवता विनीतमुक्तम् ।
प्रधितगुणयशा गुणैर्विशिष्टः
परमऋषिः परमं जगाम हर्षम् ॥

Hearing those words of prayer which were not only pleasing to heart but also to ears , the sage whose renown is occassioned by his excellences is spread far and wide, and who was distinguished by his virtues, experienced supreme delight.

|| om tat sat ||

|| om tat sat ||