Valmiki Ramayana - Baala Kanda - Sarga 1

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Text of Valmiki Ramayana - Baala Kanda - Sarga 1

Book I : Bala Kanda - Book Of Youthful MajestiesChapter [Sarga] 1Verses converted to UTF-8: Sept 09IntroductionDivine sage Narada arrives at the hermitage of Sage Valmiki in order to enlightenhim and keep him informed of his duty to author the epic poem Ramayana. In thedialogue between these two sages, Valmiki elicits from Narada about most virtuousperson on earth, namely Rama. In this opening chapter, while eulogizing Rama Naradagives an outline of Ramayana, truly highlighting those aspects that are the keynotes inthis epic, like virtuosity, generosity, morality, chastity and the like.Valmiki Ramayana is said to have been composed basing on each of thetwenty-four letters of Gayatri Hymn, and a thousand verses are arranged into one bookunder the caption of each letter. Though that classification, or dividing verses intothousand chapters is unavailable now, the twenty-four verses identified with the 24letters of Gayatri hymn, called as Gayatri Ramayana, is available and it is given in theendnote of this page. In tune with the scheme of Gayatri, Ramayana starts the first versewith letter ta an auspicious letter.An Appeal to ReadersWe have taken every care to present this translation truthfully, but when workingwith machines, they start to exhibit their talents on the very first key-stroke, like 'AutoCorrect, Auto Complete, Auto Insert etc.,' and thus start correcting words like 'highsouled one' to 'high-soled one...' and the like. So taking the maxim pramaado apidhiimataam 'even the diligent may make mistakes...' we appeal to the readers to kindlyinform us if anything has gone wrong any where, typos, and 'is' becoming 'was', 'are'becoming 'were' and the like, so that they will be corrected, true to the text and spirit ofRamayana.Verse Locator 1 1 | 9 ~ || --1. anvaya / parsing: tapasvii vaalmiikiH tapaH svaadhyaaya niratamvaagvidaam varam muni pumgavam naaradam pari papracCha1. tapasvii = sagacious thinker; vaalmikiH = Sage [Poet] Valmiki; tapaH = inthoughtful-meditation; and; sva adhyaaya = in self, study [of scriptures]; niratam =always - who is eternally studious in scriptures; and; vaak= in speaking [inValmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - Sarga 1 of 40 18-01-2013 20:39always - who is eternally studious in scriptures; and; vaak= in speaking [inenunciation]; vidaam = among expert enunciators; varam = sublime one - withNarada; muni pungavam = with sage, paragon, with such a paragon sage Naarada;naaradam = with [such a sage] Naarada; pari papracCha = verily [inquisitively,]inquired about; [ellipt. sarva guNa samiSTi ruupam puruSam = all, meritedendowments, composite, in form - about such a man.]A thoughtful-meditator, an eternally studious sage in scriptures about the Truthand Untruth, a sagacious thinker, and a sublime enunciator among all expert enunciatorsis Narada, and with such a Divine Sage Narada, the Sage-Poet Valmiki is inquisitivelyenquiring about a man who is a composite for all merited endowments in his form andcalibre. [1-1-1]The efficacy of Opening VerseThe very opening word tapaH has diverse meanings. In a way it means j~naanaacuity, and it is 'thinking' tap aalocane 'thinking on the Absolute, where that Absolute'sthinking itself is tapaH - yasya j~naanam tapaH thus Narada is one who is a constantthinker of the Absolute. Or, he who always practises kR^icChrandraaayaNaadi vrataH -nitya naimittika karma anuSTHaana paraH the rigorous practises enshrined in Veda-s. Itmeans the Absolute itself tapaH para brahma shabda vaca, brahmai tad upaastvai tattapaH 'that which is contemplated upon that is tapaH, meaning Vedanta , Upanishads.Let many Veda-s are learnt and recited mechanically it becomes a rote learning, unless,a thought is given as for what it is being recited, an on whom. Thus Narada has no rotelearning, but still trying to get full picture of that Absolute. And the swaadhyaya isVeda, and its regular practise, tapo hi svaadhyaayaH. Veda itself is the Knowledge, thatis why it is said svadhyaan na pramiditavyam - taittariiya upaniSad Then, it also meansas the Absolute. Thus Narada being a complete embodiment of Veda-s, is the propersage to clear the doubts of ValmikiThe Divine Sage Narada is the brainchild of god Brahma brahma maanasa putra.His name has meanings like naara =knowledge; da= awarder; naarada= the rain cloud.Any cloud rains on its own without any requisition from Mother Earth. So Narada isnaaram dadaati iti naarada 'one who accords knowledge concerning the humans...' or,naaram dyati - khaNdati - iti naarada 'one who annihilates the ignorance...' or, 'one whoaccords knowledge about the Absolute, or Supreme Person. Though a Divine Sage,having all these attributes, Narada has no conclusive information about hari liilaavibhuuti 'Supreme Person's playful acts...' hence he continuously and constantly pondersover that Absolute to get the real essence of that Absolute, or Supreme Person. This isfor himself, and not in respect of his reacting with others.Then this word vaak means: enunciator - as given above; This word also meansVeda - anaadi nidhano hi eSaa vaak utshR^iSTaa Veda-s emerged from that Absolute,hence vaak is identifiable with that Absolute; and this is grammar - vaak yogaviddduSyati ca apashabde as such vaak is identifiable with grammar. And vaak vidvareNya is 'one who has complete information derived from Veda-s, or, one whoelucidates and enunciates what he has learned from Veda-s to others...'There are four epithets of Narada here: atha naaradasya catvaari visheShaNaani |Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - Sarga 1 of 40 18-01-2013 20:39There are four epithets of Narada here: atha naaradasya catvaari visheShaNaani |tathaa - tapo nirati - iti anena visheShaNena sarva saamarthyam pratipaaditam | svaadhyaaya nirata - iti anena yat ki~ncit vadati tat veda ukta dharma anuguNatayaa evavadati iti suucitam | vaak vidaam vara - anena vaktR^itva~N pratipaaditam | muni pungava- iti anena atiindriya abhij~natvam suucitam | agre tri loka j~na iti anena visheShaNenaloka traya sa~ncaareNa pratyakShatayaa sat asat vastu abhisa~nj~natva~N pratipaaditam |etai visheShaNaiH - sarvaj~natvam - sarva jana maanyatvam - sarva utkR^iShTamahaatmyam - ca suucitam | taadR^isham naaradam bhagavaan vaalmiikiH sarva guNasamiShTi ruupam pururaSham - papR^iccha - dharmaakuutam'By these four epithets of Narada, viz., tapo nirata because he is a 'thoughtful-thinker evermore...' his all-expertise in knowledge is proposed... svaadhyaaya niratabecause he is 'eternally studious sage in scriptures [about the Truth and Untruth...']whatever the least he says it abides by the everlasting canonical sayings of Veda... vaakvidaam vara because his sayings are rooted in canons he is the best enunciator andelucidator... muni pungava because he is such a sublime sage he is transcendental... andas a traveller among all the three worlds he is aware of Truth and Untruth... and withsuch Sage Narada, Sage Valmiki enquired about a man, on earth, who is a composite inhis form, for all merited endowments...' Dharmaakuutam. This commentary is byTryambakaraaya Makhi [1690's to 1728] and this can be called not just yet anothercommentary on Ramayana, but an Encyclopaedia of Indian Culture. This was publishedunder the scheme of 'Editing and Publication if Rare Manuscripts, Govt. of India,Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs' and it is available with TanjoreSaraswati Mahal Library, Tanjavore, Tamil Nadu State, India.There are numerous and voluminous commentaries on Ramayana, bulkier thanthe epic itself, deciphering latent meanings of Ramayana as above. And to list a few ofmany commentaries on Ramayana: 1] kataka vyaakhya, by shrii katata; 2] raamayaNatilakam - raamaabhiraamii : by shrii naagojii bhaTT; 3] raamaayaNa bhuuSaNam byshrii govindaraja; 4] raamaayaNa shiromaNi by shrii shivasahaaya; 5] raamaayaNatattva diipika by shrii maheshvara tiirtha; 6] raamaayaNa vyaakhya shriiraamaanujaacaarya; 7] viveka tilaka by shrii varadaraaja; dharmaakuutamtryambakaraaya makhii; raamaayaNa kuuTa vyaakhya by shrii raamaananda tiirtha...and many, many more... Hence due to paucity of time we confine ourselves to somereferences from some of the above, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling one theseintricate derivation obtained by these great commentators.This stanza equally applies to Sage Valmiki, the taught, by way of the use ofwords tapaH, svaadhyaaya, tapasvii, thus both of them are experts in their own sphere ofteacher-student relationship. The word tapaH denotes Veda-s themselves, in which boththe Sages are well-versed, svaadhyaaya means, pondering over what that is learnt, i.e.japa. tapasvii= sharanaagati Total renunciation of their selves in the Almighty. Routinerecitation of Veda-s will become futile if an iota of inclination in the Almighty andself-surrender to that Almighty is not there. tasmaannyeaasam eShaam tapasamatiriktam aahuH - taittatriiya naaraayaNam - 20 Hence, these two sages havecommenced to deliver Ramayana, which itself is the epic of virtuous living, to thisworld.That being so, Valmiki is asking the same Narada as to who is Absolute-like,Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - Sarga 1 of 40 18-01-2013 20:39That being so, Valmiki is asking the same Narada as to who is Absolute-like,Absolute-similar or comparable human, with some of many traits of that Absolute. Forthis, Narada starts his narration with an exclamation bahavo durlabhaa ca guNaaHkiirtitaa at seventh verse. Thus, there are bulky and voluminous commentaries onRamayana, bulkier than the epic itself, hence due to paucity of time, and in eagerness topost the main epic firstly, let us take a pause in these declinations and niceties ofverbiage, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling on these intricate derivation at thatstaring itself.However, the epic starts with the word aus