Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Vaalmeeki Jee Writes Raam's Story - by Sushma Gupta

Then Vaalmeeki Jee researched Shree Raam's life  history, did Aachman and sat down on a Kush Aasan with concentrated mind. With the blessings of Brahmaa Jee, Vaalmeeki Jee knew everything about Him as he was seeing an orange on his palm. and he started writing it. In this book he has described all three - Dharm, Arth and Kaam, but Dharm has been given more importance. Vaalmeeki Jee has described Raam's life exactly Naarad Jee described to him. He has narrated many other stories of Raam's life - such as Raam's birth, His going with Vishwaamitra, marriage to Seetaa, Kaikeyee asking her Var from Dasharath, Raam's exile, meeting with Muni Bharadwaaj, Bharat's request to Raam to come back to Ayodhyaa, Raam's going to Dandak Van, incident of Shoorpankhaa, killing of Khar, Dooshan and Trishiraa, abduction of Seetaa, Jataayu incident, meeting with Kabandh, Shabaree, Hanumaan, Sugreev etc events. After that he describes Baali Vadh, search of Seetaa, Hanumaan goes to Lankaa, facing Raavan, bring Seetaa's identification, Raam's going to sea coast, building bridge there, killing Kumbhkarn, Meghnaad, and Raavan; bringing Seetaa home and Raam's coronation..
He composed the futuristic legend of Raam, while on the surface of earth, and whatever that is there, that is composed in all its minuteness, in the coming chapters of this epic
Sarg 4-Vaalmeeki Jee Teaches it to Two Children
Vaalmeeki Jee composed 24,000 Shlok (couplets or verses), in 500 Sarg (chapters) in seven Kaand (parts), [divided among these seven Kaand]. [see Note on Raamaayan-Gaayatree here] Vaalmeeki Jee was sitting on his Aasan thinking, "Who will sing this poetry of his?" that Lav and Kush came there and greeted him touching his feet. Muni found them intelligent and knower of Ved, so he made them to memorize his epic to spread Ved. Vaalmeeki could entitle this poetry under three headings - Raamaayan, Seetaa's Charitra, or Raavan's Vadh.
Since this poetry could be sung in three speeds (Drut, Madhyam and Vilambit), with seven notes (Swar) and in nine Ras, those two children, Lav and Kush, started singing it. Both princes were good at music. They crammed the whole poetry and used to sing it. By the permission of Vaalmeeki Jee this story was made public and Lav and Kush started singing it among groups of Muni. Many Muni rewarded them many things for their singing, such as one Muni gave them a handy vessel and another one a Jute robe and some other ones gave them some other things. Thus they started singing this melodious song in streets, in King's ways and were appreciated everywhere.
One day Raam saw also those boys in the way, so He brought them to His palace. He asked His brothers Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn also to listen to this epic and then He asked the children to sing it. All people in the Royal court sat mesmerized hearing their singing. Shree Raam thought that they were Muni's sons but how come that they looked like princes. Their work should be good for me too, so all started listening to it.
Sarg 5-Ikshwaaku Vansh and Raajaa Dasharath
Lav and Kush started reciting the Raamaayan - "This is the story of Ikshwaaku Vansh which owned the whole Prithvi. There was a King named Sagar who had 60,000 sons. All kings of that family got victory over others. This story of Raamaayan was originated in that Vansh which we will tell you now from the beginning.
One Muni Manu inhabited a Nagaree (city) on the banks of Sarayoo, named Kaushal or Ayodhyaa which was 12 Yojan long and three Yojan wide. There was no poor in that city. It was very peaceful and had very broad paths. It was surrounded by high boundary wall. Many learned people lived there. It was impassable for others as it had very deep moats.
In such city Raajaa Dasharath used to live. It was like Amaraavatee. Its layout was like Ashtpadee. The housing there was very dense, there was no place unutilized. Its 7-storied buildings and multistoried scrapers were picturesque. Although people were skilled in archery, but still they would not kill who did not have any predecessor, or a successor, or a fleeing one. They killed lions, tigers, wild boars etc wild animals only. There lived many Vaidik scholars who always worshiped with three kinds of ritual fires and Vaidik Braahman who were good at Ved and their six Vedaang.
Sarg 6-Dasharath and His Kingdom
Raajaa Dasharath was the knower of Ved. He used to drive chariot very fast. He was like Indra and Kuber on Earth. None with meager accumulations was there in that great city and no householder was there without unearned means, without cows, horses, money or cereals who could not sustain his family. [An ordinary family meant an assemblage of the householder, his wife, two of his parents, two sons, two daughters-in-law, one daughter, and one guest, totaling to ten members.] That city was full with best horses born in countries like Kaambhoj, Baahleek, Vanaayu, and also in river-bed counties, which are like the horse of Indra namely Uchchaishravaa. High breed from the classes of Airaavat, the elephant of Lord Indra, and from Mahaapadm, Anjan and Vaaman, were also  there in that city.
While residing in such city King Dasharath ruled the world. That city was further fortified up to two more Yojan outside city, true to its name A-Yodhyaa, an un-assailable one. Public used to live there happily and comfortably. There was Dharm all over. Thieves, robbers, lusty people were not there at all. All were of very high in character, everybody used to wear ear rings, crowns and necklace and do Yagya. Braahman used to study a lot and gave donations but did not accept donations. Everybody had all familial happiness.
Sarg 7-Dasharath and His Ministers
Raajaa Dasharath had a very good team of ministers. He had eight ministers - Dhrishti, Jayant, Vijay, Suraashtra, Akoy, Raashtravardhan, Dharmpaal and Sumantra. The Chief Minister was Sumantra. Besides the group of these eight ministers Raajaa had a group of Rishi also. Vashishth Jee and Vaamdev were the in charge of religious ceremonies. Suyagya, Jaabaali, Kashyap, Gautam, Maarkandeya, Deerghaayu, and Kaatyaayan were their assistants and also lived there.
Raajaa's ministers were very knowledgeable, soft-spoken, intelligent and knew everything about past and future. They were always busy in increasing King's treasury and army. They were so humble that if somebody used to say anything bad about them, and if it didn't harm them they wouldn't punish him. They were all decent in the interest of the King and his kingdom.
Sarg 8-Preparation of Ashwamedh Yagya
Raajaa Dasharath had everything but he had no child. Whenever he thought about it he got very sad. Once he thought that why not he should perform an Ashwamedh Yagya for it, so with the consultation of his ministers, it was decided that he should do an Ashwamedh Yagya. He said to Sumantra - "Call my Guru and Purohit." Sumantra called all seven Braahman and Purohit Vashishth along with other scholars. Raajaa worshipped all Braahman along with Vashishth Jee and said - "I have all the pleasures, but a son, so I want to do an Ashwamedh Yagya to get a son." All said in one voice - "This is a good idea, You may collect all the materials and send a horse around. Certainly you will get the son. Whatever you have thought to get a son, that is according to Dharm."
Raajaa ordered his ministers to collect all necessary materials for the Yagya, to send a horse along with brave people to protect it and build a Yagyashaalaa (place to perform a Yagya) on the northern bank of Sarayoo River. Demons will be looking for the faults in the Yagya, so arrange it in such a way that my Yagya is not disturbed by them." Hearing this his ministers assured him of a faultless Yagya. After instructing thus Raajaa sent all Rishi off and told his queens that he was going to do a Yagya to get a son, so they should also know the rules and regulations for that Yagya.

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