दशरथ द्वारा यज्ञ का अनुष्ठान >> बाल-काण्ड



The Horse Ritual of Emperor Dasharatha is started on the banks of Sarayu River. The details of the arrangements for the participants, and visitors along with some aspects of the Vedic Ritual are narrated.

अथ संवत्सरे पूर्णे तस्मिन् प्राप्ते तुरंगमे |
सरय्वाः च उत्तरे तीरे राज्ञो यज्ञो अभ्यवर्तत || १-१४-१
Then after completion of one year and on regaining the ritual horse, the Emperor Dasharatha commenced his Vedic Ritual on the northern banks of River Sarayu. [1-14-1]
ऋष्यशृंगम् पुरस्कृत्य कर्म चक्रुः द्विजर्षभाः |
अश्वमेधे महायज्ञे राज्ञोऽस्य सुमहात्मनः || १-१४-२
Keeping Rishyasringa at the helm of affairs those eminent Brahmans commenced, ashva medha , the Horse-ritual of that noble-souled Dasharatha. [1-14-2]
कर्म कुर्वंति विधिवत् याजका वेदपारगाः |
यथा विधि यथा न्यायं परिक्रामन्ति शास्त्रतः || १-१४-३
Those well-versed conductors of Vedic rituals called ritviks , have started to perform works relating to ritual as per canon and rules, and conducted them scripturally and customarily. [1-14-3]
प्रवर्ग्यम् शास्त्रतः कृत्वा तथा एव उपसदम् द्विजाः |
चक्रुः च विधिवत् सर्वम् अधिकम् कर्म शास्त्रतः || १-१४-४
On performing pravargya ritual as per scriptures, like that upasada ritual too, those Brahmans have customarily performed all of those other rituals incidental to the main one scripturally. [1-14-4]
अभिपूज्य तदा हृष्टाः सर्वे चक्रुः यथा विधि |
प्रातः सवन पूर्वाणि कर्माणि मुनिपुंगवाः || १-१४-५
Then all of those distinguished sages are contended with what they have performed by worshipping gods already summoned, they also conducted early morning savana ritual and its ancillaries as enjoined. [1-14-5]
ऐन्द्रश्च विधिवत् दत्तो राजा च अभिषुतोऽनघः |
मध्यंदिनम् च सवनम् प्रावर्तत यथा क्रमम् || १-१४-६
The oblations addressed to Indra are well given as ordained, and the flawless king Dasharatha also crushed the Soma creeper to squeeze Soma juice, and thus the mid-day savana ritual has come to pass according to sequence. [1-14-6]
तृतीय सवनम् चैव राज्ञोऽस्य सुमहात्मनः |
चक्रुः ते शाश्त्रतो दृष्ट्वा तथा ब्राह्मण पुंगवाः || १-१४-७
Like that those proficient Brahmans have also performed the third savana , ritual of that great-exalted soul Dasharatha according to the viewpoint of scriptures. [1-14-7]
आह्वान् चक्रिरे तत्र शक्रादीन् विबुधोत्तमान् |
ऋष्यशृङ्गाअदौ मन्त्रैः शिक्षाक्षर समन्वितौ || १-१४-८
Rishyasringa and other best scholars with their well lettered and intonated Vedic hymns have invoked Indra and other gods to that place. [1-14-8]
गीतिभिः मधुरैः स्निग्धैः मन्त्र आह्वानैः यथार्हतः |
होतारो ददुरावाह्य हविर्भागान् दिवौकसाम् || १-१४-९
The hotaa -s, invocators, have welcomed the celestials for partaking oblations by singing saama Veda hymns sweetly and harmoniously, and on inviting them with Vedic hymns they have offered oblations to them. [1-14-9]
न च अहुतं आभूत् तत्र स्खलितम् वा न किंचन |
दृश्यते ब्रह्मवत् सर्वम् क्षेमयुक्तम् हि चक्रिरे || १-१४-१०
There is no unburnt oblation resulted in that fire-ritual nor even a small mishap slipped in the performance of ritual. Everything appeared canonically correct and hymn oriented. Indeed the ritual is performed in a secure way. [1-14-10]
न तेषु अहस्सु श्रान्तो वा क्षुधितो वा न दृश्यते |
न अविद्वान् ब्राह्मणः कश्चिन् न अशत अनुचरः तथा || १-१४-११
In these days of ritual none found there to be weary or hungry, and there is no single unscholarly person, nor any Brahman without at least a hundred apprentices. [1-14-11]
ब्राह्मणा भुंजते नित्यम् नाथवन्तः च भुंजते |
तापसा भुंजते च अपि श्रमणाः चैव भुंजते || १-१४-१२
Given anytime the Brahmans, servants, sages, and pilgrims are fed with food for their arrival at the place of boarding is unpredictable, and that arrival is dependent on their duties for Brahmans, and by their masters for servants, and for pilgrims that do not have a particular time of arrival or departure. [1-14-12]
वृद्धाः च व्याधिताः च एव स्त्री बालाः तथा एव च |
अनिशं भुंजमानानां न तृप्तिः उपलभ्यते || १-१४-१३
Elderly people, sick ones, women and children though dining on always thus, no satisfaction to complete the meal is attained for themselves, as the food served is that pleasant.
Or
Elderly people, sick ones, women and children though dining on always thus, there is no satisfaction to Emperor Dasharatha, for it appeared to be too meagre a serving and a lot more is to be served.] [1-14-13]
दीयताम् दीयताम् अन्नम् वासांसि विविधानि च |
इति संचोदिताः तत्र तथा चक्रुः अनेकशः || १-१४-१४
"Food be given abundantly, clothing be given variously" are the directives, accordingly the king's men have distributed numerously there at the ritual place. [1-14-14]
अन्न कूटाः च दृश्यन्ते बहवः पर्वत उपमाः |
दिवसे दिवसे तत्र सिद्धस्य विधिवत् तदा || १-१४-१५
Heaps of foodstuffs are also appearing there, many of them and mountain similar, which is made available customarily, day after day. [1-14-15]
नाना देशात् अनुप्राप्ताः पुरुषाः स्त्री गणाः तथा |
अन्न पानैः सुविहिताः तस्मिन् यज्ञे महात्मनः || १-१४-१६
To that ritual of that great-souled Dasharatha masses of men and women have arrived from different countries, and they are all well-pleased with the sumptuous food and drink supplied. [1-14-16]
अन्नम् हि विधिवत् स्वादु प्रशन्सन्ति द्विजर्षभाः |
अहो तृप्ताः स्म भद्रम् ते इति शुश्राव राघवः || १-१४-१७
"The eminent Brahmans have appreciated the food that is prepared by perfect cooking to be relishable, and it is heard as they said, "oh, Raghava, blessed are you for we are satisfied..." [1-14-17]
स्वलंकृताः च पुरुषा ब्राह्मणान् पर्यवेषयन् |
उपासन्ते च तान् अन्ये सुमृष्ट मणि कुण्डलाः || १-१४-१८
Well-decorated men have served food to Brahmans, while others who wore gem-studded and lustrous earrings have helped them. [1-14-18]
कर्मान्तरे तदा विप्रा हेतुवादान् बहूनपि |
प्राहुः सुवाग्मिनो धीराः परस्पर जिगीषया || १-१४-१९
Those eminent Brahmans that are good debaters have debated many intellectual debates to defeat each other, during the gap-periods of ritual works. [1-14-19]
दिवसे दिवसे तत्र संस्तरे कुशला द्विजाः |
सर्व कर्माणि चक्रुः ते यथा शास्त्रं प्रचोदिताः || १-१४-२०
Day by day those expert Brahmans have performed all ritual works as encouraged by Vashishta, and others and as contained in scriptures. [1-14-20]
न अषडङ्ग वित् अत्र आसीत् न अव्रतो न अबहुश्रुतः |
सदस्यः तस्य वै राज्ञो न अवाद कुशला द्विजाः || १-१४-२१
There is no scholar without the knowledge of the six branches of Vedas, none who is an unavowed scholar, none who heard learnt less scriptures, and none among the members of the ritual of that king Dasharatha is an inexpert in debating, thus all are scholarly Brahmans. [1-14-21]
प्राप्ते यूपः उच्छ्रये तस्मिन् षड् बैल्वाः खादिराः तथा |
तावन्तो बिल्व सहिताः पर्णिनः च तथा अपरे || १-१४-२२
श्लेष्मातकमयः दिष्टो देवदारुमयः तथा |
द्वावेव तत्र विहितौ बाहु व्यस्त परिग्रहौ || १-१४-२३
When the time came to stake wooden ritual posts, six posts of bilwa wood, six posts of khadira wood, and further the same number of posts of parnina wood are staked. One post of sleshmaataka wood and two of devadaaru wood as stipulated are staked. Then the distance between each post is maintained at the length of extended arms. [1-14-22,23]
कारिताः सर्व एवैते शास्त्रज्ञैः यज्ञकोविदैः |
शोभाअर्थम् तस्य यज्ञस्य कांचन अलंकृत अभवन् || १-१४-२४
All of those the posts are made by the authorities on scriptures and ritual scholars, and they are gold-pleated and decorated for the purpose of elegance to that ritual. [1-14-24]
एक विंशति यूपाः ते एक विंशत् अरत्नयः |
वासोभिः एक विंशद्भिः एकैकम् समलंकृताः || १-१४-२५
They are altogether twenty-one posts, each post is twenty-one cubits in height, and each is decoratively clothed with each cloth. [1-14-25]
विन्यस्ता विधिवत् सर्वे शिल्पिभिः सुकृता दृढाः |
अष्ट आस्रयः सर्व एव श्लक्ष्ण रूप समन्विताः || १-१४-२६
Carpenters have carved all the posts well, and built them strongly with octahedral surfaces that are smoothened, and thereby they are implanted procedurally. [1-14-26]
आच्छादिताः ते वासोभिः पुष्पैः गन्धैः च पूजिताः |
सप्त ऋषयो दीप्तिमन्तो विराजन्ते यथा दिवि || १-१४-२७
Those posts draped in cloths and worshipped with flowers and perfumery are irradiant, and they shone forth like the constellation of Seven Sages in the sky. [1-14-27]
इष्टकाः च यथा न्यायम् कारिताः च प्रमाणतः |
चितोऽग्निः ब्राह्मणैः तत्र कुशलैः शिप्लकर्मणि || १-१४-२८
The bricks for Altar of Fire are well designed and made according to rules and standard measurements. The Brahmans who are experts in the architecture of laying Fire Altar, by calculating the ritual field with a one-ply rope and decide where and how the that shall be, the Altar of Fire is layered well with bricks in that ritual. [1-14-28]
सचित्यो राज सिंहस्य संचितः कुशलैः द्विजैः |
गरुडो रुक्मपक्षो वै त्रिगुणो अष्टा दशात्मकः || १-१४-२९
That Altar of Fire of that King, the Lion, is layered by expert Brahmans in the shape of an eagle with golden wings, with its size being three folds bigger than the altars of other rituals, thus it has eighteen separators, and fire is laid on it. [1-14-29]
नियुक्ताः तत्र पशवः तत् तत् उद्दिश्य दैवतम् |
उरगाः पक्षिणः च एव यथा शास्त्रम् प्रचोदिताः || १-१४-३०
In that ritual animals, serpents and birds designated to such and such deities are readied according to the scriptural directives. [1-14-30]
शामित्रे तु हयः तत्र तथा जलचराः च ये |
ऋषिभिः सर्वम् एवै तन् नियुक्तम् शास्त्रतः तदा || १-१४-३१
The sages have arranged those animals that are to be there in animal sacrifices, like horse and other aquatic animals, in that ritual according to scriptures. [1-14-31]
पशूनाम् त्रिशतम् तत्र यूपेषु नियतम् तदा |
अश्व रत्नः उत्तमम् तस्य राज्ञो दशरथस्य ह || १-१४-३२
Three hundred animals are tied to the ritual posts, along with the gemlike best ritual horse of that King Dasharatha. [1-14-32]
कौसल्या तम् हयम् तत्र परिचर्य समंततः |
कृपाणैः विशशासः एनम् त्रिभिः परमया मुदा || १-१४-३३
With great delight coming on her Queen Kausalya reverently made circumambulations to the horse, and symbolically killed the horse with three knives. [1-14-33]
पतत्रिणा तदा सार्धम् सुस्थितेन च चेतसा |
अवसत् रजनीम् एकाम् कौसल्या धर्म कांयया || १-१४-३४
Queen Kausalya desiring the results of ritual disconcertedly resided one night with that horse that flew away like a bird. [1-14-34]
होता अध्वर्युः तथ उद्गाता हस्तेन समयोजयन् |
महिष्या परिवृत्त्या अथ वावाताम् अपराम् तथा || १-१४-३५
Thus, the officiating priests of the ritual, namely hota, adhwaryu and udgaata have received in their hand the Crowned Queen, the neglected wife, and a concubine of the king, next as a symbolic donation in the ritual by the performer, the king. [1-14-35]
पतत्रिणः तस्य वपाम् उद्धृत्य नियतेइन्द्रियः |
ऋत्विक् परम संपन्नः श्रपयामास शास्त्रतः || १-१४-३६
Then the priest, one with controlled senses and rich in scriptural wealth, took up the omentum [fat] of the horse and cooked it as per scriptures while dropping into the altar of fire to bake as a food to the celestials. [1-14-36]
धूम गन्धम् वपायाः तु जिघ्रति स्म नराधिपः |
यथा कालम् यथा न्यायम् निर्णुदन् पापम् आत्मनः || १-१४-३७
The king Dasharatha smelt the smell of smoke as per time and procedure to cleanse his own sin. [1-14-37]
हयस्य यानि च अंगानि तानि सर्वाणि ब्राह्मणाः |
अग्नौ प्रास्यन्ति विधिवत् समस्ताः षोडश ऋत्विजः || १-१४-३८
Those remaining body parts that horse are there, the sixteen officiating priests have procedurally oblated all of them into fire. [1-14-38]
प्लक्ष शाखासु यज्ञानाम् अन्येषाम् क्रियते हविः |
अश्व मेधस्य यज्ञस्य वैतसो भागः इष्यते || १-१४-३९
In other rituals the oblations will be offered into sacrificial fire with spoon-like sticks of plaksha tree, but in Horse-sacrifice ritual they are offered through the vetasa creeper, a rattan plant, cane. [1-14-39]
त्र्यहोऽश्व मेधः संख्यातः कल्प सूत्रेण ब्राह्मणैः |
चतुष्टोमम् अहः तस्य प्रथमम् परिकल्पितम् || १-१४-४०
The Horse Ritual is to be performed for three days as laid down in kalpa sutra-s, the rules governing such rituals, and by brahmaNa-s, the penultimate parts of Veda-s, and the one performed on the first day is called chatuhSToma ritual. [1-14-40]
उक्थ्यम् द्वितीयम् संख्यातम् अतिरात्रम् तथोत्तरम् |
कारिताः तत्र बहवो विहिताः शास्त्र दर्शनात् || १-१४-४१
The ritual on the second day is called ukthyam , and the next one performed on third day is called atiraatra. These apart many of the preordained rituals are performed there in that ritual as envisaged in scriptures. [1-14-41]
ज्योतिष्टोम आयुषी च एवम् अतिरात्रौ विनिर्मितौ |
अभिजित् विश्वजित् च एवम् अप्तोर्यामो महाक्रतुः || १-१४-४२
The rituals called jyothiSToma, aayuSi, and atiraatra rituals are performed. And also rituals of great kind like abhijit, vishwajit, aptoryaama are performed. [1-14-42]
प्राचीम् होत्रे ददौ राजा दिशम् स्वकुल वर्धनः
अध्वर्यवे प्रतीचीम् तु ब्रह्मणे दक्षिणाम् दिशम् || १-१४-४३
उद्गात्रे च तथा उदीचीम् दक्षिणैएषा विनिर्मिता |
अश्वमेधे महायज्ञे स्वयंभु विहिते पुरा || १-१४-४४
As the promoter of his own dynasty that king Dasharatha donated eastern side to hota, western to adhvaryu, and southern to brahma. And to udgaata northern side is given in donation. These were the donations stipulated in that great ritual, ashwamedha, by the Self-Created Brahma from earlier times. [1-14-44,43]
क्रतुं समाप्य तु तदा न्यायतः पुरुषर्षभः |
ऋत्विग्भ्यो हि ददौ राजा धराम् ताम् कुलवर्धनः || १-१४-४५
On completing the ritual thus that best man Dasharatha justifiably donated those lands to the officiating priests, called ritwiks, to promote of his dynasty. [1-14-45]
एवम् दत्त्वा प्रहृष्टो अभूत् श्रीमान् इक्ष्वाकु नन्दन |
ऋत्विजः तु अब्रुवन् सर्वे राजानम् गत किल्बिषम् || १-१४-४६
Thus on giving away the vast expanses of his kingdom he that glorious one born in Ikshvaku dynasty is gladdened, but all the officiating priests said to the king who by now is rid of his sins. [1-14-46]
भवान् एव महीम् कृत्स्नाम् एको रक्षितुम् अर्हति |
न भूंया कार्यम् अस्माकम् न हि शक्ताः स्म पालने || १-१४-४७
"You alone are capable to protect the earth in its entirety, and there is no use for us with these lands, and we are not capable to rule it, either." Thus the priests are addressing the king. [1-14-47]
रताः स्वाध्याय करणे वयम् नित्यम् हि भूमिप |
निष्क्रयम् किंचित् एव इह प्रयच्छतु भवान् इति || १-१४-४८
"We are always preoccupied with self-study and teaching of scriptures, oh, king, thus you may give us something else in barter, any modest thing. " [1-14-48]
मणि रत्नम् सुवर्णम् वा गावो यद् वा समुद्यतम् |
तत् प्रयच्छ नरश्रेष्ट धरण्या न प्रयोजनम् || १-१४-४९
"Let best gems, gold, or cows or anything else that is available you may give us, what is the use of these vast expanses to us." So said the scholars. [1-14-49]
एवम् उक्तो नरपतिः ब्राह्मणैः वेद पारगैः |
गवाम् शत सहस्राणि दश तेभ्यो ददौ नृपः || १-१४-५०
दश कोटि सुवर्णस्य रजतस्य चतुर् गुणम् |
The king Dasharatha, the lord of people, thus requested by the scholarly Vedic Brahmans gave them millions of cows, ten of ten million gold coins, and the silver four times thereof. [1-14-50, 51a]
ऋत्विजः च ततः सर्वे प्रददुः सहिता वसु || १-१४-५१
ऋष्यशृन्गाय मुनये वसिष्ठाय च धीमते |
Then all those officiating priests collectively gave that wealth to sage Rishyasringa and to the enlightened sage Vashishta. [1-14-51b, 52a]
ततः ते न्यायतः कृत्वा प्रविभागम् द्विजोत्तमाः || १-१४-५२
सुप्रीत मनसः सर्वे प्रत्यूचुः मुदिता भृशम् |
Then all of those Brahmans are well satisfied at heart and distributed among themselves the wealth passed on by Rishyasringa and Vashishta, and then they said, "We are highly gladdened." [1-14-52a, 53a]
ततः प्रसर्पकेभ्यस्तु हिरण्यम् सुसमाहितः || १-१४-५३
जांबूनदम् कोओटि संख्यम् ब्राह्मणेभ्यो ददौ तदा |
Then to the other Brahmans who arrived there to see the ritual, King Dasharatha sincerly donated ten million gold coins. [1-14-53b, 54a]
दरिद्राय द्विजाय अथ हस्त आभरणम् उत्तमम् || १-१४-५४
कस्मै चित् याचमानाय ददौ राघव नंदनः |
That descendent of Raghava dynasty gave an excellent hand ornament to someone who is an impoverished Brahman and who is beseeching. [1-14-54a, 55a]
ततः प्रीतेषु विधिवत् द्विजेषु द्विज वत्सलः || १-१४-५५
प्रणामम् अकरोत् तेषाम् हर्ष व्याकुलित इन्द्रियः |
While those Brahmans are becoming happy then that king and the patron of Brahmans venerated them dutifully with his senses fluttering with happiness. [1-14-55b, 56a]
तस्य आशिषोऽथ विविधा ब्राह्मणैः समुदाहृताः || १-१४-५६
उदारस्य नृवीरस्य धरण्याम् पतितस्य च |
Then that benevolent and valiant King Dasharatha prostrated on ground venerating the Brahmans, and the Brahmans too chanted various blessing hymns on that prostrating king. [1-14-56b, 57a]
ततः प्रीत मना रजाअ प्राप्य यज्ञम् अनुत्तमम् || १-१४-५७
पाप अपहम् स्वर् नयनम् दुस्तरम् पार्थिवर्षभैः |
Then that king is gladdened at heart for the successful achievement of the completion of that excellent ritual that removes sin and that leads to heaven as well, and that which cannot be undertaken by many of the best kings. [1-14-57b, 58a]
ततोऽब्रवीत् ऋश्य्शृंगम् राजा दशरथः तदा || १-१४-५८
कुलस्य वर्धनम् त्वम् तु कर्तुम् अर्हसि सुव्रत |
Thereafter king Dasharatha said to sage Rishyasringa thus, "oh, sage with best vows, you alone are eligible to perform the ritual for the expansion of my dynasty." [1-14-58b, 59a]
तथेति च स राजानम् उवाच द्विजसत्तमः |
भविष्यन्ति सुता राजन् चत्वारः ते कुलोद्वहाः || १-१४-५९
That best Brahman Rishyasringa saying yes to the proposal, said this to king Dasharatha, "oh, king, there will be four sons to you that ennoble your dynasty. [1-14-59b, c]
स तस्य वाक्यम् मधुरम् निशंय
प्रणंय तस्मै प्रयतो नृपेन्द्र |
जगाम हर्षम् परमम् महात्मा
तम् ऋष्यश्ऱ्^ङ्गम् पुनरपि उवाच || १-१४-६०
On hearing the sweet words of Sage Rishyasringa, he that king of kings Dasharatha went into a state of ecstasy and venerating that great soul, Rishyasringa, again said this to him. [1-14-60]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदिकाव्ये बाल काण्डे चतुर्दशः सर्गः ||