Sumantra, the minister continues his narration to his king Dasharatha, about Rishyashringa’s arrival at Anga kingdom of King Romapaada and his marriage with Princess Santha, the daughter of Romapada.
सुमंत्रः चोदितो राज्ञा प्रोवाच इदम् वचः तदा |
यथा ऋष्यशृङ्गः तु आनीतो येन उपायेन मंत्रिभिः
तन्मे निगदितम् सर्वम् शृणु मे मंत्रिभिः सह || १-१०-१
yathaa R^iShyashR^i~NgaH tu aaniito yena upaayena maMtribhiH
tanme nigaditam sarvam shR^iNu me maMtribhiH saha || 1-10-1
Sumantra thus motivated by King Dasharatha, said these words to king “Oh! King, how and with which idea Sage Rishyasringa is brought by the ministers of Romapada, all that will be spoken… that may please be listened from me along with ministers… [1-10-1] .
रोमपादम् उवाच इदम् सह अमात्यः पुरोहितः |
उपायो निरपायो अयम् अस्माभिः अभिचिन्तितः || १-१०-२
upaayo nirapaayo ayam asmaabhiH abhicintitaH || 1-10-2
“The ministers along with clergyman have spoken this way to King Romapaada, “this is a non-harmful pan well thought over by us… [1-10-2] .
ऋष्यशृङ्गो वनचरः तपः स्वाध्याय संयुतः |
अनभिज्ञः तु नारीणाम् विषयाणाम् सुखस्य च || १-१०-३
anabhij~naH tu naariiNaam viShayaaNaam sukhasya ca || 1-10-3
“Rishyasringa is a forest-dweller absorbed in ascesis and self-study of Vedic scriptures, and he is not aware of women, or of worldly-matters or of even worldly-pleasures…[1-10-3] .
इन्द्रियार्थैः अभिमतैः नरचित्त प्रमाथिभि |
पुरम् आनाययिष्यामः क्षिप्रम् च अध्यवसीयताम् ||१-१०-४
puram aanaayayiShyaamaH kShipram ca adhyavasiiyataam ||1-10-4
“With much desired sense-pleasing objects that will be disquieting the minds of men, we wish bring him to the city… Let it be decided quickly… [1-10-4] .
गणिकाः तत्र गच्छन्तु रूपवत्यः स्वलंकृताः |
प्रलोभ्य विविध उपायैः आनेष्यन्ति इह सत्कृताः || १-१०-५
pralobhya vividha upaayaiH aaneShyanti iha satkR^itaaH || 1-10-5
“Beautiful and well decorated courtesans will go there to bring him hither by tempting with many a feint, and let the courtesans be given ample gifts… [1-10-5] .
श्रुत्वा तथा इति राजा च प्रत्युवाच पुरोहितम् |
पुरोहितो मंत्रिणः च तथा चक्रुः च ते तथा || १-१०-६
purohito maMtriNaH ca tathaa cakruH ca te tathaa || 1-10-6
“Hearing that the King replied the priest, “Let it be so…” and then the priests and ministers have carried out the plan that way… [1-10-6] .
वारमुख्याः तु तत् श्रुत्वा वनम् प्रविविशुः महत् |
आश्रमस्य अविदूरे अस्मिन् यत्नम् कुर्वन्ति दर्शने || १-१०-७
ऋषेः पुत्रस्य धीरस्य नित्यम् आश्रम वासिनः |
aashramasya aviduure asmin yatnam kurvanti da.rshane || 1-10-7
R^iSheH putrasya dhIrasya nityam aashrama vaasinaH |
“On hearing that order of the king those best courtesans have entered that great forest, and they camped not very far from that hermitage, making all the trials for showing themselves off to a glance of that sage. [1-10-7]
Any dictionary would give the meaning of courtesan as ‘whore’ or as ‘court mistress’. But in Indian context, the courtesan is not to be taken in such a lowly way as just a prostitute or a whore. They belong to a caste/class of artists. Juxtaposed to the Four-Caste system there was a deva dasi Temple Dancers system, which is the artist’s class. On their receiving enough education and skills in the performing arts and as per their capabilities, they will be nominated as Court Dancers or Temple Dancers and the like. Ancients recognized sixty-four arts chatuSaSTi kalaa , which include right from music, dance, and drama, sculpture, painting etc., up to the art of thievery. Kings in their political or sovereign pursuits variedly used these Deva Daasis, the courtesans. .
पितुः स नित्य संतुष्टो न अतिचक्राम च आश्रमात् || १-१०-८
न तेन जन्म प्रभृति दृष्ट पूर्वम् तपस्विना |
स्त्री वा पुमान् वा यच्च अन्यत् सत्त्वम् नगर राष्ट्रजम् || १-१०-९
na tena janma prabhR^iti dR^iShTa puurvam tapasvinaa |
strii vaa pumaan vaa yaccha anyat sattvam nagara raaShTrajam || 1-10-9
“Always satisfied is sage Rishyasringa to be in hermitage, thus he never stirred out of that hermitage, and thus he has not seen any female, or a male, or even any others objects of pleasure, either of city or of countryside from the time of birth onwards… [1-10-8b, 9]
Rishyasringa is thus not aware of gender differentiation or exposed to any other object of pleasure, and thus his father conditioned him to achieve some supreme ritual ideal. .
ततः कदाचित् तम् देशम् आजगाम यदृच्छया |
विभाण्डक सुतः तत्र ताः च अपश्यत् वरांगनाः || १-१०-१०
vibhaaNDaka sutaH tatra taaH ca apashyat varaaMganaaH || 1-10-10
“Then at one time Rishyasringa casually arrived at that place, and hasseen those comely females. [1-10-10] .
ताः चित्र वेषाः प्रमदा गायंत्यो मधुर स्वरम् |
ऋषि पुत्रम् उपागंय सर्वा वचनम् अब्रुवन् || १-१०-११
R^iShi putram upaagaMya sarvaa vacanam abruvan || 1-10-11
“They the lustful women are amazingly attired and singing melodious tunes, all of them neared the sage’s son and spoke these words… [1-10-11] .
कः त्वम् किम् वर्तसे ब्रह्मन् ज्ञातुम् इच्छामहे वयम् |
एकः त्वम् विजने दूरे वने चरसि शंस नः || १-१०-१२
ekaH tvam vijane duure vane carasi shaMsa naH || 1-10-12
“Who you are? Why you move lonely in these deep and desolate forests, why you conduct yourself like this? Oh! Brahman, we are interested to know… please tell us…” [1-10-12] .
अदृष्ट रूपाः ताः तेन कांय रूपा वने स्त्रियः |
हार्दात् तस्य मतिः जाता अख्यातुम् पितरम् स्वकम् || १-१०-१३
haardaat tasya matiH jaataa akhyaatum pitaram svakam || 1-10-13
“Those women are in most desirable form and hitherto he has not seen such forms in that forest, hence a kind of friendship spouted, with which he is inclined to detail about his father… [1-10-13] .
पिता विभाण्डको अस्माकम् तस्य अहम् सुत औरसः |
ऋष्यशृङ्ग इति ख्यातम् नाम कर्म च मे भुवि || १-१०-१४
R^iShyashR^i~Nga iti khyaatam naama karma ca me bhuvi || 1-10-14
“My father is Sage Vibhandaka and I am his true descent son. I am known as Rishyasringa, by my name and by an event on my birth, and thus renowned on earth…”
The birth-event associated with his name is that he is born with a horn on the crown of his head. Thus he is named as Rishyasringa, i.e., R^iSi= the Sage; sR^i~Nga= horn; a Sage with a horn, and this here he recalls his birth time event. .
इह आश्रम पदोऽस्माकम् समीपे शुभ दर्शनाः |
करिष्ये वोऽत्र पूजाम् वै सर्वेषाम् विधि पूर्वकम् || १-१०-१५
kariShye vo.atra puujaam vai sarveShaam vidhi puurvakam || 1-10-15
“Our hermitage is here only, oh, august ones, I wish to perform scripturally worship to you all verily there…” thus said the sage to the courtesans. [1-10-15] .
ऋषि पुत्र वचः श्रुत्वा सर्वासाम् मतिरास वै |
तत् आश्रम पदम् द्रष्टुम् जग्मुः सर्वाः ततो अंगनः || १-१०-१६
tat aashrama padam draShTum jagmuH sarvaaH tato aMganaH || 1-10-16
“On hearing the words of sage’s son, all those courtesans are verily inclined to see the threshold of that hermitage, then all the women went to hermitage. [1-10-16] .
गतानाम् तु ततः पूजाम् ऋषि पुत्रः चकार ह |
इदम् अर्घ्यम् इदम् पाद्यम् इदम् मूलम् फलम् च नः || १-१०-१७
idam arghyam idam paadyam idam muulam phalam ca naH || 1-10-17
“On going there, then the Sage’s son performed worship saying “Here is our hand-wash, here is our feet-wash, here are our tuber fruits, here are the juicy fruits of ours… ” [1-10-17]
This portrays the exclusion of the sage’s son from the rest of the world by his father. He worshipped the courtesans, as he would worship some super-natural deities by saying the above words, which will usually be used in ritual worship of Hindu deities. He being a fruitarian has offered the courtesans the tuber fruits like sweet potatoes etc., which are ridiculous to urbanites, that too to the pleasure-taking courtesans. .
प्रतिगृह्य तु ताम् पूजाम् सर्वा एव समुत्सुकाः |
ऋषेर् भीताः च शीघ्रम् तु गमनाय मतिम् दधुः || १-१०-१८
R^iSher bhiitaaH ca shiighram tu gamanaaya matim dadhuH || 1-10-18
“All of them have received that kind of worship much enthusiastically, but dread at the arrival of the sage Vibhandaka, they quickly made-up their mind to make away from there. [1-10-18] .
अस्माकम् अपि मुख्यानि फलानि इमानि हे द्विज |
गृहाण विप्र भद्रम् ते भक्षयस्व च मा अचिरम् || १-१०-१९
gR^ihaaNa vipra bhadram te bhakShayasva ca maa aciram || 1-10-19
” ‘Take these important fruits of ours, oh, Brahman, you be safe, oh, holy one… eat them before long….’ Said courtesans to Rishyasringa.] [1-10-19] .
ततः ताः तम् समालिंग्य सर्वा हर्ष समन्विताः |
मोदकान् प्रददुः तस्मै भक्ष्याम् च विविधान् शुभान् || १-१०-२०
modakaan pradaduH tasmai bhakShyaam ca vividhaan shubhaan || 1-10-20
“Then all of the courtesans have embraced him and all of them with a kind of mirthfulness in the offing, presented sweet-balls and other varieties of best sweetmeats to him. [1-10-20] .
तानि च आस्वाद्य तेजस्वी फलानि इति स्म मन्यते |
अनास्वादित पूर्वाणि वने नित्य निवासिनाम् || १-१०-२१
anaasvaadita puurvaaNi vane nitya nivaasinaam || 1-10-21
“Having relished the sweets, that resplendent sage supposed them to be fruits only, for he did not taste sweets earlier, as he is always forest-bound. [1-10-21] .
आपृच्छ्य च तदा विप्रम् व्रत चर्याम् निवेद्य च |
गच्छन्ति स्म अपदेशात् ता भीताः तस्य पितुः स्त्रियः || १-१०-२२
gacChanti sma apadeshaat taa bhiitaaH tasya pituH striyaH || 1-10-22
“Taking leave of the Sage Rishyasringa on pretence that they also have to perform devotional duties, they the courtesans departed from there on the pretext of their daily worship, while they actually feared for the arrival of Rishyasringa’s father who may hurl curses on his arrival…] [1-10-22] .
गतासु तासु सर्वासु काश्यपस्य आत्मजो द्विजः |
अस्वस्थ हृदयः च आसीत् दुःखात् च परिवर्तते || १-१०-२३
asvastha hR^idayaH ca aasiit duHkhaat cha parivartate || 1-10-23
“After the departure of all them the courtesans, that Brahman Rishyasringa, the grandson of Sage Kaashyapa, is disturbed at heart and even behaved sadly… [1-10-23] .
ततोऽपरे द्युः तम् देशम् आजगाम स वीर्यवान् |
विभाण्डक सुतः श्रीमान् मनसा विचिन्तयन् मुहुः || १-१०-२४
मनोज्ञा यत्र ता दृष्टा वारमुख्याः स्वलंकृताः |
vibhaaNDaka sutaH shriimaan manasaa vichintayan muhuH || 1-10-24
manoj~naa yatra taa dR^iShTaa vaaramukhyaaH svalaMkR^itaaH |
“Then on the next day Rishyasringa, son of Vibhandaka and the prosperous sage with ascetic power has arrived at that place where he saw well-decorated and delightful courtesans recollecting in mind repetitively about them alone. [1-10-24, 25a] .
दृष्ट्वा एव च ततो विप्रम् आयान्तम् हृष्ट मानसाः || १-१०-२५
उपसृत्य ततः सर्वाः ताः तम् ऊचुर् इदम् वचः |
एहि आश्रम पदम् सौंय अस्माकम् इति च अब्रुवन् || १-१०-२६
upasR^itya tataH sarvaaH taaH tam uucur idam vacaH |
ehi aashrama padam sauMya asmaakam iti ca abruvan || 1-10-26
” Then on seeing the arrival of that Brahman, the courtesans felt happy at heart, and all of those courtesans on surrounding him said, “oh, gentle one, welcome to the threshold of our hermitage… [1-10-25b, 26] .
चित्राणि अत्र बहूनि स्युः मूलानि च फलनि च |
तत्र अपि एष विशेषेण विधिः हि भविता ध्रुवम् || १-१०-२७
tatra api eSha visheSheNa vidhiH hi bhavitaa dhruvam || 1-10-27
“There are excellent tuber fruits and fruits and there will be a very distinctive hospitality… definitely indeed…” So said the courtesans.[1-10-27] .
श्रुत्वा तु वचनम् तासाम् सर्वासाम् हृदयम् गमम् |
गमनाय मतिम् चक्रे तम् च निन्युः तथा स्त्रियः || १-१०-२८
gamanaaya matim cakre tam ca ninyuH tathaa striyaH || 1-10-28
“On hearing the heart-pleasing words of all those courtesans, Rishyasringa made up his mind to go over there, and then those women took him away [to their place in Anga Kingdom.] [1-10-28] .
तत्र च आनीयमाने तु विप्रे तस्मिन् महात्मनि |
ववर्ष सहसा देवो जगत् प्रह्लादयन् तदा || १-१०-२९
vavarSha sahasaa devo jagat prahlaadayan tadaa || 1-10-29
“While that great soul ad Brahman Rishyasringa while being brought into Anga Kingdom, then the Rain-god quickly showered rain in Anga kingdom to the delight of the world. [1-10-29] .
वर्षेण एव आगतम् विप्रम् तापसम् स नराधिपः |
प्रति उद्गंय मुनिम् प्रह्वः शिरसा च महीम् गतः || १-१०-३०
अर्घ्यम् च प्रददौ तस्मै न्यायतः सुसमाहितः |
वव्रे प्रसादम् विप्रेइन्द्रात् मा विप्रम् मन्युः आविशेत् || १-१०-३१
prati udgaMya munim prahvaH shirasaa ca mahiim gataH || 1-10-30
arghyam ca pradadau tasmai nyaayataH susamaahitaH |
vavre prasaadam vipreindraat maa vipram manyuH aavishet || 1-10-31
“The king Romapada personally proceeded towards that Brahman Rishyasring who is now entering Anga kingdom along with rains, made prostratiion before him, offered water customarily with dedication, and then the king Romapada besought beneficence of the best sage Rishyasringa to save him and his kingdom from the fury of his father Sage Vibhandaka, if sage Vibhandaka were to know about this pursuit of bringing Rishyasringa to Anga country, at a later time … [1-10-30, 31]
The salutation in prostration on the ground is usually performed before Gods or Deities, in reverence. It is called saaSTaanga praNaamam = sa aSTa anga praNaamam , i.e., saluting with eight body parts touching the ground, indicating his absolute surrender to the worshipped. .
अन्तःपुरम् प्रवेश्य अस्मै कन्याम् दत्त्वा यथाविधि |
शांताम् शान्तेन मनसा राजा हर्षम् अवाप सः || १-१०-३२
shaaMtaam shaantena manasaa raajaa harSham avaapa saH || 1-10-32
“On entering the palace princess Shanta is given to Rishyasringa in customary marriage, and then that King Romapada obtained rejoice with a peaceful mind. [1-10-32] .
एवम् स न्यवसत् तत्र सर्व कामैः सुपूजितः |
ऋष्यश्ऱ्^ङ्गो महातेजा शन्ताया सह भार्यया || १-१०-३३
R^iShyashR^~Ngo mahaatejaa shantaayaa saha bhaaryayaa || 1-10-33
” Thus that great fulgent Rishyasringa lived in Anga kingdom along with his wife Shanta, and with all his desires fulfilled and also well worshipped” [Thus Sumantra said the legend of Rishyasringa to King Dasharatha.] [1-10-33] .