On the advice of his minister Sumantra, Dasharatha proceeds to Anga kingdom to fetch Sage Rishyasringa and his wife Shanta to his capital Ayodhya.
भूय एव हि राजेन्द्र शृणु मे वचनम् हितम् |
यथा स देवप्रवरः कथयामास बुद्धिमान् || १-११-१
yathaa sa devapravaraH kathayaamaasa buddhimaan || 1-11-1
Minister Sumantra continued, “oh, the great king, I will further narrate all that has been said by Sanat Kumara, the best one among all deities, kindly listen to these favourable words.” [1-11-1.]
Sage Sanat Kumara belongs to the bygone era of Ikshvaku dynasty. Please refer to the account regarding the era-system if ancient India at endnote. .
इक्ष्वाकूणाम् कुले जातो भविष्यति सुधार्मिकः |
नाम्ना दशरथो राजा श्रीमान् सत्य प्रतिश्रवः || १-११-२
naamnaa dasharatho raajaa shriimaan satya pratishravaH || 1-11-2
“A king named Dasharatha will be born into Ikshwaku dynasty who will be very virtuous, resplendent and truthful one to his vow.” [Said Sanat Kumara, the Sage.] [1-11-2].
अङ्ग राजेन सख्यम् च तस्य राज्ञो भविष्यति |
कन्या च अस्य महाभागा शांता नाम भविष्यति || १-११-३
kanyaa ca asya mahaabhaagaa shaaMtaa naama bhaviShyati || 1-11-3
“King Dasharatha will befriend the king of Anga and the king of Anga will beget a fortunate girl named Shanta. [1-11-3]
Shanta is said to be the daughter of Dasharatha and given to Romapada in adoption, and Rishyasringa marries her alone. This is j~n Sumantra says to Dasharatha at 1-9-19.
पुत्रस्तुः अङ्गस्य राज्ञः तु रोमपाद इति श्रुतः |
तम् स राजा दशरथो गमिष्यति महायशाः || १-११-४
The son of the king of Anga, the earlier king of Anga kingdom, will be known as Romapada, or also know as Chitraratha, and the highly renowned king Dasharatha approaches Romapada. [1-11-4].
अनपत्योऽस्मि धर्मात्मन् शांता भर्ता मम क्रतुम् |
आहरेत त्वया आज्ञप्तः संतानार्थम् कुलस्य च || १-११-५
Then king Dasharatha says to king of Anga “oh, righteous one, I am childless and hence I intend to perform a Vedic ritual. Let the husband of your daughter Shanta, Sage Rishyasringa, preside over that Vedic ritual at you behest, for the sake of progeny in my dynasty. [1-11-5] .
श्रुत्वा राज्ञोऽथ तत् वाक्यम् मनसा स विचिंत्य च |
प्रदास्यते पुत्रवन्तम् शांता भर्तारम् आत्मवान् || १-११-६
“On hearing those words of king Dasharatha that benevolent soul Romapada, the king of Anga, considers heartily and agrees to send the one who endows progeny by rituals, namely Sage Rishyasringa his son-in-law. [1-11-6]
The words pradaasyate putravantam are read in some translations as ‘Rishyasringa who already has a son…’ while others read it as ‘a sage who endows progeny by putra kameSTi ritual…’ But in Maha Bharata father Vibhandaka says to Rishyasringa to comeback after begetting a son, which Rishyasringa did not concede. So taking this some say Rishyasringa has a son. But it is generally accepted that putravantam as aahitaagni, Vedic ritualist of eminence, according to: jaata putraH kR^ishNa kesho agniin adhiita…according to shruti scripture. .
प्रतिगृह्यम् च तम् विप्रम् स राजा विगत ज्वरः |
आहरिष्यति तम् यज्ञम् प्रहृष्टेन अंतरात्मना || १-११-७
aahariShyati tam yaj~nam prahR^iShTena aMtaraatmanaa || 1-11-7
“On receiving that Brahman, Sage Rishyasringa, at the behest of his father-in-law, that king Dasharatha gets rid of his febrile condition and will accomplish that Vedic ritual, feeling very felicitous in the depths of his heart. [1-11-7] .
तम् च राजा दशरथो यशस् कामः कृतांलिः |
ऋष्यशृङ्गम् द्विज श्रेष्ठम् वरयिष्यति धर्मवित् || १-११-८
यज्ञार्थम् प्रसवार्थम् च स्वर्गार्थम् च नरेश्वरः |
लभते च स तम् कामम् द्विज मुख्यात् विशांपतिः || १-११-९
yaj~naartham prasavaartham ca svargaartham ca nareshvaraH | labhate ca sa tam kaamam dvija mukhyaat vishaaMpatiH || 1-11-9
“That king, the desirer of glory, the knower of virtue and the lord of people, namely Dasharatha will be requesting that best Brahman Rishyasringa with his palms adjoined in supplication for the conduct of ritual, for progeny and even for his heavenly abodes, and that king of all the quarters of earth will accomplish those desires from that eminent Brahman Rishyasringa. [1-11-8,9]
Heavenly abodes are dependent on begetting sons: aputrasya gatir naasti svargo naivaca naivaca There is no way out [in other worlds] for those without sons… shruti scripture. Hence the request of Dasharatha is that way.
पुत्राः च अस्य भविष्यन्ति चत्वारो अमित विक्रमाः |
वंश प्रतिष्ठानकराः सर्व बूतेषु विश्रुताः || १-११-१०
“There will be four sons to king Dasharatha that abound with valour, enrich dynasty’s reputation and they will be renowned among all beings.” Thus said Sage Sanat Kumara to other sages. [1-11-10]
‘Sons and Paradise are intimately connected in Indian belief. A man desires above every thing to have a son to perpetuate his race, and to assist with sacrifices and funeral rites to make him worthy to obtain a lofty seat in heaven or to preserve that which he has already obtained.’ Gorresio via Ralph T. H. Griffith [1870-1874].
एवम् स देव प्रवरः पूर्वम् कथितवान् कथाम् |
सनत्कुमारो भगवान् पुरा देवयुगे प्रभुः || १-११-११
“This way he that ancient and godly Sage Sanatkumaara, who is also Brahma’s brain-child like Narada, said this legend in earlier Divine Era, called krita yuga…” thus Sumantra continued his narration to Dasharatha. [1-11-11]
Comment: Please refer endnote for yuga / era classification.
स त्वम् पुरुष शार्दूल समानय सुसत्कृतम् |
स्वयम् एव महाराज गत्वा स बल वाहनः || १-११-१२
” Oh, great king the manly-tiger, he that Sage Rishyasringa be led here on your proceeding in person with staff and transport and on adoring him well personally.” Thus Sumantra concluded his narration. [1-11-12].
सुमंत्रस्य वचः श्रुत्वा हृष्टो दशरथोऽभवत् |
अनुमान्य वसिष्ठम् च सूतवाक्यम् निशांय च || १-११-१३
स अन्तःपुरः सह अमात्यः प्रययौ यत्र स द्विजः |
sa antaHpuraH saha amaatyaH prayayau yatra sa dvijaH |
On hearing the word of advise from charioteer, Dasharatha became gladsome and made Sumantra to reiterate to that sage also, for his approval, then Dasharatha travelled to the place where that Brahman Rishyasringa is, along with the inmates of palace-chambers and ministers too. [1-11-13, 14a]
While the chief priest Vashishta is officiator of all rituals no king can invite another priest to perform something without the consent of the officiating priest. Hence the consent of Vasishta is obtained, after asking Sumantra to reiterate j~n all was said, to sage Vashishta also. anena praaciina R^itvik abhyanuj~nanena na eva anya aaneyaH — dharmaakuutam.
वनानि सरितः च एव व्यतिक्रंय शनैः शनैः || १-११-१४
अभिचक्राम तम् देशम् यत्र वै मुनिपुंगवः |
abhicakraama tam desham yatra vai munipuMgavaH |
On crossing over the rivers and forests slowly and steadily Dasharatha entered that kingdom where that eminent Brahman is there. [1-11-14b, 15a] .
आसाद्य तम् द्विज श्रेष्ठम् रोमपाद समीपगम् || १-११-१५
ऋषिपुत्रम् ददर्श अथो दीप्यमानम् इव अनलम् |
R^iShiputram dadarsha atho diipyamaanam iva analam |
Then Dasharatha saw that best Brahman who he is nearby king Romapada, andwho is resplendent like ritual fire. [1-11-15b, 16a].
ततो राजा यथा योग्यम् पूजाम् चक्रे विशेषतः || १-११-१६
सखित्वात् तस्य वै राज्ञः प्रहृष्टेन अंतरात्मना |
sakhitvaat tasya vai raaj~naH prahR^iShTena aMtaraatmanaa |
Then king Romapada gladdened at heart of hearts paid excellent respects to king Dasharatha procedurally and in view of their friendship.[1-11-16b, 17a].
रोमपादेन च आख्यातम् ऋषिपुत्राय धीमते || १-११-१७
सख्यम् संबन्धकम् चैव तदा तम् प्रत्यपूजयत् |
sakhyam saMbandhakam caiva tadaa tam pratyapuujayat |
Then Romapada informed the wise sage Rishyasringa about the friendship and relation with Dasharatha, and then that sage worshipped king Dasharatha in his return. [1-11-17b, 18a].
एवम् सुसत्कृतः तेन सहोषित्वा नरर्षभः || १-११-१८
सप्ताष्ट दिवसान् राजा राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् |
saptaaShTa divasaan raajaa raajaanam idam abraviit |
Thus well received by king Romapada, king Dasharatha spent seven to eight days with him, and then spoke this to king Romapada. [1-11-18b, 19a].
शांता तव सुता राजन् सह भर्त्रा विशाम् पते || १-११-१९
मदीयम् नगरम् यातु कार्यम् हि महदुद्यतम् |
madiiyam nagaram yaatu kaaryam hi mahadudyatam |
“Oh, lord of subjects, your daughter Princess Shanta may go over my city Ayodhya along with her husband Rishyasringa, as oh, king, I am contemplating to perform a great Vedic ritual, indeed.” So said Dasharatha to Romapada. [1-11-19b, 20a].
तथा इति राजा संश्रुत्य गमनम् तस्य धीमतः || १-११-२०
उवाच वचनम् विप्रम् गच्छ त्वम् सह भार्यया |
uvaaca vacanam vipram gacCha tvam saha bhaaryayaa |
“So it shall be” said king Romapada agreeing to their travel with king Dasharatha, and addressed these words to that Brahman sage and his son-in-law, Sage Rishyasringa “You may proceed along with your wife.” [1-11-20b, 21a]
Here Ralph T. H. Griffith’s translation [1870-1874] has that Shanta is the daughter of Dasharatha: ‘This king,’ he said, ‘from days of old / A well beloved friend I hold. / To me this pearl of dames he gave / From childless woe mine age to save, / The daughter whom he loved so much, / Moved by compassion’s gentle touch. / In him thy S’anta’s father see: / As I am even so is he….
ऋषिपुत्रः प्रतिश्रुत्य तथा इति आहः नृपम् तदा || १-११-२१
स नृपेण अभ्यनुज्ञातः प्रययौ सह भार्यया |
sa nR^ipeNa abhyanuj~naataH prayayau saha bhaaryayaa |
Then Rishyasringa agreed and replied to the king Romapada “So it will be done” and then having been permitted by the king he set forth along with his wife. [1-11-21b, 22a].
ताव अन्योन्य अंजलिम् कृत्वा स्नेहात् संश्लिष्य च उरसा || १-११-२२
ननंदतुः दशरथो रोमपादः च वीर्यवान् |
nanaMdatuH dasharatho romapaadaH ca viiryavaan |
Those valiant kings greeted each other with thanksgiving palm-fold, and in friendship they embraced each other and gladdened. [1-11-22b, 23a].
ततः सुहृदम् आपृच्छ्य प्रस्थितो रघुनन्दनः || १-११-२३
पौरेषु प्रेषयामास दूतान् वै शीघ्र गामिनः |
paureShu preShayaamaasa duutaan vai shiighra gaaminaH |
Then king Dasharatha who set forth to Ayodhya bade farewell to his friend king Romapada, and he firstly sent quick-footed messengers to Ayodhya to inform his citizens about his arrival along with Sage Rishyasringa. [1-11-23b, 24a].
क्रियताम् नगरम् सर्वम् क्षिप्रम् एव स्वलंकृतम् || १-११-२४
धूपितम् सिक्त सम्मृष्टम् पताकाभिः अलंकृतम् |
dhuupitam sikta sammR^iShTam pataakaabhiH alaMkR^itam |
“Let the entire city of Ayodhya be well decorated very quickly, let her streets be sprinkled with water and then swept, let the flags of welcome be hoisted..” Thus, king Dasharatha ordered messengers that are sent beforehand. [1-11-24b, 25a].
ततः प्रहृष्टाः पौराः ते श्रुत्वा राजानम् आगतम् || १-११-२५
तथा चक्रुः च तत् सर्वम् राज्ञा यत् प्रेषितम् तदा |
tathaa cakruH cha tat sarvam raaj~naa yat preShitam tadaa |
Then on hearing the arrival of their king all the citizens felt very happy and readily performed all those works exactly as ordered by their king. [1-11-25b, 26a].
ततः स्वलंकृतम् राजा नगरम् प्रविवेश ह || १-११-२६
शङ्ख दुन्दुभि निह्रार्दैः पुरस्कृत्वा द्विजर्षभम् |
sha~Nkha dundubhi nihraa.rdaiH puraskR^itvaa dvijarShabham |
Then king Dasharatha keeping Rishyasringa before him entered the well-decorated city Ayodhya amidst the full sounding of conch shells and drumbeats. [1-11-26b, 27a].
ततः प्रमुदिताः सर्वे दृष्ट्वा तम् नागरा द्विजम् || १-११-२७
प्रवेश्यमानम् सत्कृत्य नरेन्द्रेण इन्द्र कर्मणा |
यथा दिवि सुरेन्द्रेण सहस्राक्षेण काश्यपम् || १-११-२८
praveshyamaanam satkR^itya narendreNa indra karmaNaa |
yathaa divi surendreNa sahasraaksheNa kaashyapam || 1-11-28
Then all the citizens are very happy on seeing that Brahman, Sage Rishyasringa, who is well honoured and being entered into the city by their king Dasharatha, as has been done once by Indra when he entered sage Kashyapa’s son Vamana, the dwarfish boy and the incarnation of Vishnu, into heavens, and thus those citizens felt that their human lord Dasharatha vies with divine lord Indra. [1-11-27b, 28]
The simile of Indra to king Dasharatha is in two ways. Dasharatha ruled kingdom like Indra who rules Heavens. The word Indra karmaNa also refers to the deeds of Dasharatha, in helping the gods’ forces combating the demonic forces. Thus the deeds performed by Dasharatha are like those of Indra’s. Here Dasharatha is bringing Sage Rishyasringa to Ayodhya. Earlier Indra led Vamana, the dwarf-boy to heavens. Vamana is the incarnation of Vishnu in early ages and after Vamana suppressed Bali, the Emperor to netherworlds, Indra took Vamana to heavens. Thus Dasharatha is like Indra on earth, both by his virtue and deed. Incidentally, Vamana i.e., Vishnu, is the son-incarnate to Sage Kaashyapa, while sage Rishyasringa is the grandson of the same Kaashyapa. Thus Sage Kaashyapa is instrumental to these two incarnations. Through the divine grace of Sage Rishyasringa, the same Vishnu is going to take birth as Rama, while Sage Kashyapa is a grandparent of Rama in this era, and while he alone was Vishnu’s father when Vishnu incarnated as Dwarf boy Vamana..
अन्तःपुरम् प्रवेश्य एनम् पूजाम् कृत्वा च शास्त्रतः |
कृतकृत्यम् तदा आत्मानम् मेने तस्य उपवाहनात् || १-११-२९
kR^itakR^ityam tadaa aatmaanam mene tasya upavaahanaat || 1-11-29
Dasharatha entered the sage into the palace chambers and worshipped him there as ordained in the scriptures, and in bringing the Sage here into his country, king Dasharatha believed that his desired is fulfilled. [1-11-29].
अन्तःपुराणि सर्वाणि शांताम् दृष्ट्वा तथा आगताम् |
सह भर्त्रा विशालाक्षीम् प्रीत्या आनंदम् उपागमन् || १-११-३०
saha bhartraa vishaalaakShiim priityaa aanaMdam upaagaman || 1-11-30
On seeing her, the broad-eyed Shanta, who came there along with her husband all the ladies of palace derived happiness for the homecoming of their own daughter, as it were. [1-11-30].
पूज्यमाना तु ताभिः सा राज्ञा च एव विशेषतः |
उवास तत्र सुखिता कन्चित् कालम् सह द्विजा || १-११-३१
uvaasa tatra sukhitaa kancit kaalam saha dvijaa || 1-11-31
Shanta thus being admired by all of them, and in an exceptional manner by Dasharatha, comfortably resided there along with her husband, the Vedic scholar Rishyasringa. [1-11-31]
The Riwik is not just a reciter of Veda-s but more a director or conductor of whole orchestration of the Vedic ritual, which involves lots of rules, in reciting hymns, in performing deeds and all in their exactness. The whole lots of works that need be performed have the order of precedence like prime, auxiliary or adjunctive in their ordinance. A Ritwik is the elated scholar who keeps track of these activities while other scholars recite hymns as directed by these Ritwik-s. Hence, Ritwik-hood is the highest .