King Dasharatha sends Rama and Lakshmana along with Sage Vishvamitra as requested by the sage. In their course of travel, Sage Vishvamitra imparts a secret knowledge to the young princes Rama and Lakshmana, called bala atibala vidya-s, by practicing which nothing can wither their vigour and vitality.
तथा वसिष्टे ब्रुवति राजा दशरथः स्वयम् |
प्रहृष्ट वदनो रामम् आजुहाव स लक्ष्मणम् || १-२२-१
prahR^iShTa vadano raamam aajuhaava sa lakShmaNam || 1-22-1
When Vashishta said that way king Dasharatha with an air of satisfaction personally fetched Rama along with Lakshmana. [1-22-1] .
कृतः स्वस्त्ययनम् मात्रा पित्रा दशरथेन च |
पुरोधसा वसिष्ठेन मङ्गलैः अभिमंत्रितम् || १-२२-२
स पुत्रम् मूर्ध्नि उपाघ्राय राजा दशरथः तदा |
ददौ कुशिक पुत्राय सुप्रीतेन अंतरात्मना || १-२२-३
purodhasaa vasiShThena ma~NgalaiH abhimaMtritam || 1-22-2
sa putram muurdhni upaaghraaya raajaa dasharathaH tadaa |
dadau kushika putraaya supriitena aMtaraatmanaa || 1-22-3
Rama is blessed for a propitious travel firstly by his mother Kausalya and then by his father king Dasharatha, thereupon the royal priest Vashishta rendered Vedic hymns blessing the journey, then Dasharatha well pleased in his heart of hearts kissed his son Rama on forehead and entrusted him to Vishvamitra. [1-22-2, 3]
The mother is the first one to bless sons. prathamam maatR^i kR^ita ma~Ngala pratipadanena itara kR^ita ma~Ngala apekShayaa maatR^i kR^ita ma~Ngalasya aavashyikataa vyatirekeNa anvayena ca suucitam
Duryodhana of Maha Bharata knows about this rule position and when he wanted to gain victory over Pandava-s he approaches his mother Gandhari, seeking her blessings, at first. vyatirekaH taavat paaNDavaan jetu kaamo duryodhanaH – shivam aashamsa me maataH yudhyamaana sva shatrubhiH – iti aShTaa dasha aahaani ap sva maataram gaandhaariim praarthitavaan | sa ca – yato dharmaH tato jayaH – iti vadantii ma~Ngalam na kurvatii – dharmaakuutam When Duryodhana sought for his mother Gandhari’s blessings even for eighteen days, where eighteen is the particular number of Maha Bharata, she said ‘where there is virtue there will be victory’. Hence, mothers are the first ones to bless sons in every enterprise, and here Rama’s enterprise as incarnate of Vishnu is commencing. .
ततो वायुः सुख स्पर्शो नीरजस्को ववौ तदा |
विश्वामित्र गतम् रामम् दृष्ट्वा राजीव लोचनम् || १-२२-४
vishvaamitra gatam raamam dR^iShTvaa raajiiva locanam || 1-22-4
Then on seeing the lotus-eyed Rama following Vishvamitra the breeze became dustless and breezed pleasant for touch. [1-22-4] .
पुष्प वृष्टिः महती आसीत् देव दुन्दुभि निःस्वनैः |
शङ्ख दुन्दुभि निर्घोषः प्रयाते तु महात्मनि || १-२२-५
sha~Nkha dundubhi nirghoShaH prayaate tu mahaatmani || 1-22-5
When the great-souled Rama forged ahead there occurred an abounding downpour of flowers with the booming of divine drums, together with the boom and blare of drums and conch-shells of Ayodhya. [1-22-5] .
विश्वामित्रो ययौ अग्रे ततो रामो महायशाः |
काक पक्ष धरो धन्वी तम् च सौमित्रिः अन्वगात् || १-२२-६
kaaka pakSha dharo dhanvii tam ca saumitriH anvagaat || 1-22-6
Rama with jet-black hair-locks handling his bow followed Vishvamitra who walked ahead, while Lakshmana handling his own bow followed Rama. [1-22-6] .
कलापिनौ धनुष् पाणी शोभयानौ दिशो दश |
विश्वामित्रम् महात्मानम् त्रि शीर्षौ इव पन्नगौ |
अनुजग्मतुः अक्षुद्रौ पितामहम् इव अश्विनौ || १-२२-७
vishvaamitram mahaatmaanam tri shiirShau iva pannagau |
anujagmatuH akShudrau pitaamaham iva ashvinau || 1-22-7
Rama and Lakshmana, with two quivers each and two bows in their hands, and making all the ten directions of compass lambent followed Vishvamitra, as if three headed serpents followed Vishvamitra, and with their highly dynamic physiques and spiritedness they look as if like the Ashwin twin gods of unequal charm following Brahma, the Forefather. [1-22-7, 8]
Each one is having two quivers tied on each shoulder. Thus the upper portions of the quivers with feathered shafts, with the tips of arrows inside, are giving a picture of two more heads, on either side of the princes’ heads. Thus Rama and Lakshmana are appearing like three headed serpents. That is to say they are too young with the size of their heads equalling the mouth of the quiver.
The meaning of As’vins from as’va a horse, Persian asp, Greek ιππος Latin equus, Welsh *eck, is Horsemen. They were twin deities of whom frequent mention is made in the Vedas and the Indian myths. The As’vins have much in common with the Dioscuri of Greece, and their mythical genealogy seems to indicate that their origin was astronomical. They were, perhaps, at first the morning star and evening star. They are said to be the children of the sun and the nymph As’vin, who is one of the lunar asterisms personified. In the popular mythology they are regarded as the physicians of the Gods. Gorresio/Griffith. .
तदा कुशिक पुत्रम् तु धनुष् पाणी स्वलंकृतौ |
बद्ध गोध अंगुलि त्राणौ खड्गवन्तौ महाद्युती || १-२२-८
कुमारौ चारु वपुषौ भ्रातरौ राम लक्ष्मणौ |
अनुयातौ श्रिया दीप्तौ शोभयेताम् अनिन्दितौ || १-२२-९
स्थाणुम् देवम् इव अचिन्त्यम् कुमारौ इव पावकी |
baddha godha aMguli traaNau khaDgavantau mahaadyutii || 1-22-8
kumaarau caaru vapuShau bhraatarau raama laxmaNau |
anuyaatau shriyaa dIptau shobhayetaam aninditau || 1-22-9
sthaaNum devam iva acintyam kumaarau iva paavakii |
Those two youngsters with charming and bejewelled physiques are handling bows and swords and their fingers have leathern covers. Both the unreprovable brothers Rama and Lakshmana are highly resplendent and effulgent by their worth. While they are following Vishvamitra they looked like the sons of Fire-god, namely Skanda and Vishakha, following the great god with inscrutable potential, namely Shiva, and thus the brothers have made Vishvamitra to shine forth in even pose with god Shiva. [1-22-8, 9, 10a]
The Supreme Being that is resident like an atom. stha Being, aNum atom like. In every mobile or sessile being he is there. Here it is Shiva. Shiva’s sons are two, one Ganesha and the other Kumara, of which Kumara is the Army General of Gods. According to Maha Bharata, Kumara is said to have become four in a split-second, known as 1- Skanda, 2- Vishaakha, 3- Shaaka, 4- Naigamesha. Here the first two aspects of Kumara, namely Skanda and Vishaakha, are incorporated in simile to Rama and Lakshmana. .
अध्यर्ध योजनम् गत्वा सरय्वा दक्षिणे तटे | १-२२-१०
रामा इति मधुराम् वाणीम् विश्वामित्रः अभ्यभाषत |
raamaa iti madhuraam vaaNiim vishvaamitraH abhyabhaaShata |
And on going one and half yojana distance Vishvamitra addressed Rama in a harmonious voice calling, ‘oh, Rama’, on the southern riverbank of Sarayu. [1-22-10b, 11a] .
गृहाण वत्स सलिलम् मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः || १-२२-११
मंत्र ग्रामम् गृहाण त्वम् बलाम् अतिबलाम् तथा |
maMtra graamam gR^ihaaNa tvam balaam atibalaam tathaa |
” “Take water, my boy, and like that you receive a group of hymns, bala and ati bala from me, and let no time lapse. [1-22-11b, 12a]
Since the Vedic hymns cannot be taught after sunset, now it shall be evening time before sunset, when oblations will be offered at sunset, and hence no time lapse is envisaged. Govindaraja. .
न श्रमो न ज्वरो वा ते न रूपस्य विपर्ययः || १-२२-१२
न च सुप्तम् प्रमत्तम् वा धर्ष इष्यन्ति नैरृताः |
na ca suptam pramattam vaa dharSha iShyanti nairR^itaaH |
“On receiving these hymns neither tiredness nor fever, nor disfiguring of personality can effect you, nor the demons can charge you either you are sleeping or unvigilant. [1-11-12b, 13a] .
न बाह्वोः सदृशो वीर्ये पृथिव्याम् अस्ति कश्चन || १-२२-१३
त्रिषु लोकेषु वा राम न भवेत् सदृशः तव |
triShu lokeShu vaa raama na bhavet sadR^ishaH tava |
“As it is none whosoever on earth can equal you in dexterity, Rama, and by reciting these hymns none can equal you in the three worlds. [1-22-13b, 14a] .
बलाम् अतिबलाम् चैव पठतः तात राघव || १-२२-१४
न सौभाग्ये न दाक्षिण्ये न ज्ञाने बुद्धि निश्चये |
न उत्तरे प्रति वक्तव्ये समो लोके तव अनघ || १-२२-१५
na saubhaagye na daakShiNye na GYaane buddhi nishcaye |
na uttare prati vaktavye samo loke tava anagha || 1-22-15
“My dear Raghava, if bala atibala hymns are practised, oh, impeccable one, none can equal you in the world by your handsomeness, calibre, erudition, by your discernment, and even in replying or rebutting you. [1-22-14b, 15] .
एतत् विद्या द्वये लब्धे न भवेत् सदृशः तव |
बला च अतिबला चैव सर्व ज्ञानस्य मातरौ || १-२२-१६
balaa ca atibalaa caiva sarva GYaanasya maatarau || 1-22-16
“On receiving these two teachings there will be none similar to you, for bala and atibala are the mothers of all knowledge. [1-22-16] .
क्षुत् पिपासे न ते राम भविष्येते नरोत्तम |
बलाम् अतिबलाम् चैव पठतः तात राघव || १-२२-१७
balaam atibalaam caiva paThataH taata raaghava || 1-22-17
“Oh, best one among men, Raghava, if you go on reciting bala and atiblala hymns, my dear Rama, there will be no hunger or thirst to you. [1-22-17] .
गृहाण सर्व लोकस्य गुप्तये रघु नन्दन |
विद्या द्वयम् अधीयाने यशः च अथ भवेत् भुवि |
पितामह सुते हि एते विद्ये तेजः समन्विते || १-२२-१८
प्रदातुम् तव काकुत्थ्स सदृअशः त्वम् हि पार्थिव |
vidyaa dvayam adhiiyaane yashaH ca atha bhavet bhuvi |
pitaamaha sute hi ete vidye tejaH samanvite || 1-22-18
pradaatum tava kaakutthsa sadR^iashaH tvam hi paarthiva |
“And if these twin teachings are practised an inestimable renown will also accrue, oh, Raghu’s legatee, these two hymns that possess brilliance are the daughters of Forefather Brahma, and oh, Rama of Kakutstha, I intend to impart these hymns to you, oh virtuous one, as you are the most eligible one, hence take the teachings that are kept safe from the world. [1-22-18, 19a] .
कामम् बहुगुणाः सर्वे त्वयि एते न अत्र संशयः |१-२२-१९
तपसा संभृते च एते बहु रूपे भविष्यतः |
tapasaa saMbhR^ite ca ete bahu ruupe bhaviShyataH |
“Though all of these numerous qualities are undoubtedly available with you, that too in abundance, yet these hymns if ascetically nurtured will yield various results.” Thus spoke Sage Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-22-19b, 20a] .
ततो रामो जलम् स्पृष्ट्वा प्रहृष्ट वदनः शुचिः | १-२२-२०
प्रति जग्राह ते विद्ये महर्षेर् भावित आत्मनः |
prati jagraaha te vidye maharSher bhaavita aatmanaH |
Then Rama on touching water to purify himself received those teachings from the contemplative soul Vishvamitra with gladness beaming on his face. [1-22-20b, 21a] .
विद्या समुदितो रामः शुशुभे भीम विक्रमः || १-२२-२१
सहस्र रश्मिः भग्वान् शरदीव दिवाकरः |
गुरु कार्याणि सर्वाणि नियुज्य कुशिक आत्मजे |
ऊषुः ताम् रजनीम् तत्र सरय्वाम् सुसुखम् त्रयः || १-२२-२२
sahasra rashmiH bhagvaan sharadiiva divaakaraH |
guru kaaryaaNi sarvaaNi niyujya kushika aatmaje |
uuShuH taam rajaniim tatra sarayvaam susukham trayaH || 1-22-22
Rama, the one with marvellous valiance, on obtaining those teachings performed all his duties of a student in respect of a teacher and then shone forth like the thousand rayed sun on a cloudless sky of autumn. Then those three very happily stayed on the riverbank of Sarayu for that night. [1-22-21b, 22]
Here guru kaaryaaNi , are the duties demanded of a true disciple towards a guru, who is his mantra aachaarya, teacher according hymns. Without performing these duties the studentship remains unfulfilled. These works are fetching food for teacher, arranging his bed, pressing his sore-legs called paada samvaahana , etc. Rama does these services to any elderly person, more so to his father as at this canto 1-18-28.
Throughout this chapter Vishvamitra addresses Rama alone to learn the hymns. It may not be construed that Lakshmana is eliminated or avoided but he said to be one with Rama when it comes to education. Thus these hymn are imparted to Lakshmana also, not to Rama alone. .
दशरथ नृइप सूनु सत्तमाभ्याम्
तृण शयने अनुचिते तदा उषिताभ्याम् |
कुशिक सुत वचोऽनुलालिताभ्याम् |
सुखमिव सा विबभौ विभावरी च || १-२२-२३
tR^iNa shayane anuchite tadaa uShitaabhyaam |
kushika suta vacho.anulaalitaabhyaam |
sukhamiva saa vibabhau vibhaavarI cha || 1-22-23
Though both Rama and Lakshmana slept on an undeserving grass bed, nestled by the comfortable words of Vishvamitra that night is as though pleasant to the noteworthy children of Dasharatha. [1-22-24] .