Bhageeratha’s effort for bringing Ganga to earth is fulfilled. Amshuman and his son Dileepa could not make any effort to bring the divine river to earth. But Bhageeratha, the son of Dileepa, staunch at heart tries earnestly to get her onto earth. Brahma agreeing for this descent of Ganga designates lord Shiva to bear the burden of the onrush of Ganga, because the earth cannot sustain it.
कालधर्मम् गते राम सगरे प्रकृती जनाः |
राजानम् रोचयामासुर् अंशुमन्तम् सुधार्मिकम् || १-४२-१
raajaanam rocayaamaasur aMshumantam sudhaarmikam || 1-42-1
“When King Sagara passed away owing to the irrefutable virtue of Time, the ministers and subjects of that kingdom are predisposed towards the highly honourable Amshuman to become their king and they enthroned him accordingly.” Thus Vishvamitra continued narration about the predecessors of Rama. [1-42-1].
स राजा सुमहान् आसीत् अंशुमान् रघुनंदन |
तस्य पुत्रो महान् आसीत् दिलीप इति विश्रुतः || १-४२-२
“He that Amshuman turned out to be a very great king, and oh, Rama of Raghu’s dynasty, he begot a marvellous son who is renowned as Dileepa. [1-42-2].
तस्मै राज्यम् समादिश्य दिलीपे रघुनंदन |
हिमवत् शिखरे रंये तपः तेपे सुदारुणम् || १-४२-३
himavat shikhare raMye tapaH tepe sudaaruNam || 1-42-3
“Assigning the kingdom to Dileepa, oh, Rama of Raghu’s dynasty, Amshuman undertook very stern ascesis on a pleasant peak of Himalayas desiring the descent of River Ganga to earth. [1-42-3].
द्वा त्रिंशत् सहस्राम् वर्षाणि सुमहा यशाः |
तपोवन गतो राजा स्वर्गम् लेभे तपोधनः || १-४२-४
“On practising ascesis in ascetic-woods for thirty-two thousand years that highly renowned king Amshuman achieved heaven as he acquired only the wealth of practising the ascesis. [1-42-4]
Instead of achieving reward of ascesis in the form of descent of River Ganga, he could achieve only his personal merit of his penance, namely an abode in heaven.
दिलीपः तु महातेजाः श्रुत्वा पैतामहम् वधम् |
दुःख उपहतया बुद्ध्या निश्चयम् न अध्यगच्छत || १-४२-५
“The great resplendent Dileepa on hearing the elimination of his grandfathers, the sixty thousand sons of Sagara at the hand of sage Kapila, and with a mind that is marred by the plight of his father Amshuman in absolving the souls of Sagara’s sons, he that Dileepa could not arrive at any decision concerning the descent of Ganga. [1-42-5].
कथम् गंगा अवतरणम् कथम् तेषां जलक्रिया |
तारयेयम् कथम् च एतान् इति चिंतापरो अभवत् || १-४२-६
“Dileepa became worried as to how River Ganga is to be alighted onto earth from heaven, how water-oblations are to be offered for the souls of Sagara’s sons, and how to cross them, the souls, over this mortal world. [1-42-6].
तस्य चिंतयतो नित्यम् धर्मेण विदित आत्मनः |
पुत्रो भगीरथो नाम जज्ञे परम धार्मिकः ||१-४२-७
putro bhagiiratho naama jaGYe parama dhaarmikaH ||1-42-7
“To him who is self-mortified and who is always thinking righteously about the alight of Ganga onto earth, to such a Dileepa a most-virtuous son is born who is renowned by his name Bhageeratha. [1-42-7].
दिलीपः तु महातेजा यज्ञैः बहुभिः इष्टवान् |
त्रिंशत् वर्ष सहस्राणि राजा राज्यम् अकारयत् || १-४२-८
triMshat varSha sahasraaNi raajaa raajyam akaarayat || 1-42-8
“That great-resplendent king Dileepa on his part performed numerous Vedic-rituals, and he ruled the kingdom for thirty thousand years – to the delight of each of his subjects, but could not find a way to fetch Ganga. [1-42-8].
अगत्वा निश्चयम् राजा तेषाम् उद्धरणम् प्रति |
व्याधिना नर शार्दूल काल धर्मम् उपेयिवान् || १-४२-९
“Oh, tigerly-man Rama, that king Dileepa by not attaining any choice towards the uplifting the souls of his grandparents to heaven by bringing Ganga to earth, he took to illness, and he attained the ultimate virtue of Time, namely the demise. [1-42-9].
इन्द्रलोकम् गतो राजा स्व अर्जितेन एव कर्मणा |
रज्ये भगीरथम् पुत्रम् अभिषिच्य नरर्षभः || १-४२-१०
rajye bhagiiratham putram abhiShicya nararShabhaH || 1-42-10
“That best one among men, namely king Dileepa, on anointing his son Bhageeratha in the kingdom went to the abode of Indra, namely the heaven, only by his self-acquired merits of deeds. [1-42-10].
भगीरथः तु राजर्षिः धार्मिको रघुनंदन |
अनपत्यो महारजाः प्रजा कामः स च प्रजाः || १-४२-११
“Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, but on his part that self-righteous and kingly-sage Bhageeratha is childless, and that great king longed-for offspring. [1-42-11].
मंत्रिषु आधाय तत् रज्यम् गङ्ग अवतरणे रतः|
तपो दीर्घम् समातिष्ठत् गोकर्णे रघुनंदन || १-४२-१२
ऊर्ध्व बाहुः पंच तपा मास आहारो जितेइन्द्रियः |
uurdhva baahuH paMca tapaa maasa aahaaro jiteindriyaH |
“Interested in the alighting of River Ganga on earth, oh, Rama, the descendent of Raghu, king Bhageeratha delegated his kingdom to the custody of his ministers and people and firmed up himself in sustained asceticism on Mt. Gokarna in Himalayas, and he practise ascesis standing amid five-fires, upraising his hands, with a monthly sustenance and with his sense conquered. [1-42-12, 13a]
The five-fires are panca agni-s the four earthly fires in four corners of directions and the sun’s fire overhead.
तस्य वर्ष सहस्राणि घोरे तपसि तिष्ठतः || १-४२-१३
अतीतानि महबहो तस्य राज्ञो महात्मनः |
सुप्रीतो भगवान् ब्रह्मा प्रजानाम् पतिः ईश्वरः || १-४२-१४
atiitaani mahabaho tasya raaGYo mahaatmanaH |
supriito bhagavaan brahmaa prajaanaam patiH iishvaraH || 1-42-14
“Thousands of years have rolled by while Bhageeratha stood practising his severe ascesis, oh, dextrous Rama, and then the lord and master of all beings, namely god Brahma, is well pleased with that great-souled king’s ascesis. [1-42-13b, 14].
ततः सुर गणैः सार्धम् उपागंय पितामहः |
भगीरथम् महात्मानम् तप्यमानम् अथ अब्रवीत् || १-४२-१५
bhagiiratham mahaatmaanam tapyamaanam atha abraviit || 1-42-15
“Forefather Brahma then arrived along with assemblages of gods, and spoke this way to the great-souled Bhageeratha who is deep in the practise of ascesis. [1-42-15].
भगीरथ महाराज प्रीतः ते अहम् जनाधिप |
तपसा च सुतप्तेन वरम् वरय सुव्रत || १-४२-१६
tapasaa ca sutaptena varam varaya suvrata || 1-42-16
” ‘Oh, great king Bhageeratha, oh, lord of the people, I am delighted with the perfectly conducted ascesis of yours, hence oh, truly committed one, you may beseech for a boon. [1-42-16].
तम् उवाच महातेजाः सर्वलोक पितामहम् |
भगीरथो महाबाहुः कृत अंजलिपुटः स्थितः || १-४२-१७
bhagiiratho mahaabaahuH kR^ita aMjalipuTaH sthitaH || 1-42-17
“That great resplendent and highly fortunate king Bhageeratha then remaining with suppliantly adjoined palm fold spoke to him who is the Forefather of all worlds, namely Brahma. [1-42-17].
यदि मे भगवान् प्रीतो यदि अस्ति तपसः फलम् |
सगरस्य आत्मजाः सर्वे मत्तः सलिलम् आप्नुयुः || १-४२-१८
sagarasya aatmajaaH sarve mattaH salilam aapnuyuH || 1-42-18
” ‘Oh, god, if you are satisfied with my ascesis, and if there is any fruition to the ascesis of mine, let all the sons of Sagara get water oblations through me. [1-42-18].
गन्गायाः सलिल क्लिन्ने भस्मनि एषाम् महात्मनाम् |
स्वर्गम् गच्छेयुर् अत्यंतम् सर्वे मे प्रपितामहाः || १-४२-१९
” ‘While the ashes of these great souls are drenched with the waters of Ganga, let all of those great-grandfathers of mine depart to heaven, eternally. [1-42-19].
देव याचे ह संतत्यै न अवसीदेत् कुलम् च नः |
इक्ष्वाकूणाम् कुले देव एष मे अस्तु वरः परः || १-४२-२०
ikShvaakuuNaam kule deva eSha me astu varaH paraH || 1-42-20
” ‘Oh, god, I indeed pray for offspring in our Ikshvaku dynasty, let not our dynasty dwindle as I am issueless, and oh, god, let this be the other boon to me. [1-42-20].
उक्त वाक्यम् तु राजानम् सर्वलोक पितामहः |
प्रत्युवाच शुभाम् वाणीम् मधुरम् मधुर अक्षराम् || १-४२-२१
pratyuvaaca shubhaam vaaNiim madhuram madhura akSharaam || 1-42-21
“The Forefather of all the worlds, Brahma, then replied the king who has spoken in that way, in an auspicious tongue that is sweet-sounding and sweetly worded, as well. [1-42-21].
मनोरथो महान् एष भगीरथ महारथ |
एवम् भवतु भद्रम् ते इक्ष्वाकु कुल वर्धन || १-४२-२२
evam bhavatu bhadram te ikShvaaku kula vardhana || 1-42-22
” ‘Oh, top-speeded chariot-rider Bhageeratha, this aspiration of yours is sublime, and oh, the furtherer of Ikshvaku dynasty, so be it, let safeness betide you. [1-42-22].
इयम् हैमवती ज्येष्ठा गंगा हिमवतः सुता |
ताम् वै धारयितुम् राजन् हरः तत्र नियुज्यताम् || १-४२-२३
taam vai dhaarayitum raajan haraH tatra niyujyataam || 1-42-23
” ‘This Ganga is the one with snow-broth, the elder daughter of Himavanta, and oh, king Bhageeratha, god Shiva alone is capable to sustain her force in the course of her alighting onto earth, and in fact, he is to be commissioned for that purpose. [1-42-23].
गंगायाः पतनम् राजन् पृथिवी न सहिष्यते |
ताम् वै धारयितुम् राजन् न अन्यम् पश्यामि शूलिनः || १-४२-२४
taam vai dhaarayitum raajan na anyam pashyaami shuulinaH || 1-42-24
” ‘Oh, king Bhageeratha, the earth cannot endure the downfall of Ganga and to sustain Ganga, oh, king, indeed I do not behold none other than the Trident-wielder, god Shiva.’ Thus Brahma spoke to Bhageeratha. [1-42-24].
तम् एवम् उक्त्वा राजानम् गंगाम् च आभाष्य लोककृत् |
जगाम त्रिदिवम् देवैः सर्वैः सह मरुत् गणैः || १-४२-२५
Speaking this way to the king Bhageeratha and informally greeting Ganga also, that Creator of Worlds, Brahma, left for heaven along with all the groups of gods and Wind-gods.” Thus Vishvamitra continued narration about the arrival of River Ganga to earth. [1-42-25].