Brahma commends Bhageeratha in bringing Ganga onto earth which none of his ancestors could do. Brahma blesses Ganga to be the daughter of Bhageeratha. Brahma advises him to offer water-oblations to his manes (The deified souls of dead ancestors) with the sanctified waters of Ganga.
स गत्वा सागरम् राजा गंगया अनुगतस् तदा |
प्रविवेश तलम् भूमेः यत्र ते भस्मसात् कृताः || १-४४-१
pravivesha talam bhuumeH yatra te bhasmasaat kR^itaaH || 1-44-1
“King Bhageeratha followed by Ganga has gone to the ocean-like ditch which is dredged up by the sons of Sagara, and entered the subterranean of earth where the sons of Sagara are rendered to ashes.” Thus Vishvamitra continued his narration about the Descent of Ganga. [1-44-1].
भस्मनि अथ आप्लुते राम गंगाइआः सलिलेन वै |
सर्व लोक प्रभुः ब्रह्मा राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-४४-२
sarva loka prabhuH brahmaa raajaanam idam abraviit || 1-44-2
“While the waters of Ganga are inundating those ashes, oh, Rama, then Brahma, the lord of all worlds, indeed spoke this to the king Bhageeratha. [1-44-2].
तारिता नरशार्दूल दिवम् याताः च देववत् |
षष्टिः पुत्र सहस्राणि सगरस्य महात्मनः || १-४४-३
ShaShTiH putra sahasraaNi sagarasya mahaatmanaH || 1-44-3
” ‘Oh, tigerly-man Bhageeratha, the sixty thousands sons of great souled Sagara have crossed over the sea of mortality, and on a par with the gods they have also transited to heaven. [1-44-3].
सागरस्य जलम् लोके यावत् स्थास्यति पार्थिव |
सगरस्य आत्मजाः सर्वे दिवि स्थास्यन्ति देववत् ||१-४४-४
sagarasya aatmajaaH sarve divi sthaasyanti devavat ||1-44-4
” ‘As long as the water of the ocean abides in the world, oh, king, so long the sons of Sagara will abide in heaven like gods. [1-44-4].
इयम् च दुहिता ज्येष्ठा तव गंगा भविष्यति |
त्वत् कृतेन च नाम्ना अथ लोके स्थास्यति विश्रुता ||१-४४-५
tvat kR^itena ca naamnaa atha loke sthaasyati vishrutaa ||1-44-5
” ‘This Ganga will become your eldest daughter and hereafter she will remain renowned in the world with the name associated with your deed of bringing her onto earth. [1-44-5]
Otherwise, ‘by your fatherhood she will be called Bhaageerathi and your names becomes her surname.’
गंगा त्रिपथगा नाम दिव्या भागीरथी इति च |
त्रीन् पथो भावयन्ति इति तस्मत् त्रिपथगा स्मृता || १-४४-६
triin patho bhaavayanti iti tasmat tripathagaa smR^itaa || 1-44-6
” ‘Henceforth heavenly Ganga will be renowned as ‘Triple-path-cruiser’ and ‘Bhaageerathi,’ as well, and as this river is sanctifying three worlds, namely, svarga, bhuu, paataala loka-s, ‘heaven, earth and netherworld’ she will be remembered as the traveller on triple path. [1-44-6].
पितामहानाम् सर्वेषाम् त्वम् अत्र मनुजाधिप |
कुरुष्व सलिलम् राजन् प्रतिज्ञाम् अपवर्जय || १-४४-७
kuruShva salilam raajan pratij~naam apavarjaya || 1-44-7
” ‘You may now offer water-oblations to all of your forefathers in the waters of Ganga, oh, king, the lord of people, thus you may fulfil and do away with the pledge of your requiescat. [1-44-7].
पूर्वकेण हि ते राजन् तेन अतियशसा तदा |
धर्मिणाम् प्रवरेण अथ न एष प्राप्तो मनोरथः || १-४४-८
dharmiNaam pravareNa atha na eSha praapto manorathaH || 1-44-8
” ‘Your ancestor Sagara is a highly glorious one and a best one among righteous persons, oh, king, even then he has not achieved this aspiration of alighting Ganga in his lifetime, but you have achieved it. [1-44-8].
तथैव अंशुमता वत्स लोके अप्रतिम तेजसा |
गंगाम् प्रार्थयता नेतुम् प्रतिज्ञा न अपवर्जिता || १-४४-९
gaMgaam praarthayataa netum pratij~naa na apavarjitaa || 1-44-9
” ‘Like that, your grandfather Amshuman, who is unequalled in his resplendence in this world and who had been praying for the descent of Ganga, he also could not dispense with this vow on fulfilling it. [1-44-9].
राजर्षिणा गुणवता महर्षि सम तेजसा |
मत् तुल्य तपसा चैव क्षत्र धर्म स्थितेन च || १-४४-१०
दिलीपेन महाभाग तव पित्रा अतितेजसा |
पुनर् न शकिता नेतुम् गंगाम् प्रार्थयत अनघ || १-४४-११
mat tulya tapasaa caiva kShatra dharma sthitena ca || 1-44-10
diliipena mahaabhaaga tava pitraa atitejasaa |
punar na shakitaa netum gaMgaam praarthayata anagha || 1-44-11
” ‘Oh, impeccable Bhageeratha, even by the kingly-sage Dileepa whose resplendence is kindred to great sages, who is equal to me in his ascesis, who is abided by the observances of ruling Kshatriya class, even by such a highly fortunate and highly resplendent father of yours it was impossible to bring Ganga in his turn, even though he had been supplicating for the descent of Ganga throughout his lifetime. [1-44-10, 11]
The content of verse 10 at times will be attributed to verse 9, viz., to Amshuman, rather than to Dileepa.
सा त्वया समतिक्रान्ता प्रतिज्ञा पुरुषर्षभ |
प्राप्तो असि परमम् लोके यशः परम संमतम् || १-४४-१२
praapto asi paramam loke yashaH parama saMmatam || 1-44-12
” ‘But, you have accomplished that pledge, oh, the best one among men, and in the world you have achieved highest renown which is highly adorable by all. [1-44-12].
तत् च गंगा अवतरणम् त्वया कृतम् अरिन्दम |
अनेन च भवान् प्राप्तो धर्मस्य आयतनम् महत् || १-४४-१३
anena ca bhavaan praapto dharmasya aayatanam mahat || 1-44-13
” ‘That ‘Descent of Ganga’ is perfected by you, oh, enemy-represser, and by this you have acquired a genuine basis for righteousness in this world, and thereby a base for yourself in my world, namely Abode of Brahma. [1-44-13].
प्लावयस्व त्वम् आत्मानम् नरोत्तम सदा उचिते |
सलिले पुरुषश्रेष्ठ शुचिः पुण्यफलो भव || १-४४-१४
salile puruShashreShTha shuciH puNyaphalo bhava || 1-44-14
” ‘Oh, phenomenal one, you may always take dip-baths in the holy water of Ganga and oh, persona grata, thereby get purified of sins and thus let your merit be fructified. [1-44-14]
The waters of other rivers have a blemish called rajasvala doSa ‘the blemish of menstruation.’ When the sun is in Leo-Cancer, i.e., during monsoon, and when new waters come in, it is as good as menstruation for the ladies called, the rivers. But Ganga is beyond these taboos because it is perennial, hence her is sanctifying. Some more details are given in endnote of this chapter.
पितामहानाम् सर्वेषाम् कुरुष्व सलिलक्रियाम् |
स्वस्ति ते अस्तु गमिष्यामि स्वम् लोकम् गंयताम् नृप || १-४४-१५
svasti te astu gamiShyaami svam lokam gaMyataam nR^ipa || 1-44-15
” ‘You may now perform water-oblations to your forefathers with the water of Ganga, let there be wellbeing to you, and oh, king, here I go to my abode and you too may depart to yours.’ Thus Brahma said to Bhageeratha. [1-44-15].
इति एवम् उक्त्वा देवेशः सर्वलोक पितामहः |
यथा आगतम् तथा अगच्छत् देव लोकम् महायशाः || १-४४-१६
yathaa aagatam tathaa agacChat deva lokam mahaayashaaH || 1-44-16
16. sarva loka pitaa mahaH = for all, worlds, forefather; mahaayashaaH deva iishaH = great glorious, gods, lord of – Brahma; iti evam uktvaa = thus, this way, on saying; yathaa aagatam tathaa = as came in, like that; deva lokam agacChat = to empyrean, world, went away.
“On saying in this way, the forefather of all the worlds, and the great glorious lord of all gods, namely Brahma, went away to his empyrean world as he has came. [1-44-16].
भगीरथः तु राजर्षिः कृत्वा सलिलम् उत्तमम् |
यथाक्रमम् यथान्यायम् सागराणाम् महायशाः || १-४४-१७
कृतोदकः शुची राजा स्वपुरम् प्रविवेश ह |
समृद्धार्थो नरश्रेष्ठ स्वराज्यम् प्रशशास ह ||१-४४-१८
yathaakramam yathaanyaayam saagaraaNaam mahaayashaaH || 1-44-17
kR^itodakaH shucii raajaa svapuram pravivesha ha |
samR^iddhaartho narashreShTha svaraajyam prashashaasa ha ||1-44-18
“On according those best water-oblations that endow superior realms to the souls of sons of Sagara, according to precedency and the rationale of scriptures, and even on offering water-oblations to other manes that kingly-sage and greatly renowned Bhageeratha is sanctified, and then only that king re-entered his own city, indeed when his purpose is completely achieved, and oh, outstanding man Rama, thus that king Bhageeratha ruled his kingdom well. [1-44-17, 18].
प्रमुमोद च लोकः तम् नृपम् आसाद्य राघव |
नष्टशोकः समृद्धार्थो बभूव विगतज्वरः || १-४४-१९
naShTashokaH samR^iddhaartho babhuuva vigatajvaraH || 1-44-19
“On regaining him as their king the subjects of the kingdom are overjoyed, and oh, Raghava, that king Bhageeratha too is relieved of his febrility as his purpose is achieved and he is happy when devoid of haunting grief of getting Ganga to earth. [1-44-19].
एष ते राम गंगाया विस्तरो अभिहितो मया |
स्वस्ति प्राप्नुहि भद्रम् ते संध्या कालो अतिवर्तते || १-४४-२०
svasti praapnuhi bhadram te saMdhyaa kaalo ativar.htate || 1-44-20
“Oh, Rama, this way I described to you about ‘The Decent of Ganga’ in detail, thus you be blest and prosperous, and as the visceral time is elapsing no more questions from you for now, and let us meditate on Gayatri. But listen to the fruits of listening the legend of ganga avataraNa, ‘The Descent of Ganga’ [1-44-20].
धन्यम् यशस्यम् आयुष्यम् पुत्र्यम् स्वर्ग्यम् अथ अपि च |
यः श्रावयति विप्रेषु क्षत्रियेषु इतेरेषु च || १-४४-२१
प्रीयन्ते पितरः तस्य प्रीयन्ते दैवतानि
yaH shraavayati vipreShu kshatriyeShu itereShu ca || 1-44-21
priiyante pitaraH tasya priiyante daivataani
“This legend is conducive to achieve prosperity, fame, longevity, progeny and even heaven, and he who narrates this legend to others, whether he is from Brahmans or from Kshatriya-s, or for that matter of fact from any other class, his manes will be satisfied, and gods too will be gladdened. [1-44-21, 22a].
इदम् आख़्यनम् आयुश्यम् गंगा अवतरणम् शुभम् || १-४४-२२
यः श्रुणोति च काकुत्स्थ सर्वान् कामान् अवाप्नुयात् |
सर्वे पापाः प्रणश्यन्ति आयुः कीर्तिः च वर्धते || १-४४-२३
yaH shruNoti ca kaakutstha sarvaan kaamaan avaapnuyaat |
sarve paapaaH praNashyanti aayuH kiirtiH ca var.hdhate || 1-44-23
“Oh, Rama of Kakutstha-s, he who listens to this auspicious legend named ‘The Descent of Gang,’ which is an endower of longevity, all his wishes are achieved, all his sins are obliterated, and his reputation and longevity are also enhanced.” Thus Vishvamitra concluded the episode of ‘The Descent of Ganga.’ [1-44-22b, 23].