Enquiring about his father Gautama’s reuniting with his mother Ahalya, Sage Shataananda relates the legend of Vishvamitra. Shataananda greets Rama for his adherence to the rectitude of Vishvamitra, which Vishvamitra gained through a series of self-important exploits, when he was a great king at one time. Shataananda finds worth in informing the biography of Vishvamitra to Rama, because too much of overbearing of kings, as has been done by Vishvamitra, will be unbecoming for kings.
तस्य तत् वचनम् श्रुत्वा विश्वामित्रस्य धीमतः |
हृष्ट रोमा महातेजाः शताअनन्दो महातपाः || १-५१-१
गौतमस्य सुतो ज्येष्ठः तपसा द्योतित प्रभः |
राम संदर्शनात् एव परम् विस्मयम् आगतः || १-५१-२
hR^iShTa romaa mahaatejaaH shataaanando mahaatapaaH || 1-51-1
gautamasya suto jyeShThaH tapasaa dyotita prabhaH |
raama saMdarshanaat eva param vismayam aagataH || 1-51-2
On hearing that sentence of that intellectual sage Vishvamitra, the highly refulgent and the great ascetic Shataananda is overjoyed, and Sage Shataananda, the eldest son of Sage Gautama, and whose radiance is brightened by his own ascesis is highly amazed just on seeing Rama. [1-51-1, 2] .
एतौ निषण्णौ संप्रेक्ष्य सुख आसीनौ नृपात्मजौ |
शताअनंदो मुनिश्रेष्ठम् विश्वामित्रम् अथ अब्रवीत् || १-५१-३
shataaanaMdo munishreShTham vishvaamitram atha abraviit || 1-51-3
On raptly observing those two princes who are sitting comfortably with their heads bending down submissively, then Shataananda spoke to the eminent sage Vishvamitra. [1-51-3] .
अपि ते मुनि शार्दूल मम माता यशस्विनी |
दर्शिता राज पुत्राय तपो दीर्घम् उपागता || १-५१-४
darshitaa raaja putraaya tapo diirgham upaagataa || 1-51-4
“Oh, tigerly saint Vishvamitra, you have revealed my glorious mother Ahalya who meted out a marathon ascesis to the princes – Really! [1-51-4] .
अपि रामे महातेजो मम माता यशस्विनी |
वन्यैः उपाहरत् पूजाम् पूजा अर्हे सर्व देहिनाम् || १-५१-५
vanyaiH upaaharat puujaam puujaa arhe sarva dehinaam || 1-51-5
“And the highly resplendent and celebrated mother of mine worshipped Rama, who is worthy of worship by every corporeal being, with forest produce, is it so! [1-51-5] .
अपि रामाय कथितम् यथा वृत्तम् पुरातनम् |
मम मातुः महातेजो दैवेन दुरनुष्ठितम् || १-५१-६
mama maatuH mahaatejo daivena duranuShThitam || 1-51-6
“Oh, great-resplendent Vishvamitra, you have narrated to Rama about the maltreatment of my mother by the Providence as has happened anciently, isn’t it![1-51-6] .
अपि कौशिक भद्रम् ते गुरुणा मम संगता |
माता मम मुनिश्रेष्ठ राम संदर्शनात् इतः || १-५१-७
maataa mama munishreShTha raama saMdarshanaat itaH || 1-51-7
“Oh, the best sage Kaushika, you be safe, my mother is reunited with my father on beholding and giving hospitality to Rama – Really! [1-51-7] .
अपि मे गुरुणा रामः पूजितः कुशिकात्मज |
इह आगतो महातेजाः पूजाम् प्राप्य महात्मनः || १-५१-८
iha aagato mahaatejaaH puujaam praapya mahaatmanaH || 1-51-8
“Oh, Kaushika, my father came to my mother’s place from Himalayas! Has the great resplendent father of mine worshipped Rama because the redemption of my mother is per the kindness of Rama! Has this great-souled Rama reverenced that great resplendent father of mine by according a redemption, ahalyaa daana, the endowment of Ahalya to her husband. [1-51-8] .
अपि शांतेन मनसा गुरुः मे कुशिकात्मज |
इह आगतेन रामेण पूजितेन अभिवादितः || १-५१-९
iha aagatena raameNa puujitena abhivaaditaH || 1-51-9
“Oh, Kaushika, on his arrival at my mother’s place whether this reverential Rama reverenced my father with a pacified heart without becoming contumelious!” Thus sage Shataananda exclaimed at the marvel occurred through Rama. [1-51-9] .
तत् श्रुत्वा वचनम् तस्य विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः |
प्रति उवाच शतानंदम् वाक्यज्ञो वाक्य कोविदम् || १-५१-१०
prati uvaaca shataanaMdam vaakyaj~no vaakya kovidam || 1-51-10
On hearing that sentence of his, that great-saint and sentence-precisian Sage Vishvamitra, replied the sentence-precisionist Sage Shataananda. [1-51-10] .
न अतिक्रान्तम् मुनिश्रेष्ठ यत् कर्तव्यम् कृतम् मया |
संगता मुनिना पत्नी भार्गवेण इव रेणुका || १-५१-११
saMgataa muninaa patnii bhaar.hgaveNa iva reNukaa || 1-51-11
“I have done whatever good is to be done and nothing is left undone, and the wife of the sage, namely Ahalya, is reunited with her husband sage Gautama, as with Renuka who was reunited with sage Jamagani, the descendent of Bhrigu.” So said Vishvamitra. [1-51-11]
Renuka is the mother of Parashu Rama, another human incarnation of Vishnu as a Brahmin to struggle with the erring Kshatriya kings of an earlier era. Renuka’s husband is Sage Jamadagni, the descendent of Bhrigu or also called as Bhaargava and on certain occasion, Jamadagi, orders his son Parashu Rama to behead her, i.e., Renuka, Parashu Rama’s own mother and Parashu Rama unhesitatingly carries out his father’s orders. Thus, Parashu Rama is called Bhaargava Rama, with an axe as his unsurpassed weapon. This Parashu Rama confronts Rama of Ramayana after Seetha’s marriage. .
तत् श्रुत्वा वचनम् तस्य विश्वामित्रस्य धीमतः |
शतानंदो महातेजा रामम् वचनम् अब्रवीत् || १-५१-१२
shataanaMdo mahaatejaa raamam vacanam abraviit || 1-51-12
On hearing those words of that highly intellectual Vishvamitra, high refulgent sage Shataananda spoke these words to Rama. [1-51-12] .
स्वागतम् ते नरश्रेष्ठ दिष्ट्या प्राप्तो असि राघव |
विश्वामित्रम् पुरस्कृत्य महर्षिम् अपराजितम् || १-५१-१३
vishvaamitram puraskR^itya maharShim aparaajitam || 1-51-13
“Hail to thee! Oh, best one among men Rama, your arrival is a godsend, not only to Mithila but to entire humanity, and oh, Raghava, as an undefeatable great-sage Vishvamitra spearheads you, so shall your mission be undefeatable, thus hail to thee! [1-51-13]
This statement of Sage Shataananda shall remind us the utterances of Vishvamitra in Dasharatha’s court at 1-19-14: aham vedmi mahaatmaanam raamam… ‘I know this great soul Rama, the virtue valiant, even Vashishta and also these saints who are here…’ So also, Shataananda being the son of Ahalya and Gautama perceived who this Rama is. Further, when such and such a sage spearheads Rama, Rama ought to know something about the background of his steersman, namely Vishvamitra, basing on which Rama can learn his own lessons. As such, next few chapters are catered to the legend of Vishvamitra through Shataananda. .
अचिन्त्य कर्मा तपसा ब्रह्मर्षिः अमित प्रभः |
विश्वामित्रो महातेजा – वेद्ंय – वेत्सि एनम् परमाम् गतिम् || १-५१-१४
vishvaamitro mahaatejaa – vedMya – vetsi enam paramaam gatim || 1-51-14
“This highly resplendent Vishvamitra’s exploits are unimaginable. He attained the highest order of Brahma-sage by his ascesis, thus illimitable is his ascetic resplendence, and you have to know him as an ultimate course, not only to you alone, but also to one and all. [1-51-14]
If the text ‘you already know him…’ is adopted there will be nothing left to Shataananda to say more. Hence, the meaning is said on taking vedmya ‘you should know some more…’ would be better. Because Vishvamitra is a parama hita sandhaayaka ‘a do-gooder for universal peace’ as indicated by his name itself, vishva ‘of universe…’ mitra ‘friend, ‘friend of universe…’ .
न अस्ति धन्यतरो राम त्वत्तो अन्यो भुवि कश्चन |
गोप्ता कुशिक पुत्रः ते येन तप्तम् महत् तपः || १-५१-१५
goptaa kushika putraH te yena taptam mahat tapaH || 1-51-15
“None other than you is fortunate enough on earth, oh, Rama, as you are in the custodial care of Vishvamitra, the scion of Kushika, who has practised supreme ascesis. [1-51-15] .
श्रूयताम् च अभिधास्यामि कौशिकस्य महात्मनः |
यथा बलम् यथा तत्त्वम् तत् मे निगदतः शृणु || १-५१-१६
yathaa balam yathaa tattvam tat me nigadataH shR^iNu || 1-51-16
“What is the prowess of the great-souled Vishvamitra, and what the quintessence of his legend may be heard from me while I narrate it. [1-51-16] .
राजा अभूत् एष धर्मात्मा दीर्घ कालम् अरिन्दमः |
धर्मज्ञः कृत विद्यः च प्रजानाम् च हिते रतः || १-५१-१७
dharmaj~naH kR^ita vidyaH ca prajaanaam ca hite rataH || 1-51-17
“This probity-souled Vishvamitra, being a proficient in rectitude, a perfectionist in kingcraft, a proponent of people’s welfare, more so a persecutor of enemies, was there as a king for a long time. [1-51-17] .
प्रजापति सुतः तु आसीत् कुशो नाम महीपतिः |
कुशस्य पुत्रो बलवान् कुशनाभः सुधार्मिकः || १-५१-१८
kushasya putro balavaan kushanaabhaH sudhaarmikaH || 1-51-18
“There was a king named Kusha, a brainchild of Prjaapati, and Kusha’s son was the powerful and verily righteous Kushanaabha. [1-51-18] .
कुशनाभ सुतः तु आसीत् गाधिः इति एव विश्रुतः |
गाधेः पुत्रो महातेजा विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः || १-५१-१९
gaadheH putro mahaatejaa vishvaamitro mahaamuniH || 1-51-19
“One who is highly renowned by the name Gaadhi was the son of Kushanaabha, and Gaadhi’s son is this great-saint of great resplendence, Vishvamitra. [1-51-19] .
विश्वमित्रो महातेजाः पालयामास मेदिनीम् |
बहु वर्ष सहस्राणि राजा राज्यम् अकारयत् || १-५१-२०
bahu varSha sahasraaNi raajaa raajyam akaarayat || 1-51-20
“Vishvamitra ruled the earth, and this great-resplendent king ruled the kingdom for many thousands of years. [1-51-20] .
कदाचित् तु महातेजा योजयित्वा वरूथिनीम् |
अक्षौहिणी परिवृतः परिचक्राम मेदिनीम् || १-५१-२१
akShauhiNii parivR^itaH paricakraama mediniim || 1-51-21
“At one time the great-resplendent king Vishvamitra went round the earth marshalling a unit of akshauhini army. [1-51-21]
The army unit called akshauhini consists of 21,870 elephants, as many chariots, 65,610 cavalry, and 1,09,350 foot soldiers. .
नगराणि च राष्ट्रानि सरितः च तथा गिरीन् |
आश्रमान् क्रमशो राजा विचरन् आजगाम ह || १-५१-२२
वसिष्ठस्य आश्रम पदम् नाना पुष्प लता द्रुमम् |
नाना मृग गण आकीर्णम् सिद्ध चारण सेवितम् || १-५१-२३
देव दानव गन्धर्वैः किन्नरैः उपशोभितम् |
प्रशांत हरिण आकीर्णम् द्विज संघ निषेवितम् || १-५१-२४
ब्रह्म ऋषि गण संकीर्णम् देव ऋषि गण सेवितम् |
तपः चरण संसिद्धैः अग्नि कल्पैः महात्मभिः || १-५१-२५
सततम् संकुलम् श्रीमत् ब्रह्म कल्पैः महात्मभिः |
अब् भक्षैः वायु भक्षैः च शीर्ण पर्ण अशनैः तथा || १-५१-२६
फलमूलाशनैर्दान्तैर्जितदोषैर्जितेन्द्रियैः – यद्वा –
फल मूल अशनैः दान्तैः जित दोषैः जित इन्द्रियैः |
ऋषिभिः वालखिल्यैः च जप होम परायणैः || १-५१-२७
अन्यैः वैखानसैः चैव समंतात् उपशोभितम् |
aashramaan kramasho raajaa vicaran aajagaama ha || 1-51-22
vasiShThasya aashrama padam naanaa puShpa lataa drumam |
naanaa mR^iga gaNa aakiirNam siddha caaraNa sevitam || 1-51-23
deva daanava gandharvaiH kinnaraiH upashobhitam |
prashaaMta hariNa aakiirNam dvija saMgha niShevitam || 1-51-24
brahma R^iShi gaNa saMkiirNam deva R^iShi gaNa sevitam |
tapaH caraNa saMsiddhaiH agni kalpaiH mahaatmabhiH || 1-51-25
satatam saMkulam shriimat brahma kalpaiH mahaatmabhiH |
ab bhakShaiH vaayu bhakShaiH ca shiirNa parNa ashanaiH tathaa || 1-51-26
phalamuulaashanairdaantairjitadoShairjitendriyaiH – yadvaa –
phala muula ashanaiH daantaiH jita doShaiH jita indriyaiH |
R^iShibhiH vaalakhilyaiH ca japa homa paraayaNaiH || 1-51-27
anyaiH vaikhaanasaiH caiva samaMtaat upashobhitam |
“Moving sequentially about the provinces, cities, rivers likewise mountains, king Vishvamitra arrived at the threshold of a hermitage which is with numerous flowered trees and climbers, overspread with very many herds of animals, adored by the celestials like siddha-s and caarana-s, frequented and embellished with gods, demons, gandharva-s, and kinnara-s, spread out with equable deer, adored by flights of birds, compacted with the assemblages of Brahma-sages, and also with the assemblages of godly-sages who are fully accomplished in their ascesis, where the personal resplendence of each of the great-souled sage is similar to each of the Ritual-fire available in each of the Ritual Fire Altar before which he is sitting, and which hermitage is bustling with the activity of great-souled sages who are comparable to Brahma, among whom some subsist on water alone, and some on air alone, likewise some more on dry leaves, while some on fruits, tubers, and with such of those sages and also with particular sages like Vaalakhilyaa-s, also with others like Vaikhaanasa-s, who are all self-controlled, who have overcame their peccabilites, who have overpowered their senses that hermitage is occupied, and while everyone of the inmates is engaged in meditations and oblations into Ritual-fire, and with such sages and their activity whole of the perimeter of that hermitage is brightened and rendered splendent, and king Vishvamitra arrived at such a magnificent hermitage of Sage Vashishta. [1-51-22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28a] .
वसिष्ठस्य आश्रम पदम् ब्रह्म लोकम् इव अपरम् |
ददर्श जयताम् श्रेष्ठ विश्वामित्रो महाबलः || १-५१-२८
dadarsha jayataam shreShTha vishvaamitro mahaabalaH || 1-51-28
“And this best one among vanquishers and the great-stalwart Vishvamitra has then seen the hermitage of Vashishta which is like the worldly Universe of Brahma.” Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration. [1-51-28] .