Trishanku seeks shelter of Vishvamitra when the sons of Vashishta rebuffed him, and even cursed him to become a profaner. Narrating his sad tale and his idealistic idea of going to heaven with mortal body, Trishanku earnestly appeals to Vishvamitra.
ततः त्रिशंकोः वचनम् श्रुत्वा क्रोध समन्वितम् |
ऋषि पुत्र शतम् राम राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-५८-१
R^iShi putra shatam raama raajaanam idam abraviit || 1-58-1
“On hearing the sentence of Trishanku, oh, Rama, the hundred sons of sage Vashishta infuriately said this to that king.” Thus, sage Shataananda continued his narration to Rama and others. [1-58-1] .
प्रत्याख्यातो असि दुर्बुद्धे गुरुणा सत्य वादिना |
तम् कथम् समतिक्रंय शाखा अन्तरम् उपेयिवान् || १-५८-२
tam katham samatikraMya shaakhaa antaram upeyivaan || 1-58-2
” ‘You slow-witted king, your veracious mentor has denounced you. But transgressing him how do you approach another branch of the same tree of wisdom, when that very tree rejected you?’ So the sons of Vashishta have started to denounce Trishanku. [1-58-2] .
इक्ष्वाकूणाम् हि सर्वेषाम् पुरोधाः परमा गतिः |
न च अतिक्रमितुम् शक्यम् वचनम् सत्य वादिनः || १-५८-३
na ca atikramitum shakyam vacanam satya vaadinaH || 1-58-3
” ‘The Royal Priest is the ultimate course for all of Ikshvaku-s, isn’t it. It is impossible to transgress the word of advise of such a veracious Priest. [1-58-3] .
अशक्यम् इति स उवाच वसिष्ठो भगवान् ऋषिः |
तम् वयम् वै समाहर्तुम् क्रतुम् शक्ताः कथंचन || १-५८-४
tam vayam vai samaahartum kratum shaktaaH kathaMcana || 1-58-4
” ‘Vashishta is the most reverential sage and such a sage has already said it is impossible to conduct such a Vedic-ritual. Then, in which way we are capable to conduct such a Vedic-ritual? [1-58-4] .
बालिशः त्वम् नर श्रेष्ठ गंयताम् स्व पुरम् पुनः |
याजने भगवान् शक्तः त्रैलोक्यस्य अपि पार्थिव || १-५८-५
अवमानम् कथम् कर्तुम् तस्य शक्षायामहे वयम् |
yaajane bhagavaan shaktaH trailokyasya api paarthiva || 1-58-5
avamaanam katham kartum tasya shakshaayaamahe vayam |
” ‘Oh king of subjects, better get back to your own city again for you are childish. That godlike Vashishta alone is capable to orchestrate any ritual by any king in all the three worlds. Oh, king, how then we are capable to cause a disrepute to his reputation.’ Thus, the sons of Vashishta refuted Trishanku. [1-58-5, 6a] .
तेषाम् तद् वचनम् श्रुत्वा क्रोध पर्याकुल अक्षरम् || १-५८-६
स राजा पुनः एव एतान् इदम् वचनम् अब्रवीत् |
sa raajaa punaH eva etaan idam vacanam abraviit |
“On hearing that sentence of theirs which is highly faltering with words of fury that king further spoke this sentence to all of them.” So Shataananda continued. [1-58-6b, 7a] .
प्रत्याख्यातो भगवता गुरु पुत्रैः तथैव हि || १-५८-७
अन्याम् गतिम् गमिष्यामि स्वस्ति वो अस्तु तपो धनाः |
anyaam gatim gamiShyaami svasti vo astu tapo dhanaaH |
” ‘I am indeed rejected by the godlike Vashishta, likewise even by you, the sons of the same mentor, as such oh, ascetically wealthy scholars, in this state obloquy I will resort to another recourse, let safety betide you.’ So Trishanku bade farewell to the sons of Vashishta, but… [1-58-7b, 8a] .
ऋषि पुत्राः तु तत् श्रुत्वा वाक्यम् घोर अभिसंहितम् || १-५८-८
शेपुः परम संक्रुद्धाः चण्डालत्वम् गमिष्यसि |
shepuH parama saMkruddhaaH caNDaalatvam gamiShyasi |
“But the sons of the sage Vashishta, on hearing that sentence of the king, that is inclusive of and leading to a calamitous situation, have become very highly infuriated and cursed saying, ‘you shall get into a state of basely profaner.’ That is the curse issued by the sons of Vashishta to Trishanku. [1-58-8b, 9a]
This expression caNDaal has its own impact. The nomenclature of caNDaal is not the present day ‘untouchable’ ‘outcaste’ or a ‘pariah’ etc., because he is also a member and an important functionary in Hindu system of castes. In Aranya Kanda Seetha admonishes Ravana with the same wording at 3-56-18. The analogy she uses there is to differentiate between functionaries like the Vedic-scholar and the caste-bound Profaner [meaning: one who is not initiated into religious rites or any esoteric knowledge… but socially designated as a Cremator] and between the Altar of Fire and Fire of Pyre, and between the Vedic Ritual and Funeral Rites, both involving Vedic-hymns. A Vedic scholar, or a true Brahmin may perhaps conduct a yaj~na but he is no authority to conduct antya kriya ‘funerals’ till its end. At best, a priest’s function is until the lighting of the pyre, and even perhaps until kapaala moksha ‘breakage of cranium…’ and from then on it is the function of this caNDaal to take care of the corpse consigned to fire and for its complete cremation, since leaving half burnt corpse to vultures and wolves is sinning as well as for unsanitary situations. Thus, if a Vedic scholar conducts jaata aadi kriyaaH ‘rites from birth onwards…’ as an initiator, then a caNDaal conducts antya, uttara kriyaaH ‘rites of death afterwards…’ as a terminator. This verbiage is to demark the relative values of functionaries, according to the maxim ‘a donkey is to bear and a dog is to bark…’ and if their functions are reversed, reversed are our results. .
इति उक्त्वा ते महात्मानो विविशुः स्वम् स्वम् आश्रमम् || १-५८-९
अथ रात्र्याम् व्यतीतायाम् राजा चण्डालताम् गतः |
atha raatryaam vyatiitaayaam raajaa caNDaalataam gataH |
“On saying thus those great-souled sons of Vashishta withdrew to one’s own hermitage and when that night elapsed into day then the king lapsed into a state of basely profaner. [1-58-9b, 10a] .
नील वस्त्र धरो नीलः परुषो ध्वस्त मूर्धजः || १-५८-१०
चित्य माल्य अनुलेपः च आयस आभरणो अभवत् |
citya maalya anulepaH ca aayasa aabharaNo abhavat |
“He is now wearing blackish cloths which on yestereve were ochry silks, he is now a blackamoor who on yestereve was a gilt-royalty, his head-hair is shaggy which earlier was silkily soft, and his royal garlands which were richly fragrant are now funeral wreaths, and he is besmeared with crematory ashes which were regal emollients, and his royal jewellery is now rendered into iron adornments. [1-58-10b, 11a] .
तम् दृष्ट्वा मंत्रिणः सर्वे त्यज्य चण्डाल रूपिणम् || १-५८-११
प्राद्रवन् सहिता राम पौरा ये अस्य अनुगामिनः |
praadravan sahitaa raama pauraa ye asya anugaaminaH |
“On seeing him in the mien of a profaner, oh, Rama, all of his ministers and the subjects and his own retinue have deserted him and took to flight in masses. [1-58-11b, 12a] .
एको हि राजा काकुत्स्थ जगाम परम आत्मवान् || १-५८-१२
दह्यमानो दिवा रात्रम् विश्वामित्रम् तपो धनम् |
dahyamaano divaa raatram vishvaamitram tapo dhanam |
“Though that resolutely self-assured king seethed for one night and day for this mishap, then went to the ascetically prosperous Vishvamitra. [1-58-12b, 13] .
विश्वामित्रः तु तम् दृष्ट्वा राजानम् विफली कृतम् ||१-५८-१३
चण्डाल रूपिणम् राम मुनिः कारुण्यम् आगतः |
caNDaala ruupiNam raama muniH kaaruNyam aagataH |
But on seeing at that mien of the king which is rendered to that of a precluded profaner from kingship and for officiating rituals etc., oh, Rama, sage Vishvamitra because sympathetic. [1-58-13b, 14a].
The preclusion of the king by way of his transfiguring into a profaner is not only from his kingship, by which he is debarred from officiating Vedic rituals etc., but also from his aihika aamuSmika bhogaaH ‘earthly and heavenly enjoyments…’ because a king is a godsend being. .
कारुण्यात् स महातेजा वाक्यम् परम धार्मिकः || १-५८-१४
इदम् जगाद भद्रम् ते राजानम् घोर दर्शनम् |
idam jagaada bhadram te raajaanam ghora darshanam |
“The great-resplendent sage and highly generous Vishvamitra firstly said to that king who is in a terrible aspect ‘let safety betide you,’ and then spoke on this sentence to him. [1-58-14b, 15a] .
किम् आगमन कार्यम् ते राजपुत्र महाबल || १-५८-१५
अयोध्या अधिपते वीर शापात् चण्डालताम् गतः |
ayodhyaa adhipate viira shaapaat caNDaalataam gataH |
” ‘What is the purpose of your visit, oh, great-mighty prince Trishanku, oh, brave lord of Ayodhya, you are accurst to the state of profaner.’ [1-58-15b, 16a] .
अथ तत् वाक्यम् आकर्ण्य राजा चण्डालताम् गतः || १-५८-१६
अब्रवीत् प्रांजलिः वाक्यम् वाक्यज्ञो वाक्य कोविदम् |
abraviit praaMjaliH vaakyam vaakyaj~no vaakya kovidam |
“Then that king who is accurst to a state of profaner on listening that sentence, as a diligent sentence maker spoke this sentence with his palms adjoined to the sententious sage Vishvamitra. [1-58-16b, 17a] .
प्रत्याख्यातो अस्मि गुरुणा गुरु पुत्रैः तथा एव च || १-५८-१७
अनवाप्य एव तम् कामम् मया प्राप्तो विपर्ययः |
anavaapya eva tam kaamam mayaa praapto viparyayaH |
” ‘I am spurned off by my mentor Vashishta and also like that by his sons. My aspiration remained unachievable, besides, this discrepancy has bechanced upon me. [1-58-17b, 18a] .
स शरीरो दिवम् यायामि इति मे सौंय दर्शन || १-५८-१८
मया च इष्टम् क्रतु शतम् तत् च न अवाप्यते फलम् |
mayaa ca iShTam kratu shatam tat ca na avaapyate phalam |
” ‘Oh, gentle Vishvamitra, my aspiration is nothing but to go to heaven with my body. I have performed hundred rituals but I have not achieved the fruit.’ Thus Trishanku started tell his sad tale. .
अनृतम् न उक्त पूर्वम् मे न च वक्ष्ये कदाचन || १-५८-१९
कृच्छ्रेषु अपि गतः सौंय क्षत्र धर्मेण ते शपे |
kR^icChreShu api gataH sauMya kShatra dharmeNa te shape |
” ‘And now if you doubt me to be a liar, I am no liar either. I spoke no lie heretofore, and even if I were to land into any predicament I do not speak lies anytime hereinafter. Oh, gentle sage, this I pledge you upon my virtue of Kshatriya-hood. [1-58-19, 20a]
A liar is hell-bound but not the other way as said yaj~no anR^ite na rakshati… ‘a Vedic ritual would not save liars…’ .
यज्ञैः बहु विधैः इष्टम् प्रजा धर्मेण पालिताः || १-५८-२०
गुरवः च महात्मानः शील वृत्तेन तोषिताः |
guravaH ca mahaatmaanaH shiila vR^ittena toShitaaH |
” ‘I have propitiated gods with many kinds of Vedic-rituals. I have reigned over people conscientiously. And with my conduct and comport the high-souled savants are also pleased. [1-58-20b, 21a] .
धर्मे प्रयतमानस्य यज्ञम् च आहर्तुम् इच्छतः || १-५८-२१
परितोषम् न गच्छन्ति गुरवो मुनिपुंगव |
paritoSham na gacChanti guravo munipuMgava |
” ‘While I am a pursuant in probity I expect to avail myself of the fruition of this kind of Vedic-ritual. Oh, eminent sage Vishvamitra, but my mentors are not deriving complete contentment by my pursuit. Hence, they shove me off. [1-58-21b, 22a] .
दैवम् एव परम् मन्ये पौरुषम् तु निरर्थकम् || १-५८-२२
दैवेन आक्रंयते सर्वम् दैवम् हि परमा गतिः |
daivena aakraMyate sarvam daivam hi paramaa gatiH |
” ‘I deem destiny is the only ultimate, and manly efforts are meaningless, for destiny surmounts everything. Destiny is the ultimate course, isn’t it? [1-58-22b, 23a] .
तस्य मे परम आर्तस्य प्रसादम् अभिकांक्षतः |
कर्तुम् अर्हसि भद्रम् ते दैव उपहत कर्मणः || १-५८-२३
kartum arhasi bhadram te daiva upahata karmaNaH || 1-58-23
” ‘A highly anguished endeavourer, marred by destiny, a sincere requester, such as I am, it will be apt of you to accord, you be safe, your favour upon me. [1-58-23b, c] .
न अन्याम् गतिम् गमिष्यामि न अन्यः शरणम् अस्ति मे |
दैवम् पुरुष कारेण निवर्तयितुम् अर्हसि || १-५८-२४
daivam puruSha kaareNa nivar.htayitum ar.hhasi || 1-58-24
” ‘In no alternate course I wish to course through and no alternative shelter is there for me. Hence, it will be apt of you, a god in man’s mien, to countervail my destiny.’ Thus Trishanku prayed for the grace of Vishvamitra…” So said Sage Shataananda to Rama and others continuing the legend of Vishvamitra. [1-58-24] .