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[Valmiki composes the Ramayana in 24,000 verses -- teaches the verses to Kusa and Lava -- identifies Kusa and Lava for propagating the poem because of their melodious voice -- Kusa and Lava travel from place to place singing the Ramayana kavya--they sing at the assembly of rishis at aswamedha -- Sri Rama invites them to his palace and hears the Ramayana chanted by them.]

प्राप्तराज्यस्य रामस्य वाल्मीकिर्भगवानृषि:।

चकार चरितं कृत्स्नं विचित्रपदमात्मवान्।।1.4.1।।


भगवान् possessing divinity, आत्मवान् possessing spiritual wisdom, ऋषि: sage having the qualities of a poet, वाल्मीकि: Valmiki, प्राप्तराज्यस्य of him who gained the kingdom, रामस्य Rama's, विचित्रपदम् employing varied words causing astonishment, कृत्स्नम् entire, चरितम् history, चकार composed.

The divine sage Valmiki, composed in wonderful lines the entire lifestory of Rama who regained his kingdom.
चतुर्विंशत्सहस्राणि श्लोकानामुक्तवानृषि:।

तथा सर्गशतान्पञ्च षट्काण्डानि तथोत्तरम् ।।1.4.2।।


ऋषि: sage Valmiki, श्लोकानां चतुर्विंशत्सहस्राणि twenty four thousand verses, तथा and, पञ्च सर्गशतान् five hundred cantos, षट् काण्डानि six kandas, तथा and, उत्तरम् in addition Uttarakanda, उक्तवान् recite (composed).

Sage Valmiki composed the Ramayanam in twentyfour thousand verses in six kandas and also Uttarakanda (consisting of five hundred cantos).
कृत्वापि तन्महाप्राज्ञस्सभविष्यं सहोत्तरम्।

चिन्तयामास कोन्वेतत्प्रयुञ्जीयादिति प्रभु:।।1.4.3।।


महाप्राज्ञ: great intellectual, प्रभु: competent (capable of visualising the past, distant present and future)Valmiki, सहोत्तरम् including events of Uttarakanda(events subsequent to Rama's coronation), सभविष्यम् along with future events, तत् all that, कृत्वा having composed, एतत् this one, क: नु who indeed, प्रयुञ्जीयात् may translate into performance, इति in this way, चिन्तयामास reflected.

The great intellectual and competent Valmiki having composed the Ramayanam including the events of Uttarakanda as well as future events, reflected as to who could translate into performance the epic.
तस्य चिन्तयमानस्य महर्षेर्भावितात्मन:।

अगृह्णीतां तत: पादौ मुनिवेषौ कुशीलवौ ।।1.4.4।।


तत: thereafter, मुनिवेषौ wearing the apparel of ascetic, कुशीलवौ two youngsters Kusa and Lava, चिन्तयमानस्य pondering over thus, भावितात्मन: of the honoured person, तस्य महर्षे: that sage Valmiki's, पादौ feet, अगृह्णीताम् touched.

While the highly honoured sage Valmiki was thus pondering over, Kusa and Lava came to him in the garb of ascetics and bowed at his feet.
कुशीलवौ तु धर्मज्ञौ राजपुत्रौ यशस्विनौ।

भ्रातरौ स्वरसम्पन्नौ ददर्शाश्रमवासिनौ ।।1.4.5।।


धर्मज्ञौ the two had knowledge of dharma, राजपुत्रौ the two princes, यशस्विनौ well known, भ्रातरौ brothers, स्वरसम्पन्नौ endowed with good voice, आश्रमवासिनौ living in the hermitage, कुशीलवौ (singers) Kusa and Lava, ददर्श saw them.

The sage saw the two illustrious princely brothers, wellversed in dharma and endowed with a sweet voice living in the hermitage.
स तु मेधाविनौ दृष्ट्वा वेदेषु परिनिष्ठितौ।

वेदोपबृंहणार्थाय तावग्राहयत प्रभु:।।1.4.6।।


प्रभु: the master, स: that (Valmiki), मेधाविनौ endowed with intellect, वेदेषु in the knowledge of vedas, परिनिष्ठितौ accomplished, दृष्ट्वा having seen, वेदोपबृंहणार्थाय for the purpose of nourishing the vedas, तौ both of them, अग्राहयत got them initiated.

Valmiki, the master, having found both Kusa and Lava endowed with intellect and accomplished in the Vedas initiated them into the Ramayana composed by him for the purpose of nourishing the Vedas.
काव्यं रामायणं कृत्स्नं सीतायाश्चरितं महत्।

पौलस्त्यवधमित्येव चकार चरितव्रत:।।1.4.7।।


चरितव्रत: (Valmiki) one who practised religious vows, कृत्स्नम् entire, काव्यम् epic, रामायणम् the Ramayana, सीताया: महत् चरितम् Sita's great history, पौलस्त्यवधम् इत्येव the slaying of Paulastya etc, चकार composed.

Valmiki who practised religious austerities composed this entire epic named the Ramayana which constitutes the great history of Sita and the killing of Paulastya (Ravana).
पाठ्ये गेये च मधुरं प्रमाणैस्त्रिभिरन्वितम्।

जातिभिस्सप्तभिर्बद्धं तन्त्रीलयसमन्वितम्।।1.4.8।।

रसैश्शृङ्गारकारुण्यहास्यवीरभयानकै:।

रौद्रादिभिश्च संयुक्तं काव्यमेतदगायताम्।।1.4.9।।

तौ तु गान्धर्वतत्त्वज्ञौ मूर्छनास्थानकोविदौ।

भ्रातरौ स्वरसम्पन्नौ गन्धर्वाविव रूपिणौ।।1.4.10।।

रूपलक्षणसम्पन्नौ मधुरस्वरभाषिणौ।

बिम्बादिवोद्धृतौ बिम्बौ रामदेहात्तथाऽपरौ।।1.4.11।।


गान्धर्वतत्त्वज्ञौ the twins who were well versed in music, मूर्छनास्थानकोविदौ learned in melody and pitch, भ्रातरौ the two brothers, स्वरसम्पन्नौ endowed with sweet voice, रूपिणौ assuming human form, गन्धर्वाविव like gandharvas, रूपलक्षणसम्पन्नौ possessed of handsome features, मधुरस्वरभाषिणौ of sweet tone in conversation, बिम्बात् from the original image, रामदेहात् from the body of Rama, उद्धृतौ extracted, अपरौ बिम्बौ इव like other reflected images, तौ तु those two, पाठ्ये in recitation, गेये च in song, मधुरम् charming and attractive, त्रिभि: प्रमाणै: (सह) to the three measures of time (slow, moderate, quick), अन्वितम् having possessed of, सप्तभि: जातिभि: with seven notes, बद्धम् formed, तन्त्रीलयसमन्वितम् adopted time to stringed instruments, शृङ्गारकारुण्यहास्यवीरभयानकै: with the amorous, compassionate, humourous, courageous and fearful, रौद्रादिभिश्च and also violent etc., रसै: moods, संयुक्तम् endowed with, एतत् this, काव्यम् epic, अगायताम् chanted.

The twin brothers Kusa and Lava, endowed with a melodious voice, possessed auspicious form and beauty. They were gandharvas in human form. They looked like the two reflected images of Rama. The contents of this epic, apart from being memorable are sweet and suitable for verbal recitation as well as singing. This charming and attractive kavya is fit to be adapted to the three measures of time and to stringed instruments. It possesses seven notes together with various moodsamorous, compassionate, humorous, heroic, fearful and also violent.
तौ राजपुत्रौ कार्त्स्न्येन धर्म्यमाख्यानमुत्तमम्।

वाचोविधेयं तत्सर्वं कृत्वा काव्यमनिन्दितौ।।1.4.12।।

ऋषीणां च द्विजातीनां साधूनां च समागमे।

यथोपदेशं तत्त्वज्ञौ जगतुस्सुसमाहितौ।।1.4.13।।


तौ राजपुत्रौ these two princes, धर्म्यम् based on dharma, उत्तमम् greatest, तत् सर्वम् आख्यानम् the entire epic, कात्स्नर्येन completely, वाचोविधेयम् committed to memory, कृत्वा having made, अनिन्दितौ blameless, तत्त्वज्ञौ well versed, सुसमाहितौ disciplined, यथोपदेशम् as instructed (by sage Valmiki), ऋषीणाम् of the ascetics, द्विजातीनाम् of the learned brahmins, साधूनां च of saints also, समागमे in the meetings, जगतु: chanted.

These two princes blameless, disciplined and wellversed, committed to memory the whole epic and chanted as instructed in the assembly of rishis, brahmins and saints.
महात्मानौ महाभागौ सर्वलक्षणलक्षितौ।

तौ कदाचित्समेतानामृषीणां भावितात्मनाम्।

आसीनानां समीपस्थाविदं काव्यमगायताम्।।1.4.14।।


महात्मानौ great persons, महाभागौ dignified ones, सर्वलक्षणलक्षितौ endowed with all good features, तौ both of them, कदाचित् on a particular occasion, समेतानाम् assembled at one place, भावितात्मनाम् of honoured ones, आसीनानाम् of those who were seated, ऋषीणाम् ascetics', समीपस्थौ standing in their presence, इदम् this, काव्यम् great epic, अगायताम् chanted.

On a particular occasion both the great princes who were dignified and endowed with good features, chanted this great epic in the presence of honoured ascetics who assembled at one place.
तच्छ्रुत्वा मुनयस्सर्वे बाष्पपर्याकुलेक्षणा:।

साधुसाध्विति तावूचु: परं विस्मयमागता:।।1.4.15।।


सर्वे all, मुनय: sages, तत् श्रुत्वा having heard that, परम् great, विस्मयम् wonder, आगता: having experienced, बाष्पपर्याकुलेक्षणा: been overcome with tears of joy in their eyes, साधु साधु इति excellent, excellent, तौ about Kusa and Lava, ऊचु: exclaimed.

All the sages having heard the chanting (of that glorious kavya), experienced great
astonishment. Overcome with tears of joy in their eyes, they praised them, exclaiming "Excellent, Excellent".
ते प्रीतमनसस्सर्वे मुनयो धर्मवत्सला:।

प्रशशंसु: प्रशस्तव्यौ गायमानौ कुशीलवौ।।1.4.16।।


धर्मवत्सला: ते सर्वे all those who love dharma, मुनय: sages, प्रीतमनस: pleased, प्रशस्तव्यौ praiseworthy, गायमानौ while both of them were chanting, कुशीलवौ singers (Kusa and Lava), प्रशशंसु: praised.

All the sages steeped in dharma, pleased with them, praised the admirable Kusa and Lava as they sang.
अहो गीतस्य माधुर्यं श्लोकानां च विशेषत:।

चिरनिर्वृत्तमप्येतत्प्रत्यक्षमिव दर्शितम्।।1.4.17।।


गीतस्य of the song, माधुर्यम् melody, अहो how surprising, विशेषत: especially, श्लोकानामथ of verses, एतत् this history, चिरनिर्वृत्तमपि though happened long ago, प्रत्यक्षमिव as if happening at the present moment, दर्शितम् is shown.

How melodious is this chanting, especially the verses Though it (the events) had happened long ago, it is described as if it is happening at the present moment, exclaimed the audience.
प्रविश्य तावुभौ सुष्ठु भावं सम्यगगायताम्।

सहितौ मधुरं रक्तं सम्पन्नं स्वरसम्पदा।।1.4.18।।


तौ उभौ both of them, सहितौ in unison, भावम् in theme, सुष्ठु excellently, प्रविश्य having entered, मधुरम् melodiusly, रक्तम् entrancing, स्वरसम्पदा sadja and other notes, सम्पन्नम् endowed with, सम्यक् very well, अगायताम् chanted.

They both chanted in perfect unison in theme and passion, with their charming
melodious voice endowed with the rich notes of music (sadja and other).
एवं प्रशस्यमानौ तौ तपश्श्लाघ्यैर्महात्मभि:।

संरक्ततरमत्यर्थं मधुरं तावगायताम्।।1.4.19।।


तप: श्लाघ्यै: by ascetics who were commendable for their austerities, महात्मभि: by great sages, एवम् in this manner, प्रशस्यमानौ being praised, तौ both of them, संरक्ततरम् highly entrancing, अत्यर्थम् even with greater desire, मधुरम् sweetly, अगायताम् chanted.

Praised in this manner by the great sages commendable for their austerities, they chanted even with greater charm and sweetness.
प्रीत: कश्चिन्मुनिस्ताभ्यां संस्थित: कलशं ददौ।

प्रसन्नो वल्कलं कश्चिद्ददौ ताभ्यां महायशा:।।1.4.20।।


कश्चित् some one from the assembly of, मुनि: sage, प्रीत: pleased, संस्थित: seated there, ताभ्याम् for both of them, कलशम् waterpitcher, ददौ gave, महायशा: renowned, कश्चित् another one, प्रसन्न: delighted, वल्कलम् bark garment, ददौ gave.

Pleased with the singing, one of the sages seated in the assembly presented them a pitcher. Another sage of renown got so delighted that he gave them garments.
आश्चर्यमिदमाख्यानं मुनिना सम्प्रकीर्तितम्।

परं कवीनामाधारं समाप्तं च यथाक्रमम्।।1.4.21।।


मुनिना by sage Valmiki, सम्प्रकीर्तितम् has been told, इदम् this, आख्यानम् legendary poem, आश्चर्यम् is causing surprise, कवीनाम् for the poets, परम् supreme, आधारम् foundation, यथाक्रमम् according to specific rules and order, समाप्तं च is also completed.

This wonderful epic chronologically composed and completed by the sage (Valmiki), is the supreme source for poetry.
अभिगीतमिदं गीतं सर्वगीतेषु कोविदौ।

आयुष्यं पुष्टिजनकं सर्वश्रुतिमनोहरम्।।1.4.22।।

प्रशस्यमानौ सर्वत्र कदाचित्तत्र गायकौ ।

रथ्यासु राजमार्गेषु ददर्श भरताग्रज:।।1.4.23।।


आयुष्यम् bestowing longevity, पुष्टिजनकम् causing nourishment (prosperity), सर्वश्रुतिमनोहरम् to all pleasing to hear, अभिगीतम् having sung well, इदम् this, गीतम् poem, प्रशस्यमानौ being admired, रथ्यासु in the streets, राजमार्गेषु in principal roads, सर्वत्र everywhere, गायकौ singers Kusa and Lava, सर्वगीतेषु among all kinds of songs, कोविदौ proficient, कदाचित् on one occasion, भरताग्रज: Sri Rama, ददर्श saw them.

The two singers, proficient in all kinds of notes recited the epic in the streets and on the principal roads. It was pleasing to hear for all. It gave long life and prosperity to the listeners. People admired them. Once Rama happened to see them.
स्ववेश्म चानीय तदा भ्रातरौ स कुशीलवौ।

पूजयामास पूजार्हौ रामश्शत्रुनिबर्हण:।।1.4.24।।


तदा thereafter, शत्रुनिबर्हण: destroyer of enemies, स: राम: Rama, पूजार्हौ the twins deserving honour, भ्रातरौ brothers, कुशीलवौ Kusa and Lava, स्ववेश्म to his royal palace, आनीय having brought, पूजयामास extended respectful hospitality.

Thereafter, Rama, the destroyer of enemies, having invited the two brothers Kusa and Lava who deserved honour. He brought them to his royal palace and extended respectful hospitality.
आसीन: काञ्चने दिव्ये स च सिंहासने प्रभु:।

उपोपविष्टस्सचिवैर्भ्रातृभिश्च परन्तप:।।1.4.25।।


परन्तप: tormentor of enemies, स: प्रभु: that Rama, सचिवै: by ministers, भ्रातृभिश्च by brothers, उपोपविष्ट: surrounded by, दिव्ये in a splendid, काञ्चने golden, सिंहासने throne, आसीन: was seated.

Rama, the tormentor of enemies, surrounded by his ministers and brothers occupied the splendid golden throne.
दृष्ट्वा तु रूपसम्पन्नौ तावुभौ नियतस्तथा।

उवाच लक्ष्मणं रामश्शत्रुघ्नं भरतं तदा।।1.4.26।।


नियत: selfpossessed, राम: Rama, तदा then, रूपसम्पन्नौ very handsome, तौ those, उभौ both of them, दृष्ट्वा having seen, लक्ष्मणम् Lakshmana, शत्रुघ्नम् Satrughna, तथा and, भरतम् Bharata, उवाच said.

Then selfpossessed Rama, having seen those very handsome brothers (Kusa and Lava), addressed Lakshmana, Satrughna and Bharata, saying:
श्रूयतामिदमाख्यानमनयोर्देववर्चसो:।

विचित्रार्थपदं सम्यग्गायकौ तावचोदयत्।।1.4.27।।


देववर्चसो: of both possessing lustre of devatas, अनयो: of both of them, विचित्रार्थपदम् portraying excellent sense and words, इदम् this, आख्यानम् poem, सम्यक् completely, श्रूयताम् let it be heard, तौ गायकौ those singers, अचोदयत् urged.

"Listen to this story sung by both of them, portraying excellent sense and words". Having said this, Rama urged the singers with the lustre of devatas to commence.
तौ चापि मधुरं रक्तं स्वञ्चितायतनिस्वनम् ।

तन्त्रीलयवदत्यर्थं विश्रुतार्थमगायताम् ।।1.4.28।।


तौ च both of them, मधुरम् melodiously, रक्तम् engaging, स्वञ्चितायतनिस्वनम् good and ample voice, तन्त्रीलयवत् tuning their stringed instruments, अत्यर्थम् greatly, विश्रुतार्थम् distinctly meaningful, अगायताम् chanted.

Both of them, with good and ample voice, chanted the kavya in a distinctly meaningful way. Tuning their stringed instruments, they sang melodiously and engagingly.
ह्लादयत्सर्वगात्राणि मनांसि हृदयानि च।

श्रोत्राश्रयसुखं गेयं तद्बभौ जनसंसदि।।1.4.29।।


श्रोत्राश्रयसुखम् comfortable to the sense of hearing, तत् that, गेयम् poem, जनसंसदि in the assembly of men, सर्वगात्राणि all the sense organs, मनांसि minds, हृदयानि च hearts also, ह्लादयत् rejoicing, बभौ shone.

The chanting of the kavya in the assembly of men comforted the sense of hearing. The listeners rejoiced in their mind, heart and the whole being.
इमौ मुनी पार्थिवलक्षणान्वितौ

कुशीलवौ चैव महातपस्विनौ।

ममापि तद्भूतिकरं प्रवक्ष्यते

महानुभावं चरितं निबोधत।।1.4.30।।


इमौ both these, मुनी sages, पार्थिवलक्षणान्वितौ endowed with attributes of royalty, कुशीलवौ चैव singers Kusa and Lava, महातपस्विनौ great ascetics, ममापि even for me, भूतिकरम् conducive to my welfare, महानुभावम् having great purport, तत् चरितम् that history, प्रवक्ष्यते will be narrated, निबोधत listen with concentration of mind.

Addressing the assembly of men Rama said "Both Kusa and Lava, even though ascetics, are endowed with the attributes of royalty. Eventhough they are singers, they are ascetics. This is even conducive to my wellbeing. Listen to the meaningful story with concentration".
ततस्तु तौ रामवच:प्रचोदितावगायतां मार्गविधानसम्पदा।

स चापि राम: परिषद्गतः शनैर्बुभूषयासक्तमना बभूव।।1.4.31।।


तत: thereafter, तौ the two brothers, रामवच:प्रचोदितौ encouraged by words of Rama, मार्गविधानसम्पदा according to 'Marga' mode of singing, अगायताम् chanted, परिषद्गत: who was in the assembly, स: राम: अपि even Rama, शनै: बुभूषया desirous of having a peaceful mind, आसक्तमना: बभूव fixed their mind on chanting.

Encouraged by the words of Rama, the two brothers chanted according to marga
mode of singing (classical style). Even Rama who was in the assembly desirous of peace, concentrated his mind on that chanting.
इत्यार्षे श्रीमद्रामायणे वाल्मीकीय आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे चतुर्थस्सर्ग:।।
Thus ends the fourth sarga of Balakanda of the holy Ramayana in synopsis of the first epic composed by sage Valmiki.