Bala Kanda: Chapter 8

तस्य चैवंप्रभावस्य धर्मज्ञस्य महात्मनः। सुतार्थं तप्यमानस्य नासीद् वंशकरः सुतः॥
And although engaged in austerities with the view of having sons born to him, the powerful and high-souled king, had no son capable of perpetuating his race.

चिन्तयानस्य तस्यैवं बुद्धिरासीन्महात्मनः। सुतार्थं वाजिमेधेन किमर्थं न यजाम्यहम्॥
Mentally turning the matter over, the highsouled one thought, Why do I not celebrate a horse-sacrifice with the intention of obtaining a son?

स निश्चितां मतिं कृत्वा यष्टव्यमिति बुद्धिमान्। मन्त्रिभिः सह धर्मात्मा सर्वैरपि कृतात्मभिः॥ ततोऽब्रवीन्महातेजाः सुमन्त्रं मन्त्रिसत्तम। शीघ्रमानय मे सर्वान् गुरूंस्तान् सपुरोहितान्॥
That highly-energetic, pious and intelligent monarch, in consultation with all his counsellors of sedate minds, having made up his mind to celebrate the sacrifice, said to that best of counsellors, Sumantra, Do you speedily summon my spiritual guides, along with the family priests.

ततः सुमन्त्रस्त्वरितं गत्वा त्वरितविक्रमः। समानयत् स तान् सर्वान् समस्तान् वेदपारगान्॥
Thereupon, going out speeding, Sumantra of swift movements called together all the spiritual guides, as well as others versed in the Vedic ritual.

सुयज्ञं वामदेवं च जाबालिमथ काश्यपम्। पुरोहितं वसिष्ठं च ये चाप्यन्ये द्विजोत्तमाः॥ तान् पूजयित्वा धर्मात्मा राजा दशरथस्तदा। इदं धर्मार्थसहितं श्लक्ष्णं वचनमब्रवीत्॥
They were Suyajña, and Vămadeva, and Jabali, and Kasyapa, and Vasistha, and other principal twice-born ones. And having paid homage to them, the virtuous king Dasaratha then spoke to them these sweet words.

मम लालप्यमानस्य सुतार्थं नास्ति वै सुखम्। तदर्थं हयमेधेन यक्ष्यामीति मतिर्मम॥
Consistent with duty and interest,-Ever pining on account of a son, I know no happiness,-therefore it is my intention that I should celebrate a horse sacrifice.

तदहं यष्टुमिच्छामि शास्त्रदृष्टेन कर्मणा। कथं प्राप्स्याम्यहं कामं बुद्धिरत्र विचिन्त्यताम्॥
I intend to celebrate it according to the ordinance. Do you, therefore, consider how I may attain my object.

ततः साध्विति तद्वाक्यं ब्राह्मणाः प्रत्यपूजयन्। वसिष्ठप्रमुखाः सर्वे पार्थिवस्य मुखेरितम्॥
Thereat, the Brāhmaṇas with Vasiştha at their head, exclaiming well! Well 1 approved the words that had fallen from the lips of the monarch.

ऊचुश्च परमप्रीताः सर्वे दशरथं वचः। सम्भाराः सम्ध्रियन्तां ते तुरगश्च विमुच्यताम् ॥ सरय्वाश्चोत्तरे तीरे यज्ञभूमिर्विधीयताम्। सर्वथा प्राप्स्यसे पुत्रानभिप्रेतांश्च पार्थिव ॥ यस्य ते धार्मिकी बुद्धिरियं पुत्रार्थमागता।
And exceedingly pleased, they asked Daſaratha,-“Do you order the necessary articles, loose the horse, and prepare the sacrificial ground on the north bank of the Sarayû." And, king, since with the intention of obtaining offspring your purpose so piously, you will surely obtain sons after your heart.

ततस्तुष्टोऽभवद् राजा श्रुत्वैतद् द्विजभाषितम्॥ अमात्यानब्रवीद् राजा हर्षव्याकुललोचनः। सम्भाराः सम्भ्रियन्तां मे गुरूणां वचनादिह ॥ समर्थाधिष्ठितश्चाश्वः सोपाध्यायो विमुच्यताम्। सरय्वाश्चोत्तरे तीरे यज्ञभूमिर्विधीयताम्॥ शान्तयश्चापि वर्धन्तां यथाकल्पं यथाविधि। शक्यः प्राप्तुमयं यज्ञः सर्वेणापि महीक्षिता ॥ नापराधो भवेद् कष्टो यद्यस्मिन् क्रतुसत्तमे। छिद्रं हि मृगयन्ते स्म विद्वांसो ब्रह्मराक्षसा ॥
And hearing these words of the regenerate ones, the king was highly gratified. And with eyes expanded in delight, he asked his ministers, Do to procure the necessary sacrificial articles, according to the injunction of my spiritual preceptors; and loose a horse protected by a competent person, and followed by one of the chief family priests; and prepare the sacrificial ground on the north bank of the Sarayū; and in due order and according to the ordinance perform the śānti rites required to secure an uninterrupted completion to the ceremony. This ceremony is incapable of being celebrated by every king. Particular care should be taken that the sacrifice is not defective on account of any serious omission; inasmuch as with learned Brahma-Rākṣasas ever on the look-out to spy shortcomings in the ceremony.

विधिहीनस्य यज्ञस्य सद्यः कर्ता विनश्यति। तद्यथा विधिपूर्वं मे क्रतुरेष समाप्यते॥
The performer thereof speedily perishes, should anything take place not consonant to the ordinance. And do you possessed of ability so arrange, that this sacrifice may be completed in harmony with the ritual.

तथा विधानं क्रियतां समर्थाः साधनेष्विति। तथेति चाब्रुवन् सर्वे मन्त्रिणः प्रतिपूजिताः॥
Thus addressed with due respect, the counsellors listened to the word of the monarch, and said, So be it.

पार्थिवेन्द्रस्य तद् वाक्यं यथापूर्वं निशम्य ते। तथा द्विजास्ते धर्मज्ञा वर्धयन्तो नृपोत्तमम्॥ अनुज्ञातास्ततः सर्वे पुनर्जग्मुर्यथागतम्।
Then hearing those words of that best king again, as heard before, conversant with their duty, having blessed the monarch, taking permission of the king, they returned to their respective quarters.

विसर्जयित्वा तान् विप्रान् सचिवानिदमब्रवीत्॥ ऋत्विग्भिरुपसंदिष्टो यथावत् क्रतुराप्यताम्।
Dismissing those Brāhmaṇas, the king spoke to his ministers, saying, Do you, even as the family priests have ordered, arrange for the sacrifice!

इत्युक्त्वानृपशार्दूलः सचिवान् समुपस्थितान्॥ विसर्जयित्वा स्वं वेश्म प्रविवेश महामतिः।
Having said this, that mighty-minded tiger among nen dismissed his ministers, and himself entered into the inner apartment.

ततः स गत्वा ताः पत्नीनरेन्द्रो हृदयंगमाः॥ उवाच दीक्षां विशत यक्ष्येऽहं सुतकारणात् ।
And coming there, that lord of men said to his favourite wives, Do you know it for certain that in order to obtain a son I am going to perform a sacrifice.

तासां तेनातिकान्तेन वचनेन सुवर्चसाम्। मुखपद्मान्यशोभन्त पद्मानीव हिमात्यये॥
And hearing those sweet words, the countenances of those shining dames looked resplendent, like lotuses after the cold season is over.