Valmiki Ramayanam Ayodhya Kanda (This Version) 3rd sarga :
Muhurtam (appointed time) for the Pattabhishekam (Crowning Ceremony):
He announced that the Pattabhishekam ceremony should take place in that very month चैत्रमासः month of Chaitra, पुण्यः is sacred, पुष्पितकाननः with its groves in blossom.
Chaitra masa is that lunar month where in the full moon is frequently, much closer to Chitra (“Spica” in western astronomy) than to any other Nakshatram. Nowadays, we begin the lunar year with Chaitra Masa. The shlokam (verse) above suggests that Chaitra Masa of that year was the Spring Season – Vasantha Rthu. Even today Chaitra and Vaisakha Masas are considered Vasanatha Rthu or spring season. We have to remember that seasons are connected to the sun and not to the moon or to the nakshatras. Therefore corrections are made to the lunar, solar and stellar (sidereal) calendars to keep them all in synch. Large corrections are made to the lunar calendars every 3 and 5 years. So, for the purposes of astronomical dating, it is safer to stick with the precession of equinoxes.
Arrangements for the Pattabhishekam :
Dasaratha’s announcement was received with a joyous uproar. He had to wait until the sound died down and then he asked Vasistha’s advice for organising the ceremony.
And just as our brahmin priests advise us today, Vasishta too gave a list of things necessary.
“Please arrange by early morning tomorrow, in the king’s palace, in the place set aside for sacred fire, gold and other metals, precious gems, articles of worship (balin), also herbs, garlands of white flowers, roasted corn, honey and clarified butter in separate containers, fresh clothes, chariot weapons of every kind, an army of four divisions, an elephant possessing auspicious marks, white fans made of Yak’s hair, a standard, white parasol, a hundred golden vessels shining like lustre of fire, bull with horns plaited in gold and complete tiger skin.”
He asked them to use sandalwood, flowers and incense to make the city fragrant. He asked for rice to be cooked with curds and milk in large quantities to feed a hundred, thousand brahmins. Brahmins had to be invited for the स्वस्तिवाचनम्, utterance of the word svasti – may good happen, as soon as the sun arose. Flags had to be flown and the highways needed to be sprinkled with fragrant water.
Well dressed Entertainers, Alert and Armed soldiers, Suitable people bearing garlands, gifts and food had to be stationed at the appropriate places – the king’s apartments, gates and temples.
Vamadeva and Vasishtha informed the king of other arrangements to be made also and then went ahead and made the arrangements. Then they came back and intimated that all the arrangements were made.
Dasaratha then sent Sumantra to bring Sri Rama in a chariot.
A description of the kings in the assembly.
The next verse is important because we hear of different kinds of people of that time – The North-Easterners, Westerners, Southerners, Foreigners, Mountain Dwellers and the Aryans. From which we can understand that the Aryans was the classification of people of a region and they were one among many. (See Also : Aryans to Asoka (Bhavishya Purana)). अथ afterwards, प्राच्योदीच्याः relating to eastern and northern countries, प्रतीच्याः च relating to west, दाक्षिणात्याः च relating to south, भूमिपाः kings, म्लेच्छाः च foreign, आर्याः च Aryan, वने in forest, अन्ये other, ये who so ever, शैलान्तवासिनः inhabiting the mountains, सर्वे all, तदा then, तत्र there, समासीनाः had seated, तम् दशरथं नृपम् that king Dasaratha, देवाः devatas, वासवमिव like Indra, उपासाञ्चक्रिरे paid homage.
Rama’s beauty is extolled and he is compared to a gandharva king in appearance :
Then the handsome Sri Rama arrived in a chariot and alighted from it. His good looks are described variously including : “गन्धर्वराजप्रतिमम् appearing like the very image of king of gandharvas.” (At that time the Gandharvas protected both sides of the Sindhu River – Bharata, later conquered the region and established the cities of Takshashila to the east of Sindhu in Gandharva Desa and Pushkalavata to the west of Sindhu in Gandhara Desa.) From this we understand that the gandharvas, or at least their king, was handsome and worth looking like! The gandharva people may have been the ancestors of the modern Sindhis.
3rd sarga to be continued…
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula