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Bala Kanda, Chapter 22

Rama & Lakshmana travel with Vishvamitra to his Hermitage

When Vashishta said that way king Dashratha with an air of satisfaction personally fetched Rama along with Lakshmana.

Rama is blessed for a propitious travel firstly by his mother Kausalya and then by his father king Dashratha, thereupon the royal priest Vashishta rendered Vedic hymns blessing the journey, then Dashratha well pleased in his heart of hearts kissed his son Rama on forehead and entrusted him to Vishvamitra.

Then on seeing the lotus-eyed Rama following Vishvamitra the breeze became dustless and breezed pleasant for touch.

When the great-souled Rama forged ahead there occurred an abounding downpour of flowers with the booming of divine drums, together with the boom and blare of drums and conch-shells of Ayodhya.

Rama with jet-black hair-locks handling his bow followed Vishvamitra who walked ahead, while Lakshmana handling his own bow followed Rama.

Rama and Lakshmana, with two quivers each and two bows in their hands, and making all the ten directions of compass lambent followed Vishvamitra, as if three headed serpents followed Vishvamitra, and with their highly dynamic physiques and spiritedness they look as if like the Ashwin twin gods of unequal charm following Brahma, the Forefather.

Those two youngsters with charming and bejewelled physiques are handling bows and swords and their fingers have leathern covers. Both the unreprovable brothers Rama and Lakshmana are highly resplendent and effulgent by their worth. While they are following Vishvamitra they looked like the sons of Fire-god, namely Skanda and Vishakha, following the great god with inscrutable potential, namely Shiva, and thus the brothers have made Vishvamitra to shine forth in even pose with god Shiva.

And on going one and half yojana distance Vishvamitra addressed Rama in a harmonious voice calling, 'oh, Rama', on the southern riverbank of Sarayu.

" "Take water, my boy, and like that you receive a group of hymns, bala and ati bala from me, and let no time lapse.

"On receiving these hymns neither tiredness nor fever, nor disfiguring of personality can effect you, nor the demons can charge you either you are sleeping or unvigilant.

"As it is none whosoever on earth can equal you in dexterity, Rama, and by reciting these hymns none can equal you in the three worlds.

"My dear Raghava, if bala atibala hymns are practised, oh, impeccable one, none can equal you in the world by your handsomeness, calibre, erudition, by your discernment, and even in replying or rebutting you.

"On receiving these two teachings there will be none similar to you, for bala and atibala are the mothers of all knowledge.

"Oh, best one among men, Raghava, if you go on reciting bala and atiblala hymns, my dear Rama, there will be no hunger or thirst to you.

"And if these twin teachings are practised an inestimable renown will also accrue, oh, Raghu's legatee, these two hymns that possess brilliance are the daughters of Forefather Brahma, and oh, Rama of Kakutstha, I intend to impart these hymns to you, oh virtuous one, as you are the most eligible one, hence take the teachings that are kept safe from the world.

"Though all of these numerous qualities are undoubtedly available with you, that too in abundance, yet these hymns if ascetically nurtured will yield various results." Thus spoke Sage Vishvamitra to Rama.

Then Rama on touching water to purify himself received those teachings from the contemplative soul Vishvamitra with gladness beaming on his face.

Rama, the one with marvellous valiance, on obtaining those teachings performed all his duties of a student in respect of a teacher and then shone forth like the thousand rayed sun on a cloudless sky of autumn. Then those three very happily stayed on the riverbank of Sarayu for that night.

Though both Rama and Lakshmana slept on an undeserving grass bed, nestled by the comfortable words of Vishvamitra that night is as though pleasant to the noteworthy children of Dashratha.

Sage Vishvamitra is the Seer for Gayatri hymn. He is the same Sage to impart bala atibala hymns to Rama and Lakshmana. For those readers that are interested to know or to practice, the Upanishad of bala atibala is included hereunder. This hymn is yet another aspect of Gayatri, and there is no hymn superior than Gayatri, na gaayatriyaaH paramam japam