In the previous episode we witnessed that Sage Vasishtaachaarya intervenes during the unfortunate happenings in king Dasharata’s courtroom and instructs Dasharata to send his son Rama along with Sage Vishwaamithra. In the due course we also saw the exhibition of ardent “Guru-Bhakthi” of king Dasharata wherein, the moment Sage Vasishtaachaarya asked him to send Rama, he never spoke even a word against it and immediately obeyed the words of his “Guru” (The master). At the end of yesterday’s episode we also saw that king Dasharata also sent Lakshmana along with Rama and Sage Vishwaamithra. In today’s episode let’s take this forward and witness what happened next!
Rama and Lakshmana are getting ready to commence their “Yaatra” (Journey) with Sage Vishwaamithra and king Dasharata meets both of them before they leave. He hugs his dearest son Rama with him and says, “Oh my dearest Rama.. I’ve never been separated from you for the past twelve years but today I’m in a state of separation from you! But it is for a good cause and I’m happy for it! My only instruction to you at this point is that, obey each and every word of Sage Vishwaamithra and act as per his instructions!” Rama was very happy to hear it from his father and vowed to him that he would follow his words. Here too, we can find the exhibition of “Pithru-Bhakthi” (Devotion of the son to his father) by Bhagawan himself! We shall see many more instances as the story progresses further.
Thus the three of them commence their journey from the city of Ayodhya. Where are they going? Valmiki Maharishi beautifully describes in the following sloka.
“Adhyardha yojanam gadhwaa saravyaa dakshine tate!”
Here, Valmiki Maharishi describes that the three of them walk for one and a half (Ardhyardha) “Yojanas” (“Yojana” is a mythological measure of distance. There are numerous explanations given to this measure in modern day measurements, however, grossly we can assume that 1 “Yojana” is approximately equal to 13.2 kilometers or around 8.2 miles). Thus we can see here that Sage Vishwaamithra along with Rama and Lakshmana are walking along the southern bank of River Sarayu for a distance of around 19-20 kilometers.
Valmiki Maharishi continues to explain:
“Manthra graamam gruhaanathvam balaam athibalaam tathaa!
Nasshramo najjvalo vaadhena roopasya viparyayaha!!
Na cha suktham pramartham vaa darshayanthi nairruthaaha!
Na vaakvoovoo chadursho veerye prithivyaamaschi kaschana!!
Balaam athibalaamschaiva patakastaatha raaghava!
Na soubhaagye na daakshinye na gnyaane buddhi nischaye!!”
Thus Sage Vishwaamithra takes along the two children Rama and Lakshmana with him and he realizes that these children have to walk long distances, fight demons, etc. Hence, he decides to teach them two important “Manthras” – “Balaa” and “Athibalaa”. Sage Vishwaamithra teaches the children these two important manthras that had directly come from Lord Brahma (The Universal Creator) and explains to the children that they would never get tired (“Na soubhaagye”), they would never feel fatigued mentally (“Na Daakshinye”, “Na Gnyaane”) and their brain would be active every time (“Buddhi Nischaye”). Thus, Sage Vishwaamithra says that upon chanting these two manthras “Bala” and “Athibala” there would be no problems with regards to both physical and mental fatigue!
“Na utthare prathivarthavye samaa lokhe thavaadhana!”
Sage Vishwaamithra further adds that after learning these two manthras, your grasping powers, your ability to answer critical questions, acting smart, etc. would increase manifold. Also, he adds that all along the treacherous path that they are going to take, the two children would never feel hungry, never feel sleepy and they would be active continuously for all the twenty-four hours of the day! Thus Sage Vishwaamithra teaches the two children these two very important “Manthras”.
At times, in the modern day, we also go in search of some “Manthras”. What is the significance of a “Manthra”? How should be practise it in our day-to-day life? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!