A minister should be well versed with the happenings within the country; happenings outside the country too. That was how Dasharatha’s ministers were. Here’s what Maharshi Valmiki had to say about them:
तेषामविदितं किञ्चित् स्वेषु नास्ति परेषु वा।
क्रियमाणं कृतं वापि चारेणापि चिकीर्षितम्।।
(Valmiki Ramayanam – Baala Kaandam – Chapter – 1, Verses 9-10)
Whether from the own camp or enemy camp, whether from within or outside the country, they used to gather information about the things that have happened, happening or yet to happen through their network of spies and were ready with appropriate strategies to deal with them.
When it comes to this aspect, Sumantra was a step ahead of others. He was in the know of a crucial discussion which happened not in another country, but in another world; not in this Yuga, but in DevaYuga; about the future of his country! Sumantra had the answer to the one question which everyone had, right from the King to the common man. Having known the answer for the question when and how off springs will be born to the King, Sumantra did not open his mouth till the right time. The opportune time had arrived now. It has brought with it a motivation in Dasharatha’s heart to do Ashvamedha. But for the thought to fructify, a noble soul had to enter the scene. Without his presence even Ashvamedha would not yield the desired results! The noble soul was Rushyashrunga, son of great sage Vibhandaka Muni. Having understood that the future of Kosala, of Sun Dynasty (SuryaVamsha) was in the power of his mantra, Sumantra managed to find Dasharatha alone and started narrating phenomenon of another era, of another world.
“Oh Lord! I have a very crucial information about Sun dynasty as well as the Ashvamedha which you have decided to perform. That is a discussion that took place in a divine gathering in devayuga. Divine sage Sanatkumara was taking part in the meeting of sacred maharshis. The meeting was of noble souls who had great vision; but vision of Sanatkumara was fixed elsewhere! Were not his eyes capable of seeing the past, present or future any time and from anywhere!!?
He could see a point in time sometime in future when the power that controls the universe descends to the world; the same power which everyone else in the gathering is yearning to see day in and day out, throughout their life. The sacred soul with the power to see everything was curiously seeing the strange spectacle of the formless substratum of universe taking a shape and showing itself to all! In front of his eyes the power which is always non-dual was descending in Ayodhya in four human forms at a future point in time! The gathered sages too were very curious to hear and know what Sanatkumara was seeing and saying!
What was in the eye of the sage started to express itself in his words. Sages were all ears and listened with great intensity. What did Sanatkumara narrate?
“A King by name Dasharatha will come in Surya dynasty in future. Just as there is a single scar in the shiny surface of the moon, Dasharatha will have the childlessness as a single scar in otherwise full and contented life! After having spent most of his life worrying for an off-spring, he will vow to perform Ashvamedha one day, as though fate itself descended in his bosom to direct his actions and remove the scar. Though Sage Vasishta himself is his Guru, this epic effort has to be enacted by none other than sage Rushyashrunga himself. When the great sage arrives in Ayodhya to perform the fire sacrifice, Dasharatha will be blessed with four great souls as sons who will enlighten all the three worlds. They will not only make Kosala content but make a paradise out of the planet!”
O King, you have very aptly avowed to accomplish Ashvamedha. But the required rewards will not be received without the role of Rushyashrunga. Please issue instructions for welcoming him”
A sacred secret, which was shared by a supreme soul with sacred sages in DevYuga had extended beyond time and space to enter Sumantra’s ears and was sitting in hiding in the home of his heart! It was waiting to be pronounced in the appropriate moment to become a process of presenting the protector of the world! As though a seed sprouts spontaneously when it rains after prolonged period of drought it had presented itself in the present moment!
Happiness and curiosity in Dasharatha’s heart hearing the words of Sumantra! “Who is Rushyashrunga? What makes him so great?” Anxiety welled up within Dasharatha came gushing the form of this question.
“Rushyashrunga is he, whose mere entry makes creation feel elation; five elements wait for his interaction; mere touch of his feet cools down the heavens to bring down the showers, cools down the earth to bring up the crops, cools down the bosoms of living beings to bring up happiness and prosperity around the world! Rushyashrunga, the sage, pushes away scarcity and blesses with prosperity! He is the son of Sage Vibhandaka. Son-in-law of your friend and King of Angarajya Romapada. Bridegroom to his daughter.To top it all, he brought an end to the drought in Angarajya and he himself became its divine gift! Oh King, you need Rushyashrunga to wipe out the drought in your life and get the blessing of offspring!”
“The drought of Angarajya perished and it flourished due to Rushyashrunga’s influence? How?” Dasharatha grew in curiosity.
Before Rushyashrunga arrives in Ayodhya should he arrive in Dasharatha’s thoughts? Sumantra started saying the story of the sage who ushered the showers…
(To be continued..)
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji.