Balakanda - Doha 1 to 10

Sri Ramcharitmanas is a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas.

Doha - 1

--as for instance by applying to the eyes the miraculous salve known by the name of Siddhanjana (the eye-salve of perfefection) strivers, adepts as well as men of wisdom easily discover a host of mines on hill-tops, in the midst of forests and in the bowels of the earth. (1)

Chaupala -

The dust of the Guru's feet is a soft and agreeable salve, which is ambrosia as it were for the eyes and remedies the defects of vision. Having brightened my eyes of discernment thereby I proceed to relate the story of Sri Rama, which secures freedom from the bondage of mundane, exdistence, First I reverence the feet of Brahmanas, the very gods on earth, who are able to despel all doubts born of ignorance. Then I make loving obeisance, in a polite language, to the whole body of pious souls, the mines of all virtues. The conduct of holy men is noble as the career of the cotton plant, the fruit whereof is tasteless, white and filbrous (even as the doing of saints yield results which are free from attachment, stainless and full of goodness) Even by suffering hardship (in the form of ginning spinning and weaving) the cotton plant covers others faults and has thereby earned in the word a renown which is worthy of adoration. The assemblage of saints, which is all joy and felicity, is a moving Prayaga (the king of all holy places) as it were. Devotion to Sri Rama represents, in this moving Prayaga, the stream of the holy Ganga the river of the celestials; while the proceeding of an enquiry into the nature of Brahma (the Absolute) constitutes the Sarasvati (a subterranean stream which is traditionally believed to join the Ganga and the Yamuna at Prayaga, thus accounting for the name `Tiveni', which signifies a meeting place of three rivers) Discourses on Karma or Action consisting of injunctions and interdictions, have been spoken of as the sacred Yamuna--a daughter of the sun-god in her angelic form-washing the impurities of the Kali age; while the anecdotes of Visnu and Siva stand out as the triple stream known as Trivent, bringing joy and blessings to those who listen to them. anwavering faith in their own creed constitutes the immortal banyan tree and noble actions represent the royal court of that king of holy places. Easy of access to all on anyday and at every place, this moving Prayaga assuages the afflictions of those who resort to it with reverence. This king of holy places is beyond all desciption and supra-mundane in character; it bestows the reward immediately and is glory is manifest. (1-7)


Doha - 2

Men who having heard the glory of this moving Prayaga in the form of the assemblage of holy men appreciate it with an enraptured mind and then take a plunge into it with extreme devotion obtain the four rewards+of human existence during their very lifetime.

Chaupala -

The result of an immersion into the sacred waters of this king of holy places is instantly perceived : crows turn into cuckoos and herons into swans. Let no one marvel to hear this; the glory of contact with saints is no secret. Valmiki Narada and Agastya who was born of a pitcher, have related the story of their birth and transformation with their own lips. Of the various creatures, both animate and inanimate, living in this world, whether in water or on land or in ther air, whoever has ever attained wisdom, glory, salvation material prosperity or welfare anywhere and by any means whatsoever, know it to be the result of assorciation with holy men; there is no other means either in the world or in the Vedas. Wisdom dawns not without assorciation with saints and such assorciation cannot be easiyly had without the grace of Sri Rama. Contact with noble souls is the root of joy and blessings; it constitutes the very fruit and fulfilment of all endeavours, whereas all other practices are blossoms as it were. Through contact with the virtuous even the wicked get reformed, just as a base metal is transmuted by the touch of the philosopher's stone. On the other hand, if by mischance good men fall into eveilcompany ,they maintain their noble character like the gem no the gem on the hood of a serpent. Even the speech of deities like Brahma, Visnu and Siva, poets and men of wisdom falters in despicting the glory of pious souls Much less can it be described by me, even as a delaer in vegetables finds himsef incapable of expatiating on the qualities of gems.

Doha - 3A-B

I bow to the saints , who are even-minded towards all and have no firend or foe, just as a flower of good quality placed in the plan of one's hands communicates its fragrance alike to both the hands (the one which plucked it and that which held and preserved it). Realizing thus the noble disposition and loving nature of saints,who are innocent at heart and catholic in spirt, I make this humble submission to them. Listening to my childlike prayer and taking compassion on me, O noble souls, bless me with devotion to the feet of Sri Rama. || 3A-B||

Chaupala -

Again, I greet with a sincere heart the malevolent class, who are hostile without purpose even to the friendly, to whom others' loss is their own gain, and who delight in others desolation and wail over their prosperity . The try to eclipse the glory of Visnu and Siva even as the demon Rahu intercepts the light of the full moon (during what is known as the lunar eclipse); and they are valiant like the reputed king Sahasrabahu *(so-called because of his possessing a thousand arms) in working others woe. They detect others' faults as if with a thousand ayes and their (designing) mind mars others ' interests even as a fly spolis clarified butter . in splendour they emulate the god of fire and in anger they vie with the god of riches, is in gold Like the rise of a coment their advancement augurs ill for others' interests ; like the slumder of KumbhaKarna their descline alone is propitious for the world. They lay down their very life in order to be able to harm others , even as the fiery (thousand- tongued) serpent-god Sesa, in so far as he eagerly expatiates on others' faults with a thousand tongues as it were. Again I bow to him as the celebrated king prthu (who prayed for ten thousand ears in order to be able to hear the glories of the Lord to his heart's content ) inasmuch as he hears of othears faults with the thousand ears as it were Once more do I supplicate to him as indra (the lord of celestials) in so far as wine appears charming and beneficial to him (even as the army of gods is beneficent to Indra)*, Harsh language is dear to him even as the thunderbolt is fondly cherished by Indra; and he detects others' faults with a thousand eyes as it were. ||1-6||

Doha - 4

The wicked burn with jealousy as they hear of other`s welfare, be they his friends, foes or neutrals : such is their wont. Knowing thus, this humble soul makes loving entreaties to them with jpined palms.

Chaupala -

I for my part have made entreaties to them; they too must not gail to do their part. However fondly you may nurture a brood of crows, can you ever expect ravens to turn vegetarians? I adore the feet of a saint and a wicked soul, both of whom give pain, though some difference is said to exist between them. Where as the former class cause mortal pain while parting, the latter give agonising torment during their meeting. Though born together in the world they differ in their traits even as the lotus and the leech (both of which spring form water). The good and the wicked resemble nectar and wine respectively; the unfathomable ocean in form of this world is their common parent The good and the wicked gather a rich harvest of good reputation and infamy by their respective doing Although the merits of nectar , the moon-the seat of nectar - the Ganga-the river of the celestials-and a pious soul, on the on the one hand, and the demerits of venom, fire, the unholy river Karmanasa - which is said to be full of the impurities of the Kali age-and the hunter, on the other,are known to all, only that which is to a man's taste appears good to him.

Doha - 5

Of course, a good man has a bias for goodness alone, while a vile person is prone to vileness. While nectar is praised for its immortalizing virtue, poison is extolled for its deadly effects.

Chaupala -

The tales of sins and vices of the wicked on the one hand and of the virtues of the virtuous , on the other, are like boundles and unfathomable oceans, That is why I have enumerated only a few virtues and vices; for they cannot be acquired or discarded without being duly distinguished. The good as well as the vile, all have been brought into being by the Creator; it is the Vedas that have differentiated them by reckoning the merits of the former class and the demerits of the other. The Vedas the itihasas (such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata ) and the puranas unanimously declare that the creation of Brahma (the Creator ) is an intermoxture of good and evil It is characterized by pairs of opposites such as pain and pleasure, sin and merit, day and night, the good and the wicked, good birth and death, Maya and Brahma, i.e, Matter and Spirit ,the soul and God (the Lord of the universe), plenty and poverty , the pauper and the king the sacred Kasi or Varnasi and Magadha or North Bihar (the accursed land), the holy Ganga the river of the clestials-and the unholy Karmanasa * (in Bihar) , the desert land of Maravara (Western Rajaputana and sindha) and the rich soli of Malava, the Brahmana-who is a veritable god on earth-and the barbarian who feeds on the cow, heaven and hell, attachment and dispassion. The Vedas and other sacared books have sifted good from evil.

Doha - 6

God has created the universe consisting of animate and inanimate beings as partaking of both good and evil; swans in form saints imbibe the milk of goodness water in the form of evil.

Chaupala -

When providence blesses one with such disrimination (as is possessed by the swan), then alone does the mind abandon evil and gets enamoured of goodness. By force of the spirit of the times, old habits and past Karma even the good deviate from goodsness under the influence of Maya But just as servants of Sri Hari rectify that error and, eradicating sorrow and weakness, bring untarnished glory to them, even so the wicked occasionally perform a noble deed due to their good associtation, although their evil nature, which is unchangeable, cannot be obliterated. Even those who are impostors are impostors are respected on account of their garb, as the world is taken in by their attractive appearance. But they are eventually exposed, and cannot keep up their false appearance till the end, as was the case with Kalanemi*, Racana-and Rahu The good are honoured notwithstanding their mean apperance, even as jambavan (a general of Sugriva 's army who was endowed with the form of a bear and possessed miraculous strength) and Hanuman (the monkey-god) won honour in this world. Bad association is harmtul, while good company is an asset in itself: this is true in the world as well as in the eyes of the Vedas and is known to all Through contact with the wind dust ascends to the sky while it is assimilated with mud when united with low-lying waters. parrots and Maninas nurtured in the house of the virtuous and the wicked repeat the name of Rama and pour a volley of abuses respectively. Smoke coming in contact with an evil (earthy) substance turns into soot; the same is used as a material for copying the puranas with when converted into beautiful ink. Again, in conjunction with water, fire and air it is transformed into a cloud and bringss life to the world.

Doha - 7A-D

The planets, medicines, water, air and cloth prove good or bad in the world according to their good or evil associations; only men endowed with a keen insight are able to know this The proportion of moonlight and darkness is the same in the bright as well as in the dark fortnight; only the two have been named differently bythe Creator . Knowing the one as the nourisher and the other as the emaciator of the moon, the world has given it a good name and a bad one, Whatever beings, animate or inanimate, there are in the universe, recognizing them, one and all, as consisting of Sri Rama I ever adore the lotus-feet of all with joined palms. I reverence gods, demons, human beings, Nagas birds, spirits, manes (the souls of departed ancestors) and Gandharvas Kinnaras and Rakasas (gaints).* pray be gracious to me all on this occasion.

Chaupala -

Eight million and four hundred thousand species of living beings, classified under four broad divisiond, inhabit land, obeisance to them with joined palms. Knowing the entire creation as full of Sita and Rama, I make obeisance to them with joined palms knowing me as your servent, be genuinely gracious to me all of you , O mines of compassion . I have no confidence in my intellectual power, hence I supplicate you all I would recount the virtues of the Lord of Raghus,* Sri Rama; but my wits are poor, whereas the exploits of Sri Rama are unfathomable. For this I find not the least resources while I am bankrupt of mind and intellect, my ambition is right royal. Even though my intellect is exceedingly mean, my aspiration is pitched too high; while I crave for forgive my presumption and listen to my childish babbling with interest. When a child prattles in lisping accents, the parents hear it with a mind full of delight. Those, as an ornament, will feel amused. Who does not like one's own poetry, be it delightful raare in yhis world. The world abounds in men who resemble lakes and rivers, that get swollen with their own rise when waters are added to them. Tjere is some rare good soul like the ocean; which swells at the sight of the full moon.

Doha - 8

Humble is my lot and my ambition high; my hope is that all good men will be gratified to hear what I say, while the evil-minded will laugh.

Chaupala -

The laughter of the evil-minded will benfit me; crows call the cuckoo hoarse. Herons sidicul the swan, frogs make fun of the Cataka bird and malicious rogues deride refined speech. To those who have no taste for poetry nor devotion to the feet of Sri Rama, this this undertaking of mine will serve as a subject for delightful mirth. my composition is couched in the popular dialect and my intellect is feeble; hence it is a fit subject for ridicule, and thous who laugh shall not incur any blame. To those who cherish no love for the feet of the Lord and have no reason either, this story will sound unattractive to the ears. To however, who possess devotion to the feet of God Visnu and Siva and whose mind is not perverse, the tale of the Chief of the Raghus Will taste as sweet. Knowing it in their heart as adorned with devotion to Sri Rama, the virtuous will listen to it with bland words of praise. I am no poet nor an adept in the art of speech and am a cipher in all arts and sciences. There are elegant deviced of letters, subtleties of meaning, various figures of speech, compositions of different kinds, infinite varieties of emotions and sentiments and multifarious flaws and excellences of poetic composition. Of these details of poesy, I possess critical knowledge of none. I vouch for it in writing on a blank sheet.

Doha - 9

My composition is devoid of all charm; it has only one merit, which is known throughout the world. Recognizing this merit, men of sound reason. who are gifted with unbiased judgment, will surely hear it.

Chaupala -

It contains the gracious name of the Lord of Raghus, which is exceedingly holy and the very cream of the puranas and the Vedas. It is the abode of blessings and the remover of evils, and is muttered by Lord Siva, the enemy of the demon Tripura, along with his consort, Uima. Even a composition of marvellous beauty and written bya gifted poet does not commend itself without the name of Sri Rama. A pretty women with a charming countenance and fully adorned does not look attractive when undressed. On the other hand, the wise recite and hear with admiration even the composition of a worthless poet, which is devoid of all merit, knowing it as adorned with the name and glory of Sri Rama; for like the bee, saints have a bais for goodness. Although it has no popetic charm whatsoever, the glory of Sri Rama is manifest in it This is the only hope which flashes on my mind; who has not been exalted by noble company/ Even smoke rising from burning aloe wood is impregnated with the latter's it fragrance and gives up its natural pungency. Although my composition is clumsy ,it treats of a commendable theme, viz, the story of Sri Rama, which brings felicity to the world.


The tale of the Lord of Raghus, O Tulasidasa, brings forth blessings and wipes away the impurities of the kali age, The course of this stream of my poetry is tortuous like that of the holy Ganga. By its association with the auspicious glory of the Lord my composition willl be blessed and will captivate the mind of the virtuous, On the person of Lord Siva, even the ashes of the cremation-ground appear charming and purify by their very thought.

Doha - 10 A-B

My commposition will appear extremely delightful to all by its association with the glory of Sri Rama, even as timber of every description is transformed into sandal and becomes worthy of adoration by contact with the Malaya mountion (in South India), and nobody takes into account the quality of wood in that region. The milk of even and nobady takes into account the quality of wood in that region. The milk of even a dark cow is white and hear the glory of Sita and Rama even though couched in the vulagar tongue.

Chaupala -

The beauty of a gem, a ruby and a pearl does not catch the eye as it should so long as they are borne on the head of a serpent, the top of a mountion and the crown of an elephant respectively. The charm of them all is onhanced when they adorn the diadem of a king or the person of a young lady. Even so, the wise say, the outpourings of a good poet originate at a young lady. Even so, the wise say, the outpouring of a good poet originate at one place (in the poet's own mind) and exercise their charm elsewhere (on the mind of the admirer). Attracted by his devotion , Sarasvati (the goddess of poetry) comes with all speed from the abode of Brahma (the topmost heaven)at his very invocation. The fatigue occasioned by this long journey cannot be relieved by millions of ddevices unless she takes a dip in the lake of Rama 's exploits. Realizing this in the ir heart, poets and wise men chant the glory of Sri Hari alone, which wipes away the impuritie s of the Kali age. Finding the bard singing the glorise of worldly men the goddess of speech begins to beat her brow and repent. The wise liken the heart of a poet to the sea; his intellect to the shell containing pearls and goddess Sarasvati to the star called Svati (the modern) Arcturus, the fifteenth lunar asterism considered as favourable as favourable to the formation of pearls). If there is a shower in the form of beautiful ideas, lovely pearls make their appearance in the form of poetic effusions.


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Last Updated : February 16, 2011

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