Sunday, 21 October 2012

26. King Janaka seeks the consent of King Dasharatha for the alliance.

     Those envoys sent by the King Janaka, entered the city of Ayodhya in the shortest possible time.  On reaching the palace they were permitted an audience with the king Dasharatha, and when they were conducted into his chambers they saw the elderly king Dasharatha gleaming like a god.  Seeing such a godly Dasharatha, the angst of all the ministers (of King Janaka) completely evaporated; and all of them adjoining palms in reverence saluted him.
     COMMENT:Because Dasharatha was caught in the tomfoolery of Kaikeyi, he should not be estimated as an inane personality.  It was their domestic cold war.  He was famous for his achievements and he fought wars on behalf of  gods. Though Valmiki does not narrate Dasharatha's exploits, other scripts say a lot about them.  Hence, whenever Rama's daring, dashing, swashbuckling are to be pictured, he is normally referred to as 'Dasharatha's son.  That is the reason why the angst of the envoys is said in this verse as 'vanished' just by a glimpse of that godly personality, which hitherto haunted them as to how to countenance such a powerful personality they had heard about so much.
End Comment.
      They then addressed the King conveying the compliments of the King Janaka, who directed them to enquire his wellbeing etc.  Then they informed him about the arrival of the Sage Viswamitra at Mithila, with Rama and Lakshmna; Rama's braking of the Siva's Bow.  They described how Rama wrecked that divine bow at its central point before a grand assembly of people, that Seetha was the bounty for bravery, etc.  They informed Dasharatha that their king asked them to seek, on his behalf, his (i.e. Dasharatha's) consent for the alliance.  They also informed that keeping his royal priest Vashishta and other teachers ahead of him, invited him to come apace to Mithila.  They further added "Thus the sovereign of Videha kingdom said these endearing words, abiding by the counsel of the Sage Shataananda.  We have further been directed to inform Your Majesty that Sage Vishwamitra is in full  agreement to the proposal."
      King Dasharatha was highly pleased on hearing that message from the delegates.  It was then decided to leave for Mithila the very next day.       
      On the following dawn, king Dasharatha in the presence of his teachers and relatives told his minister Sumantra  "Now let the chancellors of exchequers draw ample riches, gems and numerous other items that are used in the marriage from bridegroom's side, all-inclusively, and let them travel in advance and let them be well-prepared for any exigency.  Let the quadruple forces start off in a trice from everywhere at my order, and others shall start with excellent vehicles like palanquins, sedan chairs, litters etc., and with those that can be yoked with horses, like cabin-coaches and horse-carriages.
     COMMENT: The fourfold army is generally taken as horses, elephants, chariots, and foot soldiers for the word 'chaturanga balam', while some say such an army is moved only when a massive combat is contemplated, but not when going to marriages.  However, some say though army is moved, it is as much as required.  But this word also qualifies as chaturanga balam= dhana, kanaka, vastu, vaahana sampatti, the quadruple opulence, namely 'riches, gold, equipage, and vehicles...' where opulence will be the only show in Indian marriages, either of poor or rich. R. C. Dutt comes near to this when telling in his poetic version: 'Ride in front with royal riches, gold and gems in bright array'.
End Comment.  
      "Let our prominent and celebrated Bhrahmans Vashishta, Vaamadeva, Jaabaali and Kaashyapa, and the long-lived Maarkandeya, and Sage Kaatyaayana...  travel in forefront,  and let horses be yoked to my royal-cariole.  As the messengers of Janaka are hastening me, arrange for the travel in a trice without any time lapse."
       Then the party moved.
       Dasharatha reached the fringes of Videha kingdom, with all pomp,  and on hearing this, the king Janaka arranged for appropriate welcome ceremonies at the outskirts of the city.

     COMMENT: These formalities are still prevalent in marriage functions, in one way or the other, in India, esp. rural India. The bridegroom's party will be received at the outskirts of the bride's place, esp. if it were to be a village, then a small function/ceremony will be held laudatory to the bridegroom, and then they are invited into that place of bride like, 'meet a party halfway...' type protocol. This is other than baraat 'matrimonial pageantry...'
End Comment.     
      The delighted, gratified and happy king Janaka  welcomed the King Dasharatha by saying "oh, king, a hearty welcome to you.  Your arrival to my city is just by my providence.  You will now get delectation on seeing your sons who won accolades just by their valorousness in the act of raising and breaking Shiva's bow...

      COMMENT: Though Rama alone broke the bow of Shiva, both Rama and Lakshmana are said to have done it. This is a common unified laudation used for both of them, in view of their inseparable brotherhood, and such a sort of commingling both, for one person's action, can be heard often.  For e.g., when Lakshmana misshapes Shuurpanakha, Rama is said to have done it, and even both are said to have done that act.
End Comment.
      "Providentially bechanced is the arrival of this great-resplendent and godly sage Vashishta, who arrived here with all these eminent Brahmans, is like Indra himself with all gods.
      "Providentially my hindrances are overcome by the arrival of godlike sages, and providentially my lineage too is gloried owing to this hymeneal engagement with Rama, who is the most valorous among all the valorous people...
      "Because you are born in the first and foremost Ikshvaku dynasty, you are the Indra of Indra-like kings on earth... and hence, it will be apt of you to initiate the celebrations of marriage tomorrow, and the marriage itself after the culmination of the Vedic-ritual in three or four days, and the date and time for the marriage, that which is agreeable to the best sages can be decided, and you can get it performed on that date, through those great sages."
      King Dasharatha replied "Whatever you say, for you are the knower of probity and nothing goes amiss in your astute thinking."
      King Janaka was very pleased to hear that. 
      COMMENT: Usually the bridegroom's party will be stiff-necked at least till the marriage is over, which has become a nuisance practice in Indian marriages. Here Dasharatha was telling the opposite, by which his words were viewed as agreeable to righteousness of marriages etc., and for which Janaka was surprised.
Eng Comment.    
      Then  Rama, following Vishwamitra, and strutting in step with Lakshmana, strutted to touch the feet of  his father Dasharatha.  On seeing his two sons, King Dasharatha was highly rejoiced and he stayed in Mithila with a high contentment, for the reverence of Janaka was that high.
      Even the great-resplendent Janaka on performing ritual acts according to scriptures for the Vedic-ritual on hand, and the preparatory rituals for handing out both of his daughters in marriage, went into the sleep of the just, with his palm on his chest.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

25. Rama handled Siva's bow.

        On listening to the words of Janaka, Vishwamitra told the king "let the bow be displayed to Rama."  Then king Janaka ordered his men to bring the bow.
       An eight-wheeled coffer in which the bow of Shiva was ensconced, was being tugged by five thousand tall men of illimitable energy.  They somehow tugged it with great difficulty and positioned the same in front of the king and his illustrious guests.
       King Janaka addressed the Sage "Here is that exquisite bow, oh, Brahman, which is held as a time honoured bow by the lineage of Videha kings.  So far, no king or prince or anyone from the assemblages of gods, inclusive of demigods, demons, gandharva-s, yaksha-s, kinnaraa-s, or reptilian demigods, is capable enough to handle this bow.  They could not even lift it!
      "Oh, eminent-saint, such as it is, this nonpareil bow among all bows is now brought in, as desired by you.   The two princes can have a look at it."
      On hearing these words, Vishwamitra looked at the King and smiled.  Then he turned to Rama and said "oh, boy Rama!  You may see the bow."
      Rama went to the box and opened the lid, and saw the bow.  Then he turned to Viswamitra and said  "Sir, I wish to get a feel of this supreme bow."
     "Go ahead" said the saint and the king to Rama in chorus.  Rama then bend a little, grasping the bow at the middle hand-grip, playfully grabbed the bow and lifted it as if it was a kid's bow.
      Then Rama tied the bowstring for the bow effortlessly to the utter astonishment of thousands of men witnessing it.
     COMMENT: A bow has a definite height and it has a measure of length, from ages and at least up to the period of  Kautilya, who gave many accounts for its weight and measure, in his 'Artha Shaastra' a Penguin re-publication.  Four aratni-s cubits are one dhanu, a bow-length, where one aratni is about 18 inches, thus a bow-length would at least be 6 feet and a little above, taking the standard height of a archer as six-feet.  The bow's height is the height of the archer plus one measure of his head's height, as the upper end has to tower over the archer's head.  That being so, as this bow belongs to Shiva, its height should be more than the human measure of 6 feet;  it must be some 8 to 10 feet.  And 'Rama was a no crane-legged boy, as his physique is said to be of 'medium' size, and then how a boy of say, about five and a half feet tall, could catch the upper end of 8-10 feet bow to bend it.'  This has become a point for debate.  One explanation is as follows: an archer has to stand the bow on ground, clutch its lower end under big toe, and with one hand, he has to bend it, and with the other he takes the bowstring to string the other end;  he is not supposed to handle it like a holdall or a briefcase;  for this point of view, it is explained in a way that the poet is using the adjective mahaatmaa to Rama, ' an unfathomable one with an equally unfathomable soul... inasmuch as his duty is concerned...';  the minute he touched the bow, it became a spongy stick and it obeyed him and bent as he wished. Q.E.D. It can also be argued that  Rama was an ambidextrous archer and furthered  his skill by his acquisition of some divine missiles from Vishwamitra.  Hence, his dexterity was multiplied and he can handle any divine or human bow 'effortlessly...'  Double QED.
End Comment.
        When he started to stretch it (i.e. bowstring) up to his ear to examine its tautness, the bow broke in the middle.
      COMMENT: The bow was not broken by itself because of its oldness or dryness; it can be assumed that it was a deliberate action by Rama for breaking it, just like any young boy who is apt to damage/break any toy while playing with it.  He stretched the bowstring so long until it broke. The bow was broken in the middle, not at either end, but at handgrip.  This shows the strength of his palm to handgrip.  Probably Rama wanted to show all as to how strong he was.
End Comment.
      When the bow was breaking, it produced an explosive sound of a thunder, and the earth trembled like that happens when a mountain was exploding. 
      Hearing that raucous sound produced when the bow was braking, all the people, save Vishwamitra, king Janaka,  Rama and Lakshmana, swooned.  While the people were being recovering from the shock, king Janaka, with surprise, confusion and embarrassment addressed the Sage Vishwamitra with a reverent palm-fold "Oh, godly sage, the gallantry of  Rama is evidently seen... and the whys of this boy and wherefores of his stringing that massive bow are unimaginable to me!  More so, a human lifting it!  How so?  And breaking it! This is a highly amazing, awesome, miraculous, staggering, stunning, surprising and marvelous experience for me... My daughter Seetha on getting Dasharatha's Rama as her husband, will bring celebrity to the lineage of Janaka-s...     
       "Oh, Kaushika, my commitment that she is the bounty of bravery has also come true... and my daughter Seetha is a worthy bride for Rama... Sir, if you agree,  my ministers will go immediately to Ayodhya  and seek, on my behalf, the consent of the King Dashratha and others, for this matrimony...

      [It appears that the King Janaka was thinking that  'This boy appears to be straight from the shoulder type, and he may now say  "no, no, I just wanted to see and feel the bow, but that poor old bow is broken in my hand, but I have never said that I will marry your daughter without the consent of my father... and I am supposed to marry whomsoever my father ties down my neck..." knowing him to be such, I want to send proposals to Dasharatha at Ayodhya, that too if you say yes...']

      "With their observant submissions those ministers will narrate in detail about the sincere endowment of Seetha as bravery's bounty to Rama, and they will lead king Dasharatha into my city that observantly... Those ministers will also tell the king Dasharatha that both the Kakutstha-s, Rama and Lakshmana, are under the aegis of saint Vishwamitra, and thus gladdening that king they will expeditiously usher in king Dasharatha for marriage..."
      Vishwamitra agreed, of course.

Monday, 8 October 2012

24. Legend of Shiva's bow.

     The following morning King Janaka, after finishing his morning time rites, came to Viswamitra and asked him whether he would like him to do anything in particular for him.
     Viswamitra replied "These two sons of Dasharatha are eager to see that marvellous bow.  You may show the same to them.  After seeing that bow these two princes will leave this place." 
      Janaka replied Vishwamitra "Firstly, let me tell you as to how that  bow came to my possession.  There was a king renowned as Devaraata, sixth one from Nimi, the originator of our lineage, and this bow was handed down to him for custodial care by none other than the God of All Gods, viz. Shiva.
     "Once, after the devastation of the Vedic-ritual of Daksha Prajapati, the mettlesome god Rudra, outstretching the bowstring of this bow, said with rancour to all gods, superciliously...
      " 'Oh, gods, whereby you have not apportioned my portion of oblations in the Vedic-ritual s, as I too, am quite eligible for such portion, thereby I intent to shred the highly revered heads of all of you with this bow.' 
     "Then all gods were mightily dismayed, and on their earnest supplication, Shiva, the God of Gods relented and gave that bow to all the gods.  They in turn gave it to our ancestor Devaraata, for custodial care.
     "Later, when I was ploughing the ritual field then raised by the plough from the furrow was a baby girl.  Since she was gained while consecrating the ritual-field, she is named as Seetha.
     "Hers is a non-uterine birth as she surfaced from the surface of the earth.  I fostered her as my own soul-born girl and I determined to giver her in marriage to a bridegroom whose boldness is the only bounty I will receive in that marriage.
Comment: 'Dowry is property or money brought by a bride to her husband' and this is prevalent throughout the world.  In ancient India, there was a counterpart custom to this, called kanyaa shulkam meaning 'some bounty, property or money offered by a bridegroom's family to the bride's family' since they are getting a worthy bride, coming into their family, not just as a mere wife of the bridegroom, but to upkeep and promote that family and its progeny.  And this dowry or its counterpart is not compulsorily be paid in hard cash, but it may be any kind of gifts mutually exchanged, which has slowly developed into a mega havoc in the present days.  Here Janaka wants the 'valour' of his prospective son-in-law as bounty due to him in the marriage of Seetha.
End Comment.
      "When my daughter Seetha  grew up to a very beautiful girl, many kings, having heard the beauty of  Seetha,  had besought her.   But I strictly told them all, that she would be given for a bounty of boldness alone.  Then all the kings convoked and arrived Mithila and wanted to know how I was going to judge the calibre of the bounty.  I told them that whoever can string the bowstring of Shiva's bow can marry my daughter.
     "The bow of Shiva was brought for them, but none of them was able to joggle it, or even to catch hold of it.
      Comment: This bow of Shiva had to be transported on a wheeled casket-cart with eight wheels and drawn by five thousand robust persons.  This is narrated in next chapter. 'It is drawn by five hundred bulls...' 'aananda raamayana' says so.  In other versions of Ramayana, it is said that many people will pull that casket-cart, as one or two persons cannot haul it.  Once, when Seetha was playing with other girls, their flowery ball of girl's rugby goes under this cart.  None of her girlfriends was dare enough to go near this bow-casket-cart, since it was a reverential casket-cart.  But Seetha goes there and pushes that casket-cart aside with her left hand, as though it is a garland, and retrieves that flower ball.  This capability of Seetha in easily handling of Shiva's bow, becomes a bane to her, when one among the wives of sapta R^iSi 'Seven Sages...' issues a curse to Seetha, saying that 'Seetha will be separated from her husband for some time, of course, for the good of people...' So says the tradition.
End Comment.
      "I declined to give my daughter's hand to any one of them.  They, in a blind fury, thought it was a calculated insult to them.
      "They surmised  that they were brushed off  by me, and as such with a high rancour, siege and try to strangle the City of Mithila with their army.  That continued for over a year and the situation was very grim for me and all my subjects and all of us were anguished.
     "Then I prayed the assemblages of gods by my ascesis and they were very pleased and gave me fourfold forces.
Comment: The four components of army are foot soldiers, cavalry, elephant-squadrons, and chariot-warriors.
End Comment.
      "Then their army could not match the one sent by the gods; their army was broken, and they beat a hasty retreat.  Oh, Sir, this is that supremely radiant bow, and oh, saint of sacred vows, I will show it, even to Rama and Lakshmana.
      Comment: Here by the use of the words 'even'  Janaka was reckoning Rama and/or Lakshmana on par with other kings who had tried their hand in lifting it.   As of now, Janaka was not admitting any supremeness or super-humanness to them.  In Janaka's asking at verse 4 'what can I do next...' etc., Janaka was wondering as to why this Vishwamitra brought some boys on this long a route, that too by foot.  But he was not yet self-assured of Rama's capability or otherwise.  Hence, the next verse starts with the clause 'if'.
End Comment.  
      "If Rama twangs the bowstring of that bow, I will offer my daughter, to Dasharatha's Rama."
        'Aananda RaamaayaNa' has an interesting story about the birth of Seetha.  Once there was a king named Padmaaksha who wanted Lakshmi as his daughter.  On performing Tapas, Vishnu appeared and gave him a fruit called maatulunga phala, and a girl emerged from out of that fruit, and she was named as Padma.  She was so beautiful that all kings wanted to possess her.  All of them waged a war with Padmaaksha and ruined his entire family.  Padma, however jumped into fire and self immolated herself.   But, Vishnu's maaya came out of the altar of fire and started  meditating.   Ravana saw her and wanted to abduct her.  Of course, she is otherwise said to be Vedavati in other texts.   But again, she entered the fire altar and reduced herself to ashes.  Even then, Ravana searched in those ashes for her.  In there, he got five diamonds of high quality.  He returned to Lanka and kept those diamonds in a casket and jovially presented them to his wife, Mandodari.  When Mandodari could not lift the casket, Ravana lifted it and opened its lid, as he lifted Mt. Kailash.  When the casket was opened, Mandodari found a baby girl in it and recognised her to be Goddess Lakshmi.  Then they consulted their teachers about that baby's arrival.  Those teaches wishing good for Ravana, advised to get rid off this girl immediately, for she was Goddess Lakshmi, arrived here only to end Ravana and his dynasty.  Then Mandodari ordered his servants to carry away this baby in a casket by an aircraft and get rid of it.
      But Ravana rushed after the girl with a sword.  Mandodari pacified him and told him "Why purchase a later time death now itself at the hands of this baby... let that casket be buried..." Ravana agreed.  Mandodari also cursed this girl saying, "this faithless girl, [for wealth is unfaithful,] will thrive only in a house, where the householder has his senses conquered, and who being an emperor lives like a perfect hermit, and who though wealthy and supreme by himself, will care nothing for the riches but view whole of the world and people as his own soul, with an impartial attitude..."  Thus this casket is buried in the fields of King Janaka's empire by demons, clandestinely.  Mandodari thought that such a person is an impossibility to take birth in this mortal world, to foster this buried girl, and thus presumed her curse to be twisty.  But there is King Janaka with all the above attributes.  A king without ego, wealthy but living simple, childless, yet does not crave for one, like King Dasharatha.  Hence, he is called raajarSi a saintly king.  Seetha's birth is to be limitedly understood, as said by Janaka in this chapter.  Otherwise, the nuances about the birth of Seetha are to be viewed through the viewfinders of mythologies, legends, and above all, through the viewfinders of tradition... but not in the vast of epical poetry, as Valmiki himself has undocumented it...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

23. The Legend of Shunashepa.

     Rama and Lakshmana following Viswamitra traveled towards northeast direction and neared the hall of Vedic ritual of Janaka in Mithila kingdom.
     Vishwamitra, at the request of Rama, arranged a camp at an unfrequented place that had refreshing water.  Learning that Vishwamitra had arrived in Mithila, king Janaka instantly came with his followers to Vishwamitra, keeping his unreprovable priest Shataananda afore of the team, in deference to Vishwamitra.  Even the Ritvik-s, the administrators of that Vedic ritual, of the great king Janaka arrived with posthaste taking holy waters, and they had ritualistically offered that sanctified water to Vishwamitra.  On receiving that veneration from the great Janaka, Vishwamitra inquired after the well-being of the king Janaka, as well as about the unhindered proceedings of that Vedic-ritual.  Then Vishwamitra asked after the well-being of saints, mentors, clerics, as befitting to their order, and proceeded to join the company of all of the sages.  But the King Janaka requested him to sit along with the other VVIPs.; and Viswamitra obliged him.
      King Janaka told Viswamitra that only twelve more days were remaining to complete the observation of ritual-pledge, and he requested Viswamitra to remain and see the gods who would arrive at the conclusion of this Vedic-ritual to take their dues in the ritual.
     He (King Janaka) seeing Rama and Lakshmana asked Viswamitra about them.
       Vishwamitra  informed him that those two were the sons of king Dasharatha.   He then added about the coming of Rama and Lakshmana to the Hermitage of Accomplishment, their stopping over there and elimination of demons at that place, their travel along with him, beholding the City of Vishaala, seeing Ahalya, her reuniting with Sage Gautama, and their coming there to have a look of the great bow of Shiva.  Shataananda, who incidentally was the son of Ahalya, was also there with the king Janaka.
      Shataananda, the eldest son of Sage Gautama,  was overjoyed to hear the news about his mother, and was highly amazed just on seeing Rama.  On observing raptly those two princes who were sitting cosily with their heads bending down submissively, Shataananda thanked Vishwamitra effusively and exclaimed at the marvel occurred through Rama.  Viswamitra replied Sage Shataananda. "I have done whatever good is to be done and nothing is left undone, and the wife of the sage, namely Ahalya, is reunited with her husband sage Gautama, just like Renuka who was reunited with sage Jamadagani, the descendent of Bhrigu."
      Renuka is the mother of Parashu Rama, another human incarnation of Vishnu as a Brahmin to exterminate erring Kshatriya kings of an earlier era.  Renuka's husband is Sage Jamadagni, the descendent of Bhrigu (and hence also called as Bhaargava).  On a certain occasion, Jamadagni ordered his son Parashu Rama to behead Renuka (i.e. Parashu Rama's own mother) and Parashu Rama unhesitatingly carried out his father's orders.  Thus, Parashu Rama is also called Bhaargava Rama, with an axe as his unsurpassed weapon.  This Parashu Rama confronts Rama of Ramayana after Seetha's marriage.
     Shataananda thanked Viswamitra and turned to Rama and said "This highly resplendent Vishwamitra's exploits are unimaginable. He attained the highest order viz. Brahma-sage (ப்ரம்ம ரிஷ) by his ascesis, thus illimitable is his ascetic resplendence, and he should be known as an ultimate course, not only to you alone, but also to everyone."  He then told the legend of Viswamitra i.e. his conflict with Sage Vashishta, his determination to get Brahma Rishi title etc.  Ah!  We have already covered all this, way back in Chapters 2 and 3.  We can brag ourselves that we came to know something long before Rama did! 
     Shataananda told Rama about Shunashepa, too.  I did not include that then as it was nothing to do with Viswamitra's travel to Brahma Rishi-hood.   Let us now see what that story is.
      One of the great kings of Ayodhya, renowned as Ambariisha, embarked on to perform a Vedic-ritual.   But Indra clandestinely  impounded the animal of the ritual.  When that animal was found vanished, the officiate  Brahman of the ritual told the king. "Oh, king, the animal you have fetched for the ritual has gone astray owing to your negligence.  You have to get that animal only for the ritual.  The next best alternative is that  a man may be fetched as ritual-animal, and only after that the deeds of the ritual can be continued."  
     On hearing those words of his teacher, the king tried for a human-ritual-animal for a barter of thousands of cows.  While that king was going about in search of a man as a ritual-animal he came upon Sage Riciika who was well settled on Mt. Bhrigutunga along with his sons and wife.  After wishing the Sage Riciika in the manner as observed in those days, and asking him about his well-being in every aspect, king Ambariisha said  "Oh, godlike sage, if you barter one of your sons for a hundred thousand cows for the purpose of a ritual-animal, I deem my ends are achieved.  With our best efforts we could not find that animal of the ritual.  I will be highly obliged to you if you would give one of your sons, for a value."
      Sage Riciika was thinking aloud that he would not possibly sell his eldest son, in anyway.  On hearing the words of Sage Riciika, his wife declared that her youngest son, namely Shunaka, was a cherished one for her and therefore, she would not part with him. 
      The wife of the Sage Ruciika was Satyavathi, the sister of Vishwamitra whose legend was narrated  in chapter '6. Legend of Vishwamitra's dynasty.'
      On hearing the declarations of his parents, the middle son Shunashepa glumly offered himself to the king.
      After giving gold, silver, and gemstones, each in ten million heaps, and a hundred thousand cows, the king took away Shunashepa.
      On the way with Shunashepa, Ambariisha took rest at noontime on the lakeside of Holy Lake.
     While the king Ambariisha was taking rest, Shunashepa, who was highly anxious, wandered and came to the side of the main Holy Lake.  There he saw his maternal uncle Sage Vishwamitra who was performing ascesis along with his sons and other sages.  Shunashepa with a pitiable and sulky face approached Viswamitra and fell on the lap of the saint Vishwamitra due to strain, thirst and exhaustion.  He looked at his uncle and said "My mother and father sold me for getting sacrificed in lieu of a ritual animal.  Therefore, cousins or other relatives will have to protect me.  Oh, Sir, I request you to save me according to saintliness. You alone are the saviour of each and every one, ain't you?  You alone are the guardian angel, ain't you?   Hence, please contrive to let the purpose of the king Ambariisha be achieved, and let me live to enjoy the world."
      Vishwamitra pacified him with kind words and told his sons that they should do something noble for this hapless kid for his(i.e. Viswamitra, their father) place in heaven.
Vividly: 'A father's ambition in begetting sons is to do something good and positive to the society in the present world and when departed, a right place is acquired in heavens through these sons, by their yearly death-day rituals etc., and hence you do some good in saving this boy from premature death and earn an apt place for me in heavens...'
     He added further "This young man is the son of a sage and he aspires shelter from me.   My dear sons, give him satisfaction just by giving life to him.  You all have done very good pious deeds and you all abide by probity.  Hence, you bestow appeasement to Agni, the Fire-god by your becoming the ritual-animal of king Ambariisha in lieu of this boy Shunashepa."
     But none of the sons of Vishwamitra agreed with him on this issue.  They not only declined to accede to his wishes, but ridiculed him by saying  "On sacrificing your own sons how can you save another's son, oh, lordly father?  We deem this as a misdeed  and as good as 'eating dog's meat for dinner'."
Vishvamitra was being nagged by almost all, including his sons, on this 'dog-meat-eating.'  There is a parable in Maha Bharata that Vishwamitra once tried to eat a dog's meat when he did not get any food, but caught red-handed.  Later this has become the curse-theme to Vishwamitra when he cursed Vashishta's sons. At the present juncture also he curses his own sons with the same theme.
     The refusal added with the insult made Viswamitra highly furious.  He cursed them that they  all would be whirling around the earth totally for a thousand years by taking birth in the race that subsists on dog's meat, like the sons of Vashishta.
      He then told Shunashepa "When you are fastened with sacred fastener to the sacrificial post of Vishnu, smeared with red paste and garlanded with red garlands, you start praising Agni, the Fire-god with the words I am going to impart to you in Vedic hymns.  Chant these two divine hymns in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha.  You will then obtain your aspiration."  Vishwamitra taught the two Vedic hymns to the boy.  Shunashepa, armed with those two hymns from Vishwamitra, instantly went to the king Ambariisha and said "Your Majesty, let us go promptly to your ritual place and you may fulfill your pledge in completing the ritual, with me as its sacrificial animal.'
     King Ambariisha was  very delighted to hear those words and proceeded spiritedly to the ritual hall immediately.  The king with the permission of the officiators of ritual got the boy prepared as a ritual animal with sanctified bodily features and clad him in red clothes and got him securely fastened to the sacrificial post.
     When Shunashepa was tied to the ritual post he immensely pleased the two gods, namely Indra and Upendra, with those two hymns he got from Vishwamitra.  Then Indra who was satisfied  and gratified with those esoteric laudation, bestowed longevity to Shunashepa.
     King Ambariisha also got the fruits of that Vedic-ritual manifold, resulted from the grace of  Indra.