Why did Valmiki name Rama’s Children Lava and Kusha? (Post No.3875)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 3 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: 19-34

Post No. 3875

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Kalidasa, the greatest poet, describes the naming ceremony of Lava and Kusha in the hermitage of the Sage Valmiki. Lava and Kusha, sons of Rama and Sita were born in the hermitage when Sita was separated from Rama.

 

They were named Lava  and Kusha after the ceremonial materials used by Valmiki, i.e. Cow’s tail and Sacred Kusha grass. But Valmiki differs from Kalidasa in one matter.

 

Kalidasa, in his classic Raghuvamsa, says,

सखा दशरथस्यापि जनकस्य च मन्त्रकृत्।
संचस्कारोभयप्रीत्या मैथिलेयौ यथाविधि॥ १५-३१

sakhā daśarathasyāpi janakasya ca mantrakṛt |
saṁcaskārobhayaprītyā maithileyau yathāvidhi|| 15-31

That expounder of the hymns, namely Valmiki, being the friend of Dasharatha as well as of Janaka, out of regard for both, procedurally performed purificatory ceremonies with regard to both the sons of Maithili. [15-31]

 

स तौ कुशलवोन्मृष्टगर्भक्लेदौ तदाख्यया।
कविः कुशलवावेव चकार किल नामतः॥ १५-३२

sa tau kuśalavonmṛṣṭagarbhakledau tadākhyayā |
kaviḥ kuśalavāveva cakāra kila nāmataḥ|| 15-32

Verily the poet gave the names Kusha and Lava to the two sons of Seetha from the names of the wiping materials, namely kusha grass and the hair of the tuft of the cow’s tail (lava), since the infants had been wiped of the post delivery uterine moisture by means of those two materials. [15-32]

–o)0(o–

साङ्गम् च वेदमध्याप्य किंचिदुत्क्रान्तशैशवौ।
स्वकृतिम् गापयामास कविप्रथमपद्धतिम्॥ १५-३३

sāṅgam ca vedamadhyāpya kiṁcidutkrāntaśaiśavau |
svakṛtim gāpayāmāsa kaviprathamapaddhatim|| 15-33

 

No sooner had the boys come out of the stage of infancy than Valmiki taught them the Vedas with their ancillaries, and then made them chant his own composition RAMAYANA which was the first guiding principle for all later time poets. [15-33]

–o)0(o–

रामस्य मधुरम् वृत्तम् गायन्तो मातुरग्रतः।
तद्वियोगव्यथाम् किंचिच्छिथिलीचक्रतुः सुतौ॥ १५-३४

rāmasya madhuram vṛttam gāyanto māturagrataḥ |
tadviyogavyathām kiṁcicchithilīcakratuḥ sutau|| 15-34

Singing the pleasant legend of Rama before their mother the two sons slightly lessened her grief of separation from Rama. [15-34]

–o)0(o—

 

VALMIKI’S  VERSION

 

Valmiki’s version in the Uttara Kanada  (Chapter 66 )

of Valmiki Ramayana is slightly different from Kalidasa’s.

“During the night Shatrughna passed in the leaf thatched hut, Sita gave birth to two children, and at midnight the youthful ascetics brought the pleasant and auspicious tidings to Valmiki. Immediately he went to see the newly born children. On beholding those two infants, his heart was filled with delight and he performed the Rakshasa Rite ( to avert evil).

Taking a handful of Kusha grass with its roots, Valmiki pronounced the formula of protection for the destruction of evil forces, saying:-

‘Since they will rub the first born of the children with the Kusha grass blessed by the aid of Mantras, his name shall be Kusha and, as the last born will be carefully dried by the female ascetics with the roots of the grass, he shall be called Lava, and by these names that I have given them, they will become renowned.

 

Thereafter the female ascetics purified themselves and reverently received the grass from the hands of the Muni (Vamiki), applying it to the two children

xxx

 

Four Brothers had Eight Sons!(4 X 2=8)

Another interesting coincidence is that all the four brothers had two sons each. Not many people know the names of the wives of Rama’s brothers and their sons!

Rama and Sita were the parents of Lava and Kusha

Bharata and Mandavi were the parents of Dakshan and Pushkalan

Lakshmana and Urmila were the parents of Angathan and Chandraketu

Shatrughna and Sruthakeerthi were the parents of Shatrugathi and Subahu

 

इतरेऽपि रघोर्वंश्यास्त्रयस्त्रेताग्नितेजसः।
तद्योगात्पतिवत्नीषु पत्नीष्वासन्द्विसूनवः॥ १५-३५

itare’pi raghorvaṁśyāstrayastretāgnitejasaḥ |
tadyogātpativatnīṣu patnīṣvāsandvisūnavaḥ || 15-35

 

The other three scions of the race of Raghu, namely Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna, who were as resplendent as the triple sacred fires, became the fathers, each begetting two sons on their wives who were pre-eminent ‘as wives’ by being married to them. [15-35]

 

Then Kalidasa describes their achievements.

 

(Sanskrit slokas are taken from sanskritdocuments.com; thanks)

 

–Subham–

 

 

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