BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Hearing those sorrowful words of the Brahman, Rama was greatly sorry and sent for Vasishta, Vamadeva, his brothers, citizens and councillors. Thereupon having entered the apatment in the company of Vasishta, eight Brahmanas blessed the king Rama, resembling a celestial, saying may victory crown thee.
Markandeya, Maudgalya, Vamadeva, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Javali, Gautama, and Narada these eight leading Brahmanas having taken their seats, Rama with folded hands, saluted them. And he showed due civilities towards his minister, citizens, Rishis and all others. Thereupon all the highly effulgent Rishis being accomodated with seats Rama narrated duly before them the account of the Brahmana and said.
"This Brahman is waiting at the Palace gate." Hearing those words of the poorly king, Narada, in the presence of all other Rishis, replied "Hear, 0 king, why this boy hath met with untimely death. And hearing this, O descendant of Raghu, do thou settle what hou thinkest proper.
O king, in the golden age, only the Brahmans used to engage in asceticism. At that age save the Brahmanas no other caste used to lead the life of an inchoret. And for this, the Brahmans were the highest caste, effulgent in asceticism, shorn of ignorance, above death and conversant with three ages.
Thereupon at the end of the golden age, Brahmana s understanding became loose and the Treta Yuga set in. At this age Kshatriyas, gifted with he power acquired by pristine asceticism, were born. And those men, intent upon austere penances, that were born in he Treta age, were more powerful and greater devotees than hose in the former age.
In the golden age the Brahmanas were nore powerful than the Kshatriyas. But in the Treta age the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas were equally powerful. Thus in the Treta age, not beholding prominence of the Brahmanas greater than that of the Kshatriyas, Manu and other religious leaders of the time composed the Sastra describing and letting in the four divisions of castes.
In this wise the Treta age was proliic with virtues of the four Varnas, and many pious sacrifices and was shorn of iniquities. But being attacked a little with iniquity, one portion of sin appeared on earth. And growing impious people lost their strength.
And for houses and farms that were the property of the former age, people of the Treta Yuga were possessed by envy, the outcome of the quality of darkness. And with the heading of impiety on earth during Treta, the soiled sin of untruth appeared. And this iniquity stretching one footstep, the lease of people s lives, for sins, became limited.
And the sin of untruth descending on earth, people, to avoid the extinction of life in consequence thereof, became truthful and engaged in many pious observances. Duing the Treta age the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas engaged in austere penances and the Vaisyas and Sudras engaged in serving them. And the greatest piety of the Vaisyas and Sudras at that time consisted of serving the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and specially for the Sudras the highest religion was to serve people of all,Varnas.
O foremost of kings, at the end of the Treta age, Vaisyas and Sudras being fully overpowered by the sin of untruth, the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas also grew feeble. And the second foot of impiety being ushered into the world the Dwapara age set in O foremost of men, during this age two legs of piety being cut of, impiety and untruth multiplied. And in Yuga named Dwapara the Vaisyas engaged in devout penances.
In this wise in three ages the three Vartas gradually engaged in ascetic performances. The piety of asceticism by Yugas gradually became established in three Varnas. But, O foremost of men, in these three Yugas the Sudras were not entitled to the vitues of devout penances.
O foremost of men, the degraded caste the Sudras, having thy regeme, have engaged in austere penances. And in the Kali Yuga asceticism shall be established in the Sudras. O king, even in the Dwapara, devout penances for Sudras woe considered as impiety, what to speak of the Treta age.
O king, one Sudra, under the influence of vicious understanding, has begun devout penances within thy kingdom. And for that reason this boy hath met with death. Calamity sets in that kingdom where a vicious minded person commits an iniquity and that vicious wight and the king forsooth speedily repair to hell.
The king, who piously governeth his subjects, receiveth the sixth portion of their study, asceticism and good actions. While the king is entitled to the sixth portion of everything why should he not fully, protect his subjects? Therefore.O chief of men,do thou bring all informations of thy kingdom.
And be then studious to repress vices wherever thou shalt find them. And by that, O foremost of men, the piety of the subjects shall be increased, the lease of their life shall.be prolonged and this boy shall regain his life.