Valmiki Ramayana: Sage Vishvamitra's reason to see Dasharatha
One day when King Dasharatha was in the midst of his ministers and priests discussing among others the marriage plans of his children, the all-time great learned sage Vishvamitra came to see him.
One day when King Dasharatha was in the midst of his ministers and priests discussing among others the marriage plans of his children, the all-time great learned sage Vishvamitra came to see him. His arrival and his standing at the doorstep were brought to the notice of Dasharatha. On hearing this message, Dasharatha rushed towards Vishvamitra along with his Royal Priests and completed all customary hospitalities. Having satisfied with Dasharatha's hospitality, Vishvamitra enquired about the well-being and welfare of king and his family. Later both of them entered the palace and occupied their seats as per decorum.
Dasharatha enquired the reason behind Vishvamitra coming
Welcoming him Dasharatha enquired the reason for arrival of Vishvamitra. He told Vishvamitra that, "Oh! Great Brahman! Your arrival at my place brought happiness in me. You please tell me the work that I can accomplish so that I can fulfill it come what may. As a result of your arrival I feel I am blessed. I will see that whatever you ask for is done".
Vishvamitra discloses the reason for his coming
Sage Vishvamitra thrilled with happiness asked King Dasharatha to send Rama to safe-guard the Vedic ritual that is being performed by him, from the monsters that are constantly disrupting it. Vishvamitra said that two ghastly monsters namely Maricha and Subhahu are soaking the Altar of Fire with meat and blood leaving me perturbed with no option except to depart from the place. And hence, said the sage, that, it would be apt if the king spared the services of his eldest son Rama to eradicate the monsters. The sage asserted King Dasharatha that he and the other sages in Dasharatha's court know the capabilities of Rama and though Rama was in his teenage years, he can easily kill the monsters. Vishvamitra further said that in case if he sends Rama, he will be accorded many more benefits that would make him prominence in all the three worlds. Vishvamitra also said that only ten more days are left to complete the rituals and as such Dasharatha should consent to send his son at once.
Dasharatha unable to decide on sending Rama
Dasharatha was however upset at this request of Vishvamitra. The king muted himself for a while on the proposal of sage Vishvamitra and literally became unconscious. On regaining senses Dasharatha said that he will not be able to send Rama with the sage. He said, "My Rama who is just sixteen years of age is not yet capable of handling monsters. Vishvamitra! I would protect your ritual. I have a full-fledged battalion with which I shall encounter the monsters. My army is appropriate to counter the monsters but taking Rama, still the child, is discourteous of you".
Dasharatha elicits information of monsters sabotaging ritual
Then king Dasharatha enquired about the monsters. Replying to his question Vishvamitra said that, "Dasharatha! Hope you heard about Kubera's brother and son of sage Vishravasu Ravana. This extremely mighty and brave monster king Ravana acquired several boons from Lord Brahma and gaining strength from them has been torturing scornfully all the three worlds. He is aided by his companions. Under his instructions and instigated by him two mighty monsters who are sons of Tataka, namely, Maricha and Subhahu are causing hindrance to rituals including mine".
Dasharatha refuses to send Rama The anger of Sage Vishvamitra
Dasharatha was simply scared the minute he heard from the mouth of Vishvamitra the names of Tataki sons Maricha and Subhahu. He told the sage to please let his son be left free by bestowing benevolence upon his innocent son Rama. He said that he cannot spare his son in anyway. Dasharatha's inappropriate words out of immense love and affection to his son Rama resulted in extreme anger to sage Vishvamitra.
The anger of sage Vishvamitra was shown at king Dasharatha. To appease sage Vishvamitra, Royal Chief Priest sage Vasishta intervenes and convinces king Dasharatha to send Rama with sage Vishvamitra. While doing so, sage Vasishta describes the capabilities of sage Vishvamitra and his knowledge of weaponry. Vasishta also suggested that all those weapons and armaments will be given to Rama, if Rama is sent with Vishvamitra. At last, Dasharatha became quite minded by Vasishta's words of solace and gladly and enthusiastically agreed to send Rama with sage Vishvamitra.
Dasharatha sends Rama and Lakshmana with Vishvamitra
When Vasishta said like that, and having agreed to send Rama with Vishvamitra, king Dasharatha personally called Rama and Lakshmana to the place where they were all discussing. King Dasharatha sends Rama and Lakshmana along with sage Vishvamitra. This was preceded by Dasharatha kissing his son Rama and entrusting him along with Lakshmana to sage Vishvamitra. While sage Vishvamitra was leading the way and with Lakshmana behind him, Rama handling his bow followed Vishvamitra ahead of Lakshmana. Thus, both were directed by Vishvamitra on their way.
Vishvamitra imparts Bala and Athi Bala knowledge to Rama
After travelling one Yojana and Half (nearly 12 miles or 20 kilometers) and after crossing River Sarayu and on reaching its southern bank, Vishvamitra told Rama, "Oh! Ramachandra! I will impart you two secret knowledge hymns namely, Bala and Athi Bala, which when you recite them, will drive away tiredness, hunger and thirst. Even while you sleep and unaware of surroundings, monsters can do nothing against you due to these hymns. None can be equal in skill and none can equal you and none can be similar to you in the entire universe. You are the most eligible one to receive these hymns". On hearing Vishvamitra's words Rama touched the water, purified himself and received those two hymns from Vishvamitra. Rama performed all his duties as a student. Later both the brothers listening to the relaxed words of Vishvamitra slept on the River Bank.