Chapter [Sarga] 25

Introduction

Sage Vishvamitra narrates the birth, marriage and curse of demoness Tataka, and bids Rama to eliminate her menace without any hesitation of killing a female, for she is atrocious towards the society.


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atha tasya aprameyasya muner vacanam uttamam |
shrutvaa puruSa shaarduulaH pratyuvaaca shubhaam giram || 1-25-1

1. a+prameyasya= sage with inestimable power; tasya muneH uttamam vachanam shrutvaa= worthy, words, on hearing; puruSa shaarduula= manly-tiger - Rama; tataH= then; shubaam giram= with estimable, words; prati uvaacha= in turn, said replied.

On hearing the worthy words of that sage with inestimable power, then the manly-tiger Rama replied him with estimable words. [1-25-1]

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alpa viiryaa yadaa yakSii shruuyate munipu~Ngava |
katham naaga sahasrasya dhaarayati abalaa balam || 1-25-2

2. muni pungava= oh, sage, the eminent; yakshii [yakshaaH] alpa viiryaa= female-yakshii [all yaksha-s,] trivial, in strength; yadaa shruuyate [shruuyante]= while, we hear so it is said; a+balaa= without, strength - woman frail by nature; naaga sahasrasya balam= elephants, of a thousand, strength; katham dhaarayatii= how, she exerts.

"It is said that yaksha's strength is trivial, and this is an yakshii, more so a female, how then this yakshii frail by her femineity can exert the strength of a thousand elephants? [1-25-2]

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iti uk{}ta,m vacanam shrutvaa raaghavasya amita ojasaa |
harSayan shlakshNayaa vacaa sa lakshmaNam arindamam || 1-25-3
vishvaamitro.abraviit vaakyam shR^iNu yena balotkaTaa |
vara daana kR^itam viiryam dhaarayati abalaa balam || 1-25-4

3. iti uktvaa= thus, one who is spoken Vishvamitra; amita ojasaa raaghavasya= one with illimitable, dynamism, of Raghava; vacanam shrutvaa= sentence, on hearing; Vishvamitra; harSayan= cheering them up; abraviit vaakyam= said, sentence; arindamam sa lakshmaNam= to enemy-subduer [Rama,] along with, Lakshmana; shlakshNayaa vacaa= with pleasant, words; a+balaa= female; yena bala utkaTaa= by which, [as to how] by strength, outstanding; shruNu= you listen; vara daana kR^itam viiryam= boon, bestowal, made - obtained; balam dhaaryati= strength, she assumes.

On hearing the sentence of Raghava with illimitable dynamism, Vishvamitra said this sentence to the enemy subduer Rama along with Lakshmana, cheering them up with his pleasant words, "Listen by which a female became outstanding by jeer strength... she assumes strength by the bestowal of a boon. [1-25-3, 4]

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puurvam aasiit mahaa yakSaH suketur naama viiryavaan |
anapatyaH shubhaacaaraH sa ca tepe mahat tapaH || 1-25-5

5. puurvam= once upon a time; sukethuH naama viiryavaan= Suketu, named, formidable one; mahaa yakshaH aasiit= great, yaksha, was there; anapatyaH saH childless, he; subha aachaaraH= with devout, conduct; mahat tapaH tepe= great, ascesis, he performed.

"Once there was a formidable yaksha named Suketu, but he was childless, and he who had devout conduct performed a great ascesis. [1-25-5]

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pitaamahaH tu supriitaH tasya yakSapateH tadaa |
kanyaa ratnam dadau raama taaTakaam naama naamataH || 1-25-6

6. Rama; tadaa= then; pitaa maha supriitaH= Forefather Brahma, is gladdened; tasya yaksha pateH= to him, yaksha's, lord; namataH taaTakaam nama= by name, Tataka, renowned as; kanya ratnam dadau= girl, gemlike, gave.

"Gladdening at his ascesis, Rama, then the Forefather Brahma gave him a gemlike daughter who is renowned by the name of Tataka. [1-25-6]

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dadau naaga sahasrasya balam ca asyaaH pitaamahaH |
na tu eva putram yakSaaya dadau ca asau mahaayashaaH || 1-25-7

7. pitaamahaH= Forefather Brahma; asyaaH= to her; naaga sahasrasya balam cha= elephants, thousand, strength, also; dadau= gave; mahaa yashaaH= highly, remarkable Brahma; asau yakshaaya putram tu= to that, yaksha, son, but; na eva dadau ca= not, that way, given, also; [as male child will be more hazardous.]

"Forefather Brahma also gave the strength of a thousand elephants to her, but he that highly remarkable Brahma did not give a son to that yaksha, anticipating male to be more hazardous. [1-25-7]

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taam tu baalaam vivardhantiim ruupa yauvana shaaliniim |
ja.mbha putraaya sundaaya dadau bhaaryaam yashasviniim || 1-25-8

8. baalam vi vardhantiim= girl, well, growing up; ruupa yauvana shaliniim= beauty, youth, one having them; yashashviniim= bright one; taam= her; jambha putraaya= to Jambha's, son; sundaaya= to Sunda; bhaaryaam dadau= as wife, [her father Suketu] gave.

"When that bright girl is growing up into a youthful beauty her father Suketu gave her to Jambha's son Sunda as wife. [1-25-8]

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kasyacit tu atha kaalasya yakSii putram vyajaayata |
maariicam naama durdharSam yaH shaapaat raakSaso.abhavat ||1-25-9

9. atha kasyachit kaalasya= then, some, after time; yakshii= that yakshii, Tataka; maariicam naama putram= Mareecha, named, son; dur dharSam= indomitable one; vyajaayata= delivered; yaH shaapaat raakshasaH abhavat= who, by curse, demon, he became.

"Then after sometime that yakshii Tataka delivered an indomitable son named Mareecha, who by curse became a demon. [1-25-9]

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sunde tu nihate raama saa agastyam R^iSi sattamam |
taaTakaa saha putreNa pradharSayitum icChati || 1-25-10

10. Rama; sunde nihate= Sunda, when eliminated [by Agastya]; saa= she; that Tataka; saha putreNa= along with, her son; agastyam R^iShi sattamam= Agastya, sage, the eminent; pra dharSayitum icChati= to assail [to retaliate,] wished.

"But when Sunda is eliminated by sage Agastya's curse, she that Tataka wished to retaliate that eminent sage along with her son Mareecha. [1-25-10]

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bhakshaartham jaata sa.mrambhaa garjantI saa abhyadhaavata |
aapatantIm tu taam dR^iSTwaa agastyo bhagavaan R^iSiH || 1-25-11
raakSasatvam bhajasva iti maariicam vyaajahaara saH |

11, 12a. saa garjantiii= she, roaring; jaata samrambhaa= caused, hastiness with brewing desperation; bhaksha artham abhya dhaatava= [as though] to eat away, aiming to, towards [sage,] she rushed; bhagavaan R^iSiH agastyaH= godly, saint, Agastya; aa patantiim= coming and falling upon rushing to attack; taam dR^iSTtvaa= her, on seeing; raakshsatvam bhajasva= demon-hood, you attain; iti saH mariicham vyajahaara= thus, he, to Mareecha, said cursed.

"With desperation brewing in her she roaringly rushed towards the sage as though to eat him away, and on seeing her rushing along with her son Mareecha towards him, the godly saint Agastya firstly cursed Mareecha saying, 'you will attain demon-hood.' [1-25-11, 12a]

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agastyaH parama amarSaH taaTakaam api shaptavaan || 1-25-12
puruSaadii mahaayakSii viruupaa vikR^ita aananaa |
idam ruupam vihaayaashu daaruNam ruupam astu te || 1-25-13

12b, 13. parama amarSaH agastya= highly, infuriated, Agastya; taaTakaam api shaptavaan= Tataka, even, cursed; aashu idam ruupam vihaaya= forthwith, this, form, divested of; vi ruupaa= with distorted form; vikR^ita aananaa= with contorted, faced; puruSa adii= man, one who eats; mahaa yakshii= oh, great yakshii; te daaruNam ruupam astu= to you, monstrous, form, shall be.

"Highly infuriated sage Agastya even cursed Tataka saying, 'forthwith divested of this form of a beautiful female, oh, great yakshii, you shall become a man eater with your form distorted, face contorted, and shape monstrous.' [1-25-12b, 13]

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saiSaa shaapa kR^itaam arSaa taaTakaa krodha muurChitaa |
desham utsaadayati enam agastyaa caritam shubham || 1-25-14

14. shaapa kR^itaam amarSaa= by curse, caused, frenzy; saa eSaa= she, thus; that Tataka; krodha muurcChitaa= in fury, convulsed; agastya charitam= sage Agastya, sauntered; subham enam desham= auspicious one, this, province; utsaadayati= is vandalizing.

"Frenzied by the curse and convulsed in fury she that Tataka is thus vandalising this auspicious province, in which sage Agastya once sauntered. [1-25-14]

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enaam raaghava durvR^ittaam yakSiim parama daaruNaam |
go braahmaNa hitaarthaaya jahi duSTa paraakramaam || 1-25-15

15. Raghava; dur vR^ittaam= one with horrific, behaviour; panama daaruNam= highly, atrocious one; duSTa paraakramaam= one with malefic, valour; enaam yakshiim= this, yakshii be; go braahmaNa hita arthaaya= cows, Brahmins, for welfare of; jahi= you eliminate [her.]

"She that highly atrocious one is with horrific behaviour and malefic valour, hence you shall eliminate this yakshii for the welfare of Brahmans and cows. [1-25-15]

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na hi enaam shaapa sa.msR^iSTaam kashcit utsahate pumaan |
nihantum triSu lokeSu tvaam R^ite raghu nandana || 1-25-16

16. raghu nandana= oh, Raghu's, legatee; shaapa samsR^iSTaam= in curse, sheathed - indomitable; enaam ni hantum= her, to completely, eliminate; tvaam R^ite= you, excepting; kashchit pumaan= some man none; triSu lokeSu= in three, worlds; na utsahate hi= not, braves her, indeed - possibly.

"Excepting you there is none to eliminate her who is indomitably sheathed in a curse, oh, Raghu's legatee, and none in the three worlds can possibly brave her. [1-25-16]

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na hi te strii vadha kR^ite ghR^iNaa kaaryaa narottama |
caatur varNya hitaarthaam hi kartavyam raaja suununaa || 1-25-17

17. nara uttama= among men, the best, Rama; strii vadha= female, killing; kR^ite ghR^iNaa= regarding, compassion; na kaaryaa= no, to be done not, germane; raaja suununa= by king's, son; chaatur varNya hita arartham= four, caste-system, welfare, intending; kartavyam= is to be done effectuated.

"Compassion regarding the elimination of a female is ungermane, oh, best one among men, since a prince has to effectuate it intending the welfare of four categories of society. [1-25-17]

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nR^isha.msam anR^isha.msam vaa prajaa rakshaNa kaaraNaat |
paatakam vaa sadoSam vaa kartavyam rakshataa sadaa || 1-25-18

18. rakshata= [to a king] who is protector [of subjects]; prajaa rakshaNa kaaraNaat= people, guarding, for the reason of; nR^ishamsam vaa= ruthless, either; a+nR^ishamsham vaa= humane, or; paatakam vaa= sinful, or; sa+doSam vaa= with, vilification, or; that deed; sadaa kartavyam= always, is to be done.

"For the reason of protecting people, a protector always has to execute such deed, either it is ruthless or humane, sinful or vilifying. [1-25-18]

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raajya bhaara niyuk{}taanaam eSa dharmaH sanaatanaH |
adharmyaam jahi kaakutstha dharmo hi asyaam na vidyate || 1-25-19

19. raajya bhaara niyuktaanaam= kingdom's, burde, to those that are nominated; eSa sanaatanaH dharma= this is, age-old, duty; kakutstha= Rama; a+dharmyaam jahi= one with infamy, eliminate; asyaam dharmaH na vidyate hi= in her, goodness, not, evident, isn't it.

"To the nominee who bears the burden of kingdom this is the age-old duty, and hence oh, Rama, the legatee of Kakutstha, eliminate this infamy, as goodness is inevident in her, isn't it. [1-25-19]

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shruuyate hi puraa shakro virocana sutaam nR^ipa |
pR^ithiviim hantum icChantiim mantharaam abhyasuudayat || 1-25-20

20. nR^i pa= oh, people, protector; puraa pR^ithiviim hantum icChantiim= once, Earth, to annihilate, she who wished; virochana sutaam mantharaam= Virochana's, daughter, Manthara [namesake of this epic's Manthara]; shakraH abhyasuudayat= Indra, eliminated; shruuyate hi= thus heard, isn't it.

"Oh, Rama, the protector of people, we have heard that Indra once eliminated Manthara, the daughter of Virochana, when she wished to annihilate earth, haven't we. [1-25-20]

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viSNunaa ca puraa raama bhR^igu patnii pativrataa |
anindram lokam icChantii kaavyamaataa niSuuditaa || 1-25-21

21. Rama; puraa= once; lokam= world; an+indram= without, Indra; icChantii= she who wished; pativrataa bR^rigu patnii= husband-devote, sage Bhrigu's, wife; kaavya maataa api= sage Shukra's, mother, even; viSNuna nishuuditaa= by Vishnu, she is wiped out.

"And Rama, once Vishnu wiped out even the wife of sage Bhrigu and sage Shukracarya's mother when she wished the world to become one without a governing factor, namely Indra. [1-25-21]

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etaiH ca anyaiH ca bahubhii raajaputraiH mahaatmabhiH |
adharma sahitaa naaryo hataaH puruSasattamaiH |
tasmaad enaam ghR^iNaam tyak{}tvaa jahi mat shaasanaan nR^ipa || 1-25-22

22. raja putraiH= oh, prince; etaiH mahaatmabhiH= by these, great souls; anyaiH cha= by others, also; puruSa sattamaiH= by personalities, celebrated ones; bahubhii a+dharma sahitaa naaryaH= many of the, un, righteousness, who have, females; hataaH= were eliminated; tasmaat= therefore; nR^i pa= oh, people protector; mat shaasanaat= by my, decree; ghR^iNaam tyaktvaa= compassion, leaving off; enaam jahi= her, you eliminate.

"Oh, prince, these great souls and many other celebrated personalities have eliminated females who deported themselves with unrighteousness, and hence, oh, Rama, the protector of people, by my decree you leave off compassion and eliminate her." Thus said sage Vishvamitra to Rama regarding Tataka's elimination. [1-25-22]

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Eliminating females right or wrong?

This is a much discussed topic in Ramayana. Rama's adventures start with the killing of a female. While scriptures say that killing a female is sinful, is this killing of a female righteous or wrongful is the topic for discussion. It is said in answer that there is no harm to dharma since unrighteousness is eliminable though existing in the form of a female. dua str vadho doo n astti strea na anyena - dharmaktam ||

And Vishnu Purana says that eliminating one evildoer for the sake of many innocent is neither sin nor a crime of course, to the kings and rulers: ekasmin atra nidhanam prpite duakrii | bahnm bhavati kema tasya puyaprado vadha || - viu purna 1-13-73-74

For the sake many, that too defenceless rural people, it is the duty of the king to eliminate whether it is a male or a female if involved in atrocities: anena dharmrtha prvakam tak vadhe doo na asti - puyam eva bhaviyati iti ttparyea mahari vivmitrea uktam | idnmtanairapi bahnm kemrtham ekasya hanane doo na asti iti jeyam | vieita rj janapada rakaa dkitena avadhya vadho api kartavya ityapi scitam || dharmktam

 

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadikaavye baala kaaNDe pa.nchavi.mshaH sargaH ||

Thus, this is the 25th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties : Chapter 25

 

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2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]