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.
अथ तस्य अप्रमेयस्य मुनेर् वचनम् उत्तमम् |
श्रुत्वा पुरुष शार्दूलः प्रत्युवाच शुभाम् गिरम् || १-२५-१
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]
अल्प वीर्या यदा यक्षी श्रूयते मुनिपुङ्गव |
कथम् नाग सहस्रस्य धारयति अबला बलम् || १-२५-२
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]
इति उक्त,म् वचनम् श्रुत्वा राघवस्य अमित ओजसा |
हर्षयन् श्लक्ष्णया वचा स लक्ष्मणम् अरिन्दमम् || १-२५-३
विश्वामित्रोऽब्रवीत् वाक्यम् शृणु येन बलोत्कटा |
वर दान कृतम् वीर्यम् धारयति अबला बलम् || १-२५-४
3, 4. 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 her strength... she assumes strength by the bestowal of a boon. [1-25-3, 4]
पूर्वम् आसीत् महा यक्षः सुकेतुर् नाम वीर्यवान् |
अनपत्यः शुभाचारः स च तेपे महत् तपः || १-२५-५
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]
पितामहः तु सुप्रीतः तस्य यक्षपतेः तदा |
कन्या रत्नम् ददौ राम ताटकाम् नाम नामतः || १-२५-६
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]
ददौ नाग सहस्रस्य बलम् च अस्याः पितामहः |
न तु एव पुत्रम् यक्षाय ददौ च असौ महायशाः || १-२५-७
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]
ताम् तु बालाम् विवर्धन्तीम् रूप यौवन शालिनीम् |
जंभ पुत्राय सुन्दाय ददौ भार्याम् यशस्विनीम् || १-२५-८
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]
कस्यचित् तु अथ कालस्य यक्षी पुत्रम् व्यजायत |
मारीचम् नाम दुर्धर्षम् यः शापात् राक्षसोऽभवत् ||१-२५-९
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]
सुन्दे तु निहते राम सा अगस्त्यम् ऋषि सत्तमम् |
ताटका सह पुत्रेण प्रधर्षयितुम् इच्छति || १-२५-१०
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.
"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]
भक्षार्थम् जात संरम्भा गर्जन्ती सा अभ्यधावत |
आपतन्तीम् तु ताम् दृष्ट्वा अगस्त्यो भगवान् ऋषिः || १-२५-११
राक्षसत्वम् भजस्व इति मारीचम् व्याजहार सः |
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]
अगस्त्यः परम अमर्षः ताटकाम् अपि शप्तवान् || १-२५-१२
पुरुषादी महायक्षी विरूपा विकृत आनना |
इदम् रूपम् विहायाशु दारुणम् रूपम् अस्तु ते || १-२५-१३
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]
सैषा शाप कृताम् अर्षा ताटका क्रोध मूर्छिता |
देशम् उत्सादयति एनम् अगस्त्या चरितम् शुभम् || १-२५-१४
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]
एनाम् राघव दुर्वृत्ताम् यक्षीम् परम दारुणाम् |
गो ब्राह्मण हितार्थाय जहि दुष्ट पराक्रमाम् || १-२५-१५
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]
न हि एनाम् शाप संसृष्टाम् कश्चित् उत्सहते पुमान् |
निहन्तुम् त्रिषु लोकेषु त्वाम् ऋते रघु नन्दन || १-२५-१६
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]
न हि ते स्त्री वध कृते घृणा कार्या नरोत्तम |
चातुर् वर्ण्य हितार्थाम् हि कर्तव्यम् राज सूनुना || १-२५-१७
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]
नृशंसम् अनृशंसम् वा प्रजा रक्षण कारणात् |
पातकम् वा सदोषम् वा कर्तव्यम् रक्षता सदा || १-२५-१८
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]
राज्य भार नियुक्तानाम् एष धर्मः सनातनः |
अधर्ंयाम् जहि काकुत्स्थ धर्मो हि अस्याम् न विद्यते || १-२५-१९
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]
श्रूयते हि पुरा शक्रो विरोचन सुताम् नृप |
पृथिवीम् हन्तुम् इच्छन्तीम् मन्थराम् अभ्यसूदयत् || १-२५-२०
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]
विष्णुना च पुरा राम भृगु पत्नी पतिव्रता |
अनिन्द्रम् लोकम् इच्छन्ती काव्यमाता निषूदिता || १-२५-२१
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]
एतैः च अन्यैः च बहुभी राजपुत्रैः महात्मभिः |
अधर्म सहिता नार्यो हताः पुरुषसत्तमैः |
तस्माद् एनाम् घृणाम् त्यक्त्वा जहि मत् शासनान् नृप || १-२५-२२
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]
Elimination of 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. duShTa strii vadho doSho n astiiti shaastreNa na anyena - dharmakuutam ||
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: easmin atra nidhanam praapite duShTakaariNi | bahuunaam bhavati kShemaH tasya puNyaprado vadhaH || - vishNu puraana 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: dharmaartha puurvakam taaDakaa vadhe doSho na asti - -- puNyam eva bhaviShyati iti taatparyeNa maharShi vishvaamitreNa uktam | idaaniimtanairapi bahuunaam kShemaartham ekasya hanane doSho na asti iti j~neyam | visheShitaH raaj~naa janapada rakShaNa diikShitena avadhya vadho api kartavya ityapi suucitam || --- dharmaakuutam
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदिकाव्ये बाल काण्डे पंचविंशः सर्गः ||
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]
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