Rama encounters his first problem-female demoness Tataka, also called as Taadaka, and eliminates her at the orders of sage Vishvamitra. This is a crucial test put to Rama by Vishvamitra in ascertaining whether Rama is the follower of dharma through elder men's orders or not. Rama eradicates Tataka basing on his own self-confidence.
muner vacanam aklībam śrutvā naravarātmajaḥ |
rāghavaḥ prāñjaliḥ bhūtvā pratyuvāca dṛḍhavrataḥ || 1-26-1
1. dhR^iDha vrataH = one who has firm vows [Rama]; nara vara aatmajaH = among people, the best one, son of; Raghava; a kliibam = without, fear - unfaltering; muneH vachanam shrutvaa = sage's, words, on hearing; praanjaliH bhuutva = adjoining palms, on becoming; prati uvaacha = replied.
On hearing the words of that unfaltering sage about demoness Tataka, Raghava, best man's son who is firm in his vows, reverently adjoining his palms replied the sage. [1-26-1]
pitur vacana nirdeśāt pitur vacana gauravāt |
vacanam kauśikasya iti kartavyam aviśaṅkayā || 1-26-2
2. pituH vachana nirdeshaat = [by my] father's, words, of order; pituH vachana gauravaat = [my] father's, words, honouring; kaushikasya vachanam iti = sage's son [Vishvamitra,] word, thus as [deeming this as my mentor's word]; a vi shankaya = without, further, doubt - definitely; kartavyam = [Tataka's elimination is to ] be implemented.
"Upon my father's order, upon my honour to my father's word, and looking upon this as the word of sage Kushi's son, my mentor, this task is definitely to be implemented. [1-26-2]
The third consideration is 'teacher's words' itarairapi guru shaasane sati avishankayaa dharmyam api tad uktam avashyam kartavyam iti suucitam - dharmaakuutam hence, Rama cannot be heedless of the words of both his father and teacher.
anuśiṣṭo asmi ayodhyāyām guru madhye mahātmanā |
pitrā daśarathena aham na avajñeyam ca tad vacaḥ || 1-26-3
3. ayodhyaayaam = in Ayodhya; guru madhye = teachers [elders,] among; mahaatmanaa pitraa dasharathena = by great soul, by father, Dasharatha; anushiSTaH asmi = directed, I am; tat vachaH na avaj~neyam ca = that, word, cannot, to be disregarded, too.
"What my great souled father Dasharatha directed me to do among elders in Ayodhya, that word too cannot be disregarded. [1-26-3]
Dasharatha bade Rama to do whatever assigned by Vishvamitra. Here Vishvamitra is assigning something ambiguous. Hence the dilemma between two instructions of two elderly people, and thus scriptures and practise confuse the young.
so.aham piturvacaḥ śrutvā śāsanād brahma vādinaḥ |
kariṣyāmi na saṃdehaḥ tāṭakā vadham uttamam || 1-26-4
4. saH aham pituH vachaH shrutvaa = such as I am, father's, words, having heard ? as a follower; brahma vaadinaH = Brahma, scholar ? such as you are; shaashanaat = by your instruction; uttamam taaTaka vadham kariSyaami = best [primary duty,] Tataka's, elimination, I wish to undertake; na sandehaH = without, doubt.
"Such as I am, I will undertake the primary duty of eliminating Tataka, according as the follower of father's words, and according to the instruction of a Brahma scholar, such as your are, without a doubt. [1-26-4]
Here Rama is in the same predicament as Arjuna in Maha Bharata. Arjuna's dilemma is to kill his own relatives, where Rama's is to kill a female at this juncture. What Krishna preaches in entire Bhagavad Gita is told in nutshell by sage Vishvamitra, i.e., 'do your duty as a Kshatriya, the ruling class, and protect virtue and eradicate vice, whether it is in the form of females or relatives.' atha vishvaamitro guruH - tasya vacanam avicaareNa kartavyam - evam sati dasharathena api - kasushiko yad vadati tat kartavyam - iti anushiSTo raamaH ekasya guror vacanam anullanghaniiyam - guru dvaya anushiSTam vacaH katham parihartum shakyata iti - strii vadha niSedhe satya api taaDakaa vadham angiikR^itavaan - dharmaakuutam
go brāhmaṇa hitārthāya deśasya ca hitāya ca |
tava caiva aprameyasya vacanam kartum udyataḥ || 1-26-5
5. go braahmaNa hitaarthaaya = cows, and Brahmans, for welfare of; asya deshasya hitaaya cha = this, province's, for advantage, also; aprameyasya = one who has inestimable power [Vishvamitra]; tava vachanam kartum = your, word [bidding,] to effectuate; udyataH = I am ready.
"I am ready to effectuate the bidding of an inestimable sage like you, for the welfare of cows and Brahmans, and for the advantage of this province." So said Rama to sage Vishvamitra. [1-26-5]
evam uktvā dhanurmadhye badhvā muṣṭim arindamaḥ |
jyā ghoṣam akarot tīvram diśaḥ śabdena nādayan || 1-26-6
6. arindam = enemy-destroyer, Rama; evam uktvaa = thus, on saying; dhanuH madhye muSTim badhvaa = at bow's, middle [on handgrip,] clenching, his fist; shabdena dishaH naadayan = by sound, directions, make them to blast; tiivram jyaa ghoSam akarot = thunderous, bowstring's, sound, made.
Saying thus, Rama, the enemy-destroyer, clenched his left fist on the handgrip in the middle of the bow, and with the right he made a thunderous sound of the bowstring making all the directions to blast. [1-26-6]
tena śabdena vitrastāḥ tāṭakā vana vāsinaḥ |
tāṭakā ca susaṃkruddhā tena śabdena mohitā || 1-26-7
7. taTaka vana vaasinaH = Tataka, forest, inhabitants; tena shabdena vitrastaaH = by that, sound, startled; taaTakaa cha = Tataka is, even; tena shabdena mohitaa = by that, sound, stupefied; su sam kruddhaa = well, fully, angering ? intolerably infuriated.
By that sound the inhabitants of Tataka forest are startled, and even Tataka is stupefied by that sound, and she is intolerably infuriated at it. [1-26-7]
tam śabdam abhinidhyāya rākṣasī krodha mūrcitā |
śrutvā ca abhyadravat kruddhā yatra śabdo vinissṛtaḥ || 1-26-8
8. rakshasii = demoness; tam shabdam shrutvaa = that, sound, on hearing; krodha muurchitaH = in anger, convulsed; abhi nidhyaaya = thinking awhile - giving attention to the pathway it emerged; yataH shabdaH viniHsrutaH = from where, sound, emerged; in that way; kruddhaa abhya dravat = rancorously, rushed [to there.]
She who is convulsed in anger to hear that sound gave attention to the direction wherefrom it emerged and she rancorously rushed thereto. [1-26-8]
tām dṛṣṭvā rāghavaḥ kruddhām vikṛtām vikṛta ānanām |
pramāṇena ati vṛddhām ca lakṣmaṇam so.abhyabhāṣata || 1-26-9
9. saH = he; that Raaghava; vi kR^itaam = monstrous one; vikR^ita aananam = with distorted, faced; pramaaNena ati vR^iddham cha = by proportions, very, gigantic, also; kR^iddhaam = infuriated one; taam dR^iSTvaa = her, on seeing; lakshmaNam abhya bhaashata = to Lakshmana, Rama, spoke.
Raghava on seeing that monstrous-looking demoness with a distorted face and who by proportions is very gigantic, furthermore infuriated, spoke to Lakshmana. [1-26-9]
paśya lakṣmaṇa yakṣiṇyā bhairavam dāruṇam vapuḥ |
bhidyeran darśanāt asyā bhīrūṇām hṛdayāni ca || 1-26-10
10. lakshmana = Lakshmana; pasya = see; yakshiNyaa bhairavam daaruNam vapuH = yakshii's, grisly, ghastly, physique; asyaa darshanaat = its [body's,] on seeing; bhiiruuNaam hR^idayaani bhidyeran = cowards', hearts, bursts.
"Lakshmana, see that yakshii's grisly and ghastly physique, seeing which hearts of cowards are prone to burst. [1-26-10]
etām paśya durādharṣām māyā bala samanvitām |
vinivṛttām karomi adya hṛta karṇāgra nāsikām || 1-26-11
11. duraadharSaam = unstoppable one; maayaa bala samanvitaam = magical, powers, having; etaam = her; hR^ita karNa agra naasikaam = taking away [lopping off,] [her] ears, tip of the nose; vi nivR^ittaam = [made to] ready retreat; adya karomi = now, I will make; pasya = you may see.
" She is unstoppable and has magical powers, is't, you may see now how I will make her to readily retreat by lopping off her ears and the tip of nose. [1-26-11]
na hi enām utsahe hantum strī svabhāvena rakṣitām |
vīryam ca asyā gatim ca eva hanyatām iti me matiḥ || 1-26-12
12. strii svabhaavena rakshitaam = female, by virtue of ? feminineness, [she is] protected; enaam hantum na utsahate hi = her, to eliminate, not, I attempt, really; asya viiryam gatim cha api = her, impudence, mobility, also, even; hanyataam iti me matiH = be terminated, thus is, my, intention.
"As it is her feminineness is protecting her, and I too I do not really attempt to kill her, but I intend to terminate her impudence and mobility. [1-26-12]
evam bruvāṇe rāme tu tāṭakā krodha mūrchitā |
udyaṃya bāhūm garjantī rāmam eva abhyadhāvata || 1-26-13
13. raaame evam bruvaaNe = by Rama, this way, while saying; Tataka; krodha muurchitaa = in anger, convulsed; baahuu udyamya = arms, upraising - swinging arms; garjantii = roaringly; raamam eva abhya dhaavata = Rama, alone, towards, rushed to.
While Rama is still speaking that way, convulsed in anger Tataka roaringly rushed towards Rama alone, swinging her arms. [1-26-13]
viśvāmitrastu brahmarṣiḥ huṃkāreṇā abhibhartsya tām |
svasti rāghavayoḥ astu jayam ca eva abhyabhāṣata || 1-26-14
14. brahmarSiH vishvamitraH tu = Brahma-sage, Vishvamitra, but; taam humkaareNa abhibhartsya = her, by sounding off, daunted; raaghavayoH = for Raghava-s; svasti astu jayam cha = let safeness, prevail, victory, also; abhyabhaaSata = said.
But the Brahma-sage Vishvamitra daunted sounded her off and said to Rama and Lakshmana, "let you be safe, and be victorious." [1-26-14]
ud dhunvānā rajo ghoram tāṭakā rāghavau ubhau |
rajo meghena mahatā muhūrtam sā vyamohayat || 1-26-15
15. saa = she that Tataka; ghoram rajaH ud dhuunaanaa = dreadful, dust, up flinging; raaghavau ubhau = on Raghava-s, two of them; muhurtam = for a while; mahataa rajaH meghena = with massive, dust, cloud; vyamohayat = she baffled.
Flinging up dreadful dust on those two Raghavaa-s, Tataka baffled them for a while with a massive cloud of dust. [1-26-15]
tato māyām samāsthāya śilā varṣeṇa rāghavau |
avākirat sumahatā tataḥ cukrodha rāghavaḥ || 1-26-16
16. tataH maayaam samaasthaaya = then, witchery, taking hold of; su mahataa shilaa varsheNa = highly, torrential, with stone, rain; raaghavau = on Raghava-s; avaakirat = spread around - inundated; tataH raaghavaH chukrodha = then, Rama, became indignant.
Then taking hold of witchery she inundated both the Raghava-s with highly torrential stone rain, by which Rama became indignant. [1-26-16]
śilā varṣam mahat tasyāḥ śara varṣeṇa rāghavaḥ |
prativāryo apadhāvantyāḥ karau ciccheda patribhiḥ || 1-26-17
17. raaghava = Rama; tasyaaH mahat shilaa varsham = her, effusive, stones, storming; shara varsheNa prati vaaryaH = by arrow, storms, forestalled; apa dhaavantyaaH = she who is towards, rushing; karau patribhiH chicheda = both arms, by arrows, mutilated.
On forestalling her effusive stone storming with his arrow storm, Rama even mutilated both of her arms with arrows while she rushed towards them. [1-26-17]
tataḥ cchinna bhujām śrāntām abhyāśe parigarjatīm |
saumitriḥ akarot krodhāt hṛta karṇāgra nāsikām || 1-26-18
18. chinna bhujaam shraantaam = severed, arms, fatigued one; abhyaashe parigarjatiim = nearby, extremely roaring; tataH = then; saumitriH krodhaat = Soumitri, provoked; hR^ita karNa agra naasikaam = to loose ears, tip of nose; akarot = made [cut off.]
With her arms severed and fatigued she started to roar extremely at the nearby, and then provoked Lakshmana made her to loose her ears and the tip of nose by cutting them off. [1-26-18]
kāma rūpadharā sā tu kṛtvā rūpāṇi anekaśaḥ |
antardhānam gatā yakṣī mohayanti sva māyayā || 1-26-19
aśma varṣam vimuṃcantī bhairavam vicacāra sā ||
19, 20a. saa kaama ruupa dharaa tu = she, by wish, guise, changer, but; anekashaH ruupaaNi kR^itvaa = variously, her forms, on making - altering; antardhaanam gataa = into disappearance, on going; mohayantii sva mayayaa = baffling, with her, illusoriness; ashma varsham vimuchyantii = stone, storm, while discharging; bhairavam saa vichachaaraH = alarmingly, she, moved about.
That guise changer vanished after variously altering her aspects, and then on baffling them with her illusoriness and discharging stone storms she moved about appallingly. [1-26-19, 20a]
tataḥ tau aśma varṣeṇa kīryamāṇau samantataḥ || 1-26-20
dṛṣṭvā gādhi sutaḥ śrīīmān idam vacanam abravīt |
20b, 21a. samantataH asma varsheNa kiiryamaanau = all-over, by stones, storm, overspread by; tau = then, them Rama, Lakshmana; dR^iSTvaa = on seeing; tataH = then; sriimaan gaadhi sutaH = illustrious one, Gadhi's son, [Vishvamitra]; idam vachanam abraviit = this, sentence, spoke.
And on seeing both Rama and Lakshmana who are being overspread by storms of stones from all-over, then the illustrious sage Vishvamitra spoke this sentence. [1-26-20b, 21a]
alam te ghṛṇayā rāma pāpā eṣā duṣṭa cāriṇī || 1-26-21
yajña vighna karī yakṣī purā vardheta māyayā |
21b, 22a. te ghR^iNayaa alam = with your, compassion, enough; Rama; paapaa = sinister; duSTa chaariNii = malevolent, behaviourally; yaj~na vighna karii = ritual, hindrance, one who causes; eSaa yakshii = this, yakshii; maayayaa = by illusory powers; puraa vardheta = in a short time, regains ? gets a grip on herself.
"Enough is your compassion Rama, she is a sinister, behaviourally malevolent, a hinderer of rituals, and this yakshii gets a grip on herself in a short time by her illusory powers. [1-26-21b, 22a]
vadhyatām tāvat eva eṣā purā saṃdhyā prava^^rtate || 1-26-22
rakṣāṃsi saṃdhyā kāle tu du^^rdharṣāṇi bhavanti hi |
22b, 23a. sandhyaa puraa pravartate = sunset, in short time, sets in; taavat eva = before that, alone; eSaa vadhyataam = she, be destroyed; sandhyaa kaale = at sunset, time; rakshaamsi dur dharshaaNi bhavanti vai = demons, unassailable, they become, indeed.
"Sun is going to set in a short time, and only before that time she shall be destroyed, for demons at dusk and afterwards become unassailable, indeed." So said sage Viswamitra to Rama. [1-26-22b, 23a]
iti uktaḥ sa tu tām yakṣīm aśma vṛṣṭyā abhivarṣaṇīm || 1-26-23
darśayan śabda vedhitvam tām rurodha sa sāyakaiḥ |
23b, 24a. iti uktaH saH = thus, spoken, he that Rama; taam yakshiim = her, that yakshii; shabda vedhitvam darshayan = sonic, archery, displaying [his capacity]; ashma vR^iSTyaa abhi varSaNiim = with stones, storms, storming; saH = he; taam rurodha saayakaiH = her, forestalled, with arrows.
When Vishvamitra addressed him thus, Rama displaying his capacity in sonic archery forestalled that yakshii who has gone into invisibility and storming stone-storms, with his arrows. [1-26-23b, 24a]
sā ruddhā bāṇa jālena māyā bala samanvitā || 1-26-24
abhi dudrāva kākutstham lakṣamaṇam ca vineṣudī ||
24b, 25a. baaNa jaalena ruddhaa = by arrows, arrays, obstructed; maayaa bala samanvitaa = illusional, power, possessing with; saa = she; vi neSudii = stridently blaring; kaakutstham laxamaNam cha = to Rama, Lakshmana also; abhi duraava = towards, dashed.
And when the arrays of arrows obstructed her who possesses illusional powers, she dashed towards Rama and Lakshmana blaring stridently. [1-26-24b, 25a]
tām āpatantīm vegena vikrāntām aśanīm iva || 1-26-25
śareṇa urasi vivyādha sā papāta mamāra ca |
25b, 26a. vi kraantaam = one who is invading; ashaniim iva = thunderbolt, like; vegena = speedily; aa patantiim = she who is coming and falling ? swooping down; taam shareNa urasi vi yaadha = her, with arrow, on chest, struck; saa pa paata = she, readily, fell; ma maara cha = completely, dropped dead, too.
And Rama struck an arrow in her chest who is invading and speedily swooping down like a thunderbolt, and thus she is readily felled down and totally dropped dead, too. [1-26-25b, 26a]
tām hatām bhīma saṃkāśām dṛṣṭvā surapatiḥ tadā || 1-26-26
sādhu sādhviti kākutstham surāḥ ca api abhipūjayan |
26b, 27a. sura patiH suraaH cha = gods?, king, gods [Indra,] also; hataam bhiima sankaasham = annihilated, horrendous, in shape; taam dR^iSTvaa tadaa = her, on seeing, then; saadhu saadhu iti = admirable, admirable, thus [this act of felling her]; kaakuthsham abhipuujayan = at Rama, highly, esteemed.
On seeing her who is horrendous in her shape is eliminated Indra and other gods have highly esteemed Rama saying, ?admirable, admirable is this act. [1-26-26b, 27a]
uvāca parama prītaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ purandaraḥ || 1-26-27
surāḥ ca sarve saṃhṛṣṭā viśvāmitram atha abruvan |
27b, 28a. sahasra akshaH = thousand-eyed one ? Indra; puran daraH = enemy's citadel-destroyer - Indra; parama priitaH atha uvaacha = highly, satisfied, then, spoke; sarve suraaH samhR^iSTaa cha = all, gods, gladdened, also [spoke]; abruvan vishwamitram = spoke, to Vishvamitra [this way.]
The thousand eyed and the destroyer of enemy?s citadels Indra then spoke with high satisfaction, and even all of the gods are gladdened and said to Vishvamitra this way. [1-26-27b, 28a]
mune kauśika bhadram te saha indrāḥ sarve marud gaṇāḥ || 1-26-28
toṣitāḥ karmaṇā anena sneham darśaya rāghave |
28b, 29a. mune kaushika = oh, sage, Vishwamitra; te bhadram = to you, safety will be; saha indraa = with Indra; sarve marudgaNaa = all, wind-god, groups of; anena karmaNaa toshitaaH = by this, act, pleased; raaghave sneham darshaya = to Raghava, concern, you show.
"Oh, sage Vishvamitra, you are blessed, all the groups of wind-gods along with Indra are pleased, so you please show more concern for Raghava. [1-26-28b, 29a]
prajāpateḥ kṛśāśvasya putrān satya parākramān || 1-26-29
tapo bala bhṛto brahman rāghavāya nivedaya |
29b, 30a. brahman = oh, Brahman; prajaapateH kR^ishaashvasya putraan = Prajaapati, of Krishaasva, children; satya paraakramaan = virtue, valiant ones; tapaH bala bhR^itaH = ascetically, strength, possessors [missiles]; raaghavaaya nivedaya = to Raghava, be offered.
"The sons of Prajapati Krishasva who are valiant by their virtue and who possess ascetic strength, oh, Brahman, they may be offered to Raghava. [1-26-29,b, 30a]
These are the sons like missiles of Krishaashava Prajaapati. About them, the divine weaponry and their birth, c.f. 21st sarga/chapter, verse 10 to 20.
pātrabhūtaḥ ca te brahman tava anugamane rataḥ || 1-26-30
kartavyam sumahat karma surāṇām rāja sūnunā |
30b, 31a. brahman = oh, Brahman; tava anu gamane rataH = your, in tow, going ? following, steadfast ? Rama [follower of your assignments]; te paatra bhuutaH = to you, befitting one ? worthy receiver; raaja suununaa = by king?s, son; suraaNaam su mahat karma = for gods, very, great, deed; kartavyam = is to be done.
"Rama is steadfast in following your assignments and thus he is the worthy receiver of those missiles, and this prince has to accomplish a very great deed of gods.? So said gods to Vishvamitra. [1-26-30b, 31a]
evam uktvā surāḥ sarve jagmur hṛṣṭā vihāyasam || 1-26-31
viśvāmitram pūjayan tataḥ saṃdhyā prava^^rtate |
31b, 32a. evam uktvaa = thus, saying; suraaH sarve = gods, all; vishvamitram puujayan = Vishwamitra, on extolling; hR^iSTaa = contentedly; vihaayasam = to heavens; jagmuH = went away; tataH sandhyaa pravartate = then, sunset, come to pass.
All the gods on saying thus and on extolling Vishvamitra they contentedly returned to heavens, and then the sunset has come to pass. [1-26-31b, 32a]
tato munivaraḥ prītaḥ tāṭakā vadha toṣitaḥ || 1-26-32
mūrdhni rāmam upāghrāya idam vacanam abravīt |
32b, 33a. muni varaH = sage, the best; priitaH = satisfied; taaTakaa vadha toSita = in Tataka's, eradication, gladdened; raamam muurdhni upa aaghraaya = of Rama, forehead, nearby smelling [kissing]; tataH then; idam vachanam abraviit = this, sentence, said.
That best sage is satisfied with Rama and gladdened for the eradication of Tataka kissed the forehead of and then said this sentence. [1-26-32b, 33a]
iha adya rajanīm rāma vasāma śubha darśana || 1-26-33
śvaḥ prabhāte gamiṣyāmaḥ tad āśrama padam mama |
33b, 34a. subha darshana = oh, august one, to gaze at, Rama; adya rajaniim = today's, night; iha vasaama = here, we stay; shvaH prabhaate = tomorrow, morning; mama tat aashrama padam gamiSyaamaH = mine, that, to hermitage, we will proceed.
"Here we stay for tonight, Rama, the august one for a gaze, and tomorrow morning we will go to that hermitage of mine.? So said Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-26-33b, 34a]
viśvāmitraḥ vacaḥ śrutvā hṛṣṭo daśaradhātmajaḥ || 1-26-34
uvāsa rajanīm tatra tāṭakāyā vane sukham |
34b, 35a. vishwaamitra vachaH shrutva = words, on listening; dasharatha aatmaja = Dasharatha's, son is; hR^iSTaH = gladdened; tatra taaTakaayaa = vane there, in Tataka?s, forest; sukham rajaniim uvaasa = comfortably, that night, stayed.
On listening sage Vishvamitra's words, Dasharatha's son Rama, comfortably stayed that night there in that forest of Tataka. [1-26-34]
mukta śāpam vanam tat ca tasmin eva tat āhani |
ramaṇīyam vibabhrāja yathā caitra ratham vanam || 1-26-35
35b, c. tasmin tat aahani eva = on that very, day, only; tat vanam cha = that, forest, too; mukta shaapam = released, from curse; yathaa chaitra ratham vanam = as with, [heavenly] Chaitra Ratha, garden; ramaNiiyam vi babhraaja = pleasantly, shone forth
On that very day alone that forest of Tataka too is released from the curse, and it shone forth like the luxurious heavenly garden of Kubera, namely Chiatra Ratha. [1-26-35b, c]
nihatya tām yakṣa sutām sa rāmaḥ
praśasyamānaḥ sura siddha sanghaiḥ |
uvāsa tasmin muninā saha eva
prabhāta velām prati bodhyamānaḥ || 1-26-36
36. saH raamaH = he, that Rama; taam yaksha sutaam = her, yaksha?s, daughter; ni hatya = on completely, destroying; sura siddha sanghaiH = by celestials, liberated Souls, and their groups; prashasyamaanaH = being eulogised; muninaa saha = sage, along with; tasmin eva = there, only; prabhaata velaam = at dawning, time; prati bodhyamaanaH = being addressed being awakened by sunrise; uvaasa = stayed.
Rama while being eulogised by the groups of celestials and liberated Souls for complete elimination of yaksha's daughter, namely Tataka, stayed there along with the sage only to be awakened by the next day?s sunrise. [1-26-36]
Test for Rama's discipline.
The materialists view this episode as a function of Rama in eradicating natural calamities like dust storms, pellet storms in an uncultivable land, on the line of the episode of Ahalya. In this episode Rama's discipline is also tested. Whether he simply follows what is instructed or whether he uses his own discretion, is the topic here. Rama coupled both and eradicates Tataka, tough he doubts for a while whether to eliminate a female. strii vadha sahasaa na kartavyaH viruupakaaraNaadi strii daNDanam eva prathamataH kriyate – dharmaakuutam
This is required for the endowment of deadly missiles to Rama in coming chapters. Hence Vishvamitra asks Rama to depend upon his own self-confidence to undertake this deed as at 1-24-30b, 31a. On satisfying with the eligibility of Rama to receive missiles with this episode, Vishvamitra accords those deadly weapons later.
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādikāvye bāla kāṇḍe ṣaḍviṃśaḥ sargaḥ
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© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]