Sage Vishvamitra satisfied with the behaviour of Rama in obliging the orders of elders and performing the act that is assigned to him, gives many weapons to Rama, called shastra, astra-s. The weaponry is categorised mainly into two types. One is shastra - a handheld weapon like sword, lance or mace. The other is astra - a projectile missile invoked by reciting hymns. This chapter lists out those missiles that are given to Rama and in next chapter an account of some counter-attack missiles, called upasamhaaraastra-s is given which can be used to nullify the enemy's missiles. In the endnote of this chapter some verses describing the nature of astra-s are incorporated.
अथ तां रजनीमुष्य विश्वामित्रो महायशाः |
प्रहस्य राघवं वाक्यमुवाच मधुराक्षरम् || १-२७-१
1. atha = then; mahaayashaaH = highly renowned; Vishvamitra; taam rajaniim uSya = that, night, on staying; prahasya = smilingly; raaghavam = to Raghava; madhuraakSharam vaakyam uvaaca = sweet worded, sentence, spoke.
Then, on staying that night there in Tataka forest, on the next day morning the greatly renowned sage Vishvamitra, smilingly and wording sweetly spoke to Rama. [1-27-1]
परितुष्टोऽस्मि भद्रं ते राजपुत्र महायशः |
प्रीत्या परमया युक्तो ददाम्यस्त्राणि सर्वशः || १-२७-२
2. mahaayashaH raajaputra = great glorious, prince; parituSTaH asmi = highly pleased, I am; te bhadram = let safety be to you ; paramayaa priityaa yuktaH = along with utmost affection ; astraaNi sarvashaH dadaami = I will give all of divine missiles.
"I am highly pleased with you, oh, illustrious prince Rama, let safety be with you, I will now give you all of the divine missiles in utmost fondness of mine. [1-27-2]
देवासुरगणान् वापि सगन्धर्वोरगान्भुवि |
यैरमित्रान् प्रसह्याजौ वशीकृत्य जयिष्यसि || १-२७-३
तानि दिव्यानि भद्रं ते ददाम्यस्त्राणि सर्वशः |
3, 4a. yaiH = by which - weapons; devaasuragaNaan vaa api = scores of gods and demons, or, even; gandharvoragaan = gandharva-s and urugaa-s; bhuvi = [or that are] on earth - earthling; amitraan = unfriendly ones - enemies; aajau = in war; prasahya vashiikR^itya = by dominating, humbled down; jayiSyasi = conquers; taani divyaani = those, the divine [weaponry]; astraaNi sarvashaH = missiles, all of them; dadaami = I am going to give; bhadram te = safety, be with you.
"I am going to accord all of those divine missiles by which scores of gods, demons, or even from gandharva-s, uragaa-s and the like, or even earthlings are dominated, humbled down and conquered in war. Let safety be with you. [1-27-3, 4a]
दण्डचक्रं महद्दिव्यं तव दास्यामि राघव || १-२७-४
धर्मचक्रं ततो वीर कालचक्रं तथैव च |
विष्णुचक्रं तथात्युग्रमैन्द्रं चक्रं तथैव च || १-२७-५
वज्रमस्त्रं नरश्रेष्ठ शैवं शूलवरं तथा |
अस्त्रं ब्रह्मशिरश्चैव ऐषीकमपि राघव || १-२७-६
ददामि ते महाबाहो ब्राह्ममस्त्रमनुत्तमम् |
4b, 5, 6, 7a. raaghava = oh Raghava; mahat divyam = highly, divine one; daNDacakram = Danda disc [Punisher disc]; tava daasyaami = I will give to you; narashreSTha = best of men; mahaabaahuH = oh highly dexterous one; viira = oh brave one; tataH = next; dharmacakram = Dharma disc [Virtue-disc]; tathaiva ca = likewise, also; kaalacakram = Kala disc[Time disc]; tathaa = thus; viSNucakram = Vishnu disc; tathaiva ca = like that, further; aindram cakram = Indra's, disc; vajram astram = Thunderbolt, missile; tathaa = further; shaivam = pertaining to Shiva; shuulavaram = the best trident; astram brahmashiraH = missile, called Brahma-crest; aiSiikam api = Grass-Blade-missile, even; ati ugram = highly formidable missile; anuttamam = unexcelled one; braahmam astram eva = Brahma, missile, that way; te dadaami = I am going to give to you.
"Raghava, I am going to give the highly divine Danda disc [Punisher disc]; next, oh, best one among men, Dharma disc [Virtue-disc,] and like that kaala disc [Time-disc]; then oh, brave one, Vishnu disc; similarly oh, dextrous Rama, Indra disc and Thunderbolt missile; the best trident pertaining to Shiva; the missile called Brahma-shira [Brahma-crest]; the missile called the Aishiika missile [Grass-Blade missile,] and that way oh, Raghava, I am going to give the unexcelled and highly formidable missile called Brahma missile. [1-27-4b, 5, 6, 7a]
aiSiika missile is dried blade of grass, which by invoking with hymns will become a projectile weapon. Rama uses on Kakasura. In Mahaa Bharata Ashvatthaama also uses this at the final stage of war, which Krishna nullifies.
गदे द्वे चैव काकुत्स्थ मोदकी शिखरी शुभे || १-२७-७
प्रदीप्ते नरशार्दूल प्रयच्छामि नृपात्मज |
7b, 8a. kaakutstha = oh Rama; narashaarduula = tigerly man; nR^ipaatmaja = king's son - prince; pradiipte = radiant ones [the maces]; dve gade ca eva = two, maces, also, thus; modakii shikharii shubhe = Modaki - Beater, Shikhari - Tower of Protection, brilliant ones; prayacChaami = I accord.
"Oh manly tiger prince Rama, I am going to accord two maces that are brilliant by their radiance called, the Modaki, [the Beater,] and Shikhari, [the Tower of Protection.] [1-27-7b, 8a]
धर्मपाशमहं राम कालपाशं तथैव च || १-२७-८
वारुणं पाशमस्त्रं च ददाम्यहमनुत्तमम् |
8b, 9a. raama = Rama; aham = I; dharmapaasham = dharma noose [Virtue-noose]; tathaiva ca = like that, also; kaalapaasham = Kala noose [Time-noose]; vaaruNam paasham = Rain god's, noose; anuttamam astram ca = unequalled, missile, also [of Rain-god]; dadaami = I will give.
"Oh, Rama, like that I will be giving three nooses called Dharma paasha and kaala-paasha and Varuna paasha, [Virtue noose and Time noose, Rain god's noose] as well as an unequalled missile called Varuna astra, Rain-god's missile. [1-27-8b, 9a]
अशनी द्वे प्रयच्छामि शुष्कार्द्रे रघुनन्दन || १-२७-९
ददामि चास्त्रं पैनाकमस्त्रं नारायणं तथा |
9b, 10a. raghunandana = Raghu's scion; shuSkaardre = Shushka [Drier] and Aardra [Drencher]; dve = two of them; ashanii = bolts; painaakam astram = Pinaaka, missile; prayacChaami = I give; tathaa = likewise; naaraayaNam astram ca dadaami = I will give Narayana missile also.
"Oh, Raghu's scion, I will also give two projectile bolts, one called shushka [The Drier] and the other aardra [The Drencher] and even the missiles of Pinaaka and that of Narayana, [the missiles of god Shiva and Narayana] I will give. [1-27-9b, 10a]
आग्नेयमस्त्रं दयितं शिखरं नाम नामतः || १-२७-१०
वायव्यं प्रथमं नाम ददामि तव चानघ |
10b, 11a. anagha = oh impeccable one; naamataH = one which is well-known one; shikharam naama = known as the Tower ; dayitam = [Fire-god's] fond; aagneyam astram = one belonging to Fire-god, missile; prathamam naama = known as Prathama [Blower]; vaayavyam [astram] = Air-god's, [missile]; tava = to you; dadaami = I will give.
"Oh, impeccable Rama, thus a well-known missile shikhari [The Tower] and another the fond of Fire-god known as prathama [The Blower] and a missile of Air-god too, I will be giving. [1-27-10b, 11a]
अस्त्रं हयशिरो नाम क्रौञ्चमस्त्रं तथैव च || १-२७-११
शक्तिद्वयं च काकुत्स्थ ददामि तव राघव |
11b, 12a. kaakutstha = of Kakutstha-s; raaghava = Raghava; astram hayashiraH naama = missile, Haya-shira [Horse-head,] named; tathaiva ca = like that, also; krauncam astram = Krouncha [Wrester,] missile; shaktidvayam ca = two impellers, also; tava dadaami = to you, I will be giving.
"Oh, Raghava of Kakutstha-s, I will give you two missiles named Haya-shira [The Horse-head] and Krouncha [The Wrester] and two Impellers, one presided over by the power of Vishnu, and the other by the power of Rudra. [1-27-11b, 12a]
कंकालं मुसलं घोरं कापालमथ किङ्किणीम् || १-२७-१२
वधार्थं रक्षसां यानि ददाम्येतानि सर्वशः |
12b, 13a. ghoram kankaalam musalam = deadly, Kankala named, Pounder; kaapaalam = Kapaala named Rod; atha = next; kankaNam = Kankana named Rod; yaani = which are; [asuraaH dhaarayanti = wielded by demons]; rakShasaam vadhaartham = for purpose of elimination of demons; etaani = such of them; sarvashaH dadaami = all of them, I will give.
"I will be giving all those weapons that are wielded by demons, namely the deadly Pounder named Kankaalam, and Rods named as Kapaalam and Kankanam, for the elimination of those very demons. [1-27-12b, 13a]
वैद्याधरं महास्त्रं च नन्दनं नाम नामतः || १-२७-१३
असिरत्नं महाबाहो ददामि नृवरात्मज |
13b, 14a. mahaabaaho = mighty armed one; nR^ivaraatmaja = son of best king [the prince]; vaidyaadharam = Vaidyadhara named as; mahaa astram ca = great, missile, also; naamataH nandanam = namely Nandana; naama = named as; asiratnam = gemlike sword; dadaami = I am giving.
"Oh, mighty armed son of the best king, I am giving a great missile named Vaidyadhara by its name, and a gem of sword named Nandana. [1-27-13b, 14a]
गान्धर्वमस्त्रं दयितं मोहनं नाम नामतः || १-२७-१४
प्रस्वापनं प्रशमनं दद्मि सौम्यं च राघव |
14b, 15a. raaghava = Raghava; gaandharvam astram = Gandharva's, missiles; naamataH = by name; mohanam naama = mohana, named as; dayitam = liked very much by Gandharva-s; prasvaapanam = Prasvapana [Inducer of Sleep]; saumyam prashamanam ca = gentle, Prashamana, [Pacifier,] also.
"Thus, the missile which is very much liked by Gandharva-s, namely Mohana, [The Stupefier,] the missile called Prasvapana [The Inducer of Sleep,] and the gentle Prashamana [The Pacifier of enemy's anger.] [1-27-14b, 15a]
वर्षणं शोषणं चैव संतापनविलापने || १-२७-१५
मादनं चैव दुर्धर्षं कन्दर्पदयितं तथा |
गान्धर्वमस्त्रं दयितं मानवं नाम नामतः || १-२७-१६
पैशाचमस्त्रं दयितं मोहनं नाम नामतः |
प्रतीच्छ नरशार्दूल राजपुत्र महायशः || १-२७-१७
15b, 16, 17. mahaayashaH = highly fortunate one; narashaarduula = tigerly man; rajaputra = prince; varSaNam = Varshana [Rainer] missile; shoSaNam = shoshana [Drainer] missile; santaapanavilaapane = santaapana [Humidifier] and vilaapana [Weep-inducer]; gaandharvam astram dayitam = gandharva, missile, fond one; naamataH maanavam naama = by name Manava [Humane,] named; tathaa = likewise; durdharSham = unassailable one; kandarpadayitam maadanam = Manmadha's dear missile, an intoxicator; naamataH mohanam naama = by name Mohana [Rager,] named missile; dayitam = a dear missile ; paishaacam astram = pertaining to pishaaca-s, say monster's missile; pratiicCha = take them.
"Oh, highly fortunate Rama, take these missiles namely, varshaNa, [the Rainer,] shoshana [the Drainer,] santaapana [the Humidifier,] vilaapana [the Weep-inducer,] and oh, prince, an unassailable intoxicator and a dear missile of Manmatha, namely Mohana [The Intoxicator,] and another the fond missile of gandharva-s namely maanava by its name, [The Humane missile,] and oh, tigerly man, a missile dear one to pishaaca-s, monsters, namely paishaca [The Monster missile.] [1-27-15, 16, 17]
तामसं नरशार्दूल सौमनं च महाबलम् |
संवर्तं चैव दुर्धर्षं मौसलं च नृपात्मज || १-२७-१८
सत्यमस्त्रं महाबाहो तथा मायामयं परम् |
सौरं तेजःप्रभं नाम परतेजोऽपकर्षणम् || १-२७-१९
सोमास्त्रं शिशिरं नाम त्वाष्ट्रमस्त्रं सुदारुणम् |
दारुणं च भगस्यापि शीतेषुमथ मानवम् || १-२७-२०
17b, 18, 19, 20. narashaarduula = tigerly man; nR^ipaatmaja = prince; mahaabalam taamasam = greatly powered, taamasa missile; saumanam ca = saumana, also; durdharSham = indomitable one; samvartam = samvarta missile; ca eva = also, like that; mausalam ca = mausala, also; satyam astram = satyam missile; param = then; maayaamayam = maayaa-maya; mahaabaaho = oh mighty-armed one; tathaa = like that; sauram = of Solar; tejaHprabham = teja-prabha [Radiator]; naama = named; paratejopakarSaNam = sequestrator of others brilliance; shishiram naama = shishira [Cooler,] named; somaastram = Moon's missile; sudaaruNam = very deadly one; tvaaSTram astram = tvaShtra's missile; bhagasya api = of Bhaga, even; daaruNam ca = dangerous, also; shiiteShum = shiteshu missile; atha maanavam = then, Maanava missile - of Manu the earlier ruler of mankind; I will give.
"Oh, manly-tiger Rama, greatly powered taamasa and saumana missiles, the indomitable missiles like samvarta, mausala, satya, and then the maaya-maya missile; like that oh, mighty armed Rama, a solar missile the sequestrator of others' brilliance namely teja-prabha; next, the missile of Moon-god named shishira [The Cooler]; and a very deadly missile of tvaSTa namely sudaamana; and even the dangerous missile of bhaga namely shita-iSu, these and the maanava missile of Manu, the earliest ruler of mankind, I will be giving. [1-27-17b, 18, 19, 20]
एतान् राम महाबाहो कामरूपान् महाबलान् |
गृहाण परमोदारान् क्षिप्रमेव नृपात्मज || १-२७-२१
21. mahaabaaho = dextrous one; nR^ipaatmaja = prince; kaamaruupaan = disguise-wizards; mahaabalaan = greatly powered ones paramodaaraan = highly providential ones; raama = Rama; etaan = them the missiles; kSipram eva = forthwith, thus; gR^ihaaNa = take them.
"These missiles are, oh, dextrous prince, disguise-wizards, greatly powered, and highly providential ones, oh, Rama, you may take them forthwith." So said sage Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-27-21]
स्थितस्तु प्राङ्मुखो भूत्वा मुनिवरस्तदा |
ददौ रामाय सुप्रीतो मंत्रग्राममनुत्तमम् || १-२७-२२
22. tadaa = then; munivaraH = pre-eminent sage; shuciH = becoming purified - on performing his personal holy depuration; praa~nmukhaH sthitaH tu = on staying facing east, but; bhuutvaa = on becoming; supriitaH = verily gladdened; raamaaya = to Rama; anuttamam mantragraamam = extraordinary, hymns village - a mixed collection; dadau = gave.
That pre-eminent sage Vishvamitra on performing his personal holy depuration then gave the assortment of extraordinary hymns to Rama facing eastward. [1-27-22]
सर्वसंग्रहणं येषां दैवतैरपि दुर्लभम् |
तान्यस्त्राणि तदा विप्रो राघवाय न्यवेदयत् ||१-२७-२३
23. yeSaam sarvasangrahaNam = of which hymns, total comprehending; daivataiH api [saangopaa~Ngavidhinaa = sections and subsections of procedures] for gods, even; durlabham = impossible [by their sections and subsections]; taani astraaNi = such, missiles - hymns of missiles; tadaa vipraH raaghavaaya nyavedayat = then, that Brahman dedicated to Raghava.
The comprehension of which invoking hymns of the missiles is impossible even to gods with their sections and subsections of procedures, that Brahman dedicated such hymns to Raghava. [1-27-24]
जपतस्तु मुनेस्तस्य विश्वामित्रस्य धीमतः |
उपतस्थुर्महार्हाणि सर्वाण्यस्त्राणि राघवम् || १-२७-२४
24. dhiimataH tasya vishvaamitrasya muneH = intelligent one, that, Vishvamitra, the saint; japataH tu = on chanting, but; mahaarhaaNi = highly venerable ones; astraaNi sarvaani = missiles, all of them; raaghavam upatasthuH = came nigh of Raghava - stood accessible to.
While that intelligent saint Vishvamitra chanted the hymns, all of those highly venerable missiles came nigh and stood accessible to Raghava in their astral form. [1-27-24]
ऊचुश्च मुदिता रामं सर्वे प्रांजलयस्तदा |
इमे च परमोदाराः किंकरास्तव राघव || १-२७-२५
यद्यदिच्छसि भद्रं ते तत्सर्वं करवाम वै |
25, 26a. paramodaaraaH = highly obliging ones - missiles; [paramodaaraa = oh most noble Rama]; sarve = all of the missiles; tadaa praanjalayaH = then, with palm-fold; muditaaH ca = gladdened, also; raamam uucuH = to Rama, spoke; raaghava = oh Rama; ime tava kinkaraaH = these are - here are, your, thralls - servants; yat yat icChasi = what, what, you wish [whatever you wish us to do]; tat sarvam karavaama vai = that, all, we do, indeed; bhadram te = safe, you be.
All of those highly obliging missiles in astral bodies, gladdening to come under the aegis of Rama, then spoke to him making palms-fold, "here are your thralls, Sire, we are here to accomplish whatever you bid us to do, let safety be with you." So said the deities presiding over the missiles to Rama. [1-27-25]
ततो रामः प्रसन्नात्मा तैरित्युक्तो महाबलैः || १-२७-२६
26b, 27. tataH = then; prasannaatmaa raamaH = with
a pleased soul, Rama; pratigR^ihya = having received them;
samaalabhya ca paaNinaa = well patted, also, with palm;
kaakutsthaH = Kakutstha Rama; taiH mahaabalaiH =
to those, mightily forceful ones; iti uktaH = this way, said;
manasaa me bhaviSyadhvam = manifested in cognisance of mine;
iti taan abhyacodayat = thus, them, verily motivated - sent
On receiving them with a pleased heart, then Rama patted them with his
palm, and that Rama of Kakutstha-s also spoke this way to those mightily
forceful missiles in ethereal bodies saying, "you may manifest yourselves
in my cognisance whenever I need you," and he motivated them to take
leave and to come back at his beck and call. [1-27-26b, 27]
ततः प्रीतमना रामो विश्वामित्रं महामुनिम् |
28. tataH = then; mahaatejaa = highly resplendent
Rama; priitamanaaH = with thankful heart; vishvaamitram
mahaamunim abhivaadya = receiving great sage Vishvamitra;
gamanaaya = to journey on; upacakrame = readied himself.
That highly resplendent Rama revered sage Vishvamitra with a thankful
heart and readied himself for further journey. [1-27-26]
The nature of some astra-s - missiles There are some verses that depict the nature
of these astra-s. A few of them are given under. Though we may not actually acquire
a projectile power with these verses, they may at least detail what these missiles
are. The source of these verses is untraceable, but they are said to be in puraaNaa-s,
and Shiva informs Sage Narada, about the missiles as below:
vaantam vahni samaayuktam vyomahaalaasamanvitam | "It contains air, fire and cosmic poison,
two goat-like fangs, full of poison, weighty, emits air, contains mercury, fiery,
sparkling, sky is filled with air, enemy-killing, greatly radiant and it is projected
with three hymns, Gayatri at its centre, it is known as brahma-astra
karuNam maayayaa yuktam vaantam vaaruNasa~Nyutam |
"Renders a piteous state of the enemy, full with magical powers,
ending in air, and water filled, ends in craters with fire, generates fire and
it is known as Time disc"
taarapuurvam ca hR^idayam bhaagyaadantau vanaadimaH |
"It first sparkles with cosmic holes,
degree radiance, revolves with one lakh revolutions per foot, very panicking is its projection"
प्रतिगृह्य च काकुत्स्थः समालभ्य च पाणिना |
मनसा मे भविष्यध्वमिति तानभ्यचोदयत् || १-२७-२७
अभिवाद्य महातेजा गमनायोपचक्रमे || १-२७-२८
meShadvayam dantayutam haalaahalamataHparam |
ghanaaDhyam vaayupuurvam ca dantayuktamathaanvitam |
saram R^ikShaparyaayam bhaantam bhR^igumataHparam ||
ambaram vaayusa~NyuktaH arimardanamapyutaH |
pradiiptam atha vaktavyam paramam ca padam tataH |
tadete prayoktavye gaayatryaa madhyamam tataH |
padatrayam prayoktavyam etat brahmaastramiiritam ||
yuupaantam vahninaa yuktam modhasaagnirathaatriyuk |
dhaantam kaalaatmanetyetat cakreti param tataH |
phaThantameSha mantrastu kaalacakram prakiirtitam ||
caNDiishayukta aaShaaDha tiivratejasa ityapi |
paryaayam lakShasa~NkhyaayaaH aareti ca padam tataH |
bhiiShayetyapi vaktavyam viShNucakramidam viduH ||
ततो रामः प्रसन्नात्मा तैरित्युक्तो महाबलैः || १-२७-२६
26b, 27. tataH = then; prasannaatmaa raamaH = with a pleased soul, Rama; pratigR^ihya = having received them; samaalabhya ca paaNinaa = well patted, also, with palm; kaakutsthaH = Kakutstha Rama; taiH mahaabalaiH = to those, mightily forceful ones; iti uktaH = this way, said; manasaa me bhaviSyadhvam = manifested in cognisance of mine; iti taan abhyacodayat = thus, them, verily motivated - sent them off.
On receiving them with a pleased heart, then Rama patted them with his palm, and that Rama of Kakutstha-s also spoke this way to those mightily forceful missiles in ethereal bodies saying, "you may manifest yourselves in my cognisance whenever I need you," and he motivated them to take leave and to come back at his beck and call. [1-27-26b, 27]
ततः प्रीतमना रामो विश्वामित्रं महामुनिम् |
28. tataH = then; mahaatejaa = highly resplendent Rama; priitamanaaH = with thankful heart; vishvaamitram mahaamunim abhivaadya = receiving great sage Vishvamitra; gamanaaya = to journey on; upacakrame = readied himself.
That highly resplendent Rama revered sage Vishvamitra with a thankful heart and readied himself for further journey. [1-27-26]
The nature of some astra-s - missiles
There are some verses that depict the nature of these astra-s. A few of them are given under. Though we may not actually acquire a projectile power with these verses, they may at least detail what these missiles are. The source of these verses is untraceable, but they are said to be in puraaNaa-s, and Shiva informs Sage Narada, about the missiles as below:
vaantam vahni samaayuktam vyomahaalaasamanvitam |
"It contains air, fire and cosmic poison, two goat-like fangs, full of poison, weighty, emits air, contains mercury, fiery, sparkling, sky is filled with air, enemy-killing, greatly radiant and it is projected with three hymns, Gayatri at its centre, it is known as brahma-astra
karuNam maayayaa yuktam vaantam vaaruNasa~Nyutam |
"Renders a piteous state of the enemy, full with magical powers, ending in air, and water filled, ends in craters with fire, generates fire and it is known as Time disc"
taarapuurvam ca hR^idayam bhaagyaadantau vanaadimaH |
"It first sparkles with cosmic holes, contains high degree radiance, revolves with one lakh revolutions per foot, very panicking is its projection"
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे सप्तविंशः सर्गः
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : July 04]
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