Vashishta nullifies Vishvamitra's missiles just by his Brahma's baton. All missiles are defused when Vashishta consumed tghem. Vishvamitra launches the highest missile, namely Brahma-missile, which too is consumed by Vashishta, whereby the body of Vashishta becomes a Brahma missile and starts to emit radiation. Then, upon the prayer of gods and saints, Vashishta withdraws the effect of that missile. Vishvamitra on seeing this concludes that mere missiles are of no use and thus he embarks on a sublime ascesis for Brahma-hood.
evam ukto vasiShThena vishvaamitro mahaabalaH |
aagneyam as.htram utkShipya tiShTha tiShTha iti ca abraviit || 1-56-1
1. mahaabalaH vishvaamitraH = great-mighty, Vishvamitra; vasiSThena evam uktaH = by Vashishta, this way, spoken to; aagneyam astram utkSipya = fiery, missile, brandishing; tiSTha tiSTha = withstand, withstand [this missile]; iti abraviit ca = thus, said [challenged,] also.
"When Vashishta spoke in this way, the great-mighty Vishvamitra brandishing Fiery-missile challenged Vashishta saying, 'withstand this, withstand this..." Thus, sage Shataananda continued his narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-56-1]
brahmadaNDam samudyaMya kaala daNDam iva aparam |
vasiShTho bhagavaan krodhaat idam vacanam abraviit || 1-56-2
2. bhagavaan vasiSThaH = reverential one, Vashishta; aparam kaala daNDam iva = the other, Terminator's, baton, like; brahma daNDam sam udyamya = Brahma's, baton, well, raising up; krodhaat idam vacanam abraviit = furiously, this, sentence, spoke.
"That reverential sage Vashishta then upraising his Brahma-baton, which is like the other baton of the Terminator, spoke this sentence furiously. [1-56-2]
kshatra bandho sthito asmi eSha yad balam tad vidarshaya |
naashayaami adya te darpam shas.htrasya tava gaadhija || 1-56-3
3. kshatra bandhaH = oh, Kshatriya, meritless; eSa = this me; sthitaH asmi = staying, I am; yat balam = which, prowess - you have; tat vi darshaya = that, entirely, you display; gaadhi ja = oh, to Gaadhi, one born to - Vishvamitra; adya te darpam = now, your, vanity; tava shastrasya [darpam] = your, missile's, [vanity]; naashayaami = I will ruin.
" 'I am staying here only, you meritless Kshatriya, you may clearly display whatever prowess you have, oh, Gaadhi's son Vishvamitra, I will now ruin whatever vanity you or your missiles have. [1-56-3]
kva ca te kShatriya balam kva ca brahma balam mahat |
pashya brahma balam divyam mama kshatriya paaMsana || 1-56-4
4. kshatriya paansana = oh, Kshatriya, abased one; te kSatriya balam kva = your, Kshatriya's force [force of belligerence's,] where is; mahat brahma balam kva ca = supreme, Brahma's [sagacity's,] force, where is; mama divyam brahma balam pashya = my, seraphic, Brahma's [sagacity's,] strength, you watch.
" 'Where stands the force of belligerence when compared to the supreme force of sagacity, you abased Kshatriya, watch out for my strength of seraphic sagacity." So said Vashishta to Vishvamitra. [1-56-4]
tasya as.htram gaadhi putrasya ghoram aagneyam uttamam |
brahma daNDena tat shaaMtam agneH vega iva aMbhasaa || 1-56-5
5. tasya gaadhi putrasya = his, Gaadhi, son's; uttamam ghoram tat aagneyam astram = matchless, deadly, that, Fire, missile; [udyatam = projected, bolted]; ambhasaa agneH vega iva = by water, fire's, speed [rage,] as [silenced] with; brahma daNDena shaantam = by Brahma's, baton [of Vashishta,] that, is silenced.
"With his baton of Brahma Vashishta silenced that matchless and deadly Fiery-missile of Gaadhi's son, namely Vishvamitra, as a deluge of water silencing a rage of fire. [1-56-5]
vaaruNam caiva raudram ca aindram paashupatam tathaa |
aiShiikam ca api cikShepa ruShito gaadhi naMdanaH || 1-56-6
6. ruSitaH gaadhi nandanaH = rancorously, Gaadhi's, son; vaaruNam caiva = Varuna missile, also thus; raudram ca = Rudra missile, also; aindram = Indra missile; tathaa = like that; paashupatam = Paashupata missile; aiSiikam ca api = Ishiika, also, even; cikSepa = fusilladed.
Vishvamitra, the son of Gaadhi then rancorously fusilladed the missiles regulated by gods like Varuna, Rudra, Indra, Paashupata, and even a missile which is projectile through grass blade called Ishiika. [1-56-6]
The accounts of these missiles are narrated in chapters 27, 28 of this canto Bala, where Vishvamitra accords these very missiles to Rama. Hence, their details are not reiterated here but just catalogued.
maanavam mohanam caiva gaaMdharvam svaapanam tathaa |
jR^iMbhaNam madaanam caiva saMtaapana vilaapane || 1-56-7
7. maanavam mohanam caiva = Humane, Rager, also thus; gaandharvam svaapanam tathaa = Stupefier, Hypnotiser, thus; jR^imbhaNam maadanam caiva = Yawner, Intoxicator, also thus; santaapana vilaapane = Humidifier, Weep-inducer.
"Vishvamitra also launched missiles named Humane, Rager, Stupefier, Hypnotiser, Yawner, Intoxicator, also thus Humidifier, Weep-inducer. [1-56-7]
shoShaNam daaraNam caiva vajram as.htram sudurjayam |
brahma paasham kaala paasham vaaruNam paasham eva ca || 1-56-8
8. shoSaNam daaraNam caiva = Drainer, Ripper, also thus; vajram astram su dur jayam = Thunderbolt, missile, highly, not, conquerable one; brahma paasham kaala paasham = Brahma's, lasso, Time's, lasso; vaaruNam paasham eva ca = Rain's, lasso, even, also.
"He also launched the missiles called Drainer and Ripper, and the highly unconquerable Thunderbolt, even the lassos of Brahma, Time and Rain-gods. [1-56-8]
pinaakam as.htram ca dayitam shuShka aar.hdre ashanii tathaa |
daNDa as.htram atha paishaacam krauncam astram tathaiva ca || 1-56-9
9. pinaakam astram ca = Shiva's, missile, also; dayitam = Baffler [of gandharva-s]; shuSka aardre ashanii tathaa = Drier, Drencher, Bolter, like that; daNDa astram atha paishaacam = Punisher, missile, then, Monster; krauncam astram tathaiva ca = Wrester, missile, like that, also.
"Also missiles called Shiva, Monster, Punisher, Wrester and like that the Baffler, Bolter, Drier, Drencher are launched. [1-56-9]
dharma cakram kaala cakram viShNu cakram tathaiva ca |
vaayavyam mathanam caiva as.htram haya shiraH tathaa || 1-56-10
10. dharma cakram = Virtue, Disc; kaala cakram = Time, Disc; viSNu cakram tathaiva ca = Vishnu's, disc, like that, also; vaayavyam mathanam caiva = Blower, Stirrer, also thus; astram haya shiraH tathaa = missile, Horse, Head, like that.
"And he launched discs called the Discs of Virtue, Time and Vishnu and he also launched other missiles like the Blower, Stirrer and like that the missile with Horse-head. [1-56-10]
shakti dvayam ca cikShepa kaMkaalam musalam tathaa |
vaidyaadharam mahaaas.htram ca kaalaastram atha daaruNam || 1-56-11
11. shakti dvayam ca cikSepa = power, pair of [Power of Vishnu, and the Power of Rudra,] also, hurled; kankaalam musalam tathaa = Impeller, Crowbar, like that; vaidyaadharam mahaaastram ca = Staggerer, great missile, also; kaala astram atha daaruNam = Time, missile, then, lethal one.
"A pair of powers are launched, namely Power of Vishnu and the Power of Rudra, like that the Impeller, Crowbar, and a great missile called Staggerer, and then he launched the lethal missile of the Time. [1-56-11]
trishuulam as.htram ghoram ca kaapaalam atha kaMkaNam |
etaani astraaNi cikShepa sar.hvaaNi raghu naMdana || 1-56-12
vasiShThe japataam shreShThe tad adbhutam iva abhavat |
12, 13a. raghu nandana = oh, Raghu's, descendent; etaani sarvaaNi astraaNi = these, all, missiles; atha = then; tri shuulam astram ghoram ca = Tri, pronged spear [Trident,] missile, deadly one, also; kaapaalam kankaNam = Skull, Torque; japataam shreSThe vasiSThe = among meditator's, best one, on Vashishta; cikSepa = triggered off; tat adbhutam iva abhavat = [all] that, spectacle, like, it became.
"Oh, Rama, the descendent of Raghu, Vishvamitra on triggering off all these missiles then he launched the deadly Trident, Skull and Torque missiles on Vashishta, and whole thing has became a spectacular display of Vishvamitra's arsenal. [1-56-12, 13a]
taani sar.hvaaNi daNDena grasate brahmaNaH sutaH || 1-56-13
teShu shaaMteShu brahmaas.htram kShiptavaan gaadhi naMdanaH |
13b, 14a. brahmaNaH sutaH = by Brahma's, son [Vashishta]; taani sarvaaNi = them [missiles,] all; daNDena grasate = by baton, consumed [defused]; teSu shaanteSu = they [missiles,] [when] silenced; gaadhi nandanaH = Gaadhi's, son [Vishvamitra]; brahma astram kSiptavaan = Brahma's, missile, touched off.
"Brahma's son Vashishta defused all of those missiles just with his baton and when all of them are thus silenced, Gaadhi's son Vishvamitra touched off Brahma's missile. [1-56-13b, 14a]
tat as.htram udyatam dR^iShTvaa devaaH sa agni purogamaaH || 1-56-14
deva R^iShayaH ca saMbhraaMtaa gaMdharvaaH sa mahaa uragaaH |
trailokyam aasiit saMtrastam brahmaas.htre samudiirite || 1-56-15
14b, 15. udyatam tat astram dR^iSTvaa = uplifted [for launching,] that, missile, on seeing; sa agni purogamaaH = with, Fire-god, as their vanguard; devaaH = gods; deva R^iSayaH ca = godly, sages, also; sa mahaa uragaaH gandharvaaH = along with, great, reptiles, gandharva-s; sambhraantaa = are perplexed; brahma astre samudiirite = Brahma's, missile, while being launched; trailokyam = triad of worlds; sam trastam = highly, perturbed; [sam taptam = highly, burnt]; aasiit = became.
"When Vishvamitra brandished and set up Brahma missile for launching, seeing it all the gods keeping the Fire-god at their vanguard, godly sages, reptiles along with gandharva-s are perplexed, and the triad of worlds itself is perturbed. [1-56-14b, 15]
tat api as.htram mahaaghoram braahmam braahmeNa tejasaa |
vasiShTho grasate sarvam brahma daNDena raaghava || 1-56-16
16. raaghava = oh, Raghava; vasiSThaH braahmeNa tejasaa = Vashishta, with seraphic, resplendence [of his baton]; brahma daNDena = by Brahma's, baton; mahaa ghoram = deleteriously, destructive; tat braahmam astram api = that, Brahma, missile, even; sarvam grasate = completely, consumed.
"Even that deleteriously destructive Brahma's missile is completely consumed with the seraphic resplendence of Brahma-baton of Sage Vashishta. [1-56-16]
brahma as.htram grasamaanasya vasiShThasya mahaatmanaH |
trailokya mohanam raudram ruupam aasiit sudaaruNam || 1-56-17
17. brahma astram grasamaanasya = Brahma, missile, while being finished off; mahaatmanaH vasiSThasya ruupam = great-souled one, of Vashishta, appearance of; trailokya mohanam = for Tri-worlds, perplexing; raudram = appalling; su daaruNam aasiit = surely, petrifying, it became.
"The appearance of that great-souled Vashishta became appallingly perplexing when he is finishing off that Brahma missile as if to surely petrify the Tri-world. [1-56-17]
roma kuupeShu sarveShu vasiShThasya mahaatmanaH |
mariicya iva niShpetuH agneH dhuuma aakula arciShaH || 1-56-18
18. mahaatmanaH vasiSThasya = great-souled one, of Vashishta; sarveSu roma kuupeSu = from all, hair, pits; dhuuma aakula arciSaH = with fumes, rolling up, with radiated shafts; agneH mariicyaH = of radiation, beams [radiational beams]; niS petuH iva = out, fallen [ramified,] so to speak.
"From all of the pits of hair of that great-souled Vashishta ramified are the raditional beams and those radiated shafts are rolling up with the fumes of radiation, so to speak. [1-56-18]
praajvalat brahma daNDaH ca vasiShThasya kara udyataH |
vidhuuma iva kaala agniH yama daNDa iva aparaH || 1-56-19
19. vasiSThasya kara udyataH = of Vashishta, by hand, upraised; brahma daNDaH ca = Brahma's, baton, also; vi dhuuma kaala agniH iva = without, fumes, Time's, inferno, as if; aparaH = another [or, earthly one]; yama daNDa iva = Yama, the Terminator's, baton, as if; praa jvalat = highly, glowing.
"The baton of Brahma gripped in his hand and upraised by Vashishta is highly glowing as if it is the fumeless inferno of Time, and as if it is the earthly baton of Yama, the Terminator. [1-56-19]
tato astuvan muni gaNaa vasiShTham japataam varam |
amogham te balam brahman tejo dhaaraya tejasaa || 1-56-20
nigR^ihiitaH tvayaa brahman vishvaamitro mahaatapaaH |
prasiida japataam shreShTha lokaaH santu gata vyathaaH || 1-56-21
20. tataH = then; muni gaNaaH = saint's, assemblages; japataam varam vasiSTham astuvan = among meditators, the best, at Vashishta, have extolled; brahman = oh, Brahman; te balam amogham = your, prowess, is infallible; tejaH tejasaa dhaaraya = combustion, [with your own] combustive power, you bear; brahman = oh, Brahman; tvayaa = by you; mahaatapaaH vishvaamitraH nigR^ihiitaH = supreme ascetic, Vishvamitra, is forestalled; japataam shreSTha = oh, among meditators, the best; prasiida = be gracious; lokaaH gata vyathaaH santu = [let] worlds, with shooed away, anguish, survive.
"The assemblages of saints then extolled the best meditator Vashishta saying, 'oh, Brahman, infallible is your prowess, but bear this combustion of missile by your own combustive power. Though Vishvamitra is a supreme ascetic he is forestalled by you and your seraphic power, but this power of yours is equally anguishing all the worlds. Hence, let the worlds survive shooing away their anguish caused by your prowess. Oh, Brahman, be gracious, for you are the best among the best meditators...' So said saints to Vashishta. [1-56-20, 21]
evam ukto mahaatejaaH shamam cakre mahaatapaaH |
vishvaamitro api nikR^ito viniHshvasya idam abraviit || 1-56-22
22. evam uktaH = thus, spoken to; mahaatejaaH mahaatapaaH = great-resplendent one, high-ascetic [Vashishta]; shamam cakre = composure, brooked; nikR^itaH vishvaamitraH api = estranged, Vishvamitra, but; vi niH shvasya = verily, out, breathing - suspiring heavily; idam abraviit = this, spoke [to himself.]
"When that great-resplendent Vashishta is spoken thus by saints and gods he composed himself, and then that estranged Vishvamitra spoke this to himself with heavy suspiration. [1-56-22]
dhik balam kShatriya balam brahma tejo balam balam |
ekena brahma daNDena sarva as.htraaNi hataani me || 1-56-23
23. kSatriya balam dhik = Kshatriya's, might, fie; brahma tejaH balam balam = Brahman's, resplendence's, might, is mightier; ekena brahma daNDena = with only one, Brahma's, baton; me sarva astraaNi hataani = my, all, missiles, defused.
" 'Fie upon the might of Kshatriya, mightier is the might of Brahman's resplendence, only with one baton of Brahma all of my missiles are defused. [1-56-23]
tat etat samavekShya aham prasanna indriya maanasaH |
tapo mahat samaasthaasye yat vai brahmatva kaaraNam || 1-56-24
24. tat = therefore; etat samavekSya = all thius, on analysing; aham prasanna indriya maanasaH = I, with, quietened, senses, heart; yat = which; brahmatva kaaraNam vai = Bahaman-hood, causative of, really; [tat = that]; mahat tapaH samaasthaasye = sublime, ascesis, I embark on.
" 'Therefore on analysing this matter, I with my heart and senses quietened will embark on a sublime ascesis which really will be the causative factor for according Brahma-Sage-hood.' So thought Vishvamitra..." Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-56-24]
brahmatva - brahaman-hood
Firstly the difference between a Brahmin and a Brahman may be differentiated, where a Brahmin is just by his birth in that caste and if he practises numerous ordeals he will attain Brahman-hood. Not all Brahmins are Brahmans and a real Brahman will not look back for his birth details.
Throughout this chapter Vashishta is called by Valmiki as japataam varaH, japataam shreSTaH and the like, only to remind us that Vashishta is an eminent meditator of Vedic hymns, all of which culminate into Gayatri hymn. Thus, Vashishta's only weapon is Gayatri hymn with which he subjugated all the arsenal of Vishvamitra. The fight between Vishvamitra and Vashishta is not just a fight between a sage and king, but between vidya - avidya; aatma vidya - anaatma vidya 'enlightenment and un-enlightenment...' An enlightened one does not spring up at any trivial inconvenience but becomes a horrid being, if that antagonistic assail becomes intolerable for living beings. This is the real essence and nature of a true Brahman, whose arsenal is just a wooden baton and heartfelt Gayatri hymn.
For this Bhagavad Gita says at Ch. 18, verse 42:
shamo damaH tapaH shaucamkShaantiH aarjavam eva ca |
j~naanam vij~naanam aastikyam braahmam karma svabhaavajam ||
'A Brahman's virtues, / Prince Born of his nature, are serenity / Self-mastery, religion, purity / Patience, uprightness, learning, and to know / The truth of things which be...' Sir Edwin Arnold.
Thus, Vashishta had never resorted to meaningless curses, menacing arsenal, mutinous retaliation but just swallowed the wrath of a wrathful king. This is brahmaNatva
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe ShaT paMcaashaH sargaH
© Jan, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]
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