The visitant Parashu Rama narrates the legends of bows of Vishnu and Shiva to Rama. Unheedful of the request of Dasharatha to spare his sons, Parashu Rama addresses Dasharatha Rama directly and asks him to take an aim with the longbow of Vishnu, and if Dasharatha Rama is capable to do so, Parashu Rama says that he will give a duel to him.
राम दाशरथे वीर वीर्यं ते श्रूयतेऽद्भुतम् |
धनुषो भेदनं चैव निखिलेन मया श्रुतम् || १-७५-१
1. daasharathe raama = oh Dasharatha's, Rama; viira = oh valiant one; te viiryam adbhutam shruuyate = your, valour is being heard [being bruited about] as sensational; dhanuSaH bhedanam ca eva = bow's [of Shiva,] smashing, also thus - other things [about your eliminating Tataka]; nikhilena mayaa shrutam = thoroughly heard by me.
Oh, valiant Rama of Dasharatha, your valour is bruited as a sensational valour, and sensational is your smashing of Shiva's bow, also thus I have thoroughly heard about your others deeds like elimination of Tataka et cetera... [1-75-1]
तदद्भुतमचिंत्यं च भेदनं धनुषस्तथा |
तच्छ्रुत्वाहमनुप्राप्तो धनुर्गृह्यापरं शुभम् || १-७५-२
2. tathaa = that way; dhanuSaH tat bhedanam = that smashing of bow; adbhutam = wondrous; acintyam ca = unimaginable, even; tat shrutvaa = that [news,] on hearing; aham = I have; aparam shubham dhanuH gR^ihya = on taking another transcending [outranking] bow; anupraaptaH = I happened on [you.]
That way, smashing of that particular bow of Shiva is wondrous and even unimaginable... on hearing that alone I happened upon you, bringing another outranking bow... [1-75-2]
तदिदं घोरसंकाशं जामदग्न्यं महद्धनुः |
पूरयस्व शरेणैव स्वबलं दर्शयस्व च || १-७५-३
3. ghorasamkaasham = catastrophic, in its aspect - bow; jaamadagnyam = [received through Sage] Jamadagni; tat = that; idam = this alone; mahat = great [fateful]; dhanuH = bow; shareNa eva puurayasva = that way, flex [bowstring up to ear] it with an arrow; svabalam darshayasva = show yourself your own capability.
This alone is that catastrophic bow received through Sage Jamadagni... flex it with an arrow on bowstring stretching up to your ear, and in that way show your capability... [1-75-3]
तदहं ते बलं दृष्ट्वा धनुषोऽस्य प्रपूरणे |
द्वंद्वयुद्धं प्रदास्यामि वीर्यश्लाघ्यमहं तव || १-७५-४
4. tat = thereby; aham = I will; asya dhanuSaH prapuuraNe = with taking aim of this bow; te balam dR^iSTvaa = on seeing [on examining] your strength; viiryashlaaghyam = [if your] valour is deserving; aham tava = I will, to you; dvandvayuddham pradaasyaami = I give combative duel.
"Thereby, on examining your strength in your taking aim with this bow, and should you be deservedly valorous, I will give you a combative duel..." So said Parashu Rama to Dasharatha Rama. [1-75-4]
Pt. Satya Vrat cites this in his book 'The Ramayana - A Linguistic Study... 'As in English, we speak of yuddhadaanam - giving a fight to the enemy - in Sanskrit, too...' it is giving a duel.
तस्य तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा राजा दशरथस्तदा |
विषण्णवदनो दीनः प्रांजलिर्वाक्यमब्रवीत् || १-७५-५
5. tadaa = then; raajaa dasharathaH = king, Dasharatha; tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa = his [Bhaargava Rama,] that, sentence, on hearing; viSaNNavadanaH = becoming downcast faced; diinaH = pitiable one; praanjaliH vaakyam abraviit = with adjoined-palms, said sentence.
On hearing that sentence of Bhaargava Rama, then king Dasharatha became a pitiable one, and with a downcast face and adjoined palms said this. [1-75-5]
क्षत्ररोषात् प्रशांतस्त्वं ब्राह्मणश्च महातपाः |
बालानां मम पुत्राणामभयं दातुमर्हसि || १-७५-६
6. kSatraroSaat prashaantaH = from Kshatriya-s animosity, appeased you are; braahmaNaH = Brahman; mahaatapaaH = one with high [inviolable] ascesis; such as you are; tvam = you; baalaanaam mama putraaNaam = youngsters, my, sons; abhayam daatum arhasi = apt of you to award no fear [aegis] .
Aren't you a Brahman with inviolable ascesis, and whose rancour on Kshatriya-s has calmed down long back. Why this hostility again. It'll be apt of you to award aegis to my sons, for they are yet youngsters... [1-75-6]
Vividly: 'peace is primary for Brahman-s... though that was once disturbed in you, you redeemed it after your eradicating the then ruthless Kshatriya-s... thus your rancour was appeased then... and you too peacefully retired for inviolable ascesis and acquired still higher bliss by them... do you now wish to violate your own intrinsic nature of peacefulness being a blissful one, being an all-knower, being an elderly Brahman, that too on mere boys...
भार्गवाणां कुले जातः स्वाध्यायव्रतशालिनाम् |
सहस्राक्षे प्रतिज्ञाय शस्त्रं प्रक्षिप्तवानसि || १-७५-७
7. svaadhyaayavratashaalinaam = conduct self-study [of Vedas] and vows [self-principled] themselves; bhaargavaaNaam kule jaataH = you are born in such Bhaargava-s bloodline; sahasraakSe pratij~naaya = on promising to Thousand-eyed Indra ; shastram = weapon [wielding]; prakShiptavaan asi = you have readily discarded.
Aren't you from the bloodline of Bhaargava-s who always conduct themselves in self-study of Vedas and self-principled ways... haven't you readily discarded weapon-wielding on your promise to Thousand-eyed Indra... [1-75-7]
Annex: 'how can you abnegate your own promise of shastrasanyaasa 'reclusion from weaponry...' by wielding a weapon now, and thus becoming yourself a self-critical personality, and thus making the entire Brahman-hood as a self-contradictory classis...
स त्वं धर्मपरो भूत्वा काश्यपाय वसुंधराम् |
दत्त्वा वनमुपागम्य महेन्द्रकृतकेतनः || १-७५-८
8. saH tvam = such as you were; dharmaparaH bhuutvaa = becoming dedicatee to probity; kaashyapaaya vasundharaam dattvaa = on giving away planet earth to Kashyapa; vanam upaagamya = forests on repairing to; MahendrakR^itaketanaH = made residence [flagged on] on Mt. Mahendra.
Such as you were, you on becoming a dedicatee to probity, haven't you given the planet earth to Kashyapa and haven't you repaired to forests, and haven't you flagged yourself on Mt. Mahendra... [1-75-8]
Annex: 'if so, is this for showing the flag or else is it for keeping the flag flying... in anyway, is it inapt of you to eliminate the progeny of your own donee... Kashyapa... and if you say that 'I don't kill you all nonentities, but my target is this Rama...' then my reply will be like this...
मम सर्वविनाशाय संप्राप्तस्त्वं महामुने |
न चैकस्मिन् हते रामे सर्वे जीवामहे वयम् || १-७५-९
9. mahaamune = oh insurmountable sage; tvam mama sarvavinaashaaya = you, for my total ruination; sampraaptaH = chanced upon me; ekasmin raame hate = only one, Rama is, eliminated; vayam sarve na jiivaamahe = we, all, not, going to live.
"Or, oh, insurmountable sage, have you chanced upon us for a total annihilation of ours... when Rama is singularised and eliminated, nay-said that we all will be living..." Thus Dasharatha had gone on appealing in his love for his sons. [1-75-9]
Annex: 'should you leave off Rama and eliminate rest of us all, Rama will not live... or, if you leave all of us and eliminate Rama alone, we all don't live... anywise it is an 'anywise' annihilation of ours... for I am still living for this Rama, and Rama alone...'
ब्रुवत्येवं दशरथे जामदग्न्यः प्रतापवान् |
अनादृत्य तु तद्वाक्यं राममेवाभ्यभाषत || १-७५-१०
10. dasharathe evam bruvati = that way while speaking by Dasharatha; prataapavaan jaamadagnyaH = intransigent one, Jamadagni's [son, Bhaargava Rama]; tat vaakyam = that, [merciful] words [of Dasharatha]; anaadR^itya tu = uncaring for; raamam eva abhyabhaaSata = addressed Rama alone.
While Dasharatha is speaking in that way that intransigent Bhaargava Rama of Sage Jamadagni uncaring for those merciful words of Dasharatha addressed Rama of Dasharatha alone. [1-75-10]
इमे द्वे धनुषी श्रेष्ठे दिव्ये लोकाभिपूजिते |
दृढे बलवती मुख्ये सुकृते विश्वकर्मणा || १-७५-११
11. ime dve = these, two; dhanuSii = longbows; shreSThe = unsurpassed ones; divye lokaabhipuujite = unearthly [well designed by gods,] well-worshipped bu worlds; dR^iDhe balavatii = sturdy, strong; mukhye = important ones [among all bows]; vishvakarmaNaa = by Vishvakarma, the Divine Architect; sukR^ite = well crafted.
These are the two strong and sturdy unsurpassed longbows, well-designed by gods and well-crafted by Vishvakarma, the Divine Architect, and these are very important among all bows and well-worshipped by all worlds... one broken in your, and the other in my hand... [1-75-11]
अनिसृष्टं सुरैरेकं त्र्यम्बकाय युयुत्सवे |
त्रिपुरघ्नं नरश्रेष्ठ भग्नं काकुत्स्थ यत्त्वया || १-७५-१२
12. narashreSTha = oh best among men; kaakutstha = Kakutstha; yat = which [bow]; tvayaa bhagnam = broken by you; [tat = that one]; yuyutsave = restive [for a combat]; tryambakaaya = for Trymbaka, for Shiva; suraiH anisR^iSTam = given by gods; tripuraghnam = [that bow alone is] annihilator of Tripura Demon; ekam = one [of the two.]
Oh, best one among men, out of the two longbows gods gave one to restive Trymbaka, God Shiva for a combat with demon Tripura, and oh, Kakutstha, that bow alone is the annihilator of Tripura, the demon... and you have broken that alone... [1-75-12]
इदं द्वितीयं दुर्धर्षं विष्णोर्दत्तं सुरोत्तमैः |
तदिदं वैष्णवं राम धनुः परपुरञ्जयम् || १-७५-१३
समानसारं काकुत्स्थ रौद्रेण धनुषा त्विदम् |
13, 14a. durdharSam = indestructible; idam = this is; dvitiiyam = second one; surottamaiH = by the choicest gods; viSNoH dattam = it is given to Vishnu; kaakutstha = oh, Kakutstha; raama = Rama; parapuramjayam = conqueror of other's [enemy's] citadels; tat idam = that one is, this; vaiSNavam dhanuH = longbow [bow named after Vishnu] of Vishnu; idam raudreNa dhanuSaa samaanasaaram = this one is identical in essence [efficacy] with Rudra's longbow.
This is the second one and the choicest gods gave this to Vishnu, thereby this is named after Him as 'Vishnu's bow...' this is an indestructible and enemy-citadel conquering longbow... and this is identical in its efficacy with Rudra's longbow... [1-75-13, 14a]
तदा तु देवताः सर्वाः पृच्छन्ति स्म पितामहम् || १-७५-१४
शितिकण्ठस्य विष्णोश्च बलाबलनिरीक्षया |
अभिप्रायं तु विज्ञाय देवतानां पितामहः || १-७५-१५
विरोधं जनयामास तयोः सत्यवतां वरः |
14b, 16a. tadaa = then [once]; sarvaaH devataaH = all, gods; shitikaNThasya = blue throated god Shiva's; viSNoH ca = of Vishnu, and; balaabalaniriikSayaa = to see [to estimate] powerfulness and less powerfulness; pitaamaham pR^icChanti sma = they were asking Grandparent Brahma; satyavataam varaH = the best one among truthfulness adherers; pitaamahaH = Grandparent; devataanaam abhipraayam vij~naaya = on inferring intent of gods; tayoH = among those two [Vishnu - Shiva]; virodham = adversity; janayaamaasa = started to create.
Once, all the gods were asking the Grandparent, Brahma, as to who is powerful and who is less powerful among the blue-throated Shiva and Vishnu... but the Grandparent Brahma on inferring the intent of gods started to create adversity among those two, Shiva and Vishnu, for the Grandparent is the best adherer of truthfulness, as truth cannot be demonstrated on hearsay evidence... [1-75-14b, 15, 16a]
Legend: Brahma thought that it would better to enact a drama to cleanse the one-sided mentalities of these lesser gods. So, he started to write the script, and himself becoming the writer-director of that drama. That script is hereunder.
Brahma: Mahadeva, who is the destroyer of Tripura, or say triple-citadels?
Shiva: Why? It is me, of course...
Brahma: Why do you boast that way of yourself? It is the long-arrow of your longbow, isn't it?
Shiva: Yes of course...
Brahma: Then Vishnu was presiding deity of that long-bow... isn't t?
Shiva: Yes, it is he, but I shot it from my bow... basically, is this a confusion, or, are you playing any part of Narada...
Brahma: Not so, the other day Vishnu was telling that he alone did that master task...
Shiva: How can it be! In the triple of doer-deed-instrument, instrument cannot become the doer... has his language gone topsy-turvy, noun is becoming verb and verb is lost to adjective and...
Brahma: Ok, Ok... we do not care much for grammar as we care more for communication, grammar is paNini's headache... but what he said is that he alone did it... not you...
Shiva: Then why I am called... why that longbow is given to me... you should have got it done by Vishnu... why calling me... you have unnecessarily spoiled my dance program...
Brahma: Not that... I said what he said... let's not quarrel among ourselves...
Shiva: I not only quarrel but wage war, if it comes to my interests and my devotees' interest... how many times I have not done so...
Brahma: That is what Vishnu was telling... every time you give a boon to every demon, and involve yourself in enmeshment, and Vishnu has come to come and rescue... have he forgotten the episode of bhasmaasura... thus Vishnu is saying and asking...
Shiva: Now I don't tolerate... I will take him to task...
Exit Shiva - Enter Vishnu. Brahma reverses the above dialogue and says that to Vishnu
Vishnu: No, No, highly objectionable... I will take him to task... I will take him to task...
Exit All. War Started.
विरोधे तु महद्युद्धमभवद्रोमहर्षणम् || १-७५-१६
शितिकण्ठस्य विष्णोश्च परस्परजयैषिणोः |
16b, 17a. virodhe tu = in animosity, but; parasparajayaiSiNoH = each aspiring [for himself] victory; shitikaNThasya = blue throated Shiva's; viSNoH ca = of Vishnu, also; romaharSaNam = hair raising one; mahat yuddham abhavat = fierce war, became [occurred.]
Owing to their animosity then occurred a fierce and hair-raising war among Shiva and Vishnu, as each aspired victory for himself... [1-75-16b, 17a]
तदा तु जृम्भितं शैवं धनुर्भीमपराक्रमम् || १-७५-१७
हुंकारेण महादेवः स्तम्भितोऽथ त्रिलोचनः |
17b, 18a. tadaa = then; humkaareNa = by 'hum' sound [of Vishnu]; bhiimaparaakramam shaivam dhanuH = ruinously overpowering, Shiva's, longbow; jR^imbhitam = yawned [fatigued, broken]; atha trilocanaH mahaadevaH = then, triple-eyed, Mahadeva; stambhitaH = motionless [frozen.]
By the 'hum' sound of Vishnu that ruinously overpowering longbow of Shiva is broken, and the triple-eyed God, Mahadeva, is frozen... [1-75-17b, 18a]
The bow is jR^imbhitam broken by the hum in dissent of Vishnu - Govindaraja. And Maheshvara Tiirtha says that the bow as well as Shiva are rendered jaDa motionless. There are many legends on this shiva-garvabhanga 'deflation of Shiva's pride' and some info about is given in endnote.
देवैस्तदा समागम्य सर्षिसन्घैः सचारणैः || १-७५-१८
याचितौ प्रशमं तत्र जग्मतुस्तौ सुरोत्तमौ |
18b, 19b. tadaa = then; saRSisanghaiH sacaaraNaiH = with sages' assemblages, with carana-s; devaiH = by gods; tatra = there [in that matter of wielding authority]; samaagamya = coming together; yaacitau = both Shiva and Vishnu - are appealed; tau = those two [Shiva, Vishnu]; surottamau = superior among gods; prashamam = appeasement; = jagmatuH = went into [state of amity.]
Then gods along with the assemblages of sages and celestial carana-s have come together and appealed to those two for appeasement in the matter of wielding authority, and then those two superior gods, Shiva and Vishnu, went into a state of amity... [1-75-18b, 19a]
जृम्भितं तद्धनुर्दृष्ट्वा शैवं विष्णुपराक्रमैः || १-७५-१९
अधिकं मेनिरे विष्णुं देवाः सर्षिगणास्तदा |
19b, 20a. paraakramaiH = by Vishnu's mettlesomeness; jR^imbhitam = rendered inert; tat shaivam dhanuH dR^iSTvaa = on seeing that Shiva's bow; tadaa saRSigaNaaH devaaH = then gods with sages' assemblages ; viSNum adhikam menire = they deemed Vishnu as paramount.
"On seeing the bow of Shiva rendered inert by the mettlesomeness of Vishnu, from then on the gods along with the assemblages of sages deemed Vishnu to be the paramount... [1-75-19b, 20a]
धनू रुद्रस्तु संक्रुद्धो विदेहेषु महायशाः || १-७५-२०
देवरातस्य राजर्षेर्ददौ हस्ते ससायकम् |
20b-21a. samkruddhaH = with indignation; mahaayashaaH rudraH tu = celebrated, Rudra, on his part; videheSu = among Videha [kings]; sasaayakam dhanuu = longbow with arrow; raajaRSeH = to Kingly sage; devaraatasya haste dadau = handed over to Devaraata's hand.
That celebrated Rudra on his part with indignation has handed over that longbow, which is already fitted with unloosened arrow, to the sagely king among Videha kings, namely Devaraata... [1-75-20b, 21a]
This longbow of Shiva is reported as given after the devastation of the ritual of Daksha Prajaapati, the father of Sati and the father-in-law of Shiva as said at 1-66-9: dakSayaj~navadhe puurvam dhanuH aayamya viiryavaan | This ritual of Daksha is a composite of many problems. Shiva neither as god nor as the son-in-law of Daksha is invited to that ritual, Shiva's consort Sati self-immolates herself in her father's ritual, Viira Bhadra and other deputies of Shiva depredate that ritual, and this shiva-keshavayuddha 'duelling of Shiva and Vishnu...' happens... all to show - a single person's disinterestedness ruins even a holy marriage. Here Daksha was uninterested to give his daughter Sati in marriage to Shiva.
इदं च वैष्णवं राम धनुः परपुरञ्जयम् || १-७५-२१
ऋचीके भार्गवे प्रादाद्विष्णुः सन्यासमुत्तमम् |
21b, 22a. raama = oh Rama; saH viSNuH = he, that Vishnu; parapuramjayam = enemy citadel conquering; idam vaiSNavam dhanuH = this, Vishnu's, longbow; bhaargave = of Bhrigu; R^iciike = to Riciika [son of Bhrigu]; uttamam nyaasam praadaat = handed over best [trustworthy] as trust.
Oh, Rama, this alone is that enemy-citadel conquering longbow of Vishnu, and Vishnu handed over this to Sage Riciika, the son of Bhrigu, as a trustworthy trust... [1-75-21b, 22a]
ऋचीकस्तु महातेजाः पुत्रस्याप्रतिकर्मणः || १-७५-२२
पितुर्मम ददौ दिव्यं जमदग्नेर्महात्मनः |
22b-23a. mahaatejaaH R^iciikaH tu = great resplendent, Riciika, on his part; putrasya = to his son; apratikarmaNaH = of unmatchable deeds; mahaatmanaH = to great souled one; mama pituH jamadagneH = to my, father, Jamadagni; divyam = [this] divine [bow]; dadau = handed over.
That great-resplendent Sage Riciika on his part has handed over this divine bow to his son with unmatchable deeds of religious merit, who is my father Sage Jamadagni... [1-75-22b, 23a]
The word of Jamadagni means 'one who is born in Ritual-fire and having fire as his anima...' jaajamadya jajaane aham jajahii ha jajaayiSii | jamadagniH iti khyaatam tato maa viddhi shobhane || where the word jajaamanta is 'those who devour oblations repeatedly and at a single time in Vedic-rituals, namely gods; jamu - bhakshane so I am jajiihi because I sprang up from Ritual-fire... and when the first syllable in ja jaamat is dropped it remained as jamat and when combined with fire jamat agni it shortened after dropping matup pratyaya to become jamadagni so oh, lady know me as one born and having Ritual-fire... or, Vedic-ritual itself...'
न्यस्तशस्त्रे पितरि मे तपोबलसमन्विते || १-७५-२३
अर्जुनो विदधे मृत्युं प्राकृतां बुद्धिमास्थितः |
23b, 24a. tapobalasamanvite = [though] having ascesis power; me pitari = my, father; nyastashastre = one who has castaway weapon [isolated from arsenal - astrasanyaas]; arjunaH = Arjuna, or, Kaartaviirya Arjuna [not to be confounded with Arjuna of Maha Bharata]; praakR^itaam buddhim aasthitaH = adhering to primitive [barbarous] mentality ; mR^ityum vidadhe = death imposed [subjected to.]
Adhering to a barbarous mentality Kaartaviirya Arjuna put my father to death, when the ascetically powerful father of mine has isolated himself from arsenal... [1-75-23b, 24a]
वधमप्रतिरूपं तु पितुः श्रुत्वा सुदारुणम् |
क्षत्रमुत्सादयन् रोषाज्जातं जातमनेकशः || १-७५-२४
पृथिवीं चाखिलां प्राप्य काश्यपाय महात्मने |
यज्ञस्यान्ते तदा राम दक्षिणां पुण्यकर्मणे || १-७५-२५
दत्त्वा महेन्द्रनिलयः तपोबलसमन्वितः |
24b, c, 25, 26a. raama = oh Rama; apratiruupam = not similar in form [type, unregenerate]; sudaaruNam = highly gruesome; pituH vadham shrutvaa = on hearing father's murder; roSaat = with rancour; jaatam jaatam = newborn, as newborn - as and when born; kSatram = Kshatriya-s; anekashaH = not for one time; utsaadayan = extirpating [Kshatriya lineages]; akhilaam pR^ithiviim praapya = on getting [under my control] planet earth in entirety; yaj~nasya ante = at the end of Vedic-ritual; mahaatmane = to the divine-souled one; puNyakarmaNe = of pious observances; kaashyapaaya = to Sage Kashyapa; dakSiNaam dattvaa = on giving ritualistic-generosity; tadaa = then; tapobalasamanvitaH = conjoined [with me] powers of ascesis; mahendranilayaH = Mt. Mahendra, indweller [I am at present.]
Oh, Rama, on hearing the unregenerate and highly perfidious murdering of my father, I rancorously extirpated Kshatriya-s as and when they are born, that too not for one time, but I did so for thirty-seven times going around the earth... and on getting the entire earth under my control I performed Vedic-ritual, and at the end of that Vedic-ritual, I gave all that earth to sage Kashyapa, a sage with divine soul and with pious observances, as a ritualistic-generosity... and I am at present on Mt. Mahendra practising ascesis and thus conjoined are the powers of ascesis in me... [1-75-24b, c, 25, 26a]
श्रुत्वा तु धनुषो भेदं ततोऽहं द्रुतमागतः || १-७५-२६
तदेवं वैष्णवं राम पितृपैतामहं महत् |
क्षत्रधर्मं पुरस्कृत्य गृह्णीष्व धनुरुत्तमम् || १-७५-२७
26b, 27. raama = oh Rama; tat = that; dhanuSaH bhedam = longbow's, breakage; shrutvaa = on hearing; aham tataH drutam aagataH = therefore I quickly, came; kSatradharmam = fealty to Kshatriya-hood ; puraskR^itya = keeping [in view] afore; evam = likewise [like the wielding of Shiva's bow]; pitR^ipaitaamaham = forefathers [passed on] of father; mahat = supernatural; uttamam = superlative one; vaiSNavam dhanuH gR^ihNiiSva = you take-you handle longbow of Vishnu.
On hearing about the breakage of Shiva's longbow, then I promptly came here. Thereby, oh, Rama, wield this supernatural and superlative longbow of Vishnu, which is passed on to me from my forefathers and my father. Keep your fealty to Kshatriya-hood in view, and wield this as you have wielded Shiva's longbow... [1-75-26b, 27]
योजयस्व धनुःश्रेष्ठे शरं परपुरञ्जयम् |
यदि शक्तोऽसि काकुत्स्थ द्वन्द्वं दास्यामि ते ततः || १-७५-२८
27. kaakutstha = oh Kakutstha; dhanuHshreSThe = with longbow supramundane one; parapuramjayam sharam = enemy citadels conquering, arrow; yojayasva = you join; shaktaH asi yadi = if you are capable ; tataH = thereafter; dvandvam daasyaami te = I give a duel to you.
Take an aim with an arrow that conquers enemy's citadels fixing it on this supramundane longbow... and oh, Kakutstha, should you be capable of it, thereafter I will give you a duel... [1-75-27]
The odds between Vishnu and Shiva
This is a long drawn bloody quarrel between the two sects of vaiSNavism Vishnu faith and shaivism Shiva faith, over centuries. Here it is doubtlessly expressed in the epic that Vishnu is superior to Shiva. anena shivaat viShNoH utkarShaH pratipaaditaH - ayam eva arthaH | dk 'by this Vishnu is proposed to be superior to Shiva...' but it does not mean 'every time or everlastingly...' Insofar as the incarnations are concerned, it is Vishnu, but not Shiva. In philosophy, both are one and in theology, they are separate. sR^iShTi-sthiti-antakaaraNaat brahma-vishNu-shivaatmikaam | sa sanj~naam yaati bhagavaan eka eva janaardanaH || vishNu-puraaNa api cet samaram praapya bhaviShyasi maam adhikaH | bhaarata - droNa-parva ekam eva advitiiyam brahma - sat eva saumaya idam agram assiit - sarvam khalvidam brahma - brahmaa vaa idam agre asiit - hiraNyagarbhasamavartataagre - antarbahiH ca tat sarvam vyaapya naaraayaNa sthitaH - eka eva rudro na dvitiiyaaya tasthe - ekam sad vipraa bahudhaa vadanti ekam santam bahudhaa kalpayanti - abheda shruti where the last one is 'when there is only one Absolute wise men and poets create many of his forms...' to explain in ordinary parlance, that too through Puraana-s. This is because of the complexity of Vedas. In fact, Vedas do not tell anything straightaway 'this god, that is god...' but asks us, rather intuits us, to infer ourselves about the nature of god, according to our own IQ. And to be precise, Vedic gods are different from Puranic gods and Veda holds on to one Brahman, or The Absolute. The Rain-god, Fire-god, Indra et al are the instrumental gods in knowing that Absolute. The content of Vedas is just like the complexity of complex video game of present day. The more you play you either get yourself addicted to it, or shun it, or get demented by it.
Vedas go on saying pure truths in plain terms like: sham naH suuryorucakShu- udaitu sham nah catasraH pradiipto bhavantu | sham naH dhruvayo bhavantu naH sindhavaH shamu san santi aapaH || R^igveda 7-35-8 - 'Bless that the sun, with extensive radiance, Rises for peace. May the four quarters of horizon, Be auspicious for peace and harmony...' What is so great about the sun or his radiance? If we persist in asking why this is said like that, then a dozen other quotes will be brought in to explain the idea behind it. Again another hymn: sahasrashiirShaa puruShaH sahasraakShaH sahasrapaat | R^igved 10-90-1 - 'He has thousands of heads, He has thousands of eyes...' It would be ridiculous to think of a god with thousands of heads and thousands of eyes, but if it is explained 'He has thousands of heads, to think about mankind, and he has thousands of eyes to watch over the good and bad deeds of mankind... it may be meaningful. Max Muller has this to say about the study of Vedas:
Of course, this learning of Vedas by heart is carried on under a strict discipline; it is, in fact, considered as a sacred duty. A native friend of mine... tells me that a boy, who is to be brought up as a student of Rig Veda, has to spend about eight years in the house of his teacher. He has to learn ten books: first, the hymns of Rig ved; then a prose treatise on sacrifices, called the braahmaNa; then the so-called Forest book or aranyaka; then the rules of domestic ceremonies; and lastly, six treatises on pronunciation, grammar, etymology, metre, astronomy, and ceremonial...' India can it what teach us, by Max Muller - a recent republication of Penguin.
All the above is for no practical utility in these days, except for an enquiry into that 'Brahman.' So also there is a probability for phonetic problem uccaraNadoSa in Vedas which causes pratyavaaya a boomeranging bad effect. If we wish to chant its hymn 'oh, Indra, slay my enemies...' and if a diphthong or a diagraph is mispronounced it becomes 'Oh, Indra, kill me, instead of my enemies...' and it is said to happen that way yad bhaavam tad bhavati... Unless they are practised for a life time, they are un-understandable, hence they are set aside and Puraana-s are brought in their place. Further, the effect of Vedas is said to be declining according to yugadharma era theory... What that was available in satya- yuga a period where the conflict was only between god and man, for e.g., the legend of Harishcandra and his truth speaking, which stands tested by almost all gods, but that truthfulness is lessened in treta-yuga Ramayana's period, where the conflict was between man and demons, which dharma is further lessened in dvaapara-yuga period of Maha Bharata, where the conflict is among one's own brothers, and that much dharma of that period is almost extinct in kali-yuga which is obvious, from the known history of India, where the conflicts are going on between man and man - husband and wife, father and son, neighbour and neighbour, and so on.
This is on par with the four-legged dharma, The Holy Bull, nandi loosing its legs one after the other and now you will see that Bull in any sculpture with half raised right foreleg, where other three went under its belly.
So Puraana-s are evolved to throw some light on what Vedas have to say, of course with some religious overtones. Elsewhere we have detailed about Puraana-s of them Shiva and Vishnu Puraana-s are though prominent, but their adherers quarrel tooth and nail about the superiority of Shiva or Vishnu. In Vishnu Puraana many instances of coalescence of Vishnu with Shiva are narrated tvat vaakyagauravaat etat mayaa cakram nivartitam | tvayaa yat abhayam dattam tat datttam akhilam mayaa - Krishna says to Shiva at the time of eliminating a demon called Baana Asura, 'As you say I have taken back my disc, and if you give a boon I deem all that is given by me...' So many instances can be quoted like this. But here Parashu Rama has no intention to kill Dasharatha Rama, as said in Padma Puraana: rarakSha bhagavaan - bhaargava raamaH - ekam ikShvaakostu mahaakulam | maataamahasya anvayatvaat reNukaavacanaat tathaa | 'that god Bhaargava Rama safeguarded one great dynasty of Ikshvaku-s, for they are related to his grandmother, besides at the request of Renuka Devi, his mother...' So, god Bhaargava Rama is a nepotist and saved Dasharatha Rama. Not so, Bhaargava Rama is neither a nepotist nor a god to be worshipped. He is not worshipped because his incarnation is not a full incarnation of Vishnu as Dasharatha Rama. Only the wrathful impetuosity of Vishnu is incarnated like Bhaargava Rama to perform butchery and even infanticide. bhaargavo ati dR^iptaH prasiddhaH tadaaniim ca krodhaandha iti svakShatriyavadhaat upratam shastrasannyaasam ca parityajya capala iti viditaH 'Bhaargava Rama is a highly impudent personality and blinded by his wrath, thus to eliminate his own Kshatriya-s [namely his own relatives, Dasharatha and his sons; again the caste system is peeping in, isn't it!] On overstepping his pledge of renunciation of weaponry, he came... hence his actions are faltering...' appayaa diikshita, a shaivaite. He came here to perform certain unsaid action, which we will see in next episode.
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे पंचसप्ततितमः सर्गः
© May, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : January 05]