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Chapter 26: Rama Slays Tataka

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Rama Slays Tataka

 

Summary

Rama encounters his first problem- female demon 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 [exterminate or destroy] Tataka basing on his own self-confidence.

Rama Slays Tataka

Chapter [Sarga] 26 in Detail

muner vacanam akliibam shrutvaa naravaraatmajah |

raaghavah praanjalih bhuutvaa pratyuvaaca dridhavratah || 1-26-1

On hearing the words of that unfaltering [firm] sage about female demon Tataka, Raghava, best man's son who is firm in his vows, reverently [worshipfully] adjoining his palms replied the sage. [1-26-1]

pitur vacana nirdeshaat pitur vacana gauravaat |

vacanam kaushikasya iti kartavyam avishankayaa || 1-26-2

"Upon my father's order, upon my honor to my father's word, and looking upon this as the word of sage Kushi's son, my mentor [teacher], this task is definitely to be implemented. [1-26-2]

anushisto asmi ayodhyaayaam guru madhye mahaatmanaa |

pitraa dasharathena aham na avajneyam ca tad vacah || 1-26-3

"What my great souled father Dasharatha directed me to do among elders in Ayodhya, that word too cannot be disregarded. [1-26-3]

soaham piturvacah shrutvaa shaasanaad brahma vaadinah |

karisyaami na sandehah taatakaa vadham uttamam || 1-26-4

"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]

go braahmana hitaarthaaya deshasya ca hitaaya ca |

tava caiva aprameyasya vacanam kartum udyatah || 1-26-5

"I am ready to effectuate [effect] 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 uktvaa dhanurmadhye badhvaa mustim arindamah |

jyaa ghosam akarot tiivram dishah shabdena naadayan || 1-26-6

Saying thus, Rama, the enemy-destroyer, clenched [to hold fast] 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 shabdena vitrastaah taatakaa vana vaasinah |

taatakaa ca susankruddhaa tena shabdena mohitaa || 1-26-7

By that sound the inhabitants of Tataka forest are startled [frightened], and even Tataka is stupefied [astonished] by that sound, and she is intolerably infuriated [angry] at it. [1-26-7]

tam shabdam abhinidhyaaya raaksasii krodha muurchitaa |

shrutvaa ca abhyadravat kruddhaa yatra shabdo vinissritah || 1-26-8

She who is convulsed [agitated violently] in anger to hear that sound gave attention to the direction wherefrom it emerged and she rancorously [bitterly] rushed thereto. [1-26-8]

taam dristvaa raaghavah kruddhaam vikritaam vikrita aananaam |

pramaanena ati vriddhaam ca laksmanam so.abhyabhaasata || 1-26-9

Raghava on seeing that monstrous-looking female demon with a distorted face and who by proportions is very gigantic, furthermore infuriated, spoke to Lakshmana. [1-26-9]

pashya laksmana yaksinyaa bhairavam daarunam vapuh |

bhidyeran darshanaat asyaa bhiiruunaam hridayaani ca || 1-26-10

"Lakshmana, see that yakshii's grisly [frightening] and ghastly [fearfully] physique, seeing which hearts of cowards are prone to burst. [1-26-10]

etaam pashya duraadharsaam maayaa bala samanvitaam |

vinivrittaam karomi adya hrita karnaagra naasikaam || 1-26-11

“She is unstoppable and has magical powers, isn’t, you may see now how I will make her to readily retreat by lopping [to cut off] off her ears and the tip of nose. [1-26-11]

na hi enaam utsahe hantum strii svabhaavena raksitaam |

viiryam ca asyaa gatim ca eva hanyataam iti me matih || 1-26-12

"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 [lacking modesty] and mobility. [1-26-12]

evam bruvaane raame tu taatakaa krodha muurchitaa |

udyamya baahuum garjantii raamam eva abhyadhaavata || 1-26-13

While Rama is still speaking that way, convulsed [agitated violently] in anger Tataka roaringly rushed towards Rama alone, swinging her arms. [1-26-13]

vishvaamitrastu brahmarsih hu.mkaarenaa abhibhartsya taam |

svasti raaghavayoh astu jayam cha eva abhyabhaasata || 1-26-14

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 dhunvaanaa rajo ghoram taatakaa raaghavau ubhau |

rajo meghena mahataa muhuurtam saa vyamohayat || 1-26-15

Flinging up dreadful dust on those two Raghava-s, Tataka baffled them for a while with a massive cloud of dust. [1-26-15]

tato maayaam samaasthaaya shilaa varsena raaghavau |

avaakirat sumahataa tatah chukrodha raaghavah || 1-26-16

Then taking hold of witchery [witch craft] she inundated [to cover over completely] both the Raghava-s with highly torrential stone rain, by which Rama became indignant [filled with anger]. [1-26-16]

shilaa varsam mahat tasyaah shara varsena raaghavah |

prativaaryo apadhaavantyaah karau chiccheda patribhih || 1-26-17

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]

tatah cchinna bhujaam shraantaam abhyaashe parigarjatiim |

saumitrih akarot krodhaat hrita karnaagra naasikaam || 1-26-18

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]

kaama ruupadharaa saa tu kritvaa ruupaani anekashah |

antardhaanam gataa yaxii mohayanti sva maayayaa || 1-26-19

ashma varsam vimunchantii bhairavam vicachaara saa ||

That guise [costume] changer vanished after variously altering her aspects, and then on baffling them with her illusoriness [a misleading image presented to the vision] and discharging stone storms she moved about appallingly [inspiring horror, dismay, or disgust]. [1-26-19, 20a]

tatah tau ashma varsena kiiryamaanau samantatah || 1-26-20

dristvaa gaadhi sutah shriiiimaan idam vachanam abraviit |

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 ghrinayaa raama paapaa esaa dusta chaarinii || 1-26-21

yajna vighna karii yaxii puraa vardheta maayayaa |

"Enough is your compassion Rama, she is a sinister [singularly evil or productive of evil], behaviorally malevolent [productive of harm or evil], a hinderer of rituals, and this yakshii gets a grip on herself in a short time by her illusory powers. [1-26-21b, 22a]

vadhyataam taavat eva esaa puraa sa.ndhyaa prava.rtate || 1-26-22

raxaa.msi sandhyaa kaale tu du.rdharsaani bhavanti hi |

"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 [not attackable], indeed." So said sage Visvamitra to Rama. [1-26-22b, 23a]

iti uktah sa tu taam yaxiim ashma vristyaa abhivarsaniim || 1-26-23

darshayan shabda vedhitvam taam rurodha sa saayakaih |

When Vishvamitra addressed him thus, Rama displaying his capacity in sonic [sound] archery forestalled that yakshii who has gone into invisibility and storming stone-storms, with his arrows. [1-26-23b, 24a]

saa ruddhaa baana jaalena maayaa bala samanvitaa || 1-26-24

abhi dudraava kaakutstham laxamanam cha vinesudii ||

And when the arrays of arrows obstructed her who possesses illusional powers, she dashed towards Rama and Lakshmana blaring [shouting] stridently [loudly]. [1-26-24b, 25a]

taam aapatantiim vegena vikraantaam ashaniim iva || 1-26-25

sharena urasi vivyaadha saa papaata mamaara ca |

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 [killed] and totally dropped dead, too. [1-26-25b, 26a]

taam hataam bhiima sa.nkaashaam dristvaa surapatih tadaa || 1-26-26

saadhu saadhviti kaakutstham suraah ca api abhipuujayan |

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]

uvaaca parama priitah sahasraaksah purandarah || 1-26-27

suraah ca sarve sa.mhristaa vishvaamitram atha abruvan |

The thousand eyed and the destroyer of enemy’s citadels [a fortress that commands a city] 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 kaushika bhadram te saha indraah sarve marud ganaah || 1-26-28

tositaah karmanaa anena sneham darshaya raaghave |

"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]

prajaapateh krishaashvasya putraan satya paraakramaan || 1-26-29

tapo bala bhrito brahman raaghavaaya nivedaya |

"The sons of Prajapati Krishaasva who are valiant by their virtue and who possess ascetic strength, oh, Brahman, they may be offered to Raghava. [1-26-29, b, 30a]

paatrabhuutah ca te brahman tava anugamane ratah || 1-26-30

kartavyam sumahat karma suraanaam raaja suununaa |

"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 uktvaa suraah sarve jagmur hristaa vihaayasam || 1-26-31

vishvaamitram puujayan tatah sa.ndhyaa prava.rtate |

All the Gods on saying thus and on extolling [glorifying] Vishvamitra they contentedly returned to heavens, and then the sunset has come to pass. [1-26-31b, 32a]

tato munivarah priitah taatakaa vadha tositah || 1-26-32

muurdhni raamam upaaghraaya idam vacanam abraviit |

That best sage is satisfied with Rama and gladdened for the eradication of Tataka kissed the forehead of Rama and then said this sentence. [1-26-32b, 33a]

iha adya rajaniim raama vasaama shubha darshana || 1-26-33

shvah prabhaate gamisyaamah tad aashrama padam mama |

"Here we stay for tonight, Rama, the august [marked by majestic dignity or grandeur] one for a gaze [a fixed intent look], and tomorrow morning we will go to that hermitage of mine.” So said Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-26-33b, 34a]

vishvaamitrah vachah shrutvaa hristo dasharadhaatmajah || 1-26-34

uvaasa rajaniim tatra taatakaayaa vane sukham |

On listening sage Vishvamitra's words, Dasharatha's son Rama, comfortably stayed that night there in that forest of Tataka. [1-26-34]

mukta shaapam vanam tat cha tasmin eva tat aahani |

ramaniiyam vibabhraaja yathaa chaitra ratham vanam || 1-26-35

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 Chaitra Ratha. [1-26-35b, c]

nihatya taam yaxa sutaam sa raamah

prashasyamaanah sura siddha sanghaih |

uvaasa tasmin muninaa saha eva

prabhaata velaam prati bodhyamaanah || 1-26-36

Rama while being eulogized [praised] by the groups of celestials and liberated Souls for complete elimination of Yakshas daughter, namely Tataka, stayed there along with the sage only to be awakened by the next day’s sunrise. [1-26-36

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadikaavye baala kaande sadvi.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 26th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Balakanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties.

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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