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Chapter 67: Rama Breaks the Bow

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Rama Breaks the Bow

 

Summary

Rama breaks Shiva's bow when he wanted to examine the tautness [tension] of its bowstring. Janaka is perplexed, while others swooned at the blast of breaking bow, and Janaka proposes Seetha to Rama in marriage. On the approval of Vishvamitra to that proposal, Janaka sends his plenipotentiaries [diplomatic agents] to Ayodhya.

Rama Breaks the Bow

Chapter [Sarga] 67 – in Detail

janakasya vacah shrutvaa vishvaamitro mahaamunih |

dhanur darshaya raamaaya iti ha uvaaca paarthivam || 1-67-1

On listening to the words of Janaka, the eminent-saint Vishvamitra indeed said to the king Janaka thus as, let the bow be displayed to Rama... [1-67-1]

tatah sa raajaa janakah sacivaan vyaadidesha ha |

dhanur aaniiyataam divyam gandha maalya anulepitam || 1-67-2

Then king Janaka indeed ordered his ministers, bring the divine bow which is decorated with sandalwood paste and garlands... [1-67-2]

janakena samaadisthaah sacivaah praavishan puram |

tat dhanuh puratah kritvaa nirjagmuh amita aujasah || 1-67-3

nrinaam shataani pancaashat vyaayataanaam mahaatmanaam |

ma.njuusaam asta cakraam taam samuuhuh te katha.ncana || 1-67-4

Thus clearly instructed by Janaka those high souled ministers have gone out from there and entered the palace-chambers, and they came out with an eight-wheeled coffer in which the bow of Shiva is ensconced [sheltered or concealed], and those ministers got it tugged by five thousand tall men of illimitable energy who somehow tugged [to move by pulling hard] it very difficultly, and thus the ministers have re-entered there keeping that bow afore [before] of them. [1-67-3, 4]

taam aadaaya tu manjuusaam aayasiim yatra tat dhanuh |

suropamam te janakam uucuh nripati mantrinah || 1-67-5

On fetching that iron coffer wherein that bow is there, those ministers of the king have reported to their Godlike King Janaka. [1-67-5]

idam dhanur varam raajan puujitam sarva raajabhih |

mithilaa adhipa raaja indra darshaniiyam yat icchasi || 1-67-6

Oh king and sovereign of Mithila, here is the select bow that is reverenced [to regard or treat with honor] by all kings, oh, best king, which you wished to be evincible [revealed or shown] to the boys, to evince [reveal or show] their capabilities... [1-67-6]

tesaam nripo vacah shrutvaa krita anjalih abhaasata |

vishvaamitram mahaatmaanam tau ubhau raama laksmanau || 1-67-7

On listening the announcement of his ministers the king spoke to the noble souled Vishvamitra and to both Rama and Lakshmana too duly making palm-fold. [1-67-7]

idam dhanur varam brahman janakaih abhipuujitam |

raajabhih ca mahaa viiryaih ashaktaih puuritam tadaa || 1-67-8

Here is that exquisite bow, oh, Brahman, which is held as a time-honored bow by the lineage [descendents] of Janaka kings, and with which even the highly forceful kings are rendered inefficient to take aim with it, previously... [1-67-8]

na etat sura ganaah sarve sa asuraa na ca raaksasaah |

gandharva yaksa pravaraah sa kinnara mahoragaah || 1-67-9

kva gatih maanusaanaam ca dhanuso asya prapuurane |

aaropane samaayoge vepane tolane api vaa || 1-67-10

None in all the assemblages of Gods, inclusive of DemiGods, demons, Gandharva-s, Yaksha-s, Kinnaras-s, or reptilian DemiGods, is capable enough to take aim with this bow and all are rendered incapable... and then, in brandishing [to shake or wave] this bow for a proper grip, or in bracing [binding] its bowstring to the other end, or in twitching [pulling or plucking] the bowstring for its tautness, or in placing the arrow on bowstring at a proper place for a proper stretch ability, or even in taking a good aim with it... what will be that capability of one from among humans... [1-1-9, 10]

tat etat dhanusaam shrestham aaniitam munipu.ngava |

darshaya etat mahaabhaaga anayoh raaja putrayoh || 1-67-11

Oh, eminent-saint, such as it is, this nonpareil [having no equal] bow among all bows is brought in, and oh, highly fortunate sage Vishvamitra, let this be displayed to those two princes... Thus Janaka said to Vishvamitra. [1-67-11]

vishvaamitrah sa raamah tu shrutvaa janaka bhaasitam |

vatsa raama dhanuh pashya iti raaghavam abraviit || 1-67-12

Vishvamitra on listening the sentence of Janaka along with Rama, on his part said to Raghava, oh, boy Rama... you may see the bow... [1-67-12]

maharseh vacanaat raamo yatra tisthati tat dhanuh |

ma.njuusaam taam apaavritya dristvaa dhanuh atha abraviit || 1-67-13

Upon the word of the great sage Vishvamitra, Rama on unclosing the lid of that strongbox, wherein that bow is ensconced [sheltered or concealed], saw the bow and said. [1-67-13]

idam dhanurvaram brahman sa.msprishaami iha paaninaa |

yatnavaan ca bhavisyaami tolane puurane api vaa || 1-67-14

Now I wish to get the feel of this supreme bow, oh, Brahman, and I shall try to brandish it, or even try to take aim with it... [1-67-14]

baadham iti eva tam raajaa munih ca samabhaasata |

liilayaa sa dhanur madhye jagraaha vacanaat muneh || 1-67-15

All Right! said the saint and king to Rama in chorus, and Rama upon the word of the sage grasping it at the middle handgrip playfully grabbed the bow. [1-67-15]

pashyataam nri sahasraanaam bahuunaam raghuna.ndanah |

aaropayat sa dharmaatmaa sa liilam iva tat dhanuh || 1-67-16

While many thousands of men are witnessing that right-minded Rama the legatee of Raghu stringed the bow effortlessly. [1-67-16]

aaropayitvaa maurhviim ca puurayaamaasa viiryavaan |

tat babhanja dhanur madhye narashrestho mahaayashaah || 1-67-17

Further, that dexterous [skillful] one has stringed that bow with bowstring and started to stretch it up to his ear to examine its tautness, but that glorious one who is foremost among men, Rama, broke that bow medially [in the middle]. [1-67-17]

tasya shabdo mahaan aasiit nirhghaata sama nihsvanah |

bhuumi kampah ca sumahaan parvatasya iva diiryatah || 1-67-18

Then there bechanced [befell] an explosive explosion when the bow is broken, like the explosiveness of down plunging thunder, and the earth is tremulously tremulous [affected with trembling or tremors], as it happens when a mountain is exploding. [1-67-18]

nipetuh ca naraah sarve tena shabdena mohitaah |

vrajayitvaa muni varam raajaanam tau ca raaghavau || 1-67-19

Bewildered by that raucous [loud] caused by the breakage of bow, all the people swooned [fainted], except for that eminent-saint Vishvamitra, king Janaka, and those two Raghava-s, namely Rama and Lakshmana. [1-67-19]

prati aashvasto jane tasmin raajaa vigata saadhvasah |

uvaaca praanjalih vaakyam vaakyajno munipungavam || 1-67-20

While the people are being re-accustomed after their undergoing the shock, at that moment that sententious king Janaka, whose discomfiture [confusion] has completely departed by now has said this to the eminent-saint Vishvamitra with a reverent palm-fold. [1-67-20]

bhagavan drista viiryo me raamo dasharatha aatmajah |

ati adbhutam aci.ntyam ca atarkitam idam mayaa || 1-67-21

Oh, Godly sage, the gallantry of Dasharatha's Rama is evidently seen... and the whys of this boy and wherefores of his stringing that massive bow are unimaginable to me! More so, humans lifting it! How so? This is an unhoped-for incident for me, besides, breaking it! This a is highly wondrous experience for me... [1-67-21]

janakaanaam kule kiirtim aaharisyati me sutaa |

siitaa bhartaaram aasaadya raamam dasharatha aatmajam || 1-67-22

My daughter Seetha on getting Dasharatha's Rama as her husband, she will bring celebrity to the lineage of Janaka-s... [1-67-22]

mama satyaa pratijnaa saa viirya shulkaa iti kaushika |

siitaa praanaih bahumataa deyaa raamaaya me sutaa || 1-67-23

Oh, Kaushika, my commitment that she is the bounty of bravery has also come true... and my daughter Seetha who is nurtured well than my own lives is a worthy bride for Rama... [1-67-23]

bhavato anumate brahman shiighram gaccha.ntu ma.ntrinah |

mama kaushika bhadram te ayodhyaam tvaritaa rathaih || 1-67-24

Should you give consent [approval], oh, Brahman, my ministers will be hastened to speedily go to Ayodhya in chariots, oh, Kaushika, let safeness betide you, and one and all by this matrimony... [1-67-24]

raajaanam prashritaih vaakyaih aanayantu puram mama |

pradaanam viirya shuklaayaah kathaya.ntu ca sarvashah || 1-67-25

With their observant submissions those ministers will narrate in detail about the sincere endowment of Seetha as bravery's bounty to Rama, and they will lead king Dasharatha into my city that observantly [keenly]... [1-67-25]

muni guptau ca kaakutsthau kathaya.ntu nripaaya vai |

priiti yuktam tu raajaanam aanaya.ntu su shiighra gaah || 1-67-26

Those ministers will also tell the king Dasharatha that both the Kakutstha-s, Rama and Lakshmana, are under the aegis [protection] of saint Vishvamitra, and thus gladdening that king they will expeditiously usher [introduce] in king Dasharatha for marriage... So said Janaka to Vishvamitra. [1-67-26]

kaushikah ca tathaa iti aaha raajaa ca aabhaasya ma.ntrinah |

ayodhyaam presayaamaasa dharmaatmaa krita shaasanaan |

yathaa vrittam samaakhyaatum aanetum ca nripam tathaa || 1-67-27

Vishvamitra said, so be it, and then that right-minded king Janaka on consulting with his ministers started to send his ministers, plenipotentiaries [diplomatic agents], to Ayodhya to inform Dasharatha in detail as to what has happened, and likewise to bring him to Mithila. [1-67-27]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande sapta sastitamah sargah

Thus, this is the 67th 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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