Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 63

63. Sabdha Bhedhi Story

[Daśaratha is not able to sleep and tells her how he killed an innocent sage in his youth by using the Sabdha Bhedhi arrow. The saint told him about his blind parents and died.]

After that the king woke up within a short time due to his mind being troubled by sorrow and then the king started thinking again. 63.1

Due to the banishment of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, the king who was like Indra, appeared like a sun darkened by the calamity created by an Asura. 63.2

When Rāma went to the forest after being banished, the king of Kosala kingdom remembered the evil deed done by him and wished to speak to the lady with black lashes. 63.3

That king on the sixth day of Rāma's banishment at midnight recalled the evil act done by him. 63.4

That king sorrowing to the parting with his son recollected the misdeed done by him, addressed Kauśalya who was equally sad, having parted with her son, told the following. 63.5

"Oh auspicious gentle lady, anyone who performs a good or bad act, he will himself get the result of such action." 63.6

"He who does not know about the likely fruit or evil result of any action, would be considered as a mere boy." 63.7

"If any one after seeing the attractive flowers of the Palāsa tree, due to greed of the likely fruits as per his imagination, cuts off the mango orchard round it and waters the Palāsa tree, he would repent." 63.8

"Anyone who runs for doing an act, without knowing how the fruit will be, would be like one who would repent after he waters the Palāsa tree". 63.9

"I have cut the mango tree and am watering the Palāsa plants. I have sent out Rāma when he was about to bear the fruits and I am grieving at present." 63.10

"Oh Kauśalya I attained fame as a great archer even in childhood as one can hit a target hearing the sound from it and with a help of that power, I have committed a sin." 63.11

"Just like a child eats poison in a state of bewitching ignorance, Oh lady, I have brought this problem by my own acts." 63.12

"Like a man who became interested in growing Palāsa trees, this result of using Sabda Bhedhi [Shoot at the sound], is due to my ignorance." 63.13

"Oh lady, I was not married at that time and I was the Yuvarāja ad you were not there to advise me. When the rainy season set in my passion and enthusiasm increased." 63.14

"The Sun, after removing the moisture from the earth by using its scorching rays, entered the fearful land of the dead [The sun has set]." 63.15

"At that time the heat subsided and seeing the glistening clouds frogs, geese as well as peacocks rejoiced." 63.16

"The birds after taking bath in water got their wings moistened and reached with great difficulty the trees, shaking by wind and rain." 63.17

"Covered with water due to the rain which never stopped, the mountain visited by exuberant antelopes looked like a lake of water." 63.18

"Though the waters were pure, since it rapidly flowed along with minerals which were mixed in the soil, the water was white as well as red and its flow appeared a like a moving serpent." 63.19

"With the coming of water due to rain, the streams which were pure going through the marshy red soil became red in colour." 63.20

"In that very pleasant season, armed with bows and arrows, with an intention of getting exercise, I proceeded in my chariot towards Sarayu river." 63.21

"I who did not have my senses under control, reached a water hole in the river and hid in a lonely place near by it, with a desire of killing a Buffalo or an elephant or any other wild animal." 63.22

"Secretly waiting there, I killed many cruel wild animals which reached the banks of the river, by the sounds made by them." 63.23

"After some time in that pitch darkness, I heard a pitcher being filled with water and since my eye could not reach there, I thought that it as the trumpeting sound of an elephant." 63.24

"Then taking out an arrow, which resembled a poisonous serpent and released it, with an aim of killing that elephant, towards the source of the sound." 63.25

"I sent a well sharpened arrow which looked like a poisonous serpent and in that morning twilight when it hit the vital parts of body of some one, I heard him shout "ha, ha" and also heard the sound of his body falling in water." 63.26-63.27

"When that arrow hit him, I heard the voice of human being say, "How can someone hit with an arrow a person like me, who is a sage?" 63.28

"I had come to this lonely river to quench my thirst and who has wounded me with an arrow and what offence have I done to him?" 63.29

"I am a sage living in the forest subsisting on the materials of the forest and who has imposed death on me using a weapon?" 63.30

"Who is desirous of killing me who has a matted hair and who wears deer skin and tree bark as cloth? What harm have I done to him?" 63.31

"The effort which has been done here is purposeless and disastrous and all people would consider it as a seen like one occupying the bed oh his Guru." 63.32

"I am not much bothered about my loss of life and am worried more about my father and mother after my death." 63.33

"I have been looking after those old people for quite some time and after I get mixed in the five elements, how would they continue to live in future?" 63.34

"That single arrow has killed me and also my aged father and mother and who is the childish person with malicious intentions who has killed all of us?" 63.35

"Hearing that pitiable voice, the bow and arrow fell down from my hands which has done an act against Dharma?" 63.36

"Hearing that pitiable voice, in that very dark night, I was greatly frightened with excess sorrow and was unable to think?" 63.37

"I reached the banks of river Sarayu, with a very troubled mind and in a dilapidated condition and there I saw the body of a sage which was stuck by an arrow and which was smeared with blood and dust, with scattered locks of hair and with his water pitcher thrown away." 63.38-63.39

"He who was greatly frightened and totally shaken up, stared at me with his eyes as if to burn me and told me these cruel words." 63.40

"Oh king, when I was trying to take water for my parents, I have been stuck by your arrow. What have I, who lives in the forest done to you?" 63.41

"Just by striking with one arrow in my vital parts, you have killed me as well as my aged blind, father and mother." 63.42

"How will they who are weak as well as blind and waiting for me to quench their thirst for a long time, control their thirst?" 63.43

"My father does not know that I am wounded and lying on the ground and it appears to me that there is nothing gained by penance or knowledge of Vedas." 63.44

"I do not know what he will do without having even energy to walk and he is as helpless like a tree which cannot protect another tree being cut?" 63.45

"Oh king of Raghu clan, please go quickly to my father and tell about this to my angry father, lest he does not burn this forest like an ignited fire." 63.46

"There is a foot path from here which leads to my father's hermitage. You go there and please him so that he will not curse you due to his anger." 63.47

"Oh king take out this sharp arrow from my body as it is hurting my vital parts of my body like a rushing water current advancing to break its elevated banks," 63.48

"A thought entered me that if the arrow is not removed, it will cause pain and if it is removed he would die." 63.49

"That the son of the sage seeing me who was greatly distressed, completely wretched and full of sorrow told me." 63.50

"That sage who was distressed and was about to die, with twisted limbs encircling his body and with great grief and with great difficulty spoke to me." 63.51

"Be courageous, Control your sorrow, become firm minded and remove the thought that you have killed a Brahmin." 63.52

"Oh king remove that worry that I am a Brahmin, from your mind, for oh king of the people, I was born of Vaiṣya father and Śūdra mother." 63.53

"After saying like this the saint who was hurt in his vital parts by the arrow, was lying on the ground writing in pain and turning and twisting his body and trembling and rolling on the earth and I bent and pulled out that arrow and the sage whose only wealth is his penance looked up to me and died." 63.54

"Oh auspicious lady, having seen the saint lying in the banks of Sarayu with his vital parts being wounded by an arrow and who was drenched in water and ceaselessly lamenting about his pain, I was greatly dejected" 63.55

This is the end of Sixty Third Sarga of Ayodhyā Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.