9 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

“Let us go and see how Sītā elects her husband; we have yet to see whom Providence chooses to honour.” Said Lakṣmaṇa, “He alone deserves glory, my lord, who enjoys your favour.” The whole company of hermits rejoiced to hear these apt words and with a delighted heart they all gave their blessing to him. Accompanied by the whole throng of hermits the gracious Lord then proceeded to visit the arena intended for the bow-sacrifice. When the inhabitants of the town got the news that the two brothers had reached the arena, they all sallied forth, oblivious of their homes and duties - men and women, young and old and even children. When Janaka saw that a huge crowd had collected there, he sent for all his trusted servants and said, “Go and see all the people at once and marshal them to their proper seats.” (1 - 4)

Addressing soft and polite words to the citizens, the servants seated them all, both men and women, in their appropriate places, whether noble or middling, humble or low. (240)

Meanwhile there arrived the two princes, the very abodes of beauty as it were, both ocean of goodness, polished in manners and gallant heroes, charming of forms, the one dark and the other fair. Shining bright in the galaxy of princes, they looked like two full moons in a circle of stars. Everyone looked on the Lord’s form according to the conception each had about Him. Those who were surpassingly staunch in battle gazed on His form as though He was the heroic sentiment personified. The wicked kings trembled at the sight of the Lord as if He had a most terrible form. The demons, who were cunningly disguised as princes, beheld the Lord as Death in visible form, while the citizens regarded the two brothers as the ornaments of humanity and the delight of their eyes. (1 - 4)

With joy in their heart the women saw Him according to the attitude of mind each had towards Him, as if the erotic sentiment itself had appeared in an utterly incomparable form. (241)

The wise saw the Lord in His cosmic form, with many faces, hands, feet, eyes and heads. And how did He appear to Janaka’s kinsmen? Like one’s own beloved relation. The queen, no less than the king, regarded Him with unspeakable love like a dear child. To the Yogīs (those ever united with God) He shone forth as no other than the highest truth, placid, unsullied, equipoised, and resplendent by its very nature. The devotees of Śrī Hari beheld the two brothers as their beloved deity, the fountain of all joy. The emotion of love and joy with which Sītā gazed on Śrī Rāma was ineffable. She felt the emotion in Her breast, but could not utter it; how, then, can a poet describe it? In this way everyone regarded the Lord of Ayodhyā according to the attitude of mind each had towards Him. (1 - 4)

Thus shone in the assembly of kings the two lovely princes of Ayodhyā, the one dark and the other fair of form, catching the eyes of the whole universe. (242)

Both were embodiments of natural grace; even millions of Cupids were a poor match for them. Their charming faces mocked the autumnal moon, and their lotus-like eyes were soul-ravishing. Their winning glances captivated the heart of even Cupid; they were so unspeakably endearing. With beautiful cheeks, ears adorned with swinging pendants, a charming chin and lips and a sweet voice, their smile ridiculed the moonbeams. With arched eyebrows and a beautiful nose, the sacred mark shone on their broad forehead, and their locks of hair put to shame a swarm of bees. Yellow caps of a rectangular shape, which were embroidered here and there with figures of flower-buds, adorned their heads. Their necks, which vied in their spiral form with a conch-shell bore a triple line, which constituted as it were the high watermark of beauty in all the three worlds. (1 - 4)

Their breast was adorned with necklace of pearls found in elephants foreheads and wreaths of Tulasī. With shoulders resembling the lump of a bull they stood like lions and had mighty long arms. (243)

They bore at their back a quiver secured with a yellow cloth wrapped round their waist, and held an arrow in their right hand; while a bow and a charming sacred thread, also of yellow tint, were slung across their left shoulder. In short, the two princes were lovely from head to foot and were the very embodiments of great charm. Everyone who saw them felt delighted; people gazed at them with unwinking eyes and their pupils too did not move. King Janaka himself rejoiced to behold the two brothers; presently he went and clasped the sage’s lotus-feet. Paying him homage he related to him his story and showed him round the whole arena. Whithersoever the two elegant princes betook themselves, all regarded them with wonder. Every man found Śrī Rāma facing himself; but none could perceive the great mystery behind it. The sage told the king that the arrangements were splendid; and the king was highly satisfied and pleased to hear this. (1 - 4)

Of all the tiers of raised seats one was beautiful, bright and capacious above all the rest; the king seated the two brothers along with the sage thereon. (244)

All the kings were disheartened at the sight of the Lord, just as stars fade away with the rising of the full moon. For they all felt inwardly assured that Rāma would undoubtedly break the bow; or, even if the huge bow of Śiva proved too strong for Him, that Sītā would still place the garland of victory round His neck. They therefore, said to one another, “Realizing this, brothers, let us turn homewards, casting to the winds all glory, fame, strength and pride.” Other princes, who were blinded with ignorance and pride, laughed at this and said, “Union with the princess is a far cry for Rāma even if he succeeds in breaking the bow; who, then, can wed her without breaking it? Should Death himself for once come forth against us, even him we would conquer in battle for Sītā’s sake.” At this other princes, who were pious and sensible and devoted to Śrī Hari, smiled and said: - (1 - 4)

“Rāma will certainly marry Sītā to the discomfiture of these arrogant princes; for who can conquer in battle the valiant sons of Daśaratha? (245)

“Do not thus brag unnecssarily: hunger cannot be satiated with imaginary sweets. Listen to this my most salutary advice; be inwardly assured that Sītā is no other than the Mother of the universe. And recognizing the Lord of Raghus as the father of the universe, feast your eyes to their fill on His beauty. Fountains of joy and embodiments of all virtues, these two charming brothers have their abode in Śambhu’s heart. Leaving an ocean of nectar, which is so near, why should you run in pursuit of a mirage and court death? Or else do whatever pleases you individually; we for our part have reaped today the fruit of our human birth.” So saying the good kings turned to gaze with affection on the picture of incomparable beauty; while in heaven the gods witnessed the spectacle from their aerial cars, and raining down flowers sang in melodious strains. (1 - 4)

Finding it an appropriate occasion Janaka then sent for Sītā; and Her companions, all lovely and accomplished, escorted Her with due honour. (246)

Sītā’s beauty defies all description, Mother of the universe that She is and an embodiment of charm and excellence. All comparisons seem to me too poor; for they have affinity with the limbs of mortal women. Proceeding to depict Sītā with the help of those very similes why should one earn the title of an unworthy poet and court ill-repute? Should Sītā be likened to any woman of this material creation, where in this world shall one come across such a lovely damsel? The goddess of speech (Sarasvatī), for instance, is a chatterer; while Bhavānī possesses only half a body (the other half being represented by her lord, Śiva). And Rati (Love’s consort) is extremely distressed by the thought of her husband being without a form. And it is quite out of the question to compare Videha’s Daughter with Ramā, who has poison and spirituous liquor for her dear brothers. Supposing there was an ocean of nectar in the form of loveliness and the tortoise serving as a base for churning it was an embodiment of consummate beauty, and if splendour itself were to take the form of a cord, the erotic sentiment should crystallize and assume the shape of Mount Mandāra and the god of love himself were to churn this ocean with his own hands - (1 - 4)

And if from such churning were to be born a Lakṣmī, who was the source of all loveliness and joy, the poet would even then hesitatingly declare her as analogous to Sītā. (247)

Sītā’s clever companions escorted Her to the arena, singing songs in a charming voice. A beautiful Sārī (covering for the body) adorned Her youthful frame; the Mother of the universe was incomparable in her exquisite beauty. Ornaments of all kinds had been beautifully set in their appropriate places, each limb having been decked by Her companions with great care. When Sītā stepped into the arena, men and women alike were fascinated by Her charms. The gods gladly sounded their kettledrums, while celestial damsels rained down flowers in the midst of songs. In Her lotus-like hands sparkled the wreath of victory, as She cast a hurried glance at all the princes. While Sītā looked for Śrī Rāma with anxious heart, all the princes found themselves in the grip of infatuation. Presently Sītā discovered the two brothers by the side of the sage, and Her eyes greedily fell on them as on a long-lost treasure. (1 - 4)

Out of natural bashfulness that She felt in the presence of elders and at the sight of the vast assemblage, Sītā shrank into Herself; and drawing the Hero of Raghu’s race into Her heart She turned Her eyes towards Her companions. (248)

Beholding Śrī Rāma’s beauty and Sītā’s loveliness, men and women alike forgot to close their eyelids. All of them felt anxious in their heart but hesitated to speak; they inwardly prayed to the Creator, “Quickly take away, O Creator, Janaka’s stupidity and give him right understanding like ours, so that the king without the least scruple may abandon his vow and give Sītā in marriage to Rāma. The world will speak well of him and the idea will find favour with all. On the other hand, if he persists in his folly, he shall have to rue it in the end. Everyone is absorbed in the ardent feeling that the dark-complexioned youth is a suitable match for Janaka’s daughter.” Then Janaka summoned the heralds, and they came eulogizing his race. The king said, “Go round and proclaim my vow.” Forthwith they proceeded on their mission; there was not a little joy in their heart. (1 - 4)

The heralds then uttered these polite words, “Listen all princes: with our long arms uplifted we announce to you King Videha’s vow: - (249)

“The might of arm of the various princes stands as the moon, while Śiva’s bow is the planet Rāhu as it were; it is massive and unyielding, as is well-known to all. Even the great champions Rāvaṇa and Bāṇāsura quietly slipped away as soon as they saw the bow. Whoever in this royal assembly breaks today the yonder unbending bow of Śiva shall be unhesitatingly and insistently wedded by Videha’s daughter and shall triumph over all the three worlds.” Hearing the vow all the princes were filled with longing, while those who prided on their valour felt very indignant. Girding up their loins they rose impatiently and bowing their heads to their chosen deity went ahead. They cast an angry look at Śiva’s bow, grapled with it with steady aim and exerted all their strength; but the bow refused to be lifted. Those princes, however, who had any sense at all did not even approach the bow. (1 - 4)

Those foolish kings indignantly strained at the bow and retired in shamefully when it refused to leave its position, as though it grew more and more weighty by absorbing the might of arm of each successive warrior. (250)

Ten thousand kings then proceeded all at once to raise it; but it baffled all attempts at moving it. Śambhu’s bow did not stir in the same way as the mind of a virtuous lady refuses to yield to the words of a gallant. All the princes made themselves butts of ridicule like a recluse without dispassion. Helplessly forfeiting their fame, glory and great valour to the bow they returned. Confused and disheartened, the kings went and sat in the midst of their own company. Seeing the kings thus frustrated, King Janaka got impatient and spoke words as if in anger; “Hearing the vow made by me many a king has come from diverse parts of the globe; gods and demons in human form and many other heroes, staunch in fight, have assembled. (1 - 4)

“A lovely bride, a grand triumph and splendid renown are the prize; but Brahmā, it seems, has not yet created the man who may break the bow and win the above rewards.” (251)

“Tell me, who would not have this prize? But none could string the bow. Let alone stringing or breaking it, there was not one of you, brothers, who could stir it even a inch breadth from its place. Now no one who prides on his valour should feel offended if I assert that there is no hero left on earth to my mind. Give up all hope and go back to your homes. It is not the will of Providence that Sītā should be married. All my religious merits shall be gone if I abandon my vow. The princess must remain a maid; what can I do? Had I known, brothers, that there are no more heroes in the world, I would not have made myself a laughing-stock by undertaking such a vow.” All who heard Janaka’s words, men and women alike, felt distressed at the sight of Jānakī. Lakṣmaṇa, however got incensed: his eyebrows were knit, his lips quivered and his eyes shot fire. (1 - 4)

For fear of Śrī Rāma he could not speak, though Janaka’s words pierced his heart like an arrow; yet at last, bowing his head at Śrī Rāma’s lotus-feet he spoke words which were impregnated with truth: - (252)

“In an assembly where any one of Raghu’s race is present no one would dare speak such scandalous words as Janaka has spoken, even though conscious of the presence of Śrī Rāma, the Jewel of Raghu’s race. (Turning towards his brother, he added) “Listen, O Delighter of the solar race, I sincerely tell You, without any vain boasting: if I but have Your permission, I will lift the round world like a ball and smash it like an ill-baked earthen jar; and by the glory of Your majesty, O blessed Lord, I can break Mount Meru like a radish. What, then, is this wretched old bow? Realizing this, my Lord, let me have Your command and see what wonders I work; I will string the bow as though it were a lotus-stalk and run with it not less than eight hundred miles. (1 - 4)

“By the might of Your glory, O Lord, I will snap it like the stalk of a mushroom. Or, if I fail, I swear by Your feet, never to handle a bow or quiver again.” (253)

As Lakṣmaṇa spoke these angry words, the earth shook and the elephants supporting the quarters tottered. The whole assembly, including all the princes, was struck with terror; Sītā felt delighted at heart, while Janaka blushed. The preceptor (Viśvāmitra), the Lord of Raghus and all the hermits were glad of heart and thrilled all over again and again. affectionately Śrī Rāma checked Lakṣmaṇa and made him sit beside Him. Perceiving that it was a propitious time, Viśvāmitra said in most endearing terms, “Up, Rāma, break the bow of Śiva and relieve Janaka, my boy, of his anguish.” On hearing the Guru’s words Śrī Rāma bowed His head at his feet; there was no joy or sorrow in His heart. He stood up in all His native grace, putting to shame a young lion by His elegant carriage. (1 - 4)

As the Chief of the Raghus rose on His elevated seat like the morning sun rising on the mountain, all the saints were delighted like so many lotuses and their eyes were glad as bees at the return of day. (254)

The hopes of the rival kings vanished as night and their boasts died away like the serried stars. The arrogant princes shrivelled up like the lilies and the false kings shrank away like owls. Sages and gods, like the Cakravāka bird, were rid of their sorrow and rained down flowers in token of their homage. Affectionately reverencing the Guru’s feet Śrī Rāma asked leave of the Munis. The Lord of all creation then stepped forth in His natural grace with the tread of a noble and beautiful elephant in rut. As Śrī Rāma moved ahead all men and women of the city rejoiced and thrilled all over their body. Invoking the manes and gods and recalling their own past good deeds they prayed: “If our religious merits are of any value, O Lord Gaṇeśa may Rāma snap the bow of Śiva as it were a lotus-stalk.” (1 - 4)

Lovingly gazing on Śrī Rāma and bidding her companions draw near, Sītā’s mother spoke words full of anguish out of affection: - (255)

“Who even those are called our friends, dear ones, are mere spectators of a show; no one urges the preceptor (Viśvāmitra) and tells him that the two princes are yet boys and that such insistence on his part is not desirable. Knowing that Rāvaṇa and Bāṇāsura did not even touch the bow and that all other kings were worsted in spite of all their boasts, strange that he should give the same bow into the hands of this young prince; can cygnets ever lift Mount Mandāra? Good sense has taken leave of the king; and unknown are the dispensation of Providence, dear ones,” One of her sharp-witted companions gently replied, “The glorious are not to be lightly regarded, O queen. What comparison is there between the sage Agastya, who was born of a jar, and the vast ocean? Yet the sage drained it dry, and his good fame has spread throughout the world. The orb of the sun is so small to look at, but the moment it rises the darkness of all the three worlds disappears. (1 - 4)

“A sacred formula, indeed, is very small, although it has under its sway Brahmā, Hari, Hara and all other gods. A tiny goad governs the mightiest and most furious elephant.” (256)

“Armed with a bow and arrows of flowers Cupid has brought the whole universe under subjection. Realizing this, O good lady, give up all doubt; Rāma, O Queen, will assuredly break the bow, I tell you.” The queen felt reassured at these words of her companion; her despondency was gone and her love for Śrī Rāma grew. Then, casting a glance towards Śrī Rāma, Videha’s daughter implored with anxious heart each god in turn. She inwardly prayed in a distressed state of mind: “Be gracious to me. O great Lord Śiva and Bhavānī, and reward my services by lightening the weight of the bow out of affection for me. O god Gaṇeśa, the chief of Śiva’s attendants, O bestower of boons, it is for this day that I have adored You. Listening to my repeated supplication, therefore, reduce the weight of the bow to a mere trifle.” (1 - 4)

Gazing repeatedly on the person of Śrī Rāma and summoning courage Sītā prayed to gods. Her eyes were filled with tears of love and the hair on Her body stood on their end. (257)

She feasted Her eyes to their fill on Śrī Rāma’s beauty; but then the thought of Her father’s vow agitated Her mind. She said to Herself.” Alas, my father has made a terrible resolve having no regard to good or evil consequences. The ministers are afraid; therefore none of them gives him good counsel. It is all the more pity that it should be so in a conclave of wise men. While on this side stands the bow harder than adamant, on the other side we find that dark-complexioned prince of delicate frame and tender age. How then, O god, can I maintain my balance of mind? Is a diamond ever pierced with the pointed end of a Śirīṣa flower? The sense of the whole assembly has become dull; hence my only hope now lies in you, O Śambhu’s bow. Imparting your heaviness to the assembly grow light yourself at the sight of (in proportion to the size of) Śrī Rāma.” Sītā felt much agitated at heart; an instant hung heavy on Her as a hundred Yugas. (1 - 4)

Gazing now at the Lord and now at the ground, Her restless eyes sparkled as if two Cupid’s fish disported themselves in the pail-like orb of the moon. (258)

Held captive within Her lotus-like mouth Her bee-like speech did not stir out for fear of the night of modesty. Tears remained confined within the corner of Her eyes, just as the gold of a stingy miser remains buried in a nook of his house. Sītā felt abashed when She perceived Her great agitation of mind; summoning up courage in Her heart, therefore, She confidently said to Herself, “If I am true to my vow in thought, word and deed, and if my mind is really attached to the lotus-feet of Śrī Rāma, I am sure God, who dwells in the heart of all, will make me Śrī Rāma’s bond-slave; for one gets united without doubt with him for whom one cherishes true love.” Casting a glance at the Lord She resolved to love Him even at the cost of Her life. Śrī Rāma, the embodiment of compassion, understood it all; looking at Sītā He glanced at the bow as Garuḍa (the king of birds ) would gaze on a poor little snake. (1 - 4)

When Lakṣmaṇa perceived that the Jewel of Raghu’s race had cast a glance at the bow of Hara, the hair on his body stood erect and he uttered the following words pressing the crust of the earth under his foot: - (259)

“O elephants guarding the cardinal points, O divine tortoise, O serpent-king, and O divine boar, steadily hold the earth that it may not shake. Śrī Rāma seeks to break the bow of Śaṅkara; therefore, listen to my command and be ready.” When Rāma drew near to the bow, men and women present there invoked in His behalf the help of gods as well as of their past good deeds. The doubts and ignorance of all who had assembled there, the arrogance of the foolish kings, the proud pretensions of Paraśurāma (the Chief of Bhrgu’s race), the apprehension of gods and the great sages, the distress of Sītā, King Janaka’s remorse and the fire of the queen’s terrible agony - all these boarded together the great bark of Śambhu’s bow, with whose help they sought to cross the boundless ocean of Śrī Rāma’s strength of arm; but there was no helmsman to steer the ship. (1 - 4)

Rāma first looked at the crowd of spectators and found them motionless as the figures of a drawing. The gracious Lord then turned His eyes towards Sītā and perceived Her in deep distress. (260)

He found Videha’s Daughter greatly agitated; every moment that passed hung on Her as a whole life-time of the universe. If a thirsty man dies for want of water, of what avail is a lake of nectar after death. What good is a shower when the whole crop is dried up; what use repenting over an opportunity lost? Thinking thus within Himself the Lord looked at Janaka’s Daughter and thrilled all over to perceive Her singular devotion. He inwardly made obeisance to His preceptor (Viśvāmitra), and took up the bow with great agility. The bow gleamed like a flash of lightning as He grasped it in His hand. And then it appeared like a circle in the sky. No one knew when He took it in His hands, strung it and drew it tight; everyone only saw Him standing (with the bow drawn). Instantly Śrī Rāma broke the bow in halves; the awful crash resounded through all the spheres. (1 - 4)

The awful crash reached through the spheres; the horses of the sun-god strayed from their course; the elephants of the quarters trumpeted, the earth shook; the serpent- king, the divine boar and the divine tortoise fidgeted about, Gods, demons and sages put their hands to their ears, and all began anxiously to ponder the cause; but when they learnt, says Tulasīdāsa, that Śrī Rāma had broken the bow, they uttered shouts of victory.

The bow of Śaṅkara was the bark and Rāma’s strength of arm was the ocean to be crossed with its aid. The whole host (of which we have spoken above), that had boarded the ship out of ignorance, was drowned (with the bark). (261)

The Lord tossed on ground the two broken pieces of the bow, and everyone rejoiced at the sight. Viśvāmitra stood as the holy ocean, full of the sweet and unfathomable water of love. Beholding Śrī Rāma’s beauty, which represented the full moon, the sage felt an increasing thrill of joy, which may be compared to a rising tide in the ocean. Kettledrums sounded with great noise in the heavens; celestial damsels sang and danced. Brahmā and the other gods, Siddhas and great sages praised the Lord and gave Him blessings raining down wreaths and flowers of various colours; the Kinnaras (a class of demigods) sang melodious strains. The shouts of victory re-echoed throughout the universe; the crash that followed the breaking of the bow was drowned in it. Everywhere men and women in their joy kept saying that Rāma had broken the massive bow of Śambhu. (1 - 4)

Talented bards, minstrels and panegyrists sang praises; and everybody gave away horses, elephants, riches, jewels and raiment as an act of invocation of God’s blessings on the youthful champion. (262)

There was a crash of cymbals and tabors, conches and clarinets, drums and sweet-sounding kettledrums, both large and small; and many other charming instruments also played. Everywhere young women sang auspicious strains. The queen with her companions was much delighted, as though a withering crop of paddy had been refreshed by a shower. King Janaka was now care-free and felt gratified as if a tired swimmer had reached a shallow. The king’s countenance fell at the breaking of the bow, just as a lamp is dimmed at dawn of day. Sītā’s delight could only be compared to that of a female Chātakā bird on receiving a rain-drop when the sun is in the same longitude as the constellation named Svātī (Arcturus). Lakṣmaṇa fixed his eyes on Rāma as the young of a Cakora bird gazes on the moon. Śatānanda then gave the word and Sītā advanced towards Rāma . (1 - 4)

Accompanied by Her fair and talented companions, who were singing festal songs, She paced like a cygnet, Her limbs possessing infinite charm. (263)

In the midst of Her companions Sītā shone as a personification of supreme beauty among other embodiments of beauty. She held in Her lotus hands the fair wreath of victory, resplendent with the glory of triumph over the whole universe. While Her body shrank with modesty, Her heart was full of rapture; Her hidden love could not be perceived by others. As She drew near and beheld Śrī Rāma’s beauty, Princess Sītā stood motionless as a portrait. A clever companion, who perceived Her in this condition, exhorted Her saying,” Invest the bridegroom with the beautiful wreath of victory.” At this She raised the wreath with both of Her hands, but was too overwhelmed with emotion to garland Him. In this act Her uplifted hands shone as if a pair of lotuses with their stalks were timidly investing the moon with a wreath of victory. At this charming sight Her companions broke into a song, while Sītā placed the wreath of victory round Śrī Rāma’s neck so as to adorn His breast. (1 - 4)

Witnessing the wreath of victory resting on Śrī Rāma’s bosom, gods rained down flowers; while the kings all shrank in confusion like lillies at the rising of the sun. (264)

There was music both in the city and in the heavens; while the wicked were downcast, the virtuous beamed with joy. Gods, Kinnaras, men, Nāgas and great sages uttered blessings with shouts of victory. Celestial dames danced and sang and handfuls of flowers were showered again and again. Here and there the Brāhmaṇas recited the Vedas, while panegyrists sang praises. The glad tidings spread throughout the earth, the subterranean regions and heaven that Śrī Rāma had broken the bow and won the hand of Sītā. The people of the city waved lights round the pair in order to ward off evil; and regardless of their means they scattered gifts in profusion as an act of invocation of Divine blessings on the couple. The pair of Śrī Rāma and Sītā shone as if beauty and the sentiment of Love had met together in human form. Her companions urged Her, ”Sītā, clasp your lord’s feet.” But Sītā was too much afraid to touch His feet. (1 - 4)

Remembering the fate of the sage Gautama’s wife, Ahalyā, She would not touch His feet with Her hands; the Jewel of Raghu’s race inwardly smiled to perceive Her transcendent love. (265)

Then, as they looked on Sītā, a few princes were filled with longing for her; those wicked, degenerate fools grew indignant. Rising from their seats one after another and donning their armour the wretches began to brag about. Someone said, “Carry off Sītā by force and capturing the two princes hold them in bondage. No purpose will be served by merely breaking the bow; for who shall marry the princess while we still live? Should Janaka come forward to help them, rout him in battle along with the two brothers.” When the good kings heard these words, they said, “Shame itself feels shy in approaching this assembly of princes. Your might, glory, valour, fame and honour have been shattered along with the bow. Is it the same valour of which you are boasting, or have you since acquired it anew from somewhere else? It is because such is your mentality that God has blackened your faces.” (1 - 4)

“Giving up jealousy, arrogance and anger, therefore, feast your eyes upon Rāma; and knowing Lakṣmaṇa’s wrath to be a blazing fire, do not allow yourselves to be consumed by it like a moth.” (266)

“As a crow should seek an offering set apart for Garuḍa (the king of birds), as a rabbit should covet the share of a lion, as a man who is angry without any cause should expect happiness, as an enemy of Śiva should crave for riches of all kinds, as a greedy and covetous man should long for good fame and as a gallant should aspire to be free from scandal, and as one who is averse to Śrī Hari’s feet, should hanker after the highest destiny (Liberation), your longing, O princes, (for Sītā) is of the same category.” When Sītā heard the tumult, She got afraid and Her companions took Her to the queen; while Śrī Rāma advanced to His Guru, easy in mind and inwardly praising Her affection. The queens as well as Sītā were filled with anxiety and wondered what Providence had in store for them. On hearing the words of the princes Lakṣmaṇa looked hither and thither; for fear of Rāma, however, he could not speak. (1 - 4)

With fiery eyes and knitted brows he cast an angry look at the kings, as though, at the sight of a herd of wild elephants in rut, a lion’s whelp were eager to pounce on them. (267)

Seeing the uproar the women of the city were all distressed and joined in cursing the princes. The very moment arrived the sage Paraśurāma, a very sun to the lotus-like race of Bhrigu, led by the news of the breaking of the bow. At his very sight the kings all cowered down even as a quail would shrink beneath the swoop of a hawk. A coat of ashes looked most charming on his fair body; his broad forehead was adorned with a Tripuṇḍra (as peculiar mark consisting of three horizontal lines, sacred to Śiva). Having matted locks on the head, his handsome moonlike face was a bit reddened with anger; with knitted brows and eyes inflamed with passion, his natural look gave one the impression that he was enraged. He had well-built shoulders like those of a bull and a broad chest and long arms; he was adorned with a beautiful sacred thread, rosary and deerskin. With an anchorite’s covering about his loins and a pair of quivers fastened by his side, he held a bow and arrows in his hands and an axe upon his fair shoulder. (1 - 4)


Though serene in attire, he had a cruel record of deeds; his appear, therefore, defied description. It looked as if the heroic sentiment had taken the form of a hermit and arrived where the kings had assembled. (268)

Beholding the frightful figure of Paraśurāma the kings all rose in consternation; and mentioning his own as well as his father’s name, each fell prostrate on the ground before him. Even he on whom Paraśurāma cast a friendly look in a natural way thought the sands of his life had run out. Then came Janaka and bowed his head; and sending for Sītā he made Her pay homage to the sage. Her companions rejoiced when he bestowed his blessing on Her, and cleverly took Her where the other ladies were. Next came Viśvāmitra, who met him and placed the two brothers at his lotus feet, saying that they were King Daśaratha’s sons, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa by name; seeing the well-matched pair, he blessed them. His eyes were riveted on Śrī Rāma’s incomparable beauty, which would humble the pride of Cupid himself. (1 - 4)

Then he looked round, and though knowing everything, he asked Videha, like one ignorant, “Tell me, what has attracted all this crowd here?” And as he spoke thus wrath took possession of his whole being. (269)

Janaka narrated to him the whole history, mentioning what had brought all the kings there, on hearing this reply Paraśurāma turned round, and looking in the other direction he espied the fragments of the bow lying on the ground. Flying into a rage he spoke in harsh tones, ”Tell me, O stupid Janaka, who has broken the bow? Show him at once, or this very day I will overthrow the whole tract of land over which your dominion extends.” In his excess of fear, the king would make no answer; and the wicked kings were glad of heart. Gods, sages, Nāgas and the people of the city were all filled with anxiety; their hearts were much agitated. Sītā’s mother lamented within herself, saying, “Alas! God has sported the game.” When Sītā heard of Paraśurāma’s temperament, even half a moment passed to Her like a whole life-time of the universe. (1 - 4)

When the Hero of Raghu’s race saw everyone seized with panic and perceived Jānakī’s anxiety, He interposed; there was neither joy nor sorrow in His heart. (270)