Parashu Rama confronts the wedding party that is returning to Ayodhya from Mithila. On his very entry, the atmosphere becomes pell-mell and a whirlwind ensues. Expecting some problem from this Parashu Rama, the sages like Vashishta and others starts to receive him in a peaceable manner. Not caring anyone around Parashu Rama starts a dialogue with Dasharatha Rama.
अथ रात्र्यां व्यतीतायां विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः |
आपृच्छ्य तौ च राजानौ जगामोत्तरपर्वतम् || १-७४-१
1. atha raatryaam vyatiitaayaam [satyaam] = then, night is elapsing [is becoming true]; mahaamuniH vishvaamitraH = eminent-saint, Vishvamitra; raajaanau = [all] kings; tau ca = both - Rama and Lakshmana, also; aapR^icChya = on asking [leave of absence]; uttaraparvatam jagaama = set out to northern mountains [Himalayas] .
When that night is elapsing into the wee hours of next day, then the eminent-saint Vishvamitra on asking for the leave of absence from those kings, Dasharatha and Janaka, and from both Rama and Lakshmana, he set out to northern mountains, namely Himalayas. [1-74-1]
विश्वामित्रो गते राजा वैदेहं मिथिलाधिपम् |
आपृष्ट्वैव जगामाशु राजा दशरथः पुरीम् || १-७४-२
2. vishvaamitraH gate = on departure of Vishvamitra; raajaa dasharathaH = the ruler to the delight of people, Dasharatha; mithilaadhipam = Mithila's king; vaideham = one who outvies bodily affairs - Janaka; aapR^iSTvaa eva = on asking [leave of absence]; raajaa = king Dasharatha; aashu puriim jagaama = promptly, set forth to city Ayodhya.
When Vishvamitra departed that ruler to the delight of people, namely Dasharatha, on asking leave of absence with king Janaka who outvies bodily affairs, promptly set forth for the city of Ayodhya. [1-74-2]
अथ राजा विदेहानां ददौ कन्याधनं बहु |
गवां शतसहस्राणि बहूनि मिथिलेश्वरः || १-७४-३
कंबलानां च मुख्यानां क्षौमान् कोट्यंबराणि च |
हस्त्यश्वरथपादातं दिव्यरूपं स्वलंकृतम् || १-७४-४
ददौ कन्याशतं तासां दासीदासमनुत्तमम् |
3, 4, 5a. atha = then; mithileshvaraH = Mithila's king; raajaa videhaanaam = king, from Videha lineage; bahu = innumerable; kanyaadhanam = girl's [patrimonial] riches; dadau = gave; gavaam bahuuni = cows, umpteen; shatasahasraaNi mukhyaanaam kambalaanaam ca = hundred thousands [millions of,] excellent ones, shawls, also; kSaumaan koTyambaraaNi ca = crores of silk dresses, also; hastyashvarathapaadaatam = elephants, horses, chariots, foot soldiers; divyaruupam svalankR^itam = divinel in mien, highly decorated; anuttamam = unexcelled ones; daasiidaasam = chambermaids, handmaidens; kanyaashatam = hundreds of girls; taasaam = to them [to brides]; dadau = [Janaka] gave.
Then that king Janaka of Mithila, the one from Videha lineage, gave innumerable patrimonial riches. He has also given umpteen number of cows, millions of excellent shawls and silk dresses, and elephants, horses, chariots, foot soldiers, besides hundreds of highly decorated girls, divine in their mien, as unexcelled chambermaids and handmaidens to the brides. [1-74-3, 4, 5a]
हिरण्यस्य सुवर्णस्य मुक्तानां विद्रुमस्य च || १-७४-५
ददौ राजा सुसंहृष्टः कन्याधनमनुत्तमम् |
5b, 6a. raajaa = king Janaka; susamhR^iSTaH = very highly gladdened; hiraNyasya = of gold; suvarNasya = of silver; muktaanaam = of pearls; vidrumasya ca = red corals, even; anuttamam = beau idéal; kanyaadhanam = bridal riches; dadau = he gave.
King Janaka gave beau idéal bridal riches in gold, silver, pearls and corals even, for he is very highly gladdened as Seetha's marriage came true. [1-74-5b, 6a]
दत्त्वा बहुविधं राजा समनुज्ञाप्य पार्थिवम् || १-७४-६
प्रविवेश स्वनिलयं मिथिलां मिथिलेश्वरः |
6b, 7a. mithileshvaraH = Mithila's sovereign; raajaa = king Janaka; bahuvidham dattvaa = having given many kinds [of gifts] ; paarthivam = king Dasharatha; samanuj~naapya = on making Dasharatha to bid adieu; svanilayam = his own dwelling city; mithilaam pravivesha = entered into Mithila.
Having given many kinds of bridal gifts and having accompanied his daughters for a distance, then having received a bid adieu from Dasharatha, that sovereign of Mithila, Janaka, re-entered is own palace in Mithila. [1-74-6, 7a]
It is customary to follow the wedding party up to the outskirts of village or town. In the meantime, there will be two or three hugs of mother and the bride, shedding two or three litres of tears, while the father of the bride secretly wipes his own moist eyes, and the like. Because, this despatch of the bride is considered as another life to her, for she cannot come to her father's house as and when she wants. Even if she comes, she has to return to her husband's place at some point of time, because from now onward 'that' house has become 'her' house. In this particular case of Seetha, she does not come to Mithila after this episode and even when Rama abandons her she goes into the womb of her mother, Mother Earth, but not to Mithila. So let us leave Janaka and his queen as they have the satisfaction in marrying their daughter, whose marriage itself is problematical so far, and when that has happened, now some sort of dissatisfaction has cropped up, in leaving her off with some forest ranger, called Rama.
राजाप्ययोध्याधिपतिः सह पुत्रैर्महात्मभिः || १-७४-७
ऋषीन् सर्वान् पुरस्कृत्य जगाम सबलानुगः |
7b, 8a. ayodhyaadhipatiH raajaa api = Ayodhya's sovereign, king Dasharatha, even mahaatmabhiH putraiH saha = along with noble-souled sons; sarvaan R^iSiin puraskR^itya = all sages, keeping in fore; sabalaanugaH = following with forces ; jagaama = proceeded.
Even the king Dasharatha, the sovereign of Ayodhya proceeded with his noble-souled sons, keeping all the sages in the fore, while his forces followed him. [1-74-7b, 8a]
गच्छन्तं तु नरव्याघ्रं सर्षिसंघं सराघवम् || १-७४-८
घोरास्तु पक्षिणो वाचो व्याहरन्ति समंततः |
8b, 9a. saRSisangham = with assemblages of sages; saraaghavam = with [young] Raghava-s - Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna; gacChantam = who is going - Dasharatha; naravyaaghram = at that tigerly-man [facing Dasharatha]; samantataH = from all around; pakSiNaH ghoraaH vaacaH vyaaharanti = birds started to screech with horrible voice.
But while going with the assemblages of sages and with young Raghava-s, namely Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna, the sky-bound birds started to screech with startling voice from all around facing that tigerly-man Dasharatha. [1-74-8b, 9a]
भौमाश्चैव मृगाः सर्वे गच्छन्ति स्म प्रदक्षिणम् || १-७४-९
तान् दृष्ट्वा राजशार्दूलो वसिष्ठं पर्यपृच्छत |
9b, 10a. bhaumaaH = concerning earth; ca eva = also thus; sarve mR^igaaH = all, animals; pradakSiNam gacChanti sma = they were going leftward ; taan dR^iSTvaa = on seeing them; rajashaarduulaH = the tigerly king; vasiSTham paryapR^icChata = particularly asked to Vashishta.
Also thus, all of the earth bound animals are going his leftward, and on seeing this, albeit he is a tigerly king he is perplexed, and particularly asked Vashishta. [1-74-9b, 10a]
असौम्याः पक्षिणो घोरा मृगाश्चापि प्रदक्षिणाः || १-७४-१०
किमिदं हृदयोत्कंपि मनो मम विषीदति |
10b, 11a. ghoraaH [vaacaH] = startling [voicing]; pakSiNaH = bird's; asaumyaaH = not gentle [not favourable, unpropitious]; mR^igaaH ca api pradakSiNaaH = animals, also, even, going leftward [propitious]; hR^idayotkampi = to up beating heart [with one's heart in one's mouth, throbbing up]; idam kim = this is, what [why so?]; mama manaH viSiidati = my, heart, is sinking [throbbing down].
"Unpropitious is the starling voicing of birds, whereby my heart is throbbing down... and propitious is the leftward going of the animals, thereby my heart is throbbing up... why so?" [1-74-10b, 11a]
राज्ञो दशरथस्यैतत् श्रुत्वा वाक्यं महानृषिः || १-७४-११
उवाच मधुरां वाणीं श्रूयतामस्य यत्फलम् |
11b, 12a. mahaan R^iSiH = great [instinctual,] sage; raaj~naH dasharathasya = of king, Dasharatha; etat shrutvaa = on hearing all [that is said] ; madhuraam vaaNiim vaakyam uvaaca = said [this] sentence in a soothing voice; asya yat phalam = which is its [auguries'] result; [tat = that]; shruuyataam = I will let you hear.
On hearing all that is said by king Dasharatha, the instinctual sage Vashishta said this sentence in a soothing voice, "I will tell apart the result of these auguries... [1-74-11b, 12a]
उपस्थितं भयं घोरं दिव्यं पक्षिमुखाच्च्युतम् || १-७४-१२
मृगाः प्रशमयन्त्येते संतापः त्यज्यतामयम् |
12b, 13a. pakSimukhaat cyutam = fallen from mouths of bird [shrieks voiced, foretokening]; divyam = providential; ghoram bhayam = perilous, trepidation; upasthitam = [indicate it as] forthcoming; ete mR^igaaH prashamayanti = these, animals' [behaviour,] mitigable [betokening as]; ayam santaapaH tyajyataam = this, consternation, be forsaken.
"The shrieks voiced by the birds are foretokening the forthcoming providential and perilous trepidation, but the behaviour of these animals is betokening it as mitigable... hence, let this consternation be forsaken... [1-74-12b, 13a]
तेषां संवदतां तत्र वायुः प्रादुर्बभूव ह || १-७४-१३
कंपयन् मेदिनीं सर्वां पातयंश्च महाद्रुमान् |
13b, 14a. teSaam = among them; samvadataam = while discussing; tatra = there; mediniim kampayan = [as though] to shake earth; sarvaan mahaadrumaan paatayan = to fell [shattering] all gigantic trees; vaayuH praadurbabhuuva ha = [whirl] wind, started to whirl, indeed.
While they are discussing among themselves, a whirlwind started to whirligig there, as though to shake the earth and shatter all gigantic trees. [1-74-13b, 14a]
तमसा संवृतः सूर्यः सर्वे न वेदिषुर्दिशः || १-७४-१४
भस्मना चावृतं सर्वं सम्मूढमिव तद्बलम् |
14b, 15a. suuryaH tamasaa samvR^itaH = sun is enshrouded by murkiness ; sarve dishaH na vediSuH = all, quarters, not, aware; tat sarvam balam = that, all, army - of Dasharatha; bhasmanaa aavR^itam = is enwrapped by ash [simoom, sandstorm] ; sammuuDham iva = as though ensorcelled - it became.
Murkiness enshrouded the sun, thus everyone is unaware of quarters, a sandstorm enwrapped that army, by which it has become as though ensorcelled. [1-74-14b, 15a]
वसिष्ठ ऋषयचान्ये राजा च ससुतस्तदा || १-७४-१५
ससंज्ञा इव तत्रासन् सर्वमन्यद्विचेतनम् |
15b, 16a. tadaa = then; vasiSThaH = Vashishta; anye R^iSayaH ca = other, sages, also; sasutaH = with sons; raajaa ca = king, also; sasanj~naa iva = as though with animation; tatra aasan = there, they are; anyat sarvam vicetanam = everything is without animation.
Then Vashishta and the other sages, the king Dasharatha along with his sons remained there with animation, and everything and every other one available there has become inanimate. [1-74-15b, 16a]
तस्मिंस्तमसि घोरे तु भस्मच्छन्नेव सा चमूः || १-७४-१६
ददर्श भीमसंकाशं जटामण्डलधारिणम् |
भार्गवं जामदग्न्यं तं राजा राजविमर्दनम् || १-७४-१७
कैलासमिव दुर्धर्षं कालाग्निमिव दुःसहम् |
ज्वलंतमिव तेजोभिः दुर्निरीक्ष्यं पृथग्जनैः || १-७४-१८
स्कन्धे चासज्य परशुं धनुर्विद्युद्गणोपमम् |
प्रगृह्य शरमुग्रं च त्रिपुरघ्नं यथा शिवम् || १-७४-१९
16b, 17, 18, 19. tasmin ghore tamasi = in that, catastrophic, darkness; bhasmacChannaa iva = as though muffled up by ashes [sand] ; saa camuuH = that, military; bhiimasamkaasham = calamitous in looks; jaTaamaNDaladhaariNam = wearing tufted matted-hair; raajaa raajavimardanam = he [who is] the king, subjugator of kings; kailaasam iva durdharSam = unassailable like Mt. Kailash ; kaalaagnim iva duHsaham = unbearable like epoch-end fire; tejobhiH jvalantam iva = like irradiant with his own radiance; pR^ithak janaiH durniriikSyam = impossible to gaze by common people; parashum skandhe aasajya = clinching axe on shoulder; vidyut gaNopamam = groups in simile to electric discharges ; dhanuH = bow - bow of Vishnu; ugram sharam pragR^ihya ca = clasping terrible [electrocuting one] arrow, also; tripuraghnam shivam yathaa = as with devastator of triple cities, Shiva; ayam jaamadagnyam bhaargavam dadarsha = they all have seen him, sage Jamadagni's son Bhaargava.
In that catastrophic darkness, that sand-muffled military of king Dasharatha has seen the son of Sage Jamadagni, namely Bhaargava Rama, the subjugator of kings of kings. He appeared calamitous in his look by wearing tufty matted and unruly head-hair, an unassailable one like Mt. Kailash, an unbearable one like the Epoch-End-Fire, irradiant with his own radiance, hence imperceivable for commoners, and such as he is, he clinched an axe on his right shoulder and clasped a bow in his left hand, that in simile is like a congeries of electroluminescence, and handling an arrow which is as if ready to electrocute, and he vied in his overall look with the devastator of triple cities, namely God Shiva. [1-74-16b, 17, 18, 19]
तं दृष्ट्वा भीमसंकाशं ज्वलंतमिव पावकम् |
वसिष्ठप्रमुखा विप्रा जपहोमपरायणाः || १-७४-२०
संगता मुनयः सर्वे संजजल्पुरथो मिथः |
20, 21a. bhiimasamkaasham = peril similar [perilous in his propensity] ; jvalantam paavakam iva = as flaming Ritual-fire; tam dR^iSTvaa = on seeing him; japahomaparaayaNaaH vipraaH = practisers of meditation and fire-oblation, Brahman-s; vasiSThapramukhaaH = Vashishta and other prominent ones; sarve munayaH sangataaH = all of the, sages, coming together; athaH mithaH = up and down; samjajalpuH = started to susurrate.
On seeing him who is perilous in his propensity and flaming like the Ritual-fire, Vashishta and the other prominent Brahman-s who are the practisers of meditation and fire-oblations have come together and started to susurrate, up and down. [1-74-20, 21a]
कच्चित् पितृवधामर्षी क्षत्र ं नोत्सादयिष्यति || १-७४-२१
पूर्वं क्षत्रवधं कृत्वा गतमन्युर्गतज्वरः |
क्षत्रस्योत्सादनं भूयो न खल्वस्य चिकीर्षितम् || १-७४-२२
21b-22. pitR^ivadhaamarSii = envenomed by father's murder; kSatram na utsaadayiSyati kaccit = not going to eradicate [now] Kshatriya race, will he be - or what; puurvam kSatravadham kR^itvaa = previously, on eliminating Kshatriya-s ; gatamanyuH = his anger is gone [abated] ; gatajvaraH = gone [alleviated,] is his frenzy; bhuuyaH = again; kSatrasyotsaadanam = for eliminating kshatriya ; asya na cikiirSitam khalu = he really not intended [action].
"Will he eradicate the race of Kshatriya-s even now as he was once envenomed by the murder of his father, or what... abated is his anger and alleviated is his frenzy previously when he eliminated Kshatriya-s... but is he really intending to eliminate Kshatriya-s once again, or what?" Thus, those Brahmans talked among themselves. [1-74-21b, 22]
An account of Parashu Rama's elimination of Kshatriya clans is given in endnote.
एवमुक्त्वार्घ्यमादाय भार्गवं भीमदर्शनम् |
ऋषयो राम रामेति मधुरं वाक्यमब्रुवन् || १-७४-२३
23. R^iSayaH = sages; evam uktvaa = thus, saying [after susurrus]; arghyam aadaaya = on taking oblational water; bhiimadarshanam bhaargavam = a visitation in his look, towards Bhaargava Rama; raama raama = oh, Rama, oh, Rama; iti madhuram vaakyam abruvan = thus, spoke sweet [benignly] sentence [lines of greetings] - they approached.
After their susurrus the sages have approached him, who in his very look is like a visitation, with oblational water and addressed him with benign words of greeting like, "oh, Rama, oh, Bhaargava Rama..." [1-74-23]
प्रतिगृह्य तु तां पूजामृषिदत्तां प्रतापवान् |
रामं दाशरथिं रामो जामदग्न्योऽभ्यभाषत || १-७४-२४
24. prataapavaan = inexorable one; jaamadagnyaH raamaH = of Jamadagni, Rama; R^iSidattaam = given by sage; taam puujaam pratigR^ihya = on receiving that deference; daasharathim raamam abhyabhaaSata = started to talk to Rama of Dasharatha.
On receiving the deference paid by the sage Vashishta, that inexorable Rama of Jamadagni started to talk to Rama of Dasharatha. [1-74-24]
This Parashu Rama or Bhaargava Rama is believed as the sixth incarnation of Vishnu on earth, prior to Dasharatha Rama. The word parashu 'an axe...' is prefixed to this Rama because he wields a merciless axe. His father was sage Jamadagni and mother Renuka. This Jamadagni is the son of Sage Riciika, a Brahman, and he married Satyavati, the sister of Vishvamitra, a Kshatriya. On certain occasion Jamadagni doubting his wife Renuka's infidelity orders this Parashu Rama to behead her, which he promptly does, but Bhaargava Rama requests his father to bring her back to life. Sage Jamadagni agrees and brings her back to life. This is a kind of entrance test to Parashu Rama, and if he can ruthlessly kill his own mother he does not hesitate to kill any, in future.
During their time, the kings were cruel and homicide was rampant to achieve the desires of the throne, however ruthless it might be. On another occasion when the sons of one Kaartviiryaarjuna sacrifice Sage Jamadagni as a sacrificial human, this Parashu Rama is frenziedly infuriated and starts eliminating all of the enthroned Kshatriya bloodlines on earth. That way he roves over the earth for thirty seven times eliminating Kshatriya-s. He even cuts off the foetuses in wombs of their queens, in order to stop the menacing progeny and offers the blood of the foetus as oblation. And that blood became five streams called shamanta-pancaka. Bhaargava or Parashu Rama practises insurmountable ascesis and appeases God Shiva, and thus acquires divine weaponry. He is indomitable in archery and nothing is unknown to him in the art of archery. Yet, he resorts to an axe to behead cruel kings, physically and personally, without depending up on a distant shooting arrow. He is ciranjiivi 'long living being...' Later when peace is established on earth, this Parashu Rama retires to penance but re-entered here to have a glimpse of Dasharatha Rama. And the purpose and import of his entry at this place, is recorded in later chapters.
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे चतुःसप्ततितमः सर्गः
© May, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : January 05]
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