Tuesday, 25 December 2012

34. Happy days after marriages.

         Rama turned to his father and saw him in a daze. Rama told his agitated father Dasharatha kindly "Dad, Rama of Jamadagni has gone on his way, you may now order the army to move on towards Ayodhya." 
      On hearing the words of Rama, king Dasharatha hugged his son with both arms, and kissed him on the forehead.  He heaved a sigh of relief and thanked God that no harm was done to his son, and the great son of Jamadagni, Parashu Rama had vanished from the scene.  Then he ordered the legion to move ahead.
      When they reached the fringes of Ayodhya, they found that the royal highways were absolutely clean and was a bit wet with water, sprinkled with bunches of flowers, decorated with banners and flags up above them, and reverberating with high sounding bugle-horns.  Further, those highways were replete with citizens of Ayodhya with all kinds of welcoming kits.
      In his palace king Dasharatha was overjoyed when he was surrounded with his own inmates of palace-chambers, and when his long cherished ambitions have come true, while his queens, Kausalya, Sumitra, and the slender waisted Kaikeyi and other wives were overjoyed in the functions of receiving the four brides.
      Rama and his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna were by now very highly accomplished persons in weaponry and whose marriages had also come to pass, occupied themselves in the welfare of the kingdom while assisting their father and moving around with good-hearted people.
      After somedays, king Dasharatha called his son, Bharata and told him "This valiant Yudhaajit is your maternal uncle and the son of king of Kekaya.  He came here to take you to Kekaya, and he is staying behind because of your marriage.  Please go with him and please your grand-father."  Dasharatha bade farewell to Bharata.
       Bharata and Shatrughna left with Yudhaajit to Kekaya.
       Rama along with Lakshmana started to square with the plans and programs of of his dear father for an ideal-sovereignty.
      Rama, keeping his father's directives in view, undertook the welfare activities for the people that were agreeable as well as advantageous and good to them.  That apart, he undertook activities to humour motherly affection with his mothers, and educational activities with educators, and in a highly self-disciplined manner he used to review them carefully from time to time.
       Dasharatha was highly  pleased with the deportment and comportment of Rama.  All the citizens of the entire kingdom were extremely pleased with Rama, and he who had high distinction, his truthfulness alone was his vantage point, and whose hallmarks were of higher degree, that Rama had manifested himself to those subjects in the kingdom, and even to all of the living beings in the world, as the Self-Created Brahma.
     Also he permeated into the heart of Seetha and was ensconced in Seetha's heart alone, and he disported for many seasons along with Seetha.
      Everyday Seetha was becoming  more and more beloved of Rama as she was wedded with the assent of his father Dasharatha, and further Rama's love for Seetha burgeoned by virtue of Seetha's own virtues and loveliness.
        Even Rama as her husband made his mark in Seetha's heart twice as good, and they both used to clearly converse about their thoughts in their heart of hearts, just by their hearts.  In her mien Seetha was identical with goddesses, and she was personified Goddess Lakshmi, thus she was the reshaped Divine Prosperity, and as she hailed from the Holy Mithila she was held Holy, and since she was the daughter of Janaka, a loftiest, sagacious and invincible king, she was sagely and stately, besides being shapely, and she, with all these heaps of natural traits and characteristics, was rejoicing the heart of Rama.
      When passionately conjugated with such a princess from the irreproachable king Janaka, Rama, the son of the great king Dasharatha, was enthusiastically shone forth like the God of Gods and the Efficient Cause, namely Vishnu, when He was together with Goddess Lakshmi.

                  End of  Bala Kanda

Friday, 21 December 2012

33. Parashu Rama stripped of his pride

         Dasharatha Rama smiled at Parasu Rama who spoke in a loud and arrogant tone, and replied softly in a courteous but firm tone  "Son of Jamadagni! You have been vengeful because your father was killed by a kshatriya king.  I do not blame you for that.  But you cannot put me down as you have humbled others.  Please give me your bow."
      COMMENT: Up to here both these Rama-s were in close quarters with the other few present there.  After this dialogue, they had moved a little away from the throng and facing each other as true combatants.  A swordsman or an archer needs an arm-length, or sword-length or bow-length, at the least, to swagger his weapon.  This place is to be assumed as an isolated place and no one is seeing or listening.  This scene has an analogy in Maha Bharata where Krishna was teaching Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.  There, it is said, that Krishna froze the time to teach all the eighteen chapters, and none among the two sides of warring factions were aware of Krishna, his teachings, or of Arjuna, excepting Sanjaya, who was placed at a distant place and has seen all with his wisdom-eye.   Here we have to borrow that wisdom-eye of Sanjaya and see at these two Rama-s and their actions.  When their episode was over, the mist cast around them, rather on our eyes, would be cleared, when Rama returns to his father.  This is said in later verses.  Further more, all the people present there were rendered unconscious at the arrival of Bhaargava Rama, and a few like Dasharatha, Vashishta, Rama's brothers were with senses.  So, even if they heard and saw this scene, those listeners or those who were seeing, did no harm by revealing Rama's godhood to the world, in particular to Ravana.
End Comment.
      Rama then coolly  snatched the estimable weapon, namely the longbow of Vishnu, from the hand of Bhaargava Rama, along with the long-arrow that is already fitted on it.
       COMMENT: At the same time Rama was also said to have extricated the essential nature of Bhaargava.  The above said 'distancing' of these two Rama-s has another purpose.  Rama has certain innate nature of making his observers enchanted by his very personality.  Even Ravana looked at him adoringly in the war scene.  This apart, his hands had certain ability to extricate the innate nature of others, should he lay his hand on them.  We rarely saw him touching or patting others, except for Seetha, Lakshmana, Hanuman, a squirrel etc.  So, it is believed that, Rama has now expropriated the essential nature of Vishnu from Bhaargava Rama, while snatching the bow from his hands.  For this 'Padma Puraana' says: iti uktv˜ devŸ vaiÿõavy˜ þakty˜ tad gat˜y˜ saha | jagr˜ha vaiÿõavam c˜pam vinayena ca lŸlay˜ || 'oh, Devi Parvati, saying so Rama took away the Vishnu's  animus from Bhaargava Rama, along with the bow of Vishnu, sportingly and obediently, too...'  Thus, Rama of Dasharatha bade goodbye to his earlier incarnation, Parashu Rama, as two swords cannot be in one sheath.
         On lifting up the bow that is already fitted with an arrow on bowstring, Rama started to take aim with it, but feigned indecisive about the target, told Bhaargava Rama with an ire "Oh, Rama of Bhaargava, despite the fact that you are a Brahman I will have no compunction to  eliminate you, but because of your relationship with Vishwamitra, and because you are a venerable one for me, I am disinclined to release this arrow that could exterminate your life.

      Bhaargava-s are Brahman-s and a Brahman cannot be killed. Then how Rama was prepared to eliminate a Brahman, subjecting himself to the sin called 'Brahman killing...' brahma hatyaa paataka.'  There is no sin in eliminating a Brahman who wields weapons and warring.  'It is no sin to eliminate fathers, grandfathers, teachers, and the like [even if they are Brahman-s,] for they are under an illusion, called war...' So said Bhiishma to Krishna and thereby Panadava-s have eliminated Drona, Kripa, Ashvaddhaama and suchlike weaponed Brahman-s in war, but not in peace.  There are many more such sayings of Bhiishma.  Here Parashu Rama said that he will give a duel to Rama, hence he is no more a Brahman when he raises a weapon.  And he is a blood relation of Vishwamitra, and that corner of mercy is not allowing Rama to release the arrow on Parashu Rama. 
      "However this Vishnu's divine arrow is the conqueror of opponents' citadels, and a vanquisher of their vigour and vainglory, and as such it cannot fall through wastefully.  Oh, Bhaargava Rama, either this motility of yours at the speed of your mind, or even those unparalleled realms of heavens which you have earned by the power of your ascesis, I will eliminate whichever you wish." 
        Gods together with the assemblages of sages had come, keeping the Grandparent Brahma at their fore. Gandharva-s, apsara-s, siddha-s, caarana-s, kinnaraa-s, yaksha-s, sprites and reptilian beings had also come to see Rama who was now wielding the extraordinary longbow of Vishnu, and extremely amazing event that was going to ensue. 
      Then, when Rama was ready to take aim with the arrow on that inscrutable longbow, and when the worlds were being rendered as oblivious,  then that Rama of Jamadagni was rendered absolutely effete and he was simply staring at Rama of Dasharatha in a daze. 

      Vividly: When the aura of Vishnu available in Bhaargava Rama had entered Dasharatha Rama through that inscrutable longbow of Vishnu, Dasharatha Rama's aura dazzled like that of Vishnu, and that dazzlement of Vishnu's aura threw the world in a daze, and then that aura-less, thus vigourless Bhaargava Rama had nothing to do except to stare at Vishnu-like Rama, with upraised eyes. 

          Rama of Jamadagni was rendered enfeebled as his vitality was subdued by the radiance of Rama of Dasharatha, and he spoke to Rama of Dasharatha, slowly and softly   "Once, when I donated the entire earth to the Sage Kashyapa, Kashyapa told me 'uninhabitable is my domain, viz., this earth for you...' thus...

A donor cannot enjoy a gift anymore, once donated to the donee.   And if the donor still clings around that donation, it does not come under the true definition of 'donation.'   Hence, Parashu Rama is asked to depart from this world.   Hence he had gone to the ethereal mountain called Mt. Mahendra.

      "From that moment onwards I do not spend nights on this earth.   I, therefore would not like my motility impaired.   I will depart with the speed of our thoughts to Mt. Mahendra.  But I triumphed over matchless realms of heavens with my ascesis;  you may hash them up with that irreversible arrow.  I have realized your touch of nature as that of the Immutable Supreme Being, God of Gods, the Exterminator of the demon Madhu, namely Vishnu. 

      "All the gods who have come collectively are beholding you and your next move, for you are an unequalled one in your achievements and to whom there is no counter-dueller in conflicts...

Parashu Rama is hastening up Dasharatha Rama to finish business quickly, otherwise the nature of Rama and his incarnation will publicized, not by these two Rama-s, but the game watching gods.  If these spectators stay for a long time in the sky, some airborne demon will let the cat out of the bag.

      "Oh, Kakutstha Rama, you are the lord of the triad of worlds, such as you are, you faced me down, and it is malapropos to say that this is a disgrace to me.  I therefore request you to release that arrow now and I will depart to the ethereal mountain Mt. Mahendra, a point of no return for me." 

      Hearing that, Rama smiled and released that arrow.   And Rama of Jamadagni vanished in a trice to Mt. Mahendra, the heavenly mountain.

      On the departure of Rama of Jamadagni, that most glorious Rama of Dasharatha gave away that longbow of Vishnu into the hand of the inimitable Rain-god.


Friday, 14 December 2012

32. Legends of Shiva and Vishnu bows.

       "Oh, my lad, Rama!  I heard a lot of sensational news about you!  I heard that you smashed effortlessly Shiva's bow, and I also have heard about your other deeds, like elimination of Tataka et cetera.  I agree that smashing of that particular bow of Shiva is quite awesome and even unimaginable.  I have now brought another outranking bow.  This is the catastrophic bow received through my dad Sage Jamadagni.  Try to flex it with an arrow on the bowstring stretching up to your ear.  If you could take aim with this bow, then I grant that you are quite valorous and I would like to have a duel with you."
      On hearing that sentence of Bhaargava Rama, king Dasharatha became nervous, and with a downcast face,  adjoined his shaking palms asked him "Aren't you a Brahman with inviolable ascesis, and whose rancour on Kshatriya-s has calmed down long back?  Why this hostility again?  As my sons are quite young, you should rather award aegis to them rather than fight with them.
Vividly: 'peace is the primary object for Brahman-s... though that was once disturbed in you, you redeemed it after your eradication of the then ruthless Kshatriya-s... thus your rancour was appeased then... and then you peacefully retired for inviolable ascesis and acquired still higher bliss by them... do you now wish to violate your own intrinsic nature of peacefulness being a blissful one, being an all-knower, being an elderly Brahman, that too on mere boys...
      "Aren't you from the bloodline of Bhaargava-s who always conduct themselves in self-study of Vedas and self-principled ways... haven't you readily discarded weapon-wielding on your promise to the Thousand-eyed Indra...
Annex: 'how can you abrogate your own promise of 'astra sanyaasa'  i.e.'reclusion from weaponry...' by wielding a weapon now, and thus becoming yourself a self-critical personality, and thus making the entire Brahman-hood as a self-contradictory class...
      "Such as you were, you on becoming a dedicatee to probity, haven't you given the planet earth to Kashyapa and haven't you repaired to forests, and haven't you flagged yourself on Mt. Mahendra...
      Annex: 'if so, is this for showing the flag or else is it for keeping the flag flying... in anyway, it is inapt of you to eliminate the progeny of your own donee... Kashyapa... and if you say that 'I don't kill you all nonentities, but my target is this Rama...' then my reply will be like this...
      "Or, oh, insurmountable sage, have you chanced upon us for a total annihilation of ours... when Rama is singularized and eliminated, do you think that we all will be living..."
      Annex: 'should you leave off  Rama and eliminate rest of us all, Rama will not live... or, if you leave all of us and eliminate Rama alone, none of us will live... anywise it is an 'anywise' annihilation of ours... for I am still living for my Rama, and my Rama alone...'
      Bhaargava Rama did not care to listen to the ranting of Dasharatha and spoke to Rama
"These are the two strong and sturdy unsurpassed longbows, well-designed by gods and well-crafted by Vishvakarma, the Divine Architect, and these are very important among all bows and well-worshipped by all worlds.  One was broken in your hand, and the other is the one I am now holding in my hand.  Out of the two longbows, gods gave one to restive Trymbaka, God Shiva for a combat with the demon Tripura, the demon.  And you have broken that. This is the second one and the choicest gods gave this to Vishnu, thereby this is named after Him as 'Vishnu's bow...' this is an indestructible and enemy-citadel conquering longbow... and this is identical in its efficacy with Rudra's longbow.
      "Once, all the gods were asking the Grandparent, Brahma, as to who was more powerful between Shiva and Vishnu.  Brahma guessed the intent of the gods viz. to create adversity between those two, Shiva and Vishnu and to instigate a duel between them.  The Grandparent is the best stickler of truthfulness, as truth cannot be demonstrated on hearsay evidence.
     For your eyes only:  It is not quite clear as to how Lord Brahma managed to make Mahadeva and Vishnu fight a duel.  The following legend is, therefore concocted.
Begin Concoction.
      Legend: Brahma thought that it would be better to enact a drama to cleanse the one-sided mentalities of these lesser gods.  So, he produced the following script, and himself becoming the writer-director of that drama. That script is as follows:

Brahma: Mahadeva, who is the destroyer of Tripura, or say triple-citadels?
Shiva: Why? It is me, of course.
Brahma: Why do you boast that way of yourself?  Is it the long-arrow of your longbow?
Shiva: Yes of course.
Brahma: Then, how is that that Vishnu is said to be the presiding deity of that long-bow?
Shiva: Yes, it is he, but I shot it from my bow.  Hey! Is this a real confusion, or, are you playing like Narada?
Brahma: No Sir.  The other day Vishnu was telling that he alone did that master task.
Shiva: How can it be!  In the triple of doer-deed-instrument, instrument cannot become the doer... has his language gone topsy-turvy, noun is becoming verb and verb is lost to adjective and...
Brahma: Ok, Ok... we do not care much for grammar as we care more for communication;  grammar is PaNini's headache... but what he said was that he alone did it... not you...
Shiva: Then why I am called... why that longbow is given to me... you have got it done by Vishnu... you have unnecessarily spoiled my dance program...
Brahma: Not that... I said what he said... let's not quarrel ourselves...
Shiva: I not only quarrel but wage war, if it comes to my interests and my devotees' interest... how many times I have not done so...
Brahma: That is what Vishnu was telling... every time you gave a boon to every demon, and involved yourself enmeshed, and Vishnu had to come and rescue... 'has he forgotten the episode of Bhasmaasura...' thus Vishnu is saying and asking...
Shiva: Now I don't tolerate... I will take him to task...
Exit Shiva - Enter Vishnu.  Brahma reverses the above dialogue and says that to Vishnu
Vishnu: No, No, highly objectionable... I will take him to task... I will take him to task... 
End Concoction.                                                      
       "The animosity thus created by Brahma triggered a fierce and hair-raising duel between Shiva and Vishnu.
      "The 'hum' sound of Vishnu ruinously overpowered and the longbow of Shiva slipped, and the triple-eyed God, Mahadeva, was frozen.
      "Then gods became apprehensive.  They along with the assemblages of sages and celestial carana-s had come together and appealed to those two for appeasement in the matter of wielding authority, and then those two superior gods, Shiva and Vishnu, reconciled with each other.  On seeing the bow of Shiva rendered inert by the mettlesome Vishnu,  the gods along with the assemblages of sages deemed Vishnu to be the paramount.  Rudra became indignant and handed over that longbow, which was already fitted with unloosened arrow, to the sagely king among Videha kings, namely Devaraata.

      COMMENT: This longbow of Shiva is reported as given after the devastation of the ritual of Daksha Prajaapati, the father of Sati and the father-in-law of Shiva as said earlier: dakSa yaj~na vadhe puurvam dhanuH aayamya viiryavaan | This ritual of Daksha is a composite of many problems.  Shiva, either as god or as the son-in-law of Daksha was not invited to that ritual, Shiva's consort Sati self-immolated herself in  her father's ritual, Viira Bhadra and other deputies of Shiva depredated that ritual, and this shiva keshava yuddha 'duelling of Shiva and Vishnu...' happens... all to show - a single person's disinterestedness ruins even a holy marriage.  Here Daksha was uninterested to give his daughter Sati in marriage to Shiva.
End Comment.

      "Oh, Rama, this one is the longbow of Vishnu, and Vishnu handed over this to Sage Riciika, the son of Bhrigu.  That great-resplendent Sage Riciika on his part  handed over this divine bow to his son who is my father Sage Jamadagni.
       "Adhering to a barbarous mentality Kaartvaviirya Arjuna put my father to death, when the ascetically powerful father of mine had isolated himself from arsenal.  When I came to know of the unregenerate and highly perfidious murdering of my father, I rancorously extirpated Kshatriya-s as and when they are born, that too not for one time, but I did so for thirty-seven times going around the earth... and on getting the entire earth under my control I performed a Vedic-ritual, and at the end of that Vedic-ritual, I gave all that earth to the sage Kashyapa, a sage with divine soul and with pious observances, as a ritualistic-generosity... and I am at present on Mt. Mahendra practising ascesis and thus conjoined are the powers of ascesis in me.
      "On hearing about your breakage of Shiva's longbow, I wanted to meet you and here I am.  Oh, Rama, try to wield this supernatural and superlative longbow of Vishnu, which is passed on to me from my forefathers and my father.  Keep your fealty to Kshatriya-hood in view, and wield this as you have wielded Shiva's longbow. 
      "Take an aim with an arrow that conquers enemy's citadels, fixing it on this supramundane longbow... and  should you be capable of it, I will then give you a duel."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

31. Parashu Rama's arrival.

       Early morning on the next day saint Vishwamitra took leave of the kings Dasharatha and Janaka, and  Rama and Lakshmana and set out to the northern mountains, namely Himalayas.  Shortly after that King Dasharatha took leave of the king Janaka and left for Ayodya with his sons, daughters-in-law and the rest of his people who came to Mithila to attend the marriage of Rama and his brothers.
      It is needless to add that  King Janaka gave a lot of riches in gold, silver, pearls etc. to the brides.  Having given many kinds of bridal gifts and having accompanied his daughters for a distance, Janaka, returned to his own palace in Mithila.
      King Dasharatha, his sons and daughters-in-law and his followers were very happy and in a very high spirits while returning to Ayodya after attending the marriage of Rama and his brothers.  Suddenly  they noticed that all birds in the sky started to screech with startling voice from all around.  Dasharatha  was perplexed and asked Vashishta for a plausible explanation for this.
       The instinctual sage Vashishta said  "I can tell apart the result of these auguries.  The shrieks voiced by the birds are indicative of  the forthcoming providential and perilous trepidation, but their behaviour seems to tell that it can be tempered;  hence, there is no need for any consternation."
      Presently, a whirlwind started to whirligig there, as though to shake the earth and shatter all gigantic trees.  Murkiness enshrouded the sun,  a sandstorm enwrapped that army, by which it has become as though ensorcelled.  All, including Sage Vashista and King Dasharatha were in a daze.
      In that catastrophic darkness, that sand-muffled military of king Dasharatha had seen the son of Sage Jamadagni, namely Bhaargava Rama. He appeared calamitous in his looks by wearing tufted, matted and unruly hair on his head, an unassailable one like Mt. Kailash, an unbearable one like the Epoch-End-Fire, radiant with his own radiance, hence imperceptible 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 electro-luminescence, 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.
      He looked perilous in his propensity and flaming like the Ritual-fire.  Vashishta and the other prominent Brahman-s who were the practisers of meditation and fire-oblations had come together and started to susurrate, up and down.
      "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 were talking among themselves.
      An account of Parashu Rama's elimination of Kshatriya clans is given in the 'endnote'.
      After their susurrus, the sages approached him, who in his very looks was like a visitation, with oblational water and addressed him with benign words of greeting like, "oh, Rama, oh, Bhaargava Rama..."
      On receiving the deference paid by the sage Vashishta and the other sages, that inexorable Rama of Jamadagni started to talk to Rama of Dasharatha.
End Note.
Parashu Rama
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 Vishwamitra, a Kshatriya.  On a certain occasion Jamadagni doubting his wife Renuka's fidelity, ordered this Parashu Rama to behead her, which he promptly did; but Bhaargava Rama requested his father to bring her back to life.  Sage Jamadagni agreed and brought 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, 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 sacrificed Sage Jamadagni as a sacrificial human, this Parashu Rama was frenziedly infuriated and started eliminating all of the enthroned Kshatriya bloodlines on earth.  That way he roved over the earth for thirty seven times eliminating Kshatriya-s.  He even cut 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 practised insurmountable ascesis and appeased God Shiva, who granted him divine weaponry.  He was indomitable in archery and nothing was unknown to him in the art of archery.  Yet, he resorted 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 was established on earth, this Parashu Rama retired 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.