kahi na sakata raghubīra ḍara lagē bacana janu bāna.
nāi rāma pada kamala siru bōlē girā pramāna..252.. [1-252]
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:-
raghubaṃsinha mahu jahaom kōu hōī. tēhiṃ samāja asa kahai na kōī..
kahī janaka jasi anucita bānī. bidyamāna raghukula mani jānī.. [1-252-1]
sunahu bhānukula paṃkaja bhānū. kahau subhāu na kachu abhimānū..
jau tumhāri anusāsana pāvauṃ. kaṃduka iva brahmāṃḍa uṭhāvauṃ.. [1-252-2]
kācē ghaṭa jimi ḍārauṃ phōrī. sakau mēru mūlaka jimi tōrī..
tava pratāpa mahimā bhagavānā. kō bāpurō pināka purānā.. [1-252-3]
nātha jāni asa āyasu hōū. kautuku karauṃ bilōkia sōū..
kamala nāla jimi cāpha caḍhaāvauṃ. jōjana sata pramāna lai dhāvauṃ.. [1-252-4]
In an assembly where any one of Raghu’s race is present no one would dare speak such scandalous words as Janaka has done, 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.
tōrauṃ chatraka daṃḍa jimi tava pratāpa bala nātha.
jauṃ na karauṃ prabhu pada sapatha kara na dharauṃ dhanu bhātha..253.. [1-253]
“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.”
lakhana sakōpa bacana jē bōlē. ḍagamagāni mahi diggaja ḍōlē..
sakala lōka saba bhūpa ḍērānē. siya hiyaom haraṣu janaku sakucānē.. [1-253-1]
gura raghupati saba muni mana māhīṃ. mudita bhaē puni puni pulakāhīṃ..
sayanahiṃ raghupati lakhanu nēvārē. prēma samēta nikaṭa baiṭhārē.. [1-253-2]
bisvāmitra samaya subha jānī. bōlē ati sanēhamaya bānī..
uṭhahu rāma bhaṃjahu bhavacāpā. mēṭahu tāta janaka paritāpā.. [1-253-3]
suni guru bacana carana siru nāvā. haraṣu biṣādu na kachu ura āvā..
ṭhāḍhaē bhaē uṭhi sahaja subhāēom. ṭhavani jubā mṛgarāju lajāēom.. [1-253-4]
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. With a sign 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
udita udayagiri maṃca para raghubara bālapataṃga.
bikasē saṃta sarōja saba haraṣē lōcana bhṛṃga..254.. [1-254]
As the Chief of the Raghus rose on His elevated seat like the morning sun appearing in the eastern horizon, all the saints were delighted like so many lotuses and their eyes were glad as bees at the return of day.
nṛpanha kēri āsā nisi nāsī. bacana nakhata avalī na prakāsī..
mānī mahipa kumuda sakucānē. kapaṭī bhūpa ulūka lukānē.. [1-254-1]
bhaē bisōka kōka muni dēvā. barisahiṃ sumana janāvahiṃ sēvā..
gura pada baṃdi sahita anurāgā. rāma muninha sana āyasu māgā.. [1-254-2]
sahajahiṃ calē sakala jaga svāmī. matta maṃju bara kuṃjara gāmī..
calata rāma saba pura nara nārī. pulaka pūri tana bhaē sukhārī.. [1-254-3]
baṃdi pitara sura sukṛta saombhārē. jauṃ kachu punya prabhāu hamārē..
tau sivadhanu mṛnāla kī nāīṃ. tōrahu rāma ganēsa gōsāīṃ.. [1-254-4]
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 holy fathers. 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.”
rāmahi prēma samēta lakhi sakhinha samīpa bōlāi.
sītā mātu sanēha basa bacana kahai bilakhāi..255.. [1-255]
Lovingly gazing on Śrī Rāma and bidding her companions draw near, Sītā’s mother spoke words full of anguish out of affection:-
sakhi saba kautuka dēkhanihārē. jēṭha kahāvata hitū hamārē..
kōu na bujhāi kahai gura pāhīṃ. ē bālaka asi haṭha bhali nāhīṃ.. [1-255-1]
rāvana bāna chuā nahiṃ cāpā. hārē sakala bhūpa kari dāpā..
sō dhanu rājakuaomra kara dēhīṃ. bāla marāla ki maṃdara lēhīṃ.. [1-255-2]
bhūpa sayānapa sakala sirānī. sakhi bidhi gati kachu jāti na jānī..
bōlī catura sakhī mṛdu bānī. tējavaṃta laghu gania na rānī.. [1-255-3]
kahaom kuṃbhaja kahaom siṃdhu apārā. sōṣēu sujasu sakala saṃsārā..
rabi maṃḍala dēkhata laghu lāgā. udayaom tāsu tibhuvana tama bhāgā.. [1-255-4]
Whosoever 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 Mandara? Good sense has taken leave of the king; and one does not know 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 is rises the darkness of all the three worlds disappears.
maṃtra parama laghu jāsu basa bidhi hari hara sura sarba.
mahāmatta gajarāja kahu basa kara aṃkusa kharba..256.. [1-256]
A sacred formula, indeed, is very small, although it has under its sway Brahma, Hari, Hara and all other gods. A tiny goad governs the mightiest and most furious elephant.”
kāma kusuma dhanu sāyaka līnhē. sakala bhuvana apanē basa kīnhē..
dēbi tajia saṃsau asa jānī. bhaṃjaba dhanuṣa rāmu sunu rānī.. [1-256-1]
sakhī bacana suni bhai paratītī. miṭā biṣādu baḍhaī ati prītī..
taba rāmahi bilōki baidēhī. sabhaya hṛdayaom binavati jēhi tēhī.. [1-256-2]
manahīṃ mana manāva akulānī. hōhu prasanna mahēsa bhavānī..
karahu saphala āpani sēvakāī. kari hitu harahu cāpa garuāī.. [1-256-3]
gananāyaka baradāyaka dēvā. āju lagēṃ kīnhiu tua sēvā..
bāra bāra binatī suni mōrī. karahu cāpa gurutā ati thōrī.. [1-256-4]
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 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.”
dēkhi dēkhi raghubīra tana sura manāva dhari dhīra..
bharē bilōcana prēma jala pulakāvalī sarīra..257.. [1-257]
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.
nīkēṃ nirakhi nayana bhari sōbhā. pitu panu sumiri bahuri manu chōbhā..
ahaha tāta dāruni haṭha ṭhānī. samujhata nahiṃ kachu lābhu na hānī.. [1-257-1]
saciva sabhaya sikha dēi na kōī. budha samāja baḍa anucita hōī..
kahaom dhanu kulisahu cāhi kaṭhōrā. kahaom syāmala mṛdugāta kisōrā.. [1-257-2]
bidhi kēhi bhāomti dharauṃ ura dhīrā. sirasa sumana kana bēdhia hīrā..
sakala sabhā kai mati bhai bhōrī. aba mōhi saṃbhucāpa gati tōrī.. [1-257-3]
nija jaḍatā lōganha para ḍārī. hōhi harua raghupatihi nihārī..
ati paritāpa sīya mana māhī. lava nimēṣa juga saba saya jāhīṃ.. [1-257-4]
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.
prabhuhi citai puni citava mahi rājata lōcana lōla.
khēlata manasija mīna juga janu bidhu maṃḍala ḍōla..258.. [1-258]
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.
girā alini mukha paṃkaja rōkī. pragaṭa na lāja nisā avalōkī..
lōcana jalu raha lōcana kōnā. jaisē parama kṛpana kara sōnā.. [1-258-1]
sakucī byākulatā baḍai jānī. dhari dhīraju pratīti ura ānī..
tana mana bacana mōra panu sācā. raghupati pada sarōja citu rācā.. [1-258-2]
tau bhagavānu sakala ura bāsī. karihiṃ mōhi raghubara kai dāsī..
jēhi kēṃ jēhi para satya sanēhū. sō tēhi milai na kachu saṃhēhū.. [1-258-3]
prabhu tana citai prēma tana ṭhānā. kṛpānidhāna rāma sabu jānā..
siyahi bilōki takēu dhanu kaisē. citava garuru laghu byālahi jaisē.. [1-258-4]
Held captive within Her lotus-like mouth Her bee-like speech refused to 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 bondslave; 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 and a sworn enemy of serpents) would gaze on a poor little snake.
- * Shedding of tears is regarded in India as an ill-omen; therefore, on auspicious occasions Indian women would take particular care not to allow tears to drop from their eyes.
lakhana lakhēu raghubaṃsamani tākēu hara kōdaṃḍu.
pulaki gāta bōlē bacana carana cāpi brahmāṃḍu..259.. [1-259]
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:
disakuṃjarahu kamaṭha ahi kōlā. dharahu dharani dhari dhīra na ḍōlā..
rāmu cahahiṃ saṃkara dhanu tōrā. hōhu sajaga suni āyasu mōrā.. [1-259-1]
cāpa sapīpa rāmu jaba āē. nara nārinha sura sukṛta manāē..
saba kara saṃsau aru agyānū. maṃda mahīpanha kara abhimānū.. [1-259-2]
bhṛgupati kēri garaba garuāī. sura munibaranha kēri kadarāī..
siya kara sōcu janaka pachitāvā. rāninha kara dāruna dukha dāvā.. [1-259-3]
saṃbhucāpa baḍa bōhitu pāī. caḍhē jāi saba saṃgu banāī..
rāma bāhubala siṃdhu apārū. cahata pāru nahi kōu kaḍahārū.. [1-259-4]
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 Bhṛgu’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.
- * The divine tortoise referred to here is the same who served as the base for churning the ocean of milk at the dawn of creation. And the divine boar refers to the manifestation of the Lord as a boar in order to lift the earth out of the waters in which the demon Hiraṇyākṣa had submerged it. The tortoise as well as the boar are represented here as ever holding the earth, conjointly with the serpent-king, the one on its back and the other on its tusks.