Balakanda - Doha 251 to 260

Sri Ramcharitmanas is a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas.

Doha - 251

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

Chaupala -

"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 grain's 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 turn your faces homewards. It is not the will of Providence that Sita should be married. All my religious metrits 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 heared Janka's words, men and women alike, felt distressed at the sight of Janaki Laksmana however got incensed his eyebrows were knit, his lips quivered and his eyes shot fire. (1-4)

Doha - 252

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

Chaupala -

"In an assembly where any one of Raghu's rae is present no one would dare speak such scandalous words as Janaka has done, even though consious of the presence of Sri Rama. the Jewel of Raghu's race. (Turning towards his brother, he added) "Listen, O Delighter of the solar race. IO 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 illbaked 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 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)

Doha - 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."

Chaupala -

As Laksmana spoke these angry words, the earth shook and the elephants supprting the quarters tottered. The whole assembly, including all the princes, was struck with terror; Sita felt delighted at heart, while Janaka blushed. The preceptor (Visvamitra), the Lord of Raghus and all the hermits were glad of heart and thrilled all over again and again. With a sign Sri Rama checked Laksmana and made him sit beside Him. Perceiving that it was a propitious time, Visvamitra said in most endearing terms, " Up Rama, break the bow of siva and relieve Janaka, my boy, of his anguish" On hearing the Guru's words Sri Rama 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 elgant carriage.

Doha - 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.


Chaupala -

The hopes of the rival kings vanished as night and their boasts died away like the serried stars. The arrogant princes shrivelled up like lilies and the false kings shrank away like owls. Sages and gods, like the Cakravaka bird, were rid of their sorrow and rained down flowers in token of their homage. Affectionately reverencing the Guru's feet Sri Rama 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 rul. As Sri Rama 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 Ganesha may Rama snap the bow of siva as it were a lotus-stalk."

Doha - 255

Lovingly gazing on Sri Rama and bidding her companions draw near, Sita mother spoke words full of anguish out of affection:--

Chaupala -

"Whoseover are called our friends, dear ones, are mere spectators of a show; no one urges the preceptor (Visvamitra) and tells him that the two princes are yet boys and that such insistence on his part is not desirable. Knowing that Ravana and Banasura 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 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 comprison is there between the sage Agastya, who was born of a jar, and 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 ali the three worlds disappears.

Doha - 256

"A sacread 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."

Chaupala -

"Armed with a bow and arrows of flowers Cupid has brought the whole universe under subjection. Ralizing this, O good lady give up all doubt; Rama 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 Sri Rama grew. Then, casting a glance towards Sri Rama 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 Siva and Bhavani, and reward my services by lightening the weight of the bow out of affection for me. O god Ganesa the chief of Siva'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."

Doha - 257

Gazing repeatedly on the person of Sri Rama and summoning courage Sita prayed to gods. Her eyes were filled with tears of love and the hair on Her body stood on their end.

Chaupala -

She feasted Her eyes to their fill on Sri Rama's Rama beauty; but then the thougnt of Her father's vow agitated Her mind. She said to Herself." Alas, my father has made a terrible resove 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-comlexioned prince of deliacate frame and tender ege. How then. O god, can I maintain my balance of mind? Is a diamond ever pierced with the pointed end of a Sirsa flower? The sense of the whole assemble has become dull; hence my only hope now lies in you, O Sambhu's bow. Imparting your heaviness to the assembly grow light yourself at the sight of (in proportion to the size of) Sri Rama." Sita felt much agitated at heart; an instant hung heavy on Her as a hundred Yugas.


Doha - 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.

Chaupala -

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. Sita 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 Sri Rama. I am sure God, who dwells in the heart of all, will make me Sri Rama's bondslaver; for one gets united without doubt with him for whom one cherishes true love." Casting a glance at the Lord She resoved to love Him even at the cost of Her life. Sri Rama, the embodiment of compassion, understood it all; looking at Sita He glanced at the bow as Garuda (the king birds and a sworn enemy of serpents) would gaze on a poor little snake.

Doha - 259

When Laksmana perceived that the Jewel of Rahghu'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:--

Chaupala -

"O elephants gurding the cardinal points, O divine tortoise, O serpent-king, and O divine boar, steadily hold the earth that it may not snake. Sri Rama seeks to break the bow of Sankara; therefore, listen to my command and be ready." When Rama 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 pround pretensions of Parasurama(the Chief of Bhargu's race), the apprehension of gods and the great sages, the distress of Sita, King Janaka's remorse and the fire of the queen's terrible agony-all these boarded together the great bark of Sambhu's bow, with whose help they sought to cross the boundless ocean of Sri Rama's strength of arm; but there was no helmsman to steer the ship.


Doha - 260

Rama 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 Sita and perceived Her in deep distress.

Chaupala -

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 to him once he is dead. What good is a shower when the whole crop is dried up; what use repenting over an opprtunity 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 (Visvamitra), 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 Sri Rama broke the bow in halves; the awful crash resounded through all the spheres.


The awful crash reached through the spheres; the horse 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 Tulasidasa, that Sri Rama had broken the bow, they uttered shouts of victory.


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Last Updated : February 16, 2011

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