Balakanda - Doha 271 to 280

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

Doha - 271

"o young princes being in the grip of death you have no control over your speech. Would you compare to a small bow the mighty bow of Siva, that is known throughout the world?"

Said Laksmana with a smile,"Listen, holy sir: to my mind all bows are alike. What gain or loss can there be in the breaking of a worn-out bow? Sri Rama mistook it for a new one, and at His very touch it broke in two; the Lord of Raghus, therefore, was not to blame for it either. Why, then, be angry, reverend sir, for no cause?" Casting a glance at his axe, Parasurama replied," O foolish child have you never heard of my temper? I slay you not because, as I say, you are a child yet; do you take me for a mere anchorite, O dullard? I have been a celibate from my very boyhood but also an irascible one; and I am known throughout the world as a sworn enemy of the Ksatriya race. By the might of my arm I made the earth kingless and bestowed it time after time upon the Brahmanas. Look at this axe, which lopped off the arms of Sahasrabahu (the thousand-armed Kartavirya), O youthful princes.

Doha - 272

"Do not bring woe to your parents, O princely lad, My mot cruel axe has exterminated even unborn offspring in the womb."

Chaupala -

Laksmana smilingly retorted in mild tone,"Ah,the great sage considers himself an extraordinary warrior! He flaunts his axe before me again and again, as if he would blow away a mountain with a mere puff of breath. Here there is no pumpkin in the bud that would wither away as soon as an index finger is raised against it. It was only when I saw you armed with an axe and a bow and arrows that I spoke with some pride. Now that I understand you are a descendant of Bhrgu, and perceive a sacred thread on your person, I suppress my anger and put up with whatever you say. In our family valour is never shown against gods, the Brahmanas, devotees of Sri Hari and the cow; for by killing any of these we incur sin while a defeat at their hands will bring desrepute on us., We should throw ourselves at your feet even if you strike us. Every word for yours is as incisive as millions of thunderbolt; the bow and arrows and the axe are, therefore, an unneccessary burden to you.

Doha - 273

"Pardon me, O great illumined hermit, if I have said anything unseemly at the sight of your weapons." Hearing this, the jewel of Bhrgu's race furiously rejoined in a deep voice:--


Chaupala -

"Listen, O Visvamitra: this boy is stupid and perverse. He is in the grip of death himself and will bring destruction on his whole family. A dark spot on the moon-like solar race, he is utterly unruly, senseless and reckless. The very next moment he shall find himself in the jaws of death; I proclaim it at the top of my voice and none should blame me for it. Forbid him if you would save him, telling him of my glory, might and fury." Said Laksmana,"Holy sir, so long as you live who else can expatiate on your bright glory? With your own lips you have recounted your exploits in deverse ways more than once. If you are not yet satisfied, tell us something more; do not undergo a severe trial by putting any restraint upon your anger. You have assumed the role of a hero and are resolute and imperturbable; it is unbecoming of you to pour abuses.

Doha - 274

"Heroes perform valiant deeds in fight, but never indulge in self-advertisement. Finding before them a foe in battle, it is cowards who boast of their own glory."

Chaupala -

"Your seem to have Death at your beck and call and summon him again and again for my sake" Hearing Laksmana's harsh words Parasurama closed his hand upon his terrible axe." After this let no one blame me; this sharp-tongued boy deserves his death. I have spared him long on account of his being a child; he is now surely going to die." Said Visvamitra, " Pardon his offence; holy men take no notice of the merits and demerits of a child." Sharp-edged is my axe, while I am pitiless and furious; and here stands before me an offender and an enemy of my Guru. Even though he gives a retort, I spare his life solely out of regard for you, O Visvamitra. Or else, hacking him to pieces with this cruel axe, I would have easily repaid the debt I have owed to my Guru."

Doha - 275

Said Gadhi's son (Visvamitra) smiling within himself,"Everything looks green to the sage (Parasurama); it is, however, the sword that he is faced with and not with sugar extracted from a sugar-cane (that one could easily gulp) It is a pity that he does not understand and still persists in his ignorance

Chaupala -

Said Laksmana, "Is there anyone, O good sage, who is not aware of your gentle disposition, so well known throughout the world? You have fully paid the debt you owed to your parents; the only debt which now remains to be paid by you is the one you owe to your Guru, and that has been vexing your mind not a little. It looks as if you had incurred the debt on our account; and since a considerable time has now elapsed a heavy interest has accumulated thereon. Now you get the creditor here and I will at once repay him from my own purse." Hearing these sarcastic remarks Parasurama grasped his axe and the whole assembly cried"Alack! Alack!!" "O chief of Bhargus, you are still threatening me with your axe; but I am sparing you only because I hold you to be a Brahmana, O enemy of princes. You have never met champions staunch in fight; You have grown important in your own little home, O holy Brahmana." Everyone exlaimed,"This is wholly undesirable!" The Lord of Raghus now becked Laksmana to stop.

Doha - 276

Perceiving the flames of Parasurama's passion grow with the pouring of oblation in the form Laksmana's rejoinder, the Sun of Raghu's race spoke words like water.

Chaupala -

"My Lord, have compassion on a child; and wreak not your wrath on this guileless youngster(Lit., who has the mother's milk still on its lips) If he had any idea of your might, how could he be so foolish as to affront you ? If children play some spranks, their teacher and parents are in raptures at it; therefore, take pity on him, knowing him to be a child and yuour servant. For you are an even-minded, good-tempered, forbearing and illumined anchorite." On hearing Sri Rama's words. Parasurama cooled down a little; but uttering something Laksmana smiled again. Seeing fim smile Parasurama flushed all over with sage and said, "Rama, your brother is too wicked. Though fair of he, he is black at heart; he has deadly poison, and not the mother's milk on his lips. Perverse by nature, he does not take after you, nor does this vile imp regard me as the very image of Death."

Doha - 277

Laksmana smilingly said< "Listen, holy sir: passion is the root of sin. Swayed by it men perpetrate unseemly acts and indulge in misanthropic activities."

Chaupala -

"I am your servant, O Chief of sages; put away your wrath and show mercy upon me Anger will not mend the broken bow. Pray sit down; your legs must be aching. If you are very fond of it, let us devise some means to mend it by calling in some expert." Janaka was frightened at Laksmana's words and said,"Pray be quiet; it is not good to transgress the limits of propriety."The people of the city trembled like aspen leaves; they said to themselves,"The younger prince is really very naughty." As the chief of Bhargus heard the fearless words of Laksmana, his whole body burnt with rage and his strength diminished. In a condescending manner he said to Rama, "I am sparing the boy because I know he is your younger brother. So fair without and foul within, he resembles a jar of gold full of poison."

Doha - 278

At this Laksmana laughed again, but Sri Rama cast an angry look on him. Therefore, putting away all petulance of speech he submissively went up to his Guru.

Chaupala -

Joining both His palms together and speaking in most humble, gentle and placid tones Sri Rama said," I pray you, my lord: wise as you are by nature, pay no heed to the words of a child. A wasp asnd a child have a like disposition; saints never find fault with them. Besiders, the boy has done you no harm; it I, my lord who have offended you. them. Therefore, your reverence, deal to me as your servant whatever you please, whether it be a favour or frown, death or captivity. Tell me quickly the means, O chief of sages, by which your anger may be appeased; I shall do accordingly."Said the sage,"How can my passion be pacified, O Rama, when your younger brother is still looking mischievously at me. So long as I do not cut his throat with my axe, my wrath is ineffectual.

Doha - 279

"At the very news of the cruel doings of my axe the consorts of kings-miscarry. To think that having the same axe still at my service I should see this princeling, my enemy, alive!"

Chaupala -

"My hand moves not, though passion consumes my breast; while this axe, whcih has slain kings without number, has gone blunt. Fate has turned against me; that is why I find my nature changed Otherwise compassion at any time is unknown to my heart. My tenderness of feeling has imposed on me a severe strain today."On hearing this the son of Sumitra bowed his head with a smile. "The breeze of your benevolence is so befitting your frame; the words you speak appear as though blossom drop from a tree. O reverend sir, when compassion sets your whole frame on fire, God help you when you are angry." Look here Janaka, this stupid boy in his perversity intends to migrate to the region of Death. Why not put him out of my sight? Though small to look at, the princelling is yet so wicked!" Laksmana smilingly said to himself," Shut your eyes and the whole world will vanish out of your sight."

Doha - 280

Then Parasurama spoke to Rama, his heart boiling with rage, "Having broken Sambhu's bow, O wretch, do you now teach me?"

Chaupala -

"It is with your connivance that your brother addresses such pungent words to me; while you make false entreaties with joined palms. Either give me satisfaction in combat, or forwear your name of Rama. Give battle to me. O enemy of Siva, without taking recourse to any wily trick; or else I will despatch you and your brother both." While the chief of Bhrgus thus raved with his axe raised on high, Sri Rama smiled within Hemself, bowing His head to the sage, " While the fault is Laksmana's the sage's wrath is against me. Sometimes meekness too begets much evil A crooked man is reverenced by all: the crescent moon is not devoured by the demon Rahu." Said Rama," Cease from wrath, O lord of sages; the axe is in your hand, while my head is before you, Do that, my lord, which may pacify your anger; know me to be your servant."


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Last Updated : February 16, 2011

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