The Ramayana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1891 | ISBN-13: 9788171101566

This page describes Chapter XXV of the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the largest Sanskrit epics of ancient India revolving around the characters Rama, Sita and Ravana. It was orignally authored by Valmiki at least over 2500 years ago. This is the first book of the Bāla-kāṇḍa (Bala-kanda) of the Ramayana, which consists of 24,000 Sanskrit metrical verses divided oer seven books.

Hearing this excellent speech of that ascetic of immeasurable energy, that foremost of men answered him in these happy words,

O best of ascetics, I have heard that the Yakṣa race is endowed with but small prowess. How can then that one of the weaker sex possess the strength of a thousand elephants?

Hearing this speech that was uttered by Rāghava of immeasurable energy, Viśvāmitra, delighting with his amiable words that subduer of foes, Rāma, and Lakṣmaṇa, said, Do you listen as to the means whereby attaining terrible strength, that one belonging to the weaker sex has come to possess strength and prowess by virtue of a boon.

In former times there was a mighty and exceedingly powerful Yakṣa, named Sukeṃ. And he had no issue. And he was of pure practices, and used to perform rigid austerities.

And, O Rāma, the Grand-sire endowed her with that lord of Yakṣas, conferred upon him a gem of a daughter, by name Tāṭakā.

And the Grand-sire endowed her with the strength of a thousand elephants; yet that illustrious one did not bestow a son on that Yakṣa.

When she had grown, and attained youth and beauty, he gave that famous damsel to Jambha’s son, Sunda, for wife.

After a length of time, that Yakṣī gave birth to a son, named Mārīca, possessed of irrepressible energy, him who became a Rākṣasa in consequence of a curse.

O Rāma, when Sunḍa had been destroyed, Tāṭakā along with her son, set her heart upon afflicting that excellent saint Agastya.

And enraged with Agastya, she rushed at him with a roar, intending to devour him. And on seeing her thus rushing, that worshipful saint, Agastya, said to Mārīca, Do you become a Rākṣasa!

And, in exceeding wrath, he also cursed Tāṭakā. And, O mighty Yakṣī, since in frightful guise with a frightful face you have desired to eat up a human being, do you immediately leave this (your original) shape, and become of a terrible form!

Thus cursed by Agastya, Tāṭakā, overwhelmed with rage, lays waste this fair region, where Agastya carry on his austerities.

Do you, O descendant of Raghu, for the welfare of Brāhmaṇas and kine, slay this exceedingly terrible Yakṣī of wicked ways and vile prowess!

Nor, O son of Raghu, does any one in the three worlds, save, you, dare to slay this Yakṣī joined with a curse.

Nor should you, O best of men, shrink from slaying a woman; for even this should be accomplished by a prince in the interests of the four orders.

Whether an act be cruel or otherwise, slightly or highly sinful, it should for protecting the subjects, be performed by a ruler.

Of those engaged in the onerous task of government, even this is the eternal rule of conduct. Do you, O Kākutstha, slay this impious one; for she know no righteousness!

We hear, O king, that in days of yore, Śakra slew Virocana’s daughter, Mantharā, who had intended to destroy the earth.

And formerly, O Rāma, Viṣṇu destroyed Kāvya’s mother, the devoted wife of Bhṛgu, who had set her heart upon annihilating the world, deprived of sleep (through fear of her.)

By these as well as innumerable princes—foremost of men—have wicked women been slain. Therefore, O king, renouncing antipathy, do you, by my command, slay this one!

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