The Ramayana

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

This page describes Chapter LXVII 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 Janaka’s words, the mighty Muni Viśvāmitra said to the king, Do you show the bow to Rāma.

Thereupon the king Janaka commanded his ministers, saying, Do you bring the wonderful bow furnished with unguents and garlands,

Commanded by Janaka, the ministers entered the city; and placing the bow in their front, those, endowed with immeasurable energy, came out.

And deposited in a case on a cart borne upon eight wheels, it was with difficulty drawn along by five thousand stalwart persons of well-developed frames.

And having brought that bow plaited with iron, placed in its case, the royal counsellors spoke to Janaka resembling an immortal, saying,

Here is the best of bow, O king, worshipped of all sovereigns. O foremost of kings, O lord of Mithilā, if it please you, behold the same.

Hearing their speech, the king with clasped palms said to the high-souled Viśvāmitra as well as Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa,

This best of bows, O Brāhmaṇa, has always been worshipped by the Janakas: as also by mighty kings incapable (of wielding and stringing it.)

And neither the celestials, nor the Asuras, nor the Rākṣasas, nor the Gandharvas, nor the Yakṣ as, nor the Kinnaras, nor the mighty Uragas, how shall men fare—have succeeded in stringing or stretching it, or fixing the arrow to it, or pulling its string, or wielding it.

This foremost of bows has been brought here, O chief of ascetics. Do you, O exalted one, show it to these sons of the king.

Hearing Janaka’s words, the righteous Viśvāmitra said to Rāghava, O Rāma, do you, my child, behold the bow.

At the words of the Maharṣi, Rāma, opening the case, took a sight of the bow, and said,

This divine bow will I touch with my hand, and shall I also strive to wield and draw it?

Thereat both the king and the ascetic said,—Excellent well. At the words of the anchorite, in the sight of countless thousands of spectators, the righteous son of Raghu with exceeding ease took hold of the bow by the middle, and fixed the string upon it, and having fixed the string, drew it. And that foremost of men enjoying high fame, snapped the bow in the middle. And mighty was the sound that was heard on the occasion, like to the bursting of a thunder-clap: and the earth trembled terribly, as it does in the vicinity of a mountain splitting; and overwhelmed by the noise, all rolled head over heels, with the exception of that best of ascetics, the king, and the two Rāghavas.

On the people being reassured, the king conversant with speech, his apprehension removed, with folded hands addressed that puissant ascetic, saying.

O worshipful one, I have beheld the prowess of Daśaratha’s son. This is verily wonderful and inconceivable; and I did not think this was possible.

My daughter, Sītā, being united with her lord, Daśaratha’s son, Rāma, will shed lustre on Janaka’s line.

My promise viz., that I will confer Sītā upon him that will bend the bow, has been fulfilled, O son of Kuśika. And this Sītā, this my daughter, dearer to me than life will I confer upon Rāma.

O Brāhmaṇa, by your permission let my counsellors speedily post hence, O Kauśika, to Ayodhyā, in cars; and with humble speech bring the king to my capital. And let them communicate to him all about the bestowal of’ Sītā upon Rāma, in consequence of his having bent the bow.

Let them acquaint the monarch with the welfare of the Kākutsthas protected by the ascetic; and let them, speedily posting hence, bring the delighted king.

And thereupon Kuśika’s son said,—So be it. And the righteous king, summoning his counsellors, despatched them to Ayodhyā with his letter, to communicate all duly to the king, and bring him thither.

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