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  • 1. RAMAYANA RAMYA GADHALU (BASED ON VALMIKI RAMAYANA)TELUGU VERSION BY Smt. C. KUSUMA KUMARI ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY Smt. B. NEELAKAR and B.P. SHASANK KALYAN
  • 2. STORY No. 6: OVERPOWERING LORD SHIVA’S BOWAlong with the two princes of the Sun dynasty, Sage Viswamitra walked in the North East direction toMithila Nagar. On the way they entered the ashram (hermitage) of Sage Gautama. There, SageViswamitra told the princes about the curse that had befallen Ahalya, who was now a stone in thehoma gundam (sacred fire yard). Lord Ramachandra was grief stricken on hearing the story ofAhalya.Lord Ramachandra thought that Ahalya was the victim of the power seeking nature of Indra and thehot tempered nature of Sage Gautama. Just as he was thinking about this, Lord Rama approached thesacred fire yard and the dust of his feet fell on the stone. Immediately Ahalya Devi who was in stoneform for many years regained her original human form and fell at the feet of Lord Ramachandra, andwashed his feet with tears of gratitude. Sage Gautama also appeared at this point of time and stoodbeside Ahalya.Lord Rama and Lakshmana fell at the feet of Ahalya. She was radiating with the brilliance of hercontinuous penance. (Ahalya was the victim of the lust of one person, and the wrath/anger of another.By falling at the feet of such a woman, Lord Rama gave an important status to women. This is whywe all long for Rama Rajya and we adore Sri Rama).From there, they reached Mithila Nagar, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Janaka. They founda river bank that was not crowded by many people, but had plenty of water, and began to stay there.On coming to know of the arrival of Sage Viswamitra, King Janaka washed the feet of the sage in thepresence of Sage Shatananda, who was the son of Sage Gautama and Ahalya. Sage Shatananda wasthe sage for Janaka’s kingdom. King Janaka told Sage Viswamitra “Your visit to our kingdom is agood omen. I would like to know who are these two young men who seem like they have descendedfrom the heavens, who are strong like tigers and bulls, who walk like elephants and lions, who havelotus like wide eyes, who are as handsome as the stars, and who are radiating divine valor? I amcurious as to why such great personalities have come here by foot. Oh Great Sage! What can I do foryou?” prayed King Janaka.To this Sage Viswamitra replied that they both were the sons of King Dasaratha. Sage Viswamitrasaid that he had brought them along with him to protect the special rituals that he was performing.Sage Viswamitra explained in detail to King Janaka about how the two brothers had killed manyrakshasas (demons) and how Lord Rama had redeemed Ahalya from her curse. Sage Viswamitra thensaid that these two young scions of the Raghava dynasty were enthusiastic to see the bow of LordShiva, and then return back.King Janaka replied “Oh Great Sage! Let these two young men first know the ancient legend aboutthe bow of Lord Shiva. Then, they can see it. Once upon a time, Lord Shiva was destroying the ritualperformed by Daksha. Lord Shiva had become angry because he was not given a portion of theoffering during the ritual. Therefore, Lord Shiva said that he would cut off the heads of all the Gods inattendance there. Saying so, Lord Shiva raised his bow. All the Gods assembled at Daksha’s ritual gotfrightened. They began praying to Parameswara (Lord Shiva) in order to appease and please him.Soon, Lord Shiva’s anger came down and he happily gifted his bow to the Gods. The Gods, in turn,handed over the bow to King Devarata, our ancestor, for safe custody. As a legacy, the same bow hasbeen passed on to me.” 2
  • 3. “Some years ago, when I wanted to perform a special ritual, I was getting the sacred area cleaned byploughing it. The plough rod struck a divine box beneath the earth. Inside the box I found an infantbaby girl. Since the baby was born immaculately, and came forth from Mother Earth, she was giventhe name of Sita, and grew up as my daughter. Oh Holy Sage! A number of kings have come hereseeking the hand of my divinely beautiful daughter. I felt that Sita, being immaculately born andhaving risen from Mother Earth, should be married only to an equivalent, mighty and valorous king.Therefore, in order to test their strength I asked them all to string the bow of Lord Shiva. However, ithas been impossible for all those kings to even move the bow of Lord Shiva. Therefore, I haverejected to give Sita’s hand in marriage to such weak kings.”“The weak kings who could not string the bow of Lord Shiva got together and began attacking MithilaNagar due to their anger on me. Due to these invasions for a whole year, the royal wealth gotdepleted, and I became very sad. Then, through penance, I appeased the Gods. From them, I got fourtypes of army – comprising of Infantry, Chariotry, Cavalry and soldiers mounted on elephants. Due tothe power of this mighty army, my enemies were vanquished.”“I can show the mighty bow to these young men who are like lions and elephants. If Rama can stringthe bow I can give the immaculate Sita in marriage to him.” Thus Janaka revealed his inner thoughtswith a lot of happiness. Many kings, ministers and dignitaries were seated in a large hall and Janakaasked for the bow to be brought there.Five thousand tall and strong men moved the bow which was worshipped daily with sandal paste andflowers, by the clan of King Janaka. The bow was in an eight wheeled specially designed anddecorated iron cart. “Oh Great Sage! Even those who belong to the clan of Gods, Demons, Yakshas,Gandharvas, Kinneras, Mahoragas etc. have failed to string this bow. Now show this bow to theyoung prince” said Janaka. Viswamitra said to Rama “Oh son, Rama! Please first touch and feel thisbow. If possible, string it. Let good luck be with you.” Saying thus, Viswamitra granted permission toRama.While thousands of people were watching, Lord Rama effortlessly strung the bow and pulled thestring till his ear easily, thus breaking the bow into two. When the bow broke, it made a thunderoussound which shook the earth, and waves rose very high in the oceans. Everyone except Lord Rama,Lakshmana, Sage Viswamitra and King Janaka fainted due to the vibration caused by the sound. Aftera while, everyone regained their consciousness. From all directions, everybody sang praise of LordRama by chanting “Aho Raghuveera” and “Jaya Jaya Sri Rama”.King Janaka exclaimed “Oh Great Sage Viswamitra! That which cannot be comprehended by thehuman brain, that which is most wonderful, has been witnessed by everyone here. This is truly thehighest achievement by the eldest son of King Dasaratha. The daughter who is dear to me as my ownlife, who is most beautiful, will be the bride of the most valorous king. Today my proclamation hascome true.”Janaka continued to speak with great satisfaction and a heart filled with joy - “Sita has won Rama asher husband, and the fame of the clan of Janaka would increase multifold. He is your disciple; he isthe young lion who broke the mighty Shiva Bow. I now would get him married to my daughter.”“Oh Great Sage! With your permission my messengers will immediately rush at great speed toAyodhya, and inform the Noble King Dasaratha of the wonderful episode of how the Shiva Bow wasoverpowered. I will command my messengers to bring to Videha Nagar (Mithila Nagar), KingDasaratha along with his wives, children, relatives and their families, with all due respect to them.” 3
  • 4. Janaka spoke thus with a lot of obedience. Sage Viswamitra accepted his plea by saying “KingJanaka, let the good task be done quickly.” King Janaka then sent auspicious invitations to Dasarathasaying “Rama and Lakshmana are being taken care of very well by Viswamitra in Mithila Nagar, andthey are doing fine. It is my ardent wish to make Videha Nagar the auspicious venue for the weddingof Sita and Rama. I am sending you my ministers and top dignitaries to speak to Sage Vasishta for hisblessings, and also to invite him and everyone else to come to Mithila Nagar to bless the occasion.”Thus King Janaka sent auspicious tidings to Ayodhya. *** 4