In the previous episode we discussed the significance of the “Aavani Avittam” day and what is the purpose behind performing the rituals on that particular day. This was a special discussion that stemmed out of the discussion about “Kaamam” (Desire) and “Krodham” (Anger). We saw in the previous episodes that the “Kaamam” and “Krodham” are due to the “Avidhya” (Blemish or senselessness). Since the “Avidhya” is the mother of “Kaamam” and “Krodham”, Bhagawan first destroys the mother, before destroying the sons. Here, the demoness Thaatakaa is nothing but the embodiment of “Avidhya”. In today’s episode, we are going to see how the Rama – Lakshmana combine, destroyed Thaataka.
Before that, we had left at a point wherein Rama and Lakshmana are about to enter the “Thaatakaa Vanam”. Let’s continue from there. As they enter into the place, there is a huge sound of fast flowing water. There are lot of small rivers and streams that run fast and join the river Ganges at different places. Vaalmiki Maharishi brings out the beauty of this scene in an exemplary manner as below:
“Tathah prabhaathe vimale krithaanhikamarindhamau!
Vishwaamithram puraskrithya nadhyastheeram upaagathau!!
Ubhasthaabhya shubhaam naavam Vishwaamithramathaabhruvan!
Tathasshruthraavavai shabdham thoya sambhrama vardhitham!!”
The major significance of our “Bhaarata Desha” (India) is that, every river will have numerous tributaries – This kind of a set-up is quite rare to see in the rest of the world. For instance, the River Ganges, considered even today as the most holy river of the country has innumerable tributaries coming and joining it at various places. The river Yamuna joins the Ganges at a place called Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, other rivers like Shrona, Ghantaki, Sarayu, etc. also join with the Ganges. However, after all these rivers join the mainstream of the Ganges, their individual names would disappear and all of them would be called as Ganges! This is why the river Ganges is an extremely significant and a holy river in India and we should worship it. In another episode, I shall talk about the origin of the river Ganges and how it was formed!
Thus, gradually the three of them enter into the “Thaatakaa Vanam”, wherein the demoness Thaataka spots them walking through her kingdom! She comes in front of the three and stands.
“Kashchachithvacha kaalasya yakshini kaamaroopini!”
As mentioned before, this Thaataka was born in the clan of the “Yakshaas”. She was causing mass destruction to the entire area and it is because of the curse of the great Sage Agasthya that she is now suffering with a demonish look and characteristics.
“Karishyaami na sandehaath thaatakaa vadamutthamam!
Pithur vachana nirdeshaath pithur vachaha gauravaath!
Vachanam kaushikasyethi karthavyam adhishankyayaa!!”
Upon seeing Thaataka coming and standing in front of them, Sage Vishwaamithra himself gets scared for a moment and prays for the welfare of the two children. It should be noted here that it was the same Sage Vishwaamithra who convinced king Dasharata by saying “Aham vedmi mahaathmaanam raamam sathya paraakramam”, which means, Rama is an invincible and an extraordinary child and nothing can harm him. Now, upon seeing this huge Thaatakaa in the front, Sage Vishwaamithra himself gets scared. Why is that so? The main reason of Sage Vishwaamithra’s fear is a clear exhibition of “Bhakthi” upon seeing Lord Rama! The highest form of Bhakthi is wherein we fear that nothing should harm Bhagawan and he should be safe always! This is why we have the famous “paasuram” of Periyaalwaar in Tamil that says,
“Pallaandu pallaandu pallaayirathaandu; Pala kodi nooraayiram pallaandu;
Un sevadi sevya thriukkaapu…”
Here, Periyaalwaar sings out of this highest form of Bhakthi and prays that no evil forces should harm Bhagawan and He should live for a long time!
We might be surprised for a moment and might have a feeling that it is we who should pray towards Bhagawan that nothing should happen to us! But why are we praying that nothing should happen to Bhagawan? What is going to happen to Bhagwan? Isn’t it foolish? Isn’t He who has to protect us? Yes. He will definitely protect us and there is absolutely no second question to that! However, the moment we see Him as our own child – This is the point wherein we are completely immersed into the Bhakthi (Devotion) towards Bhagawan! Thus, in this context too, Sage Vishwaamithra feels scared for a moment on seeing the beautiful Rama and Lakshmana!
After composing himself a little bit, Sage Vishwaamithra orders Rama to kill Thaataka immediately! Rama, on his part readies himself to fight her, by taking his bow in his hand, along with the arrow. However Rama has a small doubt in his mind – He thinks to himself, “After my education, this is the first fight that I’m going to do! Is it right to fight a woman?” Sage Vishwaamithra spots that Rama is backing away a little bit and asks him for the reason. Rama asks Sage Vishwaamithra, “Is it right for a Kshathrya prince to fight over and kill a woman?” Upon hearing this from Rama, Sage Vishwaamithra immediately quips, “Do you still think that she’s a woman?” 🙂 Thus, finding solace in Sage Vishwaamithra’s reply, Rama attacks Thaataka – It’s just a matter of one sharp and a pointed arrow! Thaataka falls flat on the ground, dead! Upon seeing this, Sage Vishwaamithra is overwhelmed with joy and happiness! He congratulates Rama on the success and they move on further!
But before we move further along with Sage Vishwaamithra, Rama and Lakshmana, there is a very important aspect to be discussed. What is that? Let us wait till the next episode!