This is a part of series of posts that highlights Rama Character and Expertise as enunciates in Ayodya kanda Sarga 1.
First fight that Rama encounters is with Tataka. Bala Kanda sarga 24. Here the conversation with Vishwamitra shows Rama’s Character traits. And unfortunately for Rama his first victim happens to be Woman. He immediately questions Vishwamitra as to the cause of such strength in Tataka. Vishwamitra gives him the detailed story of Tataka. Then after knowing the villainous nature of Tataka decides to kill her justifying it as the Instructions of his father to obey Vishwamitra and also as instructions of Vishwamitra. This shows Rama’s Judgment capability (even at the age of 12) to view contrary Dharmas (Duties between not killing a woman and following the instructions of Elders/Guru) and choose the correct option (1-26-2/3). Refer to Rama’s Character Trait (2-1-16, 18). See the page on धर्मसँकट.
When the fight ensued Rama first tries to ward her off by snipping (with arrows) her ears and nose. He tips off Lakshmana that he will stop her impudence, and mobility. But she in turn threw lots of dust and created a shell of cloud around them and started raining stones at them (1-26-15). Rama in turn strikes her arms and Lakshmana angrily cuts off her nose and ears. Vishwamitra understood their predicament and instructs them to kill, as sun was setting and she would have become more powerful (1-26-22 and 23). Rama immediately shoots an arrow at her chest and kills her (1-26-25). Vishwamitra applauds this. The performance of Rama at the age of just 12 describes his calmness under difficult situations and skill in fight, learned thoroughly.
Also refer to Who is an आततायी (aatataayee)?
List of Slokas
पितुर् वचन निर्देशात् पितुर् वचन गौरवात् |
वचनम् कौशिकस्य इति कर्तव्यम् अविशङ्कया || १-२६-२
अनुशिष्टो अस्मि अयोध्यायाम् गुरु मध्ये महात्मना |
पित्रा दशरथेन अहम् न अवज्ञेयम् च तद् वचः || १-२६-३
|Upon my father’s order, upon my honour to my father’s word, and looking upon this as the word of sage Kushi’s son, my mentor, this task is definitely to be implemented.What my great souled father Dasharatha directed me to do among elders in Ayodhya, that word too cannot be disregarded. Back|
कुलोचितमतिः क्षात्रं धर्मं स्वं बहुमन्यते |
मन्यते परया कीर्त्य महत्स्वर्गफलं ततः || २-१-१६
अरोगस्तरुणो वाग्मी वपुष्मान् देशकालवित् |
लोके पुरुषसारज्ञस्साधुरेको विनिर्मितः || २-१-१८
|That Rama, having an attitude suitable for his social rank, giving due respect to righteousness of warrior-class, believed that by following the righteousness he would attain great fame and through it the fruit of heaven.Rama was a young man without any disease. He was a good speaker. He had a good body. He knew both time and place. He could grasp the essence of men. He was the one gentleman born on earth. Back|
उद् धुन्वाना रजो घोरम् ताटका राघवौ उभौ |
रजो मेघेन महता मुहूर्तम् सा व्यमोहयत् ||
|Flinging up dreadful dust on those two Raghavaa-s, Tataka baffled them for a while with a massive cloud of dust. Back|
वध्यताम् तावत् एव एषा पुरा संध्या प्रवर्तते || १-२६-२२
रक्षांसि संध्या काले तु दुर्धर्षाणि भवन्ति हि |
|Sun is going to set in a short time, and only before that time she shall be destroyed, for demons at dusk and afterwards become unassailable, indeed. Back|
सा रुद्धा बाण जालेन माया बल समन्विता || १-२६-२४
अभि दुद्राव काकुत्स्थम् लक्षमणम् च विनेषुदी ||
ताम् आपतन्तीम् वेगेन विक्रान्ताम् अशनीम् इव || १-२६-२५
शरेण उरसि विव्याध सा पपात ममार च |
|And when the arrays of arrows obstructed her who possesses illusional powers, she dashed towards Rama and Lakshmana blaring stridently.And Rama struck an arrow in her chest who is invading and speedily swooping down like a thunderbolt, and thus she is readily felled down and totally dropped dead, too. Back|
All Sloka Translations are from the site Valmiki Ramayana