The visitant Parashurama narrates the legends of bows of Vishnu and Shiva to Rama. Unheedful of the request of Dasharatha to spare his sons, Parashurama addresses Dasharatha Rama directly and asks him to take an aim with the longbow of Vishnu, and if Dasharatha Rama is capable to do so, Parashurama says that he will give a duel to him.
राम दाशरथे वीर वीर्यम् ते श्रूयते अद्भुतम् |
धनुषो भेदनम् चैव निखिलेन मया श्रुतम् || १-७५-१
dhanuSho bhedanam caiva nikhilena mayaa shrutam || 1-75-1
“Oh, valiant Rama of Dasharatha, your valour is bruited as a sensational valour, and sensational is your smashing of Shiva’s bow, also thus I have thoroughly heard about your others deeds like elimination of Tataka et cetera… [1-75-1].
तत् अद्भुतम् अचिंत्यम् च भेदनम् धनुषः तथा |
तत् श्रुत्वा अहम् अनुप्राप्तो धनुर् गृह्य अपरम् शुभम् || १-७५-२
tat shrutvaa aham anupraapto dhanur gR^ihya aparam shubham || 1-75-2
“That way, smashing of that particular bow of Shiva is wondrous and even unimaginable… on hearing that alone I happened upon you, bringing another outranking bow… [1-75-2].
तत् इदम् घोर संकाशम् जामदग्न्यम् महत् धनुः |
पूरयस्व शरेण एव स्व बलम् दर्शयस्व च || १-७५-३
puurayasva shareNa eva sva balam darshayasva ca || 1-75-3
“This alone is that catastrophic bow received through Sage Jamadagni… flex it with an arrow on bowstring stretching up to your ear, and in that way show your capability… [1-75-3].
तत् अहम् ते बलम् दृष्ट्वा धनुषो अपि अस्य पूरणे |
द्वंद्व युद्धम् प्रदास्यामि वीर्य श्लाघ्यम् अहम् तव || १-७५-४
dvaMdva yuddham pradaasyaami viirya shlaaghyam aham tava || 1-75-4
“Thereby, on examining your strength in your taking aim with this bow, and should you be deservedly valorous, I will give you a combative duel…” So said Parashu Rama to Dasharatha Rama. [1-75-4]
Pt. Satya Vrat cites this in his book ‘The Ramayana – A Linguistic Study… ‘As in English, we speak of yuddha daanam – giving a fight to the enemy – in Sanskrit, too…’ it is giving a duel.
तस्य तत् वचनम् श्रुत्वा राजा दशरथः तदा |
विषण्ण वदनो दीनः प्रांजलिः वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || १-७५-५
viShaNNa vadano diinaH praaMjaliH vaakyam abraviit || 1-75-5
On hearing that sentence of Bhaargava Rama, then king Dasharatha became a pitiable one, and with a downcast face and adjoined palms said this. [1-75-5].
क्षत्र रोषात् प्रशांतः त्वम् ब्राह्मणः च महातपाः |
बालानाम् मम पुत्राणाम् अभयम् दातुम् अर्हसि || १-७५-६
baalaanaam mama putraaNaam abhayam daatum ar.hhasi || 1-75-6
“Aren’t you a Brahman with inviolable ascesis, and whose rancour on Kshatriya-s has calmed down long back. Why this hostility again. It’ll be apt of you to award aegis to my sons, for they are yet youngsters… [1-75-6]
Vividly: ‘peace is primary for Brahman-s… though that was once disturbed in you, you redeemed it after your eradicating the then ruthless Kshatriya-s… thus your rancour was appeased then… and you too peacefully retired for inviolable ascesis and acquired still higher bliss by them… do you now wish to violate your own intrinsic nature of peacefulness being a blissful one, being an all-knower, being an elderly Brahman, that too on mere boys…
भार्गवाणाम् कुले जातः स्वाध्याय व्रत शालिनाम् |
सहस्राक्षे प्रतिज्ञाय शस्त्रम् प्रक्ष्द् इप्तवान् असि || १-७५-७
sahasraakShe pratij~naaya shastram prakshd iptavaan asi || 1-75-7
“Aren’t you from the bloodline of Bhaargava-s who always conduct themselves in self-study of Vedas and self-principled ways… haven’t you readily discarded weapon-wielding on your promise to Thousand-eyed Indra… [1-75-7]
Annex: ‘how can you abnegate your own promise of astra sanyaasa ‘reclusion from weaponry…’ by wielding a weapon now, and thus becoming yourself a self-critical personality, and thus making the entire Brahman-hood as a self-contradictory classis….
स त्वम् धर्म परो भूत्वा काश्यपाय वसुंधराम् |
दत्त्वा वनम् उपागंय महेन्द्र कृत केतनः || १-७५-८
dattvaa vanam upaagaMya mahendra kR^ita ketanaH || 1-75-8
“Such as you were, you on becoming a dedicatee to probity, haven’t you given the planet earth to Kashyapa and haven’t you repaired to forests, and haven’t you flagged yourself on Mt. Mahendra… [1-75-8]
Annex: ‘if so, is this for showing the flag or else is it for keeping the flag flying… in anyway, is it inapt of you to eliminate the progeny of your own donee… Kashyapa… and if you say that ‘I don’t kill you all nonentities, but my target is this Rama…’ then my reply will be like this….
मम सर्व विनाशाय संप्राप्तः त्वम् महामुने |
न च एकस्मिन् हते रामे सर्वे जीवामहे वयम् || १-७५-९
na ca ekasmin hate raame sarve jiivaamahe vayam || 1-75-9
“Or, oh, insurmountable sage, have you chanced upon us for a total annihilation of ours… when Rama is singularised and eliminated, nay-said that we all will be living…” Thus Dasharatha had gone on appealing in his love for his sons. [1-75-9]
Annex: ‘should you leave off Rama and eliminate rest of us all, Rama will not live… or, if you leave all of us and eliminate Rama alone, we all don’t live… anywise it is an ‘anywise’ annihilation of ours… for I am still living for this Rama, and Rama alone…’.
ब्रुवति एवम् दशरथे जामदग्न्यः प्रतापवान् |
अनादृत्य तु तत् वाक्यम् रामम् एव अभ्यभाषत || १-७५-१०
anaadR^itya tu tat vaakyam raamam eva abhyabhaaShata || 1-75-10
While Dasharatha is speaking in that way that intransigent Bhaargava Rama of Sage Jamadagni uncaring for those merciful words of Dasharatha addressed Rama of Dasharatha alone. [1-75-10].
इमे द्वे धनुषी श्रेष्ठे दिव्ये लोक अभिपूजिते |
दृढे बलवती मुख्ये सुकृते विश्वकर्मणा || १-७५-११
dR^iDhe balavatii mukhye sukR^ite vishvakarmaNaa || 1-75-11
“These are the two strong and sturdy unsurpassed longbows, well-designed by gods and well-crafted by Vishvakarma, the Divine Architect, and these are very important among all bows and well-worshipped by all worlds… one broken in your, and the other in my hand… [1-75-11].
अनिसृष्टम् सुरैः एकम् त्र्यम्बकाय युयुत्सवे |
त्रिपुर घ्नम् नरश्रेष्ठ भग्नम् काकुत्स्थ यत् त्वया || १-७५-१२
tripura ghnam narashreShTha bhagnam kaakutstha yat tvayaa || 1-75-12
“Oh, best one among men, out of the two longbows gods gave one to restive Trymbaka, God Shiva for a combat with demon Tripura, and oh, Kakutstha, that bow alone is the annihilator of Tripura, the demon… and you have broken that alone… [1-75-12].
इदम् द्वितीयम् दुर्धर्षम् विष्णोर् दत्तम् सुरोत्तमैः |
तत् इदम् वैष्णवम् राम धनुः पर पुरम् जयम् || १-७५-१३
समान सारम् काकुत्स्थ रौद्रेण धनुषा तु इदम् |
tat idam vaiShNavam raama dhanuH para puram jayam || 1-75-13
samaana saaram kaakutstha raudreNa dhanuShaa tu idam |
“This is the second one and the choicest gods gave this to Vishnu, thereby this is named after Him as ‘Vishnu’s bow…’ this is an indestructible and enemy-citadel conquering longbow… and this is identical in its efficacy with Rudra’s longbow… [1-75-13, 14a].
तदा तु देवताः सर्वाः पृच्छन्ति स्म पितामहम् || १-७५-१४
शिति कण्ठस्य विष्णोः च बल अबल निरीक्षया |
अभिप्रायम् तु विज्ञाय देवतानाम् पितामहः || १-७५-१५
विरोधम् जनयामास तयोः सत्यवताम् वरः |
shiti kaNThasya viShNoH ca bala abala niriikShayaa |
abhipraayam tu vij~naaya devataanaam pitaamahaH || 1-75-15
virodham janayaamaasa tayoH satyavataam varaH |
“Once, all the gods were asking the Grandparent, Brahma, as to who is powerful and who is less powerful among the blue-throated Shiva and Vishnu… but the Grandparent Brahma on inferring the intent of gods started to create adversity among those two, Shiva and Vishnu, for the Grandparent is the best adherer of truthfulness, as truth cannot be demonstrated on hearsay evidence… [1-75-14b, 15, 16a]
Legend: Brahma thought that it would better to enact a drama to cleanse the one-sided mentalities of these lesser gods. So, he started to write the script, and himself becoming the writer-director of that drama. That script is hereunder.
Brahma: Mahadeva, who is the destroyer of Tripura, or say triple-citadels?
Shiva: Why? It is me, of course…
Brahma: Why do you boast that way of yourself? It is the long-arrow of your longbow, isn’t it?
Shiva: Yes of course…
Brahma: Then Vishnu was presiding deity of that long-bow… isn’t t?
Shiva: Yes, it is he, but I shot it from my bow… basically, is this a confusion, or, are you playing any part of Narada…
Brahma: Not so, the other day Vishnu was telling that he alone did that master task…
Shiva: How can it be! In the triple of doer-deed-instrument, instrument cannot become the doer… has his language gone topsy-turvy, noun is becoming verb and verb is lost to adjective and…
Brahma: Ok, Ok… we do not care much for grammar as we care more for communication, grammar is paNini’s headache… but what he said is that he alone did it… not you…
Shiva: Then why I am called… why that longbow is given to me… you should have got it done by Vishnu… why calling me… you have unnecessarily spoiled my dance program…
Brahma: Not that… I said what he said… let’s not quarrel among ourselves…
Shiva: I not only quarrel but wage war, if it comes to my interests and my devotees’ interest… how many times I have not done so…
Brahma: That is what Vishnu was telling… every time you give a boon to every demon, and involve yourself in enmeshment, and Vishnu has come to come and rescue… have he forgotten the episode of bhasmaasura… thus Vishnu is saying and asking…
Shiva: Now I don’t tolerate… I will take him to task…
Exit Shiva – Enter Vishnu. Brahma reverses the above dialogue and says that to Vishnu
Vishnu: No, No, highly objectionable… I will take him to task… I will take him to task…
Exit All. War Started.
विरोधे तु महत् युद्धम् अभवत् रोम हर्षणम् || १-७५-१६
शिति कण्ठस्य विष्णोः च परस्पर जय एषिणोः |
shiti kaNThasya viShNoH ca paraspara jaya eShiNoH |
“Owing to their animosity then occurred a fierce and hair-raising war among Shiva and Vishnu, as each aspired victory for himself… [1-75-16b, 17a].
तदा तु जृम्भितम् शैवम् धनुः भीम पराक्रमम् || १-७५-१७
हुम् कारेण महादेवः स्तम्भितो अथ त्रिलोचनः |
hum kaareNa mahaadevaH stambhito atha trilocanaH |
“By the ‘hum’ sound of Vishnu that ruinously overpowering longbow of Shiva is broken, and the triple-eyed God, Mahadeva, is frozen… [1-75-17b, 18a]
The bow is jR^imbhitam broken by the hum in dissent of Vishnu – Govindaraja. And Maheshvara Tiirtha says that the bow as well as Shiva are rendered jaDa motionless. There are many legends on this shiva garva bhanga ‘deflation of Shiva’s pride’ and some info about is given in endnote..
देवैः तदा समागंय स ऋषि सन्घैः स चारणैः || १-७५-१८
याचितौ प्रशमम् तत्र जग्मतुः तौ सुर उत्तमौ |
yaacitau prashamam tatra jagmatuH tau sura uttamau |
“Then gods along with the assemblages of sages and celestial carana-s have come together and appealed to those two for appeasement in the matter of wielding authority, and then those two superior gods, Shiva and Vishnu, went into a state of amity… [1-75-18b, 19a].
जृम्भितम् तत् धनुः दृष्ट्वा शैवम् विष्णु पराक्रमैः || १-७५-१९
अधिकम् मेनिरे विष्णुम् देवाः स ऋषि गणाः तदा |
adhikam menire viShNum devaaH sa R^iShi gaNaaH tadaa |
“On seeing the bow of Shiva rendered inert by the mettlesomeness of Vishnu, from then on the gods along with the assemblages of sages deemed Vishnu to be the paramount… [1-75-19b, 20a].
धनू रुद्रः तु संक्रुद्धो विदेहेषु महायशाः || १-७५-२०
देवरातस्य राज ऋषेः ददौ हस्ते स सायकम् |
devaraatasya raaja R^iSheH dadau haste sa saayakam |
“That celebrated Rudra on his part with indignation has handed over that longbow, which is already fitted with unloosened arrow, to the sagely king among Videha kings, namely Devaraata… [1-75-20b, 21a]
This longbow of Shiva is reported as given after the devastation of the ritual of Daksha Prajaapati, the father of Sati and the father-in-law of Shiva as said at 1-66-9: dakSa yaj~na vadhe puurvam dhanuH aayamya viiryavaan | This ritual of Daksha is a composite of many problems. Shiva neither as god nor as the son-in-law of Daksha is invited to that ritual, Shiva’s consort Sati self-immolates herself in the her father’s ritual, Viira Bhadra and other deputies of Shiva depredate that ritual, and this shiva keshava yuddha ‘duelling of Shiva and Vishnu…’ happens… all to show – a single person’s disinterestedness ruins even a holy marriage. Here Daksha was uninterested to give his daughter Sati in marriage to Shiva.
इदम् च वैष्णवम् राम धनुः पर पुरम् जयम् || १-७५-२१
ऋचीके भार्गवे प्रादात् विष्णुः स न्यासम् उत्तमम् |
R^iciike bhaar.hgave praadaat viShNuH sa nyaasam uttamam |
“Oh, Rama, this alone is that enemy-citadel conquering longbow of Vishnu, and Vishnu handed over this to Sage Riciika, the son of Bhrigu, as a trustworthy trust… [1-75-21b, 22a].
ऋचीकः तु महातेजाः पुत्रस्य अप्रतिकर्मणः || १-७५-२२
पितुः मम ददौ दिव्यम् जमदग्नेः महात्मनः |
pituH mama dadau divyam jamadagneH mahaatmanaH |
“That great-resplendent Sage Riciika on his part has handed over this divine bow to his son with unmatchable deeds of religious merit, who is my father Sage Jamadagni… [1-75-22b, 23a]
The word of Jamadagni means ‘one who is born in Ritual-fire and having fire as his anima…’jaajamadya jajaane aham jajahii ha jajaayiSii | jamadagniH iti khyaatam tatio maa viddhi shobhane || anena shivaat viSNoH utkarSaH pratipaaditam – ayam eva arthaH | dk | where the word jajaamanta is ‘those who devour oblations repeatedly and at a single time in Vedic-rituals, namely gods; jamu – bhakshane so I am jajiihi because I sprang up from Ritual-fire… and when the first syllable in ja jaamat is dropped it remained as jamat and when combined with fire jamat agni it shortened after dropping matup pratyaya to become jamadagni so oh, lady know me as one born and having Ritual-fire… or, Vedic-ritual itself…’.
न्यस्त शस्त्रे पितरि मे तपो बल समन्विते || १-७५-२३
अर्जुनो विदधे मृत्युम् प्राकृताम् बुद्धिम् आस्थितः |
arjuno vidadhe mR^ityum praakR^itaam buddhim aasthitaH |
“Adhering to a barbarous mentality Kaartvaviirya Arjuna put my father to death, when the ascetically powerful father of mine has isolated himself from arsenal… [1-75-23b, 24a].
वधम् अप्रतिरूपम् तु पितुः श्रुत्वा सु दारुणम् |
क्षत्रम् उत्सादयन् रोषात् जातम् जातम् अनेकशः || १-७५-२४
पृथिवीम् च अखिलाम् प्राप्य काश्यपाय महात्मने |
यज्ञस्य अन्ते तदा राम दक्षिणाम् पुण्य कर्मणे || १-७५-२५
दत्त्वा महेन्द्र निलयः तपो बल समन्वितः |
kShatram utsaadayan roShaat jaatam jaatam anekashaH || 1-75-24
pR^ithiviim ca akhilaam praapya kaashyapaaya mahaatmane |
yaj~nasya ante tadaa raama dakShiNaam puNya karmaNe || 1-75-25
dattvaa mahendra nilayaH tapo bala samanvitaH |
“Oh, Rama, on hearing the unregenerate and highly perfidious murdering of my father, I rancorously extirpated Kshatriya-s as and when they are born, that too not for one time, but I did so for thirty-seven times going around the earth… and on getting the entire earth under my control I performed Vedic-ritual, and at the end of that Vedic-ritual, I gave all that earth to sage Kashyapa, a sage with divine soul and with pious observances, as a ritualistic-generosity… and I am at present on Mt. Mahendra practising ascesis and thus conjoined are the powers of ascesis in me… [1-75-24b, c, 25, 26a].
श्रुत्वा तु धनुषो भेदम् ततो अहम् द्रुतम् आगतः || १-७५-२६
तत् एवम् वैष्णवम् राम पितृ पैतामहम् महत् |
क्षत्र धर्मम् पुरस् कृत्य गृह्णीष्व धनुर् उत्तमम् || १-७५-२७
tat evam vaiShNavam raama pitR^i paitaamaham mahat |
kShatra dharmam puras kR^itya gR^ihNiiShva dhanur uttamam || 1-75-27
“On hearing about the breakage of Shiva’s longbow, then I promptly came here. Thereby, oh, Rama, wield this supernatural and superlative longbow of Vishnu, which is passed on to me from my forefathers and my father. Keep your fealty to Kshatriya-hood in view, and wield this as you have wielded Shiva’s longbow… [1-75-26b, 27].
योजयस्व धनुः श्रेष्ठे शरम् पर पुरम् जयम् |
यदि शक्तः असि काकुत्स्थ द्वन्द्वम् दास्यामि ते ततः || १-७५-२८
yadi shaktaH asi kaakutstha dvandvam daasyaami te tataH || 1-75-28
“Take an aim with an arrow that conquers enemy’s citadels fixing it on this supramundane longbow… and oh, Kakutstha, should you be capable of it, thereafter I will give you a duel… [1-75-28].