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Chapter 23: Lakshmana Insists that Personal Effort is Greater than Destiny

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Lakshmana Insists that Personal Effort is Greater than Destiny


This chapter describes the valiant words of Lakshmana; his opposing depends on God and proposes to fight with Rama's enemies to endow Rama with Kingdom.

Chapter [Sarga] 23 in Detail

iti bruvati raame tu laksmano adhah shiraa muhuh |

shrutvaa madhyam jagaama iva manasaa duhkha harsayoh || 2-23-1

While Rama was thus speeding, Lakshmana heard, bowed down his head and got into the midst of pain and pleasure affecting his mind again and again.

tadaa tu baddhvaa bhrukutiim bhruvor madhye nara risabha |

nishashvaasa mahaa sarpo bilasyaiva rositah || 2-23-2

Lakshmana then firmed up his eyebrows and sighed with frown, like an angry snake from its hole.

tasya dusprativiiksyam tat bhrukutii sahitam tadaa |

babhau kruddhasya simhasya mukhasya sadrisham mukham || 2-23-3

His wickedly looking face with eyebrows contracted, then appeared like the face of an angry lion.

agrahah tam vidhunvams tu hastii hastam ivaatmanah |

tiryag uurdhvam shariire ca paatayitvaa shirah dharaam || 2-23-4

agra aksnaa viiksamaanah tu tiryag bhraataram abraviit |

Seeing Rama with the tip of his eyes obliquely, Lakshmana spoke to him moving his forehand like an elephant moving its trunk and causing his head to fall in oblique and upward direction.

asthaane sambhramah yasya jaatah vai sumahaan ayam || 2-23-5

dharma dosa prasangena lokasya anatishankayaa |

katham hi etat asambhraantah tvad vidho vaktum arhati || 2-23-6

yathaa daivam ashaundiiram shaundiirah ksatriya risabhah |

"Oh, the best of proud military community! This untimely great confusion is born in you due to your conjecture of quilty righteousness and of non suspicion of the world. Can such a person like you speak a person like you speak thus doubtlessly of the powerless destiny?"

kim naama kripanam daivam ashaktam abhishamsati |

paapayos tu katham naama tayoh shankaa na vidyate || 2-23-7

"Why are you speaking about this weak and pitiable destiny? Why are you not doubting the sinful Kaikeyi and Dasaratha?"

santi dharma upadhaah shlaksnaa dharmaatman kim na budhyase || 2-23-8

tayossucharitam svaartham shaathyaat parijihiirshhatoh |

"Oh, the righteous should! Both of them are smoothly deceiving in the name of righteousness with an intent to keep away your good conduct, with selfish away your good conduct, with selfish motive and by dishonest means. You are not knowing."

yadi naivam vyavasitam syaaddhi praagreva raaghava |

tayoh praageva dattashcha syaadvarah prakritashcha sah || 2-23-9

"Oh, Rama! If it was not indeed an earlier decision taken long ago by both of them, the boon must have been given naturally even long ago."

loka vidvistam aarabdham tvad anyasya abhisecanam |

notsahe sahitum viira tatra me kshantumarhasi || 2-23-10

"Enthroning other than yourself is not to the liking of the people. I cannot tolerate this act that is started. Excuse me in this matter."

yena iyam aagataa dvaidham tava buddhir mahii pate |

sa hi dharmah mama dvesyah prasangaat yasya muhyasi || 2-23-11

"Oh, Rama the great minded! This righteousness by which your intellect got disunited and by which indulgence, you are stupefied, is disliked by me."

katham tvam karmanaa shaktah kaikeyiivashavartinah |

karishhyasi piturvaakyamadharmishhtham vigarhitam || 2-23-12

"you are capable of doing retaliatory action. How can you act on the word which is reprehensible and which is unjustified of your father who is surrendering obediently to the will of Kaikeyi?"

yady api pratipattis te daivii ca api tayoh matam |

tathaa api upeksaniiyam te na me tat api rocate || 2-23-13

"Though they are doing this treachery with a sinful intent, I regret that you are not grasping it. Such a conduct is to be censured."

mansaa.api katham kaamam kuryaastvam kaamavrittayoh |

tayostvahitayornityam shatrvoh pitrabhidhaanayoh || 2-23-14

"But of them, action on their own free will, were never desirous of your welfare. They are enemies in the name of parents. It is not proper even to think of fulfilling their desire."

yadyapi pratipattiste daivii chaapi tayormatam |

tathaa pyupekshaniiyam te na me tadapi rochate || 2-23-15

"It may be your opinion that their action is influenced by mere destiny. Even then, I do not like you to be indifferent to this also."

viklavo viirya hiino yah sa daivam anuvartate |

viiraah sambhaavita aatmaano na daivam paryupaasate || 2-23-16

"Only a confused and cowardly person depends upon destiny. Brave men with self-respect do not honor the destiny."

daivam purusa kaarena yah samarthah prabaadhitum |

na daivena vipanna arthah purusah so avasiidati || 2-23-17

"That person who is capable of keeping off destiny by human effort, does not have regret in the sense of not being failed by destiny."

draksyanti tu adya daivasya paurusam purusasya ca |

daiva maanusayoh adya vyaktaa vyaktir bhavisyati || 2-23-18

"Today all can see how much prowess is there in destiny and in man. This day, the distinction between man and the destiny will be clearly perceived."

adya mat paurusa hatam daivam draksyanti vai janaah |

yad daivaat aahatam te adya drstam raajya abhisecanam || 2-23-19

"By which destiny, your coronation is seen crushed, I shall crush that destiny by my prowess. Let all people see it!"

atyankusham iva uddaamam gajam mada bala uddhatam |

pradhaavitam aham daivam paurusena nivartaye || 2-23-20

"By my prowess, I shall turn back this destiny, as framing back an elephant which is not caring a hook and which is fiercely running with violent force."

loka paalaah samastaah te na adya raama abhisecanam |

na ca krtsnaah trayo lokaa vihanyuh kim punah pitaa || 2-23-21

"Neither all the guardians of the world nor the three worlds put together can withhold Rama's coronation today. Why to talk about father."

yaih vivaasah tava aranye mitho raajan samarthitah |

aranye tu vivatsyanti catur dasha samaah tathaa || 2-23-22

"Oh, King! Those who are secretly advocating you to live in a forest for fourteen years, will have to reside in forest for fourteen years in that manner."

aham tadaa aashaam chetsyaami pitus tasyaah ca yaa tava |

abhiseka vighaatena putra raajyaaya vartate || 2-23-23

"That is why; I shall break down the hope of father and of Kaikeyi, who is trying for kingdom to her son by creating obstacle to your coronation."

mad balena viruddhaaya na syaat daiva balam tathaa |

prabhavisyati duhkhaaya yathaa ugram paurusam mama || 2-23-24

"The strength of destiny cannot create that much pain as that which my terrific prowess will create to those who are opposed to my strength."

uurdhvam varsa sahasra ante prajaa paalyam anantaram |

aarya putraah karisyanti vana vaasam gate tvayi || 2-23-25

"At the end of a thousand years of your ruling the kingdom, you having gone to the forest, your sons will govern the kingdom."

puurva raaja rsi vrttyaa hi vana vaaso vidhiiyate |

prajaa niksipya putresu putravat paripaalane || 2-23-26

"It is indeed a practice for ancient kings to go to the forest after keeping care of people, to be nourished as children, into the hands of their sons."

sa ced raajani aneka agre raajya vibhrama shankayaa |

na evam icchasi dharmaatman raajyam raama tvam aatmani || 2-23-27

pratijaane ca te viira maa bhuuvam viira loka bhaak |

raajyam ca tava rakseyam aham velaa iva saagaram || 2-23-28

"If you think that you do not want kingdom because of your doubt that the kingdom will get disturbed due to unstable mind of king Dasaratha, you need not fear. I am promising you. I shall protect the kingdom as a sea coast protects the sea. If not, I will not obtain the heroic world of heaven."

mangalaih abhisincasva tatra tvam vyaaprtah bhava |

aham eko mahii paalaan alam vaarayitum balaat || 2-23-29

"You become engaged in getting coronated with auspicious things. I for one is competent to ward off the kings by force."

na shobha arthaav imau baahuu na dhanur bhuusanaaya me |

na asiraa bandhana arthaaya na sharaah stambha hetavah || 2-23-30

amitra damana artham me sarvam etac catustayam |

"My arms are not meant for handsomeness alone. Bow is not for decoration. Sword is not for tying around waist. Arrows are not for staying immobile. All these four are intended for subduing enemies."

na ca aham kaamaye atyartham yah syaat shatrur matah mama || 2-23-31

asinaa tiiksna dhaarena vidyuc calita varcasaa |

pragrhiitena vai shatrum vajrinam vaa na kalpaye || 2-23-32

"I do not wish to tolerate too much the one who is considered as enemy to me. By wearing a sword with sharp edge which is extremely bright like lightening, I do not care any enemy, even Indra himself. This earth will become impermeable, uninhabited with heads hands and thighs of elephants horses and men crushed, having been hit by my sword."

khadga nispesa nispistaih gahanaa dushcaraa ca me |

hasti ashva nara hasta uuru shirobhir bhavitaa mahii || 2-23-33

"Now, elephants can fall down on earth, being hit by the gush of my sword, like mountains in blaze, like clouds, with flashes of lightening.

khadga dhaaraa hataa me adya diipyamaanaaiva adrayah |

patisyanti dvipaa bhuumau meghaaiva savidyutah || 2-23-34

"As I stand holding a bow with fingers wound with shields made of allegator-skin, how any man will fancy himself a hero among men?"

baddha godhaa anguli traane pragrihiita shara aasane |

katham purusa maanii syaat purusaanaam mayi sthite || 2-23-35

"While I overpower one with many arrows and many with a single arrow, I discharge my arrows at vitals of men, horses and elephants."

bahubhih ca ekam atyasyann ekena ca bahuun janaan |

viniyoksyaamy aham baanaan nri vaaji gaja marmasu || 2-23-36

"Oh, Lord! Today, the strength of my excellent arrows is capable of making you sovereign and making Dasaratha devoid of power."

adya me astra prabhaavasya prabhaavah prabhavisyati |

raajnah ca aprabhutaam kartum prabhutvam ca tava prabho || 2-23-37

“Oh, Lord Rama! Today the effect of my weapons will remove the power from the king Dasaratha and give the lordship to you."

adya candana saarasya keyuuraa moksanasya ca |

vasuunaam ca vimoksasya suhrdaam paalanasya ca || 2-23-38

anuruupaav imau baahuu raama karma karisyatah |

abhisecana vighnasya kartriunaam te nivaarane || 2-23-39

"Oh, Rama! These arms worthy of wearing sandalwood essence and bracelets; for bestowing riches and for protection of friends can today do every action to prevent the agents who want to obstruct your coronation."

braviihi ko adya eva mayaa viyujyataam |

tava asuhrd praana yashah suhrj janaih |

yathaa tava iyam vasudhaa vashe bhavet |

tathaa eva maam shaadhi tava asmi kimkarah || 2-23-40

"Tell me now itself who your enemy be made deprived of life, honor and friendship, by me. Command me so that how this earth will become your dominion. I am your servant.

vimrjya baaspam parisaantvya ca asakrit |

sa laksmanam raaghava vamsha vardhanah |

uvaaca pitrye vacane vyavasthitam |

nibodha maam esa hi saumya sat pathah || 2-23-41

Then, Rama spoke thus to Lakshmana after consoling him time and again by weeping off his tears; "Oh, Lakshmana! I stand by the words of our father. This indeed is a good path."

 ityaarshhe shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande trayovimshah sargah

Thus completes twenty third chapter of Ayodhya Kanda in Srimad Ramayana.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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