Sage Vishwamitra and The Princes

Sri Rama's Jounery with Sage Vishwamitra was like an educational tour in a moving school. The Sage, well versed in mantras and sacred spells, taught Sri Rama and Laksmana two spells, Bala and Atibala, which would keep away fatigue, fever, hunger, or thrist and keep them energetic and vigorous. The spells would keep them ever young and render them invincible.

There was the sacred Sarayu river which Vishwamitra praised. He warned Sri Rama about Tataka and other ogres and ogresses who lived around that place. On the Sage's bidding Sri Rama slew Tataka. The Sage then imparted training in the use of missiles to Sri Rama - 1) Danda Chakra, 2) Kalachakra, 3) Dharma Chakra, 4) a pair of blessed maces, 5) Three types of nooses called Kala, 6) two asanis, 7) missiles presided over by Varuna, Shiva, Narayana, Agni, Vayu and Hayagriva and 8) other weapons and missiles called Krauncha, Sakti, Kankala and Musala.

Scholars have listed 90 and odd such missiles and weapons that could be launched with mantra as mentioned by Sage Valmiki.

The missiles in their ethereal forms submitted themselves to Sri Rama's will and became a part of his armounry. Sage Vishwamitra also taught the young princes the science of launching and recalling the weapons.

The great teacher told his wards about the importance of the ashramas on the way and related the history of the places. Thus the three - the Sage and the two princes - walked on, talking about several matters of interest. The princes exchanged information and practised handling the weapons and missiles unwittingly equipping themselves for the stormy, epoch-making life ahead.

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