The Slaying Of Tataka

Vishwamitra, accompanied by Sri Rama and Lakshmana, was crossing the River Ganga, when Sri Rama heard the tumultuous moise of River Sarayu rushing on to join the Ganga. The land nearby was very fertile and rich with food grains.

A Yaksha woman Tataka by name, with the might of a thousand elephants, lived there. Her son Maricha was demoniac. Vishwamitra hinted that Sri Rama might have to kill the ogre-woman Tataka.

Remembering his father's instruction that he should obey the Sage Vishwamitra, Sri Rama agreed to kill Tataka, though at first he hesitated to kill a woman.

Sri Rama twanged his bow-string signalling the battle-cry which enraged Tataka and her hordes. She sprang out of her dwelling. She was monstrous in size with a distorted, misshappen face.

Tataka roared, and rained dirt and squalor for an hour. She then showered boulders.

Sri Rama cut off her arms with arrows, and Lakshmana's arrows sliced off her ears and the tip of her nose.

Tataka went on showering huge rocks. Sage Vishwamitra advised Sri Rama to dispose of the ogress without further delay as she could be very ruinous and cause any amount of hindrance to Yajnas. He informed him that ogres gain more strength after sunset and it would be more difficult to confront them in the dark hours.

Judging the position of the invisible ogress from the roaring sounds she made, Sri Rama shot his arrows and dispatched her.

Even the Devas lauded the young heroes and told Vishwamitra that the princes fully deserved to be taught missiles launched by mantras.

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