Story – When Lord Rama helped Vishwamitra by killing Tadaka

Tadaka and Subahu attempted to harass as many rishis as they could, by destroying their Yagnas with rains of flesh and blood. Brahmarishi Vishwamitra was especially at the receiving end of Tadaka’s harassment. Unable to cope with her mischief any longer, Vishwamitra finally approached Dasaratha, the King of Kosala, for help. The King obliged by sending two of his four sons, the 16-yr-olds, Rama and Lakshmana, to the forest, charging them to protect both Vishwamitra and his Yagna. Vishwamitra and the two princes came to Tataka’s forest and the sage ordered Rama to kill the demoness to free the area from her terror. Rama was hesitant to kill her as she was a woman and initially maimed her, chopping off her hands so that she could not attack him further. Using her demonic powers, she changed form, disappeared and continued to attack them whilst remaining unseen. Sage Vishwamitra advised Rama, that as a prince, he had to carry out his duty regardless of his own personal reservations about killing a woman. Rama swiftly pierced her heart with his arrows. This act gained the young princes the blessings of not just Vishwamitra but also the blessings of all of the assembled sages in the yagnashala.

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