On the way it espied Valmiki's hermitage. Seeing the lush
green grass there, the horse entered the hermitage. It was trampling upon the flowerbeds there and
spoiling the garden. Kusha was not there. Luv happened to
be playing there with other boys of the hermitage. He saw the horse. He went near it and saw the golden
plaque on its forehead. When he read the inscription, he became very angry. He
thought, "Is Rama, the son of Kausalya, the only hero? If I don't humble
his pride, what is the use of my being the son of Sita?" With the towel,
which was his upper garment, he tied that horse to a tree. He would not listen
to the other boys who in fear asked him not to do so.
|LUV ATTACKING THE ARMY
Meanwhile the soldiers accompanying the horse came there. They became angry that
the horse had been tied up. "Who did this?" they asked the boys who
were there. Trembling with fear, the boys said, "We didn't do that. It was
he," pointing at Luv. The soldiers turned to Luv and
it first." But Luv said, "Why should I untie the horse? I won't. And
take care! If any of you tries to untie it, I'll cut off his hands." One
of them, thinking that a young boy's words need only to be ignored, went to the
horse to untie it. Luv promptly fixed an arrow in his bow and shot it the soldier's
hand was cut.
The other soldiers were all very angry at what had happened to one of them. All
of them surrounded the boy. But a swarm of flies does not shake a mountain. Luv
stood firm and brought on a rain of arrows upon them. Many
soldiers were injured and fell to the ground. They were stunned by his courage and heroism. By then the
commander of the army, Shatrughna confronted Luv. He said, "Look, boy,
who are you? And why have you tied the king's horse? Well, don't die of my hands.
Leave the horse and run."
The words did not frighten Luv. He chanted the Mahesha incantation taught by
Valmiki and aimed an arrow. Shatrughna was enraged at the boy's impudence. He
also took his bow into his hands. But Luv shot an arrow that broke his bow. Shatrughna
was utterly surprised at the boy's bravery. He was also angry. He
took another bow and shot a terrible arrow at Luv. Luv cut that arrow too. But only one half
of the arrow fell down on the ground and the other sharp half-pierced Luv's chest.
The boy fell down with a loud cry.
|LUV BEING STRUCK BY THE
ARROW OF SHATRUGHNA
Shatrughna went near the boy prostrate on the ground. He greatly admired the
boldness of the boy. He looked at him from near. Seeing the boy's handsome features,
he felt drawn to him. He lifted up Luv and lay him down
in his chariot. The soldiers
freed the horse tied to the tree. All of them started towards Ayodhya, led by
The young sons of the rishis were all very afraid at what had happened to Luv.
Weeping loudly they ran to the ashram and narrated to Sita all that had transpired.
She started weeping tearfully, not knowing what would be her son's fate. And
this had happened when Valmiki was not in the hermitage! She was in confusion
as to what should be done now. When Luv tied the sacrificial
horse to a tree, Kusha was not in the ashram. He had gone out to the forest to bring the holy
twigs for worship. When he returned, he saw Sita was weeping. He asked her, "Mother,
why are you weeping? What happened?" Amidst loud sobs
Sita told him all that had happened. Kusha became red with anger. He burst out, "Mother, don't
be afraid. Even if it is Yama the God of Death who has taken away my brother,
I will break his bones. I do no care for these so-called kings. Give
me my shields, bow and arrows." Sita at once put on him his nail-coat and fetched his bow
and arrows. Kusha prostrated before his mother. "May you succeed," Sita
blessed and bade him farewell.