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Sage Visvamitra ordered Rama to kill Tataka. ‘Please accept my apologies, I do not fight or kill women,’ Rama said humbly. ‘Rama, as a Kshatriya, it is your bounden duty to protect the innocent and slay the wicked. You are a prince and the future king of Ayodhya; you are responsible for the welfare of your subjects. As your elder and guru, I am ordering you to kill Tataka and rid this forest of her.’ Without another word, Rama strung his bow and shot an arrow, which pierced Tataka’s heart and she fell down.
Many must have heard of Saptarshis in passing when talking about Ursa Major. They are not just the seven stars of the kite-shaped constellation, but also refer to the seven sages in Hindu astronomy. This book, Saptarshis, offers a glimpse into how the seven sages—Vasistha, Kasyapa, Atri, Visvamitra, Gotama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja—came to be extolled in the Vedas. The contribution of each of the seven sages have now been ingrained in Vedic literature, having a ripple effect on Hindu mythology such that it was passed on from one generation to the next, making way from the knowledge seekers of yore to the readers of modern times.