बाणं स वज्रमिव तद्धृदयं बिभेद ।
सोऽसृग् वमन् दशमुखैर्न्यपतद् विमाना-
द्धाहेति जल्पति जने सुकृतीव रिक्त: ॥ २३ ॥
bāṇaṁ sa vajram iva tad-dhṛdayaṁ bibheda
so ’sṛg vaman daśa-mukhair nyapatad vimānād
dhāheti jalpati jane sukṛtīva riktaḥ
evam — in this way; kṣipan — chastising (Rāvaṇa); dhanuṣi — on the bow; sandhitam — fixed an arrow; utsasarja — released (toward him); bāṇam — the arrow; saḥ — that arrow; vajram iva — like a thunderbolt; tat-hṛdayam — the heart of Rāvaṇa; bibheda — pierced; saḥ — he, Rāvaṇa; asṛk — blood; vaman — vomiting; daśa-mukhaiḥ — through the ten mouths; nyapatat — fell down; vimānāt — from his airplane; hāhā — alas, what happened; iti — thus; jalpati — roaring; jane — when all the people present there; sukṛtī iva — like a pious man; riktaḥ — when the results of his pious activities are finished.
After thus rebuking Rāvaṇa, Lord Rāmacandra fixed an arrow to His bow, aimed at Rāvaṇa, and released the arrow, which pierced Rāvaṇa’s heart like a thunderbolt. Upon seeing this, Rāvaṇa’s followers raised a tumultuous sound, crying, “Alas! Alas! What has happened? What has happened?” as Rāvaṇa, vomiting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane, just as a pious man falls to earth from the heavenly planets when the results of his pious activities are exhausted.
In Bhagavad-gītā (9.21) it is said, kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśanti: “When the results of their pious activities are exhausted, those who have enjoyed in the heavenly planets fall again to earth.” The fruitive activities of this material world are such that whether one acts piously or impiously one must remain within the material world according to different conditions, for neither pious nor impious actions can relieve one from māyā’s clutches of repeated birth and death. Somehow or other, Rāvaṇa was raised to an exalted position as the king of a great kingdom with all material opulences, but because of his sinful act of kidnapping mother Sītā, all the results of his pious activities were destroyed. If one offends an exalted personality, especially the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one certainly becomes most abominable; bereft of the results of pious activities, one must fall down like Rāvaṇa and other demons. It is therefore advised that one transcend both pious and impious activities and remain in the pure state of freedom from all designations (sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam). When one is fixed in devotional service, he is above the material platform. On the material platform there are higher and lower positions, but when one is above the material platform he is always fixed in a spiritual position (sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate). Rāvaṇa or those like him may be very powerful and opulent in this material world, but theirs is not a secure position, because, after all, they are bound by the results of their karma (karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa). We should not forget that we are completely dependent on the laws of nature.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Bg. 3.27) One should not be proud of one’s exalted position and act like Rāvaṇa, thinking oneself independent of material nature’s laws.