Sunday, 15 March 2015

242. Ravana's son becomes the next victim.

         Ravana was completely shaken to hear the slaughtering  of the five army-generals along with their armies  by Hanuman. He was looking around for some one who will be more than a match for that animal. When his eyes fell on his son  Aksha, he asked him with eyes whether he was prepared to meet that animal. Aksha vehemently nodding his agreement sprang up wielding his golden dotted bow like a fire switched up by the foremost of brahmins in a sacrificial fire, by offering ghee as an oblation to it. Mounting a great chariot, having the splendour of a newly risen sun and overlaid with protective armour of highly refined gold, that valiant rakshash sallied forth towards that mighty animal. Aksha's chariot was the resultant of many of his varied  penances. It was shining with protective armour of highly refined gold, adorned with a flag on the flagstaff studded with gems and yoked well with eight excellent horses and can roll at the speed of thoughts. 
       That chariot was unassailable by celestials or asuras. It moved without any hindrance to any place. It was  shining like the sun and could move within the sky. It was well-conceived with a quiver, eight swords and tied with bells. It was orderly arranged with spears and lances in their respective places. Aksha having a prowess equal to that of celestials, came forth mounting that chariot decorated with golden wreaths, having the brilliance of the moon and sun, filled with every right things and shining like rays of sun.
            Aksha, reverberating the sky, earth and its mountains with the sounds of the horses, elephants and chariots, together with his army, approached Hanuman who was waiting nonchalantly at the arched door-way. On seeing Aksha, Hanuman, at  will became a brobdingnagian. Seeing Hanuman, who had become  mammoth in size, the yellow-eyed Aksha was surprised and looked at him with a great esteem.
       Aksha, the mighty prince, realizing the capabilities of Hanuman and his prowess with regard to his adversaries, increased the size of his body, too. Understanding Hanuman's prowess to be unrestrainable and stable in battle, Aksha, who was initially very angry, controlled it and became stable and mentally composed and incited Hanuman to defend himself or surrender, by discharging three sharp arrows towards him. He thought that Hanuman, as a haughty vanara, after having gallantly conquered his adversaries earlier and accustomed to fatigue, would be quite tired now. As such, Aksha concluded that it would not be very hard to conquer Hanuman. Spurred by such a thought, Aksha  looked at him with an excited mind.
      Having a golden chain, a pair of armlets and charming ear-rings, Aksha of a swift prowess, approached Hanuman. Hanuman was happy to find that this time he was facing an opponent who was quite a match for him. At the same time he felt sorry that he may have to kill such a competent warrior. Their matched get-together in combat was watched by devas and asuras with great awe and high respect. That battle between Hanuman and Aksha created a pandemonium on the earth. The sun did not shine brightly. The wind ceased to blow. The mountains shook. The sky reverberated the noise created in the battle. The ocean  was agitated, too. Then, that eminent rakshash decided at least to weaken his opponent as he found that it was not easy to kill him. Accordingly he fit an arrow to the bow and hurled it on Hanuman's head. He then quickly followed it with three arrows which were well-painted, having golden shafts and feathers and which resembled venomous serpents.
         Poor Aksha did not know that Hanuman cannot be killed! He was very much surprised that his powerful arrows merely wounded Hanuman. From those wounds  blood was dripping copiously which made him (Hanuman) look like the newly risen sun. Eyes bathed in blood rolling rapidly, Hanuman, like the sun surrounded by a circle of rays, was shining with the arrows as rays.
        Despite the fact that the arrows sticking into his face was quite painful, Hanuman very happy to face someone who is quite a match for him. He further grew in size. Then he tried to burn the prince Aksha along with his army and vehicles, by the rays of fire emanating from his eyes. That rakshash, in the form of a cloud, raining down arrows,  then wielding a bow in the form of a rain-bow, soon discharged arrows on Hanuman standing in the form of a mountain, like a cloud showering rain on a high mountain.
       Hanuman was happy to fight with  Aksha the prince, who had an impetuous valour  with a capacity to move within the sky like a cloud, and his splendour, strength and vigour were much higher than that of the rakshashas he (i.e. Hanuman) fought and liquidated so far. Such a thought made Hanuman roar with joy. Proud of his valour in battle because of his childish attitude, Aksha with an enhanced fury and red-blood eyes, approached Hanuman who was incomparable in battle, as an elephant approaching a well covered with heaps of straw.
      As Aksha forcefully discharged his arrows, Hanuman roared a sound of thunder and bounced quickly to the sky assuming a terrible form, stretching out his arms and thighs. That strong and valiant Aksha, the foremost among the rakshasas, and a nonpareil among car warriors, went chasing Hanuman who was flying upwards, diffusing arrows like a cloud showering hail-stones on a mountain.
        That valiant Hanuman, whose swiftness was equal to that of light and possessing impetuous valour in battle, rushing forth like wind in the space between one arrow and another and thus escaping Aksha's arrows. With a respectable faculty of sight, Hanuman saw that Aksha  was wielding his bow and readily inclined to continue to  fight, covering the entire sky with excellent arrows with various types of tops. This made him think "The mighty Aksha, possessing the luster of a rising sun, is performing great as a mature youth. However, I am not inclined to kill him, who is distinguished in all acts of war-fare. He possesses a great intellect and is also prominent by his valour. He is well-composed and highly tolerant in battle. Due to his eminent deeds and virtues, there is no wonder he is adored by saints, Nagas the serpent-demons and Yakshas. He is facing me bravely and looks at me straight in the eyes, reassured as he is, by his prowess and enthusiasm. His swift-moving prowess would make even the minds of celestials and rakshasas tremble. If I am not very careful, he would undoubtedly overpower me. His prowess is getting augmented in battle. The only option left out for me now is to kill him without any delay, as it is not advisable to neglect a spreading fire."
              Having decided to liquidate Aksha without any more dilly-dally, Hanuman, the James Bond of Ramayanam, started with the horses. With the blows of his palm, he killed those eight horses possessing a great speed in the path of the sky with alertness as also having a capacity to bear burden while turning to different directions. Then, the great chariot of Aksha was struck and its interior broken, its carriage pole loosened, it along with the dead horses fell from the sky to the ground.
        Jumping out of his chariot and wielding the bow and sword, Aksha the chariot-warrior leapt to the sky. Having a terrible power of penance and leaving his body like a sage, he then was seen departing to heaven because of his Yogic penance. Thereafter, Hanuman with his prowess equal to that of wind, approaching Aksha moving in that part of the sky, which was often frequented by Garuda the eagle, the wind and Siddhas the ascetics endowed with supernatural powers, slowly grasped his feet firmly.
         Hanuman, with a prowess equal to that of his dad, Vayu spinning round Aksha like an eagle grasping a great serpent,  for a thousand times, hurled him down on to the earth below forcefully. With his arms, thighs, hips and neck broken, blood dripping, his bones and eyes crushed, his joints displaced and his sinews shattered, that rakshash fell down onto the earth without any life.
       The battle between Aksha and Hanuman was watched ab initio by great sages who move everywhere and anywhere without obstruction and having great vows and  also by Yakshas the semi divine beings, Pannagas the serpent-demons and celestials including Indra the lord of celestials.
           Killing Aksha, possessing a luster equal to that of Jayanta, the son of Indra, the lord of celestials, our hero Hanuman with his eyes resembling blood, returned to the pavilion, the good old arch door way awaiting his next challenger, like Yama the lord of death awaiting  the next mortal.

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