Thursday, 31 March 2016

340. Makaraksha was killed by Rama.

            Seeing another army coming with the intention of vanquishing them, the entire army of Rama took their positions to meet and crush the enemy. The battle that ensued then was said to be like that between devas and danavas.
           In the following battle the vanara army found themselves to be in the receiving end. Makaraksha carried out the battle so fiercely and efficiently, all the vanaras with their tails between their legs started running away from the battle field. Seeing that all the rakshashas roared like lions with a triumphant feeling. Seeing that, Rama hurried there and made the rakshashas to halt with his renowned arrows.
        Seeing Rama ably interrupting his chaps, Makaraksha went before Rama and told him angrily "Hold on, Rama! Stop showing your valour on the poor rakshashas. I dare you to have a dual with me. I will send you meet your maker. Since the time you killed my dear papa by some tricky means on that day in the Dandaka forest, I have been waiting with my anger growing more and more violent, to meet you and kill you, by honest means and not like you by some nefarious acts. By a good fortune, God has made you come into my sight here, now, O Rama! You are being sought by me, as a lion in hunger seeks his favorite animal to eat.
         "O Rama! Choose the means by which you want to embrace your death. Do you want to fight with Astras, or with a mace or by our arms or by any other means you think you will be better off than me."
       Rama was amused to hear the bragging of that rakshash. He told that rakshash "O rakshash! Stop boasting, unless you think that you can win by doing so. I guess you know that I killed fourteen thousand rakshashas along with Khara, your father, Trishira and Dushana in the Dandaka forest.
      "O  paltry, despicable and contemptible rakshash! Today, vultures, jackals and crows are going to enjoy eating your flesh.”
         Irritated by Rama's retort, Makaraksha discharged a multitude of arrows on Rama. Rama tore those arrows by his array of arrows. That day the battle raged furiously between Makaraksha and Rama.
       There was a flash announcement over the air in all the Seven Logas that the battle between the two was quite interesting and that tickets were available. Within a short time the firmament was filled with Devas, DanavasGandharvas, kinnaras and Mahoragas (celestial serpants). 
        All the spectators felt that they were lucky to witness such a wonderful duel between those two.
          All the four quarters and the intermediate points were diffused with a multitude of arrows. Even the earth was covered on all sides and was not visible to the spectators. Then Rama broke off the bow of the rakshash and got a roaring applause from the firmament.
           Encouraged by this appreciation from the firmament, Rama struck the charioteer with his arrows. Then Rama broke the chariot with his arrows and killed its horses. Makaraksha jumped out of his chariot before it was broken. That rakshash, standing on the ground, took in his hands a highly powerful spike which was gifted to him by Rudra, one of the eight forms of Shiva, the Lord of Dissolution. That terrible spike, which flamed violently in the sky, looked like another new weapon of destruction of the world. On seeing it, all the deities were afflicted with fear and watching with apprehension the outcome.
            That rakshash Makaraksha, with a sneering smile hurled that spike towards Rama. Rama with absolute nonchalance countered that flaming spike with his arrows hurled with utmost celerity. To the utter   astonishment of all, including the spectators in the firmament,  that horrendous   spike, adorned  with charming gold, struck by Rama's arrows was broken to smithereens, fell scattered on the earth, like a mighty meteor. All the divinities in the firmament applauded by shouting loudly 'bravo' many times.
           Seeing that spike destroyed, Makaraksha with his raised fist, was running towards Rama, presumably to attack him. Then, Rama fitted to his bow, a missile powered by Agni. hurled it at that rakshash. Struck by that missile, the rakshash, with his heart split open, fell down dead.
          Seeing the fall of Makaraksha, all the rakshashas who accompanied him ran away straight to Lanka.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

339. Ravana sends Makaraksha as the next victim.

                 Ravana was absolutely dazed to hear the demise of both Nikumbha and Kumbha. Ravana was very much confident that both those valiant heroes would completely squash the army of Rama and vanquish Rama and Lakshmana. While he was brooding, Makaraksha, the son of Khara, approached Ravana to offer his condolence. Seeing him Ravana thought that this lad who had a grudge against Rama and as such would be the best choice to set him against Rama. Accepting his condolence, he told him “My dear lad, I was thinking who is the most capable to vanquish and destroy Rama and his army. I see there is no one who is more capable than you in that regard. I, therefore, command you! Take an army of any size you want and go. Kill Rama, Lakshmana and the monkeys. Do not show any sympathy to any of them.”
            Makaraksha, the son of Khara, was highly exhilarated that he was personally asked by the great Ravana. Showing all his teeth (I think they were absolutely horrible), he  assured Ravana that he would do it certainly as commanded. Having respectfully saluted, performing circumambulation, the mighty (that is what he started thinking of himself from that moment) Makaraksha marched out to fulfill the great king's command.
        Makaraksha, the son of Khara ordered the commander of an army who came in to his vicinity to bring a chariot and make his army ready in a jiffy to march to the battle field with him to vanquish Rama and his army. The army-commander promptly executed his order.
    After following the usual formalities and prayers, Makaraksha jumped on to the chariot and pompously commanded the charioteer to drive forward the chariot to the battle-field, pronto. On the way he addressed his army guys “O rakshashas! All of you should now be proud to be under my overall command. Ravana, our mighty king has commanded me to kill both Rama and Lakshmana in battle. Today, I, therefore decided to kill Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and his whole army without any compunction. All of you are very fortunate to witness me destroy completely the huge army of monkeys, as fire destroys the dry wood.”
           Cheering Makaraksha for his declaration, all the rakshashas, wielding various kinds of weapons, became steadfast to fight. Those cruel rakshashas, who can change their forms at will, had protruding tusks, tawny coloured eyes and disheveled hair, creating terror with their colossal bodies marched forward like roaring elephants, shaking the firmament and surrounded the huge-bodied Makaraksha.
          There arose a great tumult sounded, on all sides, of thousands of couches and kettle-drums including leonine roars and clapping of arms. As usual ominous   portents appeared. The long whip slipped down from the hands of Makaraksha’s charioteer and the flag-staff of that rakshash also suddenly fell down  inexplicably. The horses, yoked to his chariot, deprived of their diversified gait, were walking with flurried feet and went timidly, with tears in their eyes. At the time of marching of that dreadful and evil-minded Makaraksha, a harsh and fearful dust-storm blew forth.
          Makaraksha and his guys ignored them and continued their journey to the battle field. All those accompanying Makaraksha were very eager to witness the killing of Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and his army by Makaraksha duly assisted by them.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

338. Hanuman killed Nikumbha.

             Seeing his brother Kumbha killed by Sugreeva, that too in such an  awful, appalling, terrifying, shocking, grim, dreadful, revolting and fearful manner, Nikumbha, whose blood in his veins and arteries were boiling, looked at Sugreeva angrily. If only his eyes had the power of the third eye of Shiva, Sugreeva would have been burnt to ashes like Manmatha. Then, Nikumbha grasped his incredibly huge iron club, which was stupendous like the crest of Mount Mandara and was bright and festooned with wreaths and provided with iron plates. Around it ran a broad strip of gold and diamonds and rubies studded it all over. It looked ominously ominous causing dismay to the vanaras and acted as a tonic on the nervous rakshashas. Wielding that weapon, which in size resembled the flag-staff of Indra, Nikumbha roared menacingly. On his chest shone a medal of gold. His arms were held by beautiful bracelets. Lustrous pendants dancing from his ears. Resplendent garland enfolded his neck. With these ornaments and with his club, Nikumbha looked awfully  alarming and sinister.
Nikumbha, who was almost as strong as his dad, hurled his club aiming at the breast of Hanuman. The path of that projectile i.e. Nikumbha's club, in the sky above appeared very dangerously menacing.
           Looking that all the vanaras as well as rakshashas were transfixed. On the other hand our dear Hanuman, who was the object of attack by that club, braced to take it with his breast bared to the fury of the attack. The titanic club hit with a tremendous force the wide and rock-like chest of Hanuman. To the surprise of Nikumbha and all his accpmpanying rakshashas and joy and relief of all the vanaras, it at once shattered into hundreds of fragments, like hundreds of meteors shattering into the sky. Hanuman, struck by that blow of the club, was standing unmoved like a mountain in an earthquake. Then Hanuman clenched his fist forcibly. Lifting that fist, he hit hard the breast of the gaping rakshash Nikumbha. That blow rendered his (i.e. Nukumbha's) armour split up and red blood profusely oozed out causing Nikumbha to come out of his astonishment. He then grasped the unwieldy bulk of Hanuman and lifted him high above his head. Seeing the mighty Hanuman lifted off the ground, loud roar of exultant joy rose from the ranks of rakshashas. As Hanuman's hands were free, he struck that rakshash with his powerful fist. That made Nikumbha to throw Hanuman on the ground. Hanuman surprised him by leaping on his chest and pounding it mercilessly making that rakshash dizzy. Then with both hands, he caught the rakshasha's neck, twisted it about and tore off his huge head, while Nikumbha was horribly roaring until he his life sneaked out of his body.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

337. The battle continues.

          Angada, who was eager to win the battle on that night moved to attack Kampana. Anticipating the intentions of Angada, Kampana hit him abruptly with a mace. As the hit was unexpected and violent, Angada's head started reeling. However, Angada managed to steady himself without falling. He then hurled a mountain peak on Kampana with such a force which killed Kampana. Seeing Kampana killed, Shonitaksha rushed towards Angada  in his chariot and struck Angada with his arrows which were very powerful. Angada, ignoring the wounds caused by those arrows, surprised Shonitaksha by jumping on his chariot crushed his fearsome  bow, chariot and darts.
         Shonitaksha,  jumped down with alacrity from his chariot with his sword and shield. Before he could steady himself on the terra firma, Angada surprised him by jumping on him and snatching away the sword. Before that rakshash could figure out what was going on, Angada cut that rakshash from left to right diagonally by his own sword. That rakshash fell unconscious.
      Holding that large sword in his strong hand, Angada rushed towards the other  enemies in the battle-front. But Shonitaksha, quickly recovering his consciousness, rushed towards Angada with an iron mace.
         The rakshash, Prajangha, along with his pal Yupaksha, rushed towards  Angada with his mace. Seeing that, the vanara commanders Mainda and Dvivida rushed towards Angada with huge trees to protect him.  Seizing hold of the trees, they hurled them towards the rakshashas.  Prajangha cut them down with his sword.
         Shonitaksha chopped off the trees hurled by Dvivida and Mainda with his mace in the midway itself. Prajangha holding a large sword for quick finis, hurried  towards Angada. Seeing him, Angada hit him with a shvakarna tree. He then followed it by a hit by his fist, the arm of Prajangha holding the sword.  The sword fell on the ground. Then Prajangha tightened his dreadfully strong fist and hit Angada with all the strength he could muster on the forehead which made Angada to shudder for a moment.  Angada then returned with interest that hit with his fist blowing Prajangha’s head to smithereens.
           Yupaksha, seeing the death of his paternal uncle in such a horrible manner wept with tears flowing from his eyes for a few moments. He then recovering himself quickly, jumped down from his chariot for revenge. Seeing Yupaksha with his sword, Dvivida struck him on his chest and forcibly caught hold of him. Seeing his brother being seized, Shonitaksha struck Dvivida on his chest. That made Dvivida totter.
       Meanwhile, Mainda came nearer to Dvivida and banged Yupaksha on his chest with his palm. Those two rakshashas, Shonitaksha and Yupaksha, tried their best to vanquish the two vanaras. Unfortunately for them the two vanaras proved to be more powerful than them. Dvivida, after splitting open shonitaksha’s face with his claws, threw him down on the floor and crushed him. Mainda simply pressed Yupaksha with his arms very tightly making that rakshash to fall down dead on the ground due to suffocation.
          Seeing those valiant leaders killed, the army of rakshashas under their command moved out and joined Kumbha, the son of Kumbhakarna. Kumbha then decided to exert himself to bring out his   best to overcome the vanaras or embrace death.
            Kumbha then hit by a powerful arrow struck Dvivida, who with his feet swaying to and fro fell down throbbing. Seeing his dear brother in difficulty, Mainda, taking a large rock, hurried  to his help. That rock hurled by Mainda on Kumbha was broken to pieces by that rakshash with his arrows. He followed it by another arrow which struck the chest of Mainda the brother of Dvivida. That arrow struck Mainda on his vital parts making him to fall unconscious on the ground.
        Seeing both his mighty maternal uncles wounded, Angada went like lightning to the fore of Kumbha, who was standing with his bow uplifted to meet any eventualities. Seeing Angada in front of him like magic, Kumbha pierced Angada with his arrows. He thanked himself for the foresight in keeping himself in  all   readiness.
        Angada proved that he was made of much better stuff. Even though pierced all over the body with sharp arrows, that mighty Angada was not shaken even a little bit. He retaliated with a rain of rocks and trees on Kumbha’s head.
        Kumbha the son of Kumbhakarna chopped off all those trees hurled by Angada and burst them off further. Seeing Angada rushing towards him, Kumbha pierced his brows with his arrows.  Angada’s eyes were blinded by the blood that was oozing out from his brows. The dauntless Angada, covering his eyes, dampened with blood with one hand, caught hold of a Sala tree nearby with his other hand. Holding it with his hand and bending a little, Angada uprooted it from the ground.
       All the rakshashas were dazed to see that act and was just looking at the feat forgetting that they were in the middle of a battle. Angada hurled that tree, which was tall like Indra’s banner and resembled the Mount Mandara in size.  Kumbha chopped off that tree with his arrows. Angada was very much disappointed and fell down, swooning.
        This was relayed immediately to Rama. Rama sent out for help, a strong vanara plus bear force under the captaincy of the vetaran Jambavan.
          The team quickly rushed towards Kumbha with trees and rocks in their hands. Jambavan along withe the mighty vanaras Sushena and Vegadarshi ran towards Kumbha to attack him. Kumbha covered them with a flood of arrows, as one would obstruct the course of a stream by means of  rocks. Kumbha's initial action of defense was so effective that the vanaras were unable even to look at him, much less advance towards him, any more than a great ocean would overstep its shore. Seeing those troop of vanaras in disadvantageous position, Sugreeva, keeping Angada in a safe place in the rear, hurried towards Kumbha like a lion would bounce upon an elephant walking along the slopes of a mountain. On the way he collected many large trees beginning with Ashvakarna and many other kinds of trees by uprooting them. Sugreeva hurled them on Kumbha when that rakshash came into his proximity. Kumbha, the son of Kumbhakarna chopped off that rain of trees, which was obscuring the sky. He then hit Sugreeva with many arrows.
             Seeing that all the trees hurled by him were chopped off by that rakshash, Sugreeva, enduring his hurt caused by the arrows, suddenly jumped before that rakshash and snatched away Kumbha’s bow and broke it. He then told Kumbha, who was looking like an elephant with a broken tusk “O Kumbha, the elder brother of Nikumbha! Both your prowess and the swiftness of your arrows are wonderful. Both Ravana and you seem to be equal in complaisance towards rakshashas.
        “O Kumbha, the compeer of Prahlada, Bali, Indra, Kubera and Varuna! You look like your father Kumbhakarna, who was exceedingly strong.
      “Divinities cannot surpass you with a spike in hand. In spite of all these, I am sure, I can vanquish you without much difficulty. I see you look tired and as such I do not like to fight with you now for the fear of public censure. Have enough rest and test my valour. If you have any fear of death go back with all your army. If you fight with me I will kill you.”
       Kumbha was naturally irritated with those lofty and insulting words of Sugreeva.  Kumbha, without speaking anything went near Sugreeva and   clasped him in his arms and tightened his grip to kill him. He found that Sugreeva was as strong as he boasted. Both the bodies fastened against each other, rubbing one another. The battle-ground sank under the trampling of their feet. With their waves whirled about, the ocean became turbulent. Then lifting up the body of Kumbha, Sugreeva tossed him down into the ocean.
       The impact of the body of Kumbha caused the sea to rise the height of the Mount Vindhya. Jumping out of the sea, Kumbha, threw Sugreeva down and hit him on his chest with his very powerful fist. Sugreeva’s  armour was burst asunder. Blood started oozing out of his chest. Sugreeva rallied with great effort tightened his highly powerful fist. Sugreeva then landed that fist on the breast of Kumbha.
       That was the last straw for Kumbha, who fell down, like fire whose flame had extinguished. When Kumbha was killed by Sugreeva the earth with its mountains and forests trembled. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

336. Sugreeva ordered the second bonfire of Lanka.

            Seeing that all the dead vanaras and bears were revived and all the maimed ones were made fit absolutely, Sugreeva smiled with bubbling joy. He decided to make good use of this. Accordingly he ordered his commanders “Since Kumbhakarna and his four sons were killed, Ravana's mind would be in a paralyzed state and as such he could not think of any concerted defense. Let us make best use of this situation. Make a bonfire of Lanka including the abode of Ravana.”
          Then at the dusk, more capable and adventurous vanaras entered Lanka from all the gates with torches in their hands. When the troops of vanaras, with torches in their hands, attacked them suddenly from all sides, the rakshashas holding the position of guards fled away. Seeing that there was absolutely no resistance, the happy vanaras set ablaze every thing.
        The vanara squad targeted the of houses of rakshashas resulting destruction of mountainous mansions, excellent sandalwood of great value, pearls, glossy gems, diamonds and corals. Linen, charming silk, blankets of sheep’s wool, various kinds of ram’s wool, gold ornaments and weapons were also destroyed.
        The furious vanaras did not spare the ornaments, saddles etc. of diverse and peculiar designs of horses, the chains worn round the neck of the elephants as also their girths and polished ornaments meant for the chariots. Coats of mail of the warriors, the armour of the elephants and horses, swords, bows, bow-strings, arrows, lances, goads and javelins were also burnt.
         Agni had a sumptuous grub on that late evening.  He had blankets and rugs made of the hair of animals, whisks made of the hair of the tails, the skins of tigers, many birds, palaces inlaid with pearls and gems and various kinds of stores of arms. He got also many kinds of bright coloured houses of a good many rakshashas. Not satisfied he consumed as many inhabitants of Lanka he was able to get.
       He relished the houses, which were strong, very valuable with profound qualities, decked in gold with moon shapes and crescent shapes.
          That City of Lanka at night with all its house-tops being burnt ablaze with flames, looked like Kimshuka trees in full bloom.
        Seeing the city in flame, Rama and Lakshmana seized hold of their bows. Rama made a tumultuous twang with his bowstring, which struck terror in the hearts of the rakshashas. 
       Rama then shattered the main gate of that City looking like a peak of Mount Kailasa. As Agni's tummy was overflowing, he perforce had to leave some mansions.
        Seeing those vanaras standing at the gates, with flaming torches in their hands, Ravana was enraged with fury. He sent both Kumbha and Nimkumbha, the sons of Kumbhakarna, along with a multitude of rakshashas to kill or at least, drive  out those vanaras. Ravana also ordered Yupaksha, Shonitaksha, Prajangha and Kampana to help the sons of Kumbhakarna.
          That army of rakshashas was looking awful with all kinds of  formidable, alarming, frightening and awful weapons.
         Seeing that army of rakshashas the army of vanaras  jeered at it loudly. Thereafter, the battle of the streets started. The vanaras started striking the rakshashas with whatever was available in the street and in the houses as well as with fists, nails and teeth. The rakshashas fought with their weapons and tore off the heads of those vanaras bouncing upon them.
        Many of the rakshashas on the streets of Lanka lost their ears which were bitten off by the vanaras with their teeth. The skulls of many rakshashas were smashed with fists of the vanaras and their limbs broken by crag blows. Nevertheless, some daring,  fearless, audacious, intrepid, impulsive and valiant rakshashas with terrific stature hit back with their sharp swords.
        Both the armies of vanaras and rakshashas found that the streets were too uncomfortable to fight. They, therefore, moved out to the open space where battles were fought earlier, to continue their fight.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

335. The epical journeys of Hanuman.

          In the battle-front, Rama and Lakshmana looked like they were knocked down senseless. Quite a lot of vanara leaders fainted. Sugreeva, Nila, Angada and Jambavan were in a daze. Those vanaras who escaped the arrows of Intrajit did not know what to do and ipso facto were worried. Seeing only worried vanara faces around him, Vibhishana made an effort to console them by  “Honouring the spell of Brahma, Rama and Lakshmana allowed themselves to be knocked down by the missiles of Indrajit. Hence they were not defeated or killed. Therefore shed your fears.”
        Hearing that Hanuman told Vibhishana “Okay boss! I suggest we go around and do our best to help in whatever way we could those vanaras who are affected by that vicious act of that    heinous rakshash.”
      Then both Hanuman and Vibhishana roamed around in the battle-field, with torches in their hands. They saw the battle-field was filled with quite a lot of vanaras fallen with one or more limbs badly affected or lost. The earth was also covered with flaming weapons lying around.
       The pair of Good Samaritans saw Sugreeva, Angada, Nila, Sharabha, Gandhamadana, Gavaksha, Sushena, Vegadarshi, Mainda, Nala, Jyotimukha and Dvivida were affected and lying down. They all seemed stone dead.
          The pair noticed that there were inert and mangled bodies of vanaras and bears all over the battle field. The pair reckoned that about sixty seven crores of vanaras were struck down by the cruel act of that rakshash.
       Vibhishana wispered that Jamavan may have some useful suggestion in this matter. Hanuman agreed by a nod and the pair started look for Jambavan. Vibhishana was the first to find him and he told Hanuman so.
           They went near the ancient and  wise Jambavan, the son of Brahma, and found him to be in a pitiable condition with his body conspicuous of hundreds of arrows. To the surprise of the pair they heard from Jambavan “O Vibhishana! I recognize you by your voice. I am very severely hurt and as such I am not able to see. O my dear chap! Is Hanuman  any where nearby?”
          Vibhishana asked Jambavan “My dear Jam! I wonder why you are inquiring about Hanuman, but not Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva or Angada. I am sure there is some sound and valid reason for the same. Can you tell me the same? Please!”
      Jambavan replied with a smile “O! my dear chap! Your are absolutely correct. I want Hanuman for a specific, strong and valid reason. Listen to me why I am inquiring about Hanuman. Now he and only he is the lifeline for this army. If he is alive, even if our entire army is  killed, can be brought back to life. Without our dear Hanuman there is no hope. All those who are still alive will meet their maker sooner than later."
       Hearing that, Hanuman went close to Jambavan, offered his salutation. Hearing the voice of Hanuman, the old face of Jambavan brightened visibly.
        Jambavan asked Hanuman to come close to him and then he told Hanuman “My dear lad! The life of this entire army is in you hands. If you do what I say then all will come alive with enhanced vitality. Likewise those who are hurt will be cured of their wounds and become more strong and healthy. You and only you can do what I am going to ask you. That, beyond any reasonable doubt, will demonstrate your prowess to all the worlds. I could not think of any other person who is capable of doing it.
        “You are to revive those vanaras and bears who are lying dead in the battle field and also completely cure those who are hurt, including Rama and Lakshmana. O Hanuman! To accomplish this you ought to go to the Himalaya, the foremost of mountains, by traveling higher and higher and farther and farther over the large ocean as well as the vast land beyond it. There, you will see the Mount Rishabha, and the very much powerful peak of Kailasa, with a golden hue.
         “O my dear fellow! In the midst of these two peaks, you will see a blazing and unequally brilliant herbal mountain, containing all kinds of herbs. Sprouted on the head of that mountain, are four blazing herbs. You cannot miss them as they are illuminating all sides.
       “There you will find the herb called Mrita Sanjivani which can restore the dead back to life, Vishalyakarani which will make the extraction of weapons easy without hurting and healing all wounds inflicted by weapons, Suvarnakarani capable of restoring the body to its original complexion and Sandhani, the great herb which is capable of joining severed limbs or fractured bone. O my hero! Bring all those herbs quickly. Bring back the vanaras and bears to life and completely cure and vitalize the wounded."
         Hanuman readily agreed to do it and prayed Him for the strength and guidance to accomplish  it. He them jumped up to the summit of the Trikuta mountain and was getting ready there by pressing that mountain with his feet. Our dear Hanuman appeared like a second mountain. When Hanuman jumped up from there  that mountain was not able to bear the pressure  and sank. The trees on that mountain fell to the ground and caught fire by friction. Its peaks got broken, too. The vanaras were unable to stand steadily on that mountain, which started to reel, while being pressed severely by Hanuman. And the trees on it and its rocks got broken.
        The principal gates of the City of Lanka were broken, too. Many houses there and town-gates were shattered. The pressure created by Hanuman caused the earth along with the ocean to shake.
      Beholding the sea, whose waves along with its water were made to agitate and all whose creatures were caused to whirl round, Hanuman accelerated his velocity which was much more than that of the fastest jet of the present time.
        Hanuman was surprised to note that he did not have any fatigue now. All the stress and strain imposed on him during the fight seemed to have gone with the wind.
      Hanuman saw the Mount Himalaya not far away. He reached the Mount Himalaya, the foremost of mountains, embellished with various kinds of cascades, many kinds of caves, mountain-streams and summits resembling an assemblage of white clouds as also many kinds of trees.
       He noted there the great holy hermitages, inhabited by a multitude of sages who have access to Gods. He saw the abode of Brahma, the lord of creation, Kailasa the abode of Shiva, the lord of dissolution, the abode of Indra the lord of devas, the arrow-discharging place of Rudra, the worshipping place of Hayagriva, the horse-faced form of Vishnu, and many other divinities.
       He saw the gigantic Mount Kailasa, and Mount Rishabha, the lofty golden mountain, which was highly illumined by the flaming herbs and the lord of mountains on which all types of herbs grew.
       Hanuman quickly went to that great mountain of herbs and searched for the herbs. He made a thorough search there, but he could not find any herb.
        Those herbs were bestowed with the power to disappear  from the sight of any outsider coming there in search of them. Hanuman was terribly annoyed for his inability to see them. He shouted at the mountain “Hey mountain! I am sure that you know that I am the emissary of Rama.  Still you have hidden the herbs from my sight. I am now going to take the whole of you along with the animate and inanimate beings residing on you to Lanka."
          Fiercely seizing hold of the top of that mountain, with thousands of minerals, with its trees, elephants and gold shook it fiercely so that the base of that mountain was uprooted. This action amazed all the the divine beings living there. Grasping that mountain-peak, radiant as the sun, Hanuman sprang up almost near the orbit of the sun  and proceeded back to Lanka with all the speed he could muster.
           Seeing Hanuman coming from the sky, all the the living vanaras waving their hands shouted welcome happily. Seeing them, Hanuman in turn roared in delight. Hanuman then descended on that mountain Trikuta in the midst of that army of vanaras who were still living.
         By inhaling that fragrance of those great herbs, both Rama and Lakshamana were instantly healed of their wounds. Likewise all the maimed vanaras were healed. Those vanaras and bears who were dead got up as if from sleep feeling very strong and happy.
        Dear reader, you will be wondering about the maimed and dead rakshashas who may be lying in the battle field. At the start of the battle  in Lanka, Ravana instructed that all rakshashas who were being maimed or killed should be thrown away into the sea as and when they were killed/maimed. This order was given not only for the sake of honour but also for the reason that the enemies should not know how many rakshashas were killed or maimed.
        Then, Hanuman at the advise of Rama took that mountain of herbs back to the mountains of Himalayas and replaced it at its original place.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

334. Intrajit did it again.

                 One of the heads of that great king of all rakshashas, Ravana, did not like to go on brooding over something which cannot be reversed. While that head was thinking what to do, Indrajit rushed in to its aid. Indrajit came and sitting close to his dad and hugging him fondly, told him “O! Papa! Why are you worried when I, Indrajit, your most dear and competent son is alive. You know very well about my capabilities. Today, I will ensure that Rama along with Lakshmana, with their bodies undistinguished, scattered and dead, lying down on the floor, with their limbs diffused all over. You know I did it once. Somehow they survived. This time I will ensure that today is the last day for them.” 
             Intrajit, after getting a a nod of approval from his dad Ravana, mounted his chariot yoked with excellent donkeys which can go faster than the most fast car now available on this earth. That greatly resplendent Indrajit started rolling towards the battle-front with joy and tremendous  confidence. His magnificent chariot was stored with excellent bows, lances, sharp-edged spears, swords, axes, maces, some  kind of fire arms, mallets, cudgels and iron rods. He was naturally followed by a large army of rakshashas equipped with all kinds of weapons.
        Reaching the battle-field, Indrajit performed a sacrifice by making an oblation to the fire. Then Indrajit invoked the missile presided over by Brahma and charged it on his bow, chariot and all.
Having propitiated offering in fire, Indrajit ordered his army to kill as many vanaras as they could and then he becameinvisible in the sky, with the bow, arrows, sword, chariot, donkeys, charioteer etc.
       As per the order of Intrajit, his army of rakshashas set out with a determination to win, started killing the vanaras in the battle-field with arrows possessing great velocity as also lances and goads.
        Indrajit without being seen by anyone started attacking the vanaras and killed  and wounded  a huge number of vanaras.  Then, all the hapless vanaras who were alive with their bodies wounded severely or their limbs dampened with blood, took to their heels. However, some very brave vanaras resisted by wielding mountains as their weapons, roaring in the battle field, without turning back, abandoned their lives, showing their courage for the sake of Rama. Continuing to stay in the battle-field, those vanaras rained trees, mountain-peaks and rocks to where they thought the invisible Indrajit was.
         On that day Indrajit killed a huge number of vanaras. Gandhamadana was hit with eighteen sharp arrows and   Neela, who was standing at a far-away place, was hit with nine arrows. Mainda had his share of seven arrows, which tore asunder his vital parts. Gaja was hit with five arrows.
         Jambavan, Nila, Sugreeva, Rishabha, Angada and Dvivida were also made staggering and breathless by the arrows endowed with boons.
       That valiant and heartless rakshash harassed the army of vanaras who were started feeling that death would be preferable than this torture. He was happy to see that the battle-field was filled with the blood of vanaras.
           In that battle, the bodies of the mountain-like vanaras were torn into pieces by the  conjuring tricks of  Indrajit.  Those vanaras saw only arrows with pointed tips falling on them but they could not see Indrajit, who was remaining invisible by his conjuring trick.
In this manner Indrajit wounded also all those foremost of vanaras like Hanuman, Sugreeva, Angada, Gandhamadana, Jambavan, Sushena, Vegadarshina, Mainda, Dvivida, Nila, Gavaksha, Gavaya, Kesari, Hariloma, Vidyuddamshtra, Suryanana, Jyothimukha, Dadhimukha, Pavakaksha, Nala and Kumuda.
            Not satisfied by his harassment of the vanaras, that rakshash started hitting Rama and Lakshmana, too without being seen by them. Ignoring that shower of arrows, as though they were mere showers of rain, Rama told Lakshmana “O Lakshmana! This guy Indrajit is tormenting our vanaras more than they could take. That rakshash is not visible. We should find someway to kill him or at least stop him harassing our vanaras.
                   “It is obvious that this rakshash is using the missiles he got by his boons from Brahma. I feel that for obvious reasons it would not be prudent for us to counter those missiles. At the same time I do like this entire army of Sugreeva is obliterated by the missiles of that rakshash.  
          “I, therefore, suggest that the two of us feign hit by his missiles. Finding both of us fallen unconscious without displaying any joy or anger as also having desisted from fighting, Indrajit will certainly return to Lanka, thinking that the battle is over forever."
      Lakshmana naturally agreed by a nod. Rama and Lakshmana took a multitude of arrows of Indrajit and  feigned death. Seeing that both the humans were lying inert due to their incapability to resist his powerful missiles, Intrajit roared happily with a thrill of rapture in battle.
    Intrajit then happily returned to the city of Lanks.  For quashing the army of vanaras along with Rama and Lakshmana, Indrajit was eulogized by all the rakshashas. On reaching the city of Lanka Indrajit went straight to his papa and cheerfully informed him all that had happened.

Monday, 7 March 2016

333. The flabbergasted Ravana ruminates the next course of action.

             When informed that all the four mighty sons as well as his two cousins who were equally mighty, were killed by the army of Rama, all the ten heads of Ravana started spinning. He just could not swallow that  Atikaya was killed by that human Lakshmana. It came to his, i.e. Ravana's, mind that Dhumraksha, Akampana, Prahasta and Kumbhakarna who were never before been defeated by any one, including Indra and other mighty warriors, were killed by Rama, who seemed to be unwearied in battle.
         Ravana continued to ponder that 'Indrajit, his son, whose strength and prowess were renowned, bound both Rama and Lakshmana. That bind cannot be released by any deva or anyone like the mighty Yakshas and the like. Rama and Lakshmana were released from that bind.  That means they had that power or sorcery or by some marvel I could not figure out.'
             Ravana contined to think that “All of those valiant rakshashas sent by me were killed by those monkeys. That means that those monkeys are exceptionally mighty. I am yet to find a rakshash, who can crush that Rama along with Lakshmana, Sugreeva and Vibhishana.
           “Now quite a lot of my warriors are dead. The monkeys know that. They may now start attacking the gateways to the city and may be Ashoka vana as well. My immediate action should therefore, to guard them. I have to ensure that they are well protected. Some regiments of the army have to be deployed for the protection of this City and Ashoka garden where Seetha is being guarded, vigilantly on all sides.”
           Having decided that,  Ravana called required commanders and ordered “Stay on all sides with your respective armies. The various positioning of those monkeys are to be watched. Indifference should not be shown to monkeys in any way at any time, either at evening or at midnight or at dawn. You have to watch  the army of adversaries and find out whether they are active or advancing or staying where it was, etc.”
          Having thus instructed, Ravana resumed his brooding about the loss of his sons.

Sarga 72

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

332. Lakshmana killed Atikaya.

          Seeing his own army chaps scattering away in jitters, Atikaya probed for the reason thereof. Getting to know of the killing of his three brothers who accompanied him to the battlefield and also his dear uncles Mahodara and Mahaparshva, Atikaya who had an agglomeration of  boons bestowed by Brahma, got wild and vowed to avenge their killing. Mounting that chariot, which was given to him as a boon by Brahma, which was shining like a cluster of thousand suns, Atikaya rushed towards the enemy region. Wearing a crown and well-cleansed ear-rings and drawing his bow, he roared with a big noise, making his name loudly heard. He was very sure that everyone in all the worlds knew about him and as such hearing his name, all the monkeys, the bears and the two humans will run away or surrender. 
          None in the enemy line (except Vibhishana and his palls) heard about him, that is Atikaya. However, seeing the bulkiness of his body, all the vanaras started wondering if Kumbhakarna had come from the land of Yama , and as a safety measure rushed to Rama for protection
        Rama seeing from a distance, Atikaya, who resembled a mountain in size, stationed in a lovely chariot, armed with a wonderful bow and rumbling like a cloud during a catastrophic rainfall, was wondering who this rakshash was. However, after consoling, comforting and assuring absolute protection to the vanaras who rushed to him for refuge after seeing the mountain like rakshash Atikaya, Rama asked Vibhishana “Oh my! who is he, resembling a mountain in size, armed with such a bow, brown-eyed and seated in that lovely and spacious chariot yoked with so many horses?  Tell me about this rakshash, whose mere sight is making all the vanaras tremble with fear and run away to save their lives.”
            Vibhishana replied Rama  “He is Atikaya, a son of Ravana and Dhanyamali, one of the many wives of Ravana. By worshiping Brahma, he got a boon exempting him from death at the hands of Suras and Asuras. He also got from Brahma mighty armors and that chariot shining like the sun.
       “He protected all rakshashas and demonstrated his power by defeating and conquering the devas and danavas several times. Even Yakshas are no match to him. Indra found his famous armor, vajra useless against this Atikaya, who paralyzed the vajra with his arrows. He struck down the noose of Varuna. O! Rama! It is better to finish him quickly, else he may erase the entire lot of our vanaras.”
         Though the vanaras of lower order were frightened of the mammoth sized Atikaya and were running to Rama seeking refuge, the commanders of the vanara army, like  Kumuda, Dvivida, Mainda, Nila, Sharabha etc. decided to face him boldlyTaking trees and mountain peaks, the brave and dauntless commanders marched forwards decidedly to attack him and try to finish him. Atikaya was however, more than a match for those adventurous, gritty, fearless, resolute and gallant vanaras. He effortlessly chopped off the trees and crags with his arrows. That strong and skilled rakshash Atikaya followed his defensive action by striking all those dauntless vanaras with his arrows. All those brave vanaras were injured with their blown out bodies, by the shower of Atikaya’s arrows and were unable to retaliate him. That giant and massive bodied rakshash was very gracious to spare those who were unable to fight. Atikaya quickly got fed up with fighting or rather killing the hapless vanaras who were foolish to face him. He decided to end the battle quickly by killing that human chap Rama. With that end in view he rushed towards Rama. On reaching in front of Rama, that mighty rakshash  with supercilious, scornful, arrogant, contemptuous, disdainful and lordly countenance jeered at Rama  “I guess my traitorous uncle Vibhishana would have filled you everything about me. I consider that it would be infra dig for me to attack any one who is not brave or competent enough to face me. If you or anyone in your army has the grit,  courage, spirit, resolution, nerve or guts  and thinks he has the ability and energy to face me is most welcome and I will oblige him to prove that he is no match for me in valour, bravery and courage. And I will quickly send him to Yama."
            The boasting of that arrogant  and conceited rakshash irritated Lakshmana, naturally. The enraged Lakshmana, stepping forward quickly and took the stance of an opponent in front of Atikaya. That twang of the bow of Lakshmana, filling the entire quarters, earth, sky and the ocean, was frightening. Atikaya was surprised. Atikaya told Lakshmana superciliously “Oh-my! I guess you are Lakshmana. I see that you are still a boy. Obviously you are ignorant of a fight, I mean a real fight against an opponent like me. My lad! I do not like to kill a mere boy. Go away. Even the Himalayan Mountains or the sky or the earth would not be able to endure the speed of my arrows. Drop your bow and go back. I do not like to kill a boy.
        “Look carefully my arrows. You will find them decked with pure gold. They are like the weapons of Ishvara and as such are amply capable of  subduing any of my enemies. This arrow looking like a serpent will drink your blood as a lion drinks the blood of an elephant. If you still foolishly wanna fight with me and thereby wanna meet your Maker, then you are most welcome."
        Atikaya then took an arrow and fixed it in his bow.
      The supreme arrogancy of Atikaya irritated Lakshmana. He thought that it may be construed as panic or anxiety on his part if he did not hit back that rakshash. He, therefore told him loftily “O the stupid rakshash! Mere words cannot make you a very important person. One cannot become extremely competent just by boasting. You better start to demonstrate your competence to me, who is standing in front of you and determined to kill you. Reveal yourself by your deeds and not mere boasts. Let me see how good you are as a warrior.
       “You are seated in a chariot, with all the weaponry and wielding a magnificent bow. Let me see your prowess either by your arrows or by any of your weapons. I promise that I shall strike down your head, like a fruit of a fan-palm, ripened by its time, is fallen down from its stalk by the gust of a wind. If you consider me a mere boy, try to overpower this boy.”
       Atikaya could not stomach the rational retort of Lakshmana nor could he contain his irritation and anger. With bubbling fury that rakshash, Atikaya took a stance for the duel by taking  an excellent arrow and started engaging it with his bow. The firmament  was overcrowded with the celestial spectators like Vidyadharas, Bhutas, Devas, Daityas, Maharshies  and Guhyakas expecting top-class performances by both the duelists Atikaya and Lakshmana.
          Atikaya inaugurated that duel by engaging an arrow to his bow, dispatched it towards Lakshmana, and expected that it would be the end of the duel i.e.  Lakshmana would be killed or run away. Lakshmana effortlessly chopped off that serpent-like sharp arrow with his crescent-pointed arrow.
       Atikaya was very much disappointed that his estimate about Lakshmana that he was a novice vis-a-vis  himself in warfare was all wrong. This irritated and enraged him. He now realized that Lakshmana was equal to him in prowess, bravery, daring, courage etc. He, therefore, settled down for a long and strenuous battle. 
      The rakshash, Atikarya hurled more and more powerful arrows towards Lakshmana. Lakshmana effortlessly chopped them off with his arrows.
      Lakshmana decided to flaunt his superiority over that rakshash. He then harnessed a powerful arrow on his bow, stretched it and released it. That arrow hit and then sunk into the forehead of that raksshash, who smeared with blood all over his face, appeared like a serpent-king on a mountain.
       That rakshash, recovering his breath, realized that Lakshmana was more than a match for him. He, therefore decided to fight with all the power, equipment, most powerful arrows and the top-class missiles got from Gods. Accordingly he seized hold of a set of highly powerful arrows and fixed them to his bow, stretched it and released the arrows. Those arrows with golden shafts and shining like the sun, set the sky ablaze looked highly ominous as Death. Lakshmana coolly chopped off those gluts of arrows by his arrows.
Atikaya then with another very powerful arrow struck Lakshmana in the middle of his chest.  Struck by that arrow in his chest, Lakshmana oozed out blood severely, like the fluid exuding from a rutting elephant.
           Lakshmana not minding the pain and the blood, quickly pulled that arrow-head and threw it down and taking a sharp arrow of his own and fixed it with a missile. When Lakshmana employed the missile of fire on his arrow, that arrow  caused a flame to blaze.
        Atikaya countered Lakshmana's arrow by a solar missile employed on his arrow, having a golden shaft as also looking like a serpent. 
           Lakshmana then hurled at Atikaya, a blazing and awful arrow employed with that mystic missile as Yama would hurl his rod of death.
          Atikaya countered Lakshmana's arrow by the awful arrow charged with the solar missile. Those two arrows, having their points blazed in splendor, struck at each other in the sky, like two enraged serpents.
   Those two powerful arrows fought with themselves and were reduced to ashes. Atikaya then tried a missile presided over by Tvasha (the architect of gods). Lakshmana chopped off that by his missile presided over by Indra.
       The battle between the two went on like that for a while. Laksshmana was puzzled why his very powerful missiles could not pierce the chest of that rakshash.  Then, Vayu came to him and whispered in his ears “That rakshash is cloaked by an inviolable armour endowed with a boon by Brahma. He, therefore can be killed by Brahmastra only."
        Lakshmana thanked Vayu with a nod and a lovely smile and called the Brahmastra from  his missiles library and set it on that rakshash. While this process was going on, all the quarters, the sun, the moon, the great planets and the sky were shaking as if frightened.
      Atikaya saw that Brahmastra was being set on him by Lakshmana, That rakshash tried his best to stop it. That all-powerful astra, blazing like fire, separated Atikaya’s head from his body. That head with its diadem, fell down on the ground like a peak of the Himalayan Mountain.
      All the surviving rakshashas were aghast seeing the headless body of Atikaya falling on the ground, with his clothes and ornaments scattered. With the end of their last leader all the raskshashas were frightened and  started dissipating with their faces turned towards that City of Lanka.