Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “the conflict between the monkeys and titans” and represents Chapter 43 of the Yuddha-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Yuddha-kanda].

Chapter 43 - The Conflict between the Monkeys and Titans

Those high-souled monkey troops fought with terrible ferocity whilst the titans wakened the ten regions as, mounted on steeds with golden trappings or elephants bright as fire or in cars flashing like the sun, they issued forth clad in marvellous suits of mail, eager to triumph in Ravana’s name.

On their side, the mighty army of monkeys, burning for victory, hurled themselves on those demons of formidable exploits and extraordinary duels arose between titans and monkeys who rushed upon each other.

As Tryambaka fought against Andhaka, so did the son of Bali, Angada, fight with Indrajita, who was endowed with immense energy. Prajangha was attacked by the ever indomitable Sampati and the Monkey Hanuman measured his strength with Jambumali. A prey to violent anger, Bibishana, the younger brother of Ravana, entered into a furious combat with the exceedingly impetuous Shatrughna. The valiant Gaja fought with the Titan Tapana and the powerful Nila with Nikumbha. That Indra of Monkeys, Sugriva, attacked Praghasa with violence and the fortunate Lakshmana engaged in combat with Virupaksha. The unapproachable Agniketu with the Titan Rashmiketu, Mitraghna and Yajnakopa unitedly entered into combat with Rama, Vajramushti fought against Mainda and Ashanipratha against Dvivida, those two foremost of monkeys with the greatest of titans. The valiant son of Dharma, Sushena, that great monkey of illustrious name, grappled with Vidyunmalin and, from every side, other monkeys heroically engaged in countless duels with other titans. Then an appalling battle, causing the hair to stand on end, took place between titans and monkeys who were full of prowess and eager to triumph.

From the bodies of those monkeys and rangers of the night, torrents flowed, their hair being the grass, their blood the water bearing away heaps of corpses.

As Shatakratu with his thunderbolt, so Indrajita, with his mace, in fury, struck at Angada but that intrepid destroyer of enemy hosts shattered his chariot, the framework of which being encrusted with gold, and slew his horses and driver. Sampati, wounded by Parjangha with three arrows, struck him over the head with an Ashvakama Tree; Jambumali, standing in his chariot, full of strength and fury tore open Hanuman’s breast in the fight with the force of his driving, but he, who was born of the Wind-god, approaching that car, soon overthrew it with the palm of his hand. The redoubtable Pratapana, yelling, rushed on Nala, who with his limbs pierced by the pointed shafts of that skilful titan, suddenly scratched out his eyes.

As Praghasa appeared to be consuming the hosts of the King of the Monkeys, Sugriva hastily struck him with a Saptapama Tree, while Lakshmana, overwhelmed by a hail of missiles by Virupaksha, that titan of ferocious aspect, struck him down with a single blow. Thereafter the indomitable Agniketu, the Titans Rashmiketu, Mitraghna and Yajnakopa sought to consume Rama with their arrows, whereupon he, in fury, with four formidable shafts, resembling tongues of fire, severed the heads of all four in the struggle. Vajramushti, struck by a blow from Mainda’s fist in the fight, was overthrown with his chariot, driver and horses, which resembled an aerial car belonging to the Gods; Nikumbha battling against Nila, who was like unto a piece of collyrium, pierced him with his whetted shafts as the sun with its rays pierces a cloud; and, again and again that deft-handed ranger of the night Nikumbha, with a hundred arrows wounded Nila in the fray whereupon that monkey began to laugh and seizing the wheel of his adversary’s chariot, he who resembled Vishnu on the battlefield, severed the head of that titan and that of his charioteer.

Dvivida, whose impact was like unto a flash of lightning, struck Samaprabha with a great rock at which the titans stared in amazement and that foremost of monkeys, Dvivida, who fought with blows of trees, was pierced in his turn with arrows resembling lightning and his limbs being lacerated by those shafts, that monkey grew enraged and with a single blow from a Sala Tree struck down the titan, his chariot and his horses.

Thereafter Vidyunmalin repeatedly emitting loud cries, standing in his car, wounded Sushena with gold encrusted arrows and seeing him, that foremost of monkeys suddenly overthrew the chariot with a great rock. Vidyunmalin however, that agile night ranger, sprang down from his car and, mace in hand, stood ready on the field whereupon that lion among monkeys, infuriated, seizing a great rock, rushed at the titan but as he precipitated himself upon him, Vidyunmalin with a deft stroke, wounded him in the belly with his mace. Then the excellent Plavaga, receiving that terrible and unexpected blow dealt by his opponent, immediately turned and, in a desperate encounter, hurled a rock upon him. Struck by that missile, Vidyunmalin, that prowler of the night, his chest crushed, fell lifeless on the earth. Thus, under the blows of the simian warriors, the heroic titans perished in a series of hand to hand encounters as the Daityas under the blows of the inhabitants of the Celestial Region. Bhallas and other weapons, maces, lances, darts, shattered chariots, war-horses that had been slain, as also elephants from whose temples ichor exuded and the bodies of monkeys and titans, with wheels, axles, yokes and shafts strewed the earth; the carnage was fearful, a veritable jackal’s feast. The headless trunks of monkeys and titans lay in heaps everywhere in the midst of that appalling conflict which resembled the war between Gods and Asuras.

In that stubborn engagement, decimated by the foremost of monkeys, the rangers of the night as the day ended, maddened by the smell of blood, in desperation made preparations for the morrow, and those titans, their limbs covered with blood, desired nothing so greatly as that night should fall.

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