by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “rama and lakshmana are struck down by indrajita” and represents Chapter 45 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].
Anxious to ascertain what had become of Indrajita, Rama, that illustrious and mighty prince sent out ten monkey leaders in his pursuit; the two sons of Sushena, the monkey, General Nila, Angada the son of Bali, the valiant Sharabha, Dvivida, Hanuman, the exceedingly courageous Sanuprastha, Rishabha and Rishabaskandha.
Those monkeys flung themselves joyfully into the air brandishing huge trunks of trees in order to explore the ten regions, but Ravani, by means of his arrows, loosed with force from the most excellent of bows, arrested their impetuous flight and those monkeys of terrific bounds, who were cruelly pierced by those shafts, were unable to discern Indrajita in the darkness, as the sun is obscured when veiled in cloud. With those darts, that lacerated the flesh, the titan transfixed Rama and Lakshmana and remained master of the field and there was no part of Rama or Lakshmana’s body that was not pierced by those serpentine shafts so that streams of blood flowed from their gaping wounds, and they appeared like two Kimshuka Trees in flower.
At that instant, his eyes inflamed, Ravana’s son, who resembled a mass of collyrium mixed with oil, though still invisible, said to those two brothers:—“When I, making myself invisible, enter into combat, even the Chief of the Gods, Shakra himself, is not able to discern or approach me, how much less you two! O Descendants of Raghu, having imprisoned you in this network of plumed darts, I, yielding myself up to the violence of my wrath, am about to dispatch you to the region of Yama!”
Thus addressing those virtuous brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, he pierced them afresh with his pointed arrows shouting exultantly.
Resembling a heap of antimony, the swarthy Indrajita, stretching his immense bow, let fly an even thicker shower of formidable arrows in the fight. That warrior, who knew how to make his darts pierce Rama and Lakshmana’s vital parts, set up a continual shouting and the two princes in the forefront of battle, imprisoned in the net of arrows and darts, in the twinkling of an eye, became incapable of distinguishing anything. Paralysed, pierced in their vital parts, exhausted, those two mighty and courageous archers fell to the earth, they who were her lords! Lying on that heroes’ bed, those two warriors, covered with blood, their limbs bristling with arrows, swooned away in their extremity. And there was not a hair’s breadth on their bodies from the tips of their fingers to the end of their feet that was not lacerated, pricked and pierced by those irresistible darts and from both those warriors who had been struck down by that ferocious titan, able to change his shape at will, the hot blood gushed forth as water from a spring. And Rama fell first, his vital parts pierced by the shafts of the wrathful Indrajita, who had formerly vanquished Shakra, and Ravana’s son riddled Raghava’s body with smooth and polished darts as thick as dust clouds. Naracas, Deminaracas, Bhallas, Anjalis, Vatsadantas, Sinhadantas, and those shafts like unto razors fell on that warrior, who lay on the earth like a hero, allowing his golden bow, which was severed, to sink from his grasp.
Beholding Rama, that lion among men, fall under a hail of arrows, Lakshmana gave up all hope of living and he was overcome by grief on beholding the lotus-eyed Rama, his refuge, who ever delighted in battle, lying on the earth.
The monkeys too, witnessing this, suffered extreme distress and, their eyes full of tears, overcome with despair, emitted mournful cries; and while those two warriors lay unconscious on that heroes’ bed, the monkeys surrounded them and, assembling there, with the son of the Wind at their head, remained inconsolable and a prey to despair.