Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “indrajita breaks off his sacrifice to fight with lakshmana” and represents Chapter 86 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 86 - Indrajita breaks off his Sacrifice to fight with Lakshmana

As these events were taking place, the younger brother of Ravana gave the following counsel to Lakshmana, which was advantageous to his undertaking but detrimental to his foes, saying:—

“Armed with rocks, throw thyself with your monkeys on the army of the titan which is now visible and resembles a dark cloud. Seek to overthrow them, O Lakshmana, for the son of that Indra of the Titans will become visible the instant the ranks are broken. With thine arrows, that equal Indra’s thunderbolt, assail the enemy; enter into the fray with all speed ere the sacrifice be completed. O Warrior, triumph over that perverse but skilled magician, the wicked Ravani of ruthless exploits, the terror of the worlds!”

At these words of Bibishana, Lakshmana, endowed with auspicious marks, let loose a rain of shafts on the son of the Lord of the Titans. Thereafter the bears and monkeys in a body, arming themselves with huge trees, rushed on the army of the titans which was drawn up in battle array and which, with sharp darts, swords, picks and spears hurled itself on the simian battalions eager to overcome them.

Thereupon a desperate struggle ensued between monkeys and titans and the city re-echoed with the mighty tumult. Missiles of every kind, whetted darts, trees and mountain peaks sped through the air in dreadful wise so that the sky was obscured and innumerable titans, possessed of monstrous arms and faces, hurled their weapons on the foremost of the monkeys, creating extreme tenor amongst them, whilst, from their side, the monkeys struck the titans with whole trees and crags, crushing them in the struggle. And the foremost of the bears and monkeys, of immense stature, created great terror among the titans with whom they fought. Learning that his army, overwhelmed by their foes, was losing ground, the invincible Indrajita arose, the sacrificial rites as yet uncompleted and, leaving the Nikumbhila Grove, that was darkened by trees, Ravani, enraged, ascended his chariot that stood ready harnessed and fully equipped; with his bow and arrows, he was formidable and resembled a heap of black collyrium, terrifying to behold with his reddened eyes, like unto Mrityu the Destroyer.

Beholding him standing in his chariot and the titan host ranged round about him, rushing to attack Lakshmana with fury, Hanuman, the scourge of his foes, who resembled a mountain, uprooted a huge tree, difficult to wield and, like unto Kala’s consuming fire, that monkey, with repeated blows, struck down the enemy on the battlefield where they lay insensible.

Seeing the son of Pavana creating confusion in the ranks, thousands of titans attacked him with spears, those bearing lances with lances, those with swords with blows of their swords and those with harpoons with blows of harpoons. Iron bars, maces, sticks in their hundreds, Shataghnis, iron hammers, terrible axes, Bhindipalas, blows from their fists like unto lightning, slaps sounding like thunder, were all delivered at Hanuman, who like unto a mountain in stature, in his rage, created a terrible carnage.

Then Indrajita beheld the foremost of the monkeys, the intrepid son of Pavana, like unto a rock, destroying his adversaries and, addressing his charioteer, be said:—

“Drive towards that monkey; he will certainly destroy all the titans if he is suffered to do so!”

At this command, the driver set his course at Maruti and drove the invincible Indrajita, who was standing in the chariot, upon him. Then that redoubtable titan, drawing near, let fall arrows, blows from his sword, harpoons, spears and axes on the head of that monkey, so that those formidable missiles that fell upon him threw Maruti into a transport of rage and he said:—

“O Perverse Son of Ravana, if you have any claim to valour, then fight; with your two arms strive with me 1 O Insensate One, if you dost withstand my might, you shalt be accounted as the foremost of the titans!”

Then Bibishana pointed out the son of Ravana, to Lakshmana, as he, with bow upraised, sought to slay Hanuman, and said:—1 See Glossary of Weapons.

“The Conqueror of Vasava, the son of Ravana, standing in his car, is about to slay Hanuman! O Saumitri, do you slay Ravani with your formidable arrows of incomparable workmanship, the destroyers of their foes, that put an end to their lives!”

Hearing Bibishana’s words, that magnanimous one, a veritable Bibishana,1 looked on Indrajita of dreadful prowess, who, standing in his chariot, was invincible and resembled a mountain.

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