Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “ravana fights with anaranya” and represents Chapter 19 of the Uttara-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., Uttara-kanda].

Chapter 19 - Ravana fights with Anaranya

[Full title: Ravana fights with Anaranya who dies prophesying the Rakshasa’s End].

“Having triumphed over Marutta, the Lord of the Rakshasas, Dashanana, ranged the royal cities thirsty for combat and, approaching the mighty monarchs who were the equals of Mahendra and Varuna, that Lord of the Titans said to them, ‘Fight or submit! Thus have I resolved, there is no escape for you!’

“Thereupon, though not faint-hearted, those sagacious monarchs, fixed in their duty, took counsel together and, despite their great strength, recognizing the superior power of their foe, O Dear Quid, all those princes, Dushkanta, Suratha, Gadhi, Gaya and the King Pururava, said to him:—‘We are defeated!’

“Then Ravana, the Lord of the Rakshasas approached Ayodhya, which was as strongly fortified by Anaranya as Amaravati by Shakra.

Presenting himself before that lion among men, a king who was equal to Purandara in valour, Ravana said:—

“‘Enter into combat with us or admit defeat, such is our mandate!’

“The King of Ayodhya, Anaranya, hearing that wicked Monarch of the Rakshasas speak thus, answered indignantly:—

“‘O Lord of the Titans, I accept your challenge, stay and make your preparations speedily as I too shall make mine.’

“Thereafter, though already overcome by that which he had heard related and despite his great prowess, the king with his army set out, in an attempt to slay Ravana, with his elephants numbering ten thousand, his horses a million, his chariots in their thousands and his infantry, which, O Prince, covered the whole earth. And that force rushed out to fight with its infantry and cavalry and a terrific and extraordinary struggle ensued between the King Anaranya and the Lord of the Rakshasas.

“In the grip of Ravana’s forces, the army of that monarch, having fought for a long time and manifested supreme courage, was entirely destroyed as a libation poured into a fire is wholly consumed. Coming in contact with those ranks projecting flames, the remaining battalions were completely annihilated like moths that enter a brazier.

“Beholding his vast army obliterated as hundreds of streams disappear in the sea in which they empty themselves, the king, transported with fury, stretching his bow, that resembled Shakra’s, advanced in the height of anger towards Ravana whereupon his followers, Marica, Shuka and Sarana, fled like deer. Then that descendant of Ikshvaku loosed eight hundred arrows on the head of the Sovereign of the Rakshasas but, as showers loosed from the clouds on the summit of a mountain, those shafts fell upon him without inflicting a single wound.

“Meantime the Lord of the Rakshasas, provoked, struck the free of Anaranya, unseating that king from his chariot so that the monarch, trembling convulsively, fell to the earth helpless, as a Sala Tree struck down in the forest by a lightning stroke.

Then the Rakshasa mockingly enquired of that descendant of the Ikshvaku Race, saying:—

“‘What hast you gained by entering into combat with me? In the Three Worlds, none can stand against me, O Chief of Men 1 I deem that you are immersed in pleasure and hast not even heard of my prowess!’

“Thus spoke Ravana and the king, scarcely breathing, answered:—

“‘What can I do now? Assuredly fate is inexorable! It is not you who hast conquered me, O Rakshasa, despite your boastings, it is Time that has overwhelmed me; he is the true author of death 1 What can I do, now that I have come to the end of my days? Nay, O Rakshasa, I did not turn back in this fight with you in which I am about to succumb but, on account of your disregard for one of the magnanimous Ikshvakus, I tell you this, O Rakshasa:—if I have ever given anything in charity, if I have ever undertaken a sacrifice, if I have ever practiced a rigid penance, if I have protected my subjects, may my words prove true—in the House of the magnanimous Ikshvakus will be born a warrior named Rama, the son of Dasaratha, who will extinguish your vital breaths!’

“As this curse was being pronounced, the sound of celestial gongs could be heard and, from the cloud-covered sky, a rain of flowers fell. Thereafter the king, that Indra among Monarchs, ascended to the region of Trivishtapa, and that sovereign having entered heaven, the Rakshasa went away.”

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