The Ramayana by Valmiki, 6/7

Published Categorised as Adventure, Epic, Fiction, Philosophy, Poetry
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715 min read



Hearing the words of Hanumān rehearsed properly, Rāma, exceedingly delighted, said,—“By Hanumān hath been performed a very great deed, rare on earth, and one incapable of being even conceived by any other in the world. Save Gāruda and the Wind-god, and save also Hanumān, him find I not who crosseth the wide ocean. Entering by main force the city of Lankā, incapable of being subjugated by the gods and Dānavas and Yakshas, the Gandharbas, serpents or Rakhas, and well protected by Rāvana,—who, living, cometh out (of it)? And who that is not the compeer of Hanumān in strength and prowess, even entereth into (Lankā), hard to subdue, and carefully guarded by the Rākshasas? And having so put forth his strength commensurate with his prowess, Hanumān hath also performed a great act befitting a servant on behalf of Sugriva.1 That servant who, being entrusted with a hard task,—after having accomplished it, doeth another work in pursuance of (the prescribed business), is the best of men. That servant is middling, who, deputed to any task,2 doth not, albeit capable, perform any other work which may be dear to the king. And that servant who, entrusted with any work the king, doth not, although competent, heedfully accomplish the same, hath been called the worst. Anent the order (which he had received), Hanumān hath done the work (and more). He hath not been humbled,3—and, further, hath pleased Sugriva. And by seeing Vaidehi, (Hanumān hath), while reaping righteousness, saved me, the Raghu race, and the highly powerful Lakshmana. And this pained my mind sore, that I cannot do a like benefit, returning this dear office of his. Embrace expresseth the all (of the Deity),4 and, finding this occasion, I extend my embrace unto the high-souled Hanumān”. Having said this, Rāma, with his down standing on end in joy, embraced the self-controlled Hanumān, who was present after having finished his speech. Then reflecting for a while, the best of the Raghus again spoke in the presence of Sugriva, lord of monkeys. “Complete success hath been attained anent the search for Sitā. But when I think of the ocean, my mind is again sunk in dejection. How can the assembled monkeys go over to the southern shore of the vasty deep, difficult to cross? This tidings thou hast related unto me touching Vadehi, but what are the monkeys to do next about crossing the sea?” Having said this unto Hanumān, that slayer of foes, mighty-armed Rāma, agitated by anxiety, was then plunged in thought.

[1] Having seen Sitā—which was all that he had been commissioned to do by Sugriva, Hanumān has destroyed Rākshasas and burnt Lankā; and this he did of himself like a good servant.—T.

[2] i.e. performing the entrusted work.—T.

[3] By the Rākskasas.—T.

[4] The commentator explains this obscure passage after his own orthodox fashion. The gist is this. Delight is the essence of the Deity, and all His incarnations body forth this. Embrace is typical of this emotion.—T.


Then the graceful Sugriva spake words capable of soothing sorrow, unto Daçaratha’s son, Rāma, who was wrought up with grief,—“Why, O hero, dost thou grieve, like one that is base? Let not this be so. Chase away thy grief, even as an ingrate resigneth amity. Nor, O Rāghava, when the whereabouts of Sitā hath been discovered, and when too the abode itself of the foe hath been known, do I perceive the reason of thy sorrow. Thou, O Rāghava, art intelligent, conversant with learning, wise, and judicious. Do thou cast away this sorry way of thinking, even as a self-controlled (ascetic) casteth away any course of thought interfering with the attainment of his purpose. Crossing over the ocean swarming with gigantic alligators, we shall enter Lankā and slay thy enemy. Of a person that is dispirited and poor in pluck and that hath his soul overwhelmed with grief, every interest droopeth, and he cometh by misfortunes (one after another). All these heroes, these leaders of monkey-hordes, who are ardent for thy welfare, are competent to enter into fire itself. From their cheerful attitude I know this, and firm is my faith. It behoveth thee so to arrange things that, slaying the foe, Rāvana of impious acts, we may bring hither Sitā by our own prowess. Do thou, O Rāghava, so order matters that a bridge may be constructed (over the main), and that we may behold the palace of the Rākshasa monarch. We having seen the city of Lankā, established on the summit of Trikuta, do thou for certain conclude Rāvana as slain in battle immediately after (we see her). Without throwing a bridge over the ocean—the dread abode of Varuna—even the Asuras and celestials with Indra (at their head) are unequal to subduing Lankā. When the bridge over the ocean hath been constructed up to near Lankā, and when my forces have crossed (over the sea), consider victory as secured. As these monkeys are heroic in fight, and able to wear forms at will, O king, do not let thy intellect get stupified and thus mar all interests. In this world, sorrow berefts people of their prowess. Do thou do even what should be done by a man—summon thy manliness; for what an actor doeth promptly, conduceth to his success. At this time, O eminently wise one, do thou realise goodness through thy energy.5 Of heroic, high-souled, men like thyself, on their sustaining an entire or a partial loss, grief undoeth every interest. Therefore, the foremost of intelligent persons, and conversant with every lore, thou shouldst along with councilors like me, strive to beat thy foe. Find I none in the three worlds, O Rāghava, who can stay in fight before thee equipped with thy bow. Thy business entrusted to these monkeys shall not (anyway) suffer. And soon, crossing over the boundless main, thou shalt behold Sitā. Therefore, O king, renounce thy sorrow, and call up wrath. Those Kshatriyas that conceive no anger in respect of their enemies, have their activity annulled; and all fear furious persons. Drawing nigh unto us, do thou, gifted with acute intelligence, cast about for crossing over the dreadful deep—lord of streams—along with us. On these forces getting beyond the ocean, do thou take it for certain that we have won; and when my whole host hath reached the further shore, do thou indubitably conclude that we have obtained victory. These monkeys, heroic and capable of assuming in fight forms at will, shall slaughter those foes by showering rocks and trees. If I see any means of crossing the ocean, Varuna’s abode, I shall, O destroyer of foes, deem him as slain in battle. And what is the use of dilating? Every way thou shalt prove victorious. And I see omens, and my mind is filled with delight”.

[5] i.e. as I understand this rather obscure passage, prove thou good through thy vigor—secure victory to the cause of goodness through thy might.—T


Hearing Sugriva’s speech, reasonable and fraught with high sense, Kākutstha accorded his assent to it and spoke unto Hanumān, saying,—“By asceticism, or constructing a a bridge, or drying up the ocean,—competent every way am I for crossing over this ocean. Of impracticable places, tell me how many there are in (Lankā), which are incapable of being come at. O monkey, as thou hast seen personally, I wish to get acquainted with all this. And thou hast at thy leisure duly noticed in Lankā the number of the army, the inaccessibility (or otherwise) of the gates, the defence of Lankā, and the dwellings of the Rākshasas. Do thou faithfully relate this unto me, for thou art observant”. Hearing Rāma’s speech, Hanumān, offspring of the Wind-god, foremost of those conversant with speech, again spake unto Rāma,—“Hearken! I will describe unto thee by what method is the city of Lankā guarded and protected by the Rākshasas, how loyal the Rākshasas are, the surpassing prosperity of Lankā, the dreadfulness of the deep, the divisions of the forces, and the number of the elephants, horses, cars, etc”. Having said this, that best of monkeys, knowing the nature of things, went on,—“Lankā, filled with mad elephants, ever rejoiceth. She is great, thronging with cars and inhabited by Rākshasas. Her doors are firmly established and furnished with massy bolts. And she hath four wide and giant gates. (At those gates) are powerful and large arms, stones, and engines, whereby a hostile host approaching, is opposed. At the entrances are arrayed and set in order by bands of heroic Rākshasas, hundreds of dreadful sharp iron sataghnis.6 She hath a mighty impassable golden wall, having its side emblazoned in the centre with costly stones, coral, lapises and pearls. Round about is a moat, exceedingly dreadful, with cool water, eminently grand, fathomless, containing ferocious aquatic animals, and inhabited by fishes. At the gates are four broad bridges, furnished with machines and many rows of grand structures. On the approach of hostile forces, their attack is repulsed by these machines, and they are thrown into the ditch. One among these bridges is immovable, strong and fast established; adorned with golden pillars and daises. O Rāma, albeit Rāvana hungereth for fight, yet is he calm; and he is vigilant and ever engaged in superintending his army. And dreadful and resembling a celestial citadel, Lankā cannot be ascended by means of any support. She hath fortresses composed of streams, those of hills, and artificial ones of four kinds. And, O Rāghava, she is situated on the other shore of the ocean having its limit far away. And way there is none even for barks,—and all sides are destitute of division. And that citadel is built on the mountain’s brow; and, resembling the metropolis of the immortals, the exceedingly invincible Lankā is filled with horses and elephants. And a moat and sataghnis and various engines adorn the city of Lankā, belonging to the wicked Rāvana. And an ayuta of Rākshasas, dart-handed, hard to subdue,—and all fighting at the front with their swords—protect the Eastern gate. And a niyuta of Rākshasas with a fourfold force, and with the flower of the soldiery—protect the Southern gate. And a prayuta of Rākshasas, bearing swords and shields, and skilled in all arms, protect the Western gate. And an arvuda of Rakhas protect the Northern gate. And car-warriors and horsemen—persons honored and sprung from noble lines—by hundreds and thousands,—and irrepressible goblins and kotis of Rākshasas, protect the garrison. I have broken down the bridges and filled up the entrenchment. I have burnt the city of Lankā and laid the wall low. Let us by any way whatever cross over Varuna’s abode. Do thou take it for certain that the city of Lankā is subdued by the monkeys. What is the use of thy reckoning the rest? Angada, Dwivida, Mainda, Jāmbavān, Panasa, Nala, and the general, Nila, bounding and reaching Rāvana’s abode, and riving the same consisting of woods and hills, moat and gateway, walls and dwellings, shall, O Rāghava, bring (hither) Sitā. If this be so,7 do thou order the entire body of the army to be brought; and do thou set out at the proper hour”.

[6] A kind of fire-arms, or ancient Hindu rocket; or a stone set round with sharp iron spikes.—According to Rāmānuya, a sort of mace about two yards in length, with spikes.—T.


Hearing Hanumān’s speech duly from the beginning, the exceedingly energetic Rāma having truth for his prowess, said,—“What thou sayest—‘I shall speedily destroy the city of this dreadful Raksha,’—is true, I tell thee. Therefore, at this very moment arrange for Sugriva’s march. The Sun hath attained his meridian at this proper moment, capable of conferring victory.8 Let Rāvana carry away Sitā (to his own country),—whither shall Rāvana, living, repair? Like a dying person who hath taken a death-dispelling drug and drunk ambrosia, Sitā, hearing of my preparations for war, shall inspire hope of life. To-day the Northern Phālguni (is in the ascendant); and to-morrow the moon shall be in conjunction with Hasta.9 O Sugriva, shall we set out, surrounded by the entire host? The omens I witness, augur, that, having slain Rāvana, I shall bring back Jānaki. The upper lid of my eye throbbeth; and it betokeneth that my desire hath indeed been had”. Then, honored by the monkey-king as well as Lakshmana, the righteous Rāma, understanding the import of things, again said,—“Surrounded by hundreds and thousands of fast-speeding monkeys, let Nila go ahead of this force, for surveying the route. O Nila, do thou, O general, expeditiously take the army by a path furnished with fruits and roots, having cool waters of the woods, and replenished with honey. The wicked Rākshasas vitiate10 fruits, roots and water along the way. Thou, ever on the alert, shouldst preserve these from the Rakshas. And, bounding down into hollow places, mountain-fastnesses, and woods, let the rangers of the wilds, spy the posted detachments of the enemy. Let those that are incompetent, stay here. This business is dreadful, and we should apply our best strength in conducting the same. Therefore let the foremost monkeys gifted with prodigious prowess lead forth the choice portion of the army, numbering hundreds and thousands. And let Gaja resembling a hill, and the exceedingly powerful Gavaya, and that monkey, Gavaksha, master of the leaping ones,11 like a haughty bull among kine, go in the van of the monkey-host. And let that foremost of monkeys, Rishava, go, protecting the right wing (of the army); and let Gandha, irrisistible like an elephant with the fragrant temporal juice trickling down, and the vehement Gandhamādana, go,12 protecting the left wing (of the monkey-army). And, cheering the army, I myself, mounted on Hanumān, like the Lord (mounted) on Airāvata, shall march in the midst of the forces. And like the lord of wealth and master of riches, mounted on Sārvabhauma, let Lakshmana resembling the Destroyer, march forth, mounted on Angada. And let that king of bears, the long-armed Jāmbavān, Sushena, and the monkey, Vegadarçi, protect the rear (of the forces)”. Hearing Rāghava’s words, that foremost of monkeys and lord of the army, the exceedingly energetic Sugriva, issued his orders. And anon those highly powerful monkeys issuing up from caves and mountain-summits, began to bound (on all sides). Thereafter, honored by the king of monkeys and also Lakshmana, the righteous Rāma, accompanied by his forces, set out in a southerly direction. And he marched, surrounded by hundreds and thousands, Kotis and Ayutas of monkeys resembling elephants. And he marching was followed by the mighty host of monkeys; and all those maintained by Sugriva were filled with joy and betrayed demonstrations of delight. And bounding by way of guarding the flanks of the forces, and leaping in front of the army for pioneering, blustering, emitting leonine roars, and uttering cries, the monkeys made towards the south. And some partook of perfumed honey and fruits, and some bore mighty trees, holding the sprouts. And some in pride (of strength) suddenly raised others and threw them down. And some fell and were anon up, and some brought others down. ‘We shall slay Rāvana, as also all the rangers of the night’; thus did the monkeys roar out in the presence of Rāghava. Before (the army), Rhrishabha, the heroic Nila, and Kumuda, along with many monkeys, went on clearing the route. In the middle were king Sugriva, Rāma and Lakshamana, environed by innumerable powerful and terrible monkeys. And the heroic monkey, Satavali, surrounded by ten Kotis (of troops), alone on all sides protected that monkey host. And accompanied by an hundred Kotis, Kesari, Panasa, Gaja13 and Arka, by means of many protected that host on every side. And taking Sugriva before them, Sushena, and Jāmbavān, surrounded by innumerable bears, protected the rear (of the army.) And that foremost of rangers possessed of excellence, and of restrained senses, the heroic Nila, general (of the army), kept going round the ranks. And Vālimukha, and Prajangha, Jambha and the monkey Rabhasa, went everywhere, urging on the monkeys. While thus marching, breathing pride of strength, those tiger-like monkeys saw that foremost of mountains Sahya crowned with hundreds of trees, and watery expanses laughing with flowers, and beautiful tanks. And knowing the order of Rāma of dreadful wrath, that terrible and mighty host, exceedingly terrific and resembling the bosom of the deep, cowed down through fear, leaving behind cities and villages and provinces, went like the deep-sounding sea. And at the side of Daçaratha’s son those heroic monkeys resembling elephants, proceeded by bounds, like noble horses, spurred on. And those foremost of men, mounted on the monkeys, looked beautiful like the Sun and the Moon half eclipsed by the two mighty planets, viz., Rāhu and Ketu. And (thus) did the righteous Rāma proceed towards the South, accompanied by his army. Then Lakshmana, furnished with consummate sense and promptitude, who was mounted on Angada, spoke unto Rāma, inviting words, fraught with import. “Speedily recovering Vaidehi, who hath been carried away, and slaying Rāvana, thou wilt, thy end attained, return to Ayodhyā, who shall also have her desire. O Rāghava, I see all the great auspicious omens on earth and in the sky, signifying success unto thee. Mildly and grateful doth the blessed breeze blow behind the army, inspiring pleasure. And the birds and beasts are crying in sonorous voices. And all the points (of the compass) appear pleasant; and the lord of day is cloudless. Bhrigu’s son, Uçanas, also weareth for thee an auspicious aspect, and Dhruva is without blemish. And all the rishis, pure and furnished with lustre, go round Dhruva. And before us shineth the grandfather of the high-souled Ikshwākus; the spotless Rājarshi Triçanku, with his priest.—And stainless and free from disturbances appeareth Visākhā. This is the racial star of us, the high-souled Ikshwākus. And Nairita, the racial star of the Nairitas, is sore afflicted and, touched by the rod-bearing Dhumketu is in trouble. All this is for the destruction of the Rākshasas. At the fated time, those that are in the clutches of Death, have their stars afflicted by the planets. And the water is dear and tastes sweet; and the woods are stocked with fruit. And the odorous gale doth not blow strongly; and the trees are furnished with all blossoms of of the season. And, O lord, this host of monkeys appeareth splendid to the height, as did the celestial host on the occasion of the destruction of Tāraka. Seeing all this, thou shouldst, O noble one, feel delighted”. Having thus consoled his brother, Sumitrā’s son, feeling enlivened, said this. The monkey-host went on, covering the earth. And the mighty dust raised by bears, monkeys, and tigers, having for their weapons nails and teeth,—with the foreparts of their feet and hands, enveloped the world, and the splendour of the sun was obscured. And as clouds envelope the sky, the mighty monkey-host went on, covering up the Southern quarter with its mountains, woods, and sky. And as they marched covering many a yojana, the streams seemed as if they flowed in an opposite direction.14 And they, while proceeding, took rest by pools of clear water, on mountains covered with trees, on plains and in forests teeming with fruits. Some moving straight, some moving askance, and some moving on the earth, that enormous monkey-host went on covering the entire earth. And they were all of delighted countenances and gifted with the velocity of the wind. And these monkeys devoted all their energy to the accomplishment of Rāghava’s work. And they were displaying unto each other their joy, prowess and energy. And influenced with the vanity of youth they set up diverse cries. Some proceeded with speed, some leaped, some set up cries expressing joy, some were uplifting their tails, and some were striking the ground with their feet. Some, stretching forth their arms, were breaking the hills, and others the trees. And others were ascending the tops of the hills. Some began to make terrible sounds, and others made a tingling noise. And many others blasted the creepers with the velocity of their thighs. And some were engaged in sporting with trees and rocks. And thus was the earth enveloped with millions and kotis of fearful monkeys. And thus the enormous monkey host went on day and night. And all those monkeys, delighted, guided by Sugriva, and taking delight in battle, went on speedily. And they did not take rest even for a moment, desirous of rescuing Sitā. Thereupon, getting at the mount Sahya covered with various trees and forests, those monkeys ascended it. And Rāma went on beholding the variegated forest, rivers and fountains of the mount Sahya and Malaya. And those monkeys broke down various trees—Champakas, Tilakās, mangos, *Prasekas, Sindubarakas, Tiniças and Karaviras, Asokas, Karanjas, Plakshas, Nyagrodhas, Jambukas and Amalakas. And seated on picturesque rocks, various forest trees, shaken by the wind, showered flowers on them. And there blew in those forests filled with the smell of honey, a wind of pleasant touch, cool as the Moon, accompanied by the hummings of the bees. And that mount was richly embellished with diverse metals. And dust issuing from these metals and thickened by the air, enveloped on all sides the huge monkey-host. There blossomed in that picturesque mountain-vale Ketakas, Sindubaras, beautiful Vasantees, Mādhabis, Gandhapurnas, Kandas, Chiravilyas, Mahikas, Vanjulas, Vakulas, Ranjakas, Tilakās, Nagas, Chutas, Patalikas, Kobidaras, Muchlindas, Arjunas, Singsapas, Kutajas, Pintalas, Tiniças, Churnkas, Neepakas, Neela-Sokas, Saralas, Ankolas and lotuses. And all these trees were greatly disturbed by those monkeys, delighted with their view. There were in that mountain many a picturesque lake and pond filled with Chakravakas and Karandavas, ducks, Chraunchas and the mount abounded on all sides with boars, deer, and terrible bears, lions and tigers and various other fearful animals, and it was beautified with full blown lotuses, lilies, Utpalas and various other fragrant trees growing in the water. And various birds set up their musical choir on the summit of that mount. And bathing and drinking, these monkeys sported in the water. And ascending the mount these monkeys continually bounded. And excited with drink, they crumbled into pieces the ambrosia-smelling fruits, roots and flowers of the trees. And those monkeys yellow as honey, delighted, feasted on mangoes, long and measuring a drona. Breaking down the trees, blasting the creepers, bounding from one tree to another and making the mount Sahya echo, those leading monkeys went on delighted and excited with drink. Some ascending the trees, and others drinking, the whole earth was enveloped with those monkeys, and seemed as if beautified with ripe paddy crops. And reaching the mount Mahendra, the large-armed Rāma, having eyes like lotuses, ascended the summit adorned with diverse trees. And getting at the top, Daçaratha’s son espied the vast deep filled with tortoises and fishes. Thereupon, passing by the mounts Sahya and Malaya and arranging their enormous host, they15 by and by reached the roaring deep. And descending therefrom, Rāma, the foremost of those who minister happiness unto all, accompanied by Lakshmana and Sugriva, entered the forest situate on the banks of the ocean. And reaching the expansive banks having rocks thereon and continually washed by the rising billows, Rāma spoke saying,—“O Sugriva we have arrived at the abode of Varuna. Now hath arisen in my mind what I had not thought of before. And this ocean, the lord of the streams, whose other side is not seen, cannot be crossed over without some excellent measure. Let the monkey-host be encamped here therefore, and then concert a plan by means of which they might get at the other side. And reaching the shores of the ocean, the large-armed Rāma, stricken with grief for Sitā, ordered their encampment, saying,—“O foremost of monkeys, do thou encamp thy host on the brink of the ocean. Now hath arrived the hour for counsel, when we should devise some plan for crossing over the main. I fear the Rākshasas at every step, for they are greatly illusion creating—let the leaders therefore go to their own hosts and let them not proceed anywhere else, renouncing them”. Hearing the words of Rāma, Sugriva along with Lakshmana, encamped the army on the brink of the ocean covered with trees. And stationed near the main, the monkey-host in consequence of their resemblance in colour with the blue contents of the deep, looked like a second ocean. Thereupon, reaching the shore, those leading monkeys engaged in concerting a plan to cross over the vasty deep. And the tumult, of that monkey-host encamped there, was heard above the roaring of the deep. And that huge army of the monkeys commanded by Sugriva, and set up in three divisions, were deeply concerned with the accomplishment of Rāma’s work. And reaching the shore of the vasty deep, that monkey host, delighted, beheld the ocean moved by the Wind. And they waited there beholding the deep of unimpeded expanse, having its distant shore inhabited by the demons, and thronged with various aquatic animals. While upheaving its foam on the approach of eve, it appeared laughing and setting up its surges, it appeared to dance. It increased with the rising of the Moon and he reflected himself on its breast. That abode of Varuna was infested with gigantic sharks, whales and Timingalas16, disturbed with the fury of the Wind, filled with serpents having flaming frames, and various aquatic animals and rocks and was fathomless deep. It had picturesque fortresses on its marge and its other shore was hard to get at. And the Makaras17 and serpents living therein were moved by the Wind. The waters, as if delighted, were rising and falling. And having serpents of flaming frames underneath, it appeared as if sprinkled with scintillations of fire. And that terrible abode of the demons extended down to the regions inhabited by the Nagas or serpents. The deep resembled the welkin and the welkin the deep, and there appeared no difference between them. The sky crested with stars and the deep filled with gems resembled each other. The sky enveloped with clouds and the ocean overflowing with surges presented no contrast whatsoever. The waves of the mighty deep beating at each other continually, set up a sound resembling that of a trumpet in the sky. It was filled with diverse gems and its water was poisoned by means of the air. It was filled with various aquatic animals, and upheaving its billows, it appeared as if excited with ire. And there beheld those high-souled monkeys the mighty main agitated by the Wind and muttering as if with the upheaval of the waves. Thereupon, overwhelmed with surprise, those monkeys, stationed there, espied the main brimming with rolling waters and moving as if (off its place).

[7] Ebam ājnāpaya: Rāmānuja reads sense into this passage. If thou wishest the principal monkeys to go, bring them; if thou wish the whole host to march, call it hither, and march at the auspicious moment.—T.

[8] The moment is named abhijit.—T.

[9] Hastā sprung from Punarvasu is the star of doom, portending death to Rāvana. The Northern Phālguni is Sitā’s natal star. The expedition begun during the influence of this star, augurs deliverance to Vaidehi.—T.

[10] By means of poison, etc.—T.

[11] i.e. monkeys.—T.

[12] The verb is singular, instead of dual, as also the qualifying epithet, Pārçamadishthita. But the sense is clear.—T.

[13] Some other than the first-mentioned Gaja.—T.

[14] Kataka remarks:—”As when clouds drift past, the Moon it is that seems to scud across the sky, as the monkey-army marched on, the rivers seemed to flow in an opposite direction”. Rāmānuya says that the waters of the streams dashed by the monkeys, held an opposite course. The former interpretation is hardly satisfactory, and Rāmānuya seems to be right.—T.

[15] The monkey leaders.—T.

[16] A large fabulous fish.—T.

[17] A marine monster confounded usually with the crocodile and shark.—T.


There on the northern shore of the ocean the army was encamped and arranged in order by Nila. And the two leading monkeys Mainda and Divida patrolled about on all sides to protect the monkey host. And the army being encamped on the shore of the lord of streams and rivers, Rāma, beholding Lakshmana by his side, spoke, saying—“I know that grief abates as time passes by, but my sorrow arising from the separation of my spouse, is increasing day by day. I am not sorry that she hath been stealthily taken away by the demon—but my sorrow is that her end is drawing nigh. O Wind, do thou go there where my dear spouse is, and touching her person, do thou touch me, for I shall then be happy stationing my looks in the Moon and being touched by thee. Alas! My dear one cried ‘O lord, O lord’ when she was taken away. Those words, revolving burn me like poison. I am now being burnt down day and night by the fire of desire, having separation from her for its fuel and her thoughts for its flame. Leaving thee, O Son of Sumitrā, I shall jump into the deep and then shall not this fire burn me any more. This is my only consolation, for which I draw my vital breath—that myself and she breathe on the same earth. Like unto a dry land drawing water from a watered ground, I do live, hearing that Jānaki still survives. When shall I, discomfitting my enemies, behold Sitā, having a beautiful waist and eyes resembling lotus-petals, as a victorious hero beholdeth the royal Grace. Like unto the sick drinking the elixir of life, when shall I, raising a little her lotus-like countenance having graceful teeth and lips, imprint kisses thereon? And when shall she, laughing, embrace me with her rising breast resembling the palm fruit? Alas that chaste dime having scarlet corners of the eye, being encircled by the demons, is wishing for a protector like unto one having no husband, albeit having a husband in me. How fareth in the midst of the she-demons, that daughter of the king Janaka, my beloved spouse, and the daughter-in-law of king Daçaratha? And having those Rākshasas, hard to repress, slain by me, truly shall she appear like unto the rays of the Moon extricated from sable autumnal clouds. Sitā is constitutionally slender, and forsooth, she has been greatly reduced by sorrow, fasting and calamities touching time and place. When shall I, piercing with my shafts the breast of the lord of Rākshasas, renounce my mind’s grief? And when shall my devoted Sitā resembling the daughter of a celestial, fling herself anxiously around my neck and shed tears of joy? And when shall I renounce this my sorrow arising out of Maithili’s separation, like unto one casting off his soiled clothes?” The highly intelligent Rāma bewailing thus, the day passed away and the Sun, decreasing gradually, disappeared at last. And consoled by Lakshmana, Rāma, stricken with thought touching Sitā having eyes like lotus-petals, engaged in rites relating to the worship of Eve.


Beholding in Lankā that dreadful and awe-inspiring work performed by Hanumān like unto the high-souled Sakra, the lord of Rākshasas, looking down with shame, addressed them all, saying—“That monkey alone hath invaded and entered the city of Lankā hard to reach and hath espied Sitā, the daughter of king Janaka. He hath shattered the palace, and the altar of sacrifice, slain the leading Rākshasas, and, in short, agitated the whole city of Lankā. What shall I do now? And what should you all do on this occasion? It behoveth you all to give me such counsel as becometh me and will conduce to my glory”. ‘Victory is the outcome of consultation’—this do the sages18 say. Let us, therefore, O mighty ones, engage in counsel, relating to the measures we should adopt towards Rāma. There are three orders of men on this earth—the superior the middling and the inferior. This distinction cannot be perceived without a knowledge of the signs, and so I shall relate unto you their merits and demerits. He is said to belong to the superior order, whose counsel contains the three signs (mentioned below), or who engages in works after consulting duly with friends capable or with persons having the same end in view, and some times with others, and who serveth Providence. He belongs to the middle order who consults his own self only, depends on the Providence, and engages alone in works. And he belongs to the inferior order who engageth in works without ascertaining their merits or demerits, disregarding the will of the Providence and saying, ‘I will do this’, and is inactive (at last). And counsels are also divided into three divisions like unto the three orders of men (mentioned). That counsel belongs to the superior order in which the counsellors with their judgment reinforced by a knowledge of political ethics, are unanimous. That one belongs to the middle order in which the counsellors after varied discussion, arrive at unanimity in the long run. And that one is the worst in which the counsellors differ from each other and agree a little in the long run, with no good result. You are all gifted with good intellects: do you all unanimously settle as to what becometh me and conduceth to my well-being. Environed by a thousand of patient monkeys, Rāma, with a view to capture our city, is approaching towards Lankā. Forsooth, shall he cross over the main along with his younger brother and a mighty host. He can by his prowess dry up the ocean and do the other.19 Rāma approaching thus with a hostile intention along with the monkeys, it behoveth you to devise such means as might protect my city and army.

[18] Manaswina, according to Rāmānuya, means, hero.—T.

[19] i.e. bridge over the ocean.—T.


Being thus accosted by their lord, the highly powerful Rākshasas, devoid of good sense and ignorant of sound counsel, replied with folded palms, saying,—“Thou hast, O king, enough of soldiers and weapons. Why art thou smitten with sorrow then? Repairing to Bhagavati, thou didst discomfit the serpents in battle. The God of Death, living on mount Kailāça, encircled by Yakshas, was subjugated by thee in a great battle. And that mighty lord of men, proud of his friendship with Siva, was defeated by thee wrathfully in battle. Discomfitting and slaying the band of Yakshas, thou didst bring this flowery car from the mount Kailāça. O lord of Rākshasas, desiring thy friendship out of fear, Maya, the king of Dānavas, offered thee his daughter20 for thy spouse. O thou of mighty arms, thou didst bring under thy subjection the powerful and irrepressible Dānava21 for the pleasure of Kumbhinasi.22 And entering the region under the earth, thou didst defeat the serpents—and thus bring under thy subjection Vāsuki, Takshaka, Sankha, and Jati. Those heroic Dānavas, the Kalakeyas, were greatly powerful, irrepressible, and proud of the boons conferred on them. And fighting with them perpetually for a year, thou didst bring them under thy control, O lord, O slayer of foes, and learn from them the science of varied illusions, O king of the Rākshasas. O great hero, by thee were defeated in battle, the heroic and powerful sons of Varuna, followed by a fourfold division of their army. The dominion of Death is like the mighty main, having his rod for aquatic animals, agonies for the trees that cover its islands, the noose for the billows, his attendants for the serpents and his terrible fever for the dreadful attitude of the deep. And diving into this terrible deep, thou didst, O king, discomfit Death himself and win glorious victory. And every one was pleased there with thy successful fight. The Earth was filled with various heroic Kshetriyas, resembling Sakra in prowess as she is adorned now with various trees. Rāghava is not their equal either in strength or prowess. And all those heroes, hard to repress in battle, were slain by thee, O king. Do thou wait here, O great king; thou needst not take any trouble. Indrajit alone shall slay all these monkeys. And this one, O mighty monarch, having celebrated the Māheçwara23 sacrifice, hath obtained a noble boon, rarely (attained by persons). Having agitated the ocean of celestial hosts, having darts and lances for its fishes, showering arms for its moss, elephants for its tortoises, steeds for its frogs, Rudra and Aditya for its ferocious animals, the Maruts and Vasus for its mighty serpents, cars, horses, and elephants for its volume of waters, and infantry for its spacious shore, this one (Indrajit), taking captive the lord of the celestials himself, had brought him into Lankā. Then, O king, liberated agreeably to the injunction of the Great-father, the slayer of Samvara and Vritra, worshipped of all the celestials, went (back) to heaven. Do thou, O great king, entrust Indrajit with this business,—until he bringeth to destruction the monkey-host along with Rāma. O king, thou must not think that this calamity, coming from an ignoble person is not insignificant. Thou shalt slay Rāghava”.

[20] This refers to Mandodari, Rāvana’s favourite queen.—T.

[21] This refers to Madhu.—T.

[22] Rāvana’s sister, who was married to Madhu.—T.

[23] Relating to Mahaçwara—the great Lord, a designation of Siva.—T.


Then that heroic general, the Rākshasa named Prahasta, possessing the splendour of sable clouds, submitted with joined hands,—“I am competent to baffle in battle gods and Dānavas and Gandharbas, ghosts, birds and serpents,—what then is a couple of human beings? Having been negligent and confident (in our power), we have all been deceived by Hanumān. But, I living, that ranger of woods shall not (again) go hence with his life. All the earth down to the ocean, containing hills, forests and woods, shall be rendered free from monkeys. Do thou command me. And, O ranger of the night, I shall deliver (the Rākshasas) from the monkeys; and thou shalt not have to suffer in the least in consequence of thy transgression”.24 Then the Rākshasa named Durmukha, growing enraged, said,—“This overpowering of all of us must not be forgiven—this flagrant discomfiture of the metropolis of the auspicious lord of the Rākshasas as well as of his inner appartment by the foremost of monkeys. This moment marching alone (from hence) will I exterminate the monkeys, even if they shall have entered the dreadful deep, or the sky, or the subterranean regions”. Then the exceedingly powerful Vajradanshtra, weilding up a terrific bludgeon, stained with flesh and gore, wrathfully observed,—“Rāma the irrepressible existing, and also Sugriva with Lakshmana, what have we to do with the weak and wretched Hanumān? This very day, slaying single-handed Rāma with Sugriva and with Lakshmana, with this bludgeon, shall I return, after having sorely troubled the monkey-host. And, O monarch, if thou art minded, hear this other word of mine! Verily he that is fertile in resources and ever ready, compasseth success. Let thousands of Rākshasas, heroic, terrible, fearful to behold, and wearing forms at will, appointed by the lord of Rākshasas, presenting themselves before Kākutstha in palpably human shapes, calmly say unto that foremost of the Raghus,—‘Despatched have we been by thy younger brother.’ Hearing this, he (Rāma), summoning his forces without delay, shall come hither. Then, equipped with darts, javelins and maces, and bearing bows, arrows and scimitars in our hands, we shall swiftly and summoning speed25 set out (from hence); and stationing ourselves in the sky in bands, and slaughtering the monkey-army with mighty showers of rocks and weapons, we shall lead it to Death’s door. Let us in this wise decoy Rāma and Lakshmana; and if they fall into our design, they shall, without doubt, lose their lives”. Then that hero, Kumbhakarna’s son, named Nikumbha, endowed with exceeding prowess, in high wrath remarked unto Rāvana, destroyer of worlds,—“Do ye, all of you, stay here along with the great king. I alone shall slay Rāghava together with Lakshmana, and Sugriva with Hanumān, and all the monkeys”. Then a Rākshasa, named Vajrahanu, resembling a hill, in wrath lapping the corners of his mouth with his tongue, said,—“Do ye, casting off anxiety, engage yourself as ye list. I alone shall swallow up that entire monkey-host. Do ye, remaining at ease and without anxiety, drink Vāruna26 wine. I single-handed shall slay Sugriva with Lakshmana, as well as Hanumān with Angada,—and all the monkeys.

[24] i.e. the ravishment of Sitā.—T.

[25] Twarita—summoning speed—redundant.—T.

[26] Vāruna wine, otherwise named Vāruni is prepared from hog-weed, ground with the juice of the date or palm, and then distilled.—T.


Then, in fierce wrath seizing bludgeons, and pattiças, lances and bearded darts and javelins, and axes, bows and excellent shafts and swords, resembling crystelline water, sprung up the Rākshasas, Rabhasa, and the mighty Suryyaçatru, and Saptaghna, and Yajnakopa, and Mahāpārçwa and Mahodara, Agniketu the irrepressible, and the Rākshasa Raçmiketu, and the lusty Indraçatru, son unto Rāvana—and Prahasta, Virupāksha, and the exceedingly strong Vajradanshtra,—and Dhumrāksha, and Nikumbha, and the Raksha Durmukha. And, flaming in energy, they all addressed Rāvana, saying,—“To-day shall we slay Rāma, and Sugriva along with Lakshmana, and the helpless Hanumān, who hath damaged Lankā. Then, preventing them, who had (thus) equipped themselves with all kinds of weapons, and making them sit down, Vibhishana, with joined hands, again spoke unto them, saying,—“The wise have asserted that an appeal to prowess should be resorted to anent a business then only when the end sought cannot be attained through the three (other) means.27 Prowess produceth fruit only in respect of well-advised action directed while carefully watching (enemies) that are negligent, or captive,28 or under Divine affliction. But why do ye intend to discomfit (Rāma), who is vigilant, who desireth victory, who is strong in the Divine strength, who hath subdued passion, and who is hard to subdue? Who had in this world ever thought of or reasoned about Hanumān’s career over the dreadful deep, the lord of streams and rivers? O rangers of the night, the strength and prowess (of the foe) being immeasurable, ye should by no means recklessly disregard him. And what was the wrong that formerly had been done by Rāma unto the king of the Rākshasas, that he hath carried off from Janasthāna the spouse of that illustrious one? If Khara, who had trespassed into regions not his own, hath been slain in battle by Rāma, surely a creature should to the best of his might preserve his life. It is for this great fear that exerciseth us on the score of Vaidehi owing its existence to this,29 that she, having been ravished, should (now) be given up. What is the use of acting so that quarrel may be the consequence? And (Rāma), possessed of prowess, yet ever abiding by morality, is incapable of initiating hostilities for no purpose. Therefore, do ye give him his Maithili. And before, he by means of his shafts riveth this city together with her elephants and steeds, overflowing with countless gems, do ye give him his Maithili. And before the dreadful, irrepressible and mighty monkey-host blocketh up this Lankā of ours, do ye give (back) Sitā. This city of Lankā shall perish as also all the heroic Rākshasas, if thou dost not thyself make over Rāma’s spouse unto him. I exert myself to pleasure thee, because of the fraternity (that subsisteth between us). Do what I say. I say what is truth and what also is for thy good. Do thou render (back) Rāma’s Maithili. Ere yet the king’s son, for compassing thy destruction, showereth sure shafts resembling the rays of the autumnal Sun, having shining heads and feathered parts, and exceedingly hard, do thou render Maithili unto Dāçarathi. Forsake thy wrath at once, which destroyeth happiness and virtue; and follow righteousness, which enhanceth enjoyment and fame. Be thou propitious,—so that we may live (at ease) along with our sons and relatives! Render (back) Maithili unto Daçaratha’s son”. Having heard Vibhishana’s speech, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—I leaving all of them, entered his own chamber.

[27] Viz., conciliation, gift, and creating division.—T.

[28] In the hands of other enemies.—T.

[29] The feeling of revenge for the slaughter of Khara and the rest.—T.


Then early in the morning, like the fiery and refulgent sun entering a mighty mass of clouds, Vibhishana, fast to virtue and interest, heroic and possessed of exceeding splendour, playing a perilous part,30 entered the apartment of his elder brother, resembling an assemblage of mountain-summits and elevated like the peak of a mountain, orderly, divided into spacious rooms,—the resort of the great—inhabited by august and intelligent persons attached (to Rāvana); guarded around by lusty Rākshasas in limited numbers; having the air agitated by the breath of mad elephants; with loud blares of conchs, and resounding with trumpets; embosoming numbers of beautiful damsels, with its high-ways (overflowing with talk); furnished with doors of polished gold; embellished with excellent ornaments; resembling the abode of the Gandharbas, or the mansion of the Maruts; containing heaps of gems; like unto the dwelling of serpents. And that one of exceeding energy heard sacred and holy sounds uttered by Veda-versed Brahmanas celebrating the victory of his brother; and that highly powerful (hero) acquainted with Mantras and the Vedas saw Vipras worshipped with vessels of curds, clarified butter, flowers and fried paddy. And the mighty-armed (Vibhishana) saluted the younger brother of the bestower of riches,31 seated there. And that one acquainted with manners, after proper courtesy, sat him down on a seat decked in gold, which was pointed out (by a royal glance). And in retirement as also in presence only of his counsellors, Vibhishana spoke unto the high souled Rāvana words backed by reason, and greatly fraught with his welfare. And having, with soothing speech, pacified his elder brother and extended towards him the due civilities, that one, who through height of sentiment had noted excellence and the want of it, addressed (Vibhishana) in words befitting the occasion and the place,—“Ever since, O subduer of enemies, Vaidehi hath come hither, are seen inauspicious omens. Fire, enveloped in smoke at the time of its being ignited, and thereafter throwing out scintillations, with its brightness obscured by vapour, doth not increase adequately even on oblations being poured into it with Mantras. Reptiles are discovered in kitchens, sacrificial fire-chambers, and the places of Vaidika recitations; and ants (are found) in clarified butter. The milk of the kine hath been dried up; and the nobler elephants are without the temporal juice. And horses, albiet they have feasted on fresh grass, neigh distressfully.32 And asses, camels and mules, O king, with their hair standing erect, shed tears; and although they are ministered unto medically, they do not return to nature. And crows in numbers emit harsh cries on all sides, and are seen in swarms at the tops of edifices. Vultures sit sadly and distressed upon the roofs of houses. During the two twilights, the jackals, coming in sight, utter ominous howls. And wolves and other (ferocious) animals, as well as deer, approaching the gate of the palace in swarms, are heard to set up loud roars resembling the thunder. Things having come to this pass, even this expiation, I fancy, is capable of removing the evil omens. Do thou render back Vaidehi unto Rāghava. If I have said this through ignorance or covetuousness, thou ought not, O mighty monarch, criminate me. All Rākshasas and Rakshasis, as well as those belonging to palace and the inner apartment—shall have to experience the evil consequence (of this act of thine). All the counsellors have retrained from tendering this counsel unto thee; but surely I must tell thee what I have seen or heard; and adopting proper measures, it behoveth thee to act so”.33 (Rāvana’s) brother, Bibhishana, thus spoke, unto his brother, the chief of Rakshas, in the midst of counsellors, these words fraught with his good. Hearing this beneficial, mild and pregnant speech, fortified by reasons and capable of compassing (his welfare) for the present, past and the future, (Rāvana) who had conceived a passion (for Sitā), getting into a rage, replied,—“Fear find I none whatever. Rāghava never shall have Mithilā’s daughter. Even if Lakshmana’s elder brother should be supported in battle by the celestials with Indra (at their head), how can he stay before me (in the field)?” Having said this, that destroyer of celestial hosts, the Ten-necked one, possessed of mighty strength and of terrific prowess in battle, then dismissed his brother Vibhishana, who had spoken truth.

[30] The project he had conceived, via., converting Rāvana to his own policy of pacification, was fraught with peril to himself, considering his brother’s fierce temperament.—T.

[31] Kuvera.—Rāvana was Kuvera’s younger brother.—T.

[32] The commentator remarks, evidently with justice—”That is, the horses, having eaten their fill, still hunger”.—T.

[33] In accordance with my suggestion.—T.


The unrighteous king, overmastered by his passion (for Sitā), in consequence of his sinful act as well as the loss of honor he sustained at the hands of his friends, became reduced. And the occasion for war was wanting. Rāvana, possessed by lust, and continually thinking of Vaidehi, conceived along with his counsellors that the time for entering into hostilities had arrived. And sallying forth, he ascended a mighty car furnished with golden network, adorned with pearls and coral, and yoked with trained steeds. And having ascended that excellent vehicle, having sounds resembling those of mighty clouds, that foremost of Rakshas, the Ten necked one, drove towards the court. And as he coursed on, Rākshasas, bearing swords and shields, and carrying all kinds of weapons, went before the lord of the Rākshasas. And (some of) these, wearing various frightful suits, and decked with diverse ornaments, went, surrounding his rear and flanks. And atirathas went with cars, and superb mad elephants, and sportive steeds; and bearing in their hands maces and bludgeons; and darts and clubs. And as Rāvana marched towards the court, there arose the loud blares of thousand trumpet, and the uproarious sounds of conches. And that redoubtable and mighty car-warrior held his course, suddenly making sides resound, and beautifying the highways. And the spotless white umbrella of the lord of Rākshasas, being raised up, looked beautiful like the Moon at her full. On his right and left graced two crystal white chowris furnished with threads of gold. And all the Rākshasas standing on the ground with joined hands, bow down their heads to the foremost of Rākshasas who was seated on his car. Hymned by the Rākshasas with blessings for victory, that exceedingly energetic chastiser of enemies arrived at the court constructed (by Viçwakarmā). And that highly energetic one in person entered that court paved with silver and gold, having its heart decorated with crystal, and gracefully covered with silk, embroidered with gold; excellently constructed by Viçwakarmā, and guarded by six hundred ghosts. And Rāvana sat down on a superior and august seat consisting of lapises, furnished with a pillow; and covered with a soft dear-skin. And lord-like, he commanded the envoys possessed of fleet vigor, saying, “Do ye speedily summon hither the Rākshasas. I fan some mighty effort hath to be put forth against our foes. Hearing his words, the envoys began to range Lankā; and going to every house, they fearlessly collected the Rākshas from places of sport, bed-rooms, and gardens. Then some set out, mounting cars, and some mounting proud coursers, and some on foot. And like the welkin filled with fowls, the city thronged with approaching cars, elephants and steeds. And leaving their various vehicles and cars behind, they entered the court on foot, like lions entering mountain caverns. And taking the feet of the sovereign, and honored by him (in turn), they sat them down, some on raised seats, some on cushions of Kuça, and some on the floor. And presenting themselves agreeably to the command of the monarch, they sat them down each according to his position, before the lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana. And there came also the learned and competent to arrive at infallible decisions, and they sat them down in order of merit. And there also came courtiers endowed with virtues, versed in every thing, and having intelligence for their eye-sight,—and innumerable heroes by hundreds also (arrived) at that court for ascertaining the course that would prove beneficial. And then mounting a large, noble and splendid car, having its parts decked with gold, and yoked with horses, the magnanimous and renowned Vibhishana went to the court of his elder brother. And that younger brother (of Rāvana), announcing his name, bowed down at the feet of his elder brother. And Suka and Prahasta were employed in giving to each a separate seat befitting his rank. And from all sides in the court there began to spread the odour of excellent agura and sandal and wreaths belonging to the Rākshasas, decked in gold and various gems, and clad in costly attires. And no one among these present at court uttered any thing, or spoke any falsehood, or conversed in loud accents. And having completely attained their desire, all of fierce prowess, gazed at the face of their lord. And in the assembly of those intelligent, and exceedingly powerful persons, equipped with arms, the intelligent Rāvana appeared splendid like the Vajra-handed Indra among the Vasus.


Then surveying that entire assembly, that conqueror in battle delivered himself unto Prahasta,—general of the forces, saying,—“O general, it behoveth thee so to order disciplined fourfold forces that they may successfully protect the city”. Thereat, Prahasta, carefully carrying out the royal behest, stationed all the forces within and without the city. And having posted the army for the defence of the city, Prahasta sitting down before the king, said,—“I have stationed the forces belonging to thee who art possessed of strength, inside as well as outside. (Now), without suffering thy mind to be agitated with anxiety, speedily, do what is in thy heart. Hearing the speech of Prahasta seeking the welfare of the kingdom, Rāvana craving for enjoyment spoke in the midst of his aderents,—“When virtue, or happiness, or interest is in straits, it behoveth you to (know your course) in relation to pleasant and unpleasant, happiness and misery, profitable and unprofitable, and good and evil. No business of mine which ye have set about after taking counsel, hath ever miscarried. And like Vāsava environed by the moon, stars and planets, and the Maruts, I surrounded by you, have attained to plenitude of prosperity. I am, for certain, going to employ you all. In consequence of sleep, I could not inform him of this matter. After having slept for six months that one of prodigious strength—foremost of those bearing arms—hath just risen. Janaka’s daughter and Rāma’s beloved wife hath been brought hither from the forest of Dandaka, the region ranged by Rakshas. That indolent damsel wisheth not to ascend my bed; nor is there any in the three spheres, that to me is like unto Sitā. She is slender waisted, and high-hipped, and her face is as the autumnal Moon resembling a golden image. She is meek and looketh like the hand work of Maya himself gifted with an infinite variety of fascinations.34 And beholding her dainty and tender feet with roseate soles, and having coppery nails, my mind burneth (with desire). And seeing her resembling the flame of a sacrificial fire and the splendour of the Sun himself; and her fair face furnished with a prominent nose and elegant eyes, I, having lost control over self, have come under the sway of desire. And my passion, uninfluenced by anger and joy, capable of producing pallor, and constantly causing anguish and sorrow, hath rendered me pale. Expecting her lord, Rāma, the beautiful one having expansive eyes, hath solicited for a year’s space; and I have pledged my fair woods to her of graceful eyes. But tired am I on account of my passion,—like a horse spent on the way. How can the rangers of the woods, or the sons of Daçaratha cross over the sea ungovernable and swarming with countless creatures and fishes? On the other hand, a single month hath troubled us grievously. Hard it is therefore to understand the course of events. Do ye act, each as he thinks proper. And although no fear can come from mortals, yet ye should deliberate (as to what ye should do). Formerly I had gained victory with the help given by you; do ye in the same way stand by me now. The king’s son, having learnt that Sitā is on the other shore of the ocean, taking before them monkeys headed by Sugriva, reached Varuna’s abode. Do ye so counsel that Sitā may be with-holden by me and the sons of Daçaratha may be slain; but ye must prefer certain counsel. No other35 person in this world hath the power to cross the sea along with the monkeys,—victory, therefore, is undubitably mine”. Hearing the sorrowful speech of (Rāvana) afflicted with lust, Kumbhakarna greatly enraged, and said,—“When just on seeing (Sitā) of Rāma along with Lakshmana, thou didst by main force carry her away, it plainly appeareth that thy mind, like the Yamuna filling her bed, hath been possessed (by her).36 O great king, all this (that thou hast done) is not worthy of thee. If thou hadst at the outset consulted us in this matter, we would have done what was proper.37 O ten-faced one, the king that arriving at certain conclusions, carrieth on his regal affairs agreeably to justice, hath not to repent afterwards. But those actions that are done without deliberation, like unto clarified butter poured in an impure sacrifice, conduces only to harm. He doth not know what is proper and what not, that performs prior actions afterwards, and posterior actions first. Others spy holes in the actions of the volatile; the latter may be possessed of great power,—like swans passing Krauncha through the hole.38 By luck it is that Rāma hath not yet slain thee, who hath done this tremendous thing, without reflection, resembling food mixed with poison. But as thou hast entered upon a course of action which is improper even in respect of foes, I will, O sinless one, perform thy work by slaying thy enemies. And, O ranger of the night, I will exterminate thy foe. Even if Sakra and the sun-god, even if fire and the War-god, even if Kuvera and Varuna should range themselves against me, I will fight them. Purandara himself shall be afflicted with fright when I have my body measuring a mountain, and furnished with sharp teeth, shall, setting up roars, fight with my huge bludgeon. Before Rāma shooteth a second shaft, to slay me, I shall drink his life-blood. Be thou comforted by slaying Daçaratha’s son, I will exert to secure blessed victory for thee. Having killed Rāma along with Lakshmana, I shall devour all the principal monkeys. Do thou make merry at thy will, drink the Varuni, and, with thy mind set at rest, conduct affairs fraught with thy welfare. On Rāma being despatched to the mansion of Yama, Sitā shall come under thy subjection for ever and a day”.

[34] This reminds one irrisistibly of Cleopatra’s. The Bengali translators evidently failing to understand Mayava Mayanirmita, have conveniently transferred the phrase intact to their versions.—T.

[35] I fail to understand anyasya, “no other person”;—nor does the commentator help me in any way.—T.

[36] This passage is very obscure, and the commentator’s gloss does not anything serve.—T.

[37] i.e. we would have prevented thee.—T.

[38] The hole made by the dart of Kumara.—T.


Seeing Rāvana wrought up with wrath, the exceedingly strong Mahāpārcwa, reflecting for a moment, observed with joined hands,—“The man that, entering the forest, abounding with deer and ferocious animals, doth not drink honey, maketh a fool of himself. O destroyer of foes, who is the lord of thee, that art lord thyself? Enjoy with Vaidehi, taking thy enemy by the hand. And, O thou endowed with prodigious power, do thou exerting thy might lead thy life, after the manner of hens, and invading Sitā again and again, do thou enjoy her and derive pleasure (therefrom). And when thou hast attained thy purpose; what fear can succeed? Alike when on thy guard, and off it, thou shalt provide against all exigencies. Kumbhakarna along with us, as well the exceedingly powerful Indrajit, are competent to chastise the thunder-bearing (Deity) equipped with his thunder. Passing by gift, conciliation, and dissension, which have been assigned by the wise as the means of success, I relish the success in business which is attained through chastisement. O highly powerful one, we shall, without doubt, by the prowess of our arms, subdue all these enemies of thine that have come hither”. Thus addressed by Mahāpārcwa, king Rāvana, honoring his speech, said,—“O Mahāpārcwa, I will relate unto thee, who hast spoken (thus) a secret matter relating to myself, which befell me to since I saw Panjikasthalā, like a flame in the sky, coursing to the Great-father’s mansion. Her pace slackened, as soon as she saw me, (turn) I feasted on her and deprived her of her attire. Then she went to the Great-father’s place like a crumpled lotus. That high-souled one received information of all that I had done; and thereat, waxed enraged, the Deity spoke unto me,—“If from this day, thou ravish a female by force, thy head certainly shall be riven in an hundred pieces. It is for this, that with my mind afflicted with fear, I do not violently force, Videha’s daughter Sitā, anent lying with her fair self. My rush is like that of the sea, and my motion that of the wind. Daçaratha’s son doth not know this, and therefore doth he approach sea. Who wisheth to address a lion that is lying asleep in a cave resembling Death wrought up by wrath? Rāma hath not seen shafts shot by me, resembling two-tongued serpents and therefore, it is that he approacheth me. Like a met burning an elephant, I shall, with shafts shot from bows by hundreds, resembling the thunder-bolt, consume Rāma. And as at the proper hour the risen Sun defeateth the splendor of the stars, will I, surrounded by a mighty army, overpower his strength. Neither the thousand eyed Vāsava, nor Varuna, is capable of fighting me. By the might of this army did I formerly conquer this city, governed by Vaiçravana”.


Hearing the words of the lord of Rākshasas, as well as the thundering of Kumbhakarna, Vibhishana addressed the Rākshasa chief, in a pregnant speech, fraught with his welfare,—“Thou hast been bound about thy neck by the mighty and huge serpent, Sitā, having her breast for its body anxiety for its venom, smile for its sharp fangs, and her five fingers for its hood. Therefore before the monkeys, resembling mountain-peaks, having teeth for their arms and nails for their weapons,—subjugate Lankā, do thou render Maithili unto Daçaratha’s son. And before the shafts shot by Rāma, resembling the thunder-bolt and having impetuosity of the wind, cut off the heads of the foremost of the Rākshasas, do thou render Mithilā’s daughter unto the son of Daçaratha. Neither Kumbhakarna nor Indrajit, neither Mahāpārcwa nor Mahodara, neither Nikumbha nor Kumbha nor yet Atikaya, O king, can stay in the field against Rāghava. Living, thou, whether thou art protected by the Sun or the winds, or throwest thyself into the lap itself of Vāsava, or enterest the sky or the nether spheres, shall not escape death”. Hearing Vibhishana’s words, Prahasta said,—“Fear know we none whatever from the celestials, or Dānavas, or Yakshas, or Gandharbas, or huge snakes; fear know we none in battle with birds and serpents. How can fear at all afflict us proceeding from the king’s son, Rāma? Hearing Prahasta’s speech, Vibhishana, seeking the welfare of the king, and having his intellect grounded in virtue, interest and profit, said words enfolding high sense,—“O Prahasta, like a sinful person being unable to ascend heaven, what the king, Mahodara, thou, and Kumbhakarna, are saying with reference to Rāma, shall not prove true. As one without a raft cannot cross over the mighty main, how can I, or thou, or all the Rākshas combined, cause death unto Rāma, who, O Prahasta, is versed in the sense of things. Even the gods become stolid before the sovereign of the Ikshwāku race, having righteousness for his principle quality, and being a mighty car-warrior and of such a character, and who is competent in action. As yet the Kanka-feathered, terrible and sharp shafts shot by Rāghava, have not pierced into thy body; and therefore thou dost speak so. And, O Prahasta, as yet the sharpened shafts, capable of destroying life and having the impetuosity of the thunder-bolt, have not entered into thy body, and therefore thou dost speak thus, neither Rāvana, nor the exceedingly powerful Triçirsha. Neither Kumbhakarna’s son Nikumbha nor Indrajit, is capable of bearing in battle the son of Daçaratha, resembling Sakra himself. And neither Devāntaka39 nor Narantaka,40 neither Atikāya,41 nor the magnanimous Atiratha, nor the equally strong Akampana, is competent to stay Rāghava in fight. And the king, naturally of fierce temper and thoughtless, through the instrumentality of ye who appearing to be his friends are in reality his foes, seeketh to destroy the Rākshasas. Do ye take out and deliver the monarch, who hath through force become subject to a dreadful and mighty, and thousand-headed serpent bursting with immeasurable prowess. As a person possessed by fearfully strong ghosts, is saved by his friends pulling him by his hair, attaining your desire ye should, assembling together, rescue the king. This one is sunk in the Rāghava sea having excellent waters. Do ye speedily coming together deliver him. He (the king) hath fallen into the Kākutstha nether regions, I tell thee my full mind,—fraught with the welfare of this city together with the Rākshasas, as well of the king with his adherents. Do thou make over Maithili unto the son of the king. He is a true counsellor who adviseth his master, after duly ascertaining the strength, position, increase or destruction of the enemies as well as of their own party.

[39] Lit.—destroyer of the Deity.—T.

[40] Lit.—destroyer of men.—T.

[41] Lit.—huge-bodied.—T.


Hearing carefully the words of Bibhisana, gifted with the intelligence of the lord of speech, the high-souled Indrajit, the leader of demons, spake, saying,—“Why art thou, O uncle, speaking these useless words like one terrified? He even, who is not born in this race, cannot speak or act in this wise. Only one man in this family, my uncle Bibhisana, is weak in energy, strength, prowess, patience, heroism and vigor. Why art thou O timid one, afraid of them since any one of these Rākshasas is capable of slaying those two princes, human beings as they are? The master of the three worlds, the lord of the celestials, has been brought down by me as captive on this earth. And all the celestials smitten with fear fled to different quarters. I brought down on earth the loud-roaring celestial elephant Airavata and uprooted by force its tusks. And all the celestials were terrified at this. Am I not, who have shattered the pride of the celestials, afflicted the leading Daityas, and am gifted with excellent prowess, capable of discomfitting these two princess—very ordinary mortals as they are?” Hearing the words of (Indrajit) gifted with high energy, irrepressible and resembling the lord of celestials, Bibhisana, the foremost of those using weapons, addressed him with words, fraught with high import,—“O my son, thou art a mere child and of unripe intellect and hence thou art not capable of ascertaining the propriety and impropriety of counsels. Thou art therefore speaking thus like a maniac for thy own destruction. Thou art known as a son unto Rāvana, O Indrajit, but in sooth, thou art his foe in disguise, since knowing of his destruction from Rāghava, thou dost not prevent him. Thou art brave, childish and hast been impelled by thy silly understanding. Thou shalt be slain along with him who hath brought thee in this counsel chamber. Thou art, O Indrajit, foolish, imprudent, devoid of humility, of an irritable temper, of feeble sense, vicious-minded and of a silly understanding. And thou dost speak so, being impelled by childishness. Who shall withstand in battle, the shafts, shot by Rāghava, resembling the rod of Death, the stick of Brahman, flaming like the Fire of Dissolution. Do thou render back Sitā, king, unto Rāma, with riches, jewels, excellent ornaments, clothes and jems and we shall then be able to live here void of grief”.


Bibhishana addressing him with these excellent and auspicious words, fraught with high sense, Rāvana, impelled by Death, again spake in harsh accents.—“It is better to live with open enemies or enraged serpents than with those who pass for friends but are in reality foes. I know well the nature of kinsmen, in all the worlds, O Rakhasa,—one takes delight in another’s misfortune. The kinsmen, O Rākshasa, generally disregard him who is their king,42 protecteth the kingdom, educated and pious—and they always try to discomfit him, if he be a hero. These terrible enemies—the kinsmen, hypocrite as they are, always take delight in one another’s calamity. Hear, I shall relate what the elephants, in yore, spoke beholding some persons with noose in hand—“We do not fear, fire, weapons, or even the terrible noose—we fear only the dreadful kinsmen, blinded with selfishness. They alone unfold the means of our destruction—there is not the least doubt about it. Fear from kinsmen is therefore known as the worst of all fears. In kine there is milk, in kinsmen, there is fear, in women there is fickleness, and in Brahmanas, there is asceticism. It doth not please thee, I fancy, O gentle one, that I am honored of the three worlds, the lord of riches, and the subduer of my foes. As the drops of water do not last long on the leaves of lotuses, so is the friendship with unworthy persons. As the autumnal clouds, albeit muttering, do not pour forth water, so is the friendship with unworthy persons. As a bee flies away after sucking up the honey so is the friendship with unworthy persons. As a bee, after feeding upon the Kāça flowers, doth not get honey so is (fruitless) the friendship with unworthy persons. As an elephant, after being bathed, covers its body again with dust, taking it with its trunk, so is the friendship with unworthy persons.43 Fie thee, O monkey, O thou that bringest disgrace on the family. Had any one else spoken thus he would have ceased to live by this time”. Being thus accosted harshly, Bibhisana, speaking truth, rose up along with four Rākshasas having maces in their hands. Thereupon, rising up in the welkin, the graceful brother Bibhisana, worked up with ire, addressed the lord of Rākshasas—“Thou art mistaken, O king. Do thou speak what thou wishest—thou art my elder brother, adorable like unto father—thou dost not follow the track of virtue. I cannot tolerate the harsh accents of thine, my elder brother.—For thy welfare I spoke those well-meaning words, O Ten-necked one, but thou didst not pay heed to them being brought under the control of Death. O king, many are the persons who speak sweet words, but rare are they who can speak and hear unpalatable but well-meaning words. How can I disregard thy death like unto a burning house bound as thou art by the noose of Death, the destroyer of all creatures. I do not wish to behold thee slain by the well-sharpened shafts of Rāma, feathered in gold and resembling the flaming fire. Even the heroic and powerful persons, well versed in the use of weapons, wear away like sands in battle, being attracted by Death. Thou art worshipful unto me, do thou forgive me for what I have said for thy welfare. Do thou protect thyself and this city, abounding in Rākshasas. May good betide thee! I am going away and do thou be happy without me. What, I spoke unto thee, O ranger of the night, to prevent thee, for thy welfare, did not please thee. Persons, whose lease of life is well-nigh expired, do not pay heed to the well-meaning words of their friends”.

[42] On account of the priority of his birth—T.

[43] They afterwards forsake their former friends.—T.


Having addressed Rāvana with these harsh words, his younger brother, reached in no time, where Rāma along with Lakshmana was. The leading monkeys, stationed on earth, espied him on the welkin, resembling in size the summit of the mount Meru, and burning like lightning in the effulgence of his own person. And his four attendants of terrible prowess were adorned with excellent ornaments and armed with armours and maces. He was like unto a collection of clouds, powerful as the thunder-bolt, holding an excellent mace, heroic and embellished with excellent ornaments. And beholding him along with four counsellors, the highly intelligent Sugriva, the lord of monkeys, engaged in meditation along with them. And meditating for a while, he spoke unto the monkeys headed by Hanumān the following excellent words—“Behold, there comes a Rākshasa, armed with various weapons and followed by four demons to slay us and there is not the least doubt about it”. And hearing the words of Sugriva, the excellent monkeys, taking up huge trees and crags, bespoke him,—“Do thou order us, O king, to destroy these vicious-souleri demons. These shall crush them to death, limited as is the tenure of their life”. They addressing each other in this wise, Bibhisana descended from the sky on the northern shore. And beholding Sugriva and all others stationed near him, the highly intelligent Bibhisana accosted them, at the highest pitch of his voice, saying,—“Liveth there the Rākshasa, Rāvana, the lord of demons, and perpetrator of many iniquitous deeds. I am his younger brother known as Bibhisana. By him, slaying the vulture Yatāyu, was carried away Sitā from Janasthāna. She is imprisoned, brought under his sway, poorly, and being well guarded by the Rākshasees. With various well meaning words and reasonings I pointed out unto him, the necessity of rendering back Sitā unto Rāma. And Rāvana, possessed by Death, paid no heed to my well-meaning words, like unto one, lying on the brink of death, neglecting the administration of medicine. Being reviled by him and treated harshly like a menial, I have come to seek Rāghava’s shelter, renouncing my children and wives. Do ye soon mention unto the high-souled Rāghava, the refuge of all creatures, that Bibhisana hath arrived”. Hearing those words the quick-paced Sugriva, excited with ire, spake unto Rāma, before Lakshinana, saying,—“Forsooth hath an enemy entered secretly in our midst and he shall slay us getting an opportunity like unto an owl killing the crows. O slayer of foes, it now behoveth thee to be particularly careful about the counsels, arrangement of soldiers, polity—civil and military and spies of our own party as well as those of the enemies. These Rākshasas are heroic; they assume shapes at will, always lie in ambush and secretly bring about others’ ruin—we should not therefore place confidence in them. This must be the emissary of Rāvana—the lord of Rākshasas. Entering in our midst, he shall, in sooth, sow dissensions in our camp, or he shall slay us when we are careless, confiding in them. Avoiding the enemies, we should now collect the forest-rangers our friends and servants. O lord, this man is a Rākshasa by birth and the brother of our foe and so is he our enemy, how can we trust him? Rāvana’s younger brother, known as Bibhishana, hath come here with four Rākshasas, to seek thy shelter. O thou the foremost of forgiving persons, I consider this Bibhishana, who hath been despatched by Rāvana, worthy of being slain. Being impelled by his wicked intention and commissioned by Rāvana, this Rākshasa hath come here and secretly by virtue of his illussive powers he shall slay thee, O innocent one, when thou shalt place confidence in him”. Having thus accosted Rāma, skilled in the art of speech, that lord of the army, Sugriva, well versed in speech, became silent. And hearing the words of Sugriva, the mighty Rāma spake unto the monkeys, near him, headed by Hanumān, saying,—“Ye have all heard, the words well grounded in reason, the lord of monkeys hath said, regarding Rāvana’s younger brother. It behoveth him, who desireth for perpetual wealth, and is intelligent and capable of giving sound counsels, to advise his friends in difficult matters”. Being thus addressed by Rāma (to minister unto him best counsels) all those monkeys, intent upon encompassing his well-being, gave out their respective opinions. “O Rāghava, there is nothing beyond thy knowledge in the three worlds. It is only to show thy respect towards us, O Rāma, that thou dost accost us in this wise. Thou art of truthful vows, heroic, pious, of firm prowess, discriminating, recollecting and having implicit confidence in thy friends. Let the intelligent and capable counsellors deliver their reasonable opinions unto thee”. They speaking thus unto Rāghava, the intelligent monkey Angada, spoke as follows for sounding the intention of Bibhishana,—“We should always suspect him since he has come from the side of our enemies, and should not, all on a sudden, place confidence in him. The wicked-minded always move about hiding their real self, and bring about peoples’ calamity, taking advantage of their weak points. And great is the disaster thereof. It is always proper to engage in actions, considering what is right and what is wrong. Virtues should always be gathered and vices abandoned. Do thou renounce him unhesitatingly, if dost thou find in him a source of a great calamity and do thou embrace him if dost thou find him crowned with many virtues”. Thereupon followed Sarava with words fraught with high import,—“O best of men, do thou speedily despatch emissaries to sound Bibhishana. If dost thou, sounding him well through the instrumentality of sharp spies, find him friendly, do thou win him over to thy side”. Thereupon the wise Jāmbavān, arriving at conclusions by virtue of his knowledge of Sastras, began with words, void of defects,—“Surely doth Bibhishana come from the vicious lord of Rākshasas, dead set against us and hath arrived at such a bad place and in such a bad hour. We should always fear him”. And thereupon followed Mainda, conversant with what is right and wrong, after due deliberation, with words pregnant with reason,—“He is Rāvana’s younger brother, by name Bibhishana. Let the lord of men ask him every thing at first in sweet words. Do thou first ascertain, O foremost of men, with what intention he hath come—evil or good—and then settle what course to adopt”. Thereupon spake Hanumān, the foremost of the counsellors and well versed in Sastras, in accents sweet, glorious and fraught with a high value,—“Even Vrihaspati, (the lord of speech) cannot excell thee, capable,44 gifted with the best of intellect and foremost of those skilled in the art of speech, as thou art. And what I know I speak, O king. I do so, in the interest of Rāma’s work and not impelled by my skill in the art of speech, by the pride of being a counsellor, by the vanity of being gifted with a high intellect or by the desire of speaking for its own sake. What thy counsellors have said for ascertaining the good or evil intention of Bibhishana appeareth to me as most defective and productive of no consequence whatever. It is impossible to sound him without any command.45 And even to command him now for the same appears to me as improper. And as regards the despatch of spies, anent what thou hast been advised by thy ministers, I do not observe any utility. And what little I have thought of, I have something to say (regarding Jāmbavān’s proposal) that Bibhishana hath arrived at such a bad place and in such an evil hour. He has really come to a very good place and in a very good hour. And truly has he performed a becoming and sensible action by coming here after duly ascertaining that Rāvana is a vicious wight and thou art a pious person—he is full of vices—thou art gifted with many virtues—he is tyrranical and thou art powerful. And what they hate said, O king, as regards sounding him through secret spies, appears to me as one requiring great wisdom. An intelligent man, when questioned by any suddenly, suspects many things. And if the new-comer be a friend and has come here for his own happiness, how greatly shall his mind be changed by such a course? Besides by a sudden questioning it is impossible to ascertain the intention of a foreigner. Do thou therefore thyself accost him and determine, by his voice, his secret motive. I did not however mark anything of his wickedness while he spoke; rather I did observe signs of gladness on his countenance. So I do not suspect him. The wily can never come fearless and undisturbed. Nor were his words cunning. So I do not suspect him. It is not very easy to hide one’s real nature. It manifests itself by force. So this action of Bibhishana is not out of place or season. When accomplished it shall redound to his own interest. Considering well thy preparations for war and Rāvana’s vain conduct, hearing of Vāli’s destruction and Sugriva’s installation on the throne, he hath, impelled by his good sense, come here, desirous of gaining the kingdom. Taking these into account, it seems prudent to take him to our side. O thou the foremost of the intelligent, I have spoken thus considering him sincere. It now behoveth thee to perform what thou thinkest proper”.

[44] Capable to ascertain the truth of all Sastras.—T.

[45] To command to relate for what he has come.—T.


Hearing those words of the Wind-god’s son, the irrepressible Rāma, conversant with all the Sāstras, replied, with words expressing his own opinion—“I have also thought of some thing regarding Bibhishana. I wish you all, interested in my well-being, to hear that. (Bibhishana) hath come here as a friend so I cannot forsake him by any means. And even if he has come with any evil intent it is not culpable for the pious to afford him shelter”. Thereupon hearing his words and considering them well, Sugriva, the lord of the monkeys, replied in more auspicious46 words,—“Whether this ranger of the night is sincere or wicked, he should never be offered any shelter, since he hath forsaken his brother in the midst of these calamities. What reason is there to believe that he shall not renounce us in our difficulty?” Hearing the words of the lord of monkeys and casting his looks towards them, Kākutstha, having truth for his prowess, smiling a little, spake, unto Lakshmana, crowned with all the marks of piety, saying—“Without being conversant with Sastras, and living in the company of old men, none can speak such words as have been uttered by the king of the monkeys. There appear unto me, however two subtler reasons anent the difference between brothers, amongst the kings—one is evident and another mundane. There are two classes of foes—one consisting of the members of the same line the other of the neighbours. And these generally bring about our misfortune whenever any opportunity presents itself. And it is for this that he hath come here. Those kinsmen, who do not think of one another’s mischief, generally long for their respective well-being. But even such well-meaning relatives are feared by the kings. And hear, I shall relate, what the Sastras say regarding the weak points thou hast mentioned as to the advisability of taking the enemies to our side. We are not his kinsmen and this Rākshasa hath come here with a view to gain the kingdom. Even the Rākshasas are wise enough to ascertain the proper course—so we must take Bibhishana. If the brothers are confident and satisfied with each other they generally live together, or else they fear each other and ultimately engage in a tumultuous war. And there hath sprung up some difference with Rāvana and therefore Bibhishana hath come here. Nor are, O friend, all brothers like Bharata, all sons like me unto their father, all friends like thee”. Being thus addressed by Rāma, the highly wise Sugriva, along with Lakshmana, rose up and bending low his head, said—“O thou the best of all forgiving persons, this night-ranger hath been despatched by Rāvana. I therefore think it better to kill him. Being impelled by his vicious sense that Rākshasa hath come here to slay us, O innocent one, when myself, thou and Lakshmana shall consider ourselves secure. Therefore the large-armed Bibhisana, the younger brother of the ruthless Rāvana, deserves to be slain along with his counsellors”. Having thus addressed (Rāma) the foremost of Raghu’s race, skilled in art of speech, Sugriva, the lord of monkey host, equally versed in the art of speech, became silent. And hearing the words of Sugriva, and weighing them, Rāma again addressed the foremost of monkeys with more reasonable accents—“Wicked or otherwise, whatever this night-ranger may be, he shall not be able to do me the least mischief. Pisachas, Dānavas, Yakshas or all the Rākshasas on earth,—I can slay them all, if I like, with the tips of my fingers, O thou the lord of monkeys. I have heard of a pigeon adoring and entertaining with its own flesh, an enemy who took its shelter. While a pigeon received so friendly its enemy, the slayer of its mate, how can I then act otherwise, O foremost of the monkeys? Do thou hear, I shall relate, a sacred story, narrated by the great ascetic, the truthful Kandu, son of the ascetic Kanya. O slayer of foes, even a wicked-minded enemy, if he, with folded palms and a poor heart, craveth for thy shelter, should not be slain. If an enemy, proud or terrified, seeketh shelter in affright, he should be saved by a great man even at the risk of his own life. One, who from fear, ignorance or wilfully doth not protect him who seeketh his shelter, perpetrateth a mighty iniquity, blamed of all. When a person is slain before him whose shelter he hath taken he taketh away all the virtues of his protector. So great is the sin in not affording shelter unto those who seek for it; it standeth in the way of going to heaven, bringeth in calumny and destroyeth the strength and prowess. I shall therefore follow the excellent words of Kandu—leading to piety, fame and the attainment of the abode of the celestials. I always declare ‘no fear’ unto all creatures, whenever any, approaching me, says, ‘I am thine’ and seeketh my shelter. Even this is my pious observance. O Sugriva, O foremost of monkeys, do thou soon bring him here, whether he be Rāvana or Bibhishana and I shall declare unto him ‘no fear’. Hearing the words of Rāma, Sugriva, the lords of those who go bounding, over-flowing with friendliness, bespake Kākutstha.—“What wonder is there that thou wouldst speak these auspicious words, O thou the foremost of kings, conversant with morality, gifted with prowess and ever treading the pious track as thou art. Truly doth my inner self regard Bibhisana as devoid of any wicked intention. He has been well sounded by signs and gestures. And let the greatly wise Bibhisana, Rāghava, be placed on an equal footing with us and gain our friendship”. Hearing the words of Sugriva, the lord of monkeys, the king of men (Rāma) made instantly friends with Bibhisana, like unto the conqueror of enemies’ cities making friends with the king of birds.

[46] More reasonable words.—T.


Raghava thus declaring unto him ‘no fear’, Rāvana’s younger brother, the greatly wise Bibhisana, bending low his head, cast his looks on the earth. And descending from the welkin with his devoted attendants the virtuous-souled Bibhisana, delighted, bowed unto Rāma. And thereupon touching his feet along with four Rākshasas, Bibhisana addressed Rāma,—with words, fraught with piety, befitting the occasion and conducing to pleasure. “I am Rāvana’s younger brother and have been greatly insulted by him, I have therefore come to seek thy shelter, the refuge of all creatures, abandoning Lankā, and renouncing my friends and riches. My kingdom, life and happiness are all at thy disposal”. Hearing his words Rāma replied,—comforting him with words and favouring him as if with looks. “Do thou relate unto me truly the strength and weakness of the enemies”. Being thus accosted by Rāma of unwearied actions, the Raksha, began to describe the strength of Rāvana. “O prince, by virtue of the boon acquired from the Self-Create, the Ten-necked one is incapable of being slain by all creatures—Gandharbas, serpents, or birds. My elder brother—the one next to Rāvana—is the heroic and highly effulgent Kumbharkarna—Sakra’s equal in battle. Thou mayst have heard, O Rāma, his commander is Prahasta, by whom was defeated Manibhadra on the mount Kailāça. (His son) Indrajit, equipped with invincible armour, bow and finger-protector made of the skin of iguana, becomes invisible in fight. And, worshipping Fire and becoming invisible, that graceful hero, O Rāghava, slayeth the enemies in conflict, having the contending parties vast and well arranged. Mahodara, Mahāpārcwa and the Rākshasa, Akampana, are his lieutenants, who equal the Lokapālas47 in battle. His army consists of ten thousand kotis of Rākshasas, wearing shapes at will, inhabiting the city of Lankā, and living on flesh and gore. And with the Lokapālas and the celestials, they were all defeated by the vicious-souled Rāvana”. Hearing the words of Bibhisana and weighing them in his mind, that foremost of Raghu’s race said—“I understand well the strength and prowess of Rāvana, which thou hast depicted truly, O Bibhisana. Do thou hear truly that I shall slay the Ten-necked one together with Prahasta and his sons, and I shall make thee king. Whether he entereth the Rasātala48 or the regions under the earth, or seeketh shelter of the Grand-father of the celestials, he shall not be able to save his life from me. I do swear by my three brethern that I shall enter the city of Ayodhyā, after slaying in battle Rāvana with his sons, kinsmen and friends”. Hearing these words of Rāma of unwearied action, the virtuous-souled (Bibhisana), bowing his head unto him, began—“I shall lend thee my might in slaying the Rākshasas and devastating the city of Lankā, and shall be in the midst of Rāvana’s army”. Thereupon, embracing Bibhisana, who spoke thus, Rāma, delighted, said unto Lakshmana,—“O my brother, do thou bring water from the ocean. Sprinkling the greatly wise Bibhisana, I shall make him at once the king of the Rākshasas, O conferer of honor; for I am greatly pleased with him”. Being thus addressed, Saumitri, at the command of the king, annointed Bibhisana and made him the king of the Rākshasas in the presence of the monkey-host. Beholding Rāma’s kindness (towards Bibhisana), the monkeys eulogized the high-souled one, exclaiming “Excellent! Excellent!” Thereupon, Hanumān and Sugriva addressed Bibhisana, saying, “Do thou tell us how we shall cross over the main—the abode of Varuna, along with the host of the highly powerful monkeys. Do thou inform us of the means by which we may cross over, along with our army, the lord of rivers and streams—the abode of Varuna”. Being thus addressed, the virtuous-souled Bibhisana replied,—“It behoveth the king, Rāghava, to seek refuge from the Ocean. This measureless deep was dug out by (the king) Sagara.49 And the great Ocean shall surely help Rāma belonging to Sagara’s race”. Being thus accosted by the wise Rākshasa, Bibhishana. Sugriva reached where Rāma with Lakshmana was. Thereupon, the broad-necked Sugriva began to explain the well-meaning words of Bibhishana, requesting Rāma to seek the shelter of the Ocean. And those words pleased Rāma, pious by nature. And the highly eflulgent (hero) requested, smiling, the active Lakshmana and the monkey-chief Sugriva to collect necessaries for his adoration. “O Lakshmana, this counsel of Bibhisana appeareth to me as most sound. Sugriva is always greatly wise, and thou art greatly proficient in counsel. Do ye, holding a conference, intimate to me what you think becoming”. Thus addressed, those two heroes—Lakshmana and Sugriva, spoke respectfully the following words fraught with propriety,—“Why shall not the well-meaning words of Bibhisana expressed now, please us, O Rāghava, O thou best of men? Without constructing a bridge over the deep, the terrible abode of Varuna, even the celestials and their lord (Indra) cannot get at the city of Lankā. Do thou act on the genuine counsel of the heroic Bibhisana, and without losing time, do thou engage the Ocean for this work, so that we may with our army proceed to the city of Rāvana”. Being thus addressed Rāma reached the shore of the lord of rivers and streams, covered with Kuça, like unto fire getting into the sacrificial dais.

[47] Divinities who protect the regions, or the Sun, Moon, Fire, Wind, Indra, Yama, Varuna and Kuvera.—T.

[48] The seven infernal regions under the earth and the residence of the Nāgas, Asuras and Daityas. This is the lowest of the seven divisions of Pātāla.—T.

[49] Sagara was a sovereign of Ayodhyā belonging to the same family with Rāma.


Thereupon the greatly powerful Rākshasa, by name Sārdula, beheld the army of Sugriva arranged on the shore of the ocean. And, beholding the army all busy, the emissary of the vicious-souled Rākshasa—Rāvana, entered the city of Lankā and, approaching his lord, said,—“The army of monkeys and bears hath approached Lankā. It is immeasurably deep as the ocean. And those two sons of the king Daçaratha—the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana, gifted with great beauty, coming to rescue Sitā, have stationed themselves on the shore of the ocean, O thou of great effulgence. The army of Rāma extends over the sky and ten yojanas. I have come, O great king, to acquaint thee with the real truth. And, knowing everything, it behoveth thy emissaries, O king, to settle whether to render back Sitā, to adopt measures of conciliation, or to sow dissensions in the enemy’s camp”. Hearing the words of Sārdula, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, being anxious to ascertain his duty, addressed a Rākshasa by name Suka, the most sensible of his counsellors, with the following pregnant words,—“Do thou go and communicate unto king Sugriva my behest, in becoming and excellent accents. ‘Thou art born of a great family and art the mighty son of the king of bears. I have no dissension with thee. In fact I consider thee as my brother, O king of monkeys. Though I have stolen the spouse of the high-souled prince (Rāma), yet what is that to thee, O Sugriva? Do thou return to Kishkindhā. The monkeys shall not by any means be able to attack the city of Lankā. Even the celestials and Gandharbas could not—what of these men and monkeys?’” And being thus commissioned by the lord of Rākshasas, that night-ranger assumed the shape of a bird and, bounding, speedily reached the sky. And, proceeding far over the deep and stationing himself at the welkin, he spoke unto Sugriva all the words with which he was addressed by the vicious-souled Rāvana. Hearing him speak thus, the monkeys leaped up quickly and reached there with a view to chop off his wings or to slay him with their clenched fists. On being seized vehemently by all these monkeys, that night-ranger was brought down speedily from the sky to the earth. And being assailed by the monkeys, Suka said,—“O Kākutstha, it doth not behove (people) to slay an emissary. Do thou therefore prevent the monkeys. He who passing by his master’s behest, giveth out his own intention, is not faithful; and he therefore deserveth to be slain”. Hearing the piteous accents of Suka, Rāma spake unto the monkeys, who were about to kill him, saying, “Do not kill him”. And again stationing himself on the welkin, that night-ranger said,—“O Sugriva, O thou gifted with great energy, O thou of great prowess, what shall I speak unto Rāvana, dreaded by all people?” Being thus addressed, that mighty king of monkeys, the bull among them, of unwearied energy, spake unto that emissary—the night-ranger, Suka, saying—“O Rāvana, thou art not my friend or an object of pity. Thou art not my benefactor, nor art liked by me. Thou art Rāma’s enemy, and thou dost therefore deserve to be slain by him like Vāli along with thy friends and relatives. I shall therefore slay thee, O king of night-rangers, together with thy sons, friends and relatives. And I shall have the whole city of Lankā reduced to ashes by my mighty force. Thou shalt not be able to escape Rāghava, O Rāvana, O thou who hast lost thy sense, even if thou art protected by the celestials. And thou shalt with thy brother be slain by Rāma, even if thou dost fly into the sky, enter into the regions under the earth, or seek shelter of Mahadeva. I do not behold any in these three worlds—Pisācha, Rākshasa, Gandharba, or Asura, who can protect thee. Thou hast slain the monarch of vultures, who had grown decrepit through age.50 Thou hast carried off the large-eyed Sitā from the vicinity of Rāma and the neighbourhood of Lakshmana; but, having captured her, thou understandest not (thy native strength). Nor dost thou understand that foremost of Rāghus, high-souled, possessed of great strength, and incapable of being repressed even by the celestials,—who shall take thy life”. Then spake that best of monkeys, Angada, son of Vāli,—“O highly wise one, this is no emissary. This one clearly appeareth to me as a spy. He hath come to form an estimate of thy entire army. Take him. Let him not go (back) to Lankā. This is indeed what I would”. Thereat, commanded by the king, the monkeys, springing up, seized (Suka) and bound him, as he burst out bewailing like one forlorn. On being sorely handled by the relentless monkeys, Suka cried unto tho high-souled Rāma, son of Daçaratha,—“They by main force sever my wings, and they pierce my eyes. If I lose my life, may all the evil deeds that I have committed between the night when I was born and the night when I shall die, be thine!” Hearing this pitiful cry, Rāma prevented (the monkeys); and he said unto them,—“Let go this envoy, who hath come here”.

[50] The commentator has a queer and characteristic note on Jarāvriddha—decrepit through age. One that is old, may stave off decrepitude through some drug, while a youthful person may come by the same in consequence of some curse.—T.


Then on the shore of the sea, Rāghava, spreading darbha, with his hands joined towards the great deep, laid him down, with his face to the East. And that slayer of foes (lay down), making his pillow his arm resembling the shining form of a serpent; always dight with golden ornaments; full many a time pressed with the palms of beauteous damsels,51 decked with jewelled golden Keyuras and superb ornaments studded with pearls; smeared from above with sandal and aguru; (his arm) which formerly had been graced in bed with the head of Sitā; like unto the body of Takshaka under the waters of the Gangā; resembling a yoke; in battle increasing the sorrow of foes and enhancing for long the delight of friends;—his left arm having its skin destroyed by the strokes of the bow-string; which was the refuge of the entire earth;—his right arm resembling a mighty bludgeon,—the donor of thousands of kine,—making this great arm his pillow (he laid him down). “To-day either I shall die, or shall the Ocean”.—Having thus formed his resolution in respect of the great deep, Rāma, restraining his speech, with a concentrated mind lay down there agreeably to rule. And as Rāma slept on the earth on Kuça spread over, without ever swerving from the rule, three nights passed away. And while spending three nights, Rāma, learned in polity and attached to virtue, prayed unto that lord of streams—the Ocean. Yet the wicked Ocean, albeit adored according to his deserts by Rāma with his mind concentrated, did not show himself. Thereat Rāma grew enraged and had the corners of his eyes crimsoned; and he spake unto Lakshmana of auspicious marks, saying,—“Behold the hauteur of the Ocean in not presenting himself before me. Calmness, forbearance, candour, and soft speech—these virtues of the good are by the insolent taken for the effects of incompetency. The person52 that is self-laudatory, wicked, and badly-bold, publisheth his own praise, and meteth out chastisement every where,53 is honored in the world. By moderation one cannot attain celebrity, by moderation one cannot attain fame,—and, O Lakshmana, in this world by moderation one cannot attain victory on ‘the edge of battle.’54 See, O Sumitrā’s son, the abode of Makaras, with his waters obstructed all around with Makaras destroyed by my shafts. And, O Lakshmana, see the bodies here of serpents, and the huge bodies of mighty fishes, and the trunks of elephants,—torn by my arrows. And to-day in terrible battle will I dry up the Ocean with conchs and oysters, and fishes and Makaras. This abode of Makaras taketh me, who is forbearing, to be incompetent. Fie on forbearance towards such as he! In consequence of my moderation, Ocean showeth not his own form. O Saumitri, bring thou my bow, my arrows resembling venomous snakes. I will dry up the Ocean, and the monkeys shall go over on foot. And, being angered, to-day, albeit incapable of being agitated, will I agitate the deep. And by means of my shafts will I make Varuna’s abode, surging with a thousand billows and having his dignity maintained by his shores,—overleap his continents. And I will agitate the deep harbouring numbers of mighty Dānavas”. Having spoken thus, Rāma, equipped with his bow, with his eyes dilated in wrath, became exceedingly irrepressible, like unto the flaming fire at the final dissolution. And straining his dreadful bow, making the earth shake, tremulously, he let fly fierce shafts like him of an hundred sacrifices hurling his thunder-bolt. Thereat, flaming up, those vehement choice shafts surcharged with energy, enter into the waters of the sea, with its serpents afflicted with fear. And then great and exceedingly dreadful was the motion of the sea, with fishes and Makaras, and with the roar of the winds (blowing there). And on a sudden the mighty deep was heaving with mighty surges, with conchs scattered about, and a smoke (enveloped) the ocean; and the billows became visible on all sides. And the serpents were distressed, with their faces flaming and their eyes aglow; as well as the Dānavas of terrific energy, and the dwellers of the nether spheres. And billows of the sovran Ocean, resembling Vindhya or Mandara, containing crocodiles and Makaras sprang up by thousands. And Varuna’s abode had its surges whirling, its serpents and Rākshasas seized with affright, and its ferocious aquatic animals borne all around; and it sent forth sounds. Then Sumitrā’s son, springing up, said unto Rāghava of fiery vehemence, as he sighed and kept stretching his matchless bow.—“This must not be”. And he took away his (Rāma’s) bow. “Without doing this unto the Ocean, thou, supreme of heroes, mayst have thy work accomplished. Personages like thee do not come under the influence of passion. Do thou deliberately look about for some worthy means (for compassing thy end)”. Then remaining invisible in the sky, Brahmarshis and Surarshis55 exclaiming,—“Well-a-day!” and “Don’t,” in loud accents ejaculated,—(Oh! And alas!)

[51] The commentator appropriately remarks: As Rāma was wedded to a single wife, these damsels must mean nurses attending on him.—T.

[52] The word, however, is naram (ac.), man.—T.

[53] i.e. indiscriminately.—T.

[54] Rana murddhani,—’The perilous edge of battle when it raged.’ Paradise Lost Book I

[55] Celestial saints.


Then the foremost of Raghus addressed Ocean in stern words, saying,—“To-day will I dry up the Ocean along with the nether regions. And, O Ocean, thy waters being burnt up by my shafts, and thou being dried up, with thy (aquatic) animals slaughtered, a mighty volume of dust shall arise (from thy bed). And, O Ocean, in consequence of the arrowy shower discharged from my bow, the monkeys shall go over to the further shore on foot. Having attained dimensions in consequence of access of waters, thou knowest not my manliness or my prowess But, O abode of Dānavas, grief shalt thou reap at my hands”. Then fixing an arrow resembling the rod of Brahmā with a Brahma Mantra, on the best of bows, that exceedingly strong one drew it. And as Rāghava suddenly stretched his bow, heaven and earth seemed to be riven, and the mountains trembled. And darkness covered the world, and the cardinal points became invisible. And at once the watery expanses and rivers were agitated. And the stars appeared simultaneously with the Sun and Moon.56 And the sky was illumined with the rays of the Sun, and yet it was overspread with darkness; and it burned with an hundred meteors. And thunder-bolts sending forth sounds surpassing all others, dropped from the firmament. And the winds began to blow violently; breaking down trees and momentarily scattering clouds; damaging mountain-tops and shattering summits. And then the dread and mighty thunders possessing impetuous speed and emitting tremendous roars,—coming together, produced lightning flashes. And those creatures that could be seen, uttered sounds resembling the thunder; and those that were invisible gave forth frightful cries. And overwhelmed with fright, and quaking (for fear), the creatures began to measure their lengths,—and they were sore afflicted, and bereft of motion through terror. And then the mighty deep with its animals, and with its waters and waves, and with its serpents and Rākshasas, was suddenly wrought up with a violent motion. And albeit it was not the occasion of the universal dissolution, the Ocean passed beyond his shores for a full hundred yojanas. And seeing the elated Ocean—lord of streams and rivers—thus overpass his bounds, that destroyer of enemies, Raghu’s son, Rāma, was not moved.57 Then from forth the mid-sea arose Ocean himself, even as the maker of day riseth from the mighty ascending-hill, Meru. And accompanied by Pannagas58 of flaming faces, the Ocean showed himself, appearing like cool lapises, adorned with golden ornaments,—wearing a wreath of gems and a jewelled vesture, with his eyes resembling lotus-leaves, bearing on his head a noble garland containing all flowers; decked with ornaments of polished gold; as well with excellent ornaments of gems originating in himself, like the mountain Himavān embellished with metals (sprung in himself),—(the Ocean arose) with wave on wave whirling around, and rife with winds blowing among clouds,—surrounded by streams, Ganga, Sindhu (and others). And approaching the arrow-showering Rāma, and greeting him fair, Ocean spoke unto him with joined hands,—“O Rāghava, earth, air, sky, water and light,—these, O mild one, retaining their eternal course, maintain their (respective) natures. Mine also is that nature whereby I am fathomless and incapable of being crossed. The reverse of this is the having a bottom. And for this reason I speak to thee (concerning the means). O king’s son, not from desire, or covetuousness, or fear, or anger, can I anywise deprive my waters abounding in alligators of their (perpetual) motion. I will tell thee how thou wilt pass (over me); and I will bear it. And no ferocious aquatic animals shall do wrong so long as thy forces have not crossed. And, O Rāma, I will make as it were firm land for the crossing over of the monkeys”. Then Rāma said,—“O Varuna’s abode, listen to me! This arrow (of mine) must accomplish the end (intended). Where shall I let it light?” Hearing Rāma’s speech, and looking at the mighty arrow, that exceedingly energetic one, the great Deep, addressed Rāghava, saying,—“There is a certain spot of mine in the North, which is more sacred (than the rest). It is famed as Drumakulya, even as thou art famed in the world. There are there many robbers of ferocious forms and actions,—wicked wights, headed by cow-herds,—who drink of my water. These persons of unrighteous acts touch me, and I cannot bear this sin. O Rāma, do thou at that place render this best of arrows successful”. Hearing the words of the high-souled Ocean, (Rāma) immediately after,59 let fly that flaming shaft. And the place where the arrow resembling the thunder-bolt and vajra in splendour, alighted, hath been celebrated on earth as Marukāntāra. And hurt with the dart, the Earth emitted roars; and in consequence of this, water began to gush out at the mouth of the wound from the subterranean regions. And this then became well-known as Vrana; and there are seen the waters of the Ocean spring up. And there arose a terrific report of riving. And owing to this,60 as well as the incident of the arrow, the water that existed in the tanks, was dried up. Having dried up Marukāntāra famous throughout the three regions, as well as the reservoirs of water, Rāma the son of Daçaratha, learned and of god-like prowess, conferred a boon on the desert, saying,—“This place shall be filled with food nourishing beasts; and ailments shall be rare here. And the fruits and roots shall be replete with relish; and it shall abound in oil and overflow with milk; and it shall contain various odorous drugs”. Thus did the desert come to possess these attributes; and from Rāma’s bestowal of a boon, it attained a pleasant aspect. On that place being burnt up, that lord of streams, the Ocean, thus spake unto Rāghava, versed in every branch of learning,—“O mild one, this one is named Nala, son unto Viçwakarmā. He hath received a boon from his sire. Viçwakarmā’s son is well pleased with thee. Let this monkey, surcharged with exhuberant spirits, build a bridge over me. I will hold that up. This one is as his sire”. Having delivered himself thus, Ocean disappeared. Then that foremost of monkeys, Nala, arising, spoke unto the mighty Rāma,—“Resorting to my sire’s skill, I will build a bridge over the spacious abode of Makaras. The mighty Ocean hath spoken justly. In respect of the ingrate even chastisement is supreme in this world,—this is my conviction. Down with forbearance, or moderation, or gift! This dreadful Ocean, this mighty deep, expecting to see a bridge (thrown over him), hath granted depth unto Rāghava.—(Formerly) is Mandara, Viçwakarmā had conferred a boon on my mother: ‘O exalted one, thy son shall be like me.’ I am a son of his, sprung from his loins, and I am like unto Viçwakarmā. Not having been asked by thee, I had not unfolded my qualifications. I also am capable of constructing a bridge over Varuna’s abode. Therefore this very day let the foremost monkeys construct the bridge”. Then directed by Rāma, the principal monkeys with alacrity entered the mighty forest in hundrerds and thousands. And themselves resembling mountains, the foremost of the monkeys began to break down and draw them towards the Ocean. And the monkeys filled the Ocean with sālas, and açwakarnas, dhavas, bamboos kutajas, arjunas, palms, tilakas, tiniças, billakas, aparnas, and blossoming karnikāras, mangoes, and a trees. And those monkeys—the foremost of their species—began to gather the trees, some with their roots, some without them,—carrying them like Indra’s ensign. And those huge-bodied monkeys possessed of prodigious strength, procured palms and pomegranates, cocoanuts and itakas, Kariras, Vakulas, and Nimbas,—as well as rocks. Measuring elephants’ dimensions; and uprooting crags, they tossed them by means of machines. And on rocks being plunged into the waters, the latter, suddenly swelling up, mounted to the welkin, and again subsided.—And (the trees) dropping (into the deep), vexed it all around. And some made lines (for insuring straightness unto the bridge). And in the middle of the lord of rivers and streams, Nala made a grand bridge measuring an hundred yojanas. And then he went about constructing the bridge with the assistance of monkeys of dreadful deeds. And some took the measuring and others bore (timber to the sea). And by help of hundreds of monkeys following Rāma’s mandate, hued like woods or mountains, (they) constructed a bridge with grass, and wood. And the monkeys made the bridge of trees with blossoming tops. And (monkeys) resembling Dānavas were rushing all around with rocks resembling hills, and mountain-summits. And tremendous was the tumult that came of crags thrown and rocks toppled down into the mighty deep. And on the first day the elephant-like monkeys of spirits and exerting themselves vigorously, finished fifteen yojanas. And the exceedingly strong and huge-bodied monkeys on the second day speedily disposed of twenty yojanas. And on the third day the huge-bodied active monkeys did one and twenty yojanas on the sea. And on the fourth day the exceedingly impetuous monkeys, bestirring themselves vigorously, did two and twenty yojanas. And On the fifth day the fast-speeding monkeys accomplished three and twenty yojanas reaching unto the fair shore. And resembling his sire, that best of monkeys, the lusty and graceful offspring of Viçwakarmā, (thus) constructed the bridge over the sea. And that bridge built by force over the abode of makaras, looked graceful and splendid like the Milky way in the firmament. And then the deities and Gandharbas, the Siddhas and the prime saints, appearing in the heavens, stood there, eager to behold this wonder. And the gods and Gandharbas saw that bridge of Nala, difficult of being made, having an area of ten yojanas and measuring an hundred in length. And the monkeys, leaping and bounding and roaring, as well as all creatures, beheld that building of the bridge on the ocean, inconceivable, and marvellous, displaying skill past thought and capable of making one’s hair stand on end. And those thousands of Kotis of exceeding vigor, having constructed the bridge over the ocean, went over to the other shore of the mighty main. And spacious, skillfully constructed, graceful, well-paved and nicely finished, the great bridge appeared like the line where the hair hath been parted on the Ocean’s head. Then on the other shore of the ocean, Bibhishana, with the view of opposing foes (that might advance), stationed himself mace in hand, along with some councilors. Then Sugriva spoke unto Rāma, having truth for his prowess,—“Do thou get upon Hanumān, and let Laskhmana get upon Angada. O hero, vast is this Ocean—abode of Makaras. These monkeys, rangers of the sky, shall hold you up both”. Thereat the graceful and righteous Rāma along with Lakshmana, equipped with his bow, set out in the van of the army in company with Sugriva. And some monkeys proceeded along the middle, and some plunged into the deep, and some went by the road. And some coursed through the air, bounding up bird-like. And that dreadful array of monkeys crossing over, with its mighty uproar drowned the dreadful roar of the deep, which had been arising. On the monkey-host having crossed by the bridge of Nala, the king stationed it on the shore abounding in fruits, roots and water. Beholding that work of Rāghava incapable of being performed, the deities together with the Siddhas and Charanas, and the Maharshis, suddenly presenting themselves before Rāma, sprinkled him one by one with sacred water, and said,—“Mayst thou be victorious, O human-divine one! Rule thou the Earth eternally!” Thus in various auspicious words, did they pay homage unto that one honored by the Brahmanas, Rāma.

[56] The phenomenon, remarks the commentator, was owing to the heavenly bodies obstructing each other’s orbit.—T.

[57] Nātichakrāma may also mean, (Rāma) did not discharge any more arrows.—T.

[58] Semi-divine serpents.—T.

[59] Sāgaradarçanāt—may also mean, agreeably to the Ocean’s instruction.—T.

[60] i.e. the sound.


Having seen omens, that one, Lakshmana’s elder brother, conversant with them, embracing the son of Sumitrā, said these words,—“O Lakshmana, occupying (this tract) of cool waters and woods affluent with fruits, will we, dividing and arranging our forces, stay here. Mighty is the fear that I see at hand,—boding destruction to people and the slaughter of the foremost heroes of bears, monkeys and Rākshasas. The wind bloweth darkly, and the Earth shaketh. The tops of the mountains tremble, and trees topple down. And the clouds are ashen and roistering, and roar roughly. And lowering, they shower portentous drops of blood. And the twilight is terrible and looketh like the red sandal. And a fiery circle droppeth from the flaming sun. And on all sides birds and beasts, distressed, uttering woe-begone notes, and grim-visaged, set up crying against the sun, arousing great fear. And the Moon, although not appearing61 in the night, burneth, and with dark and red rays riseth, as if it intended to exterminate people. And the aspect (of the sun) is slight, rough, and not good;62 and, O Lakshmana, a blue mark is visible on the unclouded Sun. And the stars seem erased by a mighty volume of dust. O Lakshmana, behold this sight disastrous to people like unto the universal dissolution. Crows, and hawks, and the inferior vultures, wheel all round. And jackals are sending inauspicious yells, exciting great fear. The earth shall be covered with darts and javelins, and swords discharged by monkeys and Rākshasas, and then turned into mire with flesh and gore. Surrounded by all these monkeys, will we, using speed, this very day rapidly enter into the city ruled by Rāvana, incapable of being subdued. Having said this, that subduer in conflict, that lord, the enchanter of men, Rāma,63 equipped with his bow, proceeds in the direction of Lankā. And all the principal monkeys— Sugriva with Bibhishana—went on, setting up roars, for the destruction of foes, who were determined to battle with them. And consequently Raghu’s son was well pleased with the fortitude and exertions of the powerful monkeys, for bringing about what was dear unto Rāghava.

[61] The moon, it seems, doth appear, but does not look out clearly.—T.

[62] Praçasta—I do not see the propriety of this epithet in this connection. This may be a mistake.—T.

[63] The word Rāma occurs twice, one being the cognomen of the solar line. The other means, the enchanter of men.—T.


And with the presence of the king64 that assembly of heroes looked beautiful, as doth the autumnal night, garnished with beauteous stars, with the Moon. And oppressed with the bursting energy of the host resembling the ocean, the Earth trembled. And then the rangers of the forest heard a hubbub in Lankā, as well as the sounds of trumpets and Mridangas, mighty and capable of making people’s down stand on end. And at those sounds, the leaders of monkey-bands were delighted beyond measure, and, resenting the same, set up cries louder than those sounds. And the Rākshasas also heard the roars of the monkeys, resembling the rumbling of haughty clouds in the sky. Beholding Lankā with variegated standards, and streamers, Daçaratha’s son went65 to Sitā with an aggrieved heart. “Here that one having eyes resembling those of a young deer, is confined by Rāvana, like unto Rohini overpowered by the red-bodied planet”.66 And, sighing hot and long, and looking at Lakshmana, that hero spoke words fraught with his good at that time—“Behold, O Lakshmana, Lankā towering up as if piercing the heavens; and, built by Viçwakarmā on the brow of the mountain, she seems to have been made by the Mind. Constructed in time past with edifices thronging her, Lankā looks like the all-encasing air, covered with pale clouds. Lankā is embellished with groves resembling Chitraratha, fair, and eloquent with the notes of various birds, and fraught with fruits and flowers. Behold the intoxicated birds, and the black bees blending (with the blossoms). And the blessed breeze swayeth the trees vocal with the coels”. Having divided his forces there agreeably to the directions of the scriptures, Daçaratha’s son, Rāma, thus spoke unto Lakshmana. And he ordered that monkey-army, saying,—“Taking his own forces, let the puissant and invincible Angada along with Nila, station himself in the centre of the forces. And let the monkey, named Rishabha, surrounded by numbers of monkeys, post himself at the right of the monkey-army. And let the active and irrepressible Gandhamādana, resembling an elephant fragrant with the temporal exudation, stay, occupying the left of the forces. I myself along with Lakshmana, shall needfully stay in the fore-front. And the monkeys, Jāmbavān, Sushena and Vagadarçi, the three high-souled, foremost bears,67—shall protect the interior (of the forces). And as the Sun, surcharged with energy, protects the hind half of the globe, let the monkey-monarch protect the rear of the monkey-army”. And that army being skilfully divided into parts and protected by great monkeys, resembled the welkin covered with clouds. Then, taking up mountain-peaks and mighty trees, the monkeys began to proceed towards Lankā burning to crush Lankā in battle. “We shall demolish Lankā by hurling mountain-peaks, or with our clenched fists”. Thus did the foremost of monkeys think in their minds. Then the exceedingly energetic Rāma addressed Sugriva, saying,—“Our forces have been rightly marshalled,—let go (now) Suka”. Hearing Rāma’s words, the lord of monkeys possessed of great strength, liberated the envoy, Suka, at the command of Rāma. Liberated at the word of Rāma, Suka, who had been sore tormented by the monkeys, oppressed with exceeding great fear, went to the lord of Rākshasas. Thereat, Rāvana, laughing, said unto Suka,—“Are thy wings fettered? And thou seemst as if thy wings had been severed. Why? Didst thou come under the control of the volatile (monkeys)?” Thereat, exercised with fear, Suka, commanded by the monarch, answered the lord of Rākshasas in this excellent speech, saying,—“Repairing to the northern shore of the sea, I, pacifying (the monkeys) with mild speech, communicated thy tidings clearly (unto Sugriva). Thereat, as soon as they saw me, the monkeys flying into a wrath, captured me, and attempted to clip my wings and slay me with their clenched fists. They are insuseptible of being spoken to. No doubt whatever can exist that, O lord of Rākshasas, the monkeys are by nature wrathful and fierce. The same Rāma that hath slain Virādha and Kavandha and Khara, hath arrived (here) along with Sugriva, searching for the whereabouts of Sitā. Having thrown a bridge across the brine and crossed the salt sea, Rāghava, equipped with his bow, stayeth here, setting the Rakshas at naught. And the hosts consisting of thousands of bears and monkeys, resembling hills and clouds, envelope the Earth. And peace there can be none between the forces of the Rākshasas and the hosts of the sovereign of monkeys, like unto the deities and the Dānavas. And they advance before the wall. Speedily do one of these things—make over Sitā without delay, or give (him) battle”. Hearing Suka’s speech, Rāvana with his eyes reddened in wrath, spoke, as if burning (Suka) with them,—“Even if gods, and Gandharbas, and Dānavas should array themselves against me, I will not from fear of all creatures, render (back) Sitā. When shall my shafts pursue Rāghava, like maddened Bhramaras making towards blossomy trees in spring? When by means of flaming shafts shot from my bow shall I burn (Rāghava) with his body bathed in blood, even as a meteor (burneth) an elephant? And when, surrounded by a mighty host, shall I confound his ranks, even as the Sun arising, (vanquisheth) the light of the stellar spheres? My impetuosity like the Ocean’s, my strength like the Wind’s, Dāçarathi doth not know,—and therefore it is that he desireth to fight with me. Rāma hath not seen my shafts resting in the quiver, resembling venomous serpents,—and therefore it is that he seeketh to fight with me. Rāghava hath not in conflict formerly known my bow representing my Vinā sounded with my shafts; having tremendous sounds proceeding from the strings; dreadful; with the cries of distressed people for its mighty strains of music; and resonant with the reports of Nārāchas and palms. And, having bathed in the great field of battle representing the river of hostile forces, I will in the encounter strike (this Vinā). Neither the thousand-eyed Vasava, nor Varuna himself, can (cope) with me in battle; nor can Yama, or Vaicravana’s self vanquish me in mighty conflict with the fire of arrows”.

[64] Rāma.—T.

[65] i.e. mentally.—T.

[66] Angāraka.—T.

[67] The epithet ‘bears’ coming after ‘monkeys’ may look incongruous; but, I fancy, ‘monkeys’ is used in the general sense of being connected with the monkey-host.—T.


On Daçaratha’s son, Rāma, having crossed the Ocean with his forces, the graceful Rāvana addressed his two counsellors, Suka and Sārana, saying,—“The crossing the entire ocean incapable of being crossed, by the monkey-forces, and the building over the sea of the bridge by Rāma— all this had never happened before. The construction of a bridge over the ocean cannot at all command credence. But (however it be), I must enumerate the monkey-hosts. Entering the monkey-army unobserved, it behoveth you to ascertain the magnitude thereof, its strength, who are the foremost monkeys, who are the councilors assembled there of Rāma, and who of Sugriva, who range at the head, who among the monkeys are heroic; how they have constructed the bridge over the water of the ocean; how the high-souled monkeys stay there; Rāma’s, as well as Lakshmana’s purpose, prowess and the arms (they fight with). And who is the commander of those magnanimous monkeys? Having learnt all this truly, ye ought to return speedily”. Being thus commissioned, these heroes, the Rākshasas, Suka and Sārana, assuming monkey-shapes, entered into the hosts of monkeys. But Suka and Sārana could not number that army of monkeys, incomprehensible and capable of making people’s hair stand on end. The forces were on mountain-tops, by fountains and in caves. And those rangers of the night beheld those forces, some having already crossed, and some crossing, and some intent on doing so; and some having sat down and some sitting—that mighty army sending terrific roars,—that ocean of hosts incapable of being disturbed. As they remained thus disguised, they were discovered by Vibhishana. Thereat, taking them captive, he unfolded (the fact) unto Rāma, saying,—“These are the counsellors of the lord of Rākshasas—Suka and Sārana. O captor of hostile capitals, they have come as spies from Lankā”. Seeing Rāma, they were greatly afflicted, and, despairing of their lives and exercised with fear, with joined hands, said,—“O placid one, commanded by Rāvana, we have come here, O son of Raghu, for the purpose of gathering information concerning this army”. Hearing their speech, Rāma—son unto Daçaratha—ever engaged in the welfare of all beings, laughing, remarked,—“If you have heedfully noted this entire array, or if you have done what ye had been commanded to do, return in peace. If aught remaineth unseen, do ye see it anew. Or Vibhishana will again fully show it unto you. Having been taken, ye need not fear on the score of your lives. Even if envoys happen to be taken who are equipped with weapons, they should not be slain. And albeit these night-rangers have come as spies in disguise, with the view of creating division among their foes, yet, O Vibhishana, let them off. Entering the extensive Lankā, ye should say unto the king—younger brother unto the Dispenser of riches—the words which I utter,—‘That force relying on which thou hast carried away my Sitā, do thou as thou wishest, along with thy forces and friends, display the same. On the morning of the morrow behold the city of Lankā with her wall and gates, as well as the hosts of Rākshasas, destroyed by me with my shafts. And as Vasava equipped with the thunder-bolt hurleth the same amidst the Dānavas, will I, O Rāvana, on the morning of the morrow pour down my dreadful ire upon thee along with thy forces.’” Thus directed (by Rāma), those Rākshasas, Suka and Sārana, having saluted the righteous Rāghava with ‘Victory!,’ came (back) to Lankā and spoke unto the lord of Rākshasas, saying,—“O lord of Rākshasas, having been taken by Vibhishana for the purpose of being slain, we came to be seen by the righteoua-souled Rāma of immeasurable energy, and (finally) were liberated (by him). As these four persons have combined—like unto the Lokapalas, heroic, accomplished in arms, and of steady prowess—viz., Daçaratha’s son, Rāma, the graceful Lakshmana, Vibhishana, and the highly powerful Sugriva, resembling the great Indra, these are capable of uprooting the city of Lankā—walls and gateways—and replacing her (on her former site),—leave thou the monkeys aside. Such is Rāma’s figure and arms that he shall alone demolish Lankā,—leave the other three alone. And that host protected by Rāma, Lakshmana and Sugriva, shall become exceedingly hard to combat even by the Asuras and gods.—And the army of the high-souled rangers of the woods, eager for encounter, contains warriors bursting with high spirits. No use of dispute. Be thou intent on pacification. Do thou render back Maithili unto Daçaratha’s son”.


Hearing Sārana’s words, pregnant and truthful, king Rāvana addressed him, saying,—“Even if the gods, Gandharvas and Dānavas should attack me, Sitā will I not part with from fear of all creatures. O amiable one, thou, having been hard handled by the monkeys and distressed in consequence, deemst it fit that Sitā should be rendered back this very day. What foe of mine is there who is competent to conquer me in battle?” Having uttered this rough speech, the graceful Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—desirous of surveying (the monkey-hosts), ascended an edifice white like snow, and elevated like many palms (placed one upon another). And transported with passion, Rāvana in company with those spies, saw the sea, mountains and forests. And they beheld the Earth enveloped with monkeys, and the mighty host of monkeys, boundless and irresistible. And having seen this, king Rāvana asked Sārana,—“Who among these monkeys are the foremost, who are the heroes, and who possessed of great strength? Who, bursting with spirits, stay all about the fore? Whom doth Sugriva listen to? And who are the leaders of the monkey-leaders? O Sārana, relate thou all this unto me. And what is the prowess of the monkeys?” Thereat, Sārana, knowing the chiefs (of the monkey-army), spoke unto the sovereign of Rākshasas, who had asked (him), as to who were the heads of the rangers of the woods. “This monkey, that, setting up roars, stayeth in front of Lankā, surrounded by hundreds and thousands of monkey-leaders, by whose tremendous shouts Lankā trembleth with her wall, gateways, hills, woods and forests, and who is posted in front of the forces of the high-souled Sugriva—master of all the monkeys—is the heroic leader of monkey-bands named Nila. And that one, possessed of prowess, who, folding up his arms, paceth the gound on foot, who, facing Lankā, from wrath is frequently yawning, who resembles a mountain-peak and is like the filaments of a lotus, who, enraged again and again soundeth his tail, and the ten cardinal points resound with the sounds of whose tail,—is he who hath been sprinkled by Sugriva—king of monkeys—the heir apparent, named Angada. He challengeth thee to the fight. The worthy son of Vāli and ever dear unto Sugriva, he putteth forth his prowess, as Varuna doth for Sakra. That that well-wisher of Rāghava, the vehement Hanumān, hath seen Janaka’s daughter, was owing to the advice of this one. That powerful (hero) is proceeding, taking innumerable bands belonging to the lord of monkeys, for the purpose of beating thee by means of his soldiery. Following Vāli’s son, and surrounded by a mighty force, stayeth in the field the heroic Nala, the builder of the bridge. Those that with their limbs lying inactive, and setting up roars and ululations, are following this one,68 are heroes dwelling in Chandana.69 With his own army alone, the silver-hued Sweta of dreadful prowess hopes to subdue Lankā. Marshalling his monkey-forces and cheering up his soldiers, that intelligent monkey, famed over the three regions, having speedily met with Sugriva, is retracing his steps. From days of yore on the banks of the Gomati there is a mountain, (named) Ramya, (otherwise) called Sanrochana. The mount abounds with various trees. There that leader of bands, named Kumuda, governs his kingdom. And he that cheerfully draweth after his hundreds and thousands of monkeys, and the long grim hairs of whose tail, coppery, yellow, sable and white, are cast about, is the energetic monkey, Chanda, eager for encounter. And he hopes to conquer Lankā by help of his own forces. And this one, resembling a lion, tawny and furnished with a long mane, who, remaining apart, vieweth all Lankā as if consuming her with his eyes, dwelleth for ever and a day in Vindhya, the mountain Krisha, Sahya, and the mount Sudarçana, and, a leader of bands, is named Rambha. Three hundred Kotis of the foremost of monkeys, dreadful and fierce and possessed of terrific prowess, surrounding (him) go in his wake for the purpose of demolishing Lankā by their (native) might. And he that expandeth his ears and yawneth again and again, who defieth the fear of death and doth not move his forces, who trembleth for wrath and eyeth frequently askance,—and behold the lashing of his tail!—and who setteth up leonine shouts, O king, with great energy and with fear cast off,—resideth in the romantic mount, Sālweya, and, a leader of companies, is named Sarabha. To him, O king, belong forty hundred thousands of powerful leaders. And he that stayeth, like unto a mighty mass of clouds covering up the sky, in the midst of the monkey-heroes, as doth Vāsava in the centre of the celestials, whose lofty shout is heard (mingled with) the uproar set up by the foremost monkeys, burning for battle, dwelleth in the excellent hill Pārijātra; and, ever irrepressible in fight, is named Panaça, a leader of (monkey)-bands. Fifty lacs of leaders with their forces arranged, environ this commander of monkeys. He that stayeth gracing the dreadful array overflowing with talk, stationed on the shore of the ocean,—resembling a second sea and like unto Durdara70—is the leader named Vitata. And he rangeth, drinking of (the waters of) the Venā,—best among streams—and his forces are sixty lacs of monkeys. And the monkey, named Krathana, challengeth thee to conflict. He hath (under him) powerful and vigorous generals, and forces well divided. And the monkey owning that person of the hue of red chalk, and, who, elated with strength, disregardeth all the monkeys,—is named Gavaya, who approacheth thee wrathfully. Several lacs (of troops) girt him round; and by their means he has to bring down Lankā. These are the heroes, incapable of being borne, whose numbers cannot be enumerated. These are the leaders and the heads thereof, as well as the forces set in order of battle”.

[68] The reference is prospective. It means the monkey, Sweta, in the next sloka.—T.

[69] This may mean some wood of sandals; but the commentator is silent over it.—T.

[70] Name of a celebrated monkey-leader.—T.


As thou lookest on, I shall describe unto thee the leaders who shall put forth their prowess for Rāghava, lay down their lives (in his behalf.) That one of dread deeds the long hairs on whose long tail, coppery, and yellow, and black, and white, thrown up, look like the rays of Sun, and are trailing over the ground, is the monkey, named Hara; whom follow hundreds and thousands (of monkeys) desperately upraising trees, intent upon (scaling) Lankā—leaders of the monkey-king and his servants present (in that conflict.) And these whom thou beholdest present, resembling mighty masses of sable clouds, like unto black collyrium, of genuine prowess, countless and incapable of enumeration dwelling in mountains, provinces, and rivers,—terrible beings—approach thee, O king. In their amidst is their king, gray eyed and of fierce appearance, like unto Parjanya71 encompassed by clouds,—who dwelleth in that best of mountains, Rikkhavān, drinking of the Narmadā.—Behold this one resembling a hill—younger brother of Dhumra, lord of the bears. He is equal to his brother in beauty, and of superior prowess. This leader of redoubtable leaders named Jāmbavān. He is mild, obedient to his superiors and fierce in fight. The intelligent Jāmbavān assisted Sakra signally in the war of the gods and Asuras, and he hath won many boons (in consequence). Ascending the tops of mountains, these hurl down gigantic crags huge as colossal clouds, nor doth (the fear of) death (ever) disquiet them. And their bodies covered with hair, they resemble Rākshasas and ghosts (in their conduct). This one of immeasurable energy hath innumerable troops going about, who behold this leader of leaders under unusual excitement leaping and resting (by turns). This lord of monkeys dwelleth near the thousand-eyed Deity; and this leader of bands, gifted with strength, is named Rambha. And he that going, toucheth with his side a mountain situated at the distance of a Yojana, and, rising up, measureth the same length,—and whose beauty is surpassed by none among quadrupeds,—is known under the name of Sannādana, the grand-father of the monkeys;—this intelligent one battled with Sakra,72—nor did he meet with discomfiture. This is that general of the forces. And he whose prowess is like that of Sakra, is this one begot by Fire on a Gandharva’s daughter, for assisting the celestials on the occasion of the war of the gods and the Asuras. And this graceful and powerful one—best of monkeys—disporteth in that sovereign of mountains inhabited by numbers of Kinnaras, where king Vaiçavana eateth rose apples, and which, O lord of Rakshas, ever conduceth to the pleasure of thy brother. And this one who never extolleth himself in battle, is named Krathana—leader of hosts. Surrounded by a thousand Koti (of troops), and stationed in the midst of the monkeys, he hopeth to subjugate Lankā with his own troops alone. And he that roameth about the Gangā, terrifying leaders of elephant-herds, remembering the former hostility of the monkeys and the elephants, is this leader of bands, who, roaring, opposeth wild elephants in mountain-caverns and crusheth trees,—and foremost of monkeys, and chief of the monkey-forces—like Sakra himself in heaven, sporteth, resorting to Uçiravija pertaining to Mandara, best of mountains, on the golden river.73 A thousand lacs of monkeys, elated with vigor and prowess, setting up roars and furnished with (long) arms follow him; and this one is the leader of those high souled monkeys. And, O king, he whom thou seest resembling clouds uplifted by the winds, is a leader named Pramāthi. And his fleet-coursing soldiery are fiery, and volumes of red-hued dust are scattered about him profusely on all sides. And these wondrous strong and dreadful Golāngulas74 numbering hundreds and hundred thousands, seeing the building of the bridge, surrounding, O mighty monarch, the leader named Gavāksha—a Golāngula—set up shouts, intending to demolish Lankā with their prowess. Where the trees bring forth fruits of every season and the black bees resort,—in the mountain furnished with solar splendour, which the Sun circumambulates, by whose radiance ever beam beasts and birds with a like hue,—whose table-lands are never forsaken by magnanimous Maharshis; where the trees yield every object of desire and all are fraught with fruits; in which best of mountains excellent honey is found,—there in the charming Golden hill, O king, sporteth this one—the foremost of the principal monkeys, Kaçari by name, a leader of bands. There are sixty thousand charming Golden hills. In their midst is that best of mountains,75 even as thou, O sinless one, art among the Rakshas. There in the inmost hill dwell (monkeys) tawny-hued; and white,—with coppery faces; yellowish like honey; sharp-toothed; having nails for their weapons; and four teeth like lions; irresistible like tigers all equal to Vaiçwānara, and resembling flaming venomous snakes; furnished with long tails; like unto mad elephants; seeming like gigantic hills; roaring like mighty clouds; with eyes tawny and round; of terrific mein; and emitting sounds,—and these are gazing at Lankā, as if devastating her. And this powerful one staying in their midst, is their leader, eager for victory; and the puissant (monkey) always looketh like the Sun himself; and this one, O king, is famed on earth by the name of Satavali. And this heroic one, powerful and mighty, established in his own prowess, hopeth to devastate Lankā with his own forces. And for compassing Rāma’s desire, the monkey doth not cherish any kindness for his life. Gaya, Gavāksha, Nala, and the monkey Nila—each of these is encompassed by ten kotis of warriors. (Besides these) there are other choice monkeys dwelling in the Vindhya mountain, but I cannot enumerate these (monkeys) possessed of fleet vigor, in consequence of their vast number. All these, O mighty monarch, are of exceeding prowess,—all possess persons resembling mighty mountains; and all are competent in a moment to remove mountains and scatter the Earth with them”.

[71] Indra.

[72] There is a word—rane, in battle in this line, left out on the ground of pleonasm.—T.

[73] Gangā.—T.

[74] Vide anté.

[75] Sāvarni Meru.—T.


Having heard the words of Sārana, who had described the forces (of the monkeys), Suka, addressed Rāvana, lord of Rākshasas, saying,—“Those, O king, whom thou seest stationed, resembling mad elephants, like unto nyagrodhas76 belonging to the Gangā,—like unto Saias in the Himavān,—are incapable of being borne,—they are possessed of strength, and able to wear forms at will; resembling deities and Dānavas, and like the gods in conflict. These, numbering nine, five, and seven thousand kotis and thousand sankus and an hundred vrindas, are the ministers of Sugriva, residing in Kishkindhā—monkeys begot by gods and Gandharvas, capable of assuming shapes at will. And those two whom thou beholdest, staying there, of equal proportions and endowed with god-like shapes, are Mainda and Dwivida,—who have no equals in fight. Permitted by Brahmā, they had partaken of ambrosia. They hope to humble Lankā by their prowess. And he whom thou seest staying like a mad elephant, the monkey who, being enraged, can by his strength agitate the deep itself, who, searching for Vaidehi, had presented himself before thee, lord,—behold this monkey come again!—whom thou hadst seen before!77—is the eldest son of Kaçari, known as the offspring of the Wind-god—celebrated as Hanumān, who had bounded over the deep. Capable of wearing forms at pleasure, that first of monkeys is endeued with grace and strength,—and is of irresistible impetuosity even as that lord, the Wind. Seeing the Sun risen, (he) while a boy, resolving in his mind,—‘Coursing a way measuring three thousand yojanas, I will bring the Sun,—my hunger is not appeased;’ and he sprang up, elated with strength. And, not getting that god, incapable of being subdued by the deities, saints and Rākshasas, he dropped down on the Ascending-hill. And thereat a jaw of that strong-jawed one was a little fractured on the rock,—and he is called Hanumān in consequence. I know this monkey and all his previous history. I cannot describe his strength, beauty or prowess. And this one alone hopes to lay Lankā low by his energy. And why dost thou today forget the monkey, who had flung flaming fire into Lankā? And next to him is the hero of dark-blue hue, having eyes like lotuses, the Atiratha among the Ikshwākus—of prowess celebrated in the world—in whom virtue never wavereth and who never swerveth from righteousness; who knoweth the Brāhma Mantra and the Vedas,—the best of those versed in them—who pierceth the sky with his shafts and cleaveth the Earth, whose ire is like death, and whose prowess is like that of Sakra,—whose wife, Sitā, hath been carried away by thee from Janasthāna. And this is Rāma, who, O king, advanceth to encounter thee in conflict. And on his right side is one of the splendour of pure gold, broad-breasted, having dark curled hair—this one is named Lakshmana, ever mindful of his brother’s welfare. He is versed in polity as well as warfare—the foremost of those learned in all the branches of knowledge; wrathful, invincible, victorious, powerful, conquering and strong,—the right arm of Rāma and his own life going about. For Rāghava he careth not for his life. He hopeth to exterminate all the Rākshasas in battle. He that stayeth occupying the left side of Rāma, and surrounded by Rākshasas, is the king, Bibhishana, sprinkled as the king of Lankā by the auspicious king of kings,—he, filled with wrath, approacheth thee (for battle). And he whom thou seest staying in the middle like a firm-based mountain, the lord of all monkeys, of immeasurable prowess,—and who in energy fame, intelligence, strength, and lineage, is as superior to the monkeys as the mountain Himavān overtoppeth all the mountains, who in company with the principal monkey-leaders dwelleth in inaccessible Kishkindhā hard to penetrate, and dense with trees, and difficult of access, and denying approach on account of rocks; and whose golden garland consisting of an hundred lotuses looks exceedingly elegant, which is the desire of men and gods, and where is established Lakshmi—(is Sugriva). And Rāma, having slain Vāli, hath conferred this garland, Tārā, and the eternal monkey-kingdom on Sugriva. An hundred of an hundred thousand is called a koti by the wise. An hundred of a thousand koti is called a Sanku. An hundred of a thousand Sanku is known as a Mahāçanku. An hundred of a thousand Mahāçanku is here termed a Vrinda. An hundred of a thousand Vrinda is known as a Mahāvrinda. A thousand Mahāvrinda is called here a Padma. An hundred of a thousand Padma is known as a Mahāpadma. An hundred of a thousand Mahāpadma is termed a Kharva. An hundred of a thousand Khara is termed a Samudra. An hundred of a thousand Samudra is known as a Mahaugha. Thus backed by a thousand koti, and a hundred Sanku, and a thousand Mahaçanku, and an hundred Vrinda, and a thousand Mahāvrinda, and an hundred Padma, and a thousand Mahāpadma and an hundred kharva, and an equal Samaudra and an equal Mahaugha,—by kotis of Mahaughas—resembling the sea,—and surrounded by the heroic Bibhishana as well as his counsellors,—that Lord of monkeys, always engirthed by a mighty force, and possessed of exceeding strength and prowess, will encounter thee in battle. Observing this host, that hath presented itself, resembling a flaming planet, do thou, O mighty monarch, prepare thyself to the uttermost,—so that victory may be thine, and that thou mayst not come by discomfiture at the hands of the foe”.

[76] Banians.

[77] This dislocation occurs in the original. These descriptions generally are hardly amenable to a sound syntax.—T.


Seeing the leaders of monkeys as pointed out by Suka,—the exceedingly puissant Lakshmana—Rāma’s right arm—and his78 brother Bibhishana staying near Rāma, and Sugriva of dreadful prowess—sovereign of all the monkeys,—and the strong Angada, grandson unto the thunder-handed one,79 and the powerful Hanumān; and the unconquerable Jāmbavān; and Sushena; and Nila; and Nala—best of monkeys,—and Gaya; and Gavāksha; and Sarabha; and Mainda; and Dwivida,—Rāvana, with his heart agitated a little, and his wrath aroused,—when their talk had ended, rebuked those heroes, Suka and Sārana. And he wrathfully spoke unto them, standing in humble guise with their heads hung down, harsh words faltering with passion,—“That counsellors subsisting (on the wealth of their master and sovereign), should say aught disagreeable to him, whether they meet with his favor or disfavor—is not meet. Without being questioned, it is (proper) for you both to hymn the praises of a foe that is opposed and that hath advanced for encounter! Ye have in vain worshipped your preceptors, aged people, and spiritual guides, for ye have failed to appropriate the cream of Political Science, which should be availed of. Or if ye had appropriated the same, you have forgotten it afterwards; and ye bear the burden of ignorance. And it is owing to my good fortune that, having such stupid counsellors, I have as yet held my kingdom. Have ye no fear of death that ye use harsh speech towards me, who am the ruler and whose tongue dispenseth good and evil? Even trees may exist in the forest, coming in contact with burning fire; but transgressors cannot exist, visited with the chastisement of the monarch. I shall slay these wicked wights, who praise the side of the enemy, if my anger be not moderated, remembering their former good offices. Avaunt! Go hence from near me! I do not wish to slay you, remembering your good acts. Slain ye (already) are, who are ingrate and cherish no affection for me”. Thus accosted, Suka and Sārana, seeing (how things stood), covered with bashfulness, went out, saluting Rāvana by uttering ‘Victory!’ Then that ranger of night, the Ten-necked one, said unto Mahodara, who was present, to summon some spies. Thus accosted, Mahodara speedily ordered some spies (to present themselves). Thereat, the spies, hurriedly arriving there at the mandate of the monarch, and, presenting themselves, stood with joined hands, uttering blessings of victory. Then the lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, addressed the spies, who were heroic, faithful, calm, and courageous,—“Go hence, and acquaint yourselves with the exertions of Rāma; as well as with those who, being the custodians of Rāma’s closest counsels, have gladly joined him (here). How he sleepeth and how he waketh, and what he engageth himself in,—having deftly acquainted yourselves with all this thoroughly, do you come (back here). The wise king that gathers (a knowledge of) his enemy through spies, can, putting forth a modicum of effort in conflict, neutralise (his exertions)”. Thereat the spies, saying,—“So it is”, taking Sardula to the fore, with delighted hearts went round the sovereign of the Rākshasas. And, having gone round the high-souled Rākshasa-chief, the spies set out for where Rāma with Lakshmana was. And repairing secretly to the vicinity of the mountain bordering on the fair shore,80 they saw Rāma and Lakshmana with Sugriva and Bibhishana. And seeing that host, they were overwhelmed with fear. And, while staying there, they, discovered by the righteous lord of Rākshasas, Bibhisana, were sore harassed (by the monkeys). And that wicked Rākshasa, Sardula, alone was taken (before Rāma). But Rāma liberated him, who was assailed by the monkeys. And Rāma also, entertaining no enmity against them, also liberated the others, (who accompanied Sardula). And, on having been put to straits by the powerful monkeys of fleet vigor, they,81 breathing hard, and with their consciousness lost, again arrived at Lankā. Then those exceedingly strong spies, always ranging outside, presenting themselves before the Ten-necked one, informed him of the forces of Rāma, stationed near mount Suvela.

[78] i.e. Rāvana’s

[79] Indra.—T.

[80] Suvelasya Sailasya—may also mean, of the mount Suvela.—T.

[81] The spies, that is.—T.


Then the spies communicated unto Lankā’s lord news concerning Rāghava and his host stationed at the mount Suvela. Hearing the words of the spies, that Rāma, accompanied by a mighty army, had arrived (there), Rāvana was a little agitated and spoke unto Sardula,—“Thy color hath changed its natural aspect, and, O ranger of the night, thou lookest poorly. Didst not come under the control of the wrathful foes?” Thus ordered by him, then (Sārdula), bewildered by fear, addressed that tiger of a Rākshasa, saying,—“Those powerful monkeys, O king, puissant, strong, and protected by Rāghava, are incapable of being ranged (by us). And they cannot be conversed with or interrogated. All around, the courses are kept by monkeys resembling hills. As soon as I entered, and was scanning that host, I was discovered. And forcibly taken by the Rakshas, I was pulled by them hither and thither. And furiously assailed by the monkeys with thighs, clenched fists, teeth, and palms, I was dragged in the midst of the army by the enraged monkeys. And, after having been taken all about, I was (at length) taken before Rāma, bleeding, with my limbs showing sorry work, and my senses swimming and paralysed. And, having been belabored by the monkeys, I, on craving his kindness with joined hands, was, at his pleasure, rescued by Rāghava, with, “Don’t, don’t”! Having filled up the deep with rocks and crags, Rāma equipped with weapons, stayeth, occupying the gate of Lankā. And, letting me off, that one of suspasstng vigor, surrounded by monkeys, and, arranging his forces in the Gāruda fashion, advanceth upon Lankā. And he draweth nigh to the wall. Therefore, do one of these things in preference to the other,—either render back Sitā, or give him battle”. Hearing this, Rāvana, lord of Rākshasas, then reflecting in his mind, spoke unto Sārdula these pregnant words,—‘Even if the gods, Gandharvas, and Dānavas should array themselves against me, Sitā I shall not give, from fear of all creatures”. Having said this, that exceedingly energetic one again said,—“Thou hast ranged this army. Who here among the monkeys are heroic? And, amiable one, what is their potency? And what are those monkeys that are hard to approach, like? And, O thou of fair vows, whose sons and grandsons are they? Truly relate all this (to me). Having ascertained their strength and weakness, I shall in this matter adopt my course. Those who wish for fight, certainly take account of all this”. Thus addressed by Rāvana, Sārdula—best of spies—thus begin to speak in the presence of Rāvana,—“O king, that unconquerable one in fight, Jāmbavān, is well known as the son Gadgada, king of bears. The other son of Gadgada is the son of Sakra’s preceptor. By which son, single-handed, was done immense oppression to the Rakshas. And the righteous and puissant Sushena is the son of Dharma.82 And the mild monkey, Dadhimukha, O king, is the son of Soma.83 And Sumukha, Durmukha and the monkey, Vegadarçin (resembling) Death himself, were for certain begot by the Self-create in the shape of a monkey.84 And Nila himself is the son of the bearer of sacrificial oblations;85 and Hanumān is famed as the son of the Wind-god. And the irrepressible and youthful Angada is the grandson of Sakra. And the lusty Mainda and Dwivida are sprung from Açwi. And five are the sons of Vaivaswata, resembling the Reaper himself—Gaya, Gavāksha, Gavaya, Sarabha and Gandhamādana. But I can not enumerate the rest, ten kotis of heroic monkeys—all sons of deities—burning for battle. And this is Daçaratha’s son—this youth resembling a lion, who slew Dushana and Khara and Triçiras. There breathes none on Earth that is like unto Rāma in prowess, by whom was slain Virādha and Kavandha, resembling the Destroyer. No person can on earth describe the virtues of Rāma; by whom have been slain all those Rākshasas that had gone to Janasthāna. And here also is the virtuous Lakshmana, like unto the foremost of elephants, coming in the way of whose shafts, even Vāsava doth not live. And here are Sweta and Jyotirmukha, sprung from Vātskara’s self; and the monkey Hemakuta is the son of Varuna. And the heroic Nala—best of monkeys, is the son of Viçwakarmā. And powerful and impetuous, Durdhara is the son of Vasu. And that foremost of Rākshasas, Bibhishana, thy brother, engaged in the welfare of Rāghava, hath laid seige to Lankā. Thus have I described unto thee the entire monkey host stationed in mount Suvela. As for what remaineth to be done, thou art the master”.

[82] Righteousness.

[83] Moon.

[84] Another meaning is,—”The monkey, Vegadarçi—who is Death himself in the shape of a monkey”. But I give the more acceptable sense. T.

[85] Fire.


Then the spies of the king informed him of the forces of Rāghava, incapable of being agitated, which had stationed themselves on mount Suvela. Hearing the arrival of Rāma’s mighty army from the spies, Rāvana was a little agitated, and he spoke unto the ministers,—“Let the ministers speedily present themselves, having their wits about them,—the time forsooth hath come for counsel”. Hearing his mandate, those Rākshasas, his counselors, swiftly presented themselves. And then he consulted with his Rākshasa counselors. Having deliberated duly, that resistless one, dismissing his ministers, entered his own abode. Then, taking with him the highly strong Vidyujjibha, huge-bodied and gifted with the powers of illusion, he entered where Mithila’s daughter was. And the lord of Rākshasas said unto Vidyujjibha, skilled in illusion,—“Do thou bring Janakas daughter under the sway of illusion. And, O ranger of the night, do thou, taking an illusory head of Rāghava, as well as a mighty bow with the shaft (set), present thyself before me”. Thus accosted, the night-ranger, Vidyujjibha, saying, “So be it,” displayed that desired illusion unto Rāvana. Thereat, the king, eager to meet with Sitā in the Acoka woods, well-pleased, conferred an excellent ornament on him. Then the exceedingly powerful lord of the Nairitas, the younger brother of the Dispenser of riches, entered (into that place) and saw (there Sitā) distressed, albeit unworthy of distress,—with her head hung down, overwhelmed with woe,—sitting on the ground, staying at the açoka woods, engaged in the contemplation of her lord, conciliated by dreadful Rākshasis remaining near. Then, drawing near Sitā, Rāvana, proclaiming his exultation, said these haughty words unto the daughter of Janaka,—“O gentle one, he depending on whom thou, being soothed by (me), slightest me—that slayer of Khara, thy husband, Rāghava, hath fallen in battle. Thy roots have been competely severed, and thy pride hath been destroyed by me. In consequence of this calamity, O Sitā, thou shalt become my wife. O foolish (girl), renounce this idea. What wilt thou do with him that is dead? O meek (wench), be thou the mistress of all my wives. O thou of slender religious merit! O thou whose object hath been defeated! O thou that presumest to be wise! Hearken unto the destruction of thy lord, like the dreadful destruction of Vritra! Surrounded by a vast army gathered by the sovereign of the monkeys, Rāghava had presented himself on the shore of the sea, for compassing my destruction. And on the sun having set, Rāma stationed himself with his mighty army, oppressing the northern shore (of the sea). Then at midnight (my) spies coming to that host, thus stationed, fatigued from travel, and sleeping soundly (in consequence),—first ranged it. Then my mighty forces led by Prahasta slew his host overnight, where was present Rāma along with Lakshmana. And repeatedly upraising pattiças and bludgeons, swords, rods and other mighty weapons; and (discharging) showers of arrows, and darts, and daggers and maces and sticks and crows and bearded darts and discuses and clubs;—the Rākshasas discharged these among the monkeys. And while Rāma was sleeping, the furious Prahasta by means of a mighty falchion, with speed cut off his head clean. Bibhishana, who was flying at his will, was taken captive. And Lakshmana along with the monkey-army hath departed somewhere. And, O Sitā, Sugriva—lord of monkeys—hath his neck broken; and, O Sitā, with his jaw fractured, Hanumān hath been slaughtered by the Rākshasas.—And Jāmbavān, endeavouring to spring up with his thighs, was slain in the conflict; being severed by bearded darts, even as a tree cut off. And the stalwart Mainda and Dwivida—those foremost of monkeys—sighing and lamenting, bathed in blood,—destroyers of foes—were cut off with a sword. And Panaça is rolling on the earth like a (veritable) Panaça.86 And mangled by many iron arrows, Darimukha lieth in a cave. And the exceedingly energetic Kumuda, dumb, is slain by shafts. And torn by innumerable (arrows) discharged on all sides by Rākshasas, Angada, vomitting blood, lieth on the ground.87 And the monkeys, hard pressed by elephants, and others by networks of cars, lie low in the field, having been agitated like clouds by winds. And others afflicted with affright, flee, attacked (by the enemy) in the rear, and followed by the Rākshasas, like mighty elephants pursued by lions. And some have fallen into the sea, and some have taken refuge in the sky; and the bears have mounted up trees along with the monkeys. And on the shore of the sea, and in mountains and woods many are the tawny-hued monkeys that have been slain by Rākshasas of frightful forms. Thus hath thy lord been slain by my forces, along with his army; and I have his head, washed in blood and besmeared with dust”. Thereat, the exceedingly irrepressible lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, spake unto a Rakshasi, in the hearing of Sitā,—“Bring (hither) the Rākshasa, Vidyujjibha of cruel deeds, who hath personally brought Rāghava’s head from the field”. Thereat, Vidyujjibha, taking the head along with the bow, bowing down the head (unto Rāvana), stood before him. Then spake king; Rāvana unto the Rākshasa, Vidyujjibha of the long tongue, who was staying by,—“Do thou at once hold before Sitā the head of Daçaratha’s son. Let her clearly behold the ultimate sad plight of her lord”. Thus addressed, that Raksha, throwing that graceful head before Sitā, swiftly vanished. And Rāvana cast down the mighty blazing bow, famed through the three worlds, saying,—“This is Rāma’s. This is the bow of thy Rāma with the string fixed. Slaying that man over night, Prahasta brought it hither”.

[86] The tree of that name.—T.

[87] This sloka has ‘Angada’ twice. One, of course, is left out.—T.


Seeing that head and that excellent bow, and (remembering) the union of (Rāma) and Sugriva related by Hanumān,—and (seeing) those eyes, and the complexion of that face, and that countenance like unto that of her lord,—and that hair and that forehead; and that beautiful jewel forming the crest; and recognizing (Rāma) by all these tokens combined,— (Sitā), exceedingly aggrieved, rebuked Kaikeyi, lamenting like a female osprey,—“O Kaikeyi, have thy wishes attained. Slain hath been the son of the race; and the entire race is exterminated by thee, partial to dissension. And what evil had been done unto Kaikeyi by the revered Rāma, that along with me, he hadst been banished into the woods, with rags given him (for his covering)?” Having said this, Vaidehi, forlorn and trembling (all over), dropped to the earth, like a plantain cut off. Then, recovering after a while, and having regained her consciousness, the large-eyed one, placing the head in her front, gave way to grief. “Ah! I am undone, O mighty-armed one! O thou that didst follow stern vows! From thy (death), I have come by this final plight, having been rendered a widow. The greatest calamity (that can befall a woman), is said to be the death of her husband. And, possessor of an excellent character, thou hast departed before me, who have ever trod the path of the righteous; but who have come by a mighty grief and am plunged in a sea of sorrow. And thou, who was engaged in delivering me, hast thyself fallen! And my mother-in-law, Kauçalyā, attached (to thee), through the death of thee, her son, at the hands of Rākshasas, hath been reduced to the condition of a cow that hath been deprived of her calf. O Rāghava, even the astrologers had predicted long life for thee. But their words are false,—thou, O Rāghava, wast short-lived. Or didst thy wisdom, wise and good as thou wert, come to naught? For God, who is the origin of all beings, maketh (every one) reap the fruit of his own acts. And why, versed in polity as thou wast, didst thou come by death, unforeseen? Thou wast acquainted with the means of warding off misfortune, and skilled in doing so. And having been brought hither by me, representing the Fatal Night, fierce and fell,—after (being) embraced, and by force,—the lotus-eyed one hath met with his death. Here liest thou, O long-armed one, leaving me lone,—and embracing the Earth like thy beloved fair. Ever carefully worshipped with perfumed wreaths, this bow of thine, O hero, embellished with gold, is dear unto me. O sinless one, thou hast surely gone to heaven, and (art there) in the company of thy sire and my father-in-law, Daçaratha, and all thy ancestors. Thou hast become a star of the firmament as the fruit of thy great act.88 Thou hast disregarded thy righteous race of Rājarshis. O king, why dost thou not look at me? And why is it that thou dost not answer me, who am a girl, hardly arrived at youth,—and who am thy wife and companion? That thou at the time of thy espousing my hand hadst vowed—I will practise (righteousness) with thee—do thou, O Kākutstha, recollect the same, and take me, who am overwhelmed with distress. Why, O best of goers, hast thou gone from this world to that other, leaving behind me, overwhelmed with distress? That person of thine which, decked out with auspicious things, I used to embrace, beasts of prey will for certain tear the same. Having performed the Agnishtoma and other sacrifices with Dakshinās (dispensed),—why hadst not thou attained purity by means of the sacrificial fire? Kauçalyā, overwhelmed with sorrow, shall only behold one of the three that had gone away to distant lands,—come (back)—Lakshmana. And, on being asked by her, he shall relate thine as well as the deaths of thy friend’s troops over night at the hands of the Rākshasas. And, O Rāghava, hearing thee slain while asleep, and me staying in the abode of the Raksha, she with her heart cleft (in twain), shall cease to exist. And for the sake of me, abject that I am, that sinless son of the king, Rāma, possessed of prowess, having crossed the ocean, hath been slain in the footprint of a cow. I, the befouler of my line, who had been wedded by Daçaratha’s son through want of discretion, becoming the wife of the revered Rāma, was (in reality) his Death. Without doubt, in another birth I had abstained from choice gifts,—and therefore it is that I sorrow to-day, albeit being the wife of one that was (ever dear) unto guests. Do thou, O Rāvana, speedily slay me upon Rāma; and, bringing the wife to the husband, compass my best benefit. Do thou join my head to his and my body to his body. I will, O Rāvana, follow the way of my high-souled lord”. Thus, burning in grief, did that large-eyed one indulge in lamentations; and Janaka’s daughter kept fast gazing at the head and bow of her lord. And as the Rākshasa was by while Sitā was thus bewailing, there appeared before his lord, with joined hands, the warder, saying,—“May the worshipful one be victorious!” And saluting and propitiating him, (Rāvana), he told him that Prahasta, general of the forces, had arrived. “Prahasta hath come to thee, surrounded by all the courtiers. And, O lord, I was despatched by him, desirous of seeing thee. O mighty monarch, surely there is—and thou art forgiving from thy regal sentiment89—some work which is momentous; and do thou see them”. Hearing these words of the Rākshasa, the Ten-necked one, leaving the açoka wood, went to see the counselors. And, having decided his entire course of action in consultation with his competent advisers, (Rāvana), entering his court,—well knowing Rāma’s prowess, set about his work. And as soon as Rāvana left that place, that head and that bow vanished. And in company with the councilors of dreadful power, (Rāvana) decided his course with reference to Rāma. And then the lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, resembling the day of doom, addressed his generals,—all well-wishers—staying hard by, saying,—“Do ye speedily summon my forces with the beat of drums—nor do ye give out the reason (of the summons)”. Then assenting to his speech with “So be it,” the envoys immediately summoned that mighty force; and, when it had arrived, they informed their master, eager for conflict, of its arrival.

[88] The carrying out the command of thy sire.—T.

[89] This dislocated period insinuates that Rāvana, possessed of royal nature, should forgive this untimely intrusion.—T.


Seeing Sitā overwhelmed with grief, a Rākshasi, named Saramā, who was the beloved companion (of Sitā), drew near to her dear (friend), Vaidehi. And the mild-speeched Saramā comforted the exceedingly distressed Sitā, who had been bereft of her senses by the lord of Rākshasas. Sitā, who was protected there (by Saramā), had been made a friend by her. And, protecting her at the command of Rāvana, that kind-hearted companion, firm in vows, saw Sitā, deprived of her consciousness. And she90 comforted with a friend’s affection that one of fair vows, who was rolling in the dust and rising up from it like a mare.91 “Having come to the solitary wood for protecting thee, I, renouncing all fear of Rāvana, have, remaining hid, heard everything that he addressed unto thee, as well as what thou hadst replied unto him. For thee, O thou of expansive eyes, I have no fear of Rāvana. And, O Maithili, I, coming out, have also learnt well as to why the lord of Rākshasas hath gone out hence hurriedly. Rāma, acquainted with self, is incapable of being surprised in sleep; nor doth the slaying of that tiger-like one commend itself to me as probable. And the monkeys fighting with trees, well protected by Rāghava, like the gods protected by the foremost of the celestials, are incapable of being slain. And, possessed of arms long and rounded; graceful; broad-breasted; powerful; accoutred with the bow; and mailed; righteous; and famous over the earth; endowed with energy; and along with his brother, Lakshmana, ever protecting himself and others; of noble descent; and versed in polity; the destroyer of the hostile ranks; and of inconceivable strength and manhood,—the graceful Rāghava, O Sitā, slayer of foes, is not slain. This illusion hath been spread around thee by that fierce, illusion-creating one, whose mind ever runs upon improper acts and who opposeth himself to all creatures.—All thy sorrow hath departed, and thy good day hath dawned. Certainly Lakshmi seeketh thee. And, O lady, hearken unto what is dear to thee! Having crossed over the ocean, along with the monkey-host, Rāma hath encamped himself on the southern shore of the sea. By me hath been seen the complete Kākutstha along with Lakshmana, accompanied by the forces, stationed on the marge of the main,—protected (by his native might). Those Rākshasas of fleet vigor who had been despatched by this one, have brought the news that Rāghava hath crossed.—And, O large-eyed lady, having learnt this news, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—is consulting with all his counselors”. As the Rākshasi, Saramā, was relating this unto Sitā, she heard the leonine roars of the army, emitted with the greatest energy. And, hearing the mighty sounds of kettledrums produced by sticks struck (thereon), the honey-tongued Saramā spoke thus unto Sitā,—“These dreadful sounds of the kettledrum, O mother, call to arms. And hark to the solemn notes of the kettledrums, resembling the rumbling of clouds! The mad elephants are caparisoned and the car-horses are yoked; and thousands (of warriors) are seen, mounted on steeds, with bearded darts in their hands. And, as waters fill up the ocean, mailed warriors of wonderful forms, vehement and roaring, by thousands rush out on all sides and fill the highways. And mark the splendour spread around by the polished arms and bucklers and mail,—and by the cars, horses and elephants of the followers of the Rākshasa-chief,—consisting of many hues shooting up,—like unto the appearance of a fire in summer, burning a forest,—and also mark the excitement of ihe high-spirited and fast-coursing Rakshas!92 And hear the sounds of bells and the rattling of the car-wheels! And hear the neighing of the steeds and the reports of the drums And fierce is the excitement of these Rākshasas—followers of the Raksha-chief,—with their hands hearing upraised arms,—capable of making people’s hair stand on end. The sorrow removing Sree espouseth thee; and the fear of the Rakshas is come. And as Vāsava did unto the Daityas, the lotus-eyed Rāma, thy lord—of controlled anger, and of inconceivable prowess, slaying Rāvana in battle and thus delivering thee, shall approach thee. And, as Vasava put forth his prowess among his foes, in company with the foe-destroying Vishnu, thy lord, along with Lakshmana, shall display his prowess among the Rakshas. On the enemy having fallen, I shall behold thee, devoted to thy lord, with thy desire attained, soon lying on the lap of Rāma. And, O Janaki, embracing (thy lord), thou shalt shed tears of joy on his mighty breast. And, O Sitā, soon shall the highly powerful Rāma loosen this braid of thine reaching unto thy hips, which thou hast been wearing for many a month. And, O exalted one, seeing his face like the full moon risen, thou shalt shed water begot of ruth, even as a she-serpent casts off her slough. And, O Mithilā’s daughter, speedily slaying Rāvana in battle, that one worthy of happiness shall reap felicity in the company of thee, his beloved. And, loved by the high-souled Rāma, thou shalt be happy, even as the Earth furnished with crops brought forth by plenteous showers. Do thou, O exalted one, take refuge with him, who, going round the foremost of mountains, speedily assumeth a steed-like circular movement; for even the maker of day is the source of people’s joy and grief”.

[90] Saramā.—T.

[91] The commentator intelligently remarks: As a mare does, to remove fatigue.—T.

[92] This line of verse defies all attempts to make it fall into syntactical order with the rest of the sentence. It is a hideous hiatus in the passage.—T.


Burning with grief on account of those words,93 Saramā gladdened and cheered her, even as masses of clouds (cheer up) the burning Earth. And then, desirous of doing her good, (Sitā’s) friend, conversant with season, and ever preluding her speech with a smile, spoke unto her seasonably,—“O thou having dark eyes, I can, secretly going to Rāma and communicating to him thy auspicious words, come back clandestinely. Nor, when I course the supportless sky, can even the Wind or Gāruda follow me”. As she said this, Sitā with her grief a little lightened, said unto Saramā in sweet and smooth words,—“Thou art capable of even going to the nethermost regions. But do thou on my behalf that which is fit to be done by thee. If thou intend doing me a good turn, and if thy sense be steady, I would know what Rāvana is doing after having left this place. That guileful and wicked-minded one, Rāvana, destroyer of enemies, having powers of illusion, overwhelms me even as the Varuni just drunk. Confining me here for ever and a day, (Rāvana) sets on dreadful Rākshasas to alike threaten and scold me constantly. And I am agitated and alarmed, and my mind is (always) uneasy. And I, dwelling in the açoka wood, is ever agitated. If there is any talk (of delivering me), or keeping me confined,—thou shouldst communicate unto me the decision arrived at. This is the highest favor that I seek (at thy hands)”. Thereat, the mild-speeched Saramā, wiping (Sitā’s) face washed in tears, spake unto her, as she said this,—“If this is thy wish, I will go, O Janaki. O Mithilā’s daughter, having possessed myself of the intent of the enemy, I shall come back”. Having said this, (Saramā), repairing to the Raksha, heard Rāvana’s converse with his counselors. And having heard of the decision of that wicked-minded one, she, understanding decisions, swiftly retraced her steps to the fair açoka forest. And then, entering there, she saw Janaka’s daughter, expecting (her) like a very Sri, bereft of her lotus. And, the fair-spoken Saramā, on getting back (near her), Sitā, embracing her affectionately, herself gave her a seat. “Sitting down here at ease, do thou relate to me faithfully all about the determination of the wicked-minded and guileful Rāvana”. Thus accosted by the trembling Sitā, Saramā related everything that had been said by Rāvana and his counselors. “O Vaidehi, the Raksha lord was advised by his mother and the aged counselors in pregnant words informed with affection, having thy deliverance for their object. ‘Do thou make over Maithili unto the king of men, paying him homage due. Thou hast, in Janasthāna profusely witnessed wonderful instances (of his prowess). The crossing of the ocean, Hanumān’s sight (of Sitā),—and the slaughter of the Rakshas in fight,—what person is capable of doing all this in battle?’ Thus long exhorted by his counselors as well as his mother, Rāvana doth not make up his mind to emancipate thee, even as a covetuous person is loath to part with wealth (appropriated). And, O Maithili, without renouncing his life in battle, he doth not intend to liberate thee. Even this is the determination which that cruel one hath arrived at along with his advisers. This intent is in consequence of their coveting surcease. He can not yield thee up from sheer fear; nor is he backward in battle, or shirketh his own destruction or that of all the Rākshasas. O dark-eyed lady, slaying Rāvana in battle with sharp shafts, Rāma shall take thee back to Ayodhyā”. In the meanwhile there was heard a mighty uproar occasioned by the whole host, and drums and conchs,—which shook the earth. Hearing that hubbub of the monkey-army, the servants of the Rākshasa monarch, ran who were in Lankā,—growing dispirited and bereft of energy, with weakness overcoming their powers,—did not see any good, in consequence of the fault of the ruler.

[93] i.e. the words of Rāvana.


And that captor of hostile capitals, the mighty-armed Rāma, was advancing (upon Lankā) with the sounds of drums mixed with the blares of conchs. Hearing this noise, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—reflecting for a while, cast his eyes upon his counselors. And addressing there all those counsellors, that afflictor of the world—the crooked and highly powerful lord of the Rākshasas, Rāvana, making his court resound,—running down (Rāma’s) crossing the main, as well as his vigor, strength and manhood,—said to them,—“What ye have said touching Rāma’s (prowess), hath been heard by me. And I also know ye to be of sterling valor in the field. Yet why, knowing Rāma’s prowess, do ye silently look at each other?” Then the maternal grand sire (of Rāvana), possessed of exceeding wisdom, named Mālyavān, hearing his words, said,—“The king that is accomplished in the various kinds of learning,94 and that followeth polity, ever commandeth affluence and bringeth his enemies under his subjection. He that seasonably concludes peace and carries on war with his enemies,—and who advances his own party, attaineth great affluence. A king should enter into peace, if he be an equal or inferior of his adversary, and engage in war, if be more powerful,—but an enemy should never be disregarded. Therefore, O Rāvana, peace with Rāma is what commends itself to me; and do thou render unto him that for which thou hast been invaded (by him), viz., Sitā. All the Devarshis and Gandharvas wish for (Rāma’s) victory. Therefore, do not enter into hostilities with him; but do thou bend thy mind to ther conclusion of peace with him. That possessor of the six attributes, the Great-father, hath appointed two courses, (respectively) for the Asuras and the celestials, having for their proper objects righteousness and unrighteousness. Righteousness, we hear, is the course of the high-souled celestials, as, O Rākshasa, unrighteousness is that of Rakshas and Asuras. During the Krita Yuga, righteousness swalloweth up sin; and during Tishya,95 unrigheousness swalloweth up virtue. Thou, ranging the three worlds, hadst extinguished pregnant piety, and reaped unrighteousness; and it is for this that thy foes have waxed potent.96 And, having grown through thy neglect, unrighteousness devoureth us, and that protector of the gods, (righteousness), is strengthening the side of the celestials. Thou, addicted to carnal pleasures and acting in defiance of duty, hadst aroused the high wrath of the saints resembling fire. The power of these possessed of souls sanctified through asceticism, and ever engaged in invoking the aid of righteousness, is incapable of being resisted and is like flaming fire. The twice-born ones engage in contemplation with intent minds, and loudly recite the Vedas. They overpower the Rakshas, uttering the Vedas; and thereat they fly in all directions like clouds scattered in summer. And the smoke that ariseth from the Agnihotra sacrifices of saints resembling fire, enveloping the energy of the Rākshasas, spreads over the ten cardinal quarters. And ther fierce austerities of vow-observing saints, performed at particular sacred spots, try the Rākshasas sore. Thou hast obtained a boon, conferring immunity at the hands of deities, Dānavas and Yakshas. But men and monkeys, bears and Golāngulas, possessed of enormous strength and endowed with vigor, and of indomitable prowess,—coming here, are setting up roars. Witnessing various and many dire portents, I perceive the destruction of all the Rākshasas. Dreadful and terrific clouds, uttering harsh sounds, are showering blood all around Lankā. And (live) vehicles are dropping profuse tears. And all sides, covered with dust, do not appear bright as formerly. And beasts of prey, jackals and vultures, are emitting frightful cries, and, entering into the garden of Lankā, form themselves into bands. And in dreams mighty dark-hued women in front of dwellings, seizing at (the furniture ) thereof, and speaking inauspiciously, laugh displaying their sable teeth. And in houses dogs are feasting on the articles of worship. And cows bring forth asses, and mongooses, mice. And cats are pairing with leopards, and swine with dogs, and Kinnaras with Rākshasas and human beings. And red-footed white sky-coursing pigeons, urged on by Doom, are going about for the destruction of the Rākshasas. And female-parrots in houses, wounded and worsted by other birds delighting in discord, are dropping down, emitting indistinct notes. And all the birds and beasts are crying (distressfully) with their faces turned towards the sun. And at dusk a frightful, withered, tawny-hued male figure, looking like Death himself, with his head shaven, peereth into the houses (of people). These and other evil omens occur. Rāma I deem as Vishnu assuming the form of a man. Rāghava of steady prowess, for certain, is no human being,—he that hath built a bridge over the deep, must be an exceedingly wonderful person. Therefore, O Rāvana, conclude peace with Rāma—king of men. Having ascertained fit course, do thou act properly”. Having said this unto that vile one, and knowing the intention of the lord of Rakshas, that strong Mālyavān, of exceeding prowess, became silent, eying Rāvana.

[94] The commentator says there are four and ten kinds of learning: but unfortunately he does not enumerate them.—T

[95] The Kali Yuga.—T

[96] While ranging the three worlds on a career of conquest, thou didst, disturbing sacrifices, etc., wrong righteousness.—T


The Ten-necked one, come under the control of Time, did not brook the beneficial speech spoken by Mālyavān. Contracting his face into a frown, he, coming under the masterdom of passion, with his eyes rolling in wrath, addressed Mālyavān, saying,—“The words which, deeming the strength of the enemy as superior, thou hast harshly spoken, considering it as beneficial, had never before entered my ears. A (mere) man, and feeble, and alone, and having monkeys for his support, why dost thou deem Rāma, who hath (further) been cast off by his sire, and hath in consequence taken refuge in the woods,—as competent (to cope with me)? And why dost thou consider me, who am the lord of the Rakshas, and feared even by the immortals,—as weak and reft of all power? Thou, I suspect, speakest (thus) roughly either from jealousy of my heroism, or for inciting me. And who that is wise and learned, ever addresseth him roughly that is at once puissant and of (high) station, if not to spur him on? Why, having brought Sitā like a Sri shorn of her lotus, shall I give her up, from fear of Rāghava? Behold Rāghava, environed by Kotis of monkeys, with Sugriva and Lakshmana, slain one of these days! He before whom even the gods cannot stay in the field,—how can that Rāvana ever come by fear? Better that I should be riven in twain,—but bend I never will. This is my native fault; and nature is incapable of being overcome. And if Rāma hath at his pleasure constructed a bridge over the ocean, what is the wonder in this that thou hast conceived such a fear? And although Rāma hath crossed the ocean along with the monkey-army, yet I swear unto thee truly, living, he shall not back hence”. When Rāvana, wrought up with passion, had spoken thus, Mālyavān, knowing him wroth, did not return a reply. And, duly tendering blessings unto the king, Mālyavān, taking his permission, went to his own abode. And the Rākshasa, Rāvana, along with his courtiers, having consulted together as to what was fit to be done, set about the defence of Lankā. And he commanded the Rākshasa Prahasta (to guard) the Eastern gate; and the exceedingly powerful Mahāpārçwa and Mahodara (to guard) the Southern gate; and he ordered his son Indrajit, possessing mighty powers of illusion, girt by innumerable Rākshasas, to guard the Western gate. And he commanded Suka and Sārana to defend the Northern gate. But he said unto the counsellors,—“I will myself go thither”.97 And he posted in the middle in the garrison the Rākshasa, Virupāksha, endowed with exceeding prowess and energy, backed by countless Rākshasas. Having taken these measures in Lankā, the Rākshasa-chief, urged by Fate, deemed himself as having achieved success. Having thus completely provided for the defence of the city, he dismissed the ministers; and, honored by the counsellors with blessings of victory, (then) entered his magnificent and splendid inner apartment.

[97] i.e. to defend the Northern gate.—T.


Those kings, man and monkey, that monkey the Wind-god’s son, Jāmbavān—sovereign of bears—the Rākshasa, Bibhishana, the son of Vāli, Angada, Sumitrā’s son, the monkey, Sarabha, Sushena along with his friends, Kumuda, Nala, and Panaça, arriving at the dominions of the enemy, assembled together, began to deliberate. “Yonder is that Lankā ruled by Rāvana, invincible even unto the celestials, serpents and Gandharvas. Let us, keeping before us success in the enterprise, consult together for the purpose of arriving at a decision. We are here daily nearing Rāvana, lord of Rākshasas”. As they were speaking thus, Rāvana’s younger brother, Bibhishana, said in a pregnant speech free from provincialism,—“Anala, Panaça, Sampāti and Pramāti—all courtiers of mine—having gone up to Lankā, have come back here. Wearing the forms of birds, they entered into the hostile forces; and, having seen the measures that had been adopted (by them), have come (back). O Rāma, hearken to me as I tell thee truly anent the provisions which they have related, made by the wicked-minded Rāvana. In the Eastern gate stayeth Prahasta along with his forces; in the Southern, the exceedingly powerful Mahāpārçwa and Mahodara; and in the Western, Rāvana’s son, Indrajit, supported by innumerable Rākshasas, equipped with pattiças, swords and bows, and bearing darts and maces in their hands,—surrounded by heroes carrying various weapons. And, backed by many thousands of Rākshasas weilding weapons, and accompanied by Rākshasas conversant with counsel, Rāvana himself, his heart agitated to the height, guardeth the Northern gate of the city. And Virupāksha with a powerful force accoutred in javelins, clubs and bows, protects the garrison in the centre. Having seen these hosts thus disposed in Lankā, my counsellors have speedily come back here. There are ten thousand elephants, an Ayuta cars, two of horses, and about a koti of Rākshasas, powerful and strong, and equipped with arms in conflict.98 These night-rangers are ever the favorites of the Rākshasa ruler. And, O king, a koti of forces accompany each of these Rākshasas in battle”. Having conveyed this information concerning Lankā, which had been communicated by his counsellors, the mighty-armed Bibhishana showed (unto Rāma) those Rākshasas themselves. And in company with his counsellors, Rāvana’s graceful younger brother, ever striving for the welfare of Rāma, by way of answer communicated everything that was going forward in Lankā unto Rāma, having eyes resembling lotus-leaves,—“O Rāma, when Rāvana battled with Kuvera, sixty lacs of Rākshasas marched forth (to meet him). In prowess, energy, vigor, exceeding fortitude, and hauteur, they resembled the wicked-minded Rāvana himself. In this matter, thou ought not to grow wroth,—I only arouse thy wrath, and do not endeavour to frighten thee.99 Thou canst subdue even the celestials by thy prowess. Therefore thou, environed by a mighty army, having arrayed the monkey-forces in order of battle, shalt thrash Rāvana (in battle)”. When Rāvana’s younger brother had spoken thus, Rāghava, said these words with reference to his beating the foe,—“Let that foremost of monkeys, Nilā, surrounded by an immense number of monkeys, cope with Prahasta at the Eastern gate of Lankā. And, engirt by a mighty force, let Angada, son of Vāli, resist Mahāparçwa and Mahodara at the Southern gate (thereof). And let that son of the Wind-god, Hanumān, backed by innumerable monkeys, (beating the host stationed) at the Western gate, find entrance (into the city). I myself, determined to compass the destruction of the lord of Rākshasas, who, waxing powerful in consequence of the boon he hath received, hath brought about the destruction of high-souled saints resembling gods and Dānavas,—and who goeth round all regions, oppressing people,—will, along with Sumitrā’s son, smiting (the foe), occupy the Northern entrance, where Rāvana with his army is stationed. And let the powerful king of monkeys, and the puissant sovereign of bears, and the younger brother of the Rākshasa-chief, manage the soldiery posted in the centre. And in this battle, the monkeys need not assume the forms of human being. And let this serve for a sign that the monkeys, in order to the recognition of our own forces, appear with their proper monkey-marks. We seven only shall battle with the foe in human shapes,—viz., I along with my brother, the exceedingly energetic Lakshmana, and my friend Bibhishana counting for the fifth in company with his own following”. Having said this unto Bibhishana, for attaining success in the enterprise, that lord, the intelligent Rāma, seeing the sides of Suvela more beautiful (than other places), intended to ascend it. Then, environed by a mighty host, the high-souled and magnanimous Rāma, his features mirroring forth high exultation,—overshadowing the entire Earth (with his forces), set out for Lankā, determined upon destroying the enemy.

[98] These are, remarks the commentator, the leaders.—T.

[99] i.e. “Thou ought not to be angry with me; for I do not frighten thee, but rouse thy wrath against Rāvana”.—T.


Having been bent upon mounting Suvela, Rāma, followed by Lakshmana, addressed in sweet and excellent words, Sugriva, and that righteous night-ranger, Bibhishana, versed in counsel and conversant with precepts, who was devoted to him,—saying,—“We shall all ascend this mount Suvela, bedight with metals; and pass this night even here. And (from here) will we view the abode of that Rākshasa who, foul of soul, hath carried off my spouse, to bring destruction down on himself,—who knoweth nor morality nor good conduct nor behaviour (conducive to the dignity of his descent),—and who, in consequence of his base propensity, hath committed himself to so heinous a course of action”. Having decided thus, Rāma, filled with wrath at Rāvana, coming to Suvela, ascended its variegated plateau. And Lakshmana, collected, went in his wake. And, upraising bow and arrow, Sugriva, (ever) engaged in valorous acts, accompanied with Bibhishana as well as his counselors, following him, also ascended (the mountain). And all those rangers of mountains, gifted with the vehemence of the Wind in hundreds ascended mount Suvela, where Rāghava was stationed. And ascending the mountain in a short time, they all beheld from its summit the city, appearing to be built on the air. And the monkey-leaders beheld Lankā, exceedingly splendid with noble gateways; gracefully enclosed with a wall; thronging with Rākshasas; and defended by sable Rākshasas. And the foremost of monkeys saw these appearing like another wall (overtopping the one beneath). And on seeing the Rākshasas, the monkeys burning for battle set up various roars in the presence of Rāma. Then the Sun, crimsoned with Eve, ascended the Setting-hill and Night came, illumined by the Moon at his full. Then the master of the monkey-army, Rāma, saluted and honored by Bibhishana, accompanied by Lakshmana as well as the leaders of the monkeys, sojourned happily on the breast of Suvela.


Having passed the night in Suvela, the heroic monkey-leaders surveyed woods and forests in Lankā. And seeing those extensive (woods and forests), mild, and charming, and beautiful to behold, they were seized with wonderment. Abounding in champakas, açokas, vakulas, çālas, and palms; covered with tamālas and panaças,—and environed all around with trees,—and surrounded with Hintālas, Aryunas, blossoming Saptaparnas, Tilakas, Karnikāras, and Pātalas,—trees with flowering tops, en tert wined with creepers,—Lankā looked exceedingly lovely, with various sights,—resembling the Amarāvati herself of Indra. And trees there, furnished with variegated flowers having tender rosy leaves,—and blue lawns, and rows of woods; and bearing odourous and charming blossoms and fruits,—looked like men adorned with ornaments. And there a delightful and pleasant wood resembling Chaitraratha, and like unto Nandana itself—having all the seasons present,—appeared beauteous to the view, with black bees all around. And it had Dātyuhas, and Koyasthivas, and peacocks dancing; and the strains of the coels were heard at the woodland rills. And the heroic and exhilarated monkeys, capable of wearing forms at pleasure, entered those woods and groves frequented by maddened birds and ranged by Bhramaras,—tracts overflowing with the lays of coels, and ringing with the voices of songsters,—resonant with the notes of Bhramaras—sovereigns of their species—and eloquent with the cries of ospreys. And as the exceedingly energetic monkeys entered, there blew upon them the breeze—like unto life—redolent of perfume obtained from contact with the blossoms. And others of the leaders among the heroic monkeys, coming out from the bands, ordered by Sugriva, made in the direction of Lankā crowned with ensigns. And, terrifying the fowls and dispiriting beasts and birds and shaking Lankā with their roars, those foremost monkeys set up shouts. And they, endowed with great impetuosity, went on, oppressing the earth with their battle-array; and clouds of dust suddenly arose from the the march of the soldiery. And bears, and lions, and buffaloes, and elephants, and deer, and birds, overwhelmed with affright, made for the ten cardinal points. The graceful and lovely summit of Trikuta was entire, elevated, sky-piercing, of golden splendour, measuring an hundred yojanas, clear-shining, level, inaccessible even to fowls, and incapable of being ascended even in thought—not to say of actual ascension by people. Lankā, ruled by Rāvana, was situated on its100 top,—ten yojanas in width and twenty in length. And that city was graced with lofty ornamented gateways resembling pale clouds, and golden and silvern walls; and Lankā was adorned with palaces and piles; like the sky101 graced with clouds on the approach of the rainy season. And that palace, which was adorned with thousands of pillars, and which, as if piercing the heavens, looked like a peak of Kailāça—was the residence of the Sovereign of the Rākshasas—the ornament of the city, (ever guarded by full hundreds of Rākshasas). And Lakshmana’s auspicious and puissant elder brother, beholding that flourishing and wealthy city resembling the celestial regions,—charming to the mind, made of gold, graced with mountains, and decked out with mountains containing various metals,—resonant with the notes of various birds; abounding in various beasts,—furnished with various kinds of flowers,—and inhabited by various orders of Rākshasas,—was struck with astonishment. And Rāma, surrounded by his mighty forces, saw that palace, filled with diverse kinds of gems, adorned with rows of edifices, and having huge engines and gateways.

[100] Trikuta’s.—T.

[101] Madhyamam Vaishnavam padam—the middle foot of Vishnu. When Vishnu in his Dwarf-form took the conceit out of Vāli, the renowned Asura king,—he covered the earth with one pace, the sky with another and heaven with the last.—T.


Then Rāma, accompanied by the monkey-leaders, along with Sugriva, ascended the top of Suvela, measuring a circumference of two yojanas. And staying there for a while and looking at the ten cardinal points, he saw Lankā finely placed on the charming summit of Trikuta,—graced with elegant groves; and (he also saw) the unconquerable lord of Rākshasas, stationed at the top of the gateway, fanned with white chāmaras; graced with the umbrella betokening victory; smeared with red sandal; adorned in red ornaments; resembling masses of sable clouds; and apparelled in golden attire,—his breast bearing scars from the tusk-ends of Airāvata; covered with a sheet hued like the blood of hares; and appearing like clouds lighted up by the evening sun. And on seeing the Rākshasa-chief, Sugriva suddenly rose up in the sight of the lords of monkeys as well as Rāghava. And influenced by wrath, he, mustering strength and vigor, rising from the brow of the mountain, bounded to the gateway. And pausing for a while and eying the Rākshasa intrepidly, he, slighting the Raksha, addressed him in harsh speech, saying,—“O Rākshasa, I am the friend as well as the slave of Rāma—lord of men. Me, backed by the energy of that king of the Earth, shalt thou not escape to-day”. Saying this, he, suddenly springing up, descended on him; and snatching away his variegated crown, let it fall on the earth. And seeing him come abruptly, the night-ranger spoke to him thus,—“Thou that wert Sugriva beyond my ken, shalt be neckless102 near me”. Having said this, he rose up swiftly and dragged him103 down to the earth. Thereat springing like pith, the monkey pushed down his antagonist with his arms. And each having his body bathed in sweat and his person covered with blood, each choking and annuling the efforts of the other,—and resembling a Sālmali or a Kinçuka, and dealing blows and slaps, and hitting with his arms and hands,—those exceedingly strong ones, the lord of the Rākshasas and that of the monkeys, fought wonderfully. And having for a long time encountered each other in combat on the dais belonging to the gate,—they, now lifting up their persons and now lowering them, went down, each felling the other with his legs. And smiting each other, they, their bodies fastened together, went down between the wall and the moat,—and again stood upon the ground. And heaving breath, they, resting for a space, grappled with each other; and they fast bound each other with their arms serving for ropes. And each fired with wrath, and each having both strength and skill, they now bore themselves in the lists like a tiger and a lion, furnished with teeth; or like the young of the foremost elephants engaged in encounter,—and restraining and pushing each other with their arms, they simultaneously both came down to the ground. Then starting again to their feet, they, vituperating each other, ranged the lists, displaying feats expressive of skill and strength. Nor did those heroes speedily come by fatigue. And resembling mighty elephants, they, resisting each other by means of their powerful arms like unto the trunks of elephants, fought for a long while, swiftly wheeling about the arena. And approaching each other, they strove to slay each other, like unto two cats seated, momentarily encountering each other over some food. And the lord of monkeys and Rāvana, accomplished in fight, coursed the arena, displaying wonderful mandalas,104 various sthānas105 curious gomātrakas106 gatapratyāgatas, tiraschi-nagatas, vakragatas, parimokshas, varjanas, paridhāvanas, abhidravanas,107 āplāvanas,108 savigrahāvasthānas,109 parāvrittas,110 apāvrittas,111 apadrutas112 avaplutas,113 apanyastas,114 and upanyastas.115 In the meanwhile the Raksha attempted to put forth his power of illusion. Knowing this, the king of monkeys shot into the sky. And Rāvana, overpowered by fatigue and out of breath, thus baffled by the monkey-king, stood where he was. Thus the master of the foremost monkeys, securing fame in fight, beat the night-ranger, causing him to experience fatigue. And bounding beyond the spacious sky, the offspring of the Sun came to the side of Rāma in the midst of the monkey-forces. And having done that deed, the son of the Sun,—lord of monkeys—with his heart surcharged with rejoicing, entered that host having the speed of the wind; enhancing the martial ardour of the son of the foremost of the Raghus, and honored by the monkeys.

[102] The text has hinagriva—neckless. There is a pun here, turning on the word grivā—neck. Rāvana says: “Thou wert Sugriva (good-necked) in my absence,—but now thou shalt be hinagriva—neckless”.—T.

[103] Sugriva.

[104] A mandala is of four kinds, viz., chāri, karana, khanda and mahāmandāla. Proceeding with one leg advanced is chāri, with two alternately advanced is karana; proceeding after the manner of karana, with some special movements, is khanda; and two or three khandas combined is a mahāmandala.—T.

[105] A particular adjustment of the steps successively; awry, etc.—It is of six kinds, viz., Vaishnava, Sampāda, Vaiçākka, Mandala, Pratyālirha and Anālirha.—T.

[106] A kind of motion resembling cow’s urine flowing, as its name signifies.

[107] Swiftly fronting the antagonist.

[108] Proceeding ‘like a summer’s cloud.’

[109] Standing before the adversary, after making others engage in combat. What this means in the passage under notice is hard to divine.

[110] Turning away from a foe.

[111] Moving off from the side of the enemy.

[112] Movement with low posture for seizing at the thighs of the adversary.

[113] Going for a kick at the adversary.

[114] Distending the chest, so that the antagonist may not catch the arms.

[115] Stretching forth the arms for seizing those of the enemy.


Seeing those ominous signs, Lakshmana’s elder brother, Rāma, embracing Sugriva, said,—“Without consulting with me, thou hast acted thus rashly. But kings should not act in such a rash way. Placing in suspense, me, this army and Bibhishana, thou, O hero, enamoured of daring deeds, hast put thyself to all this trouble. But, O hero, henceforth, do not act so. O subduer of enemies, if thou come by any mischance, what shall Sitā avail me; or Bharata; or my younger brother—Lakshmana; or Satrughna, O slayer of enemies; or, again, my own person? Ere thou hadst come, I had arrived at this determination; albeit, O thou that art equal to the mighty Indra or Varuna, I knew thy prowess full well. Slaying Rāvana in battle along with his sons, forces and vehicles, and installing Bibhishana in Lankā, and placing the kingdom in the hands of Bharata, I shall renounce my body, O exceedingly powerful one!” When Rāma had said this, Sugriva answered,—“Knowing my own strength, how, O Rāghava, viewing Rāvana, who had ravished away thy wife, could I forbear, O hero?” As that hero was speaking thus, Rāghava addressed Lakshmana having auspiciousness, thus,—“O Lakshmana, occupying some tract furnished with cool water and woods bearing fruits, we shall sojourn, dividing and marshalling our forces. I see a mighty fear present, destructive of people,—and boding destruction unto the foremost heroes among the bears, monkeys and Rākshasas. The winds ruffle; and the earth is tremulous. And the tops of mountains tremble, and the mountains themselves send up loud sounds. And the clouds are goblinish; and fierce; and harsh-sounding. And wearing terrific looks, they fiercely pour down showers mixed with drops of blood. And the Evening resembles the red sandal, and is fearful. And a flaming circle droppeth from the Sun. And exciting great fear, inauspicious birds and beasts, wearing cruel looks, and in distressful guise,—cry in piteous accents, facing the Sun. And at night, the ominous Moon with a black-red brim as at the time of universal wreck, burneth. And, O Lakshmana, there is a crimson, rough, slight, and graceful rim round the Sun; and a blue mark is visible on his disc. And the stars do not course as formerly. Behold, O Lakshmana, all these, prefiguring the Doom. And crows and hawks and vultures drop down. And jackals yell with loud inauspicious notes. The Earth, converted into mud with flesh and gore, shall be covered with darts and javelins and swords, discharged by Rākshasas and monkeys. This very day with all expedition shall we, surrounded on all sides by the monkeys, march towards the city governed by Rāvana”. Having said this unto Lakshmana, Lakshmana’s elder brother possessed of exceeding strength, hastily descended from the top of the mountain. And descending from the mountain, the righteous Rāghava surveyed his troops, incapable of being beaten by enemies. And after making the mighty host of the monkey-king equip itself, Rāghava versed in season, along with Sugriva, at the proper hour, issued orders for battle. Then in due time that one, accoutred with his bow, surrounded by a mighty army, set out, with the intention of entering the city of Lankā. And those two—Bibhishana and Sugriva—and Hanumān, and Jāmbavān, and Nala, and the bear-king Nila, and Lakshmana, followed (Rāma). Behind them, the mighty array of bears and monkeys followed Rāghava, covering a wide surface of land. The monkeys, resembling elephants, capable of resisting foes, took mountain-peaks and tall trees by hundreds. And in a short time those repressors of foes—the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana—arrived at the city of Rāvana; with pennons streaming over her; charming; garnished with groves and woods; having variegated gateways; inaccessible; and having walls and gates. And urged on by Rāma’s command, the wood-rangers,116 as commanded, blocking up (Lankā) incapable of being subdued even by the gods, stationed themselves. Coming to Lankā ruled by Rāvana, that hero, Rāma, son unto Daçaratha, along with Lakshmana, remained stationed at the Northern gate, where Rāvana used to reside. None save Rāma was competent to protect that dreadful gate, where Rāvana used to reside. None save Rāma was competent to protect that dreadful gate, guarded by Rāvana himself, like the Ocean guarded by Varuna,—and protected on all sides by terrible Rākshasas equipped with weapons; capable of striking terror into the weak; like unto the nether regions guarded by Dānavas. And (Rāma) saw there many and various arms and mail of the warriors, ranged together. And coming to the Eastern gate, that leader of the monkey-army, the powerful Nila, along with Mainda and Dwivida,—took up his post there. And the exceedingly strong Angada, accompanied by Rishava, Gavāksha, Gaya, and Gavaya, occupied the Southern gate. And the mighty monkey Hanumān protected the Western entrance. And Sugriva himself, with Prajangha, Tarasa and other heroes, was quartered near the garrision in the centre. And accompanied by all the foremost monkeys resembling Suparna or the Wind, twenty kotis of renowned monkey-leaders, blocking up all sides, stationed themselves near the monkey, Sugriva. And at Rāma’s command, Lakshmana along with Bibhishana, went from door to door, issuing instructions to kotis of monkeys. On the west of Rāma, Jāmbavān along with Sushena, followed by innumerable troops, remained hard by at the garrison in the middle. And those tiger-like monkeys, furnished with teeth like unto tigers, weilding trees and mountain-tops, stood ready for fight. And all had their tails curled up, and all were armed with teeth and nails, and all had chequered bodies, and all had frightful faces. And some had the strength of ten elephants; and some had strength ten times as much; and some of the monkey-leaders there had the strength of a thousand elephants,—and some had the strength of numbers (of elephants); and some had strength hundred times as much. And others had immeasurable might. And wonderful and astonishing was their meeting. And the concourse at that place of the monkey-forces was like the concourse of locusts. And the air was filled up, and the earth was covered quite with the monkeys coursing towards Lankā and dropping down into it. And hundreds and thousands making up the army of monkeys, arrived at the gate of Lankā; while others were pouring in from all sides for encounter. And that mount was covered with monkeys. And a thousand ayutas were going round the city. And Lankā, blocked up everywhere with powerful monkeys bearing trees in their hands, was incapable of being entered even by the Wind. And the Rākshasas, sore pressed by thousands of monkeys resembling masses of clouds, and like unto Sakra himself in battle, were seized with amazement. And like unto the roar of water on the ocean being riven, there arose a mighty tumult in consequence of the forces surging hither and thither. And with that sound the entire Lankā, with her wall and gateways, her mountains, woods, and forests, began to shake. And that army, protected by Rāma and Lakshmana as well as Sugriva, became all the more invincible even by the Asuras and celestials. And having arranged his forces with the view of destroying the Rakshas, Rāghava, versed in the resources of war,117 taking counsel of the counsellors, and deciding again and again his course of action,—intending to adopt further measures,—resolved to abide by the advice of Bibhishana118, remembering the morality regulating monarchs119. And then, calling Vāli’s son, Angada, (Rāma) said,—“O mild one, going to the Ten-necked one, tell him in my words,—‘Bounding over the deep and casting off fear and dejection, I have laid seige to the city of Lankā; and have reft thee of thy prosperity and thy wealth; and rendered thee moribund and senseless. Thou hast, O night-ranger, through delusion and pride injured saints and celestials, and Gandharvas and Apsaras, and Serpents, and Yakshas, and crowned heads. But, O Rākshasa, thy pride begot of the boon received from the Self-create hath gone from thee, whose destroyer,120 I, afflicted in consequence of my wife having been carried off,—weilding the rod, have sat down at the door of Lankā. O Rākshasa, thou shalt, remaining steady in fight, attain the state of celestials and Maharshis and Rājarshis. And, O worst of Rākshasas, do thou display that prowess of thine by which, aided by thy power of illusion, thou hast forcibly carried off Sitā, disregarding me. I shall with my sharpened shafts render this world free from Rākshasas, unless rendering back Mithilā’s daughter, thou throw thyself on my mercy. And, for certain, that foremost of Rākshasas, the righteous and graceful Bibhishana, who hath joined us, shall obtain, without having a thorn in his side, all this wealth of Lankā. For thou, foolish, wicked, ignorant of self-knowledge, and having dolts for counsellors, art not competent to unrighteously exercise kingship for a moment. Fight thou, O Rākshasa, summoning fortitude and heroism. On being slain with my shafts, thou shalt attain peace.121 O night-ranger, if thou shouldst range the three worlds in the shape of a bird, thou, coming in my ken, shalt not be able to preserve thy life. It is all this for thy good; do thou perform acts for the good of thy body surviving death; and do thou see Lankā well; for thy life is in my keeping.’” Thus addressed by Rāma of untiring deeds, Tarā’s son went through the welkin like the embodied bearer of sacrificial offerings.122 And arriving near that subduer of enemies, Rāvana, in a moment, that graceful one saw Rāvana, sitting calmly in the midst of his ministers. And dropping down in his vicinity like a flaming fire, that best of monkeys, Angada, resembling a golden bracelet,123 stood there. And then introducing himself, Angada delivered unto Rāvana along with his ministers all that Rāma had excellently spoken unto him, neither extenuating nor setting down aught of himself,—“I am the envoy of the king of Koçala—Rāma of untiring deeds; and I am the son of Vāli.—I do not know whether thou hast heard of me. And Raghu’s son, Rāma—enhancer of Kauçalyā’s joy—hath said unto thee,—‘Do thou, O fell one, coming out, give me battle and prove thy prowess. Thee shall I slay together with thy ministers, and with thy sons and relations and friends. And thou being slain, the three worlds shall attain peace. And to-day shall I destroy the enemy of the gods and Dānavas, and Yakshas, of the Gandharvas, serpents and Rākshasas,—and the thorn (in the side of) the saints. And on thee being slain, all the wealth shall be Bibhishana’s; unless, bowing down (unto me) and paying me homage, thou render back Maithili.’” When that monkey-chief had spoken thus, the lord of the night-rangers was wrought up with wrath. And coming under the sway of passion, he commanded his counsellors, saying,—“Take this one of perverse understanding, and slay him at once”.

Hearing Rāvana’s speech, four grim-visaged night-rangers seized (Angada) flaming in energy like fire itself. And Tārā’s son suffered himself to be taken, in order that the hero might then display his prowess before the Yātudhānas.124 Then Angada, taking them up, who were pressed against his arms, like insects,—leapt up on a palace resembling a hill. Thereat, in consequence of the impetuosity of his bound, the Rākshasas, slipping off, fell on to the ground in the very sight of the Rākshasa king. Then the powerful son of Vāli with his legs attacked the top of that palace, elevated like a hill,125 of the lord of Rākshasas. And thereat, as formerly the summit of the Himavān had been cleft by the thunderbolt, the palace, thus assailed, was split in the very presence of the Ten-necked one. Having reft the top of the edifice, and proclaimed his name, Angada, setting up a mighty roar, sprang into the sky. And, aggrieving the Rākshasas and rejoicing all the monkeys, he came back to the side of Rāma in the midst of the monkeys. Rāvana was transported with wrath in consequence of the breaking down of the palace. And, finding his destruction (at hand), he began to heave sighs. And Rāma, surrounded by innumerable delighted monkeys setting up shouts,—anxious for slaying his foe, prepared for battle. And at the command of Sugriva, the exceedingly powerful monkey—Sushena—resembling a mountain-summit, surrounded by a large number of monkeys capable of assuming shapes at pleasure, began to range from door to door;126 like the Moon ranging the stars. Seeing the hundred akshauhinis of the wood-rangers, stationed in Lankā, extending down to the sea, some of the Rākshasas were struck with astonishment, while some came under the influence of fear; and some experienced delight from the (anticipated) delight of battle. And the space between the well and the moat all was flooded with monkeys. And the distressed Rākshasas saw the wall thronging with monkeys;127 and thereat exclaiming “Alas” “Alas,” the Rākshasas were extremely terrified. And on that frightful uproar arising, the warriors of the Rākshasa monarch,—Rākshasas—seizing mighty arms, began to patrol about, like unto winds blowing at the time of the universal dissolution.

[116] Monkeys.

[117] conciliation, &c.

[118] Which was,—”If Rāvana should seek thy succour, thou shouldst confer on him his kingdom”.—T.

[119] In this connection, the principle referred to is: “If a king can accomplish his purpose by conciliation, he should not employ punishment”.—T.

[120] Dandadhara—lit.—rod-bearing, a name of Yama,—who is described as weilding a rod for chastising wrong-doers.—T.

[121] i.e. attain heaven.—T.

[122] Fire.

[123] This simile is hardly happy; but the lure was even the name of the monkey, Angada suggested kanakāngada—golden bracelet. This typifies the tendency prevailing to this day of Hindu authors to exercise their ingenuity in puns.—T.

[124] Rākshasas.

[125] The commentator, however, would make dadarça—saw—understood. “Angada saw that the palace was high like a hill, etc”. This is unnecessary.—T.

[126] For protecting the entire army, as well as for procuring information of the movements of the enemy.—T.

[127] A translator cannot help a feeling of disappointment at the difference—to the disadvantage of English—between Sanskrit and English. The original for ‘thronging with monkeys’ is a verbal attributive—vānarikrita—lit. monkeyed.—T.


Then those Rākshasas, going to that subduer of enemies, Rāvana, informed him that Rāma along with the monkeys had laid seige unto the city. Hearing the city beseiged, the night-ranger was enraged. And, hearing that double arrangements had been made (by Rāma) in guarding the gateways, (Rāvana) ascended the palace. He saw Lankā with her hills, woods, and forests, covered everywhere with innumerable monkeys eager for encounter. And he saw the entire Earth tawneyed with the monkeys; and he reflected within himself how he could destroy these. And reflecting for long, Rāvana having expansive eyes, assuming patience, gazed at Rāghava and the leader of monkeys. Rāghava with his host was fast approaching (the wall); and Rāvana saw Lankā defended on all sides by Rākshasas. And Daçaratha’s son, seeing Lankā crowned with variegated ensigns and standards, mentally went to Sitā, with a sad heart. “For my sake, here that one, Janaka’s daughter, having eyes resembling those of a young deer,—is undergoing affliction; and lieth down on the ground”. And aggrieved at the thought of Vaidehi, the righteous Rāma speedily commanded the monkeys to compass the destruction of the enemies. As Rāma of untiring deeds said this, the monkeys, filling (the air) with leonine roars, began to press forward furiously. “We shall cleave Lankā with mountain-peaks, or with our blows”—thus thought the leaders within themselves. And the monkey-leaders stood, raising up gigantic mountain-peaks and tops of mountains, and rooting up various trees. And for doing what was dear unto Rāma, that army, divided into separate parties, in the presence of the Rākshasa-chief commenced scaling Lankā. And those copper-faced ones of golden sheen, who had consecrated their lives to the service of Rāma, equipped with trees and rocks, began to throng upon Lankā. And the monkeys with trees and hill-tops and blows crushed countless gates and tops of walls; and they filled the moat containing crystal water with dust, tops of crags, straw, and wood. Then leaders of thousands and kotis and hundreds of kotis began to scale Lankā. And the monkeys crushed golden gateways; and, breaking down gates resembling the tops of the summits of Kailāça, bounded roaring, some towards the wall and some all around. And resembling gigantic elephants, they rushed towards Lankā. “Victory to the mighty Rāma, and Victory to the exceedingly powerful Lakshmana, and Victory to king Sugriva, who is protected by Rāghava”. Thus shouting, those monkeys, wearing forms at will, sending up roars, rushed amain towards the wall of Lankā. And Viravāhu, Suvāhu, Nala and Panaça—leader of monkeys—breaking (a portion of) the wall, took up their post there. In the meantime, (they) arranged the forces in order of battle. And the strong Kumuda, surrounded by ten kotis of victorious monkeys, stood obstructing the Eastern gate. And for backing him, there remained the monkey, Prasabha, as also the long-armed Panaça, surrounded by monkeys. And obstructing the Southern entrance stood the strong and gallant monkey, Satavali, surrounded by twenty kotis. And the strong sire of Tārā, the powerful Sushena, obstructed the Western gate, backed by kotis upon kotis (of monkeys). And obstructing the Northern gate, remained the puissant Rāma himself along with Sumitrā’s son, as well as the king of monkeys—Sugriva. And that huge-bodied and dreadful Golāngula—the mighty and powerful Gavāksha—surrounded by a koti, remained by the side of Rāma. And that destroyer of foes—the exceedingly mighty Dhumra of the bears of terrific wrath, remained by the side of Rāma—where, surrounded by vigilant counsellors, and bearing a mace in his hand, stood the exceedingly strong Bibhishana, endowed with wonderful powers, in complete panoply. And Gaya, and Gavāksha, and Gavaya, and Sarabha, and Gandhamadana, protected the monkey-army, coursing all around. And then, his soul wrought up with wrath, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—speedily ordered the whole host to sally out. Hearing those words, which came out from Rāvana’s mouth, all of a sudden the night-rangers sent up a dreadful yell. Then awoke the kettle-drums, having moon-like pale faces,—sounded by means of golden sticks. And conchs by hundreds and by thousands, capable of producing loud blares, filled with air proceeding from the mouths of dreadful Rākshasas,—were winded. And with conchs placed in their mouths, those night-rangers, having bodies blue like those of Cukas, resembled masses of clouds, with lightning and cranes. And, commanded by Rāvana, the troops cheerfully issued forth like the onrushing of the mighty main filling all at the time of the universal dissolution. And then the monkey-army gave a roar, spreading all around; and it seemed as if the sound filled all Malaya with its sides and caves. And sounds of conchs, and drums, as well as the leonine shouts of the impetuous (warriors); made the earth, air, and ocean, resound; and these mixed with the roars of elephants, the neighing of steeds, the rattle of the car-wheels, and the tread of the Rākshasas’ feet. And in the meantime there commenced a mighty encounter between the Rākshasas and the monkeys, like that which took place of yore between the gods and the Asuras. And displaying their prowess, they128 began to slaughter monkeys with maces, and darts, and adzes. And the vehement monkeys (on their side) slaughtered Rākshasas with trees and tops of crags as well as with their nails and teeth. And a mighty sound arose of ‘Victory unto king Sugriva!’ and ‘Victory unto thee, O king,’—each army taking the name of its king. And then other dreadful Rākshasas that were stationed upon the wall, dropping down, pierced the monkeys with darts and bhindipālas. And (thereat) the monkeys, flying into fury, descending to the earth and bounding, brought down the Rākshasas with their arms. And that encounter of the Rākshasas and the monkeys was mighty and wonderful, and the ground became wet with flesh and gore.

[128] Rākshasas.


And as the high-souled monkeys and Rākshasas fought on, their wrath vastly increased at sight of each other’s forces. And furnished with steeds in golden trappings; and elephants resembling flames of fire; and cars appearing like (so many) suns; and shining armour,—the valiant Rākshasas issued, making the ten cardinal points resound. The Rākshasas of terrific exploits were burning for victory on behalf of Rāvana.—And the mighty monkey-army also, eager for victory, darted against the host of the Rakshas of dreadful deeds. And in the meanwhile, as either party assailed the other, there took place single combats between the Rākshasas and the monkeys. And as Andhaka had combated with the Three-eyed (deity)129 that Rākshasa, the exceedingly energetic Indrajit, fought with Angada, son unto Vāli. Sampati, hard to bear, engaged with Prajangha; and the monkey, Hanumān, entered into conflict with Jambumāli. And Rāvana’s younger brother, Bibhishana, fired with wrath, encountered Satrughna, endowed with exceeding impetuosity. And the highly powerful Nila engaged with Nikumbha. And Sugriva—lord of monkeys—undertook Praghasa, and the graceful Lakshmana was engaged with Virupāksha. And the exceedingly irrepressible Agniketu and the Rākshasa—Raçmiketu—and Mitraghna and Yajnakopa, were engaged with Rāma. And Vajramubhthi encountered Mainda, and Açaniprabha, Dwivida. And those foremost of monkeys fought with those dreadful Rākshasas,—the heroic and terrible Pratapana, incapable of being overcome in battle, was combating with Nala of terrific force; and that lusty son of Righteousness, well-known as Sushena,—a mighty monkey—battled with Vidyunmāli. And other fearful monkeys encountered other Rākshasas; and many were the encounters that took place. And great and fierce was the engagement that took place between the heroic Rākshasas and monkeys burning for victory, capable of making people’s hair stand on end. And from the persons of the Rākshasas and the monkeys there flowed a river of gore, having hair for grass (growing on its banks), and the bodies of the warriors for pieces of planks floating (adown the current). Indrajit, growing enraged, with his mace dealt a blow at that tearer of hostile ranks, Angada,—like him of an hundred sacrifices striking with his thunderbolt. Thereat, that graceful monkey, Angada, gifted with vehemence, with his mace crushed his car decked in gold, together with the steeds and the charioteer. Sampāti was pierced with three arrows by Prajangha; and the former (in his turn) slew Prajangha on the edge of battle with an Açwakarna.130 And Jambumāli, mounted on a car, possessed of prodigious strength, fired with wrath, with all the access of force derived from his car, wounded Hanumān between his paps. Thereat, getting at his car, Hanumān—son unto the Wind-god—with a slap speedily crushed his adversary’s vehicle along with the Raksha. Then the terrific Pratapana, roaring, rushed at Nala; and thereat Nala, with his body pierced with sharp shafts by that swift-handed Raksha, plucked out Pratapana’s eyes, and cast them to the earth. And that lord of monkeys, Sugriva, with a Saptaparna131 swiftly slew Praghasa, who appeared to be devouring up the troops. And, tormenting the Rākshasa of dreadful form with a shower of shafts, Lakshmana slew Virupāksha with a single arrow. And the irrepressible Agniketu, the Rākshasa Ragmiketu, Mitraghna and Yajnakopa, with their arrows rendered Rāma aflame. Thereat, Rāma, growing wroth, in battle severed the heads of those four by means of four shafts, dreadful, and resembling the tongues of a flame. And Vajramushti was slain in conflict by Mainda with a clenched fist; and down came he to the ground along with his car and horses, like a turret toppling (headlong). And Nikumbha in fight wounded Nila resembling a mass of blue collyrium, with sharpened shafts,—as the Sun pierceth clouds with his rays. Again with an hundred arrows, that light-handed night-ranger pierced Nila in the field; and Nikumbha laughed thereat. At this, even as Vishnu did in battle, Nila with a wheel of his132 car, cut off in conflict Nikumbha’s head together with that of his charioteer. And Dwivida, possessed of the touch of the Vajra and thunder-bolt, in the presence of the entire Rākshasa host hurled a mountain-peak at him that was endowed with the splendour of the thunder-bolt. And Açaniprabha in encounter pierced that foremost of monkeys, Dwivida, with shafts resembling thunder-bolts. Thereat, beside himself with wrath, with his entire body wounded with arrows, Dwivida with a sāla destroyed Açaniprabha along with his car and horses. And Vidyunmali, mounted on a car, assailed Sushena with shafts decked with gold, and began to shout momentarily. Seeing him mounted on his car, Sushena—best of monkeys—taking up a huge crag, swiftly brought his car down to the ground. Thereat, endowed with lightness, that night-ranger, Vidyunmāli, at once extricating himself from his car, stood on the ground with a mace in his hand. Thereupon, that foremost of monkeys, Sushena, growing furious, taking up a gigantic crag, rushed at the night-ranger. And as he was descending, the night-ranger, Vidyunmāli, with his mace swiftly hit at the breast of Sushena—greatest of monkeys. Thereat, without thinking at all of the terrific hit of the mace, that best of monkeys in mighty conflict brought down that133 upon his134 head. And, assailed with the crag, the night-ranger, Vidyunmāli, having his chest crushed, fell down to the earth, deprived of life. And, like the celestials warring against the Daityas, the heroic monkeys warred on and confounded the valiant rangers of the night. And frightful was the field of battle, with darts, and other arms; and clubs, and javelins, and lances, and other weapons; and with broken cars, and war-horses, and mad horses slain, and monkeys and Rākshasas; and wheels and akshas,135 and yokes and standards,—broken and scattered over the ground; and swarms of jackals began to range on all sides of the monkeys and the Rākshasas; and Kavandhas136 began to rise in that terrific encounter, resembling the encounter of the gods and the Asuras. Thus destroyed by the foremost of monkeys, the rangers of night, beyond themselves with the smell of blood,—eagerly wishing for the setting of the Sun,137 again made active preparations for a renewal of the fight.

[129] Siva, fabled to have three eyes.—T.

[130] A kind of tree.

[131] A tree.

[132] Nikumbha’s.

[133] The crag, which he had at first hit.—T.

[134] Vidyunmāli’s.

[135] A part of a wheel.

[136] Spectres having bodies without heads.

[137] This was because, as intelligently remarks Rāmānuja, night-rangers grow powerful at night.—T.


As the monkeys and the Rākshasas thus fought on, the sun set, and the fatal Night came. And then commenced a night-engagement between the dreadful Rākshasas and the monkeys of fixed hostility, each party burning for victory. And in that profound darknesss, the monkeys and the Rākshasas began to slay each other, exclaiming,—‘Thou art a Rākshasa,’ and ‘Thou art a monkey.’ And in that army there was heard a mighty uproar of ‘slain,’ ‘rive!’ ‘come!’ ‘why fliest?’ And, dark-hued, the Rākshasas, equipped in golden mail, in that deep darkness appeared like elevated hills clad with woods of flaming medicinal herbs. And in that limitless gloom, the Rākshasas, transported with wrath, advanced with impetuous speed, devouring monkeys. And, fired with terrible wrath, they,138 bounding up, with their sharp teeth tore up steeds caparisoned in gold, and standards resembling venomous serpents. And the lusty monkeys in battle agitated the Rākshasa host,—and, waxing furious, with their teeth pulled and bit elephants and the riders thereof, and cars furnished with flags and standards. And Rāma and Lakshmana with shafts resembling venomous serpents, slaughtered the foremost among the Rākshasas—both those that were seen and those that were not.—And the dust of the earth arising from warring combatants, and from the hoofs of horses and the wheels of cars, choked up eye and ear. And as the mighty encounter, capable of making people’s hair stand on end, went on, there flowed a fearful river of gore. And the sounds of kettle-drums and Mridangas and Panavas, mingled with those of conchs and car-wheels,—were wonderful (to hear). And the sounds of steeds neighing, and Rākshasas (roaring), and monkeys, rejoicing,—were something tremendous. And, with able monkeys slain; and darts and javelins and axes; and slaughtered Rākshasas wearing forms at pleasure, lying mountain-like,—the field of battle, seeming to have offerings of arms representing flowers,—became difficult to recognise, and inaccessible; and the earth was drenched with streams of blood. And that Night, destructive to monkeys and Rākshasas,—was dreadful, and difficult of being out-sped by all,—like unto the Fatal Night of beings. And in that profound darkness, the Rākshasas with great vivacity attacked Rāma with a shower of shafts. And the roars of those beings as they advanced, sending up shouts in anger, resembled the dashing of the Ocean at the time of the universal dissolution. And in the twinkling of an eye, Rāma by means of six shafts resembling tongues of flames, struck six of the night-rangers; viz., Yajnaçatru, irrepressible (in fight),—and Mahāpārcwa, and Mahodara, and the huge-bodied Vajradanashtra,—and those two—Suka and Sārana. And, pierced in their vitals with Rāma’s shafts, they, having only their lives left to them, disappeared from the field. Then in the twinkling of an eye, that Mahāratha rendered all sides clear (of all gloom) by means of arrows resembling tongues of fire; and those other heroic Rākshasas that were in front of Rāma, were destroyed on approaching the place, like insects approaching a fire. And with shafts plated with gold lying in all directions, the night resembled one in autumn decked with fireflies. And in consequence of the uproar occasioned by the Rākshasas, and the sounds of drums, that night, already dreadful (in itself), became all the more so. And on that sound attaining dimensions on all sides, it seemed as if the mount Trikuta, containing numerous caverns, had been speaking. And huge-bodied Goāngulas of equal lustre with darkness itself,139 binding fast the night-rangers with their arms, began to swallow them up. And Angada was present in the encounter, for slaying foes, And Indrajit, fairing sadly at the hands of Angada, abandoning his vehicle, and having his horses as well as his charioteer slain, vanished then and there. And that feat of Vāli’s son, worthy of being honored, all the celestials with the saints and both Rāma and Lakshmana lauded to the eight. All beings were acquainted with the might of Indrajit in battle; and, therefore, witnessing his discomfiture, and seeing that high-souled one, they rejoiced exceedingly, and, seeing the enemy vanquished, all the monkeys with Sugriva and Bibhishana, experiencing high delight, exclaimed,—“Excellent!” “Excellent!” And, beaten by Vāli’s son of dreadful deeds, Indrajit was fired with a mighty wrath. And, being handled hard in battle, and having vanished from the field, the heroic and wicked son of Rāvana, who had received a boon from Brahmā, transported with passion,—remaining invisible, began to discharge sharpened shafts of the splendour of the thunder-bolt. And worked up into rage, he in the conflict pierced Raghu’s sons, Rāma and Lakshmana all over their bodies, with terrific arrows consisting of serpents. And himself engirt with illusion, that night-ranger, given to fighting in crooked ways,—remaining invisible to all creatures,—stupified the descendants of Raghu in battle; and by means of his shafts bound the brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana. And then in the sight of the monkeys, those heroes and foremost of men were suddenly overpowered with shafts by the enraged (Indrajit). And when the son of the Rākshasa monarch felt himself incompetent to cope with them140 openly, then that impious one, resorting to illusion, bound those princes (by that means).

[138] i.e. the monkeys, as appears from the context.—T.

[139] Irony.

[140] Rāma and Lakshmana.


Then, anxious to ascertain his141 course, the kings son possessed of prowess, and endowed with exceeding strength, Rāma, ordered ten of the monkey-leaders. And that repressor of foes ordered Vāli’s son—Angada, the vigorous Sarabha, Dwivida, Hanumān, the mighty Sānuprastha, Rishabha and Rishabhaskandha. Thereat with alacrity those monkeys, weilding mighty trees, shot up into the sky, and began to scour the ten cardinal points. And Rāvana’s son, skilled in arms, resisted the impetuous march of those vehement ones by means of a powerful weapon as well as arms more forceful (than the force of their rush). And the exceedingly vehement monkeys, cut and mangled with nārāchas, saw him in the dark like the sun enveloped in clouds. And that conquerer in battle, Rāvana’s son, with shafts sorely pierced the persons of Rāma and Lakshmana. And both Rāma and Lakshmana had their bodies entirely covered by the angry Indrajit with shafts turned into serpents. And from their wounds blood began to gush out in streams; and they looked like flower-crowned Kinçukas. Then that one having red corners unto his eyes and resembling a mass of crushed collyrium, Rāvana’s son, said unto the brothers, as he vanished,—“When I fight remaining invisible, even Sakra—the lord of the celestials—cannot see or approach me,—and who are ye? And I, with my soul surcharged with wrath, shall, assailing them with showers of weapons furnished with Kanka feathers, send Raghu’s sons to the abode of Yama”. Having spoken thus unto the brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana, cognizant of righteousness—(Indrajit)—pierced them with sharpened shafts, and shouted in joy. And stretching his large bow, that one sable like unto a mass of crushed collyrium again discharged terrific shafts in battle. And that one versed in the inner sense of things, with whetted arrows pierced the vitals of Rāma and Lakshmana and shouted momentarily. And fast bound by the shackles of shafts on the edge of battle, they142 could not attain respite for a moment. Then with their persons pierced with shafts and darts, and resembling the flags of the Great Indra let loose from the cords and trembling (in the air),—and with their bodies bristling with arrows,—those heroes and mighty bowmen—lords of the earth—tormented in consequence of their vitals having been pierced, dropped down to the earth. And those heroes, bathed in blood, and their persons covered with arrows,—pained and suffering terribly, lay down as became heroes. And there was not so much room unpierced in their persons as could be measured by a finger; and they were wounded with arrows up to the fore-parts of their hands.143 And they being wounded by that fell one capable of assuming shapes at will, blood violently gushed out of their bodies like water from a spring. And Rāma fell first, pierced in the vitals with the shafts. And the same Indrajit who had formerly wrathfully routed Sakra.(now) pierced (Rāma) with nārāchas knotted with gold, and having polished heads; swift-speeding; and resembling dust carried about by the wind; and half-nārāchas; and darts resembling anjalis;144 and vatsadantas;145 and sinhadanshtras;146 and razors; and, resigning his stringless bow decked in gold and curved in three places,—with its part for grasping shattered—he147 lay down like a hero. And seeing Rāma—foremost of men—down within arrow-range, Lakshmana despaired of his life. And seeing his brother, Rāma, having eyes resembling lotus-petals and ever delighting in battle, himself the refuge of others,—lying down in the field; (Lakshmana) began to weep. And the monkeys also, seeing him, were plunged in sorrow; and they, their eyes flooded with tears, began to cry in grief of heart. And when they had been bound and had laid themselves down as become heroes, the monkeys stood around them,—and, conversing with one another, they, headed by the son of the Wind, were seized with extreme sorrow.

[141] Indrajit’s.

[142] i.e. Rāma and Lakshmana.

[143] This sloka is rather obscure, and the Bengali translators have conveniently passed it by!—T.

[144] The hands joined at the lower sides, with the palms hollowed.—T.

[145] Weapons resembling the teeth of a calf.

[146] Weapons resembling the lion’s teeth

[147] Rāma.


And the rangers of woods, gazing at the earth and the sky, at length cast their eyes on the brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana, covered all over with arrows. And after that Rākshasa had gone away having performed his work, like the God148 going away, after having showered,—there came to that place Bibhishana with Sugriva. And, mourning Raghu’s sons, there also came in all haste Nila and Dwivida and Mainda and Sushena and Kumuda and Angada in company with Hanumān. And moveless; breathing low,—covered with blood,—pierced all over with net-works of shafts; dumb; they149 were lying on the field. And they were sighing like serpents; and were inert; and deprived of prowess; and washed in blood; and looking like unto golden standards. And as they lay moveless, as become heroes, the leaders of monkeys environed them with tear-charged eyes. And seeing the sons of Raghu lying, covered with showers of shafts, the monkeys, with Bibhishana, were pained (exceedingly). And the monkeys, surveying the sky as well as all directions, could not see Rāvana’s son in battle enveloped with illusion. And then Bibhishana by means of illusion saw his brother’s son staying before, hidden by illusion. And Bibhishana saw that hero of incomparable deeds, who had no compeer in the field and who had energy, fame and prowess,—as he remained invisible in consequence of the Boon received from Brahma. And Indrajit, seeing his own feat and them lying at length, spake in excess of joy, gladdening all the Rākshasas,—“The brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana, possessed of great strength, who had slain Khara and Dushana, are themselves slain with my shafts. And all the celestials and Asuras assembled together with the saints, are incompetent to emancipate these from the fetters of my shafts. He for whom my father was exercised with anxiety and tormented by grief, for whom my sire used to spend nights without pressing his bed,—for whom this entire Lankā had resembled a river turbulent in the rainy reason,—that same evil sticking by the root of all, hath been dispensed his quietus by me. And like clouds of autumn, the prowess of Rāma and Lakshmana as well as that of all the rangers of the woods, hath been rendered useless”. Saying this in the presence of all the Rākshasas, Rāvana’s son—destroyer of foes—menacing the monkey-leaders, hit Nila with nine arrows, and hurt Mainda and Dwivida each with three powerful shafts. And piercing Jambavān with an arrow in the chest, that mighty bowman discharged ten at Hanumān. And Rāvana’s son possessed of exceeding impetuosity, pierced in the conflict with two shafts each Gavāksha and Sarabha of immeasurable vigor. And Rāvana’s son, summoning celerity, pierced the king of Golangulas and Vāli’s son, Angada, with innumerable arrows. And the powerful son of Rāvana, endowed with might, piercing the foremost monkeys with shafts resembling tongues of flames, set up shouts in the field of battle. And tormenting the monkeys with volleys of shafts and striking terror into them, that mighty-armed one, bursting out into a laugh, said,—“Let the Rākshasas behold these brothers, lying fast bound with dreadful arrows, in front of the forces”. Thus addressed, those Rākshasas—wily warriors all—resembling masses of clouds, witnessing that deed (of Indrajit), struck with wonder and rejoicing (greatly), set up tremendous roars. And thinking that Rāma was slain, they honored Rāvana’s son. And seeing the brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana—motionless, and lying inert on the ground,—they took them for slain. And, experiencing excess of joy, Indrajit—conquerer in conflict—entered the city of Lankā, rejoicing all the Nairitas. Seeing the bodies as well as the limbs of Rāma and Lakshmana, covered entirely with arrows, fear took possession of Sugriva. Thereat Bibhishana said unto that lord of monkeys, staying in woe begone guise, with a tearful countenance, and his eyes wild with wrath,—“Do not give way to fear, O Sugriva. Restrain thy rising tears! This is the way of warfare: victory is not (always) sure. But, O hero, if Fortune ultimately smile upon us, this stupor shall go off from these high-souled and exceedingly powerful ones. Therefore, O monkey, do thou cheer me, who am forlorn”. Saying this, with his hand Bibhishana washed Sugriva’s graceful eyes with water. And taking water, the righteous Bibhishana by means of his knowledge, washed Sugriva’s eyes therewith. And washing the face of the intelligent monkey-monarch, Bibhishana spoke these words, seasonable and sedate,—“O foremost of monkey-kings, this is no time for being overcome with stupor. At this hour, even immoderate affection may lead to destruction. Therefore, casting off stupor, which tends to mar all work, do thou bethink thee how thou mayst serve this army headed by Rāma. Or do thou protect Rāma so long as he doth not regain consciousness; and when the Kākutsthas shall have regained consciousness, all our apprehension shall vanish. This is nothing to Rāma, and Rāma is not dying. And Lakshmi,150 who is incapable of being attained by those that are doomed, shall not forsake this one. Therefore do thou comfort thyself, do thou also cheer up thy own forces,—while I am engaged in composing all the troops. O best of monkeys, these with distended eyes, come under the governance of terror, are, stricken with panic, whispering into each other’s ears. But seeing me, let the forces rushing about, cheered up,—as well as the monkeys,—cast off all fear, like a wreath that hath been used before”. Thus comforting Sugriva, Bibhishana—lord of Rākshasas—again instilled spirits into the flying forces of monkeys. And Indrajit—worker of mighty illusions—accompanied by his troops, entered the city of Lankā and presented himself before his father. And approaching Rāvana and saluting him with joined hands, he informed his sire of the welcome tidings that Rāma and Lakshmana had been slain. And hearing that his foe had fallen, Rāvana springing up in the midst of the Rākshasas, with great joy embraced his son. And scenting the crown of his head, (Rāvana) with a delighted heart, asked (Indrajit as to all that had taken place). And on being asked, he (Indrajit) truly related unto his sire how (Rāma and Lakshmana) had been rendered senseless and lack-lustre by being fastened with shafts. Thereat, with rapture surcharging his inmost soul, Rāvana, hearing the speech of the mighty car-warrior, banished his fear of Daçaratha’s son,—and rising up, honored his son with glad words.

[148] Indra.

[149] Rāma and Lakshmana.

[150] The goddess of prosperity.


When Rāvana’s son entered Lankā, after having accomplished his purpose, the foremost monkeys protected Rāghava, surrounding him on all sides. And Hanumān, and Angada, and Nila, and Sushena, and Kumuda, and Nala, and Gaya, and Gavāksha, and Panasa, and Samprastha—a mighty monkey—and Jāmbavān, and Rishava, and Sunda, and Rambha, and Satavali, and Prithu,—all forming themselves into array, and equipped with trees on all sides, and remaining vigilant,—the monkeys kept gazing at all sides, awry and upwards; and even when a straw stirred, they thought it to be a Rākshasa. And Rāvana, on his part, experiencing the height of exaltation, summoned the Rakshasis engaged in guarding Sitā.—And thereat the Rakshasis—Trijata and others—presented themselves at his command. And then the lord of Rākshasas, delighted, addressed then the Rakshasis, saying,—“Tell Vaidehi that Rāma and Lakshmana have been slain in battle by Indrajit. And taking her on Pushaka, show her (Rāma and Lakshmana) lying slain on the field of battle. That one depending on whom she had proudly set her face against me,—that husband of hers, along with his brother, hath been slain in conflict. And then Mithila’s daughter, her fear gone off with her anxiety, and herself losing all support,—Sitā—daughter unto Mithila—decked out in all ornaments, shall seek me. And today beholding Rāma with Lakshmana, come under the sway of Time, she, finding no other way, shall desist from her present course. And seeing no other resourse, that one of expansive eyes shall of herself seek me”. Hearing those words of the wicked-minded Rāvana, the Rakshasis, saying,—“So be it,”—went to where Pushpaka was. Then taking Pushpaka, the Rakshasis at Rāvana’s command went to Maithili staying in the açoka wood. Then, taking Sitā, who was overcome with grief for her lord, the Rakshasis, placed her on the car, Pushpaka. And placing Sitā on Pushpaka along with Trijata, Rāvana took her all around (Lankā) crowded with ensigns and standards. And the lord of Rākshasas jubilantly proclaimed in Lankā,—“Rāghava as well as Lakshmana have been slain by Indrajit in battle”. And going about with Trijata, Sitā saw all the monkey-troops slain. And she found the flesh-eaters elated in spirits, and the monkeys afflicted with extreme grief at the side of Rāma and Lakshmana. Then Sitā beheld both Lakshmana and Rāma lying in the field, senseless and bound with arrows. And those heroes were lying on the earth, their mail torn, their bows cast off, their bodies mangled all over and thickly pierced with shafts. And seeing those brothers,—foremost of heroes and best of men—having eyes resembling white lotuses, and themselves like unto Kumaras,—lying in the field,151—the fire-sprung one, Sitā, striken with grief, began to weep piteously. And that black-eyed one of an excellent person, Janaka’s daughter—seeing them roll in the dust, broke out into lamentation. And with her eyes shedding plentiful tears, she seeing those brothers, endowed with god-like prowess, concluded them to be dead $ and overwhelmed with grief, spoke as follows.

[151] Virān nararshabkān—heroes and best of men—occurs again,—left out on the score of redundancy.—T.


And seeing her husband, as well as the exceedingly powerful Lakshmana,—slain, Sitā, afflicted with grief, burst into bitter lamentation. “The soothsayers had said that I should have sons, and should never be a widow. But on Rāma being slain, it seems now that those ones, possessed of knowledge, had spoken untruthfully. And those also, who having celebrated sacrifices and rites, had said that I should become the queen (of Rāma),—on Rāma being slain, seems to-day to have spoken a falsehood, although they are possessed of knowledge. And they also asserted that I should be honored of the wives of heroic kings as well as of my lord,—but on Rāma being slain, they seem to have uttered a falsehood, although possessed of knowledge. And those twice-born ones that in my hearing had said auspicious words, on Rāma being slain, seem to-day to have spoken a falsehood, although they were possessed of knowledge. These lotus-marks on the feet, betokening unto gentlewomen possessing them, that they are to be installed in the kingdom in company with their husbands—who are kings,—are on me. And those marks find I none on me by which women of rare fortune come by widowhood,—but I find that in me these good tokens are nullified. Those marks that are pronounced infallible by those versed in such knowledge, on Rāma being slain, are nullified in me. My hairs are fine, equal, and blue; my eye-brows touch each other; my hips are devoid of down and round; and my teeth are close. My temples, and eyes, hands, feet, ankles, and thighs are equal. And my fingers are furnished with round nails, and are plump and even in the middle. And my breasts are close and firm and developed, and have their nipples sunk. And my navel is depressed, with high sides. And my chest is swelling. And my complexion is like the hue of gems,—and my down soft. And they said that I was furnished with twelve auspicious signs. And my hands in the middle parts of my fingers contain wheat-marks; and in the spaces between the fingers, have no uneven corners. And my feet also partake of the general complexion. And my laugh is a gentle smile. And those versed in marks of women knew that I was possessed of such marks. And those Brāhmanas skilled in telling fortune said that I should be installed in the kingdom along with my husband; but all that hath been falsified. Having purified Janasthāna (of Rākshasas), obtained tidings of me, and crossed the Ocean152 incapable of being Agitated, those brothers have been slain in the footprint of a cow! The descendants of Raghu had obtained Vāruua and Agneya and Aindra and Vāyava and Brahmaçiras weapons.153 Through illusion have those lords of me, who am forlorn—Rāma and Lakshmana, resembling Vāsava himself in battle,—been slain. Coming in battle within ken of Rāghava, a foe, even if he be endowed with the fleetness of thought,—doth not go back, living. There is nothing which is too hard for Time; and the Destroyer is incapable of being overcome; inasmuch as Rāma along with his brother Lakshmana hath fallen in fight. And I do not so much mourn Rāma or the mighty car-warrior—Lakshmana—or, for that matter, self,—as I do the wretched Mother-in-law of mine. She ever thinketh of the period of the promise. ‘When shall I behold Sitā and Lakshmana with Rāghava?’” As she was thus lamenting, the Rakshasi, Trijata, said,—“O exalted lady, do not weep thus. Thy lord liveth. And, O dignified one, I shall unfold unto thee potent and probable reasons why the brothers Rāma and Lakshmana live. When their leader falleth, the countenances of the warriors in battle are not overspread with passion, or display cheerfulness and vivacity. And, O Vaidehi, if those had lost their lives, this celestial chariot, named Pushpaka, would not have held thee. An army that hath its heroes and chiefs slain—becoming dispirited and drooping, rangeth the field, like a vessel on water that hath lost its helmsman. But, O lorn one, these troops, betraying neither agitation nor anxiety, are guarding the Kākutsthas. This I tell thee of them out of affection. Do thou, at this conclusion bringing in joy, take comfort; and behold the Kākutsthas unslain. This I tell thee from affection. I never told thee untruths heretofore; nor, O Mithilā’s daughter, will I tell them unto thee now. Thou by virtue of thy character conducive to delight, hast found an access into my heart. These even the celestials and Asuras with Indra (at their head) are incompetent to quell. Seeing such sight, I speak to thee as to their being alive. And behold, O Maithili, this mighty wonder! These are lying insensible with arrows; but of those Grace hath not taken leave. It generally happens that the faces of persons dead and gone, are unsightly to a degree. Therefore, O Janaka’s daughter, leave off grief and sorrow and stupor. For the sake of Rāma and Lakshmana thou canst not today put a period to thy existence”. Hearing her words, Mithila’s daughter—Sitā—resembling the daughter of a celestial, with hands joined, said,—“May this be so!” Then turning away the car Pushpaka fleet as the mind, the distressed Sitā entered Lankā along with Trijata. Then in company with Trijata, alighting from Pushpaka, she along with the Rakshasis entered the açoka wood. And entering that sporting-ground of the Rākshasa lord abounding in woody tracts, Sitā, having beheld those princes and reflected on them, became subject to a mighty grief.

[152] The commentator assigns a metaphorical sense to ocean,—but this is hardly necessary.

[153] ‘And did they not remember this now?’ completes the sense.—T.


Bound up terribly with shafts, Daçaratha’s sons, lying down bathed in blood, sighed hard like unto serpents. And all those foremost monkeys, along with Sugriva, possessed of exceeding strength,—overwhelmed with sorrow, remained surrounding those high-souled ones. In the meanwhile, the powerful Rāma, albeit fast bound by the shafts, awoke by virtue of the exceeding toughness of his person, as well as his might. Then, seeing his brother, having a distressful countenance, covered with blood, feeble, and fast bound by the shafts,—Rāma, greatly aggrieved, began to mourn. “Of what use unto me is the recovery of Sitā, or life either, when to-day I see my brother vanquished in fight and lying down in the field? Seeking in the world (of men), I may light upon a woman like Sitā; but never on a brother, or a helper, or a warrior like unto Lakshmana. If that enhancer of Sumitrā’s joy have met with his end, my life I must renounce in the sight of the monkeys. What shall I say unto Kauçalyā: and what shall I say unto Kaikeyi? And what shall I say unto mother Sumitrā, eager for a sight of her son? And if I go (back) without him, how shall I soothe her, like unto a cow reft of her calf; and trembling; and resembling a mourning Kurari? And how shall I say unto Satrughana and the illustrious Bharata,—‘He went with me to the forest; but I come (back) here without him?’ I shall not be able to bear the rebuke of mother Sumitrā. Therefore even here shall I renounce my person; for certainly I dare not live. Fie on me, who am wicked and base; for me this Lakshmana, brought down, lieth in the field of battle, like one that is without life. O Lakshmana, thou ever comfortest me when I am dispirited. But to day, having lost thy life, thou canst not speak to me, who am afflicted. Thou, O hero, who hadst in battle slain innumerable Rākshasas lying around, hast (at length) thyself been slain in the field with shafts. And lying down in the battle-field, bleeding, and covered with arrows, thou appearest like the Sun when he hath gone up the Setting-hill. And in consequence of shafts piercing thy vitals, thou canst not speak; but thy visible expression, albeit thou art dumb, betokens pain. O thou endowed with exceeding splendour, even as thou didst follow me into the forest, will I follow thee unto the mansion of Yama. Thou, having dear friends, and ever following me, hast come by this plight in consequence of my reprehensible conduct. I do not remember having heard any harsh speech from the heroic Lakshmana, even when he had happened to be exceedingly wroth. He that could discharge at one shot five hundred shafts,—that Lakshmana is superior to Kārttaviryya himself in that weapon—the bow. He that with his arms could resist the arms of Sakra himself,—that one worthy of a costly couch—lieth down on the ground, slain. And that false babble shall now, without doubt, consume me; for by me hath not Bibhishana been made monarch of the Rākshasas. Do thou, O Sugriva, this very moment retrace thy steps. Bereft of thy strength through me, thou wilt be worsted by Rāvana. And, O Sugriva, placing Angada to the fore, do thou, taking thy host as well as the equipage, in company with Nila and Nala, cross over the Ocean. By thee hath been achieved a mighty feat incapable of being done by another in battle. And pleased am I with the king of bears, and the lord of Golāngulas; and Angada hath quit himself nobly, as also Mainda and Dwivida. And Keçarin and Sampāti have both fought terribly. And Gavaya, and Gavāksha, and Sarabha, and Gaja,—and other monkeys have fought as others are incapable of fighting,—determined to lay down their lives (for me). But, O Sugriva, man cannot overrule Destiny. Thou, my friend, fearing righteousness,154 hast done what lay in thy power. And, Ye foremost of monkeys, ye also have acted as becometh friends. Now, with my permission, go ye whithersoever ye are minded”. Hearing Rāma’s lament, the monkeys—those dark-eyed and others—began to shed tears from their eyes. Then Bibhishana, quieting the army, taking a mace in his hand, swiftly went to where Rāghava was. And seeing him fast making his way, resembling a mass of dark collyrium, the monkeys taking him to be Rāvana’s son,155 began to run away.

[154] Dharma-bhiru—fearing righteousness—is the epithet generally applied to persons fearing not in fact righteousness, but unrighteousness. This may be taken as an idiotism in Sanskrit.—T.

[155] Indrajit. Such was the fear he had spread by his redoubtable deeds!—T.


Then out spake the highly energetic and exceedingly mighty king of monkeys,—“Why is this host agitated like a bark driven hither and thither by the wind?” Hearing Sugriva’s speech, Vāli’s son said,—“Dost thou not see both those heroes—sons of Daçaratha:—Rāma and that mighty car-warrior—Lakshmana—covered with arrows? And (dost thou not see) those high-souled ones lying in the field of battle, covered with blood?” Thereat, the lord of monkeys, Sugriva, spake unto his son,156 Angada—“I do not deem it without cause. This may have come to pass through sheer fear. These monkeys with sad faces, leaving their arms behind them, are flying in all directions, their eyes distended in affright. And they are not ashamed of each other, and they do not cast their looks back. And they hug each other, and go leaping over the fallen”. In the meanwhile, that hero, Bibhishana, bearing a mace in his hand, (approaching), greeted Sugriva as well as Rāghava with blessings of victory. And Sugriva, seeing Bibhishana, capable of inspiring fear in the monkeys, spoke unto the high-souled sovereign of bears, who stood by,—“This is Bibhishana that hath come hither, seeing whom the foremost among the monkeys, from fear of Rāvana’s son who, they apprehend, he is,—are fleeing away, seized with a panic. Do thou at once stay these agitated with fear and scampering all around; and proclaim,—‘This is Bibhishana, who hath come here.’” Thus directed, Jāmbavān—king of bears—restraining those that were flying, composed the monkeys. Hearing the bear-king’s words, and seeing Bibhishana, the monkeys, renouncing fear, desisted (from their flight). Then the righteous Bibhishana, viewing Rāma’s as well as Lakshmana’s body pierced with arrows, was exceedingly aggrieved. And washing their eyes with water, he, with his mind overpowered with grief, began to weep and broke out into lamentation,—“The Rākshasas, fighting in wily ways, have brought to this pass these ones endowed with prowess and possessed of every perfection and gifted with might (of arm). And with his guileful mind, that brother’s son of mine, wicked-souled and an evil son (unto me),—hath deceived these ones of straight prowess. Pierced with innumerable shafts, and covered with blood, these are lying on the ground like Salyakas157. Those depending on whose prowess, I had sought eminence, those foremost of men, sleep here soundly for renouncing their bodies. Living, today I am in distress: and my desire of dominion is annihilated; and my foe, Rāvana, hath his promise fulfilled and his aim crowned with success”. As Bibhishana was thus lamenting, the lord of monkeys—Sugriva—endowed with strength, embracing him, spoke unto him,—“O thou cognisant of righteousness, thou wilt herein Lankā obtain empire: no doubt of this; and Rāvana along with his sons will be disappointed in their expectations. Both these—Rāma and Lakshmana—are under the aegis of Gāruda; and, casting off their stupor: they will in battle slay Rāvana along with his adherents”. Having thus soothed and comforted the Rākshasa, Sugriva addressed his father-in-law, who was at his side, saying,—“Do thou along with numbers of heroic monkeys, taking those repressors of foes, the brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana—when they shall have regained their consciousness, repair to Kishkindhā. And I, slaying Rāvana along with his sons and friends, shall bring back Mithila’s daughter, even as Sakra recovered the lost Srī”. Hearing the words of the monkey-king, Sushena said,—“I had witnessed the war of yore between the gods and the Asuras. Then the Dānavas, enveloping themselves, momentarily destroyed the deities, albeit versed in arms and accomplished in weapons. And they, their senses lost, and their lives departed, Vrihashpati treated by means of his knowledge of mantras, as well with medicines. Let Sampati, Panaca, and other monkeys speedily hie to the Milky Ocean for the purpose of bringing those medicines. And the monkeys well know that mighty mountainous medicine—divine and capable of reviving the dead,—and made by the deities themselves—viçalyā. There are (the mountains) named Chandra and Drona: where the ambrosia was churned, there is that supreme drug. And those mountains have been placed by the deities in the mighty deep. And, O king, let the son of the Wind-god go thither”. In the meanwhile, the wind arose, and masses of clouds appeared along with lightning. And the wind blew, agitating the waters of the deep, and shaking the mountains. And mighty trees of the ocean-islands, broken down by the terrible wing-raised wind, began to topple headlong into the salt waters. And the serpents dwelling there were seized with affright; and speedily all the aquatic animals dived deep into the salt sea. And then in a moment the monkeys saw Vinatā’s son, possessed of terrific strength,—like unto a flaming fire. And seeing him come, the serpents began to dart away,—those exceedingly powerful ones that, turning into shafts, had bound those persons.158 Then, touching the Kākutsthas and saluting them, Suparna rubbed with his hands their countenances furnished with the splendour of the Moon. And their wounds, on being touched by Vinatā’s son, were (immediately) healed; and the bodies of both speedily became cool and shone with an excellent complexion. And they attained immense energy and prowess; and a double share of strength, and of rational and perceptive powers, and of memory. And then raising them up, the exceedingly energetic Gāruda, resembling Vāsava himself, embraced both joyfully. And then Rāma addressed (Gāruda), saying,—“By thy grace we have through means survived the mighty calamity that had sprung from Rāvana’s son; and we have also speedily been rendered strong. And my heart is delighted on having thee, like unto my father, Daçaratha, or my grand sire, Aja. Who art thou, furnished with beauty, and bearing wreaths and unguents (on thy person); clad in stainless attire; and adorned in noble ornaments?” Unto him spake the exceedingly energetic son of Vinatā endowed with great strength,—the lord of birds, with a pleased heart, and his eyes wild with glee,—“O Kākutstha, I am thy friend—thy life ranging externally—Garutman. I am come hither for aiding you. Neither the highly powerful Asuras, nor the exceedingly strong monkeys, nor the celestials along with the Gandharbas, having him of an hundred sacrifices at their head are,—capable of delivering (any one) from these dreadful arrowy bonds, which had been forged by Indrajit of tortuous deeds by help of illusion. These serpents—offspring of Kadru—are sharp-fanged and venomous; and had bound thee as arrows through the potency of illusion. O Rāma having truth for prowess, thou art fortunate,—along with that destroyer of foe in fight, Lakshmana. Hearing this, I, summoning energy, have come hither swiftly. And I, doing by thee as a friend, have from affection at once set you free from these dreadful arrowy bonds. But thou shouldst always be on thy guard. By nature the Rākshasas have cunning shifts in fight and thou, who art heroic and of a pure spirit, canst but rely on thy simplicity alone for strength. Therefore thou must not trust the Rākshasas in the field of battle. By this one instance (thou must know; that Rākshasas are ever deceitful in fight”. Having said this, the wondrous mighty Suparna, embracing Rāma) tenderly (again), said,—“My friend Rāghava, O thou who even cherishest affection for thy foes, permit me thou. I shall go at pleasure. And, O Rāghava, entertain no curiosity as to our friendship.159 When, O hero, thou shalt have achieved success in battle, thou shalt know all about this friendship of ours. And with the surges of thy shafts, making Lankā contain only children and aged, and slaying thy foe, Rāvana, thou shalt recover Sitā”. Having spoken thus, Suparna, endowed with fleet vigor, having rendered Rāma hale in the midst of the monkeys,—having gone round them and embraced them also,—that one possessed of prowess,—set out, covering up the sky, like unto the wind. And seeing Raghu’s sons rendered hale, the monkey-leaders set up leonine roars, and began to flourish their tails. And then beat the kettle-drums and the drums struck up. And conchs were cheerfully blown; and shouts were sent. And others struck at their arms with their hands. And the monkeys, accustomed to battle with trees, uprooting them, stood by hundreds and thousands. And emitting tremendous roars and thereby frightening the night-rangers, the monkeys, eager for encounter, approached the gate of Lankā. And that mighty and dreadful din raised by the monkeys, resembled the terrible rumbling of the clouds at midnight about the end of Summer.

[156] His step-son, for Sugriva had married Angada’s father’s wife, after Rāma had slain Vāli in Kishkindha.—T.

[157] A tree.

[158] Rāma and Lakshmana.

[159] i.e. how it happened.


Then Rāvana heard the tumult raised by the highly energetic monkeys roaring in company with the Rākshasas. And hearing that low and solemn noise—that prodigious uproar—Rāvana said in the midst of his counsellors,—“From mighty roars that are heard of in innumerous delighted monkeys,—resembling the roar of clouds,—it is evident, beyond a doubt, that there is great rejoicing there. And the salt Ocean is vexed with these thundering noises. The brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana—have been fast bound with sharp shafts; and here this uproar is exciting my alarm”. Having spoken thus unto his ministers, the lord of the Rākshasas addressed the Nairitas present there, saying,—“Do you speedily acquaint yourselves with the cause of rejoicing that hath arisen of these monkeys on this mournful occasion”. Thus accosted, they hurriedly mounting up on the wall, surveyed the forces maintained by the high-souled Sugriva as well as those exalted ones—Raghu’s sons— emancipated from their terrific arrowy fetters and arisen (now)”. Thereat, with their hearts wrought up, grim-visaged Rākshasas descending from the wall, appeared before the Rākshasa-lord with pale faces. And then with woe-begone faces, those Rākshasas, skilled in speech, faithfully informed Rāvana in full of that unfortunate circumstance. “Those brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana—who had in battle been bound up in arrowy fetters by Indrajit,—and whose arms lay moveless,—having been emancipated from the arrowy bonds, are seen in the field of battle; and those ones like unto the foremost of elephants in strength, seem like elephants that have snapped their fetters”. Hearing those words of theirs, the exeedingly powerful lord of the Rākshasas was wrought up with anxiety and anger, and his countenance lost its complexion. “Indrajit, having routed them in conflict, had bound them by means of irrisistible and terrible arrows, resembling venomous serpents, and like unto the Sun himself,—which had been conferred on (Indrajit) as boons. But if my enemy, having actually been bound by the weapons, can have been liberated, all this strength of mine I see placed in peril. And those shafts resembling Fire in fierceness, which had in battle deprived my foes of their lives,—have forsooth been rendered fruitless”. Having said this in high rage, Rāvana, sighing like a serpent, addressed a Rākshasa, named Dhumrāksha, seated in the midst of the Rākshasas,—“O thou of dreadful prowess, surrounded by a mighty force, do thou march forth to compass the destruction of Rāma along with the monkeys”. Thus accosted by the intelligent lord of the Rākshasas, Dhumrāksha, turning about, issued out of the abode of the king. And speedily sallying forth from the gate of (Rāvana’s) residence, he said unto the general of the forces,—“Do thou speedily move off thy forces. Why should a warrior linger?” Hearing Dhumrāksha’s words, the general of the forces, following them, at the command of Rāvana forthwith made the army ready. And those powerful and dreadful night-rangers, bursting with high spirits,—with bells tied to their arms,—set up shouts, and surrounded Dhumrāksha. And bearing various weapons in their hands, and wielding darts and clubs, and equipped with maces and bearded darts and rods and iron bludgeons and parighas and bhindipālas and lances and nooses and axes,—those terrific Rākshasas sallied out, roaring like unto clouds. And others, accoutred in armour, with cars; adorned with banners; furnished with golden networks, and mules having various faces, and extremely swift steeds, and lusty elephants in rut,—tiger-like Nairitas incapable of being subdued, even as tigers—sallied out (thereafter). And then Dhumrāksha himself ascended a superb car, bearing faces of deer and lions decked with gold,—and sending forth a loud clatter. And the highly powerful Dhumrāksha, surrounded by Rākshasas, cheerfully issued out of the Western Entrance, where Hanumān was posted. And thereat, fell fowls of the air forbade that exceedingly dreadful Rākshasa of a fearful form, as he went out ascending an excellent car, yoked with mules, and sending sharp sounds. And an exceedingly terrific vulture alighted at the crest of the car; and forming themselves into lines, vultures began to drop down about the top of the banner. And emitting a frightful cry, (a headless trunk) dropped down before Dhumrāksha. And that god160 showered down blood; and the earth shook. And the wind blew awry with a sound resembling thunder. And every side, covered with darkness, appeared dim. And witnessing those dreadful inauspicious omens at the outset, fraught with fear unto the Rākshasas, Dhumrāksha was greatly aggrieved; and the Rākshasas marching before him, were stupified. And then as that strong and fearful one, eager for encounter, surrounded, by innumerable night rangers, issued out (of the city), he beheld that monkey-host, protected by the arm of Rāghava,—resembling the deep at the time of the universal dissolution.

[160] Indra—cloud-compeller.


Seeing the Rākshasa—Dhumrāksha of dreadful prowess—issue out, the monkeys, rejoicing greatly, eager for encounter, set up roars. And then there took place a terrific conflict between the monkeys and the Rākshasas, charging each other with fearful trees, and darts, and maces. And the Rākshasas began to scatter the dreadful monkeys on all sides; and the monkeys (on their part) felled the Rākshasas with trees. And the Rākshasas, growing enraged, began to pierce the monkeys with straight speeding sharp shafts winged with Kanka plumes. And riven by the Rakshas with dreadful clubs and bearded darts, daggers and maces and terrible and curious bludgeons and grasped javelins,—the exceedingly powerful (monkeys), their anger aroused, began with alacrity to perform deeds of intrepid valour. And those monkey-leaders, their bodies pierced with shafts and their persons riven with darts, took up trees and crags. And those monkeys, endowed with terrific vehemence, sending up shouts, and proclaiming their respective names, set about tossing the brave Rākshasa ranks. And that conflict between the Rākshasas and the monkeys, waged with diverse rocks and innumerable trees, waxed exceedingly furious. And some among the Rākshasas feeding on gore—on being agitated by the monkeys burning for victory,—began to vomit blood. And some were severed along their flanks; and, some, slain with trees, were heaped up; and some were crushed with crags; and some were torn with teeth. And some being broken down by means of broken standards, and some by means of fallen swords, and some crushed down by cars,—the rangers of the night suffered sorely. And (anon) the earth was covered with huge elephants measuring mountains, and mountain-tops, and steeds crushed, and the riders thereof,—all borne down by the monkeys. And bounding again and again, the vehement monkeys endowed with terrific prowess, with their finger-nails tore up the Rākshasas by the mouths. And with woe-begone faces, and with hair dishevelled, (the Rākshasas), stupified with the smell of blood, saught the earth. And other Rākshasas endowed with dreadful vigor, waxing wondrous wroth, dealt the monkeys slaps with hands having the touch of the thunder-bolt. And, gifted with greater impetuosity, the monkeys felled the impetuous (Rākshasas) with blows, and feet and teeth; and some were slain with trees. And seeing the forces fleeing away, that foremost of Rākshasas—Dhumrāksha—flying into fury, began a terrific conflict with the monkeys desirous of encounter. And some of the monkeys, sore assailed with prāças, began to bleed; and some, wounded with maces, dropped down to the ground. And some were beaten hard with bludgeons; and some were cleft with bhindipālas. And some, on being assailed with bearded darts, became insensible and lost their lives. And some among the monkeys lay slain on the ground, drenched in blood. And some, fleeing away from the field, were slaughtered by the infuriated Rākshasas. And some, having their breasts pierced, lay on their sides. And some were riven with tridents; and the entrails of some had come out. And that mighty and dreadful encounter of the Rākshasas and the monkeys, was waged with countless weapons and rocks and trees. And that battle became a musical entertainment161 mellifluous with bow-string for Vinā,162 having the neighing of chargers for its measure, and with the cries of Maindas163 for its strains. Then in the field, Dhumrāksha bow in hand, laughing, pursued the monkeys in all directions with showers of shafts. And seeing the forces hard beset by Dhumrāksha and distressed thereat, the Wind-god’s offspring, waxing enraged, seizing a huge crag, approached (the Rākshasa). And with his eyes doubly reddened in wrath, that one, like unto his sire himself in prowess, brought down the crag upon Dhumrāksha’s car. And seeing the crag, (Dhumrāksha) upraising his mace hurriedly, leapt down in vehemence, and stood on the ground. And having shattered his car, that crag fell down to the earth. And thereat letting go the car furnished with wheels, Kuvaras and a face, as well as a banner; in which Dhumrāksha had left his bow,—Hanumān—son unto the Wind-god—laid about him right lustily for destroying the Rākshasas, with trees having branches long and short. And thereat some Rākshasas with their heads shattered, lay drenched in blood; and others, struck with trees, dropped down to the earth. And then Hanumān—son unto the Wind-god—charged in full career against the Rākshasa army; and, taking a mountain-peak, he rushed against Dhumrāksha. And as Hanumān was descending, the powerful Dhumrāksha, upraising a mace, and giving out a shout, made towards him speedily. And then Dhumrāksha enraged, brought down that mace studded with innumerable pricks, on the head of Hanumān fired with wrath. And thus assailed with the mace of fearful impetuosity! The monkey endowed with the strength of the wind, without at all heeding that blow, let fall a mountain-top right against Dhumrāksha’s head. And on being assailed with the mountain-peak, Dhumrāksha, having his entire body mangled, suddenly fell to the earth, like unto a toppling hill. And seeing Dhumrāksha slain, those night-rangers that survived the carnage, in extreme agitation began to pour into Lankā, attacked by the monkeys. And that high-souled offspring of the Wind-god, having slain his foes, and come under the influence of fatigue incident to his slaughtering his enemies,—having caused rivers of gore to flow (in the field),—experienced the excess of joy on being honored of the monkeys.

[161] The reader has already perceived that the carrying out of a simile to a number of details is a characteristic as much of Vālmiki as of his rival in the epic sphere—Vyāsa. But the comparisons are never on all fours, as in the case before us.—T.

[162] A classical Hindu musical instrument, having metallic strings, with a pair of gourds at one end for the sounding-board. Vide Yantra-Koça by Sir Saurindra Mohan Tagore, Mus-Doc.—T.

[163] A species of elephants.


Hearing Dhumrāksha slain, Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—overwhelmed with a mighty rage, began to sigh like a serpent. And collied with passion, and sighing hot for a long time, he addressed a cruel Rākshasa—the exceedingly strong Vajradanshtra,164—“Go thou, O hero. Go out, environed by the Rākshasas. Slay Daçaratha’s son—Rāma—and Sugriva along with the monkeys”. Thereupon hastily answering “So be it,” that foremost of the Rākshasas skilled in illusion, marched forth surrounded by many a leader165 of armies, furnished with elephants and steeds, mules and camels,—with his mind concentrated; and adorned with innumerable variegated flags and banners. And then decked out with curious keyuras and a tiara, and wearing armour, he rushed out with his bow in his hand. And then going round his flaming vehicle, adorned with pennons and garnished with gold, the king166 ascended the same. And equipped with slender swords and curious tomaras and smooth maces and bhindipālas and bows and darts and pattiças and scimitars and discuses and clubs and sharpened axes, the multiform infantry march bearing arms in their hands. And all those powerful and flaming Rākshasas wore variegated raiments. And heroic elephants in rut resembling mountains in motion, marched, being led by those well-skilled in battle carrying tomaras and hooks in their hands. And mighty steeds bearing auspicious marks, marched, ridden by heroes. And that entire Rākshasa army, as it marched forth, resembled clouds in summer roaring with lightning. And (the Rākshasas) sallied forth through the Southern Entrance, where that leader of herds—Angada—was stationed. And as they went out, evil omens appeared. From the cloudless yet fierce sky meteors began to shoot. And throwing up flames from their mouths, dreadful jackals began to emit cries. And frightened beasts betokened the destruction of the Rākshasas in battle, And warriors began to tumble down in an ominous way. Witnessing these evil omens, the exceedingly powerful and energetic Vajradanshtra, assuming patience, set out, eager for encounter. And seeing them flee away, the monkeys, yearning for victory, set up tremendous shouts, filling all the cardinal points. And then there came on a terrific encounter of the monkeys and the Rākshasas, dreadful, of terrific deeds, and wishing for each other’s death. And warriors fraught with high spirits, springing up, dropped down to the earth, their bodies and hands riven, and all their persons bathed in blood. And some approaching each other, with bludgeons in their hands, without turning away from the field, discharged various weapons at each other. And there were heard sounds of trees and rocks and weapons,—mighty and dreadful and capable of striking terror into the heart. And dreadful and mighty were the sounds of car-wheels, and conchs and trumpets and drums. And some, casting off weapons, engaged in a hand to hand combat by means of slaps, and kicks, and bones, and trees. And some Rākshasas, having their bodies broken, were killed by means of thighs, and some were crushed with crags by Dānavas invincible in battle. And Vajradanshtra, resembling the noose-handed destroyer, frightening the monkeys, ranged in that field fatal to people. And Rākshasas, possessed of strength; equipped with various weapons, transported with passion, slew the monkey-forces. And then in the conflict the proud Wind-god’s son, influenced by twofold wrath, spread havoc among the Rākshasa ranks, like the Fire at the universal dissolution. And the energetic Angada possessed of the prowess of a lion, with his eyes coppery with wrath, upraising a tree, began to spread terrible destruction among the Rākshasas, even as a lion destroyeth tiny deer. And attacked by Angada there, the Rākshasas of dreadful vigor, with their heads riven, fell down like unto trees that have been uprooted. And the earth became frightful (to behold), being covered with variegated cars and standards and steeds and the bodies of monkeys and of Rākshasas and streams of blood. And adorned with chains, and Keyuras, and attires, and umbrellas, the field of battle looked like an autumnal night. And agitated by Angada’s impetuosity, that mighty army of Rākshasas began to shake, even as water trembleth, moved by the wind.

[164] Lit.—the thunder-toothed.

[165] Valai—forces—is interpreted leaders by the commentator.

[166] Vajradanshtra.—T.


Finding his own army destroyed by the might of Angada, the exceedingly powerful Rākshasa—Vajradanshtra—was overcome with rage. And stretching his dreadful bow of the splendour of Sakra’s thunder-bolt, he began to shower shafts among the monkey-ranks. And the foremost among the heroic Rākshasas also, stationed on cars, furnished with various arms, warred on in the encounter. And the heroic monkeys also—foremost of their kind—with rocks in their hands, fought around in united strength. And in that conflict, the Rākshasas began to incessantly shower ayutas among the flower of the monkey-army. And the monkeys,—pre-eminently valiant, and resembling mad elephants, kept showering over the Rākshasas mountain-trees and mighty rocks. And then took place a hot contest among heroic warring monkeys and Rākshasas, eager for encounter. And some, with their heads unbroken, had their arms and legs torn; and their bodies pierced with weapons, and laved with blood. And monkeys and Rākshasas lay down in the dirt,—thronged with numbers of Kankas, and vultures; and swarming with flocks of jackals. And striking affright to the timid, on the earth started up (spectral) headless trunks,—with their arms and heads torn, and their bodies torn all over. And monkeys and Rākshasas began to drop down to the earth. And the army of night-rangers, being brutally handled by the monkey-hosts, broke up at every point at the very sight of Vajradanshtra. And seeing the Rākshasas, distressed with fright and harassed by the monkeys, the powerful Vajradanshtra, with his eyes crimson-hued with choler, entered the arena, bow in hand,—frightening the monkey-forces. And he began to pierce the monkeys with straight-speeding shafts winged with Kanka feathers; And he pierced simultaneously seven, eight, nine, five, monkeys (in the field). And the exceedingly powerful Vajradanshtra, sported into a towering passion, began to cleave the docile ranks. And thereat terrified, the monkeys, with their bodies cut with arrows, rushed towards Angada, like vultures resorting to the Creator. And finding the monkey-ranks disordered, Vāli’s son in a rage cast his eyes on Vajradanshtra, who also was eying him. And Vajradanshtra and Angada fought fiercely with each other over and over again; ranging the field like a tiger and a mad elephant167. Then (Vajradanshtra) with hundreds and thousands (of shafts) resembling tongues of flames, pierced the powerful son of the monkey in the vitals. Thereupon Vāli’s son of mighty strength and tremendous prowess, with his body covered all over with blood, hurled a tree at Vajradanshtra. And seeing the tree in full career, the Rākshasa without betraying any agitation, severed it in pieces; and the tree, thus assailed, fell to the earth. And seeing that feat of Vajradanshtra, that foremost of monkeys, taking up a huge crag, hurled it (at his foe) and sent up shouts. And seeing this descend upon him, that powerful one, calmly leaping down from his vehicle, stood on his feet on the ground. And the crag discharged by Angada, coursing on in the field, dashed to pieces the car along with the wheels and the Kuvara as well as the horses. And then the monkey, taking up another prodigious peak crowned with trees, let it alight on Vajradanshtra’s head. Thereat vomitting blood, Vajradanshtra, deprived of his senses, for a moment overcome with stupor, stood embracing his mace, sighing. And then the night-ranger, recovering his senses, with his mace, in high rage hit at the breast Vāli’s son staying in the field. And thereupon, giving up his mace, he entered into a boxing encounter (with Angada). And hitting each other there, they both—the monkey and the Rākshasa,—began to vomit blood, and were overcome with fatigue consequent on the thrashing each sustained; and they endowed richly with prowess, appeared like Angāraka and Budha.168 Then the exceedingly energetic Angada—best of monkeys—uprooting a tree, stood there, covered with flowers and leaves. And (Vajradanshtra) took a shield composed of ass’s hide,169 and a sword broad and sightly, covered with bells, and graced with a leathern sheath. And the monkey and the Rākshasa displayed curious and graceful movements. And attacking each other, they gave shouts, eager for victory. And with blood flowing from their wounds, they looked beautiful like blossoming Kinçukas. And warring, both, overcome with fatigue, went to the ground on their knees. Anon in the twinkling of an eye, that powerful monkey—Angada—started up, with his eyes glowing,—like unto a serpent that hath been smitten with a rod. And (at length) with his stainless and sharpened sword, Vāli’s son, endeued with exceeding strength severed Vajradanshtra’s huge head. And the graceful head of that one having his body covered with blood, cut off by the sword, falling to the ground with its eyes rolling, was severed in twain. Seeing Vajradanshtra slain, the Rākshasas, overwhelmed with fear and exceedingly agitated, in pitiful plight, with woe-begone faces and heads hung in shame,—fled towards Lankā, attacked (all the while) by the monkeys. Having compassed Vajradanshtra’s destruction, the powerful son of Vāli, endowed with exceeding strength, in the midst of the monkey-army experienced great joy on being honored by the monkeys, like the wielder of the thunder-bolt—the thousand-eyed (Deity)—surrounded by the celestials.

[167] Harimattagajāviva—lit, like a lion and a mad elephant. The commentator however, remarks, that the contest of a lion with an elephant is incompatible in the nature of things, for even an elephant dreaming of a lion, gives up the ghost!—T.

[168] The asterisms so called.

[169] What could this weapon be like?—T.


Hearing Vajradanshtra slain by the son of Vāli, Rāvana said unto the general of his forces, standing before him with joined hands,—“Let invincible Rākshasas of dreadful prowess, march forth, placing before them Akampana, skilled in all weapons and arms. He is capable of chastising foes as well as of protecting his own and leading them; and he is excellent in warfare. And he is always desirous of my prosperity, and always loveth warfare. He will conquer the Kākutsthas, as well as Sugriva endowed with exceeding strength, and, without doubt, slay all the other dreadful monkeys”. Taking Rāvana’s command, that highly powerful one endowed with fleet vigor, marshalled those forces. Then equipped with various arms, the foremost of Rākshasas, having dreadful eyes (in their heads), and of dreadful forms, marched forth, urged on by their general. And, ascending a large car, adorned with burnished gold, Akampana, possessed of the splendour of clouds,170 and cloud-hued, and furnished with a voice resembling the roar of clouds, went out, environed by Rākshasas of terrific forms. And Akampana, resembling the sun in power, was incapable171 of being shaken in fight by the very gods, and of being beheld by them.172 And as, burning for battle, he rushed out in wrath, the steeds drawing his car suddenly lost their energy. And the left eye of that one delighting in encounter, began to throb. And his countenance grew pale, and his voice faltered. And in a fair day, it looked foul with the wind breathing roughly. And fierce and frightful beasts and birds began to emit cries. And that lion-shouldered one like a tiger in prowess, without heeding these ominous occurences, marched forth into the field. And as that Rākshasa was setting out along with the Rākshasas, he set up mighty roars as if agitating the deep. And the mighty army of monkeys was seized with trepidation at that sound. And then there took place a mighty encounter of the Rākshasas and the monkeys equipped staying in fight with trees and rocks; who had given up all concern for their selves in behalf of Rāma and Rāvana. And each side desirous of slaying the other, the monkeys and the Rākshasas were exceedingly strong and heroic and like unto mountains. And each party storming at the other, in that conflict were heard loud cries emitted by those swift-speeding ones in anger. And fearful was the dust red-hued that was raised incessantly by the monkeys and the Rakshas; and it enveloped the ten cardinal points. And in the field of battle, each enveloped with that dust raised, pale as silk, could not be discovered by the other. And in consequence of that dust arising, neither standard, nor ensign, nor shield, nor steed, nor weapon, nor car could be seen. And the fierce cries alone of those roaring and rushing were heard in that dreadful battle; but their forms were not visible to the sight. And in that conflict in the dark then monkeys enraged slew monkeys, and Rākshasas Rakshsasas. And monkeys and Rākshasas slaying (indiscriminately) friends and foes, made the earth wet with blood, and miry. And then with showers of blood the dust was layed; and the earth was covered with corpses. And Rākshasas and monkeys fast slew each other vigorously with trees and darts, maces and prācas, rocks, bludgeons and tomaras, and by means of their arms resembling bludgeons, coped with their adversaries appearing like hills. And in the encounter monkeys slew Rākshasas of dreadful deeds. And in their turn Rākshasas, wrought up with passion, bearing in their hands prāças and tomaras destroyed monkeys wielding dire arms. And that leader of the force—Akampana—growing wroth, inspired with cheerfulness all the Rākshasas endowed with dreadful vigor. And the monkeys forcibly snatching away the weapons (of the Rākshasas), began to rive the Rākshasas with mighty trees and giant crags. In the meanwhile those heroes among the monkeys—Kumuda, Nila and the exceedingly exasperated Mainda, summoned the utmost impetuosity they were masters of. And those foremost of monkeys and redoubtable able warriors without much ado began to spread quite a carnage in the van of the Rākshasa army, and by means of various arms terribly beat the Rākshasas.

[170] There is a pun here on the word Akampana—lit.—one incapable of being shaken.—T.

[171] Possessed of a person measuring, according to the commentator, a mass of clouds. I give the apparent sense, which answers.—T.

[172] Monkeys.


And witnessing that mighty exploit of the foremost of the monkeys, Akampana waxed furious with wrath. And transported with passion, he, twanging his mighty bow, seeing that feat of his foe, addressed his charioteer saying,—“O charioteer, swiftly conduct thou the car to that same place. These powerful ones are slaying innumerable Rākshasas in fight. And all those vigorous monkeys of dreadful deeds stay before me, armed with trees and rocks. Those, pluming themselves overmuch on their martial worth, I intended to slay in battle. And all this Rākshasa force appeared to be harassed by these”. Then on a car drawn by moving steeds, Akampana from a distance attacked the monkeys with showers of arrows. And thereat the monkeys could not so much as maintain their ground in the field,—and how could they fight? And broken by the arrows of Akampana, they began to fly. And the exceedingly strong Hanumān, seeing his kindred come under the masterdom of Death and follow the course pursued by the shafts of Akampana, advanced (to the conflict). And seeing that mighty monkey, all those heroic prime monkeys together surrounded (Hanumān) in the field. And those best of monkeys, seeing Hanumān stay, grew strong by relying on that strong one. And even as the great Indra showereth down rain, Akampana showered shafts on Hanumān resembling a mountain-summit in grandeur. And without casting a thought on the showers of arrows poured on his person, that monkey gifted with exceeding strength, set his heart on compassing the death of Akampana. And laughing, that exceedingly energetic offspring of the Wind-god rushed after that Raksha, as if making the Earth herself tremble. And the form of that one roaring and flaming up in energy, was irresistible, like unto the appearance of a flaming fire. And thinking that he was unfurnished with any arms, that foremost of monkeys, waxing wroth, vehemently rooted up a hill. And taking that huge hill, the Wind-god’s son endowed with prowess, sending up a tremendous roar, began to whirl it with a single arm. And as of yore Purandara had in encounter pursued Namuchi with the thunder-bolt, (Hanumān) pursued that best of Rākshasas—Akampana. And Akampana, seeing that uplifted crag, from a distance cut it off with mighty crescent-shaped shafts. And finding that mountain-top severed by the shafts of the Raksha and scattered in pieces, Hanumān was seized with a mighty wrath. And that monkey, wrought up with rage and pride, grasping an Açwakarna elevated like unto a hill, at once uprooted it. And taking that broad-shouldered Açwakarna, that one furnished with high splendour, with great glee whirled it above the ground. And thereat rushing amain vehemently, (Akampana) speedily broke the trees.173 And (seeing this), Hanumān, transported with passion, rived the earth with his kicks. And Hanumān slaughtered elephants, and the riders thereof, and cars with their riders, and dreadful Rākshasas, and footmen. And seeing the enraged Hanumān resembling the Finisher armed with trees and destructive, the Rākshasas began to fly fast. And seeing that one enraged, terrific unto the Rākshasas, the heroic Akampana was agitated greatly and sent up shouts. And Akampana pierced Hanumān endowed with exceeding prowess with four and ten shafts, sharpened and capable of cleaving the bodies of people. And thus covered with iron arrows and whetted darts, that hero—Hanumān—looked like a hill covered with trees. And that huge-bodied one endowed with wondrous prowess and great strength, appeared like a flowering Açoka or a fire without smoke. And then uprooting another tree, (Hanumān) summoning up his best impetuosity, swiftly hit Akampana—foremost of Rākshasas—on the head. And slain with that tree by that high-souled monkey-chief wrought up with passion, that Rākshasa fell down and died.174 And seeing that foremost of Rākshasas—Akampana—slain (and lying) on the ground,—the Rākshasas were extremely aggrieved, and (appeared) like trees in an earthquake. And those Rākshasas defeated, leaving their arms behind, made for Lankā in fear, pursued by the monkeys. And with their hair flowing loosely, (the Rākshasas), afflicted with affright, and despirited and beaten, fled fast, with the water of fatigue running down their persons. And crushing down each other, they entered the city in a panic, momentarily casting their looks behind them. When the Rākshasas had entered Lankā, the exceedingly mighty monkeys, assembled together, paid homage unto Hanumān. And Hanumān, gifted with strength, honored the seniors each as he deserved in consideration of his lineage. And the monkeys eager for victory shouted with might and main, and began to drag the Rākshasas with the view of taking their lives. And that mighty monkey—son unto the Wind god—having destroyed the Rākshasas and arrived (in the midst of the host), attained heroic glory,—even as did Vishnu, having slain that destroyer of enemies—the mighty and dreadful Asura possessed of exceeding strength,—stationed in the van of the forces. And then the deities and Rāma himself and the highly powerful Lakshmana, and also the monkeys headed by Sugriva, and Bibhishana endowed with great strength, honored that monkey.

[173] Why plural? So it is, however, in the text.—T.

[174] This sentence, “And slain……and died” reads foolish. But the original is answerable for—in logical parlance—this identical proposition.—T.


Hearing that Akampana had been killed, the lord of Rākshasas, overwhelmed with anger, with his face somewhat fallen, cast his eyes on his counsellors. And then pondering and reflecting for a while, in the forenoon he went round the city of Lankā for inspecting the barracks. And the king surveyed the city guarded by the Rākshasas, covered with innumerable barracks, and crowned with ensigns and standards. And seeing the city beseiged, Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—seasonably spoke words of welfare unto Prahasta skilled in fight,—“Save battle, deliverance find I none for the city suddenly beleaguered and put to straits. And this strain must be borne by these versed in warfare—me or Kumbhakarna or thee—my general—or Indrajit or Nikumbha.175 And therefore do thou from this place, speedily taking this force, march to where the monkeys are, for securing victory (in the encounter). And as soon as thou settest out, the monkey-forces, hearing the roars of the foremost Rākshasas—speedily setting themselves in motion,—shall flee away. And volatile and haughty and of fickle minds, the monkeys will not be able to bear thy shouts; even as elephants are incapable of bearing the roaring of a lion. And on that monkey-army running away, Rāma in company with Sumitrā’s son, deprived of his power and shorn of support, shall, O Prahasta, come under thy subjection. In this matter, thy being slain is uncertain, but victory is certain. Now do thou, as thou weighest our welfare, declare thyself for or against this course”. Thus addressed by Rāvana, Prahasta—general of the forces—said unto the Rākshasa-chief; like Uçanas addressing the lord of Asuras,—“O, king, before this we had deliberated together with wise counsellors, and then we disputed with each other in our respective views. And I had declared myself for giving up Sitā as fraught with our welfare; and we saw war involved in witholding her. I have ever been honored by thee variously with gifts and regard and soft speech. And what is thy good for which I shall not be at the pains? My life I do not care to keep,—nor yet my sons or my wife. Behold! For thee will I offer up my life into the sacrificial fire of conflict”. Having said this unto his master—Rāvana—the general, Prahasta, addressed his generals staying before him, saying,—“At once bring up the mighty host of Rākshasas. To-day in the field of fight will I entertain the flesh-feeding fowls of the forest with the bodies of the foes slain with my resistless shafts”. Hearing his speech, the highly powerful leaders arrayed the army in that abode of the Rākshasa. And in a moment Lankā swarmed with heroic and terrific Rākshasas equipped with various arms,—as if with elephants,—as well as with people worshipping Fire and bowing down unto Brahmanas. And the perfumed breeze blew, laden with the incense of sacrificial offerings. And the Rākshasas, inspired with martial ardour, put on diverse garlands, consecrated with scriptural formulae; and donned on their armour. And furnished with their bows and wearing their armour, the Rākshasas, on seeing king Rāvana, leaving (their vehicles), stood, surrounding Prahasta. Then greeting the monarch, Prahasta, furnished (with all appliances of battle),—winding his dreadful trumpet, ascended his car; having all sorts of weapons; yoked with wondrous fleet steeds; driven by a competent charioteer,—excellently furnished; sending up sounds resembling the rumbling of mighty masses of cloud,—appearing like the very Sun or Moon; invincible with a serpent-standard; having a defence as well as a portion exceedingly handsome; netted with gold all round; and seeming to be laughing in grace. And then, ascending this car, Prahasta, whom Rāvana had entrusted with authority, surrounded by a vast host, swiftly went out of Lankā. And then there were heard the sounds of kettle-drums, resembling the roars of Parjanya,—and the sounds of musical instruments, as if filling the Earth. And on that general of the forces marching, sounds of conchs were heard (all around); and the Rākshasas of dreadful forms and huge bodies, going before Prahasta, advanced, emitting tremendous roars. And Narāntaka,176 Kambhahanu, Mahānāda,177 and Samunnata,178—Prahasta’s counsellors all of them—went on, surrounding him. And he went out by the Eastern entrance, environed by this exceedingly dreadful array, resembling troops of elephants. And resembling the Destroyer—Yama himself—Prahasta in rage went out surrounded by that mighty host resembling the sea. And at the tumult raised by their exodus, as well as the roars of the Rākshasas, all creatures in Lankā began to cry in preternatural tones. And swarming under the cloudless welkin, birds feasting on flesh and gore began to gyrate at the right hand of the car. And dreadful jackals, emitting live flames from their mouths, set up cries. And stars began to shoot from the firmament; and the winds to ruffle. And enraged at each other, the planetary bodies were shorn of their brightness. And clouds emitting sharp sounds showered down blood upon the car, and those marching in front were washed therewith. And alighting at the top of the standard, a vulture set up cries, facing the south, and began to prick both its sides,—thereby depriving (Prahasta) of his grace. And from the hands of his charioteer and his driver conducting the steeds, never given to turning away from the field, the goad began to drop again and again. And the auspiciousness that was bright and rare when the army set out, was clean gone in a moment,—and the steeds began to stumble on even ground. And as Prahasta of renowned worth and valor marched, the monkey-army equipped with various arms, presented themselves before him. And loud was the tumult that was raised by the monkeys. And mighty was the din that was heard of those, uprooting trees and taking up ponderous crags of the Rākshasas roaring and the monkeys storming in both the exhilarated armies of Rakshas and wood-rangers,—of vehement and able (warriors) eager for slaying each other, and challenging each other to fight. And like an insect falling into a flame, the wicked-minded Prahasta, for obtaining victory, increasing his impetuosity entered into that host of the monkey-king.

[175] Grammatically faulty such is the sentence in the original.—T.

[176] Lit. destroyer of men. Almost all the names of the Rākshasas are thus significant names. This assigning of names, embosoming some harmonising image, has by Sir Francis Palgrave, justly been considered as betokening a high poetical faculty.

[177] Lit.—loud-throated.

[178] Lit.—lofty.


Seeing Prahasta sally, ready for encounter, that chastiser of foes—Rāma—with a smile said unto Bibhishana,—“Who is this huge-bodied one that armed with impetuosity, advanceth to the encounter? And what is his power and prowess like? O mighty-armed one, tell me this concerning this powerful night-ranger”. Hearing Rāghava’s words, Bibhishana answered,—“In Lankā this is the general of the lord of Rākshasas—the Rākshasa named Prahasta, surrounded by a third of the forces. He is possessed of prowess and is of distinguished gallantry. And that mighty army of strong monkeys, wrought up with wrath, and roaring at Prahasta, saw him dreadful and of terrific prowess and huge-bodied,—surrounded on all sides by the Rākshasas,—and setting up roars, marching. And the Rākshasas, eagerly desirous of victory, pursued the monkeys, wielding swords and darts and rishtis, and javelins and shafts and maces and clubs and bludgeons and prāças and various axes and curious bows. And the monkeys on their part, eager for encounter, took up flowering trees and hills and huge and broad crags. And each party approaching the other, great was the encounter that took place. And innumerable (monkeys and Rākshasas) kept showering rocks and arrows. And many Rākshasas in conflict slew many a powerful monkey, and the monkeys on their part slaughtered many a Rākshasa. And some were pierced with darts and with (other) powerful weapons; and some were wounded with bludgeons; and some were hewn with axes. And some rendered senseless, dropped down to the earth; and some hit with weapons, had their breasts riven. And some, severed in twain with swords, dropped to the earth lifeless. And monkeys were hewn in their sides by heroic Rākshasas. And numbers of Rākshasas all around were beaten to the ground by infuriated monkeys with trees and mountain-peaks. And some smitten sore with slaps having the touch of the thunder-bolt, began to vomit blood from their mouths, with faces and eyes turned pale. And great was the uproar that arose in consequence of Rākshasas and monkeys emitting distressful cries and sending forth leonine roars. And monkeys and Rākshasas wrought up with wrath, engaged in treading the path of heroes,—looking terrific with their faces moving about,—performed deeds of intrepid courage. And Narāntaka and Kambhahanu and Mahānāda and Samunnata—all counsellors of Prahasta—set about slaughtering the rangers of the woods. Of these doing swift execution among the monkeys, Dwivida, taking up a mountain-peak, slew one—namely Narāntaka. And then the monkey, Durmukha, rising up afresh, armed with a mighty tree, killed the light-handed Rākshasa—Samunnata. And Jāmbavān endowed with energy, waxing enraged, uplifting a giant crag brought the same down on Mahānāda’s breast. And there speedily assailed by Tāra, with a mighty tree, the powerful Kumbhahanu gave up the ghost in the conflict. And not brooking that feat, Prahasta, mounted on a car, taking a bow in his hand, fell to spreading a dreadful havoc among the rangers of the woods. And then there the two hosts mingled into almost a vortex; and the sounds that arose from those infuriated ones of immeasurable might, resembled the roar of the ocean. And in terrific encounter the enraged Rākshasa irresistible in battle drove the monkeys to sore straits with showers of arrows. And the earth was covered quite with the terrible bodies of monkeys and Rākshasas; and it looked as if covered with mountains. And the earth drenched with streams of gore looked as if swarming with blossoming palāças in the month of spring. And as leaders of elephant-herds cross a lotus-tank covered with lotus-dust, those Rākshasas and choice monkeys crossed that river flowing in the field of conflict incapable of being crossed; having for her banks hosts of heroic warriors slain; for her mighty trees broken arms; for her volume of waters showers of blood; coursing to Yama resembling the Ocean; with livers and spleens for her vast slime; with scattered entrails for her moss; with riven bodies and heads for her fish; limbs for her lawns; swarming with vultures for her swans; with Kankas for her cranes; filled with fat representing her foam; with the roars (of warriors) for her sounds,—incapable of being crossed by cravens,—and resembling a real river swarming at the end of the rains with cranes and swans. Then all of a sudden Nila saw Prahasta stationed on his car, discharging vollies of shafts and harassing the monkeys therewith. And mounted on a sun-bright vehicle, that leader of the army—Prahasta—seeing Nila advance towards him amain in the encounter, like the wind in the sky scattering a mighty mass of clouds,—rushed towards Nila. And that leader of forces—Prahasta—foremost of bowmen, stretching his bow, began to shower arrows on Nila. And having pierced Nila sore and wounded him, those shafts sought the earth like enraged serpents. And that mighty monkey—Nila—endowed with energy, struck with those sharpened shafts resembling flames,—uprooting a tree, assailed therewith the irrepressible Prahasta—who was rushing against him. And thereat, that foremost of Rākshasas, on being attacked, flaming up into fury and uttering roars,—poured showers of arrows on the monkey-leader. And not being able to resist the arrowy vollies of that wicked-minded Rākshasa, (Nila) bore them, even as a bull beareth with closed eyes a fast-descending autumnal shower. And in the very same way did Nila with his eyes closed suddenly stand the mighty arrowy buffet of Prahasta incapable of being withstood. And wrought up with rage, the exceedingly strong and mighty Nila with a giant Sāla slew the steeds of Prahasta. And then his soul surcharged with wrath, Nila swiftly shattered the bow of that wicked-minded one, and then shouted again and again. On being bereft of his bow, Prahasta, general of forces, taking a terrible mace, leapt down from his car. And the redoubtable leaders endowed with activity, bearing hostility to each other, their persons bathed in blood, stood (on the ground) like two elephants (with their temples) riven. And they kept tearing each other with their teeth like a lion and a tiger, and also striving like a lion and a tiger. And endowed with victorious vigor, those heroes, never knowing to desist from fight, were eager for fame, even like Vritra and Vāsava (fighting). And then Prahasta putting forth his dearest effort, hit Nila on the temples with a mace; and the blood began to flow. And then the mighty monkey, with his person drenched in blood,—wrought up with passion, discharged a tall tree at Prahasta’s breast. And without caring for that hit, he, taking up a mighty mace, furiously rushed against the monkey—Nila. And witnessing that enraged (hero) rushing against him with exceeding impetuosity, that redoubted monkey endowed with vehemence, took up a tremendous crag. And in the encounter Nila at once let that crag alight right on the head of Prahasta, eager for encounter and fighting with the mace. And hurled by that foremost of monkeys, that huge and terrific crag then shattered Prahasta’s head in pieces. And then bereft of life and shorn of nerve and devoid of sense, he suddenly dropped down to the earth like a tree whose roots have been severed. And even as fountains flow from the sides of a hill, blood flowed profusely from the person of that one, whose head had been riven. On Prahasta being slain by Nila, that mighty army of Rākshasas, never trembling (from fear),—retreated towards Lankā. And like waters rushing (through a breach in) a dyke, the Rākshasas could not stand their ground, on their leader being slain. And on that head of the hosts being killed, the Rākshasas, growing dispirited, repairing to the residence of the lord of Rakshas, remained plunged in thought, without speaking anything. And plunged in that sea of sorrow, they seemed as if they had been bereft of their senses. And then the highly powerful and victorious Nila, leader of forces, on being extolled with gracious offices, and on being joined by Rāma and Lakshmana, looked exceedingly exhilarated.


And on the leader of the Rākshasa host being slain in battle by the foremost of monkeys, that army of the Rākshasa monarch, resembling the ocean in violence,—furnished with dreadful weapons, began to scamper away. And going to the lord of the Rākshasas, they apprised him of the death of his general at the hands of the Fire-god’s offspring. And hearing those words of theirs, the Rākshasa lord was overcome with rage. And hearing that Prahasta had been killed in battle, (he), exercised with passion, with his heart influenced with grief, addressed those foremost of the Rākshasa hosts, even as Indra addresses the chiefs among the celestials, saying,—“That foe should no longer be disregarded that hath slain along with his followers and elephants that leader of my hosts that had destroyed the forces of Indra himself. Therefore, without taking thought, will I, for compassing the destruction of the foe, myself march to that marvellous field of fight. And to-day, even as a flaming fire burneth down a forest, will I with showers of shafts burn up that monkey-army, and Rāma and Lakshmana”. Saying this, that enemy of the sovereign of the immortals ascended a flaming vehicle of dazzling sheen yoked to rows of excellent steeds,—displaying itself gloriously and having a glowing body. And eulogized with sacred hymns, the sovereign of the Rākshasa rulers then set out to the sounds of conchs and trumpets and panavas; and in the midst of those produced by persons striking at their arms, with their hands, and of the sounds defiance, and leonine roars. And like that lord of the immortals—Rudra—surrounded by ghosts, the foremost of the Rākshsa monarchs was surrounded by bands of flesh-feeding (Rakshas) resembling cliffs and clouds,—with eyes glowing like fire. And at once issuing from the city, that one endowed with high energy saw that fierce array of monkeys, extended as the ocean or a mighty mass of clouds,—with arms upraised with rocks and stones. And seeing that terrific host of Rākshasas, that eminently auspicious one, followed by the forces, having arms resembling the lord of serpents—Rāma—spoke unto Bibhishana, foremost of those bearing arms,—“Whose is this force furnished with various ensigns and standards—and equipped with prācas and swords and darts and other arms,—consisting of intrepid (Rākshasas), and having elephants resembling Mahendra179 itself”. Then hearing Rāma’s speech, Bibhishana, possessed of the prowess of Sakra himself, informed Rāma anent that foremost of hosts consisting of that flower of high-souled Rākshasas, saying,—“O king, him do thou know to be Akampana, who, possessed of a high soul, is on the back of that elephant,—whose face looks like the sun new risen, and who approacheth making the head of his elephant tremble (with the splendour of his person).180 And that one is named Indrajit—foremost by virtue of the boon (that he hath obtained), who ascending a car and having a lion for his ensign,—twangeth his bow like the very bow of Sakra displayed,—and who with his terrific round teeth appeareth like an elephant. And that one of a gigantic person is named Atikaya, that, like unto the Setting-hill of Vindhya, furnished with the bow and stationed on a car,—highly heroic, stretcheth his bow of unparalleled proportions. And that high-souled hero is named Mahodara that, furnished with right coppery eyes resembling the sun new risen, and ascending a car resonant with the sound of bells, shouteth shrill. And that one having the vehemence of the thunder-bolt is Piçācha, that, mounted on a steed in variegated golden trappings, and having the aspect of a mass of evening clouds, or a mountain,—(appeareth) with a prāça furnished with effulgence. And that one is the famed Triçiras,181 that, grasping a whetted dart endowed with the splendour of lightning and having the speed of the thunder for its minister, approacheth, riding a bull—the best of his species—and having the appearance of the Moon himself. And that one looking like a mass of clouds, that, having a broad and beautiful breast and a banner surmounted with the king of serpents, goeth in collected carriage, stretching his bow is Kumbha. And that one is Nikumbha of wondrous valorous deeds (in battle) that, grasping a flaming and smoky182 bludgeon embellished with gold and diamonds, cometh—a very banner of the entire Raksha host. And that one is Narāntaka, fighting with mountain-peaks,—that appeareth before us, mounted on a car flaming like fire, furnished with pennons and equipped with bows and swords and shafts. And that crusher of the hauteur of even the celestials,—that surrounded by various spectres of dreadful forms having faces of tigers, or camels, or powerful elephants, or deer, or horses,—and with their eyes rolling,—where the white umbrella resembling the Moon,—shineth, graced with slender ribs—the high-souled sovereign of Rakshas appeareth like Rudra himself environed by spectres,—the sovereign of the Rakshas decked with a diadem, with his countenance graced with pendulous ear-rings,—with a person resembling that monarch of mountains—even Vindhya himself,—that humbler of the pride of Indra the Great and Yama,—shineth like the Sun”. Then Rāma—repressor of foes—answered Bibhishana, saying,—“Alas! Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—is of exceeding glowing splendour; and Rāvana shineth in glory, and is incapable of being gazed at like the Sun himself. And his grace, being enshrouded in his own splendour, I cannot view plainly. And the persons of celestials appear splendid as doth the person of the Rākshasa-chief. And all the warriors of that high-souled one are like mountains and fight with crags; and all are equipped with flaming weapons. And environed by glowing ghosts of dreadful forms and fierce-looking and furnished with material tenements,183—the king of Rākshasas appeareth imposing like the Destroyer himself. And by luck it is that to-day the wicked-minded one hath come within the range of my vision; and to-day will I vent my wrath incident to the ravishment of Sitā”. Having said this, Rāma endowed with prowess, ever followed by Lakshmana, stood, taking up his bow and pulling out a powerful shaft. And then that high-souled lord of Rākshasas addressed that mighty host, saying,—“Do ye casting off fear stay at ease, at the gateways, high ways, and the edifices (in Lankā). Taking note of this lapse,—viz., that ye have all come hither with me, the wood-rangers in a body, subduing the empty city incapable of being withstood,—shall suddenly put (all) to straits”. Then leaving those counsellors, (Rāvana) on the Rakshas having departed agreeably to his injunction, dived into that ocean of monkeys, like a mighty fish diving into the waves of over brimming deep. And seeing the lord of Rākshasas, furnished with flaming a bow and arrows,—suddenly rushing,—the king of monkeys, uprooting a mighty mountain-top, darted against the sovereign of the Rakshas. And taking up that mountain-peak having its sides covered with innumerable trees, he hurled it at the night ranger. And seeing it descend swiftly, (Rāvana) in battle severed the same by means of gold-knobbed shafts. And on that gigantic peak furnished with fair sides filled with trees, falling to the earth, severed in pieces,—the lord of Rākshasas took up an arrow, resembling a mighty serpent and having the splendour of the Destroyer himself. And taking that shaft endowed with the vehemence of the wind, flaming like a fire aglow, and having the impetuosity of the great Indra’s thunder-bolt, (Rāvana) hurled it in rage to compass the destruction of Sugriva. And even as the fierce dart discharged by Guha184 had pierced Krauncha,185 that shaft shot by Rāvana, rushing in violence at Sugriva possessed of a person having the touch of Sakra’s thunder-bolt, pierced it. Thereat, agonised by the shaft, that hero, with his senses bewildered, dropped down to the ground with shrieks. And seeing him down on the earth bereft of his senses, the Yatudhanas were filled with rejoicing. And then Gavāksha and Gavaya, Sushena, Rishabha, Jyotimukha and Nala, uprooting crags and magnifying their bodies, rushed against the lord of Rākshasas. And the lord of Rākshasas with hundreds of shafts having sharpened heads, rendered their strokes fruitless. And then he rived those foremost of monkeys with showers of arrows having variegated golden knobs, and covered those fierce monkey-ranks with networks of arrows. And on being sore assailed and falling in consequence, those heroes, the monkeys, pierced with terrific arrows, and distressed with the shafts of Rāvana, emitting cries, sought the shelter of Rāma worthy of being sought. Then the high-souled and excellent bowman—Rāma,—taking his bow, at once sallied forth. And thereat, Lakshmana, approaching Rāma, with joined hands addressed him words couching prime import. “O noble one, I alone am fit to compass the destruction of this wicked-minded one. I will slay him. Do thou, O master, permit me”. To him replied Rāma of exceeding energy, having truth for his prowess,—“Go then, O Lakshmana, and put forth thy utmost exertions in the encounter. Rāvana is forsooth endowed with mighty energy, and his prowess in battle is wonderful. Without doubt, when enraged, he is incapable of being borne by this triple world. Do thou keep an eye on his shortcomings as thou shouldst watch thine own failings. Being always on the alert, thou must with thy eyes as much as thy bow protect thyself”. Hearing Rāghava’s speech, Sumitrā’s son, embracing Rāma, and saluting him and paying him his respects, went forth to battle. And (going unto the field), he found Rāvana, endowed with arms resembling the trunks of elephants,—wielding his dreadful and flaming bow, and covering with showers of arrows those monkeys, whose bodies had been swarming with shafts. And seeing Rāvana, the exceedingly powerful Hanumān—son unto the Wind-god—resisting that downpour of arrows, charged him vehemently. And coming at his car, the intelligent Hanumān, uplifting his right arm and terrifying Rāvana, said,—“Incapable of being slain by gods, Dānavas or Gandharvas, Yakshas or Rākshasas,—Fear hath (at last) found thee, coming even from monkeys. This my upraised right arm furnished with five fingers, shall rob thee of thy soul long resident (in thy body)”. Hearing Hanumān’s speech, Rāvana possessed of dreadful prowess, with his eyes reddened in wrath, said these words,—“Strike thou swift maugre fear; and acquire lasting renown. And, O monkey, having (at first) taken the measure of thy might, will I finish thee”. Hearing Rāvana’s words, the offspring of the Wind-god said,—“(First) remember thou thy son—Aksha—slaughtered by me!” Thus addressed, the exceedingly energetic lord of the Rākshasas possessed of prowess dealt a slap unto the offspring of the Wind-god. And struck with his slap, he shook momentarily. And staying for a moment and calling up fortitude, that magnanimous one administered a slap unto the foe of the immortals. And hit by the highsouled monkey, the Ten-necked one trembled, as trembleth a mountain during an earthquake. And witnessing Rāvana struck with a slap (by Hanumān) saints and Siddhas and celestials and the Asuras shouted in glee. Then attaining a little respite, Rāvana said,—“Well done, O monkey. In prowess thou art a foe I pride in”. Thus addressed by Rāvana, the Wind-god’s son said,—“Fie on my prowess, seeing that thou breathest yet, O Rāvana. Strike at the same time, O perverse one. Why dost thou bluster? And then my blow shall despatch thee to the mansions of Yama”. And at the speech of the Wind-god’s son, his ire flamed up. And then that one endowed with prowess, clenching his right fist carefully, let it alight amain on the monkey’s chest. And hit at his spacious chest, Hanumān shook over and over again. And seeing the mighty Hanumān overwhelmed, that powerful car-warrior ascended on his car, approached Nila. And the powerful lord of Rākshasas—the Ten-necked one—made that general of forces—Nila—aflame with dreadful shafts entering into the vitals, resembling snakes. And assailed with shafts, Nila—leader of monkeys—with one arm took up a mountain-top and hurled it at the lord of Rakshas. And the energetic and high-minded Hanumān, attaining respite, eager for encounter, seeing (the fight between the Rākshasa and the monkey), wrought up with rage, said,—“It is not meet for me to attack Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—engaged with Nila”. And the highly powerful Rāvana, by means of seven shafts with sharpened points, hit at the mountain-top; and shivered in pieces, it fell (to the earth). And seeing that mountain peak shattered, that general of the monkey-forces—slayer of hostile heroes—flamed up in wrath like the fire at the universal wreck. And in that encounter Nila discharged Açwakarna trees, and Sālas, and mangoes in full flower, and various other trees. And Rāvana, getting at the trees, severed them (by means of his arrows), and poured on the Fire-god’s son terrific showers of shafts. And assailed with fearful showers of arrows as with a mass of clouds, that one endowed with eminent strength, decreasing his dimensions, dropped on the top of Rāvana’s banner. And seeing the son of the Fire-god descend on the top of his banner. Rāvana was fired with ire, and Nila shouted (thereat). And seeing the monkey (now) at the top of the banner, and (now) at the end of his bow, and (now) at the crest of his tiara, Lakshmana and Hanumān and Rāma were struck with astonishment. And also Rāvana endowed with exceeding energy, astonished at the lightness of the monkey, took up a wonderful flaming fiery weapon. And the monkeys seeing Rāvana bewildered, and delighted thereat, set up shouts. And Rāvana encaged at the shouts of the monkeys, with his heart overwhelmed with agitation, could not address himself to any effort. And then taking a fiery shaft and setting the same on his bow, the night-ranger gazed at Nila. And the exceedingly energetic lord of the Rākshasas said,—“O monkey, by virtue of thy skill in illusion, thou art furnished with lightness. But, O monkey, if thou canst, preserve thy life. Thou transformest thyself into many shapes. Yet this shaft of mine discharged from my weapon, shall deprive of thy life thee that art preserving it”. Having said this, the mighty-armed Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—fixing his shaft on his bow, shot it at the general. And Nila, struck at the chest with that arrow, which had been shot (by Rāvana), burning, suddenly fell down to the earth. And by virtue of the greatness of his sire and also of his own energy, he went to the earth on his knees, but was not utterly deprived of life. And seeing the monkey deprived of his senses, the Ten-necked one, eager for encounter, riding a car emitting a rattle resembling the rumbling of clouds, darted against Sumitrā’s son. And entering into the arena of fight and posted there flaming, the powerful lord of the Rākshasas, baffling (the foe), kept stretching his bow. And as that one of immeasurable prowess kept stretching his bow, Sumitrā’s son of unflagging mettle, addressed him, saying,—“O lord of night-rangers, do thou to-day try me in encounter. Thou ought not to strive with the monkeys”. And hearing Saumitri’s speech uttered in a full voice, as well as the terrific twangs of his. Bow-string, that Raksha—the king—approaching Sumitrā’s son staying in the field, spoke unto him wrathfully,—“O Raghu’s son, by my luck hast thou of perverse sense, finding thy fate come within the range of my ken. This very instant, tormented with the springes of my shafts, thou wilt repair to the regions of Death”. Thereat, Sumitrā’s son, without being overwhelmed with wonder (on witnessing Rāvana’s prowess), addressed that one furnished with large and sharp teeth,—setting up roars,—“O king, those who are (really) endowed with prowess, do not storm. O prince of sinners, in vain thou vauntest. O lord of Rākshasas, I know thy prowess and strength and energy and vigor. Here am I stationed, bow and shafts in hand. Come thou. What is the use of vain-glorious self-laudation?” Thus accosted, the Raksha monarch, growing wroth, discharged seven shafts furnished with knobs. Thereupon Lakshmana split them up with sharp-pointed arrows having variegated golden knobs. And they suddenly severed like powerful serpents cut off, Lankā’s lord came under the sway of passion, and discharged other whetted arrows. And Rāma’s younger brother poured showers of arrows from his bow; and, planting himself at his post, cut off those arrows (of his adversary) by means of razors, and crescents, and excellent karnas and darts. And seeing his arrowy net-works rendered ineffectual, that enemy of the celestials—the king—was seized with wonderment, and again shot sharpened arrows. And Lakshmana also, resembling Indra the Great, setting on his bow sharpened, sharp-pointed, flaming, and luminous shafts, endowed with the dreadful vehement impetus of the thunder-bolt, discharged (them), to compass the destruction of the lord of Rakshas. And thereat the Rākshasa sovereign cut off those whetted arrows; and smote Lakshmana in the forehead with an arrow resembling the Fire of Dooms-day in energy,—which had been conferred on him by the Self-create. And Lakshmana, tortured with Rāvana’s arrow, shook, loosely holding his bow; and then recovering his consciousness after undergoing extreme agony, he severed the bow of the foe of the foremost of celestials. And having cut off Rāvana’s bow, Daçarathas son hit (him) with three sharp-pointed arrows. And the king smarting under the shafts, with much ado regained his consciousness. And the enemy of the immortals of terrific power with his bow severed, and himself hit with shafts, and his body covered with fat, and himself washed in blood, took up a dart conferred on him by the Self-create. And the sovereign of the Rākshasas and their lord in that encounter hurled at Sumitrā’s son the dart resembling smoking fire, sending up living flames, and striking terror into the monkeys. And as it coursed on, Bharata’s younger brother resisted it with arrows resembling a sacrificial flame. Yet the dart pierced into the broad arm186 of Daçaratha’s son. And smit with the dart, that hero of the Raghu race, although possessed of strength, was aglow. And the king at once with his arms seized that one, who had been deprived of his senses. But he that could with his arms wield Himavān or Mandara or Meru or the triple world itself along with the immortals, could not (for all his strength) lift up Bharata’s younger brother. And hit at his chest by the dart of Brahma, Sumitrā’s son remembered that he was verily a portion of Vishnu himself. And pressing hard Sumitrā’s son—that humbler of the hauteur of the Daityas, that thorn in the sides of the celestials—could not move him (from his place). And then the Wind-god’s offspring waxing wroth rushed at Rāvana, and overwhelmed with rage smote at his chest with his clenched fist resembling the thunder-bolt. And boxed (by Hanumāna), Rāvana—lord of the Rākshasas—went down to the ground on his knees, and shook and dropped to the earth. And blood gushed out in streams from his mouths and eyes and arms; and staggered and senseless, he sat down on the platform of his car. And he was rendered insensible with his senses lost; and he knew not where he was. And seeing Rāvana endued with terrific prowess, rendered insensible in the encounter, saints and monkeys and gods with the Asuras set up shouts. And then the energetic Hanumān taking Lakshmana racked by Rāvana, with his arms brought him before Rāghava. And albeit incapable of being moved by the foes, (Lakshmana), on account of the friendship of the Wind-god’s offspring as well as the high reverence in which he was held by Hanumān, became extremely light to the monkey. And then that dart, renouncing Sumitrā’s son vanquished in fight, again sought its place in Rāvana’s car. And the exceedingly powerful Rāvana, recovering his consciousness in that dread encounter, took up whetted shafts and seized a mighty bow. And that finisher of foes—Lakshmana—recovered the exercise of his senses, and had his entire person perfectly healed,—on his recalling that he verily was a part and parcel of Vishnu himself. And witnessing the mighty army of the monkeys and the redoubted heroes brought down in the conflict, Rāghava rushed at Rāvana. Thereat drawing near to him, Hanumān said unto him,—“It behoveth thee to chastise the foe ascending my back, even as Vishnu chastiseth the enemies of the immortals, riding Garutman”. Hearing the words spoken by Hanumān, Rāghava at once got up on that gigantic monkey; and that master of men beheld Rāvana in battle. And seeing him, that highly powerful one darted against Rāvana, even as the enraged Vishnu had rushed against Virochana’s son,187 upraising his weapons. And he sharply twanged his bow-string sounding like the terrific crash of thunder; and then in solemn tones, Rāma addressed the lord of Rākshasas, saying,—“Stay, stay, having done me such wrong. Repairing whither, shalt thou, O powerful Rākshasa, attain respite? Even if thou shouldst seek Yama or Indra or the Sun—son unto Vivaçwān—or the Self-sprung or the Fire-god or Sankara himself,—or go to the ten cardinal points in ten portions,—yet shalt thou not, so resorting, attain deliverance. And (Lakshmana), going forth to the fight, hath been wounded with the dart and hath suddenly been stupified. But, O king of the Rakshas, to-day in conflict Death shall claim for his own thee and thy sons and grandsons. By me with my shafts have been slaughtered four and ten thousand Rakshas residing in Janasthāna, wielding excellent weapons”. Hearing Rāghava’s words, the exceedingly strong lord of the Rākshasas, overwhelmed with a mighty wrath, recalling enmity agone, with burning shafts resembling the fire of Doom hit in encounter the exceedingly impetuous offspring of the Wind-god, who was bearing Rāghava. And although struck and resisted by the Rākshasa with arrows, the energy of that one, endowed by nature with prowess—increased greatly. And the exceedingly energetic Rāma, on seeing that foremost of the monkeys wounded by Rāvana, was mastered by wrath. And Rāma, closing with his enemy, by means of whetted arrow-points severed in pieces his car together with the wheels and the steeds, the banner, the umbrella, and the majestic streamer, as well as with the charioteer and the thunder-bolts and darts and swords. And then as the reverend Indra cleaveth Meru with his thunder-bolt, (Rāghava) swiftly smote on Rāvana’s spacious and shapely chest with a shaft resembling Vajra and the thunder holt. And—that the king hero—who had not smarted nor shaken under the impetus of Vajra and the thunder-bolt,—assailed with the arrow of Rāma and agonised in consequence, shook and lost hold of his bow. And seeing him overwhelmed, Rāma took up a flaming half-moon, and with the same at once severed the sun-bright tiara of the high-souled sovereign of the Rākshasas. And Rāma in the encounter addressed the lord of Rākshasas, resembling a serpent bereft of venom, shorn of his splendour, like unto the sun shrouded (in mist),—without his wonted grace, and having his entire tiara riven—saying,—“Thou hast (in battle) performed high and dreadful deeds,—and hast also (in the conflict) slain my foremost heroes. And therefore I know thou art fatigued. And for this reason it is that I will not with my shafts bring thee to the door of Death. Go thou. I know188 that thou art worn out with fight. Therefore, O king of night-rangers, enter Lankā. Having a little respite, do thou depart on thy car along with thy bowmen. Afterwards, mounted on thy car, shalt thou behold my power”. And thus addressed, the king, with his pride and joy defeated, with his bow severed, and his steeds and charioteer killed, himself smarting under shafts,—and having his crown splintered,—speedily entered Lankā. And on that foe of the deities and the Dānavas—the puissant lord of the night-rangers—entering (into Lankā), Rāma rendered the monkeys along with Lakshmana hale in that fierce conflict. And at the break-down of that foe of the immortals, the celestials and the Asuras, the ghosts and the Cardinal points, and all the mighty serpents together with the oceans and the creatures inhabiting earth and water, felt exceedingly delighted.

[179] The mountain so named.

[180] This meaning is the commentator’s.

[181] Some other than the celebrated hero slain by Rāma at the very outset of his sojourn in Dandaka.—T.

[182] On account of lapises set on it.

[183] Having, according to the commentator, goodly persons. But dehavadvi is literally having bodies; and this sense, with reference to spirits, I fancy, fits in with the context.—T.

[184] The generallissimo of the celestials.

[185] The mountain so named.

[186] Bhujāntaram is vague. It may also mean the chest.—T.

[187] The Asura—Vāli.

[188] Jānāmi—lit. I know. The commentator says that here this word means I permit. But the literal sense answers.—T.


And entering the city of Lankā, the king afflicted with the fear of Rāma’s arrows, with his pride humbled, was undergoing great torments. And overpowered by the high-souled Rāghava, the king resembled an elephant defeated by a lion or a serpent defeated by Gāruda. And remembering Rāghava’s arrows resembling a comet risen at the universal wreck, and of the splendour of live lightning, the Rākshasa-chief was aggrieved. And seated on a superb golden seat, Rāma, eying the Rākshasas, spoke,—“Forsooth all the austere asceticism I have performed goeth for nothing, for although resembling the redoubtable Indra, I have been overcome by a mortal. And this dire speech of Brahma also reverts to my remembrance,—‘Know thou that thy fear cometh from a human being. Thou art incapable of being slain by deities and Dānavas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rākshasas and serpents. But thou hast not asked for immunity from men.’ And I deem even this son of Daçaratha as the occasion of my fear. And I was formerly cursed by that lord of the Ikshwaku line—Anaranya—saying,—‘O worst of Rākshasas, a person shall spring in my race, who, O wicked-minded one, shall slay thee in battle along with thy sons and courtiers and forces and horses and charioteers.’ And I was also cursed by Vedavati, who was formerly outraged by me. And she is (perchance) born as the exalted daughter of Janaka. And what had also been uttered by Umā and Nandiçwara and Rambha and Varuna’s daughter,189 hath come to pass.190 And taking note of this, ye should strive (to the uttermost.) And let the Rākshasas be posted at the gateways, highways, and the walls. And do ye wake up that destroyer of the pride of the deities and the Dānavas—Kumbhakarna, endowed with unparalleled gravity, overwhelmed with the curse of Brahmā”. And seeing himself worsted and Prahasta also slain, that Raksha endowed with dreadful power issued his orders to that fearful force. “Do ye vigilantly guard the gates and mount the wall. And do ye wake up Kumbhakarna come under the sway of slumber. And deprived of his senses through lust, he sleepeth secure. And the Rākshasa sometimes sleepeth nine, seven, ten, or eight months away. Of measureless might he hath slept for nine months. And foremost of all the Rākshasas in fight, that long-armed one shall speedily slay the monkeys as well as the princes. He is a very banner in battle, and the crown of all the Rakshas. But intent on common pleasure, Kubhakarna, with his senses stupified, sleepeth ever. I have been worsted in fierce fight by Rāma; but on Kumbhakarna being awakened, my grief shall go. If he doth not help me in such high peril, what shall I do with his strength resembling the strength of Sakra himself?” Hearing the speech of the lord of the Rākshasas, the Rākshasas, bestirring themselves, went to the abode of Kumbhakarna. And desired by Rāvana, those feeding on flesh and blood went off hurriedly, taking perfumes and wreaths and a mass of food. And entering Kumbhakarna’s charming cave having a wide gateway, measuring a yojana breathing around perfumes of flowers,—those highly powerful ones, pushed off by Kumbhakarna’s breath, with the utmost energy they could summon up stood their ground and entered the cave. And then entering that charming cave having floors paved with gold and gems, those Nairitas endowed with great strength, saw that one of dreadful prowess, lying down. And then they together set about waking up the slumbering Kumbhakarna looking like a hill extended,—and sunk in profound slumber; with his body having its down standing on end; lying down; like a sighing serpent; rolling people191 with his powerful breath,—reposing; possessed of dreadful prowess; having a huge nose; of a person vast as the nether sphere; lying stretched at length; smelling of fat and blood; decked with golden angadas; and waring a diadem endowed with the splendour of the Sun. And (they) saw that subduer of enemies and foremost of Nairitas—Kumbhakarna. And then they piled up Meru-like animals for conferring rare gratification, and heaps of deer and buffaloes and boars. And the Rākshasas made an astounding heap of rice. And then the enemies of the immortals put up before Kumbhakarna jars of blood and various kinds of food, and smeared that repressor of foes with excellent sandal, and made him inhale perfumes and the aroma of wreaths. And they made (the place) rife with the incense of dhupa, and extolled that smiter of enemies. And then the Yātudhānas roared around here and there like clouds. And they winded conchs beaming moon-like. And they incapable of being beaten shouted in full chorus. And the night-rangers shouted and struck at their arms with their hands and began to pull him. And for rousing Kumbhakarna, mighty was the din that they raised. And hearing those loud sounds of conchs and drums and panavas; and those proceeding from persons striking at their arms with their hands; and leonine roars,—rushing on all sides and riving the very heavens,—birds suddenly dropped down. And when the high-souled Kumbhakarna sleeping soundly did not awake at that terrific tumult, the Rākshasas took up Bhushandis192 and maces. And then the Rākshasas, drawing near, smote Kumbhakarna sleeping sweetly in the chest with mountain-peaks, maces and clubs. But the Rākshasas could not stay before Kumbhakarna owing to the hurricane heaving at his breath. Then tightening their cloth193 (about their waist), those Rākshasas of dreadful prowess sounded mridangas and panavas, conchs and kumbhas. And ten thousand Rākshasas together surrounded that one resembling a heap of dark-blue collyrium and fell to rousing him. But albeit assailed with shouts and smit with weapons, he did not wake up. And when they succeeded not in rousing him, they more than ever exerted themselves. And then they smote him with horses and camels, and mules and snakes, rods and lashes and hooks, and with might and main sounded kettledrums and conchs and mridangas. And they struck his body with innumerable huge blocks of wood. And summoning up their dearest energy, they dealt him blows with maces and clubs. And at that mighty uproar, entire Lankā was filled with her woods and hills; yet he did not wake up. And then they simultaneously sounded a thousand kettle-drums beaten with sticks of polished gold. And coming under the sway of the curse,194 when that one sunk in slumber did not wake up, the night-rangers were wrought up with wrath. And overcome with choler, they endowed with dreadful prowess addressed themselves vigorously to awakening him; and others put forth their energy. And others smote the kettle-drums, and others set up loud cries. And others cut off his hair, and others bit his ears. And others poured into his ears a thousand vessels of water. But Kumbhakarna come under the spell of a mighty slumber did not wink. And others—strong ones—armed with poniards (kutas) and maces, made their poniards and maces alight on his person. And struck with sataghnis bound with cords,195 that huge-bodied one did not wake up. And then when a thousand elephants rushed against his body, recovering his consciousness, he awoke. And assailed with mountain-peaks and trees descending on his body, he, without minding those tremendous blows,—on sleep having been dispelled, suddenly got up, yawning,—suffering the pangs of hunger. And then that night-ranger resembling an elephant or a serpent or a mountain-peak, casting about his arms superior in force to the thunder-bolt itself, and opening his deformed mouth like unto that of a mule, yawned (again and again). And as he yawned, his mouth resembling the subterraneous regions, looked like the Sun stationed at the summit of Meru. And that night-ranger possessed of unwieldly strength woke up, yawning. And the breath that he breathed resembled a storm raging in a mountain. And then as he sat up, Kumbhakarna’s form appeared like that of the Destroyer himself at the universal wreck,—intent upon consuming all creatures. And the large eyes of that one, resembling a live flame and endowed with the splendour of lightning, appeared like a pair of glowing planets. And then they pointed unto him all those heaps of edibles, various and profuse,—bears and buffaloes,—and that powerful (Rākshasa) fell to. And hungering, he fed on flesh and athirst, drank blood. And then that enemy of Sakra drank vesselfuls of fat and blood. And concluding that he was replete, the night rangers came up; and bowing down their heads, stood circling him on all sides. And then with his eyes discolored and drooping from drowsiness, he casting his eyes around, addressed those night-rangers. And that foremost of Nairitas cheered all those Nairitas; and surprised at his having been roused,—spoke unto the Rākshasas,—“Why, being honored, have I been awakened by you? Is it well with the king? Or hath any fear sprung up here? Or hath a mighty fear presented itself forsooth from among others; for which I have been speedily awakened by you? This very day will I uproot quite the fear of the sovereign of the Rākshasas. I will split up the great Indra himself,—or make Fire himself give up his heat. One doth not awaken my like for a light cause. Therefore do ye give the real truth of the cause of your awakening me”. Thereat a minister of the king, named Yupāksha, with joined hands said unto that humbler of foes—Kumbhakarna—wrought up with wrath, who was thus speaking,—“No fear anywise springs to us from the Deities. But, O king, a great fear doth cross us, coming from a mortal. And never fear so cometh unto us anywise from Daityas or Dānavas, as it hath arrived from a man, O king. This Lankā hath been hemmed in by monkeys resembling mountains. And terrific is the terror that cometh even from Rāma scorched with fire springing from the ravishment of Sitā. Ere this by a single monkey was this splendid city burnt down. And the prince Aksha hath been slain along with his following and elephants. And that thorn in the sides of deities, that lord of the Rākshasas—Pulasta’s son himself—hath been set free in conflict by Rāghava endowed with the splendour of the Sun,—saying—-’Go thou.’ And what had been done unto the king by neither the gods nor the Daityas nor yet the Dānavas, hath been done by Rāma; and he hath been set free, having come to a pass imperilling his life”. Hearing Yupāksha’s speech and hearing of the defeat of his brother, Kumbhakarna, with his eyes whirling, spoke unto him, saying,—“To day, O Yupāksha, after vanquishing in battle the monkey-army together with Lakshmana and Rāghava, shall I see Rāvana. And I shall regale the Rākshasas with the flesh and blood of the monkeys, and myself drink the blood of Rāma and Lakshmana”. Hearing his words as he haughtily spoke thus with his spirit of insolence magnified by much, that foremost of the Nairita soldiers, Mahodara, with joined hands observed,—“O long-armed one, having at first heard Rāvana’s words and considered their justice or otherwise, thou wilt afterwards defeat the foe in fight”. Hearing Mahodara’s words, the exceedingly energetic and mighty (Kumbhakarna) surrounded by the Rākshasas, prepared to depart. And having roused from his slumbers that one of terrific prowess having dreadful eyes,—the Rākshasas speedily arrived at the residence of the Ten-necked one. And presenting themselves before the Ten-necked one seated on a superb seat, all the night-rangers spoke with joined hands,—“O lord of the Rākshasas, thy brother, Kumbhakarna, hath been roused. Shall he march from there; or wilt thou see him come here?” Thereat, Rāvana, pleased, spoke unto those Rākshasas who had presented themselves,—“I wish to see him here, and do ye honor him fittingly”. Thereat, saying ‘So be it’, the Rākshasas, directed by Rāvana, going back, spoke unto Kumbhakarna,—“That foremost of all the Rākshasas—the king—wisheth to see thee. So mind thou going, and gladden thy brother”. And the irrepressible Kumbhakarna possessed of prodigious prowess, learning the mandate of his brother, saying,—‘So be it,’—rose up from his bed. And washing his face, and having bathed, that one, feeling refreshed and enjoying exceeding exhilaration of spirit,—wishing to drink, urged (the Rākshasas) to bring the nerve-conferring draught. And then the Rākshasas, at the command of Rāvana speedily procured wine and various kinds of viands. And having drunk two thousand vessels (of wine), he prepared to go. And slightly swolen and flushed, Kumbhakarna, attaining access of strength and fire, waxed wroth, and resembled the Doom and Destroyer—Yama himself. And striding to the residence of his brother backed by the Raksha force, Kumbhakarna shook the earth with his tread. And illuming the highway with the splendour of his person, like the thousand-rayed (Sun) discovering the earth with his rays, (Kumbhakarna) went on, engirt around by joined hands resembling wreaths,—like Satakratu196 going to the abode of the Self-sprung. And suddenly seeing that slayer of foes of immeasurable prowess, resembling a mountain-summit,—walking along the highways, the wood-rangers stationed outside (the monkey-camp), along with the leaders of bands, were seized with affright. And then some sought the shelter of Rāma, worthy of being so sought; and some, stricken (with panic), dropped to the earth; and some, suffering (from fear), lied to the cardinal points; and some through stress (of apprehension) lay down on the ground. And seeing that one resembling a very mountain-peak, decked with a diadem, seeming to touch the Sun himself with his energy, of colossal altitude, and wonderful to behold,—the wood-rangers, tormented with fright, began to scamper on all sides.

[189] Punjikasthalā.

[190] Punjikasthalā cursed Rāvana that he should come by death if he should use violence on a woman against her inclination. Rāvana had not been cursed by Rambhā herself, but by Nala Kuvera in her interest. ‘Thy head shall be sundered in seven when thou forcest a female against her will.’ Umā had cursed Rāvana that for a woman he should meet with death on the shaking of the peak of Kailaça.—Nandiçwara had cursed him that as he had slighted and scoffed at him, he should find his fate at the hands of the monkeys, being emanations of himself.—T.

[191] An instance of the material sublime unsurpassed in all literature. Kumbhakarna himself is the emblem of the material as contrasted with the spiritual typified by Rāma.—T.

[192] A variety of the mace.

[193] Another reading is, Tatah prapuritāh gārham—then densely filling the cave—T.

[194] Brahma had cursed him, as will appear afterwards.—T.

[195] What does this mean?

[196] Lit. him of an hundred sacrifices—an appellation of Indra.—T.


And then the exceedingly energetic Rāma possessed of prowess, taking his bow, saw Kumbhakarna, having a huge body and decked with a diadem. And seeing that foremost of Rākshasas looking like a mountain; filling all the heavens as formerly Nārāyana had done; resembling clouds charged with rain; and adorned with golden angadas,—the mighty army of monkeys began to run away at the top of its speed. Seeing the army scamper and the Rākshasa swelling, Rāma struck with surprise, said unto Bibhishana,—“Who is that tawney-eyed one, decked with a diadem, and looking like a hill? And in Lankā the hero appeareth like a mass of clouds embosoming lightning. And alone he seemeth like an ensign of the Earth; and seeing him the monkeys dart away hither and thither. Tell me who he is,—whether a Raksha or an Asura. The like of him mine eyes had never before lighted on”. Accosted by the king’s son—Rāma of untiring deeds—the exceedingly wise Bibhishana said unto Kākutstha,—“By whom in battle Vivasçwata’s offspring197 and Vāsava himself had been vanquished, this is he—the wondrous powerful Kumbhakarna—son unto Viçravān. No Rākshasa is there that equalleth this one in size. O Rāghava, this one in battle hath brought down Dānavas and Yakshas and Serpents198 and flesh-feeders and Gandharvas and Vidyādharas and Pannagas199 by thousands. The immortals themselves thinking the dart-handed and fierce-eyed Kumbhakarna possessed of great strength, as the Destroyer himself,—were overwhelmed with stupor and were foiled in their exertions to slay him. The exceedingly powerful Kumbhakarna is mighty by nature: the strength of other redoubtable Rākshasas is owing to boons obtained by them. As soon as this high-souled one was born and was a babe, he began to devour up countless creatures by the thousand. And on these having been devoured, creatures, afflicted with affright consequent on those having been eaten up, sought the shelter of Sakra and told him what had happened. And thereat the great Indra, waxing wroth, smote Kumbhakarna with the whetted levin. And hit at with Sakra’s thunderbolt, that high-souled (hero) shook, and in wrath set up roars. And hearing the roars of the Rākshasa—Kumbhakarna—as he kept crying, creatures, seized with fear, were greatly agitated. And thereat, enraged with the great Indra, the mighty Kumbhakarna plucking a tusk of Airāvata, hurled it at Vāsava’s chest. And with blood overflowing his person, Vāsava looked as if aflame. And thereat, all of a sudden the gods and the Brahmarshis and the Dānavas were dispirited. And then they informed the lord of creatures touching the ravages of Kumbhakarna, and informed the gods about Kumbhakarna’s devouring up creatures, destroying asylums and outraging others’ wives. “If this one devour creatures constantly, in a short space the world would be empty of any”. Hearing Vāsava’s speech, the Great-father of all called up200 the Rākshasas and saw Kumbhakarna (before him). And seeing Kumbhakarna, Prajāpati201 was seized with exceeding great fear. And then, pacifying Kumbhakarna, the Self-sprung addressed him, saying,—“Forsooth for compassing the destruction of creatures, hast thou been begot by Paulasta.202 Therefore from this day forth, thou shalt lie down as one dead”. Stricken with the curse of Brahma, Kumbhakarna fell down before the Lord. Then, extremely agitated, Rāvana said,—“Thou hewest down a golden tree when about to bear fruit. O lord of creatures, thou ought not to curse thus thine own grandson. Thy words will never go for naught; sleep he will, without doubt. But do thou appoint a time for his sleeping and one for his awaking”. Hearing Rāvana’s speech, the Self-sprung said,—“Having slept for six months, he shall wake for one day. And for a single day, that hero, coming under the influence of hunger, shall range the earth, opening his mouth wide open, and devouring people like a fire that hath spread far and wide. And now king Rāvana struck with terror at thy prowess, encompassed with peril, hath waked up Kumbhakarna. And that hero possessed of dreadful prowess, wrought up with high wrath, sallying forth from his camp, rusheth about, eating up monkeys. And soon as the monkeys see Kumbhakarna, they fly away. And How can they resist in battle the enraged Kumbhakarna? Do thou tell the monkeys this is an uplifted engine. Thus assured, the monkeys shall take heart”. Hearing Bibhishana’s words informed with reason and tending to the good (of the monkeys), Rāghava then addressed general Nila; saying,—“Let you, monkeys, equipped with weapons and holding hill-tops in your hands,—and furnished with mountain-summits and trees and rocks, stay, occupying the highways and the bridges”. Thus instructed by Rāghava, that powerful monkey, Nila—general of the forces—accordingly issued his orders to the monkey-hosts. And then Givāksha and Sarabha and Hanumān and Angada, themselves endowed with the splendour of mountain-summits, taking up mountain-tops, drew towards the gateway. And hearing Rāma’s words,203 the heroic monkeys inspired with intrepidity, fiercely fell on the foe with trees. And then that dreadful army of monkeys, upraising crags and holding trees in their hands, appeared like mighty masses of scowling clouds bordering a mountain.204

[197] Yama—son of Vivaçwata or the Sun.

[198] Bhujangāh:—semi-divine serpents.

[199] Semi-divine serpents.

[200] By reciting a certain scriptural formula.

[201] Lit.—lord of creatures.

[202] Viçravā.

[203] Namely, “that is an uplifted engine”.

[204] This is apt, seeing that Lankā was situated on a hill.—T.


And that tiger-like Rākshasa possessed of prowess, (still) under the influence of slumber, strode along the picturesque highway. And that exceedingly unconquerable one, surrounded by thousands of Rākshasas, went on, showered with blossoms from the houses (standing by). And then he saw the grand and graceful residence of the lord of the Rākshasas, having golden networks and sun-bright to behold. And entering the mansion of the Rākshasa sovereign, like the sun entering into a mass of clouds, he saw his elder brother seated at a distance; even as Sakra sees the Self-sprung seated. And Kumbhakarna surrounded by numbers of Rākshasas, entered his brother’s abode, making the very earth tremble with his tread. And arriving at the abode and passing the entrance, he saw his superior anxiously seated on the car, Pusphaka. Seeing Kumbhakarna come, the Ten-necked one, exceedingly rejoiced, raised him up and drew him near himself. And then the exceedingly mighty Kumbhakarna saluted the feet of his brother and said,—“What dost thou say?” Thereat, delighted, Rāvana, springing up, again embraced (his brother). And embraced (by his brother), and duly greeted by him, that brother (of Rāvana)—Kumbhakarna seated himself on a shining and superb seat. And seating himself on that seat, the wondrous powerful Kumbhakarna, with his eyes reddened in wrath, addressed Rāvana, saying,—“O king, why, honoring me, hast thou awaked me? Tell me, whence springeth thy fear? And who shall be a ghost?”205 Thereat, Rāvana, waxing wroth, and with his eyes rolling in rage, said unto Kumbhakarna, seated,—“O highly powerful one, thou hast slept away a long space of time. And having been asleep, thou dost not know the great fear of mine springing from Rāma. This graceful son unto Daçaratha possessed of strength, along with Sugriva, having crossed the ocean, is destroying our race. Alack! See in own Lankā, woods and forests have been flooded with an ocean of monkeys coming without any ado by the bridge (which they have constructed). Those Rākshasas that were prime, have been slain in battle by the monkeys; but I find no destruction of the monkeys in fight. Nay, the monkeys have never been before even vanquished (by the Rākshasas) in battle. And therefore hath this fear sprung up (in my heart). Save me from this, O exceedingly powerful one. Do thou now destroy these. It is for this that I have roused thee. Do thou, favoring me, whose exchequer is empty, save this city of Lankā, having only young folks and the aged left. And, O long-armed one, do thou perform thy dearest acts in behalf of thy brother. And, O subduer of enemies, I had never before said so unto my brother. In thee is my affection and great is the probability of thy succeeding. In the wars of the celestials and Asuras, O foremost of Rākshasas, countless were the celestials that thou as an antagonist hadst beaten. Therefore, O thou of dreadful strength, summon thy entire energy. Him find I not among all beings, who is thy peer in prowess. And, O lover of battle! O dear unto friends, as thou likest, do this beloved good office, this prime benefit, unto me. By thy own energy, smite the hostile hosts, even as a mighty and strong wind (scattereth away) autumnal clouds.

[205] Having been slain by me.


Hearing the lament of the king of Rākshasas, Kumbhakarna, laughing, said,—“That evil which on the occasion of the conclave we had seen, hath befallen thee, who hast passed by what was fraught with thy good. Even as a sinner reapeth perdition, verily hath the fruit of thine unrighteous act found thee. At first, O mighty king, thou didst not ponder over this course of conduct; nor, from pride of prowess, didst thou at all take note of the evil thereof. He that doeth last what should be done first, and first what should be done last, is ignorant of what is prudence and what not. Acts not performed in harmony with season and place, like unto acts performed counter to season and place, are the occasions of misery, and resemble clarified butter poured into fire that hath not been sanctified. He stayeth well in the path that, in consultation with his counsellors, ascertained the five ways touching the three kinds of action.206 The king that aided by his own intelligence as well as his counsellors acteth after reflection in consonance with the science of polity, that distinguished his friends (from his foes), and, lord of the Rākshasas, that seasonably207 pursueth righteousness, or profit, or desire,—or any two, or all these combined,—truly hath understanding.208 But the king or the heir-apparent, that, having heard what is prime among the three, doth not understand, hath spent his time in vain on his erudition. He that, controlling his own self, consulteth with his counsellors seasonably touching gift, forbearance, difference and prowess, as well as virtue, profit and desire,—doth not in this world come by calamity. Perceiving the fair fruit (of a line of action) accruing to him here, a king should act in consultation with counsellors endowed with intelligence and versed in the import of things. Not understanding the sense of the scriptures, persons possessed of beastly intelligence,—entering into the heart of their counsellors,—are inspired with a desire of speaking out of sheer volubility.209 Albeit uttered needfully, the speech of those that are ignorant of learning and the knowledge of the sense of things,—and who are intent upon attaining abounding affluence,—should not be acted upon. And those—spoilers of business—who from recklessness talk of pernicious as if profitable,—should certainly be rejected as counsellors. Some counsellors—destroyers of their masters—joining intelligent enemies (of their lords), act in a way opposed to their interests in this world. Their lords, at the hour of consultation, by their behaviour should know these counsellors—enemies in the guise of friends—who have been won over (by the opposite party). Even as the fowls of the air enter the hole in the Krauncha,210 enemies find an easy entrance into the shortcomings of him that is fickle211 and that rusheth into act without heed. He that disregarding his foe, omitteth to guard himself, cometh by disasters and loseth his place. Even what had been advanced by thy beloved212 and my younger brother, is fraught with our welfare. Do thou now what thou wishest”. Hearing Kumbhakarna’s words, the Ten-necked one knit up his brows, and, wrought up with wrath, said unto him,—“I am worthy of being honored by thee, like thy superior. What needs this verbal travail? Do thou what is fit. Vain is the mention now of what I did either through stupor or delusion or pride of prowess. Now bethink thee of what is proper. Do thou through thy prowess assuage the sorrow of mine springing from my impolitic conduct, if thou cherishest any feeling for me, if thy strength stayeth, and if thou deemest this business of mine as by far more momentous unto thee. He is a friend that succoureth one fallen in distress and is undergoing affliction; and he acts friendly that helpeth a person lapsing from the path of morality”. As he was speaking thus in words sedate yet severe, Kumbhakarna, concluding that Rāvana was delighted, made his remarks mildly. And seeing his brother extremely sorry, Kumbhakarna, pacifying him, gently said,—“O king, intently hear my words, O repressor of foes! O lord of Rākshasas, banish this sorrow, and casting away thy wrath, return thou to nature. And, O king, so long as I live, thou must not suffer thy heart to fare thus. Him will I slay for whom thou grievest. But whatever condition thou mayst be in, I must tell what is for thy welfare; and therefore from sentiment of friendship as well as from fraternal affection I have spoken thus unto thee, O king. And what a friend from affection should do at a time like this, I shall do the same. See the havock I spread among the foes in fight. And, O long-armed one, behold, on Rāma having been slain by me on the edge of battle along with his brother, the monkey-army in headlong flight. And to-day seeing Rāma’s head brought by me from the field, be thou, O long-armed one, happy; and let Sitā be overwhelmed with woe. And let those Rākshasas in Lankā who have had their kindred slain (in battle), see that dear sight—Rāma slain (in fight). And to-day shall I slaying the enemies in battle, wipe the tears of those who mourn their friends slain and are overwhelmed with grief. To-day behold the lord of monkeys—Sugriva—resembling a mountain or a mass of clouds lighted up by (the living) sun,—lying stretched on the field. But why, O sinless one, albeit comforted by these Rākshasas eager for slaying Daçaratha’s son, as well as by me,—dost thou persist in thy sorrow? Rāghava forsooth shall slay thee after slaying me. But, O lord of Rākshasas, I cannot come by grief213 (at Rāghava’s hands). O repressor of foes, do thou now command me, O thou of unparalleled prowess, thou needst not thyself face the foe in fight. I shall abolish thy foes endowed with redoubted might. If even Sakra himself, and Yama, and the god of Fire, and the god of Wind, and Kuvera, and Varuna—shall range themselves against me, them shall I encounter in fight. Purandara himself is seized with fright at sight of me, having a body measuring a mountain,—equipped with sharpened spears,—furnished with sharp teeth,—and setting up shouts. And who wishing to save himself shall be able to stay before me as I casting away my weapons keep pounding my enemies with celerity? No need of the dart, or the mace, or the sword, or whetted arrows. I shall with my bare arms alone slay (Rāma) along with the thunderer himself. If Rāghava bear the impetus of my blows, then shall the vollies of my shafts drink his life-blood. Why, O king, while I remain, dost thou burn in anxiety? And I am ready to sally out for compassing the destruction of thine enemies. Cast off all terror of Rāma. I shall slay in battle Rāghava and Lakshmana and the exceedingly powerful Sugriva and the Raksha-destroying Hanumān, who made Lankā blaze. I shall eat up the monkeys present in the encounter. And signal is the celebrity that I shall confer on thee. And, O king, if thy fear springs from Indra or the Self-create, even the immortals shall measure their lengths on the earth when I am wrought with rage. And I shall subdue Yama himself and devour the God of Fire. And I shall bring down the very welkin garnished with stars. And I shall slay Satakratu and drink up the abode itself214 of Varuna. And I shall crush the mountains and rive the earth. And to day let all creatures as they are being eaten up, witness the prowess of Kumbhakarna, after he hath slept for a long time. Even the celestial regions do not suffice for me as my fare. I go for securing felicity ushuring in pleasures plenteous flowing from the destruction of Daçaratha’s son. And slaying Rāma along with Lakshmana, I shall eat up all the foremost of monkey-bands. Make merry, my king; to-day drink Vāruni. Enjoy pleasures, banishing sorrow. And to-day on my having despatched Rāma to the mansion of Yama, Sitā shall come under thy control for good”.

[206] The five ways are (1) the means of commencing an act (2) person, thing and wealth, (3) division of season and place, (4) providing against mischance, (5) success. The three kinds of action are treaty, war, etc. All this is nebulous; and the commentator is sadly reticent over this extremely important passage.—T.

[207] Religion is to be sought in the morning, profit in the afternoon, and desire at night,—so the commentator.—T.

[208] One is at sea in the midst of these formless generalities. The tantalised intellect makes a desperate attempt to grasp the body of the shadow seeming substance, but the empty air mocks his pains. A translator, however, is fast bound to the oar and must pull on, will be, nil he.—T

[209] The sense is obscure, and the commentator does not help me.—T.

[210] The hole indented by Skanda the celestial generallissimo in the mountain named in the text.—T.

[211] Chapalā—fickle. The commentator, however, reads between the lines. According to him the epithet means—he that is pleased with speech immediately agreeable. But the received sense answers.—T.

[212] Rāvana’s principal queen, Mandodari.

[213] Santāpam gachchheyam—come by grief. According to the commentator santāpa means fear; and the sense is: I entertain no fear (on account of Rāma).—T.

[214] Ocean.


Hearing the speech of the huge-bodied, long-armed and mighty Kumbhakarna, Mahodara said,—“O Kumbhakarna, although sprung in a noble line, thou art wondrous haughty and of a vulgar form; and thou art not everywhere competent to discern thy course. It certainly cannot well be that the king cannot distinguish between proper and improper; but thou hast from thy youth upwards been insolent; and thy joy is in talking perenially. But the foremost of the Rākshasas is versed in place and increase and injury,—and knoweth the duties touching season and place,—and how to advance his own party and lower that of the foe. But what person ever acteth according to what is proposed feebly215 by one having strength, yet of inferior intelligence, and who hath never respected the aged? And thou art not naturally competent to understand what thou thyself sayest touching the opposed virtue, profit and desire. Verily action is the spring of all agencies of happiness or misery; and it is only those that act either well or ill that reap the results of their acts. Virtue,216 and interest217 bring about emancipation as well as heaven and prosperity. But evil cometh from unrighteousness and harms spring therefrom.218 People reap the fruit of their acts in this world or the next; but the fruit of desire is reaped readily. Therefore should a king set about attaining his desire. And this also had we advised thee with our soul. And what is the harm that one should display his prowess before a foe? Dost thou show the reasons for thy taking the field alone? But I shall point thee out what is improper and unreasonable in this (proposed) course. How shalt thou alone vanquish that Rāghava who formerly routed in Janasthāna innumerable Rākshasas possessed of exceeding strength? Dost thou not to-day in the palace behold those powerful Rākshasas that had been beaten in Janasthāna,—cowed down in fear? Alas! Thou wishest to awake Rāma,—son unto Daçaratha—knowing full well that he resembles an enraged lion or a sleeping serpent. But whom doth it behove to confront him ever flaming in energy, difficult of being approached when enraged,—and unbearable even like Death himself? On approaching the foe, this whole host itself shall be imperilled; and therefore, my child, thy marching alone doth nowise recommend itself to me. Who is there that, albeit weak bent on renouncing his life, wisheth to bring under subjection a foe that is powerful,—as if he would act with reference to one that is inferior? O foremost of Rākshasas, why dost thou wish to fight with him whose peer there is none among men, and who is equal to Indra and Vivaçwata himself?” Having said this unto Kumbhakarna wrought up with wrath, Mahodara addressed that destroyer of creatures—Rāvana—in the midst of the Rākshasas,—“Having already obtained Vaidehi, why dost thou delay? If thou wishest it, Sitā shall come under thy control. I have perceived a way as to how Sitā may smile upon thee. Do thou listen; and should it please thee, act thou accordingly. Do thou proclaim it about that I and Dwijibha and Sanhrādi, and Kumbhakarna and Vitardana—these five—are marching for compassing the destruction of Rāma. And we, marching out, shall battle with Rāma, putting forth our uttermost. And if we succeed in securing victory, no expedient need we resort to (or bringing Sitā round). But if our foe live after fight and we also having fought the fight, then shall we do what I conceive in my mind. We shall come hither from the field, bathed in blood, and having our bodies cleft with arrows marked with the name of Rāma. And we shall give out that both Rāma and Lakshmana have been eaten up by us. And then we shall hold thy feet, saying,—‘Do thou gratify us.’ Then, king, do thou through Gajaskandha publish it all round that Rāma hath been slain along with his brother and the army. And, O repressor of foes, (pretending to be) well pleased, do thou dispense—viands, and servants, and objects of enjoyments, and wealth unto thy retainers; and unto the many heroes and warriors distribute wreaths and attires and unguents. And do thou (simulating) delight, drink. And on this report—name that Rāma hath been eaten up by the Rākshasas along with his friends,—having spread round and round and entering (the açoka wood), and soothing and pacifying Sitā in solitude, allure her with corn and riches and gems. By this deceit, O king, working powerfully through Sitā’s sorrow, she, albeit unwilling, shall, having lost her lord, come under thy control. Losing her charming husband, she from despair and female frailty, shall come under thy sway. Having formerly been brought up in happiness, she, although worthy of felicity, (ultimately) had come by misfortune. And now finding happiness to be in thy custody, she shall unreservedly come over to thee. In my opinion this is the properest course to follow. As soon as thou seest Rāma, evil shall befall thee. Remain here. Do not wish (to go to the field). By refraining from fight, thou shalt acquire great good. And, O lord of people, by conquering the foe without battle, thou without losing thy forces and putting thyself to peril, thou, O lord of earth, shalt attain fame and high religious merit, and prosperity and renown for ever and for ever.

[215] Vaktum açakyam—incapable of saying. But what sense can be attached to—”What man acteth according to what is not advanced by one having strength……aged?” I therefore venture to render the passage—feebly proposed—i.e. proposed with vascillation or half-heartedly.—T.

[216] The maxims enunciated by this counsellor are hardly all of a piece. The text may have been tampered with.—T.

[217] Artha means sacrifices, gifts, &c., which are capable of being performed with wealth. ‘Sacrifice, gift, and asceticism purify the pious.’ The Lord’s word.—T.

[218] Dharma, remarks Rāmanuja, is here used for contemplation and recitation of scriptural formula performed without regard to happiness as the fruit of those actions. This is what hath been termed nishkām dharma—disinterested piety.—T.


Thus addressed, Kumbhakarna rebuking Mahodara, said unto that foremost of Rākshasa—his brother—Rāvana,—“Even I shall remove thy great fear by slaying the wicked-minded Rāma. On thy foe having been slain, attain thou ease. It is not for naught that the heroes roar, like unto clouds containing no rain.219 Behold thou their roaring resulting in action in the field! Heroes do not vaunt; but without boasting of their prowess in speech, they perform feats difficult of being achieved. O Mahodara, what thou sayest is ever acceptable only to kings that are incompetent, and foolish, pluming themselves on their knowledge. All the affairs of the monarch have been wrecked by you—cravens in fight,—sleek-tongued,—following the king (fawning) ye have made Lankā contain only the king, the treasury is lean; and the forces have been slain. By the king ye have done like foes in the guise of friends. For repairing in mighty conflict the wrong that ye have perpetrated, I am about to set out for battle for routing the enemy”. Thus addressed by the intelligent Kumbhakarna, the lord of Rākshasas, laughing answered,—“Sure this Mahodara is affrighted at Rāma. And therefore, my child, O thou versed in warfare, he doth not relish battle. Like thee have I none either in friendship or strength. Therefore, O Kumbhakarna, go for destroying the foe and securing celebrity. I have waked thee up that wast lying down, in order that thou mightst destroy the enemy. O subduer of foes, perilous is the time for the Rākshasas. Go forth, grasping thy spear, like the noose-handed Destroyer himself. Do thou devour up the monkeys as well as the princes possessed of the energy of the Sun himself. On seeing thy form, the monkeys shall flee away; and the breasts of Rāma and Lakshmana shall be riven”. Having spoken thus unto Kumbhakarna endowed with prodigious might, that foremost of Rākshasas—the exceedingly energetic Rāvana—felt as if he had received life over again. And well acquainted with Kumbhakarna’s might, and knowing his prowess, the king felt delighted, like the cloudless Moon. Having been thus accosted, that highly powerful one, went out cheerfully.220 And hearing the king’s speech, he made ready for fight. And he took a whetted dart, destructive to foes on account of its impetuous vehemence; entirely made of black iron; flaming; decorated with garniture, of shining gold; looking like Indra’s açani; ponderous as the thunder-bolt; capable of destroying gods and Dānavas, Gandharvas, Yakshas and Pannagas; adorned with festoons of crimson flowers; and belching forth flames. And taking that huge dart decked with the blood of foes; the wondrous energetic Kumbhakarna spoke unto Rāvana, saying,—“I shall go alone: let this mighty host remain here. To-day hungry and enraged, I shall devour up the monkeys. Hearing Kumbhakarna’s words, Rāvana said,—“Go thou, surrounded by the forces bearing darts and maces in their hands. The monkeys are high-souled, heroic and well-skilled in battle; and if they find thee alone or unwary, they may slay thee with their teeth. Therefore do thou exceedingly irrisistible, go, environed by the forces; and destroy the entire party of the foes, who are bent upon doing harm unto the Rakshas”. Then starting up from his seat, the exceedingly energetic Rāvana hung on Kumbhakarna’s neck a wreath stringed with gems in the centre. And Rāvana also decked that high-souled one with angadas, and finger-fences, and noble ornaments, and a chain resembling the Moon. And Rāvana adorned his person with garlands gorgeous and fragrant, and set ear-rings to his ears. And adorned with golden angadas and Keyuras and other ornaments of gold, the large-eared Kumbhakarna appeared like a fire fed full of sacrificial libations. And with his great dark girdle he seemed like the Mandara fastened by the serpent on the occasion of the churning of the sea. And donning on his impenetrable golden mail, splendid like lightning, and shining in its own brilliance, Kumbhakarna appeared like the monarch of mountains enveloped with evening clouds. Having all his limbs adorned with ornaments and bearing a dart in his hand, the Rākshasa resembled Narāyana in elation of spirits, when he covered heaven and earth and the nether regions with three paces. And then embracing his brother and going round him and bowing down the head unto him, that exceedingly powerful one went out. And Rāvana sent him with choice benedictions,—while he caused kettle-drums and conchs to be sounded and forces equipped with excellent weapons, to accompany Kumbhakarna. And high-souled mighty warriors followed that foremost of heroes with elephants and steeds and chariots sending out rattle resembling the rumbling of thunder. And mounting serpents and camels and asses and lions and leopards and deer and birds, (Rākshasas) followed the grim Kumbhakarna endowed with tremendous strength. And strewn with blossoms, and, with an umbrella held over him, that exceedingly terrible enemy of the Deities and the Dānavas, wielding a dart in his hand,—went out, maddened with the smell of blood. And countless footmen wondrous powerful and mighty and dreadful and fierce-sighted Rākshasas, carrying weapons in their hands, went in his wake. The Rakshas measuring each many a vyāma and red-eyed, and resembling masses of dark-blue collyrium,—went out upraising darts and swords and sharpened axes and bhindipālas and parighas and maces and huge tālaskandhas and irrisistible Kshapanis. And the exceedingly energetic Kumbhakarna endowed with prodigious strength sallied forth, assuming another form terrific and dreadful to behold. And the gigantic huge-faced and fierce Kumbhakarna, measuring an hundred bows in breadth and six hundred in altitude, having eyes resembling car-wheels, and resembling a towering hill, or a mountain burnt,—marshalling the Rakshas, said with a complacent countenance,—“Like fire consuming insects, shall I to-day, wrought up with wroth, burn up one by one the bands of the flower of the monkey-forces. But the wood-ranging monkeys have not transgressed anywise unto the like of us. That species is the ornament of the gardens attached to our residences. The cause of the seige of the city is Rāghava along with Lakshmana. He being slain, all are slain. Therefore shall I slay him in battle”. As the Raksha—Kumbhakarna—was speaking thus, the Rākshasas sent up terrific shouts, as if making the very sea shake. As the intelligent Kumbhakarna sallied out speedily, dreadful were the omens that presented themselves on all sides. Clouds containing meteors and lightning looked dark like asses. And the earth shook with her oceans and woods. And fierce jackals began to cry, opening their flaming mouths. And birds began to wheel at the left. And as he marched a vulture alighted on his dart. And his left eye throbbed and his left arm shook. And a meteor dropped down with a tremendous crash. And the sun was bedimmed, and the air did not blow, enhancing pleasure. But without heeding these mighty omens that took place, capabale of making people’s down stand on end, Kumbhakarna went out, urged on by the force of the Finisher. And leaping over the wall with his legs, that one resembling a mountain saw the wonderful array of the monkeys, resembling clouds. And seeing that foremost of Rākshasas resembling a hill, the monkeys began to disperse in all the ten cardinal directions like clouds driven by the wind. And seeing that terrific host of monkeys scattering in all directions, like clouds broken through (by winds), Kumbhakarna possessed of the splendour of clouds, from joy, emitted roars like clouds. Hearing those terrible shouts like unto the roaring of clouds in the welkin, innumerable monkeys dropped to the earth even as sāla trees that have their roots severed. And issuing forth for destroying the foe, the high-souled Kumbhakarna, equipped with a tremendous bludgeon, struck extreme terror into the monkey-ranks, like unto the Lord armed with the Fatal rod at the Universal wreck.

[219] i.e. autumnal clouds and which roar but do not pour.—T.

[220] He did not, however go yet awhile.—T.


Having leapt over the wall, the exceedingly powerful and gigantic Kumbhakarna resembling a mountain-summit, speedily went out of the city. And then he sent up a mighty shout making the sea resound, and as if drowning the roar of the thunder and riving mountains. And seeing that fierce-eyed one, incapable of being vanquished by Maghavān or Varuna or Yama, the monkeys began to fly away. And seeing them scamper, the king’s son—Angada—said unto Nala and Nila and Gavāksha and the mighty Kumuda,—“Forgetting your lineage and prowess, whither do ye, exercised with fear, fly,—like inferior monkeys? Ye amiable ones, desist. Why should ye save yourselves? This Raksha doth not come to fight,—this is only a great phenomenon to affright. We shall by our vigor destroy this fearful phenomenon of the Rākshasas that hath presented itself. Therefore, let the monkeys desist. Cheered with much ado, the monkeys rallying, took up trees and advanced to the field of fight. And ceasing from flight, the wood-rangers waxing enraged, began to assail Kumbhakarna, like unto elephants in rut. And the exceedingly strong221 Kumbhakarna, attacked with towering mountain-peaks and crags and trees with flowering top, did not shake. And countless crags descending on his person, were shattered; and trees with flowering tops, being broken, fell down to the earth. And incapable of containing himself (through rage), Kumbhakarna on his part fell to agitating the ranks of the powerful monkeys, even as a fire breaking out burneth down a forest. And many a prime monkey, crimsoned and drenched (with blood) lay down (on the ground); and many, resisted dropped to the earth, like trees bearing coppery flowers. And without looking before or after, the monkeys bounded and rushed. And on being attacked by the Rākshasa with ease some of those heroes dropped into the deep, and some entered the wilderness. And some ran by the same way by which they had crossed the ocean; and some with pale faces darted into downs. And some of the bears ascended up trees, and some took shelter in mountains. And others dropped222 down; and some ran on. And some fell down to the earth, and some lay insensible223 as if dead. Seeing the monkeys break down, Angada addressed them, saying,—“Stay we shall fight. Desist, ye monkeys. Going round this Earth place find I none where ye may rest. Stop ye all. What is the need of preserving your lives. Ye poltroons, if ye fly away leaving your arms behind, your wives shall deride you; and that is more painful to honorable persons than death itself. Born in long and noble lines, whither go ye, suffering from fear, like abject monkeys? When renouncing your prowess, ye fly away in fear, forsooth ye are base. Where now is gone that talk of yours anent your nobility and the welfare (of your king) which you had held in society. He that liveth, despised (of all), hear the reproach of being a craven. Therefore do ye follow the way frequented by the worthy, and cast off fear. We will either lie down on the earth, being slain in consequence of our shortness of days, and thus attain the region of Brahmā incapable of being attained by dastards; or achieve renown by slaying the foe in fight and slain in battle, we shall enjoy the wealth of the region of heroes. Like an insect coming to a glowing and flaming fire, Kumbhakarna, seeing Kākutstha, shall not away hence living. If we save our lives by flight, and if the many are brought down by one, we shall lose our fame utterly”. As Angada decked in golden angadas was saying this, the monkeys, flying away spake onto that hero words not worthy of being spoken unto an hero,—“Great is the havoc that the Rākshasa—Kumbhakarna—hath spread amongst us. ‘Tis not the time to stay: life is dear unto us”. Having said this the monkey-bands darted to the ten cardinal points; as they saw that dreadful and grim-eyed one approach. And as those flower of the forces were on the flight, those heroes were made to desist by Angada with words of comfort and hope pointing to the future. On being cheered by the intelligent son of Vāli, all the monkey-bands stood expecting his commands.

[221] Mahavalāh—plu—evidently a misprint for mahavalah—sing.—T.

[222] For fighting, remarks the commentator.

[223] Suptāh—sleeping; but here, I presume, it means senseless.—T.


And having desisted on hearing the words of Angada, those huge-bodied ones, regaining calmness, became (again) intent on fight. And attaining energy at the exhortation (of Angada), and summoning up their prowess, they stayed in the field agreeably to the words of the powerful Angada. And inspired with spirits, the monkeys, determined to face their fate, rushed into the conflict, and, casting away all care for their lives, entered into a furious fight (with the foe). And speedily upraising trees and gigantic crags, the huge-bodied monkeys charged Kumbhakarna. Thereat the mighty Kumbhakarna possessed of a prodigious person waxing wroth, taking up his mace let the same alight on the enemies. And attacked by Kumbhakarna, seven, eight hundreds and thousands of monkeys measure their lengths on the earth. And casting about his arms, he rusheth on, devouring sixteen, eight, ten, twenty or thirty. And he devoured (the monkeys) like Gāruda swallowing up serpents. And then cheered up with much ado, the monkeys meeting together, and taking trees and rocks in their hands, stood their ground in the van of battle. Then uprooting a crag, Dwivida—foremost of monkeys—resembling an extended mass of clouds rushed against (Kumbhakarna) having the aspect of a mountain-summit. And uprooting it, the monkey hurled it at Kumbhakarna. And without descending on him, the crag fell down amidst the army, and smashed steeds and elephants and cans and choice chargers. And then taking another mountain top, Dwivida hurled it at other Rakshas. And smit with the impetus of the peak, Kumbhakarna had his chargers and his charioteers slain; and the terrific field overflowed with the blood of Rakshas. And Rākshasa car-warriors by means of arrows resembling the Destroyer himself, cut off the heads of the foremost monkeys who had been setting up roars. And the high-souled monkeys also, uprooting giants trees, destroyed cars and horses and elephants and camels and Rākshasas.—And remaining in the sky, Hanumān discharged at Kumbhakarna’s head mountain-peaks and rocks and various trees. And all those mountain-tops he cut off with his dart; and the mighty Kumbhakarna also baffled the shower of trees.—Then grasping his sharpened spear, Kumbhakarna darted against that terrific array of monkeys. And as he charged them, Hanumān armed with a mountain-peak, stood before him. And waxing enraged (Hanumān) vehemently smote Kumbhakarna with a gigantic crag. And overpowered by that, Kumbhakarna experienced great torments, and his body was covered with fat and blood. And then as Guha had pierced Krauncha with his fierce dart, Kumbhakarna the mountain-like smote the Wind-god’s son in the chest with his dart resembling lightning or like a glowing mountain-summit. And having his mighty chest pierced in the mighty encounter, Hanumān, overwhelmed, and vomitting blood,—transported with wrath, set up roars resembling the roaring of the clouds at the universal disruption. And then, beholding him in torments, the Rakshas suddenly rejoiced, emitted shouts; and the monkeys aggrieved and overcome with fright, began to fly Kumbhakarna in battle. And then the powerful Nila, arranging his forces, discharged a mountain-peak at the intelligent Kumbhakarna. And seeing it descend, he dealt it a blow; and struck by the blow, the mountain-top was shattered in pieces; and dropped to the earth glowing and shooting living flames. And then Rishabha and Sarabha and Nila and Gavāksha and Gandhamādana—these five terrific monkeys—rushed against Kumbhakarna. And in the encounter those mighty monkeys began to sorely assail the huge-bodied Kumbhakarna with crags and trees and slaps and kicks and blows. But those blows seemed to him like touches224 and did not at all pain him. Then he fastened the vehement Rishabha with his arms. And agonised on being fastened with Kumbhakarna’s arms, that foremost of monkeys, the dreadful Rishabha, fell down to the earth, vomitting blood by his mouth. And then the enemy of Indra smit, Sarabha with blow, and Nila, in the conflict with his thigh, struck a slap at Gavāksha. And suffering great pain in consequence of the blows (dealt by Kumbhakarna those monkeys), deprived of their senses and bathed in blood, dropped down to the earth like Kinçukas that have been cut down. And on those high-souled and mighty monkeys falling down, thousands of monkeys rushed at Kumbhakarna. And ascending a mountain-summit, those foremost of monkeys,225 possessed of the splendour of a mountain-peak, sprang upon him and tore him with their teeth. And those foremost of monkeys attacked the long-armed Kumbhakarna with their claws and teeth and blows and arms. And then with thousands of monkeys on him that extraordinary one that fearful Rākshasa—resembling a hill,—looked like a mountain with trees on it. And like Gāruda eating up serpents, that wondrous strong one, wrought up with rage, devoured those monkeys, seizing them with his arms. And cast by Kumbhakarna into his mouth resembling the nether regions the monkeys emerged from his nose and ears. And eating up the monkeys, that foremost of Rākshasas resembling a hill, growing wroth, and fired with rage,226 began to break the monkeys down.—And transported with passion, that Rākshasa, making the earth miry with flesh and blood, spread among the monkey-ranks like unto the fire at the a time of the Universal dissolution. And in that encounter, Kumbhakarna armed with his dart in his hand, resembled the thunder-handed Sakra, or the noose-handed Destroyer himself. And as a conflagration227 burneth up a withered forest in the summer, Kumbhakarna burnt that host of the monkeys. And thus beaten (by Kumbhakarna), those monkeys, with their ranks destroyed, the monkeys,228 racked with anxiety, began to cry in unnatural tones. And having innumerable monkeys slain by Kumbhakarna, the monkeys, aggrieved and their hearts riven with sorrow, sought the shelter of Rāghava. Seeing the monkeys broken in the terrific encounter, the son of the thunder-handed,229 darted impetuously against Kumbhakarna. And taking up a mighty crag, he momentarily setting up roars, and thereby terrorizing all the Rākshasas—followers of Kumbhakarna, he discharged the mountain-peak right against Kumbhakarna’s crown.—And struck with that mountain-peak, Indra’s enemy—Kumbhakarna—flamed up in fierce wrath. And the loud-throated Kumbhakarna, terrifying all the monkeys vehemently darted against the enraged son of Vāli; and then that wondrous strong one hurled his dart at Angada. And as the dart descended, that foremost of monkeys endowed with strength,230 and skilled in battle, evaded the weapon from his fleetness. And then swiftly springing up, he slapped (his antagonist) in the chest. And thereat that one resembling a hill, lost his senses. And recovering his senses, that exceedingly strong Rākshasa, dealt a blow at Angada; and the latter dropped down senseless. And on that powerful monkey falling down insensible, Kumbhakarna, taking his dart, rushed against Sugriva. And seeing the exceeding stout Kumbhakarna approach, the heroic king of monkeys—Sugriva—sprang up; and taking a mountain-top that one possessed of great strength darted against the mighty Kumbhakarna. And seeing that monkey, Kumbhakarna, stretching his limbs, stood before the lord of monkeys. And seeing Kumbhakarna, with his body laved in the blood of monkeys; and eating up mighty monkeys, Sugriva addressed him, saying,—“Thou hast felled heroes done deeds difficult of being performed, and hast devoured the warriors; and thou hast thus attained renown. But let go now the monkey-army. What shalt thou do with the ignoble? Do thou, O Rākshasa bear the descent of this mountain”. Hearing those words of the monkey-king instinct with strength and fortitude, that terrible Rākshasa—Kumbhakarna—said,—“O monkey, thou stormest, because thou art the grandson of Prajāpati231 and the son of the king of bears; and because as such thou art endowed with fortitude and prowess”. Hearing Kumbhakarna’s speech, Sugriva whirling that mountain-peak, suddenly let it go; and with that rock resembling Vajra or the thunder-bolt, smote Kumbhakarna in the chest. And on coming in contact with his wide breast, that mountain-peak was at once shattered in shivers. And thereat the monkeys grew dispirited and the Rākshasa’s ranks shouted in joy. And struck with the mountain-summit, Kumbhakarna was fired with wrath; and roared, expending his face. And then, whirling his dart resembling lightning displayed, he hurled it for compassing the destruction of the master of monkeys. Then swiftly bounding up, the Wind-god’s son, resisting that whetted dart fastened with golden chains,—with his hands violently snapped it in twain. And placing the same on his thighs, (Hanumān) snapped that ponderous and terrible dart composed of black iron, and thereat the monkeys waxed delighted. And seeing the dart severed by Hanumān, the monkey-army, growing delighted, set up countless shouts and rushed in all directions. And the Rākshasa was seized with fear and turned away (from the field.) And the monkeys excessively delighted, set up loud shouts, and finding the dart broken, poured forth thanks to the Wind-god’s son. Then the mighty-minded lord of Rākshasas seeing the dart thus severed, uprooted a peak from the Malaya and with it smote Sugriva. The king of monkeys struck with the mountain-peak fell senseless upon the field, and the demons finding him in this plight shouted out in great joy. Then Kumbhakarna coming to the wonderfully mighty master of monkeys, took him up and stole away from the field, as a violent gust of wind stealeth away a patch of cloud. Kumbhakarna, who resembled a mountain in loftiness of stature, while taking him away like a mass of cloud appeared like Sumeru overtopped with lofty peaks. Thus the lord of Rākshasas went on hearing thanks (from the Rākshasas) and shouts from the lords of the heavens, wondered at the capture of the foremost of monkeys. Thus taking him captive, that mighty one resembling Indra in puissance, thought his death would destroy the entire host of the opponents together with Rāghava. Then Hanumān, the shrewd son of Maruta, finding the whole host of monkeys scattered in all directions, as well as Sugriva captured by Kumbhakarna bethought himself—“What ought to be done by me now that our king has been captured? I will doubtless do as befits me now—let me assume the shape of a mountain and kill the Rākshasas. Let me kill the mighty Kumbhakarna, splitting his body with my strong fist and thus relieve the master of monkeys—thus let the whole host of monkeys become delighted. Or, even when captured by the whole host of gods or Asuras or serpents he is mighty enough to extricate himself. Meseems, the lord of monkeys struck with dart in battle by Kumbhakarna has not yet recovered his senses. Else in a moment he would do the needful for himself as well as the monkeys. Should the relief of the mighty-minded Sugriva come from me, I should be incurring his displeasure and it would certainly lead to the loss of his reputation for ever; then I must wait a moment and see his own might displayed by himself when relieved. Meanwhile let me cheer up the monkey-host”. Thinking thus within himself, Hanumān, that son of Maruta, began to stay the mighty host of monkeys. In the meantime Kumbhakarna entered Lankā with Sugrira trembling, being honored with the showering of beautiful flowers from the sky, the buildings on the main roads and the town-gate. Then the mighty one (Sugriva) slowly recovered his senses with the shower of fried paddy and sweet scent and the sprinkling of water as well as with the coolness of the streets. Then that mighty-minded (Sugriva), caught in the arms of the powerful Rākshasa, having with difficulty come to his senses and surveying around him the streets of the town bethought himself:—“When thus within the grasp of the enemy how can I take revenge? Or let me do what will be acceptable and advantageous to our army”. Then advancing all on a sudden, he with his nails and sharp teeth cut off the ears and nose of that lord of the enemies of the gods and split both his sides with the blow of his feet. And Kumbhakarna losing his ears and nose and having his sides split with nails and teeth grew angry, and becoming all covered over with blood, threw Sugriva to the ground and pressed him. Thus pressed upon the ground with main force and severely struck by the enemies of gods, he flew to the skies like a ball-rolling, and once more joined Rāma. The mighty Kumbhakarna having lost his nose and ears and drenched in blood, appeared like a mountain covered all over with streamlets. That huge-bodied Rākshasa, younger brother of Rāvana, terrible in appearance, resembling a mass of deep black collyrium, and covered all over with blood, appeared like an evening cloud; and (once more) made up his mind to appear in battle. Sugriva having thus escaped, that dreadful enemy of the king of the celestials in wrath again rushed to battle; and finding himself destitute of arms took up a fearful mace. And then that mighty-minded one, the Raksha Kumbhakarna, issuing out of the city began to devour the terrific host of monkeys, as doth the mighty fire eat up people at the end of a Yuga. On entering the mighty host of monkeys, the hungry Kumbhakarna, hankering after flesh and blood, ate up the monkeys, and with them, devoured many a Rākshasa and Pisācha by mistake. Thus, as Death devoureth creatures at the end of a Yuga, he destroyed the mighty monkeys. And he in wrath, taking up with one hand the monkeys along with the Rākshasas, hurriedly threw them into his mouth,—one, two three, or many at a time. And blood and fat flowed copiously down his body; and though struck by the monkeys with peaks of mountains, the mighty one devoured all those monkeys. And the monkeys as they were being devoured, saught the shelter of Rāma. And Kumbhakarna wrought up with wrath, chased amain hundreds of monkeys, eating up seven, eight, twenty, or thirty. And fastening (the monkeys) with his arms, he, devouring them, rushed on. And resembling the Destroyer of prodigious dimensions at the end of a Yuga, that one furnished with extremely sharp teeth, having his body covered with fat, marrow and blood, and coiling entrails about his ears, began to discharge darts. And at this moment, that subduer of hostile hosts and captor of the capitals of foes—Sumitrā’s son—Lakshmana, growing enraged, entered on an encounter with the enemy. And Lakshmana endued with prowess shot seven shafts at Kumbhakarna’s body; and next, taking up other arrows also discharged them (at his antagonist). And thereat that Rākshasa, smarting under the wounds inflicted by that weapon,232 cut it off (by means of a weapon). Thereupon grew enraged the powerful Lakshmana—enhancer of Sumitrā’s joy. And then as the wind overspreadeth evening clouds, he with his shafts covered his233 shining and graceful mail entirely made of gold. And smit with arrows dight with gold, that one resembling a mass of dark-blue collyrium appeared beautiful like the ray-furnished Sun surrounded by clouds. Then that dreadful Rākshasa voiced like masses of clouds, scornfully addressed the enhancer of Sumitrā’s felicity, saying,—“By dauntlessly fighting with me, who have without ado brought down the Destroyer himself in battle, thou hast established thy heroism. Even by staying before me, who am equipped with arms in this encounter, and who in mighty conflict resemble Death himself, thou deservest to be honored. What shall I say of thy fighting? Not even that lord—Sakra himself—mounted on his Airāvata, and engirt by all the immortals,—had ever before stayed before me in the field. But to-day, O Sumitrā’s son, albeit a boy, thou hast gratified me with thy prowess. Now taking thy leave, I wish to go to Rāghava. And as I have been well pleased in battle with thy vigour and strength and enthusiasm, I now wish to slay Rāma alone, who being slain, all are slain. On Rāma being here slain by me, the rest remaining in the encounter—them shall I undertake with my all-crushing vigour”. When that Raksha had spoken thus, (Lakshmana); Sumitrā’s son, present in that contest, answered him laughing in terrible words, saying,—“That thy prowess is incapable of being borne by Sakra and other celestials,—is true. It is not otherwise, O hero. To-day I myself have witnessed thy prowess. Yonder is Daçaratha’s son—Rāma—staying like a moveless mountain”. Hearing this, that night-ranger—Kumhhakarna—possessed of immense might, disregarding Lakshmana and passing beyond Sumitrā’s son, rushed against Rāma, making the earth tremble. Thereat Daçaratha’s son, Rāma, employing a terrific weapon, discharged sharpened shafts at Kumbhakarna’s breast. Thereat flames mixed with live embers shot out from the mouth of that enraged one suddenly rushing (against Rāma),—as Rāma pierced him (with his arrows). And on being frightfully pierced by Rāma’s weapons, that foremost of Rākshasas, roaring wrathfully darted against Rāma, and pursued the monkeys in the conflict. And those shafts adorned with peacock’s plumes, alighting on (Kumbhakarna’s) chest, his mace, escaping his hand, dropped to the earth; and all his (other) arms also were scattered on the ground. And when that exceedingly powerful one saw himself deprived of all his arms, he began to spread a huge havoc by means of his clenched fists and hands. And with his body entirely covered with arrows and bathed in blood, he began to bleed like a hill overflowing with fountains. And fired with wrath and maddened with blood,234 he rusheth on, devouring monkeys and Rākshasas and bears. And that redoubtable one possessed of dreadful prowess, resembling the Reaper himself, whirling a mighty mountain-peak, hurled it aiming at Rāma. Thereat Bharata’s elder brother, the righteous Rāma, ere that prodigious peak had alighted, severed the same by means of seven straight-speeding shafts wrought with gold. Intent on finishing Kumbhakarna, the virtuous Lakshmana, revolving many a means, (at last) spoke unto Rāma,—“O king, this one knoweth not monkeys and Rākshasas,—maddened with the smell of blood, he eateth up his own as well as his enemies. Now let the foremost monkeys, putting forth their best, mount on him; and let the leaders of bands according to their rank, stand surrounding him. And then to-day this wicked-minded Rākshasa, oppressed with a mighty weight, will no longer be able to eat up any more monkeys”. Hearing the words of the intelligent prince, those exceedingly powerful monkeys with alacrity ascended Kumbhakarna. And Kumbhakarna mounted by those monkeys, waxing exceedingly enraged, shook them vehemently, even as mad elephants shake the drivers thereof. And Rāghava seeing them shaken, and concluding the Rākshasa to be wroth, furiously sprang forward, taking his bow. And with his eyes crimsoned with choler, the gentle Rāghava, as if burning up the Rākshasa with his eyes, rushed forth vehemently, summoning up all his impetuosity, thereby cheering up the leaders of bands that had been sore tried by the might of Kumbhakarna. And equipped with an excellent quiver and arrows, Rāma cheering up the monkeys sprang forward, taking a bow, resembling a serpent; terrific; having a stout string; and embellished in gold. Then surrounded by exceedingly invincible monkey-bands, that highly powerful hero, followed by Lakshmana, marched forth. And he saw the redoubtable and high-souled Kumbhakarna, with his body drenched in blood, and with blood-shot eyes; rushing against all, like unto an infuriated elephant of the cardinal points; pursuing the monkeys; wrought up with wrath; environed by Rākshasas; appearing like the Vindhya or the Mandara; decked with golden angadas; bleeding from his mouth; like clouds pouring showers; licking at the corners of his mouth laved with blood; smashing the monkey-ranks; and resembling Yama the Destroyer. And that best of persons, seeing that foremost of Rākshasas having the splendour of a living fire, stretched his bow to its full bent. And fired with wrath at the twang of his bow, that foremost of Rākshasas, inflamed with wrath,—not brooking that report, rushed against Rāghava. Thereat, the gentle Rāma, endowed with arms resembling the body of the sovereign of serpents, in that encounter addressed Kumbhakarna, like unto an elevated cloud and possessed of the splendour of a mountain,—as he darted forward, saying,—“Come, O king of Rakshas! Let no grief be thine! Here I stay, taking my bow in my hand. Know me for the destroyer of the race of the Rākshasas—thou who in a moment shalt be deprived of thy senses”. Knowing that this was Rāma, (Kumbhakarna) laughed in frightful accents; and then, wrought up with wrath, rushed against the monkeys in the encounter. And as if riving the breasts of all the monkeys (present), the exceedingly energetic Kumbhakarna, laughing frightfully and in a terrific manner,—resembling the rumbling of clouds, addressed Rāghava, saying,—“Take me not for Virādha, or for Kavandha, or yet for Khara. I am not Vāli or Māricha. I am Kumbhakarna, that am come. Behold my dreadful and mighty mace entirely made of iron. By help of this I had formerly brought down deities and Dānavas. It doth not behove thee to scorn me in that my nose hath been severed. I do not feel any the smallest torment in consequence of my ears and nose having been cut off. O tiger of the Ikshwaku line, O sinless one, do thou witness the prowess that is in my frame. And thereafter, when thou shalt have displayed thy prowess and power, shall I devour thee up”. Hearing Kumbhakarna’s words, Rāma discharged (at him) shafts furnished with knobs. And smit with these having the impetus of the thunder-bolt, the foe of the celestials did not feel any pain or smart. And those shafts which had severed the seven stately sālas, and, to boot, had slain Vāli—best of monkeys,—they resembling the thunder itself—could not impart any pain to Kumbhakarna’s body. And drinking up in his body those arrows resembling a shower, the enemy of the great Indra whirling his mace possessed of fierce vehemence, put out the arrowy discharge of Rāma. Then that Raksha whirling his mace washed in blood, capable of striking terror into the mighty hosts of gods and Dānavas, and possessed of fierce impetus,—made the monkey-army take to its heels. Then Rāma, taking a mighty Vāyavya weapon, used the same against the night-ranger; and cut off his arm with the mace. And having his arm cut off, he set up tremendous roars. And his arm with the mace, resembling a mountain-peak, cut off by Rāghava’s arrows, fell in the midst of the army of the monkey-king, and destroyed that army.235 Thereat the monkeys remaining after those broken and slain,—dispirited, and having their limbs wounded,—moving aside, looked on the dreadful encounter between the Raksha and the lord of men. And then Kumbhakarna, having his arm severed, resembling the foremost of mountains with its crest hewn away by a mighty sabre, tore up a tree with his (remaining) arm and in the conflict rushed against the monarch of men. Thereupon with a shaft plated in gold, set upon a weapon of Indra, Rāma cut off his uplifted arm with a palm tree, looking like the body of a pannaga. And that arm of Kumbhakarna, being severed, dropped inert on the earth, like a hill, and crushed trees and rocks and crags and monkeys and Rākshasas. And Rāma, seeing that one shorn of his arms suddenly spring up, roaring,—took up two whetted crescents, and in the contest cut off the legs of the Rākshasa. And thereupon those legs (of his), making all sides and quarters and rocks and caves and the mighty main and Lankā herself and the army of the monkeys and the Rākshasas,—resound,—dropped down (on the ground). And having his arms cut off and his legs also severed, (Kumbhakarna), opening wide his mouth resembling in sheen the mouth of a mare, roaring swiftly darted against Rāghava,—even as Rāhu pursueth the Moon in the firmament. Then Rāma stuffed his mouth full of sharpened shafts having their feathered parts furnished with gold. And having his mouth filled; he could not articulate; but with extreme effort uttered indistinct accents and swooned away. Then Rāma took an arrow of Indra,—whetted and knobbed, impetuous as the wind, resembling the effulgence of the Sun, and like unto the very banner of Brahmā, or the Destroyer himself; and fatal to foes. And then Rāma hurled it at the ranger of the night. And thereat that weapon hurled by Rāma’s arm, resembling a smokeless flame, lighting up the ten cardinal points with its own glory,—saught him that was possessed of the dreadful energy of Sakra’s thunder-bolt. And therewith he (Rāma) cut off the head of the lord of Rakshas resembling a mountain-summit, furnished with prominent teeth,—from which the ear-rings had fallen off,—even as formerly Purandara had cut off the head of Vritra. And then Kumbhakarna’s huge head deprived of the ear-rings appeared like the Moon seated in the midst (of the heavens) on the rising of the Sun in the morning.236 And struck with Rāma’s arrow, the head of the Raksha resembling a hill fell down to the earth; and (in its fall) crushed edifices on the highways and gateways; and elevated walls also it bore down to the ground. And then that Raksha of gigantic proportions and vast to the view plunged into the deep; and crushing huge and mighty fishes and serpents, saught the depths. And on that enemy of the Brahmanas and gods, endowed with immense strength,—having been slain in battle, the earth shook and the mountains also; and from excess of joy the celestials shouted aloud. And those deities and saints and Maharshis and Pannagas, and celestials and (other) beings and birds and Guhyakas, together with Yakshas and Gandharvas,—all these who had stationed themselves in the welkin,—were rejoiced at the prowess of Rāma. And at his (Kumbhakarna’s) great destruction, the intelligent adherents of the king of Nairitas,—aggrieved exceedingly, began to cry at the sight of that best of the Raghus, even as mad elephants cry at sight of a lion. And like unto the Sun emerged from the mouth of Rāhu, and destroying the darkness of the celestial fields,—shone Rāma in the midst of the monkey-army having slain Kumbhakarna in battle. And countless monkeys experienced the very height of delight; and on (their) foe of terrific strength having been slain, they with countenances resembling awaked lotuses paid homage unto the king’s son—Rāghava—the sharer of good fortune. And as the monarch of the immortals had rejoiced on slaying the mighty Asura—Vritra—Bharata’s elder brother rejoiced on having in battle slain that smiter of celestial hosts, Kumbhakarna in mighty conflict, never (before) vanquished in renowned encounters.

[224] Like the feel, remarks Rāmānuja, of wreaths, unguents, etc.—T.

[225] Plavaganshavāh—foremost of the monkeys occurs twice—one is left out in the translation.—T.

[226] Sankrudha—infuriated, and Krudha, angered—this pleonasm is in the text.—T.

[227] The text has pāvaka—fire.—T.

[228] Plavangamāh and vanarāh—both mean monkeys. One is left out.—T.

[229] The thunder-handed is Indra—his son is Vāli; and Vāli’s son is Angada, who is meant in the text.—T.

[230] Valavān—strong occurs twice.

[231] Rikskarajas—the father of Sugriva, was produced from the yawning of Prajāpati or Brahma.—T.

[232] But Lakshmana had not discharged a single weapon only against Kombhakarna.—T.

[233] Kumbhakarna’s.

[234] Perhaps with the smell of blood.—T.

[235] This, of course, is not to be taken literally.—T.

[236] This sloka is wanting in many texts.—T.


Seeing Kumbhakarna slain by the high-souled Rāghava, the Rākshasas conveyed the tidings to the lord of the Rākshasas—Rāvana; (and addressed him, saying), “O king, that one resembling the Destroyer himself, urged on by Death,—having scoured the monkey-army and eaten up monkeys,—and for a while displayed his prowess, hath met with his quietus at the hands of Rāma exerting his energy. And with half his body immersed in the dreadful deep, thy brother, Kumbhakarna, with his nose and ears cut off, and blood besmearing his body,—with his head and limbs hewn away, and his body uncovered,—mountain-like blocketh up the gate of Lankā with his person,—and resembleth a tree that hath been consumed by a forest-fire”. Hearing the mighty Kumbhakarna slain in battle, Rāvana burning in grief, swooned away and dropped to the earth. And hearing their uncle slain, Triçiras237 and Atikāya—destroyers of gods and men,—began to weep, oppressed with sorrow. And Mahodara238 and Mahāpārçwa239 hearing of their uncle slain by Rāma of untiring deeds, were overcome with grief. Then regaining his senses with extreme exertion, that foremost of Rākshasas, distressed in consequence of the destruction of Kumbhakarna, mourned with his senses overwhelmed, saying,—“O hero! O humbler of the pride of the foe! O mighty Kumbhakarna! Leaving me, thou through Destiny, hast gone to the abode of Yama. O exceedingly powerful one, leaving me (lone) whither dost thou wend, without extracting my dart as well as that of thy friends? Now really I am not, inasmuch as my right arm hath dropped. Backed by this one, I would not fear celestials and Asuras. How to-day forsooth hath such a hero—crusher of the hauteur of gods and Dānavas—resembling the Fire arisen at the hour of universal wreck,—been slain in fight by Rāghava? He who could not be harmed by the concussion of the thunder-bolt itself—how can he, smitten with Rāma’s arrows, sleep soundly on the earth? These gods stationed in the sky along with the saints,—beholding thee slain in battle, are shouting in glee. Surely to-day the monkeys overjoyed,—finding occasion, will scale all the gateways and fortifications of Lankā. I have nothing to do with empire. And what shall I do with Sitā? And deprived of Kumbhakarna, I do not even wish to live. If I do not slay in encounter that slayer of my brother—Rāghava,—certainly death is even that which is good for me,—otherwise, this life is useless. This very day will I repair to that place where my younger brother is. Forsaking my brother, I forsooth dare not live for a moment; for the gods shall laugh on seeing me, who had formerly wronged them. But, how, O Kumbhakarna, thou having been slain, shall I conquer Indra? Now the beneficial words of Bibhishana have been verified. And as through blindness I did not accept the advice of that high-souled one, Kumbhakarna and of Prahasta, this disaster arisen, shameth me sore. And as I had disgraced the virtuous and graceful Bibhishana, this peril producing grief, hath been the consequence of my conduct”. Having thus piteously and long lamented Kumbhakarna, the Ten-necked one, with his inmost soul overwhelmed with sorrow, and sore distressed in consequence of grief,—fell down, knowing his brother—the enemy of Indra—slain in battle.

[237] Three-headed.—T.

[238] Huge-bellied.—T.

[239] Mighty-flanked.—T.


Hearing the lamentations of the wicked-minded Rāvana, overwhelmed with grief, Triçiras addressed him, saying,—“O Sire, this second uncle unto us possessed of mighty prowess hath240 forsooth been slain in fight. But, O king, heroes never indulge in grief as thou doest O lord, thou certainly alone art competent to conquer the triple world. Wherefore then dost thou vent such sorrow like an ignoble one? Thou hast thy dart conferred on thee by Brahmā; and thy mail and thy weapon—the bow—and thy car yoked with a thousand asses, sending forth clatter resembling the rumbling of clouds. The deities and the Dānavas have by means of thy arms been terrified over and over again. And furnished with all arms, thou ought to chastise Rāghava. But stay at thy pleasure, O mighty sovereign, I will go out to battle; and even as Gāruda captureth serpents, will I capture thine enemies. And as Samvara was vanquished by the lord of the immortals, or Naraka by Vishnu, will I bringing down Rāma in battle make him sleep (in the field)”. Hearing Triçiras’ words, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—urged on by Fate, considered himself as having regained his life. And hearing the speech of Triçiras, Devāntaka, and Narāntaka, and the energetic Atikāya also, were wrought up with martial enthusiasm. And then those foremost of Nairitas—the heroic sons of Rāvana—endowed with the prowess of Sakra himself—roared out, ‘I will go,’ ‘I will go.’ And all could range the sky, and all were skilled in illusion, and all were crushers of the pride of the immortals; and all were irrisistible in encounter. And all of them were endowed with superior strength, and all had achieved wide celebrity. They had never been heard of as having been beaten in fight even by the gods along with the Gandharvas, or the mighty serpents accompanied by the Kinnaras. And all were skilled in weapons and heroic; and all were versed in warfare. And all were possessed of the higher knowledge; and all had obtained boons. And then the king surrounded by those sons of his, appearing like celestials,—capable of injuring the force and fortune of the foe,—looked splendid like Maghavān environed by the immortals, humblers of the hauteur of mighty Dānavas. And embracing his sons and adorning them in ornaments,—he sent them to the field with his best benedictions. And Rāvana sent the brothers—Yudhyonmatta and Matta—for protecting the princes in the field. And then, saluting the high-souled Rāvana—destroyer of creatures,—and going round him, those huge-bodied ones marched forth. And furnished with every description of medicinal herbs and perfumes, these six Nairitas—foremost of their kind—endowed with great strength—burning for battle, marched forth,—Triçiras and Atikāya, and Devāntaka and Narāntaka, and Mahodara and Mahāpārçwa went out, urged on by Fate. Then Mahodara mounted the elephant—Sudarçana—sprung in the race of Airāvata, and resembling dark-blue clouds. And accoutred in every weapon, and decked with quivers, he looked splendid on his elephant like the Sun ascending the crest of the Setting-hill. And Rāvana’s son—Triçiras—ascended a car yoked with excellent steeds, and furnished with every variety of arms. And having ascended the car, Triçiras bow in hand appeared beautiful like a mass of burning clouds having lightning and meteors, and crowned with Indra’s bow.241 And dight with three diadems, Triçiras looked splendid in that superb car, like the monarch of mountains Himavān—with the three golden hills. And then that foremost of all bowmen—the powerful Atikāya—son unto the lord of Rākshasas—ascended the best of cars having excellent wheels and akshas, and yoked with excellent steeds,—and furnished with bottoms and holes; flaming with quivers and bows; and bristling with prāças and swords and blugdeons. And adorned with a crown plated with wrought gold and (other) ornaments, he looked like the Meru swimming in its own splendour And that powerful son of the king surrounded by the Nairitas looked lovely on that car like the thunder-handed (Deity) engirt by the immortals. And Narāntaka mounted a white steed resembling Uchchaiçrava, caparisoned in gold, having a large frame and endowed with the velocity of the Wind. And taking a prāça, Narantaka appeared like the energetic Guha mounted on the peacock, grasping his dart. And taking a bludgeon decked in golden ornaments, Devāntaka resembled Vishnu at the time of the churning of the ocean, holding the Darbhyā,242 and staying burthening (the earth). And the powerful Mahāpārçwa endowed with terrific energy, taking his mace, appeared like Kuvera holding in his hand a mace in the encounter. And like immortals issuing out of Amarāvati, they marched out with elephants and steeds and cars sending out clatter resembling the rumbling of clouds. And them followed high-souled Rākshasas equipped with mighty-arms. And those sun-bright high-souled princes decked with diadems appeared splendid like burning planets in the firmament. And the various gorgeous attires which they had worn resembled rows of cranes in the sky, looking like autumnal clouds. Resolved on dying or conquering the foe in fight, those heroes sallied out seeking encounter. And those high-souled ones, incapable of being repressed in fight, roared and shouted and discharged shafts and held them. And the earth shook as they sent up leonine roars and struck at their arms with their hands; and the sky seemed riven with the leonine roars of the Rakshas. And issuing out cheerfully, those foremost of Rākshasas endowed with great strength beheld that monkey-army staying with upraised rocks and stones. And the high souled monkeys also saw that mighty host of Rākshasas thronging with elephants, horses and cars, and ringing with hundreds of bell-lets; resembling dark-blue clouds; upraising mighty arms; and environed on all sides by Nairitas resembling flaming fire. And seeing that force advance, the monkeys, finding opportunity, upraising giant crags, momentarily set up shouts. And thereat, the Rākshasas, incapable of bearing those shouts, shouted in reply unto the monkeys. And again the monkeys shouted unto the Rakshas, who were unable to put up with that cry. And hearing that loud shout of the monkey-leaders, the mighty Rakshas incapable of bearing that noise expressive of exhilaration,—shouted still more dreadfully. And then diving into that dreadful Rākshasa army, the monkey leaders began to range it with uplifted rocks,—like unto mountains. And equipped with trees and stones, the monkeys enraged, ranged the Raksha army, now rising into the sky. And now coming down to the earth. And some among the powerful monkeys went about taking broad-shouldered trees. And the encounter that took place between the thronging Rakshas and monkeys was something terrific. And (the monkeys) began to pour a wonderful shower of trees and rocks and cliffs. And the monkeys of dread prowess were resisted with vollies of shafts. And in the contest the monkeys and Rākshasas emitted leonine roars. And monkeys crushed Yatudhānas with rocks, and, wrought with rage, (they) in the encounter slew (Rākshasas) covered with armour and ornaments; and some slew heroes mounted on cars and elephants and steeds. And the monkeys on a sudden slew heroic Yātudhānas. And smit with mountain-peaks on their persons, and with their eyes falling off, the foremost of Rākshasas moved, dropped down, or roared in the scene of conflict. And the Rākshasas (on their part) pierced the foremost of monkeys with sharpened and keen darts and clubs and scimitars; and slew them with darts and prācas. And, eager for bringing down each other, the monkeys and the Rākshasas with their persons, washed with the blood of their antagonists felled each other. And in a moment the earth was covered with crags and swords discharged by monkeys and Rākshasas,—and was drenched in gore. And the field was blocked up with scattered mountain-like Rakshas influenced by martial ardour,—mangled by their enemies. And the monkeys thrown down and felled by means of broken crags and monkeys243 and arms and legs,—waged a wonderful war. And those foremost of Nairitas slew monkeys with (the dead bodies of monkeys); and the monkeys smote Rākshasas with (the dead bodies of) Rākshasas; and the Rākshasas slew (the monkeys), hurling rocks and crags. And snatching away their own arms by main force, the monkeys finished Rakshas; and they slaughtered them with mountain-peaks, and also wounded each other. And the monkeys and Rākshasas emitted leonine roars in the encounter. And the Rākshasas, slain by the monkeys, having their mail and defence for the body rent, bled like unto trees exuding sap. And in that encounter, some among the monkeys destroyed cars with cars, elephants with elephants, and steeds with steeds. And the Rākshasas rived the trees and rocks of the foremost monkeys by means of Kshurapras and crescents and sharpened Bhallas and arrows. And in that encounter, the earth became impassable, having been scattered with crags baffled and severed trees and (warriors) slain by monkeys and Rakshas. And those monkeys, equipped with various weapons, and with their vigor unworn, entering upon the conflict casting off fear,—cheerfully putting forth efforts springing from pride of spirit, warred on with the Rākshasas. And in that fearful conflict, which was being waged, on the monkeys having been exhilarated and the Rākshasas having been brought down, the Maharshis and the deities sent up shouts. Then mounted on a charger endued with the celerity of the Wind, and grasping a whetted dart, Narāntaka entered into that fierce army of monkeys, like a fish diving into the deep. And that hero by means of an effulgent bearded dart pierced seven hundred monkeys; and at one time the high-souled enemy of Indra slew the army of the foremost of monkeys. And the Vidyādharas and Maharshis saw that high-souled one mounted on horseback, ranging the monkey-ranks. And his course was discovered, miry with flesh and blood and blocked up with mountain-like monkeys fallen. And when the monkeys set their hearts on displaying their prowess, Narāntaka, baffling them, pierced them with shafts. And he consumed the monkey-army, like fire burning a forest. And when the wood-rangers uprooted trees and crags, they slain by bearded darts dropped down like mountains riven by the thunder. And raising a glowing prāça, the powerful Narantaka began to range about in the rear244 of the forces; dashing everywhere (against the foe) in fight, like the wind in the rainy season. And the heroes could not appear prominently, or keep their posts. And how could they then move freely? And that one endued with prowess pierced everyone, whether springing, or staying, or moving. And broken through by a single prāça, resembling the Reaper, and furnished with solar effulgence, the monkey-ranks began to roll on the earth. And the monkeys were ill fitted to bear the impetus of that prāça having the touch of thunder itself; and they raised a loud cry. And the appearances of those monkey-heroes falling were like mountains toppling, having their summits riven with the thunder-bolt. Those high-souled and powerful monkeys that formerly had been brought down by Kumbhakarna,—having recovered, were present with Sugriva in this encounter. And Sugriva, looking around, saw that monkey-army flying in all directions, agitated with the fear of Narantaka. And after seeing the army in flight, he saw Narantaka himself, advancing, wielding a prāça, and mounted on a steed. And as soon as he saw (that hero), the exceedingly energetic lord of monkeys—Sugriva—addressed the heroic prince Angada, endowed with strength equal to that of Indra, saying,—“Go against this heroic Rākshasas that is mounted on a steed; and speedily deprive of life that one who is devouring up the ranks of his foes”. Hearing his master’s speech, Angada descended from that host resembling clouds, like the powerful Sun himself. And resembling a mass of crags, Angada—foremost of monkeys—adorned with Angadas, appeared beautiful like a mountain with metals on it. And weaponless himself, and furnished only with nails and teeth, Vāli’s son attacking Narantaka, said,—“Stay! What shalt thou do with these interior monkeys? This prāça, having the feel of the thunder-bolt, do thou hurl at my heart itself”. Hearing Angada’s words, Narantaka was fired with wrath. And knawing his upper lip with his teeth and sighing like a serpent, Narāntaka, wrought with wrath, approached Vāli’s son. And then whirling his prāça, he suddenly discharged that flaming (weapon) against Angada. And then it was snapped on the breast of Vāli’s son, resembling the thunder-bolt, and dropped to the earth. And seeing the prāça broken in pieces, like a powerful snake severed by Suparna, Vāli’s son, raising his hand, dealt a slap at the head of his (Narāntaka’s) steed. Thereat, with his legs sinking down and his eye-balls coming off and his tongue hanging down, and wearing the look of a mountain,—on being smit with that slap, Narāntaka’s steed fell down to the ground, with its head lying at random. And Narāntaka seeing his charger slain and fallen, was seized with a furious wrath, and raising his clenched fist, that one endowed with exceeding great energy in that conflict hit Vāli’s son on the head. Thereat Angada having his head wounded by that blow, warm blood gushed out plentifully. And momentarily burning and momentarily swooning, he, regaining his senses, was amazed. Then Vāli’s son, the high-souled Angada clenching his fist into a blow resembling Death itself in energy, and like unto a mountain-peak, let it descend on the chest of Narāntaka. Thereat, with his breast riven and broken down, vomitting flames and having his body bathed in blood, Narāntaka dropped down to the earth, like a hill shattered by the impetus of the thunder-bolt. And on Narāntaka of exceeding prowess having been slain by Vāli’s son in battle, there arose a tremendous uproar in the firmament from the wood-rangers and the foremost of celestials. And Angada having performed that difficult deed of prowess, capable of delighting the mind of Rāma, was seized with amazement;245 and that one of terrific feats in fight was again inspired with delight in the encounter.

And seeing Narāntaka slain, the foremost of Nairitas—including the three-headed Devāntaka and Pulastya’s descendant, Mahodara,—began to cry (in chorus). And then the vehement Mahodara, mounted (on horseback), rushed against Vāli’s son endued with energy. And aggrieved in consequence of the calamity that had befallen his brother, the strong Devāntaka grasping a dreadful bludgeon, darted against Angada. And ascending a car resembling the Sun yoked with superb steeds, the heroic Triçiras rushed against Vāli’s son. Then charged by those three powerful Rākshasas—crushers of the hauteur of immortals, Angada uprooted a tree furnished with gigantic branches. And as Sakra hurleth the mighty flaming thunderbolt, that hero—Angada—at once hurled against Devāntaka that mighty tree having giant branches. And Triçiras cut off that tree in pieces by means of shafts resembling serpents. And seeing the tree severed, Angada darted up; and246 then that foremost of monkeys showered crags and trees. And all those Triçiras wrought with wrath cut off by means of whetted arrows; and Mahodara snapped those trees with the end of his bludgeon. And then Triçiras rushed against that hero—Vāli’s son—with shafts; and Mahodara chased him,247 mounted on an elephant; and struck Angada in the chest with tomaras resembling the thunder-bolt. And Devāntaka, enraged advancing, hit Angada with his bludgeon, and then, endowed with velocity, he swiftly turned away. And attacked simultaneonly by those three powerful Nairitas, the exceedingly energetic son of Vāli possessed of prowess, did not feel any pain. And that impetuous one incapable of being conquered, summoning his utmost vehemence, rushing on, pealt a slap at his248 mighty elephant. And thereat the elephant fell down in his very sight and expired. And then pulling out his tusks, the highly powerful son of Vāli, darting against Devāntaka, dealt him a blow therewith in that encounter. And thereupon that strong one overwhelmed like a tree buffetted by the wind, began to discharge blood profusely, looking like the hue of lac. And then cheering him, the exceedingly energetic and powerful Narāntaka, violently whirling his bludgeon with might and main, hit Angada with it. And albeit struck with the bludgeon, the son of the lord of monkeys, going down on his knees, again darted up. And as he sprang up, Triçiras hit at the temples of the son of the king of monkeys with three straight-speeding terrific shafts. And seeing Angada assailed by the three redoubtable Rākshasas, Hanumān and Nila proceeded (to his rescue). Then Nila hurled a mountain-top at Triçiras; and thereat that son of Rāvana severed it with sharpened arrows. And that mountain-top on being riven, dropped down, aflame and shooting out sparks of fire. And seeing him249 yawning in joy, the stalwart Devāntaka in that encounter pursued the Wind-god’s son with his bludgeon. And as he rushed on, that foremost of monkeys—Hanumān—dealt on the crown of his head, a blow resembling the thunder-bolt itself. And the mighty and heroic son of the Wind-god hit (at his antagonist); and that redoubted monkey also with his roars made the Rākshasas tremble (in fear). And thereat with his head crushed and cleft, and his teeth and eyes falling out, and his tongue hanging down, that son unto the sovereign of the Rākshasas suddenly dropped to the earth, deprived of life. On that fierce and mighty Rākshasa warrior—that foe of the immortals—having fallen in fight, the Three-headed one, waxing wondrous enraged began to shower terrific sharpened shafts on Nila’s chest. And Mahodara, getting enraged, again swiftly mounted an elephant like the ray-furnished (Sun) mounting Mandara. Then even as a mass of roaring clouds poureth down showers enwheeled with levin on a mountain, he showered arrows right on Nila’s breast. Thereat showered with those shafts, that leader of monkeys Nila with his person pierced, had his body riven and was stupified by that exceedingly powerful one. Then that (monkey) possessed of tremendous vehemence, having regained his senses, uprooting a crag with a whole tract of trees, struck it at Mahodara’s head. And struck by that mighty enemy, Mahodara, broken down by the impetus of that rock, deprived of his senses, dropped down dead on the ground, like a cliff smit with the thunder-bolt.

Seeing his uncle slain, Triçiras took up his bow; and inflamed with fury pierced Hanumān with whetted arrows. And thereat the Wind-god’s son, enraged, hurled a mountain-peak (at his adversary). And Triçiras by means of keen arrows severed the same in shivers. And seeing the mountain-peak baffled, the monkey in the encounter began to shower trees on Rāvana’s son. And Triçiras endowed with prowess by means of sharpened shafts cut off that descending arrowy shower in the sky and shouted (in delight). Then Hanumān flying into a fury, bounding to the welkin, with his nails ripped the steed of Triçiras, even as a lion cleaveth a powerful elephant. Then taking a dart even as the Destroyer employeth the Fatal Night, Rāvana’s son—Triçiras—discharged it at the offspring of the Wind-god. Thereat catching the dart of resistless course as it descended from the sky, the powerful monkey snapped it and then shouted. And seeing that dreadful dart broken by Hanumān, the monkeys, transported with delight, sent up shouts, even as clouds rumble. Than upraising his sword, that foremost of Rākshasas—Triçiras—brought it down on the breast of the monkey-chief. Overpowered with the sword-blow, Hanumān—son unto the Wind-god,—endowed with energy, dealt the Three-headed one a slap on the head. And smitten with that slap, the highly powerful Triçiras, with his hands and attire dropping off, fell down to the earth, deprived of consciousness. Then that mighty monkey resembling a hill broke his sword as he fell, and roared, terrifying all the Rākshasas. But not brooking that uproar, that night-ranger sprang up; and springing up, he dealt a blow at Hanumān. And at that blow, the redoubtable monkey was wrought up with wrath; and inflamed with rage, he smote that foremost of Rākshasas about his diadem. And then with a sharp sword the Wind-god’s son cut off his heads decked with diadems and furnished with ear-rings; even as Sakra had severed the heads of Tashtri’s son.250 Thereat even as burning stars, loosened, drop down from the course of Indra, the large organs of sense, and eyes flaming like glowing fire, and heads of that foe of Indra, dropped down to the ground. On Triçiras—enemy of the immortals—having been slain by Hanumān endowed with the prowess itself of Sakra, the monkeys shouted, the earth shook, and the Rakshas began to fly on all sides. And seeing Triçiras and Yudhyonmatta slain and seeing also the irrepressible Devāntaka and Narāntaka slain (in the encounter), that highly irascible and powerful Rākshasa—Matta—was transported with passion, and then took up a flaming mace entirely wrought with iron inlaid with gold; frothy with flesh and gore; mighty to behold; gratified with the blood of foes; with its end flaming in splendour; decked with red wreaths; and capable of striking terror into Airāvata and Mahāpadma and Sārvabhauma.251 And flaming up like the Fire arisen at the end of a Yuga, that foremost of Rākshasas—Matta—wrought with fury,—rushed against the monkeys. Then the mighty and powerful monkey—Rishabha—springing up before Rāvana’s son, stood before the hosts of Matta. And seeing that mountain-like monkey staying before (him), Matta, enraged, dealt him a blow on the breast. And smit with the mace, that foremost of monkeys, with his breast riven and trembling, began to bleed copiously. And regaining his senses after a long while, Rishabha—lord of monkeys—inflamed with wrath, pouting out his upper lip, gazed at Mahāpārçwa.252 And then impetuously approaching the Rākshasa, that foremost of heroic monkeys resembling a hill, endowed with vehemence, clenching his fist, suddenly smote him with a blow on his breast. Thereat like a tree whose roots have been severed, he suddenly dropped on the ground, covered with blood. And thereupon, (Rishabha) swiftly snatched his dreadful mace resembling the rod of Yama himself; and shouted. Only for a moment did he253 remain like one dead. Recovering his senses, the enemy of the immortals, looking like evening clouds in hue, suddenly springing up, attacked the son of the king of waters.254 And thereat, he dropped down to the earth, senseless. In a moment regaining his consciousness, he again bounded up,—and whirling the mace resembling a peak of the foremost of mountains, in that encounter dealt (Matta) a blow therewith. And descending on the body of that dreadful one—the enemy of deities, sacrifices and Vipras—that terrific mace rived his breast; and he began to bleed profusely, even as the lord of mountains discharges minerals and water. And taking the terrific mace of the high-souled (Matta) and swinging it again and again, (Rishabha) rushed (against the Rākshasas). And that high-souled one began to slaughter Matta’s forces in the field. And broken down by his own mace, Matta dropped down like a hill, with his teeth and eyes shrivelled up; and he dropped to the earth deprived of strength and life, with his eyes paling. And on that Rākshasa falling, the Rākshasa forces began to fly. And on that brother of Rāvana having been slain, that host of Nairitas appearing like the ocean in grandeur, leaving its arms behind,—solely for life rushed away, like unto the deep riven (by the winds).

[240] Evameva—forsooth, as I render it. The commentator, however, says it means such as thou hast described him.—T.

[241] The rain-bow is sometimes called Indra’s bow and at others Rāma’s bow.—T.

[242] The mountain Mandara which served as the the churning stick.—T.

[243] i.e. the carcasses thereof.

[244] Sangrāmānte, I presume, means rear of the forces; although literally it means, at the conclusion of the conflict,—because this interpretation would not be proper, the battle being now at its hottest.—T.

[245] Probably, at his own prowess.—T.

[246] The text has Angada, avoided for euphony.

[247] The text has Vāli’s son.

[248] Mahodara’s.

[249] Triçiras.

[250] Viçwarupa.

[251] Elephants of the cardinal points.—T.

[252] Otherwise called Matta.—T.

[253] Matta.

[254] Varuna.


Seeing in sore straits his own mighty forces capable of making people’s down stand on end,—and seeing his brothers resembling Sakra in prowess, routed; and seeing also his uncles brought down in battle, as well as his brothers—Yudhyonmatta and Matta—foremost of Rākshasas, that crusher of the pride of deities and Dānavas—the exceedingly energetic Atikāya—resembling a hill, who had obtained from Brahmā a boon in battle, was fired with wrath. Ascending a car effulgent like a thousand suns mingling their rays into a burst of brilliance, that enemy of Sakra, charged the monkeys. And stretching his bow, (Atikāya) decked with a diadem and wearing polished ear-rings, proclaimed his name (among the monkey-ranks) and shouted in lofty tones. And with his leonine roars and the proclamation of his name, and the tremendous twang of his bow-string, he struck terror into the monkeys. Seeing the magnitude of his person, the monkeys thinking that it was Kumbhakarna who had come,—and affrighted thereat, sought the shelter of each other. And seeing his form like unto that of Vishnu when he displayed his threefold energy, the monkey-warriors seized with fear, began to scour on all sides. And on Atikāya appearing before them, the monkeys, stupified in that conflict, saught the shelter of Lakshmana’s elder brother. And from a distance Kākutstha saw the mountain like Atikāya mounted on the car and equipped with his bow, like unto roaring clouds (seen) on the occasion of the universal disruption. And seeing that huge-bodied one, Rāghava struck with surprise, comforting the monkeys, addressed Bibhishana, saying,—“Who is this one resembling a mountain, furnished with a bow and having leonine eyes, that is stationed on a large car yoked with a thousand steeds,—he that with effulgent sharpened darts and keen prāças and tomaras, shineth like Maheçwara environed by spectres—he that displaying his fatal tongue, appeareth splendid, surrounded with darts in his car; like a mass of clouds graced with lightning. And his bows adorned and backed with gold all over, beautify his car even as Indra’s bow beautifyeth the firmament. And who is this foremost of Rākshasas and best of bowmen that embellishing the field of battle, approacheth on a car glorious as the sun; who, displaying the ten cardinal points with his shafts resembling the rays of the sun, appeareth handsome with his peak of a banner bearing the figure of Rāhu—whose bow bent in three places, emitting roars resembling the rumbling of clouds, and plated with gold, looketh like the bow itself of Satakratu? And his mighty car furnished with a banner and ensign and bottom, and having clatter resembling the roaring of clouds, hath four horsemen (attached to it). And there are on the car eight and thirty quivers and dreadful bows and yellow-golden bow-strings. And there are (in that car) two effulgent swords at his side, illumining it,—their hafts measuring four hands and their blades ten each. And that calm (warrior) wears red garlands about his neck, and resembles a mighty mountain. And a very Destroyer, he hath a mighty mouth, appearing like that of the Destroyer himself; and he looketh like the sun stationed on clouds. And with his arms adorned with golden angadas, he appeareth splendid like that best of mountains—the Himavān with its towering summits. And with his pair of ear-rings, his charming yet terrific countenance shineth like the full Moon entering into Punarvaçu.255 O mighty-armed one, tell me all about this foremost of Rākshasas, seeing whom the monkeys, overwhelmed with fear, fly away in all directions”. Asked by the king’s son—Rāma of immeasurable prowess—the exceedingly energetic Bibhishana spoke unto Rāma, informing him,—“The highly powerful king, Vaisravana’s younger brother of dreadful deeds, the high-souled Rāvana—is the sovereign of the Rākshasas. This one is his mighty son, like unto Rāvana himself in strength. He serveth the aged, is of wide celebrity and is the prime of those versed in all branches of knowledge. And he is competent to ride horses and elephants, to wield the sword or draw the bow,—or in sowing dissensions, or giving away, or in counsel,—he reposing in whose arm Lankā hath cast off fear. Know him to be Atikāya, son unto Dhānyamāli. Having adored the pure-souled Brahmā with austerities, he hath obtained weapons, and hath defeated his foes (in fight)”. ‘Thou shalt be incapable of being slain by celestials and Asuras’—was the boon conferred on him by the Self-sprung; and he also gave him this celestial mail and this car resembling the effulgent Sun himself. He hath vanquished (in battle) hundreds of deities and Dānavas; and he hath (always) protected the Rakshas, and destroyed Yakshas. And this intelligent one resisted the thunder-bolt itself of Indra; and in encounter baffled the very noose of the king of waters. This one is Atikāya—foremost of Rākshasas; and that son of Rāvana is the humbler of the hauteur of deities and Dānavas. Therefore, O best of persons, do thou endeavour thy best. This one with his shafts slaughtered the monkey-hosts before (us)”. And then the powerful Atikāya entering that monkey-force, stretched his bow and shouted again and again. And the high-souled principal monkeys, seeing that (hero) possessed of a dreadful person, that best of car-warriors—stationed on his car, rushed forward. And Kumuda and Dwivida and Mainda and Nila and Sabha dashed on at one time with trees and mountain-peaks. Thereupon that foremost of those skilled in weapons, the exceedingly energetic Atikāya, severed those trees and rocks by means of shafts dight with gold. And in that encounter that powerful one possessed of a gigantic person, skilled in arms, pierced all those monkeys staying before him with arrows entirely made of iron. And agonised, having their persons pierced in that mighty conflict by that arrowy shower, they were incapable of resisting the same. And the Rākshasa terrified that host of monkey-heroes, even as an enraged lion priding in his youth terrifyeth a society of deer. And in the midst of those bands of monkeys, that lord of Rākshasas did not slay anyone without battle. And then springing up before Rāma, that one furnished with his bow and quiver, addressed him in haughty words, saying,—“Stationed in this car holding the bow and arrows in my hands, I will not fight any that is ignoble. Him that hath strength, and that also understandeth this business,—let him today speedily give me battle”. Hearing his speech, that slayer of foes—Sumitrā’s son—was fired with wrath. And not bearing him, he sprang forward disregarding his antagonist’s words, and took up his bow. And flying unto fury, Sumitrā’s son, darting up, took out arrows from his quiver, and stretched his mighty bow in front of Atikāya. And filling the entire earth and the sky and the ocean and all the cardinal quarters,—the terrific twang of Lakshmana’s bow struck terror into the (hearts of the) night-rangers. And hearing the dreadful twang of the bow of Sumitrā’s son, the exceedingly energetic and powerful son of the lord of Rākshasas was struck with surprise. Then Atikāya, enraged, seeing Lakshmana advance, taking sharpened shafts, spoke unto him,—“Thou art a boy, O Sumitrā’s son; and as such knowest not how to display prowess. Go thou. Why wishest thou to fight with me resembling Death itself. Not Himālaya itself or the firmament or the earth is capable of bearing the impetuosity of shafts shot by my arms. Thou wishest to rouse a fire slumbering sweetly. Leaving alone thy bow, do thou return. Do not lose thy life by coming in contact with me. Or it may be that thou art proud; and, therefore, hast no mind to return. Stay then. Renouncing thy life, thou shalt go to Yama’s mansion. Behold my whetted arrows—crushers of the insolence of foes—resembling the weapon itself of the Lord,256—adorned with burnished gold. And even as a lion enraged sheddeth the blood of a mighty elephant, this arrow of mine resembling a serpent shall shed thy blood”. Having delivered himself thus, he fired with wrath set his shaft on his bow. Hearing in that encounter Atikāya’s wrathful speech fraught with hauteur, the highly powerful and intelligent son of the king possessed of exceeding grace, was transported with passion; and he said,—“Thou canst not attain pre-eminence solely by virtue of thy speech. One cannot be a worthy person simply by say. O wicked-minded one, do thou display thy strength on me equipped with the bow and holding arrows in my hands. To-day shall my shafts decked in gold, drink thy blood flowing from thy person and issuing out of wounds inflicted by my arrows resembling darts.—‘This one is a boy’, thinking this, thou ought not to slight me. Whether I am a boy or an old257 man—death shalt thou know in the conflict. It was as a boy that Vishnu had overpowered the triune world with his prowess”. Hearing Lakshmana’s words, fraught with reason and high sense, Vidyādharas and ghosts, deities, Daityas and Maharshis, and the high-souled Guhyakas then beheld that marvel.258

Then Atikāya, enraged, setting his arrow on his bow, shot it at Lakshmana, as if devouring up the welkin. Thereat, Lakshmana—slayer of hostile heroes—with a crescent severed that sharpened shaft resembling a venomous serpent, as it was descending. And seeing the shaft severed, like a serpent having its person cut off, Atikāya waxing exceedingly enraged, took up five arrows; and the night-ranger discharged them at Lakshmana. Thereat Bharata’s younger brother cut off the approaching arrows with whetted shafts. And having severed them with sharpened shafts, Lakshmana—slayer of hostile heroes—took up a sharpened arrow, as if flaming in energy. And taking it, Lakshmana set it on his excellent bow; and drawing the latter, vigorously discharged the shaft. And that hero endowed with prowess hit that foremost of Rākshasas in the forehead with that shaft having bent knots, discharged from his bow drawn to its full bent.—And that arrow piercing the forehead of that dreadful Rākshasa, and smeared with blood, appeared like the lord of serpents in a mountain. And the Rākshasa, smarting under Lakshmana’s shaft, showered, like the dreadful gateway of Tripuri battered by Rudra. Then recovering himself and reflecting, he said,259—“Excellent well! By this discharge of thy shaft, thou approvest thyself as a foe in whom I can well glory”. Having spoken thus candidly, he, folding his hands at ease, and seated on the platform of his car, began to range in it. And then that foremost of Rākshasas began to take up, set, and shoot one, three, five, or seven shafts. And those shafts resembling Fate itself, plated with gold at the feathered parts,—and looking like the Sun himself (in splendour),—discharged from the bow of the lord of Rākshasas, lighted up the heavens. Thereat Rāghava’s younger brother by means of many a sharpened shaft calmly cut off all those vollies of arrows shot by the Rākshasa. And finding all those arrows riven in the encounter, that enemy of the lord of the immortals, Rāvana’s son, was fired with wrath, and took up a whetted shaft. And then aiming that arrow, that highly powerful one suddenly shot it; and with that, rushing on, hit Sumitrā’s son in the chest. And struck in the encounter by Atikāya, the son of Sumitrā began to bleed copiously, like a mad elephant discharging the temporal juice. And then that lord at once extricated the arrow; and then took up a keen shaft and fixed the same on his weapon.260 And then he set a shaft (on his bow-string) reciting a formula for the Agneya261 weapon; and thereat his arrow as well as bow flamed up. Then the highly powerful Atikāya took up a Raudra262 weapon; and thereon fixed a shaft plated with gold at the feathered part, and resembling a serpent in sheen. And even as the Reaper hurleth his rod, did Lakshmana hurl that weapon inspired with divine energy, dreadful and aflame,—at Atikāya. And seeing that shaft set upon an Agneya weapon, that night-ranger discharged a Raudra arrow set upon a Solar weapon. And there like a pair of infuriated serpents, those arrows with their heads flaming in energy, baffled each other in the sky. And burning each other, the shafts fell on the earth; and those best of arrows, shorn of brilliance and reduced to ashes, were deprived of their splendour. And having blazed in the welkin, those two fell down to the earth reft of their lustre, Then Atikāya wrought up with wrath discharged an arrow called Aishika dedicated to Tashtri. Thereat the powerful son of Sumitrā severed that shaft by an Aindra263 weapon. Seeing Aishika baffled, that Prince—son unto Rāvana—fired with rage, fixed an arrow on a Yamya264 weapon; and then the night-ranger shot that weapon at Lakshmana. And Lakshmana resisted it by a Vāyavya265 weapon. And then as a mass of clouds poureth down showers, Lakshmana, enraged, poured volleys of shafts on Rāvana’s son. Thereupon, hitting Atikāya, those arrows coming in contact with his mail, had their barbs broken, and fell down to the earth. And seeing them baffled, that slayer of hostile heroes—the renowned Lakshmana—began to shower shafts by thousands. And albeit showered with those arrows, that Rākshasa—the mighty Atikāya—in that encounter was not pierced by them on account of his impenetrable mail; and that best of men failed to hurt him in the contest. Then approaching him, the Wind-god spake unto him, saying,—“This one hath received a boon from Brahmā, and is covered with an impenetrable mail. Pierce him with a Brāhma266 weapon. He cannot otherwise be slain. This one clad in mail and endowed with prowess is forsooth incapable of being slain by others”. Hearing the words of the Wind-god, Sumitrā’s son like unto Indra in prowess took an arrow endowed with fierce impetuosity, and at once set it on a Brāhma weapon. And on that sharp-headed best of arrows being fixed on that foremost of weapons, the cardinal quarters and the Moon and the Sun and the mighty planets and the sky were seized with affright; and the earth shook. And inspiring that arrow furnished with a feathered part and resembling an emissary of Yama himself, and fixing the same an his bow, Sumitrā’s son in that encounter discharged that shaft like unto the thunder-bolt at the son of the enemy of Indra. And in that conflict Atikāya beheld that shaft fair-feathered and having its feathered part dight with splendid diamonds, acquiring enhanced vehemence arising from its having been discharged by Lakshmana,—and hissing and rushing on with tremendous impetuosity. And seeing it, Atikāya swiftly resisted it with countless sharpened shafts. But endowed with the energy of Suparna himself, that shaft vehemently went to him. And seeing that shaft flaming and resembling the Fatal Destroyer himself,—coming, he, exerting himself to the utmost resisted it with darts and rishtis and maces and adzes and javelins and arrows. But beating down all those weapons of wonderful forms, that arrow alive with flames, coming to the diadem-decked head of Atikāya, severed the same (in twain) And that head furnished with a corsalet, cut off by Lakshmana’s arrow, suddenly dropped to the earth, like a summit of Himavān toppling (to the ground). Seeing him rolling on the earth, with his attire and ornaments scattered about, those night-rangers that survived were overwhelmed with grief. And with pale forces and distressed, they, fatigued in consequence of the thrashing they had undergone, suddenly began to cry in frightful accents. And on their leader having been slain, those night-rangers that were about (Atikāya), without waiting any longer,—overwhelmed with panic, rushed towards the city. And on their foe endowed with terrific prowess and incapable of being confronted, having been slain, innumerable monkeys filled with excess of joy, and displaying countenances resembling blown lotuses, paid homage unto Lakshmana working out their welfare.

[255] The seventh lunar asterism.—T.

[256] Isvara—Siva.—His weapon is the trident.—T.

[257] The commentator says the passage means—”Thou knowest (me) for death itself. I prefer the sense given.—T.

[258] The encounter that ensued between Lakshmana and Atikāya .—T.

[259] Chintayāmāsa—thought, I apprehend, means said in this connection.

[260] i.e. the bow.

[261] Belonging to the god of Fire.

[262] Relative to Rudra.

[263] Belonging to Indra.

[264] What could this be like? The commentator is silent over this important point.—T.

[265] Belonging to the Wind-god.

[266] Belonging to Brahmā.


Hearing Atikāya slain by the high-souled Lakshmana, the king was filled with exceeding great anxiety and spoke thus,—“Dhumrāksha exceedingly wrathful,—best of those equipped with all arms—and Akampana and Prahasta and Kumbhakarna—all these exceedingly mighty heroes—Rākshasas ever seeking warfare, conquerers of the forces of foes, and never defeated by antagonists, have together with their hosts been slain by Rāma of untiring feats. And other Rākshasas having gigantic bodies and skilled in various arms,—countless high-souled heroes—have also been brought down. These brothers were formerly bound by my son Indrajit of renowned strength and prowess with terrific shafts, obtained as boons. And I do not know by what power or superhuman virtue or stupifying energy did those brothers—Rāma and Lakshmana—liberate themselves from those dreadful bonds, which could be loosed neither by celestials nor the highly powerful Asuras combined nor Yakyas, Gandharbas and Pannagas. And all those heroic Rākshasa warriors that marched forth at my bidding, have been destroyed by monkeys of marvellous might. Him see I not that can now slay Rāma with Lakshmana,—that hero together with his forces and Sugriva and Bibhishana. Alack! Mighty must be Rāma and wondrous is his strength of weapon—he coming in contact with whose prowess, these Rākshasas have met with their deaths. Now let this palace be everywhere guarded by a vigilant garrison,—as also the açoka wood where Sitā is being guarded. We should always be acquainted with the ingress and egress (of every person). And do ye, surrounded by forces, remain where there are garrisons. And the night-rangers should in the evening, at midnight and in the morning always watch the movements of the monkeys. The monkeys should by no means be slighted. And ye should know whether the enemy putteth forth (fresh) efforts,—and whether they advance or remain stationed where they at present are”.—Thereupon those exceeding mighty Rākshasas did as they had been desired. And having directed them, Rāvana—lord of Rākshasas—bearing the dart of ire (in his heart), in forlorn guise entered his own mansion. And with the fire of his rage blazing up, the exceedingly powerful sovereign of the night-rangers, absorbed with the danger that had befallen his son, began to sigh momentarily.


Those Rakshas that remained after the others had been slain, swiftly informed Rāvana that all those foremost of Rākshasas—Devāntaka and the rest, Triçiras, Atikāya and others—had been slain. And suddenly hearing them slain, the king with his eyes charged with brine, thinking of the disastrous destruction of his sons and brothers, was extremely agonized. Thereupon, seeing the king afflicted, and sunk in a sea of sorrow, that foremost of car-warriors—son unto the Rākshasa king—Indrajit, addressed (his sire), saying,—“O father, it doth not behove thee to be overcome with this excessive grief, inasmuch as, O lord of Nairitas, Indrajit yet breaths. Smit by the enemy of Indra, (Rāghava) can by no means save his life in encounter. To-day behold Rāma along with Lakshmana with their bodies torn with my shafts,—lying down lifeless on the ground, having their persons covered with my sharpened arrows! Hear this vow of the foe of Indra, never swerving and instinct with prowess and divinity,—this very day will I with unfailing shafts slay Rāma along with Lakshmana. To-day let Indra and Vaivaçwata and Vishnu and Rudra and Sādhyas and Vaiçwas and men and the Sun and the Moon, behold my immeasurable prowess, terrific like that of Vishnu at the sacrificial ground of Vāli”. Having spoken thus, that foe of the lord of celestials endowed with exceeding energy, taking the king’s permission, ascended a car having the velocity of the wind itself, yoked with asses, and furnished with every variety of weapons. And ascending the car, resembling the car of Hari himself, that exceedingly powerful repressor of enemies at once set out for the field of battle. And as that high-souled (hero) marched, he was followed by countless mighty (Rākshasas) breathing spirits; bearing bows in their strong hands. And some of those, resembling mountains, were mounted on elephants, and some on superb steeds, and some on bears, and some on beasts of prey, and some on lions and jackals,—and some of the Rākshasas endowed with dreadful vigor were mounted on crows, and some on swans, and some on peacocks,—they were equipped with prāças and maces and nistrinças and axes and clubs. And all sides were filled with the blares of conchs and the sounds of kettle-drums. And then that enemy of the lord of celestials marched forth with impetuosity. And with an umbrella hued like the Moon, that destroyer of enemies appeared like the full Moon stationed in the sky. And that hero garnished in golden ornaments—that foremost of all bowmen—was fanned by an excellent and graceful golden chowri. And with Indrajit furnished with the splendour of the Sun himself, and possessed of peerless prowess, Lankā, looked beauteous even as the firmament graced with the glorious Sun.

Arriving at the scene of conflict, that highly powerful repressor of foes arrayed his forces around the car. And then that foremost of Rākshasas with choice mantras duly offered libations unto Fire.267 And that powerful lord of Rākshasas there worshipping Fire with fragrant wreaths and fried paddy, sacrificed unto it. And arms served for Kāça and Bibhitakas for fuel; and there were red cloths and a ladle made of black iron. And spreading Fire there, with tomaras representing Kāça, he seized the neck of a living goat. And then the kindled smokeless fire blazing up brilliantly, displayed signs betokening victory. Thereat, with his right tongue whirling, the Deity of Fire himself looking like one made of gold,—arising, accepted the offering. And then that (Rākshasa) skilled in weapons acquired a Brāhma weapon (from that Deity), and inspired his bow and car with mantras. On that weapon having been invoked,268 and on (the god of Fire) also having been worshipped, the firmament furnished with the suns and stars and planets was afflicted with affright. Having worshipped (the god of Fire), that one endowed with the splendour of Fire itself, that one possessed of the prowess of the great Indra and gifted with inconceivable vigor, accoutred in bows and arrows and swords and having steeds and cars and darts,—disappeared in the sky. Then burning for battle, setting up roars went out the Rākshasa ranks, thronging with steeds and cars, and graced with pennons and standards. And they fell to slaughtering monkeys in the engagement with countless shafts, sharp, variegated and decorated; as also with tomaras and hooks. And Rāvana’s son, fired with wrath, seeing those night-rangers, addressed them, saying,—“Do ye, burning with a desire to destroy the monkeys, fight cheerfully”. Thereat all those Rākshasas, eager for victory, smitting roars, covered the dreadful monkeys with showers of shafts. And environed by Rakshas in that encounter, he269 poured on the monkeys nālikas and narāchas and maces and clubs. And trembling in the encounter, those monkeys armed with trees at once began to shower rocks and trees on Rāvana’s son. Then the exceedingly powerful Indrajit, son unto Rāvana, endowed with wondrous energy, pierced the bodies of the monkeys (with arrows). And fired with wrath, that (hero) rejoicing the Rākshasas with a single shaft pierced nine and seven monkeys in that encounter. And that invincible hero in that conflict mangled the monkeys with shafts resembling the Sun, decked with gold. And their persons pierced in that contest, and themselves pained with those arrows, they began to fall down, giving up all intention of fight, like mighty Asuras smit by the celestials. And then waxing highly enraged, those considerable monkeys in that conflict hotly pursued (Indrajit) resembling the Sun himself and having terrific arrows for his rays. And all the monkeys, with their bodies riven and deprived of their senses, and bathed in blood and writhing in torments,—pursued (Indrajit). And putting forth their prowess in behalf of Rāma, those monkeys, equipped with rocks in the encounter, who had set apart their very lives (for him), paused, shouting up loudly. And they in that conflict showered trees and crags and mountain-tops on Rāvana’s son. And that destroyer of foes—the exceedingly energetic son unto Rāvana—resisted that mighty shower of trees and stones capable of compassing destruction. Then that Lord pierced the monkey-hosts in the encounter with shafts resembling fire or venomous serpents. And piercing Gandhamādana with eight and ten sharp arrows, he wounded Nila stationed at a distance with nine shafts. And that one endowed with redoubtable prowess pierced Mainda with seven shafts capable of piercing into the pith; and he pierced Gaja with five shafts in the encounter. And he pierced Jāmbavān with ten and Nila with thirty. And then with dreadful sharp shafts obtained as boons, he rendered Sugriva and Rishabha and Angada and Dwivida (almost) lifeless. And transported with passion, and resembling the Five arisen at Doomsday, Indrajit, harassed other principal monkeys with countless arrows. And in that terrific conflict, he agitated the monkey-hosts with swift-speeding shafts, resembling the Sun himself, deftly discharged (from his bow). Then in that encounter, leaving his army, Indrajit became suddenly invisible unto the monkey-hosts,—and began to shower fierce arrows, like dark clouds pouring rain. And with their persons torn by the arrows of the conqueror of Sakra,—slain by his power of illusion,—with their teeth uprooted, those mountain-like monkeys fell down in the field, emitting frightful cries,—like a mountain smit with Indra’s thunderbolt. And in the conflict they could only see sharp pointed shafts among the monkey-ranks; but that foe of the celestial chief—the Rākshasa, hidden by virtue of illusion, they could not discover there. And then the high-souled lord of Rakshas covered all sides with sharp-pointed shafts resembling the rays of the Sun; and he rived the foremost monkeys. And whirling darts and nistraiças and axes, flaming and having the effulgence of Fire,—and furnished with flames shooting forth sparks,—he discharged them furiously at the forces of the sovereign of monkeys. And the monkey-leaders struck with Sakrajit’s shafts resembling flames, appeared like laughing Kinçukas. And some looking at the sky were struck at their eyes. And they gradually began to hide themselves in each other and drop to the earth. And that foremost of Rākshasas—Indrajit—with prāças and darts and whetted arrows, inspired with mantras, pierced all those powerful monkeys,—Hanumān and Sugriva and Angada and Gandhamādana and Jāmbavān and Sushena and Vegadarçin, and Mainda and Dwivida and Nila and Gavāksha and Gavaya and Kesari and Hariloman and the monkey Vidyutdanshtra and Suryyānana and Jyotimukha and the monkey Dadhimukha and Pāvakāksha and Nala and the monkey Kumuda. And having pierced those foremost monkeys with golden-hued maces, he showered on Rāma and Lakshmana arrows resembling the rays of the Sun. And showered with those vollies of arrows, Rāma, without heeding that discharge resembling a very downpour,—reflecting, spoke unto Lakshmana,—“O Lakshmana, this lord of Rākshasas, this foe of the lord of celestials, having obtained the Brāhma weapon,—after having brought down the monkey-hosts, are assailing us with sharpened shafts. And that high-souled heedful one, having been given a boon by the Self-sprung, hath rendered his dreadful body invisible. How can we slay him, who is fighting with upraised weapons, but who hath hid his body. The reverend Self-sprung, I deem, is incomprehensible. And this is his weapon, embodying his energy. Therefore, O intelligent one, do thou to-day along with me calmly bear this. And let this foremost them all—this lord of Rākshasas—cover all sides with the showers of his shafts. And in consequence of this, the army of the monkey-king with its greatest heroes fallen, doth not appear to advantage. And seeing us also fallen senseless, and desisting from fight with our joy and anger gone off from us, for certain will the enemy of the immortals, taking the Fortune of fight seek his home”. And assailed by Indra with networks of arrows, they were then sore distressed the field. And having struck them with sadness, Indra from joy shouted in the encounter. And having thus worst in battle that monkey-army and Rāma along with Lakshmana he speedily entered the city ruled by the hand of the Ten-necked one. And extolled by the Yatudhānas, he, filled with delight, related everything unto his sire.

[267] Hutabhoktāram—eater of sacrificial offerings—a designation of Fire.

[268] i.e. on the deity presiding over that weapon, being invoked.

[269] Indrajit.


And they270 were rendered inert in the field; and the army of the monkey-leaders was stupified, with Sugriva and Nila and Angada and Jāmbavān,—and they did not show any signs of activity. Thereupon, seeing them dispirited, that foremost of intelligent persons—Bibhishana—cheering them up with his peerless speech, said,—“Ye heroes of the king of monkeys, do not give way to fear. This is not the time to indulge in grief at this place; for the sons of the noble one,271—inactive and depressed, and seeming to be wounded with the showers of Indrajit’s shafts,—are in reality in this plight, for showing reverence unto the words272 of the Self-sprung one.—On him the Self-sprung hath conferred the mighty Brahmā, weapon of unfailing power; and the king’s sons are doing honour to it by lying down on the field of battle. Why then do ye grieve now?” Hearing the words of Bibhishana and honoring the Brahmā weapon, Hanumān spoke as follows:—“The host of the quick-paced monkeys hath been slain by this weapon. Let us go and console them who are still living”. And those two great heroes—Hanumān and that foremost of the Rākshasas, with fire-brands in their hands, began to range to and fro in the battle field. And they beheld there the earth strewn on all sides with monkeys lying down like so many hills and various shining weapons. And some of these monkeys were deprived of their tails, some of their hands, some of their thighs, some of their legs, some of their fingers, and some of their heads. And blood was gushing out from the persons of some, and others were urinating out of fear. And Bibhishana and Hanumān beheld there Sugriva, Angada, Nila, Gandhamldana, Jāmbavān, Sushena, Vegadarshin, Mainda, Nala, Jyotimukha, and the monkey, Dwivida,—almost slain. And Bibhishana and Hanumān saw in the field seven and sixty kotis of fleet-footing monkeys slain (in battle) at the fifth part of the day by the darling of the Self-sprung. And surveying that host worsted, dreadful like the surges of the sea, Hanumān and Bibhishana began to search for Jāmbavān. And finding that heroic son of Prajāpati, afflicted with natural decrepitude, aged, and resembling smouldering fire,—wounded with hundreds of shafts, Pulastya’s son said,—“O noble one, hath not thy life been destroyed with those sharp shafts?” Hearing Bibhishana’s words, Jāmbavān—best of bears—evoking utterance with extreme effort, said,—“O foremost of Nairitas, endowed with exceeding prowess, I know thee by thy voice. Having my person pierced with sharp shafts, I cannot see thee with my eyes. Doth he through whom Anjanā as well as Mātariçwa273 are blessed with fair offspring,—doth that prince of monkeys—Hanumān—live?” Hearing Jāmbavān’s speech, Bibhishaua said,—“Why, passing by the son of the high and mighty,274 dost thou enquire after the Wind-god’s offspring? O noble one, thou dost not show that overflowing affection either for king Sugriva or Rāghava that thou showest for the son of the Wind-god”. Hearing Bibhishana’s words, Jāmbavān said,—“Hear, O foremost of Rākshasas, why I enquire after the Wind-god’s son. While this hero is alive, this force, albeit destroyed, liveth; but if Hanumān is reft of life, although living, we are destroyed. O child, if the Wind-god’s offspring, resembling his sire himself or (the deity of) Fire in prowess, is alive, there is hope for our lives”. Then approaching that aged one, Hanumān—son unto the Wind god—saluted him humbly, holding Jāmbavān’s feet. Hearing Hanumān’s voice, that foremost of monkeys, with his senses sorely smarting, deemed himself as having regained his life. Then that exceedingly energetic one addressed Hanumān, saying,—“Come, O powerful monkey. It behoveth thee to rescue the monkeys. There is none else. Endowed with profuse prowess, thou art the greatest friend of these. This is the hour when thou shouldst display thy might. Any other see I not. Do thou cheer up this host consisting of bears and monkeys; and do thou also heal the wounds of these two tormented by them. Bounding sheer over the main, thou, O Hanumān, shouldst repair to the Himavān—foremost of mountains. There thou wilt see that best of mountains—the golden Rishabha of terrific aspect, and, smiter of foes, the peak also of Kailāça. Lying in the Up of these two, thou, O hero, O powerful monkey, wilt see the mountain of medicines, fraught with healing herbs of all kinds. On its summit thou wilt find four medicinal herbs flaming and illumining the ten cardinal quarters—viz., Mritasanjivani,275 Viçalyakarani,276 Suvarnakarani,277 and the mighty medicine, Sandhāni. O Hanumān, providing thyself with these, thou shouldst come hither without delay. Do thou, O offspring of the Wind-god278 bringing back lives unto these monkeys, cheer them up”. Thereat Hanumān filled himself with energy, even as the Ocean heaveth with the force of the winds (blowing on its breast). And ascending the summit of that mountain,279 and hurting it with his tread, that hero—Hanumān—appeared like a second mountain, And crushed under the tread of that monkey, the mountain was dispirited; and sore distressed, it could hardly contain itself. And the trees on it began to topple to the earth; and on account of the vehemence of the monkey, they flamed up. And smitten by Hanumān, its peaks were scattered around. And monkeys could no longer dwell on that foremost of mountains, which, being hard pressed (by Hanumān), was trembling all over, with its slopes covered with broken trees and rocks. And with her giant gateways shaking, and the doors of her edifices broken, that night Lankā, overwhelmed with fright, seemed to be dancing. And the offspring of the Wind-god, resembling a mountain itself, bringing that mountain to sore straits, agitated the entire earth with her Oceans. And hurting the mountain with his tread, he, opening wide his mouth resembling that of a mare, sent up loud shouts, terrifying the night-rangers. And hearing those tremendous roars as he kept emitting cries, the powerful Rākshasas were quite stupified. And bowing down unto the Ocean, that subduer of enemies, the Wind-god’s son, endowed with dreadful prowess, began to ponder over the mighty mission with which he had been entrusted in the interests of Rāghava.—And, then upraising his tail resembling a serpent, bending his back, contracting his ears, and opening his mouth looking like that of a mare, that one possessed of terrific impetuosity, bounded into the sky. And with the vehemence of his rush,—he carried away in his wake whole tracts of trees, and rocks, and crags, and inferior monkeys;280 and after having been carried away some distance by the vehemence of his arms and thighs, they, at length losing their velocity, fell into the waters (of the Ocean.) And stretching his arms resembling serpents, the son of the Wind-god endowed with the prowess of Gāruda281 coursed on towards the monarch of mountains, as if making all the quarters tremble. And seeing the sea with its hosts of billows rolling furiously, and with the confederacies of aquatic animals bewildered by the angry waters, he coursed on rapidly, like the discus discharged by the hand of Vishnu. And surveying hills and birds and pools and rivers and tanks and splendid cities and flourishing provinces, that one equal to his sire himself in celerity, held his way. And that hero—Hanumān—like unto his father in prowess, and incapable of being fatigued, vigorously proceeded along the orbit of the Sun. And that powerful monkey possessed of the speed of the Wind itself, and having mighty impetuosity, careered, making all sides resound with his roars. And remembering Jāmbavān’s words, that redoubtable monkey, son unto the Wind-god, possessed of terrific prowess, and resembling a mountain, suddenly saw (before him) the Himavān: furnished with countless cascades and numerous caves and rivulets; with splendid summits appearing like massess of pale clouds; and graced with various trees. And arriving at that lord of mighty mountains, furnished with excellent towering golden summits, he saw the great sacred asylums (of the ascetics), inhabited by the flower of celestial saints. And he saw Brahmakoça282 and Rajatālaya283 and Sakrālaya284 and Rudraçarapramoksha285 and Hayānana286 and the flaming Brahmaçiras,287 and the servants of Vaivaçwata.288 And he saw the abode of the Fire-god, and the abode of Vaiçravana and the effulgent Suryyanivandhana.289 and the abode of Brahmā,290 and the bow of Sankara, and the navel of the Earth.291 And he saw Kailaça of terrific aspect, and the stone292 of Himavān, and that bull,293 and the golden mountain, and that foremost of mountains furnished with all medicinal herbs, flaming, and illuminated with every kind of medicinal plants. And beholding that flaming mass of fire, the offspring of Vāsava’s294 emissary wondered. And bounding up to the lord of medicinal mountains, he fell to searching for the drugs. And that mighty monkey—the Wind-god’s son—leaving behind a thousand yojanas, began to range the mountain containing the divine remedies in its entrails. And those potent medicines, in that foremost of mountains, knowing (before-hand) that one was coming seeking for them, rendered themselves invisible. And not seeing them, the high-souled Hanumān was angered; and from wrath he set up roars. And not brooking that, (Hanumān) with eyes resembling glowing fire, addressed that foremost of mountains, saying,—“What is this that thou hast decided on, that thou showest no compassion for Rāghava? But, O lord of mountains, to-day witness thyself, overpowered by my arms and torn in pieces!” And (anon) on a sudden, he violently rooted up its summit with trees and elephants and gold, and furnished with a thousand varieties of ore,—having its tops torn and its slopes aflame. And uprooting it, he sprang into (the bosom of the air), terrifying the worlds containing celestials and the lords thereof. And hymned by countless rangers of the air, that one endowed with the terrific impetuosity of Gāruda himself, taking that summit furnished with the splendour of the Sun, went along the orbit of the Sun. And near the Sun, that Sun-like one seemed to be another Sun. And with that mountain, the offspring of the bearer of perfumes appeared surpassingly grand, like very Vishnu equipped with the flaming discus having a thousand edges. And seeing him, the monkeys shouted,—and he also, seeing then, shouted in delight. And hearing their tremendous cheers, those residing in Lankā shouted still more dreadfully. And then the high-souled one dropped on that best of mountains in the midst of the monkey-forces; and, bowing down unto the principal monkeys there, he embraced Bibhishana. And then those sons of that king of men, smelling the perfume of that mighty medicine, were then and there healed of their wounds; and the heroic monkeys also sat up. And all the heroic monkeys were instantly healed and cured; and those also that were slain (in battle), through the smell of that best of drugs, sat up, like persons risen after sleep at break of day. Ever since the monkeys and Rākshasas had begun to fight, for maintaining honor, all those Rākshasas that were slain there by the mighty monkeys, were thrown into the sea. Then that monkey, the offspring of the bearer of fragrance, endowed with terrific speed, took that medicinal mountain (back) unto Himavān and again presented himself before Rāma.

[270] i.e. Rāma and Lakshmana.

[271] Daçaratha.

[272] Mantra.

[273] The Wind-god.

[274] Vide Hamlet.

[275] Lit. reviving the dead.

[276] Lit. healing wounds inflicted by darts.

[277] Lit. transmuting any thing to gold.

[278] Gandhabahātanaya—lit., son unto the bearer of smell—a designation of the Wind in Sanskrit.—T.

[279] Trikuta.

[280] Residing in the Trikuta mountain.

[281] The text has, the Foe of serpents—an appellation of Gāruda

[282] The place of Hiranyagarbha.

[283] The place of Rajatanābha—silver-naveled—another form of Hiranyagarbha.

[284] The abode of Sakra.

[285] The place wherefrom Rudra discharged his arrow on the occasion of the destruction of Tripurā.

[286] The place of the Horse-necked.

[287] The place of the deity presiding over the Brahma weapon.

[288] An appellation of Yama.

[289] The spot where the suns meet.

[290] The place of the four-faced Brahmā.

[291] The spot of Prajāpati.

[292] On which Rudra sat when engaged in asceticism.

[293] Which had been mentioned by Jāmbavān.

[294] The emissary of Vāsava in his cloud-form is the Wind driving the cloud; and the passage refers to Hanumān.—T.


Then the exceedingly energetic lord of monkeys, Sugriva, said unto Hanumān these words fraught with import,—“Inasmuch as Kumbhakarna hath been slain as also the princes,295 Rāvana can no longer defend the city.296 Now let those principal monkeys that are endowed with great strength and that are furnished with fleetness, taking fire-brands (in their hands) rapidly rush towards Lankā”. Then when the Sun had set and at the terrific front of Night, those foremost of monkeys marched towards Lankā, equipped with fire-brands. And charged at all points by numbers of monkeys armed with fire-brands, those fierce-eyed (Rākshasas) that guarded the gates297 suddenly fled away. And thereat, (the monkeys) delighted set fire to gates and upper apartments and spacious high-ways and various by-ways and edifices. And the fire298 burnt their299 mansions by thousands; and mountain-like superstructures toppled headlong to the earth. And there burnt aguru, and sweet sandal, and pearls, and sheeny gems, and diamonds and corals. And there burnt linen and fine silk and āvikas and various kinds of woolen cloths; and vessels of gold, and weapons; divers kinds of furniture, trappings and ornaments of steeds; cords for tying elephants; burnished ornaments for cars; armour of warriors; and hides of horses and elephants. And swords and bows and bow-strings and arrows and tomaras300 and ankuças301 and darts. And blankets and chowris and tiger-skins and musk and other things. And pearls and excellent gems; and edifices all around. And there the fire burneth heaps of various kinds of arms. And then the fire burnt various kinds of curious structures, and the dwellings of Rākshasas and all householders. And there the fire flaming up again and again burnt down by hundreds and thousands the houses of the denizons of Lankā,—clad in curious golden mail; and wearing wreaths and ornaments and attires; having their eyes wildly moving in intoxication; reeling in drink; those whose paramours were dressed in flowing apparels; or those wroth with their foes; or bearing maces and darts and swords in their hands; or engaged in eating or drinking; or asleep with their beloved on costly couches; or who, agitated with fright, were hastily going taking their sons with them.—And that fire burnt down firm-based rich dwellings furnished with innumerable apartments, and garnished with golden Moons and crescents,—and mansions having graceful crests; and variegated windows and daises raised there, embellished with rubies and lapises, and seeming to touch the Sun; and piles resembling mountains in grandeur,—and resonant with the cries of Kraunchas and peacocks and the tinklings of ornaments. And the flaming gateways all round appeared like clouds in the rainy season lighted up by lightning, or like the peaks of a mighty mountain ablaze with a forest-conflagration. And superb damsels asleep in lofty edifices,302 being burnt, cast away their ornaments and shrieked. And consumed by the fire, buildings began to drop down like the summits of a mighty mountain smit with the thunder-bolt of the thunderer. And those burning, appeared from a distance like the peaks of Himalaya aglow. And in consequence of those tops of the edifices burning and of the living flames, that night Lankā looked as if swarming with flowering Kinçukas. And with elephant-riders, and elephants, and steeds let loose, Lankā appeared like the Ocean at the hour of Universal tumbling,—with its ferocious aquatic animals whirling in wild chaos. Sometimes, an elephant seeing a steed let loose,—was flying away in fear; and sometimes a horse seeing a frightened elephant, was stopping, himself seized with fear.—And on Lankā burning, the mighty main with the reflection (of the conflagration) looked like an Ocean of red waters. And in a short time that city set on fire by the monkeys, looked like the earth glowing at the time of the Universal dissolution. And the cries of the females amidst the drift of smoke, heated by the flames, could be heard from an hundred Yojanas. And as Rākshasas having their bodies burnt came out of houses, monkeys eager for encounter on a sudden sprung upon them. And the shouts of the monkeys and the cries of the Rākshasas made the ten cardinal quarters and the ocean and the Earth resound.

And on those high souled ones—both Rāma and Lakshmana—having been cured of their wounds, possessing themselves in calmness, took up their excellent bows. And Rāma drew that best of bows. And thereat there was heard a tremendous twang striking terror into the Rākshasas. And drawing his redoubtable bow, Rāma appeared like the reverend enraged Bhava, drawing his bow having sounds and instinct with Brahma energy. And the twang of Rāma’s bow, drowning the roars of both the monkeys and the Rākshasas,—was alone heard. And the ululations of the monkeys and the cries of the Rākshasas and the rattle of Rāma’s bow—these three filled the ten cardinal quarters. And with the shafts discharged from his bow, the gateway of the city resembling the summit of Kailāça was crushed in pieces, scattered around on the ground. And seeing Rāma’s shafts in cars and dwellings, the preparations for conflict were pushed on with great vigor. And in consequence of the foremost Rākshasas preparing for fight, and emitting roars, that night appeared like the Fatal Night itself. And the foremost monkeys were directed by the high-souled Sugriva, saying,—“Ye monkeys, do ye fight, approaching the gate lying at hand. But he that flyeth from his ranks, should be slain by main force”. As the principal monkeys stationed themselves at the gate, equipped with fire brands, wrath took possession of Rāvana. And as he yawned, the wind (blowing from his mouth), filled the ten cardinal regions; and his wrath resembled that appearing in the person of Rudra. And wrought up with a mighty rage, he sent forth Kumbha and Nikumbha—both sons of Kumbhakarna—in company with innumerable Rākshasas.—And in accordance with Rāvana’s command, Yupāksha and Sonitāksha, and Prajangha, and Kampana went with Kumbhakarna’s sons. And, setting up leonine roars, he commanded all those highly powerful Rākshasas, saying,—“Do ye go this very day for battle”. Thus directed, those heroic Rākshasas, equipped with flaming weapons, went out, roaring again and again. And the firmament was illuminated with the splendour of the ornaments of the Rākshasas and the splendour of their persons and the fire kindled by the monkeys. And there the light of the Moon and that of the stars and the brilliance of their ornaments,—combined, lighted up the welkin.—And the beams of the Moon and the brilliance of the ornaments and the flaming splendour of the planets emblazoned all round the forces of the monkeys and Rākshasas. And the light of half-burnt houses, again, falling on the restless ripples of the sea, made it wear an extremely beautiful aspect. And those dreadful Rākshasa hosts, possessed of dreadful prowess and energy, were seen,—with ensigns and banners; excellent swords and paracwadhas,303 terrific steeds and cars and elephants rife with paths,304 and flaming darts and clubs and scimitars and yrāsas and tomaras and bows; bearing blazing prāsas; ringing with the tinklings of hundreds of balls; with their arms encased in golden networks; flourishing axes; whirling their mighty weapons; fixing shafts on their bows; making the air swoon away with the perfumes of their wreaths; extremely terrific; swarming with heroes; sending out sounds like those of the sea. And seeing the army of the Rākshasas incapable of being coped with advance, the monkey-forces began to move and send up loud cheers. And thereat that array of Rākshasas vehemently sprang forward before the force of the foe, like unto insects plunging into aflame. And whirling with their arms bludgeons and açanis, that army of Rākshasas appeared exceedingly grand. And the monkeys, eager for encounter, darted forward like maniacs; and began to despatch the night-rangers with rocks and trees and clenched fist. And Rākshasas possessed of dreadful prowess with whetted arrows swiftly cut off the heads of falling monkeys. And the Rākshasas ranged there, with their ears torn with teeth, or their heads broken by blows, or their limbs crushed with the discharge of crags. And in the same way other grim-visaged night-rangers slew with sharpened swords the foremost of monkeys on all sides. And one about to slay another was himself slain by the latter; and one, about to bring another down, was himself brought down (by his adversary), and one that was railing at another, was in turn rebuked by his enemy; and one who was going to bite his foe, was himself bitten by him. And one was crying ‘Give,’305 and his adversary anon giveth; and another, again said,—‘I will give. Why puttest thyself to trouble? Stay.’ Thus there did they accost each other. And there was waged a terrific encounter between the monkeys and the Rākshasas,—in which arms lay scattered about; and armour and weapons strewn around; and mighty prācas306 were upraised; and which was fought with blows and darts and swords and Kuntalas.307 And in that conflict the Rākshasas slaughtered monkeys by tens and sevens. And then the monkeys hemmed in the Rākshasa-forces, with their apparels falling off and with their mail and standards strewn around.

[295] Nishuditāh—slain, left out for euphony.

[296] Upanirhāram is a contested term. Kataka gives the sense adopted by me. Tirtha says it means ‘Rāvana cannot give battle in the open field.’ According to others, it means ‘He cannot offer truce to us’.—T.

[297] Arakshāh—according to some means gates. According to others, a gulma or division of an army.—T.

[298] Hutabhuk—lit. eater of sacrificial offsprings—a designation of Fire.

[299] According to the commentator this refers to the fire lighted by the monkeys. I differ.—T.

[300] An Iron club.—T.

[301] The hook used to drive an elephant.—T.

[302] Vimāna, according to Rāmānuya, is a seven-storied edifice.—T.

[303] A platoon consisting of one chariot, one elephant, three horse and five foot.—T.

[304] A kind of sword.

[305] Battle.

[306] A bearded dart.

[307] What could this be like? The commentator is mute. Wilson has Kuntalikā—butter-knife or scoop. Kuntala may, however, mean a plough.—T.


On that furious and destructive carnage proceeding. Angada, eager for encounter, approached the heroic Kampana. Thereat, challenging Angada in wrath, he assailed him with impetuosity. And Kampana dealt a blow to Angada with his mace; and thereat, wounded with it, he reeled. Then regaining his senses, that energetic one hurled a mountain-top. Borne down by the blow, Akampana dropped down to the earth. And seeing Kampana slain in the conflict, Sonitāksha mounted on a car, intrepidly rushed against Angada. And he then impetuosly pierced Angada with sharpened shafts, keen and capable of cleaving the body and resembling the Fatal Fire itself in appearance,—with Kshuras308 and Kshurapras309 and Nārāchas310 and Vatsadantas311 and Siliumkhas312 and Karnis313 and Salas314 and Vipātas,315 and countless (other) whetted arrows. And the powerful son of Vāli—Angada—endowed with prowess having his person pierced with arrows suddenly smashed (his adversary’s) car and arrows and dreadful bow. And thereat, Sonitāksha swiftly took up his sword and shield; and without reflecting for a moment, that vigorous one sprang forward. And the powerful Angada, speedily bounding up, seized his enemy’s sword and holding the same with his hands shouted. And then hitting at (Akampana’s) shoulder-blade, that powerful monkey—Angada—hewed him in twain, his blow going obliquely down like the sacred thread. And taking that terrific sword, and shouting again and again, in the field, Vāli’s son rushed against other enemies. And then strong and heroic Yupaksha accompanied by Prajangha,—mounted on a car, wrathfully approached the mighty son of Vāli. And taking an iron mace, that hero, Sonitāksha, adorned with a golden angada,—attaining a little respite, advanced against Angada. And that redoubtable hero, the powerful Prajangha, also, accompanied by Yupāksha, fired with wrath, equipped with a mace, advanced towards the son of Vāli endowed with exceeding prowess. And placed between those two—Sonitāksha and Prajangha—that foremost of monkeys appeared like the full Moon placed between the Visākhas.316 And Mainda and Dwivida defending Angada, remained beside him, desirous of witnessing the encounter between those two (combatants). And fired with fury, those huge-bodied Rākshasas endowed with dreadful prowess, equipped with swords and shafts and maces,—being on their guard, fell upon the monkeys. And the encounter that took place between those three lords of monkeys combined (on one side), and the three redoubtable Rakshasis (on the other), was dreadful and capable of making people’s down stand on end. And they,317 taking up trees, hurled them in the conflict (against their antagonists); and the powerful Prājangha resisted all those with his swords. And (the monkeys) in the contest showered rocks and trees on the cars (of their enemies) and the exceedingly strong Yupāksha cut them off with vollies of arrows. And the powerful Sonitāksha, endowed with prowess, with his mace severed in the middle the trees which Dwivida and Mainda had uprooted and discharged. And summoning speed, Prājangha darted against Vāli’s son, upraising a huge scimitar capable of piercing into the vitals of trees. And seeing him approach, that lord of monkeys possessed of exceeding strength and great prowess struck him with an Açwakarna tree; and with a blow smote his antagonist on his arm holding a nistringa. And seeing the sword resembling a mace dropped to the earth, that exceedingly mighty one clenched his fist into a blow like unto the levin; and that one, endowed with wondrous energy, smote in the forehead that foremost of monkeys possessed of redoubtable prowess. And thereat he for a moment was staggered. And then recovering his senses, the energetic and powerful son of Vāli by means of his clenched fist severed Prājangha’s head from his body. Thereat Yupāksha, seeing his uncle slain in battle, with his eyes filled with tears, finding his shafts exhausted, swiftly descended from his car and took a sword. And finding Yupāksha charge, Dwivida, waxing wroth, speedily smote him on the breast; and that powerful one also seized him. And finding his brother taken, the highly energetic Sonitāksha then dealt the mighty Dwivida a blow in the chest. And overcome by that blow, that one endowed with great strength, shook; and Dwivida seized his antagonist’s upraised mace. In the meanwhile Mainda came to the side of Dwivida. And Sonitāksha and Yupāksha, bestirring themselves, began to vehemently and forcibly drag and pull those (two) monkeys. And Dwivida with his nail tore Sonhaksha’s face; and that powerful one violently bringing him down to the earth, pressed him with might and main. And fired with wrath, Mainda—foremost of monkeys—grasped Yupāksha with his arms; and that one dropt down dead on the earth. And thereupon the force of the lord of the Rākshasas, having its foremost heroes slain,—and aggrieved thereat, went to where Kumbhakarna’s son was. And then cheering up the flying forces, that best (of Rakshas),—the energetic Kumbha—seeing that Raksha host with its mighty heroes slain by highly powerful monkeys crowned with success, began to perform difficult feats in the encounter. And needfully taking his bow, that first of bowmen discharged shafts resembling venomous serpents capable of piercing the body. And his excellent bow with shafts shone resplendent like the very bow of Indra himself affluent with the splendour of Airāvata and lightning. And then drawing his bow to its utmost bent, he hit Dwivida with a feathered shaft knobbed with gold. And suddenly wounded with it, that best of monkeys having the splendour of Trikuta, fell down senseless to the earth, stretching his legs wide. And Mainda, seeing his brother, broken in mighty encounter, furiously rushed forward, taking a gigantic crag; and that one possessed of great strength, hurled it at the Rākshasa. And thereat Kumbha severed that crag with fire shafts discharged (from his bow). And then aiming other fair-headed arrows resembling venomous snakes, that exceedingly energetic one smote Dwivida’s elder brother in the chest. And struck (with those arrows), that leader of monkey-bands, Mainda, with his marrow pierced therewith, fell down to the earth, deprived of his senses. And Angada seeing his uncles318 endowed with exceeding prowess, overpowered, darted vehemently at Kumbha staying with bow upraised. And as he descended, Kumbha pierced him with fire shafts; and as one pierceth an elephant with tomaras, he also pierced (Angada) with three other arrows. And the powerful Kumbha pierced Angada with a great many arrows, sharp-pointed, whetted, keen and ornamented with gold. And Vāli’s son Angada, albeit pierced all over in his person, did not shake; and he kept showering on his319 head stones and trees. And the graceful son of Kumbhakarna cut off and cleft all those (stone and trees) discharged by Vāli’s son. And seeing him spring up, Kumbha pierced that monkey-leader on the ground with shafts, even as one assaileth an elephant with fire-brands. And blood gushed out of his closed eyes. And then covering his eyes with his hand, Angada with another took a sāla that was hard by. And placing on his breast the sāla furnished with shoulders, and pulling its branches and bending its top, he cleared it of its foliage, in that mighty encounter. And then in the sight of all the Rakshas he violently discharged that tree resembling the very banner of Indra and appearing like Mandara itself. And thereat he320 severed it with seven sharp shafts capable of piercing the body. And Angada experienced a sharp pang and fell down deprived of his senses. And seeing the invincible Angada down like ebbing sea, the foremost monkeys informed Rāghava of it. And Rāma, hearing that Vāli’s son had come to grief in terrific fight, directed the principal monkeys, headed by Jāmbavān. And hearing Rāma’s command, the monkeys, fired with wrath, charged Kumbha, staying with his bow upraised. And those powerful monkeys, with their eyes crimsoned with choler and bearing rocks and trees in their hands, were engaged in defending Angada. And Jāmbavān and Sushena and the monkey, Vegadarçi, wrought with wrath, darted against that hero—son unto Kumbhakarna. And seeing them spring forward; he covered up those exceedingly mighty lords of monkey, with showers of shafts, even as a crag obstructeth the course of a current. And even the great deep cannot see his own shores, those high-souled lord of monkeys, coining within the range of his arrows, could not even see. And seeing those monkeys sore distressed by the shafts, the king of the monkeys, Sugriva, in that conflict taking his brother’s son on his back, rushed against the son of Kumbhakarna, even as a powerful lion rusheth at an elephant ranging on the slopes of a mountain. And that mighty monkey, uprooting many an açwakarna and other mighty trees of various kinds, discharged them (at the foe). And by means of his sharp arrows the graceful son of Kumbhakarna cut off that down-pour of trees covering the welkin; and incapable of being resisted. And being baffled those trees looked like çataghnis. And seeing that shower of trees riven by Kumbha, the graceful lord of the monkeys endowed with exceeding strength and prowess, did not feel any mortification. And suddenly attacked, he bearing those arrows, seized Kumbha’s bow resembling in resplendence the very bow of Indra. And swiftly bounding up and performing that feat difficult of being achieved, he, exceedingly enraged, addressed Kumbha resembling an elephant shorn of his tusks, saying,—“O elder brother of Nikumbha, marvellous are thy might and the force of thyself as well as the modesty and prowess that are thine and Rāvana’s. And, O thou equal unto Prahrada or Vāli or the slayer of Vritra or Varuna or Kuvera! Thou alone walkest in the wake of thy yet mightier father. As mental anguish doth not dog one that hath controlled his senses,—the celestials cannot cope in conflict with thee alone, O repressor of foes, O of mighty arms, bearing thy dart in thy hand. O thou of high intelligence, put forth thy prowess! And do thou also witness my work. It is only by virtue of the boon he hath received, that thy uncle can bear the deities and the Dānavas. But Kumbhakarna copeth with the immortals and Asuras by means of his native might. And in the bow equal to Indrajit himself and in power equal to Rāvana, thou now in might and energy art the foremost of Rākshasas. And to-day let all creatures witness the mighty and wonderful encounter in conflict between thee and me, like unto the meeting of Sakra and Samvara. And unparalleled is the feat thou hast performed; and thou hast displayed thy skill in weapons. And heroic monkeys endowed with dreadful vigor, have been brought down by thee. And, O hero it is only because of the apprehension321 of censure of the people that I do not slay thee who art fatigued in consequence of the acts that thou hast performed. And reposing from fight, do thou see my strength!” And being thus honored (by Sugriva) with fair speech, (Kumbha) flamed up like a flame into which oblations have been poured. And then Kumbha seized Sugriva by the arms. And like two elephants in rut, they sighing momentarily, fastened on each other’s person, and possessed each other,—and from fatigue emitting from their mouth flames mixed with vapour And with the stamping of their feet, the earth was rent into rivers, and the main was waxed, with its billows surging furiously. Then Sugriva lifting up Kumbha clean, violently plunged him into the salt wash, making his eyes acquainted with the locality of the deep. And in consequence of Kumbha’s plunge, the waters heaving up, rolled on all sides like the Vindhya or Mandara. Then springing up, and bringing Sugriva down, Kumbha, transported with wrath dealt a blow on his chest, like unto the levin. And thereat his skin was rent, and blood began to gush out,—and the impetus of that blow broke Sugriva’s bones. And the vehemence (of the blow) caused a great fire to blaze up at that spot; even as the thunder-bolt smiting the mountain Meru, maketh place blazed. And the mighty Sugriva—foremost of monkeys—sorely handled by him, fastened his fingers into a box resembling the thunder-bolt, and furnished with all the effulgence of the solar disc having a thousand rays. And then that powerful one made that blow descend right on Kumbha’s breast. And agonised with that stroke, Kumbha reft of his senses, dropped like unto a fire that hath lost its brightness. And overpowered by that blow, the Rākshasa anon dropped down, like unto the bright Lohitānga dropping from the firmament urged on by Destiny. And the aspect of the falling Kumbha with his breast broken by the blow, appeared like that of the Sun routed by Rudra. And on his being slain, in encounter, by the foremost of monkeys endowed with terrific strength, the earth with her hills and woods, shook; and a mighty fear took possession of the Rakshas.

[308] Arrows having razor-like edges.

[309] Crescent-shaped shafts.

[310] Arrows made entirely of iron.

[311] Arrows resembling the teeth of calves.

[312] Arrows resembling the feathers of the Kanka.

[313] Arrows furnished with two sides resembling cars.

[314] Arrows with short leads.

[315] Arrows resembling the tops of Karaviras—Tirtha.

[316] The asterisks so named.

[317] The monkeys.

[318] Maternal uncles.

[319] Kumbha’s.

[320] Kumbha.

[321] i e. Lest people should censure me, saying,—’Sugriva slew Kumbha when he was fatigued in fight’.—T.


Seeing his brother slain by Sugriva, Nikumbha, gazed at the lord of the monkeys, as if consuming him with his passion. And then that one endowed with calmness, grasped a bludgeon entwined with wreaths, and furnished with an iron ring measuring five fingers, and resembling the top of the Mahendra;322 plated with gold and embellished with diamonds and lapises,—and looking like the rod of Yama himself; dreadful, and capable of removing the fear of the Rakshas. And whirling this, that highly powerful one, resembling the banner itself of Sakra in energy, Nikumbha possessed of terrific strength, with his mouth wide open, set up shouts. And with gold adorning his breast, and angadas placed on his arms and a pair of curious and variegated earrings, Nikumbha, with his ornaments and that same bludgeon, appeared beautiful like a mass of roaring clouds laughing with lightning and furnished with the iris. And the head of that huge-bodied hero’s parigha undid the conjunction of the Seven323 Winds and appeared324 like a noiseless and smokeless flame. Along with the gyration of Nikumbha’s parigha the whole welkin, together with the excellent city325 of the Gandharbas, and the planets, stars and the moon, began to whirl. And Nikumbha was hard to approach like unto the fire of dissolution, being resplendent with the brilliance of parigha and other ornaments and having his anger for its fuels. And the Rākshasas and monkeys did not dare stir even out of fear. And the heroic Hanumān, spreading his breast, stood before him. And thereat the powerful (Nikumbha) having long-arms326 threw his parigha resembling the Sun at the breast of that powerful one. And falling on the firm and spacious breast of Hanumān it was broken into hundred pieces. And the broken portions, being scattered, appeared like hundreds of fire-brands in the sky. Like unto a mountain standing still even at the time of an earthquake that mighty monkey was not moved albeit struck with the parigha. Being thus hurt that highly powerful Hanumān, the foremost of the monkeys, with great velocity clenched his fist. And with this, the powerful (monkey) gifted with great impetuosity, and resembling the wind in prowess, struck Nikumbha on his breast. And with that fist, his (Nikumbha’s) armour327 was riven and blood gushed out. And a light rising out of his breast suddenly disappeared like unto lightning disappearing in a mass of clouds. And being struck with his (Hanumān’s) fist Nikumbha was greatly moved and restoring himself attacked the mighty Hanumān and pulled him up. And beholding in conflict the terrible and powerful Hanumān pulled up by Nikumbha, the residents of Lankā began to shout with joy. Being thus put to shame by that Raksha, Hanumān the son of the Wind, struck him with his iron fist. And releasing himself from the grasp of Nikumbha, Hanumān the Wind-god’s son instantly planted his foot on the earth. Inflamed with ire, he, throwing down Nikumbha, began to crush him; and gifted with vehemence, he, with great impetuosity, leaped up and sat on the breast (of the Raksha). And holding his head with two hands, he, emitting loud roars, displaced his head. Nikumbha being thus slain in conflict by the Wind-god’s son, there ensued a terrible conflict between the highly enraged armies of the son of Daçaratha and the lord of Rākshasas. And Nikumbha being deprived of his life, the monkeys began to shout—as if resounding all the quarters. And with it the whole earth moved and the abode of the celestials dropped down. And the Rākshasa-hosts were greatly terrified.

[322] The mountain, so named.

[323] This indicates the length of the Parigha.

[324] This might refer to Kumbha as well.

[325] Some say Vitapabati and some say Alakā.

[326] Lit. arms resembling parighas.

[327] Some texts read charma (skin) in the place of Barma—(armour) i.e. his skin was rent—This equally indicates Hanumān’s strength.—T.


Beholding Kumbha and Nikumbha slain, Rāvana was excited with ire like unto flaming fire. And being beside himself, simultaneously with wrath and grief Rāvana328 spoke unto Makarāksha, Khara’s son, having spacious eyes, saying—“O child, do thou proceed at my command with the army and destroy Rāghava and Lakshmana with all the monkeys”. Hearing the words of Rāvana, Khara’s son, Makarāksha, proud of his own prowess, delightedly spoke unto the night-ranger, saying, “Be it so”. And saluting and circumambulating the Ten-necked one, that hero, at Rāvana’s behest, issued out of the house. And Khara’s son spoke unto the commander who was near him, saying,—“Do thou speedily bring the chariot here and all the soldiers”. And hearing his words, that commanding night-ranger, soon led before him the army and the chariot. And going round the chariot and addressing the charioteer that night-ranger (Makarāksha) said,—“O charioteer, do thou soon drive the chariot”. And Makarāksha addressed those Rākshasas, saying,—“O Rākshasas! Do ye all fight before me. I have been commanded by the high-souled Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, to slay both Rāma and Lakshmana in conflict. I shall slay to-day, O night-ranger, with my excellent arrows, Rāma, Lakshmana, Sugriva and all other monkeys. Like unto fire consuming dry fuel, shall I to-day slay the host of monkeys with my darts”. Hearing those words of Makarāksha, the mighty night-rangers, (addressed themselves for fight). They were armed with various weapons, cautious; assuming shapes at will, crooked, having fearful teeth, coppery eyes; roaring like elephants, having dishevelled hair and terrible. And encircling the huge-bodied son of Khara, those gigantic (Rākshasas) began to proceed, delighted and moving the earth (with the weight of their persons). There arose a terrible noise on all sides from the sound of conches, and thousands of bugles, and from the moving of the arms of the heroes. And all on a sudden the reins slipped off (the hands of) the charioteer and the flag of the Rākshasas dropped down. And the course of the steeds was thus slackend and they began to move slowly and poorly with their heads drooping down. There blew a terribly rough wind mixed with dust when the fearfully wicked-minded Makarākshas issued out for battle. Those powerful Rākshasas neglecting those bad omens proceeded towards where Rāma and Lakshmana were. They were all black like unto clouds, elephants and buffaloes, and had marks of swords and maces on their persons. And all those night rangers were skilled in the art of warfare and began to range to and fro (in the battle field) saying, “I shall go first”.

[328] Nairita is another name of Rāvana.


Beholding Makarāksha out for battle, those foremost monkeys, leaping on a sudden, addressed themselves for fight. Thereupon ensued a terrible conflict, capable of making one’s down stand on end, between the night-rangers and the monkeys like unto one between the celestials and Dānavas. And those monkeys and night-rangers crushed each other down with trees, darts, maces and parighas. And those night-rangers began to assail those foremost of monkeys with sakti,329 swords, maces, kuntas, tomaras, pattiças, Vindipalas,330 arrows, nooses and clubs. Being thus assailed with fearful arrows by Khara’s son, those monkeys, stricken with fear, fled away. And beholding the monkeys fly away, the victorious Rākshasas began to roar like excited lions. The monkeys thus flying away to all quarters, Rāma with a downpour of shafts assailed the Rākshasas. And beholding the Rākshasas thus overpowered, the night ranger Makarāksha, excited with the flame of ire, said,—“Stay, O Rāma, let us both fight with each other; I shall take thy life with sharp arrows discharged off my bow. Thou didst slay my father in the forest of Dandaka. Remembering thy action and finding thee before, my ire is excited. O Rāghava! Vicious souled one! My limbs are being burnt (with wrath) for I did not see thee then in that mighty forest. O Rāma, by my good luck, I have got thee to-day, like unto a hungry lion desiring to have other animals. Being despatched by my arrows to the world of devils, thou shalt live with those heroes, who had been killed by thee before. What is the use of speaking more, O Rāma, do thou hear my words. Let all the people behold thy as well as my prowess in the battlefield. Either with weapon or with clubs, in whatever thou art expert, do thou fight with me in the battle-field, O Rāma”. Hearing the words of Makarāksha, Rāma, Daçaratha’s son, smiling, replied to the words of the babbler. “O Raksha, what is the use of idle prating? None can achieve success in battle with idle words—but with fighting. I slew in the forest of Dandaka thy father with fourteen thousand Rākshasas, Triçira and Dushana. O vile one, thou being slain to day, with thy flesh, vultures and crows, having sharp beaks and nails, and jackals shall be satisfied.331 Being thus addressed by Rāghava, the mighty Makarāksha, began to dart sharp arrows towards him in the battle-field. And Rāma, with his shafts, sundered into several pieces, those arrows. And being thus rendered useless those arrows, feathered in gold, fell down on the earth. Then there arose a terrible conflict between the Rākshasa Khara’s son and Daçaratha’s son. And there were audible in that battle-field, the outcry of the heroes and the twang of the bows stretched by their hands, like unto the muttering of the clouds in the sky. And to beheld that wondrous conflict, the celestials, Dānavas, Gandharbas, Kinnaras and the mighty serpents stationed themselves in the sky. They were wounded with the arrows discharged by each other and their strength was doubled. And they began to fight in that battle-field one attacking and the other withstanding the attack. And in that conflict the Rākshasa sundered the shafts discharged by Rāma. And likewise Rāma severed into several pieces the arrows shot by the Rākshasa. All the quarters were covered with arrows and nothing on earth or in the sky was visible. Thereupon being excited with ire, Rāghava of long arms sundered his (Rākshasa’s) bow in conflict and with eight Nārachas pierced the charioteer. And with arrows Rāma sundered the chariot and killing the horses brought them down. And the night-ranger Makarāksha was brought down on the earth from the chariot. He then again rose up with a dart in his hand creating terror unto all creatures and resembling the Fire of Dissolution in resplendence. It was a terribly huge dart conferred on him by Siva, shining in the sky in its native brilliance and like unto another weapon of destruction.332 And beholding which dart even the celestials fly away in fear to different quarters. And taking up that huge flaming dart, the night-ranger, being excited with ire, hurled it at the high-souled Rāghava. And Rāghava, with four shafts, sundered that dart, in the sky, flaming and hurled at him by the son of Khara. And that flaming dart, feathered in gold, being splintered into several pieces by Rāma’s arrows fell down on earth like a huge fire-brand. And beholding that dart baffled thus by Rāma of unwearied actions all those, stationed in the welkin began to shout, “Well done! Well done!!” And beholding his dart thus sundered, the night-ranger Makarāksha clenching his fist spoke unto Kākutstha, saying, “Stay! Stay!” And seeing him advance thus, the descendant of Raghu, smiling, fixed a fiery arrow on his bow. And with that arrow the Raksha was slain by Kākutstha in battle. And having his heart pierced he fell down and died. And beholding Makarāksha thus slain all the Rākshasas, being afraid of Rāma’s arrows, proceeded towards Lankā. And seeing that night-ranger, the son of Khara, slain by Rāma’s arrows, like unto a mountain clept by a thunder-bolt, the celestials were greatly delighted.

[329] A short arrow thrown from the hand or shot through a tube.—T.

[330] An Iron spear or dart.—T.

[331] Here is another sloka, which is to be found in all N. W. P. texts and in one or two texts published in Bengal—but it has been omitted by many for it conveys the same meaning as the previous sloka; the meaning is:—And the birds drinking thy blood shall fly away to various quarters.—T.

[332] This refers to the weapon used by Siva for destruction—for Siva, according to the Hindu Mythology is the God of destruction.—T.


Hearing of the destruction of Makarāksha, the heroic Rāvana, being excited with ire, began to grind his teeth. Being thus angered, and thinking within himself what steps to take, he ordered his son Indrajit to proceed to the battle-field. “O hero, gifted with great prowess as thou art, do thou, hidden (in clouds) or appearing before them, slay the two heroic brothers Rāma and Lakshmana. Thou didst defeat in conflict Indra of unequalled prowess. Shalt thou then neglect to slay men as they are?” Being thus addressed by the lord of the Rākshasas and obeying his father’s command, Indrajit proceeded towards the sacrificial ground to satisfy Fire (with oblations). There came some she-demons with crimson turbans and waited respectfully where Rāvana’s son was offering oblations unto Fire. In that sacrifice the weapons were the leaves of sara,333 bibhutaks334 were fuels, and there were brought crimson clothes and sruvas335 made of black iron. And spreading fire on all sides with sara leaves and tomaras, (Indrajit) caught a living goat, all black, by the neck. And the fire, with oblations of sara, became greatly blazed and devoid of smoke. And there were visible many good omens indicating victory. The flame of the fire was like unto gold, and moving Southwards began to receive offerings of clarified butter. And thus offering oblations unto fire and unto celestials, Dānavas and Rākshasas, he ascended an excellent car and soon disappeared. It was drawn by four horses and a huge bow, set with sharp arrows, appeared beautiful on that excellent car. The chariot was brilliant with its own native resplendence, adorned with gold and painted with the figures of deer and a cresent. It was encircled on all sides with golden bracelets, adorned with flags made of vaidurja and was like unto the flaming fire. And being thus well protected with Brahmā weapons resembling the Sun in brilliance, the mighty son of Rāvana became invincible. And offering oblations unto Fire in accordance with demonaic incantations and thus obtaining the power of hiding himself, that hero, ever victorious in battle, issued out of the city and said,—“Slaying these two brothers in battle, who have uselessly wandered away into the forest, shall I crown my father Rāvana with victory. Destroying Rāma and Lakshmana, and clearing the monkeys off the earth, shall I satisfy my sire greatly”. Saying this, he disappeared from their view. Thereupon that fearful foe of the lord of celestials appeared in the battle-field, excited with wrath, armed with bow and sharp Nārachas and commissioned thus by the Ten-necked one. He beheld there those two heroes discharging flaming arrows and surrounded by the monkeys like unto the fearful three-hooded serpent in the midst of other serpents. And thinking “these must be Rāma and Lakshmana,” and stretching his bow he began showering arrows like unto clouds. He was seated in a car in the welkin and hidden from the human gaze and began to assail Rāma and Lakshmana with sharp shafts. And being hurt with the arrows, Rāma and Lakshmana, fixing arrows on their bows, began to discharge celestial shafts. And those two highly powerful heroes could not even touch his person with their arrows resembling the Sun albeit they covered the whole welkin therewith. And clouding the whole sky with smoke that effulgent one, enveloped in frost, hid himself from their gaze. There was not audible the twang of his bow, the sound of the wheels, or the noise of the steeds. Nor was he seen by any. In that terrible darkness of clouds that one of mighty arms began to make a downpour of Nārachas and arrows like hail storms. And in that encounter, Rāvana’s son, inflamed with ire, wounded Rāma, with shafts, resembling the Sun and obtained by him as a boon. And being hurt with Nārachas, like unto mountains wet with rain, those two foremost of men, began to discharge shafts feathered in gold. And reaching the son of Rāvana in the sky and soaked in blood those golden arrows, fell down on earth. And those two best of men, hurt with his arrows, became more effulgent and baffled the shafts discharged by the Rākshasa. Thereupon Rāma and Lakshmana began to aim their sharp shafts to the direction whence the arrows came down. And stationed in his chariot that mighty car-warrior disturbed all quarters with his arrows and pierced Daçaratha’s sons with sharp shafts won by him. And being greatly hurt with those sharp-pointed and terrible arrows Rāma and Lakshmana appeared like blossoming kingsukas. Like unto the sun hidden in clouds they could see neither his countenance and motion, nor his bow and arrows. And being wounded with those arrows hundreds of monkeys died and fell down on the earth. Thereupon Lakshmana, being excited with wrath, spoke unto his brother, saying—“To slay all the Rākshasas shall I discharge to-day Brahmā weapon”. Thereupon Rāma spoke unto Lakshmana, gifted with auspicious marks, saying—“It doth not behove thee to clear all the Rākshasas off the earth for the folly of one individual. Thou shouldst not slay him, who hath retired from battle, hath hidden himself, hath sought thy shelter, hath stood before thee with joined palms, hath fled away or who is bewildered. O thou of mighty-arms, let us try to slay him (Indrajit). And to accomplish it I shall use the weapons gifted with great impetuosity and resembling the serpents. He is hidden from the public gaze so we must slay him—had he been fighting openly the leaders of the monkey hosts could have slain that Rākshasa. Truly he shall be burnt to death with my shafts and fall down on the earth albeit he entereth the regions under the earth or the abode of the celestials”. Having said these words pregnant with a high significance, the high-souled and heroic descendant of Raghu, being surrounded by monkeys, began to concert various plans for the destruction of that terrible Rākshasa of wicked deeds.

[333] Saccharum—a reed or grass,

[334] Beleric myrobalan.

[335] A ladle with a double extremety or two oval collateral excavations made of wood to pour ghee upon the sacrificial Fire.—T.


Having read the intention of that high-souled Rāghava, he retired from the battle-field and entered into the city of Lankā. And remembering the destruction of many a quick-paced Rākshasa, his eyes were rendered coppery with ire; and that hero, the son of Rāvana, issued out of the city again. And that highly powerful, Indrajit, a descendant of Pulasta and an enemy of the celestials, issued out, encircled by the Rākshasas, by the western gate. And beholding the heroic brothers Rāma and Lakshmana prepared for fight, Indrajit spread illusions. And placing an illusory figure of Sitā on the car, encircled by a huge army he began to make arrangements for her destruction. And desiring to charm all with his illusions, that one of wicked intent, preparing himself to slay Sitā, proceeded towards the monkeys. And beholding him thus proceed, the monkeys, inflamed with ire, desirous of fighting and with crags in their hands, moved on, And preceded them all, Hanumān, the foremost of the monkeys, with a huge mountain-top in his hand. He beheld there, on Indrajit’s car, Sitā, deprived of all joy, poorly, greatly reduced with fasts and wearing a single braid. And Rāghava’s beloved spouse wore a piece of soiled cloth, and though highly beautiful, the grace of her person was greatly spoiled with dirt. That daughter of Janaka, was not seen by him for a long time. And beholding her and deciding instantly that she is the daughter of Mithilā, (he became greatly sorry). And seeing her on the car, innocent, poor, deprived of joy and brought under the influence of the son of the lord of Rākshasas that great monkey thought within himself—‘What must be the intention of Indrajit?’ and accompanied by heroic monkeys advanced towards the son of Rāvana. And beholding that monkey host, Rāvana’s son became beside himself with ire and unsheathing his weapon Nistrinsha, caught her by the hair. And that Rākshasa addressed himself to strike her in the presence of all those monkeys, and that illusory figure of Sitā began to bewail saying, “O Rāma! O Rāma!” And seeing her thus caught by the head, Hanumān, the son of Maruta, greatly sorry, began to shed tears. And beholding that beloved spouse of Rāma, having a tender and beautiful person, he addressed angrily the son of the lord of Rākshasas with harsh words. “It is for thy destruction, O Vicious-souled one! That thou hast touched her hair. Being descended from that great Brahmā ascetic thou art born as a Rākshasa. O! Cursed art thou, since thou hast cherished such a desire and engaged in such a vicious deed. O vile! O wicked! O cruel and dishonorable wight! O thou having vice for thy prowess! O shameless! Art thou not ashamed of perpetrating such an inhuman deed. What hath Maithili done by thee, O cruel one! That thou art ready to slay her—She hath been banished from her home, territory and hath been separated from her lord. O thou worthy of being slain, destroying Sitā, thou shalt not live long as thou hast been brought under me. Thou shalt after the death reach the place which is occupied by those who murder women—a place which is avoided even by those who commit every sort of crime punishable by law”. Saying this Hanumān, accompanied by monkeys armed with weapons, and excited with ire, proceeded towards the son of the lord of Rākshasas. Beholding the highly powerful monkeys advance thus the Rākshasas, inflamed with wrath, obstructed them. And assailing the monkey-hosts with thousands of arrows, Indrajit spoke unto that foremost of monkeys, Hanumān, saying,—“To-day I shall slay before you all Vaidehi, for whom thou, Sugriva and Rāma have come. Slaying her, O monkey, I shall afterwards kill thee, Rāma, Lakshmana and Sugriva and the dishonorable Bibhisana. And, O monkey, about not destroying women, of which thou wert speaking (I might say) that we must always do what pains our enemies”.336 Saying this, Indrajit with a sharp sword, himself killed the illusory Sitā thus bewailing. And being sundered by him obliquely in a way in which a sacred thread lies on one’s own person, the innocent (Sitā) having a beautiful countenance fell down on the earth. And slaying her Indrajit spoke unto Hanumān, saying,—“Behold I have slain (before thee) with my sword Rāma’s beloved. And Vaidehi being thus slain, all your labours have been rendered useless”. And destroying her with his own hand by means of a huge sword, Indrajit, greatly pleased ascended his car and began to emit dreadful roars. And the monkeys stationed near heard that terrible roar and saw him enter the castle.337 And slaying Sitā338 that wicked-minded son of Rāvana became greatly pleased. And beholding him thus delighted the monkeys being greatly sorry fled away.

[336] There is one sloka intervening according to some texts—but it has been omitted by many. The reasons for this omission are best known to them. The purport is:—”Why did Rāma slay Taraka before? And I shall therefore slay his spouse the daughter of king Janaka”. Hearin Indrajit attempts to justify himself and wants to prove that Rāma is equally blameable for this.—T.

[337] The castle built by Indrajit by means of his illusory power in the air.—T.

[338] This refers to the figure of Sitā made by illusion.—T.


Hearing that dreadful uproar resembling the sound of Indra’s thunder-bolt, the monkeys, casting their looks on all sides fled away. Thereupon Hanumān, the son of Maruta, spoke unto them, poorly, terrified and of a sorrowful countenance, saying,—“O monkeys, why do ye look so melancholy and why are you flying away? Why have ye renounced your earnest desire for fight? And where is your heroism gone? Do ye remain behind me, I shall go first in the battle”. Being thus addressed by that highly intelligent son of the Wind-god, they were greatly excited with wrath and being pleased took up trees and crags in their hands. And roaring thus the leading monkeys advanced towards the Rākshasas and stood encircling Hanumān in the battle-field. And being surrounded on all sides by leading monkeys, Hanumān began to burn down enemy’s host like unto fire spreading its flames. And being encircled by monkey-hosts that mighty monkey resembling Death himself began to grind the Rākshasas. And being overwhelmed with grief and wrought up with ire, that monkey Hanumān, threw a huge crag on the car of that son of Rāvana. Beholding that crag about to fall down on the car, the charioteer moved his horses and it was speedily brought at some distance. And not reaching Indrajit stationed on the car and the charioteer, that crag, uselessly hurled, fell down on the earth. And that crag falling down many of the Rākshasas were crushed. Thereupon hundreds of huge-bodied monkeys, emitting cries and taking up crags and trees proceeded towards him (Indrajit) and hurled them at him. And the monkeys gifted with dreadful prowess began to make a down-pour of crags and trees. They thus assailed the enemies and frequently emitted cries. And the grim-visaged night-rangers were thus assailed with trees in that field by the terrible monkeys. Beholding his army thus distressed by the monkeys, Indrajit, excited with wrath, and taking up his dart, proceeded towards the enemies, and encircled by his soldiers showered terrible shafts upon them. And that one of dreadful prowess slew many a leading monkey by means of darts, Açanis, swords, pattiças and clubs. And the highly powerful monkeys destroyed his retinue, with crags, stones and trees having strong trunks. And Hanumān thus crushed many a Rākshasa of terrible deeds. Obstructing the Rākshasas (for some time) Hanumān spoke unto monkeys, saying,—“Stay, we should not fight now. That daughter of Janaka hath been slain, for whom we have engaged in fight, renouncing all hope of life and desiring to accomplish Rāma’s satisfaction. Let us now go and inform Rāma and Sugriva of it. And we shall do as we shall be commanded by them. Saying this and desisting all the monkeys from encounter that foremost of monkeys proceeded undaunted and heroically. And beholding Hanumān proceed thus where Rāghava was that wicked-minded one (Indrajit) with a view to offer oblations unto Fire entered the sacrificial altar Nikumbhilā. And reaching there Indrajit lighted up fire and began to pour oblations therein. And the Fire blazed up receiving oblations of blood, and being satisfied assumed the appearance of the setting sun. And Indrajit conversant with all ceremonials, offered oblations in due form for the welfare of the Rākshasas. And they all stood there watching the result and desirous of ascertaining the success of the battle.339

[339] This sloka hath been left off in some editions.—T.


Hearing the terrible war-cry of the Rākshasas and monkeys Rāghava spoke unto Jāmbavān, saying:—“O gentle one, forsooth hath Hanumān performed some mighty act—for I hear the dreadful sound of the weapons. Do thou therefore proceed speedily, O lord of bears, with all thy soldiers to assist that foremost of monkeys.

Thereupon, saying, ‘So be it,’ that king of bears, surrounded by his forces, approached the Western gate, where the monkey, Hanumān, was stationed. And then the lord of bears saw Hanumān approach, surrounded by monkeys sighing hard, who had faught the fight. And seeing on the way that host of bears dreadful and resembling dark clouds, on the march, Hanumān made them desist. And that illustrious one along with that force, speedily presented himself (before Rāma), and with a heavy heart addressed him, saying—“As we were fighting in the field, Rāvana’s son, Indrajit in our very sight slew Sitā, crying (in distress). O subduer of enemies, seeing her (in this plight) I, with my senses bewildered, have been overwhelmed with grief. Therefore I have come unto thee to inform thee of what hath befallen”. Hearing these words of his, Rāghava, overwhelmed with grief, dropped down to the earth, like a tree whose roots have been severed. Seeing the god-like Rāghava down on the earth, the foremost monkeys from all sides rushed forward and came to where (he was). And with water scented with lotuses,340 they fell to sprinkling that one resembling a furious fire341 that hath suddenly arisen. Thereat Lakshmana overcome with sorrow, embracing Rāma, spoke unto him words fraught with reason and import,—“Profitless342 virtue is incapable, O noble one, of delivering from calamaties thee, who hast subdued thy senses, and who ever abidest in the good path. Beings and the mobile as well as the immobile cannot have that direct perception of virtue which they have of happiness. Therefore, I ween, virtue is a non-entity. Inasmuch as the mobile (albeit devoid of any regard for virtue) are nevertheless happy, and as the mobile also are so, this virtue cannot lead to happiness. (If it were so), one like thee would have not been placed in peril. If unrighteousness would bring unhappiness on creatures, Rāvana should hence to hell, and thou possessed of virtue, shouldst not come by misfortune. And seeing that he is free from danger, and thou art in it, righteousness and its opposite are found to have tendencies the very reverse of those assigned to them respectively (by the Vedas). And if by means of virtue, one attaineth the felicity attached to it, and by means of unrighteouness, one reapeth its proper fruit, then let those that are unrighteous reap the fruit of their impiety,—nor let those that set their face against sin, be deprived of the fruit of their righteousness; and let those that walk in the way of virtue reap the fruit of their piety. But as prosperity attendeth those that are established in un-righteousness, and as those regardful of righteousness fare lamentably,—these343 have not the senses assigned to them (by the scriptures). If, O Rāghava, (it is contended that) unrighteousness cutteth off the wicked, then whom shall unrighteousness, himself slain by the act of slaughter of the destroyer,—slay in his turn? Or if it is said that one is slain or slayeth another by ordinance, then it is Destiny, which is touched by the sinful act and not he. O chastiser of foes, incapable of meting out retribution,344—unmanifest itself, and non-existent, how can virtue, even if we grant its existence, find out the person that should be slain? If, O foremost of the good, it had existed, thou wouldst not have come by any misfortune. But inasmuch as thou hast fallen into this plight, there is no such thing as virtue. Or itself feeble and impotent, it taketh refuge in manliness. And being powerless and bereft of dignity, it should, I deem, by no means be followed. And if virtue is a property of manliness, then carefully forsaking virtue, do thou follow strength as thou hast hitherto followed virtue. But, O subduer of enemies, if truthfulness be virtue, art thou not bound by that departing from which the king lost his life?345 And, O chastiser of foes, if virtue must be practised above all, or if prowess must have precedence,—then the thunder-handed Satakratu would not have celebrated his sacrifice, slaying the ascetic.346 O Rāghava, virtue aided by prowess, destroyeth enemies. Therefore, O Kākutstha, people, for compassing their ends, resort to both virtue and prowess. This, sire, is my opinion: this, O Rāghava, is virtue. But thou, having then renounced the kingdom, hast laid the axe at the root347 of righteousness. Like streams issuing out mountains, all acts spring from wealth flowing from various regions and attaining magnitude. Like a shrunken stream in summer, all the acts of that foolish person who hath been divorced by wealth, are annihilated.—He that renouncing riches within his reach,348 hankers after enjoyment,—being carried away by his overmastering desire, taketh to getting at wealth by sinful acts; and then he incurreth guilt. Unto him that hath wealth are friends, unto him that hath wealth are acquaintances,—he that hath wealth is an individuality in this world, and he that hath wealth is a learned person. He that hath wealth is powerful; he that hath wealth is intelligent; he that hath wealth is mighty-armed; and he that hath wealth is full of all graces. All these that I have ennumerated are the evils of forsaking fortune. (I cannot divine) what made thee, renouncing the monarchy, to adopt such a course.—He that hath riches, hath virtue and desire attending on him, and hath everything auspicious. That one without wealth, that seeketh it, cannot secure the wealth of prowess, without riches and desire. And, O lord of men, cheerfulness, and desire, and pride, and piety, and anger, and self-restraint, and self-control—all these come from wealth. As the planets are not discovered on a stormy day, that wealth, the want of which renders this world naught even unto the ascetics practising righteousness,—is not visible in thee. O hero, thou having abode by the words of thy superior and having come (to the forest), thy wife dearer then life itself hath been ravished by Rakshas. But, O hero, to-day, O Rāghava, by my acts will I remove this huge sorrow that hath been heaped upon us by Indrajit. Therefore, rise thou up. Rise up, O foremost of men, O long-armed one, O thou who observest vows. Why dost thou not understand thyself as the Supreme Soul?349 And, O sinless one, urged on behalf of thy welfare, I, waxing wroth on hearing of the slaughter of Janaka’s daughter, shall with my shafts entirely raze to the ground Lankā with cars and elephants and steeds and the foremost Rakshas”.

[340] Padmatpalasugandhibhih—water scented with padmas—lotuses proper, and utpalas—blue lotuses—(Nymphea cerulea).—T.

[341] ‘Rāma,’ remarks the commentator, ‘was a fire lighted by his grierf for Sitā.’—T.

[342] ‘Profitless,’ although apparently an epithet of virtue, is really the predicate of the sentence. ‘Virtue, incapable of delivering thee… profitless.’—T.

[343] Virtue and vice.

[344] ‘In consequence,’ remarks Rāmanuja, ‘of their being devoid of consciousness.’

[345] Explains the commentator,—’King Daçaratha lost his life, because he did not observe his word of installing thee in the kingdom. Art thou not bound by his word as well?’—T.

[346] The Logic is all in a jumble; but such is the text. The ascetic was Viçwarupa. The meaning, according to the commentator, is that, prowess is first and virtue next. Indra first used force, and then acquired merit.—T.

[347] ‘Root’, remarks Rāmānuja,—’which is interest!’

[348] The commentator would have ‘gotten riches.’

[349] Rāma is conceived as an incarnation of Vishnu.—T.


As Lakshmana devoted to his brother was comforting Rāma, Bibhishana, posting his forces at their proper quarters, came there, surrounded by four heroes accoutred in various arms, resembling masses of collyrium or leaders of elephant-herds. And approaching the high-souled Rāghava, overwhelmed with grief, he saw the monkeys with tears in their eyes. And he saw that joy of the Ikshwāku race—the high-souled Rāghava—stupified with grief, lying on the lap of Lakshmana. And seeing Rāma cast down and inflamed with grief, Bibhishana, inly pained, said,—‘What is this?’ Thereat, gazing at Bibhishana’s countenance as well as all those monkeys, Lakshmana, with his eyes flooded with tears, said these words pregnant with dire import,—“O placid one, hearing from Hanumān’s lips that Sitā hath been slain by Indrajit, Rāghava hath been overcome with stupor”. As Sumitrā’s son was speaking thus, Bibhishana, preventing him, addressed the stupified Rāma in these pregnant words,—“O king, all that Hanumān in distressful guise had communicated unto thee I deem as improbable, like unto the drying of the deep. I know the intent of the impious Rāvana with reference to Sitā, O mighty-armed one. Her he will not slay. I, seeking his welfare, had besought him much, saying,—‘Let go Vaidehi’,—but he did not act up to my speech. Neither by conciliation, nor by gift, nor by dissension,—and where is war?—nor by any other means is one capable of obtaining the very sight of Sitā. Having bewildered the monkeys, the Rākshasa hath gone back; and, O mighty-armed one, know her to be the illusory daughter of Janaka. To-day, going to the sacrificial ground (called) Nikumbhila, he will offer oblations into fire; and there the deity of fire will present himself along with Vāsava and the (other) divinities. And then Rāvana’s son shall be invincible in battle. Indubitably that illusion hath been wrought by him, to deceive (the monkeys), so that they might not through their prowess disturb him there. Thither will we go before he hath furnished his (sacrifice). O foremost of men, shake off this vain sorrow that hath overcome thee! Seeing thee smitten with grief, this entire host is dispirited. Here, with thy heart composed, do thou stay, summoning thy strength. Send Lakshmana along with us and the flower of the forces. This foremost of men by means of sharpened shafts will make Rāvana’s son give up his rites; and then shall he be capable of being slain by us. These keen and sharpened shafts of his, attaining access of velocity through the feathers of birds, and themselves resembling fierce fowls, will drink his350 blood. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, do thou in order to the destruction of the Rākshasa, commission Lakshmana, even as the wielder of the thunder-bolt commandeth the same. And as to-day no time should be lost, therefore do thou send Lakshmana for compassing the destruction of the foe, even as Mahendra sendeth the thunder-bolt for bringing about the destruction of the enemies of the immortals. If that foremost of Rākshasas can finish his rites, he shall be invisible to both celestials and Asuras; and, he fighting after finishing his sacrifice, the celestials themselves shall be placed in great jeopardy”.

[350] Indrajit’s.


Hearing his speech, Rāghava, overwhelmed with grief, could not perfectly comprehend what was said by the Rākshasa. Then, summoning up patience, Rāma—captor of hostile capitals—spoke unto Bibhishana, seated near the monkeys,—“O lord of Nairitas, I once more wish to hear what, O Bibhishana, thou hast said”. Hearing Rāghava’s words, Bibhishana, skilled in speech, again spoke these words, saying,—“O mighty-armed one, I have stationed the forces, O hero, agreeably to thy directions. The entire force hath been divided around; and the leaders have also been placed properly. Further, O mighty master, listen to what I have to say. On thy having been causelessly aggrieved, we all of us were seized with grief. If this anxiety of thine conduceth to the joy of the enemy, do thou cast it off. And, O hero, bestir thyself,—and summon up spirits. If thou art to have Sitā, and if the night-rangers are to be slain by thee, do thou, O Raghu’s son, listen to my profitable speech. Let Sumitrā’s son go forth, environed by a mighty force, for slaying in battle the son of Rāvana, who hath gone to Nikumbhilā; with shafts resembling venomous serpents, discharged from the round351 of his bow. By virtue of his austerities, that hero, from a boon conferred by the Self-sprung, hath obtained the Brahmaçiras weapon, together with steeds coursing at their will. Now he with his army hath gone to Nikumbhilā; and when, having finished his rites, he gets up, know that all of us are slain. ‘When not reaching Nikumbhilā, and not having finished thy offerings unto fire, thou, equipped with arms, art slain by a foe,—O enemy of Indra, that is thy death.’—Thus, O mighty-armed one, did the lord of all creatures confer a boon (on Indrajit), and, O king, thus was the death of this intelligent one ordained. O Rāma, for compassing the destruction of Indrajit, do thou commission a mighty force. On his being slain, know that Rāvana along with his retainers are slain”.—Hearing Bibhishana’s words, Rāma said,—“O thou having truth for prowess, I know the illusion of that fierce one. Without doubt, he is skilled in the Brahma weapon, is potent in illusion and, is possessed of exceeding strength. In conflict, he depriveth of consciousness even the celestials with Varuna (at their head). And as that illustrious (one) goeth about in the welkin on his chariot, none, O hero, can perceive his course, like the course of the Sun when the sky is covered with clouds”. And Rāghava, being well acquainted with the illusive energy of his wicked-minded foe, addressed the renowned Lakshmana, saying,—“Environed by the entire host of the lord of monkeys,—accompanied by the leaders, O Lakshmana, headed by Hanumān,—with Jāmbavān~king of bears—and girt round by the forces,—do thou slay this son of the Rākshasa, possessed of the strength of illusion. And accompanied by his counsellors, this high-souled night-ranger shall follow at thy back, in this engagement with that one skilled in illusion”. Hearing Rāghava’s words, Lakshmana endowed with dreadful prowess, with Bibhishana,—took up another excellent bow. And donning on his mail, and putting on his armour and his sword, and furnished with arrows, and a bow in his left hand,—Sumitrā’s son, touching Rāma’s feet, feeling elated, addressed Rāma, saying,—“To-day the shafts discharged from my bow, piercing Rāvana’s son, shall fall into Lankā, even as swans drop into a tank. This very day shall my arrows, shot from my redoubtable bow-string, rive the body of that terrific one”. Having spoken thus, the effulgent Lakshmana, eager to slay Rāvana’s son, went before his brother. And having saluted at the feet of his superior and went round him, Lakshmana set out for the sacrificial ground (named) Nikumbhilā, protected by the son of Rāvana. And accompanied by Bibhishana, that powerful son of the king—Lakshmana—after his brother had offered up prayers in his behalf,—set off with all speed. And surrounded by thousands of monkeys, Hanumān as well as Bibhishana together with his counsellors—speedily went in the wake of Lakshmana. And strongly encompassed by that mighty monkey-host, (Lakshmana) saw the forces of the bear-king stationed on the way. And having proceeded far, Sumitrā’s son—enhancer of the delight of friends—from a distance discovered the forces of the Rākshasa-monarch, drawn up in battle-array. And that subduer of enemies—Raghu’s son—bearing his bow in his hand, coming upon him whoso martial might lay in illusion,—stopped (there) for conquering his foe agreeably to the ordinance352 of Brahmā. And accompanied by Bibhislnna, the heroic Angada, and the Wind-god’s offspring, the powerful son of the king dived into the forces of the foe, various, blazing with burnished arms, dense with standards; And thronging with mighty cars,353 capable of striking terror (into the hearts of the spectators), instinct with immeasurable energy, and resembling darkness.

[351] The bow drawn to its full stretch, becomes circular.—T.

[352] The ordinance was that Indrajit should be slain while remaining outside Nikumbhilā, his rites not yet finished.—T.

[353] Mahārathai (ab.) may also mean with mighty car-warriors.—T.


When things were in this condition, Rāvana’s younger brother addressed Lakshmana in words fraught with evil to foes and conducing to the welfare (of his own party), saying,—“Do thou without delay bring on an engagement between this cloud-black Rākshasa army, which thou beholdest, and the monkeys having rocks for their arms. O Lakshmana, do thou exert thyself to break through his354 mighty army; and when the ranks are broken, the son of the Rākshasa-lord shall be visible. And scattering among the foes shafts resembling Indra’s thunder-bolt, charge him while he hath not yet finished this ceremony. Slay, O hero, this wicked one, this son of Rāvana, given to illusion, and of terrific feats,—the fear of all the worlds”. Hearing Bibhishana’s words, Lakshmana graced with auspicious marks began to shower arrows on the son of the Rākshasa-chief. And bears and monkeys, given to fighting excellently with trees, in a body rushed towards that army (of Rakshas) drawn up there. And the Rākshasas (on their part) burning to slaughter the monkey-forces, rushed in the encounter with sharpened shafts and darts and tomaras. And there took place a tremendous onslaught of the monkeys and the Rākshasas. And Lankā resounded all around with that mighty tumult; and the sky was covered with weapons of various shapes, and whetted arrows and trees and dreadful upraised mountain-tops. And Rākshasas having frightful faces and arms, plying their arms among the foremost monkeys, began to spread terror (there). And in the same way the monkeys in the conflict fell to slaying and wounding the Rākshasas with trees and hill-tops. And great was the terror that was spread among the warring Rākshasas by the flower of the bears and monkeys, possessed of gigantic persons and endowed with prodigious strength.

Hearing his own army hard beset by the enemies, and drooping,—the unconquerable one, ere yet he had finished his rites, rose up. And issuing from the gloom of the trees, Rāvana’s son, fired with wrath, ascended his car, which had already been well yoked (with steeds). And accoutred in a dreadful bow and arrows,—that one resembling a mass of collyrium, having a red face and eyes, looked dreadful like the Reaper—Death. And soon as they saw him mounted on his car, that host of Rakshas possessed of dreadful impetuosity, eager to engage with Lakshmana, stood on their ground. At this time that subduer of enemies—Hanumān—resembling a mountain, uprooted a giant tree incapable of being bandied. And in that encounter, the monkey, consuming (the forces) like the fire risen at Doomsday, made that army of Rākshasas insensible with innumerable trees. And finding the Wind-god’s son, Hanumān, suddenly spreading devastation among the Rākshasas by thousands, (they) showered (shafts) on him. And approaching on all sides that one resembling a hill, those bearing whetted darts attacked him with darts; those bearing swords in their hands, with swords; those bearing javelins in their hands, with javelins; with pattiças, those equipped with pattiças; and with bludgeons, and maces and graceful kuntas; and with hundreds of sataghnis, and iron clubs; and with terrific axes; and with bhindipālas; and with boxes like unto thunder-bolts; and slaps resembling the açani. And fired with fury, he (on his part) spread a huge havoc among them. And Indrajit saw that foremost of monkeys, resembling a hill, the offspring of the Wind-god—possessing himself in calmness, while destroying his foes. And thereat, he355 addressed his charioteer, saying,—“Go where the monkey is. Being disregarded by the Rātkshasas, he makes havoc among us”. Thus accosted by him, the charioteer went where the Wind-god’s offspring was, carrying the exceedingly invincible Indrajit seated on the car. And rushing forward, that irrepressible one—the Rākshasa—began to shower on the monkey’s head arrows and swords and pattiças and scimitars and axes. And bearing all those dreadful arms, the Wind-god’s offspring, overcome with a mighty rage said,—“O wicked-minded son of Rāvana, if thou art a hero, fight on. Combat with me with thy arms. If in the encounter, thou bearest my impetus, then, O thou of perverse sense, thou indeed art the foremost of Rākshasas”. Then Bibhishana pointed out unto Lakshmana the son of Rāvana, who with his bow upraised, was eager to slay Hanumān. “This one that, mounted on his car, is eager to slay Hanumān, is the son of Rāvana that hath vanquished Vāsava himself (in battle). Do thou, O son of Sumitrā, with peerless shafts capable of resisting enemies,—dreadful, and competent to finish the lives (of foes),—slay the son of Rāvana”. Thus accosted by Bibhishana terrific unto foes, that high-souled one saw (Indrajit) of dreadful prowess, difficult to get at, and resembling a hill,—stationed on his car.

[354] Indrajit’s, that is.

[355] Indrajit.


Having spoken thus unto Sumitrā’s son, Bibhishana experienced delight, and taking (Lakshmana) bearing a bow in his hand, hurriedly went off. And proceeding some way and entering the mighty wood, Bibhishana pointed out unto Lakshmana the (place of) sacrifice. And the energetic brother of Rāvana showed unto Lakshmana the Nyagrodha, dreadful to behold and resembling a mass of sable clouds. “Here offering presents unto the ghosts, the powerful son of Rāvana afterwards engages in conflict. Then the Rākshasa becomes invisible to all beings; and he slayeth his enemies in battle and fastens them with excellent shafts. Do thou, ere he hath passed beyond the Nyagrodha, with flaming arrows destroy the powerful son of Rāvana along with his car and steeds and charioteer”. Thereupon saying,—‘So be it,’ the exceedingly energetic son of Sumitrā—that delight of his friends—took up his post there, stretching his variegated bow. And Rāvana’s son Indrajit, endowed with strength, mailed, and armed with a sword, and furnished with a banner, was seen mounted on a fire-hued chariot. And the highly powerful Lakshmana addressed Pulastya’s son, never knowing defeat, saying,—“I challenge thee to the encounter. Do thou give me battle, exerting thy utmost”. Thus addressed, the exceedingly energetic and intelligent son of Rāvana, seeing Bibhishana there, spoke anto him harshly, thus,—“Born and bred in this (Rākshasa race), thou art the very brother of my father. Why, O Rākshasa, being my uncle, dost thou range thyself against thy son? But neither kinship, nor emity, nor race, O wicked-minded one, nor co-birth, can, O destroyer of righteousness, avail to make thee discern thy duty. O thou of perverse understanding, thou art indeed to be pitied; as thou art worthy of being reproached by the virtuous; since, renouncing thine own, thou hast espoused servitude under another. Neither by thy character nor yet thy understanding dost thou perceive the mighty difference that lieth between living with one’s own kindred, and taking refuge with the base. If one that is not our own, be furnished with every grace, and if one’s own be void of all merit,—one’s kindred, albeit unworthy, is preferable; and he that is not ours, is even always such. He that, forsaking his own party, serveth that of another, is destroyed even by the latter, when his own party is destroyed. O night-ranger, such is this thy relentlessness, that, O Rāvana’s younger brother, thou being a kindred, art capable of displaying thy manliness (as no other person can do so)”. Thus addressed by his brother’s son, Bibhishana answered,—“O Rākshasa, why dost thou speak as if in ignorance of my character? O impious son of the Rākshasa-chief, do thou forego the roughness which thou assumest on behalf of my dignity.356 Albeit born in the race of Rakshas of cruel deeds, yet having regard to the first of principles pertaining to men, my character is not that of a Rākshasa. I do not take pleasure in the terrible; nor do I revel in unrighteousness. But how can a brother, although differing from his brother in character, be renounced by the latter?357 One renouncing a person, lapsing from virtue and bent on sinful acts, attaineth happiness, even as one doth by shaking off a venomous snake from his hand. The wise have called that impious one given to stealing others’ goods and violating others’ wives,—as worthy of being forsaken, even like a house that is aflame.—Robbing others’ property, outraging the wives of others, and inspiring fear among friends,—these three vices lead to destruction. The dreadful slaughter of sages, rebellion against all ihe gods, overweening conceit, anger, long-continued enmity, and running amuck of counsel,—these sins are sapping the life and fortune of my brother; and they have hidden his virtues even as clouds cover a mountain. It is on account of these vices that my brother, thy sire, hath been deserted by me. And this city of Lankā will not be, nor thou, nor thy father. Thou art proud, and haughty, and a boy, O Rākshasa. Thou art fettered by the noose of Fate. Do thou say unto me whatever thou likest. To-day thou hast addressed harshly me, who have fallen on evil days; but, O worst of Rākshasas, thou canst not pass this Nyagrodha. Having smitten the Kākutstha, thou canst not live. Fight with that man-god, Lakshmana, in encounter. Being slain, thou shalt serve the deities in the abode of Yama. Displaying thy own prowess, do thou spend all thy weapons and all thy shafts. But coming within the ken of Lakshmana’s arrows, thou wilt not to-day go hence, living, with thy forces”.

[356] Or, on account of thy heroism.

[357] Some read Vishamaçilana. Then the sense would be: ‘How else could a brother bearing a difference in character, renounce his brother?’ meaning Rāvana.—T.


Hearing Bibhishana’s words, the son of Rāvana, deprived of his senses by passion, spoke harshly, and rushed forward in wrath. And with upraised weapons and scimitars, he, resembling the Destroyer himself, was mounted on a mighty car yoked with black steeds, and ornamented (on all sides). And that one endowed with terrific strength up-raised a huge, gigantic, strong and powerful bow, and shafts capable of destroying foes. And that mighty bowman and slayer of foes—the powerful son of Rāvana—adorned (with ornaments) and mounted on his chariot, saw him dight (with his own splendour). And fired with wrath, (Indrajit) addressed Sumitrā’s son, who, mounted on Hanumān’s back, like unto the risen sun in splendour—accompanied Bibhishana; and he also addressed all those principal monkeys, saying,—“Do ye behold my prowess! To-day do ye in the conflict bear my arrowy shower shot from my bow, incapable of being approached, and resembling the down-pour in the sky. To-day my shafts discharged from my mighty bow shall mangle your limbs, even as fire burneth up a heap of cotton. To-day with your persons pierced with sharp shafts, with darts, and javelins, and rishtis and arrows, shall I despatch you all to the abode of Yama. Who shall stay before me, fleet-handed, creating an arrowy shower in the field, and roaring like unto clouds? Formerly in a night-engagement, with my shafts resembling the thunder-bolt and vajra, ye two along with your foremost adherents, were rendered insensible and laid down on the earth by me. But, perhaps, thou hast forgotten it. As thou hast presented thyself for battle before me, fired with wrath and resembling a venomous serpent, it is evident thou wilt go to the region of Yama”. Hearing the vaunt of the Rākshasa-chief, Raghu’s son, inflamed with rage, with an undaunted countenance, spoke unto Rāvana’s son,—“O Rākshasa, hard is the achievement of the task that thou hast mentioned. He that compasseth business by act is alone intelligent.—But thou, O wicked-minded one, incompetent as thou art to bring about thy end, attaining thy arduous aim by words only, deemest thyself as crowned with success. That thou hadst rendered thyself invisible in the field of conflict, was the work of a thief,—and not the way of a hero. Coming within the range of thy shafts, I stay here,—do thou display thy prowess. What dost thou say in words?” Thus addressed, the mighty Indrajit—conquerer of enemies—stretching his dreadful bow, showered sharpened shafts. And discharged by him, those exceedingly impetuous arrows, resembling the venom of serpents, hitting Lakshmana, fell down like unto hissing snakes. And in that encounter, Rāvana’s son—Indrajit—possessed of eminent impetuosity, pierced Lakshmana, graced with auspicious marks, with vehement shafts. And pierced with those arrows and bathed in blood, the graceful Lakshmana appeared like a smokeless fire. And seeing his own feat, Indrajit, coming forward, and setting up a tremendous cry, said,—“O son of Sumitrā, my feathered and sharp-edged shafts shot from my bow, capable of destroying life, will to-day finish thee up. To-day, O Lakshmana, swarms of jackals and hosts of hawks and vultures shall alight on thee lying lifeless, having been slain by me. This very day shall the exceedingly wicked Rāma behold thee, who art the friend of Kshatriyas and devoted unto thy brother,—and who ever bearest thyself ignobly,—slain by me; to-day see thee, O Sumitrā’s son, slain by me, with thy armour fallen off thy person, thy bow broken, and thy head severed”. As Rāvana’s son was speaking thus harshly, Lakshmana conversant with the import of words, replied in a reasonable speech, saying,—“Leave off thy strength of tongue, O thou of perverse sense, O Rākshasa, O thou of crooked ways! Wherefore dost thou speak thus? Bring all this to pass in worthy deed. Why, O Rākshasa, without doing (what thou sayest), dost thou simply say it? Do the deed,—so that I may have regard for thy utterances. Mark! Without speaking anything harsh, without censuring thee in the least, without venting any brag, shall, I, O cannibal, slay thee”. Saying this, Lakshmana drawing his bow to its full bent, hit at the Rākshasa’s chest five nārāchas—wondrous impetuous arrows. And those arrows resembling flaming serpents, with their velocity accelerated by the feathers (with which they were furnished), blazed on the Nairita’s breast like the rays of the Sun. And wounded with those shafts, Rāvana’s son, fired with wrath, pierced Lakshmana with three arrows discharged (from his bow). And exceedingly dreadful was the encounter that took place between those leonine man and Rākshasa, each eager to conquer the other. And both powerful, and both endowed with strength and possessed of prowess,—and both exceedingly invincible; and both having unparalleled might and energy,—those heroes faught like two planets in the welkin; or like Bala and Vrita, irresistible in conflict; and those high-souled ones faught like two lions. And showering countless shafts and displaying many maneuvers, that foremost of men and that of Rākshasas, fought on cheerfully.


Then sighing like an enraged serpent, that chastiser of foes, Daçaratha’s son, setting shafts (on his bow-string) showered them on the Rākshasa-chief. And hearing the twang of his bow-string the lord of Rākshasas, with his countenance fallen, gazed at Lakshmana. And then Bibhishana spoke unto Sumitrā’s son as he was fighting, “I find (inauspicious) signs in Rāvana’s son. Do therefore hasten on,—broken he is, without doubt”. Then fixing arrows (on his bow) resembling venomous snakes, he let go those keen shafts, like unto serpents furnished with poison. And smit by Lakshmana with arrows having the touch of the levin, (Indrajit) for a while was stupified and had his senses overwhelmed. And eying that hero—son unto Daçaratha—present in the encounter, (Indrajit) with his eyes crimsoned in choler, drew near Sumitrā’s son. And coming up to him (Lakshmana), he again addressed (that hero) in a harsh speech, saying,—“Dost thou not remember my prowess at that first encounter, when thou along with thy brother was bound up,—that now thou art discharging arms (at me)? Forsooth ye two in mighty encounter, with shafts resembling the thunder-bolt and vajra, by me were first laid down on the ground, deprived of your lives, along with your principal adherents. Either this hath escaped thy memory or I fancy, thou plainly wishest to go to the abode of Yama,—inasmuch as thou hast set thy heart on beating me. If at the first encounter thou hast not witnessed my prowess, to-day shall I show it unto thee. Do thou now stay, summoning thy attention”. Seeing this, he pierced Lakshmana with seven shafts, and Hanumān with ten keen-edged excellent shafts. And then, fired with double fury, that powerful one pierced Bibhishana with an hundred arrows, powerfully discharged (from his weapons). Seeing this act of Indrajit, that foremost of men, Rāma’s younger brother, Lakshmana, with an undaunted countenance, fired with wrath without minding the same,—and saying with a laugh,—‘This is nothing’,—taking dreadful arrows, in the conflict, discharged them at the son of Rāvana. “O night-rangers, heroes, coming to the field never discharge (such shafts as these). These arrows of thine are light and of slight strength, and they conduce to my comfort. Heroic warriors, eager for encounter, do not fight thus”. Speaking thus, (Lakshmana) accoutred with his bow showered vollies of shafts (on his adversary). And at his arrows (hitting), (Indrajit’s) mighty golden mail fell off his person, and dropped to the platform of his car like a cluster of stars dropping from the welkin. And with his armour dropping off, that hero—Indrajit—was wounded with nārāchas, like the Sun at dawn. That hero—Rāvana’s son—endowed with dreadful prowess, in that conflict, pierced Lakshmana with a thousand shafts. And thereat Lakshmana’s gorgeous and mighty mail was rent in pieces. And each rushing forward was engaged in dealing blows and harrying them. And sighing again and again, they fought furiously. And with their persons cut all over, and laved in blood, for a long while the heroes kept cleaving each other with sharpened shafts. And those high-souled ones versed in warfare, and endowed with terrific prowess exerted their utmost in securing victory. And covered with vollies of shafts, with their armour and banners rent, they drew each other’s warm blood flowing like water from a fountain. And they discharged dreadful showers attended with tremendous sounds, like the sounds of black clouds at Dooms-day358 pouring torrents in the sky. And a long time went by as they faught. Nor did they turn away from the encounter, or know fatigue. And those foremost of those acquainted with weapons repeatedly displayed their weapons; and their long and short shafts enveloped the welkin. And the skill that they displayed was perfect, and showed lightness, variety and grace; and both man and the Rākshasa carried on fearful and terrible conflict. And the dreadful and tremendous roars of each were audible (at that place); and terrific like the levin, they made the hearts of hearers tremble (in terror). And as they faught with might and main, the sounds that they sent resembled the deep rumbling of clouds in the sky. And pierced with nārāchas knobbed with gold, those powerful and illustrious (warriors) with their hearts set on celebrity, bled profusely. And in that engagement gold-knobbed shafts hitting each other’s person, pierced the same and covered with gore, entered the earth. And other shafts were resisted in the sky by sharpened weapons; and some were snapped, and thousands of their arrows were cleft (in the sky). And in that field, the vollies of their shafts were dreadful to behold like unto a heap of Kuça aflame in a sacrifice. And the wounded frames of those high-souled ones appeared beautiful like a leafless, flowering Kinçuka and Sālmali in a wood. And each eager to vanquish the other, Indrajit and Lakshmana momentarily discharged tremendous and terrific showers (of arms). And Lakshmana smiting Rāvana’s son, and Rāvana’s son smiting Lakshmana,—they did not experience any fatigue. And with net-works of arrows deeply entering their persons, those vehement and exceedingly powerful ones resembled mountains topped (with trees). And all their limbs, drenched in blood and covered with arrows, looked like a blazing fire. And a great while did they fight; yet they neither turned away (from the fight), nor did they experience any exhaustion. Then to remove (Lakshmana’s) fatigue from fight, the high-souled Bibhishana, working the weal of Lakshmana staying in front of the field, came forward in the encounter and took up his post.

[358] Kalamaghuyo (gen). The commentator says the word means (black) clouds; but I prefer the sense given.—T.


Seeing the man and the Rākshasa engaged in battle, with their whole soul, each eager to beat the other,—like unto elephants with the temporal juice trickling from their temples,—desirous of beholding their encounter, Rāvana’s mighty and heroic brother, bearing an excellent bow, stood in front of the arena. And taking up his post, he stretched his great bow and shot terrific sharp-pointed shafts at the Rākshasas. And even like thunder-bolt cleaving mighty mountains, those shafts furnished with peacock’s plumes falling powerfully (upon the foe), rent the Rākshasas. And those foremost of Rākshasas, Bibhishana’s followers, also, in the encounter discharged darts and scimitars and pattiças at heroic Rākshasas. And surrounded by those Rākshasas, Bibhishana, then in the midst of his followers, appeared like an elephant in the midst of young ones. Then inciting the monkeys, whose dear object was to slay Rāvana, that one versed in time, the foremost of Rākshasas, spoke seasonably thus,—“This one that stayeth (in the field) is the sole and mighty support of the Rākshasa-chief; and this is his remaining force. Why then do the monkey-chiefs remain inactive? On this wicked Rākshasa being slain on the edge of battle, the remnant of his army, with the single exception of Rāvana, is destroyed. That hero—Prahasta—hath been slain, and Nikumbha possessed of wondrous strength, and Kumbhakarna, and Kumbha, and the night-ranger Dhumrāksha, and Jāmvumāli, and Mahāmāli, and Tikshnavega and Hemaprabha, and Suptaghna, and Jajnakopa, and the Rākshasa Vajradanstra, Sankrādi, and Vikata, and Arighna, and Tapana, and Manda, and Praghasa, and Prajangha, and Jangha, and Agniketu, and Durdharsha, and the powerful Raçmiketus and Viddujjibha, and Dwijibha, and the Rākshasa—Suryyaçatru, and Akampana, and Suparçwa, and the Rākshasas—Chakramāli, and Kampana and Satwavanta, and Devāntaka and Narāntaka.—Having slain these many powerful Rākshasas endowed with excess of might,—having crossed the sea with your arms, do ye cross this foot print of a cow. This is the remaining force which you monkeys must conquer; all those Rākshasas, that had come forward, elated with the pride of strength, have all been slain. It is not meet for me to slay the son of my brother, yet, casting off compassion will I for Rāma slay him.359 Tears surcharge the eyes of me who seeketh to slay him. Let therefore Lakshmana administer him his quietus. Ye monkeys, do ye in a body (first) slaughter those that are beside him (Indrajit.)” Thus exhorted by that illustrious Rākshasa, the monkey-chiefs were exhilarated and began to flourish their tails. And then those mighty monkeys roared again and again, and sent up various shouts, even as peacocks cry on seeing clouds. And then Jāmbavān surrounded by his own forces, assailed the Rākshasas with rocks and with their nails and teeth. Thereat Rākshasas, endowed with exceeding strength, equipped with various weapons reproaching the lord of bears, as he was engaged in smiting (the foe),—and renouncing fear, with shafts and sharp axes and pattiças and yashtis, and tomaras, in the encounter assailed Jāmbavān, who was engaged in beating the Rākshasa forces. And that conflict between the monkeys and the Rakshas, waxed furious, like unto the tumultuous encounter of the immortals and the Asuras fired with wrath. And the magnanimous