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Chapter 23: Khara Reaches Rama’s Cottage

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Khara Reaches Rama’s Cottage

Summary

On the starting out of Khara's demonic forces to wage a war with Rama, many bad omens are foreboded by vultures, animals, and even by nature. Though in the know of the portent evil, Khara proceeds with his army vaingloriously messaging his army that he can overcome these auguries or even Indra, and Rama is nothing before him.

Chapter [Sarga] 23 in Detail

tat prayaatam balam ghoram ashivam shonita udakam |

abhyavarsat mahaa meghah tumulo gardabha arunah || 3-23-1

A massy and tumultuous ash-colored cloud rained ill-omened bloody water while that fiendish force is advancing. [3-23-1]

nipetuh turagaah tasya ratha yuktaa mahaajavaah |

same puspacite deshe raajamaarge yadricchayaa || 3-23-2

The highly speedy horses paired to Khara's chariot have tottered in a trice, even though that place on the highway is with even surface and spread with flowers. [3-23-2]

shyaamam rudhira paryantam babhuuva parivesanam |

alaata cakra pratimam pratigrihya divaakaram || 3-23-3

Capturing the sun a blackish corona with blood-red outer circle has formed and nested around it like the fiery ring formed by circling a fireball. [3-23-3]

tato dhvajam upaagamya hema dandam samucchritam |

samaakramya mahaakaayah tasthau gridhrah sudaarunah || 3-23-4

Then, nearing the golden shaft of the flag of the chariot with a very lofty flagstaff, an awful eagle with massive body occupied and perched atop of that golden shaft. [3-23-4]

janasthaana samiipe ca samaakramya khara svanaah |

visvaraan vividhaan ca cakruh maa.msa aadaa mriga paksinah || 3-23-5

Cacophonous and carnivorous predators and vultures took over the nearby places of Janasthaana and they made raucous sounds of many kinds. [3-23-5]

vyaajahruh ca padiiptaayaam dishi vai bhairava svanam |

ashivaa yaatudhaanaanaam shivaa ghoraa mahaasvanaah || 3-23-6

Turning towards the stretch scorched by the sun, fearsome and loud noised jackals have howled emitting awful sounds, that which is inauspicious to the demons. [3-23-6]

prabhinnagajasa mkaashatoyashonitadhaarinah | - yadvaa -

prabhinna gaja samkaasha toya shonita dhaarinah |

aakaasham tat anaakaasham cakruh bhiima a.mbu vaahakaah|| 3-23-7

Then frightening clouds similar to bursting mountains carrying bloodlike water have rendered the firmament less of leeway. [3-23-7]

babhuuva timiram ghoram uddhatam roma harsanam |

disho vaa pradisho vaa api suvyaktam na cakaashire || 3-23-8

There chanced an abominable, cataclysmic, hair-raising darkness whereby the milieus or inter-milieus are not very clearly brightened. [3-23-8]

ksataja aardra savarnaabhaa sa.mdhyaa kaalam vinaa babhau |

kharam ca abhimukham neduh tadaa ghoraa mrigaah khagaah || 3-23-9

ka.nka gomaayu gridhraah ca cukrushuh bhaya sa.mshinah |

An untimely eventide [evening] glistened [to give off a sparkling or lustrous reflection] with a color similar to the one drenched in blood, and then horrendous brutes and birds have clamored [silenced] facing Khara directly, and the vultures, jackals and eagles too have screamed portending [indicating] danger. [3-23-9, 10a]

nityaa ashiva karaa yuddhe shivaa ghora nidarshanaah || 3-23-10

neduh balasya abhimukham jvaala udgaaribhih aananaih |

Jackals, that too female jackals, are always the agents of inauspiciousness in wars with demonstrable calamities brought forth by their portending howling, and such jackals have now howled in front of Khara's army with their snouts spewing blazes. [3-23-10]

kabandhah parigha aabhaaso drishyate bhaaskara a.ntike || 3-23-11

jagraaha suuryam svarbhaanuh aparvani mahaagrahah |

pravaati maarutah shiighram nis.hprabho abhuut divaakarah || 3-23-12

A spherical object like that of a human trunk is revealed near at the sun, while the sun is rendered shine-less as though Rahu, the great eclipsing-planet, has eclipsed him inopportunely, and the wind too whirled frantically. [3-23-11b, 12]

utpetuh ca vinaa raatrim taaraah khadyotana prabhaah |

sa.mliina miina vihagaa nalinyah shuska pa.nkajaah || 3-23-13

tasmin ksane babhuuvuh ca vinaa puspa phalaih drumaah |

Stars sprang up with the brilliance of fireflies though it is not night, and at that moment fishes and waterfowls stood still in lakes, lotuses have dried up, flowers and fruits have dropped from trees as though it is night. [3-23-13, 14a]

uddhuutah ca vinaa vaatam renuh jaladhara arunah || 3-23-14

ciicii kuuci iti vaashyanto babhuuvuh tatra saarikaah |

Without any puffing of wind dust in brownish-red color is heaved up, and there the songbirds like Maina started to twitter as 'cii cii kuu cii'. [3-23-14b, 15a]

ulkaah ca api sa nirghosaa nipetuh ghora darshanaah || 3-23-15

pracacaala mahii ca api sa shaila vana kaananaa |

Meteors horrible in their look have fallen down thunderously, and even the earth together with its mountains, woods and forests quaked shakily. [3-23-15b, 16a]

kharasya ca rathasthasya nardamaanasya dhiimatah || 3-23-16

praakampata bhujah savyah svarah ca asya avasajjata |

He who is raving while sitting in his chariot that clever Khara's left shoulder thrilled excessively, and his voice too quavered. [3-23-16b, 17a]

sa asraa sampadyate dristih pashyamaanasya sarvatah || 3-23-17

lalaate ca rujo jaataa na ca mohaat nyavartata |

While he is seeing everywhere his eyes spawned tears for no good reason, his forehead ached, but he did not retrace his steps owing to his own vanity. [3-23-17b, 18a]

taan samiiksya mahotpaataan utthitaan roma harsanaan || 3-23-18

abraviit raaksasaan sarvaan prahasan sa kharah tadaa |

On observing those worst auguries stemming up at that moment with hair-raising nature, Khara laughed them off and said this to all of the demons. [3-23-18b, 19a]

mahaa utpaataan imaan sarvaan utthitaan ghora darshanaan || 3-23-19

na ci.ntayaami aham viiryaat balavaan durbalaan iva |

"These awful auguries with their horrible nature have arisen, but owing to my own valor I am unbothered about all of them as with a mighty one unworried of the might-less. [3-23-19b, 20a]

taaraa api sharaih tiiksnaih paatayeyam nabhah talaat || 3-23-20

mrityum marana dharmena sa.mkruddho yojayaami aham |

"With the excruciating arrows of mine I can hurtle stars from the face of sky, and if highly infuriated, I can even enjoin mortality to Death himself. [3-23-20b, 21a]

raaghavam tam bala utsiktam bhraataram ca asya laksmanam || 3-23-21

ahatvaa saayakaih tiiksnaih na upaavartitum utsahe |

"I am reluctant to return without killing that Rama, a haughty one by his might, together with his brother Lakshmana, with my incisive arrows. [3-23-21b, 22a]

yan nimittam tu raamasya laksmanasya viparyayah || 3-23-22

sakaamaa bhaginii me astu piitvaa tu rudhiram tayoh |

"In whose respect both Rama and Lakshmana behaved perversely, let that sister of mine be contented in drinking the blood of those two. [3-23-22b, 23a]

na kvacit praapta puurvo me sa.myugesu paraajayah || 3-23-23

yusmaakam etat pratyaksam na anritam kathayaami aham |

"No defeat has chanced on me in combats at anytime and anywhere, that to you all is obvious and I tell no untruth. [3-23-23b, 24a]

deva raajam api kruddho matta airaavata gaaminam || 3-23-24

vajra hastam rane hanyaam kim punah tau ca maanusau |

"If I am infuriated I can eliminate even the king of gods, wielder of Thunderbolt and a trekker on ruttish elephant Airavata, namely Indra in a war, then why talk about these two humans." Thus Khara addressed his troops. [3-23-24b, 25a]

saa tasya garjitam shrutvaa raaksasaaanaam mahaa camuuh || 3-23-25

praharsam atulam lebhe mrityu paasha avapaashitaa |

On hearing that thundering speech of Khara that sizeable army of demons which is tied down by the noose of death obtained an incomparable rejoice. [3-23-25b, 26a]

sameyuh ca mahaatmaano yuddha darshana kaa.nksinah || 3-23-26

risayo deva gandharvaah siddhaah ca saha caaranaih |

Then desiring to see the war of Khara with Rama, great-souls like sages, gods, Gandharva-s along with carana-s and Siddha-s have come together in firmament. [3-23-26b, 27a]

sametya ca uucuh sahitaah te anyaayam punyakarmanah || 3-23-27

svasti go braahmanebhyo astu lokaanaam ye ca sammataah |

On gathering at a place those great souls met one another and said, "let good betide cows, Brahmans and those that are held respectful by the people at large." [3-23-27b, 28a]

jayataam raaghavo yuddhe paulastyaan rajanii caraan || 3-23-28

cakrahasto yathaa visnuh sarvaan asura sattamaan |

"Let Raghava triumph over these mighty night walkers from the lineage of Pulasthya, as with Vishnu who once conquered all the mighty demons in war." So said celestials to one another. [3-23-28]

etat ca anyat ca bahusho bruvaanaah parama risayah || 3-23-29

jaata kautuuhalaat tatra vimaanasthaah ca devataah |

dadrishur vaahiniim tesaam raaksasaanaam gata aayusaam || 3-23-30

While the great sages are speaking about this and many other topics, they and the gods abiding in their aircrafts have inquisitively seen the flow of army of demons, whose longevity is now beyond hope. [3-23-29, 30]

rathena tu kharo vegaat sainyasya agraat vinihsritah |

shyenagaamii prithugriivo yajnashatruh viha.mgamah || 3-23-31

durjayah karaviiraaksah parusah kaalakaarmukah |

hemamaalii mahaamaalii sarpaaasyo rudhiraashanah || 3-23-32

dvaadasha ete mahaaviiryaah pratasthuh abhitah kharam |

Khara speedily bolted in his chariot to the van of his legions, and on seeing that demon Khara going in front other important demons too rushed to fore. They are Shyenagaami, Prithugviira, Yajnashatru, Vihamgama and also Durjaya, Karaviiraaksha, Parusha, Kaalakaarmuka, Hemamaali, Mahaamaali, Sarpaasya, Rudhiraaksha. These twelve highly valorous demons cruised in a semicircle around Khara. [3-23-31]

mahaakapaalah sthuulaaksah pramaathii trishiraah tathaa |

catvaara ete senaa agre duusanam pristhato anvayuh || 3-23-33

Likewise Mahakapaala, Stuulaaksha, Pramaathii, Trishira are the four commanders of demonic forces and they followed Duushana marching at his behind. [3-23-33]

saa bhiima vegaa samara abhikaa.mkshinii

sudaarunaa raaksasa viira senaa |

tau raaja putrau sahasaa abhyupetaa

maalaa grahaanaam iva candra suuryau || 3-23-34

That army of valiant demons which is highly execrable, infernally speedy, and readily inspirited for a battle quickly rushed towards those two princes, Rama and Lakshmana, as though a festoon of planets would rush towards the Moon and Sun so as to put them to rout. [3-23-34]

 iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye aranya kaande trayo vi.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 23rd chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

 

References

 

Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Aranya Kanda - Forest track.

 

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

 

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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