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Chapter 3: Hanuman Describes Lanka to Rama

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Hanuman Describes Lanka to Rama

Summary

On hearing the words of Sugreeva, Rama requests Hanuma to describe Lanka in detail. Hanuma gives a detailed description of Lanka as he saw it.

Chapter [Sarga] 3 in Detail

sugriivasya vacah shrutvaa hetumat parama arthavit |

pratijagraaha kaakutstho hanuumantam atha abraviit || 6-3-1

Hearing the well-founded and highly reasonable words of Sugreeva, Rama concurred with him and spoke then to Hanuma as follows:

tarasaa setu bandhena saagara ucchosanena vaa |

sarvathaa susamartho asmi saagarasya asya langhane || 6-3-2

 “I am competent of crossing this ocean by all means, either by way of austerity or by forming a bridge or by drying up the ocean.”

kati durgaani durgaayaa la.nkaayaas tad braviihi me |

jjnaatum icchaami tat sarvam darshanaad iva vaanara || 6-3-3

 “Tell me how many citadels in Lanka are difficult of access, Oh, Hanuma! I desire to know all that, as though viewed with an eye.”

balasya parimaanam ca dvaara durga kriyaam api |

gupti karma ca la.nkaayaa raksasaam sadanaani ca || 6-3-4

yathaa sukham yathaavac ca la.nkaayaam asi dristavaan |

saram aacaksva tattvena sarvathaa kushalo hi asi || 6-3-5

 “You had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the size of the army, the fortification-details of the gates and citadels, the way in which Lanka was guarded and the various mansions of ogres. Describe everything in accordance with facts, for you are skilled in all ways.”

shrutvaa raamasya vacanam hanuumaan maaruta aatmajah |

vaakyam vaakyavidaam shrestho raamam punar atha abraviit || 6-3-6

Hearing the words of Rama, Hanuma the son of wind-god, who was excellent in the art of expression, forthwith spoke once more to Rama as follows:

shruuyataam sarvam aakhyaasye durga karma vidhaanatah |

guptaa purii yathaa la.nkaa raksitaa ca yathaa balaih || 6-3-7

 “Listen to me! I shall tell you everything–how the city of Lanka has been defended by the various methods of fortification and how it has been guarded by the troops.”

raakshasaashcha yathaa snigdhaa raavanasya cha tejasaa |

paraam samriddhim la.nkaayaah saagarasya ca bhiimataam || 6-3-8

vibhaagam ca bala oghasya nirdesham vaahanasya ca |

evamuktvaa kapishreshhthah kathayaamaasa tatvavit || 6-3-9

 “I shall tell you the details of how the ogres are attached to their king, the excellent prosperity of Lanka generated by the glory of Ravana, the awfulness of the ocean, the division of the body of his forces and of animals like horses and elephants carrying his forces other than the infantry.” Saying so, Hanuma the foremost among monkeys, who knew the truth narrated as follows.

prahristaa muditaa la.nkaa matta dvipa samaakulaa |

mahatii ratha sampuurnaa rakso gana samaakulaa || 6-3-10

 “The great Lanka was rejoiced and gayful, full of elephants in rut, abounding in chariots and inhabited by gangs of ogres.”

dridha baddha kavaataani mahaaparighavanti ca |

chatvaari vipulaanyasyaa dvaaraani sumahaanti || 6-3-11

 “Four fairly big and extensive gates are fitted with strong doors along with huge beams for locking those gates.”

tatreshhuupayantraani balavanti mahaanti cha |

aagatam para sainyam tais tatra pratinivaaryate || 6-3-12

 “Strong and mighty ballista capable of hurling darts and stones have been attached to them. The enemy troops which arrive there are warded off by those catapults at the very gates.”

dvaaresu samskritaa bhiimaah kaala aayasa mayaah shitaah |

shatasho rocitaa viiraih shataghnyo raksasaam ganaih || 6-3-13

 “Dangerous and sharp edged Satagnis made of iron, forged by hordes of ogres, have been kept in readiness in hundreds at the gates.

sauvarnah ca mahaams tasyaah praakaaro duspradharsanah |

mani vidruma vaiduurya muktaa vicarita antarah || 6-3-14

 “A great rampart made of gold, which is difficult to assail with violence and is inlaid at intervals with gems, corals, cat’s eyes and pearls, encircle that Lanka.”

sarvatah ca mahaabhiimaah shiita toyaa mahaashubhaah |

agaadhaa graahavatyah ca parikhaa miina sevitaah || 6-3-15

 “Most awe-inspiring and fathomless moats (deep trenches) of great splendor, filled with cold water, infested with alligators and inhabited by fishes are there all round the city.”

dvaaresu taasaam catvaarah samkramaah parama aayataah |

yantrair upetaa bahubhir mahadbhir dridha samdhibhih || 6-3-16

 “Anterior to the gateways, there are four very extensive draw-bridges, equipped with numerous engines and furnished with many rows of buildings (built on the rampart and meant for those entrusted with the duty of guarding the entrances).”

traayante samkramaas tatra para sainya aagame sati |

yantrais tair avakiiryante parikhaasu samantatah || 6-3-17

 “Against the approach of the enemy forces there, the draw-bridges are protected by the aforesaid engines and the enemy-battalions are flung into the moats on every side.”

ekas tv akampyo balavaan samkramah sumahaadridhah |

kaajncanair bahubhih stambhair vedikaabhih ca shobhitah || 6-3-18

 “The most important draw-bridge which is unshakable, firmly fastened very well and strong, is dazzling with numerous gold pillars and pedestals.”

svayam prakriti sampanno yuyutsuu raama raavanah |

utthitah ca apramattah ca balaanaam anudarshane || 6-3-19

 “Ravana, inclined to war and endowed with powers of the state, himself remains alert and in readiness to review the forces, Oh, Rama!”

Seven powers of the state are usually enumerated, viz. king, minister, allies, treasure, army, territory and fortresses.

lankaa purii niraalambaa deva durgaa bhaya aavahaa |

na adeyam paarvatam vanyam kritrimam ca catur vidham || 6-3-20

 “Lanka therefore is impregnable; it is a celestial citadel [a fortress that commands a city] that inspires terror. Surrounded by water and built on a mountain, it has four fold defenses including forest and artificial fortification.”

sthitaa paare samudrasya duura paarasya raaghava |

nau pathah ca api na asti atra niraadeshah ca sarvatah || 6-3-21

 “Lanka is situated on the other side of the ocean, which is difficult of access, Oh Rama! It offers no passage for vehicles either and there is no proper communication from all sides.”

shaila agre racitaa durgaa saa puur deva pura upamaa |

vaaji vaarana sampuurnaa la.nkaa parama durjayaa || 6-3-22

 “That city of Lanka, resembling the city of Gods, is built on a mountain peak and is inaccessible. That Lanka is abounding with horses and elephants and is extremely difficult to conquer.”

parighaah ca shataghnyah ca yantraani vividhaani ca |

shobhayanti puriim la.nkaam raavanasya duraatmanah || 6-3-23

Deep trenches and Satagnis too as well as engines of war of every kind adorn Lanka the city of wicked Ravana.”

ayutam raksasaam atra pashcima dvaaram aashritam |

shuula hastaa duraadharsaah sarve khadga agra yodhinah || 6-3-24

 “Ten thousand ogres all carrying darts in their hands and warriors contending with swords, who are difficult to assail, are positioned at the eastern gate.”

niyutam raksasaam atra daksina dvaaram aashritam |

catur angena sainyena yodhaas tatra api anuttamaah || 6-3-25

 “One hundred thousand of ogres, with an army of four limbs (viz. horses, foot soldiers, elephants and chariots) are positioned at the southern gate of the city. Warriors unsurpassed by others constitute that army.”

prayutam raksasaam atra puurva dvaaram samaashritam |

carma khadga dharaah sarve tathaa sarva astra kovidaah || 6-3-26

One million troops arrived with shields and swords as well as proficient in the use of all mystic missiles, are positioned at the western gate.”

nyarbudam raksasaam atra uttara dvaaram aashritam |

rathinah ca ashva vaahaah ca kula putraah supuujitaah || 6-3-27

 “A hundred millions of ogres, who are mounted in chariots or who ride on hoses, sons of distinguished families and greatly honored, are positioned there at the northern gate.”

shatam shata sahasraanaam madhyamam gulmam aashritam |

yaatu dhaanaa duraadharsaah saagra kotih ca raksasaam || 6-3-28

 “Moreover, ogres hundreds of thousands in number, difficult to attack, aggregating to one and quarter of a crore of ogres are positioned at the central division.”

te mayaa samkramaa bhagnaah parikhaah ca avapuuritaah |

dagdhaa ca nagarii la.nkaa praakaaraah ca avasaaditaah || 6-3-29

balaikadeshah kshapito raakshasaanaam mahaatmanaam |

 “Those bridges were broken by me and the moats were filled up (with the wreckage). The city of Lanka was burnt by me and the defensive walls were pulled down. A part of the army of the gigantic ogres was destroyed.”

yena kena tu maargena taraama varuna aalayam || 6-3-30

hataa iti nagarii la.nkaam vaanarair avadhaaryataam |

 “By some way or other, let us cross the ocean. The city of Lanka should be assumed then as destroyed by the monkeys.”

angado dvivido maindo jaambavaan panaso nalah || 6-3-31

niilah senaa patih caiva bala shesena kim tava |

plavamaanaa hi gatvaa taam raavanasya mahaapuriim || 6-3-32

saprakaaraam sabhavanaam aanayisyanti maithiliim |

sapraakaaraam sabhavanaamaanayushhyanti raaghava || 6-3-33

 “Oh, Rama! What is the use for the rest of the forces to you? Angada, Divida, Mainda, Jambavan, Panasa, Anala and Nila the commander-in-chief alone, by reaching that great city of Ravana leaping and storming Lanka with its mountains and woods, moats and archways, protective walls and buildings, will recover Seetha.”

evam aajnaapaya ksipram balaanaam sarva samgraham |

muhuurtena tu yuktena prasthaanamabhirochaya || 6-3-34

 “Order quickly to get all the forces accumulated accordingly. Let us set out at the appropriate moment.”

ityaarshhe shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande tritiiyah sargah

Thus completes 3rd Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

K. M. K. Murthy. (2002). Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War.

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

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

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