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Chapter 37: Vibhishana Reveals Ravana’s Defense Plans

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Vibhishana Reveals Ravana’s Defense Plans

Summary

Rama, Sugreeva, Hanuman and others assemble to take counsel together, upon reaching the precincts [place] of Lanka. While they were deliberating on the ways and means for the success of their mission, Vibhishana informs that he has sent his counselors as spies to gather information about the enemy's plans and that they returned after gathering the required news about Ravana's arrangements at the four gates of the city. After hearing Vibhishana's information, Rama orders Nila, Angada Hanuman and others to storm the four gates and decides to stay on Suvela mountain with his army.

Chapter [Sarga] 37 in Detail

nara vaanara raajau tau sa ca vaayu sutah kapih |

jaambavaan riksa raajash ca raaksasash ca vibhiisanah || 6-37-1

angado vaali putrash ca saumitrih sharabhah kapih |

susenah saha daayaado maindo dvivida;eva ca || 6-37-2

gajo gava akso kumudo nalo atha panasas tathaa |

amitra visayam praaptaah samavetaah samarthayan || 6-37-3

Meanwhile, Rama the king of men and Sugreeva the Sovereign of monkeys, Hanuman the son of the wind, Jambavan the king of the Bears, Vibhishana the demon, Angada the son of Vali, Lakshmana, Sushena along with his kinsfolk, Mainda, Dvivida, Gaja, Gavaaksha, Kumuda, Nala and Panasa, all having reached the enemy's territory, assembled to take counsel together.

iyam saa laksyate lankaa purii raavana paalitaa |

saasura uraga gandharvair amarair api durjayaa || 6-37-4

"Observe this city of Lanka, ruled by Ravana, impregnable both to celestials and the demons together, or the Uragas (the serpent-demons) and Gandharvas (celestial musicians)."

kaarya siddhim puras krtya mantrayadhvam vinirnaye |

nityam samnihito hy atra raavano raaksasa adhipah || 6-37-5

"Ravana, the lord of demons always stays in the City. Think of the ways and means for the success of our expedition."

tathaa tesu bruvaanesu raavana avarajo abraviit |

vaakyam agraamya padavat puskala artham vibhiisanah || 6-37-6

While they were talking thus, Vibhishana the younger brother of Ravana spoke the following meaningful and polished words:

analah sharabhash caiva sampaatih praghasas tathaa |

gatvaa lankaam mama amaatyaah puriim punar iha aagataah || 6-37-7

"My counselors named Anala, Panasa, Sampaati and Pramathi went to the City of Lanka and returned here."

bhuutvaa shakunayah sarve pravistaash ca ripor balam |

vidhaanam vihitam yac ca tad drstvaa samupasthitaah || 6-37-8

"Assuming the form of birds, all the four entered that enemy's citadel and observed the measures taken by Ravana closely."

samvidhaanam yathaa aahus te raavanasya duraatmanah |

raama tad bruvatah sarvam yathaatathyena me shrinu || 6-37-9

"O, Rama! I give a detailed report as it was given to me of the defense-arrangements made by the evil-minded Ravana, hear me."

puurvam prahastah sabalo dvaaram aasaadya tisthati |

daksinam ca mahaa viiryau mahaa paarshva mahaa udarau || 6-37-10

"The very strong Prahasta is standing near the eastern gate. Mahaparshva and Mahodara of mighty prowess are at the southern gate."

indrajit pashcima dvaaram raaksasair bahubhir vritah |

pattasa asi dhanusmadbhih shuula mudgara paanibhih || 6-37-11

naanaa praharanaih shuurair aavrito raavana aatmajah |

"Indrajit, the son of Ravana is at the western gate along with many demons armed with harpoons, swords, bows, spears and hammers together with warriors furnished with weapons of various kinds."

raaksasaanaam sahasrais tu bahubhih shastra paanibhih || 6-37-12

yuktah parama samvigno raaksasair bahubhir vrtah |

uttaram nagara dvaaram raavanah svayam aasthitah || 6-37-13

"A prey to great anxiety, Ravana knower of magical formulas, is himself stationed at the northern gate, along with several thousands of demons holding lances in their hand."

viruupa aksas tu mahataa shuula khadga dhanusmataa |

balena raaksasaih saardham madhyamam gulmam aasthitah || 6-37-14

"As for Virupaksha he with mighty army carrying spears, clubs and bows along with other demons, occupies the center of the fort."

etaan evam vidhaan gulmaaml lankaayaam samudiiksya te |

maamakaah sacivaah sarve shiighram punar iha aagataah || 6-37-15

"All these counselors of mine watched those groups of troops arranged in Lanka in this manner and immediately returned here."

gajaanaam ca sahasram ca rathaanaam ayutam pure |

hayaanaam ayute dve ca saagra kotii ca raksasaam || 6-37-16

vikraantaa balavantash ca samyugesv aatataayinah |

istaa raaksasa raajasya nityam ete nishaa caraah || 6-37-17

"The elephants and chariots number some ten thousand each, the cavalry twenty thousand and there are more than a crore foot soldiers. These strong and intrepid demons endeavoring to kill someone in battle have ever been their sovereign's favorites."

eka ekasya atra yuddha arthe raaksasasya vishaam pate |

parivaarah sahasraanaam sahasram upatisthate || 6-37-18

"O, Rama! In these demons, a retinue of ten lacs each is near at hand for each demon."

etaam pravrittim lankaayaam mantri proktam vibhiisanah |

raamam kamala patra aksam idam uttaram abraviit || 6-37-19

The mighty armed Vibhishana showed those counselors to Rama after reporting the aforesaid news pertaining to Lanka, thus informed by his counselors.

lankaayaam sacivaih raamaaya pratyavedayat |

raamam kamalapatraakshamidamuttaramabraviit || 6-37-20

raavanaavarajah shriimaan raamapriyachikiirsayaa |

The counselors of Vibhishana themselves confirmed all that was known regarding Lanka. Thereafter, the illustrious Vibhishana, in his desire to please Rama, addressed that lotus-eyed one, further with the following words:

kuberam tu yadaa raama raavanah pratyayudhyata || 6-37-21

sastih shata sahasraani tadaa niryaanti raaksasaah |

paraakramena viiryena tejasaa sattva gauravaat || 6-37-22

sadrishaa yo atra darpena raavanasya duraatmanah |

"O, Rama! When Ravana attacked Kubera in battle, sixty lacs of demons sallied forth with him. All of them were akin to the evil-minded Ravana in prowess, in strength, in courage and in pride."

atra manyur na kartavyo rosaye tvaam na bhiisaye || 6-37-23

samartho hy asi viiryena suraanaam api nigrahe |

"Indignation need not be resorted to (by you) based on this report. I am not terrifying you, but only arousing your wrath. You are indeed capable of overpowering even celestials by your valor."

tad bhavaamsh catur angena balena mahataa vritah || 6-37-24

vyuuhya idam vaanara aniikam nirmathisyasi raavanam |

"Having set out these monkey-forces in battle-array, you shall destryoy Ravana with this great army of monkeys, composed of four divisions, which surround you."

raavana avaraje vaakyam evam bruvati raaghavah || 6-37-25

shatruunaam pratighaata artham idam vacanam abraviit |

Vibhishana having spoken thus Rama gave the following orders for the attack of the adversaries.

puurva dvaare tu lankaayaa niilo vaanara pumgavah || 6-37-26

prahastam pratiyoddhaa syaad vaanarair bahubhir vritah |

"At the eastern gate of Lanka, Nila that lion among monkeys for his part, surrounded by many monkeys, should attack Prahasta."

angado vaali putras tu balena mahataa vritah || 6-37-27

daksine baadhataam dvaare mahaa paarshva mahaa udarau |

"At the southern gate, Angada the son of Vali, surrounded by his mighty army, should oppose Mahaparshva and Mahodara."

hanuumaan pashcima dvaaram nipiidya pavana aatmajah || 6-37-28

pravishatv aprameya aatmaa bahubhih kapibhir vritah |

"Let Hanuman that son of the Wind and of inscrutable spirit, surrounded by a multitude of monkeys, enter the City through the western gate."

daitya daanava samghaanaam risiinaam ca mahaatmanaam || 6-37-29

viprakaara priyah ksudro vara daana bala anvitah |

parikraamati yah sarvaaml lokaan samtaapayan prajaah || 6-37-30

tasya aham raaksasa indrasya svayam eva vadhe dhritah |

uttaram nagara dvaaram aham saumitrinaa saha || 6-37-31

nipiidya abhipraveksyaami sabalo yatra raavanah |

I am myself determined to slay that wicked who owing to the boon he has received, enjoys oppressing multitudes of Daitya’s (giants) and Daanavaas (demons), as also the magnanimous sages and who ranges the world, presenting all being. With the aid of Lakshmana, I shall forcibly enter the northern gate where Ravana is stationed along with his army."

vaanara indrash ca balavaan riksa raajash ca jaambavaan || 6-37-32

raaksasa indra anujash caiva gulme bhavatu madhyame |

"Let the mighty Sugreeva the king of monkeys, the valiant Jambavan the king of bears and Vibhishana, the younger brother of the Lord of demons occupy the central position of the army."

na ca eva maanusam ruupam kaaryam haribhir aahave || 6-37-33

esaa bhavatu nah samjnaa yuddhe asmin vaanare bale |

"Monkeys should not assume human form in the battle, for, in the army of monkeys, this monkey-shape should serve as a sign of recognition among us."

vaanaraa;eva nishcihnam sva jane asmin bhavisyati || 6-37-34

vayam tu maanusena eva sapta yotsyaamahe paraan |

aham eva saha bhraatraa laksmanena mahaa ojasaa || 6-37-35

aatmanaa pancamash ca ayam sakhaa mama vibhiisanah |

"Among our own people also, the form of monkeys will become a sign of recognition for us. Seven of us will attack the foe in our human form, I, my brother Lakshmana, who is full of valor, my friend Vibhishana and his four companions."

sa raamah kaarya siddhy artham evam uktvaa vibhiisanam || 6-37-36

suvela aarohane buddhim cakaara matimaan matim |

ramaniiyataram dristvaa suvelasya girestatm || 6-37-37

Having said thus to Vibhishana for the success of the enterprise, Rama in the role of a wise leader, decided to stay on Mount Suvela, after observing its charming slopes.

tatas tu raamo mahataa balena |

pracchaadya sarvaam prithiviim mahaatmaa |

prahrista ruupo abhijagaama lankaam |

kritvaa matim so ari vadhe mahaatmaa || 6-37-38

Thereafter, having covered the entire filed with his great army and having made up his mind to destroy the enemies, that high-souled Rama of great courage, set out for Lanka with a joyous and exultant air.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddha kaande saptatrimshah sargah

Thus completes 37th 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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