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Chapter 42: Ravana Informed about the Siege of Lanka

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Ravana Informed about the Siege of Lanka

Summary

The demons break the news to Ravana about Lanka. Ravana having been laid siege to by the monkeys. Ravana then ascends his mansion and surveys the innumerable troops of monkeys, occupying the entire city of Lanka. Meanwhile, Rama issues a command to the monkeys to destroy the enemies forthwith. The monkeys start demolishing various important defensive structures of the city of Lanka and besiege all the city-gates. Ravana also commands his army to commence combat. Sounds of couches blown by the army and terrible roars on both sides re-echoes the air, earth and sea. Demons begin to strike the monkeys with their weapons and the monkeys respond the strike with trees, mountain-tops, nails and teeth.

Chapter [Sarga] 42 in Detail

tatas te raaksasaas tatra gatvaa raavana mandiram |

nyavedayan puriim ruddhaam raamena saha vaanaraih || 6-42-1

Then, the demons there approached Ravana and informed him that the city had been besieged by Rama along with his monkeys.

ruddhaam tu nagariim zrutvaa jaata krodho nizaa carah |

vidhaanam dvigunam zrutvaa praasaadam so adhyarohata || 6-42-2

Hearing that the city has been attacked, Ravana exhibiting his anger, doubly made the necessary arrangements for the war and ascended his mansion.

sa dadarza aavritaam lankaam sazaila vana kaananaam |

asamkhyeyair hari ganaih sarvato yuddha kaanksibhih || 6-42-3

That Ravana caught a glimpse of the city of Lanka, with its mountains, groves and forests all being covered by innumerable troops of monkeys, waiting for war.

sa dristvaa vaanaraih sarvaam vasudhaam kavalii kritaam |

katham ksapayitavyaah syur iti cintaa paro abhavat || 6-42-4

Seeing the earth made all brown with innumerable monkeys, Ravana in great perplexity reflected: “How can they be exterminated?”

sa cintayitvaa suciram dhairyam aalambya raavanah |

raaghavam hari yuuthaamz ca dadarza aayata locanah || 6-42-5

Having pondered for long, regaining his confidence and with his eyes widened by surprise, Ravana gazed on Rama and his troops of monkeys.

raaghavah sahasainyena mudito naama pupluve |

lankaam dadarsha guptaam vai sarvato raaksasairvritaam || 6-42-6

Full of delight, Rama passed forward (on the back of a monkey) along with his army and saw Lanka being guarded on all sides and thronged with demons.

dristvaa daasharathirlankaam chitradhvajapataakiniim |

jagaama manasaa siitaam duuyamaanena chetasaa || 6-42-7

Seeing that city of Lanka duly decorated with banners and flags, Rama remembered Seetha with a distressed heart.

atra saa mrigashaabaaksii matkrite janakaatmajaa |

piidyate shokasamtaptaa krishaa sthandilashaayinii || 6-42-8

He said to himself, “Here is that daughter of Janaka, whose eyes resemble those of a fawn, tormented with grief, emaciated, with a bare ground as her bed and suffering here on my account.”

nipiidyamaanaam dharmaatmaa vaidehiimanuchintayan |

ksipramaajjnaapayadraamo vaanaraan dvisataam vadhe || 6-42-9

Reflecting on Seetha being troubled, the virtuous Rama speedily issued a command to the monkeys to destroy the enemies forthwith.

evamukte tu vachasi raamenaaklistakarmanaa |

samgharsamaanaah plavagaah simhanaadai rapuuryan || 6-42-10

Hearing those words of Rama, who was unwearied in action, the monkeys vying with one another filled the air with their roaring resembling those of lion.

shikharairvikiraamaitaam lankaam mustibhireva vaa |

iti sma dadhire sarve manaamsi hariyuuthapaah || 6-42-11

 “We shall tear asunder this Lanka with mountain-peaks or with fists alone.” – Thus resolved all the monkey- generals.

udyamya girishringaani mahaanti shikharaani cha |

taruumshchotpaatya vividhaamstisthanti hariyuuthapaah || 6-42-12

Lifting up mountain peaks and huge rocks and plucking up various kinds of trees, the monkey-generals stood prepared (for the attack).

preksato raaksasa indrasya taany aniikaani bhaagazah |

raaghava priya kaama artham lankaam aaruruhus tadaa || 6-43-13

In order to fulfill Rama’s cherished desire, those troops, forming themselves into columns, began to scale the heights of Lanka, while Ravana stood gazing.

te taamra vaktraa hema aabhaa raama arthe tyakta jiivitaah |

lankaam eva ahyavartanta saala taala zilaa aayudhaah || 6-42-14

Those monkeys, of golden hue with coppery countenance, fighting with Sala trees and mountain-peaks, marched ahead towards the city of Lanka, ready as they were to lay down their lives in Rama’s service.

te drumaih parvata agraiz ca mustibhiz ca plavam gamaah |

praasaada agraani ca uccaani mamantus toranaani ca || 6-42-15

Those monkeys demolished innumerable defensive walls and arches with blows from trees, mountain-tops and fists.

paarikhaah puurayanti sma prasanna salila aayutaah |

paamsubhih parvata agraiz ca trinaih kaasthaiz ca vaanaraah || 6-42-16

The monkeys filled the moats containing clear water with sands, mountain-tops, grasses and logs of wood.

tatah sahasra yuuthaaz ca koti yuuthaaz ca yuuthapaah |

kotii zata yutaaz ca anye lankaam aaruruhus tadaa || 6-42-17

The commanders scaled the walls of Lanka, taking with them battalions of monkeys in thousands, in crores and even hundreds of crores.

kaancanaani pramrdnantas toranaani plavam gamaah |

kailaasa zikhara aabhaani gopuraani pramathya ca || 6-42-18

The monkeys stood tearing up the golden arches and breaking down the gates that equaled the peak of Kailasa the mountainous abode of Shiva the Lord of Destruction.

aaplavantah plavantaz ca garjantaz ca plavam gamaah |

lankaam taam abhyavartanta mahaa vaarana samnibhaah || 6-42-19

The monkeys who resembled great elephants hurled themselves towards that Lanka, springing, leaping and roaring.

jayaty atibalo raamo laksmanaz ca mahaa balah |

raajaa jayati sugriivo raaghavena abhipaalitah || 6-42-20

ity evam ghosayantaz ca garjantaz ca plavam gamaah |

abhyadhaavanta lankaayaah praakaaram kaama ruupinah || 6-42-21

The monkeys, who were able to change their form at will, shouting – “Victory to the mighty Rama and the valiant Lakshmana!” “Victory of Sugreeva protected by Raghava!” and roaring, rushed towards the defensive walls of Lanka.

viira baahuh subaahuz ca nalaz ca vana gocarah |

nipiidya upanivistaas te praakaaram hari yuuthapaah || 6-42-22

etasminn antare cakruh skandha aavaara nivezanam |

Those monkey-generals Virabaahu, Subaahu, Nala and Panasa, having position on them. Meanwhile, they formed an encampment of a multitude of military divisions there.

puurva dvaaram tu kumudah kotibhir dazabhir vritah || 6-42-23

aavritya balavaams tasthau haribhir jita kaazibhih |

The mighty Kumuda, surrounded by a crore of monkeys, who behaved like conquerors, stood besieging the eastern gate (while remaining stationed in north-east).

sahaayaarthe tu tasyeva nivistah prasabho harih || 6-42-24

panasashca mahaabaahurvaanarai rabhisamvritah |

Surrounded by other monkeys, a monkey called Prasabha and the mighty armed Panasa too up their position, in order to assist Kumuda himself.

daksina dvaaram aagamya viirah zata balih kapih || 6-42-25

aavritya balavaams tasthau vimzatyaa kotibhir vritah |

The strong and valiant monkey, Shatabali accompanied by twenty crores of monkeys, approached the southern gate (while remaining stationed in south-east) and stood there, to obstruct the exit.

susenah pazcima dvaaram gatas taaraa pitaa harih || 6-42-26

aavritya balavaams tasthau sasti kotibhir aavritah |

The mighty monkey named Sushena, the father of Tara (Vali’s wife), going to the western gate (while remaining stationed in the south-west) surrounded by crores and crores of monkeys, stood besieging that gate.

uttara dvaaram aasaadya raamah saumitrinaa saha || 6-42-27

aavritya balavaams tasthau sugriivaz ca hari iizvarah |

Rama along with Lakshmana and Sugreeva the mighty lord of the monkeys, seeking the northern gate (while remaining stationed in the North West) stood besieging that gate.

riskaanaam bhiima vegaanaam dhuumrah zatru nibarhanah || 6-42-28

vritah kotyaa mahaa viiryas tasthau raamasya paarzvatah |

Accompanied by a crore of bears having terrific rage, Dhuumraa (brother of Jambavan, the king of bears) of great prowess and the annihilator of enemies, took up his position by the side of Rama.

samnaddhas tu mahaa viiryo gadaa paanir vibhiisanah || 6-42-29

vrito yas tais tu sacivais tasthau tatra mahaa balah |

Vibhishana of great energy with mace in hand, clad in defensive armor and accompanied by his watchful ministers, took his position where the mighty Rama is stationed.

gajo gava akso gavayah zarabho gandha maadanah || 6-42-30

samantaat parighaavanto raraksur hari vaahiniim |

Gavaaksha, Gavaya, Sharabha and Gandhamaadana, galloping on all sides, defended the army of monkeys.

tatah kopa pariita aatmaa raavano raaksasa iizvarah || 6-42-31

niryaanam sarva sainyaanaam drutam aajnaapayat tadaa |

Ravana the lord of demons with his mind filled in anger, then commanded for the decamping of the entire army immediately.

etacchrutvaa tadaa vaakyam raavanasya mukheritam || 6-42-32

sahasaa bhiimanirghosamudghustam rajaniicharaih |

At this command coming from Ravana lips, a tremendous clamor arose among the demons.

tatah prabodhitaa bheryashchandrapaandurapuskaraah || 6-42-33

hemakonairabhihataa raaksasaanaam samantatah |

By beating with sticks of gold, the demons stirred up on every side, kettle drums whose discs were white as the moon.

vinedushcha mahaaghosaah shankhah shatasahasrashah || 6-42-34

raaksasaanaam sughoraanaam mukhamaarutapuuritaah |

Hundreds and thousands of sonorous couches blared forth, blown with their cheeks extended to the full, by the most ghastly demons.

te babhuh shubhaniilaangaah sashankhaa rajaniicharaah || 6-42-35

vidhyunmandalasamnaddhaah sabalaakaa ivaambudaah |

With their handsome limbs equipped with couches, those rangers of night shone like clouds bordered with lightning accompanied by rows of cranes.

nispatanti tatah sainyaa hristaa raavana coditaah || 6-42-36

samaye puuryamaanasya vegaa;iva mahaa udadheh |

The battalions rushed forth under Ravana’s instructions like the rushing forth of the ocean, which is swollen by the clouds, at the time of universal dissolution [death].

tato vaanarasainyena mukto naadah samantatah || 6-42-37

malayah puurito yena sasaanuprasthakandarah |

Then, from every side a clamor [noisy shouting] arose from the army of monkeys, which filled Malaya Mountain with its ridges, plains and caves.

shankhadundubhinirghosah simhanaadastarasvinaam || 6-42-38

prithiviim chaantariksam cha saagaram chaabhyanaadayat |

The sound of couches and drums made by the demons and the leonine [resembling a lion] roars of those monkey- warriors re-echoed over the earth, sky and sea.

gajaanaam brimhitaih saardham hayaanaam hesitairapi || 6-42-39

rathaanaam neminirghosai raksasaam padanihsvanaih |

With the trumpeting of elephants, the neighing of the horses, the clattering of the chariot-wheels and the sounds of the foot-steps, the sound of the couches re-echoed over the earth, sky and sea.

etasminn antare ghorah samgraamah samapadyata || 6-42-40

raksasaam vaanaraanaam ca yathaa deva asure puraa |

In the meantime, a terrible struggle ensued between the demons and the monkeys, as in the former times between celestials and demons.

te gadaabhih pradiiptaabhih zakti zuula parazvadhaih || 6-42-41

nijaghnur vaanaraan ghoraah kathayantah sva vikramaan |

Exhibiting their native prowess, the demons began to strike all the monkeys with their flaming maces, spears, harpoons and axes.

tatho vriksair mahaa kaayaah parvata agraiz ca vaanaraah || 6-42-42

nijaghnastaani raksaamsi nagairdanaishcha veginah |

raajaa jayati sugriiva iti shabdo mahaanabhuut || 6-42-43

Then, the gigantic monkeys swiftly struck those demons with trees, mountain-tops, nails and teeth “Victorious is king Sugreeva” – thus arose a loud war-cry.

raajan jaya jayetyuktvaa svasvanaamakathaam tatah |

raaksasaastvapare bhiimaah praakaarasthaamahiim gataan || 6-42-44

vaanaraan bhindipaalaishcha shuulai shchaiva vyadaarayan |

Then, some other terrifying demons on their part, shouting “Be winsome! Be victorious!”, proclaimed their own respective names. While some demons standing on walls hacked at the monkeys standing on the ground (below) with hooks and harpoons [a barbed spear or javelin].

vaanaraacaapi samkruddhaah praakaarasthaan mahii gataah || 6-42-45

raaksasaan paatayaam aasuh samaaplutya plavam gamaah |

The enraged monkeys, who wee standing on the ground, leapt into the air and dragged down the demons stationed on the walls by seizing them with their arms.

sa samprahaaras tumulo maamsa zonita kardamah || 6-42-46

raksasaam vaanaraanaam ca sambabhuuva adbhuta upamaah |

That tumultuous combat between demons and monkeys transformed into a wonder, leaving a mire of flesh and blood.

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavyeyuddhakaande dvichatvaarimshah

Thus completes 42nd 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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