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Chapter 58: Nila Kills Prahasta
Nila Kills Prahasta
On Rama's enquiry, Vibhishana explains the prowess of Prahasta who entered the battle-field. The demons with their arrows and the monkeys with their stones combat each other. Both the monkeys and demons were killed in the battle. Prahasta the demon and Nila the monkey come face to face to fight. Prahasta hurls a volley of darts over Nila. Nila kills Prahasta's horses by hurling a huge tree and breaks his bow. Finally a huge rock hurled by Nila breaks Prahasta's head into myriad pieces and dies. All the other demons abandon the battle-field and return to Lanka.
Chapter [Sarga] 58 in Detail
tatah prahastam niryaantam dristvaa ranakritodyamam |
uvaacha pasmitam raamo vibhiisanamarimdamah || 6-58-1
Seeing Prahasta setting out with a martial ardor [zeal], Rama the conqueror of enemies, smiling, spoke to Vibhishana as follows:
ka esa sumahaakaayo balena mahataa vritah |
aagacchhati mahaavegah kimruupabalapaurusah || 6-58-2
aachaksva me mahaabaaho viiryavantam nishaacharam |
"Who is he with a very huge body, coming with a great speed along with a large army? O, the mighty armed! Tell me about this strong demon."
raaghavasya vachah shrutvaa pratyuvaacha vibhiisanah || 6-58-3
esa senaapatistasya prahasto naama raaksasah |
lankaayaam raaksasendrasya tribhaagabalasamvritah || 6-58-4
viiryavaanastravichchhuurah suprakhyaataparaakramah |
Hearing Rama's words, Vibhishana replied as follows "He is guarded by two-thirds of the army of Lanka. He is a demon of prowess, skilled in the use of mystic weapons and valiant. He is the demon named Prahasta, the Army general of Ravana."
tatah prahastam niryaantam bhiimam bhiima paraakramam || 6-58-5
garjantam sumahaa kaayam raaksasair abhisamvritam |
dadarsha mahatii senaa vaanaraanaam baliiyasaam || 6-58-6
abhisamjaata rosaanaam prahastam abhigarjataam |
That huge and powerful army of monkeys, who began to emit cries of defiance with fury, thereupon saw the terrible Prahasta of formidable exploits coming forth towards them.
khadga shakty asti baanaash ca shuulaani musalaani ca || 6-58-7
gadaashca parighaah praasaa vividhaash ca parashvadhaah |
dhanuumsi ca vicitraani raaksasaanaam jaya esinaam || 6-58-8
pragrihiitaany ashobhanta vaanaraan abhidhaavataam |
Swords, lances, daggers, darts, spears, clubs, maces bars, barbed missiles, various kinds of axes and different bows glittered in the hands of demons, who were running up towards the monkeys and seeking victory.
jagrihuh paadapaamsh ca api puspitaan vaanara risabhaah || 6-58-9
shilaashca vipulaa diirghaa yoddhu kaamaah plavam gamaah |
The monkeys who were burning to fight took hold of trees in flower, rocks and lofty and thick stones.
tesaam anyonyam aasaadya samgraamah sumahaan abhuut || 6-58-10
bahuunaam ashma vristim ca shara vristim ca varsataam |
As they approached each other, a very great battle arose between those combatants who showered down a hail of arrows and a bombardment of stones.
bahavo raaksasaa yuddhe bahuun vaanara yuuthapaan || 6-58-11
vaanaraa raaksasaamsh ca api nijaghnur bahavo bahuun |
In that battle, many of the demons killed several excellent monkeys and several monkeys killed many of the demons.
shuulaih pramathitaah kecit kecit tu parama aayudhaih || 6-58-12
parighair aahataah kecit kecic chinnaah parashvadhaih |
Some monkeys were smashed by spears and some others by finer weapons. Some were struck by iron bars and some others were slit by axes.
nirucchvaasaah punah kecit patitaa dharanii tale || 6-58-13
vibhinna hridayaah kecid isu samtaana samditaah |
Yet again, some fell breathlessly on the ground and some were destroyed by the arrows aimed at them with their hearts splits asunder.
kecid dvidhaa kritaah khadgaih sphurantah patitaa bhuvi || 6-58-14
vaanaraa raaksasaih shuulaih paarshvatash ca vidaaritaah |
Cut into two with the strokes of swords by those powerful demons, some monkeys, trembling, fell on the earth, their sides torn open.
vaanaraish ca api samkruddhai raaksasa oghaah samantatah || 6-58-15
paadapair giri shringaish ca sampistaa vasudhaa tale |
Even the flocks of demons on all sides were crushed on to the earth by the furious monkeys with tree and mountain-peaks.
vajra sparsha talair hastair mustibhish ca hataa bhrisham || 6-58-16
vaman shonitam aasyebhyo vishiirna dashana iiksanah |
Having been administered thundering slaps with their hands and terrific blows with their fists, the faces and eyes of demons were lacerated. The demons vomited plenty of blood from their months.
aarta svaram ca svanataam simha naadam ca nardataam || 6-58-17
babhuuva tumulah shabdo hariinaam raksasaam yudhi |
A tumultuous clamor arose among monkeys and demons, as cries of pain and leonine roars were bellowed.
vaanaraa raaksasaah kruddhaa viira maargam anuvrataah || 6-58-18
vivritta nayanaah kruuraash cakruh karmaany abhiitavat |
The monkeys and the demons with anger, following the path of heroes, with their cruel and hostile eyes, accomplished their deeds with great courage.
nara antakah kumbha hanur mahaa naadah samunnatah || 6-58-19
ete prahasta sacivaah sarve jaghnur vana okasah |
Narantaka Kumbhahanu, Mahanada and Samunnata all these companions of Prahasta killed the monkeys.
tesaam aapatataam shiighram nighnataam ca api vaanaraan || 6-58-20
dvivido giri shringena jaghaana ekam nara antakam |
Dvivida, with a mountain-peak, struck down Narantaka, the one among them who was rushing upon quickly and killing the monkeys.
durmukhah punar utpaatya kapih sa vipula drumam || 6-58-21
raaksasam ksipra hastas tu samunnatam apothayat |
The ape Durmukha on his part, with a ready hand, uprooted a very large tree and crushed the demon Samunnata.
jaambavaams tu susamkruddhah pragrihya mahatiim shilaam || 6-58-22
paatayaam aasa tejasvii mahaa naadasya vaksasi |
The energetic Jambavan with a great fury seized a huge rock and threw it on the chest-region of Mahanada.
atha kumbha hanus tatra taarena aasaadya viiryavaan || 6-58-23
vriksena abhihato muurdhni praanaams tatyaaja raaksasah |
Then, the valiant Kumbhahanu there in the battle, having attacked the General Tara, who was armed with a huge tree, received a blow immediately cost him his life.
amrisyamaanas tat karma prahasto ratham aasthitah || 6-58-24
cakaara kadanam ghoram dhanus paanir vana okasaam |
Not tolerating the aforesaid act, Prahasta having occupied his chariot with bow in hand, caused a terrible havoc among the monkeys.
aavarta;iva samjajne;ubhayoh senayos tadaa || 6-58-25
ksubhitasya aprameyasya saagarasya iva nisvanah |
Then, with the rapid movement of both the armies, there arose of clamor resembling the roar of an unfathomable and tempestuous ocean in a time of dissolution.
mahataa hi shara oghena prahasto yuddha kovidah || 6-58-26
ardayaam aasa samkruddho vaanaraan parama aahave |
The demon Prahasta, who was hard to be subdued in battle, with full of anger, tormented the monkeys by an immense avalanche of arrows in that great combat.
vaanaraanaam shariirais tu raaksasaanaam ca medinii || 6-58-27
babhuuva nicitaa ghoraa patitair iva parvataih |
By the frightening corpses of monkeys and demons, appearing like hideous mountains, a very extensive area of the ground is covered.
saa mahii rudhira oghena pracchannaa samprakaashate || 6-58-28
samchannaa maadhave maasi palaashair iva puspitaih |
That ground, covered by the stream of blood, shone as in the month of spring when overspread fully with the blossoming crimson-colored Palasa flowers.
hari viira ogha vapraam tu bhagna aayudha mahaa drumaam || 6-58-29
shonita ogha mahaa toyaam yama saagara gaaminiim |
yakrit pliiha mahaa pankaam vinikiirna antra shaibalaam || 6-58-30
bhinna kaaya shiro miinaam anga avayava shaadvalaam |
gridhra hamsa gana aakiirnaam kanka saarasa sevitaam || 6-58-31
medhah phena samaakiirnaam aarta stanita nisvanaam |
taam kaapurusa dustaaraam yuddha bhuumimayiim nadiim || 6-58-32
nadiim iva ghana apaaye hamsa saarasa sevitaam |
raaksasaah kapi mukhyaash ca terus taam dustaraam nadiim || 6-58-33
yathaa padma rajo dhvastaam naliniim gaja yuuthapaah |
With the heaps of warriors for its banks the broken weapons its trees, the torrents of blood its huge waves, death appeared like an ocean receiving its floods, livers and spleens its mire, entrails its moss, severed heads and trunks the fish, and morsels of flesh the grass, the innumerable vultures its lovely swans, herons its geese, covered as it was with fat for the foam, the tumult the sound of its waters, the battle field resembled a river, incapable of being crossed by cowards, visited by water-fowls at the end of the rainy season, those demons and the foremost of the monkeys crossed over that impassable river, as elephants lead their herds across a lake that the lotuses have covered with pollen.
tatah srijantam baana oghaan prahastam syandane sthitam || 6-58-34
dadarsha tarasaa niilo vinighnantam plavam gamaan |
Then, Nila saw Prahasta who was employing a multitude of arrows sitting in the chariot and annihilating the monkeys swiftly.
uddhuuta iva vaayuh khe mahaadabhrabalam balaat || 6-58-35
samiiksyaabhidrutam yuddhe prahasto vaahiniipatih |
rathenaadityavarnena niilamevaabhidudruve || 6-58-36
Seeing Nila who was running towards him in the battle-field, as a rocking wind in the sky rushes towards a large massive cloud, Prahasta the Army general attacked Nila himself with his chariot having the sun's color.
sa dhanurdhanvinaam shrestho vikrisya paramaahave || 6-58-37
niilaaya vyasrijadbaanaan prahasto vaahiniipatih |
That Prahasta the Army General, who was excellent among the wielders of bow, drew the bow-string and hurled the arrows towards Nila in that great battle.
te pretya nishikhaa niilam vinirbhidya samaahitaah || 6-58-38
mahiim jagmurmahaavegaa rositaa iva pannagaah |
Those arrows with a great speed resembling furious snakes employed by Prahasta proceeded towards Nila, pierced him and fell on the ground.
niilah sharairabhihato nishitairjvalanopamaih || 6-58-39
sa tam parama durdharsam aapatantam mahaa kapih |
prahastam taadayaam aasa vriksam utpaatya viiryavaan || 6-58-40
That great ape of prowess Nila, who was struck by sharp arrows resembling flames, uprooted a tree and thumped it on the descending Prahasta who was most difficult to be assaulted.
tasya baanaganaaneva raaksasasya duraatmanah |
apaarayan vaarayitum pratyagrihnaan nimiilitah || 6-58-41
Being unable to restrain the series of arrows hurled at him by that evil-minded demon, Nila received them with closed eyes.
yathaiva go vriso varsam shaaradam shiighramaagatam |
evam eva prahastasya shara varsam duraasadam || 6-58-42
nimiilita aksah sahasaa niilah sehe sudaarunam |
Like a bull standing under a sudden autumnal down-pour, so under that intolerable and sudden rain of darts released by Prahasta, Nila endured with closed eyes though it was scarce to be endured.
rositah shara varsena saalena mahataa mahaan |
prajaghaana hayaan niilah prahastasya mano javaan || 6-58-43
The exceedingly strong and the great Nila, enraged over the volley of darts, killed Prahasta's horses by hurling a huge Sala tree on them.
tato rosapariitaatmaa dhanustasya duraatmanah |
babhajnja tarasaa niilo nanaada cha punah punah || 6-58-44
Thereafter the greatly enraged Nila quickly broke the bow of Prahasta the evil-minded demon and shouted again and again.
vidhanus tu kritas tena prahasto vaahinii patih |
pragrihya musalam ghoram syandanaad avapupluve || 6-58-45
Deprived of his bow, Prahasta the leader of the army, seizing a formidable mace, leapt down from the chariot.
taav ubhau vaahinii mukhyau jaata rosau tarasvinau |
sthitau ksataja digdha angau prabhinnaav iva kunjarau || 6-58-46
Those two army-chiefs, who were courageous and in whom enmity had sprung up, with their limbs covered with blood, wee standing like two elephants in rut.
ullikhantau sutiiksnaabhir damstraabhir itaretaram |
simha shaarduula sadrishau simha shaarduula cestitau || 6-58-47
vikraanta vijayau viirau samaresv anivartinau |
kaanksamaanau yashah praaptum vritra vaasavayoh samau || 6-58-48
Lion and tiger in gait, lion and tiger in gestures, those two warriors tore each other with their sharp teeth. Vanquishers of other heroes and intrepid combatants, both of them, thirsting for fame, resembled Vritra and Indra.
aajaghaana tadaa niilam lalaate musalena sah |
prahastah param aayastas tasya susraava shonitam || 6-58-49
Then, that Prahasta exerting himself well struck Nila on his forehead with a mace and blood oozed from his forehead.
tatah shonita digdha angah pragrihya sumahaa tarum |
prahastasya urasi kruddho visasarja mahaa kapih || 6-58-50
Whereupon, that great ape, his limbs smeared with blood, seized a huge tree and struck Prahasta full in his chest with fury.
tam acintya prahaaram sa pragrihya musalam mahat |
abhidudraava balinam balii niilam plavam gamam || 6-58-51
Ignoring that blow, he seized a huge mace and ran in strength towards Nila the strong monkey.
tam ugra vegam samrabdham aapatantam mahaa kapih |
tatah sampreksya jagraaha mahaa vego mahaa shilaam || 6-58-52
Seeing Prahasta of terrible velocity briskly rushing towards him, Nila the great monkey took a huge rock swiftly.
tasya yuddha abhikaamasya mridhe musala yodhinah |
prahastasya shilaam niilo muurdhni tuurnam apaatayat || 6-58-53
Nila quickly hurled that rock on the head of Prahasta who was longing for war and fighting with a mace in the battle.
niilena kapimukhyena vimuktaa mahatii shilaa |
bibheda bahudhaa ghoraa prahastasya shiras tadaa || 6-58-54
Then, that huge and terrific rock hurled by Nila the leader of the monkeys broke Prahasta’s head into myriad pieces.
sa gata asur gata shriiko gata sattvo gata indriyah |
papaata sahasaa bhuumau chinna muula;iva drumah || 6-58-55
That Prahasta who lost his breath, was disfigured and dead, bereft of his senses and at once fell on the ground like a tree cut up by the root.
vibhinna shirasas tasya bahu susraava shonitam |
shariiraad api susraava gireh prasravanam yathaa || 6-58-56
A lot of blood oozed from his broken head. From his body two, blood streamed forth like a cascade from a mountain.
hate prahaste niilena tad akampyam mahad balam |
raksasaam aprahristaanaam lankaam abhijagaama ha || 6-58-57
Their leader having been slain by Nila that unshakable and large army of demons, becoming disconsolate [dejected], withdrew to Lanka.
na shekuh samavasthaatum nihate vaahinii patau |
setu bandham samaasaadya vishiirnam salilam yathaa || 6-58-58
Their chief of Army having been killed, those demons could not continue to stand firmly there, any more than water on reaching a breached bridge.
hate tasmimsh camuu mukhye raaksasas te nirudyamaah |
raksah pati griham gatvaa dhyaana muukatvam aagataah || 6-58-59
praptaah shokaarnaavam tiivram visamjjnaa iva te.bhavan |
That Prahasta the chief of Army having been slain, those demons dumb dispirited and inactive, regained the abode of their king. They became unconscious as it were plunged in an ocean of burning grief.
tatas tu niilo vijayii mahaa balah |
prashasyamaanah svakritena karmanaa |
sametya raamena salaksmanena |
prahrista ruupas tu babhuuva yuuthapah || 6-58-60
The triumphant Nila, however, was honored by Rama and Lakshmana for his task well accomplished and experienced supreme joy.
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande astapajnchaashah sargah
Thus completes 58th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate
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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