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Chapter 67: Rama Kills Kumbhakarna
Chapter [Sarga] 67
Rama Kills Kumbhakarna
All the huge-bodied monkeys became resolute and returned after they heard Angada’s rallying words. Reminded of their past deeds of valor and reassured by Angada’s words, they again exhibited valor. After returning, regaining confidence and being prepared to die, the monkeys carried out a fierce battle. Raising up big trees and mountain peaks, the huge monkeys now rushed swiftly toward Kumbhakarna. Raising his mace, the furious Kumbhakarna hit and struck down the enemy on all sides. Eight thousand seven hundred monkeys hit by Kumbhakarna were lying scattered on the ground. Gathering within his arms six, eight, ten, twenty or even thirty monkeys, he ran about devouring them, as Garuda devours serpents. Reassured with difficulty and gathering from here and there, the monkeys seized trees and boulders and stood firmly on the front line of battle. Pulling up a mountain, Dvivida, who resembled a low-hanging cloud, ran toward Kumbhakarna, who resembled a mountain peak. Dvivida hurled the mountain at Kumbhakarna. The mountain missed Kumbhakarna and fell on his army. The mountain crushed horses, elephants and chariots. Another mountain peak crushed other rakshasas. By the impact of those boulders, the broad battlefield was strewn with dead horses and charioteers and wet with the blood of rakshasas. Roaring ferociously, chariot warriors quickly severed the heads of monkeys with arrows that were like death personified. Uprooting big trees, the monkeys began crushing the chariots, horses, elephants, camels and rakshasas. Hovering in the air, Hanuman showered mountain peaks, boulders and various kinds of trees on Kumbhakarna’s head. Kumbhakarna shattered the mountain peaks and smashed the shower of trees with his spear.
Grasping his sharp spear, Kumbhakarna then rushed toward the dreadful monkey army. Holding a mountain peak, Hanuman stood before Kumbhakarna as he rushed forward. Angered by the attack, Hanuman violently struck Kumbhakarna, whose body was as formidable as a mountain. Overtaken by that blow, Kumbhakarna’s body was wet with blood and fat, and he became disturbed. Brandishing his spear that gleamed like lightning, Kumbhakarna struck Hanuman in the chest, as Skanda struck the Kraunca Mountains with his spear. When struck in the chest by the spear, Hanuman was vexed. Vomiting blood, he roared on the battlefield, like the thundering of clouds at the end of the age. The rakshasas were overjoyed to see Hanuman in agony and immediately began roaring. The monkeys, who were disturbed and terrified of Kumbhakarna, fled from the battlefield.
After consoling his army, Nila hurled a mountain peak at the clever Kumbhakarna. Seeing it coming, Kumbhakarna struck it with his fist. When struck by his fist, the mountain peak shattered, producing sparks and flames, and then fell to the ground. Five outstanding monkeys—Rishabha, Sharabha, Nila, Gavaaksha and Gandhamaadana—attacked Kumbhakarna. These extremely powerful monkeys struck the gigantic Kumbhakarna on all sides with boulders, trees, feet, fists and palms. To Kumbhakarna the blows felt like gentle taps: he felt no pain. Then he embraced the impetuous Rishabha with his arms. After being squeezed in Kumbhakarna’s arms, Rishabha fell down with blood flowing from his mouth. Kumbhakarna struck Sharabha with his fist, Nila with his knee and Gavaaksha with his palm. Then he violently kicked Gandhamaadana with his foot. Bathed in blood and agonized by the blows given by Kumbhakarna, they fainted on the ground, like felled Kimshuka trees.
When those prominent monkeys had fallen, thousands of monkeys rushed toward Kumbhakarna. Jumping and climbing on him, those monkeys also began biting him. They attacked him with their claws, teeth, fists and arms. Covered with thousands of monkeys, that tiger among rakshasas looked like a mountain forested with trees. Grabbing them with his arms, the agitated Kumbhakarna began eating them, as Garuda devours snakes. When thrown into Kumbhakarna’s mouth, which was like the entrance to hell, the monkeys escaped through his nostrils and ears. While devouring the monkeys, the highly infuriated Rakshasa crushed them all. Drenching the earth with flesh and blood, the Rakshasa wandered among the monkey soldiers, like the fire that flares up for universal destruction. Standing on the battlefield with a spear in his hand, Kumbhakarna looked like Lord Indra holding his thunderbolt, or like death personified holding a noose. As a fire would consume a dry forest during a drought, even so did Kumbhakarna devour the monkey soldiers.
As they were being slaughtered, the horrified monkeys, who had lost many troops, began howling in strange ways. Greatly disturbed and bewildered while being killed in large numbers by Kumbhakarna, the monkeys went to Rama for shelter. Seeing the monkeys defeated, Angada, the son of Vali, grabbed a mountain peak and speedily ran toward Kumbhakarna. Roaring constantly, Angada frightened all the rakshasas who were following behind Kumbhakarna. Then he flung the mountain peak at Kumbhakarna’s head. When hit in the head, Kumbhakarna became very angry. The intolerant Rakshasa thereafter quickly ran toward Angada. Roaring loudly and terrifying all the monkeys, Kumbhakarna angrily threw a spear at Angada. The mighty Angada, who was skilled in combat, adroitly avoided the approaching spear. Jumping up forcefully, Angada shoved Kumbhakarna in the chest. When hit in this way, Kumbhakarna fainted. Regaining consciousness, Kumbhakarna made a fist and hit Angada with the back of his hand, knocking him down unconscious.
After Angada had fallen unconscious on the ground, Kumbhakarna grabbed his spear again and ran toward Sugreeva. When the valorous Sugreeva saw that Kumbhakarna was approaching, he jumped up. Seizing a mountain peak and brandishing it, he rushed toward Kumbhakarna. Seeing that monkey also approaching, Kumbhakarna stood facing Sugreeva and stretched out his limbs. When Sugreeva saw Kumbhakarna standing there devouring monkeys with his blood-stained arms, he said: “You have accomplished a difficult task by striking down warriors, devouring troops and achieving great glory. Leave the monkey army alone! Why are you bothering with ordinary soldiers? See if you can bear the sudden impact of this mountain, O Rakshasa!” Hearing Sugreeva’s words full of courage and fortitude, Kumbhakarna replied: “You are Lord Brahma’s grandson and a son of Riksharaja, and you possess fortitude and manliness. Therefore you are roaring, O monkey!”
As soon as Sugreeva heard what Kumbhakarna said, he balanced the mountain peak, which resembled a thunderbolt, and suddenly hurled it, striking him in the chest. The mountain peak shattered in a moment on Kumbhakarna’s chest. The monkeys immediately became despondent and the rakshasas roared jubilantly. After being hit by that mountain peak, Kumbhakarna angrily stretched open his mouth and roared. Brandishing his spear, which flashed like lightning, Kumbhakarna threw it at Sugreeva, the ruler of the monkeys and bears in order to kill him. Hanuman quickly jumped up and seized that spear and broke it forcefully. Placing the huge and exceedingly heavy iron spear on his knee, Hanuman joyfully broke it again. When the monkeys saw that Hanuman had broken the spear, they joyfully rushed up roaring from everywhere. On the other hand, the Rakshasa became frightened and downcast. Seeing the spear broken, the monkeys roared jubilantly and praised Hanuman.
That giant lord of rakshasas became furious when he saw his spear broken. Breaking off a peak from the Malaya Mountain near Lanka, Kumbhakarna approached Sugreeva and hit him with it. When struck with that mountain peak, Sugreeva fell unconscious on the battleground. Those practitioners of black arts were overjoyed to see Sugreeva fallen and roared jubilantly. Then Kumbhakarna picked up Sugreeva, whose prowess was amazing, and carried him away, as a cloud is driven by a strong wind. After getting Sugreeva, Kumbhakarna, who resembled Mount Meru, departed from there. As Kumbhakarna headed for the city of Lanka, he was praised by the rakshasas. He heard the cries of the residents of the heavenly planets who were bewildered by the capture of Sugreeva. Having captured Sugreeva, that enemy of Lord Indra thought that after killing him it would be easy to kill the entire monkey army along with Rama.
Seeing that the monkey army was scattered and Sugreeva captured, Hanuman thought: “Now that Sugreeva is captured, what should I do? I shall do whatever is best for me to do. Making myself as big as a mountain, I shall kill the Rakshasa. When I have killed Kumbhakarna in combat, his body crushed by my fists, and Sugreeva has been freed, then all the monkeys can be rejoice. Or else, Sugreeva will free himself, even if captured by the gods, Asuras or Nagas. Struck with a mountain crag by Kumbhakarna, I think Sugreeva is not yet conscious. After regaining consciousness in a while, Sugreeva will do what is good for himself and for the monkeys in this conflict. Sugreeva would be greatly displeased if I were to rescue him. His reputation would be lost forever. I shall therefore wait for some time so that he can exhibit his prowess by freeing himself. Until then I shall reassure the monkey army.” Thinking in this way, Hanuman calmed the great army of monkeys.
Carrying Sugreeva, who was now trembling, Kumbhakarna entered the city of Lanka. He was welcomed with showers of exquisite flowers from the many-storied mansions and gateways of houses along the main road. Because of the shower of fried grains and scented water and the coolness along the royal highway, Sugreeva gradually regained consciousness. After coming to and gazing at the city’s royal highway while in the arms of Kumbhakarna, Sugreeva thought: “How indeed can I, a captive, retaliate at this time? I shall do so in such a way that will be pleasing and beneficial to the monkeys.” Making this decision, he tore off Kumbhakarna’s ears with his fingernails, bit off his nose with his teeth and split open his sides with his toenails. Kumbhakarna was consumed with rage when deprived of his ears and nose and slashed by Sugreeva. The bloodied Kumbhakarna threw Sugreeva violently on the ground. While being rubbed into the ground by Kumbhakarna and assaulted by rakshasas, Sugreeva bounced into the sky like a rubber ball and rejoined Rama. Deprived of his ears and nose and drenched with blood, Kumbhakarna looked like a mountain wet with springs. The hideous-looking giant Rakshasa once again decided to face his enemies for combat. Vomiting blood in indignation, he looked like a rain cloud at sunset.
Since Sugreeva had escaped, Kumbhakarna once more rushed out furiously for battle. Realizing that he had no weapon, he grabbed a formidable mallet. Suddenly coming out of the city, Kumbhakarna, who had extraordinary vigor, began devouring the formidable army of monkeys on the battlefield, as the raging fire at the end of the age consumes all living entities. Bewildered as he was and hungry for flesh and blood, Kumbhakarna entered the ranks of the monkey army and started devouring rakshasas, monkeys, goblins and bears. He devoured the prominent monkeys just as death takes away all beings at the end of the age. Grabbing with one hand, one, two, three or more monkeys and rakshasas, Kumbhakarna hastily tossed them into his mouth. Blood and fat dribbled from his mouth as he ate. Meanwhile the monkeys were attacking him with mountain peaks. While Kumbhakarna was devouring the monkeys, the survivors fled to Rama for shelter. Raging mad, Kumbhakarna ran about devouring monkeys. Embracing seven, eight, twenty, thirty or even hundreds of monkeys, he ran about devouring them everywhere. With his body splattered with fat, blood and marrow and strings of tangled entrails hanging from the stubs of his ears, he released a shower of spears, like the waxing of death before the end of the age.
At that time, Lakshmana, the crusher of hostile forces and defeater of enemy cities, began fighting furiously in combat. Lakshmana shot seven arrows into Kumbhakarna’s body. Harassed in this way, Kumbhakarna obstructed Lakshmana’s arrows with his own. Then Lakshmana covered Kumbhakarna’s sparkling golden armor with arrows, as the wind would rend an evening cloud. Completely covered with golden arrows, the Rakshasa looked like the sun shining through clouds. Then that dreadful Rakshasa, whose voice sounded like a thundering cloud, spoke as follows to Lakshmana:
“You have exhibited valor while fighting fearlessly with me, who have previously defeated the lord of death in combat without any difficulty. One who can even so much as stand before me, the rival of death eager for combat, is worthy of honor, what to speak of one who actually gives me battle. Even Indra mounted on his elephant Airavata and surrounded by all the immortals never previously stood before me on the battlefield. Pleased by Your acts of valor, O Lakshmana, even though you are but a boy, I dismiss you, for I wish to meet Rama. Although I am pleased with your valor, strength and enthusiasm in combat, yet I want to kill Rama in combat, for when He is killed, all others will also easily be killed. After slaying Rama here, I shall force the others to stay on the battlefield and I will attack them with my destructive army.”
Hearing these boasts, Lakshmana laughed and belittled the Rakshasa with the following words: “Your assertion that after acquiring prowess you have become unbearable for the gods headed by Indra is true. There is no other warrior like you. I myself have witnessed your valor today. Here stands Rama, the son of King Dasharatha, like an immovable mountain.” Passing by Lakshmana Kumbhakarna rushed toward Rama, causing the earth to tremble.
Using the mystic weapon presided over by Shiva; Rama shot pointed arrows into Kumbhakarna’s heart. When wounded by Rama, Kumbhakarna suddenly lunged toward Rama, as flames interspersed with sparks leapt from his mouth. Angry as he was, Kumbhakarna roared as he rushed forward, dispersing the monkeys on the battlefield. The arrows fitted with peacock feathers sunk into Kumbhakarna’s chest. Kumbhakarna let go of his mace, dropping it on the ground. All his other weapons were also scattered on the ground. When the Rakshasa realized that he was unarmed, he created great havoc with his fists and hands. Because his limbs were pierced with arrows, he was losing blood, like a mountain with gushing springs. In extreme exasperation, he ran about devouring monkeys, rakshasas and bears.
Seizing a mountain peak, the mighty Rakshasa hurled it at Rama. Using His bow, Rama split that mountain peak while it was yet flying through the air with seven straight-shooting arrows. Then the virtuous Rama burst the mountain peak with golden arrows. As that crag, which was shining like a peak of Mount Meru, fell down, two hundred monkeys were crushed. At that time, the righteous Lakshmana, who was thinking of different ways to kill Kumbhakarna, said to Rama: “O prince, madden by the smell of blood, this Rakshasa cannot distinguish between the monkeys and the rakshasas and is eating both his enemies and his own kind. Let the troop leaders and prominent monkeys climb up on him, clinging to him on all sides. Under their weight, this evil-minded Rakshasa will no longer be able to move about on the ground to kill the other monkeys.”
When the mighty monkeys heard this suggestion, they joyfully climbed on Kumbhakarna. Angered by their climbing him, he violently shook them off, as an unruly elephant might shake off her riders. Seeing this, and considering the Rakshasa enraged, Rama grabbed His bow and ran precipitously toward him. Rama eyes were so red that it looked as if you would burn His enemy to ashes by a mere glance. Rama dashed toward His enemy, bringing delight to all the monkey troop leaders, who were afflicted by Kumbhakarna’s strength. Carrying His strung bow, which resembled a serpent and was shining beautifully, Rama encouraged the monkeys and rushed off with an excellent quiver full of arrows slung over His shoulder. Surrounded by the monkey hordes who were most difficult to defeat and followed by Lakshmana, the valiant Rama proceeded head.
Rama saw the gigantic Kumbhakarna, who was wearing a crown. He was drenched with blood and had red eyes. Surrounded by rakshasas, he was looking for monkeys, pursuing them like a rabid elephant. Wearing golden armbands, he looked like the Vindhya or Mandara mountains. He was spitting blood from his mouth, like a high cloud pouring down rain. With his tongue he was licking the corners of his mouth, which were wet with blood. He was literally crushing the monkey army into the ground, like Yamaraja at the end of the age. Seeing that best of rakshasas, who was shining like a flame of fire, Rama stretched His bow. Enraged by the twang of Rama’s bow and unable to bear it, Kumbhakarna rushed toward Rama.
Then Rama, whose arms resembled the body of the celestial serpent Vasuki, spoke as follows to Kumbhakarna, who was rushing like a cloud driven by a wind: “Come on, O lord of rakshasas! Do not be despondent! I am standing here gripping my bow! Know me to be the destroy of the Rakshasa race. You will shortly be deprived of your life.” Understanding that He was Rama, Kumbhakarna laughed in an unusual manner and then rushed forward angrily, dispersing the monkeys on the battleground. Rending the hearts of all the monkey soldiers with his weird and eerie laughter that resounded like a thunder cloud, Kumbhakarna said to Rama: “I should not be considered like Viradha, Kabandha, Khara, Vali, or Mariicha. Kumbhakarna has come! See my huge dreaded mallet made of solid steel! With it I have previously conquered the gods and Danavas. You should not underestimate me because I have been deprived of my ears and nose. I do not feel the slightest pain from the loss of my ears and nose. Show your prowess on my limbs, O descendent of Ikshvaku! After seeing your manliness and prowess, I shall then devour you!”
When Rama heard Kumbhakarna’s boasting, He shot plumed arrows at him. Kumbhakarna was not disturbed or pained by the blow of those arrows which flew with the speed of lightning. The same arrows which cut through the seven sala trees and killed Vali did not cause any discomfort to Kumbhakarna’s body. Kumbhakarna’s body drank those arrows, as the earth would drink up showers of rain. Brandishing his club with impetuosity, he obstructed the onrush of Rama’s arrows. Waving with fearful speed his club, which terrified the great army of the gods, he repulsed the monkey army. Taking an arrow charged with the mystic weapon of Vayu, Rama shot it at the night-stalker, tearing off his arm holding the mace. When his arm was severed, he roared tumultuously. That severed arm with its mace fell on the monkey army, killing a battalion of soldiers.
The monkeys who had survived being crushed or killed, but had been squeezed and were therefore despondent, stood on the sidelines and watched that frightful encounter between Prince Rama and Kumbhakarna. With his arm severed by that weapon, he looked like a big mountain whose peaks had been cut off with a gigantic sword. Kumbhakarna then pulled up a Palmyra tree with his other arm and ran toward Rama. Firing an arrow adorned with gold and charmed with the weapon of Indra, Rama cut off Kumbhakarna’s upraised arm, which looked like a big snake. When severed, Kumbhakarna’s arm fell thrashing to the ground like a mountain, crushing trees, boulders, rocks, monkeys and rakshasas. Seeing that despite having both arms severed Kumbhakarna was rushing toward Him, Rama took two arrows with sharp crescent-shaped heads and cut off the rakshasas feet.
When the feet fell, they caused the directions, the intermediate directions, the mountains and their caves, the great ocean and the armies of monkeys and rakshasas to resound. Stretching open his mouth, which glowed like an underwater fire, the Rakshasa, though deprived of arms and legs, howled and rushed toward Rama, like an eclipse attacking the moon in the sky. Rama filled his mouth with golden-shafted sharp arrows having his mouth filled, he could not speak. Moaning with difficulty, he fainted. Then Rama took a sharp arrow fitted with fine feathers that shone like the sun. The arrow looked like Lord Brahma’s or Yamaraja’s rod of chastisement. It was destructive to enemies and as swift as the wind. It was charged with the mystic weapon of Lord Indra. Rama shoots that arrow, which was like a beautiful golden bolt of lightning and as brilliant as the blazing sun. That arrow as swift as Indra’s thunderbolt was directed at the night-stalker.
Lighting up the ten directions with its effulgence, the arrows discharged by Rama’s arm flew with great speed. It was frightening to see and resembled a smokeless fire. That arrow cut off Kumbhakarna’s head, which had rounded teeth and lovely swinging earrings, just as Indra previously cut off Vritrasura’s head. Kumbhakarna’s huge head with its earrings looked like the moon in the mid sky when the constellation Punarvasu has risen at the end of night. Severed by Rama’s arrow, the rakshasas head, which resembled a mountain, fell inside the city, destroying the houses and gateways along the royal highway, as well as the defense wall. As Kumbhakarna’s body toppled, millions of monkeys fled in all directions. The giant Rakshasa, who looked like a Himalaya mountain, then fell into the ocean. There it crushed big alligators, fish and sea serpents, and then entered into the earth.
When Kumbhakarna, the enemy of the Brahmanas and gods, was killed in combat, the earth and all the mountains shook and the gods raised a tumultuous shout of joy. Then the celestial sages, great sages, celestial serpents, gods, ghosts, birds, guhyakas, Yakshas, and Gandharvas were overjoyed by Rama’s prowess. Greatly pained by the slaughter of Kumbhakarna, Ravana’s relatives bellowed like elephants when they saw Rama. After killing Kumbhakarna in combat, Rama shone in the midst of the monkey army, like the sun when dispelling the darkness of the heavens after escaping from the mouth of an eclipse. Many jubilant monkeys with faces beaming like fully opened lotus flowers were honoring Lord Rama, who had fulfilled their desire by slaying a formidable enemy. Kumbhakarna, the crusher of the celestial armies, had never before been defeated in battle. Rama was therefore ecstatic after killing him, like Indra after defeating the great demon Vritra.
Thus completes 67th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate
Biggs, Robert. (2005). Yuddha-kanda – The Conquest of Lanka.
Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.
Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.
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