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Chapter 76: Death of Kampana, Prajangha, Yupaksha, and Kumbha
Death of Kampana, Prajangha, Yupaksha, and Kumbha
As that chaotic massacre of warriors raged on, the battle-eager Angada assaulted the valiant Kampana. Challenging Angada, Kampana first violently struck him out of anger with a club so that Angada staggered. Regaining consciousness, Angada hurled a mountain peak. Wounded by the blow, Kampana fell dead on the ground. Seeing Kampana slain in combat, Shonitaaksha fearlessly sped in his chariot toward Angada. He quickly struck Angada with sharp arrows like the fire of universal destruction, slashing his body. The mighty Angada’s body was pierced by arrows with heads that were shaped like straight-edge razors, crescents, the teeth of calves, the feathers of buzzards, double-sided ears, long blades and the leaves of the Karaviira tree. The valorous Angada then forcefully crushed Kampana’s chariot, dreadful bow and arrows.
Shonitaaksha then immediately picked up his sword and shield. Nimble as he was, he jumped down from the chariot without hesitation. Jumping forward quickly, Angada grabbed hold of him, wrested the sword from his hand and roared. Angada then dug the sword into Kampana’s left shoulder and cut him diagonally, like a sacred thread. Holding that big sword and roaring loudly again and again, Angada ran toward the other enemies on the front line of battle. Accompanied by Prajangha, Yupaksha then angrily drove his chariot toward the mighty Angada. Recovering from his injury, Shonitaaksha grabbed an iron mace and ran after Angada from behind. Accompanied by Yupaksha, Prajangha furiously rushed upon Angada. Situated between those two warriors—Shonitaaksha and Prajangha—Angada looked like the full moon between the two stars of the Vishakha asterism. In order to protect Angada, Mainda and Dvivida took up positions at Angada’s sides to display their prowess. Wielding swords, arrows and maces, giant rakshasas furiously assaulted the monkeys from all sides.
The three monkey leaders engaged in a hair-raising conflict with the stalwart rakshasas. Taking trees, the monkeys continuously hurled them during the fight. The mighty Prajangha cut those trees to pieces with his sword. As the fight raged on, the monkeys hurled trees and boulders at the chariots and horses. Yupaksha counteracted them with volleys of arrows. The valiant Shonitaaksha smashed the trees hurled by Mainda and Dvivida in mid flight with his mace. Raising his huge sword which could cut vital parts of the enemy, Prajangha hurriedly rushed toward Angada. Seeing that he had come, the exceedingly strong Angada hit him with an Ashwakarna tree. He then struck his fist on Prajangha’s arm holding a sword. Under the impact of the blow, Prajangha fell on the ground.
When Prajangha saw that his sword, which resembled a club in shape, had fallen on the ground, he clenched his fist, which was like a thunderbolt. Shonitaaksha hit Angada in the forehead, and the latter staggered for a while. Regaining consciousness, the spirited Angada swung his fist and knocked Prajangha’s head off his body. With his eyes filled with tears to see his uncle slain in battle, Yupaksha quickly got down from his chariot and grabbed a sword because his arrows were exhausted. When Dvivida saw Yupaksha fast approaching, he punched him in the chest angrily and caught him forcefully. Seeing his brother captured, Shonitaaksha struck Dvivida in the chest with his club. The mighty Dvivida reeled when struck in that way. However, when Shonitaaksha again raised his club, Dvivida took it away.
In the meantime, Mainda came to Dvivida and whacked Yupaksha in the chest with his hand. The adroit Shonitaaksha and Yupaksha both gave battle to the two monkeys with violent pulling and shoving. Dvivida slashed Shonitaaksha’s face with his claws, and threw him on the ground. The enraged Mainda squeezed Yupaksha in his arms until the latter fell down dead on the ground. Distressed by the slaughter of his principal warriors, the Rakshasa army turned toward where Kumbha was. As that army approached with haste, Kumbha reassured it. Seeing the Rakshasa army whose great warriors had fallen, and taking advantage of an opportunity, the energetic Kumbha performed a deed difficult to accomplish on the battleground. Seizing his bow, that best of archers with full concentrate released arrows like poisonous snakes that tore the flesh of their targets. When fitted with an arrow, that bow shone beautifully like a second bow of Indra illuminated by the brightness of lightning and the elephant Airavata. Pulling a golden-shafted arrow all the way back to his ear, he hit Dvivida with it. When suddenly struck by that arrow, Dvivida fainted, fell over and trembled with his legs spread.
Seeing his brother defeated in that fight, Mainda grabbed a huge boulder and charged with haste. Mainda hurled the boulder at the Rakshasa. Kumbha, however, shattered it with five sharpened arrows. Fitting another arrow with a fine head, the mighty Kumbha struck the Mainda in the chest. Struck in a vital area by that arrow, Mainda fainted and fell on the ground. When Angada saw that his two powerful uncles had been wasted, Angada rushed head long toward Kumbha, who was standing with his bow raised. Kumbha pierced Angada with five steel arrows as he was approaching, and with three other sharp arrows, as one would torment and elephant with a goad. The valorous Kumbha pierced Angada with many arrows.
Although thorough pierced by sharp steel arrows plated with gold, Angada did not waver. It is said that he showered rocks and trees on Kumbha’s head. Kumbha again tore them all to pieces. Seeing Angada approaching, Kumbha pierced him in the brow with two arrows, as one would torment an elephant with firebrands. The blood flowing from Angada’s eyebrows covered his eyes. Using one hand to keep the blood out of his eyes, Angada used the other to grab a sala tree. Pressing it to his chest with one hand, he bent it slightly with its branches and broke it. As all the rakshasas were watching, he threw it violently, so that it resembled Lord Indra’s banner. Kumbha demolished it with seven sharp body-piercing arrows.
Seeing the great fighter Angada fallen and sinking into an ocean of despondency, the monkey reported the matter to Lord Rama. Hearing that Vali’s son was overwhelmed in combat, Rama sent stalwart monkeys headed by Jambavan to rescue him. As soon as they heard Rama’s command, those tigers among monkeys furiously rushed toward Kumbha, who stood there with his bow raised. Eager to protect Angada, they rushed forward with trees and boulders in their hands and eyes red with rage. Infuriated, Jambavan, Sushena and Vegadarshi charged upon the valorous son of Kumbhakarna.
Seeing those monkey leaders approaching, Kumbha stopped them with a volley of arrows, as one might obstruct a gush of water with a rock. When they came into the path of Kumbha’s arrows, they were unable to approach him, as the ocean does not overflow its shore. When Sugreeva saw the monkey hordes afflicted by showers of arrows, he placed his nephew Angada in the rear and rushed upon Kumbha on the field of battle, as an impetuous lion would pounce on an elephant wander on a mountain slope.
Pulling up many different kinds of huge trees, that gigantic monkey hurled them at the Rakshasa. With his sharp arrows, that glorious son of Kumbhakarna splintered that shower of trees, which covered the sky. Covered with sharp arrows shot by the sharpshooter Kumbha, those trees looked like the spiked balls on the ends of a cat-’o-nine-tails. Sugreeva was not at all disturbed to see that shower of trees shattered by Kumbha. As he endured the striking of arrows, Sugreeva snatched away Kumbha’s bow, which shone like a rainbow. Quickly jumping down from the chariot after performing a difficult task, Sugreeva angrily said to Kumbha, who was now like an elephant with broken tusks:
“O Kumbha, the prowess which propels your arrows is amazing! You possess dedication and power, as does Ravana. You are just like Prahlada, Bali, Indra, Kuvera and Varuna. You alone have taken after your father, who was most powerful. You are the strong-armed crusher of enemies holding a pike whom the gods cannot overcome, any more than the sense can a self-controlled person. Exhibit your prowess, O wise one, and see my actions! Your uncle is able to withstand the gods and Danavas because of a boon, while Kumbhakarna was able to do so by his own prowess. You are equal to Indra in archery skill and equal to Ravana in might. As far as strength and valor, you are the greatest of rakshasas in the world at this time. Let all living beings witness an amazing skirmish with me, as Indra did with the demon Shambara. Skilled as you are in the use of weapons, you have performed unmatched deeds, felling monkey warriors who possess fierce prowess. I have not killed you for fear of reproach, for I see that you are exhausted from exerting yourself. Go rest! Then you will see my strength.”
Kumbha felt flattered by Sugreeva’s words that were also full of disdain. Therefore his ardor increased, like a fire fed oblations of clarified butter. Kumbha then grabbed both of Sugreeva’s arms. With their arms entangled, they heaved heavy sighs again and again like two maddened elephants. They rubbed against each other, spewing flames with smoke from their mouths due to exhaustion. The earth sank under the stamping of their feet and the ocean with its rolling waves shook.
Sugreeva then lifted Kumbha up and violently threw him into the ocean, showing him its bottom. Because of Kumbha’s fall, there arose a mass of water as high as the Vindhya or Mandara mountains which spread all around. Kumbha jumped up, threw Sugreeva down and angrily punched him in the chest with his fist, which was as hard as a thunderbolt. Sugreeva’s armor bust open and blood flowed out. The Rakshasa’s fist had violently struck against the bone cage of Sugreeva’s chest. Due to the impact of that punch, there shot forth a flame like the fire that shoots up from Mount Meru.
After being struck in the chest by Kumbha, the mighty Sugreeva clenched his fist, which was as hard as a thunderbolt. Sugreeva thrust his fist, which shone like the solar orb with thousands of rays, into Kumbha’s chest. Greatly afflicted by that blow, Kumbha became bewildered and collapsed like a fire whose flames had vanished. When struck by Sugreeva’s fist, the Rakshasa fell down like the red planet Mars falling out of the sky by the will of providence. As Kumbha’s body was falling, he resembled the form of the sun-god when overpowered by Lord Rudra. After Kumbha was killed in a duel with Sugreeva, the earth shook with its mountains and forests and the rakshasas became extremely frightened.
Thus completes 76th 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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