Kumbhakarna Sallies Forth to Fight

After Mahodara finished speaking, Kumbhakarna rebuked him and then said to his brother Ravana: “As I am, I shall indeed eliminate your terrible fear by killing that wicked Rama. Free from enemies, you will be happy. Warriors do not roar in vain, like clouds that do not give rain. Just see how I shall roar on the battlefield. Warriors do not seek to glorify themselves, yet they perform difficult tasks without displaying them. O Mahodara, your advice would always appeal to members of the ruling caste who are cowards, less intelligent and who consider themselves wise, even as you spoke it. All activities have always been ruined by people like you who are unmanly in combat, yet speaking sweetly as you follow the king. Only the king is left in Lanka, whose treasury is depleted and whose army is destroyed. Enemies disguised as friends have approached the king. Now I sally forth into the battlefield to conquer the enemy, thereby correcting the unwise action you have committed.”

Laughing, Ravana replied to Kumbhakarna as follows: “This Mahodara is undoubtedly very afraid of Rama. Surely he does not like war, my dear younger brother. There is no one equal to you in friendship and strength. O Kumbhakarna, sally forth for victory and the destruction of the enemy! I woke you from your sleep for the destruction of my enemies, for this is a very important time for the rakshasas, O crusher of foes. Taking a spear, go like death personified with a noose in your hand. Devour the monkeys and the two princes as bright as the sun. Just by seeing your form the monkeys will flee and Rama’s and Lakshmana’s hearts will shatter.”

After talking to Kumbhakarna in this way, the mighty Ravana felt rejuvenated. Aware of Kumbhakarna’s power and knowing his prowess, the king beamed with delight, like a spotless moon. Kumbhakarna thereafter joyfully sallied forth. Having received these instructions from the king, he was ready to fight. Kumbhakarna hastily grabbed a sharp solid steel spear that was decorated with smelted gold. It was just like Indra’s thunderbolt, and just as heavy, and was capable of destroying the gods, Danavas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Nagas. From it hung a garland of red flowers. It was very shiny and was emitting flames by itself.

Taking that long spear stained with the blood of enemies, Kumbhakarna spoke as follows to Ravana: “I shall go alone. Let my army stay here. Being hungry and irritated, I shall now devour the monkeys.” When Ravana heard this, he said: “Go with soldiers armed with spears and clubs, for the monkey warriors are huge and determined. They will destroy with their teeth anyone who is alone or distracted. Therefore go with a battalion of soldiers. Being in that way difficult to defeat, destroy all the enemies who are antagonistic to the rakshasas.”

Getting up from his throne, Ravana placed around Kumbhakarna’s neck a gold necklace inlaid with gems. He also adorned Kumbhakarna with armbands, rings, valuable jewelry and a pearl necklace that shone like the moon. He placed shimmering, fragrant flower garlands on Kumbhakarna, and fixed a pair of swinging earrings on his ears. Adorned with gold armbands, bracelets and chokers, Kumbhakarna, who had large ears, looked like a sacrificial fire being fed oblations of clarified butter. Wearing a dark-blue waist sash, he looked like Mount Mandara surrounded by Vasuki at the time when nectar was churned from the ocean of milk. Kumbhakarna donned a suit of armor that was impenetrable and capable of withstanding heavy blows. It was as bright as lightning and shoe with its own splendor. In that way he looked like the Western Mountain covered by evening clouds. With all his limbs decorated and spear in hand, the Rakshasa looked like Lord Narayana ready to span the world with three steps.

Kumbhakarna embraced his brother Ravana and then circumambulated him. After bowing his head to him, he departed. Ravana dispatched him with blessings for success and praise. Kumbhakarna departed to the sound of conch shells and drums, and was accompanied by well-armed soldiers. Tall warriors riding elephants, horses and chariots rumbling like clouds followed that best of fighters. Accompanying the mighty Kumbhakarna, other rakshasas rode serpents, camels, asses, lions, elephants, deer and birds. As that enemy of the gods and demons was leaving, he was showered with flowers. A parasol was held over his head. He was carrying a sharp spear in his hand. He was excited by liquor and maddened by the smell of blood. Many strong foot soldiers with fearsome eyes were following with weapons in their hands as they roared. They had red eyes and were many arm spans tall. They looked just like piles of collyrium. They were carrying spears, swords, sharp axes, hand javelins, iron bars, clubs, maces, huge trunks of tala trees and unbearable slings.

Taking on another dreadful appearance that was frightening to see, the mighty and vigorous Kumbhakarna rushed forward. Kumbhakarna was one hundred bows wide and six hundred bows tall. He was fierce, with eyes as big as cart wheels. He was mountainous in size and looked like a burnt mountain. His mouth was huge. Having arranged the rakshasas in battle array, he laughingly said: “Enraged as I am, I shall now systematically consume the monkey troops and their leaders, just as a fire would a moth. The forest-dwelling monkeys have surely never offended me before. Their species has been a decoration for the city gardens for people like us. However, Rama, along with Lakshmana, is the reason the city is under siege. When He is killed, then the rest will also be killed. Therefore I shall slay Him on the battleground.”

As Kumbhakarna was speaking in this way, the rakshasas raised an extremely frightful uproar, causing the ocean to apparently tremble. As Kumbhakarna rushed forward, fearful omens appeared on all sides. Clouds the color of asses appeared accompanied by falling stars and lightning bolts. And the earth along with its oceans and forests shook. Hideous she-jackals were howling with mouths filled with flames and birds were circling counter-clockwise overhead. A vulture actually landed on the end of his spear as he was walking along the road. His left eye twitched and his left arm quivered. A flaming meteor then fell with an alarming crash. The sun also lost its brilliance and no pleasant breezes blew.

Unperturbed by the ominous hair-raising omens, Kumbhakarna sallied forth, propelled as he was by the force of destiny. After crossing the defense wall by stepping over it, the mountainous Rakshasa surveyed the amazing monkey army, which looked like a mass of clouds. When the monkeys saw that best of rakshasas, who looked like a mountain, they fled in all directions, like clouds scattered by the wind. Seeing the monkey army dispersing like a mass of clouds, Kumbhakarna repeatedly roared like a thundering cloud. As soon as the monkeys heard that terrible roaring, which sounded like thunder in the sky, they fell on the ground like Shaala trees cut down at their roots. Wielding a large iron bar, Kumbhakarna proceeded forward, frightening the monkey hordes, like Lord Shiva bearing his rod of chastisement at the end of the world.

Thus completes 65th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate