Lord Rama Kills Makaraksha

When the monkeys saw that Makaraksha had come out, they all jumped up at once in battle array, eager as they were to fight. Then there ensued a tremendous and hair-raising battle between the monkeys and rakshasas, like the one between the gods and Danavas. The monkeys and night-stalkers began crushing each other with trees and pikes, maces and clubs. The night-stalkers slaughtered the monkeys with their javelins, swords, maces, spears, lances, slings, nooses, mallets and sticks and shot arrows from everywhere. Wounded by Makaraksha’s arrows, all the monkeys became bewildered and frightened and ran away. When the rakshasas saw the forest-dwelling monkeys fleeing, they roared jubilantly.

While the monkeys were fleeing in all directions, Rama stopped the rakshasas with a shower of arrows. Seeing that the rakshasas had been stopped, Makaraksha was burning with rage and spoke the following words: “Wait, O Rama! You will have to fight with me! I shall deprive You of Your life with the sharp arrows shot from my bow! Since the time you killed my father in the Dandaka Forest, my wrath waxes when I think of your nefarious deeds. O wicked Rama, my limbs have been burning because I could not find you in the wilderness at that time. By good fortune I have found you here. I was searching for you, as a hungry lion tracks a lesser beast. By the force of my arrows you will this day go to the realm of the deceased and reside there with the warriors whom you killed. What is the use of talking so much about this? Listen, O Rama, to my words! Let everyone see you and me on the battlefield. Let the battle begin with weapons, clubs, arms or any other means with which you have practiced.”

Rama laughed when He heard Makaraksha’s challenge and replied in the following way as the Rakshasa continued speaking: “Why do you brag so vainly, O Rakshasa? You have said so many unbefitting things. Victory cannot be won on the battlefield by words but by fighting. I killed fourteen thousand rakshasas, including your father, Trishira and Duushana in the Dandaka Forest. Vultures, jackals and crows with sharp beaks and claws satisfied themselves with their flesh. Today they will do the same, O sinful wretch!”

When spoken to in this way by Rama, Makaraksha released volleys of arrows at Him. Rama, however, splintered those arrows with a shower of arrows. Thus Makaraksha’s golden arrows fell to the ground when splintered into thousands of pieces. When Makaraksha and Rama reached each other at close range, a strenuous fight took place. The sound of their hands on their bowstrings and of arrows being released resounded on the battlefield like two storm clouds in the sky. Gods, Danavas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and celestial Nagas gathered in the sky to watched that amazing conflict. Although they pierced each other’s limbs, their strength doubled. Each one injured the other in combat and then the other returned it in kind. The Rakshasa shattered the arrows which Rama shot, and Rama shattered the arrows which the Rakshasa shot. All the directions and intermediate directions were covered by arrows. The earth itself was complete covered everywhere and could not be seen.

Angry as He was, Rama split Makaraksha’s bow during the fight. Rama also pierced the charioteer with eight steel arrows. After spitting the chariot and killing the horses, Rama knocked them down. Deprived of his chariot, the night-stalker Makaraksha stood on the ground and grabbed his pike, which terrified all living beings and shone like the fire of destruction at the end of the age. Makaraksha furiously hurled the huge blazing pike at Rama. That dreadful pike had been given by Lord Rudra. It was difficult to grasp. It shone very brightly in the sky, like another weapon for universal destruction. Seeing it, all the gods were stricken with fear and fled in all directions. With four arrows, Rama split that flaming pike as it was flying in mid air. When struck by Rama’s arrows, the golden pike shattered into many pieces and disintegrated like a big meteor.

Seeing that pike destroyed by Rama, who never tired in action, the living beings in the sky shouted out: “Well done! Well done!” When the night-stalker Makaraksha saw that his pike was destroyed, he raised his fist and said to Rama: “Wait! Stay where You are!” Seeing Makaraksha advancing, Rama laughed and fitted an arrow with a mystic weapon of the fire-god on His bow. When struck by Rama’s weapon on the battlefield, the Rakshasa’s heart split open, then he fell down right there and died. All the rakshasas became stricken with fear of Rama’s arrows when they saw the slaughter of Makaraksha, and therefore fled back to Lanka. The gods were glad to see the son of Khara killed by the force of Rama’s arrows and who now resembled a mountain shattered by thunderbolts.

Thus completes 79th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate