Lakshmana Rendered Unconscious by Ravana

When Ravana’s weapon was counteracted by Rama, the lord of the rakshasas became twice as angry. The splendorous Ravana then aimed at Rama another mystic weapon which was presided over by Lord Rudra and produced by Maya Daanava. From Ravana’s bow shot forth various kinds of weapons, such as flaming pikes, maces, clubs hard as thunderbolts, mallets, deceptive nooses and blazing thunderbolts. These flew like the wind that blows at the end of the age. The glorious Rama, knowing the deployment of the best weapons, counteracted that mystic weapon with that of the gandharvas.

After the great soul Rama had counteracted that weapon, Ravana, his eyes red as copper due to anger, employed the weapon of the sun-god. Then huge discuses as brilliant as the sun came out of Ravana’s bow. As they rose up and fell down on all sides, they illuminated the sky like the sun, moon and planets. Rama, however, shattered those discuses and other strange weapons on the frontline of battle with His volleys of arrows. Seeing that weapon counteracted, Ravana pierced Rama with ten arrows in all His vital areas. The magnificent Rama did not shudder even though He had been pierced by ten arrows shot from Ravana’s mighty bow. Enraged by this Rama, who was always victorious, pierced all of Ravana’s limbs with many arrows.

In the meantime, Lakshmana, the destroyer of enemy warriors, became very angry and seized seven arrows. With those arrows, which were very swift and powerful, He tore to pieces Ravana’s flag, which bore the image of a man’s head. With a single arrow, Lakshmana cut off the head adorned with sparkling earrings of Ravana’s charioteer. With five sharpened arrows, Lakshmana splintered Ravana’s bow, which resembled the trunk of an elephant. Jumping forward, Vibhishana too struck down with a mace Ravana’s horses, which were the color of clouds and as big as mountains.

Quickly jumping down from the large chariot when the horses were killed, Ravana then raged severely against his younger brother. Ravana thereupon hurled at Vibhishana a large flaming spear that was just like a thunderbolt. With three arrows Lakshmana destroyed it even before it reached Vibhishana. A loud cheer rose up at that time from among the monkeys. Split into three pieces, the spear plated with gold fell down like a huge meteor spewing sparks from the heavens. Ravana then grabbed a big resplendent spear that was difficult to contend with even for death personified. Brandished savagely by the mighty and wicked Ravana, that spear glowed very brightly.

Meanwhile, the valiant Lakshmana quickly came to Vibhishana, whose life was in danger. Stretching His bow, the valorous Lakshmana literally covered Ravana with volleys of arrows. When covered with the shower of Lakshmana’s arrows, Ravana’s prowess faltered and he did not feel like attacking. When Ravana saw his brother rescued by Lakshmana, he turned toward Lakshmana and said: “Because you saved the rakshasa Vibhishana, I am hurling this spear at You, proud as You are of Your strength! When propelled by my bludgeon-like arm, this spear will split Your heart and leave after taking away Your life!”

After saying this, Ravana hurled that spear at Lakshmana and roared. The spear was adorned with eight bells and made a loud sound. It was made by Maya Daanava with magical power and was capable of destroying the enemy. It was glowing with splendor. Flung with terrible impetuosity and making a sound like a clap of thunder, the spear flew toward Lakshmana on the frontline of battle. As the weapon approached Lakshmana, Rama addressed it, saying: “Good luck to Lakshmana! May your attempt to kill Lakshmana be futile!” Thrown by the angry Ravana, that spear, which was like a poisonous snake, struck against Lakshmana’s chest as He stood there fearlessly. Flying with great speed like the tongue of the serpent Vasuki, the brilliant spear struck Lakshmana in His broad chest. Having been hurled with great force by Ravana, the spear dug deeply into Lakshmana, knocking Him on the ground.

Seeing Lakshmana in that condition, Rama, who was standing nearby, became despondent because of brotherly affection, even though He was Himself very powerful. Reflecting for a while, Rama’s eyes welled with tears and He became as furious as the fire at the end of the world. Realizing that it was not the time to be despondent and gazing at Lakshmana, Rama initiated a most tumultuous battle with great endeavor, having resolved to killed Ravana.

Then Rama saw Lakshmana pierced by the spear on the battlefield and drenched with blood, resembling a mountain with a snake entering it. The monkeys were unable to extract the spear because it had been thrown with such force and because they were being tormented by the arrows Ravana was shooting. The spear had passed through Lakshmana and into the earth. Seething with anger, Rama pulled out the perilous spear and broke it. As Rama was pulling out that spear, Ravana shot arrows piercing the vital areas on all of Rama’s limbs. Unperturbed by those arrows, Rama embraced Lakshmana and spoke to Hanuman and Sugreeva:

“Continue surrounding Lakshmana, O best of monkeys! The time long sought by Me to manifest My prowess has come. Let me kill this sinful ten-headed rakshasa. I desire that, as the cataka bird desires to see rain clouds at the end of the hot season. I declare this vow to you all this very moment: the world will soon be rid of Ravana or Rama. I lost My kingdom, was banished to the forest, wandered in the wilderness of Dandakaranya and suffered the insult of Sita being abducted by rakshasas. The sorrow and affliction which I have endured is like hell. By killing Ravana in an encounter I shall dispose of all that today.

“That sinful rakshasa on whose account I brought this monkey army here, installed Sugreeva as king after slaying Vali and had a bridge built to cross the ocean has come within the range of My eye sight on this battlefield. After wandered within my sight, he does not deserve to live. Having crossed the path of my eyes, Ravana cannot survive any more than could one entering the sight of a snake whose mere glance is poisonous, or a snake spotted by Garuda. Sitting comfortably on mountain peaks, O monkeys, watch the struggle between myself and Ravana. Let all the three worlds, the gandharvas, gods, sages and caranas witness the greatness of Rama in the course of this combat. I shall today accomplish a feat which this world of mobile and immobile beings and even gods will discuss, including how the battle progressed, as long as the earth can support life.”

After saying this, Rama steadily struck Ravana with sharp gilded arrows on the field of battle. Ravana likewise showered Rama with blazing steel arrows and clubs, as a cloud would shower down torrents of rain on a mountain. As the excellent arrows shot by Rama and Ravana struck each other, they created a tumultuous noise. Shattered into pieces, Rama’s and Ravana’s blazing arrows fell from the sky to the earth’s surface. The constant loud twang of Rama‘s and Ravana’s bowstrings was amazing and terrified all living beings. Being covered all over with arrows and tormented by Rama, Ravana fled out of fear, like a cloud propelled by a storm gale, as Rama approached him.

Thus completes 100th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate