Rama Kills Ravana

Matali then reminded Rama of the following: “Why are you acting like Ravana, as if you did not know what to do? Deploy the Brahmastra weapon to kill him, O lord! The time for his destruction which was foretold by the gods has now arrived.” After being reminded by these words of Matali, Rama grabbed a blazing arrow that hissed like a snake.

The blessed sage Agastya had given Rama that huge and formidable arrow received from Lord Brahma which never missed its target. Lord Brahma, whose strength was immeasurable, had fashioned it in the past for Lord Indra, who was eager to conquer the three worlds. The wind-god presided over its feathers, the fire-god and sun-god over its head. Its shaft consisted of space and Mount Mandara and Mount Meru presided over its weight. Fitted with beautiful feathers and adorned with gold, its body shone very brightly. It had been created from the splendor of all the elements and was as brilliant as the sun. It resembled the smoky fire of universal devastation and was like a blazing venomous serpent. It could quickly pierce crowds of men, elephants and horses or shatter gates, iron bars or mountain peaks. Smeared with the blood and fat of its many victims, it looked very ghastly. It was as hard as a thunderbolt and extremely noisy. It could disperse all kinds of armies. It was daunting, terrifying everyone. It hissed like a snake. That dire arrow was like death personified in battle and always provided food to the buzzards, vultures, cranes, jackals and rakshasas. It was a source of delight for the monkey chieftains and the scourge of the rakshasas. It was fitted with various pretty eagle feathers.

After charging that tremendous arrow with a mystic hymn in accordance with the regulations laid out in the Vedas, the mighty Rama placed it on His bow. It could destroy the fear of all the worlds, as well as of the Ikshvaku Dynasty. It took away the glory of enemies and was delightful to oneself. While Rama was fitting that paramount arrow to His bow, all living beings became frightened and the earth trembled. Angry as He was and enthusiastic, Rama drew His bow all the way back and shot that arrow capable of piercing vital parts at Ravana. As difficult to repulse as the thunderbolt thrown by Indra and as incapable of warding off as death itself, Rama shot it at Ravana’s breast.

As soon as that dynamic arrow, which could put an end to a body, was shot, it pierced the heart of the wicked Ravana. Taking Ravana’s life away with its impact, the blood-stained arrow entered the earth. Soaked with blood from having killed Ravana, that arrow reentered Rama’s quiver like a servant who had finished his task. As Ravana was being deprived of his life airs, his bow and arrow fell from his hands. When Ravana died, the splendorous Nairriti, the deity presiding over the southwest and protector of the rakshasas, fell off of his chariot onto the ground, as Vritra did when killed by Indra’s thunderbolt. Seeing Ravana fallen on the ground, the surviving night-stalkers became frightened without their lord and fled in all directions. Armed with trees, the monkeys roared as they fell upon the rakshasas. Having seen Ravana killed, the monkeys felt very triumphant. Tormented by the jubilant monkeys, the rakshasas fled out of fear back to Lanka. Because their protector had departed, their pitiful faces were streaming with tears. Overjoyed and exultant, the monkeys shouted out very loudly, proclaiming the victory of Rama and the death of Ravana.

At that time, the happy sound of drums being beaten by the residents of the heavenly planets filled the sky. A pleasant breeze carrying celestial fragrances blew there. A fascinating shower of rare flowers fell from the heavens to the earth, sprinkling down on Rama’s chariot. In the heavens could be heard the distinct words: “Well done! Well done!” combined with praises of Rama uttered by the majestic gods. Now that the monstrous Ravana, the terror of all the worlds, had been killed, the gods along with the caranas became extremely overjoyed. Glad to have killed that foremost of rakshasas, Rama then fulfilled the wishes of Sugreeva, Angada and Vibhishana. Thereafter the hosts of gods became peaceful, the directions—clear, the sky—spotless. The earth ceased shaking, the wind began blowing and the sun shone steadily. Gathering together, Sugreeva, Angada, Vibhishana and Lakshmana too, along with all their friends, were thrilled by Rama’s victory and offered him the customary respect on that battlefield. Having killed His enemy and fulfilled His vow, Rama stood on the battlefield surrounded by His people and army. Rama, the source of delight for the kings of the Raghu Dynasty, resembled illustrious Indra surrounded by the hosts of celestials.

Thus completes 108th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate