Ravana was beside himself with rage when he heard about the slaughter of Nikumbha and Kumbha and flared up like a fire. He thereafter commanded Makaraksha, the broad-eyed son of Khara, as follows: “Go accompanied by an army under my order, my son, and kill Rama, Lakshmana and those monkeys!” When the night-stalker Makaraksha, who considered himself heroic, heard Ravana’s order, he agreed. Bidding Ravana farewell and circumambulated clockwise around him, the mighty warrior left the brilliant palace in compliance with the command. Makaraksha said to the commander-in-chief, who was nearby: “Have my chariot brought here right away and quickly mobilize the army!” Hearing this order, the commander-in-chief placed the chariot and army before Makaraksha.
Circumambulating clockwise around the chariot and mounting it, the night-stalker urged the charioteer as follows: “Quickly drive the chariot!” Makaraksha then commanded all those rakshasas: “All of you rakshasas should proceed before me, fighting fiercely! I have been commanded by Ravana, the king of the rakshasas, to kill Rama and Lakshmana in combat. Today I shall kill Rama and Lakshmana, along with Sugreeva and the monkeys, with my arrows, O night-stalkers! As soon as the monkey army arrives, I shall destroy it by hurling pikes, as a fire would consume dry wood.” The rakshasas were overjoyed to hear Makaraksha’s boasts. The sober night-stalkers bearing weapons could change their form at will. They were cruel and fearsome. They had big fangs, yellowish eyes and disheveled hair. They were bellowing like elephants. The gigantic rakshasas surrounded Makaraksha as they sallied forth, causing the earth to tremble.
There then arose a great tumult from thousands of conch shells and drums being sounded on all sides accompanied by lion-like roars and slapping of arms. At that moment the long whip fell from the hand of Makaraksha’s charioteer and his flag suddenly fell down by providence. The horses hitched to the chariot lost their spirit, proceeding dolefully with faltering steps and tears in their eyes. As the grim and wicked Makaraksha was departing, a very violent wind began to blow. Although they saw these ill omens, the rakshasas, who were most valiant, ignored them and proceeded towards that place where Rama and Lakshmana were. Those night-stalkers had the complexion of clouds, elephants and buffaloes and had been wounded many times on the front line of battle by maces and swords. Skilled in war as they were, they moved about exclaiming: “I shall kill them!” “No, I shall kill them!”
Thus completes 78th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate