Lakshmana Sent to Destroy the Sanctuary of Nikumbila

When the grief-stricken Rama heard what Vibhishana speak, He could not understand clearly what he said. Gathering up fortitude, Rama spoke to Vibhishana, who was seated in the midst of the monkeys: “O lord of the rakshasas, I wish to hear what you said one more time. Tell Me what you were trying to say.” Hearing Rama’s request, Vibhishana, who was a skilled speaker, repeated that same statement:

“As commanded by you the garrisons have been mobilized. All the troops have been divided up and positioned all about and the troop leaders have been placed according to their ranks. Listen to what remains to be done, O mighty lord. When you are afflicted without any reason, we also feel pained at heart. Give up this grief and agony which are baseless. This anxiety should be given up because it delights the enemy. Let an effort be made and enthusiasm enkindled if Sita is to be gained and the night-stalkers killed.

“Listen carefully to the good advice which I am going to give. Surrounded by a large army, Lakshmana should go to the sanctuary of Nikumbila to kill Indrajit in combat by shooting sharp arrows like venomous serpents from His fully stretched bow. As a result of austerities, Indrajit received as a boon from Lord Brahma a mystic weapon called Brahmashira, as well as a chariot with horses that travel as he wishes. He has probably already reached the shrine of Nikumbila with his army. As soon as he completes that sacrifice, know us all as dead. Lord Brahma has given the Rakshasa a boon in which his death has been ordained: ‘O Indrajit, that enemy who strikes you before you reach the shrine of Nikumbila, before you complete the sacrifice, or while you are stretching your bow will kill you.’ Therefore command Lakshmana to slay Indrajit. When he has been slain, you may know that Ravana and all his supporters are dead.”

Hearing Vibhishana’s advice, Rama replied: “I know the illusory magic of that fearsome Rakshasa. The clever fellow knows how to deploy the Brahmastra weapon and is a great sorcerer. He once rendered all the gods headed by Varuna unconscious in battle. When he travels in the sky in his chariot, his movement cannot be detected anymore than the sun hidden behind clouds.” Recognizing the magical power of the wicked Rakshasa, Rama spoke the following words to the glorious Lakshmana: “Surrounded by all of Sugreeva’s army, accompanied by monkey troop leaders such as Hanuman and Jambavan, the lord of the bears, kill that powerful sorcerer Indrajit, who is a son of Ravana! The great night-stalker Vibhishana, who is familiar which Indrajit’s tricks, will follow you with his ministers.”

When Lakshmana heard Rama’s instructions, He grabbed another fine bow. Touching Rama’s feet, Lakshmana, who was clad in armor and equipped with a sword and arrows, and a bow in His left hand, spoke the following words: “Today the arrows shot from My bow will land in Lanka like swans landing on a lotus pond. When released from my bow, the arrows will pierce him and kill him.” After saying this before His brother, the effulgent Lakshmana quickly departed because of His eagerness to kill Indrajit. After bowing before His brother’s feet and circumambulating around Him clockwise, Lakshmana headed for the sanctuary of Nikumbila protected by Indrajit. Blessed with prayers for success by His older brother Rama, Prince Lakshmana hurried off with Vibhishana.

Hanuman with many thousands of monkeys and Vibhishana with his ministers hurried after Lakshmana. Being quickly followed by a large army, Lakshmana saw Jambavan’s army stationed along the way. After traveling a long distance, Lakshmana saw Ravana’s army from a distance set up in battle array. Reaching the shrine of Nikumbila, Lakshmana stood with bow in hand to defeat the sorcerer Indrajit as per Lord Brahma’s benediction. Accompanied by Vibhishana, the valiant Angada and Hanuman, Lakshmana entered the enemy army, which was sparkling with spotless weapons, crowded with flags and big chariots and most frightening and of unequalled impetuosity, as one would enter darkness.

Thus completes 85th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate