Lakshmana Slays Indrajit

Standing on the ground because his horses had been killed, the angry Indrajit was burning with rancor. Eager to defeat each other, the two archers assailed each other with numerous arrows, like two wild bull elephants. Monkeys and rakshasas kept running here and there killing each other, without forsaking their master in combat. Gladdening all the rakshasas and praising them, Indrajit spoke the following words: “All directions are covered by thick darkness. Therefore it cannot be ascertained who is one’s own and who is an enemy. Fight with determination to bewilder the monkeys. I shall return to the battlefield on my chariot. Meanwhile, arrange things so that the monkeys do not attack me when I am entering the city.”

Afterwards, Indrajit eluded the monkeys and entered the city of Lanka in order to get himself another chariot. Indrajit had them prepared a beautiful chariot adorned with gold and supplied with spears, swords and arrows. It was hitched with excellent steeds and had a driver who knew the ways of horses and was a worthy advisor. Indrajit, who was always victorious in battle, then mounted the chariot. Surrounded by hordes of outstanding rakshasas, Indrajit, the son of Mandodari, sallied forth from the city, impelled by the force of destiny. Rushing out of the city in a bustle, he approached Lakshmana and Vibhishana in his chariot drawn by swift horses.

When Lakshmana, Vibhishana and the monkeys saw Indrajit riding a chariot, they were highly amazed at the latter’s agility. Infuriated, Indrajit struck down hundreds and thousands of monkey troop leaders on the battleground with volleys of arrows. Stretching his bow back until it formed a circle, Indrajit exhibited extreme agility in slaughtering the monkeys. As they were being slaughtered by Indrajit’s steel arrows, the monkeys sought the shelter of Lakshmana, as living entities seek the shelter of Lord Brahma. Blazing with anger because of the battle, Lakshmana displayed His dexterity by splitting Indrajit’s bow. Seizing another bow, Indrajit hastily strung it. Lakshmana also split that bow with three arrows.

With five deadly arrows like poisonous snakes, Lakshmana pierced Indrajit’s bosom. Passing through Indrajit’s body, those arrows shot from Lakshmana’s huge bow hit the ground like big red snakes. Vomiting blood from his mouth, Indrajit grabbed another fine bow, which was stronger than the others and had a sturdy string. Aiming at Lakshmana, Indrajit showered him with arrows with the utmost agility, as Lord Indra showers down rain. Undisturbed, Lakshmana blocked that difficult shower of arrows released by Indrajit. The calm Lakshmana then displayed to Indrajit His great prowess, which was indeed amazing.

Being highly enraged, Lakshmana pierced all the rakshasas on the battlefield with three arrows each, exhibiting His fleetness with weapons, and struck Indrajit with volleys of arrows. Though seriously wounded by his mighty enemy, Indrajit speedily shot many arrows at Lakshmana. The righteous Lakshmana shattered those arrows before they arrived with His own sharp arrows, and with a broad-tipped arrow He severed the head of Indrajit’s charioteer. Deprived of his charioteer, the horses continued drawing the chariot without becoming bewildered, and ran in circles as they approached. That was really amazing. Overwhelmed with intolerance, Lakshmana pierced Indrajit’s horses with arrows, thus terrifying them on the battlefield. Unable to bear this deed, Indrajit pierced the incensed Lakshmana with ten arrows.

Those arrows, which were just like thunderbolts, broke when they hit against Lakshmana’s golden armor. Thinking that Lakshmana’s armor was impenetrable, the furious Indrajit exhibited his agility by shooting Him in the forehead with three arrows decked with fine plumes.   With His forehead pierced by those three arrows, Lakshmana looked like a mountain with three peaks. Although wounded by the Rakshasa, Lakshmana immediately pierced Indrajit’s face adorned with sparkling earrings with five arrows. The two warriors, Lakshmana and Indrajit, who were both armed with big powerful bows, struck each other with arrows.

Drenched with blood, Lakshmana and Indrajit shone on the battlefield like two blossoming Kimshuka trees. When they met each other, set as their minds were on victory, they pierced their limbs with dreadful arrows. Enraged by the conflict, Indrajit then hit Vibhishana in the face with three arrows. After piercing Vibhishana with three iron-tipped arrows, Indrajit proceeded to pierce all the monkey troop leaders with one arrow each. Completely infuriated by that, the energetic Vibhishana killed the wicked Indrajit’s horses with a club. Now that his charioteer and horses had all been killed, Indrajit jumped down from the chariot and hurled a spear at his uncle.

Seeing the spear approaching, Lakshmana splintered it into ten pieces with His sharp arrows and knocked it to the ground. Furious with Indrajit, Vibhishana shot five arrows whose impact was like a thunderbolt into his breast. After passing through his body, those golden-feathered arrows looked like big red snakes. Furious with his uncle, Indrajit grabbed a special arrow given by Yamaraja. Seeing Indrajit fitting that mighty arrow on his bow, Lakshmana took another arrow which He had received from Kuvera in a dream. That arrow was difficult to counteract and even unbearable for the gods and demons headed by Indra.

When stretched by their arms, which were like iron bludgeons, the excellent bows squeaked loudly like herons. When placed on the excellent bows and drawn back by the two warriors, the two arrows shone brightly with their splendor. Hitting each other violently head to head when released from their bows, the arrows lit up the sky. A frightful fire with smoke and sparks was produced by the impact of those dreadful arrows. Colliding with each other like large planets, the arrows burst into hundreds of pieces above the battlefield and fell to the earth. Seeing their arrows destroyed on the battlefront, Lakshmana and Indrajit were embarrassed and exasperated.

Burning with ire, Lakshmana took a mystic weapon of Varuna. The battle-trained Indrajit also released a weapon of Rudra, which rendered the wonderful weapon of Varuna ineffective. The passionate Indrajit then fitted a blazing weapon of the fire-god to his bow, as if he intended to annihilate the world. Lakshmana counteracted it with a weapon of the sun-god. Seeing his weapon counteracted, Indrajit became outraged. He seized a formidable weapon of the Asuras for destroy one’s enemies. From his bow shot forth brilliant mallets, spears, fire weapons, maces, words and axes. That formidable weapon of the Asuras could not be repelled even by all the living entities together and was able to destroy all other weapons. Seeing it, Lakshmana repelled it with the weapon of Lord Shiva as Mahesvara.

There then ensued between them an amazing, hair-raising battle. Living beings gathered in the sky above Lakshmana. During that battle between the monkeys and the rakshasas which reverberated with terrifying screams, the sky became filled with many astonished beings. When Lord Indra placed before them, the sages, forefathers, gods, Gandharvas, birds and serpents protected Lakshmana on the battlefield with prayers for victory. Then Lakshmana fitted another excellent arrow to His bow. Its impact was like blazing fire. It was capable of slaying Ravana’s son. It was fitted with fine plumes and was perfectly straight. It was adorned with gold. It could destroy anyone’s body. It was difficult to deflect, difficult to endure and a cause of fear for the rakshasas. It was as deadly as a poisonous snake and was honored by the gods. With that arrow Lord Indra had previously defeated the Danavas during the war between the gods and demons.

Fitting an arrow charged with the invincible weapon of Indra and drawing it back all the way, Lakshmana invoked the following prayer for success: “If Rama, the son of King Dasharatha, is righteous, true to His promise and unequalled in prowess, let this arrow kill Indrajit.” After saying this, He drew the arrow all the way back to His ear and shot the arrow charged with the mystic weapon of Indra at Indrajit. The weapon severed Indrajit’s head, along with its helmet and dazzling earrings, from his body, and knocked it on the ground. When separated from his shoulders, Indrajit’s big blood-drenched head looked like molten gold on the ground.

Once he was killed, Indrajit fell on the ground with his armor and helmet, dropping his bow. When all the monkeys and Vibhishana saw that Indrajit had been killed, they started shouting for joy, as the gods did when Vritrasura was killed. Now in the heavens there arose loud cries of victory from the gods, great sages, Gandharvas and Apsaras. Realizing that Indrajit had been killed, the great Rakshasa army fled in all directions while being slaughtered by the monkeys eager for victory. As they were being attacked by the monkeys, the rakshasas threw down their weapons and ran straight for Lanka out of bewilderment. Frightened as they were, the rakshasas abandoned their weapons—sharp spears, swords and axes—and fled in all directions by the hundreds.

Tormented by the monkeys and terror-stricken, some entered into Lanka. Some fell into the ocean and others took shelter on Trikuta Mountain. After they saw Indrajit lying slain on the battlefield, not a one of those thousands of rakshasas could be seen. As sun beams do not stay once the sun sets, so those rakshasas fled in all directions after Indrajit had been slain. Thrown down and lifeless, Indrajit was like a sun whose rays had cooled down or a fire that had gone out. With the death of Indrajit, the world had its suffering greatly assuaged and was overjoyed by the elimination of its enemy. Lord Indra also rejoiced along with all the great sages because of the death of that Rakshasa of sinful deeds.

In the heavens could be heard the sound of drums, the dancing of Apsaras and the singing of Gandharvas. They showered down flowers, for this was something amazing for them. The battleground became calm after the cruel Rakshasa had been killed. The waters and sky became clear. The gods and Danavas rejoiced over Indrajit’s death because he had been a cause of fear to all the worlds. Feeling elated, the gods, Gandharvas and Danavas said: “Let the Brahmanas move about without anxiety now that their difficulty has ceased.” Overjoyed to see that foremost of rakshasas killed in combat, the monkey troop leaders were exuberant.

Congratulating Lakshmana for His victory, Vibhishana, Hanuman and Jambavan, the commander of the bear troops, they also praised Him. Taking this as an occasion for rejoicing, the monkeys howled, jumped and roared as they gathered around Lakshmana. Waging and lashing their tails, the monkeys shouted out the words: “Victory to Lakshmana!” Embracing one another, the joyful monkeys who possessed many different qualities began discussing the transcendental topics about Lord Rama. Those monkeys, the dear friends of Lakshmana, were pleased to have witnessed His feat on the battlefield, which was not easy to accomplish. The gods were enjoying supreme mental happiness from witnessing the destruction of Lord Indra’s enemy.

Thus completes 90th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate