Tuesday, 17 March 2015

243. Now Indrajit is sent to the field.

                  Ravana was stunned to hear the news of the demise of his dear son Aksha. Being a scholar he controlled his anger and pondered the next course of action. Then he decided to send his very, very dear son who was famous  in all the worlds for his heroism and valor, to wit Indrajit to do the job of capturing that animal.
        He then called him (Indrajit) and buttered him by saying "You are well acquainted with mystic missiles. You are the foremost among those who are conversant with all kinds of weapons. You cause anguish even to devas and asuras. Indra and other celestials have perceived your performance with your missiles acquired by propitiating Brahma the creator. Celestials together with troops of other gods like varuna joining Indra the lord of celestials were not able to endure the strength of your missiles in battle. In a battle against you, every one in the three worlds gets exhausted. Apart from being my son you are protected by your great intellect and strong arms. You are guarded by your many great penances. You are aware of apportioning place and time properly and appropriately.
         "There is nothing impossible for you in your acts of war. With your purposeful thinking, everything is possible for you. There is none in the three worlds, who does not know the power and force of your missiles as also your physical strength. The strength of your penance as also your prowess and strength in battle are not less than mine. When I send you to any battle, I do so without any qualm and my mind does not get fatigued because of the re-assurance of your success. All the Kimkaras as well as the rakshash Jambumali, the heroic sons of ministers and the five chiefs of army, as well as their army together with highly abundant number of horses, elephants and chariots  have been killed.
         "Your beloved brother Aksha also has been killed. O annihilator of enemies! The strength which is in me or in you, is indeed not in them at all. O intelligent one! Seeing the great strength, power and prowess of this animal I feel that you will be the one among us who has the strength and capability to capture that animal. Keeping in view your own strength and of the army, exert yourself in such a way that further destruction of our army is stopped.
        "O hero! This time do not I repeat DO NOT depend your armies. They cannot protect you, or help you. There is no use taking a weapon like a strong vajra against that vanara. There does not seem to be any limit to the strength of that vanara named Hanuman, the son of vayu. It seems that it is not possible to kill him, who resembles fire, by means of any weapon. In view of these facts select your best bows and missiles.
       “Maybe it is not the best option for me to send you. But, I made this decision according to the duties of a king and  the commendation of a warrior-class. Go, my dear son and return victorious with that vanara as a captive.”
        Acclaimed by one and all as the top class warrior, Indrajit, after taking the blessings of his dad entered the battle-field with an accomplished enthusiasm.
       Indrajit, the illustrious son of Ravana, having eyes like lotus-petals and endowed with extra ordinary energy, rushed forth like an ocean on full-moon days. He ascended his chariot with unimaginable speed and yoked with four sharp-toothed tigers.
        Indrajit, acclaimed as the best chariot-warrior, wielder of bow and in the use of weapons and missiles, went swiftly in his chariot to where Hanuman was. Hearing the rattling sound of Indrajit’s chariot and the twang of his bow, our hero Hanuman became thrilled with delight.
       Indrajit, an expert in warfare, taking a very big bow with pointed arrows, went aiming towards Hanuman. While Indrajit who was energetic in battle, was going ahead to the combat, with his bow in his hand, the rattling noise of his chariot and the twang of the  string of his bow made all the quarters gloomy and ferocious animals howl in many ways.
     Nagas and Yakshas, great sages moving in astronomical circles, Siddhas and a multitude of birds going around the sky gathered there and clamored loudly with great rejoice to see that tussle, like lovers of the games like cricket or soccer assemble to see a match between top teams. Seeing Indrajit coming fast in his chariot, Hanuman made a noise with great resonance and swelled his body promptly.
          Indrajit on his part, stretched his bow, which made a glaring sound like that accompanies a lightning stroke. Those two warriors, Hanuman and Indrajit, possessing great capability and strength as well as fearlessness in combat, confronted each other like Indra the Lord of celestials and Ravana the Lord of rakshashas.
    Hanuman of immeasurable strength, with his expanded body, aborted the  arrows of Indrajit. Sometimes  our redoubtable hero Hanuman evaded the arrows by quickly moving out of their path of projection like Vayu, his father.
       Then,  Indrajit discharged long and sharp-pointed arrows, having beautiful feathers, provided with picturesque golden shafts, with good inclination and as swift as lightning. Hearing the rattling sound of the chariot and the sound of wooden tom-toms, kettledrums and war-drums as well as the sound of the bow-string being plucked, Hanuman sprang up again and swiftly passed himself between the arrows. Hanuman, the son of Vayu, some other times stayed in front of the arrows and stretching out his hands, caught the arrows and broke them. Those two warriors, full of swiftness and skilled in their war-fare, staged an excellent performance, which thrilled the audience watching them.
         Indrajit could not figure out the weakness of Hanuman, and Hanuman the weakness of Indrajit. Those two warriors, who were equal in prowess, coming into collision with each other, became unbearable to each other. The aim of his arrows getting aborted and even his unfailing arrows falling down, the baffled Indrajit, who was well-known for hitting his target, became pensive.
          After a great deal of deliberations in his mind, Intrajit decided to use the most powerful missile Brahma-Astra. Indrajit, feeling certain that Hanuman was incapable of being killed, hoped that Brahma-Astra will, at least bind him. He then set that all powerful Brahma-Astra on Hanuman.
           Hanuman was not able to stop or evade it.That Astra dutifully hit Hanuman and our hero   fell down on the ground. As Hanuman cannot be killed, that Astra started to bind him. Realizing that he had been bound by Brahma-Astra,  Hanuman kept quiet. Hanuman knew very well that he can easily come out of the bind of that Astra, but did not do so out of respect to Bhagwan Brahma. That apart, he knew that he was being protected by Brahma, Indra and his dear dad Vayu, he did not worry being fastened by the missile. In a way he was happy to have been bound as he would now surely be taken to their king Ravana. And that was the purpose for which he started destroying the Asoka garden. He, therefore stayed motionless. However, when the soldiers approached to capture him, he frightened them by a loud scream. Then he mused and smiled and remained silent and motionless.
       Seeing that Hanuman motionless, the rakshasas then tied him with plaited chords of hemp and bark of trees. Hanuman approved of being forcibly bound and reviled by the enemies, with an assured feeling that Ravana was curious as he was, to see him.
       After tied with those chords of hemp and bark, the Brahma-Astra relieved Hanuman, since the bondage of that missile does not indeed coexist with another bondage.
          Seeing that Brahma-Astra relieved Hanuman when bound with the bark of trees, Indrajit, on his part, then became thoughtful and worried for “A person tied with other means cannot  be bound again by that missile. Alas! My great exploit has been rendered futile. The scope of the mystic formula has not been considered by the rakshasas. Once the spell has been made ineffective, the missile would cease to be operative. That is not good for us.”
      Hanuman bound by the ties of ropes, being dragged away by the rakshasas was not aware that he was liberated from the missile. He was being beaten with sticks and fists by the cruel rakshasas and was dragged to the vicinity of Ravana.
       The captured Hanuman, who looked like an elephant in rut was at last being taken to the presence of Ravana. The rakshasas seeing the bound Hanuman were asking themselves  like “Who is this being? Whose servant is he? Where has he come from? What is his pursuit? Who is his alley?”
        Some enraged rakshasas said to one another “Let this vanara be killed, even roasted alive and devoured.”
       After crossing over the path swiftly, Hanuman saw there the palace of Ravana, decorated with highly precious stones and his elderly attendants sitting at the feet of Ravana. That Ravana, who was endowed with an extraordinary energy, saw Hanuman  being dragged hither and thither by rakshashas of ugly countenance.
         Hanuman, too saw Ravana the king of rakshashas, charged with luster and strength and blazing like the sun. Ravana, rolling his red-hot eyes with rage on seeing Hanuman ordered his elderly and important ministers to interrogate him.
        When questioned, Hanuman shouted “I came from Sugreeva as an envoy.” 

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