Monday, 5 October 2015

304. Eminent Rakshashas chose their opponents.

           The very important, brave, valiant, fearless and gallant rakshashas like Intrajit noticed that the  vanaras fighting against their forces were highly wise and seemed to be quite a match, perhaps more than a match for their forces fighting against them. They thought that if they choose very important vanaras to fight with and vanquish or kill them, then Rama will have no option other than surrendering. And Seetha will, ipso facto, have to agree to the wishes of their king, Ravana. With that aim in their minds those rakshashas marched ahead on steeds with golden trappings or elephants resembling pointed flames, or in chariots flashing like the sun and themselves wearing beautiful and shining armours, creating reverberative sounds in all the ten regions. The great army of vanaras, also eager to triumph, marched opposite to those troops of rkshashas of terrible and terrorising  looks. Extraordinary  duels arose between those rakshashas and vanaras, who ran up towards each other.
         The rakshash Indrajit of immense energy selected Angada, the son of Vali. Their fight is said to resemble the one between Andhaka and Shiva, the Lord of destruction. The ever indomitable Sampati fought with Prajangha. Hanuman was selected by Jambumali. (It is not that Jambumali who was killed by Hanuman during his visit to Lanka in search of Setha. See 239. Hanuman sent Jambumali to meet his maker. Cats may have nine lives, but a rakshash had, has and will have one and only one life.) The rakshash with great fury, Vibhishana the younger brother of Ravana was selected by Shatrughna possessing fiery velocity in battle.
           Gaja of great strength was picked up by the rakshash Tapana and Nila by Nikumbha. Sugreeva the king of vanaras was selected by Praghasa and the glorious Lakshmana was selected by Virupaksha.
        No single rakshash was prepared to meet Rama. Therefore the four rakshashas viz. the invincible Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Mitraghnu and Yajnakopa jointly confronted  Rama.
     Vajramushti confronted  Mainda and Ashaniprabha with Dvivida. Pratapana, the valiant, terrific and invincible in battle selected Nala of intense speed in battle.
       That great vanara called Sushena, the strong son of Yama was selected by Vidyunmali.
      Some other dreadful vanaras, having sent many of their opponents to meet their maker, joined with their mates.
        A very great tumultuous battle continued there between the heroic rakshashas and vanaras, who were eager to triumph. Streams of blood flowed from the bodies of vanaras and rakshashas, with tufts of hair and inert bodies in the stream, like timber. The enraged Indrajit struck the valiant Angada with a mace, like Indra the Lord of devas with his thunder-bolt. But Angada took the hit nonchalantly and  struck the chariot of Indrajit, having a variegated body of gold, along with the horses and the charioteer.
       Sampati, though was struck and wounded by Prajangha with three arrows, killed Prajangha by an Ashvakarna tree.
       Jambumali, standing in his chariot, full of strength and fury banged on Hanuman's breast, with a javelin kept in his chariot. Hanuman, the intrepid son of Vayu, went straight to the chariot and overthrew it together with that rakshash with the palm of his hand. 
       That magnificent, fabulous, marvellous and the sensational Pratapana, running roaringly like a lion towards Nala was got both his eyes suddenly scratched out by the cunning, ingenious, adept, deft and nimble Nala,
          With his entire body covered by the  arrows of Praghasa the swift-handed rakshash, Sugreeva bleeding profusely all over his body, immediately killed Praghasa with a Saptaparna tree.
         Lakshmana  after tormenting Virupaksha with a shower of arrows, killed him finally.
       The so far invincible Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Mitrughna and Yajnakopa wounded Rama at very many places by arrows. Ignoring the wounds and the pain they caused, Rama on his part chopped the hands of those four rakshashas by four terrific arrows having fire-like points.
    Struck with a fist by Mainda, Vajramushti along with his chariot fell on the ground like a watch-tower on a city-wall.
      Nikumbha wounded Nila by his sharp arrows, like a cloud by the rays of the sun. Seeing the staggering Nila, Nikumbha the swift-handed rakshash further wounded Nila by a hundred arrows and laughed merrily. The hurt and furious Nila, ignoring his pain went straight to the chariot and pulled one of the wheels of it and chopped the head of the charioteer of Nikumbha by that wheel, like Vishnu.
        Dvivida struck Ashaniprabha with a rock. But Ashaniprabha wounded Dvivida, the vanara leader by his thunder bolt-like arrows. With his limbs struck by arrows, Dvivida, though wounded and pained struck back with a Sala tree Ashaniprabha, his chariot and the horses.
       Vidyunmali, seated in a chariot, struck Sushena repeatedly with arrows adorned with gold and making a roaring sound. Ignoring the wounds and the concomitant pain thereof, Sushena caused the chariot to fall down, by a huge  rock. Clambering  from the chariot, Vidyunmali, endowed with skill, stood on the ground with a mace in his hand. Then, Sushena, furious as he was, seized a very huge rock in his hands, ran towards that rakshash to hit him with that rock. Vidyunmali struck that approaching Sushena quickly with a mace on his chest. Taking that terrific blow with the mace on his chest without any flinch, Sushena dexterously and quickly threw that huge rock on the chest of the rakshash. That was the last straw for Vidyunmali the rakshash. His chest was crushed and he fell lifeless on the earth.
        The battle-field became frightening with extra-ordinary spears, arrows, maces, javelins, lances and some other weapons with three points, shattered chariots and military steeds, elephants in rut, carcasses of vanaras and rakshashas, wheels, axles and yokes broken and lying on the ground and frequented as it was by herds of jackals. The headless trunks of vanaras and rakshashas sprang up here and there in the midst of that tumultuous conflict, which according to the celestial spectators from the firmament, resembled the war between devas and asuras.
      The rakshashas who were wounded in the battle retreated to a safe location and were nursing their wounds and longed for the sun-set when they hope to retain their strength and will be more fit for combat.

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