Wednesday, 2 December 2015

321. Kumbhakarna was awakened from sleep.

               Utterly ashamed and absolutely tired, Ravana was hardly able to walk. Probably he was cursing his maker for giving him two legs only as against twenty hands. May be he was thinking 'if only I have twenty legs, or at least a couple of more legs, it may not be so hard for me to walk.' Somehow he returned to the City of Lanka.
            Reaching his palace, he went straight to his favorite chamber to brood.  The thought that he, Ravana, the King of rakshashas was afflicted with the fear of Rama's arrows made his pride humbled and troubled him immeasurably. The thought that he was overcome by Rama, like an elephant by a lion or a serpent by an eagle, troubled him infinitely. The thought that Rama's arrows resembled the Rod of Brahma and possessed the splendour of lightning hurt his pride endlessly.
            He, the Lord of all Rakshashas, wanted to have a sound reprisal for the humiliation he had at the hands of Rama. After brooding for a while with all his ten heads he got a solution.   
           Resting on an excellent and charming throne made of gold, with his minds vastly relieved, Ravana told his flunky rakshashas "O! dear chaps! It is a pity that all that great penances performed by me did not help me, for, I, who is equal to Mahendra the Lord of Celestials, have been defeated by a lowly creature, to wit a human! The terrible words of Brahma, the Lord of Creation saying, 'You may have a threat from men' appear true. That is so. I sought immunity from death at the hands of devas, danavas, gandharvas, yakshas, rakshashas or pannagas (divine serpents), but I omitted to include humans.
       "Rama, the son of Dasharatha is the man I think of whom Anaranya born of Ikshvaku dynasty cursed me 'O, the worst of rakshasas, the worst of your race and the wretched one! In my race will be born a man who will slay you in battle with your sons, ministers, army, horses and charioteers.' Further, I was formerly cursed by Vedavati when she was humiliated by me. The same Vedavati seems to be born as Seetha, the daughter of Janaka.
       "What was predicted by Parvati the consort of Shiva, Nandishvara the attendant of Shiva, Rambha  and the daughter of Varuna have come to pass! The words of the sages never prove false. On account of all this, you should do your best to get me relief. Send immediately a good lot of rakshashas to the summit of Charya Mountain. Awaken that Kumbhakarna, who is without equal in prowess, who humbles the pride of the devas  and danavas, and on whom the curse of Brahma, the Lord of creation, rests all the time."
            In view of the grave situation to which he was driven in, Ravana issued orders  to guard all the gates with utmost care. So also the ramparts. Then to the flunky chaps he continued "Rouse Kumbhakarna who is slumbering soundly, immediately, by any means. 
          "The mighty Kumbhakarna, the foremost of all rakshasas will kill all the monkeys and the two princes at once in the battle. When Kumbhakarna is awakened, all my worried will evaporate."
           As ordered by Ravana a good lot of strong and mighty rakshashas were sent immediately to the place where Kumbhakarna was sleeping. He was sleeping in a beautiful cave, with a large door, having an area of a few Yojanas and bearing a floral perfume. Those very strong rakshashas, who were sent to awaken Kumbhakarna, though shaken off by Kumbhakarna's breaths, remained stable forcefully with difficulty and went into the cave. Entering that beautiful cave inlaid with diamonds and gold, those strong rakshashas beheld Kumbhakarna, of terrific prowess,  sleeping soundly.          
         They tried to awaken Kumbhakarna who was sleeping nastily like a spread-out mountain in a great slumber, breathing like a huge serpent. Kumbhakarna of irresistible valour was emitting dreadful snores, his nostrils looking horrible and his mouth a gaping hell. He was emitting an odour of marrow and blood, his limbs were adorned with golden armlets and he wore a diadem as bright as the sun.
          Then, those powerful rakshasas, in order to avoid the anger of Kumbhakarna, placed a heap of venison as high as Mount Meru, in front of him. They piled up a great mass of very tasty food with the meat of deer, buffaloes and pigs. Then, they placed pots of blood and various kinds of meat in front of Kumbhakarna. They rubbed Kumbhakarna with the most rare sandalwood and refreshed him with celestial and fragrant garlands as well as sweet-smelling perfumes. They burnt incenses and hymned his praises. They cried out noises which burst forth on every side like thunder.
          They blew conches which were as bright as the moon and made very high pitched sounds tumultuously all at once. Those rakshasas made sounds by clapping their hands, and shook him too, creating a great clamour. Birds passing through the sky ran helter-shelter and some  fell down soon on hearing the sounds of the couches, drums, gongs, clapping of hands and leonine roars.
         As the above endeavours did not waken  Kumbhakarna from his slumber, all the troops of rakshashas seizing bars, pestles and maces and pricked  him with all their might at various places on his huge body. Then, the cruel rakshashas tried hitting forcefully that sleeping Kumbhakarna on his chest with mountain-tops, pestles, maces, hammers and their fists; no dice. Despite the fact that all those rakshashas were quite strong and sturdy, they could not stand upright before the breathing from the nostrils and the mouth of Kumbhakarna. Then, they tried sitting round him and beating with their might drums, cymbals, kettle-drums and myriads of conches and trumpets.
          As they were unable to rouse him by these means, they resorted to more energetic and ruthless methods. They made horses, camels, donkeys, and elephants to trample upon him mercilessly. No dice.
           They then crushed his limbs under piles of heavy logs and pillars, as also pricked maces on his body with all their strength.                   Entire Lanka, with its mountains and groves, was filled with great noise generated by those rakshashas to wake the sleeping Kumbhakarna. Then, they beat a    thousand drums all around with sticks of refined gold.        
        Those rakshashas were at the end of their tether. As a last try they tried a thousand elephants ran up and down on his body. Oh! That seemed to be yielding the desired result. That made Kumbhakarna lightly wake up. The elephants running all over his body did not at all bother him. What bothered him was his beloved tummy. He then realized that he was terribly hungry, which made him suddenly spring up from his bed, yawning due to loss of sleep. 
         That yawning resembled a tempest. Guessing that he would be very hungry those rakshashas pointed to various kinds of victuals, boars, buffalos etc.. Kumbhakarna devoured them. Then, being thirsty drank blood kept ready in the pitchers. 
          As Kumbhakarna has gratified his hunger, the rakshashas approached him, saluting him with their heads bent and surrounded him on all sides.
             Raising his eyelids that were heavy with sleep, his gaze still veiled, he directed his glance towards those rakshashas and asked them "For what reason have you thus wakened me? Is all well with the king? Since you have wakened me in haste, there must be some problem from an external source. Now, I will sweep away the misfortune from Ravana, my very dear brother, even if I have to cut Mahendra (i.e. Indra) himself to pieces or to freeze Fire. For a petty reason, one does not indeed awaken, one such as I, from my slumber. Hence, tell me frankly, for what reason you have roused me."
           Yupaksha, a minister of the King, with his hands joined salutation, told "O, Prince! There is no threat whatsoever at anytime for us from celestials but a mere man is driving us back by a tumultuous tremor. That human guy has come with an army of monkeys, whose forms are as large as mountains, are besieging Lanka. There is an uncontrollable peril for us from Rama, who is furious on account of Seetha's abduction.
          "Already, a single monkey set fire to our great city and also slew the youthful Prince Aksha with his escort of elephants and retinue. Today that human guy defeated thoroughly our king and spared his life by saying something like 'Go now and come back refreshed tomorrow to face me to die'. Such a humiliation  our king never suffered even at the hands of Gods or Rakshashas or Danavas."
           Kumbhakarna rolling his great eyes, said "O, Yupaksha! I will now go and after conquering the entire army of monkeys with Lakshmana and Rama I will see Ravana. I shall satiate the rakshashas with the flesh and blood of monkeys and, as for Rama and Lakshmana, I shall drink their blood myself."
         Mahodara the captain of the team sent to awake Kumbhakarna, politely told Kumbhakarna "O, the mighty armed! Our King Ravana would like you to see him before you go to the battle field."
          Kumbhakarna agreed. The rakshasas, having awaken that sleeping Kumbhakarna hurried to the King in haste and told him "O, Lord of Rakshashas! Kumbhakarna, your brother, has wakened. Would you like him to enter the battle field from there itself or do you desire him to come here and see you?"
          Ravana answered "I wanna see him here first. Tell him that." Kumbhakarna was informed of the same.  Hearing his brother's wish, Kumbhakarna the inviolable rakshash of great prowess, leapt up from his couch and told them to bring him a drink which can boost up his strength.
           They obliged immediately what he wanted. Having drunk two thousand pitchers of assorted drinks, Kumbhakarna set out to see his dear bro.
          The fuming Kumbhakarna, going to his brother's palace along with the army of rakshashas, looked like Yama, the Lord of Death marching in high rage. He caused the earth to tremble with his foot-steps, while marching. The royal highway was illumined by his body, like the sun by its flashes illumines the earth. He went surrounded by a circle of rakshashas paying obeisance, resembling Indra  approaching the abode of Brahma.
           Seeing him on the royal high way, those vanaras stationed outside the city, as also their leaders, were frightened intolerably. They rushed to Rama for protection. Some fell down tottering, some so perturbed were going aimlessly and some others fell down due to nervous brake-down. Seeing that colossus appearing like a great peak, having a diadem which seemed to touch the sun with its brilliance, the vanarass were seized with terror were running hither and thither.

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