Yuddha Kanda 12 - The End of Ravana

Yuddha Kanda 12 - The End of Ravana

Yuddha Kanda 12 - The End of Ravana

Even as the two warriors fought furiously, Matali told Rama that the time of Ravana’s destruction had arrived. He told Rama to use the weapon of the grandfather Brahma. Rama then picked up the golden weapon made of all the five elements and radiant as the sun.


Chanting the mantras to invoke the weapon, Rama released the mighty weapon of Brahma. The arrow came like death at Ravana and struck him in the chest. Shattering Ravana’s heart, the arrow killed the Lord of Lanka. Seeing their king killed, the rakshasas fled, even as the apes cheered in joy.


The rakshashis came out from Lanka and wailed, seeing their king dead. They all cried that Ravana invited his own death by abducting Sita and not returning her to Rama. Ravana’s principal wife Mandodari, lamented how the man who had defeated the Gods had been killed by a man who wandered in the forests.


Rama then asked Vibhishana to console the women and perform the last rites of Ravana and all the others who were dead. With the war over, Matali took Rama’s permission to leave with Indra’s chariot. Rama bowed to Matali and bid him goodbye. Rama happily embraced Sugriva.


Rama told Lakshmana that it was time to crown Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. Vibhishana’s coronation took place, and the new king of Lanka offered gifts to the two brothers. Rama told Hanuman to enter Lanka and tell Sita that Ravana was killed. Hanuman left for Lanka and entered the Ashokavana.


He met Sita and conveyed the news. Sita shed tears of joy hearing the good news. She told Hanuman that even gifts of gold or the three kingdoms were not sufficient for someone who brought such good news. Hanuman then asked Sita if he could kill all the evil rakshasis who had tormented her every day.


Sita told Hanuman that the rakshasis were under Ravana’s control and were dependent on him. She said it would be wrong to target them. She told Hanuman that was eager to see Rama. Hanuman then left to convey Sita’s message to Rama. After hearing Sita’s message, Rama asked Vibhishana to ensure Sita was brought decked in ornaments.


On Vibhishana’s orders, young maidens bathed Sita, applied celestial pastes on her body and dressed her in expensive garments with ornaments. Sita was brought in a palanquin. When the apes, bears, and rakshasas crowded to see her, guards tried to push them away. Rama angrily told Vibhishana not to trouble the ordinary people.


Rama then told Sita that he had achieved his aim of freeing her from Ravana’s clutches by killing the evil rakshasa. He shocked everyone by saying that since Sita had stayed in another man’s house, he could not take her back. He told her she was free to go wherever she wanted. Rama said that Ravana may have molested Sita, and he could not accept her.


Sita was devastated hearing Rama’s words and shed tears. She told Rama that she did not go to Ravana, but he abducted her. She questioned why Rama sent Hanuman to find her and that he should have abandoned her. She would have given up her life. Sita asked Lakshmana to prepare a funeral pyre for her. She declared that she would not be alive after being accused of an offence she had not committed. She said she was not interested to live.


Lakshmana understood what was in Rama’s mind. He prepared the pyre. Sita then bowed to the Gods and the brahmanas. Standing before the fire, she said that if her heart was pure, the fire would save her. With these words, she circumambulated the fire and entered it without any second thought. The assembled apes, rakshasas, and bears lamented when they saw Sita enter the fire.


…. to be continued