Yuddha Kanda 3 - The War Begins; Indrajit's Nagapash

Yuddha Kanda 3 - The War Begins; Indrajit's Nagapash

Yuddha Kanda 3 - The War Begins; Indrajit's Nagapash

Vibhishana had sent his spies to Lanka. He reported their findings to Rama, explaining how the four gates were guarded by the best of Ravana’s men. After hearing this Rama said that Nila should take a battalion of soldiers and proceed to the eastern gate to take on Prahasta. Angada should attack the southern gate and fight with Mahaparshva and Mahodara.

Rama then said that Hanuman should attack the western gate and fight with Indrajit. He decided to march to the northern gate with Lakshmana, so he could take on Ravana himself. Rama and his army spent the night on Mount Suvela and proceeded towards Lanka the next day.

Before attacking, Rama told Angada to go to Ravana and convey his message. The message was that Rama would destroy the rakshasas unless Ravana surrendered Sita and took refuge with him.

When Angada delivered his message, Ravana was furious and told his rakshasas to kill him. The rakshasas grabbed Angada, but he escaped from them and jumped to the top of Ravana’s palace. Having destroyed the palace top, he leapt into the air and returned to his camp. Ravana was left stunned and enraged at the destruction.

Rama and his troops then laid siege to Lanka, and the war began. Ravana then ordered his troops to attack, and a terrible war ensued. Indrajit fought with Angada, while Hanuman fought with Jambumali. Vibhishana fought with Mitraghna, while Nila battled with Nikhumba. Sugriva fought with Praghasa, and Lakshmana fought with the rakshasa Tapana.

Rama battled with Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Suptaghna, and Yajnakopa. The battles were fierce, and blood flowed on the battlefield. Angada destroyed Indrajit’s chariot. Sampati killed the rakshasa Prajaghna using a tree. Hanuman crushed the rakshasa Jambumali using his bare hands. Sugriva uprooted a tree and killed Praghasa.

Lakshmana killed Virupaksha, while Rama used four powerful arrows to kill Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Suptaghna, and Yajnakopa. Nila used the wheel of a chariot like Vishnu and killed Nikumba. Sushena killed Vidyunmali by smashing his chest with a boulder. Weapons flew all over the battlefield and thousands of rakshasa, apes, and elephants died.

The battle continued even after the sun had set. An angry Indrajit became invisible and showered arrows that struck Rama and Lakshmana all over their bodies. His arrows were so terrible that they caused severe wounds on Rama and Lakshmana’s bodies and caused blood to flow. Using the powers of maya, Indrajit turned invisible and repeatedly struck them with arrows.

Rama was the first to fall, and then Lakshmana fell, both of them bound by the power of his arrows. Hanuman and the other apes quickly surrounded the two brothers to protect them. Seeing this, Indrajit thought the two brothers were dead and left from there entering Lanka victoriously. 

Sugriva was shaken, but Vibhishana consoled him, saying Rama’s life had still not left him. Ravana ordered that Sita should be taken to see Rama’s body. Rakshasis then forced Sita to enter the Pushpaka vimana. Sita then saw Rama and Lakshmana lying senseless on the ground, along with thousands of dead apes.

She wept with sorrow worrying about how Kausalya would be affected by Rama’s death. The kind rakshasi Trijata then assured Sita that Rama was not dead. She pointed out how the apes were surrounding the two brothers and not running around in panic. She then asked Sita to observe closely, so she could see Rama breathing.

… to be continued