The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana ) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (10)

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

The final battle of Lanka and end of Ravana

The end of Ravana is approaching fast. He has lost his brothers and son Indrajit  in the battle. As a true warrior, he turns up on the battle field. He starts to fight with monkeys with vigour and determination. Meanwhile Rama and Laxmana have gathered forces to subdue the final resistance from King of Lanka.

Ravana comes to battle field
Ravana comes to battle field
Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana
Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

Commanders of Ravana killed

He approaches Rama. Meanwhile Sugriva kills Virupaksha, another trusted commander of demon king. Ravana instructs Mahodara to fight with Rama and army, but Sugriva kills him also. Angada soon ends the resistance of Mahaparsva, aided by Jambavant.

Rama Laxmana and Ravana
Rama Laxmana and Ravana

Ravana fights two brothers

Soon, King of Lanka attacks Rama and Laxmana and a great battle starts. Ravana uses his mystic missile, which was struck down by Rama. Soon Visbhishana also joins the two brothers. Laxmana was hurt by Ravana and becomes unconscious.

Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman
Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman

Laxmana unconsious

Rama gets worried of Laxmana’s condition. He asks Sushena to look at his brother. Sushena instructs Hanumana to bring the herbs. Hanumana brings the whole mountain when he could not locate the herbs. He was then treated by Sushena and regained consciousness.

Fight between Rama and Ravana

The battle between Rama and Demon king starts. Indra sends a chariot, an armour, some arrows and a powerful spear to help Rama. A tumultuous and thrilling battle ensues between two great warriors. A spear hurled by Ravana is thwarted by a powerful spear (sent by Indra) of Rama. Then, Rama strikes his opponent horses with arrows. He also pierces the chest region and the forehead of Ravana with his fierce arrows. The king of Lanka gets severely hurt.

Rama starts cutting his head

Slowly but surely, Ravana strength starts to diminish. When Rama begins to cut off demon’s head, another head starts to crop up in its place. The fierce encounter continues thus for seven days.

Matali provides the final piece of advice

Seeing this, Matali explains to Rama that end of Ravana has come. He says to Rama – “O lord! You can employ a mystic missile presided over by Brahma, the lord of creation. The time for his destruction has come now, as expressed by the celestials.” Then, the valiant Rama, who was reminded thus by Matali, took hold of a blazing arrow, which was given by Brahma and which in turn was given to him by the glorious sage, Agastya earlier in the battle-field and which looked like a hissing serpent. Having been made formerly for Indra, the lord of celestials by Brahma, the lord of creation of infinite strength, it was bestowed in the past on the ruler of gods, who was desirous of conquering the three worlds.

Rama releases the arrow and kills Ravana

That arrow, released with great speed and which was capable of destroying the body, tore off the heart of that evil-minded Ravana.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana
Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

 

Vibheeshana laments the loss of his great brother

Ravana killed by Rama
Ravana killed by Rama

Vibheeshana laments a lot, after seeing his brother lying dead on the battle-field. Rama comforts him, saying that a warrior killed in battle, need not be mourned. Vibheeshana describes the personality of his slain brother and his qualities to Rama and seeks permission of Rama to perform funeral rites to Ravana. Rama directs Vibheeshana to perform the obsequies to Ravana, his deceased brother.

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Indrajit) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (9)

Indrajit

The day of Indrajit and Laxmana

As the war progresses and Ravana keeps losing his warriors, the battle of Lanka seems to be heading towards its end. This article details about how Rama and Laxmana were helped by Vibheeshana in their quest of getting Sita back.

Ravana summons his mighty son Indrajit

Following the advice of Ravana, Indrajit joins the battle again. Indrajit was fighting behind the demons and was difficult to locate. Vibhishana advises to Hanumana to kill the demons so that Indrajit becomes visible.

Ravana dwells
Ravana dwells

Vibhishana takes Lakshmana to the place where indrajit is performing the sacrificial rite. He advises Lakshmana to destroy Indrajit even before he finishes the sacrificial rite at a banyan tree. Because if Indrajit had completed the ritual, he would become invincible.

Indrajit sees Vibhishana there and starts talking harsh words to him, saying that he has ditched him by bringing Lakshmana to that place. Vibhishana replies that because of Ravana’s vices, he has left him and joined Rama’s side. He further adds that Indrajit and his army will not survive under the range of Lakshmana’s arrows.

Indrajit becomes angry

Hearing these words from Vibheeshana, Ravana’ s son becomes red from anger and starts challenging Laxmana. Soon, a fierce battle between these two great warriors start.

The battle begins

Laxmana stretching five steel arrows upto the ear, dug them into the demon’s chest with a great speed. The arrows, blazing like serpents and feathered with fine plumes, shone like sun-rays in that demon’s chest. Struck with arrows by Laxmana, that enraged demon pierced in return three arrows well-directed towards Laxmana.

Indrajit
Indrajit

The fight continues

That fight between Laxmana, the foremost among men and Indrajit, the formost among demons, who wished to conquer one over the other in battle, was most terrific and tumultuous. Both were endowed with strength. Both were distinguished for their prowess. Both were exceedingly difficult to conquer and peerless in strength and courage.

Vibheeshana helps Laxmana

A lot of time lapsed in the meanwhile past the two warriors. They neither turned their back from the battle nor experienced any fatigue. Then, to provide some rest to Laxmana, Vibheeshana took his position in the battle field.

Vibheeshana kills many demons. He encouraged monkeys and urged them to carry on the combat. The monkeys started a furious attack on the demons. Hanumana also begins to destroy thousands of demons.

Indrajit and Hanumana
Indrajit and Hanumana

He rushes towards Laxmana and starts fighting. Rama’s  younger brother kills his charioteer. Monkeys kill Indrajit’s horses and destroys his chariot.

Laxmana Kills Indrajit

The battle finally reaches its conclusion. After fighting for so many hours the end is nearer. After his chariot was destroyed, Indrajit brought new chariot. Riding atop this, he attacks the monkeys. Monkeys sought help from Laxmana. They again indulge in fierce battle and Laxmana again destroys his chariot.

Indrajit - the mighty son of Ravana on his chariot
Indrajit – the mighty son of Ravana on his chariot

Indrajit strikes three arrows in Lakshmana’s forehead and Lakshmana strikes five arrows on his face. When Indrajit strikes Vibhishana with arrows, Vibhishana kills his horses. Finally, using a missile presided over by Indra the lord of celestials, Laxmana addressed a prayer on Lord Rama and discharged it towards Indrajit.

Indrajit’s head gets chopped off and falls to the ground. Witnessing his death, all the monkey-chiefs, Vibheeshana, Hanuma and Jambavant applaud Laxmana.

Laxmana treated by Sushena

After killing of Indrajit, Laxmana was treated by Sushena. Rama becomes delighted by the news whereas Ravana gets saddened by hearing the loss of his great son.  Rama further intensifies the battle and kills many demons. In Lanka, female lament the loss of monkeys. Finally, Ravana comes out to fight Rama.

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Hanumana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (8)

 Yuddha Kand and Hanumana – Part 8

In the ensuing battle, Indrajit uses Brahamastra and renders Rama, Laxmana and numerous other warriors unconscious. Hanumana, the snakat mochan, brings the mountain of heavenly herbs to the battle ground and the brothers are revived.

Indrajit promises his father

Seeing Ravana in a dejected state, Indrajit assures his father that he will soon kill Rama and Laxmana and end all worries of Lanka. After saying these, Indrajit, with a clear objective, sought permission from Ravana. After this, he mounted his chariot with great speed. The great warrior Indrajit, the annihilator of enemies, having ascended a chariot looking like the chariot of the sun, rushed to the battle-front.

Ravana
Ravana

Indrajit performs a ritual

After reaching the battle field, Indrajit completed a sacrificial ritual. Then he becomes invisible in the sky. Then he throws multiple arrows towards monkeys and monkeys lose their consciousness. He kills monkeys with his mace and arrows. Those monkeys, wielding mountains as their weapons, roaring in the battle field, without turning back, abandoned their lives, showing their courage for the sake of Rama.Continuing to stay in the battle-field, those monkeys rained trees, mountain-peaks and rocks on Indrajit.

Indrajit Nikumbala Puja
Indrajit Nikumbala Puja

He attacks all great monkeys and cause injuries

Indrajit then struck Jambavant with ten arrows and Nila with thirty arrows. He also struck Sugreeva, Rishabha, Angada and Dvividawith sharp and terrific arrows endowed with boons and made them breathless. That enraged Indrajit, then looking like an excited fire that is to destroy the world, tormented other chiefs of monkeys too with many arrows. Indrajit the excellent demon struck all those foremost of monkeys, namely Hanuman, Sugreeva, Angada, Gandhamadana, Jambavan,  Sushena,  Vegadarshina,  Mainda,  Dvivida,  Nila,  Gavaksha,  Gavaya,  Kesari,  HarilomaVidyuddamshtraSuryananaJyothimukha, a monkey called DadhimukhaPavakakshaNala as also a monkey named Kumuda.

Indrajit causing havoc at Rama's army due to a boon from Brahma
Indrajit causing havoc at Rama’s army due to a boon from Brahma

Indrajit was undefeatable that day from the power of Brahma’s boon

As Indrajit has performed the worship of Goddess Nikumbala, he could not be defeated that day. After completing the worship, a celestial chariot appears on the horizon, and while Indrajit is riding the chariot, he could not be defeated.

Rama again shows his leadership skills

As Indrajit was proving a handful and he was decimating Rama’s army. Rama thought of a way to neutralize him. Rama says to Laxman that they both can act as thought they fell unconscious, so that Indrajit can return to Lanka, boasting of his laurels of victory. In this way, further loss of lives of Vanaras can be saved. Rama showed is exemplary leadership qualities and accepted this situation by stepping back. So when, Indrajit struck with Brahmastra, Rama, Laxman and innumerable monekys fell unconscious.

Rama and Laxman
Rama and Laxman

Indrajit, getting eulogized by the demons, quickly reached the city of Lanka which was being protected by Ravana’s arms. Then, Indrajit cheerfully informed all that had happened, to his father.

Hanumana and Vibhishana start the revival process

Vibhishana and Hanuma saw Sugreeva, Angada, Nila, Sharabha, Gandhamadana, Gavaksha, Sushena, Vegadarshi, Mainda, Nala, Jyotimukha and a monkey called Dvivida, who were struck down on the battle-field. The found Jambavant in the battle field. Jambavant says that if Hanumana is alive, then whole army can be revived. Hearing this Vibhishana quickly went to Lord Hanuman and requested him for assistance.

Hanumana brings Sanjeevani
Hanumana brings Sanjeevani

Jambavant provides details to Hanumana

Jambavant advises Hanuman to bring the Sanjeevani. He provided the location as a herbal mountain, which exists between two peaks of Mount Rishabha and Mount Kailash. This herbal mountain contains a number of herbs. On the head, there are four blazing herbs. They are Mrita Sanjeevani (for restoring the dead to life), Vishalyakarani (for extracting weapons and healing all wounds inflicted by weapons), Suvarnakarani (restoring the body to its original complexion) and Sandhani, the great herb (for joining severed limbs or fractured bone). He then asks Hanumana to bring all these herbs.

Jambavant advises Hanuman - Ramayana
Jambavant advises Hanuman – Ramayana

Hanumana proceeds to bring herbs

On advise of Jambavanta, Hanumana quickly proceeded to bring the requisite herbs. There, another problem was posed. On the mountain, knowing that some foreign body has come, these heavenly herbs have made themselves invisible. Hanumana decided to take the whole mountain with him in order to revive Rama and Laxmana. Soon, with the power of herbs the two brothers and numerous other warriors of Sugriva’s army,  gained consciousness.

Hanuman brings mountain containing herbs
Hanuman brings mountain containing herbs

The battle resumed

Sugriva instructed monkeys to set Lanka on fire with their torches. Enraged by this, Ravana sent both Kumbha and Nimkumbha, the sons of Kumbhakarna, along with a multitude of demons. By the orders of Ravana, Yupaksha, Shonitaksha, Prajangha and Kampana along with the aforesaid sons of Kumbhakarna set out for the battle.

More demons were killed

Soon, a fierce battle started and more demons were killed. Angada kills Kampana and severely injures Shonitaksha, the demons in battle. Angada, along with Mainda and Dvivida the monkey-warriors encounter Shonitaksha, Yupaksha and Prajangha. Angada kills Prajangha. Shonitaksha dies in the hands of Dvivida and Youpaksha at the hands of Mainda. 

Kumbha and Nikumbha were also slain

When Kumbha throws down Angada in the battle-field, Rama sends some more monkey-chiefs headed by Jambavan. Sugriva, with his thunderbolt-like fist, strikes Kumbha with a heavy blow and kills him. Seeing Kumbha his brother killed in battle, the enraged Nikumbha with an iron club as his weapon roars and faces the battle. Hanuma directly attacks Nikumbha, by striking his fist forcibly on Nikumbha’s breast. Unmoved by that blow, Nikumbha lifts Hanuma, off the ground. Hanuma in retaliation frees himself and throws down Nikumbha on the ground. Hanuma descends on Nikumbha, pounds his chest with his fist, catches his head and tears it off. Thus, Nikumbha dies at the hands of Hanuma.

End of Maharaksha

Ravana orders Makaraksha to proceed to the battle-field with an army and to kill Rama, Laxmana and the monkeys. Makaraksha, surrounded by his army of demons, set out for the encounter. His army march forward in the battle-field, to reach Rama and Laxmana. He was interecepted by Rama on the battle field and later killed by the lord himself.

Ravana sends Indrajit again

Ravana once again, then turns to Indrajit for help and asks him to go to the battleground to fight with Rama and his army, Indrajit complies.

Ravana
Ravana

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Akampan) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (7)

Vanaras and Demons at Lanka

 Yuddha Kand and Akampan – Part 7

In this article, death of  Ravana’s sons  is detailed.  His mighty sons, Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya lose their lives for fighting their father’s cause. Ravana starts to worry.

Ravana faints

Ravana comes to know about the death of his dear and mighty brother, Kumbhkarna. They tell him that Rama subdued him after a great battle and he became a mangled mass of flesh and blood in the end. Hearing this, Rama went into shock and lamented the demise of his great brother. He also thought that why he did not listen to the advice of his wise brother, Vibheeshana. Ravana’s sons and brothers all became full of sorrow and it was a difficult period for demon clan. Ravana was wondering, how his brother could have been killed by a human, who was capable of defeating the gods.

Ravana
Ravana

Ravana’s sons console him and vow to fight for their father’s cause

Following the death of Kumbhkarna, Ravana was consoled by his son Trishira. His other sons, Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya also come forward to fight for him.  Ravana sends all them to the battle. He sends his brothers Mahodara and Mahaparshva to guard his sons. Another fighter Narantaka enters the battlefield and kills a lot of monkeys.

Ramayana Yuddha Kand
Ramayana Yuddha Kand

Angad finishes Narantaka

Soon, Sugriva sends his nephew Angad to fight Narantaka. Narantaka hurls his javelin towards Angada’s chest, but the javelin breaks and falls down. Angada strikes Narantaka’s horse with his hand and the horse falls down dead. Then, Angada and Narantaka exchange the blows of their fists on each other in battle and finally, Narantaka dies.

Angad surrounded by demons

Angad starts to fight for the monkeys who were rendered unconscious earlier. He was then surrounded by Mahodara, Trishira and Devantaka and attacked by them. Soon Hanumana and Neela started to help Angada. Devantaka loses his life in the hands of Hanumana. Then Neela duly kills Mahodara.  Hanumana finally kills Trishira, by chopping off his three heads by Trishira’s sword itself. After this, Rishabh the monkey kills the demon Mahaparshva.

Vanaras and Demons
Vanaras and Demons

 

Atikaya, The mighty son of Ravana, meets his fate

Then Atikaya enters the battleground and proves to be a handful for the monkeys. He dares Rama for a fight. Soon, a fight between Laxmana and Atikaya ensues where Atikaya manages to hit Laxmana on his chest. Wind god advises Atikaya to send an arrow with a missile of Brahma. Laxmana follows the instructions and soon, Atikaya’s body loses his head.

 

Laxmana kills Atikaya
Laxmana kills Atikaya

Ravana is surprised on the loss of so many warriors

Having been informed that Atikaya, DhumrakshaAkampanaPrahasta, Kumbhakarna and other mighty demons are killed in battle, Ravana felt anxious. He is surprised as to how Rama and Lakshmana got released from the bind of arrows, made by Indrajit, his son earlier. He feels that no demon is capable of defeating Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva and Vibhishana. He enjoins demons to protect the City of Lanka and even Ashoka garden, where Seetha has been kept in capture. He asks the army not to be indifferent to the movements of the monkey-warriors. After issuing the necessary instruction to his army, he enters deep into his palace and remains brooding over the loss of Atikaya, his son.

Ravana dwells
Ravana dwells

 

 

The Ramayana (Rama, Ravana and Kumbhkarna) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (6)

Yuddha Kand and Kumbhkarna – Part 6

In this article, exploits of mighty demon Kumbhkarna , brother of Ravana are detailed. Although opposed the Ravana’s action of abduction of Sita, chose to side by his brother and died the death of a warrior.

Ravana is desparate after loss of so many great warriors

After the death of his great commander Prahasta, Ravana himself appears on the battle-front for an encounter, along with Indrajit, Atikaya, Mahodara, Pishacha, Trishiras, Kumbha, Nimkumbha and Narantaka the foremost of demons. After a tough fight with Sugriva, Lakshmana, Hanuma and Nila, Ravana encounters Rama in battle, and Rama ensures with his arrows that Ravana suffers an ignominious defeat.Thus, defeated and spared by Rama, Ravana returns to lanka.

 Ravana invokes Kumbhkarna

After losing so many warriors and himself subdued by Rama, Ravana invokes his illustrious brother Kumbhkarna. Kumbhkarna, due to a boon from Brahma, was in great sleep and could only get up in next six months. Ravana orders the demons to wake him up. The slumbering Kumbhkarna is roused by the demons under orders of their king. Kumbhkarna , giant in form, sets out on the high way to see Ravana and the monkeys get alarmed to see the giant demon.

Kumbhakarna in Ramayana

 

Rama inquires about Kumbhkarna

Seeing Kumbhkarna, Rama consulted Vibheeshana about him. His body was huge and his was a terrifying sight. Vibheeshana said that how he performed great penance for obtaining boon and due to slip of tongue, was in sleep for about six months and then wakes up.  Since Ravana has made Kumbhkarna to come out of his sleep, this must be an important moment of this war.

KumbhKarna

Ravana asks Kumbhkarna to kill enemies

Kumbhkarna comes to meet Ravana and sees his worried brother sitting in a flying chariot, called Pushpaka. Kumbhkarna asks Ravana about the work expected of him. Ravana replies that Rama has come with troops of monkeys including Sugriva, after crossing the ocean by a bridge, to wage a battle. Ravana requests Kumbhkarna to use his prowess and kill all the adversaries in battle.

 Rama’s army fights Kumbhkarna

Egged by Angada, monkeys start to fight with this mighty demon called Kumbhkarna. Dvivida fights with mountains and Hanumana injures him with another mountain peak. Kumbhkarna responds by hitting him with spikes. Thousands of monkeys climb his body and and fights him with their  nails, fists, teeth and arms.

Kumbhakarna - The Ramayana
Kumbhakarna – The Ramayana

Kumbhkarna fights back, Angada becomes unconscious

In response, Kumbhkarna destroys all those monkeys with his spike. When Angada, the leader of the monkeys, attacks Kumbhkarna , the latter strikes Angada violently and Angada falls unconscious.

Battle with Sugriva

After this, Kumbhkarna fights with Sugriva. Sugriva strikes Kumbhkarna with a mountain, but the mountain breaks into pieces. When Kumbhkarna throws his spike towards Sugriva in retaliation, Hanuma stops it on the way and breaks it off. Then, Kumbhakarna hurls a mountian-crust on Sugriva to make him unconscious and takes him away on his shoulders to Lanka. When Sugriva regains consciousness, he tears off the ears and nose of Kumbhakarna with his sharp nails and teeth. In reaction, Kumbhakarna thren Sugriva down and tried to crush him. Then Sugreeva bounces into the air and gets re united with Rama.

 

Kumbhkarna’s final battle with Laxmana  and Rama

Now, Laxmana starts to attack Kumbhkarna . He appreciates the bravery of Laxmana and proceeded towards Rama to fight with him. Rama fires some arrows with ‘Roundra’ spell towards the demon. Those arrows disappear into his chest and make him weapon-less. Kumbhakarna then hurls a mountain-peak towards Rama , but it was split up into pieces by the arrows released by Rama.

Laxmana advises monkeys and all of them climb straight upon Kumbhkarna’s body. But he manages to shake them off with violence. Then, Rama employs a great missile and chops off one arm of Kumbhakarna. Then Kumbhkarna with an uprooted tree in his arm, comes furiously towards Rama. Rama, with the help of an arrow, chops off the second arm of this mighty demon and then cuts off the feet with his arrows and finally slashes off his head.

 

Rama kills Kumbhkarna

 

This is how, the great brother of Ravana died while fighting for his brother.

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (5)

Yuddha Kand (Rama and Ravana)- Part 5

In this part of Yuddha kand, Ravana loses his top commanders to Rama’s monkey commanders. The mighty warriors of Ravana meet death at the hands of Hanumana, Angada and Nila. This happens after Rama and Laxmana survived the attack of Indrajit. It was now Ravana’s turn to face the music.

Ravana knows about survival of Rama and Laxman
Ravana knows about survival of Rama and Laxman

Ravana knows that Rama and Laxmana have survived

Ravana heard the rejoicing monkeys, and asks some demons to discover the cause of that rejoicing.  The demons came back with the information that Rama and Laxmana have been relieved of the shackle of arrows.  They added that the two brothers Rama and Laxmana are alive and appear like two strong elephants in the battle-field.

Ravana then calls Dhumraksha, a demons and asks him to go with an army and kill Rama, Laxmana and the monkeys. Dhumraksha along with his army enters the western gate of Lanka where the army-chief Hanumana is present. Dhumraksha notices several bad omens.

Hanumana kills Demons
Hanumana kills Demons

Dhumraksha’s bad omens were not unfounded as Hanumana kills him

Dhumraksha along with army attacks the monkeys. A splendid battle ensued between the monkeye and the demons. The battle reached frightful proportions in that both the monkeys and demons were killed in large numbers. Hanumana shattered Dhumraksha’s chariot to pieces. Lifting his mace, Dhumraksha fights with Hanuman, who in turn hits him on his head and kills him. 

Several Demons killed by Hanumana
Several Demons killed by Hanumana

Another Ravana commander, Vajradamstra killed by Angada

Ravana then sends Vajradamstra, another demon to kill Rama, Sugreeva and his monkeys. Vajradamstra and his army emerge from the southern gate where Angada was positioned by Rama. The monkeys had a tough fight with the demons. Vali’s son Angada, the leader of the monkeys, strikes the terrible strong demons, chopping off their heads. The powerful demon Vajradamshtra penetrated the army of monkeys, sowing terror among them. The monkeys then sought refuge with Angada the monkey-leader. A fierce battle ensues between Vajradamshtra and Angada. Angada assaults Vajradamshtra with a sword and Vajradamshtra’s head falls on the ground.

Akampan meets death by the hands of Hanumana

Another great commander of Ravana, Akampana was sent for the battle. A fierce conflict ensued between monkeys and demons. Kumuda, Nala and Mainda the chiefs of monkeys creates a great carnage among demons. Akampana enters the battle-field and assails the monkeys with his bow and arrows. Then, Hanuman comes to the rescue of the monkeys. A great fight ensued between Akampana and Hanuman. Hanuman strikes the head of Akampana with a huge tree and Akampana dies. All the demons take to their heels and return to Lanka.

Prahasta also meets death, by Rama’s vailant commander, Nila

Ravana asks Prahasta to go to the battle. Prahasta sets out for the combat along with a huge army and enters the eastern gate. Bad omens appeared, as Prahasta enters the battle-field. The army of monkeys seized hold of trees and rocks, to attack the demons.On Rama’s enquiry, Vibhishana explains the prowess of Prahasta who entered the battle-field. The demons with their arrows and the monkeys with their stones combat each other. Both the monkeys and demons were killed in the battle. Prahasta the demon and Nila the monkey come face to face to fight. Prahasta hurls a volley of darts over Nila. Nila kills Prahasta’s horses by hurling a huge tree and breaks his bow. Finally a huge rock hurled by Nila breaks Prahasta’s head into myriad pieces and dies. All the other demons abandon the battle-field and return to Lanka.

Nila kills demons
Nila kills demons

 

 

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (4)

Yuddha Kand from Ramayana – Part 4 (contd.)

In this article, events of the  first day of battle are described. High point of this battle was Rama and Laxmana were taken unconscious because of the designs of Indrajit, the son of Ravana. They were saved by Garuda, and vanara’s rejoiced.

Rama sends Angad one last time

Lord Rama, as a last resort, sends Angada to Ravana. He tries his best to convince Ravana, but in vain. Ravana commands his attendants to seize Angada. Angada shakes out those attendants who tried to seize him. He then ascended the roof of Ravana’’s palace, tramples and crushes it down by his strength. After this, He finally returns to Lord Rama.

Angad at Lanka
Angad at Lanka

Vanaras take Lanka under siege

After this, on command of Lord Rama, vanaras take Lanka under seige. As per his advice, all commanders took the position assigned to them. Ravana was informed of this by demons. He assesses the situation and found that large number of monkeys have virtually taken over Lanka. They have started destroying the city of Lanka. Ravana issues command to start combat. Fights start – Demons with weapons and monkeys with trees, mountain tops, etc.

The battle begins

A number of  duels arose between Rama’s army and demons, who ran up towards each other. Indrajit, the son of Ravana, fought with Angada. Sampati, who regained his wings after letting the vanara’s aware of Sita’s place, was fighting with Prajangha. Hanuman, the son of Pavan with Jambumali. Vibheeshana fought with the demon Shatrughna,  and so on. Laxman encountered Virupaksha and Agniketu and others with Rama. Blood flowed from both sides. In hand-to-hand encounters, the strong monkeys destroyed the Ravana’s demons.

Vanaras and Demons at Lanka
Vanaras and Demons at Lanka

The battle intensifies and great demons were killed

During the battle, Sampati managed to kill PrajanghaSugriva, killed Praghasa after he was threatening to swallow the monkey-troops with a Saptaparna tree. Laxman killed Virupaksha with an arrow.  Rama was wounded by Agniketu, Rashmiketu, Mitrughna and Yajnakopa. Soon, Rama chopped the hands of those four demons in the battle by his four terrific arrows having fire-like points. From Rama’s army, Nila received some strong opposition from Nikumbha.

Vidyunmali, who was proving an outstanding warrior on that night, was finally killed by Sushena. The demons waited for the night.

The night which saw Rama and Laxmana captured

In night, battle commences again.The demons destroy some monkeys. The monkeys drag and kill elephants, chariots and their occupants. Rama and Laxman killed a number of demons. Angad made Indrajit ran away from battle field after striking him hard. Sugriva praises Angad. But Indrajit comes back to the battle field and uses magic and serpent arrows to secure Rama and Laxman. Gloom prevailed over Rama’s army as the great brother lay still on the ground.

Hanuman and Angada started grieving. Indrajit celebrated with demons. Indrajit also attacked other monkeys and monkeys started to run away from the battlefield.

Meghnaad used naga astra against Ram and Laxman
Meghnaad used naga astra against Ram and Laxman

Vibhishana consoles everyone

Indrajit  informs Ravana that both Rama and Lakshmana have been killed. Ravana applauds his son for his great achievement. Everyone in the Rama’s camp was grieving. Seeing the plight of Vanaras, alongwith Nila, Hanumana, Angada and Jambavant, Vibhishana consoles and assures them that Rama and Laxmana will be alright. In Ashoka Vatika, Sita also receives this news and sank into sorrow. However, She was consoled by Trijata that nothing would happen to Rama. Meanwhile, because of his strength, Rama regains consciousness and thought that Laxmana is not well.

Garuda freed Rama and Laxmana

Garuda the King of Birds, makes his appearance on the scene and liberates Rama and Lakshmana from their bondage. It happened that all the snakes which bound Rama and Laxmana, fled away on appearance of this great bird, who was the son of Vinata. Thereupon, Garuda the eagle, coming into contact with Rama and Lakshmana  offering them his good wishes, with his hands caressly touched their faces that were radiant like the moon. The wounds of Rama and Laxmana healed after they came in contact with Garuda.

Ram and Laxman in nagpaash - revived by Garuda
Ram and Laxman in nagpaash – revived by Garuda

Monkeys celebrate

Thereafter, gongs were beaten, drums resounded, and couches were blown amid jumping in joy of the monkeys as before. Some other strong monkeys who use trees as maces in battle, waving their arms and uprooting hundreds and thousands of various trees, stood there, ready for the battle. Uttering great noises, frightening the demons and desirous to fight, the monkeys reached the gates of Lanka.

 

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (3)

Yuddha Kand (3) from Ramayana

In this article, events pertaining to final war are described. Ravana sends spies to Rama’s camp, and Rama makes his own strategies. He even devises that what would be the appearance of his army when fighting with Ravana’s might.

Ravana sends Shardula to assess Rama’s strength

The demon king, Ravana sent another spy to obtain information on Rama and his army. But Shardula was discovered by monkeys and after thoroughly beaten, he was taken to the court of Rama. He was eventually saved when Rama intervened. Shardula then advises Ravana to return Sita to Rama.

Ravana dwells
Ravana dwells

To this, Ravana becomes very angry and says that he will not return Sita, come what may be. He further details the strength of various warriors in Rama’s side, including Hanuman, Angad, Neela, Sugreeva, Jambavant and others.

Sarama tells Sita of Ravana intentions

Sita asks Sarama to go secretly to Ravana and get to know what he is doing as well as report to her back about Ravana’s decision about the matter of releasing her or continuing to keep her captive. Sarama secretly hears the conversation of Ravana with his ministers and reports to Sita that Ravana is not inclined to set her free. Sarama consoles Sita, saying that Rama with his sharp arrows will kill Ravana and take her back to Ayodhya.

 

Malyavan, the maternal grandfather of Ravana, advises for peace

Hearing that Rama’s troops have reached lanka, the grandfather of Ravana, advises to return Sita to Ravana, but Ravana did not oblige. Malyavan indicates that Rama is not an ordinary human being, and he is surely going to defeat and kill Ravana, so this is the best course of action to return Sita. Ravana turns his deaf ear to the words of Malyavan and even abuses him that the latter exaggerating the strength of Rama. Ravana further says that he will not restore Seetha to Rama and that Rama and his army will not go back alive, having crossed the ocean and reached Lanka.

Malyavan advising Ravana
Malyavan advising Ravana

Ravana strategies for safety of Lanka

Ravana assigns Prahasta and others to guard the four main gates of Lanka against the inroads of the enemy. Vibheeshana provides this information to Rama and upon hearing Ravana’s plans, Rama makes his own plan to counter Raavana’s designs.

Rama plans to invade Lanka

Rama appoints commanders for performing various tasks once they decided to attack Lanka. Nila was asked to attack from the east. His task was to attack Prahasta. At the south, Vali’s strong son Angad was entrusted to oppose Mahaparshva and Mahodara. Hanuman to enter from the western gate. Rama decided than he alongwith Laxman will lead the aggression from northern gate. In the centre, he appointed Jambavant and Vibheeshana to take care of the army.

Rama startegises with his commanders
Rama startegises with his commanders

Rama’s another masterstroke

At this point of time, Rama advises his army to never take human form. Rama, Laxmana and Vibheeshana and his four companions will only fight in human form. Monkeys were instructed to remain in monkey’s form and it will serve as a sign of recognition. No demon will ever assume a form of monkey as it would be lowly for them to do so.

Rama and his commanders observe Lanka from Mount Suvela

Rama expresses his desire to Vibheeshana and Sugriva to halt on Suvela mountain for that night, and to envision the City of Lanka. Rama along with Laxman, Vibheeshana , Sugriva and his army ascend the mountain and witness the beauty of Lanka. They halt on that mountain-resort for the night.

Rama observes Lanka
Rama observes Lanka

Sugriva fights Ravana

Just then, Sugriva notices Ravana and he jumps from the summit of the mountain and then sprang to the top of the gate (where Ravana was). He then fights with Ravana for a long time. After that he comes back and joins his troops. Rama reprimandsSugriva not to repeat such reckless acts in future on the ground of he being a king.

 

Sugriva and Ravana
Sugriva and Ravana

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (2)

Yuddha Kand from Ramayana – Part 2

This chapter details how Rama and his army reached Lanka, building of bridge on ocean and Ravana sends spies to check upon Rama’s army. Ravana played a trick when he showed severed head of Rama to her.

Hanuman Jee
Hanuman Jee

The ocean throws the biggest challenge

After Vibheeshana was inducted into Rama’s side, time was now for look into the upcoming challenges. Greatest of them was how to cross the vast ocean. Vibheeshana assured that he would be helping Rama in all aspects in order to get Sita back from clutches of Ravana. Rama was delighted in hearing this.

Vibheeshana and Rama
Vibheeshana and Rama

Vibheeshana suggests to get help from Sagara

Having though over the problem on how to get to Lanka, Vibheeshana says – “It is apt if prince Rama seeks ocean as his refuge. This immeasurable great ocean was excavated by Sagara. Hence, this great ocean will be inclined to do the act for Rama, his kinsman. Sagara was an ancestor of Rama. Rama decides to ask for passage from Sagara.

The Ocean fails to listen, yields when Rama got angry

Rama requested the ocean and waited for it to come for three days and nights. Rama becoming angry with the ocean, having the outer corners of his eyes turned red, and says to Laxmana, I will dry this ocean with my arrows and all the creatures will die. Rama decides to use Brahmastra and this makes Ocean god to appear before him with folded hands. He advised him that Nala, is the son of Vishvakarma; who was given a boon by his father and is equal to Visvakarma. Let this greatly energetic monkey build a bridge across me. I can hold that bridge. He is just the same as his father.”

The bridge is constructed on the Ocean

Monkeys constructed the bridge with trees having blossom at the end of their boughs. On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of bridge were constructed by the monkeys speedily. In the same manner, on the second day, twenty Yojanas of bridge were constructed speedily by the monkeys of terrific bodies and of mighty strength.

Buidling bridge to Lanka - Rama Laxman Hanuman and Vanaras
Buidling bridge to Lanka – Rama Laxman Hanuman and Vanaras

On the third day twenty-one Yojanas of the bridge were constructed in the ocean speedily by the monkeys with their colossal bodies. On the fourth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing monkeys with a great speed. In that manner, on the fifth day, the monkeys working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other seashore.

Bridge to Lanka
Bridge to Lanka

The colossal bridge, which was broad, well-constructed, glorious, well postured and held together firmly, looked beautiful like a separating straight line in the ocean. Vibhishana, wielding a mace in his hand, stood up on the seashore along with his ministers, for the purpose of invading the enemies.

Rama’s army reaches Lanka

Rama released Shuka who was captured by the vanaras earlier. Shuka explains the strength of his army to Ravana. Ravana sends his spies to assess the strength of Rama’s army but they were identified by Vibheeshana and captured. Rama sets them free and asked him to tell Ravana to be prepared for the combat and destruction of his forces. Ravana enquires about the great monkeys such as Nila, Angada, Nala, Sweta, Kumuda, Rambha, Sarabha, Panasa, Vinata and Krathana.

Lord Rama army reaches Lanka
Lord Rama army reaches Lanka

Ravana gets angry on Shuka and Sharana

When Ravana enquires about the strength of Rama’s army, they heaped praises. Ravana did not like this and he said in excited and harsh words, in a voice choked in anger to Shuka and Sarana who stood saluting with their faces bent down . “It is not befitting to utter unpleasant words by dependent ministers to their king who has the power to mete out any punishment or reward.

Ravana sends spies to check Rama’s army

Ravana then proceeds to send spies to Rama’s place. Vibheeshana recognizes them and they are imprisoned by monkeys. However, Rama allowed them to return back to Ravana. Those spies, who always wander outside and who were valiant rangers of the night, thereafter approached Ravana and informed him that Rama’s army was camping in the vicinity of the Suvela mountain.

Ravana plays a trick

Ravana informs Sia that her husband along with his army had been killed in battle, he produces before her Rama’s head along with bow and arrows created with Vidyujjuha’s conjuring trick. Thus, Ravana deceives Sita about the death of Rama. Sita was shocked, fell unconscious at the sight of Rama’s head and bow.

Ravana shows Rama's head to Sita - Ramayana
Ravana shows Rama’s head to Sita – Ramayana

Sita was comforted

When she regained consciousness and asked Ravana to kill her also, so that she would join her husband in heaven. Meanwhile, Ravana is called away by an emissary and after consultation with his ministers, prepares his army for action against the forces of Rama.Sita was comforted by Sarama that this was an illusion and Rama will soon defeat Ravana and win her back.

Ravana and Sita in Ashoka Vatika
Ravana and Sita in Ashoka Vatika

 

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (1)

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

Yuddha Kand (1) or Lanka Kand

This is the last and the longest chapter of Valmiki Ramayana which is the story of Lord Rama. This is also known as Lanka Kand. Since this is a long chapter, this story will be presented in a series of  articles. This is very interesting article where great demons were slain by Human and monkeys. Ravana, incidentally, did not seek immunity from these from his famous boon from Brahma

 

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana
Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

Rama welcomes Hanumana

After Hanumana succesfully locates Sita in Lanka and performed the act of burning the city of Lanka, He returns to Kishkindha. Rama listens to the whole story and praises Hanumana acknowledging the fact that this feat was not possible by ordinary people.

The seed of doubt

As Rama spoke about the enormity of the task which was performed by Hanumana, he gets worried that how his army of monkeys will reach Lanka, which was so difficult to reach. The vast ocean was the biggest hurdle. Sugriva comforts Rama  and he tells that the monkeys are efficient, strong and loyal to Rama. With help of the monkeys, surely they will be able to reach lanka and defeat Ravana.

 Rama gets the information on Lanka from Hanumana

He asks Hanumana to provide him with the information on Lanka. Hanumana, skilled in oratory skills, describes the city of Lanka in detail. This city was strongly defended and as the vast sea is between them, it becomes truly impregnable. He elaborates that this city is surrounded by water and built on a mountain, it has four fold defenses including forest and artificial fortification.  Lanka is abounding with horses and elephants and is extremely difficult to conquer. Deep trenches and Sataghnis too as well as engines of war of every kind adorn Lanka the city of wicked Ravana.

Rama in consultation with monkeys
Rama in consultation with monkeys

Rama departs with army of monkeys for Lanka

 After getting the details form Hanumana, He chooses an auspicious hour to start his journey for his quest to take Sita back. They reach the seashore and Lord Rama confidently states that he will destroy the city of Lanka in no time. The time has now come to defeat Ravana and get Sita back. He also appoints generals for the army, notably Nila, Jambavant, Angad and others. They reached the seashore and faced the most pertinent question – How to cross the vast ocean?

Rama remembers Sita , Ravana had a meeting with his ministers

At this point, He remembers Sita as he longed for her companionship. While in Lanka, Ravana assembles his ministers and discusses the current situation. To this, the ministers respond that he should be thinking too much about Rama. The Rakshasas are a strong group and they can easily defeat anyone. Ravana, himself has the honour of defeating Kubera and Indra, should be able to defeat and kill Rama, if need arises. Thus, Ravana was made confident by his ministers.

Vibheeshana’s word of advice

Vibheeshana, the wise brother of Ravana, advises to return Sita to her husband, as this act was not justified. But Ravana could not listen to him, and he sends him away. Ravana goes back to his assembly and asks all his warriors to be present at once. He then asks Prahast to defend the city of Lanka with his warriors.

Kumbhkarna reprimands Ravana but remains on his side

Ravana talks about his infatuation to Sita, his powers of battlefield, his boon and yet again, he is thoughtful of the devastation done by a single monkey. Kumbhkarna reprimands that the time of thinking is lost. If this act of consultation with us was done at the beginning of this action itself (of bringing Sita here), it would have been worthy of you. A king who performs king’s functions with a mind duly ascertained by justice, will not repent thereafter. He then said that he will kill Rama and Lakshmana and ensure that the victory is of Ravana’s.

Vibheeshana praises Lord Rama

Vibheeshana praises Lord Rama and he tells everyone about the power and prowess of Rama. He tells that he is a great warrior and equally a great archer. His arrows never miss their mark and he is expert in warfare. He advocates that Sita should be returned to Rama with honour. He also says that  If the beloved wife of Rama is not given away of your own accord, the city of Lanka will indeed perish. All our valiant demons too will perish.

Vibheeshana is admonished by Ravana and Indrajit

After hearing these words from him, Indrajit, son of Ravana criticizes him for underestimating the power of Ravana. He also says that Why are you frightening us?  At one time, the competent Devendra, the lord of three worlds, was indeed tossed down on the floor by me. All the flocks of celestials were cast into fear and all of them fled to different quarters. Airavata (Indra`s elephant), which was making noise discordantly, was hurled down by me on the floor. Ravana also gets angry and humiliates him before everyone.

Ravana and Vibheeshana
Ravana and Vibheeshana

Vibheeshana gets angry and leaves Lanka

Hearing a mouthful from Ravana and Indrajit, Vibheeshana loses his temper and flies wielding a mace in his hand, soared high into the sky, along with four other demons. Vibheeshana together with four of his companions reach Rama’’s place. Halting in the sky itself, Vibheeshana asks him to give refuge to him.

This was opposed by Sugriva, Angad, Jambavant and others. But Hanuman has different ideas. He trusted Vibheeshana and advocated his inclusion to Rama’s side. Finally, Rama says that he cannot refuse a person who has come to him, and there is merit in the person as he is speaking truth. Thus Vibheeshana is inducted into Rama’s side.