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 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 (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.