Yuddha Kand (1) or Lanka Kand
This is the last and the longest chapter of Valmiki Ramayana. 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 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
Lord Rama 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 departs with army of monkeys for Lanka
After getting the details form Hanumana, Rama 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, Lord Rama 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 Rama, 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.
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 Rama to give a 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.