27-1 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra
That very night the demoness Trijaṭā called on Sītā and told Her the whole story.
When Sītā heard of the renewal of the enemy’s heads and arms, She felt much dismayed at heart. She wore a doleful countenance and Her mind was filled with anxiety.
Then Sītā addressed Trijaṭā thus:
“Why do you not tell me, mother, what is going to happen? How can this plague of the universe be obliterated?
He does not die even though the arrows of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus) have cut asunder his heads. It is Heaven who is disposing of things perversely.
Nay, it is my ill luck that sustains him, the same misfortune which separated me from Śrī Hari’s lotus-feet. The fate which created the phantom of an illusory deer of gold still frowns at me.
The same Providence who made me suffer terrible woes and prompted me to speak harsh words to Lakṣmaṇa,
nay, who pierced me through and through time and again with the mighty and poisoned shafts of separation from the Lord of the Raghus, and who keeps me alive even under such trying circumstances
- it is He and He alone who is conserving Rāvaṇa’s life.”
With many such words did Janaka’s Daughter make lament as She recalled to Her mind the All-merciful.
Trijaṭā replied: “Listen, O Princess:
the enemy of the gods will surely die if an arrow pierces his breast. But the Lord is careful not to strike him there; for He knows that Videha’s Daughter (Yourself) abides in his heart. (1 - 7)
“He is prevented by the thought that Janaka’s Daughter dwells in Rāvaṇa’s heart and that Jānakī’s heart is His own abode; in His belly, again, are contained the numberless spheres, which will all perish the moment His arrow pierces Rāvaṇa’s heart.”
Trijaṭā’s explanation filled Sītā’s mind with both joy and sorrow in a superlative degree. Perceiving this Trijaṭā spoke again:
“Now listen, fair lady, how your enemy will meet his death, and shake off the great misgiving which still haunts your mind.”
“Rāvaṇa will get disconcerted when his heads are cut off, with the result that you will escape his mind. That particular moment will the all-wise Śrī Rāma strike him in his heart.” (99)
With many such words did Trijaṭā comfort Sītā and then returned to her residence.
As She recalled Śrī Rāma’s kind disposition Videha’s Daughter was overwhelmed with the anguish of separation from Him. She reproached the night and the moon in many ways. “The night has already assumed the length of an age and does not end” She added.
Disconsolate at Her separation from Śrī Rāma, Janaka’s Daughter grievously lamented within Herself. When Her agony of separation grew acute, Her left eye and arm throbbed.
Considering it to be a good omen, She took heart and said to Herself, “The gracious Hero of Raghu’s line will surely meet me.”
In his palace Rāvaṇa recovered from his swoon at midnight and cut up rough with his charioteer, “Fool, to have severed me from the battlefield; shame, shame on you, O vile dullard!”
The charioteer clasped his feet and admonished in many ways.
As soon as it was dawn Rāvaṇa mounted his car and sallied forth again.
There was a great stir in the monkey host at the news of Rāvaṇa’s return. Tearing up mountains and trees from wherever they could, mighty warriors rushed forward gnashing their teeth. (1 - 6)
The fierce monkeys and terrible bears darted with mountains in their hands, which they hurled forth with the utmost fury. The demons, who were unable to resist the onslaught, turned and fled.
Having thus scattered the enemy ranks, the powerful monkeys next closed around Rāvaṇa and discomfited him by buffeting him on every side and tearing his body with their claws.
Finding the monkeys most powerful, Rāvaṇa took thought. Consequently he became invisible and in a moment revealed his illusive power. (100)
As he let loose his illusive power terrible beings appeared on the scene - goblins, ghosts and ghouls with bows and arrows in their hands.
Yoginīs holding a sword in one hand and a human skull in another, from which they quaffed draughts of fresh blood, danced and sang many a song.
They uttered horrible cries of “Seize and kill!”, which echoed all round. With their mouths wide open they rushed to devour the monkeys, who then took to their heels.
But whithersoever they turned in their flight they saw a blazing fire. The monkeys and bears were thus in a quandary.
Then Rāvaṇa began raining on them a shower of sand. Having thus flabbergasted the monkeys on all sides, the ten- headed monster roared again.
All the heroes, including Lakṣmaṇa and Sugrīva (the king of the monkeys), fainted; the bravest of them wrung their hands, crying “Ah, Rāma! Alas, Raghunātha (Lord of the Raghus)!”
Having thus crushed the might of all, he wrought another delusion:
He manifested a host of Hanumāns, who rushed forward with rocks in their hands and encircled Śrī Rāma in a dense cordon on every side.
With uplifted tails and gnashing their teeth they shouted, “Seize and kill him; let him not escape!” Surrounded by their tails on every side, the Lord of Kosala shone in their midst. (1 - 8)
In their midst the King of Kosala with His dark-hued body shone forth as resplendent as a lofty Tamāla tree encircled by a magnificent hedge of multitudinous rainbows.
The gods experienced in their heart a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow and raised the cries of “Victory! Victory!! Victory!!!”
The Hero of Raghu’s line now flew into a rage and with a single arrow instantly dispersed the delusion. The delusion having vanished, the monkeys and bears rejoiced and all turned back with trees and rocks in their hands.
Śrī Rāma shot forth a volley of arrows, which once more cut off Rāvaṇa’s arms and heads to the ground.
If hundreds of Śeṣas (serpent-gods), Śāradās (goddesses of speech), the Vedas and bards were to recite the story of the battle between Śrī Rāma and Rāvaṇa and that too for many cycles together, even they would never be able to do justice to it. (1-2)
The dull-witted Tulasīdāsa has described only a few salient features of that combat just as a fly wings the sky according to its own capacity.
The valiant lord of Laṅkā could not be killed even though his heads and arms were cut off many times over. It was simply a pastime for the Lord; while the gods, the Siddhas and the sages fidgeted to see the Lord struggling (with him). (101 A-B)
No sooner were Rāvaṇa’s heads cut off than a fresh crop grew like covetousness, which increases with every new gain.
The enemy could not be killed in spite of the prolonged struggle; Śrī Rāma then looked at Vibhīṣaṇa who said:
“Listen, all-wise Ruler of the animate and inanimate creation, Protector of the suppliant, delight of the gods and sages: nectar abides in the depth of his navel; by virtue of it, my lord, Rāvaṇa survives.”
The All-merciful rejoiced to hear the words of Vibhīṣaṇa and took terrible shafts in His hands:
Many ill-omens manifested themselves at that time. Donkeys, jackals and dogs howled in large numbers. Birds too screamed, and thereby portended a world calamity: and comets appeared in every quarter of the heavens.
There was a preternatural and unusual glow in the horizon on all sides and a solar eclipse occurred even without the day of the new moon (when the sun and the moon are in conjunction).
Mandodarī’s heart beat wildly and icons shed tears from their eyes. (1 - 5)
Icons wept, lightning flashed with thunderclap in the air, furious winds blew, the earth quaked and the clouds dropped blood, hair and dust; who could recount the great ill-omens?
The gods in heaven were dismayed at the sight of the boundless portentous phenomena and shouted “Victory! Victory!!” And perceiving the distress of the gods the gracious Lord of the Raghus set an arrow to His bow.
Drawing the bow-string right up to His ear the Lord of the Raghus let fly thirty-one shafts, which flew forth like the serpents of Death. (102)
One arrow dried up the reservoir of nectar in the navel, while the rest struck his ten heads and twenty arms with impetuosity.
The arrows carried off with them all his heads and arms, while the headless and armless trunk danced on the battle-field. The earth sunk under the weight of the trunk as it rushed violently on, till the Lord struck it with His arrow and split it in two.
While dying he shouted with a loud and terrible roar:
“Where is Rāma, that I may challenge and slay him in battle?”
The earth reeled as the ten-headed monster fell; the ocean, the rivers, the elephants guarding the quarters, and the mountains were shaken. Enlarging the two halves he dropped to the ground, crushing under their weight a host of bears and monkeys.
After depositing the arms and heads before Mandodarī, the darts returned to the Lord of the universe and all found their way back into the quiver.
Seeing this, the gods sounded their kettle- drums. His soul entered the Lord’s mouth in the form of effulgence.
Lord Śambhu and the four-faced Brahmā (the Creator) rejoiced to see the spectacle. The whole universe resounded with cries of “Victory! Victory!! Glory to the Hero of Raghu’s line, mighty of arm!!!”
Gods and sages rained down flowers, shouting “Glory, glory to the All-merciful! Glory to Mukuṇḍa (the Bestower of liberation)!!” (1 - 6)
“Glory to You, O Mukuṇḍa (the Bestower of liberation), the fountain of mercy, the dispeller of all fear of pairs of opposites, the delight of those who take refuge in You, the torment of the ranks of the wicked, the Prime Cause, the ever compassionate and omnipresent Ruler of all.”
Full of joy, the gods rained down flowers; their kettle-drums sounded with a crash. On the battle-field Śrī Rāma’s limbs displayed the beauty of a number of Cupids.
The crown of matted hair on His head, interspersed with most beautiful flowers, gleamed like flashes of lightning on the star-lit peak of a dark mountain.
As He stood turning His bow and arrow between His arms, specks of blood adorned His person, like a swarm of Raimuni birds perched on a Tamāla tree absorbed in their delight. (1-2)
With a shower of His gracious glances the Lord dispelled the fears of the gods; and the bears and monkeys all shouted in their joy: “Glory to Mukuṇḍa, the abode of Bliss!” (103)
The moment Mandodarī (Rāvaṇa’s principal spouse) saw her lord’s heads she fainted in her grief and dropped to the ground. His other wives too sprang up and rushed to the spot weeping; lifting up and supporting Mandodarī they all arrived where Rāvaṇa’s remains lay.
Seeing their lord’s condition they set up a shriek; their hair flew loose and they became oblivious of their body. Wildly beating their bosom and weeping, they recounted his glory:
“At your might, my Lord, the earth ever shook; fire, the moon and the sun stood obscure before your splendour.
Even Śeṣa (the serpent-god) and the divine Tortoise could not bear the weight of your body, which is now lying on the ground soiled with dust.
Varuṇa (the god presiding over the waters), Kubera (the god of riches), Indra (the lord of the celestials) and the wind-god - none of these ever had the courage to confront you in battle.
By the might of your arm, my lord, you conquered Death as well as Yama (the god who punishes evil-doers in the other world); yet you lie today like a forlorn creature.
Your greatness is known all the world over; even your sons and kinsmen possessed untold strength. Hostility with Rāma has, however, reduced you to such a plight: not one of your stock is left to lament over your death.
The whole of God’s creation, my lord, was under your control; the frightened regents of the eight quarters ever bowed their heads to you.
But now jackals feast on your heads and arms, a fate in no way undeserved by an enemy of Śrī Rāma. Doomed to death, my lord, you heeded not my words, and took the Ruler of all animate and inanimate beings for an ordinary mortal. (1 - 7)
“You took for a mere man Śrī Hari Himself, a veritable fire to consume the forest of the demon race, and did not adore the All-merciful, to whom, my beloved spouse, Lord Śiva, Brahmā (the Creator) and other gods pay homage.
This body of yours had taken delight from its very birth in harming others and was a sink of multitudinous sins; yet Śrī Rāma has absorbed you in His own being! I bow to Him, the immutable Brahma.
“Ah, my lord! there is none else so gracious as the divine Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus), who bestowed on you a state which is difficult even for the Yogīs to attain.” (104)
The gods, sages and Siddhas, all rejoiced to hear Mandodarī’s words.
Brahmā, the great Lord Śiva, Nārada, Sanaka and his three brothers (Sanandana, Sanātana and Sanatkumāra) and all other great sages who taught the highest truth (the identity of the individual soul with the supreme Spirit) were all overwhelmed with emotion as they feasted their eyes on the Lord of the Raghus, and felt supremely gratified.
Seeing all the women making lamentation Vibhīṣaṇa approached them with a very heavy heart and was grieved to see his Brother’s condition. The Lord thereupon gave an order to His younger brother, Lakṣmaṇa, who consoled him in many ways.
Then Vibhīṣaṇa returned to his lord, who looked upon him with an eye of compassion and said, “Abandon all sorrow and perform the funeral rites.”
In obedience to the Lord’s command he performed the obsequies, strictly observing the scriptural ordinance and with due regard to time and place. (1 - 4)
After offering to the deceased handfuls of water and sesame seeds (for the propitiation of his soul) Mandodarī and all the other queens returned to their palace, recounting to themselves the host of excellences of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus). (105)
(After finishing the obsequies) Vibhīṣaṇa came and bowed his head once more. The All-merciful then called His younger brother:
“Do you and Sugrīva (the lord of the monkeys) as well as Aṅgada, Nala and Nīla with Jāmbavān and Hanumān (the son of the wind-god), sagacious as you are, all of you accompany Vibhīṣaṇa and make arrangements for his coronation,”
- said the Lord of the Raghus.
“In deference to my father’s command I may not enter a town, but send the monkeys and my younger brother, who are as good as myself.”
On hearing the Lord’s command the monkeys proceeded at once and arriving in the town made preparations for the installation:
With due reverence they seated him on the throne and applying a sacred mark on his forehead as a token of sovereignty) they glorified him. Nay, joining their palms, they all bowed their head to him; and then with Vibhīṣaṇa they returned to the Lord.
The Hero of Raghu’s line next called the monkeys together and gratified them all by addressing kind words to them. (1 - 4)
The Lord cheered them by speaking to them words sweet as nectar:
“It is by your might that the enemy has been killed and Vibhīṣaṇa has got the kingdom (of Laṅkā); while your glory will remain ever fresh in all the three spheres.
Men who sing your blessed glory along with Mine shall easily cross the boundless ocean of mundane existence.”