Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 24

24. Rāma at Lanka

[Rāma and the monkey army reaches Lanka. Rāma divided the army in to battalions and assigns job of its protection to various monkey leaders. Śuka the spy is released. He tells Rāvaṇa about the great danger. Rāvaṇa is not bothered, ]

That Assembly of valorous monkeys along with their king shined like the full moon of the autumn and the bright stars. 24.1

The earth which was pressed by a large number of monkeys who had energy like the sea trembled with a fear about their rapid movement. 24.2

Then those monkeys heard a great tumult from the city of Lanka which was accompanied by playing of various type of drums which made their hair to stand erect. 24.3

Hearing that sound the monkey leaders became happy but since they were not able to tolerate it, they shouted more loudly and it surpassed that sound. 24.4

The Rākṣasas also heard the sound of the roar of the wildly delighted monkeys which sounded like a thunder from the sky. 24.5

The Son of Daśaratha saw the city of Lanka decorated with various types of flags and decorations and his heart which was full of grief thought about Sītā. 24.6

"There Sītā with deer like eyes has been imprisoned by Rāvaṇa just like the Rohiṇī star is over shadowed by planet Mars." 24.7

After breathing a warm deep breath, seeing Lakṣmaṇa he told these heroic words which were beneficial to him at that time. 24.8

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, see this city of Lanka, which appears to have been constructed on a hill top by Viśvakarma, so that it appears to be touching the sky." 24.9

"When constructed earlier, the city of Lanka was filled with many towers and is covered by thick white clouds and looks like the city of Vishnu." 24.10

"The lustrous city of Lanka has many flowering gardens which have many fruit bearing trees and filled with singing birds and is comparable to Chaithratha, the garden of Kubera." 24.11

"See the happy birds, swarming bees and tree branches with lot of cuckoo birds which sway in the breeze." 24.12

Thus Rāma the son of Dasaratha spoke with Lakṣmaṇa and then the army was divided in to battalions according to method mentioned in great books. 24.13

Then Rāma ordered as follows "Let the valorous and invincible Angada along with Nila occupy the middle position of this formation." 24.14

"Let the monkey named Riṣabha along with several other monkey chiefs place themselves on the right side of the army." 24.15

"Let the strong and unconquerable Gandhamādana who is like an elephant in rut stand on the left side of the monkey army." 24.16

"I would stand in the front tip of the army along with Lakṣmaṇa. Let the great Jambavan, Suṣeṇa and Veghadarsi who are the monkey and bear chiefs protect the belly of the army." 24.17

"Let the rear of the army be protected by the king of monkeys, like very lustrous God Varuṇa protects the western side." 24.18

The several battalions of the monkey army, which was protected by great monkeys shined like the skies with the mass of clouds. 24.19

With the intention to crush the Rākṣasas in battle, the monkey armed reached there after seizing peaks of mountains and trees. 24.20

All the monkeys resolved in their mind," Whether with the peak of mountains or even with bare fists, we will shatter this city of Lanka in to pieces." 24.21

Then the very lustrous Rāma told Sugrīva, "Now the army has been divided properly let us release Śuka." 24.22

The very strong king of monkeys after hearing the words of Rāma, as per the order of Rāma released the emissary called Sukha. 24.23

After being troubled by the monkeys and now released by the words of Rāma, Śuka trembling with fear reached the king of Rākṣasas. 24.24

Rāvaṇa laughingly asked Sukha, "Why were your wings tied up? It appears that your wings have been plucked. Have you fallen as the victim of fickle minds." 24.25-24.26

Asked like that by the king Rāvaṇa, Śuka who was agitated with great fear, gave him the following excellent reply: "On the northern shore of the ocean, I conveyed your message in a smooth tone, conciliatory and without any ambiguity exactly as per your instructions." 24.27-24.28

"The monkeys as soon as they saw me, jumped on me with great anger and caught me. They started plucking my feathers and beating me with their fists." 24.29

"It is not possible to talk to those monkeys nor is it possible to question them. As they are by their nature short tempered and ferocious." 24.30

"Then Rāma the killer of Kabandha, Virādha and Khara has come along with Sugrīva to the place where Sītā is there." 24.31

"After constructing a bridge over the sea and having crossed the salty sea and after driving away the Rākṣasas, Rāma is standing here." 24.32

"Several thousand groups of monkeys and bears, who resemble the mountain and clouds are covering the earth." 24.33

"There is no possibility of a treaty between the army of the king of Rākṣasas and that of the army of the monkeys." 24.34

"They would come to our ramparts son and before that you need either to return Sītā or soon offer to do battle with them." 24.35

As soon as Rāvaṇa heard the words of Śuka, he with blood red eyes due to anger and eyes which looked like he will eat Sukha told. 24.36

"Even if I am frightened by the entire world or even if Devas, Gandharvas and Dānavas come to a battle with me, I will not return back Sītā. 24.37

"When would my arrows fall on Rāma like the bees falling on a fully blossomed tree in the spring." 24.38

"When will I eat his body with his body covered with flowing blood due to the lustrous arrows released from my bow similar to burning torches destroying an elephant." 24.39

"Surrounded by a huge army, I shall eclipse the above mentioned army of Rāma, like the rising sun, eclipses the bright stars." 24.40

"My speed is that of the ocean and my strength is like that of a wind and this is not known to the son of Dasaratha and that is why he wants to fight with me." 24.41

"Rāma has not seen the serpent like arrows which are in my quiver and that is why he wants to fight with me." 24.42

"Rāma is not aware of my prowess in battle. I shall using my arrow heads play on the string of my bow which resembles the Vinā producing sounds of victory and the terrible cries of the wounded would be the accompaniment with my arrows producing several musical notes, as soon as I enter the vast arena of battle with my enemy ranks." 24.43-24.44

"Neither Indra with thousand eyes, nor Varuṇa the God of the sea nor Yama with his fire like arrows nor Kubera with all his riches would be able to attack me in a battle." 24.45

This is the end of Twenty Fourth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.