Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 3

3. Hanuman Describes Lanka

[Having decided on a war Rāma wants to find out the strength and weaknesses of the city. Hanuman who has wandered all over the city, gives him accurate figures. He tells him that once the ocean is crossed they would be able to win the war.]

Hearing the meaningful and very reasonable words of Sugrīva, the son of the Kākutstha clan told Hanuman. 3.1

"By doing penance or by building a bridge or by drying up the ocean, I am capable of crossing this ocean." 3.2

"Please tell me how many forts are there in Lanka which are difficult to access, as I desire to know about it as seen by your eye." 3.3

"You had a chance to have a glimpse of the size of the army, the fortification-details of the gates and citadels, the way in which Lanka was guarded and the various mansions of Rākṣasas. Describe everything in accordance with facts, for you are skilled in all ways." 3.4-3.5

After hearing the of Rāma, Hanuman who was the son of wind God, who was an expert in narration, told the following to Rāma once again. 3.6

"Please hear about the entire description, the method of laying out the forts, the secret defence of the city and about the army that protects it." 3.7

"The Rākṣasas are very much attached to Rāvaṇa  and that Lanka has great prosperity and a huge ocean surrounds it. The army there is divided as per the vehicles used by a group", saying this that great monkey, further narrated. 3.8-3.9

"That Lanka was full of joy and had lot of elephants in rut. It is full of Rākṣasa groups and very many chariots." 3.10

"The fort has four different gates each with very strong closed doors which are closed using great beams." 3.11

"There are also very strong and great machines, which can be used to stop the opposing army by shooting catapults at them." 3.12

"Very huge and sharp Śataghni made of iron are kept ready in hundreds at the gate, which are operated by valorous Rākṣasa warriors." 3.13

"A very great difficult to cross rampart made of gold and inlaid with pearls, gems, Vaidūrya and corals encircle that city." 3.14

"A very huge auspicious moat filled with cold water and infested with fierce alligators and fishes surround the city." 3.15

"On all the four sides there are draw bridges which are very extensive, equipped with many machines and with very many buildings." 3.16

"These draw bridges protect against the onslaught of enemy army and those machines throw the approaching army in to the moats." 3.17

"One of these draw bridges is unshakable. strong firmly fastened, has very many golden pillars and shines with pedestals." 3.18

"Oh Rāma Rāvaṇa  by his own nature is always ready for war and endowed with powers of state is always alert and inspects his very powerful army." 3.19

"So the city of Lanka is unbreakable fort of Gods which raises fear in you and it has four type of fortifications like river, mountain, forest and manmade defences." 3.20

"Oh Rāma, Being situated inside the sea, it is extremely difficult to enter and there is no reach for it to the vessels and there is no communication to it from other places." 3.21

"The fort being built on a top of the mountain, it can only be compared to the city of Gods, and having plenty of elephants and horses, it is difficult to win over Lanka." 3.22

"With Deep moats, Sathagunis and various other war machines, Lanka the city of the wicked Rāvaṇa shines." 3.23

"Ten thousand Rākṣasas armed with tridents guard its western gate and it is also guarded by terrible Rākṣasas holding a sword." 3.24

"One hundred thousand Rākṣasas guard the southern gate and there are also incomparable army consisting of heroes under four major divisions." 3.25

"One million Rākṣasas are gathered at the eastern gate and there are all experts in various weapons and hold the sword and the shield." 3.26

"Hundred million Rākṣasas are assembled at the northern gate riding either on the chariot or horse they are honoured members of great families." 3.27

"In the centre of the city are assembled hundred thousand Rākṣasas and also quarter of difficult to defeat Rākṣasas are also there." 3.28

"I had broken all those draw bridges and filled up all their moats, I burnt the city of Lanka, pulled down its defensive walls and also destroyed a part of their gigantic army." 3.29

"if somehow or other we cross this ocean which is the house of Varuṇa, then we can assume that the city of Lanka is destroyed by the monkeys." 3.30

"When Angada, Dvividhaḥ. Mainda, Panasa, Nala, the commander in chief Nila are there, what is the need for the rest of army to you. Those monkeys will go inside the great city of Rāvaṇa  and will search and recover the daughter of Mithilā after searching in Lanka with its mountains and woods, moats and archways, protective walls and buildings." 3.31-3.33

"Please order quickly to collect the army and fix up holy and suitable time for all of us to depart." 3.34

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