Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 37

37. Rāma Finalizes War Strategy

[Vibhīṣaṇa's ministers go in to the city and find out the plans of Rāvaṇa. Accordingly Rāma divided his army to attack the four gates and finalizes as to who should lead each of these sections.]

Meanwhile, Rāma the king of men and Sugrīva the king of monkeys, Hanuman the son of the wind God, Jambhavan the king of the Bears, Vibhīṣaṇa the Rākṣasa, Angada the son of Vali, Lakṣmaṇa, Suṣeṇa along with his relations, Mainda, Dvividhaḥ, Gaja, Gavaksha, Kumuda, Nala and Panasa, all having reached the enemy's territory, assembled to take counsel together. 37.1-37.3

"Observe this city of Lanka protected by Rāvaṇa, which is difficult to defeat by asuras, devas, serpents, and Gandharvas joined together." 37.4

"In this city Rāvaṇa the lord of Rākṣasas stays always. Let us discuss about ways and means by which we can achieve our objective." 37.5

When they were talking like this, Vibhīṣaṇa the younger brother of Rāvaṇa spoke the following meaningful and polished words. 37.6

"My ministers Amalā, Sarabha, Sampattī and Praghasa had gone to the city of Lanka and have returned just now." 37.7

"They assumed the form of birds and they entered the army of our enemy and they have seen closely the action that is being taken by them and returned." 37.8

"Oh Rāma, I would tell you in detail the exact position as informed to me of the arrangements being made by the bad soul Rāvaṇa." 37.9

"Prahasta with his army is standing near the eastern gate. Mahaparswa and Mahodara of mighty prowess are at the southern gate." 37.10

"Indrajit surrounded by many Rākṣasas is standing at the western gate with harpoons, swords, bows, spears and hammers together with warriors furnished with weapons of various kinds." 37.11

"The northern gate is protected by Rāvaṇa himself, who is an expert in magical chants with several thousands of Rākṣasas armed with many weapons and with thousands of Rākṣasas moving here and there armed with lances." 37.12-37.13

"Virūpākṣa along with a great Rākṣasa army, armed with great spears, swords and bows is standing in the centre of the fort." 37.14

"All these ministers Observed these arrangements of the army inside the fort and have speedily returned to this place." 37.15

"The elephants and chariots number some ten thousand each, the cavalry twenty thousand and there are more than a crore foot soldiers. These strong and intrepid Rākṣasas endeavouring to kill someone in battle have ever been their sovereign's favourites." 37.16-37.17

"Oh king, for each Rākṣasa there are ten lakhs who are available in the vicinity itself." 37.18

The mighty Vibhīṣaṇa introduced those ministers of his too Rāma, after telling the news brought by them pertaining to Lanka. 37.19

Those ministers again confirmed what was said by Vibhīṣaṇa and that good younger brother of Rāvaṇa with a view to please Rāma told the lotus eyed one further. 37.20

"Oh Rāma when Rāvaṇa went for a war against Kubera, along with him sixty lac Rākṣasas, who were similar to Rāvaṇa in his bad character, in his lustre, in his prowess, his strength, his pride and in his valour went along with him." 37.21-37.22

"By this report I am not trying to arouse your wrath nor your fear nor trying to irritate you, for I am sure you are capable due to valour even to kill the devas." 37.23

"You having set out with this great army of monkeys divided in to four divisions are capable of destroying Rāvaṇa." 37.24

After Rāma heard these words of the younger brother of Rāvaṇa, for the sake of attacking his enemies, he gave the following order." 37.25

"At the eastern gate of Lanka, the great monkey Nila assisted by large number of monkeys will attack Prahasta." 37.26

"Angada the son of Vali surrounded by mighty army of monkeys would oppose in the southern gate, the Rākṣasas Maha Parswa and Mahodhara." 37.27

"Let Hanuman the son of wind God with an incomparable army break the western door along with large number of monkeys." 37.28

"I am myself determined to slay that wicked one who owing to the boon he has received, enjoys oppressing multitudes of asuras and Dānavas, as also the magnanimous sages and who ranges the world, pestering all beings. With the aid of Lakṣmaṇa, I shall forcibly enter the northern gate where Rāvaṇa is stationed along with his army." 37.29-37.31

Let the king of monkeys Sugrīva, the king of bears Jambhavan and the younger brother of the king of Rākṣasas occupy the central place of the army." 37.32

"No monkey should assume the human form in this battle, so that their monkey form would help us to recognize them." 37.33

"Among our own people also, the form of monkeys will become a sign of recognition for us. Seven of us only will attack the enemy in our human form, I, my brother Lakṣmaṇa, who is full of valour, my friend Vibhīṣaṇa and his four companions." 37.34-37.35

After saying this to Vibhīṣaṇa, for the sake of getting success in their enterprise, that Rāma who is a wise leader, made up his mind to climb on mount Suvela and from there observed the very pretty slope of that mountain. 37.36-37.37

After that Rāma along with a very big army making his mind to destroy his enemies set out to Lanka with great happiness and excitement. 37.38

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