Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 42

42. Commencement of War

[Rāma orders his monkey army to attack. They fill up the moat, brake fortifications and climb on fort walls. Rāvaṇa orders his Rākṣasa army to attack. A huge battle commences between them.]

Then all the Rākṣasas went to the home of Rāvaṇa and informed him that their city has been besieged by Rāma and the monkeys. 42.1

Hearing about the besieging of the city, that Rākṣasa became very angry and after doubling the arrangements climbed up to the top of his house. 42.2

Then he saw that Lanka, its forests and its waters were covered by innumerable groups of monkeys who were interested in the war. 42.3

Seeing that those monkeys had covered the earth and made it look brown, in great confusion, he thought "How can they all be killed?" 42.4

That Rāvaṇa regained his confidence after thinking for a long time, with his eyes widened in surprise, Rāvaṇa saw Rāma and the other monkey chiefs. 42.5

Rāma with lot of joy along with the army marched forward and saw that Lanka is being protected from all four sides and was filled with Rākṣasas. 42.6

That son of Dasaratha after seeing Lanka decorated by various types of flags, with great distress thought of Sītā in his heart. 42.7

"Here lives the doe eyed, daughter of Janaka who is suffering for my sake and who is sorrowful and sleeps on bare earth." 42.8

When the votary of Dharma thought about how Vaidehī is made to suffer, he immediately ordered his army of monkeys to destroy their enemies. 42.9

When these words were spoken by Rāma who never gets tired, those monkeys interested in the war filled the air with shouts resembling the roar of the lion. 42.10

"We shall tear this Lanka in to pieces by either by our bare hands or by using mountain peaks," thus decided all the monkeys by general consent. 42.11

Lifting up great mountain peaks as well as huge stones and breaking huge trees, those monkey chiefs got ready for the battle. 42.12

For fulfilling the favourite job of Rāma, they after diving themselves in to columns started climbing on the walls of Lanka and Rāvaṇa kept watching them. 42.13

They who were of golden colour, having copper coloured faces and who were prepared to give up their life for sake of Rāma, marched towards Lanka, armed with mountains, rocks and trees. 42.14

Those monkeys demolished innumerable defensive walls and arches with blows from trees, mountain-tops and fists. 42.15

The monkeys filled up the moats containing clear water, with sand, mountain, mountain tops, grass and logs of woods. 42.16

After that the monkey commanders scaled the walls of the city of Lanka, taking with them battalions of monkeys in thousands, in crores and even hundreds of crores. 42.17

The monkeys started breaking the golden arches and breaking down the gates that equalled the peak of Kailāśa the mountainous abode of Shiva the Lord of Destruction. 42.18

Those monkeys who resembled great elephants rushed towards Lanka springing, leaping and also roaring. 42.19

The monkeys, who can assume any form that they like, shouting "Victory to the mighty Rāma and the valiant Lakṣmaṇa. Victory of Sugrīva protected by Rāghava" and roaring, rushed towards the defensive walls of Lanka. 42.20-42.21

The monkey chiefs Virabahu, Subāhu, Nala and Panasa after storming the defensive walls of the city took their positions on them. And at that time they also formed several battalions of army there. 42.22

Kumuda surrounded by ten crores of monkeys, who acted as if they have already won, stood besieging the eastern gate. 42.23

To help him a monkey called Prasabha and a very strong Panasa, surrounded by many other monkeys came. 42.24

The valiant Shathabali came to the southern door surrounded by twenty crores of monkeys and stood surrounding it. 42.25

Suṣeṇa the monkey who was the father of Tara arrived at the western gate, surrounded by crores of crores of monkeys and stood there besieging it. 42.26

Rāma along with the son of Sumitrā reached the northern gate along with Sugrīva and surrounded by the monkey army. 42.27

They were accompanied by crores of bears under the strong Dhūmra, who is a destroyer of his enemies and they took up position near Rāma. 42.28

Vibhīṣaṇa of great energy with mace in hand, clad in defensive armour and accompanied by his watchful ministers, took his position where the mighty Rāma is stationed. 42.29

Gavaksha, Gavaya, Śarabhā and Gandhamādana galloping on all sides, defended the army of monkeys. 42.30

Then Rāvaṇa who was drowned in great anger commanded his great army to set out of their camps for war immediately. 42.31

Immediately after hearing these words from the mouth of Rāvaṇa, a great noise originated from the army of Rākṣasas. 42.32

The Rākṣasas beat the kettle drums, whose middle disc was white as moon loudly using a stick of gold, and raised a great sound. 42.33

The conches in hundreds and thousands blared forth a very great sound due to being blown by the horrifying Rākṣasas with their cheek extended completely. 42.34

Those Rākṣasas with their dark bodies with the white conch kept on their lips, shined like clouds which were bordered by lightning and a row of white cranes. 42.35

As soon as Rāvaṇa ordered, those battalions of his armies rushed forth, which resembled the lashing out of the ocean when it is swollen by clouds at time of deluge. 42.36

Then great sound also rose from the monkey army which had filled up the ridges, planes and caves of the Malaya mountain. 42.37

The sound raised by conches and drums by the Rākṣasas and the lion like roaring of the monkeys echoed and re-echoed on the earth, sky and the sea. 42.38

The trumpeting of elephants, the neighing of the horses, the clattering of the chariot-wheels and the sounds of the foot-steps and the sound of the couches re-echoed over the earth, sky and sea. 42.39

In the meantime a very horrifying war commenced between the monkeys and the Rākṣasas and it resembled the battle between devas and asuras. 42.40

Exhibiting, their own prowess, the Rākṣasas started to attack the monkeys with their maces, tridents, Śaktī and axes. 42.41

Then those huge sized monkeys started with speed striking with, trees, mountain tops, nails and teeth and raised their war cry "Victory to Lord Sugrīva." 42.42-42.43

Some of the terrifying Rākṣasas shouted, "Victory, Victory to the king" and announced their names.

Some of those Rākṣasas standing on the wall hooked the monkeys standing on earth using metal hooks. 42.44

This made the monkeys very angry and they jumped in to the air and dragged down those Rākṣasas standing on the walls by catching them with their hands. 42.45

The battle between the monkeys and the Rākṣasas turned in to a happening of wonder and left lot of swampy ground of blood and flesh. 42.46

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