Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 51

51. Dhumrākṣa Goes to War

[After knowing that Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa have got up, Rāvaṇa sends Dhumrākṣa to kill the monkey army. He sets out through the western gate and ill omens follow him.]

Rāvaṇa along with other Rākṣasas heard the tumultuous sound raised by the monkeys which was full of the tone of war. 51.1

Hearing that mighty clamour, sounding smooth and deep, Rāvaṇa spoke to his ministers who were surrounding him. 51.2

"A great uproar, resembling the thunder from clouds, has arisen from that army of rejoiced monkeys. Undoubtedly their joy is great, as their mighty roars are agitating the briny ocean itself." 51.3-51.4

"The Brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa have been tied by sharp arrows and this great sound creates doubt in my mind." 51.5

After the king of Rākṣasas told these words to his ministers, told the following to the Rākṣasas who were standing near him. 51.6

"Find out immediately the cause of this great rejoicing by the monkeys, for at times of sorrow no one celebrates." 51.7

Thus ordered by Rāvaṇa, they climbed up the rampart briskly and saw the army lead by the great Sugrīva and also the highly fortunate Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who were relieved of the terrific shackle of arrows and had risen up together. All the Rākṣasas felt dejected on seeing it. 51.8-51.9

With trembling heart, pale face, all of those great Rākṣasas got down from rampart and approached Rāvaṇa. 51.10

The Rākṣasas of Rāvaṇa with a downcast face informed him of unpalatable news faithfully. 51.11

"The two brothers, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, whom Indrajit tied by his arrows and made them immobile, have got free from the ties of the arrow and are seen like elephants in the battle field, with valour equivalent to the king of elephants." 51.12-51.13

When the strong king of Rākṣasas heard this, he became sad and thoughtful and his face became pale. 51.14

"If my enemies who had thus been tied by Indrajit are freed, despite their injuries in battle by his formidable arrows which were infallible on account of those rare boons and which resembled serpents and were bright as the sun, I feel that my entire army is in great danger." 51.15-51.16

"Those arrows which had the lustre of serpent Vāsuki and which should have taken the life of my enemies have been rendered as powerless." 51.17

After saying like this, he became angry and breathed like a serpent and started speaking to a Rākṣasa called Dhumrākṣa who was in the middle of Rākṣasas. 51.18

"You, who are a Rākṣasa, who has done great deeds along with a big army, go and kill Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and other monkeys." 51.19

When the king of Rākṣasas told like this to Dhumrākṣa, who had great prowess, became happy and saluted him and left the home of the king. 51.20

As soon as he reached the gate, he told the commander of the army, "speedily mobilize the army. What is the need for further delay." 51.21

As soon as the commander of army heard these words of Dhumrākṣa, he immediately arranged for the army, who followed him as per order of Rāvaṇa. 51.22

Those strong horrible looking Rākṣasas, who had bells tied to their neck, made happy noises and followed Dhumrākṣa. 51.23

Equipped with every type of weapon and brandishing spears, hammers, maces, harpoons, sticks, iron cudgels, bars, clubs, javelins, missiles, nooses and axes, those terrible Rākṣasas emerged from there with the noise of thunder. 51.24-51.25

Wearing armours, mounted on chariots which were magnificently dressed with flags and decorated with bands of pure gold, and pulled by mules and horses of exceeding speed or by elephants in furious rut, those excellent Rākṣasas went forth like veritable tigers. 51.26-51.27

Dhumrākṣa climbed and set out on a chariot drawn by mules which had lion or deer like face and dressed in gold. 51..28

That valorous Dhumrākṣa surrounded by a big army of Rākṣasas came out through the western gate where Hanuman was stationed. 51.29

Climbing on a chariot drawn by mules and howling like mule when that horrifying Rākṣasa, who had a huge form, was proceeding birds of ill omen on the sky prevented him. 51.30

A huge vulture alighted on the top of his chariot and that devour of corpses clustered around his flag. 51.31

A bleeding white headless body fell from the sky on earth and inauspicious sounds were heard when Dhumrākṣa was approaching and there was a rain of blood from sky and earth trembled. 51.32- 51.33

The wind with noise similar to thunder blew adversely. Every direction was obscured by great darkness and did not shine. 51.34

Seeing those happenings all the Rākṣasas were scared and seeing those bad omens, Dhumrākṣa became worried and all those Rākṣasas who were marching ahead of him were greatly scared. 51.35

Then, Dhumrākṣa, the highly terrible and strong demon, surrounded by horrifying big Rākṣasas, eager to enter into combat, set out and beheld that army of a multitude of monkeys, resembling a flood, protected by the arms of Rāma. 51.36

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