Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 53

53. Rāvaṇa Sends Vajradamshtra

[A great heroic sorcerer Rākṣasa called Vajradamshtra is sent by Rāvaṇa. In spite of ill omens, he comes out through the southern gate. A great war takes place between Rākṣasas and monkeys. Angadha interferes in the battle.]

After he saw that Dhumrākṣa is dead, Rāvaṇa, the king of Rākṣasa, was greatly enraged and hissed like a serpent. And polluted by anger, he talked to the cruel and very strong Vajradamshtra. 53.1-53.2

"Oh warrior, go ahead along with the Rākṣasas and kill Rāma, the son of Dasaratha as well as Sugrīva." 53.3

That leader of Rākṣasas who was a sorcerer answered "So be it" and departed with many divisions of the army which surrounded him. With the utmost attention, he assembled teams of elephants, horses mules camels and chariots adorning them with conspicuous flags and banners and he himself was well-prepared. 53.4-53.5

Wearing colourful bracelets and head gear and covered with an armour, he started armed with a bow. 53.6

That army general went round the Shining chariot decorated by flags and which had with ornaments of molten gold and climbed the chariot. 53.7

Infantry of every kind issued forth, holding in their hands weapons such as clubs, excellent javelins, smooth pestles, harpoons, bows, lances, spears, swords, discus, maces and sharp axes. 53.8-53.9

Greatly lustrous and well-dressed Rākṣasa Chiefs, mounted on elephants with rut looked like moving mountains. 53.10

There were experts in war, holding riding with lances and goads on other very strong elephants and had good qualities. 53.11

That great army which had great lustre like clouds with lightning and thunder in the rainy season, paraded and then they came out of the southern gate where Angada was the general. 53.12

When those Rākṣasas were starting they noticed bad omens like meteors falling from a cloudless yet burning sky, howling of fearless jackals howling and belching out fire. 53.13-53.14

Those horrible animals foretold the destruction of the warriors and the Rākṣasas going out for war stumbled and fell down. 53.15

The very strong Vajradamshtra with great lustre, in spite of noticing this evil omens, assumed great courage and came out with interest in the war. 53.16

The Monkeys looking forward for a victory, after seeing them come out gave rise to very huge sound that filled all the ten directions. 53.17

Then a tumultuous battle between the monkeys and Rākṣasas commenced, which was horrible, furious and promoted desire to kill each other. 53.18

Some people very energetic and enthusiastic in war, their neck and bodies being cut fell on earth with the entire bodies coated with blood. 53.19

Some others who were armed with a shield, fought with each other and threw various types of weapons at each other. 53.20

A great sound was heard from the trees. Stones and all the weapons used and hearing that great noise broke the hearts of the people. 53.21

A terrific noise of the wheel-rims of chariots and the bow, along with the tumultuous sounds of conches, kettle-drums and tambours also arose there. 53.22

Some Rākṣasas, left out weapons and performed the fight only with their arms. The Rākṣasas were beaten and their bodies made greatly wounded by the monkeys who were fighting with arrogance, with their palms, feet, fists, trees and knees. Some Rākṣasas were crushed to powder with rocks. 53.23-53.24

Vajradamshtra frightened greatly those monkeys by use of his arrows and appeared to them like God of death with his noose moving at time of deluge. 53.25

Armed with weapons and experts in war having participated in several wars those very angry Rākṣasas started killing the monkeys in battle. 53.26

The son of Vali seeing all those Rākṣasas fighting the war, due to anger became twice his size and started killing like the fire killing everyone 53.27

The valiant Angada with his raging red eyes lifted a tree and killed all those army of Rākṣasas, like a lion killing small animals. Angada, with his prowess was resembling that of Indra the Lord of celestial and was a terrific destroyer of the enemies. 53.28-53.29

Those greatly valorous Rākṣasas struck by Angada had their heads shattered and fell down like chopped trees. 53.30

The earth then appeared scary as it was covered with chariots, conspicuous flags, horses, bodies of monkeys and demons and with streams of blood flowing there. 53.31

That battle-field, decorated with necklaces, bracelets worn on upper arm, garments and umbrellas of the killed persons looked like a night in autumn. 53.32

Due to the great swiftness of Angada that great army of Rākṣasas trembled like the cloud trembles due to fast wind. 53.33

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