Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 58

58. Nila Kills Prahasta

[Prahasta caused havoc in the monkey army by killing huge number of monkeys. Nila, the commander-in-chief of the monkey army, fought with him with great valour and killed him. Rāma and others appreciated him.]

Seeing Prahasta coming out prepared for the war, Rāma with a smile asked Vibhīṣaṇa the destroyer of enemies. 58.1

"Who is this big bodied one who is coming with great speed surrounded by a huge army? Please tell me about this Rākṣasa who appears to have great valour." 58.2

Hearing words of Rāma Vibhīṣaṇa replied," This Rākṣasa called Prahasta is the commander in chief and he commands two thirds of the army of the king of Rākṣasas. He has great prowess, valour and strength." 58.3-58.4

Then Prahasta of huge proportions and huge valour, surrounded by very many huge Rākṣasas who were roaring came out and saw the very huge army of the monkeys, which made him angry and shout at the top of his voice." 58.5-58.6

Swords, lances, daggers, darts, spears, clubs, maces bars, barbed missiles, various kinds of axes and different bows glittered in the hands of demons, who were running up towards the monkeys in search of victory. 58.7-58.8

Those tiger like monkeys who were desirous of fighting took hold of many flowering trees and long and thick stones. 58.9

When they both met a very huge war commenced and they rained on each other large number of arrows and stones. 58.10

In that war many Rākṣasas killed very many monkey chiefs and many monkeys killed very many Rākṣasas also. 58.11

Some monkeys were destroyed by spears and some others by finer weapons. Some were struck by iron bars and some others were slit by axes. 58.12

Also, some fell breathlessly on the earth and some were destroyed by the arrows aimed at them with their hearts split open. 58.13

Some of them cut by the sword of Rākṣasas, trembled and fell on earth and with spear the sides were split open in case of some. 58.14

Even the Rākṣasa army on all sides were crushed and made to fall on the earth by the furious monkeys with tree and mountain-peaks. 58.15

Having been hit with thundering blows with their hands and terrific smashing with their fists, the faces and eyes of Rākṣasas were wounded. The Rākṣasas vomited great amount of blood. 58.16

Cries of pains and roars like lions and tumultuous sounds were heard in the battle between Rākṣasas and monkeys. 58.17

The monkeys and Rākṣasas followed the path of valorous heroes and they with the cruel and hostile eyes did many acts with great courage. 58.18

Narantaka Kumbhahanu, Mahanada and Samunnata all these ministers of Prahasta killed the monkeys. 58.19

Dvividhaḥ with a mountain peak killed Narathanka who was speedily rushing after monkeys and killing them. 58.20

The monkey Durmukha uprooted a huge tree and with a ready hand and crushed the Rākṣasa called Samunnatha. 58.21

The energetic Jambhavan with a great anger seized a huge rock and threw it on the chest-region of Mahanada 58.22

Then Khumbahanu who attacked Tara one of the greatest warriors with a huge tree, received a huge blow from him and died. 58.23

Prahasta who was riding on a chariot could not tolerate that act and horrible bow in his hand caused lot of destruction among the monkeys. 58.24

Then when both armies moved rapidly, a great sound arose which was like the roar of the ocean which was tempestuous, unfathomable like at the time of deluge. 58.25

Prahasta who was an expert in war, with great anger troubled the monkeys by a great rain of arrows in that great battle. 58.26

The bodies of dead monkeys and Rākṣasas covered an extensive area of land and looked like a very hideous mountain. 58.27

The ground which was covered by the blood looked like fully blossomed Palāśa trees with red flowers in the spring season. 58.28

With the heaps of warriors for its banks, the broken weapons as its trees, the flowing blood as its huge waves, death appeared like an ocean receiving its floods and had livers and spleens as its mire, entrails as its moss, severed heads and trunks as the fish, and morsels of flesh as the grass, the innumerable vultures as its lovely swans, herons as its geese and covered as it was with fat which was the foam, the tumult the sound as its waters, the battle field resembled a river, incapable of being crossed by cowards and which was visited by water-fowls at the end of the rainy season and those Rākṣasas and the foremost of the monkeys crossed over that impassable river, as elephants lead their herds across a lake of the lotus flowers which is covered with pollen. 58.29-58.33

Then Nila saw Prahasta sitting on the chariot and finishing off the monkeys using the rain of arrows. 58.34

Seeing Nila who was running towards him in the battle field, similar to the wind in the sky moving away huge clouds, Prahasta, the commander of the army attacked Nila from his chariot which was shining like Sun. 58.35-58.36

That expert among archers who was excellent drew the bow string and sent several arrows aimed at Nila in that battle field. 58.37

Those arrows which were like furious serpents, which were sent by Prahasta came with very great speed and after hurting Nila fell on the ground. 58.38

That great monkey Nila who was valorous hurt by those arrows which were like a flame, got up for hitting the difficult to be attacked Prahasta uprooted one big tree and jumped on him. 58.39-58.40

Unable to stop the series of arrows of that evil minded Rākṣasa, Nila received them all with closed eyes. 58.41

Like a bull standing under the torrential showers of the autumn which came quickly, Nila with closed eyes tolerated the impassable shower of arrows of Prahasta though it was difficult to be tolerated. 58.42

Greatly enraged by the arrow rain, hurling a very huge Sāla tree at them Nila killed the horses of Prahasta. 58.43

Then Nila with his mind filled with great anger quickly broke the bow of the evil minded Rākṣasa and shouted again and again. 58.44

Being deprived of his bow, that Prahasta who was the army chief took hold of a horrifying mace and jumped from the chariot. 58.45

Those two army chiefs who were shivering due to the enmity between them, with all their limbs covered with blood, were standing like elephants in rut. 58.46

Like lion and tiger in their gaits, like lion and tiger in their gestures those two heroes tore at each other with their sharp teeth and they both who were destroyers of enemies, thirsting to obtain great fame fought like Indra and Vritrāsura. 58.47-58.48

With great exertion Prahasta hit Nila on his head with his mace and blood oozed from the forehead of Nila. 58.49

After that, that monkey Nila whose entire body was smeared with blood, became angry and seized a huge tree and struck Prahasta on his chest. 58.50

Without any thought about that hit, taking another huge mace, that chief of the army ran towards Nila who was a monkey. 58.51

Then that monkey Nila seeing Prahasta running towards him in great speed, took hold of a huge rock with great speed. 58.52

Seeing Prahasta who longed for war and was fighting with a mace, Nila took a big rock quickly and threw it at him. 58.53

That great rock released by Nila the monkey chief broke the head of Prahasta in to very many pieces. 58.54

That Prahasta who lost his breath, was disfigured and dead, bereft of his senses and at once fell on the ground like a tree cut up by the root. 58.55

Blood flowed profusely from his broken head and blood also streamed from his body like a waterfall in the mountain. 58.56

After seeing Prahasta, their leader being killed by Nila, his unshakeable army of Rākṣasas became confused and withdrew in to Lanka. 58.57

After their army chief was killed, the army could not continue to stay firmly in the battlefield, like water cannot stay near a breached bridge. 58.58

That Prahasta the chief of Army having been slain, those demons became dumb, dispirited and inactive, went back to the abode of their king. They became unconscious as if they were plunged in an ocean of burning grief. 58.59

The victorious Nila, however, was honoured by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa for his great job well accomplished and experienced supreme joy. 58.60

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