Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 71

71. Lakṣmaṇa Kills Athikaya

[Dhanyamala and Athikaya, the son of Rāvaṇa, comes to war. After a terrific war, Lakṣmaṇa is told by the wind God that he can only be killed by arrow of Brahma. Lakṣmaṇa kills him using the arrow of Brahma.]

Seeing that his army was making sound of anguish with great fear, seeing that his brothers having the valour of Indra the lord of devas have been killed, and also seeing that his paternal uncles, brothers and several Rākṣasas have been killed, the greatly lustrous Athikaya who had got boons from Lord Brahma, who had the appearance of a mountain and who had destroyed the pride of devas and Rākṣasas in battle got very angry, 71.1-71, 3

That Athikaya who is the enemy of Indra climbed on a chariot which had lustre of one thousand suns, went towards the monkeys. 71.4

Wearing a crown and great looking ear globes and drawing his bow and making his name heard he loudly roared in a big tone. 71.5

His lion like roar and his announcement of his name and terrifying sound made by his bow created terror among the monkeys. 71.6

Seeing the great size of his body, the monkeys thought that he was Kumbhakarṇa woken up again and started taking refuge with each other out of great fear. 71.7

Seeing his form which appeared like Vishnu who measured the worlds in three steps, those famous monkey soldiers started running helter-skelter. 71.8

When the need for attacking Athikaya arose, scared in mind those monkeys requested protection of Rāma. 71.9

Then Rāma from a distance saw that Rākṣasa who resembled a mountain riding a chariot like a fatal cloud appearing at time of deluge, 71.10

Seeing that Athikaya has very huge body, Rāma was greatly surprised and after consoling the monkeys spoke to Vibhīṣaṇa.. 71.11

"Who is he, resembling a mountain in size, armed with a bow, brown-eyed and seated in a spacious chariot yoked with a thousand horses?" 71.12

"He is shining like Lord Shiva surrounded by the Bhūtas with shining and sharp spikes with shapely barbed javelins and lances." 71.13

"He is shining like a lightning of cloud and moving round with staff that support the war flags, appearing like the tongue of the God of death." 71.14

"Bows with golden back are shining all round in his great chariot like the rainbows in the sky." 71.15

"This tiger like soldier of Rākṣasas is making the battle field shine and coming in a chariot with the lustre of Sun and his arrows are shining like rays of sun, making all the ten directions shine and he has Rāhu etched on his flag." 71.16-71.17

"His bow with three curves, golden back and decorated is producing a rumbling sound of the cloud and is shining like a rain-bow." 71.18

"His great chariot with a flag and an emblem has an axle tree at the bottom and produces sound similar to the lightning of the clouds and has four charioteers." 71.19

"Twenty quivers, ten very great bows and eight bow-strings, golden and reddish brown in colour, are set in his chariot." 71.20

"On that chariot there are hanging two swords, clearly measuring ten cubits in length and provided with handle measuring four cubits, casting their splendour on his two sides." 71.21

"That brave one, with red garland around his neck resembles a black coloured large mountain, having a huge mouth of death, looks like a sun covered by clouds." 71.22

"With his arms decorated by gold armlets he shines like the very great Himalaya mountain with its two lofty peaks." 71.23

"His face causing fear with the two ear rings is looking like the full moon between two stars of the Punarvasu constellation in the sky." 71.24

"Oh great one, tell me who this great Rākṣasa is, as all the monkeys greatly scared are running away helter-skelter on seeing him." 71.25

Thus asked by the son of a king Rāma who had extreme lustre, the greatly lustrous Vibhīṣaṇa replied like this to him. 71.26

"The greatly lustrous ten necked one is the younger brother of Kubera and does gross deeds with great enthusiasm and is known as Rāvaṇa, the king of Rākṣasas." 71.27

"His valorous son who is equal to Rāvaṇa in war, serves elders, remembers what he hears and is skilled in use of all weapons." 71.28

"He whose advice is respected rides on the backs of horses and elephants uses the sword and the bow and is well known for creating dissensions, winning over the other side and for leading his army." 71.29

"He on whose arm on which the city of Lanka rests fearlessly is known as Athikaya and is the son of Dhanyamala." 71.30

"He worshipped Lord Brahma by doing penance and purified his soul and obtained from him several weapons to defeat his enemies." 71.31

"Lord Brahma, granted him a boon, exempting him from death at the hands of devas and Rākṣasas as also this wonderful armour and the chariot shining like the sun." 71.32

"He has defeated devas and Rākṣasas hundreds of times and has destroyed the Yakṣas and protected the Rākṣasas." 71.33

"He paralyzed the Vajra of the valorous Indra by his arrows, struck down the noose of the king of the ocean in a battle. He is the very strong Athikaya who destroys pride of Rākṣasas, son of Rāvaṇa, great warrior who destroyed the pride of Devas and Dānavas." 71.34-71.35

"Oh great man Rāma, so efforts to kill him should be made very quickly, before he destroys the monkey army by his great arrows." 71.36

The very strong Athikaya entered the army of monkeys, twanged with his bow and roared again and again. 71.37

Seeing the very huge form of that great charioteer riding on a chariot, the powerful monkey chiefs rushed towards him. 71.38

Taking trees and mountain peaks, Kumuda, Dvividhaḥ, Mainda, Nīla and Śarabhā marched forwards quickly to attack him immediately. 71.39

The greatly lustrous Athikaya who was an expert in arrows, cut off all their trees and stones, with arrows decorated with gold. 71.40

The greatly skilled Athikaya with a very strong body struck all those monkeys who were standing in front of him in the battle field with arrows fully made of iron. 71.41

Due to their bodies breaking and greatly injured those monkeys could not retaliate to Athikaya in that great battle. 71.42

That Rākṣasa who was proud of his youth, greatly scared the army of monkey warriors like an angry lion scares a herd of deer. 71.43

That great Rākṣasa who was in the middle of the monkey army did not strike with arrows those who were not able to fight with him and with his bow and quiver went to Rāma and spoke these haughty words. 71.44

"I am sitting on this chariot armed with bows and arrows and I am not willing to fight with common warriors, those who have ability and energy to fight, can fight with me quickly." 71.45

Unable to tolerate these words of his, the son of Sumitrā who was the killer of his enemies became angry and with a smile rose up quickly and took up his bow. 71.46

The angry son of Sumitrā came forward, took a great arrow from his quiver and pulled his great bow in front of Athikaya. 71.47

The sound of the twang of the bow of Lakṣmaṇa filled the entire earth, sky, ocean and was filled with rage and scared all the Rākṣasas. 71.48

Hearing the terrible sound produced from the bow of that son of Sumitrā, the very strong Athikaya who was greatly lustrous was greatly surprised. 71.49

That Athikaya seeing Lakṣmaṇa standing before him, took a sharp arrow and spoke these words. 71.50

"Oh son of Sumitrā, you are a mere boy and do not know what is valour. Why do you want to fight with me who is like the God of death. Go away." 71.51

"Even Himalaya mountains nor the earth nor the sky would not be able to withstand the speed of arrows released by me." 71.52

"You want to raise the fire at the time of deluge when it is sleeping happily. So please place your bow here and go back without losing your life." 71.53

"If you do not desire to go back obstinately, then you please stay back and after losing your soul you will then go back to the land of Yama." 71.54

"Please see these sharp arrows of mine ornamented with gold, which remove the pride of my enemies like the weapons of Lord Shiva." 71.55

"This arrow looking like a serpent will drink your blood like a lion drinks the blood of an elephant. "Thus speaking, Athikaya was enraged and fixed an arrow on his bow. 71.56

The prince Lakṣmaṇa hearing the angry and arrogant words of Athikaya in the battle field became enraged and he who was wise, strong and glorious spoke as follows. 71.57

"Just because of your words, you cannot become great, people cannot become good by boasting about themselves. If possible show your strength to me, who is standing here with a bow and an arrow." 71.58

"There is no need for you to boast about yourselves but please show yourself to me by your deeds. A man is called valorous only based on his valour." 71.59

"You are sitting on a chariot endowed with all sort of weapons and now show me your valour either by your weapons or your arrows." 71.60

"After that with sharp arrows I shall cut off your head and it will fall like a palm fruit when the fast wind makes it fall from its stalk." 71.61

"Today my arrows bedecked with gold will drink your blood coming out through the holed created in your body by my sharp arrows." 71.62

"Thinking that I am only a boy, you should not disregard me. Whether I am a boy or old man, you should know me as a god of death in the battle field for do you not know that Vishnu as a boy measured the world using three steps." 71.63

After hearing the logical and truthful words of Lakṣmaṇa, Athikaya got wild with anger and took out an excellent arrow. 71.64

That battle was watched by Vidyādharas, Bhūtas, devas, Asuras, great sages, Guhyakas and many other great souls. 71.65

Then Athikaya stringing an arrow on his bow, sent it towards Lakṣmaṇa, as though he intends to shrink the atmosphere. 71.66

Then Lakṣmaṇa who is a destroyer of his enemy army cut that serpent like sharp arrow which was coming towards him by a crescent tipped arrow. 71.67

Seeing that his arrow was cut off and its snake head broken in to pieces Athikaya was greatly enraged, and prepared to send another five arrows. 71.68

The Rākṣasa sent those five arrows towards Lakṣmaṇa but before they reached him Lakṣmaṇa cut them off with his sharp arrows. 71.69

After cutting off those arrows with his sharp arrows, Lakṣmaṇa, the destroyer of enemy army, selected a sharp arrow which shined like fire. 71.70

Taking that great arrow Lakṣmaṇa kept it in his great bow and stretched it to the maximum and released it. 71.71

That valorous Lakṣmaṇa using that flat jointed arrow, stretched fully and released it and it hit the forehead of that great Rākṣasa. 71.72

That arrow which pierced the forehead of that very large Rākṣasa and he was coated with blood and he appeared like the king of serpents of the mountain. 71.73

That Rākṣasa troubled by the arrow of Lakṣmaṇa shook violently like the gates of city of Tripura shook hit by the arrow of Shiva. 71.74

That very strong one recovered his breath logically reflected "Good, by sending that arrow, you have become my great enemy." 71.75

Reasoning like that Athikaya opened his mouth widely, bent down with his huge soldiers and climbed up that chariot and roamed here and there on the chariot. 71.76

The bull among the Rākṣasas took out and got hold one, three, five and seven arrows, fixed them on his bow and released those arrows. 71.77

Those arrows released from the Rākṣasa leader looked like death, had golden shafts and shining like sun, brightened the sky. 71.78

Then the younger brother of Rāma without any nervousness cut off those series of arrows, released by the great Rākṣasa, by using many of his sharp arrows. 71.79

Seeing that his arrows were being cut off in the war, that son of Rāvaṇa who was the enemy of Indra took out a very sharp arrow. 71.80

That Rākṣasa who was having great lustre fixed that arrow to his bow, released it instantly and hit the approaching Lakṣmaṇa on his chest. 71.81

That son of Sumitrā hit by Athikaya in the battle on his chest oozed out blood and it looked like a fluid oozing out of an elephant in rut. 71.82

That Lord then quickly made himself free from that arrow and took another sharp arrow and fixed it on his bow. 71.83

Then he fixed that arrow of fire on his bow and, the arrow of the great one as well as his bow gave out a great flame. 71.84

Athikaya then took a very lustrous Sun arrow and that arrow with a golden shaft looked like a serpent. 71.85

Then Lakṣmaṇa sent a blazing horrible arrow against Athikaya which was the staff of death of the God of death. 71.86

That Rākṣasa seeing that arrow which was coming along with fire, sent another awful arrow of the Sun God against it. 71.87

Those great arrows having a burning tip struck each other in the sky and looked like two angry serpents. 71.88

Those two great arrows, even though they had a burning tip, hit one another and fell on the ground and they were reduced to ash, without flame and without lustre. 71.89-71.90

Then the very enraged Athikaya, released an arrow of cane of Tvaṣṭā and the valorous Lakṣmaṇa cut it off that arrow by an Indra's arrow. 71.91

Seeing that his arrow of Tvaṣṭā was struck down that lad Athikaya became enraged and fixed Yama's arrow on his bow. 71.92

Then Athikaya sent that arrow on Lakṣmaṇa and Lakṣmaṇa destroyed that arrow by sending the arrow of wind god. 71.93

Then the very angry Lakṣmaṇa rained hails of arrows on that Athikaya, which looked like a rainy cloud showering water. 71.94

When those reached Athikaya and hit his armour, their points adorned with diamonds were shattered and immediately fell on the surface. 71.95

Seeing that those arrows of his have failed, the great Lakṣmaṇa, the destroyer of enemy army, showered thousands of arrows. 71.96

That very strong Athikaya was not bothered about that rain of arrows, because his armour could never be pierced. 71.97

Then he sent a serpent like sharp arrow which hit Lakṣmaṇa on his vital parts and that Lakṣmaṇa who was a tormentor of his enemies fell unconscious for a moment. 71.98

After he regained his consciousness using four excellent sharp arrows, that Lakṣmaṇa who was a destroyer of his enemies, threw down his flag staff, killed his horses and also killed the Charioteer. 71.99-71.100

Without getting flustered that son of Sumitrā Lakṣmaṇa went on sending arrows exactly aiming at the Rākṣasa for getting that Rākṣasa killed. 71.101

That best among men was not able to cause any injury on him in that battle and then the wind god came to him and spoke as follows. 71.102

"He is protected by a boon of Brahma and has armour which cannot be split and he can be killed only by the arrow of Brahma and not by any other means. That very strong Athikaya cannot be killed by any other arrow." 71.103

Hearing the words of the wind God, Lakṣmaṇa who had valor equivalent to Indra, took the arrow of Brahma and fixed that arrow quickly and with terrific force. 71.104

When that arrow of boon which was extremely great was fixed by Lakṣmaṇa on his bow, all the directions, the sun and moon, the great planets and the sky were frightened and earth also made an uproar. 71.105

After having fixed that arrow of Brahma with feathers on his bow which was similar to the messenger of God of death, Lakṣmaṇa released that arrow which was like a thunderbolt on the son of the enemy of Indra. 71.106

Athikaya saw that arrow, released with great force by Lakṣmaṇa, speedily moving similar to wind, having pretty wings and variegated feathers, burning with light like a flame looking like a thunderbolt, approaching him. 71.107

That valorous Athikaya, with great speed, struck it with very many sharp arrows but that arrow released by Lakṣmaṇa reached very near him. 71.108

Seeing that blazing arrow, looking like Yama the lord of Death and black in colour, approaching him, Athikaya then struck it with spike, spear, mace, axe and arrows 71.109

But that arrow burning like fire made all those weapons as waste cut off Athikaya's head wearing a crown and carried it away. 71.110

That head with its crown, destroyed by Lakṣmaṇa fell down on the earth like a peak of Himalaya mountain. 71.111

Noticing that Athikaya had fallen to the ground with his cloths and ornaments scattered everywhere, al the surviving Rākṣasas became greatly upset. 71.112

Many of those depressed Rākṣasas, dejected as they were, showing fatigue born out of fighting in their faces, suddenly began to shout loudly, with their voices in discordant notes. 71.113

After their leader was killed, all other Rākṣasas were frightened and not interested to fight ran away with their faces towards the city of Lanka. 71.114

The very many monkeys greatly overjoyed, with their faces like fully opened lotus flowers, honoured Lakṣmaṇa whose desire was fulfilled, when that dangerous Rākṣasa was killed by him. 71.115

Lakṣmaṇa becoming greatly happy after that very strong Athikaya was killed and after being honoured by other monkeys, speedily went to the proximity of Rāma. 71.116

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