Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 88

88. Great War Between Indrajit and Lakṣmaṇa

[A great war of words as well as arrows ensue. Though both of them were hit by each other, they did not feel tired.]

Hearing the words of Sugrīva, the son of Rāvaṇa got very angry and spoke harsher words and rushed forward in rage. 88.1

Indrajit who was looking like the God of death at time of final deluge and sat on a well decorated and distinguished chariot, yoked with black horses. He was armed with upraised bow and other weapons besides a big, terrific, strong, enormous and swift bow and also had arrows which can torment enemies. 88.2-88.3

That strong one who was fully adorned, carrying a very large bow sat on a chariot and saw Lakṣmaṇa, brother of Rāma who was wearing ornaments having great splendour. 88.4

Indrajit hurriedly spoke to the great monkey Hanuman and to the son of Sumitrā who had climbed on Hanuman's back and who had the splendour of the rising sun and to Vibhīṣaṇa "Now you will be witnessing my valour." 88.5

"Now you would be facing the rain of my arrows released in the sky from my bow which are indefensible, in the battle field." 88.6

"Today the arrows which are to be released from my great bow will destroy your bodies, like fire destroys a pile of cotton." 88.7

"Today I will pierce you with sharp arrows, spears, javelins and lances and send all of you the world of God of death, Yama." 88.8

"Who can afford to stand before me, when I release my rain of arrows like the thundering of the cloud with my swift hand in the battle." 88.9

"Earlier in a battle at night, both of you along with Sugrīva and all your followers were made unconscious by my arrows which appeared to have a diamond tip and were made to fall down on the floor. 88.10

"Do you not remember that? I feel that you are all on the road to the world of Yama since you have come here to give me a battle in spite of my anger." 88.11

Hearing that roar of that king of Rākṣasas, Lakṣmaṇa with a courageous face spoke the following words to the angry son of Rāvaṇa. 88.12

"Oh Rākṣasa You were talking about completion of tasks which are difficult to achieve. He alone is considered cleaver who completes his job wherever practicable." 88.13

"Oh evil minded one, you are thinking that you have completed your job by telling it by words alone and the job is difficult to achieve by any one and you do not have the capacity to achieve." 88.14

"On that day, you became invisible in the battle field and that way is followed only by thieves and not valorous heroes." 88.15

"Oh Rākṣasa, have you used up all your great arrows? Now I am standing before you and so show your strength today. What is the point bragging about it?" 88.16

Hearing these words, the very strong Indrajit who has been victorious in battles reached for his very huge bow and sent very many sharp arrows from it. 88.17

Duly reaching Lakṣmaṇa, the arrows released by Indrajit, which rushed with great speed and were as deadly as the venom of serpents, fell like the hissing of snakes. 88.18

Indrajit, the son of Rāvaṇa who was swift released very speedy arrows in the battle on Lakṣmaṇa who had auspicious signs. 88.19

With arrows piercing Lakṣmaṇa's body, it was drenched in blood and it shined like a fire without smoke. 88.20

Thinking over the great job done by him, Indrajit approached Lakṣmaṇa and gave out a great roar and spoke the following words. 88.21

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa the sharp edged, fatal arrows of mine which have wings, released from my bow will now take your life." 88.22

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, Let large number of jackals, vultures and hawks descend upon you, when you have been hit by me and are dead." 88.23

"The very evil minded, ever ungentle Rāma now itself would be able to see you, his very devoted brother who is only a namesake Kshatriya killed by me." 88.24

"Oh son of Sumitrā, you would be struck down by me with your armour broken, with bow scattered and your head cut off." 88.25

When the son of Rāvaṇa told these words with anger and harshness, Lakṣmaṇa who had a command of the language replied with these logical words. 88.26

"Oh evil minded Rākṣasa, omit these empty words as well as cruel deeds. Why are you engaged in idle talk? Prove it with your good work." 88.27

"Oh Rākṣasa, without doing any act, why are you boasting about yourself? Perform your job by which I can believe in your boasting." 88.28

Oh worst of males, without talking even a few harsh words, without abusing you and without talking about myself, I would kill you." 88.29

After talking like this Lakṣmaṇa took hold of five steel arrows pulled them up to his ears and hit that Rākṣasa’s chest with great speed. 88.30

Those arrows with feathered and golden plumes shining like serpents, hit the chest of the Rākṣasa and shined like rays of Sun. 88.31

Then the son of Rāvaṇa who was struck by those arrows got very angry and pierced Lakṣmaṇa with three well directed arrows. 88.32

That very terrific fight between the lions among men and Rākṣasas, each of whom wanted to conquer the other became tumultuous and terrific. 88.33

Both of them were endowed with strength and both of them were valorous, both of them were very difficult to defeat and both matchless in their strength and lustre. 88.34

Those two people who were difficult to defeat were like planets in the sky and fought like Indra and Vritrāsura. 88.35

Those two great people fought like lions and were engaging several streams of arrows and those chief of men and chief of Rākṣasas fought with great joy. 88.36-88.37

Then the son of Dasaratha, the tormenter of his enemies, after fitting arrows on his bow released them on Indrajit and they went there like hissing serpents. 88.38

When the lord of the Rākṣasas heard the twang sound made by Lakṣmaṇa, he became pale faced and he fixed his gaze on Lakṣmaṇa." 88.39

Seeing that Rākṣasa who was the son of Rāvaṇa becoming pale faced Vibhīṣaṇa told Lakṣmaṇa who was engaged in the battle. 88.40

"Oh long armed one, I am seeing certain signs in the son of Rāvaṇa indicating that he is disappointed and so without any doubt make haste. 88.41

Then fitting on his bow sharp arrows which were similar to poisonous snakes, that son of Sumitrā, sent those arrows which were like serpents full of poison. 88.42

Wounded by the arrows of Lakṣmaṇa, which invaded all his senses which was like the painful touch of Indra's thunderbolt, Indrajit was stupefied for a moment. 88.43

Gaining back his consciousness in a moment and with regaining control of his sense organs, He saw the valiant son of Dasaratha before him. 88.44

With eyes turning red due to anger, he walked near to the son of Sumitrā and again told these very harsh words. 88.45

"Why are you not remembering my valour in the first encounter between us, when I tied you and your brother and you wriggled on the floor." 88.46

"Both of you in that war by my arrows which were equal to Indra's thunderbolt, were laid down unconscious on the earth." 88.47

"The fact that you desire to attack me may mean that the memory of that incident is not with you or you desire to go the land of Yama." 88.48

"If you were not able to see my prowess in the first encounter, stand ready, for I am going to show you my valour now." 88.49

Speaking thus he hit Lakṣmaṇa with seven arrows with the ten best of arrows which were sharp he hit Hanuman. 88.50

Then that valorous one with twice that much anger using one hundred well aimed arrows wounded Vibhīṣaṇa. 88.51

When the younger brother of Rāma saw the great feat accomplished by Indrajit, he disregarded it and derided it by saying, "This is nothing", greatly enraged and with a fearless face, that best among men, took out some very terrific arrows and sent them towards Indrajit. 88.52-88.53

"Oh Rākṣasa, true heroes in a battle do not strike like this, since your arrows are weak, mild and without strength." 88.54

"Those valorous persons who are aiming at victory do not fight like this", saying like this Lakṣmaṇa rained more arrows on Indrajit. 88.55

Then hit by Lakṣmaṇa's arrows of large armour made of gold slipped down in the middle of the chariot looking like cobweb of stars falling from the sky. 88.56

The valorous Indrajit with his armour destroyed by those steel arrows and also having been wounded looked like the sun at dawn. 88.57

Then greatly enraged that son of Rāvaṇa using one thousand arrows wounded Lakṣmaṇa in that great battle. 88.58

The large divine armour of Lakṣmaṇa broke in to pieces and thus those two great warriors vied with each other in attack and retaliation. 88.59

Those two with all their body wounded in that fight, were coated with blood and breathing with difficulty continued to battle tumultuously. 88.60

For a long time those valorous ones who were both greatly skilled in war using very sharp arrows were cutting each other. 88.61

Those two heroes of terrific prowess stayed on with great effort trying for their own victory, and as they were wounded all over with a multitude of arrows as also their armour and standards have been torn to pieces were seen emitting hot blood, just as two water-falls gushing hot water. 88.62

A long time elapsed while the two warriors fought sending terrific stream of arrows with an awful clamour, similar to two dark destructive clouds raining from the sky. They neither turned their back from the battle, nor experienced any tiredness. 88.63-88.64

Those best among archers showed off their skill in arrows again and again and created net of arrows big and small in the sky. 88.65

Loosening their arrows without error, gracefully and easily in a wonderful way, both the man and the Rākṣasa carried on a tumultuous and terrific war. 88.66

Again a again a terrible sound which was greatly tumultuous which was horrifying was created and it was similar to a very great thunder storm. 88.67

The sound of fight created by those two who were engaged in a great fight was similar to the rumbling of thunder created by two great clouds in the sky. 88.68

Using sharp steel arrows decorated by gold and wings they wounded each other and those two famous warriors fighting for victory profusely bled. 88.69

Those arrows decorated by wings after wounding them fell on the earth smeared with blood and pierced the earth. 88.70

Other properly aimed arrows sent by them clashed in thousands with other sharp weapons on the sky and shattered and broke them. 88.71

The pile of arrows lying on the battle field resembled like a huge heap of sacred Kuśa grass by the side of the sacred fire in sacrifices. 88.72

The wounded and bleeding bodies of those two mighty warriors shone like Kimśuka and Śalmalī trees in full blossom, deprived of leaves. 88.73

Indrajit and Lakṣmaṇa wishing for their own victory again and again carried on a very tumultuous and terrific battle. 88.74

In that war Lakṣmaṇa was hurting Indrajit and Indrajit was hurting Lakṣmaṇa and though both of them were hurting each other, they both did not feel tired. 88.75

With those net of arrows entering their body and hurting them those auspicious great warriors were looking like a mountains throwing out plants from them. 88.76

At that their bodies dampened all over by blood and covered with arrows all over shined very much like burning fires. 88.77

Though a lot of time elapsed when these warriors were engaged in fighting, they did not turn their back to the battle nor felt tired. 88.78

Then, to relieve tiredness due to the battle of Lakṣmaṇa, who did not experience defeat in any aspect of the war, the great-soul Vibhīṣaṇa, offering agreeable and salutary words, took up his position, on reaching the battle-field. 88.79

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