26-1 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

“Hostility is quite out of the question with Him who is the personification of the Time-Spirit (the principle of destruction), a fire to consume the forest in the shape of the wicked, a repository of virtues and an embodiment of wisdom, and who is adored even by Śiva, and Brahmā.” (48 B)

“Giving up all quarrel with Śrī Rāma, restore Videha’s Daughter to Him and worship the All-merciful, who has a most loving disposition.” His words stung Rāvaṇa like shafts. “Away, wretch, with your accursed face. If it were not for your age, I would have finished you; now please do not appear before my eyes again.” Mālyavān, however, thought within himself that the All-merciful has made up his mind to kill him; he, therefore, rose and departed abusing Rāvaṇa as he went. Meghanāda thereupon exclaimed in a fury: “See what wonders I work the very next morning. I am going to accomplish much; why should I, therefore, belittle its worth by speaking of it just now?” Confidence returned to Rāvaṇa when he heard his son’s words; and he fondly took him into his lap. The day broke even while they deliberated, and the monkeys again assailed the four gates. In their fury they laid siege to the most powerful citadel. This gave rise to an uproarious alarm in the city. The demons darted forward with their weapons of every description and hurled down mountain-peaks from the ramparts.” (1 - 5)

The demons hurled mountain-peaks in myriads and fired bomb-shells of every description, which came roaring like a crash of thunder; while the contending warriors roared like the clouds on the day of universal destruction. Fierce monkey warriors combated with their adversaries and had their bodies severely wounded and badly battered; yet they languished not. Seizing rocks, they hurled them against the fort; and the demons fell to them wherever they stood.

When Meghanāda heard that the monkeys had come and besieged the fort again, the hero tore down the fort and sallied forth with beat of drum to meet the enemy face to face. (49)

“Where are the two brother princes of Kosala, those archers celebrated throughout the spheres? Where are Nala, Nīla, Dvivida and Sugrīva as well as Aṅgada and Hanumān, the most powerful of all? Where is Vibhīṣaṇa the traitor to his own brother? I will kill them all today and him (Vibhīṣaṇa) too at all events.” So saying, he fitted sharp arrows to his bow and in excess of fury drew the string up to his ear. Presently he started discharging a volley of arrows that flew like so many winged serpents. Everywhere monkeys were seen falling to the ground, at that time there was none who would dare to face him. Bears and monkeys fled in every direction; none had any desire left to continue the fight. Not a single monkey or bear was to be seen on the field, whom he had left with anything but life. (1 - 4)

He struck his opponents with ten arrows each, and the monkey warriors dropped to the ground. Meghanāda, who was as powerful as he was staunch in fight, now roared like a lion. (50)

When the son of the wind-god saw his army in distress, he flew into a rage and rushed forth as if he were death personified. He forthwith uproted up a huge rock and hurled it at Meghanāda with great fury. When he saw the rock coming towards him, he mounted up into the air; leaving his car, charioteer and horses perish. Again and again did Hanumān challenge him to a duel, but the demon dared not come nearer; for he knew the monkey’s real strength. Meghanāda now approached Śrī Rāma and hurled every kind of abuse at him. He tried weapons and missiles of every description against Him; but the Lord with the utmost ease cut them asunder before they could reach Him. The fool was put out of countenance when he saw the Lord’s might, and began to practise all sorts of illusive devices, as if catching hold of a poor little snakeling one were to frighten Garuḍa and sport with him. (1 - 4)

The evil-minded demon displayed his demoniac powers before Him whose powerful Māyā (deluding potency) holds sway over all, both great and small, Śiva and Virañci (the Creator) not excepted. (51)

Mounting up into the air he rained down a shower of firebrands, and spouts of water issued forth from the earth. Fiends and fiendesses of diverse form danced with cries of “Maim and kill?” Now he would rain down showers of faeces, pus, blood, hair and bones; and now he would hurl a volley of stones. By discharging dust all round he made it so dark that if you held out your own hand you would not see it. The monkeys lost their nerve when they saw these supernatural phenomena. “At this rate we are all doomed” they thought. Śrī Rāma smiled when he saw this fun; at the same time He understood that the monkeys were all alarmed. With a single arrow He broke the illusive web, even as the sun removes the thick veil of darkness. He cast a gracious look on the monkeys and bears, and lo! they grew too strong to be restrained from fighting. (1 - 4)

Asking leave of Śrī Rāma and accompanied by Aṅgada and other monkey chiefs, Lakṣmaṇa marched forth in fury, bow and arrow in hand. (52)

With bloodshot eyes, a broad chest and long arms, his white form shone like the snow-clad Himālaya with a slight admixture of red. At the other end the ten-headed monster sent out champions, who rushed forth equipped with missiles and other weapons of every description. With mountains, claws and trees for weapons, the monkeys hastened to meet the demons, shouting “Victory to Rāma.” They all closed in the fray, match with match, both the sides equally agog to win. The monkeys, who had now the upper hand, battered the demons with their fists and feet and bit them with their teeth. They struck them down and browbeat them. “Kill, kill, seize, seize, seize, slay, break his head, seize his arm and tear it up!” - such were the cries that filled the air through all the nine divisions of the globe. Headless bodies sprinted furiously hither and thither. Hosts of celestials witnessed the spectacle from heaven, now with joy and now in dismay. (1 - 4)

Blood had collected in the hollows of the earth and dried up there and clouds of dust hung over it like ashes over heaps of live coal. (53)

The wounded warriors shone like so many Kimśuka trees in flower. The two champions, Lakṣmaṇa and Meghanāda, grappled with each other in mounting fury. Neither could get the better of the other. The demon, however, resorted to wily tricks and unfair means. Lakṣmaṇa, who was no other than Ananta (the serpent-god Śeṣa, whose wrath brings about the dissolution of the universe), then waxed furious and in a trice smashed the chariot and tore its driver to pieces. Śeṣa (Lakṣmaṇa) smote him in so many ways that the demon (Meghanāda) was all but dead. The son of Rāvaṇa thought within himself that he was in straits and the enemy would surely take his life. He threw a javelin which was notorious for killing warriors and was all brilliance; and lo! it struck Lakṣmaṇa in the breast. The blow was so smart that the prince swooned and Meghanāda now went near him shedding all fear. (1 - 4)

A vast number of champions as powerful as Meghanāda strove to lift him; but how could Śeṣa, the support of the entire globe, be thus lifted? Hence they returned smarting with shame. (54)

Listen, Pārvatī: (continues Lord Śaṅkara,) none can conquer him in battle, the fire of whose wrath soon consumes all the fourteen spheres (at the time of universal dissolution), and whom gods and human beings, nay, all animate and inanimate beings adore. He alone can understand this mystery, on whom descends Śrī Rāma’s grace. Now that it was evening, both the armies retired and the commanders of the different units began taking count of their troops. The All-merciful and invincible Lord of the universe, the all-pervading supreme Spirit, asked: “Where is Lakṣmaṇa?” Meanwhile Hanumān brought him; seeing His younger brother (in a swoon) the Lord felt sore distressed. Jāmbavān said, “Suṣeṇa, the physician, lives in Laṅkā; someone should be sent to fetch him here.” Assuming a minute (indiscernible) form Hanumān went and immediately brought him, house and all. (1 - 4)

Suṣeṇa came and bowed his head at Śrī Rāma’s lotus-feet. He mentioned the name of the herb as well as of the mountain where it could be had, and said, “Proceed, O son of the wind-god, to bring it.” (55)

Enshrining Śrī Rāma’s lotus-feet in his heart and assuring the Lord of his own might, the son of the wind-god departed. At the other end a spy disclosed the secret to Rāvaṇa, who called at the house of Kālanemi (a demon ally of Rāvaṇa). The ten-headed monster told him all that he had to say, hearing which Kālanemi beat his head again and again. “Nobody can obstruct him who burnt your capital before your very eyes. Therefore, adore the Lord of the Raghus in your own interest and desist, my lord, from all vain prattle. Hold in your heart that lovely form, swarthy as the blue lotus, the delight of all eyes. Dismiss the foolish idea of “I” and “You,” “mine” and “thine” and awake from slumber in the night of gross infatuation. Can anyone even dream of conquering Him in battle, who devours even the serpent of Time (which in its turn devours the entire creation)?” (1 - 4)

The ten-headed monster flew into a tearing rage when he heard this. Thereupon Kālanemi reasoned to himself: “I should rather die at the hands of Śrī Rāma’s servant; for this wretch revels in his load of sins!” (56)

So saying to himself he departed and resorted to his black art; he produced by the path a lake, a temple and a lovely garden. The son of the wind-god saw the good hermitage and thought to himself: “Let me ask leave of the hermit over there and drink some water, so that I may be relieved of my fatigue.” The demon (Kālanemi) had ensconced himself there in the deceitful garb of a hermit and sought to delude the messenger even of the Lord of Māyā. The son of the wind-god went and bowed his head before him; and the demon in his turn began to recite Śrī Rāma’s praises. “A fierce war is raging between Śrī Rāma and Rāvaṇa, of which Rāma will undoubtedly emerge victorious. I behold everything, my brother, even from here; for my great strength lies in my intuition.” On his asking for water, the demon gave Hanumān his own water-pot; but the monkey chief said, “My thirst will not be quenched by a small quantity of water.” “Then take a plunge in the lake and speedily come back. After that I will initiate you and you will have spiritual insight.” (1 - 4)

No sooner had Hanumān stepped into the lake than a she-alligator seized him by the foot in great excitement. Having been slain by Hanumān, she assumed a celestial form and, mounting an aerial car, soared into the heavens. (57)

“By your very sight, O dear monkey, I have been absolved of all sins and the curse of the great sage (which accounted for my birth in an alligator’s womb) has come to an end. This fellow, O monkey chief, is no hermit but a terrible demon: believe my words to be true.” So saying, the celestial nymph left for her abode in heaven and Hanumān immediately returned to the demon. Said the monkey: “First receive, holy sir, your fee as my spiritual preceptor and after that impart to me the sacred formula.” Hanumān then twisted his tail round the hermit’s head and knocked him down, and he appeared in his original (demoniac) form at the moment of his death and gave up the ghost while muttering “Rāma, Rāma.” Hanumān was delighted at heart to hear this name and proceeded on his journey. He found the mountain but failed to single out the herb (prescribed by Suṣeṇa); he, therefore, lost no time in uprooting the mount itself. Holding up the mountain in his hand, Hanumān darted back through the air while it was yet night and happened to pass over the city of Ayodhyā. (1 - 4)

Bharata (who kept vigil at night ever since his return from Chitrakūṭa) espied a colossal figure coursing through the air and thinking it to be some demon drew his bow to the ear and struck him with a headless shaft. (58)

Struck by the dart, Hanumān dropped unconscious to the ground, crying “Rāma, Rāma, O Lord of the Raghus!” The moment Bharata heard these pleasing words he rushed and came posthaste by the side of the monkey. Seeing the monkey in swoon, the prince clasped him to his bosom and tried every means to bring him back to consciousness but in vain. With a sad look in his face and much distressed at heart and his eyes full of tears, he spoke the following words; “The self-same Providence who alienated me from Śrī Rāma has also inflicted this terrible suffering on me. If in thought, word and deed I cherish sincere devotion to Śrī Rāma’s lotus feet, and if the Lord of the Raghus is kindly disposed towards me, may this monkey be relieved of all exhaustion and pain.” As soon as these words entered his ears the monkey chief arose and sat up, crying “Glory, all glory to the Lord of Kosala!” (1 - 4)

A thrill of joy ran through Bharata’s body and tears rushed to his eyes as Bharata took and clasped the monkey to his bosom. His heart overflowed with love at the very thought of Śrī Rāma, the glory of Raghu’s race. (59)

“Tell me, dear friend, if all is well with Śrī Rāma, the Fountain of Joy, as well as with His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) and mother Jānakī (Janaka’s Daughter).” The monkey chief told him in brief all that had happened and Bharata felt much distressed to hear it and his heart was filled with remorse. “Ah me, good heavens, why should I have been born into this world at all, if I could not be of any service to the Lord?” But realizing the adverse circumstances, the gallant and mighty prince recollected himself and addressed Hanumān again, “You will be delayed in your journey and nothing will avail after daybreak. Therefore, ascend my arrow, mountain and all, and I will send you straight into the presence of the All-merciful.” Hanumān’s pride was tickled when he heard these words. “How will the arrow fly with my weight?” he thought. Then, recalling Śrī Rāma’s glory, he bowed at Bharata’s feet and spoke with joined palms: - (1 - 4)

“Cherishing the thought of your majesty, my lord, I will go swiftly.” So saying and obtaining leave of Bharata, Hanumān bowed at his feet and sped on. As he journeyed forth, the son of the wind-god extolled to himself again and again Bharata’s strength of arm, amiability and goodness as well as his boundless devotion to the Lord’s feet. (60 A-B)

Now, there on Suvela Śrī Rāma uttered words befitting a mortal as He looked at Lakṣmaṇa, “Although it is now past midnight, Hanumān has not yet turned up!” Śrī Rāma raised His younger brother and clasped him to His bosom. “Brother, you could never bear to see me in distress, since your disposition has always been so tender. On my account you left both father and mother and exposed yourself to the cold, the heat and the winds in the forest. Where is that old love now, brother, that you refuse to get up even on hearing my lament? Had I known that I would lose my brother in the forest, I would never have obeyed even my father’s command. Sons, riches, wives, houses and kinsfolk in this world repeatedly come and go; but a real brother cannot be had again in this world. Ponder this in your mind and arise, dear brother. As a bird is utterly miserable without wings, a serpent without its head-jewel and a noble elephant without its trunk, so is my life without you, brother, in case stupid fate compels me to survive. With what face shall I return to Ayodhyā after sacrificing a beloved brother for the sake of wife. I would rather have suffered obloquy in the world (for my inability to recover my wife); for after all the loss of a wife is not a serious loss. Now, however, my unfeeling and stony heart will endure both that obloquy and the deep anguish of your loss, my son. Your mother’s only son, you are the sole prop of her life. Yet she took you by the hand and entrusted you to me, knowing that I would make you happy in every way and that I am your greatest well-wisher. What answer shall I give her when I go back? Why should you not get up and advise me, brother?” Thus lamented the Dispeller of sorrow, in diverse ways; and tears flowed from His eyes which resembled the petals of a lotus. Umā, (continues Lord Śiva,) the Lord of the Raghus is one (without a second) and indivisible; He exhibited the ways of human being only because He is so compassionate to His devotees. (1 - 9)

The hosts of monkeys that surrounded the Lord were distressed to hear the Lord’s frantic wailing. Presently arrived Hanumān like a heroic strain in the midst of pathos. (61)

Transported with joy, Śrī Rāma embraced Hanumān; for the Lord is exceedingly grateful by nature and supremely wise. The physician (Suṣeṇa) then immediately applied the medicine and Lakṣmaṇa cheerfully rose and sat up. The Lord clasped His brother to His heart and the whole host of bears and monkeys was rejoiced. Hanumān took the physician back to Laṅkā in the same way he had brought him previously night. When the ten-headed monster heard this news, he beat his head in utter despair again and again. In sore perplexity he called on Kumbhakarṇa (his younger brother) and succeeded in waking him by using all sorts of devices. Having woken and sat up, he looked like Death himself in a corporeal body. Kumbhakarṇa asked; “Tell me, brother, why do you look so withered up?” The haughty Rāvaṇa told him the whole story as to how he had carried off Sītā “Dear brother, the monkeys have killed all the demons and extirpated the greatest warriors. Durmukha, Devāntaka (the enemy of gods), Narāntaka (the devourer of men), the mighty champions Atikāya (of enormous size) and Akampana (who never trembles in fear) and other heroes like Mahodara (the big-bellied), so staunch in battle, have all fallen on the field of battle.” (1 - 6)

On hearing the words of his ten-headed brother, Kumbhakarṇa felt very sorry. “Having carried off the Mother of the universe, O fool, you still expect good out of it!” (62)

“You have not acted well, O demon king. And now why have you come and woke me up? Yet, abandoning pride, worship Śrī Rāma and you will be blessed. Can the Lord of the Raghus, O ten-headed Rāvaṇa, be a man, who has couriers like Hanumān? Alas, brother, you acted unwisely in that you did not break this news to me earlier. You have courted war with the Divinity who has for His servants gods like Śiva and Virañci (the Creator). I would have confided to you the secret which the sage Nārada had once imparted to me; but the time has passed. Squeeze me, brother, in close embrace now, I may go now and bless my eyes with the sight of the Lord who has a swarthy complexion and lotus-like eyes and who relieves the threefold agony of His devotees.” (1 - 4)

As he thought of Śrī Rāma’s beauty and virtues he forgot himself for a moment. In the meantime Rāvaṇa requisitioned (for his consumption) myriads of jars full of wine and a whole herd of buffaloes. (63)

Having feasted on the buffaloes and drunk off the wine, Kumbhakarṇa roared like a crash of lightning. Heavily drunk and full of passion for war, he sallied forth from the fort without any troops. When Vibhīṣaṇa saw him, he came forward and falling at his feet told him his name. Kumbhakarṇa in his turn lifted his younger brother and clasped him to his bosom; he was delighted at heart to know that his brother was a devotee of Śrī Rāma (the Lord of the Raghus). “Dear brother, Rāvaṇa spurned me with his foot when I gave him a most salutary advice and told him my view. Disgusted with such treatment I came away to Śrī Rāma, and the Lord’s heart was drawn towards me when he perceived my distress.” “Listen, my son; Rāvaṇa is in the clutches of death and would not listen even to the best advice at this stage. Thrice blessed are you, Vibhīṣaṇa; you have proved to be the ornament of the demon race. Brother, you have brought glory to our line by adoring Śrī Rāma, that ocean of beauty and felicity. (1 - 5)

“In thought, word and deed you should guilelessly adore Śrī Rāma, who is staunch in battle. Now leave me; for, doomed as I am to death, brother, I can no longer distinguish between friend and foe.” (64)

On hearing the words of his brother (Kumbhakarṇa) Vibhīṣaṇa turned back and came into the presence of Śrī Rāma (the Ornament of the three spheres). “My lord, here comes Kumbhakarṇa, possessed of a body huge as a mountain and staunch in battle!”

The moment the mighty monkeys heard this they rushed forth crying with joy. They plucked up trees and mountains and hurled them against Kumbhakarṇa gnashing their teeth all the while.

The bears and monkeys threw myriads of mountain-peaks at him each time. But neither he felt daunted in spirit nor did he stir from his position in spite of the best efforts on the part of the monkeys to push him back, even like an elephant pelted with the fruits of the sun-plant. Thereupon Hanumān struck him with his fist and he fell to the earth beating his head in great confusion. Rising again he hit Hanumān back and the latter whirled round and immediately dropped to the ground. Next he overthrew Nala and Nīla upon the ground and knocked down the warriors here, there and everywhere. The monkey host stampeded; in utter dismay none dared face him. (1 - 5)

Having rendered unconscious Aṅgada and the other principal monkeys including Sugrīva, Kumbhakarṇa, who was of unbounded might, nay, the very perfection of strength, pressed the king of the monkeys under his arm pit and went off. (65)