Chapter [Sarga] 23

Introduction

On the starting out of Khara's demonic forces to wage a war with Rama, many bad omens are foreboded by vultures, animals, and even by nature. Though in the know of the portent evil, Khara proceeds with his army vaingloriously messaging his army that he can overcome these auguries or even Indra, and Rama is nothing before him.


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tat prayaatam balam ghoram ashivam shoNita udakam |
abhyavarSat mahaa meghaH tumulo gardabha aruNaH || 3-23-1

1. gardabha aruNaH= ass-like [greyish,] in colour; tumulaH= tumultuous; mahaa meghaH= massy, cloud; prayaatam tat ghoram balam= advancing that, fiendish, army of Khara; a + shivam= ill-omened; shoNita udakam= blood, waters; abhyavarSat= rained.

A massy and tumultuous ass-coloured cloud rained ill-omened bloody water while that fiendish force is advancing. [3-23-1]

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nipetuH turagaaH tasya ratha yuk{}taa mahaajavaaH |
same puSpacite deshe raajamaarge yadR^icChayaa || 3-23-2

2. ratha yuktaa= to chariot, paired; mahaa javaaH tasya turagaaH= highly, speedy, his, horses; raaja maarge= royal, road [high way]; puSpa cite= with flowers, overspread; same deshe= on even [surface,] at places; yadR^icChayaa nipetuH= in a trice, fallen [tottered.]

The highly speedy horses paired to Khara's chariot have tottered in a trice, even though that place on the highway is with even surface and spread with flowers. [3-23-2]

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shyaamam rudhira paryantam babhuuva pariveSaNam |
alaata cakra pratimam pratigR^ihya divaakaram || 3-23-3

3. divaakaram= sun; prati gR^ihya [pari gR^ihya]= on capturing; shyaamam= blackish; rudhira paryantam [pari antam]= blood-red, at edges - a corona; alaata cakra pratimam= fireball, circle of, in shape; pari veSaNam= a nest nested around; babhuuva became - formed.

Capturing the sun a blackish corona with blood-red outer circle has formed and nested around it like the fiery ring formed by circling a fireball. [3-23-3]

This sort of corona can be seen during the total eclipse of sun where a black corona with red tinged glow forms around the eclipsed sun. This circling of fireball handheld on a sling is there even today, and it is performed before marriage processions or such other events as a daring sport.

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tato dhvajam upaagamya hema daNDam samucChritam |
samaakramya mahaakaayaH tasthau gR^idhraH sudaaruNaH || 3-23-4

4. tataH= then; mahaa kaayaH= massive, bodied; su daaruNaH gR^idhraH= very, awful, eagle; hema daNDam= golden, shaft; sam ucChritam= very, lofty one; dhvajam upaagamya= flag, nearing at; [hema daNDam= golden shaft]; sam aakramya= well, occupying; tasthau= seated.

Then, nearing the golden shaft of the flag of the chariot with a very lofty flagstaff, an awful eagle with massive body occupied and perched atop of that golden shaft. [3-23-4]

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janasthaana samiipe ca samaakramya khara svanaaH |
visvaraan vividhaan ca cakruH maa.msa aadaa mR^iga pakSiNaH || 3-23-5

5. khara svanaaH= cacophonous, voiced ones; maamsa aadaa flesh, eating - carnivorous; mR^iga pakSiNaH= animals [predators,] birds - vultures; janasthaana samiipe sam aakramya= Janasthaana, nearby, took over; vi vidhaan= many, kinds of; vi+svaraan= out of, tune - raucous sounds; cakruH= made.

Cacophonous and carnivorous predators and vultures took over the nearby places of Janasthaana and they made raucous sounds of many kinds. [3-23-5]

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vyaajahruH ca padiiptaayaam dishi vai bhairava svanam |
ashivaa yaatudhaanaanaam shivaa ghoraa mahaasvanaaH || 3-23-6

6. ghoraa mahaa svanaaH shivaa= fearsome, loud, noised, jackals; abhi diiptaayaam dishi= very, [by sun] scorched, in direction, towards that stretch; bhairava svanam= [emitting] awful, sounds; yaatudhaanaanaam= to demons; a + shivaa vyaajahruH= not, auspicious, made know - they howled.

Turning towards the stretch scorched by the sun, fearsome and loud noised jackals have howled emitting awful sounds, that which is inauspicious to the demons. [3-23-6]

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prabhinnagajasa.mkaashatoyashoNitadhaariNaH | - yadvaa -
prabhinna gaja sa.mkaasha toya shoNita dhaariNaH |
aakaasham tat anaakaasham cakruH bhiima a.mbu vaahakaaH|| 3-23-7

7. pra bhinna gaja [giri] samkaasha= verily, bursting, elephant [mountain,] similar - burst mountains, or, elephants coving the sky ; toya shoNita dhaariNaH= waters, bloodlike, carrying; bhiimaaH ambu vaahakaaH= frightening, water, carriers [clouds]; tadaa= then; aakaasham= that, sky; an+aakaasham cakruH= less, leeway, made as.

Then frightening clouds similar to bursting mountains carrying bloodlike water have rendered the firmament less of leeway. [3-23-7]

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babhuuva timiram ghoram uddhatam roma harSaNam |
disho vaa pradisho vaa api suvyak{}tam na cakaashire || 3-23-8

8. ghoram uddhatam roma harSaNam= abominable, upheave - cataclysmic, hair, raising; timiram= darkness; babhuuva= became; disha vaa pradishaH vaa api= in milieus, or, inter, milieus, or, even; su vyaktam na cakaashire= very, clearly, not, brightened.

There chanced an abominable, cataclysmic, hair-raising darkness whereby the milieus or inter-milieus are not very clearly brightened. [3-23-8]

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kSataja aardra savarNaabhaa sa.mdhyaa kaalam vinaa babhau |
kharam ca abhimukham neduH tadaa ghoraa mR^igaaH khagaaH || 3-23-9
ka.nka gomaayu gR^idhraaH ca cukrushuH bhaya sa.mshinaH |

9, 10a. kaalam vinaa= time, without - untimely; kSataja aardra sa varNa abhaa= blood, drenched, similar, in colour, with hue of - similar to the hue and colour of blood wet object; sandhyaa= eventide; babhau= glistened; tadaa= then; ghoraa mR^igaaH= horrendous, brutes; khagaaH= birds; kharam abhi mukham= at Khara, towards, facing; neduH= clamoured; kanka gomaayu gR^idhraaH ca= vultures, jackals, eagles, also; bhaya samshinaH cukrushuH= danger, portending, screamed.

An untimely eventide glistened with a colour similar to the one drenched in blood, and then horrendous brutes and birds have clamoured facing Khara directly, and the vultures, jackals and eagles too have screamed portending danger. [3-23-9, 10a]

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nityaa ashiva karaa yuddhe shivaa ghora nidarshanaaH || 3-23-10
neduH balasya abhimukham jvaala udgaaribhiH aananaiH |

10. yuddhe= in war; nityaa a+hiva karaa= always, not, auspicious, causers of - agents of; ghora nidarshanaaH= calamities, demonstrable for [foretellers]; shivaa= [female] jackals; jvaala udgaaribhiH aananaiH= blazes, spewing, with snouts; balasya abhimukham neduH= forces, in front of, howled.

Jackals, that too female jackals, are always the agents of inauspiciousness in wars with demonstrable calamities brought forth by their portending howling, and such jackals have now howled in front of Khara's army with their snouts spewing blazes. [3-23-10]

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kabandhaH parigha aabhaaso dR^ishyate bhaaskara a.ntike || 3-23-11
jagraaha suuryam svarbhaanuH aparvaNi mahaagrahaH |
pravaati maarutaH shiighram niS.hprabho abhuut divaakaraH || 3-23-12

11b, 12. bhaaskara antike= sun, near at; parigha aabhaasaH= club like - spherical object, in shape; kabandhaH= human trunk; dR^ishyate= is revealed; mahaa grahaH= great, planet; svarbhaanuH= Rahu, [the eclipsing planet]; jagraaha suuryam= captured, the sun; maarutaH shiighram pravaati= wind, swiftly, blew - frantically whirled; divaakaraH niS prabhaH abhuut= sun, without, shine, became.

A spherical object like that of a human trunk is revealed near at the sun, while the sun is rendered shineless as though Rahu, the great eclipsing-planet, has eclipsed him inopportunely, and the wind too whirled frantically. [3-23-11b, 12]

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utpetuH ca vinaa raatrim taaraaH khadyotana prabhaaH |
sa.mliina miina vihagaa nalinyaH shuSka pa.nkajaaH || 3-23-13
tasmin kSaNe babhuuvuH ca vinaa puSpa phalaiH drumaaH |

13, 14a. kha dyotana prabhaaH= sky, illuminators, with brilliance of - with the brilliance equalling that of fire-flies; taaraaH= stars; vinaa raatrim= without, night nightfall; utpetuH= sprang up - seen; tasmin kSaNe= it that, moment; samliina miina vihagaa= merged - stood still, fishes, waterfowls - that have; nalinyaH= lakes; shuSka pankajaaH= with dried-up, lotuses - they became; drumaaH vinaa puSpa phalaiH babhuuvuH= trees, without, fruits, flowers, became - dropped of from trees.

Stars sprang up with the brilliance of fireflies though it is not night, and at that moment fishes and waterfowls stood still in lakes, lotuses have dried up, flowers and fruits have dropped from trees as though it is night. [3-23-13, 14a]

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uddhuutaH ca vinaa vaatam reNuH jaladhara aruNaH || 3-23-14
ciicii kuuci iti vaashyanto babhuuvuH tatra saarikaaH |

14b, 15a. vinaa vaatam= without, wind [puffing]; jala dhara aruNaH= water, carrier [like the colour of such clouds,] reddish-brown; reNuH= dust; uddhuutaH= is shoved up; tatra= there; saarikaaH= Sharika birds [Maina, Gracula Reliosa]; cii cii kuu cii= cii, cii, kuu, cii; iti= thus as; vaashyantaH babhuuvuH= twittering, they became - they are confused.

Without any puffing of wind dust in brownish-red colour is heaved up, and there the songbirds like Maina started to twitter as 'cii cii kuu cii'. [3-23-14b, 15a]

The expression cii cii kuu cii is an onomatopoetic expression for the twittering of birds.

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ulkaaH ca api sa nirghoSaa nipetuH ghora darshanaaH || 3-23-15
pracacaala mahii ca api sa shaila vana kaananaa |

15b, 16a. ghora darshanaaH= horrible, in look; sa nir+ghoSaa= with, outgoing, sound - thunderously; ulkaaH ca api= meteors, also, even; nipetuH= fell down; sa shaila vana kaananaa= with, mountains, woods, forests; [sarvaa] mahii ca api= [entire] earth, also, even; pracacaala [pra ca caala]= verily, shakily, quaked.

Meteors horrible in their look have fallen down thunderously, and even the earth together with its mountains, woods and forests quaked shakily. [3-23-15b, 16a]

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kharasya ca rathasthasya nardamaanasya dhiimataH || 3-23-16
praakampata bhujaH savyaH svaraH ca asya avasajjata |

16b, 17a. ratha sthasya= in chariot, staying; nardamaanasya dhiimataH= while raving, clever one; kharasya= of Khara; savyaH bhujaH= left, shoulder; praa kampata= excessively, thrilled; asya svaraH ca= his, voice, also; ava sajjata= down, slacked - quavered.

He who is raving while sitting in his chariot that clever Khara's left shoulder thrilled excessively, and his voice too quavered. [3-23-16b, 17a]

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sa asraa sa.mpadyate dR^iSTiH pashyamaanasya sarvataH || 3-23-17
lalaaTe ca rujo jaataa na ca mohaat nyavartata |

17b, 18a. sarvataH pashyamaanasya= everywhere, while seeing; [asya= his]; dR^iSTiH= sight - eyes; sa asraa sampadyate= is with, tears, obtained [eyes spawned tears]; lalaaTe ca= on forehead, also; ruja jaataa= ache, is born - occurred; mohaat= owing to imprudence - by vanity; na ca= not, also; niaavartata [ni aa vartata= back, towards, proceeded]= he did not turn back.

While he is seeing everywhere his eyes spawned tears for no good reason, his forehead ached, but he did not retrace his steps owing to his own vanity. [3-23-17b, 18a]

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taan samiikSya mahotpaataan utthitaan roma harSaNaan || 3-23-18
abraviit raakSasaan sarvaan prahasan sa kharaH tadaa |

18b, 19a. saH kharaH= he, that Khara; tadaa utthitaan= then - at that moment, stemmed up; taan roma harSaNaan= them, hair, raising ones; mahaa utpaataan= worst, auguries; samiikSya= observing; prahasan= laughing off; sarvaan raakSasaan abraviit= to all, demons, said.

On observing those worst auguries stemming up at that moment with hair-raising nature, Khara laughed them off and said this to all of the demons. [3-23-18b, 19a]

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mahaa utpaataan imaan sarvaan utthitaan ghora darshanaan || 3-23-19
na ci.ntayaami aham viiryaat balavaan durbalaan iva |

19b, 20a. utthitaan= uprisen - cropped up; ghora darshanaan= horrible, appearing [in their nature]; imaan mahaa utpaataan= these, awful, auguries; sarvaan= all of them; aham= I; viiryaat= owing to [my own] valour; balavaan dur balaan iva= mighty one [is unworried of,] not, mighty one [mightless one,] as with; na cintayaami= I am not, thinking - I am unbothered.

"These awful auguries with their horrible nature have arisen, but owing to my own valour I am unbothered about all of them as with a mighty one unworried of the mightless. [3-23-19b, 20a]

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taaraa api sharaiH tiikSNaiH paatayeyam nabhaH talaat || 3-23-20
mR^ityum maraNa dharmeNa sa.mkruddho yojayaami aham |

20b, 21a. aham= I; taaraa api= stars, even; sharaiH tiikSNaiH= with arrows, excruciating; nabhaH talaat paatayeyam= from sky's, plane, make to fall [strike to fall - hurtle]; sam kruddhaH= highly, infuriated; mR^ityum= to Death; maraNa dharmeNa= with death's, disposition with mortality; yojayaami= I can enjoin.

"With the excruciating arrows of mine I can hurtle stars from the face of sky, and if highly infuriated, I can even enjoin mortality to Death himself. [3-23-20b, 21a]

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raaghavam tam bala utsik{}tam bhraataram ca asya lakSmaNam || 3-23-21
ahatvaa saayakaiH tiikSNaiH na upaavartitum utsahe |

21b, 22a. bala utsiktam= by might, enthused - haughty; tam raaghavam= that, Raghava; asya bhraataram lakSmaNam ca= his, brother, Lakshmana, too; tiikSNaiH saayakaiH= with incisive, arrows; a+hatvaa= without, killing; upaavartitum [upa aa vartitum]= to return; na utsahe= not, enthusiastic - reluctant.

"I am reluctant to return without killing that Rama, a haughty one by his might, together with his brother Lakshmana, with my incisive arrows. [3-23-21b, 22a]

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yan nimittam tu raamasya lakSmaNasya viparyayaH || 3-23-22
sakaamaa bhaginii me astu piitvaa tu rudhiram tayoH |

22b, 23a. raamasya lakSmaNasya= Rama's, Lakshmana's; vi paryayaH= mis, behaviour - perverse of them; yat nimittam= in whose [Shuurpanakha's,] respect; sa [me] bhaginii= she, [my] sister; tayoH= of those two; rudhiram piitvaa= blood, on drinking; sa kaamaa astu= fulfilled, desire - contented, let her be.

"In whose respect both Rama and Lakshmana behaved perversely, let that sister of mine be contented in drinking the blood of those two. [3-23-22b, 23a]

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na kvacit praapta puurvo me sa.myugeSu paraajayaH || 3-23-23
yuSmaakam etat pratyakSam na anR^itam kathayaami aham |

23b, 24a. me samyugeSu= to me, in combats; kvacit paraajayaH na praaptaH puurvaH= anywhere, defeat, not, chanced, earlier; etat yuSmaakam pratyakSam= that is, to you all, obvious; aham an+R^itam= I am, un, truth; na kathayaami= not, telling.

"No defeat has chanced on me in combats at anytime and anywhere, that to you all is obvious and I tell no untruth. [3-23-23b, 24a]

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deva raajam api kruddho matta airaavata gaaminam || 3-23-24
vajra hastam raNe hanyaam kim punaH tau ca maanuSau |

24b, 25a. kruddhaH= if I am in fury; matta airaavata gaaminam= ruttish, Iravata elephant, going on - treks; vajra hastam= Thunderbolt, wielder; deva raajam api= god's, king [Indra,] even; raNe hanyaam= in war, I kill; tau ca [ku] maanuSau= those two, are but, [base] humans; kim punaH= why, [speak of] again.

"If I am infuriated I can eliminate even the king of gods, wielder of Thunderbolt and a trekker on ruttish elephant Iravata, namely Indra in a war, then why talk about these two humans." Thus Khara addressed his troops. [3-23-24b, 25a]

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saa tasya garjitam shrutvaa raakSasaaanaam mahaa camuuH || 3-23-25
praharSam atulam lebhe mR^ityu paasha avapaashitaa |

25b, 26a. mR^ityu paasha ava+paashitaa= death's, by noose, tied, down; saa mahaa camuuH raakSasaaanaam= that, sizable, army, of demons; tasya garjitam shrutvaa= his [Khara's,] thundered [speech,] on hearing; a tulam= not, comparable; pra harSam lebhe= rejoice, they obtained.

On hearing that thundering speech of Khara that sizeable army of demons which is tied down by the noose of death obtained an incomparable rejoice. [3-23-25b, 26a]

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sameyuH ca mahaatmaano yuddha darshana kaa.nkSiNaH || 3-23-26
R^iSayo deva gandharvaaH siddhaaH ca saha caaraNaiH |

26b, 27a. mahaa aatmaanaH= great souls; R^iSayaH deva gandharvaaH= sages, gods, gandharva-s; siddhaaH ca saha caaraNaiH= siddha-s, also, with, carana-s; yuddha darshana kaankSiNaH= war, see, desiring to; samiiyuH= came together [in firmament.]

Then desiring to see the war of Khara with Rama, great-souls like sages, gods, gandharva-s along with carana-s and siddha-s have come together in firmament. [3-23-26b, 27a]

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sametya ca uucuH sahitaaH te anyaayam puNyakarmaNaH || 3-23-27
svasti go braahmaNebhyo astu lokaanaam ye ca sammataaH |

27b, 28a. puNya karmaNaH= of pious, deeds; te= those; sametya= gathering at a place; anyaH anyam= other, to other [with one another]; sahitaaH= on meeting; go braahmaNebhyaH= for cows, Brahmans; ye lokaanaam sam mataaH= those, who by people, are respected; to them; svasti astu= good, may betide; [uucuH= said.]

On gathering at a place those great souls met one another and said, "let good betide cows, Brahmans and those that are held respectful by the people at large." [3-23-27b, 28a]

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jayataam raaghavo yuddhe paulastyaan rajanii caraan || 3-23-28
cakrahasto yathaa viSNuH sarvaan asura sattamaan |

28. cakra hastaH viSNuH= dic, handler, Vishnu; yuddhe sarvaan asura sattamaan= in war, all, demons, mighty ones; yathaa= as with, as Vishnu dealt with demons; raaghavaH= Raghava [sankhye= in war]; rajanii caraan paulastyaan= [these] night walkers, belonging to Pulastya dynasty; jayataam= shall triumph over.

"Let Raghava triumph over these mighty night walkers from the lineage of Pulastya, as with Vishnu who once conquered all the mighty demons in war." So said celestials to one another. [3-23-28]

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etat ca anyat ca bahusho bruvaaNaaH parama R^iSayaH || 3-23-29
jaata kautuuhalaat tatra vimaanasthaaH ca devataaH |
dadR^ishur vaahiniim teSaam raakSasaanaam gata aayuSaam || 3-23-30

29. etat ca anyat ca bahushaH= this, also, other, also, a good many topics; bruvaaNaaH parama R^iSayaH= while speaking, great, sages; tatra vimaana sthaaH= there, in aircrafts, abiding in; devataaH ca= gods, also; jaata kautuuhalaat= originated, inquisitiveness; gata aayuSaam= those with lapsed - beyond hope, longevity; teSaam raakSasaanaam= their, of demons; vaahiniim dadR^ishuH= [flow of] army, they saw.

While the great sages are speaking about this and many other topics, they and the gods abiding in their aircrafts have inquisitively seen the flow of army of demons, whose longevity is now beyond hope. [3-23-29, 30]

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rathena tu kharo vegaat sainyasya agraat viniHsR^itaH |
shyenagaamii pR^ithugriivo yaj~nashatruH viha.mgamaH || 3-23-31
durjayaH karaviiraakSaH paruSaH kaalakaarmukaH |
hemamaalii mahaamaalii sarpaaasyo rudhiraashanaH || 3-23-32
dvaadasha ete mahaaviiryaaH pratasthuH abhitaH kharam |

31. kharaH rathena vegaat= Khara, by chariot's, speed; sainyasya agraat viniHsR^itaH= to army's, van of, bolted out; one additional foot: tam dR^iSTvaa raakshasam bhuuyo raakshasaascha vinihsR^itaaH= him, on seeing, the demon Khara, then, demons, also, rushed out.] shyenagaamii pR^ithugriivaH yaj~nashatruH vihangamaH= Shyenagaami, Prithugviira, Yajnashatu, Vihamgama durjayaH karaviiraakSaH paruSaH kaalakaarmukaH= Durjaya, Karaviiraaksha, Parusha, Kaalakaarmuka; hemamaalii mahaamaalii sarpaaasyaH rudhiraashanaH= Hemamaali, Mahaamaali, Sarpaasya, Rudhiraaksha; mahaa viiryaaH= great, vigorous ones; ete= these are; dvaa dasha two, ten [twelve demons]; kharam abhitaH pratasthuH= Khara, around - in a semicircle, cruised.

Khara speedily bolted in his chariot to the van of his legions, and on seeing that demon Khara going in front other important demons too rushed to fore. They are Shyenagaami, Prithugviira, Yajnashatru, Vihamgama and also Durjaya, Karaviiraaksha, Parusha, Kaalakaarmuka, Hemamaali, Mahaamaali, Sarpaasya, Rudhiraaksha. These twelve highly valorous demons cruised in a semicircle around Khara. [3-23-31]

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mahaakapaalaH sthuulaakSaH pramaathii trishiraaH tathaa |
catvaara ete senaa agre duuSaNam pR^iSThato anvayuH || 3-23-33

33. mahaakapaalaH sthuulaakSaH pramaathii trishiraaH tathaa= Mahakapaala, Stuulaaksha, Pramaathii, Trishira, likewise; ete catvaara= these, four; senaa agre [senaanyaH= forces, at fore [army commanders]; duuSaNam pR^iSThataH anvayuH= Duushana, at behind, followed.

Likewsie Mahakapaala, Stuulaaksha, Pramaathii, Trishira are the four commanders of demonic forces and they followed Duushana marching at his behind. [3-23-33]

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saa bhiima vegaa samara abhikaa.mkshiNii
sudaaruNaa raakSasa viira senaa |
tau raaja putrau sahasaa abhyupetaa
maalaa grahaaNaam iva candra suuryau || 3-23-34

34. bhiima vegaa= infernally, speedy; samara abhi kaamkshiNii= for battle, readily, interested in; su daaruNaa= highly, execrable; saa raakSasa viira senaa= that, demonic, valiant ones', army of; sahasaa= quickly; grahaaNaam maalaa iva= of planets, festoon, as if; candra suuryau= to Moon, Sun; tau raaja putrau abhi+upetaa= at them two, princes, towards, rushed.

That army of valiant demons which is highly execrable, infernally speedy, and readily inspirited for a battle quickly rushed towards those two princes, Rama and Lakshmana, as though a festoon of planets would rush towards the Moon and Sun so as to put them to rout. [3-23-34]

 

iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye araNya kaaNDe trayo vi.mshaH sargaH

Thus, this is the 23rd chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.


Verse Locator for Book III : Aranya Kanda -The Forest Trek : Chapter 23

 

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Sarga 23 in English Prose

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2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : June 04]