Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda in Prose

Sarga 26

Hearing the submission of Sarana, Ravana climbs up the roof of his palace and sees the entire army of monkeys from there. Ravana enquires about the various monkey leaders and Sarana shows him Nila, Angada, Nala, Sweta, Kumuda, Rambha, Sarabha, Panasa, Vinata and Krathana the army-generals along with their distinguishing characterestics.

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Hearing those words, which were truthful and coward less, as spoken by Sarana, the king Ravana spoke to Sarana as follows: "I do not give Seetha even if the celestials, celestial musicians or demons attack me or even if there is a terror from all the worlds. O, gentle one! As you were harassed very much by the monkeys and hence fearful; you are thinking of giving back Seetha now itself as good."

"Which enemy can defeat me in battle?" The illustrious Ravana, the lord of demons, causing the world to cry, spoke harsh words as aforesaid and then from there ascended the roof of his palace which was shining white like his snow and which was equal to the height his snow and which was equal to the height of several palmyrah trees, with a desire to see the army of monkeys. Ravana, stupefied with anger, along with his spies, saw that ocean, the mountains and the forests and beheld the entire land completely filled with monkeys.

Seeing that great army of monkeys, which was boundless and intolerable, the king Ravana asked Sarana as follows:-

"Which monkeys are important among them? Who are valiant ones? Who are the very strong ones? Who will stay in front at all places, with great energy? To whom Sugreeva will hear? Who are the generals of the commanders of the monkey-heads? What is the influence of the monkeys? O, Sarana! Tell me all."

Then, Sarana who knew the chiefs of monkeys, spoke the following words about the chiefs of the monkeys i them, to the lord of demons who was enquiring about them. "He is the heroic chief of army, called Nila, by whose great battle-cry the entire kingdom of Lanka, with its ramparts, mountains, woods and gardens is resounding. That monkey is encircled by hundreds and thousands of army-chiefs. He is stationed, with his face directed towards Lanka and is making a roaring sound. He is standing in front of the army of Sugreeva, the high-souled lord of all the monkeys. He, the valiant one, who holds his arms high, who tramples the earth under his feet as he marches, whose face is turned towards Lanka, who in fury is knitting his brows very much, who is resembling a mountain- peak in stature, who is like filaments of a louts in hue, who is excess of anger continuously lashes out his tail and the swish of which is heard in ten regions, he is the prince named Angada, anointed by Sugreeva the king of monkeys and is challenging you to the battle. This Angada, a worthy son of Vali and always dear to Sugreeva, is coming forwards for Rama's interests, as Varuna is to Indra's. It is all due to Angada's design that Seetha was found by Hanuman, who is a swift monkey and a well-wisher of Rama. This valiant Angada, bringing along with him innumerable cheifs of monkeys, is approaching to crush you, with the help of his own army. Surrounded by a large army, here stands the valiant Nala the creator of the bridge, next to Angada the son of Vali, prepared for the battle. These excellent monkeys, numbering a thousand crores and eight lakhs, lodging in sandalwood groves, yelling with a lion's roar and having stiffened their limbs, are knitting their eyebrows raised in anger. These valiant monkeys, who are terrific and fierceful having a ferocious zeal are going after Nala. Nala himself with his aforesaid army aspires to smash Lanka forthwith. A monkey called Sweta of silver hue who is quick-witted and clever, of terrific prowess and a warrior renowned in the three worlds, has come to Sugreeva swiftly, dividing the army of monkeys and bringing great delight to the troops, he goes back at once. There was mountain called Ramya, on the banks of River Gomati. That mountain filled with various kinds of trees was also called Samrochana. An army-chief, named Kumuda used to roam around that mountainous region. He also used to rule that kingdom. He is the leader for lakhs of monkeys. He has a very long hair-coppery, yellow, pale and white and hideous to cook upon- thrown about on his tail is the intrepid and fierceful monkey called Kanda. He yearns to fight and boast that he with destroy Lanka his forces."

"O, king! He who resembles a tawny lion with a long mane and who is looking at Lanka attentively as though he wishes to consume it with his glasses, who dwells mostly on the mountains of Krishna and Sahya of Vindhya range of pleasing aspect, is the General named Rambha. Three thousand crores of excellent monkeys, who are formidable of impetuous valour and vigour, surround him who is marching ahead and follow in his goot-sets to destroy Lanka. O, king! Look! The one who is yawning continuously and shaking his ears, he who does not have fear of death, he who never retreats from a battle, but violently moves with rage, who again sees obliquely, he who lashes out his tail and roars like a lion with great vigour, he who constantly dwells on the lovely Salveya mountain, he is Sarabha by name, the commander of monkeys with immense energy and devoid of fear. All his one lakh and forty thousand army-chiefs called Viharas* are strong.

*Viharas - Those who roam about at will.

"The one who is like a great cloud, enveloping the space and who stays in teh middle of monkey-warriors like Indra the god of celestials, the great voice of whose monkeys wishing for battle is heard like the roll of drums, is the General named Panasa, who is always invincible in battle. He dwells in Pariyatra, a mountain that is exceeded by none in height. Troop-commanders numbering fifty lakhs commanding separate units attend obediently to him, who is excellent among the GeneralsHe who is encamped with sixty lakhs monkeys as his army-strength on the sea-shore like unto a second ocean is the commander called Vinata who resembles Dardura mountain (in size) and is positioned there lending charm to the formidable army marching ahead and moves about, drinking the water of River Vena, the foremost of all rivers. A monkey called Krathana, keeping the courageous, strong monkeys and the army-lieutenants in separate units, is inviting you for the battle. That resplendent monkey who for his part nourishes his body having the hue of a red chalk and proud of his strength, stands facing you with anger despising all other monkeys. Seventy lakhs monkeys are attending on him. He himself wishes to crush the city of Lanka with the help of his army. These commanders and commanders-in-chief are difficult to be conquered and their number is hard to be counted. Their troops are divided into distinct units.".

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Thus completes 26th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

© April 2004, K. M. K. Murthy

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