Ravana orders Makaraksha to proceed to the battle-field with an army and to kill Rama, Lakshmana and the monkeys. Makaraksha, surrounded by his army of demons, set out for the encounter. Makaraksha’s whip and flag staff fall down all of a sudden, by the will of providence and a dust-storm ensued. Ignoring those portents, Makaraskha’s army march forward in the battle-field, to reach Rama and Lakshmana.
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On hearing of Nikumbha and Kumbha having been killed, Ravana was very much flared up like fire. Engulfed with both anger and sorrow, Ravana ordered the wide-eyed Makaraksha, the son of Khara (as follows): “I am commanding you! Accompanied by an army, go my son! Kill Rama, Lakshmana and the monkeys.” Hearing Ravana’s words, Makaraksha, the son of Khara, thinking himself as a hero, was rejoiced and assured Ravana that he would do it certainly as commanded. Having respectfully saluted, even by performing circumambulation, the mighty Makaraksha, by the orders of Ravana, came forth from these shining palace of Ravana.
Makaraksha the son of Khara asked the commander of an army who was in the vicinity to bring a chariot and the army swiftly. Hearing his words, the army-commander of the demons brought the chariot and the army to his proximity.
Walking clockwise round the chariot and ascending it, Makaraksha asked the charioteer to drive forward the chariot quickly to the battle-field. Then Makaraksha spoke the following words to those demons, “O demons! All of you begin your fight before my presence. The mighty Ravana, the king of demons commanded me to kill both Rama and Lakshmana in battle. Today, I will kill Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva the monkey and the other monkeys with my excellent arrows, O demons! By hurling the spears, I will destroy completely the huge army of monkeys who arrived today to the battle-field, as the fire destroys the dry wood.”
Hearing those words of Makaraksha, all those strong demons, wielding various kinds of weapons, were steadfast to fight. Those cruel demons, who can change their forms at will, who had protruding tusks, had tawny coloured eyes, had their disheveled hair, creating terror with their colossal bodies, then marched forward like roaring elephants, shaking the firmament and surrounded the huge-bodied Makaraksha.
There arose a great tumult sounded, on all sides, of thousands of couches and kettle-drums including leonine roars and clapping of arms. The long whip then slipped down from the hands of Makaraksha’s charioteer and the flag-staff of that demon also suddenly fell down by the will of the province. Those horses, yoked to his chariot, deprived of their diversified gait, were walking with flurried feet and went timidly, with tears in their eyes. At the time of marching of that dreadful and evil-minded Makaraksha, a harsh and fearful dust-storm blew forth.
Though seeing those portents, all those highly valiant demons ignored them and set out to the place, where both Rama and Lakshmana were there. Saying thunderously, “I shall take the lead”, those demons who resembled black clouds, elephants and buffaloes in hue, who had been wounded pointedly more than once by maces and swords in the battle-front and who were skilled in martial art, moved hither and thither in the battle-field.
“Today, I will kill Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva the monkey and the other monkeys with my excellent arrows, O demons!”
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© July 2008, K. M. K. Murthy
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