Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda in Prose Sarga 81

Placing an illusory live image of Seetha in his chariot, Indrajit along with his army enters the battle-field. Hanuma with his army of monkeys march in front to face Indrajit in battle. While Hanuma and his army are watching, Indrajit pulls Seetha by her hair and unsheathed his sword. Indrajit kills the illusory living image of Seetha, with his sharp sword.

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Guessing the mind of that great- souled Rama, Indrajit turning away from that battle, entered the City.

Then, recalling the killing of those energetic demons like Kumbhakarna and others, that valiant Indrajit sallied forth (for the fight) with red-hot eyes in anger. That Indrajit, of very great prowess, the adversary of gods and who was born in Sage Pulstya's dynasty, accompanied by an army of demons, came forth from the western gate.

Seeing the two valiant brothers, Rama and Lakshamana, who were prepared for the encounter, Indrajit for his part, then started to demonstrate his conjuring tricks. Placing an illusory image of Seetha on his chariot and a large army surrounding the chariot, Indrajit intended to kill her.

Making up his mind to purposefully confuse all, by playing a trick to kill Seetha's illusory image, the exceedingly evil-minded Indrajit sallied forth towards the direction of the monkeys. Seeing him coming forth towards their direction, all those monkeys were enraged and bounced towards him, with rocks in their hands and with an intent to fight.

Hanuma, the foremost among the monkeys, taking hold of a very large mountain-peak, which was difficult to be reached by others, marched in front. That Hanuma saw Seetha, the wife of Rama, the best among women, bereft of joy, wearing only a single braid of hair, looking miserable, with her face emaciated due to fasting, dressed in single worn-out clothing, unadorned and with all her limbs covered with dust and dirt; in the chariot of Indrajit.

On seeing her for a moment, Hanuma ascertained her as Seetha and became dejected. That Seetha was indeed seen by him, not long ago. Seeing her stricken with grief bereft of joy, looking distressed, miserable and sitting under the sway of Indrajit, Hanuma wondered as to what his intention might be. Thus thinking, he along with those leaders of monkeys, rushed towards Indrajit.

Beholding that army of monkeys, Indrajit was excited with anger, pulled Seetha by the hair on her head and unsheathed his sword. While those monkeys were seeing, demon began to strike that woman who was placed in the chariot by the dint of his conjuring trick and who was crying "Rama! Rama!"

On seeing her seized by the hair Hanuma the son of wind-god was confounded with affliction and shed tears, in agony from his eyes. On seeing Seetha with all her charming limbs, the beloved wife of Rama, Hanuma angrily addressed the following harsh words to Indrajit:

"O evil minded one! Born in a dynasty of Brahmanical sages, but belonging to demoniacal race, you touched a lock of her hair, for your hair, for your own ruin. O cruel, vulgar and mean fellow! O wicked demon of sinful prowess! O pitiless fellow! Woe be to you, of sinful conduct, in whom such a resolve has taken place. Such an act is worthy of a barbarian. There is no pity in you."

"O pitiless one! Seetha came away from her house, from her kingdom and from her husband’s (Rama's) protection. What wrong has Seetha done to you, that you are killing her? By killing Seetha, you will not survive for long in any way. O demon, deserving of death! By your act, you indeed fell into my hands. Abandoning your life in this world, you shall, after death, descend to those worlds which are the lot of the killers of women and are condemned even by those who deserved to be killed by the people."

Thus speaking, Hanuma surrounded as he was by monkeys with their weapons and very much enraged, rushed headlong towards Indrajit. The army of demons of terrible rage intercepted that army of monkeys possessing a high prowess and advancing towards them.

Stirring up that army of monkeys with a multitude of his arrows, Indrajit replied to Hanuma, the foremost of monkeys as follows: "For whose sake, Sugreeva, yourself and Rama came here, I am going to kill Seetha now itself, while you stand looking on. O monkey! After killing her, I will make a short work of Rama, Lakshmana, yourself too, Sugreeva and that vulgar Vibhishana thereafter. O monkey! What you have said just now viz. that women are not to be killed is correct. But that which causes tormentation to the enemies indeed needs to be done."

Having spoken thus to Hanuma, Indrajit personally killed that illusory Seetha, who had been sobbing all the while, with his sharp-edged sword. Split asunder by him diagonally, that miserable lady of broad hips and pleasant to the sight, fell down on the ground. After killing that woman, Indrajit told Hanuma as follows: "See, I killed Rama's wife with my weapon. This Seetha is dead and all your labour is in vain."

After killing her with a large sword personally, that Indrajit then sitting on his chariot, pleasure fully roared loudly. The monkeys standing in vicinity heard his roar, even as he shouted with his mouth wide open, while comfortable sitting in that tower of the aerial chariot, which was actually difficult of access for others. After killing Seetha in that way, the evil-minded Indrajit became exceedingly glad. Seeing him exceedingly pleased, the monkeys looked dejected and suddenly ran away.

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Thus, this is the 81st chapter in Yuddha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

© October 2008, K. M. K. Murthy

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