Book VI : Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War
On hearing the words of Sugreeva, Rama requests Hanuma to describe Lanka in detail. Hanuma gives a detailed description of Lanka as he saw it.
sugriivasya vacaH shrutvaa hetumat parama arthavit |
pratijagraaha kaakutstho hanuumantam atha abraviit || 6-3-1
1. shrutvaa= hearing; hetumat= the well-founded; paramaarthavat= and highly meaningful; vachaH= words; sugriivasya= of Sugreeva; kaakutsthoH= Rama; pratijagraaha= concurred with him; atha= (and) then; abraviit= spoke; hanuumantam= to Hanuman(as follows)
Hearing the well-founded and highly reasonable words of Sugreeva, Rama concurred with him and spoke then to Hanuma as follows:
tarasaa setu bandhena saagara ucchoSaNena vaa |
sarvathaa susamartho asmi saagarasya asya langhane || 6-3-2
2. asmi= I am; samarthoH= competent of; laN^ghane= crossing; asya saagarasya= this ocean; sarvathaapi= by all means; tapasaa= either by austerity; setubandhena= or by forming a bridge; saagarochchhoshhaNena= or by drying up the ocean.
“I am competent of crossing this ocean by all means, either by way of austerity or by forming a bridge or by drying up the ocean.”
kati durgaaNi durgaayaa la.nkaayaas tad braviihi me |
jJNaatum icchaami tat sarvam darshanaad iva vaanara || 6-3-3
3. braviishhva= tell; me= me; durgaaNi= citadels; laN^kaayaaH= in Lanka; durgaayaaH= are difficult of access; vaanara= Oh Hanuman! ichchhaami= I desire; jJNaatum= to know; tat= that; darshanaadiva= as though perceived with an eye.
“Tell me how many citadels in Lanka are difficult of access, Oh, Hanuma! I desire to know all that, as though viewed with an eye.”
balasya parimaaNam ca dvaara durga kriyaam api |
gupti karma ca la.nkaayaa rakSasaam sadanaani ca || 6-3-4
yathaa sukham yathaavac ca la.nkaayaam asi dR^iSTavaan |
saram aacakSva tattvena sarvathaa kushalo hi asi || 6-3-5
4,5. asi= you were; dR^ishhTavaan= the on looker; yathaa sukham= as per your convenience; yathaavachcha= exactly; parimaaNam cha= the size; balasya= of the army; dvaaradurga kriyaam api= fortification of the gates and citadels; laN^kaayaaH guptikarmacha= the way in which Lanka was guarded; sadanaani cha= and the mansions; rakshasaam= of ogres; sarvema= every thing; aachakshhva= tell; tattvena= in accordance with facts; asi hi= you are indeed; kushalaH= skilled; sarvathaa= in all ways.
“You had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the size of the army, the fortification-details of the gates and citadels, the way in which Lanka was guarded and the various mansions of ogres. Describe everything in accordance with facts, for you are skilled in all ways.”
shrutvaa raamasya vacanam hanuumaan maaruta aatmajaH |
vaakyam vaakyavidaam shreSTho raamam punar atha abraviit || 6-3-6
6. shrutvaa= hearing; raamasya= Rama’s; vachanam= words; hanumaan= Hanuma; maarutaatmajaH= the son of wind-god; shreshhThah= and who was excellent; vaakyavidaam= in the art of expression; atha= forthwith; abraviit= spoke; punaH= once more; raamam= to Rama (as follows):
Hearing the words of Rama, Hanuma the son of wind-god, who was excellent in the art of expression, forthwith spoke once more to Rama as follows:
shruuyataam sarvam aakhyaasye durga karma vidhaanataH |
guptaa purii yathaa la.nkaa rakSitaa ca yathaa balaiH || 6-3-7
7. shruuyataam= let it be listened! aakhyaasye= I shall tell (you); sarvam= everything; yathaa= how; laN^kaa purii= the city of Lanka; guptaa= has been defended; durgakarma vidhaanataH= by the various methods of fortifications; yathaa= (and) how; rakshhitaacha= (it) has been guarded; balaiH= by the troops.
“Listen to me! I shall tell you everything–how the city of Lanka has been defended by the various methods of fortification and how it has been guarded by the troops.”
raakshasaashcha yathaa snigdhaa raavaNasya cha tejasaa |
paraam samR^iddhim la.nkaayaaH saagarasya ca bhiimataam || 6-3-8
vibhaagam ca bala oghasya nirdesham vaahanasya ca |
evamuktvaa kapishreshhThaH kathayaamaasa tatvavit || 6-3-9
8,9. nirdeshamcha= (I shall tell You) the details; yathaa= how; raakshhaasaaH= ogres; snigdhaaH= are attached (to their king); paraam= the excellent; samR^iddhim= prosperity; laN^kaayaaH= of Lanka; tejasaa= (generated) by the glory; raavaNasya= of Ravana; bhiimataam= the awfulness; saagarasya= of the ocean; vibhaagam= the division; balaughasya= of the body of his force; vaahanasya= (and) of animals like horses and elephants (carrying his forces other than infantry); uktvaa= saying so; kapishreshhThaH- Hanuma the foremost among monkeys; tattvavit= who knew the truth; kathayaamaasa= told; evam= thus.
“I shall tell you the details of how the ogres are attached to their king, the excellent prosperity of Lanka generated by the glory of Ravana, the awfulness of the ocean, the division of the body of his forces and of animals like horses and elephants carrying his forces other than the infantry.” Saying so, Hanuma the foremost among monkeys, who knew the truth narrated as follows.
prahR^iSTaa muditaa la.nkaa matta dvipa samaakulaa |
mahatii ratha sampuurNaa rakSo gaNa samaakulaa || 6-3-10
10. mahatii= the great; laN^kaa= Lanka; hR^ishhTa pramuditaa= was rejoiced and gayful; matta dvipasamaakulaa= full of elephants in rut; rathaa sampuurNaa= abounding in chariots; rakshhogaNa nishhevitaa= and inhabited by gangs of ogres.
“The great Lanka was rejoiced and gayful, full of elephants in rut, abounding in chariots and inhabited by gangs of ogres.”
dR^iDha baddha kavaaTaani mahaaparighavanti ca |
chatvaari vipulaanyasyaa dvaaraaNi sumahaanti || 6-3-11
11. chatvaari= four; sumahaanti= fairly big; vipulaani= and extensive; dvaaraaNi= gates; asyaaH= of the this Lanka; dR^iDhabaddhakapaaTaani= are fitted with strong doors; mahaaparighavanti= with huge beans for locking the gates.
“Four fairly big and extensive gates are fitted with strong doors along with huge beams for locking those gates.”
tatreshhuupayantraaNi balavanti mahaanti cha |
aagatam para sainyam tais tatra pratinivaaryate || 6-3-12
12. tatra= there; balavanti= strong; mahaanti cha= and mighty; isshuupalayantraaNi= ballista capable of hurling darts and stones; pratisainyam= the enemy troops; aagatam= which come; tatra= there; pratinivaaryate= are warded off; taiH= by those catapults.
“Strong and mighty ballista capable of hurling darts and stones have been attached to them. The enemy troops which arrive there are warded off by those catapults at the very gates.”
dvaareSu samskR^itaa bhiimaaH kaala aayasa mayaaH shitaaH |
shatasho rocitaa viiraiH shataghnyo rakSasaam gaNaiH || 6-3-13
13. bhiimaaH= Dangerous; shitaaH= sharp edged; shataghnyaH= Sataghnis; kaalaayasa mayaaH= made of iron; rachitaaH= forged; gaNaiH= by hordes; rakshasaam= of ogres; samskR^itaH= have been kept in readiness; shatashaH= in hundreds; dvaareshhu= at the gates.
“Dangerous and sharp edged Sataghnis made of iron, forged by hordes of ogres, have been kept in readiness in hundreds at the gates.
Comment: Sataghnis are four forearms in length bristled with iron spikes and are so called because they are supposed to kill hundreds at a time.
sauvarNaH ca mahaams tasyaaH praakaaro duSpradharSaNaH |
maNi vidruma vaiduurya muktaa vicarita antaraH || 6-3-14
14. mahaa praakaaraH= A great rampart; sauvarNaH= of gold; tasyaaH= (encircle) that Lanka; dushhpadharshhaNaH= which is difficult to assail with violence; maNividrumavaiduuryamuktaavirachitaantaraH= and is inlaid at intervals with gems, corals, cat’s eyes and pearls.
“A great rampart made of gold, which is difficult to assail with violence and is inlaid at intervals with gems, corals, cat’s eyes and pearls, encircle that Lanka.”
sarvataH ca mahaabhiimaaH shiita toyaa mahaashubhaaH |
agaadhaa graahavatyaH ca parikhaa miina sevitaaH || 6-3-15
15. mahaabhiimaaH= most fearful; agaadhaaH= and fathomless; parikhaaH= deep trenches; mahaa shubhaiH= of great splendor; shiitatoyaaH= filled with cold water; graahavatyashcha= infested with alligators; mina sevitaaH= and inhabited by fishes; sarvataH= (are there) all round (the city).
“Most awe-inspiring and fathomless moats (deep trenches) of great splendor, filled with cold water, infested with alligators and inhabited by fishes are there all round the city.”
dvaareSu taasaam catvaaraH samkramaaH parama aayataaH |
yantrair upetaa bahubhir mahadbhir dR^iDha samdhibhiH || 6-3-16
16. dvaareshhu= in front of the gateways; chatvaaraH= (there are) four; paramaayataaH= very extensive; taasaam samkramaaH= draw-bridges; bahubhiH= equipped with numerous; yantraiH= engines; upetaaH= and furnished with; mahadbhiH= considerable; buildings (built on the rampart and meant for those entrusted with the duty of guarding the entrances).
“Anterior to the gateways, there are four very extensive draw-bridges, equipped with numerous engines and furnished with many rows of buildings (built on the rampart and meant for those entrusted with the duty of guarding the entrances).”
traayante samkramaas tatra para sainya aagame sati |
yantrais tair avakiiryante parikhaasu samantataH || 6-3-17
17. parasainyaagatesati= on the arrival of hostile force; tatra= there; samkramaaH= are protected; taiH= by the aforesaid; yantraiH= engines; avakiiryante= (and the battalions) are flung; parikhaasu= into the moats; samantataH= on every side.
“Against the approach of the enemy forces there, the draw-bridges are protected by the aforesaid engines and the enemy-battalions are flung into the moats on every side.”
ekas tv akampyo balavaan samkramaH sumahaadR^iDhaH |
kaaJNcanair bahubhiH stambhair vedikaabhiH ca shobhitaH || 6-3-18
18. ekaH= the principal; samkramastu= draw-bridge; akampyaH= which is unshakable; sumahaadR^iDhaH= firmly fastened very well; balavaan= and strong; shobhitaH= is embellished with bahubhiH= numerous; kaaJNchanaiH= gold; stambhaiH= pillars vedikaabhishcha= and pedestals.
“The most important draw-bridge which is unshakable, firmly fastened very well and strong, is dazzling with numerous gold pillars and pedestals.”
svayam prakR^iti sampanno yuyutsuu raama raavaNaH |
utthitaH ca apramattaH ca balaanaam anudarshane || 6-3-19
19. raavaNaH= Ravana; yuyutsuH= inclined to war; aapannaH= endowed with; prakR^itam= powers of the state; svayam= himself; apramattashcha= remains alert; utthitashcha= and in readiness; anudarshane= to review; balaanaam= the forces; raama= Oh, Rama!
“Ravana, inclined to war and endowed with powers of the state, himself remains alert and in readiness to review the forces, Oh, Rama!”
Seven powers of the state are usually enumerated, viz. king, minister, allies, treasure, army, territory and fortresses.
la.nkaa purii niraalambaa deva durgaa bhaya aavahaa |
na adeyam paarvatam vanyam kR^itrimam ca catur vidham || 6-3-20
20. laN^kaa punaH= “Lanka again; niraalamba= is impregnable; devadurgaa= a celestial citadel; bhayaavahaa= that inspires terror; naadeyam= surrounded by flowing water; paarvatam= built on a mountain; chaturvidham= with its four fold defenses; vaanyam= consisting of forest; kR^ittimamcha= and by artificial fortification.
“Lanka therefore is impregnable, it is a celestial citadel, that inspires terror. Surrounded by water and built on a mountain, it has four fold defenses including forest and artificial fortification.”
Comment: Fourfold defences, defence by water, mountain, forest or by artificial means.
sthitaa paare samudrasya duura paarasya raaghava |
nau pathaH ca api na asti atra niraadeshaH ca sarvataH || 6-3-21
21. sthitaa= (Lanka) is situated; pare= on the other side; samudrasya= of the ocean; duurapaarasya= which is difficult of access; raaghava= Oh Rama! naasti= there is no; naupathashcha= reach for vessels; atra= there; sarvashaH= on all sides; niraadeshashcha= there is no communication.”
“Lanka is situated on the other side of the ocean, which is difficult of access, Oh Rama! It offers no passage for vehicles either and there is no proper communication from all sides.”
shaila agre racitaa durgaa saa puur deva pura upamaa |
vaaji vaaraNa sampuurNaa la.nkaa parama durjayaa || 6-3-22
22. saa= that; puuH= city (of Lanka); deva puropamaa= resembling the City of Gods; rachitaa= is built; shailaagre= on a mountain peak; durgaaH= (and is inaccessible; saa= that; laN^kaa= Lanka; vaajivaaraNa sampuurNaa= is abound with horses and elephants; paramadurjayaa= and is extremely difficult to conquer.
“That city of Lanka, resembling the city of Gods, is built on a mountain peak and is inaccessible. That Lanka is abound with horses and elephants and is extremely difficult to conquer.”
parighaaH ca shataghnyaH ca yantraaNi vividhaani ca |
shobhayanti puriim la.nkaam raavaNasya duraatmanaH || 6-3-23
23. parikhaashcha= deep trenches; shataghnyashcha= and Sataghnis too; yantraaNi cha= as well as engines; vividhaani= of various kinds; shobhayanti= adorn; laN^kaam= Lanka; puriim= the city; raavaNasya= of Ravana; duraatmanaH= the evil-minded.
Deep trenches and Sataghnis too as well as engines of war of every kind adorn Lanka the city of wicked Ravana.”
ayutam rakSasaam atra pashcima dvaaram aashritam |
shuula hastaa duraadharSaaH sarve khaDga agra yodhinaH || 6-3-24
24. ayutam= ten thousand; rakshasaam= ogres; sarve= all; shuulahastaaH= carrying darts in their hands; khadgaagrayodhinaH= warriors contending with swords; duraadharshhaaH= who are difficult to assail; samaashritam= are positioned; puurvam dvaaram= at the eastern gate.
“Ten thousand ogres all carrying darts in their hands and warriors contending with swords, who are difficult to assail, are positioned at the eastern gate.”
niyutam rakSasaam atra dakSiNa dvaaram aashritam |
catur angeNa sainyena yodhaas tatra api anuttamaaH || 6-3-25
25. niyutam= one hundred thousand; rakshasaam= of ogres; aashritam= are positioned; atra= there; dakshhiNa dvaaram= at the southern gate; tatraapi= there also; yodhaaH= warriors; anuttamaaH= unsurpassed by others; sainyena= constitute the army; chaturaN^geNa= with its four limbs(viz. horses, foot soldiers, elephants and chariots).
“One hundred thousand of ogres, with an army of four limbs (viz. horses, foot soldiers, elephants and chariots) are positioned at the southern gate of the city. Warriors unsurpassed by others constitute that army.”
prayutam rakSasaam atra puurva dvaaram samaashritam |
carma khaDga dharaaH sarve tathaa sarva astra kovidaaH || 6-3-26
26. prayutam= one million; rakshasaam= ogres; atra= there; aashritam= are positioned; pashchima dvaaram= at the western gate; sarve= all of them; charmakhaDgadharaaH= carry shields and swords; tathaa= and; sarvaastrakovidaH= proficient in the use of all mystic missiles.
One million troops arrived with shields and swords as well as proficient in the use of all mystic missiles, are positioned at the western gate.”
nyarbudam rakSasaam atra uttara dvaaram aashritam |
rathinaH ca ashva vaahaaH ca kula putraaH supuujitaaH || 6-3-27
27. nyarbudam= a hundred millions; rakshasaam= of ogres; atra= there; aashritam= are positioned; uttaradvaaram= at the northern gate; rathinaH= (they are) car-warriors; ashvavaahaashcha= horse-soldiers; kulaputraaH= sons of noble families; supuujitaaH= and greatly honored.”
“A hundred millions of ogres, who are mounted in chariots or who ride on hoses, sons of distinguished families and greatly honored, are positioned there at the northern gate.”
shatam shata sahasraaNaam madhyamam gulmam aashritam |
yaatu dhaanaa duraadharSaaH saagra koTiH ca rakSasaam || 6-3-28
28. atha= moreover; yaatudhaanaaH= ogres; shatashaH sahasraaNi= hundreds of thousands in number; duraadarshhaaH= difficult to assail; saagrakoTishcha= aggregating to one and quarter of a crore; rakshasaam= of ogres; aashritaaH= are positioned; madhyamaskandham= at the central division.”
“Moreover, ogres hundreds of thousands in number, difficult to attack, aggregating to one and quarter of a crore of ogres are positioned at the central division.”
te mayaa samkramaa bhagnaaH parikhaaH ca avapuuritaaH |
dagdhaa ca nagarii la.nkaa praakaaraaH ca avasaaditaaH || 6-3-29
balaikadeshaH kshapito raakshasaanaam mahaatmanaam |
29. te= those; samkramaaH= bridges; bhagnaaH= were broken; mayaa= by me; parikhaashcha= moats also; avapuuritaaH= filled up (with the wreckage); laN^kaa nagariim= the city of Lanka; daghaacha= was burnt; praakaaraashcha= defensive walls; avasaaditaaH= pulled down; balaikadeshaH= a part of the army; mahaatmanaam= of the gigantic; raakshasaanaam= ogres; kshapitaH= were destroyed.
“Those bridges were broken by me and the moats were filled up (with the wreckage). The city of Lanka was burnt by me and the defensive walls were pulled down. A part of the army of the gigantic ogres was destroyed.”
yena kena tu maargeNa taraama varuNa aalayam || 6-3-30
hataa iti nagarii la.nkaam vaanarair avadhaaryataam |
30. yena kena tu maargeNa= by some way or other; taraama= we shall cross; varuNaalayam= the ocean; laN^kaanagarii= the city of Lanka; upadhaaryataam= should be assumed; hataa iti= as destroyed; vaanaraiH= by the monkeys.“By some way or other, let us cross the ocean. The city of Lanka should be assumed then as destroyed by the monkeys.”
“By some way or other, let us cross the ocean. The city of Lanka should be assumed then as destroyed by the monkeys.”
aN^gado dvivido maindo jaambavaan panaso nalaH || 6-3-31
niilaH senaa patiH caiva bala sheSeNa kim tava |
plavamaanaa hi gatvaa taam raavaNasya mahaapuriim || 6-3-32
saprakaaraam sabhavanaam aanayiSyanti maithiliim |
sapraakaaraam sabhavanaamaanayushhyanti raaghava || 6-3-33
31,32,33. raaghava= Oh, Rama! kim= what is the use; balasheshhaNa= for the rest of the forces; tava= to you? aN^gadaH= Angada; dividaH= Divida; maindaH= Mainda; analaH= Anala; niilashchaiva= and Nila alone; senaapatiH= the commander-in-chief; gatvaa= by reaching; taam= that; raavaNasya mahaapuriim= great city of Ravana; plavamaanaaH= leaping; bhitvaa= and storming (it) saparvatavanaam= with its mountains and woods; sakhaataam= with moats; satoraNaam= with arch-ways; sapraakaaraam= with protective walls; sabhavanaam= with buildings; aanayishhyanti= and recover (Seetha).
“Oh, Rama! What is the use for the rest of the forces to you? Angada, Divida, Mainda, Jambavan, Panasa, Anala and Nila the commander-in-chief alone, by reaching that great city of Ravana leaping and storming Lanka with its mountains and woods, moats and archways, protective walls and buildings, will recover Seetha.”
evam aaj~naapaya kSipram balaanaam sarva samgraham |
muhuurtena tu yuktena prasthaanamabhirochaya || 6-3-34
34. aaJNaapaya= order; kshhipram= quickly; balaanaam sarvasangraham= to get all the forces; evam= accordingly; abhirochaya= be inclined; prasthaanam= for the march; yuktena= at the appropriate moment.
“Order quickly to get all the forces accumulated accordingly. Let us set out at the appropriate moment.”
ityaarshhe shriimadraamaayaNe aadikaavye yuddhakaaNDe tR^itiiyaH sargaH
Thus completes 3rd Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
© Feb 2003, K. M. K. Murthy