“What makes them so joyous at a time when they should be grieving their princes,” thought Ravana as he heard the roar of the tree-bearing armies. In a hurry, rakshasas scaled the walls to see why, and what they discovered horrified them. Unbound, unharmed, and joyful, Rama and Lakshmana were! They fled back to their king with pale cheeks and racing hearts. Ravana was overcome with fear and agony, and he exclaimed, “The gods had given Indrajit invincible arrows as a gift. They are no longer useful if my opponents have disobeyed them. The whole rakshasa race will perish as a result. He gave the order to immediately destroy Rama while hissing angrily.
There were ominous signs of doom even as chariots, horses, and elephants poured out of Lanka. The army’s commander, Durmukha, was dejected but rode outside to observe the many vanara armies.
Vanaras who were agitated and yelling with delight attacked their foe. Vanaras tore them apart with their nails and fangs while the rakshasas battled with their ferocious weapons. Despite their valiant efforts, their mutilated and dead bodies gradually piled up, appearing to cover the whole planet.
Hanuman saw the slaughter and flung a huge mountain at Durmukha. Despite escaping the first strike, the rakshasa was defeated by the second. The surviving demons left the battleground after seeing him slain and reduced to a mountain of flesh.
Ravana dispatched Vajradramshtra in rage over Durmukha’s passing. The manifestation of several ominous omens resumed when the demonic forces poured through the south gate. Beasts of prayer so frightened the rakshasas that some of them died just by glancing at them, while jackals spitting fire howled in terror! Vajradramshtra landed on the vanaras against all warnings. The ensuing combat involved all available grips and no holds were spared.
Each of Vajradramshtra’s arrows killed five to ten vanaras at a moment, and death reigned supreme on the battlefield. While the living sought Angada’s protection, the dead lay as silent witnesses to the rakshasa’s might. Then the War of the Titans broke out, with the Vanara Lord triumphant as the lifeless Vajradramshtra fell to the ground. The live creatures hurried back to Ravana, horrified, distraught, and ashamed.
The conflict persisted. Both Rama and Ravana were prepared to sacrifice their lives in the battle against the vanaras and the rakshasas, respectively. Their battle screams filled the air, and in the veil of the dust that ascended, they assaulted one another, murdering both friends and enemies.
Akampana quickly entered the battle. His arrows murdered monkeys so quickly that the unfortunate bunch was forced to retreat. Hanuman attacked Akampana after spotting their escape. He struck the rakshasa, who died, uprooting a strong tree. The demon army rushed back to Lanka after shamefully laying down their swords.
Distressed and scared, Ravana went outside to examine Lanka’s defences. What he discovered startled him. His lovely city was under assault by countless millions! Nobody else could save the embattled city but him, he dispatched for his seasoned warrior Prahastha. “Go now! Your roars will drive the capricious vanaras away. Rama and Lakshmana will be easy targets once they’re all gone, but in a war, success is never certain and death is also a possibility. It is preferable to go to battle with the vanaras since they will still murder us if we don’t fight them.
Rama questioned Vibhishana, “That is that large-bodied rakshasa who appears so powerful and heroic,” while grinning as he saw the rakshasa arm. In response, Vibhishana “He is the dependable commander of Ravana’s forces. His name is Prahastha. He is a talented charioteer who leads one-third of his troops. He is from from a race of unsurpassed masters.
The vanaras were attacked by the rakshasas that were dropping from Lanka, and in the rage of the hail of rocks and spears, countless rakshasas and untold monkeys perished. Finally, Prahastha, who had been struck by a rock thrown by Nila, fell. He lost all of his radiance, might, and life, and he collapsed to the ground like a tree cut down. The rakshasas again departed after witnessing his death.
I had to go to this incredible battle where the powerful are killed by the helpless. The Ikshvakus and their army will be destroyed by me.” Ravana thundered out of the gates of Lanka, surrounded by flesh-eating demons with gigantic bodies and flaming eyes.
Vibhishana responded as they charged up to Rama and asked, “Indrajit is the person whose chariot flies a flag with a lion as its insignia. He is the son of Ravana and is bestowed with Brahma’s blessings. One more of Ravana’s sons is Athikaya. Mahodara, Pisacha, Rishabha, Trisira, Kumbha, Nikumbha, and Niranthaka are some of the army’s heroes. Under the spotless white canopy, Ravana appears driving his gorgeous chariot and blazing like the midday sun.”
Rama looked over his army and said in a voice full of astonishment, “It is incredible. He radiates a celestial radiance that makes it difficult to simply look at him. The devas and danavas are unable to compete with it. This wretch, who will soon be destroyed, is only before me by the mercy of God. Sugriva was the first victim of Ravana’s arrows in the conflict that broke out, and he was followed in death by Gaja, Gavaya, Gavaksha, Rishabha, and others. Ravana was too little a target for Rama to waste his time on, so Lakshmana made the decision to take him on. Rama released his brother after warning Lakshmana about Ravana’s tremendous power and wrath, which even the gods could not withstand.
Ravana arrived in Lanka crushed and humiliated. He cried out in agony as he imagined Rama’s brilliant arrows “I was defeated by a mere mortal despite being Indra’s equal. I suddenly recall Brahma telling me once that fear will sometime manifest as a person. I also understand that I requested and received immunity from everyone but man! In the past, when it was dying in my hands, an Ikshvaku anaranya had sworn, “Rakshasa wretch! the ruin of your race! He who is descended from my race will one day cause your death. Perhaps the mighty one and Vedavathi who once cursed me, Sita, is this son of Dasaratha.
By the grace of God, wake up Kumbhakarna, an idiot who sleeps soundly and worry-free. Bring the strongest rakshasa to me; he will prove invaluable in this battle.” When the rakshasas went to wake Kumbhakarna, they found him lying on the cave’s golden floor, face down. He was hairy, terrifying, and hard to stand against because his fierce breathing kept drawing them in or blowing them out.
They sought to titillate his senses with flowers, unguents, and sandal; his taste buds with piles of meat and jars of wine; and his body with abrasions from spears, maces, and other weapons. One could not even hear the boom of a thousand drums! Birds from the heavens fell and perished as a result of the terror, but Kumbhakarna slept on. He finally awoke when he was forced to be tramped on by a thousand elephants, just like he did when a bug irritated him!
He yawned, his eyes blazed like comets, and he dove into the meal in front of him. After eating, his groggy eyes ran over the rakshasas and he asked them why they had bothered to wake him up and if Ravana was doing okay. He answered, “Tell me.” “There must be a reason to be afraid. Otherwise, my brother wouldn’t have awakened me up.
Ravana’s minister remarked, “Yupaksha,” “We have never experienced fear, not even from the gods; yet, it has recently manifested as Rama, a human. Rama is furious about Sita’s kidnapping, and mountains encircle Lanka. Aksha is deceased and Lanka has been destroyed by a lone monkey. Although Rama spared him, Ravana nearly followed suit.”
Kumbhakarna prepared for his meeting with Ravana by bathing, dressing himself, and filling himself with 2,000 pots of wine. The vanaras were scared by his fearsome figure and fled, fainted, or rushed for Rama’s protection as his boots pounded the ground, his brightness lighted the royal route, and he was tipsy and swaggering like Yama on the day of doom.