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Chapter 22: The Rakshasa Army Approaches Pañcavati

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The Rakshasa Army Approaches Pañcavati


Khara, the brother of Shuurpanakha starts out to wage war with Rama with fourteen thousand demons and with their unusual arsenal. This is the first major move of demons towards Rama that leads to the ultimate battle at the end of epic.

Chapter [Sarga] 22 in Detail

evam aadharsitah shuurah shuurpanakhyaa kharah tatah |

uvaaca raksasaam madhye kharah kharataram vacah || 3-22-1

Thus when Shuurpanakha disparaged that valiant Khara amidst demons he is infuriated and spoke these highly hurtful words. [3-22-1]

tava apamaana prabhavah krodho ayam atulo mama |

na shakyate dhaarayitum lavana a.mbha iva ulbanam || 3-22-2

"This fury of mine originating from the disgrace brought on you is like the highly bitter salt water that is impossible to contain when ingested. [3-22-2]

na raamam ganaye viiryaan maanusam ksiina jiivitam |

aatma dushcaritaih praanaan hato yo adya vimoksyati || 3-22-3

"I do not care the valour of that Rama for he is a human with dwindled lifetime, now going to give up his life slain by his own misdoings. [3-22-3]

baaspah samdhaaryataam esa sa.mbhramah ca vimucyataam |

aham raamam saha bhraatraa nayaami yama saadanam || 3-22-4

"Control your tears and cast off your despair too, for I will send Rama to the abode of the Terminator along with his brother. [3-22-4]

parashvadha hatasya adya manda praanasya bhuu tale |

raamasya rudhiram raktam usnam paasyasi raaksasi || 3-22-5

"Now, you demoness, you will swill that Rama's red hot blood when that short-lived one is hewed down to earth with an axe." So Khara assured Shuurpanakha. [3-22-5]

saa prahristvaa vacah shrutvaa kharasya vadanaat cyutam |

prashasha.msa punar maurkhyaat bhraataram raksasaam varam || 3-22-6

On hearing the words plunged from the mouth of Khara she is very much gladdened and in all her stupidity she further praised her brother highly saying, "you are the best among all the demons..." [3-22-6]

tayaa parusitah puurvam punar eva prasha.msitah |

abraviit duusanam naama kharah senaa patim tadaa || 3-22-7

Though she denounced him earlier she alone praised him now for which Khara is overjoyed, and then he ordered his army commander, namely Duushana. [3-22-7]

caturdasha sahasraani mama citta anuvartinaam |

raksasaam bhiima vegaanaam samaresu anivartinaam || 3-22-8

"Those who are the followers of my will, whose hustle will be frightful and who will be unretreating [not to draw or lead back] in combats, such of those demons are there in fourteen thousand numbers, aren't they. [3-22-8]

niila jiimuuta varnaanaam loka hi.msaa vihaaraanaam |

sarva udyogam udiirnaanaam raksasaam saumya kaaraya || 3-22-9

"And oh, gentle Duushana, those domineering demons are with dark-clouds like complexions, and they are the pamperers [to treat with extreme or excessive care and attention] of genocide [the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group], as such, cause them for a belligerency [the state of being at war or in conflict], all at once. [3-22-9]

upasthaapaya me ksipram ratham saumya dhanuu.msi ca |

sharaan ca citraan khadgaa.m ca shaktii ca vividhaah shitaah || 3-22-10

"For me, oh, gentle one; promptly position my chariot before me along with bows and arrows, amazing swords and diverse sharp power bolts. [3-22-10]

agre niryaatum icchaami paulastyaanaam mahaatmanaam |

vadhaartham durviniitasya raamasya rana kovida || 3-22-11

"Oh, war pert Duushana, I wish to start ahead of all the demons of ours, who are the clans-demons of the great souled Paulastya, for the purpose of elimination of that evil-minded Rama." So said Khara to Duushana. [3-22-11]

iti tasya bruvaanasya suurya varnam mahaaratham |

sat ashvaih shabalaih yuktam aacacakse atha duusanah || 3-22-12

While Khara is saying thus Duushana heralded saying, "Here comes the great chariot with sun's dazzle, yoked with very good horses of variegated colors." [3-22-12]

tam meru shikhara aakaaram tapta kaa.ncana bhuusanam |

hema cakram asa.mbaadham vaiduuryamaya kuubaram || 3-22-13

matsyaih puspaih drumaih shailaih candra suuryaih ca kaa.ncanaih |

maa.ngalyaih paksi samghaih ca taaraabhih ca samaavritam || 3-22-14

dhvaja nistri.nsha sa.mpannam ki.nkinii vara bhuusitam |

sat ashva yuktam sah amarsaat aaruroha kharah tadaa || 3-22-15

That chariot which has a roomy cabin with its rooftop like that of the ridge of Mt. Meru, body embellished in gold, wheels golden, gem-studded yoke-to-carriage shaft, all around encompassed with golden artifacts like fishes, flowers, trees, mountains, sun, moon, and auspicious birds flocks and stars, and even decorated with jingle-bells, endowed with flags, swords, and best horses, and such as it is, Khara embarked on it with all his rancor [bitter deep-seated ill will]. [3-22-13, 14, 15]

kharah tu taan mahat sainyaam ratha carma aayudha dhvajaan |

niryaata iti abraviit prekshya duusanah sarva raaksasaan || 3-22-16

On overseeing that great army with chariots, skins shields, weaponry and flags, and even at Duushana too, Khara charged all those demons saying "proceed." [3-22-16]

tatah tad raaksasam sainyam ghora carma aayudha dhvajam |

nirjagaama jana sthaanaat mahaanaadam mahaajavam || 3-22-17

Then that demonic force with their ghoulish skin shields, weaponry and flags, issued forth from Janasthaana, blaring blatantly and foraying dashingly. [3-22-17]

mudgaraih pattishaih shuulaih sutiiksnaih ca parashvadhaih |

khadgaih cakraih ca hastasthaih bhraajamaanaih sa tomaraih || 3-22-18

shaktibhih parighaih ghoraih atimaatraih ca kaarmukaih |

gadaa asi musalaih vajraih grihiitaih bhiima darshanaih || 3-22-19

raaksasaanaam sughoraanaam sahasraani caturdasha |

niryaataani jana sthaanaat khara citta anuvartinaam || 3-22-20

Wielding maces, dart-bolts, and spears, and also razor-sharp axes, swords and discs, and dreadful power-darts and power-bolts that are flashing, iron maces, unusual bows, clubs, scimitars and pounding-shafts, and even thunderbolt like weapons that are calamitous in look, that army which comprises fourteen thousand fiendish demons that are the followers of Khara's whim, has started from Janasthaana. [3-22-18, 19, 20]

taan tu nirdhaavato dristvaa raaksasaan bhiima darshanam |

kharasya atha rathah ki.mcit jagaama tat anantaram || 3-22-21

On seeing the out rush of those demons of diabolic appearance, then Khara's chariot also proceeded a little later at their behind. [3-22-21]

tatah taan shabalaan ashvaan tapta kaa.ncana bhuusitaan |

kharasya matam aajnaaya saarathih paryacodayat || 3-22-22

Then the charioteer set spurs on those colorful horses that are adorned in polished gold according to the notions of Khara. [3-22-22]

samcodito rathah shiighram kharasya ripu ghaatinah |

shabdena aapuurayaamaasa dishah sa pradishah tathaa || 3-22-23

When the chariot of enemy destroyer Khara is driven that impetuously, it has started to swell earth's four cardinal quarters and inter-quarters with turbulence. [3-22-23]

pravriddha manyuh tu kharah khara svare

ripoh vadha artham tvarito yathaa a.ntakah |

acuucudat saarathim unnadan punar

mahaabalo megha iva ashma varsavaan || 3-22-24

He whose voice is thunderous and whose rancor escalated speedily, and who is hastening forward like the Terminator intending to destroy his enemy, that Khara repeatedly hurried the charioteer shouting at him loudly like a overwhelming cloud that is going to storm stones. [3-22-24]

 iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye kiskindha kaande dvaa vi.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 22nd chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Aranya Kanda - Forest track.


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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