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Chapter 25: Khara’s Army Attacks Rama

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Khara’s Army Attacks Rama


The ambidextrous archery of Rama is established here for the first time. So far, he has been using his archery sporadically, and here it is said to have a different dimension. The speed with which he draws arrows from quiver, the quickness with which he strings them, and the precision with which he shoots, is suggested here, though not explained. Though no apparent divinity is attached to this exercise, it suggests a divine expertise of a human.

There are fourteen thousand demons against one Rama, and the Divine beings watch this from heavens as a sport, without according any miraculous powers to Rama, suggesting that a human has to face any number of problems, here fourteen thousand demons, for himself and no divine grace suddenly comes to his help.

Rama gives the demons enough time and warning, but as the atrocity is escalating, he uses one Gandharva missile and many other arrows, which will devastate the entire army of Duushana’s brute force.

Chapter [Sarga] 25 in Detail

avastabdha dhanum raamam kruddham ca ripu ghaatinam |

dadarsha aashramam aagamya kharah saha purahsaraih || 3-25-1

Khara on arriving at the hermitage along with forerunning soldiers saw the enemy-eliminator and wrathful Rama holding fast to his bow. [3-25-1]

tam dristvaa sagunam caapam udyamya khara nihsvanam |

raamasya abhimukham suutam codyataam iti acodayat || 3-25-2

On seeing Rama that bawling Khara raised his string-taut bow that makes an ass-like braying twang, drove his charioteer crazy saying, "drive to the fore of that Rama..." [3-25-2]

sa kharasya aajnayaa suutah turagaan samacodayat |

yatra raamo mahaabaahuh eko dhunvan dhanuh sthitah || 3-25-3

On the orders of Khara the charioteer drove the horses to there where the mighty armed Rama is standing single-handedly while swaying his bow. [3-25-3]

tam tu nispatitam dristvaa sarve te rajanii caraah |

mu.ncamaanaa mahaanaadam sacivaah paryavaarayan || 3-25-4

On seeing Khara descending on Rama then all those nightwalkers who are the deputies of Khara encircled Khara venting out loud battle cries. [3-25-4]

sa tesaam yaatudhaanaanaam madhye rathah gatah kharah |

babhuuva madhye taaraanaam lohitaa.nga iva uditah || 3-25-5

Khara staying on his chariot in the thick of those demons appeared to be like coppery-red planet Mars up-shot in the thick of stars. [3-25-5]

tatah shara sahasrena raamam apratima ojasam |

ardayitvaaa mahaanaadam nanaada samare kharah || 3-25-6

In his proneness to war then Khara assaulted that uniquely forceful Rama with a thousand arrows and blared a roaring battle cry. [3-25-6]

tatah tam bhiima dhanvaanam kruddhaah sarve nishaacaraah |

raamam naanaa vidhaih shas.htraih abhyavarsanta durjayam || 3-25-7

All of those infuriated nightwalkers then incessantly rained diverse weapons on that invincible Rama who is handling a horrific bow. [3-25-7]

mudgaraih aayasaih shuulaih praasaih khadgaih parashvadhaih |

raaksasaah samare raamam nijaghnuu rosa tatparaah || 3-25-8

Those demons that are already caught up with rancor bombarded Rama with bludgeons, lances, tridents, darts and hatchets. [3-25-8]

te valaahaka sa.mkaashaa mahaakaayaa mahaabalaah |

abhyadhaavanta kaakutstham rathaih vaajibhih eva ca || 3-25-9

gajaih parvata kuuta abhaih raamam yuddhe ji.mghaasavah |

Those massive bodied and exceptionally mighty demons came jostling like immense clouds in their eagerness to kill Rama in that war, while some mounted on chariots and horsebacks, and some more riding mountain-ridges like elephants rushed in on Rama. [3-25-9,10a]

te raame shara varsaani vyasrijan raksasaam ganaah || 3-25-10

shailendram iva dhaaraabhir varsamaanaa mahaadhanaah |

And those bands of demons have outpoured arrows on Rama, as with enormous black-clouds disemboguing torrents on a lofty mountain. [3-25-10b, 11a]

sarvaih parivrito raamo raakshasaih kriradarshinaih || 3-25-11

tithisu iva mahaadevo vritah paarisadaam ganaih |

When hemmed in with those grisly-looking demons Rama appeared like Rudra surrounded by his divine retinue called prathama gana-s, on certain days, whereupon he starts his all-destructive cosmic-dance. [3-25-11b, 12a]

taani muktaani shastraani yaatudhaanaih sa raaghavah || 3-25-12

pratijagraaha vishikhaih nadi oghaan iva saagarah |

That Raghava has pre-empted those arrows discharged by the demons with his excruciatingly pointed arrows as an ocean would do with the river's onrush. [3-25-12b, 13a]

sa taih praharanaih ghoraih bhinna gaatro na vivyathe || 3-25-13

raamah pradiiptair bahubhir vajrair iva mahaa acalah |

Even if his body is gashed with those gruesome assault weapons Rama is not enfeebled, as with the enormous Mt. Meru that can withstand even if battered by very many highly blazing thunderbolts of Indra. [3-25-13, 14a]

sa viddhah ksataja digdhah sarva gaatresu raaghavah || 3-25-14

babhuuva raamah sandhya abhraih divaakara iva aavritah |

Bruised and bedaubed with blood on all his limbs that Rama of Raghu's dynasty took shape of the sun enshrouded [to cover or enclose with] by cloudscapes at eventide. [3-25-14b, 15a]

visedur deva gandharvaah siddhaah ca parama risayah || 3-25-15

ekam sahasraih bahubhih tadaa dristvaa samaavritam |

On seeing lone Rama beset by many demons, then the gods, celestials, saints and sublime-sages are dispirited. [3-25-15b, 16a]

tato raamah tu susa.mkruddho mandalii krita kaarmukah || 3-25-16

sasarja nishitaan baanaan shatashah atha sahasrashah |

But Rama on becoming highly infuriated curved his bow to a full circularity on stretching the bowstring up to his ear, and then jetted out trenchant arrows in hundreds. Why hundreds? He surged them in thousands. [3-25-16b, 17a]

duravaaraan dur.hvisahaan kaalapaasha upamaan rane || 3-25-17

mumoca liilayaa raamah ka.nkapatraan kaa.ncana bhuusanaan |

In that war Rama sportily discharged eagle-feathered arrows adorned in gold which are unstoppable and intolerable, and which in simile are the leads of Time-god. [3-25-17b, 18a]

te sharaah shatru sainyesu muktaa raamena liilayaa || 3-25-18

aadaduu raksasaam praanaan paashaah kaalakritaa iva |

Those arrows that are playfully discharged on the army of enemy have grabbed the lives of demons like the tethers flung by the Time-god. [3-25-18b, 19a]

bhittvaa raaksasa dehaan taam te sharaa rudhira aaplutaah || 3-25-19

a.ntariksa gataa rejuh diipta agni sama tejasah |

On impaling the bodies demons, the arrows swamped in blood have gone into welkin, where they are aglow with flares equaling inflamed flames. [3-25-19b, 20a]

asa.nkhyeyaah tu raamasya saayakaah caapa mandalaat || 3-25-20

vinispetuh atiiva ugraa raksah praana apahaarinah |

Innumerable and highly frightening arrows fusilladed from the nimbus of the bow of Rama that resulted as the filchers of the lives of demons. [3-25-20b, 21a]

taih dhanuu.msi dhvaja agraani carmaani ca shiraa.msi ca || 3-25-21

bahuun sa hasta aabharanaan uuruun kari kara upamaan |

cicheda raamah samare shatashah atha sahasrashah || 3-25-22

In that war, shooting now with hundreds, and now with thousands of such arrows, Rama shredded those many bows, pinnacles of war-flags, armors and the like. And even shred are the heads of demons, along with their ornamented arms and thighs similar to the trunks of elephants. [3-25-21b, 22]

hayaan kaancana sannaahaan ratha yuktaan sa saarathiin |

gajaam ca sa gaja aarohaan sa hayaan saaradhinah tadaa || 3-25-23

cichiduh bibhiduh ca eva raama baanaa guna cyutaah |

padaatiin samare hatvaa hi anayat yama sadanam || 3-25-24

With the arrows flung from the bow-bowstring-nimbus of Rama, he indeed shredded and scraped the horses hitched with golden harnesses, and the chariots to which they are yoked, and even their charioteers. Likewise, he even ripped off the elephants along with their riders, and the horses along with their cavaliers. And on eliminating infantrymen in that war Rama led them to the abode of Yama, the Time-god. [3-25-23, 24] [3-25-23]

tato naaliika naaraacaih tiikshna agraih vikarnibhih |

bhiimam aarta svaram cakruh chidyamaanaa nishaacaraah || 3-25-25

While ripped to pieces with tubular arrows, with arrows made of iron, and with sharp-edged and crescent-tipped arrows those demons have let out disgusting cries of anguish. [3-25-25]

tat sainyam nishitaih baanaih arditam marma bhedibhih |

na raamena sukham lebhe shuskam vanam iva agninaa || 3-25-26

When those arrows that gore the critical parts are thus harrowing, that army is discomposed like a forest burnt to a cinder by wild-fire. [3-25-26]

kecid bhiima balaah shuuraah praasaan shuulaan parashvadhaan |

ciksipuh parama kruddhaa raamaaya rajaniicaraah || 3-25-27

Some of the grotesquely sinewy and braving nightwalkers are highly enraged and dashed their darts, tridents, and hatchets towards Rama. [3-25-27]

tesaam baanaih mahaabaahuh shastraani aavaarya viiryavaan |

jahaara samare praanaan ciccheda ca shiro dharaan || 3-25-28

On fending off those weapons with his arrows that mighty armed and valorous Rama filched away their lives by shearing off their necks in that war. [3-25-28]

te chinna shirasah petuh chinna carma sharaasanaah |

suparna vaata vikshiptaa jagatyaam paadapaa yathaa || 3-25-29

Those demons crashed down to earth with their heads severed and shields and bows wrecked, like the trees strewn around on earth owing to the gust raised by Garuda, the Divine Eagle, when he takes a sudden flight in heavens. [3-25-29]

avashistaah ca ye tatra visannaah te nishaacaraah |

kharam eva abhyadhaavanta sharanaartham shara aahataah || 3-25-30

Those nightwalkers that are battered by those arrows and remaining there, they desperately rushed towards Khara alone seeking shelter. [3-25-30]

taan sarvaan dhanur aadaaya samaashvaasya ca duusanah |

abhyadhaavata susa.mkruddhah kruddhah [rudram] kruddha iva antakah || 3-25-31

That highly infuriated Duushana rushed towards Rama as highly infuriated Yama rushes towards Rudra, where Rudra being the ultimate eliminator himself, angry rush of Yama towards Rudra is therefore futile. [3-25-31]

nivrittaah tu punah sarve duusana aashraya nirbhayaah |

raamam eva abhyadhaavanta saala taala shila aayudhaah || 3-25-32

Coming under the shelter of Duushana all of those demons are but emboldened and returned, and they once again rushed towards Rama with Sala trees, palm trees and boulders as their weapons. [3-25-32]

shuula mudgara hastaah ca paasha hastaa mahaabalaah |

srijantah shara varsaani shastra varsaani sa.myuge|| 3-25-33

druma varsaani mu.ncantah shilaa varsaani raakshasaah |

Handling tridents, maces, and leashes those great-mighty demons have created torrents of arrows, missiles, trees and boulders, and inundated Rama in that war. [3-25-33, 34a]

tad babhuuva adbhutam yuddham tumulam roma harsanam || 3-25-34

raamasya asya mahaaghoram punah tesaam ca raksasaam |

Again there chanced a highly gruesome war between Rama and those demons that is tumultuous, stunning, and a hair-raising. [3-25-34b, 35a]

te samantaat abhikruddhaa raaghavam punar aardayan || 3-25-35

tatah sarvaa disho dristvaa pradishaah ca samaavritaah |

raakshasaih sarvatah praaptaih shara varsaabhih aavritah || 3-25-36

sa kritvaa bhairavam naadam astram parama bhaasvaram|

samayojayat gaandharvam raakshasesu mahaabalah || 3-25-37

Those demons have resurfaced from all around pressurizing Raghava in high dudgeon. On seeing the reappearance of demons from everywhere, with whom all the directions and inter-directions are fully filled, and who are storming torrents of arrows, then that exceptionally forceful Rama made a thunderous sound and launched an extremely blazing missile among the gather of demons, called Gandharva missile. [3-25-35b, 36, 37]

tatah shara sahasraani niryayuh caapa mandalaat |

sarvaa dasha disho baanaih aapuuryanta samaagataih || 3-25-38

Then from the nimbus of his bow, arrows in thousand have scurried out, and with them thus arrived all the ten sides are cramped up. [3-25-38]

na aadadaanaam sharaan ghoraan vimu.nca.ntam shara uttamaan |

vikarsamaanam pashyanti raakshasaah te shara aarditaah || 3-25-39

Either the drawing of those supreme arrows from the quiver, or the traction of bowstring on placing them, or unloosing them from the bow is unperceived by those demons that are harrowing under those arrows. [3-25-39]

shara andhakaaram aakaasham aavrinot sa divaakaram |

babhuuva avasthito raamah prakshipan iva taan sharaan || 3-25-40

Darkness caused by the thick of the arrows overspread the sky including its sun, while Rama happened to persevere spewing forth his arrows. [3-25-40]

yugapat patamaanaih ca yugapacca hataih bhrisham |

yugapat patitaih caiva vikiirnaa vasudhaa abhavat || 3-25-41

Far and wide the earth is scattered with herds that are falling instantaneously, hosts that have fallen instantly, and huddles that are already felled with an instantaneity. [3-25-41]

nihataah patitaah kshiinaa cchinna bhinna vidaaritaah |

tatra tatra sma drishyante raakshasaah te sahasrashah || 3-25-42

Thousands of demons are noticeable hither and yon, killed, fallen and enfeebled, and slashed, gashed and ripped. [3-25-42]

sa usniisaih uttama angaih ca sa a.ngadaih baahubhih tathaa |

uurubhih baahubhih cchinnaih naanaa ruupaih vibhuusanaih || 3-25-43

hayaih ca dvipa mukhyaih ca rathaih bhinnaih anekashah |

caamara vyajanaih chatraih dhvajaih naanaa vidhaih api || 3-25-44

raamena baana abhihataih vicchinnaih shuula pattishaih |

khadgaih khandiikritaih praasaih vikiirnaih ca pashvadhaih || 3-25-45

cuunitaabhih shilaabhih ca sharaih citraih anekashah |

vicchinnaih samare bhuumih vistiirnaa aabhuut bhaya.mkaraa || 3-25-46

Some severed heads still have their headgears and some bare, some arms are with armlets and some bare, while some with their arms cut off, some with their thighs cut off, some with their divers patterns of ornaments on their bodies have fallen on ground. Numerous horses and elephants are felled. Chariots, royal-fans, royal-parasols, war-flags of very many kinds are ravaged in many ways. Hit down by Rama's arrows spears and tridents are variously splintered, swords broken to pieces, darts and hatchets shattered and strewn around. Also the boulders are pulverized, various amazing arrows have gone to rack and ruin in many ways. Spread with such wreckage the earth has become horrifying for a glance. [3-25-43, 44, 45, 46]

taan dristvaa nihataan sarve rakshasaah parama aaturaah |

na tatra calitum shaktaa raamam para pura.mjayam || 3-25-47

On seeing the killed demons all the surviving demons have become enervated and they are rendered incapable to make a move towards Rama, the conqueror of enemy's capitals. [3-25-47]

 iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye aranya kaande pa.nca vi.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 25th 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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