papagnam visadhAyatAkshi YugaLam sowmithri samsevitham
bhakthAnAm paramoushadham munivarai: samsthuyamAnam bhajE
GS 60: abhicharaNa huthavaha paricharaNa vigatana sarabhasa paripatadh aparimitha kapibhala jaladhi lahari kalakalarava kupitha maghavajith abhihanana kruth anuja sakshika rakshasa dwandhwa Yuddha! Jaya! Jaya!
(Meaning): O Raghuveera! Hail to Thee, who used the GaandarvAsthram on the troops of RavaNA’s choice fighting unit known as mula Bhalam and caused them as a result to be deluded to fight with each other instead of fighting with the members of your army. Your brother LakshmaNA was the witness to that scene of utter confusion in the ranks of RavaNA’s soldiers after he himself had dispatched Indrajith in a fierce battle. Earlier Indrajith’s efforts to acquire invincible powers through the performance of necromancy was interrupted by the huge army of monkeys which noisily invaded the site of that abhichAra homam and interrupted the completion of that homam. The angry Indrajith stopped the homam halfway through and came to fight your brother and lost his life in that battle. Hail to thee O Lord, who dispatched the GandharvAsthram!
(Background): After the defeat of RavaNA in the battle field and the death of KumbhakarNA at the hands of Rama and loss of many generals of the army of his father, Indrajith returned once again to the scene of combat and aimed the powerful BrahmAsthram at Rama, LakshmaNA and the simian army. That missile rendered the princes of AyodhyA and the monkey army of Sugreeva totally unconscious. Rama and LakshmaNA decided to honor the power of the missile presided over by Brahma and stayed motionless and helpless. Sugreeva and a host of other high-ranking generalsof his army were also knocked out.
VibhishaNa and Hanumaan were the ones, who were not affected. They found the old bear JAmbhavAn lying semi-conscious on the battle ground. JaambhavAn advised the approaching VibhishaNA that Hanuman alone can save the day. He suggested that HanumAn known for his speed in the air should rush to a specific site in HimaalayAs and fetch the four powerful medicinal herbs to restore Rama, LakshmaNA and all the monkeys that were rendered unconscious by Indrajith. The bearking described the four medicines and their power this way:
(1) Mruthasanjeevini, which had the power to bring the dead back to life
(2) Visalyakarani, which had the power of extracting the weapons and healing the wounds caused by those weapons
(3) SuvarNakaraNi, which had the power to restore the body to its original complexion
(4) SandhAni, which had the power to join back torn limbs and broken bones
Earlier, Sugreeva”s father-in-law had suggested bringing of these medicinal herbs by HanumAn. That occasion was when Rama and LakshmaNA were bound by the Naga Paasam of Inderjith. Garuda appeared and chased off the snakes and embraced the brothers back to their original state. HanumAn did not have to go then in search of these four herbs.
HanumAn set forth on this mission and jumped off from the topof the Trikuta mountain of Lankha in search of the four divine herbs. As he approached the site of the herbs, they hid from HanumAn’s sight. AnjaneyA got angry at their lack of compassion to help even Rama,Hnauman tore of the whole mountain housing the herbs and sped away with frightening speed back to the battle field and put the mountain down in the midst of the simian ranks. This expedition gave Hanuman the name of Sanjeevi Raayan.
Rama, LakshmaNA and every one of the members of the simiana rmy recovered from their state of torpor or state of death after inhaling the wind-blown fragrance of these herbs.Even monkeys, whose dead bodies were cast into the oceans by the ogres were restored back to life. The joyous monkeys ran through the gates of LankhA and set fire to the city. More ogres were killed by the monkeys and Rama. The surprised Indrajith returned to the battle field and engaged in a formidable fight. He used black magic and became invisible and began to torment the princes of AyodhyA once again. He then retreated to the city and returned with an illusory image of Sita and killed her in front of Hanumaan. Sri Rama fainted on hearing the death of Sita. LakshmaNA and VibhishaNA consoled Rama. LakshmaNA vowed then to kill Inderjith. VibhishaNA told Rama that Sita was alive and that his nephew was only creating an illusory act so that he can return to a secret place (Nikumbhila) to gain more magical powers through performance of a homam based on necromancy.
VibhishaNA guided the simian army and LakshmaNA to the site of the abhichara homam. The monkeys fell on the sitei n huge numbers and disrupted the completion of that homam. There was a mighty battle between LakshmaNA and Indrajith. LakshmaNa used a missile presided by IndrA and addressed the following prayer to IndrAsthrA: “If Sri Rama, son of Dasaratha has set his mind on virtue and is true to his promise and is unrivalled in prowess, make short work, the, of this son of RavaNA.”
Sage Valmiki’s slokam housing this prayer of lakshmaNA is as follows:
dharmAthmA satyasandhasccha ramO dAsarathiryathA |
powrushE chAprathidhwandhvasthadhainam jahi ravaNim ||
After this prayer, LakshmaNA released the Missile presided over by IndrA. Flying at lightning speed, that missile severed the head of Indrajith.
RamA was delighted with the news of Indrajith’s death at LakshmaNA’s hands at Nikumbhilai. RavaNA was grief stricken over the loss of his son. He sent his diverse battalion known as mula Balam to avenge the deathof his beloved son. Rama dispatched the mystic GandharvAsthram presided over by the GandharvAs. That asthram created the illusion of many Ramas in the middle of the ranks of the Mula balam. The rank and file of RavaNA’s powerful army mistook each other for Rama and killed each other. There was utter confusion in the battle field. Two lakhs of ogres fighting on foot were eliminated by Rama single-handedly through the use of GandharvAsthram. LakshmaNa was the thrilled witness to the prowess of his brother, which he had invoked in his prayer to the IndrAsthram to decapitate Indrajith. That is what Swami Desikan refers to in the sixtieth salutation of Raghuveera Gadhyam, when he addresses Rama as “Maghavajith abhihanana kruth anuja SAAKSHIKA rakshasa dwandhva Yuddha.”
Thus ends the ninety third canto of the Yuddha KhAndam of Sage Valmiki’s Srimadh RaamAyaNam from which Swami Desikandrew his inspiration.
Source: Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
To be continued…