Friday, February 19, 2010

PDE Ramayana: Ravana's Death

Reading Guide. Using the Brahma-weapon, Rama is finally able to defeat Ravana, and the gods rejoice; this had been the goal of the gods all along, and the reason for Vishnu's human incarnation.

Image: If you look carefully at the fallen Ravana in the illustration, you will see that once again he is shown with a donkey head.

Source. The prose portion comes from Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913), and the verse portion comes from Ramayana, The Epic of Rama, Prince of India, condensed into English verse by Romesh Dutt (1899). [400 words]



Rama and Ravana | 71. Ravana's Death | Mandodari's Lament


Suddenly Rama darted forward. He drew his bow and shot a swift arrow, which smote off one of Ravana's ten heads, but immediately another appeared in its place. Then the hero seized the flaming weapon which Brahma had created for the protection of the gods; with unerring aim he discharged it in flaming splendor; it struck the demon; it cleft in twain his heart of iron. Roaring in his fierce agony, Ravana fell ponderously upon the plain and immediately expired. So was the enemy of gods and men put to death by peerless Rama.

Celestial music was heard in heaven and flowers fell upon the plain of victory: a voice came down the wind, saying, “O victor of truth and righteousness, thy task is now ended.”

The rakshasa hosts broke in flight when Ravana fell, and Rama entered the city in triumph. Vibhishana burned the body of his fallen brother, and performed the funeral rites. Thereafter he was proclaimed King of Lanka.

~ ~ ~

Long and dubious battle lasted, shook the ocean, hill and dale,
Winds were hushed in voiceless terror and the livid sun was pale;

Still the dubious battle lasted, until Rama in his ire
Wielded Brahma's deathful weapon flaming with celestial fire!

Weapon which the Saint Agastya had unto the hero given,
Winged as lightning dart of Indra, fatal as the bolt of heaven,

Wrapped in smoke and flaming flashes, speeding from the circled bow,
Pierced the iron heart of Ravan, lain the lifeless hero low,

And a cry of pain and terror from the raksha ranks arose,
And a shout from joying vanars as they smote their fleeing foes!

Heavenly flowers in rain descended on the red and gory plain,
And from unseen harps and timbrels rose a soft celestial strain,

And the ocean heaved in gladness, brighter shone the sunlit sky.
Soft and cool the gentle zephyrs through the forest murmured by,

Sweetest scent and fragrant odours wafted from celestial trees,
Fell upon the earth and ocean, rode upon the laden breeze!

Voice of blessing from the bright sky fell on Raghu's valiant son —
"Champion of the true and righteous! Now thy noble task is done!"







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