Marshals in the Mire - Sundara Kãnda

Continued from Rampage in the Park - Sundara Kãnda 

If Mahabharata's Bhagvad-Gita is taken as a philosophical guide, Ramayana's Sundara Kãnda is sought for spiritual solace. What is more, many believe that reading Sundara Kãnda or hearing it recited would remove all hurdles and usher in good tidings!    

Canto 45 -  Marshals in the Mire

Like the balls of fearsome fire
Forthwith set out seven Marshals.
Famous for their fighting skills
Went thy all for Hanuman’s scalp.
Drawn by horses that were swift
Chariots theirs were made of gold.
Bows theirs were all gold plated
Quivers of theirs were made of gems.
Enraged they all at the thought
Scores of Lankans lost their lives
In their own land at alien hands. 
At the head of  their force then
Attack they led all from the front.
Like the darts of pouring rain
Sent they arrows in their scores.
In the midst of that downpour
Stood then Hanuman like a rock. 
Rose as Hanuman to high skies
Made he null and void those 
Arrows thus they aimed at him.
Battled as he them from skies
Seemed he rainbow well therein.
Thundered as he from high skies
Shivered demons all there gathered. 
So to make all those Marshals
Bite the dust in battle dress
Needed Hanuman just bare fist.
By the scare thus caused by him 
Demons all in scores then and there
Died of stroke by awe they felt.
Those all at the fringes then
Retreated to save their skin.
Looked the battlefield in time
Like the burial ground to brim.
Formed as canals blood by then
Flowed with force to hinterland. 
Seeing backs of fleeing ranks
Stood well Hanuman to take on
Fresh forays of Lankan force
Ordained by king Ravan next. 

Canto 46 - Generals in the Dumps

Pondered Ravan death over
Chosen ones all in their scores. 
Thought he then it fit to send
Four star Generals to take on
Vanar that was hard to beat.
Chose he Durdhar and his ilk
Wage who war with lightning speed.
Said Ravan to his Generals
Wise it’s not to take chances
With that vanar on rampage.
Use all thy wile to ensnare 
Him to bring thus to me live.
That he could slay best of us
Makes him mighty foe no less.
For the havoc he had wrought
Reckon I not him mere vanar.
Seems Indra with all his guile
Shaped this simian our equal.
Subdued  as we for him long
Sense it makes to expect that
Try he might to hurt us thus.
Need thou tackle this vanar
With but joint move by thee.
Seems he ghost by Indra sent
Doubt have I none in my mind.
Know I Vali and his tribe
Give who can a hearty fight.
Yet they make no patch on this
Simian shaped by Indra’s wile.
Looks he like a superman
Out to test our demonic strength. 
All of thee though severally 
Could win over this simian
Wisdom lies to take on him
With the combined strength of thine.  
Pays regardless though to press 
One shouldn’t fail to guard his flanks.
Spurred on thus by king Ravan
Pressed his Generals to the front. 
Seemed it as an exodus
Led as they their force varied.
Came they face to face in time
To face thus Hanuman lay in wait.
So that they could surprise him
Pounced they all at once on him. 
With no let the five all fought 
With their lightning arms to boot. 
First to hit him was Durdhar
With his arrows five so sharp
Managed which all but to scratch 
Frame that giant of Hanuman then.
Took that Hanuman as affront
Turned he skyward to confront.
So to engage in dogfight
Made chariot his then Durdhar 
Airborne like a fighter jet
Wind as toys with clouds all
Arrows all those of Durdhar
Managed Hanuman to scatter.
Durdhar’s job to make difficult
Grew then Hanuman further more.
In time from high skies Hanuman
Landed straight on Durdhar’s cart.
Crushed as Durdhar therein lay
Saucer turned his chariot huge.
With the fall of Durdhar thus
Crushed he couple of more Generals.
Not to give up Ravan’s men
Hit all Hanuman in tandem
With their maces on his chest.
Withstood he then their assault
With no more than his bare first. 
Enraged in the end Hanuman
Plucked a tree large lay thereby 
With which he felled Ravan’s men.
With the death of his peers thus
Took on Hanuman Praghana then.
Bhasakarna too joined hands
So to aid then Praghana’s cause.
Threw as Praghana at Hanuman
Sword his sharp with all his strength
Bhasakarna sent lance his long.
Bled his body head to foot
Hurt as Hanuman by them both.
Plucked then Hanuman some hillock
With which he crushed them to bones.
Having killed all five Generals 
Slain he then the entire force.
In his fury then Hanuman
Looked like Indra on rampage.
Littered by the corpses then
Graveyard looked the battlefield. 
Amidst the ruins of Ravan’s hopes
Stood like colossus Hanuman then.

Canto 47 - Akshay’s Life on Line

Heard as all of Durdhar’s fall 
Akshay truly itched for fight.
Fell as Ravan’s eyes on him
Bowed his son with golden bow. 
In his chariot made of gold
Rode as Akshay to Hanuman
Seemed he like the sun on move. 
Wind God it beats at his game
Akshay’s chariot drawn by eight. 
Custom built in heaven itself
Outmaneuvers it all on earth.
Battles as he from that frame
None can ever face Akshay then. 
With such battle guard Akshay
Went to confront Hanuman then. 
Like the lion on hunt Akshay
Looked at Hanuman as his prey. 
Having met his match Akshay
Felt eager to fight Hanuman.
To tease the vanar to fight him
Shot Akshay then three arrows.
Failed as they to hurt his foe
Saw the fight on hand Akshay.
Hanuman too then came to see
Makes Akshay hard nut to crack. 
Raged as battle between them
Stopped all worlds to witness that.
Bull’s eye hit those arrows three
Aimed by Akshay at Hanuman’s
Head that he held ever so high.
Blood as spilled on his frame thus
Made him seem the morning sun. 
Enthused by the fight on hand
Enhanced his frame then Hanuman.
So to account his foe’s affront
Destroyed vanar Akshay’s force. 
Angered at that Akshay then
Aimed arrows in scores at him,
Akin that was to downpour 
Of monsoon on mountain then.
Prowess at such of Akshay
Shouted Hanuman his salute.
Went as the praise to his head
Taunted Akshay Hanuman then
To fight the one whom angels dread.
Hurt though he was by arrows   
Sent in rows by Akshay’s bow
To take then on the daring youth
Jumped up Hanuman high in skies.
With no respite to Hanuman
Aiming arrows thick and fast
As would hailstorm hill terrain
Chased him all the way Akshay. 
With his lightning reflexes
Escaped arrows all Hanuman.
Taking  Akshay’s tender youth 
Though he was no babe at arms
Felt like sparing him Hanuman.
But then Akshay was intent
To take the vanar his captive.
Matchless prowess of Akshay
Made the son of Vayu think
Youth he was not meant to die.
Lad this Ravan’s on his own    
Could bring gods ’n angels too
Knees on to theirs in battles.
Battle that’s on hand I now
Looks he’s gaining  upper hand.
Fail if I now to confine him
Shame me he would in no time. 
No way out for me but now
Than slay Akshay Ravan’s son.
Killed as prelude then Hanuman
Stallions eight of Akshay’s cart.
Broke as Hanuman his vehicle
Hors de combat turned Akshay.
Not the one to get daunted
Kept up tempo still Akshay.
Eagle as an would have its prey
Took hold Akshay’s legs Hanuman.
Handled Hanuman then Akshay
Washerwoman would  as garments
On some stone by waterside.
With the impact that it took
Akshay’s frame there lay tattered. 
With the fall of Akshay thus
Even Indra felt surprised.
To slay more of Ravan’s men
Lay then Hanuman there in wait.

Continued to "It Takes Indrajit -  Sundara Kãnda"


More by :  BS Murthy

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