It takes Indrajit - Sundara Kãnda

Continued from Marshals in the Mire - 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 48 - It takes Indrajit

Aggrieved as by Akshay’s death 
Thought then Ravan of sending 
Son his eldest who subdued
Indra himself in battle.
Addressed Ravan his eldest
Who could invoke that mantra
To make his arrow Brahmastra
And thus stun foes formidable.
With thy prowess at battle
Beat thou all in battlefield.
With thy mystic powers and all
None can harm thee in combat.
Is there any in all three worlds
Hath who not heard of thy fame.
In the art of waging war
Thou I know are my equal.
At the hands of this vanar
Dared who challenge Lanka’s might
Warriors in their thous did die
With the Generals at their head.
Wonder how did our Akshay
In spite of his combat skills
Come a cropper with vanar!
Wise it not to take him light 
Saw who end of young Akshay
And such veterans from our ranks
Won’t thy sight in battlefield
Scare the mighty of all worlds.
Wiped as vanar our panzers
Akshay ’n the five Generals
Not to speak of seven Marshals
Makes it no sense to expose 
More of our men to the same.
Using arms of thine varied
Use there none to waste thy time
Looks like none but Brahmastra
Could take care of this vanar.
For the dharma of the land
Won’t let rulers fight the foes
Having men to fill that role
Constrained am I to send thee.
Takes as one the battlefield
Killer instinct he should have.
Ravan’s son then Indrajit
Rose to greet his revered dad.
Praised by all there to one man
Felt then Ravan’s son enthused.
On his errand Indrajit 
Seemed like tidal wave on move. 
Got he onto his chariot
Drawn by roaring lions all four.
With no further loss of time
Reached straight Indrajit target.
From his aura knew vanar
It was none but Indrajit
And that he had fight on hand.
Posited himself Indrajit 
To take the vanar in his stride.
With the dust the lions did kick
Filled was entire space in skies.
So to watch how Vayu’s son
Takes on one who subdued them
With their fingers crossed in awe
Watched all gods there from high skies.
Sight at that of Indrajit 
Itched then vanar to engage
Him in single combat who
Done in Indra Lord of gods. 
Tested Indrajit his bow
Sound it made like thunderbolt.
In time Hanuman found himself
Engaged at war of his life.
As a ploy to stall his foe
Fought him Hanuman from the skies.
To make Hanuman his target
Sent Ravan’s son such arrows
Wings which had to cruise in air.
Swift as Hanuman in escape
Arrows all those got past him.
Sparred with some more Indrajit
Managed Hanuman to thwart them.
As though to tease Indrajit
Neared as Hanuman ever so close
Shot then Ravan’s son arrows
With such aim to hit bull’s-eye
But swift as Hanuman in mid-air
Kept he ever thus out of range.
Sight all this made exciting
For all those who came to watch them.
Hanuman then was all at sea 
How to conquer Ravan’s son,
Latter too seemed have no clue
How to tackle foe his strange.
Worried all looked Indrajit
For his failure to bring down
Foe of Lanka with his skills.
Realized Indrajit at length
Hard it was to slay Hanuman.
So he thought it fit to use
Brahmastra to stun Hanuman.
Invoked Indrajit Brahma
Powers he arrow of his sharp
To stun Hanuman out of wits.
With the power of Brahmastra
Lay then Hanuman unconscious.
Hanuman by the blessings of
Brahma his own grandfather
In time regained consciousness.
Having realized Ravan’s son
Tied him with the Brahmastra
Recalled Hanuman boon he got
From Brahma to safeguard him.
How were Indrajit to know
Made me Brahma exempt from
Mantra invoked in his name?
Aware got he unshackled
From the grip of Brahmastra
Thought he fit to lay low then
Out of respect for the Lord
Brahma who gave birth to his
Father Vayu rules who skies.
Feared not Hanuman Indrajit
Blessed as he was by Brahma.
Taken he would be captive
All too well then Hanuman knew.
Feigned as Hanuman in coma
Sent men Ravan’s son to him.
Chose as he to turn captive
Lost no time then Ravan’s men
To tie his frame then tip to toe. 
Wanting then to meet Ravan  
Hanuman bore the insults all
Thrown at him by Lankans then.  
Soon as Lankans tied vanar
With ropes made of strong coir
Eased out its force Brahmastra.
Realized Indrajit in time
Foolishness it was to use 
Ropes to augment Brahmastra.
At loss was thus Indrajit
How to tackle Hanuman then
Got who freed from Brahmastra.
Pricked as Lankans all the way
Kept mum Hanuman in the hope
Led he would be to Ravan.  
Let thus Hanuman to take him
Though he could have freed himself. 
In time to the Lankan court
Brought was Hanuman tied in ropes.
Took a hard look Ravan then
At that vanar who looked strong. 
In whispers then Ravan’s court
Wondered at the developments.
Angered were all those nobles
Slew that he their kith and kin, 
Soon as they saw Hanuman thus
Brayed all they for blood of his.   
At the sight of Ravan’s court
The like of which he never saw
Wondered Hanuman for his part. 
Ravan as he saw Hanuman
Pushed  ’n prodded by his guards
Seemed too nonplussed as it were. 
Espied as he thus Ravan
Had who aura of but God
Stunned no end was Hanuman then.
Lost as Ravan his cool soon
Wanted he to go to roots,
Bid he thus his men enquire
How come Hanuman did trespass.
Council as then questioned him
Declared Hanuman that he came
Sent by vanar Lord Sugreev 
On an errand of import.
Canto  49 - Ravan’s Darbar

Stared as Ravan in dismay  
Looked at him in awe Hanuman. 
Studded as it with rare diamonds
Had king Ravan crown of crowns.
Garments Ravan wore were silk
Ornaments on him all were gold. 
Frills to its his dress scented 
Smeared with ash was his forehead.
Eyes of his so wide and sharp
Turned they red by his rage then.
Heads he sported ten in all
Seemed they all but as if one.
Wore as myriad chains of gems
Dangled which on his bare chest, 
Made they rays of mid-day sun
Peeping out of thick dark clouds.
Epaulets he wore seemed to crown
Hands his both so strong and long.
Sat thus Ravan on his throne
Had that for seat smooth carpet.
Posited as he on high throne
Fanned him damsels for comfort. 
With their advice to render
On call were his secretaries.
In the midst of those gathered
Seemed he island in high seas.
Ravan in his darbar seem
As though Indra held his court.
Stood then Hanuman gaping at
Ravan at his splendorous best.
Though the pain of confinement
Made him feel thus out of sorts
Sight of Ravan made Hanuman
Stare at him in wonderment.
Bowled over by Ravan’s charm
Thought over then Hanuman thus:
Can there be a king on earth
Better who can the Ravan Great?
Were he not to foul dharma
Is he not the one to rule
In his right the heaven as well.
But that he is perverted
World all made to pay the price.
Were Ravan to set his mind
To destroy earth and heaven itself
Power he seems to have for that.

Canto 50 - Cuse of Loss

Seeing Hanuman unshaken
Smitten was Ravan by doubts then.
Wondered Ravan if bull god
Cursed him when he shook Kailash
Came in disguise to harm thus.
Or could he be that Banasur
Came in form of this vanar?
Clueless as was Ravan then
Prahastha he then addressed thus:
Wish I Prahastha thee find out
Wherefore came this simian fiend, 
What was at his back of mind
Spoiled when he our garden? 
Trespass why did he Lanka
Made him what to give us fight?
Assured Prahastha then vanar
Harm him none would in Lanka.
Promised he then safe passage
To trespasser there thus lay trapped.
Have thou come to spy on us
Sent by gods from heaven itself? 
Clear it’s all from thy valour
That thou art no mean vanar.
Mince no words ’n bare the truth
That we could thee free forthwith.
If  thou try to sidetrack us
Know that will be at thy risk.
Hanuman in turn told Ravan
That his trip had none to do
With the gods that Lankans scorned.
Am I from the vanar ranks
Came to see thee king Ravan.
Spoiled I know thy garden 
That thy guards would usher me
To thy court O Lankan king.
Came as thy guards to kill me
Slain  them just to save my life.
Stunned as Indrajit me then
With the aid of Brahmastra
Blessed as I was by Brahma.
Came I soon out of its spell.    
On my own I came to thee
None  as ever would contain me. 
Know me as the one sent by
Rama to make truce with thee.

Continued to Advice to Deliver - Sundara Kãnda 


More by :  BS Murthy

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