<%response.buffer = true %> RAMAYANA - LANKA KAND - BATTLE COMMENCES


    Sri Rama then consulted with his ministers to discuss the further course of action. Lanka's fort had four doors. It was decided that the whole army should be divided into four batallions and then attack should be made from all the four sides simultaneously. So Sri Rama's army attacked the fort of Lanka from all the four sides. Ravan ordered his warriors to kill the enemies. The demons ran towards Sri Rama's army carrying destructive weapons like tridents, swords, spears and mace etc.

    When the monkeys found it difficult to stand the assault made by the tridents they started crying out the names of Hanumana, Angad, Nal and Neel for help.

    Hanumana then jumped on the top of the Ravan's fort and hit Meghanad with a part of a mountain. Meghanad fell down from his chariot unconscious. Another charioteer carried Meghanad to safety on his chariot and thus saved his life.

    When Angad heard that Hanumana had entered the fort all alone, he decided to go for his help. Both of them then fought furiously with Ravan's army.

    A tremendous battle was fought that day. Numerous warriors of Ravan's army were killed including many veterans.

    Half of Ravan's army was slain. Ravan consulted his ministers to chalk out further strategies. A demon by the name of Malwant again advised Ravan to stop fighting against Sri Rama. But Ravan furiously drove him away from his sight.

    Meghanad then assured Ravan that the next morning would certainly bring good news. The next morning Sri Rama's army again surrounded Ravan's fort. Meghanad came forward to fight them. He aimed ten arrows at a time towards Sri Rama's army. Hanumana lifted a mountain and hit him. Meghanad vanished. Both the chariot and his charioteer were destroyed. Hanumana challenged him for a battle but Meghanad did not show him up again.

    Meghanad then went to fight with Sri Rama. He used different kinds of deadly weapons but each one was neutralized by Sri Rama. Meghanad then went to fight with Laxmana. A fierce battle was fought between them. It was difficult to decide the outcome of the battle.

    Meghanad then started using unfair means. Laxmana became angry. He shot an arrow at Meghanad, which destroyed his chariot along with the charioteer.

    When Meghanad saw that Laxmana could not be defeated by any other way, he used Shaktibaan on Laxmana. It struck Laxmana on his chest. Laxmana fell down unconscious. Meghanad tried to lift and kidnap an unconscious Laxmana but he was unsuccessful in his attempts. So, he returned back angrily.

    In the evening when the battle stopped Hanumana arrived at the camp carrying an unconscious Laxmana.

    Sri Rama was very sorry when he saw Laxmana. Jambvant then informed Sri Rama that a physician Sushen lived at Lanka. Only he could cure Laxmana, said Jambawant.

    Hanumana made his size very small and went to bring Sushen. He brought Sushen along with his home. Sushen told them about a herb Sanjeevani, which could help Laxmana regain his consciousness. But that herb grew on Himalayas at a great height and should be brought before the day break. Everyone present there prayed Hanumana to bring that herb as only he was capable to achieve this seemingly impossible task.

    When Ravan came to know all about this he instructed Kaalnemi, the demon to block the path of Hanumana. Kaalnemi replied-

    "How can I block the path of such a mighty being who had single handedly caused the burning of Lanka. Why don't you compromise with Sri Rama?"

    Ravan became furious. Kaalnemi thought that it would be better to die by the hands of the messenger of Sri Rama, than to die facing the wrath of Ravan.

    Kaalnemi then created a beautiful temple and a pond with his illusionary powers. When Hanumana saw the temple and the pond, he decided to take some rest. Hanumana went to Kaalnemi and greeted him. Kaalnemi praised Sri Rama and said-

    "A battle is being fought between Rama and Ravan. I can foresee Rama's victory."

    Hanumana was pleased. He asked for some water, as he was very thirsty. Kaalnemi gave some water from his Kamandalu. But Hanumana's thirst was not quenched. He asked for some more. Kaalnemi then showed him the pond. As soon as Hanumana entered the pond, a crocodile got hold of his legs but Hanumana killed the crocodile in no time. The crocodile was in fact an elf who had become a crocodile because of a curse. She revealed the real identity of Kaalnemi.

    Hanumana then killed Kaalnemi who died chanting the name of Sri Rama. His devotion towards Sri Rama pleased Hanumana greatly.

    Hanumana resumed his onward journey and reached the Himalayas but could not identify the genuine herb. He therefore decided to carry the whole mountain along with him.

    While Hanumana was flying over Ayodhya, Bharat saw his enormous size and suspected him to be a demon. He hit Hanumana with a blunt arrow. Hanumana fell on the ground saying 'Rama-Rama' and fainted.

    When Bharat heard the name of Sri Rama from his mouth, he came running towards Hanumana. Bharat tried to make him come around but in vain. Bharat then said-

    "If my devotion towards Sri Rama is true and total may this monkey come around."

    Hanumana got up at once and Bharat hugged him affectionately. Bharat then asked about Sri Rama. Hanumana narrated everything, which made Bharat even more sorry. He cursed himself for his not being of any help to Sri Rama.

    Bharat then instructed Hanumana to reach Lanka as soon as possible and before the sunrise. He said-

    "Ride my arrow along with the mountain. I will send you to Sri Rama in a very short time."

    Hanumana wondered at Bharat's words as how could an arrow bear the weight of mountain and him. But he politely sought Bharat's permission and proceeded onwards.

    Sri Rama was getting anxious that it was already midnight and there was no sign of Hanumana's return. He began to speak in disgust:

    "O brother! If only had I known that such a calamity would strike you, I would never have accepted an exile at all. You abandoned all the comforts and luxury just for my sake. Get up my brother, come around. A person can acquire everything in life; wife, sons, wealth but not a true brother."

    Hanumana brings the mountain of  medicinal herb Wailing of Sri Rama was getting higher and higher causing deep mourning for the troupes of monkeys when in the meantime Hanumana arrived. A new lease of life ran among all of them. Sri Rama embraced him with affection and as soon as Laxmana was given the medicinal herb, he regained his consciousness. This resurrection of Laxmana pleased everybody. Hanumana then carried back Sushen in the same way as he had brought him.

    When Ravan came to know about Laxmana's revival, his frustration soared high. He went to Kumbhakarn who was sleeping at that time. A great effort was made to wake him up. Ultimately when Kumbhakarn did wake up from his sleep he asked Ravan about the reason for his sorrow.

    Ravan narrated the whole story how he had abducted Sita, how great warriors like Durmukh, Devantak, Narantak, Atikay, Akampan met martyrdom fighting against Rama's army.

    Kumbhakarn felt very sorry about Ravan's unmindful action. He admonished Ravan- "How can you expect benediction when your acts are unworthy of it? Ravan you have committed a grave sin by abducting Sita. It is still not too late, return back Sita to Sri Rama. Abandon your arrogance and have devotion for Sri Rama. O Ravan! Cannot you realize the divinity and greatness of Rama whom even the mighty Hanumana follow."

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