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Chapter 283

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Markandeya said, ‘And while those troops (thus withdrawn) were reposingthemselves in their quarters, many little Rakshasas and Pisachas owningRavana as their leader, penetrated amongst them. And among these wereParvana, Patana, Jambha, Khara, Krodha-vasa, Hari, Praruja, Aruja andPraghasa, and others. And as these wicked ones were penetrating (themonkey host) in their invisible forms, Vibhishana, who had the knowledgethereof, broke the spell of their invisibility. And once seen, O king, bythe powerful and long-leaping monkeys, they were all slain and prostratedon the earth, deprived of life. And unable to endure this, Ravana marchedout at the head of his troops. And surrounded by his terrible army ofRakshasas and Pisachas, Ravana who was conversant with the rules ofwarfare like a second Usanas invested the monkey host, having disposedhis troops in that array which is named after Usanas himself. Andbeholding Ravana advancing with his army disposed in that array, Rama,following the mode recommended by Vrihaspati, disposed his troops incounter array for opposing that wanderer of the night. And coming upquickly, Ravana began to fight with Rama. And Lakshmana singled outIndrajit, and Sugriva singled out Virupakshya, and Nikharvata fought withTara, and Nala with Tunda, and Patusa with Panasa. And each warrior,advancing up to him whom he regarded as his match, began to fight withhim on that field of battle, relying on the strength of his own arms, andthat encounter, so frightful to timid persons, soon became terrible andfierce like that between the gods and the Asuras in the days of old. AndRavana covered Rama with a shower of darts and lances and swords, andRama also afflicted Ravana with his whetted arrows of iron furnished withthe sharpest points, and in the same way Lakshmana smote the contendingIndrajit with arrows capable of penetrating into the most vital parts andIndrajit also smote Sumitra’s son with an arrowy shower. And Vibhishanashowered upon Prahasta and Prahasta showered upon Vibhishana, without anyregard for each other a thick downpour of winged arrows furnished withthe sharpest points. And thus between those mighty warriors there cameabout an encounter of celestial weapons of great force, at which thethree worlds with their mobile and immobile creatures were sorelydistressed.”

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