|| Sarga 48 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 48

"तेजोबलसमायुक्तं तपंतमिव भास्करम्"

'तेजोबलसमायुक्तं' means endowed with spirit and strength.
'तपंतमिव भास्करम्' means "shining like the Sun".
Who is being described in such glowing terms?
That is Ravana.

That was the impression of Hanuma
when he saw the king of Rakshasas.
So Hanuma, who wanted to meet Ravana,
and who used his strength as means to that goal,
finally achieves his goal.
He reaches the assembly of the King of Rakshasas.
How that was achieved is story of this Sarga.

The Sarga starts with,
"ततः स रक्षोऽधिपतिर् महात्मा." (48.1)
The focus is on Ravana, the King of Rakshasas.

Ravana was angry because of the death of prince Aksha at the hands of Hanuma.
Controlling his mind shaken by the events,
Ravana orders Indrajit who is equal in prowess to Gods,
to go and capture the Vanara.

Indrajit is the most powerful son of Ravana.
He is knowledgeable about all weapons (अस्त्र विद्) including Brahmastra.
He has the power of penance (तपॊ बलम्).
He has the confidence (आत्म बलम् च)
He defeated Indra.

He is known for trickery in battles
which will be seen vividly in Yuddha Kanda.
He is as powerful as Ravana himself.
With him in the forefront Ravana has no worries
So now the desperate Ravana turns to him.

Ravana's speech reveals all about himself and Indrajit.
Poet said earlier that with the death of Aksha Kumara,
'चकार रक्षोधिपतेर्महत् भयम्'
Ravana was gripped with great fear.
Now Ravana's words also reveal his fear.

Ravana tells Indrajit as follows.

' You are knowledgeable about all weapons.
You are the best among those who are knowledgeable about weapons too.
You brought grief to Suras and Asuras.
A warrior of proven ability among Gods including Indra,
you have acquired many weapons by propitiating Brahma'.

'Because of the strength of Astras you acquired,
Asuras or Maruts including Indra cannot stand in front of you in a battle.
In the three worlds, there is none
who has not experienced defeat in a battle with you'.

'You are protected by the strength of your own shoulders.
You are protected by the power of your penance too.
You are aware of the proper place and time for action.
There is nothing impossible for you in a war.

With your wisdom nothing is impossible'.
In the three worlds there is none
who does not know the strength of your weapons,
and your power to recall a weapon that you have discharged.

Your power of penance is equal to mine.
Your valor and ability to discharge weapons in a battle are equal to mine.
With you engaged in battle,
my mind does not worry about the result'.

Ravana continues.
Ravana tells Indrajit all his concerns

'Kinkaras similarly Jambumali, as well as the minister's sons,
and the five generals too are killed along with their forces.
Your dear brother prince Aksha too is killed.
Oh, Scourge of enemies I have real faith in you, not them'.

' Oh, Intelligent one!
The great strength, power and valor of the Vanara is to be observed,
Observe your own strength too carefully.
Act according to your own strength only.
Oh, best among the experts in archery,
going there and judging the strength, then approach the enemy.
Start the battle in a manner that he does not cause further destruction'.

Having ordered the five generals
to go with a big army and punish the Vanara,
सवाजिरथमातङ्गाः सकपिः शास्यतामिति (46.4),
Ravana realized that in the battle with Hanuma
the large armies do not matter.

The large armies that went along were destroyed.
Hanuma's roar, "जयत्यति बलॊव्रामॊ" has been heard.
Ravana tells Indrajit accordingly.

' Oh Hero! Large armies need not go.
With him having extraordinary vigor,
the bringing thunderbolt is also no use.
His speed is that of Maruti'.

'He is like sacrificial fire which cannot be destroyed with any weapon.
Accordingly assess the situation properly.
Being a person of good judgement with single minded attention,
recollecting the divine weapons with the bow, move forward'.

'I think sending you to battle in this way is not good.
However, this is in accordance with the statecraft and the duty of Kshatriyas.
Hence this is approved'.

'Oh, crusher of the enemies!
In the war ultimately efficient use of many weapons is important.
Victory in the war is wished for'.

Hearing those words of his father,
Indrajit, prepared himself in his mind
and went around his father paying due respects.

After being honored by his own people
he rushed forth for the war with renewed vigor.
The illustrious son of the Rakshasa,
moved ahead like the ocean on a full moon day.

Indrajit ascended his chariot drawn by four tigers,
It is a chariot capable of moving with the speed of the king of birds,
The charioteer, best among the wielders of bows,
best among those who know weapons,
quickly went to the place where Hanuman is waiting.

Hearing the chariot,
hearing the bow being pulled,
the leader of Vanaras too became happy.

Adept in war, Indrajit went ahead with the highly powerful bow
and sharp-edged arrows aiming at Hanuman.

As Indrajit went forth for war with bow in hand,
all the quarters became dark.
Fierce animals began to howl in many ways.
Flocks of birds screeched excitedly too.
Nagas, Yakshas, the sages, Siddhas
and those who are travelers of that path,
assembled in the sky to witness.

Seeing the swiftly approaching chariot,
Vanara made a big sound and quickly enlarged his body.
Indrajit sitting in his divine chariot holding the wonderful bow,
also pulled the string with lightning speed making a big sound.

The Vanara and the son of the king of Rakshasas,
both mighty and very fast,
both fearless in war and inimical to each other,
then faced each other.

As he moved about in the sky, the path of his father,
Hanuman of immeasurable strength, having grown in form,
made the speedy shower of arrows from the bow of the great charioteer futile
Then Indrajit, the slayer of enemy warriors,
discharged long and sharp pointed arrows
which are slightly bent at the tips,
which had feathers and golden tips,
which had the speed of lightning.

Hearing the bow being drawn,
Hearing the beating of the Mridangams Bheris and Patahas,
hearing the rumbling of the chariot,
Hanuman again rose in the sky.

The great Vanara moving in the space between the arrows,
made the arrows being aimed at the target futile,
The son of wind god Hanuman moving ahead of the arrows
jumped in the front with hands and legs outstretched.
Before he could be targeted moved away again.

Both endowed with speed and
both experts in warfare fighting a great war,
captivated the minds of all creatures.

The Rakshasa could not find a way to hit Hanuman.
Neither could Maruti find one too.
Both being equal in war,
both were unable to bear each other.

Indrajit's infallible arrows missed Hanuman.
The great warrior became perplexed and started thinking.
Then the son of the king of Rakshasa,
thinking that the Vanara cannot be killed (अवध्यॊऽयम्),
thought in his mind about how the Vanara may be captured.

Then Indrajit, best among those knowledgeable of weapons,
invoked the Brahma's weapon at the foremost of Vanaras.
That expert in weapons, Indrajit, knowing that he cannot be killed
bound the son of wind God with that weapon.

Thus, bound by that weapon,
the Vanara was unable to move.
He fell on the ground.

Then the best of Vanaras realizing that the weapon
which arrested his movement as the one
that had the grace of the lord,
started thinking about the boon of the Lord Brahma.

Then Hanuman started thinking about the Brahmastra,
the weapon that invokes the creator Brahma,
and the boon given to him by the creator.

Hanuma said to himself.
'Thinking that I do not have the power to overcome
the effect he deployed the Brahmastra.
with due Respect for Brahma,
let me remain bound'
With the blessings of Brahma,
though he has the power to be free,
Hanuma decides to respect the same.

Again, Hanuma says to himself.
'I am being protected by Brahma, Indra and the wind god.
Though bound by that weapon, I have no fear.
If I am being held by the Rakshasas,
I will have a great opportunity to see the king of Rakshasas.
Therefore, I shall let them catch me'.

Hanuma, the killer of the enemy warriors,
and one who asses before he acts,
thus, resolved firmly to obey the Brahmastra.

Seized by the enemies forcibly,
and with his power of movement arrested,
he went forward slowly.
Abused while being dragged, Hanuman roared.

Seeing Hanuma refraining from movement,
the Rakshasas bound him with rope and bark clothes.
Hanuman too was thinking of the king of Rakshasas.
'The king of Rakshasas out of curiosity may come to see me',
Accordingly, he decided to enjoy the bondage by the warriors.

The hero bound by the bark, is freed by that great weapon.
That weapon does not tolerate another bondage.
Indrajit realizing that the best of Vanaras is thus freed started thinking.

' Bound by others the weapon does not hold.
Alas great effort has been wasted.
The impact of mantra is not considered by the Rakshasas.
When mantra is ineffective no other weapon can be effective.
We are running a risk'.

Even as he was bound and dragged by the Rakshasas,
Hanuman would not let anybody know that he is indeed free.

Beaten with sticks and fists,
the Vanara was dragged to the presence of the king of Rakshasas.

Indrajit knew that the Vanara is freed from the Brahmaastra,
He is only bound by the ropes and bark.
He presented the best of Vanaras,
bound like an elephant in the rut,
to the king and the courtiers in the assembly.

The Rakshasa heroes talked among themselves.
' Who is this?
On whose orders is he here?
Where did he come from?
What business does he have?'.
Then some other Rakshasas said to each other
'Kill him'. 'Burn him'. 'Eat him up'.

Hanuma saw the king's palace adorned with precious gems.
With the king perched on a high throne,
he saw aged and experienced ministers sitting near his feet.

That Ravana saw the foremost of Vanaras dragged by the Rakshasas.
The best of Vanaras saw the Rakshasa king.

The poet describes the sight of Ravana
"तेजोबलसमायुक्तं तपंतमिव भास्करम्"
He had splendor and strength,
He was radiating brilliance like the Sun.

The ten-headed one with his red eyes rolling in rage,
observing the Vanara closely,
ordered the noble and aged ministers.
The ministers too asked in proper order
the purpose, and the origin of the purpose.

The Vanara conveyed that he is a messenger of the King of Vanaras.
'By order of the King, I came from his place'.
"दूतःसकाशात् अहमागतोऽस्मि|"

Thus, ends Sarga forty-eight of Sundarakanda in Ramayana,

|| om tat sat||
|| This is what we understood from Tattva Dipika of Shri Bhashyam, Appalacharyulu garu"||
|| om tat sat||