16
May
Vraja Bihari Das (Venugopal Acharya)

Ram’s fierce fighting stunned the Rakshasas- He killed 14,000 of them, including the fiercest trio of Trishira, Dushana and Khara. None of them had ever faced defeat in a battle but in just over two hours, Ram annihilated the entire garrison stationed at Janasthan by Ravana.

While the thousands attacked from all sides, Ram released powerful, celestial arrows, drawing his bow into a full circle and simultaneously He also turned in His position like a speeding fan. Therefore it didn’t matter from where the Rakshasas came because Ram was fully equipped to meet the challenge.

During the annihilation, one Rakshasa named Akampana escaped. Shurpanaka too ran away horrified, realizing she can’t feast her teeth on the soft flesh of Sita and Ram. But Akampana arrived at Lanka first. He rushed to his lord Ravana and fell at his feet and grimly announced the news. Ravana was shocked and asked the already shaken Akampana who the perpetrator was. Akampana was not an ordinary Rakshasa; he was the commander of a regiment and thus his words and analysis carried weight.

As Ravana heard attentively, Akampana disclosed the identity of Ram, a human being, who had killed all the Rakshasas. 

Ravana was incredulous. A human? He could believe if one Rakshasa had killed 14,000 humans but how could this happen. He reasoned that surely Ram must have been assisted by all the devtas as they already had issues with Ravana. Seeing his master’s denial, Akampana humbly explained what exactly happened at Janasthan – but he spoke briefly lest he agitate the king of Rakshasas more.

Akampana said when Ram is fighting, it’s difficult to even look at him, what to speak of actually confronting him. The gold-winged arrows from his bow rush at the speed of lightning. Wherever the Rakshasas saw or fled, they saw Ram in front of them. On the battlefield Ram appears as an incarnation of Death. And Akampana emphatically declared that Ram was alone, not assisted by anyone.

On hearing this, Ravana, still in denial, dismissively rose from his seat and declared he’d now go and ‘finish off’ that ‘ordinary human.’ 

Akampana was intelligent and he knew his master stood little chance against Ram. So he decided to give a more accurate account of Ram’s prowess.

This time he explained that in his humble opinion, Ram could, by his arrows tear apart the entire heavens with all its stars, moon, sun and constellations. Ram, by the power of his arrows can stem the current of a flooded river. Indeed, Ram is so powerful that He could break the shores of the oceans and deluge the world. And this warrior Ram can lift the earth with his arrows; He could destroy and dissolve the entire cosmos and recreate them again.

Ravana sat thoughtfully on hearing these words. Akampana was a different Rakshasa. Most soldiers simply fight. The better ones know their strengths and weaknesses. But Akampana was an expert in analysing the enemy’s power. So if he is saying, all this must be true.

Akampana then assured Ravana that there is one way though, by which he could defeat Ram.

Ravana got excited. Immediately he sat on his throne and leaned forward, to grasp every word his commander spoke…..

To be continued…..

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