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Raghuveera Gadhyam: Yuddha KhAndham --Part 11

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Dec 14 1996 - 08:09:48 PST

GS 59 kumbhakarNa kula giri vidhaLana dhambhOLi 
bhootha nissanka: kankapathra ! Jaya ! Jaya ! 

(Meaning ) : O Raghuveera with the arrow of unquestioned
power to break apart the family mountain of RavaNA known as
KumbhakarNA ! Hail to Thee ! Hail ot Thee! 

(Background ) : After his humiliating encounter with Rama in 
the battle field , RavaNA retired to his palace. He thinks of his
slumbering brother KumbhakarNa as the one , who can destroy
Rama and his retinue. With great  effort , RavaNA succeeds in 
waking his brother from his deep sleep and sends him to battle. 
The nine cantos of Yuddha Khaandham of Srimadh RAmAyanam
9Cantos 60 to 68 ) cover the incidents realted to KumbhakarNA 
and his loss of life a tthe hands of Rama . Swami Desikan's 
fifty ninth salutaton of Raghuveera Gadhyam covers the heroic
deeds of Rama in dispatching KumbhakarNA to his permanent rest .
Swami Desikan states that the unmatched power of Rama's
arrows broke into two the mighty  and proud chest of KumbhakarNa
and finally severed his royal head . The salutation here is to the 
heroism of Rama and the unassailable power of his arrows .
They tore open the chest of the ogre like the Vajra weapon of Indra broke 
the mountains into two . Swami states that there was no doubt
whatsoever on the capabilities of Rama's arrows .

KumbhakarNA was the younger brother of RavaNA . Due to 
Brahma's curse , he slept for six months at a stretch and was
awake only for  aday. Then he went right back to sleep for 
anothersix months. He was asleepa t the time of RavaNA's battle 
with Rama . The humilated and brooding RavaNA  thought over 
all the curses of the gods and celestials that he had offended 
ealier such as Brahma , Vedavathi , Nandileswara , Rambha and 
PunjikasthalA . Brahma's boon to RavaNA gave him immunity 
from death from every class of beings except by " a human being ".
Nandikeswara"s curse made sure that RavaNA's kingdom will be
destroyed by the monkeys. The curses of  Vedava, Parvathi , 
Rambha and PunjikasthalA  made RavaNA vulnerable to death
from his offensive behavior to women . Reflecting over all of these
incidents from his past , RavaNA came to the conclusion that 
his mighty younger brother would be the right agent to engage the 
army of monkeys and Rama in battle and save him . 

RavaNA woke up his slumbering brother with great effort and
warned KumbhakarNa about the danger posed by Rama and 
urged him to destroy the princes of AyodhyA along with the simian 
army. The just and brave KumbhakarNA criticized RavaNA for his 
past misdeeds as a ruler  and gives a piece of his mind :

" Spedily enough has the fruit of your sinful deed ( the abduction 
of Sita ) has come upon you,even a sthe damnation would viist a 
person of sinful deeds .Initially  ,of course , was this course of action
(returning Sita and askin gfor Rama's apology) not weighed  by you.
Nor was the consequence taken into account in the sheer pride of
your prowess . " RavaNa did not like the beratings of his brother and 
yet needed his help . He said : " A kinsman is he  , who is able to render
help to those , who have deviated from the right course." recognizing the
agitated state of his elder brother, KumbhakarNA calms him down and
agrees to engage Rama and his retinue in battle. He entered the battle
field and  terrorized the army of monkeys and its chieftains . Hanuman ,
AngadA , NilA fought valiantly with KumbhakarNA and could not stop
him. LaksjhmaNA tok on the ogre , who praised the valour of the younger
brother of Rama and yet bypassed him seeking his battle with Rama .
The intrepid Rama rushed towards KumbhakarNA with a quiver full of 
powerful arrows and listened to latter's braggadocio . Rama's arrow 
severed the mace-wielding arm of the boasting ogre . Now KumbhakarNa
lifted a palmyra tree with his other hand and rushed towards Rama. 
Rama cut that arm too with a missile presided over by Indra . With two
more crescent shaped arrows , Rama severed the legs of the rushing 
KumbhakarNA . With Yet another arrow shining with its effulgence in
all directions , Rama severed the head of kumbhakarNA . Thus the mighty
KumbhakarNA was reduced to a headless, limbless mass by Rama"s 
unquestionable arrows. 

Saint Thyagaraja in his Saveri Krithi " Rama BhANa thrANa sowrya
mEmani telupathurA O manasA " pays his  tribute to the power of
the arrows of Rama . He says : " O my mind ! How can I describe 
the saving valour of Rama's arrow, the arrow that killed the army of 
RavaNA , who desired Sita Devi .; when LakshmaNA lay senseless 
on the battle field  and RavaNA rejoiced and Indrajith exhorted and 
his hosts rose up to attack at that opportune moment , Rama aimed 
that  arrow with the thundering noise of the bowstring , and  saw his brother 
LakshmNA getting up woth his senses restored. " The Saint salutes the 
thundering noise (dankAra Dwani ) of Rama"s Kodhandam
this way : " KodhandapujyAghoshamu lasanulu jesi " . 

Swami Desiakn's next salutation (GS 60 ) focuses on the episode 
of Indrajith and his fateful encounter with LakshmaNA  witnessed by
the proud elder , Rama .

DakshiNE LkashmaNO dhanvee 
vamathO Jaanaki SubhA I
purathO mAruthiryasya 
tam namAmi Ragootthamam II

Sri VaishaNava Daasan ,
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan