Chapter 46 — Viduratha Counter-Attacks

Rama said, “Tell me what Viduratha did after he got angry an left the ladies and the goddess having said what he did, and went out from the camp.”

Vasishta said:—

Viduratha, accompanied by a large group of his companions, left his camp like the bright moon beset by a host of stars. He was in armor and girt by laces and girdles. Dressed in his military clothing, he went forth amidst the loud war cry of sorrow to the vanquished, like God Indra going to battle. He gave orders to the soldiers and was informed of the battle array.

Having given directions to his captains, he mounted his chariot. It was adorned with equipment resembling the pinnacles of mountains and beset by five flags fringed with strings of pearls and gems, resembling a celestial car. The iron hoops of its wheels flashed with their golden pegs, and the long and beautiful shaft of the car, rang with the tinkling of pearls which were suspended to it. It was drawn by long necked, swift and slender horses of the best breed and auspicious marks. Their swiftness and bearing made them seem like they were flying in the air pulling a heavenly car with some god in it. Impatient of the wind’s swiftness, they spurred them with their back heels and left them behind, and sped the forepart of their bodies as if to devour the air, impeding their course. The car was drawn by eight war horses with their manes hanging down their necks like fans, and white spots or circlets resembling the discs of moon on their foreheads, and filling the eight sides around with their hoarse neighing.

10 At this time there rose a loud noise of the elephants, resounding like drums from the hollows of the distant hills. 11 Angry soldiers raised a loud clamor, and the tinkling of their belted trinkets, and clashing of their weapons, rang afar in the open air. 12 The crackling of bows, and the wheezing of arrows, joined with the jangle of armor clashing against one another, raised a confused hubbub all around. 13 Seen and heard on all sides were the sparks of blazing fires, champions challenging each other, painful shrieks of the wounded, and the piteous cry of captives. 14 The mingled sounds thickened in the air and filled its cavity and sides like with solid stones, as if one could clutch the noise in the hands.

15 Clouds of dust flew so fast and thick into the air that they seemed to be the earth’s crust rising upward to block the path of the sun in the sky. 16 The great city was hidden in the dark womb of the spreading dust, just like an ignorant state of man is covered in darkness by the rising passion of youth. 17 Burning lights became as dim as the fading stars of heaven by day light, and the darkness of night became as thick as the devils of darkness gather their strength at night.

18 The two Leelas saw the great battle from the tent with the minister’s virgin daughter. By favor of the goddess, they had their eyes enlightened with farsightedness.

19 Now there was an end to the flashing and clashing of the hostile arms in the city, just like the flash and crash of undersea fires are put to an end by the all-submerging floods of the universal deluge. 20 Viduratha collected his forces and, without considering the enemy’s superiority, pressed himself forward into them, as the great Mount Meru rushed into the waters of the great deluge. 21 Now the twanging of the bow strings emitted a clattering sound, and the enemy forces advanced in battle array like bodies of clouds with rainbows amidst them. 22 Many kinds of missiles flew like falcons in the air. Black steel waved with a dark glare owing to the massacres they made. 23 Clashing swords striking against each another flashed with living flames of fire, and showers of arrows whistled like hissing rainfalls in the air. 24 Two edged saws pierced the bodies of the warriors, and the flinging weapons hurtled in the air, clashing and crashing each other. 25 The darkness of the night was put to flight by the blaze of the weapons. The entire army was pierced by arrows sticking like hairs on their bodies. 26 Headless trunks moved about like players in a horrid, solemn ritual of the god of death (Yama). Furies fled about at the violence of war, like raving girls at drunken revelries. 27 Elephants fighting with their tusks sent a clattering noise into the air. Stones flung from the slings flew like a flowing stream in the sky. 28 Bodies of men were falling dead on the ground like the dried leaves of forests blown away by wind. Streams of blood were running in the field of battle, as if the heights of war were pouring down the floods of death below. 29 The dust of the earth was set down by the floods of blood, and the darkness was dispelled by the blaze of weapons.

All clamor ceased in intense fighting, and the fear for life was lost under the stern resolution of death. 30 The fighting was stern without a cry or noise, like the pouring of rain in a breezeless sky. The glitter of swords in the darkened air was like the flashes of forked lightning in murky clouds. 31 Darts were flying about with a hissing noise. Crowbars hit one another with a harsh sound. Large weapons struck each another with a jarring noise. The dreadful war raged direfully in the dim darkness of the night.