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Sep 01 2017

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Shatashloki 56: Single-handedly Rama kills 14,000 demons

Vane tasminnivasatā janasthāna nivāsinām

rakṣasām nihatānyāsan sahasrāṇi caturdaśa.

 

Meaning- While living in the place called Janasthana, Rama killed 14000 demons.

 

This hymn brings to light the valour and might of Rama. For this particular reason, Maharishi Narada sang this hymn.

Each of these 14000 demons had massive bodies with unlimited might and strength, resembling gigantic black clouds who possessed the speed of wind in movement. Every single demon was such that his loud shouts and screams was enough to cause turbulence in the entire Dandakaranaya. They took great delight in wandering in the gardens of Dandakaranya and in plucking and throwing away the flowers that blossomed there. Their additional pastime was to stroll in the forests and pluck and throw away the heads of anyone whom they came across. This was their speciality. In case of a war, they madly rush forward with their red shot eyes and attack but never ever backtrack.

When these demons heard that they were to wage a war with Rama, they immediately carried their spears, tridents, bludgeons, clubs, long knives, battle-axes, maces, batons etc. Many others carried long bows, very strong iron arrows, iron shots, daggers and other horrific weapons of assault. Eagerly they set out for war.

At the time they set out, jackals howled awfully from the eastern directions, vultures and owls flew overhead screeching horrendously, the lotuses that had bloomed in the nearby ponds withered suddenly, the fruits and flowers that had adorned the forest trees came crashing to the ground and many more evil omens could be seen in all directions. Due to the evil/bad vibrations emitted by these demons who were ruthlessly marching forward, cuckoos lost their sense of rhythm and sang horrifically. At every step they were accosted by bad omens.  Yet, undeterred by all this, they reached Panchavati.

Rama was a single man confronting an army of 14000 demons. Many Devatas,  Brahmarishis, Mahatmas, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Charanas, Gobrahmanas assembled in the sky and seeking the welfare of the world, prayed for success in Rama’s mission. When Rama, like Rudra, stood ferociously and valiantly facing the 14000 demons, all the living beings trembled.

Like a gigantic ocean, the swarm of demons shrieked horrendously and ruthlessly fell upon Rama. They hurled all their weapons upon him at one go. The weapons pierced and bruised Rama’s body and he was drenched in blood. The Devatas, siddhas and others who were witnessing this war from heaven grieved upon seeing the injuries inflicted upon Rama by these demons.

Yet fearlessly, Rama made a circular curve using his bow (mandala akara) and released hundreds and thousands of arrows. These arrows shred the mighty weapons into pieces. Further they pierced the demons and flung them away. Moans from the demons filled the air.

The infuriated demons now began to hurl huge rocks upon Rama. It can be compared to a rain of rocks. Rama in full fury released the Gandharva astra, which is a very special powerful weapon. Due to the power of this weapon, the demons collapsed in multitudes. At one shot he killed 10,000 demons.

Thereafter 12 army generals attacked Rama. Rama destroyed all of them. Very shortly, another 100 demons fell upon Rama. Rama’s weapons threw them to the ground in no time. Seeing this, another 1000 demons attacked Rama. Rama released 1000 arrows from his bow which pierced these demons and rendered them lifeless. Seeing this, all the other remaining demons madly rushed towards Rama. Rama’s frightening arrows took away the life of all these demons.

In this manner, in just a short time period of one and half muhurtas, Rama dispatched 14000 demons from the face of the earth. This sight brought untold joy to all the Devatas who were witnessing this from heavens. The sound of divine drums could be heard from the skies and the Devatas showered Rama with flowers.

 

It can be said that all these weapons were forms of mantras (mantra roopa astra) that were used to bring the downfall of the demons.

 

Om Seeta ramabhyaam namaha.

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