In the previous episode we witnessed that Soorpanaka goes to seek refuge under her companions at Janasthaana. Upon seeing the condition of Soorpanaka, Kara and Dhushana who lead a huge army of fourteen thousand “Raakshasaas” plan to attack Rama and Lakshmana to seek revenge for what had happened! Accordingly the fourteen thousand-member Raakshasa army led by Kara and Dhushana marches towards the place where Rama and Lakshmana were residing along with Sita.
As they approach Panchavati, there were bad omens seen in the sky indicating that a fierce battle with a huge bloodshed is going to take place very soon! Rama and Lakshmana sense this situation that they are under attack and they prepare themselves to face the enemy. The enemy came in the form of this ultra huge army of Raakshasaas!
At this time, Rama recollected his promise that he had given to all the great Maharishis in the Dhandakaaranya forest a few years back, and realizes that the time had come now to fulfill his word! As Lakshmana was also getting ready to fight the war, Rama stops him and asks him to stay at the hamlet and protect Sita, while he ventures all alone to fight the war singlehandedly!
Thus the war begins! Rama’s sharp and pointed arrows were focused towards the huge army, while Kara and Dhushana try to take the fight forward from the Raakshasaas’ side! Kara and Dhushana put in their best of their valor during the fierce battle; however, they were no matches to the valor of Lord Rama! Both of them were killed one after the other and subsequently the entire army of the Raakshasaas started to lose confidence and thus started getting killed one by one! At the end, the entire army of the Raakshasaas were destroyed and it was done singlehandedly and miraculously by Lord Rama!
Here is an interesting point – Although Rama had emerged victorious in the war, he did not destroy the entire army of fourteen thousand! Over 13,999 raakshasaas were killed and there was one raakshasaa who escaped from the massacre! He was none other than Akampana! In various commentaries of the Ramayana, this person by name Akampana is described as one of the chief advisors to Ravana – the Raakshasa king. He somehow managed to escape and flee away from the battlefield by draping a saree that was lying at a corner near a huge tree! When Rama’s eyes fell on him, he thought that it was a woman passing by and thus left him out! Akampana used this opportunity to flee away to safety!
It was this Akampana who fled all the way to Lanka, meets Ravana and narrates the whole story of what had happened! This is another important event in the entire Ramayana story. Here is where Ravana comes to know that there is somebody called Rama! Now, Akampana starts to describe the incidents that had just happened at Janasthaana to Ravana. He says, “Oh Ravana! I’ve come here to share very important information with you! There is a prince by name Rama who hails from Ayodhya! Wow! How good a warrior is he! He is so handsome looking and yet seems to be invincible! It seems like he has gained mastery over all the important Asthras and artillery!”
We might wonder how did this Akampana manage to talk high of another prince in front of Ravana! Given Ravana’s stature, anybody would tremble to even stand in front of him and open his or her mouths to talk a single word! But Akampana wasn’t afraid and he narrated the entire story from A to Z that happened in Janasthaana, in front of Ravana!
Ravana was least bothered with whatever Akampana was saying. He just asked one simple question, “What was the result of the war? How many raakshasaas were dead?” Akampana replies, “13,999 Raakshasaas out of 14,000 died!” Even then, Ravana didn’t ask how did all of them perish! Instead he asks, “How did you manage to escape? If all of them had died, you must have also died! How did you come out of that?” For which, Akampana replies, “No! There was a saree that was lying at one corner and I managed to drape it and escape! That’s all fine! Now you should know who this Rama is! He was the person who is responsible for the demise of the entire Raakshasaa clan that lived at Janasthaana!”
Starting thus, Akampana describes the entire story that happened and along with it, he describes at length about the valour of Rama and Lakshmana! What was Ravana’s reaction? Did Akampana’s explanation carry him away? Did he take it seriously? Let’s find out in the next episode!