Your mind is trying to grasp everything that just went through your head. You try to relax, and concentrate on your breathing, but to no avail. You realize you still have three more stories to listen to. Just when you think you can't take it anymore, a calm sweeps over you. And you realize that it is the voice of Brahma which has settled your nerves.
"I see you have decided to stay for another tale! Good, for a grand tale it is. I will now tell you the story of Ravana and Rama. This battle was the epitome of all battles during the Treta Yuga. You remember Ravana, the demon king from our last story, correct? In this story you hear of his death at the hands of the human prince Rama."
You think back on this story of the battle of heaven and can't imagine this powerful demon, whose demon warriors defeated the god Indra, dying at the hands of a mere human being.
As if reading your thoughts, Brahama looks at you and says,
"A mere human being you think. No, Rama was no ordinary human being. Rama was none other than the avatar of the god Vishnu, and in his human form had become a master in many astras and weapons. So, with that we will get right into the battle."
"Ravana started the battle decked in armor, black as night, made of the strongest steel. He and Rama stood facing each other on the battlefield, Ravana in his mighty chariot and Rama in a chariot granted to him by Indra. They charged at each other, bows strung. Ravana with his twenty arms was shooting eight bows at a time, while Rama shot his golden bow. Ravana shot thousands of arrows but none of them pierced Rama, and the whole time Rama was selecting his shots, shooting down Ravana's arrows and managing to sever Ravana's heads. But as each head was cut off another would grow back in its place. When both saw that ordinary bows and arrows were not working they turned to the mighty astras and mantras. First Rama put a fire mantra on his arrows and sent them raining down on Ravana, like a volcano pouring from above. Ravana saw this and used his own rain mantra, bringing rain clouds which poured down like a flood putting out the fire arrows. Rama then called upon a wind astra, in which the winds came and removed all the rain clouds from the sky. Ravana, in turn, fired a earth astra into the ground, bringing up mountains to block the winds from moving the clouds. Rama then decided to use a weapon I had given him, named Brahmastra. The mighty arrow rose to the heavens with the help of all the elements. As it reached the apex it split apart into 180,000 bolts of lightning, stabbing the mountains created by Ravana, driving them back into the ground."
As you listen to the astras being used here, you being to understand them. There really is no type of astra that is greater than all the others. All astras have a counter. You just have to know what it is. You realize how powerful and skilled these two warriors were in order to be able to counter the greatest weapons known to man.
"Attack after attack ensued again and again but Ravana was unable to pierce Rama, while Rama pierced Ravana several times. Ravana finally realized that his bow, even with astras, was useless and turned to another weapon, his mighty mace, which could be thrown at a target and then would return to the thrower's hand. The two chariots charged at each other, and Ravana released his mace at the same instant Rama threw one of Indra's spears. The spear tore apart Ravana's chariot, though it could still fly. Ravana's mace struck Matali, Rama's charioteer, and he was knocked out of the chariot. Rama threw himself at the mace, which was returning to Ravana, grabbed it, and broke it."
"Rama then landed the chariot on the ground, in order to help Matali, who was still alive - and it was from the ground that Rama decided to put an end to this battle. He began firing arrows at Ravana's charging chariot. He managed to rip off one of the wheels, forcing Ravana to also come down to the earth to fight. There the two greatest warriors of the time stood, Ravana wielding his last bow and a massive sword, and Rama, wielding his elaborate golden bow.
You can see yourself standing on the battlefield, watching these two great beings stare each other down. With the awe you are feeling you know that at this point in time even the gods were holding their breath, watching and waiting to see the outcome of this battle.
"As I looked down from my place in heaven I couldn't take my eyes off of the scene before me. I watched as Rama reached down into his quiver and pulled out what seemed to be a large blade of grass, fitted with a brass casing and arrow head. I recognized it as an arrow that had been given to him by the same person who gave him his golden bow, the bow of Vishnu. This arrow possessed great power and could shoot through solid stone. Just as Rama was about to fire, Ravana took the form of Indra in order to try and deceive him. Rama was deceived only for a minute and then he fired. The arrow soared through the air smashing into Ravana's sword first and shattering it, and next tearing through Ravana's bow. After it had destroyed those weapons it went straight into Ravana's chest and through his heart. The Demon King lay dead."
And with that Brahma grew silent again. You can't help but shed a tear for the mighty demon king, no matter how evil he was. You close your eyes and again begin to meditate.
Rama Vs. Ravana
In this story I again decided to tell it from the point of view of the reader listening to a story told by the god Brahma. Brahma is not a character that shows up at all during this story but I put him in there because he is a perfect spectator for this event. I stuck very close to the storyline used in William Buck's version of the Ramayana. I added a lot of thought into the story by interrupting Brahma's story with thoughts that I attempt put into the reader's head. These thoughts are what I, the author, want you to be feeling as you read this story and I hope that they help you feel that way. In my story I feel that I added detail in places that were left out of Buck's version and took away details from some of his more detailed parts in my story. I focused this story more on the weapons and astras used throughout the story. I did provide detail of the battle but I also provided a good list of the important weapons used throughout the battle. In particular I focus on the weather astras used at the beginning of the fight.
Buck, William. Ramayana. University of California Press, 1981. Print.