~ 164. Rama Duels with Ravana ~


Next, the god Indra sent his chariot to Rama, driven by his charioteer Matali, who gave Rama the Brahmastra. 
"Death awaits you, Ravana!" Rama shouted, and Ravana once again rode out into battle.
Rama's arrows broke Ravana's flag-staff, and the flag fell to the ground. Rama then sliced off one of Ravana's heads, and another, and another, but a new head appeared for each head Ravana lost.
"Use the Brahmastra," Matali urged. "Aim at his navel!"
Rama fired the weapon directly into Ravana's navel, thus shattering the pot of immortality Ravana concealed there.
Ravana then toppled from his chariot, dead.



Inspired by: Valmiki's Ramayana.
Notes: This is the Yuddha Kanda (Book 6), sarga 102. In Valmiki's Ramayana, Rama shoots at Ravana's heart, but in other versions, Vibhishana tells him about the pot of nectar in Ravana's navel. In other versions, Rama hesitates because it is unworthy to shoot someone in the navel, so Lakshmana fires the fatal shot. For a discussion, see Devdutt Pattanaik's Sita, p. 244.


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