is this miracle?" he thought. "The rags soaked in oil burn brightly but the fire
does not hurt and is cool on my tail. The
elements themselves seem kind to one engaged on Raama's purpose. Did not the mountain rise
above the sea and offer me
hospitality? Even so the god of Fire is gracious to me now and does not harm me. Or may
be, Agni being a friend of my father Vaayu, is gentle with me. Now, I think I should not
let slip this opportunity which has come to me unsought to put the fear of God into these
Suddenly he shrank in size and shook off the ropes that bound him and, resuming his huge
shape, jumped with his blazing tail to the top of a tall building. He plucked a pillar
there and whirled it round, striking terror in all beholders.
Then he jumped from mansion to mansion, setting fire to them. In a little while a strong
breeze began to blow and the whole city was in flames. The Raakshasas and their women and
children shouted in terror and ran hither and thither.