Thursday, 25 September 2014

198. Hanuman's journey to Lanka.

                    Book V : Sundara Kanda

         Hanuman was traveling in the sky where celestials like chaaranas dread, to search for Seetha, who was taken away by Ravana. Hanuman was determined to perform a deed done by no one else. 
    That great vanara also thought himself equal to Garuda, the king of birds. While he was flying up, all trees on that mountain flew away in all directions, drawing together all their branches.
     While flying in the sky, he took along with him, due to the the force of his thighs, trees shining with flowers and fattened lapwing birds. The trees thus being held aloft by the speed of his thighs, followed him for a while just as relatives would follow their loved ones embarking on a long journey.
       Uprooted by the force of Hanuman's thighs, Sal and other excellent trees followed Hanuman like soldiers following their king. Hanuman the great vanara presented a wonderful sight, with his mountain-like appearance together with the well flowered trees.
            After that, powerful trees sank into the salty ocean like mountains sinking into the ocean due to fear of Mahendra. Hanuman who was floating like  a cloud, covered with flowers of various kinds, shoots and buds, shone like a mountain with fireflies. Those trees which were released by Hanuman's speed, dropped flowers and fell down in the water like friends going back after bidding farewell to their dear one. Set in motion by the wind from the movement of Hanuman, variety of blossoms, with various hues, from the trees fell down into the sea making that great ocean shine like the sky filled with stars.
        Hanuman was shining like a cloud in the sky decorated with flowers of various hues sticking to his body. That sea water looked like the sky with delightful stars rising up, with flowers flown up by Hanumans speed. That sky-borne Hanuman's arms which were spread out, were seen like five-headed serpents coming out of a mountain's peak.
       That great vanara shone like one who was drinking the great sea together with its waves. He also seemed like one who desired to drink the whole of the sky. The eyes of Hanuman, who was following the path of the sky, which had a brilliance equal to that of lightening, were shining like two fires on a mountain.
         The round, wide, reddish brown eyes of Hanuman were shining like fully risen sun and moon. The ruddy face of Hanuman, with a tinge of reddish hue was shining like the Sun touched by twilight.
      That great vanara Hanuman, with his red colored buttocks, shone like a mountain with a large deposit of red Gairika herb broken into pieces.
    Air passing through his arm pits sounded like a thundering cloud. Hanuman flying thus in the sky, looked like a meteor darting away with great speed in the sky from the northern direction. With a fast pace equaling that of Sun god, the tall Hanuman was shining like an elephant.
      The shadow of Hanuman in the sea below looked like a boat being driven by wind. Whatever place Hanuman went towards on the ocean, that place became agitated due to the force of his thighs.
       Wind from the mighty Hanuman and the wind released from the clouds caused the ocean with a fearful sound to shake a lot.
       Hanuman flew in the sky dragging along with him huge waves from the ocean as though he was sprinkling them from the sky.
       Serpents living in the sea seeing Hanuman flying in the sky thought that it was Garuda, the king of birds. Hanuma's shadow which was ten yojanas wide and thirty yojanas long appeared very beautiful on water.
     His shadow following Hanuman and spread on the ocean, was shining like a series of dense white clouds. He the great vanara shone like a mountain flying in the sky without any support underneath. In whatever path Hanuman went, there appeared  immediately  a trough in the ocean below.
      Hanuman while gliding through the path of birds like the king of birds Garuda, dragged with him series of clouds, like the god of wind. Great clouds with white, red, blue and madder colors shone on being dragged by Hanuman.
        Hanuman who was repeatedly entering and leaving series of clouds as he flies in the sky, was seen like the moon who shines and hides behind a cloud alternately. Seeing the fast moving Hanuman in the sky, Devas, Gandharvas and Danavas showered flowers on him.
     Sun did not scorch Hanuman, as he was flying for Rama. The wind god Vayu caressed him with a delightful breeze. Sages praised the great resplendent Hanuman flying in the sky. Devas and Gandharvas sang in his praise. Nagas, Yakshas, Devas and birds praised him.
      Seeing Hanuman flying above him, the god of ocean thought "If I do not help this great vanara Hanuman, I shall become prone to all kinds of ill-talk by one and all against me. I was developed by Sagara of Ikshvaaku dynasty. This Hanuman who is helping a descendant of that dynasty should not become tired. I have to behave in such a way that Hanuman would take rest. After resting on me for a while, he can cross the remaining distance with comfort."
        With that end in view, Samundra spoke to Mainaka, the mountain with gold in the middle, hidden in water "O my dear Mainaka! You have been positioned here by Devendra as an obstacle to the groups of asuras living in paataala. You are standing at the entrance of paataala which is difficult to measure, fully covering it, preventing any asura trying to rise up again. O mountain, you have the capability to grow wide, up or down. Please raise up. Hanuman, the great vanara is going to Lanka for Rama. While flying in the sky he is coming over you.
        "To this Hanuman, who is a follower of the Ikshvaaku dynasty, help should be given by me now. Descendants of Ikshvaaku are respectable to me. They are even more respectable to you. Help us. Our task may not be miscarried. A task which needs to be performed and not done, will increase the anger of good people. Raise up above from the water. This Hanuman is a guest to be worshiped by us. Let him stand on you for a while for rest.
       "O mountain with a golden hued middle area and one who is served by Devas and Gandharvas! Hanuman can take rest on you and then traverse the rest of the distance."
      The mountain Mainaka, listening to the words of the ocean, got up quickly from the water, together with great trees and creepers. Then that Mainaka became in the risen state, passing through the ocean water, just like the Sun piercing through a cloud with his shining rays.
         That great Mainaka who was covered by water in all directions, had peaks with Kinnaras and great serpents, was equal to a sun rise, which were touching the sky, and which had a golden hue, being ordered by the ocean, showed his peaks in an instant. The sky which had a bluish tinge like that of a sword, shone with a golden hue because of the peaks of the mountain which rose up and which was like molten gold.
       Like man proposes, God disposes, Hanuman dispossed the proposal of the ocean and the execution of Mainaka. Hanuman assumed that the mountain which stood before him, rising up suddenly from the middle of the  ocean, as an obstacle. That great vanara Hanuman hit that mountain with his mighty chest. The velocity and the speed were so great the mountain fell down. The mountain was amazed, surprised, staggered, bewildered, astounded, dazed and stunned. He took the form of a human and and standing on its own peak, cried at the flying Hanuman "O the great Vanara! You have performed this impossible task of flying over the ocean. Do come down on to my peaks and rest for a while. The ocean was developed by people born in Sri Rama's dynasty. As such he asked me to take you on my peak for rest. Please therefore, stop for a while on me and then go.
      "O, dear chap, lots of roots, fruits and other fragrant and sweet eatables are available here. Fill your belly with those. Then leave after resting here for a while. O chief among vanaras! Besides this, there also exists a relationship which is famous in all the three worlds, which is based on great virtues, for us with you.
          "O knower of Dharma! If you are worshiped, Vayu also gets worship. For that reason you are to be worshiped by me. That apart, I have some special reason to host you. O son! You obviously must be aware that in the Krita yuga, mountains had wings. With the speed equal to that of Garuda and Vayu, they were roaming  around in all directions. Devas and sages were scared that those mountains might fall down on them.
     "Devendra agreed with them and started cutting off the wings of thousands of mountains by his weapon vajra. When he was about to cut mine the great Vayu saved me by pushing me into this ocean. As a requital I want to host you for rest. If you stay with me for rest for a while,  Sagara will be happy, too, besides me. Reduce your fatigue. Accept our worship also. Respect our love. I am happy by your manifestation."
        Hanuman replied "At the outset many thanks for the offer. Hospitality has been done. Awfully sorry I could not oblige you now. I cannot take any rest in the middle of my duty."
        Hanuman then touched the mountain with his hand, entered the sky and flew on with a smile. 
        Devas and the thousand eyed Devendra who were watching Hanuman's flight, were happy by the offer of that golden hued Mainaka. Devendra personally conveyed his happiness to Mainaka "O Mainaka, the king of mountains! I am very happy with you. I am giving protection to you. Go about anywhere at your will and pleasure."
       Indra and the Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas and the great sages who accompanied him there desired to know how capable, resourceful and shrewd Hanuman was. They told Surasa, the mother of Nagas, equal to the Sun in brilliance "This glorious son of Vayu, going by the name of Hanuman is flying over the ocean. You assume a horrible mountain like demonic appearance and make a face with fearful tusks, red-brown eyes and as vast as the sky, and create an obstacle to him. We like to see his reaction."
    That Goddess Surasa, assuming such an appearance that was quite daunting for even the devas and intercepting Hanuman in his flight, told him "Hi! Hero! You have been given by Devas as my food. Me gonna eat you. Without making any trouble enter my mouth."
        Hanuman, with a happy face and with folded hands, told Surasa with humility  "The eldest son of Dasaratha, Rama entered the forest of Dandaka together with his brother Lakshmana and wife Seetha. When that Rama, with a bitter enmity towards Rakshasas, was diverted to another task, his famed wife Seetha had been taken away by Ravana. I am going for Rama's sake as a messenger to find her whereabouts. As a subject of Sri Rama you are obliged to help Rama. After finding Seetha and informing that to Sri Rama, I will happily enter into your your mouth. This is my truthful promise to you.”
       Surasa the mother of Nagas,  who was curious to know the strength of Hanuman, told Hanuman "Hi! Monkey! You can go only after entering my mouth." Saying this she opened her wide mouth and stood before Hanuman, dauntingly.
     Surasa was surprised to see that Hanuman's face did not show any fear but anger! A moment later she was mightily surprised to see what she saw. Hanuman's body became ten yojanas long and ten yojanas wide. Surasa made her mouth twenty yojanas long so that the ten yojana long Hanuman can enter without any difficulty. Now Hanuman became angry and became thirty yojanas long. Surasa made her mouth forty yojanas high. Then Hanuman then became fifty yojanas high.
           Surasa then made her mouth sixty yojanas long. The mighty Hanuman in the same fashion, became seventy yojanas high. Surasa made her mouth eighty yojanas high.
       Seeing that mouth with a long tongue which was horrible and equal to hell, opened by Surasa, the great wise Hanuman remembered the aphorism that discretion was the better part of valor. With a sweet smile he suddenly reduced his body to the size of a thumb. Then without pausing even a moment the clever, shrewd, bright, cunning and the ingenious Hanuman with the speed of light entered Surasa's mouth and came out of it and standing in the sky told Surasa "O daughter of Daksha! As desired by you I actually entered your mouth. You failed to swallow me. Hence, please do not bother me anymore. My regards to you. I will now go to find where Seetha is."
        Seeing the clever way Hanuman evaded her that goddess Surasa, assuming her normal form told Hanuman "O gentle Hanuman! Go happily and comfortably to achieve the desired task. Bring Seetha together with the great Sri Rama."
        Hanuman continued his journey, flying like Garuda in the sky. A rakshashi by the name of Simhika who, like any other rakshashis can change her guise at will, saw Hanuman flying in the sky high above. She thought happily "After a long time, this great animal has come into my grasp.  I will enjoy my meal."
   Simhika then assuming the guise of a large animal attracted the shadow of Hanuman. Hanuma thought "Hare Ram! What is happening now? Like a great boat in the ocean with opposing winds, I am being pulled back forcefully."
      Hanuman then noticed down below the animal with a horrible face. He thought: "So this animal with a strange appearance, with great strength is attracting my shadow. This animal must be the one told by Sugreeva. (If you do not remember see 175. Search Party sent to South.There is no doubt in that." He then increased the size of his body vastly, like a cloud in the rainy season.
  Seeing the huge  body of Hanuman, Simhika opened wide her mouth, which then looked like  the middle of Patala. Roaring like a dense dark cloud, she ran towards the Vanara. Hanuman saw her wide-open mouth which was large enough to accommodate his own body. And he saw her internal organs too. Then Hanuman contracted his body and fell into her mouth voluntarily.
      Siddhas and Charanas(= celestial singers) saw Hanuman sinking in her mouth like the full moon on a full moon day being swallowed by Rahu. Then Hanuman went straight to her tummy and totally rent her internal organs with his sharp nails and after that he flew up and out in a jiffy.
      Simhika with rent innards fell into the sea water with great agony. Seeing Simhika killed by Hanuman, creatures roaming in the sky praised Hanuman "A huge animal has been killed by you. A great task has been done. You have proved the aphorism that 'Face the fearful with no fear, and its fearfulness disappears'. Perform the task dear to you auspiciously. Whoever, like you, has the four qualities of courage, vision, intellect and skill will not fail in any task."
       Hanuman thanked them and jumping up to the sky went like the Garuda with a determined goal. Hanuman after almost reaching the other shore, looked in all directions of the land and saw a series of trees yonder.
        Hanuman,  after getting down also saw an island decorated by a variety of trees and also the forests in the region of Malaya. Hanuman looking back at the ocean saw the faces of the wives of the ocean (rivers are considered wives of ocean), felt quite happy.

Comment : It is considered an auspicious sign to be welcomed by married women. Hanuman seeing the wives of Sagara (i.e. rivers) coming to meet their husband thus bodes well for Hanuman.
End Comment.
    Hanuman mused "After seeing my huge body and the speed, Rakshasas will become curious." And for that reason, Hanuman reverted to his original form. 
     Then he observed the city of Lanka from the top of the mountain. He was amazed to see the City of Lanka seemed to resemble that of Amaravati, the capital City of Indra.

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