Thursday, 5 February 2015

228. Seetha confirmed her identity to Hanuman.

             Hanuman, with a coral-coloured face, very bright and the son of Pavan, wearing a humble and innocent look, after getting down from the shimshupaa tree and standing before Seetha did not quite understand the reaction of Seetha on seeing him down from the tree. Anyhow he offered her his salutation by keeping his joined palms on his head and asked her sweetly and politely "O Lady with your eyes resembling lotus leaves, wearing a worn out silken cloth! O, the irreproachable one! You have stood, holding by the hand a branch of the tree. Who are you? Tears of sorrow are gushing down from your eyes, as water is scattered down from two lotus-petals. Why?
         "O auspicious lady! To whom are you born - celestials, asuras, serpent, gandharva  or some other mythical beings? O lovely-faced woman! Who are you among the eleven Rudras who bestow strength, or among Maruts the storm-gods or among eight Vasus the beneficent gods? O Handsome lady with fine hips! You appear to me as a deity.
        "Are you Rohini, endowed with all the best qualities, fallen from heaven, left behind by moon and excellent among stars. O dark-eyed lady! Are you the auspicious Arundhati, who irritated her husband, Vasishta the sage either by anger or by error?
      "O the slender waisted lady! You seem to be lamenting over someone who died. Is he your son, father, brother or husband.  You are sighing a lot. You are touching the earth. You have royal insignia in you. According to these things, I do not consider you a divine woman. Based on the marks on your person and your bodily characteristics, I believe you to be a queen of an emperor and the daughter of a king.
       "Are you that Seetha stolen by force by Ravana from Janasthana? Your miserable state, the super-human beautiful figure and your costume endowed with austerity, surely indicate you the dear wife of Rama."
          Seetha was delighted hear the name of Rama. She became confident  that this vanara must have come from her dear Rama. She said "Of course, I am the daughter-in-law of Dasharatha, eminent among the excellent kings on earth, who understands the nature of the spirit and who torments the army of his adversary. I am the daughter of the noble-natured Janaka, the king of Videha kingdom. 
       "I lived with Rama in his kingdom, rather his dad's, for twelve years, enjoying all the worldly pleasures endeared by  human kind and fulfilling all my desires. Thereafter, in the thirteenth year, King Dasharatha along with his preceptors started to perform anointment of the kingdom to Rama, a nonesuch of Ikshvaku dynasty.
        "While that anointment of Rama was being arranged, a queen called Kaikeyi peremptorily  told Dasharatha, her husband  'If Rama gets anointed for the kingdom,  I shall neither drink water nor take my food until the end to my life. I want Rama go to forest. I want this as the boon you promised years ago.'
        "Hearing the cruel and the horrible words of Kaikeyi and recollecting the boon given to the queen, King Dasharatha who was true to his word, fell unconscious. Then, the aged king, who was firmly established in truth and righteousness, regretfully asked his illustrious eldest son relinquish the kingdom.
       "That nonpareil Rama dutifully and gladly agreed to what his dear dad wanted.
      "Leaving behind his greatly valuable outer garments and wearing garments made of bark, that highly peerless Rama gave up his kingdom willingly and assigned me to his mother. As I could not live with my dear husband being away from me, I insisted on accompanying him to the forest.
     "Adorned with clothes of bark, the incomparable Lakshmana, the rejoice of his friends, got ready to follow his elder brother. Obeying respectfully the command of Lord Dasharatha, we, with a firm resolution, entered the forest, which we have never seen before and which was deep and profound in appearance.
          "While the transcendent Rama  was dwelling in the forest of Dandaka, the evil-minded rakshash, Ravana took me, Rama's wife, away. A period of two months of survival-benefit has been given to me by him. But, after the said two months, I shall give up my life rather than agreeing to become his wife."

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