Tuesday, 10 February 2015

230. Seetha validates the veracity of Hanuman.

          Hearing that narration about Rama from Hanuman, Seetha was at a loss to decide as to whether this vanara was what he claims to be or Ravana.  She thought that if this vanara was Ravana then he would not know or have even seen my lord. Based on this conclusion she asked the vanara "Where was your contact with Rama? How do you know Lakshmana? How did the union between vanaras and the men happen? O Hanuman! What are the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of Rama and Lakshmana? How do they look like? Of what kind was their form? How were their thighs? How were their arms?"
        Hanuman replied "O Seetha with eyes resembling lotus leaves! I feel vastly happy that you are inquiring about the appearance of Rama your husband and his dear brother Lakshmana. It is obvious that you are asking about them despite the fact you know about them pretty well is to check weather I am really what I claim to be. The reply will be my pleasure! O the large eyed  Seetha! the daughter of Janaka! Rama has eyes resembling the petals of a lotus. His handsome features attract the hearts of all living beings. He is endowed with grace and dexterity from birth.
      "He is like the sun in splendour, earth in endurance, Brihaspati in intelligence and Indra in fame. Rama is the tormentor of his adversaries but the protector of the world at large. He is the strict follower of his own behaviour and righteousness. O Seetha! Rama is the protector of the four castes of the world. He is the doer and also the agent for the people's propriety of conduct.
* Four principal castes described in Manu's code - Brahmanas (priestly class), Kshatriyas (members of military or reigning order); Vaisyas (Traders and agriculturists) and Sudras (class of servitude).
End Comment

       "Rama is a resplendent man. He is respected without any reservation. He is established in a vow of chastity. He knows how to do good to virtuous people. He knows the application and advantage of his actions. He is well trained in statesmanship. He honours brahmins, the priestly class. He possesses sacred knowledge. He is endowed with good conduct. He is a modest man. He got trained in Yajurveda, the sacrificial Veda. He is highly honoured by those well-versed in Vedas. He is skilled in Dhanurveda, the science of archery, as well as in other Vedas and the six limbs* of Vedas.
Six limbs of Vedas : 1) Siksha, the science of proper articulaton and pronunciation 2) Chandas, the metre 3) Vyakarana, the grammar 4) Nirukta, the explanation of difficult Vedic words 5) Jyotisha, the astronomy or rather the Vedic Calendar. 6) Kalpa, the ceremonial represented by a large number of Sura works.
End Comment

       "O princess! Rama has broad shoulders and long arms. He has a shell-like neck. He has an handsome countenance. He has a hidden collar-bone. He has beautiful red eyes. His fame is heard about by people far and wide. He has a voice like the sound of a kettle-drum. He has a shining skin. He is square-built. His limbs are built symmetrically. He is endowed with a dark-brown complexion.
        "He is ever firm in  the breast, waist and fist, long in the eyebrows, arms and soles, uniform in  his locks, testicle and knees, elevated in his breast, rim of his navel and lower abdomen, coppery in  the navel, the lower abdomen, the rims of his eyes, nails, palms and soles, soft in  the lines on his soles, hair and the end of the membrane virile. And always deep in the three (viz. the voice, gait and the navel).
        "He has three folds in the skin of his neck and belly (i.e. the six-pack).  He is depressed at three places (viz. the middle of his soles, the lines on his soles and the nipples). He is undersized at four places (viz. the neck, virility, the back and the shanks). He is endowed with three spirals in the hair of his head. He has four lines at the root of his thumb (denoting his proficiency in the four Vedas). He has four lines on his forehead (indicating longevity). He is four cubits tall (96 inches). His four pairs of limbs (viz. the cheeks, arms, shanks and knees) are equally matched.
        "He has fourteen other pairs of limbs (viz. the eye brows, nostrils, eyes, ears, lips, nipples, elbows, wrists, knees testicles, loins, hands, feet and thighs) equally matched. The four large teeth at both the ends of his upper and lower jaws are very sharp. He walks in four gaits (resembling the walks of a lion). He is endowed with excellent lips, chin and nose. He has five glossy limbs (viz. the hair, eyes, teeth, skin and soles). He has eight long limbs (viz. the arms, fingers and toes, eyes and ears, thighs and shanks - the eighth is left to your imagination.)
    "Rama has ten lotus-like limbs (viz. the countenance, the mouth, the eyes, the tongue, lips, palate, breasts, nails, the hands and the feet). He has ten ample limbs (viz. the chest, the head, the forehead, the neck, the arms, the heart, the mouth the feet, the back and the ears). He is spread through by reason of three (viz. splendour, renown and glory). He is doubly pure (on father's and mother's side). He is elevated in six limbs (viz. the flanks, the abdomen, the breast, the nose, the shoulders and the forehead). He is small, thin, fine or sharp in nine (viz. the hair, the moustaches and the beard, nails the hair on the body, the skin, the finger-joints, the membrum virile, acumen and perception). He pursues religious merit, worldly riches and the sensuous delight in three periods (viz. the forenoon, midday and afternoon).
        "Rama is engrossed in truth and righteousness. He is a prosperous man. He is interested in reception and facilitation. He knows how to apportion place and time. He speaks affectionately with all.
       "The invincible Lakshmana, the son of Rama's step-mother and Rama's brother, is resembling Rama in appearance, affection and in qualities. Rama and Lakshmana, the two tigers among men, very anxiously desirous of seeing you and searching all over the earth, came in contact with us.
      "Those two brothers Rama and Lakshmana, wandering in search of you only all over the earth, saw Sugreeva the Lord of vanaras, sitting on the top of Rishyamuka mountain, filled with several trees, having been exiled by his elder brother, oppressed with fear, but who was pleasant to the sight. We are serving that Sugreeva, who was true to his promise, but was expelled from the kingdom by his elder brother.
          "In the meanwhile, those two brothers Rama and Lakshmana, wearing clothes made of bark and arming the most excellent bows, came to the charming place of Rishyamuka mountain. Seeing Rama and Lakshmana, the men par excellence, coming with bows in hand, that Sugreeva was deluded with fear and jumped over to the hill-top of that mountain. Thereafter, hiding on that hill-top, that Sugreeva sent me  to approach those two brothers.
       "As ordered by Sugreeva, I approached those two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, endowed with good forms and characteristics. Those two brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, the two paragons of mankind  and fully endowed with kindness, after knowing the exact position about Sugreeva agreed to meet him. Then, carrying Rama and Lakshmana on my back  took them to Sugreeva's place.
         "I informed  Sugreeva about the true status quo of Rama and Lakshmana. After a mutual conversation between those two brothers and Sugreeva, a great friendship has been synthesized between them. Thus endowed with friendship, Sugreeva and Rama the man par excellence, by talking together of their earlier misfortunes, developed mutual confidence.
     "Thereafter, Rama came to know of the banishment of Sugreeva from the kingdom by Vali, the elder brother of Sugreeva for the sake of Ruma a woman. Then, Lakshmana informed Sugreeva  about the sadness of Rama born out of your disappearance.
        "Thereafter, all those multitude of your ornaments dropped on to the earth by you while being carried away by Ravana, were brought and shown to Rama. But Sugreeva did not know the further course of your movement.
      "Those ornaments were given to Rama, who after receiving and examining them  lost his consciousness and the resounding ornaments were scattered all over. Then Rama looking like god, kept those beautiful ornaments of yours in his flank and lamented in many ways.
      "While seeing those ornaments, Rama was lamenting and getting choked repeatedly. Thus, those ornaments increased Rama's grief. That grief-stricken mighty man was thus lying on the floor for a long time. Then, with great difficulty, I consoled and made him to get up.
         "Rama's grief increased enormously whenever he was seeing those ornaments. His trembling with grief was like a high mountain trembled by a great earthquake. O princess! In not seeing you, Rama has become devoid of any delight, even while moving in those quite charming forests, encompassing rivers and water-falls.
         "O Seetha the daughter of Janaka! That Rama the man par excellence will receive you soon after killing Ravana and his army. That day when Rama and Sugreeva were together, both of them made an agreement that Rama would kill Vali and Sugreeva would find you by employing a large number of vanaras.
      "Thereafter, Rama killed Vali the king of vanaras at Kiskindha. After killing Vali, Rama made Sugreeva the king for the entire multitude of bears and vanaras. O princess!  Know me as Hanuman, who has come here as a messenger  of both of them.
     "After getting the kingdom, Sugreeva summoned all the mighty as well as capable vanaras and sent them to all directions to search and find you.
     "An excellent vanara named Angada, the only son of Vali, was sent to the southern direction.  He was assisted by a large army of vanaras and I am a part of that army.
       "A number of days and nights passed, filled as we were with grief, having got lost our way intensely in a mountain-range called Vindhya. We were determined to forsake our lives because of despair in not finding you despite our overstepping the time-limit given by Sugreeva and in fear of him.
     "Having searched in places difficult of access in forests, at mountains and at cascades and not obtaining any indication of you, we were ready to give up our lives. O Seetha! Seeing all the excellent vanaras sitting down and calmly awaiting death, Angada was very much immersed in the ocean of sorrow and lamented about your loss, the killing of Vali, the death of Jatayu and our  calmly awaiting the approach of death by simply sitting down. For us who lost all our hopes on our lives and willing to give up our lives for failing to implement the command of Sugreeva, as though for the sake of our need alone, a great valiant bird approached us.
       "Hearing about the killing of his brother, the vulture-king Saampaati, the brother of the slain Jatayu, the King of vultures asked us to tell him who, where and how his younger brother Jatayu was killed. Then, Angada told Saampaati a detailed account of the events which led to the killing of that great bird at Janasthana, by a rakshash of terrific form, for your sake. O Seetha with an excellent waist! Hearing about the slaughter of Jatayu, that Saampaati the son of Aruna was very much pained and said that you were kept here by force in the custody of Ravana.
       "Hearing those delightful words of Saampaati, we started soon from there. All of us were very much delighted and satisfied. We immediately left the Vindhya mountain and reached the northern shore of the ocean. Most of the vanaras were frightened on seeing the ocean.
      "Thereafter,  I was asked to cross the hundred Yojanas across the sea. I did. Entering Lanka in night I started my search. I saw Ravana and many other rakshashas and rakshasies. After a concerted effort, I have found you here immersed in grief. O the faultless princess! I told you all this as actually occurred. I am the messenger of Rama. Talk to me.
       "O princess! I made an effort on Rama's behalf and have come here for your sake. I am Sugreeva's minister. I am the son of Vayu (wind-god). Know me, as such. Your Rama, the man par excellence among all the wielders of bow, is safe. Lakshmana, who is following his brother is also safe. 
        "O princess! I, who is interested in the welfare of the valiant Rama, your husband, have come here alone on the command of Sugreeva. I, who can change my form at will, desirous of finding you, wandering alone without any help, came to this southern direction. I shall remove the anguish of the army of vanaras who are anxious because of your disappearance by informing them about my coming close to you due to my good fortune!
        "O princess! By my good fortune, my crossing of the ocean has not gone in vain. I can get this fame of having seen you because of my good luck. The highly valiant Rama, by killing Ravana the Lord of rakshashas along with his friends and relatives, will release you soon.
          "O Seetha! There is a mountain called Malyavan, which is the best among mountains. From there, a vanara called Kesari went to another mountain called Gokarna. As prayed by gods and seers, that great vanara  called Kesari, my father killed a rakshash named Shambasadana at a sacred shrine near the sea-shore.
          "O Seetha! I am born in the womb of the wife of that Kesari the vanara, by the grace of Vayu, the wind-god. By my activity alone, I am renowned as Hanuman in this world. O Seetha! I described the qualities of Rama, your husband, to cause trust in you. O the faultless princess! Rama will take you from here shortly."
           Seetha was quite satisfied with the narration and was delighted. She shed tears of joy and a thrill of delight. The countenance of that large-eyed Seetha, whose eyes were red white and long was shining like a moon, the king of stars liberated from Rahu the serpent.
        Seetha accepted Hanuman clearly as what he claimed to be and not otherwise. Thereafter Hanuman told her "O Seetha! Tell me what I can do for you and also what is agreeable to you. I am going back now. O Seetha! As desired by the sages, Kesari, the valiant vanara killed a rakshash called Shambasadana in battle. I am a monkey born through wind-god and through his influence I am equal to the wind-god in strength."

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