Thursday, 30 April 2015

261. Rama heard full details of the meeting between Seetha and Hanuman.

             Then Rama with Lakshmana by his side, pressing that jewel on his bosom, began to weep. That excellent jewel kindled very many sweet memories in the mind of Rama. Emaciated with grief, eyes filled with tears, Rama told Sugreeva "Like a cow, who is affectionate towards her calf, gushes forth  milk from her teats at the very sight of her calf, my heart too melts at the sight of this excellent jewel. This excellent jewel was presented by my father-in-law to Seetha when she became my bride and was tied to her head from where it looked more beautiful. The jewel, which was found in the waters and acclaimed as the best, had been presented to him earlier by  Indra the lord of celestials, who was highly pleased by the Yajna carried out by my father-in-law to propitiate him.
         "O Sugreeva! My dear pal! Seeing now this excellent jewel, I feel like seeing my father as well as Janaka, the king of Videha. This jewel indeed looks more splendid on the head of my beloved Seetha. By seeing this now, I feel like seeing Seetha herself.
       "O dear Hanuman! Your repeating what Seetha, the daughter of Videha's king told you is like offering water to a thirsty person. What could be more painful than the fact that I am seeing this jewel found in waters, without the arrival of Seetha? If Seetha has promised to survive for a month, then she is surviving for long. Without that black-eyed Seetha, I don't feel like living any longer, even a moment.
      "I like you to take me to that place where my beloved Seetha has been seen. Waiting for even a moment, after receiving the news of her location seems to be excruciatingly long. How does Seetha, my virtuous wife with her charming limbs, who is very shy, stay all the time with those rakshasis who are said to be terrific and cruel?
     "Her countenance, surely like autumnal moon, though liberated of darkness, but screened by clouds, does not shine at present. O Hanuman! Tell me now, exactly what Seetha told you. I shall surely survive, by hearing her very words, like a sick man would with the help of a medicine. Tell me, what my beautiful consort, who is sweet-natured, and who always utters sweet words, having fine hips and has been separated from me told you."
                Hanuman said "Sir, it will indeed be my pleasure to repeat what Seetha, the princess, told me to repeat to you. She told me of  of an event which occurred long ago in Mount Chitrakuta. Seetha told me that as that incident is known only to Seetha and yourself, my telling you of that would be an adequate proof that I actually met her. Seetha, who was sleeping happily by your side was awaken by a crow tearing her flesh at an area in the midst of her breasts with its beak.  Dampened by her blood, you then were awakened. Seeing her, who was lacerated at the midst of her breasts, you were enraged like a hissing snake and spoke to her as follows. 'O bashful Seetha! By whom was the middle of your breasts lacerated with nail-points? Who is playing with an angry five-hooded serpent?'  Looking around, you  saw a crow, perching in front of Seetha, with its sharp nails stained with blood. That crow was indeed a son of Indra the lord of celestials, dwelling in the middle of the mountains and moves about at the speed of the wind.
         "You became terribly angry with that nefarious  crow. Taking a blade of sacred grass and infusing it with the power of the Brahma-Astra you set it on to that crow. That flaming blade blazed forth like the fire of universal dissolution, with its end facing the bird who started flying away in terror. Then that flaming blade of grass for its part followed the crow. Forsaken by all the celestials including Indra, its father and the sages too, that crow did not find a protector even after going round all the worlds (heaven, earth and the lower regions).
        "As advised by a certain benign sage, the frightened crow came to your presence once again and craved for your forgiveness. Though fit to be killed, you on your part, decided to pardon it in mercy, and protect it which had fallen flat on the ground at your feet. O Rama! Since it is not possible to make the missile a waste, you ordered that missile to take the right eye of that crow.
      "O Rama! Seetha, after narrating the crow anecdote told me to ask you why are you not doing anything to get me rescued from this captivity, when you set out  the BrahmaAstra on a lowly bird, crow. 
       "She also told me 'Neither the Nagas, the celestial serpents nor  Gandharvas the celestial musicians nor the rakshasas nor the troop of Maruts, the host of gods nor all of them joined together are capable of fighting with Rama. If that powerful Rama is really eager to save me, why  has he  not killed Ravana quickly with his exceptionally powerful arrows.
     " 'Why has he not, at the least, ordered Lakshmana, the annihilator of adversaries and the prince nonpareil born in Raghu dynasty to rescue me? Wherefore those two competent brothers par excellence, Rama and Lakshmana, with their splendour equal to that of air and fire, even though they can conquer the celestials, are ignoring me? There is no doubt that I had done some big impure act, for which reason those two brothers Rama and Lakshmana, who torment the enemies, even though capable, are not paying attention to me.'
       "Hearing those miserable words of Seetha spoken with tears, I tried to console that venerable Seetha by
“ ‘O Seetha the princess! Rama has grown indifferent because of grief born of separation from you. I swear it to you truly. Rama, being overwhelmed with grief, Lakshmana too is equally pained. You have been discovered somehow by me, now. This is not a time to lament. You will see the end of your sorrows within a short time. Those two princes, the foremost among princes and the faultless ones are eager to see you. They can reduce Lanka to ashes. Killing the villainous Ravana together with his relatives in battle, Rama will certainly take you to his City of Ayodhya.
          “ ‘O faultless one! You can give now, a token of recollection, which Rama can recognize and feel happy.' Seetha, then untied from the end of her garment, took this excellent jewel which was being strung together in her hair, gave it to me. O Rama! Taking this wonderful jewel for you from her, I sought her permission to leave immediately as you will be very eager to know about her. She then told me 'O Hanuman! Inquire those two brothers Rama and Lakshmana looking like lions, Sugreeva together with his ministers and all others about their welfare. You ought to clear up difficulties for that mighty armed Rama, so that he can help me to cross this ocean of sorrow. Approaching Rama, tell this horrible gush of my grief and the threats of these rakshasis. Good luck and bon-voyage.'

                 "When I was about to leave her she told me 'Rama, the son of Dasharatha, is to be maneuvered by you for quickly coming over here for killing Ravana in battle and get me back. If you deem it fit, stay for a day in a secret place. You can go tomorrow after taking rest. The knowledge of your presence nearby is likely to lessen my  grief.

      “ ’The sorrow born of your disappearance will further torment me, who is overtaken by one sorrow after another, miserable and doomed to grief as I am. In the matter of vanaras and bears who are your helpmates, this very grave doubt makes me anxious and uneasy. How indeed those troops of vanaras and bears or Rama and Lakshmana can cross that great insurmountable ocean? As for as I could fathom three beings viz. Garuda the eagle, or yourself or Vayu only have the capacity of crossing this ocean.
       " 'O valiant Hanuman! That is why, what strategy are you visualizing to fulfill this act, which is so difficult to accomplish? I am sure you will find a way to accomplish it. 
      “ ’It would be most appropriate that Rama, after killing Ravana and his entire army, takes me to his city. I would not like Rama, afraid to face that Ravana, take me back in the same manner as that Ravana the rakshash took me away from the forest in the absence of Rama by cheating that heroic Rama.
     “ ’I would like Rama, the destroyer of rival army, fills the entire Lanka with arrows and takes me home victoriously and it will be quite worthy of him, too.' 
      "I replied her ’O Seetha the princess! Sugreeva, the lord of the troops of vanaras and bears, endowed with insurmountable strength, is firmly determined to help Rama to rescue you. So many vanaras, endowed with prowess, perseverance, great strength and who can rush to any place as they wish, are intensely committed to Sugreeva's command. There is no hindrance to their movement either in the sky or the ground or in a horizontal region between the sky and the ground. Those vanaras with unlimited splendour are not indolent in performing any great task.
      " 'Those illustrious vanaras, proud of their strength and following the path of wind, circumambulated the entire earth several times. In them, some are superior to me and some are equal to me. No one in the vicinity of Sugreeva is inferior to me. When I have arrived here, why to talk about those mighty ones? I am sure you are well aware that superior ones are not sent for errands. Only others are sent'.
    " 'O Seetha the princess! Enough of your lamentation. Cast away your sorrow. Those leaders of vanaras will reach Lanka by one single leap. Rama and Lakshmana, those two lions among men, also of great strength, ascending on my shoulders, can come to you, like the rising sun and the moon.
      "Rama, the annihilator of enemies, similar to a lion, and Lakshmana wielding a bow in his hand, will surely approach the entrance-gate of Lanka and you will see them soon. You can see soon those valiant vanaras, with their claws and tusks as weapons, having the prowess of lions and tigers and looking like lordly elephants, coming here together.
      " 'You will hear within a short time, the clamour of those vanaras resonating like mountains and clouds, on the peaks of Mount Malaya in Lanka. You will see Rama, returning from exile, and getting anointed to the crown in Ayodhya, along with you soon.' Thereafter, soothed by me with comforting, well-disposed and agreeable words, Seetha, though tormented with thoughts of your grief, obtained peace of mind."

End of Sundara Kanda


Monday, 27 April 2015

260. Hanuman conveys Seetha's message.

             Headed by Angada, the prince in their forefront the rest of the vanaras, on reaching Mount Prasravana with forests of variegated appearance, offered their salutation to Rama and the mighty Lakshmana, as well as Sugreeva respectfully.
           Rama now knowing that his dear better half was found, asked them "Where is Seetha, the princess? How is she disposed of towards me? Tell me all that about Seetha."
           Angada nodded to Hanuman indicating him to tell about Seetha. Hanuman then started telling with a nod "Crossing the ocean of a hundred Yojanas wide, I reached the southern shore in search of Seetha, Janaka's daughter. There at the southern shore of that ocean, there is a city called Lanka ruled by that evil minded rakshash Ravana. O Rama! There, living in Ravana's gynaecium in the city, I saw the lady Seetha, your virtuous wife, craving in her heart for you.
       "In that pleasure garden, I saw Seetha sitting in the midst of fearsome rakshashis, who were guarding as well as threatening her from time to time.
       "I saw Seetha wearing a single plait due to desolation, looking miserable, remaining absorbed in your thought, reposing on the floor, having discoloured limbs like a lotus in winter, spurning the wish from Ravana, having determined to die, and thinking of you alone. Seetha trusted me, after I slowly described to her the fame of Ikshvaku dynasty. Thereafter, I spoke and explained  Seetha, about the entire significance and purpose of my arrival there. She was quite pleased to hear about the alliance between you and Sugreeva. Her morality as well as her devotion in you are steadfast. I thus saw that illustrious Seetha, endowed with severe penance and devotion towards you.
         "She told me as a token of remembrance the anecdote concerning a crow occurred when you two were in the Mount Chitrakuta area. Seetha also told me 'O Hanuman! Inform Rama, the foremost among men, all that you have seen here. While Sugreeva is hearing nearby while you are telling the words in this way, let this jewel, which is deliberately well-guarded, be given to Rama. This beautiful jewel for the head has been well-guarded by me. You also ought to recall a mark painted by him on the curve of my cheek with the powder of an orange-red rock, when my former mark on my forehead got effaced. This beautiful jewel, which has its origin in sea-water, may be handed over to my dear husband Rama. Seeing this in my grief, I am feeling always happy as though I am seeing him.
     " 'Tell my dear husband that I shall be sustaining my life for a month. I cannot survive beyond one month.' 
    "O Rama! I have narrated to you whatever has occurred, in its entirety between Seetha and me. Let a bridge be constructed, by all means, over the waters of the ocean.”
         After hearing Hanuman, Rama and Lakshmana lessened their worries about Seetha and became confident.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

259. Hanuman cried 'Non inveni eam, Non inveni eam, Non inveni eam.'

           Dadhimukha felt relieved to hear those words of Sugreeva. He was terribly scared that Sugreeva may punish him for not preventing the rummage of Maduvana. With a light heart he offered his salutation with reverence to Rama and Lakshmana. Thereafter, offering salutation to Sugreeva, Dadhimukha accompanied by his valiant guards, sprang into the air. Dadhimukha on entering Madhuvana, noticed that the intruders had shed their intoxication to a very great extent. Greeting them in a friendly manner Dadhimukha approached them cheerfully and then told Angada "O gentle sir! Due to their ignorance, these guards in anger, obstructed you from entering the grove. Please pardon them.  You are the prince and also the master of this grove. We made a mistake. After going to Kishkinda, I informed your uncle about the arrival of all of you here.
          "Hearing that, your uncle was exceedingly pleased. I mildly informed him of the rough handling of Madhuvana and he did not mind it at all. Sugreeva, your uncle, our lord  and  king was pleased and told me to dispatch all of you to him with utmost promptitude."
              Hearing these smooth words of Dadhimukha, Angada told his party "My dear chaps! I assume that Rama must have guessed that it was we who rested at this Madhuvana and that we have successfully accomplished the task for which we were sent. Hence, it is not proper for us to remain here any longer. All of you get ready for the take off in a few minutes.
           "I shall do whatever my superiors are telling me to do. Despite the fact that I am the crown prince I am not the master to command you. It is not befitting for me to play the lord over you, who have accomplished the task."
          Very much pleased to hear the irrefutably tactful words spoken by the modest Angada, all the vanaras shouted in unison "O prince, the foremost of vanaras! Who would speak like this, while he is the lord? Every one indeed thinks one's supremacy with an excited arrogance and says 'I, I'. It is so worthy of you alone that you have spoken such unpretentious  words. None else would say like this. Your humility itself is promising of your future suitableness for prosperity. All of us, who reached here, are waiting for your signal to go to that place from where Sugreeva, the proud king of the heroic vanaras, is ruling. Without your command, it is not proper for us to move  even a step forward.” Angada smiled and said  "Thanks! Let us make the move now, pronto."
             All the mighty vanaras then sprang into the air like stones shot from a catapult. While they were in the sky above, Sugreeva, their king was pacifying the worried Rama, who was apprehensive "Dear friend! Calm yourself. I am absolutely certain that the southbound party has located Seetha. It is obvious that they were not able to locate her within the time limit given to them. It is so evident  that they did not like to return without finding Seetha.
       "Angada, the long-armed prince and the most excellent of vanaras would not return and see my face if they failed to locate Seetha. 
        "If Angada is not happy, he would not have damaged my madhuvana, which belongs to my father and grandfather as well as protected by my forbears. There is no doubt that you will soon hear the happy news. None other than Hanuman would have located Seetha.
       "O Rama, my friend! Hanuman is instilled with the ability  to accomplish any objective with his intelligence, strenuous effort and vigour. I am positive that with Jambavan as a leader, Angada as the commander and Hanuman as the administer, they would definitely have accomplished the task.
        "O Rama, of unlimited prowess! Do not bother yourself with troubled thoughts now......" Before he could finish his sentence he  heard certain sounds expressing joy, from the sky above. Looking up he saw that it was the south-bound party coming back.
       Those heroes, led by Angada, exceedingly pleased as they were and filled with joy, landed at the vicinity of Sugreeva and Rama. Immediately thereafter, Hanuman, guessing the anxiety of Rama rushed crying 'Non inveni eam; Non inveni eam; Non inveni eam'  to where Rama and others were waiting and after offering his salutation to Rama and others, informed Rama that he found Seetha the princess who was in constant  devotion to Rama and sound in body.
   Thereupon, Lakshmana looked with love and admiration at the joyful Sugreeva, who earlier decidedly predicted that Hanuman would be the one who had accomplished the task of locating Seetha. Rama, who obtained a great joy, looked at Hanuman with a high esteem.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

258. Dadhimukha was disappointed.

              Sugreeva was completely at a loss as to why this guy Dadhimukha  fell touching his feet with his head. He asked him "O my dear chap! Stand up, rise! Why have you fallen on my feet? I grant you immunity from punishment for any misdemeanor you have committed. Tell me what wrong did you commit?"
            Thus inspired by the king Sugreeva with confidence, that highly clever  Dadhimukha, rising up, said "O king! Madhuvana was never open to public previously at any time by Riksharajas, your father, nor by you, nor by Vali. Now that Madhuvana has been occupied by some vanaras. When my guards of the grove tried to prevent them, they disregarded the guards and continued to eat the fruits and drink the honey too. Some were throwing away the remnant of honey after drinking it there and some others were consuming that remnant.
         "When the guards of the grove tried to drive them off from the grove, those arrogant  vanaras threatened them. O Sir! Then, those valiant vanaras in large numbers, having their red eyes in anger, drove away our guards. They struck some of the guards with their hands. They beat some of them with their knees. They dragged some of them and tossed them into air. While you are in the position of our king, those vanaras have beaten these valiant guards and are eating away the entire Maduvana."
        Lakshmana, who happened to come there asked Sugreeva why that vanara Dadhimukha had come there and what was he telling about. Sugreeva replied "O esteemed Lakshmana! Dadhimukha has come to report that a party of vanaras entered the grove Madhuvana, which is one of my properties and this guy is the chief guardian of the same. After entering they plundered and pillaged it and drank all the honey and fruits available there. No one other than the party of vanaras sent to south would dare to enter that grove. The very fact that they are indulging in revelry indicates that they have accomplished the task for which they have been sent.
       "It is now obvious that Seetha has been found. There is no doubt. None other than Hanuman must have found Seetha. There is none other in that party more competent than Hanuman. That Hanuman is instilled with the capability to accomplish any given task. He has the intelligence, strenuousness, vigour, effort and learning. Where Jambavan as well as Angada are the leaders and Hanuman  the administrator, the result of that work cannot be otherwise.
       "It is now reported that Madhuvana has been rummaged by the heroes led by Angada and the garden-guards who tried to prevent  them were beaten up. If those vanaras have not found Seetha, they would not have the heart or energy to abuse the charming grove, which was granted to me as a boon."
          Hearing the words coming from the mouth of Sugreeva, which were pleasant for the ears, Rama was rejoiced. The mighty Lakshmana  was very much rejoiced.
      Sugreeva with a charming neck was very much pleased told Dadhimukha, the guardian of the grove "I am happy that Madhuvana has been enjoyed by those vanaras, who have accomplished their assignment. Since the damage to the grove done by those vanaras, who have accomplished their purpose is fit to be forgiven. I pardon them. I, together with Rama and Lakshmana, soon desire to see them and to hear about their effort in finding out Seetha."

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

257. Dadhimukha rushed to Kishkindha.

    Hearing that Madhuvana was being damaged, Dadhimukha, the in-charge was enraged and told them "Come on fellows. We will show them what we are.”
         Headed by Dadhimukha, all the guards started towards the frolickers to stop them from doing any more damage to the grove. Grasping a tree, Dadhimukha took up his position in the middle of his enraged guards who, equipped themselves with trees, rocks  and whatever they could use as a weapon.
      Well armed under the leadership of Dadhimukha and  arrogant of their strength now, the guards reached the place where the revellers were revelling.
      Seeing Dadhimukha along with his guards coming with an angry mood, Hanuman and others prepared themselves for retaliation.
      In the ensuing tussle Dadhimukha and his guards were trounced.
      Dadhimukha was afflicted with  broken arms, thighs and shoulders. Drenched in blood he lost his consciousness for a moment. Dadhimukha, Sugreeva's maternal uncle, quickly recovering his breath, was enraged and resisted those opponents, who were highly intoxicated because of drinking of honey.
       Realizing that he and his force were no match for the intruders, Dadhimukha decided to go to Kishkinda and report the matter to Sugreeva. He sneaked out along with one of his most trusted aides and told him "Let these trespassers stay here. Let us go to the place where the thick-necked Sugreeva, our lord stays together with Rama. I will make known to the king, all the misdeeds of Angada. Hearing my words, the enraged king will get all these vanaras killed. This Madhuvana is very much cherished by our king, Sugreeva. He got it  derived from his father and grand father. It is so charming and is not allowed to be approached even by celestials.
      "The longevity of these vanaras got reduced because of their thoughtless act of damaging this beautiful grove. Sugreeva will get all of them killed as a punishment. These evil-minded beings, who disregarded the royal command, are fit to be punished so. Our wrath, springing from our impatience, will indeed become fruitful."
        Dadhimukha and his guards left that Madhuvana and reached Kishkindha shortly. Seeing Rama, Lakshmana and Sugreeva, Dadhimukha descended from the sky. Dadhimukha, the chief of the guards, surrounded by all those garden-guards, made with a long face,  a respectful salutation to Sugreeva with his head, by falling down and touching with his head, the auspicious feet of Sugreeva.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

256. The inebriated brawl at Madhuvana.

              After agreeing with the wise Jambavan that no action regarding the rescue of Seetha should be taken by them without the knowledge and the consent of Rama, the party decided to return to Kishkinda.
            Accordingly, the jubilant,  thrilled, triumphant, rejoicing, exuberant, joyous and elated  vanaras, resembling Meru and Mandara mountains, like elephants in rut, as if covering the sky, having huge bodies and colossal strength, keeping Hanuman in their front, leaving the Mount Mahendra, moved ahead leaping delightfully. They were all feeling very happy to have accomplished the task for which they were sent out. All of them, in high spirits, were judging rightly the vengeance of Rama against the evil  Ravana.
        While going happily they noticed a garden looking like Nandanavana, the divine grove, filled with plenty of trees and creepers. That garden named Madhuvana was abounded with honey. It was a protected grove, out of bounds for all outsiders.
        A very powerful vanara called Dadhimukha,  an eminent vanara and a maternal uncle of Sugreeva was in charge of that huge grove, which was very dear to the heart of Sugreeva. Our triumphant vanaras expressed a desire to stay put there for some time for rest and recreation. And the same was duly agreed by the leaders.
              Entering that large Madhuvana, the vanaras noticed that the garden was abounded in honey. Those vanaras, whose colour was as yellow as honey, were delighted and requested their leaders for permission to taste the honey. Hanuman, who was now accepted by them as one of the top leaders, told them "Cherish the honey with a cool mind. I will keep off anyone who is barring you in this regard." Angada the leader of that party endorsed Hanuman totally.
          Having got the permission, all the vanaras started to drink honey and pluck the juicy fruits. They, however were prevented by the guards. Overpowering the guards who prevented them from drinking honey and plucking the fruits, they all started to drink honey and eating the juicy fruits there.
        Every one of them drank much more than their stomach can hold to compensate what they missed from the day they left Kishkinda in search of Seetha, excepting the days they were held in that Riksha cavity. As too much of honey will cause similar effect of drinking liquor,  those excited vanaras started acting accordingly; some dancing, some singing, some offering salutations, some laughing loudly, some falling down, some moving in different directions, some jumping up, some  talking incoherently and so on and so forth.
       This sort of thing made them more excited. None in that party was not drunk. And none was  satiated. The result was they all started drinking more and more and more.........
          Dragged by their knees and tossed up in the air by the revelers, those very much depressed guards, limpingly went to Dadhimukha and complained "The vanaras, permitted by Hanuman and Angada are violently destroying the Madhuvana. We were dragged by our knees and tossed up in the air. And now we are very much hurt phyically."

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

255. Jambavan's sensible advice prevailed.

           Hanuman's suggestion was endorsed by Angada who said "After our locating and seeing Seetha, it is not proper for us to approach and meekly report that fact to Rama without taking Seetha with us. What reply can we give if he asks us why we did not bring her to him?
      "O my valiant comradess! No one is equal to us in our prowess nor anyone who can leap like us in all the worlds. Hanuman has killed a  good lot of rakshasas. What work is remaining to be done by us? We will go after rescuing Janaki."
       Jambavan, the foremost among the forest-animals and regarded as the  wisest among them was very much pleased to see the mood of the party as a whole. But for obvious reasons he could not agree with them. He told them mildly  "O prince! I understand your mood and enthusiasm. Though I agree in toto of what you said about the competency, prowess, valor etc. of this our party, I feel that it would not be proper for us
to embark the task of rescuing Seetha ourselves. I am sure you all will agree that without knowing what Rama's inclination would be, it would not be proper for us to act ourselves for the accomplishment of the objective."
        Angada and others agreed with the sagacious Jambavan. And in a jolly good mood the entire party prepared for their return to Kishkinda.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

254. Hanuman describes the plight of Seetha.

          After a pause for a few moments Hanuman continued “I think that it is the power of the virtuousness of Seetha, Rama’s effort and Sugreeva’s zeal are accomplished. No wonder my mind too is devoted to her. Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, who is strong in every way, can burn away all the three worlds. When he is enraged, he can scorch away his adversaries. His body, which touched Seetha the daughter of Janaka, was not destroyed because of his askesis.
        “I have reported to you about everything that has happened from the time I left for Lanka to the time I returned here.
      I think it would be good idea to see those two princes Rama and Lakshmana along with Seetha. If all of you agree Jambavan may take over the command of our party. I feel that I alone may be able to destroy that City of Lanka together with those troops of rakshashas as also the mighty Ravana. It being so, when this whole party under the command of Jambavan marches to Lanka, Ravana and his cronies will have no chance.
       "When accompanied by you, who is strong, whose spirit is disciplined, who is proficient in the use of arms, valiant, longing for victory and moving by jumps, no one in this world will be able to match us in a battle. In the battle, I on my part will kill Ravana along with his army, his forerunners, his sons and his brothers.
        “I can blow out the missiles presided over by Indra the lord of celestials, Brahma the creator, Rudra the god of destruction, Vayu the wind-god, Varuna the god of water and even those missiles which are difficult to be faced, employed by Ravana’s mighty and redoubtable son Indrajit. My prowess, when permitted by you, will frustrate that Ravana. The shower of rocks, which will be unequaled and incessant, discharged by me, can kill even celestials.
       “The ocean may overflow its shore. Mount Mandara may move from its position. But, in battle, no army of adversaries can stagger Jambavan. The heroic Angada, the son of Vali alone, is more than adequate to destroy all the troops of rakshasas and even the rakshasas who were their progenitors.
        “All of us know about the rapid movement of the thighs of Neela and  Panasa. There is no doubt that the Mount Mandara can be shattered by them. Tell me any one, even among Gandharvas the celestial singers, Uragas the serpents, Pakshis the birds, the celestials, rakshasas, Yakshas, the semi-divine beings who can face Mainda or Dvivida.
      “These two illustrious sons of Ashvini Kumaras, Mainda and Dvivida are the foremost among the vanaras. In the battle-field, no one will dare to face them. Proud of having received boons from Brahma, the creator and their grandfather, these two foremost among all the vanaras, abiding with a supreme confidence, live on Amrita.
      "Long ago, Brahma the grandfather of all the worlds, honoured the Ashvini Kumaras with    unequalled and inviolable boons. Armed with such boons, those two vanaras harassed many celestials.
        "I am sure that these Mainda and Dvivida alone are capable of destroying the entire city of Lanka together with its horses, chariots and elephants.
        “I alone burnt and destroyed the City of Lanka. In all its royal high-ways, I proclaimed proudly 'Victorious is Rama, the exceedingly strong and the mighty Lakshmana too! Victorious is King Sugreeva, protected by Rama. I am Hanuman, a servant of Rama and the son of Vayu.' In this way, the names of Rama and others were heralded by me.
       "In the midst of Ashoka garden of the evil-minded Ravana, underneath a Shimshupa tree, the virtuous Seetha was seen staying dejected, encircled as she was with rakshasis, agonized with grief and anguish, lusterless like the first night after the new moon night of the moon encircled by a line of clouds and disregarding that Ravana, who is arrogant of his attractive personality.
       "Seetha, a devoted and virtuous wife has been placed under restraint. The auspicious Seetha is devoted to Rama in all ways, giving her undivided thought to Rama like Shachi the goddess giving her concern to Indra, the destroyer of strong holds. Wearing that single piece of cloth, which she had on her person when being borne away by Ravana, and was covered with dust, she was seen by me in a miserable condition with her grief and anguish.
        "I saw Seetha in a royal pleasure garden, amid the rakshasis. Seetha was being frightened time and again by those ugly rakshasis. Seetha, wearing a single braid of hair and looking depressed, was always thinking about her lord. Looking like a lotus with a discoloured figure in winter, she had determined to die, to escape the persecution  from Ravana.
            "With great difficulty, I infused confidence in that fawn-eyed Seetha. I told her everything her dear hubby and his bro were doing to find her. She was delighted to hear the camaraderie cropped up between Rama and Sugreeva. That the most chaste wife of Rama, Seetha does not kill Ravana who has committed an offence because she conducts herself well with restraint. Seetha, who is by her own nature was emaciated because of separation from her lord, seemed to have further emaciated like the learning of a scholar continuing his studies even on the first day of lunar fortnight which must be observed as a complete holiday by students. Thus, the illustrious Seetha remains immersed in grief beyond any comparison. I feel that we should do something immediately to relieve her from her misery as quickly as we can."

Sunday, 12 April 2015

253. Hanuman reported the details of his journey to and from Lanka.

                   After ensuring that all the members of the team were seated comfortably, Jambavan asked Hanuman “My dear chap! Please let us all hear from you the details of your trip to and fro Lanka. How did you see Seetha? How was she there? How was that roguish rakshash Ravana treating her? O Hanuman! Tell us everything in detail whatever has occurred without omitting even a minor incident. After hearing you, we have to formulate the next course of action. Please let us have your opinion as to what info are to be disclosed and which are to be kept off from Rama, when we see him.”
         After praying Seetha and Rama mentally by bowing his head, Hanuman said “All of you know that, as desired by you all I leapt into the sky from the summit of the Mount Mahendra intent to reach the other end of the ocean. While I was going, a  golden mountain-peak which was so charming and fascinating came up on my way. I presumed that mountain was trying to stop me and as such I decided to shatter that excellent, charming and golden mountain.
         "As I struck it with my tail, the mountain-peak of that great hill, resembling the sun, was broken into a thousand pieces. Understanding my purpose, that great mountain said kindly 'O my son!'. When I paused for an instant and started to complete my task that mountain said loudly 'Know me to be generally called as Mynaka dwelling in this great ocean, as a companion as well as a brother of Vayu, your dear father.
          " 'O my son! Long ago, the foremost among the mountains used to have wings. They used to wander the entire earth freely, inadvertently hurting people sometimes. Indra did not like this and started chopping off their wings. O child! I, on my part, was hurled into this great ocean by Vayu, your father and thus was saved from from the clutches of Indra. 
          “ 'O Hanuman! I wanna  help Rama for the simple reason that Rama, having a prowess equal to that of Indra, is also excellent in supporting righteousness.' Hearing the words of Mynaka I, after informing him my purpose and the urgency of my travel, sought his permission to proceed without any delay. The kind Mynaka  allowed me to proceed. That Mynaka mountain vanished in the guise of a beautiful form of a human being. That large mountainous form also later drowned into the great ocean.
       "Thereafter, I was obstructed by Surasa, the mother of serpents in the midst of that ocean. She accosted me with 'Hi! The celestials told me that you would be very tasty and as such advised me to eat you. Therefore, me gonna eat you.'
          "After offering her my greetings and saluting her, I politely replied Surasa "Rama, the son of Dasharatha, together with Lakshmana, his brother and his wife Seetha entered the forest of Dandaka. The evil-minded Ravana took away Seetha, Rama's wife. By the orders of Rama, I am going to find her as an envoy. 
       " 'You, residing in Rama's country, ought to  help me to find Rama's wife Seetha. At least let me go now. I solemnly assure you that after seeing Seetha and Rama, I will come to you as your sweet dish.' Surasa did not agree to my request. Then I grew immediately as tall as ten Yojanas (eighty miles). Seeing me grown like this, she opened her mouth wide enough to accommodate me in it. Seeing her doing so, I grew further in size to fifteen Yojanas (or one hundred twenty miles). She opened her mouth further to accommodate  the size of my body. Then I suddenly  reduced to the size of my body to the size of a human thumb and entered her mouth and then immediately  came out. The divine Surasa, was pleased with my manoeuvre. She told me smilingly 'O Hanuman! Go happily for the fulfillment of your purpose. Bring back Seetha to the magnanimous Rama. Be happy. I am pleased with you.' Then, all those devas watching the fun  praised me saying Good! Well done! Bravo!...etc. Thereupon, I leapt into the extensive sky, like Garuda the eagle, the carrier of Lord Vishnu. Then on my way, my shadow was held fast and I was hardly able to move. Yet, I did not perceive anything. 
            "While I was wondering what could have caused such an hindrance to my journey. I started looking all the ten directions for the cause. When I looked below downward I saw a  terrifying, dreadful, fearful, and monstrous rakshasi lying in water.
          "Seeing me looking at her, she guffawing merrily told me 'O gigantic flying vanara! Where are you going? As I am very hungry I stopped you to make you my grub. I didn't get any good food for long and I need you badly for my sustenance. Please gratify me.' I agreed saying 'Amen', Then, I expanded my body to a size larger than the capacity of her mouth.
      "Her terrific large mouth too grew large enough to devour me. Seeing that I shrunk my body and went into her mouth  extracted her heart and leapt back out.
The heartless rakshashi, looking like a mountain, fell into the ocean with her arms emanating from it. I heard great sages along with the wandering celestial singers, moving in the sky, saying Simhika the dreadful rakshashi was  killed by Hanuman.
       "I, then travelling further for quite some time saw the southern shore of the ocean, where that City of Lanka, adorned with its trees, was situated. While the sun was setting, I, without being noticed by the rakshasas entered the city of Lanka.
    "While I was entering the City, a large woman accosted me. After defeating that woman by striking her with a blow of the fist of my left hand, I entered Lanka at dusk. When I defeated her, she told me 'O hero! I am the personified City of Lanka. As you have defeated me, you can defeat all the rakshasas here completely.'
      Searching for Seetha for the great part of the night, I could not find that Seetha.
     "Unable to find Seetha even in Ravana's dwelling and ipso facto becoming despondent and not knowing what to do I started moaning. While bemoaning, I saw an excellent grove near the gynaecium, concealed by a prolonged fence painted with golden colour. Crossing the fence, I saw that grove having copious trees. Amidst that Ashoka garden, I saw a large Shimshupa* tree. After ascending it, I beheld yonder an yellow-pigmented thicket of banana plants.
* Botanical name: Delbergia sissoo.
       "Not far from that Shimshupa tree, I saw Seetha, of youthful complexion, with eyes looking like lotus-petals, with her face emaciated by fasting, clad in a single piece of cloth, her hair soiled with dust, her limbs afflicted with grief and agony, devoted as she was to her lord and surrounded on all sides by ugly and cruel rakshashis living on flesh and blood, as a doe encircled by tigresses. Seetha, who had eyes like those of a deer, was somehow found by me looking depressed in the midst of those rakshashis, frightened as she was by them again and again, putting on a single braid of hair, as a mark of desolation, wholly devoted to the thought of her lord, having floor as her bedstead,  like a lotus-stalk in a cool season, turning away the request of Ravana, and determined to die.
      "Seeing that illustrious woman, the consort of Rama, in such a state, I stayed perched on the same Simshupa tree, looking at her. Meanwhile, I heard an exceedingly roaring and hallooing sound, mixed with sounds of girdles and anklets in the abode of Ravana. Then, I was very much frightened and contracted my physique. I, on my part, remained hidden like a bird in that Simshupaa tree dense with foliage.
         "Then, the mighty Ravana accompanied by many beautiful women reached that place where Seetha was staying. Thereupon, seeing that Rakshash, Seetha with her lovely waist, sat compressing her thighs enclosing her swollen breasts with her arms. Ravana, bowing his head and coming down to speak to Seetha who was frightened, very much grieving for her lord, glancing hither and thither, not finding any protection for her, trembling, distressed and extremely sorrowful saying, 'Treat me with respect.'
          "Ravana told her 'O arrogant lady! O Seetha! If you refuse me by your arrogance, I will be drinking your blood after a period of two months. Hearing those words of the evil-minded Ravana, Seetha was very much irritated told him 'How  your tongue has not yet falen off, O the worst rakshash, by speaking such words to the consort of Rama, of boundless glory, and the daughter-in-law of Dasharatha the lord of Ikshvaku dynasty?
    " 'O ignoble soul! Of what account is your prowess, when you came sneaking in in the absence of my lord, and abducted me? You have no similarity with Rama. You are unfit even to do service to Rama. Rama performs sacrifices. He speaks only truth. He is a lover of battle'.
         "Hearing these harsh words from Seetha, Ravana was at once ablaze with anger, as a fire blazes in a pile of wood. Rolling his cruel eyes and lifting his right fist nearest to his body, Ravana was about to kill Seetha. Then, an alarm was raised by a women there. Springing up from the midst of those women, a royal woman named Mandodari, the wife of that evil-minded Ravana, ran to him. He was restrained by her.
         "She told her husband Ravana, smitten with love 'O My lord!  You have the prowess equal or perhaps more than that of Indra! Why do you crave for this Seetha, a human? O lord! Enjoy yourself with the daughters of gods, Gandharvas the celestial musicians and Yakshas the semi-divine beings. Send this Seetha away to her human hubby.'
         "Then all the women together propitiated that mighty Ravana and quickly took him to his palace. When that Ravana left, the ugly-faced rakshasis frightened Seetha with their cruel and very dreadful words. Seetha reckoned the utterance of those women as a blade of grass. At that time, the roaring of those rakshasis reached Seetha in vain.
         "As their roaring frittered away, those flesh-eating rakshasis became helpless and reported that great resolve of Seetha to Ravana. Thereafter, all those women joined together, warded off their hopes and held back their effort. In the end, they encircled Seetha and were overpowered with sleep.
         "When those rakshasis went to sleep, Seetha, intent upon the welfare of her husband, was deeply aggrieved, miserable and sore, depressed as she was, lamenting pitifully. Trijata, rising suddenly from the midst of those rakshasis told them 'Feed on yourself quickly rather than on Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, a virtuous woman and the daughter-in-law of Dasharatha who does not get destroyed.
        " 'Now, I have seen a dreadful dream, causing my hair to stand erect. It is pointing towards the ruin of our rakshasas and the victory of her husband. We will pray Seetha, who is capable of protecting all of us from Rama. I feel that it is better for us. When such a dream is seen while a woman is weeping, that woman gets relieved of many kinds of sorrows and will obtain happiness. Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, indeed will be pleased on receiving a salutation'.
           "Delighted at hearing the victory of her lord, that girl Seetha then said 'If it is true, I will be protecting you all'. Taking rest for some time and seeing such a dreadful state of Seetha, I reflected upon it. My mind could not satisfy itself. Then all the rakshasis guarding Seetha fell asleep.
      "In order to make Seetha see me and talk to me, I started to describe the history of Ikshvaku's dynasty. Hearing that, Seetha, with her eyes filled with tears, looked at me and asked me 'Who are you? Why did you come here? How did you come? What type of contact do you have with Rama? Please tell me all this.' 
     "I replied her  'O princess! There is a courageous king of vanaras, by name Sugreeva, who is a companion to your mighty  husband, possessing a terrific prowess.
      " 'Know me as Hanuman, a servant of that Sugreeva. Rama, you husband, sent me to find you. O illustrious lady! Rama, your husband, gave me this ring personally to give you as a token of remembrance when I find you.'
             "After giving that ring to her I offered to take her to Rama, her dear husband, by carrying her on my back. Hearing my words and understanding them, Seetha the daughter of Janaka declined my offer saying 'Let Rama take me back, after killing Ravana'.
          "I, then requested Seetha  a token of remembrance which would gladden the heart of Rama. Then, Seetha gave me this foremost jewel and told me  'Let this foremost jewel be taken, by which the long-armed Rama will surely recognize.'
            "Seetha then  gave me a message also in words to me. Then, offering salutation to Seetha the princess in utmost devotion, I started to leave.
        "Seetha then stopped me and said 'O Hanuman! You ought to tell Rama about my tale of woes occurring here. Act so that both those heroes Rama and Lakshmana together with Sugreeva quickly arrive here, soon after hearing my tale. Tell my hubby my survival will be for two months only. Rama cannot see me alive thereafter as I will be dead like a helpless woman.' 
        While leaving her, those harrowing and miserable words were haunting me and I became angry. I decided to do something in this regard. Thereafter, my body grew up to a size equal to that of a mountain. Then, I started destroying that garden, thereby inviting a combat.
           "The rakshashis there with their ugly faces woke up and saw that thicket of garden being broken and with its frightened animals and birds moving about unsteadily. Coming from their respective places and seeing me in that garden, those rakshasis quickly went and reported the matter to Ravana. 
      "Ravana sent a powerful army of rakshasas called Kinkaras to kill or capture me. I killed all of them.
       "Then, an idea came to me. I occupied a lofty palatial mansion of a sanctuary which was an eminent ornament of Lanka, by killing a hundred rakshasas stationed there.
       "Then, Ravana sent Jambumali, the son of Prahasta together with numerous dreadful rakshasas having terrific forms. I destroyed that rakshash, endowed with a great strength, along with his followers, with my terrific iron bar taken from that sanctuary.
       "Hearing of it, Ravana dispatched the son of his minister, endowed with great strength with a regiment of infantry. I killed all of them  by that iron bar itself. Ravana then dispatched five valiant generals.
       "I got all the generals together with their army destroyed. Then, Ravana, the ten-headed monster, sent his mighty son, Aksha together with a multitude of army.
         "I killed him, too.  Hearing of the death of Aksha in combat, that ten-headed Ravana was very much enraged and thereupon dispatched his second son, by name Indrajit, who was strong but foolishly arrogant in battle.
      "Knowing me to be irresistible and his own army being perishable, Indrajit with a great haste, captured me with  Brahma-Asthra. Then, the rakshasas tied me with ropes and carried me away to Ravana's presence.
Seeing me, Ravana asked  'Why did you come to Lanka? Why did you kill the rakshasas?' I answered 'I have done all these acts for the sake of Seetha. I came to your abode with a desire to see Seetha. I am the offspring of Vayu. I am a vanara by name Hanuman, an envoy of Rama and a minister of Sugreeva. As Rama's messenger, I sought your presence here! That Sugreeva of great splendour enquired about your welfare. He directed me to convey the following message to  you.
       " 'While I was dwelling in Mount Rhishyamuka, Rama the prince par excellence became my friend. The king Rama told me that his wife had been taken away by a rakshash and solicited my help to locate where that rogue has kept his wife.
        " 'I readily agreed to that and I requested him to kill my brother Vali, who gravely wronged me. He readily agreed to that. Rama, the great lord along with Lakshmana made a friendship with me, whose kingdom was taken away by Vali. Killing Vali by a single arrow, Rama made me an emperor of all vanaras.
        " 'Now we have to extend help to that Rama in all ways. Therefore, I am sending Hanuman rightly to your presence. To avoid the heroic vanaras destroy your army, bring Seetha quickly and give her back to Rama.'
    "I told Ravana that this was the message of my lord Sugreeva. Ravana on hearing me was enraged and looked on me, as though he was going to reduce me to ashes with his very looks. Without knowing my glory ( in the form of my immunity to death), the evil-minded Ravana, ordered for my execution.
           "Then, Vibhishana the youngest brother of Ravana intervened and told Ravana 'Dear bro., it is not correct to execute an envoy. It would be a breach of protocol. An envoy should not be executed even if a very high offence is committed by him. You very well know all these things. Please revise your order.'
        "Hearing the right and sensible words of Vibhishana, Ravana ordered to burn my tail by fire. Thereupon, I was wrapped up my entire tail with bark of hemp and torn cotton-clothes. Thereafter, the the rakshash servitors, who completed their arrangements, striking me with their wooden staffs and fists, burnt my tail. Even though I was bound with many ropes, I maintained restraint.
        "Then, having reached the city-gate, those strong rakshasas made a loud proclamation of my presence in the principal streets, bound and enveloped in flames as I was. Then, after contracting my gigantic form once more and releasing my bondage, I stood in my native form again. Seizing an iron bar, I killed those rakshasas.
       "Then, I quickly jumped on to that city-gate and without any bewilderment, I set fire that city with its attics, ramparts and gates with my inflamed tail, as a fire at the end of the world, burned all living creatures. The entire Lanka had been reduced to ashes. No place was seen free from burning in that City.
        "Seeing that, a harrowing thought hit me. I thought if all the Lanka was burnt then that Ashoka vana and all its residents including Seetha would have been burnt. This filled me with grief. But to my great relief I heard the auspiciously worded utterance of charanas, the celestial signers who were exclaiming a tale of astonishment saying that Seetha was not burnt. Then I noticed something very astonishing, to wit, even though my tail was burning, I did not feel the pang of it. I then became delighted. The winds were sweet-smelling. My heart was delighted by seeing those good omens and by hearing the words of the accomplished sages.
          "Seeing Seetha once more, relieved by her again and then reaching the Mount Arishta there again, I started leaping back over the sea with a longing to see you all. Then, treading upon the path of the sky, frequented by the wind, the moon, the sun, Siddhas the semi-divine beings and Gandharvas the celestial musicians, I saw you all here.
       "I completed successfully all the tasks for which we were sent by Sugreeva, by the grace of Rama and also through your well wishes. I guess I have done everything properly there"

Thursday, 9 April 2015

252. Hanuman rejoined his team at the Mount Mainaka.

        This time Hanuman did not have any inhibition whatsoever. Like his dad, Hanuman started flying across the boundless sea looking analogous to the sky, like a large ship crossing the ocean. In that pleasant and auspicious sea-like sky, shone the moon as a white lotus, having the constellations known by the names of Pushya and Shravana as swans, the clouds as its duck-weeds, the twin constellations Punarvasus as its large fish, the planet Mars as its large alligator, a large island as Airavata , graced with a swan in the form of the constellation, Swati, having gales as its waves, the moon beams as its cool water and with the Nagas, Yakshas and Gandharvas as its full blown lotuses and water-lilies.
          While floating like his papa in the sky, our hero Hanuman appeared as if wallowing the sky, snatching the moon and carrying it with its stars and the disc of the sun and dragging asunder a mass of clouds.
         Dense clouds of various mixed colours like white and red, blue and yellow and green and reddish brown  shone brightly in the sky. Passing through a cluster of clouds now and then, Hanuman appeared like the moon becoming visible and invisible again and again. Our hero Hanuman, who was clad in white clothes, passing through dark clouds now and again seemed to be playing hide and seek like the moon in the sky.
          Tearing through the cluster of clouds now and then  with a thunderous sound, Hanuman, our Janmes Bond of Ramayanam, looked like the Garuda the eagle, in the sky.
          Approaching the proximity of the great Mountain Mahendra looking like a dense cloud,  Hanuman  announced his return by a loud roar which sounded like the rumbling of thunder, filled the whole space in all directions. Having reached his destination, Hanuman ardently desirous of seeing his friends, roared and waved his tail.
           Those mighty heroes who were waiting eagerly on the northern shore of the sea to see Hanuman, heard the sound produced by the sweeping motion of Hanuma's thighs, which resembled the roar of a rumbling thunder.
          All those vanarass, who were distressed in mind wondering what happened to their dear pal, smiled with joy on hearing Hanuman's roar and waved enthusiastically their hands and tails welcoming their dear buddy.
       Jambavan, the foremost among the vanaras and bears, with his mind thrilled with joy shouted "Hi! folks! Hanuman has accomplished his assignment in every way. Betcha he has found Seetha."
           Watching Hanuman gliding like Garuda on the sky over the ocean all the vanaras excitingly crying and jumping with joy welcoming their comrade   back. It is needless to mention that the entire south-bound party gathered on the sandy shore of the ocean. Seeing Hanuman all the vanaras waved their hands and tails at their mate  as a mark of happy welcome. The swift Hanuman, looking like a mountain, then descended on the summit of that Mount Mahendra, thick with trees. Hanuman, like a mountain, landed on the shores of the ocean  to join his cronies. All the vanaras, with their pleasing hearts, stood surrounding the victorious Hanuman. All the vanaras, with their delightful faces, presented him roots and fruits. 
      Hanuman then offered his salutation in strict protocol, to wit Jambavan the eldest in the first place, and then Angada, the prince and then others. Jambavan and Angada effusively welcomed back that victorious and venerable Hanuman. The others graciously followed suit. Hanuman informed them that he had seen Seetha.
      Then, seizing the hand of Angada, Vali's son, Hanuman sat down at a distinct spot in the charming forest of Mount Mahendra. Then Hanuman told the leader of the party "I saw that Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, who was being kept in the Ashoka vana, guarded unblemished by highly dreadful rakshashis. She, looking  young  as she was, was wearing a single braid, longing to see Rama, thoroughly fatigued due to her fasting, with her hair twisted together, wearing soiled clothes and looking emaciated."
        The news that Seetha was located made all the vanaras extremely happy. Some imitated lion's roar. Some shouted appropriate words of approbation. Some were making a sound of thunder. Some others produced cries expressing joy.
          Some eminent vanaras expressed their joy by lifting their tails  up and waving their distended curved tails. Some vanaras, not knowing how to express their appreciation simply touched fondly Hanuman, who resembled an elephant.
        Angada, looking admiringly at Hanuman said "O Hanuman! You have established beyond any doubt that no one is equal to you in strength and prowess, by crossing this extensive ocean and returning after successfully completing the task of finding Seetha. Your devotion to our Lord Rama is amazing! What a wonderful prowess! What a surprising courage! By our good fortune, we have you, who has located the illustrious Seetha, Rama's consort, in our team. Thank heaven! Rama can now shed his sorrow born out of Seetha's separation."
       Very much relieved and delighted, all the vanaras then sat on extensive flat rocks encircling Angada, Hanuman and Jambavan very much eager to hear the details of and  about the crossing of the ocean and the details as to how he located Seetha and what happened after that until his return. All of them waited with their joined palms, to hear Hanuman's escapade in this regard. The captain Angada encircled by his team of vanaras, waited like Indra the lord of celestials, who was waited upon by celestials in heaven. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

251. Hanuman visits Seetha once again.

         Hanuman then assuming a small stature sneaked into the Ashoka Vana without being seen by the rakshasis guarding Seetha. He surprised Seetha who was found sitting at the foot of the Ashoka tree, by exclaiming  "Thank heaven! I am extremely relieved to see you uninjured here!"
       Seetha was surprised as well as glad to see Hanuman.  She told him "O Hanuman, the annihilator of enemies! It seems you alone are quite adequate to face Ravana and his cronies. Your elevated energy is  indeed incredible. However, it will be appropriate for Rama to  take me with him, after destroying the hostile forces and  routing Lanka with his arrows.
         "Therefore, you inveigle Rama with your manoeuvrability to come over here to rescue and take me back without any delay.”
         Nodding his head vigorously in agreement, Hanuman said "Rama, accompanied by the leaders of vanaras and bears, will come at the earliest and after conquering the enemies in battle, will drive away your grief and take you with him."
            Hanuman, the son of Vayu, after consoling Seetha, saluted her with reverence, sought her permission to leave, which was duly granted by her nod. Thereafter, Hanuman the Bond of Ramayanam and the annihilator of enemies, with an anxious desire to see his lord, ascended the Mount Arishta of excellence.
           That mountain was covered  with dark green rows of gardens inhabited by huge elephants with red spots on their skin and with  clouds hanging between its summits like an upper garment. By metals scattered here and there, looking like eyes drawing up the eye-lids, the mountain looked like being awakened, as it were, with love by the bright rays of the sun.
        The deep roaring sound of running streams of water in that mountain  seemed to be  reciting the scriptures at a high pitch. The mountain  with its uplifted arms in the form of very lofty deodars seemed to be shouting loudly  on all sides, in the form of the sound of its cascades.
          The waving of the dark thick autumn groves made the mountain seemed  trembling. The sound created when the wind passes through the hollow bamboos looked as if the mountain was whistling. The mountain seemed hissing  with fury, when its terrible and most poisonous snakes were moving hither and thither.
         The mountain was embellished with a number of summits and adorned with numerous caves scattered at many places and endowed with many sal, palmyrah, karna and bamboo trees. The mountain was adorned with clusters of creepers having plenty of flowers, filled with a number of summits and adorned with numerous caves scattered at many places.
       The mountain was endowed with many cascades, crowded together with heaps of rocks and frequented by great sages, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and celestial serpents. The mountain was exquisite with creepers and trees, having caves inhabited by lions, spread over with numerous tigers and endowed with sweet roots and fruit-trees.
          The exuberant Hanuman, the son of Vayu,  excited with extreme joy, in a hurry to see Rama, briskly ascended that mountain. Then, the rocks in the charming table-land of the mountain, on which the soles of Hanuman pressed heavily, were crushed with a noise and fell to pieces.
        Eager to reach the northern shore from the southern shore of that ocean, Hanuman ascended that mountain and assumed a humongous size. He then jumped up and entered the sky towards northern direction, like a wind, from southern direction. Pressed vigorously by Hanuman, that fantastic mountain sank into the bowels of the earth along with the various living beings and made a noise sounding like a groan, with its shaking summits and toppling trees.
         Shaken by the impetus of the thighs of Hanuman, trees in blossom were broken and fell down on earth, as though struck by a thunder-bolt. The lions resting in their caves were annoyed and roared terribly, the noise of which was heard by the birds flying in  the sky. The females of Vidyadhara class of supernatural beings residing in that mountain were terrified by that noise which caused their whole body shake due to fear, which in turn caused the  disorder of their attire and their ornaments fell off; and all of them left the mountain hurriedly. Large poisonous serpents of immense size, possessing vigour and having fiery tongues were also frightened and lay down coiled with their heads and necks severely pressed.
     Leaving that tormented mountain of excellence Kinnaras, Nagas, Gadharvas, Yakshas and Vidyadharas ascended to the sky. Pressed down by that strong Hanuman, that beautiful mountain having its elevated summits crowned with trees entered the bowels of the earth.
         That mountain, with a width of ten yojanas (about eighty miles) and a height of thirty yojanas (about two hundred and forty miles) got level with the earth. 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

250. Hanuman got worried about the safety of Seetha.

            Seeing the city of Lanka blazing and its multitude of rakshasas getting frightened and alarmed, Hanuman felt immensely happy. Suddenly he felt something hit hard his heart. He said to himself 'Hare Ram! I didn't think about Seetha'. With a feeling of self-contempt he became anxious about Seetha. He said to himself "It was a stupid act to burn Lanka without thinking about Seetha."
         He was blaming himself for his thoughtlessness. His mind was racing with various thoughts like "As a burning fire is extinguished with water, blessed indeed are those great-souled men of excellence, who in their wisdom, restrain their elevated fury. Which enraged man would not incur a sinful act? An enraged person may even kill his elders. An enraged person may insult virtuous men with harsh words. An agitated person ever does not know which are appropriate words  and which are forbidden words to be uttered. An enraged person does not know what is improper word and  what is improper act.
         "As a serpent casts off its slough, whoever casts aside an intense anger sprung up in him suddenly by virtue of his endurance, he verily is said to be an excellent man. Shame be upon me, who the greatest sinner with utter foolishness and impudence,  became a fire-brand without giving thought to that Seetha and became hurtful to my master. If this whole Lanka for its part has been burnt, the worshipful Seetha too has surely been burnt. Thus, I have spoilt the purpose of my lord inadvertently.
           "That purpose for which all this effort was taken, has been spoilt. At the time of burning the city, I did not think about Seetha. This task of burning Lanka has been completed by me without any great effort. Overpowered as I was with anger, the very root of that fulfillment has been destroyed by me. There is no doubt. The entire Lanka has been reduced to ashes. No place is seen left in this City. Therefore, Seetha also must have been surely lost.
         "If this task has been spoiled due to my perverted intelligence, it is appropriate for me, here and now itself, to give up my life. Shall I jump into fire now or into the mouth of a submarine fire? Or shall I give up my body as a feed to the marine animals? By me who has ruined the entire task, how can I, even while remaining alive, see Sugreeva the Lord of vanaras or Rama and Lakshmana, the men nonpareil?
          "Due to the culpability of my anger, I have shown this apishness that is famous for instability in the three worlds. Let there be shame upon the passionate way of my thinking, which breeds helplessness and instability. For, eventhough capable as I am, Seetha was not saved by me due to my exciting passion of anger. If Seetha dies, those two princes, Rama and Lakshmana will die. Then Sugreeva along with his associates will also die.
    "How can the virtuous Bharata together with Shatrughna, who are affectionate to his brother, survive after hearing this news? When the virtuous Ikshvaku dynasty perishes, all the people will undoubtedly be tormented with anguish and affliction. Therefore, I, the unfortunate culprit, deprived of the values of duty and interest, with my mind filled with culpability of anger, clearly became the destroyer of the world."
        Not knowing what to do now, Hanuman was blandly looking  up and down, right and left and so on. Suddenly he noticed some omens, whose welcome-results had already been directly experienced by him. This made him think "Or else, Seetha the auspicious lady, who is completely charming with her limbs and protected by her own effulgence, may not be affected. Fire does not indeed destroy fire! Fire will not  be able to touch Seetha, the wife of that Rama the virtuous man having unlimited splendour, and duly protected by her own good conduct.
         "If this fire with its burning nature is not hurting me, it is surely due to the power of Rama and the benevolence of Seetha. How can that Seetha, who is a godhead for the three brothers of Rama and who is dear to the heart of Rama, perish? This fire, which spreads everywhere without any hindrance, is not burning my tail. How can it burn the venerable Seetha?
        "On the other hand, Seetha can burn away the fire by her chastity, true utterances and undivided devotion towards her husband. Fire cannot not harm her.”
           While Hanuman was thus thinking about the safety of Seetha, suddenly heard some voice from above. He recognized it as that of the celestial singers. They were telling "Alas! Hanuman, who hurled a very terrific fire into Ravana's house, has indeed done a difficult act. The rakshasas in the city of Lanka, their wives, children and elders running hither and thither, appears as if it is weeping through its mountain-caves. It is just so surprising and marvelous to us that the entire City with its market-places, ramparts and arched door-ways was burnt, but Seetha alone was not affected in any way by the fire.”
        Hearing that, Hanuman became ecstatic. Then, Hanuman, heaving a sigh of relief decided to see Seetha before returning to Kishkindha.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

249. Hanuman made a huge bonfire out of the entire Lanka.

        After accomplishing what he wanted, Hanuman, looking over Lanka, pondered what he should do now "I feel what I did is not quite enough. I should do something which will create panic and pandemonium in the entire Lanka. I should do something here that will further create anguish to all the rakshasas in Lanka. I have demolished the garden. I have killed some valiant rakshasas. I destroyed a portion of the army. The demolition of the fort is still remaining, of course. When the fort gets destroyed, Rama's winning over Ravana in the battle will be devoid of fatigue. By the grace of all my well wishers, the blazing flame on my tail is not at all bothering me. It will not be so for these rakshasas. I feel that it is my duty to satisfy Agni, in requital, by feeding him to the full, with these excellent houses in the city of Lanka."
       Having decided the next course of action, Hanuman, with his burning tail, strolled over the house-tops of Lanka, like a cloud charged with lightning. Surveying the gardens and lofty palatial mansions, our hero Hanuman, without fear, passed from one house to another of the rakshas. Jumping down on Prahasta's house, Hanuman, with great swiftness, having the strength equal to his papa, scattered fire on it, and then jumpping over from there to another house belonging to Mahaparsva and fed his house for the dear Agni
        Hanuman then leaping to the houses of Vajradamshtra, Shuka and Sarana, the intelligent and burnt them. Barring the house of Vibhishana, Hanuman went successively burning the houses of Rashmiketu, Surya shatru, Hrasvakarna, Damshtra, Romasha, Yuddhonmatta, Matta, Dhvajagreeva, the terrific Vidyujjihva, Hastimukha, Karala, Pishacha, Shonitaaksha, Kumbhakarna, Makaraksha, Yajnashatru, Brahmashatru, Narantaka, Kumbha as also the evil-minded Nikumbha. All the wealth in those mansions were fed to Agni as a requital.
         Hanuman then reached the house of Ravana and burnt it along with all the wealthy contents with great relish. Seeing the house along with all the riches in it, of that ten headed rakshash being burnt to ashes, Hanuman happily roared like a cloud thundering at noon-time in a rainy season.
          Hanuman's dear papa Vayu joined hands with his pal Agni to  escalate the fire with a great speed and intensity, blazing like a fire that is to destroy the world. Papa Vayu carried the blazing fire to other houses, suo moto.
     Those large lovely mansions, with golden windows, embedded with pearls, gems and precious jewels were shattered to pieces. Seeing their abundant wealth turned to ashes the proud owners now turned into pitiable paupers cried "Alas! Agni has come really in a form of this vanara!"
         Some female residents of those houses crying and carrying their suckling’s, with their hair disheveled, fell down from their houses that were being consumed by fire, and shone like flashes of lightning falling from clouds in the sky.  Hanuman was happily seeing molten metals mixed with diamonds, corals, cat's eye-gems, pearls and silver, surging from every marvelous house.
           Flames of fire glittered like Kimshuka flowers at some places, blossoms of Shalmali tree at some places and like saffron-flowers at some other places.
       Our hero, Hanuman scorched the city of Lanka, as Rudra scorched the city of Tripura. Then, Agni, with a terrific prowess, further diffused the fire diffused by the swift Hanuman, stretching out a circle of flames, blazed and rose up to the summit of the mountain on which the city of Lanka was located.
       That fire diffused on those buildings, together with the wind picked up a speed equal to that of a fire at the time of dissolution of the world. It grew taller, touching the sky with a smokeless splendour. Those flames of fire shot up, as inflamed by ghee. The great fire persisted, surrounding the entire Lanka, having a good splendour equal to that of millions of suns and blazed like a broken-up hemisphere  of the world, creating many kinds of sounds of a wide-spread thunderbolt.
         The fire there with a fierce splendour, extended fully to the sky, shooting flames like Kumshuka flowers. The clouds, bearing the colour of blue lotuses as covered by the smoke emanating from  the fire were shining.
          All the residents of Lanka looking agape at the holocaust were muttering "He is not a vanara. He is either Indra, the Lord of celestials wielding a thunderbolt or Yama the lord of death or Varuna the lord of water or the wind-god or the fire seated in the third eye of Lord Shiva or the sun-god or Kubera the lord of riches or the moon-god. He may be Kala (the Time-spirit) himself. It seems that the rage of four-faced Brahma, the grand father of all and the creator of all has arrived here in the guise of a vanara, playing the role of the destroyer of rakshasas.
          "Or is he the supreme bright energy of Vishnu, the lord of maintenance of the Universe, unthinkable, inconspicuous, infinite and peerless, assuming the form of a vanara has come for the destruction of all rakshasas?"
        Lanka having been scorched many of its rakshashas, horses, chariots, elephants, multitude of birds, animals and trees, cried pitiably with tumultuous noise. Making a very terrific noise with a dreadful sound, the rakshashas cried "O my dear beloved son! O my beloved husband! O my friend! O my very auspicious life, filled with enjoyments!"
         Lanka appeared as though afflicted by a curse and defaced by the fury of Hanuman, enveloped by the flames of fire, with many of its distinguished heroes killed and  its brave as well as cowardly warriors in retreat. Hanuman saw Lanka with its dazed, frightened and dejected rakshasas, tortured by the  blazing flames of fire and  by the fury of Brahma the creator of the universe.
       After destroying the  garden  full of excellent trees, killing many great rakshasas in battle and burning that city endowed with a series of excellent houses, Hanuman, the son of Vayu, stood at ease. Standing there on the wonderful flat summit of the Mount Trikuta, Hanuman, having a garland of flames formed by his blazing tail, shone like the sun wearing a garland of rays.
         Then our hero sought Rama with his mind. Then, all the multitude of  celestials eulogized Hanuman.