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


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