Hanuman simply touched the mountain with his hand and then made obeisance to it saying, "There can be no rest for me till I have accomplished Sri Rama's work. "

The gods saw the son of the wind-god sweeping along; and in order to test his extraordinary strength and intelligence they sent Surasa, a mother of serpents, who came near him and said : " The gods have provided me a meal today." On hearing these words the son of the wind-god said in reply, "Let me return after accomplishing Sri Rama's errand and tell my lord the news of Sits. Then I will approach you and enter your mouth : I tell you the truth. Mother, only let me go now." When, however, she would not let him go on any account, Hanuman said, " Then why not devour me ?" she distended her mouth to a distance of eight miles, while the chief of monkeys grew double the size of her mouth. She stretched her mouth to a circumference of a hundred and twenty-eight miles, and the son of the wind-god immediately took a form covering two hundred and fifty-six miles. Even as surasa expanded her jaws the chief of the monkeys manifested a form twice as large as her mouth. When she further expanded her mouth eight hundred miles wide, the son of the wind-god assumed a very minute form, by which he entered her mouth and came out again and bowing his head to her begged leave to proceed. "I have gauged the extent of your wit and strength, the errand for which the gods had despatched me.

"You will accomplish all the work of Sri Rama, a storehouse that you are of strength and intelligence." Having blessed Hanuman she departed and Hanuman too joyfully resumed his journey ( through the air ).

There was a demoness who dwelt in the ocean and would catch the birds in the air by conjuring tricks. Seeing on the surface of the water the reflection of the creature that coursed in the air she would catch it and the bird was unable to move. In this way she would devour birds every day. She employed the same trick against Hanuman, but the chief of monkeys at once saw through her game. The valiant son of the wind-god dispatched her and swept across the ocean, resolute of mind as he was. Reaching the other shore he gazed on the loveliness of the forest with the bees humming in quest of honey. Trees of various kinds looked charming with fruits and flowers; and he was particularly delighted at heart to see the numerous birds and beasts. Beholding a huge mounatain ahead of him, he fearlessly ran up to its summit. The chief of the monkeys, O Uma ( Parvati ), deserved no credit for it : it was all attributable to the glory of the Lord, who devours Death himself. Climbing up the hill he surveyed Lanka, a most marvellous fortress that defied description. It was very high and was enclosed by the ocean on all sides. The ramparts of gold shed great lustre all round.

The charming city was enclosed by a fortification wall of gold inlaid with precious stones of various kinds, and contained many beautiful houses, cross roads, bazars, lovely streets and lanes, and was decorated in every way. Who could count the multitudes of elephants, horsed and mules, the crowds of foot soldiers and chariots and the troops of demons of every shape-a formidable host beyond all description ? Groves and orchards, gardens and parks, lakes and also wells, big and small, looked charming; daughters of human beings, Nagas, gods and Gandharvas ( celestial musicians ) enraptured with their beauty the minds of even hermits. Here roared mighty wrestlers endowed with huge mountainlike forms. They grappled with one another in many ways indifferent courts and challenged one another to a duel. Myriads of champions possessing frightful forms sedulously guarded the city on all sides. Elsewhere thevile demons feasted on buffaloes, human beings, cows, donkeys and goats. Tulasidasa has briefly told their story only because they will drop their bodies at the sanctuary fo Sri Rama's arrows and thereby attain the supreme state.

seeing a host of guards defending the city, the chief of the monkeys thought to himself, "Let me assume a very minute form and enter the city at night,"

Hanuman assumed a form as small as a gnat and, invoking the Lord in human semblance ( Bhagavan Sri Rama ), headed towards Lanka. ( At the gateway of Lanka ) lived a demoness. Lankini by name. "Where should you be going heedless of me ?" she said "Fool, have you not been able to know who I am ? Every thief hereabout is my food." The great monkey dealt her such a blow with his fist that she toppled down vomiting blood. Then, recovering herself, Lanka ( Lankini ), stood up, and joining her palme in dismay, humbly addressed him, "When Brahma granted Ravana the boon he had asked for, the Creator furnished me with the following clue ( to the extermination of the demon race ) while departing :-'When you get discomfited by a blow from a monkey, know that all is over with the demon race.' I must have earned very great merit, dear Hanuman, that I have been blessed with the sight of Sri Rama's own messenger.

"In one scale of the balance, dear son, put together the delights of heaven and the bliss of final beatitude; but they will all be outweighed by a moment's joy derived from communion with the saints,"

"Enter the city with the Lord of Ayodhya enshrined in your heart and accomplish all your business. poison is transformed into nectar, foes turn friends, the ocean contracts itself to the size of a cow's footprint, fire becomes cool and Mount meru, O Garuda, appears like a grain of sand to him on whom Sri Rama has cast His benign look." Hanuman assumed a very minute form and invoking Sri Rama entered the city. He ransacked every mansion and saw countless warriors here and there. Then he made his way into Ravana's palace, which was marvellous beyond words. He saw the demon chief buried in sleep; but he did not find Videha's Daughter there. He then noticed another splendid building, with a temple sacred to Sri Hari standing apart.

The mansion had the weapons ( bow and arrow ) of Sri Rama painted on its walls and was beautiful beyond words. The monkey chief rejoiced to see clusters of young Tulasi plants there.

"Lanka is the abode of a gang of demons; how could a pious man take up his residence here?" While the monkey chief was thus reasoning within himself, Vibhisana (Ravana's youngest brother ) woke up. He began to repeat Sri Rama's name in prayer and Hanuman was delighted a heart to find a virtuous soul. "I shall make acquaintance with him at all events; for one's cause would never suffer at the hands of a good man." Having thus resolved he assumed the form of a Brahmana and accosted vibhisana. As soon as he heard Hanuman's words he rose and came where the latter was Bowing low he enquired after the Brahmana's welfare: "Tell me all about you, holy sir. Are you one of Sri Hari's own servants ( Narada and others )? My heart is filled with exceeding love at your sight. Or are you Sri Rama Himself,a loving friend of the poor, who have come to bless me ( by your sight )?"

Thereupon Hanuman told him all about Sri Rama and disclosed his identity as well.The moment Vibhrsana heard this a thrill ran through the body of both of both and they were transported with joy at the thought of Sri Rama's host of virtues.

"Hear, O son of the wind-god, how I am living here: my plight is similar tothat of the poor tongue, that lives in the midst fo the teeth. Will the Lord of the solar race, dear friend, ever show His grace to me, knowing me to be masterless ? Endowed as I am with a sinful( demoniac ) form,I am incapable of doing any Sadhana ( striving for God-Realization );and my heart cherishes no love for the Lord's lotus-feet. But I am now confident, hanuman, that Sri Rama will shower His grace on me; for one can never meet a saint without Sri Hari's grace. It is only because the Hero of Raghu's race has been king to me that you have blessed me with your sight unsolieited." "Listen, Vibhisana: the Lord is ever affectionare to His servants; for such is His wont Tell me what superiop birth can I claim-a frivolous monkey vile in everyway. so much so that if anyone mentions our name early in the morning he is sure to go without any food that day.

"Listen, my friend: though I am so wretched, thehero of Raghu's race has shown His grace even to me!"
And his eyes filled with tears as he recalled the Lord's virtues.

"It is not tobe wondered that those who knowingly forget such a lord and go adrift should be unhappy." Thus recounting Sri Rama's virtues, Hanuman derived unspeakable solace. Then Vibhisana fullynarrated how Janaka's Daughter had been living there. ThereuponHanuman said. "Listen, brother: I should like tosee Mother sria." Vibhisana fully ecplained tohim themethod of seeing Her and the son of the wind-god took leave of Vibhisana and proceede no his errand. Assuming the same ( minute ) form as he had taken before, he repaired to the Asoka grove where Sits dwelt. He mentally bowed to Her as soon as he saw Her. Obviously She had been squatting away the hours of the night. Emaciated in body, She wore a single braid of matted hair on Her head and repeated to Herself the list of Sri Rama's excellences.
She had Her eyes fixed on Her own feet, while Her mind was absorbed in the thought of Sri Rama's lotus feet. The son of the wind-god felt  supremely miserable to see Janaka's Daughter sad.

Concealing himself among the leaves of a tree he mused within himself, " Come, sir, what should I do ?" At that very moment Ravana arrived there gaily adorned an accompanied by a troop of women. The wretch tried to prevali upon Her in many ways through friedndly advice, allurements, threats and estrangement. Said Ravana, "Listen, O beautiful and wise lady: I will make Mandodari and all other queens your handmaids, I swear, provided you cast your look on me only once." Interposing a blade of grass between Herself and Ravana and fixing Her thoughts on Her most beloved lord ( Sri Rama ), the King of Ayodhya. Videha's Daughter rejoinedH "Listen, O ten-headed monster: can a lotus flower ever expand in the glow of a fire-fly ?"
"ponder this at heart," continued Janaka's Daughter; "perhaps you have no idea what Sri Rama's shafts are like, O wretch. You carried me off at a time when there was none by my side; yet you do not feel ashamed, O vile and impudent rogue!"

Hearing himself likened to a glow-worm and Sri Rama compared to the sun, and exasperated at Her harsh words, the monster drew out his sword and said :-

"Srta, you have offered me an insult; I will accordingly cut off your head with my relentless sword. If not, obey my command at once; or else you lose your life, O beautiful lady." "My lord's arm is lovely as a string of blue lotuses and shapely and long as the trunk of an elephant, O ten-headed monster. Either that arm or your dreadful sword will have my neck: hear this my solemn vow, O fool. ( Turning to Ravana's glittering scimitar ) Take away, O Candrahasa *, the burning anguish ofmy heart caused by the fire of separation from the Lord of the Raghus. Yu possess a cool, sharp and good  blade; therefore, relieve the burden of my sorrow," Srta said. On hearing these words he rushed forward to kill Her; it was Queen Mandodarl ( Maya's daughter ) who ( intervened and ) pacified him with words of good counesl. Summoning all the demonesses ( posted there ) he said,"Go and intimidate Srta in every way. If she does not acceptmy advice in a month's time I will draw my sword and behead her."

( Having issued these instructions ) the ten headed Ravana returned to his palace : while the host of fiendesses in the Asoka grove assumed various kinds of hideous forms and intimidated srta.  

One of these demonesses, Trijata by name, was devoted to Sri Rama's feet and perfect in spiritual wisdom. She summoned all her companions, told them her dream and exhorted them to serve Sita and thus bless themselves."In my dream a monkey burnt Lanka and the whole demon host was killed. As for the ten-headed Ravana, I saw him mounted on a donkey, all naked, with his heads shorn and his twenty arms chopped off. In this fashion he went his way to the south *; and it so appeared that Lanka had passed into the hands of Vibhisana Sri Rama's victory was proclaimed ( by beat of drum ) throughout the city: it was then that the Lord ( Sri Rama ) sent for Sita. This dream, I loudly proclaim, will come true a few days hence." They were all dismayed to hear her words and fell at the feet of Janaka's Daughter.


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Last Updated : March 06, 2011

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