Then they all dispersed in various directions and Sita anxiously thought within Herself : "At the end of a long month this vile monster will slay me.

With joined palms She said to Trijata, "Mother, you are my only companion in adversity. Therefore, quickly devise some means whereby I may be enabled to cast off this body; for this desolation, which is so hard to bear, can no longer be endured Bring some wood and put up a pye; and then, my mother, set fire to it, Thus prove the genuineness of my love for the Lord, O wise lady. Who will stand Ravana's words, that pierce the ear like a shaft ?" On hearing these words she clasped Sita's feet and comforted Her by recounting the majesty, might and glory of Her lord."Listen. O tender lady : on fire can be had at night." So saying she left for her residence. Sita said ( to Herself ) "Heaven itself has turned hostile to me; there is no fire to be had and I cannot be cured of my agony otherwies. Sparks of fire are visibly seen in the heavens; but not a single star drops to the earth, The moon, though all fire, refuses to rain sparks, as if conscious of my wretchedness. Hear my prayer, O Asoka tree: take away my sorrow and answer to your name Your fresh and tender leaves bear the colour of flames; therefore, supply me with fire and do not aggravate my agony beyond limits." The moment seemed like an age to Hanuman as he beheld sita extremely distressed due to Her separation from Her lord.

Then, taking thought within himself, Hanuman ( the monkey chief ) dropped down the signet ring, as though the Asoka tree had thrown a spark ( in response to Her prayer ). She sprang up with joy and took it in Her hand.

Now She saw the charming ring with the name of Sri Rama most beautifully engraved on it, Recogniazing the ring She looked at it with wonder and wasagitated at heart with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow. "Who can conquer the invincible Lord of the Raghus and such a ( divine ) ring cannot be prepared through Maya ( a conjuring trick )." As Sita thus indulged in fancies of various kinds, Hanuman spoke in honeyed accents and began to recount Sri Ramacandra's praises. The moment they reached Sita's ears Her grief took flight. She listened with all Her soul and ears while Hanuman narrated the whole story from the very beginning. " Wherefore does she who has told this tale. which is like nectar tomy ears, not reveal herself ?*" Thereupon Hanuman drew near Her, while Sita sat with her back turned towards him. full of amazement." I am Sri Rama's messenger, mother Janaki: I solemnly swear by the all-merciful Lord Himself, This ring has beeb brought by me, O mother; Sri Rama gave it to me as a token for you." "Tell mewhat brought aboutthis fellowship between a man and a monkey." Then Hanuman explained the circumstances in which a union was brought about between men and monkeys.

As She heard the monkey's affectionate words Her soul trusted him and She recognized him to be a servant of theall-merciful Lord in thought, word and deed.

Perceiving him tobe a devoteeof Sri Hari She developedan intense affection for him. Her eyes filled with tears and a thrill ran through Her body. "To me who was being drowned in the ocean of desolation,dear Hanuman, you have come as a veritable bark. Now tell me, I adjure you, the welfare of all-blissful Sri Rama ( the Slayer of Khara ) and His younger brother ( Laksmana ). Wherefore has the tender-hearted and compassionate Lord of the Raghus become so hard-hearted ? Does theChiefoftheRaghus ever remember me-He whois by natural disposition a source of delight tohis servants ? Will my eyes, dear Hanuman, be ever gladdened by the sight of His swarthy and delicate limbs ?" Words failed Her and Her eyes swam with tears. "Ah, my lord ! You have entirely forgotten me." Seeing Sita sore distressed due to Her separation from Her lord, Hanuman addressed Her in soft and polite accents: "The Lord and His younger brother ( Laksmana ) are both doing well, mother, except for the fact that the all-merciful is sorrowful because of Your sorrow, Do notfeel vexed at heart, mother; Sri Rama loves You twice as much as you love Him.

"Mother, compose Yourself now and hear the message of Sri Rama ( the Lord of the Raghus )." Even as he uttered these words, the monkey's voice was choked with emotion and his eyes filled with tears.

"Sri Rama saidH: Ever since I have been separated from you, Sits, everything to me has become its very reverse. The fresh and tender leaves on the trees look like tongues of fire; nights appear as dreadful as the night of final dissolution and the moon scorches like the sun. Beds of lotuses are like so many spears planted on the ground, while rain-clouds port boiling oil as it were. Those that were friendly before have now become tormenting; the cool, soft and fragrant breezes are now like the breath of a serpent. One's agony is assuaged to some extent even by speaking of it; but to whom shall I speak about it ? For there is no one who will understand The reality about the chord of love that binds you and me, dear, is known to my soul alone; and my soul ever abides with you. Know this to be the essence of my love." Videha's Daughter was so absorbed in love the moment She heard the Lord's message, that She lost all consciousness of Her body.Said the monkey,"Mother, collect Yourself, and fix Your thoughts on Sri Rama, the delight of His servants Reflect on the glory of the Lord of the Raghus and shake off all faint-heartedness upon my word.

"The hosts of demons are like so many moths, while the shafts of the Lord of the Raghus are like flames. Have courage in Your heart, mother, and take the demons as consumed.

"Had the Hero of Raghu's line any news about You, the Lord of the Raghus would not have tarried. The moment Sri Rama's arrows make their appearance like the sun, the demon host would be scattered like the shadows of night. Mother, I would take You to him thisvery moment; but,I swear by Rama, I have no such orders from the Lord. Therefore, wait patiently for some days more. mother, till the Hero of Raghu's line arrives with the troops of monkeys. Slaughtering the demons. He will take You away; while Narada and the other sages will glorify Him in all the three spheres of creation," "But, my son, all the monkevs must be pygmies like you, whereas the demons are mighty and great warriors. I have grave misgivings in my heart on this score." On hearing this themonkey revealed His natural form, colossal as a mountain of gold, terrible in battle, possessing great might and full of valour, Srta now took comfort in Her heart and the son of the wind-god thereupon resumed hisdiminutive appearance.

"Listen, mother: monkeys possess no great strength or inteligence either; but, through the Lord's might, the most tiny snake might swallow Garuda ( the king of birds and the mount of Bhagavan Visnu )."

"Srta felt gratified at heart even as She heard themonkey's ords fullof devotion and revealing Sri Rama's majesty. glory and strength. Recognizing him as thebeloved of Sri Rama She gave him Her blessing: "May you become a repository of strength and virtue, dear child. May you ever remain immune from old age and death and prove to be a storehouse of good qualities, my son; and may the Lord of the Raghus shower His abundant grace on you." The moment the words "May the Lord be gracious to you" reached his ears Hanuman was utterly overwhelmed with emotion. Again and again the monkey bowed his head at Her feet and with joined palms addressed Her thus: "I have now accomplished all that I had to accomplish, my mother; for your blessing, everyone knows, is unfailing, Listen, mother: I am feeling frightfully hungry at the sight of these trees laden with delicious fruits." "I tell you, my son, thisgrove is guarded by most valiant and mighty demons," "Mother, I am not at all afraid of them, only if I have your hearty approval."

Seeing the monkey perfect in strenght and wit, Janaka's Daughter said,"Go, my son, and enjoy theluscious fruit with your heart fixed on Sri Rama's feet."

Bowing his head he went forth and entered the grove; and having eaten the fruit he began to break down the trees. A number of warriors had been posted thereas guards; some of them were killed by hi,. whilethe rest took flight and cried for help, "O lord, a hugemonkey hasmade his appearance and laid waste the Asoka grove. He has eaten fruits, uprooted tress, and, having crushed the watchmen, has laid them on the ground." On hearing this, Ravana despatched a number of his champions. hanuman roared when he saw them and slaughtered the whole demon host. A few that had survived though well-nigh killed, escaped screaming, Ravana then sent prince Aksa who sallied forth with a vast number of his best warriors. Seeing them approach, Hanuman seized a tree and threatened them and, having everthrown the prince, roared with a loud yell.

Some he slew, some he crushed and some he seized and pounded with dust, And somewho escaped cried, "O lord, the onkey is too strong for us."

The King of Lanka flew into a rage when the heard of his son's death and sent the mighty Meghanada. "Kill him not, my son, but bind him. Let us see the monkey and ascertain wherefrom he comes." Meghanada ( the conqueror of lndra ) sallied forth, a peerless champion, seized with furty at the news of his brother's death, When Hanuman saw this fierce warriour approach, he gnashed his brother's death,When Hanuman saw this fierce warrior approach, he gnashed his teeth and with a roar rushed forward to meet him. He tore up a tree of enormous size and smashed with it the car, thus rendering the crown prince of Lanka without any transport. As for the mighty warriors who accompanied him, Hanuman seized them one by one and crushed them by the weight of his limbs. Having finished them off, he closed with Meghanada, It as like the encounter of two lordly elephants, Striking theopponent with his clenched fist, Hanuman sprang and climbed up a tree; while Meghanada lay unconscious for a moment, He rose again and resorted to many a delusive device; but the son of the wind-god was not to be vanquished.

Meghanada ultimately fitted to his bow thearrow known as Brahmastra ( the weaponpresided over by Brahma ), when Hanuman thought within himself: "If I submit not toBrahma's own weapon, its infinite glory will be cast to the winds.

He launched the Brahmastra against hanuman, who crushed a whole host event as hefell. When he saw that the monkey had swooned, he entangled the latter in a noose of serpents and arried him off. Now, parvati, is it conceivable that the envoy of the Lord whose very name enables the wise to cut asunder the  bonds of mundane existence shoud come under bondage ? No, it was in the service of the Lord that Hanuman allowed himself to be bound. When the demons heard that the monkey had been captured and  noosed, they all rushed to the court in order to enjoy the spectacle. The monkey arrived and saw Ravana's court: his superb glory baffled description, Even gods and regents of the quarters stood meek with joined palme, all watching the movement fo his eyebrows in great dismay, But the monkey's soul was no more disturbed at the sight of his power than Garuda ( the king of birds ) would be frightened in the midst of a number of serpents.  

When the ten-headed monster saw the monkey he laughed and railed at him. But presently he recalled his son's death and felt sad at heart.

Said the king of Lanka. "Who are you monkey. and by whose might have you wrought the destruction of the grove? What, did you never hear my name ? I see you are an exceptionally bold wretch. For what offience did you kill the demons ? Tell me, fool, are you not afraid of losing your life ?" "Listen, Ravana: recall Him by whose might Maya (Nature ) brings forth numberless universes; bywhose might, O ten-headed monster, Brahma. Hari ( Visnu ) and Ias ( Siva ) carry on their respective function of creation, preervationand destruction; by whose might the thousand-heade serpent ( Sesa ) supports on his head the entire globe with its mountains and forests; who assumes various forms in order to protect the gods and teach a lesson to wretches like you;who broke Siva's unbending bow and crused with it the pride of a host of princes; who dispatched Khara. Dusana. Trisira and Vali, all unequalled in strength;


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Last Updated : March 06, 2011

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