"BY an iota of whose might you were able to conquer the entire creation, both animate and inanimate, and whose beloved spouse has been stolen away by you. Know me to be His envoy."

"I am aware of your glory: you had an encounter with Sahasrabahu and won distinction in your contest with Vali, " Ravana heard the words of Hanuman but laughed them away. "I ate the fruit because I felt hungry and broke the boughs as a monkey is wont to do. One's body, my master, is supremely dear toall; yet those wicked fellows would insist on belabouring me, so that I had no course left but to return their blows. Still your son ( Meghanada ) put me in bonds; but I am not at all ashaned of being bound keen as I am to serve the cause of my lord, I implore you with joined palms, Ravana: gice up your haughtiness and heedmy advice, Thinko with joined palms,Ravana: gie up your haughtiness and heed my advice, Think of your lineage and view things inthatperspective; inany case disillusion yourself and adore Him who dispels the fear of His devotees. Never antagonize HIm who is a source of terror even to Death, that devours all created beings, both animate and inanimate, gods as well as demons. And return janaka's Daughter at my request.

"Lord Sri Rama, the Slayer of Khara, is a protector of the suppliant and an ocean of compassion. Forgettimg your offences. He will give you shelter if you but turn to Him ofr protection.

"Install the image of Sri Rama's lotusfeet in your heart and enjoy the uninterrupted sovereignty of Lanka. The glory of the sage Pulastya ( your grandfather ) shines like the moon without its spot; be not a speck in that moon, Speech is charmless without Sri Rama's name. ponder and see for yourself, casting aside arrogance and infatuation. A fair lady without clothes, O enemy of gods, does not commend herself even though adorned with all kinds of jewels. The fortune and lordship of a man whois hostile to Rama eventually leave him even if they stay a while, and are as good as lost if acquired anew. Rivers that have no perennial souce get dried up as sonn as the rains are over. Listen, O ten-headed Ravana, I tell you on oath: there is none to save him who is opposed to Sri Rama. Sankara, Visnu and Brahma in their thousands are unable to protect you, an enemy of Sri Rama.

"Abandon pride, which is the same as Tamoguna ( darkness ), rooted as it is in ignorance and is a source of considerablepain; and adore Lord Sri Rama, the Chie of the Raghus and an ocean of compassion."

Although Hanuman gave him exceedingly salutary advice, full of devotion, discretion, dispassion and wisdom, the most haughty Ravana laughted and said, "We have found a most wise Guru in this monkey ! ( Turning towards Hanuman he continued ) Death hangs over your head, O wretch; that is why you have started exhorting me, O vile monkey." "Just the contrary is going to happen;" retorted Hanuman. "I clearly perceive that you are labouring under some mental illusion " Hearing these words of Hanuman Ravana got nettled. "Why not some of you quickly kill this fool ?" As soon as the demons heard it, they rushed forward tokill him. That very moment came Vibhisana ( Ravana's youngest brother ) with his counsellors. Bowing his head he made humble entreatry: "It is against all statecraft: an envoy must not be killed. He may be punished in some other way, my master." All exclaimed to one another, "This is sound counsel. brother. " Hearing this the ten-headed Ravana laughed and said, "Aaa right, the monkey may be sent back mutilated.

"A monkey is very fond of histail: I tell you this secret. Therefore, swathe his tail with rags soaked in oil and then set fire to it.

"When thetailless monkey will go back, the wretch will bring his master with him, and I shall have an opportunity of seeing his might, whom he has so lavishly exalted." Hanuman smiled to himself on hearing these words. "Goddess Sarada has proved helpful to me, I believe." On hearing Ravana's command the stupid demons started doing as they were bid. Not a rag was left in the city nor a dropof ghee ( clarified butter ) or oil, the tail had grown to such a length through Hanuman's playful gesture. The citizens thronged to see the fun; they kicked Hanuman and jeered much at him. With beating of drums and clapping of hands they took him round the city and then set fire to his tail. When Hanuman saw thefire blazing, he immediately assumed an uterly diminutive size, and slipping out of his bonds sprang to the attics of the gold palace, to the dismay of the demonesses.

At that moment, impelled by God, all the forty-nine winds began to bluster. Hanuman roared with a loud laugh and swelled to such a size that he seemed to touch the sky.

Though colossal in size, Hanuman appeared most nimble-bodied; he ran and sprang frome palace to palace. The city was all ablaze and the people were at their wit's end. Terrible flames burst forth in myriads and piteous cries were heard everywhere: "O father ! ah, my mother ! Who will save usat this hour ? As I said, he is no monkey but some god in the form of a monkey. Such is the result of despising a noble soul: the city is being consumed by fire as though it had nomaster." In the twinking of an eye HanumanBurnt down the whole city barring the solitary house of Vibhisana Parvati, ( Continues Lord Siva, ) Hanuman went unscathed because he was the messenger of Him who created fire itself. He burnt the whole of Lanka from one end to the other and then leapt into the ocean.

After quenching his tail and relieving his fatigue he resumed his diminutive form and stood before Janaka's Daughter with joined palms.

"Be pleased, Mother, to giveme some token, such as the Lord of the Raghus gave me." She thereupon unfastened the jewel on Her head and gave it to the son of the wind-god, who gladly received it. "Convey my obeisance to Him. dear son, with these words: 'My lord is all sufficient; yet recalling Your vow of kindness to the afflicted, relieve, O master, my grievous distress.' Repeat to him, my son, the episode of Indra's son ( Jayanta ) and remind the Lord of the might of Hisarrow. If theLord does not arrive here within a month he willnot find me alive. Tell me, Hanuman, how can I preserve my life; for you too, my son, now speak of going Your sight had brought relief to my heavy heart: I have before me now the same dreary days and weary nights."

Reassuring Janaka's Daughter he consoled Her in many ways and, bowing his head at Her lotus feet, set forth to meet Sri Rama.

While leaving he roared aloud with such a terriblenoise that the wives of the demons miscarried. Taking a leap across the ocean he reached the opposite shore and greeted his fellow-monkeys with a shrill cry of joy. They were all delighted to see Hanuman and felt as if they had been born anew. He wore a cheerful countenance and his body shone with a brilliance which left. no doubt in their mind that he had executed Sri Ramacandra's commission. They allmet him and felt as delighted as a fish writhing with agony for lack of water would feel on getting it. They then gladly proceeded to see the Lord of the Raghus, asking and telling the latest events. On their way they all entered Sugriva's garden called Madhuvana and with Angada's consent began to eat the luscious fruit. When the guards interfered, they were beaten with fists till they took to their heels.

They all approached Sugriva and complained that the Crown prince was laying waste theroyal garden. Sugriva rejoiced to hear this; for he concluded that the monkeys must have returned after accomplishing the Lord's business.

"If they had failed to get any news of Srta, they could never dare to eat the fruit of Madhuvana," While the king was thusmusing, the monkey chiefs arrived with their party. Drawing near they all bowed their head at his feet and the Lord of the monkeys received them allmost cordially and enquired after their welfare. "It is well with us, now that we have seen your feet. BY Rama's grace the work has been accomplished with remarkable success. It is Hanuman, Your Majesty, who did everything and saved thelife of the whole monkey host." Hearing this Sugriva embraced him again and then proceeded with all the monkeys to see the Lord of the Raghus. When Sri Rama saw the monkeys approaching with their mission duly accomplished, He was particularly delighted at heart. The two brothers were seated on a crystal rock and all the monkeys went and fell at Their feet,

The all-merciful Lord of the Raghus embraced them all with affection and asked of their welfare. "All is well with us, now that we have seen Your lotus feet."

Said Jambavan, "Listen, O Lord of the Raghus: he on whom You bestow Your blessings is ever lucky and incessantly happy; gods human beings and sages are all kind to him. He alone is victorious, modest and an ocean of virtues; his fair renown shines brightly through all the three spheres of creation. Everything has turned out well by the grace of my Iord; it is only today that our birth has been consummated The achievement of Hanuman ( the son of the wind-god ). The AII-merciful felt much delighted at heart to hear them and in His joy He clasped Hanuman once more to His bosom. "Tell me, dear Hanuman, how does Janaka's daughter pass her days and sustain her life ?"

"Your Name keeps watch night and day, while Her continued thought of You acts as a pair of closed doors. She has Her eyes fastened on Her own feet; Her life thus finds no outlet whereby to escape.

"When I was leaving, She gave me this jewel from thetop of Her head," The Lord of the Raghus took it and pressed it to His bosom. "My lord, with tears in both Her eyes Janaka's Daughter uttered the following few words: 'Embrace the feet of my lord and His younger brother crying; O befriender of the distressed, reliever of the suppliant's agony, I am devoted to Your feet in thought, word and deed; yet for what offence, my lord, have You forsaken me? I do admit one fault of mine, that my life did not depart the moment I was separated from You. That, however, my lord, is the fault of my eyes, which forcibly prevent my life from escaping. The agony of separation from You is like fire, my sihs fan it as a gust of wind and in between stands my body like a heapof cotton, which would have been consumed in an instant, But my eyes, in their own interest ( i. e., for being enabled to feast themselves on Your beauty ) rain a flood of tears; that is why the body fails to catch the fire of desolation.' Sita's distress is so overwhelmingly great, and You are so compassionate to the afflicted, that is is better not to describe it.


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Last Updated : March 06, 2011

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