Sri Rama - Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

(iii) Hanūmān   conveys Śrī Rāma's message to Sita

Canto XXXI (Sundarakanda)

Having indulged in speculation of various kinds, Hanūmān   (who was endowed with extraordinary intelligence), they say, made the following sweet speech within the hearing of Sītā (a princess of the Videha territory): — (1) "In the line of the Ikswākus there was a highly illustrious and greatly renowned king named Daśaratha, who was given to meritorious deeds and owned excellent chariots, elephants and .horses. (2) Born in a line of universal monarchs, he was the foremost of royal sages in point of virtues, vied with seers in austerity and was a compeer of Indra (the ruler of gods) in might. (3) That jewel among monarchs took delight in harmlessness, was magnanimous, compassionate and distinguished by unfailing prowess. He enhanced the glory of the (already) distinguished line of Ikswākus, was full of prosperity, adorned with all the bodily marks distinguishing a ruler of the earth, was endowed with a vast splendour and well  known all over the earth bounded by the four seas (in the four quarters), and was not only happy (himself) but conferred happiness on others too. (4- 5)

"His beloved eldest son, whose countenance resembled the (full) moon, who was skilled in archery and the foremost of all bowmen, was known by the name of Rama. (6) Śrī Rāma (the scourge of his foes) was a (zealous) upholder of his (own) character, the protector also of his own people, the protector of the (whole) world of living beings and the defender of righteousness

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

(7) In deference to the (plighted) word (given to his own stepmother) of his father, who was aged and true to his promise, the hero, accompanied by his consort and his brother proceeded in exile to the forest. (8) By him, while chasing game in that vast forest, were slain many gallant rākshasas, able to change their form at will. (9) Having put Śrī Rāma off the scent in the forest through one disguised as a deer by recourse to conjuring trick on hearing of the destruction of Janasthāna (a part of the Dandaka forest inhabited by rākshasas) as well ; of the death of (his younger half  brothers) Khara and Dūsan Sītā (Janaka's daughter) was then borne away in indignatk by Rāvana.(10)

"While searching for that auspicious and irreproachable, Sit he found in the forest a friend in a monkey named Sugrīva Having made short work of ValT (Sugrīva's elder brother), ( Rama, capable of conquering hostile cities, for his part there upon bestowed the kingship of monkeys on the high  souled Sugrīva. Commanded by Sugrīva, monkeys able to change their form at will set out in thousands in all (the four) quarter searching for that auspicious one. Full of impetuosity I took leap across the sea (stretching between the island of  Lankā and the mainland and), extending to (a distance of) a hundred yojanas (or eight hundred miles) at the instance of Sampāti (the king of birds and the elder brother of Jatāyu) for the sake that large  eyed lady. She has been found by me here endow with comeliness, complexion and bodily marks similar to the of which I had heard from the mouth of Śrī Rāma (a scion Raghu)." Having delivered this speech, that bull among me keys, fell silent. (10-16)

Sītā (Janaka's daughter) herself was struck with supreme wonder to hear that speech. Raising her face screened with ( disheveled) hair, Sītā with charming curly locks thereupon look up into the simśarā tree (on which Hanūmān   was perch( (17) Hearing the monkey's speech and looking inquiringly into all the (four) quarters as well as into the intermediate points Sītā experienced supreme rapture thinking (all the time) of Śrī Rāma

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Rāvana threatening Sita

Courtesy: Govt Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh (India)

Kangra, circa 1820

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Rama with all her being. (18) Glancing from side to side as well as up and down, she espied Hanūmān   (son of the wind  god) of inconceivable intelligence, a minister of Sugrīva (the suzerair ruler of monkeys), and resembling the sun risen on the eastern mountain. (19)

Canto XXXIV

Hearing the speech of Sītā, who was overwhelmed with sorrow after sorrow, Hanūmān  , the foremost of monkeys, uttered the following reassuring reply: — (1) "I have sought your presence, 0 auspicious one, as an envoy carrying a message sent by Śrī Rāma. Śrī Rāma, 0 princess of the Videha territory, is doing well. He has communicated his (own) welfare to you. (2) Śrī Rāma, the celebrated son of Daśaratha, and the foremost of the knowers of Veda, who knows the use of the mystic missile presided over by  Brahmā (the creator) as well as (the import of) the Vedas, 0 auspicious one, has (also) inquired of you about your (own) welfare. (3) Endowed with extraordinary energy, Laksmana too, a beloved servant of your husband has saluted you with his head bent low, tormented as he is with grief. (4) Thrilled all over her body to hear about the welfare of those two lions among men, that auspicious one now replied (as follows) to Hanūmān  : — (5) "Ah, the following popular adage that 'joy comes to surviving men, even though (it be) at the end of a hundred years', appears true to me." (6) Consequent 0n that meeting of Hanūmān and Sītā a strange delight came over them. And restored to confidence, the two began to converse with one another. (7) Hearing the reply of Sītā who was stricten with grief, Hanūmān  , son of the wind  god, endeavoured to draw nearer to her. (8) The nearer did the celebrated Hanuman draw (to her) the more did Sītā suspect him to be Rāvana, (90 (She said to herself:) "Oh, shame! What a pity that I held (all this converse with him. Indeed he is the same Rāvana who has come here assuming another guise." (10) Letting go that

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

branch of the Asoka tree, Sītā, of flawless limbs, sank down on that very ground (on which she stood), exhausted as she was through grief. (11) Thereupon Hanūmān   (of mighty arms) saluted the daughter of Janaka. Sore stricken as she was with fear, Sītā, however, no longer raised her eyes to him. (12)

Drawing a deep (audible) breath on seeing him bowing down (to her), Sītā, however, whose countenance resembled the (full) moon, spoke to the monkey in sweet accents (as follows): — (13) "If you are Rāvana himself, given to conjuring tricks and, having entered a deceitful form, are causing agony to me once more, it is not good. (14) Surely you are the same Rāvana who, having assumed the guise of a vagrant recluse, abandoning your native form, were seen by me in Janasthāna. (15) It is not right, 0 ranger of the night, able to change form at will, that you should once more torment me, emaciated through fasting and miserable as I am. (16) Or that which is feared by me may not at all be true, for delight has sprung up in my heart at your sight. (17) If (on the other hand) you have (really) come as a messenger of Śrī Rāma, may good betide you! (In that case) I make inquiries of you (about Śrī Rāma); for talk about Śrī Rāma is pleasing to me, 0 jewel among the monkeys! (18) Recount the virtues of my beloved Śrī Rāma, 0 gentle monkey! (Even) as the current of a river wears away its bank, you are luring my mind (with the prospect of delighting me with the news of Śrī Rāma). (19) Oh the sweetness of the dream (presented to me), in which the selfsame I, who was borne away (by Rāvana) long since, see with my own eyes a monkey sent by Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu)! (20) If I could see the heroic Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) accompanied by Laksmana, even in a dream, I would not feel disheartened; but even a dream is proving niggardly in my case. (21) I do not believe this to be a dream for good fortune cannot be attained on seeing a monkey in a dream; as placidity of mind (which is a harbinger of good for   tune) has been attained by me. (22) Can this (meeting of mine with a monkey) be a delusion of my mind? Or it may be a delusion caused by my being possessed by a ghost (clothed with

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

an aerial body). Or (again) it may be a malady born of insanity or it may be (only) an optic illusion. (23) Or this may not be (c case of) insanity, nor even delusion showing symptoms similar to those of insanity; for I am conscious of my own self as well as of this monkey." (24)

Having thus duly considered in many ways the strength of rākshasas and the weakness of monkeys (who cannot be expected to leap across a vast sea), and (also) considering the fact that the rākshasas are able to change their form at will Sītā concluded Hanūmān   to be Rāvana (the suzerain ruler o rākshasas). (25) Having arrived at this conclusion at that time that lady of slender waist, Sītā, Janaka's daughter, did not speak any more to the monkey. (26) Coming to know the decision o Sītā, Hanūmān  , sprung from the loins of the wind  god, spoke (as follows) bringing excessive joy to her with his words, which were delightful to the ear: — (27)

"Glorious as the sun, beloved of, the world as the moon Śrī Rāma brings delight to the entire universe (by bestowim riches and food grains on all) as the god Kubera (son of Sag Visrava). (28) He is endowed with prowess like the highly illustrious Lord Visnu and utters truthful and sweet words like the celestial Sage Brhaspati. (29) He is rich in comeliness, graceful and full of splendour as Love incarnate. He punishes (only him who deserves anger and is the foremost chariot  warrior in the world. (30) The (whole) world depends on the protection of the arms of that exalted soul. You will see (for yourself) the consequence of the sinful act of Rāvana, by whom you were borne away in a state of (utter) desolation after diverting Sri Rama (a scion of Raghu) from his site of his hermitage through a rakshasa disguised as a deer.

"I have sought your presence here as an envoy despatched by that powerful prince who will before long kill Rāvana in a combat with his shafts resembling blazing flames and discharged in anger. (31- 33) Stricken with agony caused by separation from you, he has made inquiries of you about your welfare. Greeting you, the mighty  armed and celebrated Laksmana, the enhance

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

of Sumitrā's joy, who is endowed with extraordinary energy, has also made inquiries of you about your welfare. Śrī Rāma's friend, the celebrated monkey named Sugrīva, the ruler of the foremost of monkeys, has also made inquiries of you about your welfare, 0 auspicious one! Śrī Rāma along with Sugrīva and Laksmana ever remembers you. (34  36) 0 princess of the Videha territory, you survive by good luck, though fallen into the clutches of ogresses. Before long you will see Śrī Rāma and the great chariot  warrior, Laksmana, as also Sugrīva of immeasurable strength in the midst of crores of (other) monkeys. I am a monkey named Hanūmān  , a minister of Sugrīva. (37-38) Having leapt across the vast sea (dividing the mainland from  Lankā) I penetrated deep into the city of  Lankā, setting my foot (as it were) on the head of the evil  minded Rāvana. (39) Relying on my own prowess I have come to see you. I am not what you suppose me to be, 0 auspicious one! Let this misgiving be shaken off and (pray) believe my words as I speak." (40)

Canto XXXVI

In order to inspire confidence in Sītā, Hanūmān  , son of the wind  god, who was endowed with extraordinary energy, once more addressed the following courteous words (to her): — (1) "I am a monkey and a messenger of the wise Śrī Rāma, 0 highly blessed one! Also behold, 0 auspicious one, this ring marked with the name of Śrī Rāma, handed over by that exalted soul and brought (by me) to gain your confidence. Be reassured, may good betide you. The fruit (of your past deeds) which you have been reaping in the form of suffering (air these days) has certainly come to an end." (2-3) Taking the jewel that had been adorned (so long) by the hand of her lord and gazing on it, as though her own husband had duly arrived (in the form of that ring), Sītā (Janaka's daughter) felt rejoiced. (4) Her charming countenance with large coppery and white eyes bloomed with joy and shone like the moon (lit., the lord of stars) released by

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Rāhu. (5) Treating Hanūmān   with regard, that youthful lady, who was delighted to receive the message of her lord and felt abashed (to see the token of her husband) and fully satisfied, then paid a tribute to the great monkey (in the following words): — (6)

"You are valiant, you are full of address and you are learned, 0 jewel among the monkeys, in that this abode of rākshasas has been assailed by you alone. (7) The sea, which extends to a distance of one hundred yojanas (or eight hundred miles) and is an abode of alligators, has been treated by you like the impression of a cow's hoof on the soil while crossing it, laudable as you are for your prowess. (8) Surely I do not look upon you as an ordinary monkey, 0 jewel among monkeys, as in your mind there exists neither fear, nor awe for Rāvana. (9) You deserve to be spoken to by me, 0 jewel among monkeys, if the celebrated Śrī Rāma, a knower of the self, has sent you. (10) Surely Śrī Rāma, who is difficult to overpower, would not send to my presence in particular an untried hand without fully ascertaining the latter's prowess. (11) Luckily (enough for me) Śrī Rāma, whose mind is given to piety and who is unfailing in his promise, is well, as also Laksmana, who is endowed with extraordinary energy and enhances the joy of Sumitrā' (his mother). (12) If Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha) is well, where   fore does he not consume with his wrath the earth encircled by the oceans, as the fire of universal destruction would. (13) The . two princes are able to subdue even gods. But I believe the end of my sufferings has not arrived. (14)

"I hope Śrī Rāma does not feel afflicted nor does he suffer agony. Does that ideal man discharge his duties relating . to the future? (15) I hope the prince does not feel helpless or nervous and does not get perplexed in the matter of his duties? Does he perform his human duties? (16) I hope, acting as a friend towards his allies, Śrī Rāma (the scourge of his foes) pursues (in relation to them) the twofold policy (of conciliation and gift and, desirous of victory, follows the threefold policy of gift, chastisement and sowing seeds of dissension) with regard

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

to his enemies. (17) I hope he is able to gain friends and is sought (for help and protection) by enemies. Are his friends well  disposed towards him and do his friends esteem him? (18) Does the prince (ever) seek the favour of gods? And does he fall back upon personal effort as well as on Providence (for the success of his undertakings)? (19) I hope Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) has not become completely devoid of love towards me as a result of my living abroad. Will Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) deliver me from this calamity? (20) I hope Śrī Rāma, who is ever deserving of delights and is undeserving of woes, . has not sunk into despondency on meeting with the greatest misfortune (of his life in the form of my loss)? (21) I hope news about the welfare of Kausalyā and likewise of Sumitrā' as well as of Bharata, are frequently brought to his ears. (22)

"Does Śrī Rāma, who is deserving of honour, feel stricken with grief occasioned by my absence? I hope he has not grown indifferent (to me). (And) will he rescue me? (23) Will Bharata, who is fond of his brother, send out for my sake a formidable army, consisting of one Aksauhinī, protected by ministers? (24) Will the glorious Sugnva, the suzerain lord of monkeys, come to my succour, followed by gallant monkeys using their teeth and nails for weapons? (25) Will the heroic Laksmana, who enhances the joy of Sumitrā' (his mother) and is skilled in the use of mystic missiles, exterminate the rākshasas with his volley of arrows? (26) I hope I shall see Rāvana killed at no distant date with his near and dear ones in combat by Śrī Rāma with an infallible and cruel missile? (27) I hope that golden countenance of his, melancholy with grief and fragrant like a lotus, has not withered like a lotus does under the sun when the water in a pond has dried up. (28) I hope Śrī Rāma, whom neither fear nor grief could flinch from his purpose when he renounced his sovereignty in the name of righteousness and led me on foot to the forest, (still) retains firmness in his heart. (29) Neither his (own) mother (Kausalyā) nor his father (Emperor Daśaratha) nor anyone else is equal, much less superior to me in (the privilege of) receiving his affection. I (too) wish to survive only

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

as long as I (continue to) hear the news of my beloved lord." (30)

Having addressed these words of sweet content and full of great import to that leader of monkeys, the charming Sītā be   came silent in order (to be' able) to hear more his delightful speech dealing with the theme of Śrī Rāma. (31) Placing his joined palms on his head (as a token of submission) on hearing the reply of SIta, Hanūmān   (son of the wind  god) of redoubt   able prowess made the following excellent submission: — (32) "The lotus  eyed Śrī Rāma does not know you to be here. There   fore he does not take you back soon as did Indra (the destroyer of strongholds) rescue (his own consort) Śacī (borne away by the demon Anuhrada). (33) Leading a huge army consisting of monkeys and bears, Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) will instantly come (here) merely on hearing my report. (34) Filling the sea (lit., the abode of Varuna) through and through with volleys of shafts, even though it cannot (even) be shaken (by oth   ers), Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha) will rid the city of  Lankā of rākshasas. (35) On that occasion if Death, gods or (even) mighty demons stand in the way of Śrī Rāma, he would destroy them too. (36) Filled with grief born of your absence, 0 noble one, Śrī Rāma does not find rest any more than an elephant wounded by a lion. (37) I swear to you by the Mandara and Malaya, Vindhya, Sumeru and Dardura mountains (constituting the abode of monkeys) as well as by roots and fruits^ (which serve as our food), 0 auspicious one, that you will (soon) be   hold the charming countenance of Śrī Rāma, resembling the risen full moon, with beautiful eyes, lips like a (ripe) Bimba fruit and lovely earrings. (38-39)

"You will shortly see Śrī Rāma perched on the Prasravana mountain like Indra (who is believed to have performed a hun   dred horse  sacrifices in his previous existences as a condition precedent for being born as Indra) seated on the back of Airavata (the chief of elephants), 0 princess of the Videha territory! (40) Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) does not take meat or honey. He partakes everyday of wild fruits and boiled (wild) rice, fully

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

sanctioned in the evening (the fifth period of the day). (41) Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) is no longer able to drive away gnats or mosquitoes, insects or even reptiles from his body, his mind being fixed on you. (42) Śrī Rāma is ever given to contemplation and ever given over to grief. He does not think of anything else, as he is under the sway of love. (43) Śrī Rāma remains ever awake. Even when asleep, that jewel among men starts up, uttering the name of Sītā in sweet accents. (44) Heaving a sigh on beholding a fruit or flower or whatever else is likely to captivate the mind of women, he often calls on you, saying 'Ah, beloved!' (45) Suffering extreme agony (caused by separation from you) and calling on you alone under the name of Sītā, that magnanimous prince, who has undertaken sacred vows, is solely engaged in efforts for your recovery." (46) That daughter of Janaka — whose grief (over the apparent nonchalance of Śrī Rāma) had (now) completely gone at the detailed description of (the condition of) Śrī Rāma, yet who felt equally grieved on hearing of Śrī Rāma's grief — resembled a night (partly bright   and partly dark) at the commencement of autumn with the moon obscured by the remnant of clouds. (47)

Canto XXXVII

Hearing the speech (of Hanūmān  ), Sītā, whose face resembled the full moon, made the following reply in consonance with righteousness and material good: — (1) "What has been said by you, 0 monkey, viz., that Śrī Rāma does not give his mind to any other thing (than me) and that he is given over to grief, is nectar mixed with poison. (2) Tying a man with a cord as it were. Death snatches away a man, no matter whether he is rolling in very extensive fortune or sunk in terrible adversity. (3) Inevitable indeed is the destiny of living beings, 0 jewel among monkeys! (For example) look at Laksmana (son of Sumitrā'), Śrī Rāma and myself distracted by woes. (4) How will Śrī Rāma reach the end of this (ocean of) grief any more than

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

a powerful man who has suffered a shipwreck and is swim ming in a sea? (5) When will my lord (Śrī Rāma) see me after compassing the destruction of rākshasas, killing Rāvana and laying  Lankā waste? (6) He should be asked to act with great haste; for my life is going to last only till the current period of twelve months is not completed. (7) This is (the close of) the tenth month and two months still remain, 0 monkey, out of the time  limit that has been fixed by the merciless Rāvana for my survival. (8)

"Rāvana was perseveringly entreated by his brother, Vibhīsana, for my restoration (to Śrī Rāma); but the former does not feel inclined to do it. (9) My restoration does not find favour with Rāvana; for Death lies in wait for him in combat, fallen as he is in the clutches of the Time  Spirit (an embodiment of the destructive principle). (10) The eldest daughter born of Vibhīsana is called by the name of Kala, 0 monkey! Kala herself reported this to me when her mother sent her (to me). (11) There is a jewel among the rākshasas, Avindhya by name, who is intelligent and learned, full of fortitude and rich in amiable disposition, aged and highly respected by Rāvana. (12) He forewarned Rāvana of the imminent destruction of rākshasas at the hands of Śrī Rāma (if he did not restore me); but the evil   minded fellow did not heed his salutary advice.13)

"I hope, 0 jewel among monkeys, that my lord will regain me soon; for my heart is pure and the virtues existing in him are numerous. (14) Perseverance, manliness, courage, absence of cruelty, gratitude, prowess and vigour, figure in Śrī Rāma, 0 monkey! (15) What enemy would not tremble before him, who slew (as many as) fourteen thousand rākshasas in Janasthāna unaided by his brother (Laksmana)? (16) That jewel among men cannot be shaken by woes. I know his might (even) as Śacī (sprung from the loins of the demon Puloma) knows the might of (her husband) Indra, (17) The valiant Śrī Rāma, who is like the sun with his shafts for rays, 0 monkey/will (surely) dry up the water in the form of the hostile rākshasas."(18)

To Sītā, who was speaking volubly thus, who had been ema   

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

ciated through grief on account of (her separation from) Śrī Rāma, her face bathed in tears, the monkey, Hanūmān  , submit   ted as follows: — (19) "Leading a huge army, full of monkeys and .bears, Śrī Rāma will surely hasten (to  Lankā) the moment he hears my report. (20) Or I myself shall deliver you from this calamity caused by the rakshasa Rāvana this very day. (Please) climb up my back, 0 irreproachable one! (21) I shall easily leap across the sea even after placing you on my back; for I can carry on my back (the whole of)  Lankā, Rāvana and all. (22) I shall transport you this (very) day, 0 princess of Mithila, to Śrī Rāma staying on Mount Prasravana, (even) as the sacred fire conveys the oblations thrown into it to Indra (for whom they are intended). (23) You will see this very day Śrī Rāma accom   panied by Laksmana — Śrī Rāma, who (in his determination to exterminate the rākshasas) resembles Lord Visnu, full of determination to destroy the demons, is endowed with extraor   dinary might and resolved to see you and remains seated in his hermitage (even) as Indra (the destroyer of strongholds) on a summit of Mount Meru (the king of mountains), 0 Sītā! (24  25) Mount on my back, 0 auspicious one! Do not show reluctance, 0 charming one! Seek to be united with Śrī Rāma even as Rohinī is with the moon. (26) You will be united with Śrī Rāma as Rohinī with the moon  god, at the very moment as it were, that you say that you wish to be so united. (Pray) climb up my back and reach beyond the vast sea through space (the very next moment as it were). (27) Surely all the dwellers in  Lankā will not be able to follow my speed as I depart from this place bearing you (on my back), 0 fair one! (28) Lo, bearing you (on my back), 0 princess of the Videha territory, I shall undoubt   edly return through space precisely as I came here." (29)

Thrilled all over with joy to hear the wonderful proposal from Hanūmān   (the foremost of monkeys), Sītā (a princess of Mithila) forthwith replied (as follows) to Hanūmān  : — "How do you intend to take me, 0 Hanūmān  , to (such) a long distance from this place? Indeed I look upon this proposal (of yours) to be precisely monkey  like, 0 leader of monkey hordes! (30- 31)

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

How do you intend to take me from this place, diminutive of form that you are, to the presence of my royal husband, 0 jewel among monkeys?" (32) Hearing the question of Sītā, the glorious Hanūmān  , son of the wind  god, thought it to be the first affront (of its kind) offered (to him). (33) (He said to himself):

"The dark  eyed lady does not know my strength or my power. Let the princess of the Videha territory, therefore, behold the form that I can assume at will." (34) Thinking thus, Hanūmān  , the foremost of monkeys and the destroyer of his enemies, revealed his form to Sītā on that occasion. (35) Leaping down from that tree (beneath which she stood), that wise leader of monkeys then began to grow (in size) in order to inspire confidence in Sītā. (36) Hanūmān   (the foremost of monkeys) looked like Mount Meru or Mount Mandara and stood in front of Sītā, shining brightly like a blazing fire. (37) The redoubtable mon   key, who resembled a mountain, had a coppery countenance with adamantine teeth and nails and was endowed with extraordinary might, submitted as follows to Sītā: — (38) "There is capacity in me to carry this (entire city of)  Lankā including its hills and woodlands as well as its market  places, defensive walls and arches and with its (very) lord (Rāvana). (39) Therefore, let your mind be settled, 0 auspicious one, and have done with hesitation. Rid Śrī Rāma along with Laksmana, of grief, 0 princess of the Videha territory!" (40)

Finding Hanūmān   of the size of a mountain, Sītā (daughter of Janaka), who had eyes big as the petals of a lotus, replied (as follows) to the son of the wind  god: — (41) "I know full well your courage and strength, 0 mighty monkey! Your speed is like that of the wind, while your marvellous brilliance too is like that of fire (itself). (42) How could any other ordinary monkey actually reach this land beyond the vast sea, 0 leader of hordes of monkeys? (43) I know your power of locomotion as well as your ability to carry me (on your back). The accomplishment of my object too must (however) be determined at once (even) as yours. (44) My going with you, however, 0 jewel among monkeys, is not proper. Your speed, which is equal to that of

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the wind, may render me unconscious. (45) Besides, in space, even as you sweep with speed all over the sea, I may actually tumble down from your back. (46) Nay, fallen insensible into the sea, teeming with sharks, crocodiles and giant fish, I may become the excellent food of aquatic creatures. (47) For other reasons too, 0 destroyer of foes, I shall not be able to go with you. Suspicion of the rākshasas will undoubtedly fall on you when you will go with a lady (on your back). (48)

"Enjoined by the evil  minded Rāvana, rākshasas of terrible prowess will surely pursue you on seeing me being borne away (by you). (49) Surrounded by the heroic rākshasas carrying darts and clubs in their hands, and accompanied by me, you will fall into danger. (50) There will be numerous rākshasas equipped with arms in space; how (then) will you be able to fight them, as also to protect me, unarmed that you are? (51) Stricken with fear, 0 jewel among monkeys, I may then fall down from your back while you are contending with those rākshasas of cruel deeds. (52) In case the rākshasas, who are terrible, huge and mighty, are somehow able to overcome you in conflict, or if I slip when you have turned your eyes away (from me) while fighting them, the sinful rākshasas may bear me away, laying hold on me when fallen. (53-54) Or they may wrest me from your grasp or even kill me afterwards; for victory and defeat in combat are found to be uncertain. (55) Or I may even die when intimidated by the rākshasas. Your endeavour (to take me to the presence of Śrī Rāma) may in that case prove utterly futile, 0 jewel among monkeys! (56) Even if you are able to kill all the rākshasas, the fame of Śrī Rāma may suffer diminution because of the rākshasas having been killed by you. (57) Or, bearing me away, the rākshasas  may actually lodge me in a secret place, where neither those monkeys nor Śrī Rāma may know anything about me. (58) This adventure of yours on my account will then have been in vain.

"A great advantage lies in Śrī Rāma's advent with you. (59) The life of Śrī Rāma who is endowed with immeasurable strength, as well as of his (three younger) brothers, as

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also of the house of your king (Sugrīva) is dependent on me, 0 mighty  armed monkey! (60) Despondent and emaciated through grief and agony on my account/the two princes, Śrī Rāma and Laksmana, will give up their hold on life along with all the bears and monkeys. (61) Keeping (as I do) devotion to my lord in the forefront, 0 monkey, I do not wish to touch of my own free will the body of anyone other than Śrī Rāma, 0 jewel among monkeys! (62) That I was forced into contact with Rāvana was because, being helpless, without a protector and having lost control of myself, I could not do anything. (63) If, having killed Rāvana along with the (other) rākshasas on this soil, and recovering me, Śrī Rāma departs from this place that would be worthy of him. (64) The heroic achievements of that exalted soul capable of crushing the enemy in combat, have been heard of, nay, actually witnessed by me. Not even gods, Gandharvas, Nagas and rākshasas (combined) can in fact be a match for Śrī Rāma on the field of battle. (65) Who, having

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vividly perceived Śrī Rāma — who is endowed with extraordinary might and is equal in prowess to Indra (the ruler of gods) — accompanied by Laksmana and armed with a bright bow and resembling a fire that flames when fanned by air, would (dare) withstand him? (66) Who can, 0 jewel among monkeys, resist Śrī Rāma, capable of crushing the enemy in combat, and firmly stationed on the field of battle like an elephant guarding a quarter in rut and resembling the sun at the end of creation with the arrows as its rays? (67) Therefore, 0 jewel among monkeys, bring here with all speed my beloved lord along with Laksmana and the leaders of monkey hordes. Bring joy to me, 0 gallant monkey, emaciated (as I am) through grief for long, on account of Śrī Rāma. (68)

Canto XXXVIII

Hearing the reply, that tiger among monkeys, who was gratified by the plea and was a past  master in expression, there   upon submitted to Sītā (as follows): — (i) "What has been uttered by you, 0 divine one of charming aspect, is most proper, being in accord with your feminine nature, and with modesty characteristic of virtuous women. Mounting on my back, you will not be able to cross the vast sea, a hundred Yojanas (or eight hundred miles) wide, because of your being a woman. (2-3) Again, the second plea which you have given (for not accepting my offer to take you across the sea on my back to the presence of Śrī Rāma), 0 daughter of Janaka, full of modesty (as you are), saying 'I ought not to touch a male Other than Śrī Rāma' is (but) worthy of you, a consort of that exalted soul, 0 auspicious one! For what woman other than you can put forward such a plea, 0 divine one? (4-5) Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha) will certainly hear fully (from my lips) all that has been done and said by you in my presence, 0 auspicious one! (6) For many reasons and with intent to do what pleases Śrī Rāma

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this proposal was made by me with a mind moistened with affection, 0 divine one! (7) I made this proposal because  Lankā is difficult to penetrate; the vast sea is difficult to cross and because of my own capacity to take you across the sea. (8) I wished to reunite you with Śrī Rāma (the delight of the Raghus) this very day. (Hence) that proposal was made by me) out of affection for the venerable Śrī Rāma and out of devotion (to you), not for any other reason, (9) If you are unable to come with me, 0 irreproachable one, (pray) let me have some token by means of which Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) may come to know that I have for certain met you." (10)

Requested thus by Hanūmān  , Sītā, who resembled the daughter of a god, replied as follows in faint accents, her voice choked with tears: — (11) "(Please) deliver you to my beloved without fail the most excellent token in the shape of the fol   lowing message: 'Having sported in water in the groves, redo   lent with the fragrance of various flowers, of the well  known region inhabited by Siddhas and rich in roots, fruits and water, not very far from the Mandakinī river, on a small hill adjacent to the Citrakuta mountain on its north  eastern side, you sat down dripping on my lap, while I was living in a hermitage fit for ascetics. (12  14) Thereupon a crow, greedy of flesh, began to peck at me. Picking up a clod of earth I kept the crow back. (15) In order to pierce me, the said crow, however, which lived on fragments of food offered at meals, remained in hiding on that very spot and would not leave its prey, desirous as it was of food. (16) As my garment slipped while I was pulling its string (in order to tighten it), angry as I was at the bird, I was actually seen by you in that state and laughed at. I felt nettled and abashed at that moment. Pecked (once more) by the crow, which was avid of food, I sought shelter with you. (17  18) Feel   ing exhausted, I sought your lap as though angry, seated as you were, and was duly comforted by you, fully delighted (as I was with your presence). (19) Gently wiping my eyes, my face bathed in tears was marked by you, 0 lord, as having been annoyed by the crow." (20) Due to exhaustion, 0 Hanūmān  , I

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lay asleep in the arms of Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) for long. And Śrī Rāma (the eldest brother of Bharata) in his turn lay fast asleep in my arms. (21)

"Meantime (while Śrī Rāma was lying asleep in my arms) the same crow appeared on the scene once more. Descending all of a sudden, the crow then clawed me in the breasts (even) as I awoke from slumber and rose from the arms of Śrī Rāma. (22) Flying up again, it forthwith tore me grievously once more. At the touch of drops of blood discharged (from the wound), Śrī Rāma then arose. (23) Incensed to see me lacerated at the breasts, and hissing like a venomous serpent, he then spoke as follows: — 'By whom have your breasts been wounded, 0 one with thighs resembling the proboscis of an elephant? Who is it who is playing with an angry five headed serpent?' (24   25) Gazing all round, he then perceived that crow sitting with its face turned towards me alone, its sharp claws stained with blood. (26) That crow, the foremost of birds, was, they say, no other than the son of Indra (the ruler of gods) who had quickly descended (from the heaven) to the earth, vying with the wind in speed. (27) His eyes rolling through fury, the mighty  armed prince, the foremost of the wise, made a cruel resolve with regard to that crow. (28) Taking a blade of the (sacred) Kuśa grass from his mat, he charged it with the potency of the mystic missile presided over by  Brahmā (the creator). It burst into flames like the blazing fire of universal destruction before the bird. (29) He hurled that fiery blade of the (sacred) Kuśa grass at the crow. Presently that blade of the (sacred) Kuśa grass actually followed the crow through the air. (30)

"Seeking protection when being chased (by the missile), the crow then sought various asylums and thus ranged this whole universe: so it is said. (31) Having duly travelled through (all) the three worlds (the earth, heaven and the region lying between them), deserted by his father (Indra) and all the greatest Rsis, he sought Śrī Rāma alone as his refuge. (32) Out of compassion the celebrated Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha), who was fit to protect him, spared the crow, which had sought

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shelter with him and fallen on the ground, though deserving of death. (33) Even as he was falling, Śrī Rāma said to the crow whose energy had been exhausted and who had grown pale (through fear): —'The missile presided over by  Brahmā cannot in any case be rendered ineffectual: it may (therefore) be point   ed out how to make it effectual.' (34) Then Śrī Rāma destroyed the right eye of the crow. Since he had sacrificed his right eye, .he was spared for life. (35) Having made obeisance to Śrī Rāma and (mentally) to (his father) King Daśaratha, when dismissed by that hero, he returned to his abode. (36) (Addressing Śrī Rāma again, as though present before her) a missile presided over by  Brahmā was discharged (by you) at a mere crow on my behalf. How (then), 0 ruler of the earth, do you bear with him who wrested me from you? (37) Such that you are, (pray) show compassion to me with great vigour, 0 jewel among men! She who has her lord in you, 0 lord, appears like one without any protector. (38) I have heard, from you alone, that (motiveless) compassion is the highest virtue. I know you to be endowed with extraordinary valour, extraordinary vigour and extraordinary might, limitless (in time or space), incapable of being disturbed and resembling the ocean in profundity, the lord of the earth including the oceans and a compeer of Indra. (39  40) Wherefore, 0 scion of Raghu, do you not employ your missiles against the rākshasas, even though you are the foremost of those proficient in the use of missiles, mighty and full of courage?" (41)

(Turning to Hanūmān  ) "Neither Nagas nor Gandharvas (celestial musicians), nor gods nor the Maruts (the forty  nine wind   gods) are able to resist the onrush of Śrī Rāma in combat. (42) If there still exists, any regard for me in the heart of that powerful prince, wherefore does he not destroy the rākshasas with his sharp arrows? (43) Or why does not the heroic Laksmana, the scourge of the foes, who is endowed with extraordinary might, deliver me, taking leave of his eldest brother? (44) (If) those two tigers among men, who are equal to Indra and the wind  god in energy, are difficult to overcome even by gods,

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wherefore do they disregard me? (45) Some major sin of mine alone comes in the way in that those twin scourges of their foes, do not take care of me, even though they are able to do so there is no doubt about it." (46)

Hearing this piteous appeal uttered by Sītā with tears in her eyes, Hanūmān  , a leader of monkey hordes, who was endowed with extraordinary energy, forthwith replied (as follows): — "I swear to you by truth, 0 auspicious one, that Śrī Rāma has grown averse to everything else through grief caused by your absence. And Laksmana (too) suffers agony due to Śrī Rāma being overwhelmed with sorrow. (47  48) You have somehow been discovered (by me); (hence) this is not the time for grieving. From this (very) hour you will see the end of your woes drawing near, 0 charming one! (49) Both the princes, who are tigers among men, are endowed with extraordinary might, and who are determined to see you, will reduce the rākshasas to ashes. (50) Killing Rāvana, who is ferocious on the field of battle, along with his kinsfolk, Śrī Rāma, 0 large  eyed one, will take you back to his own city. (51) Communicate what message is to be delivered (by me on your behalf) to Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) as well as to Laksmana, who is endowed with extraordinary might, or even to Sugrīva, who is full of energy, or to the monkeys assembled (at Kiskindhā)." (52)

Hanūmān   having spoken thus, Sītā too further spoke forth   with (as follows): — "Make on my behalf inquiries concerning the welfare of that protector of the world whom the high  minded Kausalyā brought forth, and greet him with your head bent low. Inquiries concerning welfare should be addressed on my behalf and in my name to Laksmana, that heroic and powerful brother of Śrī Rāma, who, having renounced garlands and all kinds of jewels as well as women who were agreeable and excellent, a dominion which was hard to attain on this vast earth, and even in heaven, as also unsurpassed felicity, and having offered profound respects to and pacified his father and mother followed Śrī Rāma (in the tatter's exile), because of whom Sumitrā' has earned the title of a blessed mother, whose mind

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

is given to piety, who follows his brother, Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha) with devotion in the forest watching over him (as a bodyguard), who has shoulders (broad) like those of a lion, is   mighty  armed, steady  minded, and pleasing to look upon, who behaves towards Śrī Rāma as towards his father and treated me as his (own) mother, who did not know at all of my being borne away at the time of the occurrence, who serves his elders, is glorious and energetic, yet measured in speech, who is the foremost of those beloved of that prince (Śrī Rāma) and a replica (in gallantry) of my father  in  law (King Daśaratha), who is ever dearer to Śrī Rāma (even) than I and who willingly and efficiently shoulders the responsibility with which he is saddled and on seeing whom Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) ceases to remember his deceased father. (53-61) The inquiry should be addressed to him in such a way that Laksmana, who is ever gentle, pure and capable, beloved of Śrī Rāma, 0 jewel among monkeys, may bring my woes to an end. (62) You are up to the accomplishment of this task, 0 leader of monkey hordes! Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) can, by your effort alone, become active on my behalf. (63)

"Also (please) submit again and again to my lord, the valiant Śrī Rāma, as follows: —'I am going to survive (only) a month, 0 son of Daśaratha! (64) I shall not live beyond a month: I swear to you by truth. You ought to rescue me, confined (as I am) by Rāvana of sinful deeds and subjected to persecution (at the hands of ogresses), 0 heroic prince, (even) as Lord Visnu (in His descent as the Divine Boar) rescued Goddess Earth from Patala (the nethermost subterranean region).' " (65) Untying the bright divine jewel for her head, tied in her garment, Sītā thereupon gave it to Hanūmān  , saying that it might be delivered to Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu). (66) Taking (from Sītā's hand) the excellent jewel, which was unsurpassed (in value), the hero (Hanūmān  ) placed it on his finger since his arm (even though he had resumed his former tiny form) was too thick for it. (67) Taking and greeting the excellent jewel and circumambulating Sītā (as a mark of respect), Hanūmān   (the foremost

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of monkeys) stood bent low by her side. (68) Filled with great delight born of Sītā's discovery, he mentally sought (the presence of) Śrī Rāma and Laksmana; he who was endowed with auspicious bodily marks. (69) Rejoiced at heart to receive that valuable superb jewel, borne (on her person) by the daughter of King Janaka, which by dint of her occult power (so that it remained unnoticed by the ogresses all the while), and (thus) resembling one who was (once) shaken by a blast coming from (the top of) a huge mountain and (then) delivered from it, Hanūmān   prepared to set out on his return journey. (70)

Canto XXXIX

Having parted with her jewel, Sītā then spoke to Hanūmān   forthwith as follows: — "This token is fully known to Śrī Rāma in its reality. (1) Seeing the jewel, the heroic Sri .Rama for his part will surely call to mind three individuals all at once, viz., my mother, King Daśaratha and myself (as it was given as a dowry to me by my mother in the presence of my father  in  law). (2) Goaded further by extraordinary zeal, 0 jewel among monkeys, consider carefully what is to be done next for giving impetus to this work of rescuing me. (3) You (alone) are capable of bring   ing this task to completion, 0 jewel among monkeys! (Please) consider what effort might bring my misfortunes to an end. (4) Remaining active (therefore), 0 Hanūmān  , (pray) terminate my suffering." Giving his assurance in the words "Be it so", and making obeisance to Sītā (a princess of the Videha territory) with his head bent low, Hanūmān   (son of the wind  god) of redoubtable prowess made ready to depart.

Perceiving the monkey Hanūmān   (sprung from the loins of the wind  god) fully prepared to leave, Sītā, a princess of Mithila, spoke as follows in a voice choked with tears: "Communicate my welfare to Śrī Rāma and Laksmana together, 0 Hanūmān  ! Make a report in consonance with righteousness regarding my welfare, 0 jewel among monkeys, to Sugrīva and his ministers,

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

as also to all elderly monkeys. (5  8) You ought to make efforts to see that that mighty  armed scion of Raghu delivers me from this ocean of sorrow. (9) My case should be put by you in such away, 0 Hanūmān   that the illustrious Śrī Rāma may find me alive. Reap the virtue of rendering help to me by your words. (10) The effort of Śrī Rāma (son of Daśaratha), who is ever full of determination to recover me, will be intensified on hearing the words uttered by me. (11) Only after hearing from you the words conveying my message, the heroic Śrī Rāma will duly set his heart on exhibiting his valour." (12)

Placing his joined palms above his head on hearing the ap   peal of Sītā, Hanūmān  , sprung from the loins of the wind  god, made the following reply: — (13) "Surrounded by the foremost of monkeys and bears, Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha), who, having conquered his enemies on the field of battle, will com   pletely drive away your grief will soon make his appearance (here). (14) I know of none among mortals, demons or who would dare stand before him while he is discharging arrows. (15) Indeed he would be able to withstand in combat even the sun  god, Indra, Yama (the god of retribution), son of the sun   god, particularly for your sake. (16) Śrī Rāma can conquer the earth bounded by the ocean. Hence Śrī Rāma's victory in your cause is certain, 0 daughter of Janaka!" (17)

Hearing the reply of Hanūmān  , which was reasonable, truth   ful and beautifully worded, the daughter of Janaka held him in great esteem and proceeded to speak. (18) Gazing again and again on Hanūmān  , who had then made ready to depart, Sītā uttered the following respectful words, expressive of her hus   band's affection for her, actuated as she was with goodwill (for him): — (19) "If you deem fit, 0 hero, halt for a day a tamer of foes! Resting in some covered place, you may leave tomorrow. (20) Due to your presence, 0 monkey, I shall be rid for a while, unfortunate as I am, of this violent grief. (21) For, if after that there is any doubt about your return, 0 tiger among monkeys, there is uncertainty of my survival too: there is no doubt about it. (22) Grief born of your absence, 0 monkey, will torment me  

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

further, burning me, as it were, seized (as I already am) with agony after agony. (23)

"This very great doubt (ever) stands before me as it were about your associate monkeys and bears, 0 heroic lord of monkeys, as to how on earth those hordes of monkeys and bears or (for that matter) those two princes (lit., sprung from the loins of a jewel among men) will actually (be able to) cross the vast sea, which is (so) difficult to cross. (24- 25) The capacity to cross the sea in this world exists in three created beings only, viz., Garuda (son of Vinata), the wind  god and yourself. (26) What means do you perceive, 0 hero, for the accomplishment of this task, which is so (very) difficult to get through? For, you are the foremost of those who know how to accomplish a task, (27) Although you are definitely equal to the accomplish   ment of this task (of rescuing me) single  handed, 0 destroyer of hostile warriors, the attainment of success will redound to your glory (rather than that of Śrī Rāma). (28) If (on the other hand) conquering Rāvana on the battlefield with the help of all his forces, Śrī Rāma returns victorious in combat to his own capital, that (indeed) would be worthy of him. (29) If, over   running  Lankā with his forces, Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha) the scourge of hostile forces, for his part, takes me (back from  Lankā) that (alone) would be worthy of him. (30) Therefore, act you in such a way that the exalted soul, valiant in combat, may exhibit prowess worthy of him." (31)

Hearing the utterance of Sītā, which was full of significance, polite and logical, Hanūmān   made the following final reply: — (32) "The lord of the monkey and bear hordes and the fore most of monkeys, Sugrīva, who is richly endowed with truthfulness, is determined to liberate you, 0 auspicious one! (33) Surrounded by thousands of crores of monkeys, 0 princess of the Videha territory, that destroyer of rākshasas will make his appearance soon. (34) Monkeys, who are richly endowed with valour, full of courage and extraordinarily mighty, who can leap to any distance according to their mental resolve, whose course is impeded neither upwards nor downwards nor to their  

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

right or left, who never lose heart (even) in great undertakings and are endowed with extraordinary energy, remain standing at Sugrlva's beck and call. (35  36) They have circumambulated the earth including the oceans and mountains clockwise more than once following the aerial path, endowed as they are with extraordinary energy. (37) There exist in that army monkeys who are my equals and even superior to me. None is inferior to me in the company of Sugrīva. (38) When I have arrived here, how easily can they arrive, who are endowed with extraordinary might! Surely these superior ones are not sent on errands, only the inferior ones are so sent. (39)

"Therefore have done with sorrowing, 0 divine one! Let your grief disappear. With a single bound those leaders of mon   key hordes will reach  Lankā. (40) Like the sun and the moon appearing at the horizon those two lions among men (Śrī Rāma and Laksmana), followed by large multitudes, will arrive in your presence mounted on my back. (41) Arriving together, those two heroic jewels among men will undoubtedly blow away  Lankā with their shafts. (42) Making short work of Rāvana along with his hordes, Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), the delight of the Raghus, will return to his own city (Ayodhya) taking you (with him), 0 one of excellent limbs! (43) Therefore, take heart and bide you your time. May good betide you! Before long you shall (be able to) see Śrī Rāma flaming like fire. (44) When Rāvana (the lord of rākshasas) is slain with his sons, ministers and kinsfolk, you shall be united with Śrī Rāma as Rohinī (a consort of the moon god presiding over a constellation of the same name) is with the moon  god. (45) Soon you shall see the end of your grief, 0 divine princess of Mithila! You will also see Rāvana killed by Śrī Rāma by force of (superior) might." (46)

Having comforted Sītā (a princess of the Videha territory) as above, and making up his mind to depart, Hanūmān  , sprung from the loins of the wind  god, spoke to Sītā (a princess of the Videha territory) once more (as follows): — (47)

"You shall soon behold the celebrated Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), the destroyer of his foes, who has subdued his soul,

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

as also Laksmana, arrived at the gate of  Lankā, bow in hand. (48) At no distant date you shall (also) see gathered together valiant monkeys endowed with the prowess of lions and tigers, looking like lordly elephants and using their nails and teeth as weapons. (49) You shall see, 0 noble one, numerous companies of the foremost of monkeys, looking like mountains or clouds and thundering on the peaks of the Malaya mountain in  Lankā. (50) Hit in his vulnerable parts by the formidable darts of Love, Śrī Rāma knows no more rest than an elephant hurt by a lion. (51) Weep no more, 0 auspicious one! Let there be no fear from grief to your mind. You shall be united with your husband in the same way as Śacī (the consort of Indra) was with Indra, 0, charming one! (52) Who else is superior to Śrī Rāma  and who is a match for Laksmana (son of Sumitrā')? Those two brothers, who resemble fire and the wind, are your support. (53) You shall not stay long in this most fearful land inhabited by rākshasas, 0 auspicious one! The advent of your beloved will not take long. (Pray) have patience only till the moment of my meeting with Śrī Rāma." (54)

Canto XL

Hearing the assurance of that high  souled son of the wind   god, Sītā, who resembled the daughter of a god, gave the fol   lowing reply, which was calculated to advance her own interests: — (1) "I feel thrilled to see you speaking kind words, 0 monkey, even as the earth with its crops half ripe is enlivened on receiving a shower. (2) Show compassion to me by manipulating things in such a way that, full of longing, I may be able to embrace that tiger among men with my limbs that are utterly emaciated through grief. (3) Again, remind Śrī Rāma, 0 jewel among hordes of monkeys, as a token (of your having met me), of the reed hurled (by him) in anger, which destroyed one eye of the son of Indra (who came disguised as a crow). (4)

"Further say to him, 'You ought surely to recall the tilak  

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

which was painted by you on my cheek with realgar when the former had got effaced. (5) Though powerful, how do you shut your eyes at Sītā having been borne away and living in the midst of rākshasas, 0 lord vying with Indra (the ruler of gods) and Varuna (the god of water)? (6) I have preserved this divine jewel for the head with special care; I used to feel overjoyed in adversity to see it as I did on seeing you, 0 sinless one! (7) This splendid jewel, having its origin in the sea, has been delivered (by me) to you. Absorbed in grief (that I am), I shall no longer be able to survive beyond this month. (8) (Only) for your sake have I endured (so long) unbearable woes, words which pierced my heart and living in the company of rākshasas. (9) Somehow I shall continue to live for a month (more), 0 destroyer of foes! Beyond a month (of course) I am not going to survive in your absence, 0 prince! (10) Frightful is this ruler of rākshasas; his attitude towards me is (also) not favourable. And if on hearing of you tarrying, I may not survive even a mo   ment longer." (11)

Hearing the plaintive message of Sītā, uttered with tears (in her eyes), Hanūmān  , sprung from the loins of the wind  god, who was endowed with extraordinary energy, forthwith submitted (as follows): — (12) "I swear to you by truth, 0 auspicious one, that Śrī Rāma has grown averse to everything else through grief caused by your absence. And Laksmana (too) suffers agony due to Śrī Rāma being overwhelmed with sorrow. (13) You have been discovered (by me somehow); (hence) this is not the time for grieving. From this (very) hour you will see the end of your woes (drawing near), 0, charming one! (14) Both the princes, who are tigers among men and are beyond reproach and who are determined to see you, will reduce  Lankā to ashes. (15) Killing in combat the rakshasa Rāvana, along with his kinsfolk, the two scions of Raghu, 0 large  eyed one, will take you (back) to their own capital. (16) You ought to further give (me) a token which Śrī Rāma alone may (be able to) recognize and which may cause him delight, 0 irreproachable one". (17)

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

She replied, "An excellent token has already been handed over (to you) by me, 0 monkey! On his carefully seeing this jewel alone, your statement, 0 gallant Hanūmān  , will actually prove worthy of credence to Śrī Rāma." Having taken that excellent jewel and made respectful obeisance to the divine one with his head bent low, the glorious Hanūmān  , the foremost of monkeys, prepared to depart. Observing that leader of monkey hordes, who was possessed of great impetuosity, expanding and striving to leap (across the sea), Sītā (Janaka's daughter) spoke (as follows) in a voice choked with sobs, her face bathed in tears, distressed as she was: — (18-21)

"(Pray) apprise, 0 Hanūmān  , all (viz.,) the two brothers, Śrī Rāma and Laksmana, who resemble a pair of lions, as well as Sugrīva and his ministers, of my welfare. (22) You ought to make efforts to see that that mighty  armed scion of Raghu delivers me from this ocean of sorrow. (23) Arrived in the presence of Śrī Rāma, speak to him of the acute vehemence of my grief as well as of the threats of these rākshasas and let your journey be happy, 0 great hero among the monkeys!" (24) Apprised by the princess of her object, greatly delighted at heart on his purpose having been accomplished and thinking that (only) a small fraction of his duty remained to be performed, he mentally sought the northern direction. (25)

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Rāvana with two attendants visits Sita in the Asoka grove where

she is guarded by three rakshasis.

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Hanuman conveys Sri Rama's message to Sita

Submisson of the Ocean King before Rama, Kangra, early 19th century

Courtesy: Govt. Museam and Art Gallary, Chandigarh (Indai)

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