The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Rāmāyana, Volume 2
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Title: The Rāmāyana, Volume 2. Āranya, Kishkindhā, and Sundara Kāndam
Translator: Manmatha Nath Dutt
Release date: August 31, 2018 [eBook #57826]
Produced by James Simmons.
This file was produced from page images at the Internet Archive.
This book was transcribed from scans of several different copies of the original found at the Internet Archive. The typesetters of the original book represented the letter ā (with a macron above) as â (with circumflex above) when italicized, but this etext uses the macron throughout. Words in italics in this etext were italicized in the original book. I have corrected obvious misspellings but I’ve left variant spellings alone. Some words and names, like yojana and Garuda, were spelled two different ways in the same text. I have spelled them consistently to avoid confusion.
** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RĀMĀYANA, VOLUME 2. SUNDARA KĀNDAM **
SECTION I. SECTION II. SECTION III. SECTION IV. SECTION V. SECTION VI. SECTION VII. SECTION VIII. SECTION IX. SECTION X. SECTION XI. SECTION XII. SECTION XIII. SECTION XIV. SECTION XV. SECTION XVI. SECTION XVII. SECTION XVIII. SECTION XIX. SECTION XX. SECTION XXI. SECTION XXII. SECTION XXIII. SECTION XXIV. SECTION XXV. SECTION XXVI. SECTION XXVII. SECTION XXVIII. SECTION XXIX. SECTION XXX. SECTION XXXI. SECTION XXXII. SECTION XXXIII. SECTION XXXIV. SECTION XXXV. SECTION XXXVI. SECTION XXXVII. SECTION XXXVIII. SECTION XXXIX. SECTION XL. SECTION XLI. SECTION XLII. SECTION XLIII. SECTION XLIV. SECTION XLV. SECTION XLVI. SECTION XLVII. SECTION XLVIII. SECTION XLIX. SECTION L. SECTION LI. SECTION LII. SECTION LIII. SECTION LIV. SECTION LV. SECTION LVI. SECTION LVII. SECTION LVIII. SECTION LIX. SECTION LX. SECTION LXI. SECTION LXII. SECTION LXIII. SECTION LXIV. SECTION LXV. SECTION LXVI. SECTION LXVII.
Then that repressor of foes²⁰⁹ resolved to follow the path of the Chāranas, in quest of the place where Sitā was carried off by Rāvana. And bent on achieving a hard task, in which he had no help-mate and none to withstand the monkey, with his neck and head raised, resembled the lord of kine.²¹⁰ And frightening fowls, and crushing trees with his breast, and slaughtering numbers of beasts, that exceedingly powerful, intelligent and staid one began to range at ease in lapis-hued lawns resembling water, like a lion bursting in energy. And on the level of that foremost of mountains, filled with nonpareil Nāgas, and embellished with natural and unmixed metals, red and dark-blue, and black and pale, and pale-red, and lotus-hued, and variegated; and crowded with god-like Yakshas and Kinnaras and Gandharvas and Pannagas, excellently attired,—Hanumān stationing himself, resembled a Nāga in a lake. Then joining his hands to the Sun, Mahendra, Wind,²¹¹ the Self-create, and all Beings, he set his heart upon his journey. Then having,with his face to the East, joined his palms to his Sire, that blessed one began to attain proportions for journeying towards the South. And sure as the sea increases on the occasion of a Parva, (Hanumān) determined on his leap, experiencing exhilaration, began, in the midst of the foremost monkeys, to increase for the behoof of Rāma. Attaining measureless magnitude, he desirous of crossing over the ocean, pressed the mountain with his arms and legs. And roughly handled by the monkey, the mountain anon shook for a while; and all the blossoms showered down from the tops of the trees. And covered all over with heaps of fragrant flowers thrown off from the trees, the entire mountain wore one floral look. And afflicted by that one of first-rate prowess, that mountain shed water, like an elephant in rut. And hard beset by that powerful one, the mountain Mahendra put out the golden, silvern and collyrium sheen (that appertained thereto). And the mountain began to cast forth huge crags containing red arsenic; and its middle resembled smoke embosoming a sparkling flame. And sore tormented by the monkey engaged in harassing them, all the creatures dwelling in the caverns cried in frightful tones. And that mighty chorus²¹² of the creatures consequent on the mountain’s agony filled the entire earth, all the cardinal points, and the groves. And snakes bringing out their spacious hoods marked with blue streaks, vomitting fierce fire, began to bite at the rocks with their fangs. And those gigantic crags, bit at by those enraged (snakes) of virulent venom, flamed up with fire and were shivered unto a thousand fragments. And those medicinal herbs that grew there, albeit endowed with the virtue of neutralizing poison, could not tame the fierceness of the venom of those serpents. Then, conceiving that the mountain was being riven by Brahma Rākshasas, the ascetics, becoming agitated, as well as the Vidyādharas together with their females, began to flee away. And forsaking their golden seats and cans on the drinking grounds, and costly vessels, and water-pots plated with gold, and diverse suckable viands and meats of various kinds, and bucklers of bull hides, gold-hafted swords,—beings with wreathes on their necks, inebriate, bearing red garlands and unguents, having red eyes resembling lotuses, flew into the firmament. And fair ones decked in chains and bangles and Keyuras and bracelets,²¹³ struck with amaze, with a smile rose in the sky along with their paramours. And witnessing this mighty phenomenon, Vidyadharas and Maharshis, mounted into the sky, gazing at the mountain. And they heard the words of spirit-pervaded ascetics, and Chāranas, and Siddhas, stationed in the azure sky: “This mountain-like Hanumān, son of the Wind, endeued with exceeding vehemence, is anxious to cross over the main—abode of Varuna. And undertaking an arduous task in the interests of Rāma and monkeys, this one wishes to go to the other shore of the sea hard to reach.” Hearing this speech of the ascetics, the Vidyādharas saw in the mountain that foremost of monkeys of immeasurable might. And that one resembling fire shook and bristled his down; and he set up a tremendous roar resembling a mighty (rumbling) cloud. And springing up, he lashed his tail furnished all over with hair and folds, like the king of birds handling a serpent. And the tail of that one endued with exceeding impetus, bent and brandished, seemed like a gigantic serpent carried off by Garuda. And the monkey planted his arms resembling mighty clubs, fast (on the mountain); and his waist became slender; and his legs were contracted. And contracting his arms²¹⁴ and neck, that graceful and powerful one summoned energy, and strength, physical and mental. And looking at his way from a distance, Hanumān, raising his eyes up, and fixing his gaze at the sky, suspended his breath in his breast. And planting his feet firmly, that one endowed with mighty strength, Hanumān, foremost of monkeys, contracting his ears up, sprang forward; and that best of monkeys spoke unto the monkeys, saying,— “As a shaft shot by Rāghava, courses like the wind, so will I course to Lankā ruled by Rāvana. And if I fail to find Janaka’s daughter in Lankā, I shall with the self-same speed repair to the regions of the celestials. And if I do not find Sitā in Lankā, after taking so much trouble, I shall bring the Rākshasa king bound. Either attaining complete success, I shall come hither (back); or uprooting Lankā, with Rāvana in it, I shall carry it hither.” Having observed this, the monkey Hanumān, foremost of monkeys, endowed with speed, without pausing for thought, suddenly sprang up. And that powerful monkey deemed himself like unto Suparna. And as he flew up, the trees situated in that mountain, in consequence of his violent rush, shrinking their boughs, rolled over on all sides. And drawing up blossoming trees filled with maddened lapwings, by the vehemence of his flight, he coursed on in the clear sky. And those trees borne up by the vehemence of his flight, followed the monkey for a while, like friends following a friend that hath set out for a far country. And pulled up by the impetus of his (rushing) thighs, Sālas and other mighty trees followed Hanumān, as an army follows its monarch. And surrounded by innumerable trees having their tops crested with flowers, Hanumān wearing a mountain-like appearance, was wonderful to behold. And those trees that were more ponderous, plunged into the salt sea, as plunged the mountains into Varuna’s abode, afflicted with the fear of Mahendra.²¹⁵ And strewn with various sprouts and buds and blossoms, the monkey resembling a mass of clouds, looked lovely like a hill filled with glow-worms. And uprooted by the force of his rush, those trees, their flowers fallen off, plunged into the sea, like friends returning to their homes (after having accompanied their friend some way). And blown by the wind caused by the monkey, the various variegated flowers of the trees in consequence of their lightness, showered down on the sea. And covered with heaps of fragrant flowers of diverse hues, the monkey resembled a mass of clouds embellished by lines of lightning. And the waters (of the ocean) strewn with blossoms carried off by his motion, appeared like the sky garnished with charming stars (cresting the same). And his arms stretched in the sky, seemed like five-hooded snakes issuing from a mountain. And he appeared as if he was drinking up the mighty deep with its multitudes of waves, or as if that redoubtable monkey was desirous of sucking up the sky itself. And as he coursed the orbit of air, his eyes flashing like lightning, resembled two craters²¹⁶ aglow on a mountain. And the eyes of that foremost of tawny-hued ones resembled the sun and the moon stationed in a vast yellow aureola. And beside his coppery nose, his face looked coppery, as looks the solar disc on the approach of eve. And the uplifted tail of the Wind-god’s offspring engaged in bounding, appeared beautiful in the sky like the raised standard of Sakra. And the exceedingly wise son of the Wind, Hanumān, having white teeth, with his tail coiled up, looked handsome like the sun with his disc. And on account of his waist being deeply coppery, that mighty monkey appeared like a mountain running a mighty torrent mixed with minerals and red chalk. And the wind that had got into the armpits of that leonine monkey who was crossing over the main, roareth like clouds. And as a meteor consisting of many smaller ones, darting from above falleth down (to the earth), rushed on that foremost of monkeys. And then that stalwart monkey resembling the careering sun, resembled a mad elephant fettered by the middle, whose bulk has increased immensely. And as he coursed above, on account of the reflection cast by his body (on the bosom of the deep), the monkey²¹⁷ looked like a bark swayed by the breeze. And wherever that mighty monkey went about the sea, the state of things appeared to undergo a violent convulsion owing to impetus imparted by his body. And that mighty monkey possessed of exceeding speed, rushed on, raising multitudes of surges on the sea by his breast resembling rock. And the wind begot of the monkey as well as that of the clouds, issuing out, made the dread-sounding ocean roll violently. And pushing up multitudes of high-heaving billows from the salt waters, that tiger-like monkey rushed on, separating earth and heaven. And that one endeued with vehement speed passed over surges in the mighty main resembling Mandara or Meru; as if counting them²¹⁸. And the waters lashed up to the clouds by the force (of his speed), looked like autumnal clouds overspreading the sky. And then whales and alligators and fishes and tortoises appeared plainly visible, like the persons of individuals, when the cloth hath been taken off them. And sea-serpents, seeing that tiger-like monkey proceeding in the sky, took him for Suparna himself. And the shadow of the leonine monkey, measuring ten yojanas in width and thirty length, seemed the more handsome in consequence of his deed. And that shadow resembling masses of white clouds, falling on the salt waters and following the wind-god’s son, seemed exceedingly beautiful. And that exceedingly energetic mighty monkey possessed of a gigantic body, appeared splendid in the unsupported aerial way, like a winged mountain. And the deep beside the course that was being vehemently pursued by that elephantine monkey, was suddenly turned into a water-course.²¹⁹ And coursing through the regions of fowls like the monarch of the feathered race, Hanumān, pushing away masses of clouds, resembled the wind himself, And collossal clouds scattered by the monkey, pale and crimson and blue and mangistha-hued, looked exceedingly lovely, And now entering into the clouds, and now emerging from them, he looked like the moon, sometimes hid and sometimes visible. And beholding that monkey engaged in bounding with celerity, gods, Gandharbas and Dānavas began to strew blossoms (on him). And as he was leaping,the Sun did not burn him; and the Wind ministered unto him, for the success of Rāma’s work. And the saints hymned his praises, as he was leaping on in the sky. And applauding the ranger of forests, they raised the voice of song. And nagas and Yakshas, and various (races of) Rākshasas, eulogized (him), on beholding that tiger-like monkey, Hanumān, in the act of bounding. And Hanumān, that lord of monkeys, being engaged in the act of bounding, the Ocean, wishing glory unto the race of the Ikshwākus, thought within himself, “Truly shall I be blamed of all persons if I do not assist this lord of monkeys— Hānuman. Reared I have been by Sagara, the foremost of the race of the Ikshwākus—and this monkey is their counsellor. It therefore doth not behove me to tire him out. It becometh me to do that by which the monkey may take rest in me and, relieved, may happily traverse the remaining way.” Having arrived at this wholesome resolution, the Ocean spake unto that best of mountains, Maināka, hued in gold and situate in the waters, saying, “O lord, thou hast been placed here by the king of celestials as an outer gate against the Asuras inhabiting the region under the earth. Thou too, from then, hast been waiting at this gate, unapproachable by the Asuras, rising up again and again and whose prowess is well-known (unto the Lord of celestials). O mountain, thou art capable of expanding thyself upwards, downwards and on thy sides. I do command thee therefore, O best of mountains, to rise up. That best of monkeys, the energetic Hanumān, the performer of mighty deeds, engaged in Rāma’s service, worn out with fatigue, waiteth above thee. Beholding the exhaustion of that leader of monkeys, it behoveth thee to rise up.” Hearing the speech of the Ocean, the golden mountain Maināka, covered with tall trees and creepers, rose up instantly from his watery bed. Like unto the Sun of bright rays rising out of the watery expanse, he uplifted himself from the Ocean. Being thus commanded by the Ocean, the great mountain, covered on all sides with water, immediately brought forth his peaks. The sky was as if cleft by these golden summits like unto the rising of the Sun, inhabited by Kinnaras and large Serpents. The golden summits of that mountain being thus lifted up, the dark-blue sky assumed the golden hue. And by those highly resplendent golden peaks that best of mountains assumed the brilliance of a thousand suns. Beholding before him that up-heaved mountain in the midst of the salt Ocean, Hanumān regarded it, as a barrier for aye. Like unto Wind dispersing clouds, that mighty monkey with great velocity crushed down those up-lifted peaks with his breast. Being thus crushed down by that monkey, the best of mountains, being apprized of his prowess, began to shout with joy. Thereupon, with a glad heart assuming the semblance of a man and stationing himself upon his own summit, that mountain-chief addressed Hanumān, saying, “O best of monkeys, forsooth hast thou been engaged in this arduous task. Coming down on my peak do thou take rest. This ocean was reared by one born in the family of Raghus. And beholding thee engaged on Rāma’s behoof he is worshipping thee. The best and everlasting virtue consists in returning benefits unto one who hath benefitted us. Bent on returning benefits unto Raghu’s race, he deserveth respect from thee. And to welcome thee properly I have been despatched by him with the message—’Traversing over a hundred yojanas this monkey hath been worn out with fatigue; let him voyage to the remaining way after resting for a while on thy summit. Do thou therefore, O best of monkeys, remain here and take rest. And feasting on these many fragrant and sweet fruits and roots, O foremost of monkeys, do thou relieve thyself of the toil and proceed. O leader of monkeys, my relation with thee is replete with many virtues and known all over the three worlds. O Son of Maruta, O best of monkeys, I know thee to be the foremost of all monkeys. Even an ordinary guest should be adored by him who abideth by virtue, what of thee great as thou art? O thou lion among monkeys, thou art the son of Maruta, the foremost of celestials and art his equal in speed. Thou that art conversant with virtue, being worshipped, Maruta himself receiveth offerings. Thou art therefore worthy of my adoration. Hearken, there is another reason for it. O worshipful one, in olden times, the mountains, gifted with wings, began to range all quarters with velocity like unto Garuda. They moving thus, the celestials, the asceties, and all creatures became almost faint with fear of their falling down. Highly enraged therefore, the thousand-eyed Deity, the performer of hundred sacrifices, sundered with his thunderbolt, the wings of hundreds and thousands of them. When with his thunderbolt, the Lord of celestials, wroth, approached me, I was all on a sudden thrown down by the high-souled Wind. O best of monkeys I was thus cast down in this salt ocean and preserved unhurt by thy ancestors having my wings hid. I shall therefore adore thee and thou art object of my worship O Māruta! And this my relation with thee, O foremost of monkeys, is pregnant with many virtues. The time for returning benefits having arrived, O high-souled one, it behoveth thee to afford me and the ocean, satisfaction with a blessed heart. O best of monkeys, relieve thyself of the fatigue and accept my affectionate offerings, who am worthy of thy respect.²²⁰ Happy am I to see thee.” Being thus accosted by Maināka, the best of mountains, Hanumān, the foremost of monkeys said, saying:—”Pleased am I and thou hast shown me enough of hospitality. Do thou give up thy wrath.²²¹ Business wants me to go soon and the time is well-nigh spent. Besides I have promised that I shall not halt at any intermediate place.” Thereupon touching the hill with his hand that highly energetic monkey wended, smiling, his aerial way. Thereat the ocean and the mountain respectfully looked towards him and adored and welcomed him with blessings worthy of the occasion. Leaving the mountain and the ocean and rising high up, he proceeded in the clear welkin traversing the aerial way.²²² Rising high up and casting his look down on the hill, that foremost of monkeys proceeded by the unsupported aerial track. Beholding this singularly arduous work of Hanumān, the celestials, the Siddhas and the ascetics all praised him. All the celestials and others living on its summit, were highly pleased with the mountain arrayed in gold and having beautiful sides. And the thousand-eyed Vasava was also pleased. And greatly pleased that highly intelligent Sachi’s lord, himself, addressed that best of mountains having picturesque sides, saying:—”Greatly delighted am I, O lord of mountains, O thou having golden peaks. ’No fear’ I do declare unto thee. Proceedest thou therefore, at thy ease, O gentle one! Greatly hast thou helped Hanumān, crossing fearlessly and unceasingly, over hundred yojanas to that he might not fall in danger. This monkey, is goiug in the interests of Rāma, Daçaratha’s son—and thou hast welcomed bin to the best of thy might. Therefore I am greatly pleased with thee.” Beholding that lord of celestials the performer or an hundred sacrifices, highly gratified, that best of mountains attained to an excess of joy. And having received boons (from Indra) the Mountain occupied again its pristine place. And Hanumān in a short time crossed over the main. Thereupon the celestials along with Gandharvas, Siddhas and the ascetics, spake unto Surasā the mother of serpents, resembling the Sun, saying:—”The highly effulgent son of Wind named Hanumān is crossing over the main. Thou art required to throw obstacles in his way for a while. Assuming therefore the semblance of a terrible, grim-visaged Rākshasa, resembling a huge mountain and having terrible teeth and a face with coppery eyes, do thou touch the welkin. We are anxious to learn if he defeateth thee by some means or cometh by grief.” Thus addressed the Worshipful Surasā, having been honored by the celestials, deformed and horrible and capable of exciting the fear of all beings, and obstructing Hanumān as he was coursing on, said,—”O foremost of monkeys, thou hast been ordained as my fare by the gods themselves. I will eat thee up,—do thou enter my mouth. Even this is the boon that was conferred on me by the Deity.” Having delivered herself thus speedily, the opening her mouth wide, stood before the son of the wind-god.” Thus accosted by Surasā, (Hanumān) with a glad countenance, said,—”Rāma, son unto Daçaratha, had entered the Dandaka forest in company with his brother, Lakshmana, and his wife, Vaidehi. He having created hostility with the Rākshasas, his illustrious wife, Sitā, while he was engrossed in some work, was carried away by Rāvana. At Rāma’s command, I go to her as his envoy. It behoveth thee, living in (Rāma’s) dominions, to lend him thy help. Or having seen Mithilā’s daughter, as well as Rāma of untiring deeds, I will enter thy mouth. This I promise thee truly.” Thus addressed by Hanumān, Surasā, capable of wearing forms at will, said,—”None shall pass me without being devoured by me,—even this is the boon that I have received.” Then seeing him go away, the mother of the Nāgas, Surasā, derious of essaying the strength of Hanumān, spoke. “O best of monkeys, thou shalt have to go, to-day, after entering my mouth. Even this is the boon that was conferred on me by the Deity.” Having said this swiftly, she extending her capacious mouth wide, stood in front of the wind-god’s son. Thus addressed by Surasā, that foremost of monkeys, waxing wroth, said,—”Extend thy mouth so, that thou mayst contain me.” Having said this unto Surasā, having her mouth measuring ten yojanas, Hanumān enlarged himself as many yojanas. Thereat Surasā enlarged her month twenty yojanas. And beholding her²²³ extended mouth with a long tongue, wondrous dreadful, like unto hill itself, and resembling clouds, measuring twenty yojanas, the intelligent son of the wind-god, Hanumān, enlarged, made himself measure thirty yojanas. Threat, Surasā, extended her mouth forty yojanas, and thereupon the heroic Hanumān attained the altitude of fifty yojanas. And Surasā enlarged her mouth sixty yojanas; and the heroic Hanumān anon heightened himself seventy yojanas. And Surasā widened her mouth eighty yojanas; and Hanumān like unto Fire raised himself ninety yojanas. And Surasā enlarged her mouth an hundred yojanas. Thereat diminishing his person like unto a cloud, the wind-god’s son at that moment measured one thumb only. Then entering her month and coming out of it, that exceedingly powerful and graceful one, stationing himself in the sky spoke thus. “0 descendant of Daksha, I have entered into thy mouth. I bow down unto thee. I will repair to where Vaidehi is. Thy boon hath proved true. Seeing him out of her mouth like the Moon out of the mouth of Rāhu, the venerable Surasā spoke unto the monkey in her native form, saying,—”For compassing thy end, go, O foremost of monkeys, O mild one, at thine ease. And bringing unto Vaidehi tidings touching the high-souled Rāghava do thou meet her.” Witnessing that third act²²⁴ of Hanumān’s hard to perform, all beings extolled the monkey exclaming, “Excellent! Excellent!” Then he, resembling the wind in rush, arrived at the irrepressible ocean—abode of Varuna—went on, enveloping the welkin, on the aerial way, visited by showers, ranged by fowls and Gandharbas, graced by the iris; embellished by shining vehicles rolling on, drawn by lions, or elephants, or tigers, or bird-serpents; presided over by eminently pious and righteous persons who have won the regions of heaven; and therefore appearing as if adorned by the (five) Fires; of the touch of Açani or Vayra; (ever) served by Fire bearing sacrificial oblations; garnished by planets and stars and astral luminaries, and the Sun and the Moon; thronged with Maharshis, and Gandharbas and Nāgas, and Yakhas; and pure, and speckless;—the support of the universe—inhabited by Viçwāvasu; lorded over by the elephants of the king of the celestials; the orbit of the Sun and Moon, endowed with auspiciousness constituting the canopy of this live world; blameless; and made by Brahmā; crowded with countless heroes, and Vidyādharas. And the wind-god’s son Hanumān, scattering clouds like the very Wind himself, coursed on in the aerial way like Garuda. And mighty clouds, hued like Kālāguru²²⁵ red, and yellow and sable, on being dispersed by the monkey, burst into brilliance. And again and again entering into the clouds and emerging out of them, he resembled the Moon during the rains now entering (into clouds) and now issuing out of them. And everywhere Hanumān, son unto the wind-god coursing through the unsupported sky, looked like the monarch of mountains furnished with wings. And it came to pass that beholding him in the act of bounding, a Rākshasi named Sinhikā, of great age, and capable of wearing forms at will, thought within herself,—”Today after a long lapse of time I shall have my fare. This mighty creature hath after a long time come within my power.” Having thought thus in her mind, she seized (Hanumān’s) shadow.²²⁶ On his shadow being secured, the monkey reflected,—”As a mighty bark is retarded in its course in the sea by adverse wind, have I, my prowess paralysed, been suddenly obstructed in my career.” Then looking above and below and sideways, the monkey saw a mighty creature arisen from the salt waters. And seeing that one of a distorted countenace, the wind-god’s son thought,—”This one is, without doubt, the creature of wonderful form, possessed of exceeding prowess,—given to securing its prey by means of its shadow,—which had been described by the monkey-king. And concluding her to be Sinhikā, from her act,²²⁷ the intelligent monkey attaining a gigantic body, increased himself, like a mass of clouds during the rains. And seeing the enlarged body of the mighty monkey, she extended her mouth measuring the sky and the nether regions. And roaring like unto a mass of clouds, she rushed against the monkey. Thereat, that intelligent and mighty monkey marked her deformed and huge mouth, her body and its asticulated members. And the redoubtable monkey hard as the thunderbolt, contracting himself in a moment, threw himself into her mouth. And the Siddhas and Charanas saw him sink in her mouth, as the full Moon is taken by Rāhu during a Parva.— Then tearing her limits by means of his sharp claws, the monkey, endowed with the celerity of thought, vehemently sprang forward. Then slaying her by his acuteness of sight, endurance and skill, that heroic, self-controlled monkey again began to swell himself amain. Her heart having been crushed out by Hanumān, she, rendered lifeless, fell into the water. The self-create had created him for compassing her destruction. And seeing Sinhikā speedily slain by the monkey, and fallen, creatures ranging the sky addressed that foremost of monkeys, saying,—”Terrible is the deed that thou hast performed to day. Mighty was the creature that hath been slaughtered by thee. Compass thou thine wished-for end without let, O foremost of monkeys. He, O chief of monkeys, that, like thee, is endowed with endurance, sharp sightedness, sense, and ability, doth not feel depressed in action.” Honored by these and wished well as to his purpose, that monkey, worthy of being honored, set out, enveloping the sky, like him that subsisteth on serpents.²²⁸ And it came to pass that as he had almost arrived at the other shore (of the ocean), he looking about on all sides at the end of an hundred yojanas saw a range of woods. And as he went on. that best of monkeys saw an island decked with diverse trees, and groves pertaining Malaya. And he surveyed the sea, and lands bordering thereon, and trees growing on the sea shore, and the countenances of the spouses of the Sea, And surveying his own person resembling a mighty mass of clouds, and as if closing up the sky, that self-possessed one ascertained his course of action. “Soon as the Rākshasas shall behold my enlarged body and the vehemence of my motion, they shall be seized with curiosity concerning me.” Thus thought that magnanimous one. Thereat diminishing that person of his resembling a mountain, that self-possessed one, purged of ignorance, resumed his natural shape. And diminishing that form into the smallest compass, Hanumān remained in his native form, like that depriver of Vāli’s prowess, Hari, after he had placed his three steps. And thus wearing various graceful forms, that one, acting after reflection, having come to the other shore of the ocean incapable of being reached by others,— on looking over his (immensely magnified person), reduced his body (to its former size). And that high-souled one resembling a cloudy pavilion, alighted on the (foremost) summit of the splendid mountain, Samva; crested with picturesque peaks; and abounding in ketakas, uddālakas and cocoanuts. And reaching the shore of the sea, and beholding Lankā on the top of that foremost of mountains, the monkey, renouncing his native form, fell on that mountain, agitating birds and beasts. And having by main force bounded over the ocean heaving with surges, and rife with Dānavas and Panagas, he alighting on the shore of the mighty main, beheld Lankā like unto Amarāvati.
²¹¹ Pavana. The commentator takes this word in its literal meaning. He that purifieth contemplative spirits by imparting knowledge. Rāmānuya would interpret the epithet as meaning Rāma. This is reading into the author a sense which the passage does not plainly yeild.—T.
²¹² Another reading is: sa mahāsatwasannāda—The clans of these mighty creatures.—T
²¹³ Parihāra, according to Kataka, implies excellence. Tirtha says it means bracelets. I follow him.—T.
²¹⁴ Above his shoulders.—T.
²¹⁵ The legend is that Indra or Mahendra—i. e. Indra the Great—once took into his head to clip the pinnions of all the mountains. Hence the fright—T.
²¹⁶ Parvatasthāvivānalam—like two fires on a mountain. It evidently means two active craters in a mountain. At least this rendering, without missing in sense, imparts a material sublimity to the passage rarely paralleled in literature. The commentator, however, takes the word to mean forest-conflagration.—T.
²¹⁷ Under water.—T.
²¹⁸ by his progress.—T.
²¹⁹ The sense is hard to hit. The commentator says, that agitated by Hanumān’s speed, the clouds began to pour down showers on the ocean.—T. _
²²⁰ For his relationship with Wind whose son was Hanumān.—T.
²²¹ Wrath in consequence of his inability to accept his offerings.—T.
²²² Pitupanthanam—the text means “his father’s path”—Wind being Hānuman’s father the passage means—”aerial way.”—T.
²²³ Tat dristwā—Seeing this, occurs twice in this passage, I render it once only.—T.
²²⁴ The third feat, remarks Rāmanuya, is Hanumān’s issuing oat of Surasā’s mouth. The preceding two are not mentioned.—T.
²²⁵ A kind of alco or agallochum.—Wilson.—T.
²²⁶ Brahma had conferred on her a boon that she should secure her prey by pulling at it by means of its shadow.—T.
²²⁷ i. e. of securing his shadow.—T.
Having crossed over the ocean incapable ot being repressed, that one endowed with great strength, staying at the plateau of Chitrakuta, and having refreshed himself, cast his eyes on Lankā. And covered with showers of blossoms poured down by the trees, that monkey possessed of prowess then appeared there like Pushpamaya.²²⁹ And having cleared an hundred yojanas, that monkey gifted with first-rate prowess, did not heave sighs or feel any fatigue. “I am competent to bound over many hundreds of yojanas. What then is this end of the ocean measuring an hundred yojanas only?” And that foremost of those endowed with energy and the prime of monkeys,—gifted with speed, went to Lankā,²³⁰ having crossed over the mighty main. And seeing blue lawns, and perfumed woods, replete with honey and filled with mountains, he held his way by the central thoroughfare, And that foremost of monkeys, the energetic Hanumān, went by hills filled with trees, and ranges of blossoming woods. And stationing himself in that mountain, the offspring of the Wind-god beheld woods and groves and Lankā established at the brow of the mountain. And that elephant of a monkey surveyed Saralas, and Karnikāras, and dates in full flower, Piyālas, Muchulindas, Kutajas and Ketakas, Piyangus warm with aroma, and Nipas, and Saptachchhadas; Asanas, Kovidāras, and flowering Karaviras, and trees bearing blossoms, filled with swans and Kārandavas, and covered with lotuses and lilies; and charming sporting hills²³¹ and various watery expanses; and extensive tracts covered with diverse trees bearing flowers and fruits at all seasons, and gardens exceedingly beautiful to behold. And drawing near unto Lankā embellished with lilies and environed by a moat tilled with lotuses, that one graced with auspiciousness, that graceful monkey, Hanumān, beheld Lankā vigilantly guarded by Rāvana, in consequence of Sitā having been carried away,—with Rākshasas bearing fierce bows ranging all around,—that mighty and captivating capital surrounded by a golden wall, filled with edifices resembling cliffs and looking like autumnal clouds, and elevated yellowish highways; abounding in hundreds of banners mounted on the walls, and beautified with pennons and streamers with noble golden gateways painted with plants; and resembling the metropolis of the very sovereign of the celestials. And that graceful monkey saw Lankā situated on the top of the mountain, filled with splendid yellow-white palaces, like unto a city stationed in the sky: ruled by the lord of Rākshasas and reared by Viçwakarmā himself. And the monkey, Hanumān, beheld Lankā, as if moving in the sky: with her walls furnished with daises for her hips, the immense waters and woods for her cloth, Sataghnis and darts for her hair-ends: and pennons on her walls for ear-rings,—built as if by the agency of the Mind; and constructed by Viçwakarmā himself. And arriving at the Northern gate resembling the mansion of Kailāça, and cleaving, as it were, the welkin, and as if holding the firmament with lofty and glorious edifices, and observing the sea; his dreadful enemy, Rāvana; the city teeming with poisonous snakes,—as well as the method of defence (displayed in it)—the monkey reflected,—”Even if the monkeys came here, they should fail to achieve success; for Lankā is incapable of being taken in battle by the celestials themselves. Even if the mighty-armed Rāghava should reach this terrible-looking and impregnable Lankā reared by Rāvana, what could he do? Opportunity find I none either for conciliation with the Rākshasas, or for (winning them over) by gifts, or for sowing dissensions among them, or for conquering them in fight. Of all the monkeys, four only endowed with (exceptional) celerity,—viz., Vāli’s son, Nila, the intelligent king, and myself, have the power to come over here. When I have ascertained whether Vaidehi is alive or not, I shall, after interviewing Janaka’s daughter, think about this.” Then that elephantine monkey, stationed on the summit of that mountain, for a while bethought himself as to the success of Rāma.²³² “I cannot in this form succeed in entering the city of the Rākshasas, guarded by wily and powerful Rākshasas. I should, while engaged in searching for Jānaki, deceive all the strong and highly energetic Rākshasas gifted with prowess. For attaining this mighty object, it behoveth me to enter Lankā, at night in a shape invisible yet well suited to the end in view.” And beholding the city in that state, difficult of being subdued by the celestials and Asuras (combined), Hanumān, sighing momentarily, thought within himself,—”How can I, without being discovered by the impious lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, succeed in seeing Janaka’s daughter, Maithili? How can the work of Rāma cognizant of self (be so managed that it) may not be brought to naught? How can I see Janaka’s daughter singly in secret? Actions on the very eve of success, on being obstructed by adverse season and place, and through the agency of unreflecting envoys, come to nought, even as darkness is dispelled on sunrise. And in respect of what should be undertaken and what not, even the certain decision (of a master assisted by his counsellors), because of a heedless messenger, doth not appear in all its beauty: messengers (foolish) yet proud of their knowledge, bring every business to nought. How can I so manage that my business may not suffer? How can I avoid recklessness? How can my bounding over the deep bear fruit? On my being seen by the Rākshasas, the work of Rāma cognizant of self, desirous of the destruction of Rāvana, shall be marred. Even if I wear a Rākshasa form, I cannot anywhere remain undiscovered by the Rākshasas. What shall I say of any other form? Even the wind, I conceive, doth not stray here, unperceived. Nothing whatever is here that is unknown to the Rākshasas of redoubtable deeds. Should I stay here embodied in my native form, I shall come by destruction; and the interest also of my master shall suffer. Therefore, diminishing myself, I shall at night, for compassing the welfare of Rāghava, enter Lankā in my own form. Entering at night Rāvana’s capital difficult of access, I shall, obtaining entry into every dwelling seek Janaka’s daughter.” Having made up his mind thus, the heroic Hanumān, extremely eager to see Vaidehi, wished for the setting of the sun. On the sun having set, at night the Wind-god’s son, contracting his person, reducing himself to the dimensions of a cat, became wonderful to behold. And at dusk, the powerful Hanumān, springing up, entered the charming city of Lankā with its well divided highways; furnished with rows of edifices having golden pillars, and net-works,—resembling the metropolis of the Gandharbas. And he saw that splendid city containing seven-storied and eight*storied edifices, studded with crystal and adorned with gold. And the dwellings of the Rākshasas were embellished with these (ornaments). And graceful golden gateways belonging to the Rākshasas everywhere lent splendour unto Lankā adorned all over. Beholding Lankā, wonderful and of inconceivable loveliness, the mighty monkey, desirous of beholding Vaidehi, became depressed and delighted at the same time. And he (entered Lankā) engarlanded with yellow edifices joined together, with the ornamented arches of her gateways furnished with nets of precious gold; famed (all over the world); ruled by the arm of Rāvana, and vigilantly guarded by night-rangers of dreadful strength. And as if ministering unto him,²³³ the Moon furnished with many thousands of rays arose with the stars in the midst of the sky, spreading lunar light over all creatures. And that heroic monkey beheld the Moon possessing the sheen of a conch, and hued like milk or the lotus-stalk, arisen and afloat (in the welkin), like a swan swimming in a tank.
²²⁹ A monkey so named.—T.
²³⁰ Descending, remarks the comentator, from the mountain-summit.—T.
²³¹ Sporting hills according to Kataka. According to others, ākrira means a grove in general.-—T.
²³² About rescuing his wife.—T.
Assuming the quality of goodness and energy on mount Lamva furnished with elevated summits, and resembling long masses of clouds, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god capable of concluding in harmony with season, possessed of exceeding strength—an elephant among monkeys—entered Lankā by night, affluent with charming woods and waters—the city governed by Rāvana; beautified with edifices resembling autumnal clouds; sounding like unto Vitapāvati²³⁴ herself—with infuriated elephants (stationed) at her graceful gateways; containing white gates with ornamented arches; resembling the handsome Bhogavati inhabited and protected by serpents. And suddenly coming to that (city) resembling Amarāvati, scattered with clouds charged with lightning, having hosts of luminaries, and tumultuous with the roars of blustering blasts,—girt round by a mighty golden wall,—ringing with the tinklings of tiny bells; and embellished with pennons,—he growing exceedingly exhilarated, made towards the wall. And beholding the city all round, furnished with golden doors; having quadrangular courts composed of lapises; ornamented with plastered jeweled pavements studded with all gems, crystals, and pearls; with mad elephants of burnished gold and speckless white silver; with stairs of lapises,—(doors) devoid of dust with their centres composed of crystal and with stately halls; elegant,—and adjoining mansions seeming as if reaching up to the heavens; resounding with Kraunchas and peacocks; frequented by swans; and everywhere resonant with the sounds of trumpets and ornaments. And then beholding the city Lankā, resembling Vaswokasāra,²³⁵ and appearing to mount to the welkin, the monkey Hanumān was filled with rapture. And seeing the delightful, divine and prosperous city of Lankā belonging to the lord of Rākshasas, that one endowed with prowess thought within himself,—”This city protected by the forces of Rāvana with their hands holding upraised arms, is incapable of being forcibly subdued by any other. This place can be easily entered by Kumuda, and Angada, as well as by that mighty monkey, Sushena; and also by Mainda and Dwivida. And there is way also for the offspring of the Sun, and that monkey, Kuçaparva, as well as of that foremost of monkeys, Rikshya, and myself.” And having witnessed the prowess of Rāghava, as well as the vigor of Lakshmana, the monkey was filled with joy. And that redoubtable monkey beheld the metropolis of the monarch of the Rākshasas; having for her cloth the sea; for her pendants, cow-stalls and stables; for her breasts, turrets mounted on the walls for discharging missils,—decked out like a damsel; with her darkness dispelled by bright lights and the mighty planets. And as he was entering, that tiger-like mighty monkey son unto the Wind-god was met by the city in her native shape. And seeing that best of monkeys, Lankā, ruled by Rāvana, arising of herself with her countenance rendered deformed, stood before the heroic son of the Wind; and, emitting a tremendous roar, addressed the offspring of the Wind god, saying,—”O thou that hast the woods for thy home, who art thou? And on what errand hast thou come hither? Tell me while yet thou hast thy vital powers left in thee. O monkey, for certain thou art unable to obtain entry into this Lankā, protected by the forces of Rāvana, and carefully guarded on all sides.” Thereat, the heroic Hanumān spoke unto her staying in front of him,—”I shall tell thee all about that anent which thou questionest me. Who art thou that having deformed eyes stayest at the gate of this city? And what for, O frightful one, dost thou rail at me in wrath?” Hearing Hanumān’s speech, Lankā, capable of wearing forms at will, waxing wroth addressed the Wind-god’s offspring, saying,—”I, who am incapable of being repressed, abiding by the mandate of the high-souled sovereign of the Rākshasas, protect this city. Thou art unable to enter this city, passing me by. Thou shalt to-day, losing thy life and slain by me, sleep (the sleep of death). O monkey, I am the City of Lankā myself. I every way guard (all that is here.”) Hearing Lankā’s words, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god,—foremost of monkeys—exerting himself (to secure victory), stood like another hill. And seeing her appear in the form of a deformed female, that foremost and best of monkeys endeued with intelligence, possessed of prowess, said,—”I will behold the city of Lankā, crowned with turrets, walls and ornamented arches, it is for this that I have come here. Great is my curiosity. I come forsooth to see the woods and groves and gardens of Lankā here, —as well as her principal edifices.” Hearing these words of his, Lankā capable of wearing forms at will, again addressed him in a speech fraught with disonant letters: “O thou of perverse understanding, O worst of monkeys, without (in the first instance) vanquishing me, thou canst not to-day behold this city ruled by the monarch of the Rākshasas.” Thereat that tiger of a monkey said unto that female ranger of the night,—”After seeing this city, O gentle one, I shall go away even as I have come.” Thereupon, setting up a mighty and terrible roar, Lankā filled with vehemence, struck at Hanumān with her palm. And that tiger-like monkey, the energetic offspring of the wind-god, on being lustily struck by Lankā, emitted a tremendous roar. And (Hanumān) fastened the fingers of his left hand into a box, and transported with rage, dealt it unto her. And considering that she was a female, he did not give way to excessive wrath. And struck at (by Hanumān), that ranger of the night, of a deformed face, her body overcome, suddenly dropped to the earth. And the energetic and heroic Hanumān, seeing her measure her length,—in consideration of her being a female, was filled with compassion. Thereat, exceedingly agitated, Lankā addressed the monkey, Hanumān, in humble words, with their letters faltering,—”O mighty-armed one, be propitious unto me! Do thou save me, O best of monkeys, O placid one. Those that are gifted with strength and are endeued with exceeding vigor, ever bear regard unto the dignity of the scriptures. By thy prowess, O monkey, hast thou, O hero, O thou gifted with wondrous strength, vanquished me myself, who am the City of Lankā. Listen to this narration, which I, O foremost of monkeys, deliver unto thee; as to bow the self-create Himself conferred a boon on me.’ When a certain monkey shall by his prowess, bring thee under his sway, then shalt thou understand that a fear is come unto the Rākshahas’. And that time, O placid one, hath come unto me, in consequence of my meeting with thee. The truth ordained by the self-create knoweth no turning. The destruction of the unrighteous king Rāvana together with all the Rākshasas, hath come about in consequence of Sitā (having been carried away). Therefore, O best of monkeys, do thou enter the city ruled by Rāvana; and accomplish such tasks as thou wishest to. Entering this splendid city lying under an imprecation, governed by the chief of the Rākshasas, do thou at thy will happily repairing everywhere, search for the chaste daughter of Janaka.”
²³⁴ Alakā, the city of Kuvera, King of Yakshas.—T.
Having by his vigor vanquished the excellent City of Lankā capable of wearing forms at will, that exceedingly energetic foremost of monkeys, Hanumān, eudeued with prodigious prowess, leaped sheer over a wall, where doorway there was none; and that elephantine monkey gifted with great strength entered Lankā by night. And entering the city of Lankā, that one (ever) compassing the welfare of the monkey-king, set his left foot on the heads of his foes.²³⁶ And entering in by night, the offspring of the Wind-god furnished with strength, proceeded along the high-way strewn with blossoms. And the monkey held his sway in the charming city of Lankā, resounding with grateful sounds mixed with laughter, and ringing with trumpet blasts. And with multitudes of mansions marked with the thunderbolt and the hook, and adorned with diamond windows, the charming metropolis looked splendid, like the welkin with clouds. And then Lankā, with handsome and variegated mansions of Rākshasas, resembling white clouds and arranged like lotus-leaves; and adorned on all sides with structures superscribed ’Vardhamāna,’ shone forth in all its glory. And that graceful one serving in the interests of the king of monkeys, ranging for Rāma’s behoof, beheld (Lankā) adorned with variegated wreaths; and was highly delighted. And moving from house to house, that foremost of monkeys observed on all sides various dwellings of diverse forms and color, and heard charming songs chanted in the three octaves²³⁷ by damsels maddened with amour, resembling celestial Apsarās. And he also heard the jinglings of zones and the clash of bangles; and sounds of footsteps on stairs of edifices belonging to high-souled ones; and sounds proceeding from clapping hands; and the roaring of lions here and there. And (Hanumān) heard there in the mansions of the Rakshas, Mantras recited by persons engaged therein, and those occupied in Vaidika studies. And (Hanumān) saw goblins and Rākshasas storming and eulogizing Rāvana; and mighty swarms of Rakshas stationed, covering the highway. And in the central courtyard, he found innumerable spies of the Rākshasa (Rāvana), some initiated, some bearing matted locks, some with their heads shaven, and some clad in cow-skins, some in cloths and some going stark naked; and (he found there persons) carrying handfuls of darbha for their weapons, and (having) the sacrificial fire-place for their arms; and those bearing in their hands clubs and concealed weapons,²³⁸ or holding rods as their aims, or having a single eye or a single complexion,²³⁹ or having a single breast dangling down; and those looking dreadful with uneven attire;²⁴⁰ and dwarfs frightful to behold; and bowmen; and swordsmen; and (warriors) carrying sataghnis and clubs for their arms; those bearing excellent parighas in their hands, or blazing in curious mail; persons not exceedingly fat, or exceedingly lean; not unduly tall, or unduly short; not extremely fair, or extremely dark; not unduly crooked, or unduly dwarfish; and those deformed, or many-formed, or endowed with beauty, or possessing splendour; standard bearers; and flag bearers. And (Hanumān) saw also various weapons; and those having for their arms darts and vrikshas, or bearing pattiças and asanis, or having Kshepanis²⁴¹ and nooses in their hands, saw that mighty monkey, or wearing wreaths, or having their persons daubed with pastes, or adorned with noble ornaments, or clad in various kinds of raiment; and many a one ranging wherever he listed; and those holding sharpened javelins; and mighty ones bearing Vajras; and hundreds and thousands of warriors garrisoned in the central courtyard and engaged in vigilantly guarding the interior,—having been directed by the lord of the Rakshas,—saw the monkey. And having seen that edifice situated in front of the inner appartment, that mighty monkey saw the famous mansion of the Rākshasa chief, pinnacled on the mountain-top, with huge golden arches over the gateway; surrounded by a moat enriched with pale lotuses; and completely guarded by a wall; resembling heaven itself; magnificent; resonant with grateful sounds; resounding with the neighing of horses and wondrous steeds; and adorned with cars and vehicles, chariots and dainty horse: elephants²⁴²; and four-tusked elephants resembling masses of white clouds;—and possessing graceful gateways. And the monkey entered the palace protected by the Rākshasa chief,—guarded by maddened beasts and birds, and thousands of goblins endowed with exceeding great prowess. And he (Hanumān) entered Rāvana’s inner apartment girt round with a wall consisting of blazing gold and Jāmvunada;²⁴³ having its top decorated with costly gems and pearls; and worshipped with excellent black Aguru and sandal.
²³⁶ The literal meaning is that, leaping over the wall, Hanumān first set his left foot on the hostile soil; and this act of his, as tending to the discomfiture of the foe, is looked upon by the author in the light of Hanumān setting his left foot on the heads of the Rākshasas. The setting of the left foot on an enemy’s dominions, is considered by the scriptures as very inauspicious.—T.
²³⁷ The three octaves referred to are Mandra or the base tone, Madhya, or the middle tone, and Tāra or the high tone. These constitute the entire diapason of Hindu Music.—T.
²³⁸ Kuta. The commentator says the word stands for a particular kind of weapons. Wilson has concealed weapon for its English equivalent.—T.
²³⁹ The same complexion gives sense. But I render the passage literally.—T.
²⁴⁰ Bhugnavastrān.—Perhaps the text is corrupt. Bhugnavahtrān—person of deformed faces—would render sense.—T.
²⁴¹ A short arrow thrown from the hand, or shot through a tube. Wilson.—T.
²⁴² Elephants of the size of horses.—T.
²⁴³ Jāmvunada is a kind of gold having sixteen diverse colors.—T.
And as if ministering unto him (Hanumān), arose the many thousand-rayed Moon in the midst of the stars, enfolding all creatures with his luminous canopy. And that highly heroic monkey beheld the Moon hued like the sheen of conch, or milk, or lotus-stalk, arisen and afloat (in the heavens),— like a swan swimming in a pool. And that intelligent one from the earth beheld the Moon arrive at the mid-heavens; momentarily beaming out in lunar light; appearing (splendid) as if in conjunction with the Sun himself,—and like a bull loitering in his stall. And he saw the mild-rayed (Moon), chasing away the remorse of all; swelling the sea; and displaying all creatures,—attain the middle of the sky. And that Lakshmi who on earth remains on Mandara, at eve in the sea, and on the lotus on water, looked exceedingly lovely, stationed beside the charming Moon. Like a swan in a silver cage, like a lion in a cave in Mandara, like a hero on a haughty elephant, appeared the Moon in the middle of the sky. And with (the mark of) the horn the Moon resembled a sharp-horned bull, or a mighty white hued hill with towering summits, or an elephant with his horns plated with gold. And, with his dirt composed of particles of cool water removed; and the darkness dispelled in consequence of the vicinity of the mighty planet;²⁴⁴ and with his spots appearing clear because of his shining appearance, appeared the hare-marked²⁴⁵ worshipful Moon in full splendour. And like a lion on coming out of his cavern, or a lordly elephant on entering into the thick of a mighty encounter, or a monarch on obtaining a kingdom,—appeared the Moon in full splendour. And now appeared the revered Mid-night, chasing away darkness with the Moon displayed,—when flesh-eating (Rākshasas) lend full liberty to their vicious appetite for flesh; and when disputes between lovers cease,²⁴⁶—and which bringeth down heaven itself.²⁴⁷ The sounds of strings sweet unto the ear spread around; females sleep beside their husbands; and night-rangers, given to astounding and terrible acts, are, in the same way, out, indulging in their sports. And the intelligent monkey saw mansions crowded with (Rākshasas), some inebriate with wine and others with wealth; and abounding in cars and horses and golden seats; and fraught with the grace got of heroism. And (Rākshasas) were parleying,—moving about their plump arms,—railing at each other; and throwing intemperate speeches at each other. And (Hanumān saw) Rākshasas striking at their chests (by way of challenge), sinking on the persons of their beloved, wearing diverse habiliments, or stretching their tough bows. And (he) saw debonair damsels daubing their frames with pastes; and others, again, sleeping,—and fair-faced wenches smiling,—and others sighing hard under the influence of anger. And with gigantic elephants roaring, (the place), honored by pious persons,—with its heroes heaving sighs²⁴⁸—looked exceedingly beautiful like a lake in which serpents are sighing forth. And in that apartment (Hanumān) saw persons of commanding understandings,²⁴⁹ endowed with a soft tongue,—instinct with the spirit of reverence—the foremost men of all this world,— and bearing euphonious appelations,and clad in diverse attires. And beholding those well-formed people, whose conduct was of apiece with their many virtues, (Hanumān) rejoiced exceedingly. And he saw some having beautiful forms; and others deformed,—and both possessed of splendour. And (Hanumān) saw there their wives worthy of noble ornaments and endowed with eminent beauty; of spotless character; possessing great potency; like unto stars in point of excellency of conduct,—displaying side-glances and other tokens of dalliance, —engaged in dear drinking. And at dead of night Hanumān saw some females blazing in beauty, affected simultaneously with bashfulness and bliss, on being embraced by their paramours, like birds embracing their mates. And the sensible Hanumān saw there other females seated in stately halls,— lying in happiness on the laps of their lovers,—beloved of their lords—intent on virtue,—married women,—under the influence of Madana. And Hanumān saw some without sheets, like unto golden streaks,—paragons among women— of the hue of molten gold,—and some of a moon-like complexion, endeued with loveliness,—bereft of their beloved. And that exceedingly heroic monkey saw females in their homes experiencing the height of joy in the company of their beloved dear unto their souls; charming with blossoms; filled with gladness; and enchaining the hearts of their lords with their loveliness. And Hanumān saw crowds of faces like unto the Moon displayed,—with elegant eyes furnished with lovely lashes, and side-long looks; and multitudes of ornaments resembling beautiful lines of lightning. But Hanumān saw not Sitā, of the highest lineage,—ever abiding by the way of righteousness; born in a royal line,—like unto a delightful and well-begot plant,— of a slender frame,—sprung from the mind (of Brahmā himself); established on the eternal road (of chastity); having her gaze fixed on Rāma; always engrossed in the contemplation of Rāma,—the mind itself of her lord,—who had entered through and through into the heart of her graceful lord,—ever superior to all other women; oppressed with the grief of separation; and having her throat afflicted with the vapour of grief; who formerly had her throat graced with that best of ornaments—the nishka; of excellent eyelashes; having a mellifluous voice; like unto a peahen ranging in the woods; (now) like unto an indistinct lunar lining, or a streak of gold covered with dust, or the color of a sore-scar, or a gold-leaf broken off by the wind. And not finding, (after so long a search) the Sitā of the lord of men,— the spouse of Rāma; best of those skilled in speech the monkey, deeming himself as having suddenly lost his skill in search, was overwhelmed with sadness.
²⁴⁴ The sun. It is a planet in Hindu cosmogony.—T.
²⁴⁵ The spots are fabled as the marks of hares on the lap of the Moon.—T.
²⁴⁶ i. e. in consequence of sleep.—T.
²⁴⁷ A beautiful characterization of sleep, reminding one powerfully of “Macbeth hath murdered sleep,” &c.—T.
²⁴⁸ In expectation of an access of warriors.—T.
²⁴⁹ According to the commentator, Vuddkipradhānān means persons possessing many virtues. I differ from him.—T.
Wending about at will on the roofs of seven-storied edifices, that monkey capable of assuming any form that he chose, began to range Lankā with speed. And (at length) that auspicious one arrived at the mansion of the Rākshasa chief, surrounded by a shining wall hued like the Sun; protected by terrible Rākshasas, like a mighty forest by lions. And as that foremost of monkeys saw the mansion, with fretted arches plated with silver and embellished with gold,— beautifully abounding in splendid courts and gateways; containing elephant-drivers, and heroes knowing no fatigue; ever coursed by irrisistible steeds drawing cars, and curious vehicles, Covered over with skins of lions and tigers, resounding with bells hung thereon, and embosoming effigies of ivory, gold and silver,—the locality of mighty cars, and the home of mighty car-warriors; filled all around with many thousands of divers beauteous and dainty birds and beasts; well protected by meek Rāksha warders at the outskirts; thronged about with magnificent dames of the first order; containing gems of joyous damsels—the abode of the foremost Rākshasas—sounding like the sea with the sounds of superb ornaments; affluent with regal insignia and excellent sandals; crowded with mighty ones, like a vast forest with lions; reasonant with trumpets and drums; and ringing with the blares of conchs; where the ever adored offspring of the Parvas was always worshipped by the Rākshasas; solemn like the sea; and resounding like the ocean itself,—the mighty mansion of the high-souled(Rāvana); clad in costly jewels; scattered with precious gems—as that mighty monkey beheld (Rāvana’s residence), he set about searching for Sitā.²⁵⁰ And that mighty monkey concluded. “This is the ornament of Lankā bodied forth beautifully to the view, covered with elephants, steeds and chariots.” And there in the vicinity of Rāvana’s mansion,²⁵¹ Hanumān began to range the dwellings of the Rākshasas from one to another, as well as all the gardens (located there). And without experiencing any agitation, he observing (everything), ranged the palaces. Then that one endowed with wondrous motion, with a bound entered Prahasta’s palace; and then with another, that (monkey) possessed of energy entered the abode of Mahāpārçwa. Then that mighty monkey entered into the abode of Kumbhakarna, resembling a mass of clouds; and thereafter that of Vibhishana; and then that of Mahodara, and then that of Virupāksha; and then the abode of Vidyujjibha, and then that of Vidyunmālā;—and then that mighty monkey with a bound entered into the abode of Vahudanshtra. And then that leader of monkey-bands gifted with great speed leapt into the abode of Suka, and next into that of the intelligent Sārana, and next into that of Indrajit. And that foremost of monkeys went to the mansion of Jambumāla, and of Sumāla,—and (then) to the abode of Rashmiketu, and Suryyasachu. And (next) that powerful monkey leapt into the mansion of Vajrakāya; and (next) the Wind-god’s offspring entered the house of Dhumrāksha, and (next) that of Sampāti, and the grim Vidyudrupa, and Phana, and Vighana, and Sukanābha, and Chakra, and Satha, and Kapatha, and Hraswakarna, and Danshtra, and the Rākshasa Lomasa, and Yudhyonmatta, and Matta, and the horseman, Dhwajagriva, and of Vidyujjibha and Vijibha, and of Hastimukha, and of Karāla, and Viçāla, and of Sonitāksha. The illustrious offspring of the Wind, Hanumān, one after another, leapt into all these noble edifices. And that redoubtable monkey observed the affluence of all these (Rākshasas) possessed of prosperity. And having bounded over the mansions of all situated around, that one blessed with auspiciousness, at length came to the very mansion of the monarch of the Rākshasas. And that tiger-like monkey—the best of his species—ranging around, saw Rākshasis of frightful eyes, alternately mounting sentry over the couch of Rāvana— bearing darts and maces in their hands, and equipped with javelins and clubs. And (there) in the residence of that lord of the Rākshasas, he beheld various bands of Rākshasis, as well as Rākshasas of gigantic frames, upraising various kinds of weapons; and steeds of exceeding fleetness, red, and white, and black; and first-rate elephants, possessed of eminent grace, capable of crushing hostile elephants, and well trained in arts relative to their species—like Airavata himself in conflict. And there in that mansion he saw (all these elephants), destroyers of hostile hosts—like unto pouring clouds, or hills, sending up fountains, rumbling like unto clouds, and invincible in battle by foes. And that monkey, son unto the Wind-god, saw in the mansion of the lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana, hosts by thousands; and cars of various forms of glittering gold, furnished all over with golden net-works, resembling the risen sun; and graceful grots; and picture galleries; and sporting saloons, mountains composed of wood,²⁵² captivating structures dedicated to dalliance, and dwellings for day-dalliance,²⁵³—saw he in the mansion of the Rākshasa monarch. And he beheld that charming mansion resembling Mandara, filled with places for peacocks²⁵⁴; thronged with pennons and flagstaffs,—a very mine of countless gems,—a field of treasures spread around,—where persons of intrepid calmness were engaged in acts tending to the safety of the treasures,—resembling the mansion herself of Kuvera. And on account of the lustre shed by the gems, as well as the energy of Rāvana himself, that mansion appeared splendid like the ray-furnished Sun in all his glory. And the chief of monkey-bands saw bed-steads and seats of gold and white vessels. And Hanumān entered the mighty mansion, containing clay formed by Madha²⁵⁵ and Asava;²⁵⁶ filled with gemmed cans; charming; free from impediments; resembling the mansion herself of Kāma,—like the abode of Kuvera,—resonant with the sounds of bangles and the tinklings of zones, as well as with the beat of mridanga-hides and other eloquent musical instruments; with palaces close on each other; thronged with hundreds of females (like unto) jewels; and containing capacious enclosures.
²⁵⁰ The syntactical co-herence is, as is natural in so colossal a sentence, grievously loose here. I have, however, tried my best to supply the lacuna in the passage.—T
²⁵¹ Rāmānuja says that Hanumān began to range the dwellings about the wall environing Rāvana’s mansion.—T.
²⁵² Designed for sport.—T.
²⁵³ The conception of day-dalliance met with in Vidya Sundara of Bhārata Chandra Roy, the Bengali poet, is found to have first originated with Vālmiki.—T.
²⁵⁴ Sportive peacocks.
²⁵⁵ Spirituous liquor distilled from the blossoms of the Bassia latifolia. According to some, a spirit distilled from grapes.—T.
²⁵⁶ Spirit distilled from sugar or molasses.—T.
And that one endowed with strength saw that row of structures fitted up with golden windows, studded with lapis lazulis, and containing birds; like unto a mass of clouds in a season of great rains, crowned with lightning, and fraught with fowls. And he saw various structures close to one another, to which excellent conchs, arms and bows lent lustre; as well as huge and splendid towers belonging to edifices resembling mountains. And the monkey beheld mansions, treasuring various kinds of wealth, which were held in regard by both gods and Asuras,—devoid of every defect; and which had been won (by Rāvana) through his own might.²⁵⁷ And (Hanumān) saw the mansions of the lord of Lankā, located in strict conformity with aesthetic laws,—appearing as if they had been constructed by Maya himself,—which had on the earth beneath every excellence. And then he saw the mansion of the lord of Rakshas himself, surpassing the best structures; like unto a mass of towering clouds; captivating; boasting of a beauteous golden appearance; worthy of his own power,—and of incomparable loveliness; appearing as if the celestial regions had dropped down on the earth; blazing in beauty; teeming with countless gems; like unto the brow of a mountain strewn with the blossoms and the dust thereof of various trees; and illumined by the foremost females,—appearing like a mass of clouds containing lightning, or the witching welkin furnished with grace, afloat with excellent swans. And (Hanumān) saw the car variegated with countless gems; like unto the top of a mountain variegated with innumerable metals; or like the firmament garnished with the moon and the planets,—or like clouds of diverse hues fused into a homogeneous whole. The place in the car designed as the seat of the many, was filled with rows of hills;²⁵⁸ its hills were filled with trees; its trees were filled with flowers; and (finally) its flowers were filled with leaves and filaments. And (in it), where white mansions were reared, there were tanks filled with fair flowers; and lotuses furnished with filaments; and picturesque woods; and liquid lapses. And the mighty monkey beheld there the great chariot going after the name of Pushpa, appearing beautiful, wheeling round in the splendour of the gems—which had surpassed even the cars pertaining to the abodes of the celestials. And (in that car) were birds made of lapis iazulis; and (other) birds composed of silver and coral; and variegated serpents made of various precious metals; and fair-bodied steeds resembling those of superior breeds; and there were constructed birds having graceful mouths; and fair, tapering, playful and contracted plumage, bearing blossoms made of coral and gold,—like unto the very plumage of Kāma himself. And there were elephants possessed of graceful trunks, bearing fillaments; and with their trunks bearing lotus leaves,—engaged (in showering water on Lakshmi); as well as the goddess, made with fair arms, seated on a pool with a lotus in her hand. Thus entering that graceful mansion, like unto a mountain containing charming caverns, (Hanumān) was seized with wonderment. And once again (entering that charming mansion), like unto a taking and fragrant tree during spring furnished with holes, Hanumān was seized with wonderment. Then ranging by bounds that honored city ruled by the arms of the Ten-faced one, he, not finding the highly regarded and extremely distressed daughter of Janaka, who had won over her grief by contemplating the virtues of her lord,—(was affected witb sorrow). And, not seeing Janaka’s daughter, then the heart of that high-souled one, honored for his character by the world, of schooled self, ever ranging by the way chiming in with morality, and having the scriptures for his eye-sight—as he ranged about,—was oppressed with grief.
²⁵⁷ Swavalenārjitam.—Another meaning is: (mansions) into which Hanumān found entry through his own might.—T.
²⁵⁸ Composed of gold and gems.—T.
Staying in that mansion, that intelligent monkey, the offspring of the Wind-god, beheld that splendid aerial car, beauteous with excellent jewels, and furnished with windows of burnished gold. And the car, embellished with transcendentally beautiful figures,—belauded by Viçwakarmā himself constituting the acme (of his art),—which, mounting the welkin, looked like a mark of the Sun’s orbit,—appeared . resplendent. And there was nothing in that car which was not made skilfully;—nothing that did not look like a precious jewel (sprung spontaneously on its person),—and the style displayed in its various parts surpassed anything that could be found in the cars of the celestials themselves,—and everything in that car was executed in the highest style of excellence—(that car) obtained (by Rāvana) in virtue of prowess sprung from asceticism and contemplation (of the Deity); capable of repairing wherever (the owner) wished to wend; displaying various kinds of constructive skill; composed of materials procured from diverse sources,—such as were worthy of a celestial car; fleet-coursing in consonance with the wish of its master; incapable of being approached;²⁵⁹ equal to the wind in celerity; the source of happiness unto ious, high-souled, and pious ones—possessors of (word missing) fineless’²⁶⁰ and high rapture; coursing through the firmament in a variety of ways,—the congeries of all wonderful things,—adorned with ranges of chambers; captivating to the mind; stainless as the autumnal Moon; furnished with splendid summits, like the crest of a mountain; which was borne by rangers of the night, given to mighty meals, ranging the sky, with faces graced with ear-rings; and by thousands of ghosts possessed of terrible speed, having expansive, winkless and rolling eyes. That heroic first of monkeys saw that excellent car, beauteous with vernal blossoms,—fairer than the month of spring and furnished with flowers.
²⁵⁹ By the impious. Another reading is duravaram—incapable of being approached by the enemy.—T.
²⁶⁰ Vide Othello.—T.
And located within that excellent mansion, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, saw a superior and grand structure, stainless and spacious; half a yojana in width and one in length,—belonging to the lord of the Rākshasas, and abounding with many a palace. And searching for Videha’s daughter, the large eyed Sitā, that slayer of enemies, Hanumān, ranged all through (this edifice). And Hanumān beheld the goodly edifice where the Rākshasas used to dwell in common. And (at length) that one came upon the mansion itself of the lord of Rākshasas, having three-tusked and four-tusked elephants, and protected by persons with upraised arms, and covering a capacious area. And (Hānuman beheld) the residence of Rāvana, thronged with his Rākshasi wives, as well as with princesses forcibly brought thither (by him),— like unto the sea teeming with alligators and makaras, abounding in timingilas and fishes and snakes, and agitated by the force of the wind. The same enchanting splendour that is in Vaiçravana or the ray-riding Moon, remained ever constant and abiding in Rāvana’s abode. And the prosperity of king Kuvera, or Yama, or Varuna, was here present in the house of the Raksha,—or even surpassed by the prosperity (of Rāvana). In the midst of that mansion the Wind-god’s offspring found another,²⁶¹ excellently constructed, having innumerable mad elephants;—that noble car embellished with all gems, entitled Pushpaka, which had been constructed in heaven by Viçwakarmā for Brahmā himself,— which Kuvera obtained from the Great-father through high austerities,—and which, vanquishing Kuvera by his prowess, the Rākshasa chief got possession of. And the mighty monkey ascended the splendid car Pushpaka, containing figures of wolves,—made of Kārttaswara and Hiranya; graced with ranges of goodly pillars; as if blazing in splendour; throughout garnished with narrow secret rooms and saloons, piercing the heavens, and resembling Meru or Mandara, and like unto the flaming Sun; skilfully reared by Viçwakarma; with golden staircases and graceful and grand raised seats, rows of golden and crystal windows, and daises composed of sapphires, emeralds and other superb gems; embellished with noble vidrumas, costly stones, and round pearls, as also with plastered terraces; pasted with red sandal, like unto gold, and furnished with a sacred aroma; and resembling the sun new risen. And stationed thereon,²⁶² Hanumān smelt the rich odour of viands and drinks that was spreading on all sides;— and like one dear friend smelling another, he also smelt the mighty Air, impregnated with aroma, which seemed like embodied Odour. And (the Air) said unto Hanumān,—”Come here, where that Rāvana is.” Then (descending from Pushpaka and repairing to that sleeping apartment of Rāvana), Hanumān saw the same, grand and graceful; belonging to Rāvana; of transcendent beauty; comely like unto a lovely lady; diversified with jewelled staircases; illumined with heaps of gems; with its terraces constructed of crystal; having statues of ivory, pearls, diamonds, coral, silver and gold; adorned with jewelled pillars; and embellished all round with pillasters; and upheld on all sides by straight, elevated and gorgeously ornamented pillars of equal dimensions, resembling prodigious wings,—(the mansion) appearing to tower to the sky; containing spacious and parti-colored woolen cloths bearing the marks of the Earth;²⁶³ extensive as the Earth is, with kingdoms and dwellings; resounding with the roars of infuriated elephants; redolent of divine fragrance; furnished with gay canopies; inhabited by the sovereign of the Rakshas; cloudy with aguru and dhupa; spotless; of a swan-like whiteness; engarlanded with flowers and leaves like unto the dappled and brilliant cow (of Vasishtha); bringing delight unto the heart; and enhancing the grace (of all creatures); removing sorrow; noble; and the generatrix of Grace herself. And as soon as Hanumān entered the mansion protected by Rāvana, it like a mother regaled his senses with their proper objects. “This must be swarga, or the region of the immortals, or the city of Amarāvati, or the supreme Siddhi—”²⁶⁴ thought the Wind-god’s offspring. And he saw the golden lamps (shorn of their brightness),²⁶⁵ like unto gamblers worsted at dice by others exceedingly skilful, and, in consequence, plunged in thought. And (Hanumān) conceived that (Rāvana’s sleeping apartment) was in a conflagration, on account of the display of the lamps, Rāvana’ s energy, and the splendour of the ornaments. And when the night had been half spent, (Hanumān) saw thousands of superb dames, adorned in various attires, and bearing apparels of diverse hues, and wreaths,—who having given up sport, and come under the influence of wine and sleep,— were fast asleep on woolen sheets. And in consequence of the silence that reigned (in that apartment) embellished with (ornaments), it resembled a large lotus-grove, where the swans and the black bees are silent. And the Wind-god’s offspring beheld the countenances of those beauteous women, with closed eyes,—having their lashes shut through languor; and odorous with lotus-perfume. And their faces appeared like lotuses blowing on the expiry of night and closing their petals by night. “These lotus-faces like unto very lotuses themselves, ever the six-footed ones²⁶⁶ seek once and again.” Thus thought with discrimination the graceful, mighty monkey; and on account of their perfections, he confessed those countenances to be equal to water-sprung²⁶⁷ (lotuses). And that apartment, in consequence of being graced by those women, appeared splendid, like the autumnal, complacent sky decorated with the stars. And surrounded by them, the Rākshasa chief resembled the fair Moon encircled by the stars. “Those stars that drop from the firmament on their virtue deteriorating, have assembled here in a body,” thus thought the monkey at that time. And the shine, form, and splendour of those females resembled, forsooth those of magnificently displayed, noble and lustrous stars. And on account of their having been bereft of consciousness through sleep, induced by fatigue brought on by drink (and dance), their hair was dishevelled, and their full wreaths and goodly ornaments lay scattered about. And some of those paragons had got their beauty-spots, smudged; and some, their bangles loosening off; some, their chains running to one side. And others had their pearl necklaces burst,— and their cloths getting away (from their persons), and the chains of their zones straying irregularly;—resembling way-worn mares. And others again were without their ear-rings, and had their garlands torn and crushed; and resembled blossoming creepers, trodden down in a vast forest by mighty elephants. And the pearl chains of some sinning females resembling moon beams, having got topsy-turvy, was lying like sleeping swans between the breasts of the damsels. And the lapis chains of some resembled water-crows;²⁶⁸ and the fine golden chains turned upside down of others appeared like ruddy geese. And those ladies resembled rivers having hips for banks; containing swans and Karandavas, and beautified with ruddy geese. And those sleeping females appeared like streams; having Kinkinis for their ripples; and large gold lotuses;²⁶⁹ marks²⁷⁰ of amorous encounter on their persons for ferocious aquatic animals; and perfections,²⁷¹ for their banks. And on the tender frames, as well as on the tops of the breasts, of some graceful scratches consequent on pressure, appeared like ornaments. And the scarf-ends of some stirred by the air that was blowing about their faces, flapped on them again and again. And at the nether part of the faces of Rāvana’s wives, they (the scarf-ends)appeared beauteous like uplifted streamers of exceeding elegance, composed of many-hued golden yarn. And the ear-rings of some dames possessed of a pleasant sheen, stirred by the air that was breathing about their faces, were undulating gently. And the sweet breath of their faces, naturally fragrant, and redolent of sugar and dsava, was then regaling Rāvana. And out of fear sprung from sleep and intoxication, some of Rāvana’s wives were again and again smelling the faces of those, co-wives with them, taking the faces to belong to Rāvana. And from their hearts being firmly fixed on Rāvana, those excellent women, having their sense af separateness removed, (albeit thus dealt with), did what was dear unto them.²⁷² And other females, making their gay scarf-ends (for their sheets), and making their arms, their pillows, were lying down there. And some were lying on others’ bosoms and others again, on the arms of the latter. And some lay on the laps of others; and others, again, on the breasts of the latter. And they reposed on each other’s thighs, flanks, waists, and backs; and coming under the influence of wine and amour, they lay on each other’s persons. And those females having elegant waists, receiving pleasure from the contact with others’ persons, were sleeping there, with their hands fastened by each other. And that garland of females strung by the threads of their hands, appeared beauteous, like a real wreath strung on a thread, with maddened black bees (seated thereon). And that multitude of females in a medley appeared like an assemblage of blooming plants in the month of Chaitra,²⁷³ with its wreaths formed in consequence of their coming in contact with one another, and of its clusters touching each other, on account of the breeze blowing;—with the plants encircling the graceful (necks of the trees),—and rife with Bhramaras chasing each other.—And although the ornaments of those women wearing ornaments, attires and wreaths, were put on proper places; yet (on account of the profusion of the ornaments themselves, as well as because of the circumstance of the dames’ sleeping),²⁷⁴ it was difficult to ascertain which ornament belonged to one damsel and which to another. And it seemed as if, Rāvana having attained rest (through sleep), the flaming golden lamps furnished with various rays, were gazing at the girls with winkless eyes. Daughters of Rājarshis, of Vipras, of Daityas, of Gandharbas. and of Rākshasas, having come under the influence of desire, had become his wives. And all those women had been procured by Rāvana because he sought fight (with their relations) and some haughty dames, rapt with desire, had of themselves come to this place. And there was no woman there, who had been won by force by (Rāvana), possessed as he was of prowess; but they had all been subdued by his qualities. And save the surpassingly worthy daughter of Janaka, no female (had been brought), who had set her heart on another, or who had known any other before. And there was none who, being his wife, was not of high extraction; none who was defective in grace; none who was not of sterling merit; none who was not decked out in ornaments and attire; and none who was infirm; and none who was not an object of desire of her lover. And the lord of monkeys endowed with uprightness of sense, thought,—”If the righteously wedded wife of Rāghava were as one of the wives of the king of the Rākshasas, it would well for him.” Again reflected he,— “Sitā is crowned with chastity and other virtues; and the powerful lord of Lankā, assuming an illusory form, hath with much ado perpetrated this ignominious act.”
²⁶¹ The car Pushpaka, according to Tirtha, whose view is accepted by Rāmānuja. According to Kataka, Vesma means a bedchamber of husband and wife.—T.
²⁶² i. e. on Pushpaka.—T.
²⁶³ i. e. four-cornered, The Earth, in Hindu cosmogony, is a flat surface having four corners.—T.
²⁶⁴ Svarga is the region where persons reap the fruit of Jyotishtoma, etc. Siddhi is Illusion spread by Gandharbas.—T.
²⁶⁵ By the superior splendour of Rāvana.—T.
²⁶⁶ Shatpada—six-footed—a name of the black bee.—T.
²⁶⁷ Salilodbhavas,—water-sprung—a name of the lotus.—T.
²⁶⁸ Kadamva—a drake; or, according to some, a teal; a gander; or the species gallinula porphyria.—T.
²⁶⁹ i.e. the faces of the females are meant. Another meaning is, gold for large lotuses.—T.
²⁷⁰ Vilāsa may also mean arch displays by way of coquetry.—T.
²⁷¹ Yasa, according to some, here means grace.—T.
²⁷² The sense is very imperspicuous only by reason of the unskilful use of the pronouns. The damsels kissed did not resent the act; but kissed the kissers in turn.—T.
²⁷⁴ In consequence also, remarks the commentator, of the uniformity running through the ornaments, as well as of the close contact of the persons of the ladies.—T.
And there Hanumān employed in looking around, saw a grand dais made of crystal; and embellished with jewels; comparable to one belonging to the celestial regions; furnished with superb and costly sofas, having their parts painted and composed of ivory, gold, and lapis lazulis; with highly precious canopies. At one place thereof he saw a white umbrella, adorned with beautiful wreaths, resembling the lord of the stars himself. And Hanumān saw a splendid sofa garnished with gold, bearing garlands of açoka blossoms,—flaming like fire; around which persons kept waving with their hands chowris furnished with hair²⁷⁵; rife with perfumes of various kinds; odorous with rich dhupa, spread with excellent sheets; covered with the skins of rams; and decked on all sides with chaplets of gorgeous flowers. And that excellent and mighty monkey beheld therein the heroic sovereign of the Rākshasas, Rāvana, resembling a mass of clouds; with flaming and brilliant ear-rings; having reddened eyes; of gigantic arms; wearing a cloth composed of golden threads; his person daubed with fragrant red sandal; looking like a crimson cloud at eve fraught with lightning; covered with noble ornaments; endowed with eminent grace; capable of wearing forms at will; resembling Mandara affluent with trees and woods and shrubs;—sleeping, having given up sport at night; adorned with elegant ornaments; dear unto the daughters of the Rākshasas,—the source of happiness unto Rākshasas;—who had ceased from drinking,—asleep on a shining bedstead,—and respiring like a (kissing) serpent.²⁷⁶ And reaching there, Hanumān, waxing wondrous agitated, shrank back, as if in fear. And then arriving at the staircase, the mighty monkey, stationing himself on a dais in the middle of the stairs, gazed at the inebriate, Rākshasa, resembling a tiger. And as the sovereign of the Rākshasas was sleeping, his graceful bed resembled a grand cascade, beside which stands an elephant breathing odour. And Hanumān saw the arms of the huge-bodied lord of Rākshasas, fastened with bracelets,—stretched (there),— like unto the banners of Indra; which had been wounded by the tusk-ends of Airavata, whose plump parts bad been riven by vajra; and which had been torn by the discus of Vishnu; well developed; having equal and elegant parts; with hard joints; fraught with strength; with thumbs having nails bearing auspicious marks; having rings (on the fingers); covered; formed like bludgeons; round; resembling the trunks of elephants; cast on the white bed like unto five-hooded serpents; smeared and adorned with cool, fragrant, and excellent sandal resembling the blood of hares; pressed by paragons; odorous with incense; resisting (in battle) Yakshas, and Pannagas, Gandharbas, gods and Dānavas; and the monkey saw his arms resting on the bed, like unto two beautiful and mighty serpents sleeping in the entrails of Mandara. And with both those well developed arms of his, the lord of Rākshasas resembling a hill, looked handsome like Mandara with its summits. And breath bearing the aroma of the mangoe, and the Pannāga, the sweet scent of the Vakula, the savour of viands fraught with the six kinds of tastes, and the perfume of wines, came out of the mighty mouth of the sovereign of the Rākshasas, filling, as it were, that entire chamber. And (Hanumān) beheld (Rāvana), with his countenance, aglow with ear-rings and decked with a golden diadem embellished with pearls and jewels; daubed with red sandal; and adorned with; an elegant chain; having a large, broad, and full-developed breast; with a white silken cloth on, falling off his person; furnished with blood-red eyes; covered with costly yellow sheets; appearing like a mass of unrighteousness; breathing like a serpent, or an elephant asleep in the mighty Gangā during the rains;—four lamps set on the golden pilars illumining four sides; even as lightnings display the entire surface of a mass of clouds. (And Hanumān) also saw in the mansion of the Raksha chief, the wives of that huge-bodied one dear unto his wives,—lying at his feet. And that protector of monkey-bands saw them, having countances resembling the Moon displayed; decked out with elegant ear-rings; bearing unfading garlands²⁷⁷ by way of ornamentation; lying on the arms and lap of the lord of the Rakshas. And the monkey saw women bearing noble ornaments,—lying down. And he saw golden bracelets and ear-rings at the nether ends of the women’s ears,—set with diamonds and lapises. And with their fair countenances resembling the Moon, graced with comely ear-rings, that terrace looked beautiful, like the welkin embellished with stars. The slender-waisted wives of the sovereign of the Rākshasas, overcome with languor consequent on drink and amorous encounter, were fast asleep at the very places where they were seated. And another transcendentally beautiful damsel possessed of lovely limbs, skilled in dance, was fast asleep, betraying comely movements (during sleep). And another was seen asleep, embracing a vinā,—like a lotus with spreading petals, resting by the side of a raft. And another dark-eyed wench was asleep with her mudduka²⁷⁸ on her lap, like a loving mother having a boy. Another damsel possessed of graceful limbs and a shapely bust, was lying down, hugging her kettle-drum,—like a woman embracing her lover, obtained after a long time. And one lotus-eyed female was asleep, embracing her vinā; like an amorous damsel hugging her fair paramour. And another girl of restrained self, given to dancing, had come under the sway of sleep, embracing her vipanchi²⁷⁹ like a female sleeping with her lover. And another having inebriate eyes, was fast asleep, embracing her mridanga with her charming, plump, and tender limbs, resembling gold. Another female of faultless features, endeued with a slender frame, having been overcome by lassitude consequent on drink, was asleep.with her panava on the ends of her lower garment, held fast with her hands. Another woman was sleeping soundly, embracing her dindima²⁸⁰ with another bound at her back; like a female taking both her lover and her child. Another damsel having eyes resembling lotus-petals, having come under the influence of liquor, was asleep, firmly holding her aramvara²⁸¹ with her hands. Another woman, intoxicated by wine, was discovered asleep, with her water-vessel upset; and, in consequence, appearing like a well-washed variegated wreath in spring. Another, coming under the masterdom of slumber, was sleeping, holding with her hands her twin breasts resembling golden jars. And another lotus-eyed and moon-faced fair one, coming under the governance of slumber, (was asleep), embracing another furnished with shapely hips. And eminently beautiful dames were asleep, embracing musical instruments; like wenches pressing lustful (lovers), with their breasts. And that monkey saw that lady, endeued with beauty, lying down apart in an excellent bed; adorned with ornaments containing pearls and jewels; and as if decorating that charming mansion with her grace. And the monkey saw there the yellow-hued Mandodari, having the splendour of gold; the object of (Rāvana’s) desire; beautiful exceedingly,—the mistress of the inner apartment,—lying down. And seeing (Mandodari) adorned with ornaments, the offspring of the Wind-god guessed,—”This one endowed with the wealth of youth and beauty might be Sitā.” And demonstrating great joy, that leader of monkey-bands rejoiced exceedingly. And thereat, (Hanumān) struck at his arms with his hands, kissed his tail, exhibited signs of glee, frolicked, sang, darted towards the pillars, shot up to the top thereof, and jumped down to the earth,—manifesting his monkey-nature.
²⁷⁵ The commentator throws out a conjecture that artificial figures are here meant; which mechanically performed the function herein assigned to them.—T.
²⁷⁶ The commentator, however, interprets: like an elephant. Serpent is, I fancy, a happy rendering of nāga.—T.
²⁷⁷ i. e. celestial females.—T.
²⁷⁸ A kind of musical instrument.—T.
²⁷⁹ A kind of Vinā.—T.
²⁸⁰ A kind of musical instrument.—T.
²⁸¹ A kind of musical instrument.—T.
Then resigning that line of thought,²⁸² that mighty monkey, regaining his equanimity, set out in another direction of thought touching Sitā. “Separated from Rāma, that lady is incapable²⁸³ of of sleeping, or eating, or decorating (her person), or drinking. And she is incapable of associating with any other person, although he were the sovereign of the celestials himself. And even in all heaven there is none who is equal to Rāma. She is some other.” Assuring himself of this, that foremost of monkeys, eager to behold Sitā, again began to range in that place set apart for drinking. Some were tired out with sporting; some with singing; some with dancing; and some were fast asleep through intoxication. And some supported themselves on murajas, mridangas, or chelikas; and some women were sleeping on excellent sheets. And that leader of monkey-bands saw (that place of drinking) filled with thousands of women, adorned with ornaments engaged (in their sleep) in depicting each other’s loveliness; and explaining the sense of songs; conversant with season and place; understanding the meanings of words chiming in with season and place²⁸⁴; and skilful at play. And at other places also he saw thousands of superb and youthful dames fast asleep,— employed in talking of each others beauty. And that leader of monkey bands saw (women) versed in season and place, and understanding the meanings of words consonant with season and place. And in the midst of them all, the lord of the Rākshasas looked splendid like an ox in a spacious stall in the midst of stately kine. And surrounded by them, the Rākshasa chief appeared beautiful like a gigantic elephant in a forest, surrounded by female elephants. And in the abode of the huge-bodied Rākshasa chief, this tiger-like monkey saw that place of drinking, furnished with every object of desire. And in that place set apart for drinking, he saw heaps of the flesh of buffaloes, deer, and boars, arranged separately. And that tiger-like monkey saw in capacious golden vessels flesh of fowls and peacocks, which remained (after the repast). And Hanumān saw the flesh of boars, and Vādhrinasas²⁸⁵ Sulyas, deer, and peacocks, seasoned with curds and Sauvarchala;²⁸⁶ and Krikalas,²⁸⁷ and goats of various kinds.-flesh of hare half-fed,—Ekaçalyas,²⁸⁸ and buffaloes,—all chopped and dressed; and lickable and drinkable viands sharp and mild; and edibles sharp and mild; and Rāgakhāndavas²⁸⁹ containing sugar and acid, capable of improving a vicious palate. And with large and costly stray bangles and bracelets; and scattered cans,— and diverse kinds of fruit; and wreaths of flowers, the pavement attained exceeding beauty. And with elegantly jointed bedsteads, arranged (around), the scene of wassail appeared aflame without fire. And with meat consisting of many ingredients, fraught with diverse tastes, seasoned with many substances, and dressed by skilful cooks,—arranged separately in the scene of revel; and with noble and pleasant wines, natural²⁹⁰ and artificial,—āsavas from sugar; and Mādhvika²⁹¹ and āsavas from flowers and fruits; and impregnated separately with different kinds of fragrant dust,—the pavement, furnished with inuumerable garlands, surrounded with golden water-vessels and crystal bowls, and golden water-pots, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the monkey saw that foremost of all places set apart for drinking, containing silvern and golden jars. And that mighty monkey saw golden wine-vessels studded with gems, all filled with wine; and some with half full of liquor, some with their wine entirely exhausted, and some full of liquor. And (at some spots) he saw various kinds of viands, and at others wines ranged in rows, and at others the wine-vessels remaining half full. And there were many bedsteads belonging to fair ones, remaining vacant; and at some places excellent women were sleeping touching each other. And at one place, a female, borne down by the force of sleep, forcibly possessing herself of another’s cloth, and wrapping herself therewith,—went to the bed of that one, and was indulging in sleep.—And with their breath, their variegated wreaths and the cloth on their persons were stirring gently, as if with a mild-blowing breeze. And laden with the odours of cool sandal and of sweet-tasting Sidhu;²⁹² and of diverse wreaths and flowers, and with perfumes of various kinds,—and entranced²⁹³ with (the aroma of sandals suitable for use after ablution, and of dhupas, the air, impregnated with excellent scent, was there breathing around the car Pushpaka. And in the residence of the Raksha, there were some wenches sable, yet exceedingly witching; and some were dark-hued; and the frames of some were of a golden brilliance. And their beauty, in consequence of their coming under the governance of sleep, and their being bereft of their senses by Madana, resembled that of lotuses in a sleep. Thus that highly energetic monkey saw everything thoroughly in the inner apartment of Rāvana,—but he saw not Janaka’s daughter. And seeing those females, that mighty monkey, apprehending loss of righteousness, was seized with an exceeding great fear²⁹⁴. “Beholding a female, who is the religiously wedded wife of another, while she is asleep²⁹⁵, verily causeth loss of righteousness. My sight surely never seeketh others’ wives; but I have beheld this one that hath ravished another’s spouse.” And that intelligent one, intent on attaining a knowledge of things capable of being arrived at on grounds of judgment, again reflected effectively as to his course of action: “All these unsuspecting wives of Rāvana have been beheld by me; yet there are no signs that my mind hath undergone any alteration. In respect of the enlistment of the senses on behalf of any course of action good or evil, it is verily mind which is the cause; and herein my mind is righteously disposed. And I could not search for Vaidehi elsewhere; for in the matter of search, people always search for women even among women. And people search for creatures among the species to which they happen to belong: none searcheth for a lost lady among female deer. Therefore have I with a pure heart explored the entire inner apartment of Rāvana; but Janaka’s daughter I see not.” And Hanumān endowed with prowess saw the daughters of gods, and Gandharbas, and Nāgas; hut he saw not Jānaki. And not seeing her, that hero, having beheld other magnificent dames, coming out of that place, set about searching for Sitā (afresh). And leaving the place of wassail, the graceful offspring of the Wind-god, taking extreme care, again began to search for Sitā all about (another quarter).
²⁸² i.e. that Mandodari was Sitā.—T.
²⁸³ The text has na saptum arhati; lit., it behoveth (Sitā) not to sleep. The sense, however, is as given above.—T.
²⁸⁴ All this, remarks Rāmānuja, appeared from their talk during sleep.—T.
²⁸⁵ A species of birds, having, according to Vishnudharma, dark throats, red veins, and white wings. According to others, a kind of goats.—T.
²⁸⁶ A kind of salt.—T.
²⁸⁷ A kind of partriges.—T.
²⁸⁸ A kind of fish.—T.
²⁸⁹ According to some, a preparation of the juice of grapes and pomegranates, mixed with sugar, etc. According to others, black cakes having six kinds of relishes.—T.
²⁹⁰ Natural wines—such as Kādamvari etc., which require no preparation—T.
²⁹¹ From honey. According to some, from grapes.—T.
²⁹² Spirit distilled from mollasses.—T.
²⁹³ Murchchhita—The commentator says, means spreading. I, however, here presume to go by my own light, feeble as that may be. Entranced will, I dare say, recommend itself to the poetical in especial.—T.
²⁹⁴ Remembering, says the commentator, the injunction of the scriptures, “None should see a nude female.”—T.
²⁹⁵ And therefore presumably incapable of taking care herself.—T.
And remaining in that mansion, (Hanumān) desirous of getting a sight of Sitā graced with a fair presence, went into bowers, and picture galleries, and night-houses;²⁹⁶ but her he did not find. And not finding the beloved (spouse) of Raghu’s son, that mighty monkey reflected,—”Surely Sitā is not alive,—for although I have searched (through and through), yet Mithilā’s daughter I have failed to find. And that girl solicitous for the preservation of her chastity, and staying in the prime path of virtuous woman,—that chaste one—hath, for certain, been slain by this chief of the Rākshasas, (ever) finding delight in iniquity. And seeing the wives of the Rākshasa monarch,—of frightful forms,— monstrous; of lurid hue; having huge faces; with large horrid eyes,—the daughter of Janaka hath given up the ghost from fright. Failing to see Sitā, and (thereby) annuling my prowess, and having long spent the appointed space in company with the monkeys, way have I none to present myself before Sugriva, that monkey being puissant and given to meting out sharp chastisement. Having searched the inner apartment through, and seen the wives of the Rākshasa, I do not see the chaste Sitā. Therefore vain is the trouble that I take. What, alas! shall the monkeys assembled tell me when I shall go (to them)? ’O hero, tell us what thou hast done, repairing there.’ And not having seen Janaka’s daughter, what shall I answer? The term fixed (by Sugriva) having been past, certainly meet it is that I should fast to death. And what shall the aged Jambhavān, and what shall Angada, say? And what, again, shall the assembled monkeys say to me when I shall have crossed over the main? But perseverence is the source of good fortune; and perseverence bringeth about supreme happiness. Search again I will, where I have not yet searched. Perseverence, for certain, ever bringeth people to all profitable objects. Whatever one doeth with vigor, beareth fruit. Therefore will I put forth fresh dear efforts vigorously. I will search such places held by Rāvana as I have not yet seen. I have again searched the picture-galleries and the sporting-structures, and edifices, and roads passing through gardens, as well as the cars.” Having thought thus, Hanumān again set about searching the subterranean abodes, religious buildings, and many-storied mansions. And flying up, and coming down, and staying, and going at places, and opening doors, and shutting others, and entering and issuing out, and falling down as if darting up, that mighty monkey began to range on all sides. There was not even space measuring four fingers in that inner apartment of Rāvana, to which the monkey did not repair. And he saw the abodes of the nobility, the daises, the trees by the crossings the holes, and the tanks. And Hanumān saw there Rākshasas of various forms, frightful and deformed; but he saw not Janaka’s daughter. And Hanumān saw there the wives of Vidyādharas; but he saw not Rāghava’s beloved. And Hanumān saw there transcendentally beautiful women—daughters of Nāgas—having countenances resembling the moon; but he saw not Janaka’s daughter. And Hanumān saw there daughters of Nāgas forcibly brought by the lord of the Rākshasas; but he saw not Janaka’s daughter. Having seen other beauteous females, and not seeing her, the mighty-armed son of the Wind-god was oppressed with sadness. Seeing that the endeavours of the monarch of monkeys, as well as the bounding over the main, had come to nought, the offspring of the Wind-god was plunged in thought. Descending from the aerial car, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, his senses deprived by sorrow, was again wrought up with anxiety.
²⁹⁶ Intended for stay at night.—T.
Allighting from the car, Hanumān possessed of vigorous activity,—leader of monkey-bands—nearing the wall, looked like lightning within a mass of clouds.²⁹⁷ And having gone round the mansions of Rāvana, and not seeing Jānaki, the monkey Hanumān said,—”Striving after Rāma’s welfare, I have again searched through Lankā; but I do not see Videha’s daughter, Jānaki, having all her limbs endeued with loveliness. And I have explored pools, and watery expanses, and tanks, and rivers, and streams, and marshes, and woods, and citadels, and mountains, yea,—all this earth; but Jānaki I do not find. The vulture-king Sampati had told that Sitā was in the mansion of Rāvana. But why do I not see her (here)? Or doth Maithili Sitā, daughter unto Janaka,²⁹⁸ sprung in the Videha line, forcibly carried off (by Rāvana) and completely in his power, abide by the mandate (of that monarch)? I conceive that while taking Sitā, the Raksha darted upward, he being influenced by fear of Rāma’s shafts; (and accordingly losing control over his movements), she fell off by the way. Or I fancy that while that noble lady was being carried away along the way ranged by Siddhas, she lost her life on beholding the ocean. Or I think that on account of the vehement speed assumed by Rāvana, and also oppressed with his arms, that large-eyed noble lady hath been bereft of her life. For certain, while (Rāvana) was soaring higher and higher, Janaka’s daughter, rolling (on the car), dropped down into the sea. Alas! trying to preserve her chastity. the forlorn Sitā, practising self-mortification, hath been devoured by this abject-minded Rāvana. Or that dark-eyed innocent one, hath been eaten up by tbe wives of the Rākshasa chief, actuated by wicked motives.²⁹⁹ (Ever) contemplating Rāma’s countenance, resembling the full Moon, with eyes like lotus-leaves, she, exercised with sorrow, hath breathed her last. Bewailing much with exclamations of ’Oh Rāma and Lakshmana!’ ’Ah Ayodhyā!’ that lady Vaidehi hath renounced her body. Or secretly kept in Rāvana’s mansion, that girl, like a female parrot in a cage, is weeping bitterly. How can the slender-waisted wife of Rāma, born in the race of Janaka, furnished with eyes resembling lotus petals, come under the sway of Rāvana? I shall not be able to say of Rāma’s beloved wife that she hath been sullied,³⁰⁰ or that I have seen her, or yet that she is dead. To say this is censurable; not to say it is also such. What is my course? I find myself in a false position. Things having drifted to this pass, what should I say, now that the time hath come?’ Thus thinking, Hanumān again reflected,—”If without seeing Sitā, I repair to the abode of the lord of monkeys, what then shall I gain as the object of my exertions? This my bounding over the main comes to nought; as also my entry into Lankā and the sight of the Rākshasas. And what shall Sugriva say? Or the assembled monkeys; or those twin sons of Daçaratha; to me when I shall have come to Kishkindhā? And if going there, I should say a harsh speech unto Kākutstha—’I have not seen Sitā’—he shall renounce his life. Hearing harsh, terrible, unsufferable, fierce and foul words concerning Sitā, calculated to set the senses on fire, he shall not exist. And seeing him come under misery, with his mind expiring, the intelligent Lakshmana, firmly attached (unto Rāma), shall also cease to exist. And hearing that his two brothers are dead, Bharata also shall give up existence. And seeing Bharata dead, Satrughna shall also renounce his life. And beholding their sons dead, their mothers, Kauçalyā, Sumitrā and Kaikayi, shall, certainly, resign their lives. And seeing Rāma in that plight, the lord of the monkeys, Sugriva, grateful and having his heart fast fixed in truth, shall give up his life. And Umā, aggrieved, heart-wrung, distressed and bereft of happiness, and assuming the garb of a female ascetic, because of grief for her husband, shall resign her existence. And oppressed with grief arising from Vāli, and weighed down by sorrow, the queen Tārā, also, resolving on death shall cease to exist. And in consequence of the death of his father and mother and the calamity befalling Sugriva, the prince Angada also shall next forego his existence. And the dwellers of the woods overwhelmed with grief got of (the decease of) their master, shall strike at their heads with their clenched fists and hands. And the monkeys affectionately cherished by the famous lord of the monkeys with soothing words gifts and regard, shall resign there lives. And no more in woods, and rocks, or secret spots, shall the foremost monkeys, assembled together, indulge in sports. And they, along with their sons and wives, and counsellors, distressed on account the disaster that hath overtaken their master,—shall fall from the tops of mountains down to places even or uneven. And the monkeys shall take poison, or hang themselves, or enter into flaming fire, or fast, or fall on their own weapons. I fancy that a loud wailing shall arise on my return (to that place); and the race of Ikshwāku as well as the rangers of the woods shall meet with destruction. Therefore I will not repair hence to the city of Kishkindhā; nor can I see Sugriva without Mithilā’s daughter. On my not going there and staying here, those righteous-souled Mahārathas as well as the fast-fleeting monkeys, shall preserve their lives through hope (of hearing tidings concerning Sitā.) And not having seen Janaka’s daughter, I will lead the Vānaprastha mode of life, partaking (of fruits) falling into my hands or mouth, restraining my senses, and staying at the foot of trees. Preparing a funereal pile on a tract bordering on the sea, abounding in fruits, and flowers, and water, I will enter into flaming fire. And as I sit to fast, and for effecting the separation of self from my body and centering my identity in the spirit crows and beasts of prey shall feed on my body. And I think the sages have enjoyed another way of exit. I shall, failing to see Janaki, enter into water. My illustrious and exalted garland of fame, begot of excellent acts, hath perished for good in consequence of my not seeing Sitā.³⁰¹ Or restraining myself, I shall become an ascetic living underneath trees; but return I will not, without obtaining a sight of that dark-eyed damsel. If I return without seeing Sitā, all the monkeys with Angada shall cease to exist. Incalculable are the ills of my putting a period to my existence; (on the other hand) if I live, I may come by good. Therefore my life I will maintain. If I live, it may conduce to happiness.” Having thus indulged in a variety of harassing thoughts in his mind, that foremost of monkeys could not cross over to the other shore (of the sea of distress). Then summoning energy, that elephantine monkey endeued with fortitude reflected,— “Or I shall slay the Ten-necked Rāvana possessed of great strength. Sitā hath been carried off; but by this I shall avenge myself. Or throwing him repeatedly into the sea, I (shall take him) and present him to Rāma, even as one presents a beast unto Paçupat.”³⁰² Reflecting thus, the monkey, not finding Sitā, —agitated with sorrow and anxiety, thought,—”So long as I do not find the illustrious spouse of Rāma, Sitā, I will explore the city of Lankā again and again. If in consonance with Simpāt’s speech, I bring Rāma hither, Rāghava, not seeing his wife, shall burn all the monkeys. (Therefore) even here I shall stay, restraining my fare and mortifying my senses. All those principal monkeys ought not to lose their lives because of any act to which I may commit myself. This is the asoka wood, extensive and containing mighty trees. This I shall explore, as it hath not yet been searched by me. And saluting the Vasus, the Rudras, the Adityas, the twin Açwins, (and Rāma and Lakshmana), I enhancing the sorrow of the Rākhas, shall go into it. Having vanquished the Rākshas, I will bestow on Rāma the lady of the Ikshwāku race like the fruit of asceticism conferred on an ascetic.” Having thus reflected for a space, the mighty-armed offspring of the Wind-god, his senses agitated with anxiety, arose. “I bow unto Rāma with Lakshmana, and unto the revered daughter of Janaka, I bow unto Rudra, and Indra, and Yama, and Wind-god, and I bow unto the Moon, unto Fire and unto the Maruts.” Having bowed unto them all, as also unto Sugriva, the offspring of the Wind-god, surveying all the cardinal points, mentally entered the Asoka wood. Having mentally entered the Asoka wood, that monkey, son unto the Wind-god, reflected as to what he should do next. The sacred Asoka wood, sanctified with every purifying rite and abounding in woods, needs must be full of Rākshas. And warders, directed there to, forsooth, protect the trees; and that worshipful Soul of the universe³⁰³ does not breathe here vigorously. I contract my person in the interests of Rāma, and in order that Rāvana may not see me. May all the deities along with the saints confer success on me. And may the revered self-create Brahmā, and the deities, and the ascetics, and Fire, and wind, and the much invoked bearer of the Vajra,³⁰⁴ and the noose-handed Varuna, and the Moon and the Sun, the high-souled Açwinis, and all the Maruts—(confer) success (on me)! And all beings, and the lord of them all,³⁰⁵ and others that, albeit not specified in the scriptures, are yet visible in the way,—will confer success on me. When shall I behold the blameless face of that noble lady,—with its protruding nose; having luminous smiles, having eyes resembling lotus-petals; and bright as the complacent lord of stars? Ah! to-day how shall feeble forlorn one that hath been borne down by the force of the mean, abject and grim-visaged (Rāvana) fierce yet wearing (at the time of the rape), a dress tending to inspire confidence,— come in my sight?”
²⁹⁷ The commentator remarks: By this the author insinuates that the wall was of entire sapphire.—T.
²⁹⁸ Knowing Brahma, remarks Rāmānuja.—T
²⁹⁹ Jealousy, according to the commentator.—T.
³⁰⁰ This is evidently the sense, having regard to the preceding sloka, although the commentator gives the apparent meaning of vinastha perished.—T.
³⁰¹ Tirtha reads chiraratriyam for chirarātrya. Then the sense is: This illustrious live-long fair-rooted and auspicious night crowned with a garland of fame, hath borne no fruit, in consequence of my not seeing Sitā. The commentator, I presume, refines a little too much.—T.
³⁰² An appellation of Siva—lit. lord of beasts—in allusion to animal sacrifices to Siva.—T.
³⁰³ The wind.—T.
Having reflected for a while, and mentally met with her, that highly energetic one leapt from the wall of Rāvana’s mansion on to that (of the Asoka wood). And all his frame filled with delight, that mighty monkey, stationed on the wall, saw various trees having their tops furnished with flowers through spring and the other seasons,—salas and asokas, bhavyas, champakas, udalakas, and nāgas, and those bearing fruits resembling the mouths of monkeys; and those relative to mango woods.—with hundreds of plants. And (Hanumān) leapt into the garden like an arrow let go from the bow string. Entering into the grove, variegated all over; resonant with the notes of birds; filled on all sides with golden and silvern trees; many-hued with birds and beasts; containing dainty tracts of trees like unto the risen Sun,—the powerful Hanumān saw the place surrounded with various kinds of trees, having fruits and flowers; frequented by maddened coels and bhramaras, with creatures expressing happiness by their movements, birds and beasts overflowing with spirits; echoing with the cries of peacocks; furnished with various species of fowls. And as he was searching for that surpassingly beautiful and blameless daughter of the king, that monkey awakened the monkeys that were sleeping sweetly. And blown against by the wind caused by the wings of the birds as they flew upwards, various and variegated trees showered down blossoms. And in the midst of the Asoka wood, Hanumln, son unto the Wind-god, covered over with flowers, looked lovely like a hill strewn with blossoms. And all creatures, beholding that monkey embosomed among trees and darting on all sides, took him for spring. And strewn with several masses of blossoms loosened from the trees, the Earth appeared beauteous like a damsel dight with ornaments. And shaken in diverse ways by the motion of the light fleeting monkey, the trees showered many-hued flowers. And with their leaves and tops torn, and their flowers and fruits shrivelled up, the trees looked like worsted gamblers bereft of their clothes. And shaken by Hanumān vehemently moving about, those excellent trees crowned with fruits, speedily cast off fruits, flowers and foliage. And moved by the Wind god’s offspring, the trees with their trunks left, and forsaken by the fowls were incapable of harbouring any creatures. And like youthful fair ones with hair dishevelled, their paste worn off, their upper lips with fair teeth sucked of their moisture; and having their persons torn with nails and teeth; appeared the Asoka wood with its trees shattered; and itself ground with the tail, hands and legs (of Hanumān). And that monkey with his vehemence scattered the clusters of shrubs, like the wind violently scattering clouds in the rainy season. And ranging there, the monkey saw beautiful pavements, jewelled, silvern aud golden. And he saw there various pools filled with excellent water and having steps crusted with jewels. Their sandy soil was filled with pearls and corals, and the ground inside was made of crystal. And their banks were decked with diverse golden trees. They were beautified with full blown lotuses, water-lilies, Chakravakas and Natyuhas³⁰⁶ and filled with the notes of swans and Sārasas. They were encircled on all sides with big tanks having trees on their banks and water, clear and sweet like unto nectar. They were entwined with hundreds of creepers, covered with Santāna³⁰⁷ flowers and filled with diverse groves and Karaviras serving the purpose of windows.³⁰⁸ And thereupon that foremost of monkeys beheld there a mountain—the most picturesque in the world, resembling clouds, having high summits, covered on all sides with peaks and filled with hilly abodes and various trees. And that monkey beheld there a river falling down from the mountain like unto a damsel falling down from the lap of her beloved. And the branches of the trees touching the water (of the stream) resembled a fair damsel prevented by her dear companions from forsaking the company of her beloved). And that great monkey beheld further down the stream turning back like unto the damsel, pleased, going back to her dear one. And that foremost of monkeys, Hanumān, the son of Maruti, beheld, at some distance, ponds filled with lotuses and various birds. And he saw a big artificial pond full of cool water having stairs crusted with excellent jewels and its sandy banks filled with pearls. It was embellished (on all sides) with various animals, diverse trees and big mansions made by Viswakarma³⁰⁹ himself. It was adorned all around with artificial fqrests and all the trees there bore flowers and fruits, spreading their branches like unto umbrellas and having golden and silvern pavements under them. And that great monkey beheld there one golden Singsapa³¹⁰ tree surrounded on all sides with golden pavements. And he saw the glebe, the hill streams and many a golden tree resembling fire. By the lustre of all those trees that heroic monkey appeared as if made of gold like unto the Sun by the touch of the mount Sumeru. And having seen those beautiful golden trees, shaken by the wind and making a sound like that of a Kinkini;³¹¹ having flowery tops and new leaves he was greatly amazed. And climbing that Singsapa tree enveloped with leaves that monkey, gifted with velocity, reflected—”Perchance I may see Vaidehi, exercised with grief, anxious to behold Rāma and wandering hither and thither at her pleasure. Certainly this is the picturesque Asoka forest of that vicious-souled one, embellished with sandal, Champakas and Vakulas. Here is a beautiful pond abounding in lotuses, thronged with birds and forsooth shall that royal spouse Jānaki repair hither. She is the beloved queen of Rāghava and expert in walking in the garden. And separated from Rāma, certainly shall Jānaki repair hither. Or she having the eyes of a young antelope and adept in roaming in the forest, exercised with thought touching Rāma, shall come here. Or she having beautiful eyes and fond of ranging in the forest, racked with sorrow in consequence of Rāma’s separation, doth always frequent this forest.³¹² Ere this, the chaste and worshipful spouse of Rāma—Janaka’s daughter, used to love always the birds and animals of the forest. (The morning hath set in) and surely the beautiful and graceful daughter of Janaka fond of performing morning³¹³ ablutions, shall come to this river of pure water to perform them. Truly is this beautiful forest of Asoka the worthy abode of the beloved and chaste spouse of Rāma, the lord of men. If that one of moon-like countenance breathes, forsooth shall she come to this river of cool water.” Having arrived there and anxiously expecting the appearance of the spouse of that lord of men, the high-souled Hanumān hiding himself (on the Singsapa tree) enveloped with flowers and leaves, beheld all.
³⁰⁶ A gallinule.—T.
³⁰⁷ One of the trees of heaven.—T.
³⁰⁸ Literally the passages means “making a gap in that forest thickly filled with trees.” But Rāmanuja interprets thus and we have adopted his interpretation.—T.
³⁰⁹ The son of Brahmā and artist of gods.—T.
³¹⁰ A tree (Dalbergia Sisu).—T.
³¹¹ A kind of tinkling ornament.—T.
³¹² The commentator, Rāmanuja interprets this sloka as explaining the cause of Sitā’s frequentiug the Asoka forest.—T.
³¹³ Sandhya literally means the point of time which connects day and night. It however, generally means the period after sunset and before the night sets to. But here with reference to the speech which Hanumān began by the end of night, it means the morning.—T.
Having stationed himself on the tree, casting his looks all around in quest of Sitā and looking down on the earth he surveyed the entire forest of (Asoka). It was beautified with Santānaka creepers and various trees, fragrant with celestial odours and was embellished on all sides. It resembled Nandana or the celestial garden, and was filled with various animals and birds, palaces and mansions; resounded with the notes of Kokilas; adorned with the ponds abounding in silvern water-lillies and lotuses; filled with many seats and coverlets and various houses having spacious courtyards; adorned with beautiful flowers of all seasons and trees bearing fruits. And the beauty of the blossoming Asokas resembled the effulgence of the Sun. And stationed there Māruti beheld trees as if devoid of leaves on account of the hundreds of birds, adorned with various flowers, resorting there. And he saw there the earth touched by Asoka trees, the removers of grief, having flowers growing from the roots and lowered down with their weight. And the entire quarter was as if ablaze with the beauty of the flowery Karnikaras and Kingsukas. And there appeared in beauty many flowery Punnagas, Saptaparnas, Champakas, and Udalakas having deeply expanded roots. And there was a thousand of Asoka trees, some of whom were 1ike gold, some were like the flame of fire and some were like dark-blue collyrium. It was like the garden of Nandana or like that of Kuvera or perhaps it surpassed the both in excellence. And enveloped in charming, celestial grace beyond conception and having flowers for stars that forest appeared like a second sky. Aud covered with hundreds of pearl-like flowers the forest looked like the fifth ocean. And that garden was embellished with flowers of all seasons and honey-smelling trees, and filled with diverse notes and various animals and birds. And that fragrant garden was rendered more charming with various other fragrances. And that foremost of monkeys beheld in that garden of Asoka, a round palace, situated at a distance, fragrant as the Gandhamādana mountain and high as the lord of mountains. (The palace) was white as the Kailaça hill and built on a thousand pillars. All its stairs were made of coral and its pavements made of burning gold. Its beauty was as if burning all along and stealing the vision of the lookers-on. It was spotless and on account of its height touched the welkin. And thereupon he beheld there (Sitā) wearing a soiled cloth, poorly, greatly reduced by fast, sighing again and again and encircled by a band of Rākshasees. She was (however) spotless like unto the rays of the moon on the first lunar day. And her graceful beauty could with great difficulty be perceived like unto the flame of fire enveloped with smoke. And wearing a shattered and soiled yellow cloth and divested of all ornaments she appeared like a lotus stalk without lotuses.³¹⁴ Oppressed, racked with grief, weakened and chaste as she was, she appeared like Rohini possessed by Ketu. She was greatly reduced by fast, stricken with grief and anxious thoughts, disturbed with sorrow and was poorly and her eyes were always full of tears. Separated from her kith and kin and not beholding Rāma and Lakshmana³¹⁵ but the Rākshasees, she appeared like a hind surrounded by dogs. Her braid of long hair resembling a black serpent falling on her back it appeared as if the Earth was filled with dark-blue forests on the disappearance of the rains. Sitā was worthy of happiness only and never knew of misery and therefore she was (now) greatly oppressed with sorrow. And beholding that one of expansive eyes rendered pale and feeble, Hanumān, by various conclusive arguments reflected within himself “She must be Sitā, for this damsel looks just like her, whom I saw, when she was ravished by Rāvana, assuming shapes at will. Having the countenance of the full-moon, beautiful eye brows, round breast, she is as if dispelling the darkness from all quarters by virtue of her grace. Her throat was yellow, and her lips were like Bimbas.³¹⁶ She was of middle stature and her limbs were all well built. She had eyes resembling lotus petals and was like the beloved wife of Manmatha—Rati and was adorable unto the whole creation like the rays of the full-moon. That one having a graceful person was seated on the earth like a female ascetic having her senses restrained. And she was sighing again and again like the timid daughter-in-law of the lord of serpents.³¹⁷ Entangled by a mighty web of grief her grace was greatly lessened and she appeared like the flame of fire enveloped in smoke. She was like unto Smriti of doubtful meanings, fallen wealth, lost respect, hope without any desire for gain, Sidhi³¹⁸ of many troubles, sullied understanding and fame soiled with false rumours. That innocent one was greatly distressed for not being able to attend upon Rāma, and she having the eyes of a young hind, being oppressed by the Rākshasees was casting her looks hither and thither. And with a displeased countenance, having dark-blue and curling eye lashes, and eyes full of tears, she was sighing again and again. Worthy of wearing ornaments but now without any, poorly, crusted with execrations, she appeared like the rays of the stars enveloped by dark-blue clouds. And beholding Sitā in that pitiable plight like unto learning for want of practice, (Hanumān) was puzzled with doubts. And seeing her without ornaments he could with great difficulty make her out like unto words having different meanings without the knowledge of grammar. And beholding that blameless daughter of the king, having expansive eyes, Hanumān, by various reasonings, reflected—”Forsooth she must be Sitā. I see at her person all these ornaments, of which Rāma mentioned unto me at the time of my departure. I behold on her ears excellent ear-rings and nicely placed Svadangstras³¹⁹ and on her arms jewelled ornaments rendered dark-blue by dirt for constant use. Verily these are the ornaments Rāma mentioned unto me. I do not perceive them which had been cast off by her. But these are the rest there is not the least doubt about it. The monkeys had seen, her excellent yellow cloth made of golden fibres, on the hill. They had seen also her excellent ornaments, which cast off by her, fell on the earth with a sound. Her cloth hath been shattered by constant use but her grace hath not been rendered worse than its color. This one having a golden countenance must be the beloved queen of Rāma, who, albeit separated from him, hath not disappeared from his mind. This is that damsel on whose account Rāma being simultaneously burnt by affection, pity, grief and amour,—affection in consequence of his beloved spouse being ravished, pity for his inability to protect one dependent on him, grief for the loss of his beloved wife and amour for his dear one. Verily it appeareth from the grace of her person, from her well developed limbs and from Rāma’s beauty that this worshipful damsel having dark-blue eyes must be his spouse. She has her mind fixed in him, and he in her and it is for this that she and the virtuous-souled (Rāma) have been still maintaining their being. Indeed my master Rāma hath performed a mighty task for breathes he still in her separation, without consuming himself in grief.” And having beheld Sitā in this plight, that son of the Wind-god approached Rāma in mind and showered praises on his master.
³¹⁴ This passage has another meaning—Padmini has two meanings—(1) lotus (2) Lakskmi or the goddess of wealth. The goddess of wealth is generally described as sitting on a lotus.—T.
³¹⁵ Priyājanam—literally means dear ones—but here it refers to Rāma and Lakshmana.—T.
³¹⁶ A cicurbituceous plant with red fruits.—T.
³¹⁷ The epithet has a special significance because through her the destruction of the race of Rākshasas was brought about.—T.
³¹⁸ Yoga or asceticism by virtue of which final emancipation from existence is effected.—T.
³¹⁹ A kind of ornament worn on the ears.—T.
And having eulogized Sitā, worthy of being praised and Rāma, endeared by accomplishments that foremost of monkeys again engaged in meditation. And having reflected for some time, the powerful Hanumān, having his eyes full of tears bewailed on Sitā’s account (in the following strain) —”No one can withstand the course of destiny since Sitā, being the spouse of the worshipful brother of Lakshmana, ever obedient unto his elders, hath been overwhelmed with grief. The worshipful damsel is cognizant of the prowess of Rāma and the intelligent Lakshmana and for this she is not entirely depressed like unto the river Ganges at the approach of the rainy season. As regards their character, age, conduct, family and other auspicious marks they are equal and hence Rāghava deserveth Vaidehi and this one of dark-blue eyes is his.” And having seen her, gold-hued and conducing to the happiness of the people like unto the Goddess of wealth, Hanumān approached Rāma in his mind and said:—”For this (damsel) was killed the mighty Vāli and Kavanda—Rāvana’s equal in prowess. (For her too) was destroyed in battle, the terribly powerful Rākshasa—Virādha, by Rāma putting forth his energy, like unto Shambara killed by Mahendra. (It was for her) that fourteen thousand Rākshasas of terrible deeds were destroyed at Janasthāna with arrows resembling the flame of fire. And Khara was killed in battle, and Trisharā was discomfitted and the mighty Dushana by Rāma, knowing his ownself. And it was on her account that Sugriva, known all over the world, came by the wealth of the monkeys hard to acquire and amassed by Vāli. And it is for this (damsel) of expansive eyes that I have crossed the effulgent lord of rivers and have seen this city. And methinks it would have been all proper had Rāma turned on her account the whole earth bounded by oceans. If the kingdom over the three worlds and the daughter of Janaka be compared together, the former is not equal to one hundredth part of Sitā. This Sitā, the daughter of the high-souled Janaka, the pious King of Mithilā, firmly attached unto her husband, rose, covered with dust, out of the earth, in a field delved by a furrow. She is the well-known eldest daughter-in-law of the king Daçaratha, of an adorable character and unchecked prowess. And She is the beloved spouse of the pious and grateful Rāma, knowing his ownself, and has been brought under the control of the Rākshasees. Renouncing all luxuries, and considering not the least about miseries, she actuated by her husband’s love entered the solitary forest. And satisfied with fruits and roots and ever engaged in her husband’s service, she lived in the forest as much delighted as she was in her house. And that one of a golden hue, never used to afflictions and who was wont to converse always with a delighted countenance, hath now been suffering incomparable miseries. Like unto a thirsty wight longing for an abode where he might get a drink, Rāghava panteth after seeing her, gifted with an exalted character and oppressed by Rāvana. As a monarch who had lost his kingdom, is greatly delighted when he regaineth it, forsooth shall Rāghava, in like manner, be pleased when he shall come by her. She too hath been maintaining her being in the hope of seeing Rāma again, separated as she is from her friends and deprived of all comforts and luxuries. These Rākshasees, and these trees enveloped with fruits and flowers—forsooth she doth not behold, but is engaged with all her heart in medidations only touching Rāma. Husband enhanceth the beauty of a female more than the dress (and therefore Sitā) beautiful as she is, doth not appear graceful, in her husband’s absence. Forsooth my master Rāma hath performed a difficult act for he hath been still keeping up his life in her separation without consuming himself in grief. My heart is greatly pained knowing that she, having dark-blue eyes, resembling lotus petals, worthy of happiness, hath been possessed by grief. She, patient as the Earth, having eyes resembling lotuses, who was ere this protected by Rāghava and Lakshmana, is now being guarded by Rākshasees having terrible eyes, under the trees. Being harassed with continued miseries, the daughter of Janaka hath lost all her beauty like unto a water-lily crushed with frost, and hath come by a miserable plight like unto a doe seperated from her mate. The branches of the Asoka trees, lowered down with flowers are as if enhancing her grief as also the Moon of many thousand rays, at the expiry of the winter.” Having reflected thus and arrived at the conclusion that she was Sitā, that powerful leader of monkeys gifted with velocity stationed himself on that tree.
Thereupon the Moon, white as water-lily and of clear appearance proceeded far down the welkin like unto a goose traversing the blue waters. With a view to befriend him, the Moon of clear rays, sprinkled the Wind-God’s son, with cool beams. And thereupon he beheld Sitā, having a moon-like countenance, plunged in grief like unto a laden boat sunk in water. While beholding Vaidehi, Hanumān,the son of Maruta, observed at some distance, a number of grim-visaged Rākshasees. Some had one ear, some one eye, some had big ears some were without ears; some had formidable ears and some had a nose projecting upwards. And some had the upper part of their bodies unusually long and bulky, some had a long and slender neck, some had dishevelled hair, and some one’s person was so thickly covered with hairs, that she appeared to have been cloaked in a blanket. Some had long ears some had a long forehead, some had a long belly, some had long breasts; some had long lips; some had their lips and chins stuck together, some had a long countenance and some had long knees. Some one was of short stature, some were tall, some crooked, some grim-visaged, some dwarfish, some one was of terribly dark colour; some had a disfigured countenance; some had coppery eyes and a fearful face. Some were terrible-looking, some copper-colored, some black, some angry and some fond of quarrelling with each other; and some had iron darts, hammers and mallets in their hands. Some had a face like that of a boar, some had a face like that of a deer, some like that of a tiger, some like that of a buffallo, some like that of a goat, and some like that of a jackal; some had legs like those of a camel, some had those of an elephant, some those of a horse and some had their heads placed on their breasts. Some one had only one hand some had only one leg. Some had ears like those of a horse, some like those of a cow, some like those of an ass, some like those of an elephant and others had ears like those of a lion. Some had very big noses, some had crooked and others were without any; some had noses like those of an elephant and others had their noses on their foreheads. Some had their legs like those of elephants some had very huge legs; some had like those of a cow, some had on their legs locks of hair like unto pillars, some had a terribly huge head, some had big breasts and others had spacious bellies, Some had faces and eyes beyond ordinary proportions. Some had a long face and tongue. And some had the face of a goat, some that of an elephant some that of a cow, some that of a boar some that of a horse and some that of an ass. Some of the Rākshasees were grim-visaged and some hot-natured, quarrelsome and had darts and maces in their hands. And some terrible Rākshasees of disfigured countenances, had smoky-coloured hairs. And they were all continually drinking wine—always fond of liquor and meat, and all their bodies were sprinkled with blood for their living on gore and flesh. And that foremost of monkeys found all these grim-visaged Rākshasees seated around that mighty tree enveloped with branches. And the graceful Hanumān observed at the foot of that tree that worshipful and blameless daughter of the king Janaka. She was bereft of all effulgence, racked with grief and all her hairs were soiled with dirt. She appeared like a star fallen down on the earth on the wane of virtue. And famed though she was all over the world for her chastity, it was difficult for her now to see her husband. She had no excellent ornaments—her attachment unto her husband was the only ornament. She was imprisoned by the lord of Rākshasas and separated from all her friends, she appeared like a she-elephant separated from her band and bound and attacked by a lion, and like the rays of the Moon enveloped with clouds at the expiry of the rainy season. Her beauty was greatly faded (in consequence of her husband’s separation) like unto a stringed instrument for want of a player. And ever engaged in her husband’s welfare she was thoroughly unworthy of being brought under the control of the Rākshasas. Being sunk in the abyss of grief and encircled by those Rākshasees she appeared in the forest of Asoka like unto Rohini possessed by Rāhu. And Hanumān beheld her there like a creeper divested of flowers. And having her person soiled with dirt and shorn of all ornaments she appeared in her hidden grace like unto a lotus covered with clay. And the monkey Hanumān, beheld that damsel, having the eyes of a young antelope, clothed with a soiled and shattered cloth. And though the countenance of that worshfpful one was shorn of all grace, her heart did not loose its loftiness in consequence of her husband’s prowess. And Sitā, of dark-blue eyes, was protected by virtue of her own character. And beholding Sitā, having the eyes of a young antelope, and terrified and casting her looks hither and thither like a hind and burning down the trees enveloped with leaves by her breath; like unto a mass of grief and an upheaval of sorrow; having well-proportioned limbs, and appearing graceful without ornaments, Māruti attained to an excess of delight. And beholding her having inebriete eyes, Hanumān shed tears of delight and bowed unto Rāghava. And having offered his obeisance unto Rāma and Lakshmana the powerful Hanumān, greatly delighted in seeing Sitā; remained there hidden.
And beholding the forest filled with flowery trees and desiring to have a full view of her, he, well-nigh, spent the night. And at that late hour of the night, he heard the chantings of the Vedas by the Rākshasas, conversant with the six supplementary parts of the Vedas,³²⁰ engaged in the performance of sacrificial rites and knowing Brahmā. And thereupon the mighty Ten-headed Rākshasa, having huge arms, awoke with the sounds of those auspicious instruments pleasant unto ears. And awaking, that great and powerful lord of Rākshasas, having his cloth and garlands loosened, began to think of Vaidehi. And that Rākshasa, puffed up with pride, was passionately attached unto her and so he could not restrain his amour in him. And so adorned with all ornaments, he, casting his looks on the roads containing jewelled and golden gates and appearing in grace, entered the forest of Asoka, filled with various trees containing fruits and flowers of all seasons and with ponds; beautified with various flowers; variegated with inebriete and wondrous birds; filled with various beautiful wolves; thronged with various deer and covered with fruits fallen on the earth. And one hundred damsels followed in the train of the son of Pulastya³²¹ like unto the damsels of the celestials and Gandharvas following Mahendra. And among those fair ones, some carried chowries and some fans. And some carrying water in golden jars headed the train while others carrying the golden throne covered with a coverlet followed it. And a favourite damsel carried in her right hand a jewelled drinking bowl filled with wine. And another carrying the white umbrella having golden ribs resembling the full moon and goose, followed in the train. And in this wise the excellent wives, of Rāvana, having their eyes rendered sleepy with sleep and wine, followed their heroic husband like unto lightnings following the cloud. Their necklaces and keyuras were displaced, paste faded, hair dishevelled and they had drops of sweat on their faces. With sleep and intoxication, were reeling those fair ones of beautiful countenances, having their hairs with garlands disbanded and their persons wet with perspiration. And in this way those beloved wives, (of Rāvana) having inebriete eyes, followed, out of amour and reverence, their husband. And their mighty husband, brought under the control of amour and having his mind firmly attached unto Sitā, proceeded slowly. And that monkey, son of Māruta, heard the sound of kanchees and nupuras of those excellent damsels. And the monkey Hanumān also beheld Rāvana, of extraordinary deeds and of inconceivable prowess and strength, at the gate. His whole body was seen on all sides by the light of the lamps lighted with perfumed oil and carried by the Rākshasees before. He was inflamed with amour, pride and haughtiness and his expansive eyes were coppery and idle. And he appeared like Cupid himself just appearing in view, leaving behind his bow and arrows. And holding his excellent robe, covered with flowers, washed, set with jewels and white as the foam of the churned nectar, he placed it in its proper place. And Hanumān, hiding himself on the tree, in the midst of many leaves and flowers, tried to recognise him as he approached. And beholding him, that foremost of monkeys saw that highly famous king Rāvana, surrounded by his excellently beautiful and youthful wives, enter that forest of enjoyment filled with birds and animals. There was a warder by name Sankukarna in that forest—highly powerful, wearing various ornaments and addicted to drinking. And by him was seen that lord of Rākshasas—the son of Visravasa. And that highly energetic monkey beheld that effulgent (Rāvana) surrounded by excellent damsels like unto moon encircled by stars. And beholding him the monkey reflected—”This must be Rāvana—for he is the person whom I saw sleeping in an excellent apartment in that city.” Thinking this, that highly effulgent son of Māruta—Hanumān leaped (high upon another branch). And effulgent as he was, that highly intelligent monkey hid himself on a branch covered with leaves, being unable to stand before the effulgence of that Rākshasa. And Rāvana proceeded in that way, being anxious to behold the blue-eyed Sitā, having spacious breast, excellent hips and a lock of black hair.
³²⁰ Grammar, Prosody, astronomy, pronounciation, the meaning of the unusual terms and the ritual of the Hindu religion.—T.
³²¹ Refers to Rāvana, Pulastya being his father—T.
And thereupon beholding Rāvana—the lord of Rākshasas, gifted with youth and beauty and adorned with an excellent dress, that excellent and blameless daughter of a king, Vaidehi, trembled like unto a plantain tree shaken by the wind. And having covered her belly with her legs and her breast with her hands, that one, having charming colour and expansive eyes, cried aloud. And arriving there the Ten-necked one beheld Vaidehi, guarded by the Rākshasees, poorly, racked with grief like unto a boat sunk in an ocean. Subject to hard penances, she, seated on the bare earth, appeared like a branch of a tree fallen on the ground. Her limbs, where she used to wear ornaments, were covered with dirt and albeit worthy of ornaments, appeared without any like unto a lotus covered with clay and therefore shining very indistinctly. And she was proceeding as it were unto that lion of a king—Rāma, knowing his own-self, in her mind’s charriot drawn by the horses of resolution. And not beholding the end of her grief, that damsel, attached unto Rāma, was keeping alone and reduced to a skeleton and overwhelmned with anxious thoughts and grief. And she was troubled like unto the daughter-in-law of the lord of serpents, of impeded course by means of incantations, and stricken with grief like unto Rohini, possessed by Ketu. And although born in a pious family, well behaved and good-natured and married according to their rites, she appeared to have been sprung from a low race and wedded according to their base ceremonials. She seemed like mighty fame disappearing, like respect disregarded, like intellect waning and hope disappointed; like a sacred altar trampled, like royal mandate disobeyed, like the quarters burnt by a fire-brand; like offerings unto God soiled; like the disc of the full-moon stricken with darkness, a lotus distressed, an army without a leader; like the ravs of the moon enveloped with gloom, like a river of shallow water, like a sacrificial altar possessed by an outcast, like the flame of fire extinguished; like water fowls terrified and lotuses disturbed and petals crushed by the trunks of elephants. And her grace greatly famished by the absence of her husband she appeared like a river whose liquid contents were dried up. And not cleaning her limbs she appeared like a dark night. And that one of graceful limbs, tender and worthy of living in a jewelled abode, being stricken with grief, seemod like a dried lotus-stalk just extracted from its bed. And she like the daughter-in-law of the lord of elephants, caught, separated from her band and tied to a pillar, was overwhelmed with grief and was sighing again and again. A long lock of dark-blue hair, taken not the least care of, was on her back; and with this she appeared like unto the earth covered with dark-blue forests at the expiration of the rainy season. With fasts and grief, anxiety and fear, she was greatly weakened and reduced and gave up eating and took recourse to asceticism only. Stricken with grief, she seemed to have been offering prayers unto that foremost of Raghus for the destruction of the Ten-necked one, like those unto the deities with folded hands. And beholding blameless Maithilee, having expansive eyes with beautiful eye lashes, greatly attached unto Rāma, and weeping, Rāvana tempted her for his own destruction.
Whereupon Rāvana, with sweet words amd gestures, expressed his own desire unto Sitā, poorly, deprived of joy, encircled by Rākshasees and leading the life of an ascetic. “O thou having thighs like the trunks of elephants, while thou hast, beholding me, hidden thy breast and belly, perhaps thou art afraid of exposing thy person unto me. I do long for thee, O thou having expansive eyes; do thou esteem me, O my dear one, O thou gifted with all accomplishments and pleasant unto all persons. O Sitā, here is no human being or any Rākshasa assuming shapes at will, do thou therefore renounce all fear from me. O timid damsel, for certain it is the virtue of the Rākshasas that they always visit others’ wives or come by them by force. In spite of this, O Maithilee, I do not touch thee for thou art not under the influence of amour—but for me, I am completely under its sway. Do not fear me, O worshipful damsel, confide in me, O my beloved one, and become attached unto me. Do not give way to grief. A single lock of hair, to lie down on earth and useless fast—these do not become thee. Attaining me, O Maithilee, do thou enjoy excellent garlands, sandal, ornaments, costly wines, beds, seats, songs, dancing and music. Thou art a jewel of a female; do thou not therefore remain in this guise. Put on thy ornaments therefore. How shalt thou remain unadorned obtaining me, O thou of a beautiful figure? This thy beautiful youth is passing away, which like the current of a river when once gone, doth not turn back. O thou of a fair look, having created thee, the artist of Gods, the maker of celestial beauties, hath ceased from his work, for a match of thy beauty I find in none. Who is there, O Vaidehi, who can withstand the influence of amour, getting thee, gifted with beauty and youth? (What of others) even Brahmā, the grand-father of the celestials, is moved. O thou having a moon-like countenance, and well-developed lips, whatever limbs of thine, I behold, I find my gaze fixed therein. O Maithilee, do thou become my spouse, and renounce this delusion. Do thou become the foremost queen of all my excellent wives. O timid one, all the jewels that I have collected from the three worlds, and all my kingdom I shall confer on thee. O sportive damsel, for thy satisfaction, I shall conquer the whole earth, engarlanded by many cities and bestow it upon Janakā. Find I none on this earth who can withstand my prowess. Do thou behold my matchless prowess in battle. The celestials, and Asuras are incapable of withstanding me, defeated as they were by me in battle and their pennons struck down. Do thou therefore desire me to-day, dress thyself in excellent robes and adorn thyself in beautifully brilliant ornaments. I shall behold thy dazzling beauty when adorned with ornaments. For pity unto me, do thou embellish thyself with ornaments, O thou of a graceful countenance. O timid damsel, do thou, at thy pleasure, enjoy all sorts of comforts and luxuries, and do thou, as thou desirest, confer wealth and land on others. Do thou confiding in me, ask for thy wished-for objects and do thou command me like unto an unmannerly damsel. Thou shalt, by asking favours from me, satisfy the desires of thy friends. O gentle lady, O thou of great renown, do thou observe my prosperity. What shalt thou do with Rāma, wearing bark, (O thou of pleasant presence. Rāma hath ceased from his endeavours for gaining victory. He hath lost all his beauty, lives in the forest, is engaged in observances and always lies down on earth. I fear whether he is living still. O Vaidehi, Rāma shall not be able to see thee like unto the rays of the moon covered with blue clouds preceded by Valakās.³²² Rāghava shall never get thee back from my hands, like unto Hiranyakasipu unable to regain his wife Keerti from Indra. O thou of beautiful teeth, O thou having beautiful eyes, O sportive damsel, O timid one, thou dost steal my mind like unto Garuda catching serpents. Beholding thee, wearing a shattered silken cloth, slender and without any ornaments, I do not find any attachment in my own wives. O daughter of Janaka, do thou exercise, thy supremacy, over all my wives, living in my seraglio and gifted with all accomplishments. O thou having black hair, all my wives are foremost in beauty over the three worlds. And they shall all attend thee like unto Apsarās waiting upon the Goddess of wealth. O thou having beautiful eye brows and well-developed hips, do thou, along with me, enjoy at thy pleasure all the wealth and riches of Kuvera.³²³ O worshipful damsel, in asceticism, strength or prowess, wealth or fame, Rāma is not my equal. Do thou therefore at thy pleasure drink, enjoy and eat. I shall confer on thee wealth and the whole earth. Do thou satisfy all thy desires in me, O fair damsel, and let thy friends be satisfied in thee. And adorned with a beautiful golden necklace, O timid lady, do thou at thy pleasure, range with me, in the forests, situated on the bank of the ocean, and filled with flowery trees and black bees.”
³²² A kind of crane.—T.
³²³ The God of wealth or Pluto in Greek myth.—T.
Hearing those words of that terrible Rākshasa, Sitā, stricken with grief and of feeble voice, slowly replied— Racked with grief, engaged in asceticism and weeping, Sitā began to tremble. And that excellent damsel, devoted unto her husband, began to think of him. Placing a twig before, that one, of beautiful smile, said—”Do thou take back thy mind from me and place it in thy own wives. Like unto a sinner unworthy of praying for final emancipation, it doth not behove thee to expect to come by me. Devoted unto one husband I shall never perpetrate such an iniquitious act. I am born in a high and have been married in a pious family.” Having accosted Rāvana thus, the well-known Vaidehi, turning her back, again spake unto him, saying— “I should not live with thee since I am another’s wife and chaste. Have thy eyes always on religion and do thou follow in the track of piety. Like unto thine own wives, others’ are worthy of being protected by thee, O ranger of the night. Making an example of thee, do thou enjoy with thy own wives. Forsooth those vicious-minded, those of agitated senses, who are not satisfied with their own wives, are brought to misery by others’ wives. (Methinks) there are no pious men here and even if there be any thou dost not follow him since thou hast such an adverse understanding, against human practice and usage. Or the considerate people have spoken the truth, but thou, for the destruction of the race of the Rākshasas, considering that false, hast not followed it. Wealth, kingdom and cities—all are brought to naught when they are placed at the hands of a vicious and illiterate king. Obtaining thee, (therefore) as her king and for thy folly only, this city of Lankā, abounding in jewels, shall soon be ruined. O Rāvana, every one delighteth in the destruction of that inconsiderate being, who bringeth about his own destruction and is engaged in the perpetration of evil deeds. And in this way, thyself, the perpetrator of vicious acts, meeting with thy end, those persons who had been tyranized by thee, shall, delightedly, say—”Oh! blessed are we since this terrible (Rākshasa) hath met with his end. With wealth or riches thou shalt not be able to tempt me. As the rays of the sun belong to him, so I am Rāghava’s only. Having laid my head on the beautiful arms of that lord of men, how shall I place it again on another’s? Like unto the knowledge of one God monopolized by the Brahmanas only, I am the spouse of that lord of earth only, cognisant of higher truths and marrying me according to the pious ceremonials. May good betide thee, O Rāvana. Do thou take me unto Rāma, stricken with grief as I am, like unto a she-elephant anxiously waiting in the forest brought to the lord of elephants. It behoveth thee to make friends with Rāma, that best of men, if dost thou desire to maintain thy empire and dost not wish to bring about thy own destruction. It is known to the world, that Rāma knoweth well the sanctions of religion and is kind unto them who seek his shelter. Do thou seek his friendship, if dost thou wish to maintain thy life. Do thou propitiate him therefore who is kind to his dependents and it becometh thee to take me respectfully unto him. Thou shalt meet with thy well-being if dost thou in this wise confer me on that best of Raghus. And mighty is the disaster that shall befall thee, if dost thou follow any other procedure. Thunderbolt, even, when hurled, may leave thee, Death himself may overlook thee—but there is no safety for thee, if Rāghava. the lord of men is enraged. Thou shalt hear the terrible sound of the twang of Rāma’s bow, like unto the sound of the thunderbolt hurled by Indra. Soon shall arrows, bearing the names of Rāma and Lakshmana and having fiery heads like those of snakes, alight here. And covered with kanka leaves they shall undoubtedly cover the whole city and devastate it by destroying all the Rākshasas. Like unto Garuda pulling up the snakes, the Garuda-like Rāma shall pull up thy snake-like Rākshasas. And like unto Vishnu recovering the effulgent Sree (the Goddess of wealth) from the Asuras, by crossing over the three worlds with three foot-steps, my husband, the conqueror of foes, shall recover me from thee. Janasthāna hath been devastated, the host of Rākshasas hath been killed, and thou hast been disabled. Truly thou hast perpetrated an impious deed. O Rākshasa, those two lions among men going out to enquire about the illusive deer, I was ravished by thee, entering the empty hermitage, O vile wight. And like unto a dog incapable of standing before a tiger, it would have been impossible for thee, to wait there in the presence of Rāma and Lakshmana. If dost thou engage in conflict with them, thy wealth and friends shall be of no avail unto thee (and thou shalt be dis-comfitted) like unto one-handed Asura Vitra by the two handed Indra.³²⁴ Soon shall my husband, with the assistance of Lakshmana, draw out thy life with arrows, like unto the sun drying up, by his rays, shallow water. Whether dost thou repair to the abode of Kuvera, or whether dost thou, terrified, take refuge unto the assembly of Varuna, thou shalt, for certain, be destroyed by the son of Daçaratha, like unto a mighty tree broken down by thunderbolt.
³²⁴ The allusion is—the mighty Asura Vitra fought with Indra for a long time even after he had his one hand chopped off.—T.
Hearing those harsh accents, that lord of Rākshasas, replied unto Sitā, of comely presence, with the following unpleasant words—”It is generally found on earth that the more a woman is courted by a man, the more she is brought under his influence. (But for thee) the more kindly I have been behaving towards thee, the more roughly I have been treated. Truly doth my love for thee keep in control the wrath like unto a good charioteer restraining the swerving stead. O mighty is amour unto men, for on whom this amour falleth, albeit she is an object of wrath, becomes an object of kindness and affection. O thou of fair countenance, it is for this reason, that I do not destroy thee, although thou, who art engaged in false asceticism, art worthy of being killed and dishonored. O Maithilee, for each and every one of all those harsh words which thou hast used by me, dost thou deserve death.” Having spoken thus unto Vaidehi, Rāvana, the lord of Rākhasas, having his wrath subdued, again bespake Sitā: “I shall wait for those two months, of which I have made a contract, after which thou shalt have to share my bed, O thou of a comely presence. And even then if thou dost refuse to regard me as thy husband, my cooks shall mince thy limbs with steel and serve thee for my morning meal.” Beholding the lord of Rākshasas remonstrate with the daughter of Janaka in this wise, the daughters of the celestials and Gandharbas became exceedingly sorry. Some with lips, some with eyes, and some with gestures of their faces, they all consoled Sitā, thus distressed by that Rākshasa. And thus consoled by them, and being proud of her good conduct and her husband’s heroism, Sitā thus addressed Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, “Forsooth there is no person in this city who desireth thy welfare and therefore preventeth thee from such an impious deed. Who is there in the three worlds, who even dcsireth me in mind, who am the spouse of the virtuous-souled (Rāma) like unto Indra’s Sachee. O thou the vilest of the Rākshasas, for using those vicious words towards the spouse of Rāma, of immeasured prowess, repairing whither shalt thou escape vengeance? Like unto an infuriated elephant encountering a hare in the forest, thou shalt O Vile! a hare as thou art, meet with that elephant-like Rāma. Thou art not ashamed of railing that lord of Ikshwākus, so long as dost thou not come within his ken. O base! why do not thy grim, terrible, coppery eyes, looking so viciously at me, fall down on earth. O vicious wretch, I am the spouse of that virtuous souled (Rāma) and daughter-in-law of Daçaratha—using these vile words towards me, why dost not thy tongue fall off? O Ten-necked one, I can instantly reduce thee to ashes but for Rāma’s mandate and my ascetic observances. Thou couldst not have ravished me in the presence of the highly intelligent Rāma. And undoubtedly for thy destruction this hath been brought about by God. Thou art heroic and Kuvera’s brother and great in prowess, why didst thou then take me by stealth after despatching Rāma away from the hermitage?” Hearing those words of Sitā, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, whirling his grim eyes, looked towards the daughter of Janaka. He was like unto a mass of blue clouds and his arms and necks were long and spacious. He was gifted with elephantine gaits and his tongues and eyes were sharp and flaming. The top of his crown was shaking and he had charming garlands around his neck and his person sprinkled with paste. He had crimson-coloured garlands and clothes on and his charming arms were adorned with ornaments. Encircled with a sword-belt around his waist he appeared like unto Mandara, entwined by a snake at the time of the churning of the ocean. With his two plump arms, that lord of Rākshasas appeared like unto the hill Mandara with its two huge summits. And adorned with a pair of Kundalas³²⁵ resembling the newly risen Sun he looked like a hill covered with two Asoka trees enveloped with crimson flowers and leaves. He was like unto Kalpa³²⁶ tree and spring incarnate. And albeit adorned, he looked terrible like unto a Caitya³²⁷ on the cremation-ground. And having his eyes red hot with ire, sighing again and again like unto a snake and casting his looks upon Sitā, Rāvana addressed her again, saying,—”O thou following asceticism, this thy vow is without any meaning and beyond the pale of morality. Even shall I destroy thee to-day like unto the Sun dispelling darkness with his rays.” Having thus addressed Maithilee, the inimical king Rāvana cast his looks towards the grim-visaged Rākshasees. And among those Rākshasees, some had huge ears, some had ears like those of kine, some had ears as long as arms, some had long ears and others were without any. And some had legs like those of an elephant; some had like those of a cow and some had legs covered with hairs. And some had one eye, some had one leg, some had capacious legs and some were without any. And some had huge heads and necks and some had breast and belly beyond proportions and some had faces and eyes above human size. Some had huge tongues and nails. And some were without noses. And some had leonine faces, some had faces like those of kine and some had those of boars. And casting his look towards such Rākshasees, he said—”Ye Rākshasees, do ye all endeavour to bring Sitā, the daughter of Janaka, under my control. By good or bad conduct, by conciliation or gift, by threat or blandishment, do ye so endeavour as Vaidehi’s soul might be bent unto me.” And having ordered thus again and again, that lord of Rākshasas, stricken with amour and ire, addressed Sitā, roaring fiercely. And thereupon approaching speedily and embracing the Ten-necked one, one Rākshasee named Dhānyamalini bespake him:—”Do thou sport with me, O great king. What shalt thou do with her?—O lord of Rākshasas—a human being,poorly and of a pale countenance. O great king, forsooth, the celestials have not destined for her enjoyment all those objects which thou hast procured by thy prowess. And again he who desireth for an unwilling dame burneth his own person—and he who desireth for a willing damsel, attaineth excess of delight.” Having said this, the Rākshasee took away Rāvana by force. And that Rākshasa too, resembling a mass of clouds, laughing, turned back. And that Ten-necked one, strode away as if shaking the whole earth and passed within (his queen’s) abode resembling the effulgent Sun. And encircling Rāvana those daughters of celestials Gandharbas and Nāgas, entered into an excellent abode. And having remonstrated with and left behind, the firm and pious Sitā with a trembling person, Rāvana, possessed by amour entered into his own palace.
³²⁵ A kind of ornament worn on ears.—T.
³²⁶ A fabulous tree granting everything desired.—T.
³²⁷ A monument or sculpture raised in honor of a deceased person on the site of a funeral pyre.—T.
Having spoken thus unto Maithilee and commanded the host of the Rākshasees, Rāvana, a terror unto his enemies, went away. And after that lord of Rākshasas had gone away and entered his inner apartment, the hideous Rākshasees drew near Sitā. And approaching Sitā that terrible host, almost faint with ire, addressed Vaidehi with the following harsh words—”Thou dost not regard it highly, Sitā, that thou shalt become the chosen wife of that high-souled, and great Rāvana, the Ten-necked son of Pulastya.” Thereupon another Rākshasee name4 Ekjatā, with eyes rendered coppery with ire, addressing Sitā, having a small navel, said,—”Pulastya is the fourth of the six Prajāpatis,³²⁸ a mind-born son of Brahmā and celebrated in the world. And the glorious ascetic, by name Bishravā. was the mind-born son unto Pulastya, effulgent like unto Prajāpatis. O large-eyed damsel! Of Visravā came Rāvana terrible unto his enemies. And it behoveth thee to become the consort of that lord of Rākshasas. Scorn not the words I say unto thee, O thou of comely presence.” Thereupon another Rākshasee named Harijatā, having the eyes of a cat, and whirling them with ire, said—”It becometh thee to be the wife of that lord of Rākshasas who smote the thirty three celestials and their lord in battle. Dost thou not desire to be his wife, who is heroic, of indomitable prowess and who doth not turn back in battle? And turning away in scorn from his beloved wife, highly esteemed, the mighty king Rāvana, desireth for thee. And leaving his inner apartment enriched with thousand of females and adorned with various jewels, Rāvana shall adore thee.” And then followed another Rakshasee by name Bikatā—”The king, who by his terrible prowess subdued the Gandharbas³²⁹ and Nāgas³³⁰ in battle, hath stood by thee. O foolish damsel, why dost thou not wish to be the consort of that high-souled lord of Rākshasas—Rāvana, gifted with wealth and riches.” And then followed another Rakshasee named Durmukhee.— “Why dost thou not approach him, O thou having expansive eyes, by whose fear, the sun doth not shine, and the wind doth not blow. O dame, why dost thou not wish to be the consort of Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, at whose command the trees shower blossoms and the hills and clouds pour down water. Why dost thou not make up thy mind to be the wife of Rāvana? O damsel, O worshipful dame, we have spoken thus for thy welfare. Do thou comply with our request or thou shalt surely die,”
³²⁸ Prajāpitis are the lords of the created beings first created by Brahmā.—T.
³²⁹ Heavenly singers and musicians who belong to the heaven of Indra.—T.
³³⁰ Serpent-gods who dwell in the regions under the earth.
Thereupon all those Rākshasees, having terrible faces again and again pursued Sitā with reproaches rough and rude.—”Why dost thou not desire, O Sitā, to live in his inner apartment, liked by all and abounding in costly bedsteads. O woman, thou regardest highly to be the wife of a man. Do thou turn back from Rāma—thy desire shall never be satisfied. Do thou spend happily thy days with our lord—Rāvana, the Rākshasa chief, who makes his own the treasures of the three worlds. Thou art a woman, O thou of comely presence, and therefore doth thy fancy cling to Rāma, O thou of a blameless countenance, who is a man, deprived of his kingdom, overwhelmed with disasters and hath his desires frustrated.” Hearing the words of those Rākshasees, the lotus-eyed Sitā, with her eyes full of tears said.—”What ye have all said and which is against human usage and vicious, doth not find place in my mind. A woman cannot be the wife of a Rākshasa. Eat me up if you will, I will never follow your words. Poor or deprived of kingdom, he who is my hunband, is my preceptor. I am ever devoted unto him, like Subarchalā³³¹ unto the Sun. Like unto the great Sachi standing by Sakra, Arundhuti by Vashishta, Rohini by the Moon, Lopamudrā by Agastya, Sukanya by Chyabana, Sābitree by Satyabāna, Sreematee by Kapila, Madayantee by Sandasa, Keshinee by Sagara and Damayanti the daughter of the king Veema by her husband Nala, I shall ever remain devoted to my husband Rāma, the foremost of the descendants of Ikshawku.” Hearing the words of Sitā, all those Rākshasees despatched by Rāvana, almost beside themselves with ire, again covered her with reproaches rough and rude. And Hanumān remained all along speechless and hidden on the Shingshapa tree. And that monkey heard all those demons remonstrate with Sitā in this way. And those, influenced with ire, approached the trembling Sitā and encircling her, licked again and again their long and burning lips. And taking up instantly spears, they exceedingly wroth, menaced her, saying—”She is not worthy of having Rāvana, the lord of the Rākshasas, as her lord.” Being thus remonstrated with by those terrible Rākshasees, that excellent damsel, shedding tears, neared the Singshapa tree. And the large-eyed Sitā, encircled by the Rākshasees, remained there sunk in grief. And all those hideous demons, showered reproaches, from all sides, on her, greatly reduced, of a poorly countenance, and wearing a soiled cloth. Thereupon a grim-visaged demon, angry, having hideous teeth and a huge belly extending downwards, by name Vinatā, spake, saying:—”O Sitā, thou hast shown enough of attachment towards thy husband. But, O gentle dame, excess of any thing tends to evil. We are satisfied. And may good betide thee! Thou hast acted worthily like a woman. Do thou hear, O Maithilee, what I say for thy welfare. Do thou accept, Rāvana, the lord of the Rākshasa host, as thy husband. He withstands powerfully his enemies like unto Vāsava, the lord of the celestials, charitable, kind unto all, and sweet-speeched. And forsaking Rāma, a poor wight, do thou take Rāvana (as thy husband). Having thy person sprinkled with celestial paste and adorned with excellent ornaments, do thou from to-day O Vaidchi, O thou of comely presence, become the queen of all the worlds, like unto Sachee of the lord of the celestials and svāha³³² of the fire. What shalt thou do with Rāma, O Vaidehi, poor and of limited life? This is what I say and if dost thou not follow it we shall all instantly banquet on thee.” And thereupon another Rākshasee named Vikatā, having her breast hanging long, exercised with ire, and clinching her fist, addressed, roaring, Sitā—”O foolish daughter of the king of Mithilā, we have put up with all thy foolish words only out of compassion, and because thou art a feeble being. It will not lead to thy well-being if thou dost not hear our words. Thou hast been brought here, the other side of the ocean, difficult of being approached by others. Thou hast come within the terrible abode of Rāvana O Maithilee, and hast been shut up in his room guarded by us all. And even, Purandara’s³³³ self cannot save you. Do thou therefore hear, O Maithilee, my well-meaning words. Why dost thou shed tears? Renounce thy useless grief. Do thou become happy and delighted, renouncing thy continued melancholy. Do thou sport, O Sitā, at thy pleasure, with the lord of the Rākshasas. We know, for certain, O timid damsel, that the youth of the females, is very transient. And so long as thy youth doth not fade, do thou pass thy days happily, O thou having inebrite eyes, with the lord of Rākshasas, in picturesque gardens, and mountain forests. Do thou take, O fair damsel, Rāvana, the lord of the Rākshasas, for thy husband, and thousands of females shall be placed at thy service. If dost thou not follow, what I say, O Maithilee, I shall taking out thy heart, banquet on it.” Thereupon another grim-visaged Rākshasee, named, Chandodorā, shaking her terrible spear, said—”Beholding this Sitā having the eyes of a young antelope and her breast trembling with fear, my earnest desire, as I am enciente, hath been to banquet on her large eyes, lever, spleen, her plump hands, heart, other limbs and head.” Thereupon another Rākshasee named Praghasā said—”I shall grind the throat of this cruel woman. What are you doing, sitting there? Ye shall then relate unto the king that the woman is dead. And undoubtedly he shall say ’Do ye eat her up.’” And thereupon another Rākshasee named Ajāmukhee said “I do not like quarrels. Let us all divide her into equal portions. Bring soon our favourite drink and various garlands.” Then followed another Rākshasee by name Surpanakhā,—”I do fully concur with what Ajāmukhee hath said. Bring soon wine, the remover of all griefs. Banquetting on human flesh I shall dance before the queen Nikumbhilā.” Being thus threatened by those grim-visaged Rākshasees Sitā, resembling the daughter of a celestial, renouncing patience, began to weep.
³³¹ The wife of the sun.—T.
³³² An exclamation used in making an oblation to the Gods. A personification of the preceding as the wife of fire and Goddess presiding over burnt offerings.—T.
³³³ Another name of Indra—the lord of the celestials.—T.
And those hideous Rākshasees thus threatning her with reproaches rude and rough, the daughter of the king Janaka began to weep. And being thus addressed by those Rākshasees, Vaidehi, of subdued soul, being greatly terrified, said, having her voice choked with vapour,—”A woman can never be the wife of a Rākshasa. Eat me up if you will, I shall never follow your words.” And being surrounded by the Rākshasees and threatened by Rāvana, Sitā, resembling the daughter of a celestial, stricken with grief, could not console herself. And trembling, she shrank from their presence like unto a strayed fawn surrounded by wolves. And resorting to a flowery branch of an Asoka tree, she sunk in grief, thought upon her lord. With tears she bathed her beautiful breast and oppressed with woe, she could not reach the other bank of the ocean of grief. Like a plantain tree shaken by the breeze, she shook and fell down trembling (on the earth). And being afraid of the Rākshasees, her cheeks forsook their native hue. And herself trembling, her pretty long lock of hair also shook and appeared like a serpent moving this way and that. Overwhelmed with grief and beside herself with ire, the daughter of the king of Mithilā, wept and exclaimed sorrowfully,—”O mother Kausalyā! O queen Sumitra! true is the saying of the wise that death doth never approach untimely the male or the female. Or else I would not have lived for a moment, separated from Rāma and oppressed by the Rākshasees as I am. Limited is my virtue, and therefore I am to die the death of a poor deserted thing like unto a bark driven by the blast in the midst of the ocean. Debarred from my husband’s sight and tortured by the hideous demons, I shall sink, oppressed with woes, like unto the banks of a river, washed by the water. Oh blest are they who have been resting their eyes upon my grateful and sweet-speeched lord of leonine gaits, having eyes resembling lotus petals! And separated frpm Rāma of subdued soul, it is as difficult for me to breathe as for him who hath drank up virulent poison. What mighty iniquity had I perpetrated in my previous existence that I have met with this terrible disaster! I wish to renounce my life under this load of grief—but alas! I am surrounded by the Rākshasees and cannot meet Rāma. Oh! cursed is this subject human life, that they cannot renounce it even at their pleasure”!
Saying this, the daughter of the king Janaka, bathed her countenance with tears and hanging down her head began to lament. And she began to roll on the earth like unto a colt as if she was mad, possessed by a devil and had lost her sense. “I, the spouse of Rāma, who was drawn away at a distance by the Rākshasa (Māricha) assuming shapes at will, was seized and borne away by Rāvana. A captive of the Rākshasas, subject to their terrible threats and taunts, sunk in grief and anxiety,—I desire not to keep my life. Of what avail are wealth, ornament and life unto me, who am living in the midst of the Rākshasas and separated from Rāma, of the mighty car? Forsooth my life is made of stone, imperishable and immortal since it is not riven asunder even by this mighty grief. Woe to me! who am unchaste and vile and my life is vicious, since breathe I still in the absence of my lord. What of fixing my fancy on that night-ranger, my meaner foot even shall not touch him? That (demon) who is courting me in this terrible way, doth not know himself, his own race and that I loathe him so much. What more shall I speak unto you, I shall never consent to Rāvana’s prayer, I might be rent from limb to limb or burnt in fire. Rāghava is grateful, true, wise and kind. I fear it is through my ill-luck that he doth not feel pity for me. Will he not take me back who alone slew the thousands of the Rashasas in Janasthāna? I have been captured by Rāvana, a Rākshasa of feeble prowess. Forsooth my lord is capable of slaying this Rāvana in conflict. Will not that Rāma regain me, by whom was killed in the forest of Dandaka, Virādha, the foremost of the Rākshasa crew? Although situated in the midst of the ocean, Lankā is unapproachable by others, but Rāghava’s arrows shall also reach here. (I am at a loss to ascertain) why Rāma of firm prowess, doth not regain me, his beloved spouse who have been borne away by the Rākshasa. Methinks Rāma doth not know that I am here, or else, powerful as he is, he would not have put up with this insult. That lord of vultures, who could have informed Rāghava, of my being borne away by the Rākshasa, was killed by Rāvana in the battle. O great was the work done by him, who, old as he was, for my sake, addressed himself to bring about Rāvana’s destruction. If Rāghava could know that I was here, he, exceedingly wroth, would have cleared the earth with his arrows, of the Rākshasas. He would have then burnt down the city of Lankā, dried up the deep and blotted out the name and fame of Rāvana. And from each ruined home would have risen the Rākshasa widows’ groans and cries like unto those of mine. And instituting enquiries, along with Lakshmana, he shall soon reduce Lankā to this plight. And observed by them the enemy shall not live for a moment. And in no time, shall Lankā, assume the appearance of a cremation ground, having all her high ways enveloped with smoke issuing out of the funeral pyres, and filled with vultures. And soon shall this desire of mine be fulfilled. All these words of mine do sound improbable now but they all indicate your misfortune. Besides from these bad omens, that are to be seen here, it appeareth, that Lankā shall soon be shorn of her grace. The lord of the Rākshasas, the vicious Rāvana being killed, forsooth shall Lankā, divested of wealth, appear like a widow. This Lankā, which is now full of pious ceremonies, shall, on the death of the Rākshasas and their master, appear like a husbandless woman. For certain, shall I soon hear the cries and groans in every house, of the daughters of the Rākshasas worn with grief. If that heroic Rāma, having dark-blue eyes, comes to know that I am in the abode of the Rākshasas, the city of Lankā shall be burnt down with his arrows and shall be stricken with darkness and shorn of grace and all the foremost of the Rākshasas shall be destroyed. The time which was appointed by the vile and cruel Rāvana, hath arrived. And that vicious wretch hath resolved to destroy me now. There is no crime which cannot be perpetrated by those vicious demons. Mighty is the disaster that shall arise on account of this crime—the Rākshasas who live on flesh do not know what virtue is. Forsooth shall the Rākshasa serve me for his morning meal. What shall I do without my lord of comely presence? Debarred from my husband’s presence, stricken with grief and not beholding Rāma, having dark-blue eyes, I shall soon meet with death. Rāma, the elder brother of Bharata, doth not know that I am still alive or else he and Lakshmana would have ransacked the whole world for me. Or renouncing his body on this earth for my grief, the heroic elder brother of Lakshmana, hath repaired to the celestial region. Blessed are the celestials, Gandharbas, Siddhas and mighty ascetics who are beholding my heroic lotus-eyed Rāma. Or that highly intelligent royal ascetic deairous of securing piety and freed from the troubles of life, hath no need of a wife like me. Or people have fancy for what they see and which disappeateth as soon as the object is out of sight. The ungrateful are capable of renouncing their love, but not Rāma. Or there might be some folly in me. Or on the wane of my good luck have been separated irom the excellent Rāma. Death is more preferable unto me than life since I have been separated trom the high-souled heroic Rāma, of unblemished character and the slayer of foes. Or those two brothers, the foremost of men, laying aside their weapons, and living on fruits and roots, have been wandering in the forest. Or those two heroic brothers Rāma and Lakshmana, have been, by treachery, put to death, by the vicious-souled Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas. At this time of distress, I do with all my heart long lor death,—(but alas!) even death is not approaching me in this my misery. Oh blessed are those high-souled, great ascetics abiding by truth and having their senses in control, who have no objects of love or displeasure. They are not distressed with misery for their objects of love or grief for them whom they do not love. They are freed from them and I do bow unto those high-souled ones. Being forsaken by the beloved Rāma, knowing his ownself, and brought under the control of Rāvana, I shall renounce my life.”
Being thus addressed angrily by Sitā, some of those Rākshasees, beside themselves with ire, proceeded to relate this unto the vicious-souled Rāvana. And approaching Sitā those grim-visaged demons again addressed her with words rude and rough. “O vile Sitā, O thou bent on committing sin, we Rākshasees shall to-day devour thy flesh to the best of our satisfaction.” Beholding those vile demons threaten Sitā, a Rākshasa matron, wise and old, named, Trijatā cried—”O vile demons, do ye eat your own persons³³⁴ but do not devour Sitā, the daughter of Janaka and the esteemed daughter-in-law of the king Daçaratha. I dreamt a terrible dream last night which made my down stand on their end. And in that dream I foresaw the overthrow of the Rākshasa race and the conquest of her husband.” And being thus addressed by Trijatā, those demons, exercised with wrath and terrified, accosted her with the following words,—”Do thou relate (unto us) what sort of dream didst thou dream last night.” And hearing those words proceeding from the mouths of the Rākshasees, Trijatā began to describe the dream she had at the latter end of the night,—”I saw Rāma, wearing garlands and clothed in white, ride in a celestial charriot, along with Lakshmana, made of ivory, traversing the etherial regions and drawn by a hundred steeds. I saw in my dream to-night, that Sitā, clad in the purest white, appearing on a snow-white hill beaten by the waves of the ocean, had at last met Rāma, like unto light joined to the Sun. And I again saw Rāma and Lakshmana appear in effulgence, seated on a huge elephant, having four tusks and resembling a bull. Thereupon those two (brothers), resplendant like unto the Sun by their own effulgence, and wearing white garlands and clothes, appeared near Janaka’s daughter. And the lotus eyed Jānaki, on the top of the hill situate on the welkin, first fell on the lap of her husband and then stationed herself on the neck of the elephant guided by her husband. Then I saw Sitā rubbing the Sun and the Moon with her two hands. And then that best of the elephants, with those two princes and the large eyed Sitā on him, stood high above Lankā. I again saw Rāma, clad in white, and adorned with garlands, ride along with Lakshmana in a charriot drawn by eight white bullocks. I again saw that highly energetic, best of men—Rāma, having truth for his prowess, along with his brother Lakshmana and Sitā flee to Northern realms, ascending a celestial flowery charriot resembling (in brightness) the Sun. And I saw Rāvana too, shaved and shorn, besmeared with oil, wearing a crimson cloth, drinking honey, wearing a garland of Karavira flowers, fall down on earth from the flowery charriot. And dragged by a woman, shaved, wearing a red cloth and garlands and sprinkled with crimson paste, Rāvana was again seen by me riding in a charriot drawn by asses. And quaffing oil, laughing and dancing, that one of agitated senses, forgetting himself sped on the charriot to the South.³³⁵ And I again saw Rāvana, the lord of the Rākshasas, stricken with fear, fall, headless, down on the earth. And then rising all on a sudden, and uttering obscene and inconsistent words like unto a maniac, Rāvana overwhelmed with fear, and amazement, and intoxicated, fell into a mass of dirt, stinking and resembling the very hell. And again proceeding to the South he entered into a lake devoid of mud and water. And a dark woman, clad in a crimson cloth, and bedaubed with mud, dragged the Ten-necked demon, entwining herself round his neck. Then followed the mighty Kumvakarna³³⁶ and all the sons of Rāvana, shaved and shorn and besmeared with oil. And they all proceeded southward—the Ten-necked demon on on a boar, Indrajit³³⁷ on a porpoise, and Kumvakarna on a camel. I saw only Biveesana, with a white umbrella and accompanied by four courtiers, range in the welkin. And there was audible in the large assembly sound of music and stringed instruments. And all the Rākshasas wearing crimson clothes and garlands, were quaffing oil. I saw the royal and picturesque city Lankā with her steeds, cars and elephants, drowned in the ocean, having her gateways and ornamented arches broken. And in Lankā, covered with dust, Rākshasa women, laughing; and making terrible sound, were engaged in quaffing oil. I saw all the leading Rākshasas—Kumvakarna and others, dark-hued and wearing crimson clothes, emerged in an abyss of cow dung. Do ye therefore fly at some distance, and will find that Rāghava shall regain Sitā. And exercised with ire he shall destroy you all along with the Rākshasas. Rāghava shall never brook, his esteemed and beloved spouse, living in the forest, being taunted and threatened by you. No more with rough words therefore; do you console the lady and humbly pray her to forgive you. This I think proper. Surely shall she, divested of misfortune, be reconciled to her beloved and excellent husband, regarding whom, in her misery, I have dreamt such a dream. Ye Rākshasees! You have threatened her, do ye implore her forgiveness—no more with harsh words. Forsooth, from Rāghava shall proceed the mighty disaster of the Rākshasas. If Maithilee, the daughter of the king Janaka, be pleased with you (for your imploring her forgiveness) you might be saved from the mighty disaster. I do not perceive any inauspicious mark on the person of this large-eyed dame. It appears from the paleness of her countenance that she hath been overcome by misfortune. And I saw (in my dreamt this worshipful damsel, unworthy of any misfortune, stationed in the welkin. Verily I do perceive, before me, the satisfaction of Vaidehi’s end, the destruction of the lord of the Rākshasas and the conquest of Rāghava. Behold I there, her left eye, spacious, as a lotus-petal, is dancing to hear this pleasant dream announcing the satisfaction of her own end. And her left arm is also dancing with joy, all on a sudden. And her excellent beautiful left thigh, resembling the trunk of an elephant, is also dancing as if indicating, that she shall at no distant date, be reconciled to Rāghava. And the birds, again and again, entering their nests, and highly delighted are pouring forth their notes announcing the advent of a happy occasion.” Thereupon that modest dame, greatly delighted in the prospective conquest of her husband, said— “If this be true I shall save you all.”
³³⁴ The proper expression, I think, should be—”Eat me.” The commentator Rāmānuja explains Atmanam as your own bodies.—T.
³³⁵ In the south is the region of Yama, the God of Death and hence his going to the South is not an auspicious sign.—T.
³³⁶ Rāvana’s brother.—T.
³³⁷ Rāvana’s son—the name signifies the conqueror of the lord of the celestials.—T.
Hearing those unpleasant words of Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas, Sitā, racked with sorrow on account of her husband, became terrified, like unto a she-elephant, worsted by a lion on the skirt of a forest. Threatened by Rāvana and encircled by the Rākshasees, that timid damsel bewailed like a girl cast off in a lonely forest. “Truly the sages say that death in this world doth not come untimely. Or else would I have, vicious as I am, lived for a moment, being thus sorely threatened. Forsooth, my mind, divested of happiness and full of misery, is firm or else why is it not broken in sunder like unto the summit of a hill clapped by a thunderbolt. Nor am I to blame for this—I am worthy of being killed by this demon of uncomely presence. As a Brahmana cannot impart instructions in Vedas unto the people of other castes so I shall not confer my mind on Rāvana. If that lord of the people doth not come within the appointed time, forsooth shall that vile lord, of the Rākshasas, mince my limbs with his arrows like unto a surgeon cutting off the limbs of an embryo.³³⁹ Two months shall pass away in no time and I shall have to suffer the pain of death, overwhelmed with sorrow as I am, like unto a thief, confined in stocks, at the command of the sovereign to receive death the next morning. Rāma! Lakshmana! O Sumitra! O Rāma’s mother! O my mothers! I am worsted in this ocean of grief, like unto a bark, driven hither and thither by the blast, in the midst of an ocean. Verily for me, those two powerful, lion-like sons of the king, have been killed by (this demon) effulgent like the lightning and assuming the semblance of a deer. Unfortunate as I am, forsooth I was tempted then by death wearing the shape of a deer and thus foolishly lost Rāma and Lakshmana, the sons of the worshipful sire. O Rāma, O thou of truthful vows, O thou of long arms, O thou having the countenance of a full moon! O my life! engaged as thou art in the welfare of the people, dost thou not perceive that I am about to be killed by the Rākshasas. Alas! this my devotedness unto my husband, my forgiveness, my lying down on the bare earth, my observance of religious vows, my wife-like virtues, are lost like unto service done for an ungrateful wight. In vain are my pious rites, and in vain is my devotedness unto my husband—since I do not behold thee, am pale and feeble in thy absence and have given up all hopes of seeing thee. And duly satisfying thy sire’s command, and returning successfully from the forest, thou shalt fearlessly sport with many a damsel having large eyes. (But for me) O Rāma, I was for my own destruction, devoted, soul and heart, unto thee. Oh! fruitless is my asceticism and wifely virtue! Oh fie on me! I shall renounce this my unfortunate life. I desire to do away speedily with my being by means of poison or a sharp weapon. But there is no one in this city of the Rākshasas, who bringeth me this poison or weapon.” Bewailing thus in various accents, and remembering Rāma with all her heart, Sitā, having her countenance dried up, and trembling, got at the biggest tree enveloped with flowers. And thinking thus, Sitā, stricken with grief, took up in her hand, her braid of hair and thought—”I shall soon hang myself with this braid and reach the abode of Death. And that one of tender person reached the tree, and holding a branch, began to think of Rāma, Lakshmana, and the glory of her race. And on her person were perceived many auspicious marks, well-known in the world, removing grief, fostering patience, and announcing the advent of future welfare.
³³⁸ The sections 28 and 29 are not found in all the texts. They are found in Bengal edition. Gorressio translates it and remarks—”I think the chapter XXVIII—The auspicious signs—is an addition, a later interpolation by the Rhapsodists. It has no bond of connection either with what precedes or follows it and may be struck out without injury.” We have however thought it proper to give a full version.—T.
³³⁹ This passage clearly indicates that there were proficient and skilled surgeons at the time when Rāmayana was written.—T.
Like unto servants waiting upon a wealthy person various auspicious omens waited upon Sitā of a blameless and comely person, racked with grief and divested of joy. And the large left eye of that dame having graceful hairs, having dark pupils, white ends and thick eye-lashes, began to dance like a lotus shaken by a fish. And her beautiful, round, plump left hand, which, ere this, sprinkled with costly aguru and sandal, used to serve for a pillow unto Rāma, began to dance now again and again after a long time. And her well built plump left thigh, resembling the trunk of an elephant, dancing, announced that she would soon behold Rāma. And the gold-hued cloth, now covered with dust, of that damsel of a comely person, having teeth like pomegranate seeds, slipped a little off its place. And being enlivened by those and various other auspicious omens, she attained joy like unto a seed, spoiled by the wind and the sun, growing afresh in the rainy season. And her countenance, having lips red as Bimba fruits, beautiful eyes, eye-brows extending to ears, curling eye-lashes and white teeth, again appeared graceful like unto the Moon released from the full grasp of Rāhu.³⁴⁰ Her grief and exhaustion were removed—sorrow was pacified and her heart was filled with joy. And she with her countenance appeared beautiful like a lunar night beautified by the rays of the Moon.
³⁴⁰ Like the Moon when full eclipse is just over—In mythology Rāhu is the son of Sinikā, a daitya, with the tail of a dragon whose head was severed from his body by Vishnu, but being immortal this head and tail retained their separate existence and being transferred to the stellar sphere, became the authors of eclipses.—T,
And the powerful Hanumān, heard from the beginning to the end (the bewailings) of Sitā, the story of Trijata’s dream and the threats of the Rākshasees. And beholding the worshipful damsel, living in the forest of Asoka, like unto a celestial damsel in the garden of Nandana, the monkey entered in a maze of anxious thoughts. “At length my watchful eyes have seen her, whom have been seeking in vain, the thousands and millions of the monkeys in all directions and quarters. Truly have I seen her to-day, engaged as I have been as a spy to estimate the strength of the ememy and am ranging secretly everywhere. I have seen minutely the city of the Rākshasas, and the strength of Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasasas. It now remains to console the spouse of Rāma of incomparable power, and kind unto all, who panteth for her lord. I shall console this damsel, having the countenance of the full moon, who had never seen grief before, and who shall not soon reach its end. And if I go away without soothing this chaste lady, who is almost senseless with grief, I shall be blamed of neglect of duty. And if I go away, the royal daughter, the famed Jānaki, finding no means of safety, shall, for certain, renounce her life. She is worthy of being consoled like unto the great armed (Rāma) having the countenance of the full-moon and anxious to behold Sitā. It is not proper to speak before the Rākshasas— What shall I do then? I am in very great difficulty. If I do not console her at this latter end of the night, surely shall she renounce her life. How shall I answer Rāma, without consoling Sitā of comely stature, when he will ask me “What message from my Sitā?” And if I speedily repair hence without any information regarding Sitā, surely shall Kākuthstha scorch me lifeless with the fire of his angry eyes. And if I urge my lord the king (Biveeshana) to bring his hosts here for Rāma, in vain shall be his toil³⁴¹. And seizing the occasion when she shall be free from her demonaic guards, I shall console her in her dire distress. And a puny monkey as I am, I shall speak in Sanskrit³⁴² which men delight to use. And if I speak Sanskrit like a Brahmana, Sitā shall be terrified considering me Rāvana. Must I therefore use the language of a common man³⁴³ or else I shall not be able to console the dame of a blameless person. And beholding my monkey shape and hearing my human language she might be afraid again, terrified as she had been before by the band of the Rākshasas. And considering me Rāvana wearing shapes at will, that large-eyed and high-minded dame, shall cry piteously for help. And Sitā, making a sudden noise, those terrible Rākshasees resembling Death himself and armed with various weapons, shall at once arrive there. And thereupon casting their looks all around and finding me out, those highly powerful and grim-visaged demons shall try to kill or catch me. And beholding me leap from branch to branch and trunk to trunk of big trees they shall be greatly alarmed. And espying my appearance while ranging in the forest, those Rākshasees greatly terrified, shall fill the wood with their wild shouts. And then they shall call (to their assistance) all those Rākshasees engaged in guarding the abode of the lord of the Rākshasas. And they, greatly agitated, shall with vehemence arrive here, armed with darts, arrows, scimitars and various other weapons. And being surrounded by them on all sides, if I do kill that host of demons, tired, I shall not be able to bound over the main. And if that host of skilled demons, succeed in making me a captive, I too shall be in their hands and Sitā shall remain ignorant of my object. Or the Rākshasas, pernicious as they are, shall kill the daughter of Janaka, and there shall the great work of Rāma and Sugriva, be spoiled. And Jānaki liveth in this secret place, girt by the ocean, guarded on all sides by the Rākshasas, difficult of being got at and having all avenues to it shut up. If I am killed or captured by Rākshasas in battle, I do not find any who can help Rāma in his enterprise. Myself killed, I do not find any monkey who can leap a hundred leagues across the sea. I am capable of destroying thousands of Rākshasas, but I shall not then be able to get at the other shore of the great ocean. Victory or defeat is uncertain in a battle—I do not (therefore) like to engage in such an uncertain (act). What wise man merges certainty in uncertainty? It is a great sin in me (I own) to talk with Sitā—But she will die if I do not talk with her. Works, almost accomplished, when entrusted to an inconsiderate emissary, are generally spoiled, out of season and out of place, like unto darkness driven by the appearance of the sun. All those works, which are generally taken in hand after duly deliberating over their propriety and impropriety, are generally spoiled by those emissaries who are proud of their learning. What shall I do, by which my work is not injured, I am not blamed of foolishness and my crossing over the main doth not become fruitless? What shall I do so that Sitā might listen to me without being terrified?” Thinking over this, the intelligent Hanumān arrived at a conclusion. “I shall not disturb her, speaking (all on a sudden) about Rāma of unwearied actions, dear unto her and to whom, she is firmly attached. Uttering the name of Rāma, the foremost of the Ikshawkus, and of subdued soul and lauding his piety and fame in sweet accents, I shall so manage that Sitā might hear and believe them.” Beholding the spouse of that high-souled lord of the earth and engaging in this train of thoughts, Hanumān, stationed on a branch of the tree, spoke the following sweet words.
³⁴¹ For before that Sitā shall renounce her life—T.
³⁴² The language refined by the strict rules of grammar.—T.
³⁴³ This passage clearly indicates that Sanskrit if not spoken by men, and women of the upper classes of the time when Rāmāyana was written, was at least understood by them, and was commonly spoken by men of priestly class and other educated persons.—T.
Meditating thus the highly intelligent monkey spoke in accents, sweet and in such a tone as they might be, heard by Vaidehi. “There reigned a noble and pious king named Daçaratha, highly glorious amongst the Ikshawkus, the lord of the warrior-cars, steeds and elephants. Devoid of envy, high-minded, kind, having truth for Us prowess, the foremost of the Ikshawku race, wealthy and the enhancer of wealth; gifted with royal marks; highly beautiful; the foremost of the kings; famous all over the world of many oceans; the conferrer of happiness and himself happy. His eldest and most beloved son was the Moon-bright Rāma, wise and the foremost of those who know the science of the bended bow. He was the protector of his own character, of his own kinsmen, of the whole world of creation and of virtue and subduer of foes. And banished by his old and truthful sire’s commands, that hero, along with his wife and brother (Lakshmana) repaired to the forest. And while roaming a-hunting in the forest he slew many a heroic Rākshasa wearing shapes at will. And having heard of the destruction of the Rākshasas of Janasthāna and of Khara and Dushana, the illusive Rāvana, assuming shapes at will, beguiling Rāma, in the forest, stole away his consort—the Janaka’s daughter. And roaming the country around in quest of the blameless and worshipful Sitā, Rāma found a firm friend in Sugriva. And bringing about the destruction of Vāli, Rāma, the conqueror of others’ cities, conferred the monkey-kingdom upon the high-souled Sugriva. And by Sugriva’s decree, thousands of monkeys, wearing shapes at will, have been searching that worshipful dame in various directions. And by Sampati’s counsel and for that large eyed dame, I have leapt a hundred leagues across the deep. I have at last got her. And such were the form, grace and the marks that Rāghava mentioned unto me.” Having said this, the foremost of the monkeys ceased. And greatly wondered was Sitā hearing those words. Thereupon that timid dame, having good curling hair, raising up her face covered with hairs, looked up to the Singshapa tree. And hearing the words of the monkey and casting her eyes to all directions and quarters, Sitā attained an excess of delight, being engaged in thoughts concerning Rāma. And looking around her and upwards, she beheld, like unto the rising sun, the Wind-god’s son, gifted with inconceivable intellect,—the minister of the king of monkeys.
And beholding that tawny-colored monkey like unto a mass of lightnings and wearing a white cloth, hidden on the tree, Sitā’s mind was greatly agitated. And she saw there the humble, sweet-speeched monkey, appearing graceful like unto a collection of full-blown Asoka flowers and having eyes resembling burning gold. And observing that foremost of the monkeys, sitting humbly, that daughter of the king of Mithilā, again greatly amazed, thought.—”This monkey is the most terrible of his race and therefore hard to be got at and looked at.” Thinking this she again sank in fear. And stricken with grief she again bewailed in piteous accents exclaiming,—”O Rāma! O Lakshmana!” And she wept silently and lowly. And then beholding that best of monkeys approach her humbly, the fair daughter of the Mithili’s king, thought,—”Is this a dream mine eyes have seen?” And she again looked towards that Wind-god’s son, the foremost of the monkeys, the best of those gifted with intelligence, having a huge disfigured countenance, highly accomplished and wearing a dress mentioned before. And beholding him Sitā was almost out of breath with fear. And regaining soon her sense the large-eyed damsel again thought, —”I have seen a very inauspicious dream to-day—to see a monkey in a dream is reckoned inauspicious by the sages. May good betide Rāma, Lakshmana and my Sire the king of Janaka. It is no dream, I have not slept, worn with grief and trouble as I am. Apart from my lord having the countenance of the full-moon, I have no happiness. Thinking of Rāma always and uttering his name, each sight I see and each sound I hear brings him to my eye or ear. And therefore his form appearing in my mind is distressing me to-day, who am entirely sunk in his thoughts. And thinking of him always I see him before me and hear his words. Methinks this is but a phantom of the mind. And thinking this I still behold the same. But an imaginary object can never have a form. And I still find a distinct form addressing me. Be glory to Vāchaspati, Indra, the self existent Brahmā, the lord of fire and may they so grant that the creature who hath spoken before me, be real and not imaginary.”
Thereupon coming down from the tree, Hanumān, the highly effulgent son of Wind, having a coral-red countenance and attired in a humble guise, approached Sitā and joining reverentially his palms, addressed her with the following sweet words,—”Who art thou, O thou having eyes like lotus petals and wearing a soiled silken cloth, who art waiting there holding a branch of the tree? Why are the tears of sorrow flowing from thy eyes like unto drops of water falling from lotus petals? Who art thou, O most fair of face, amongst the celestials, Asuras, Nāgas, Gandharbas, Rākshasas, and Yakshas and Kinnaras? Do the Rudra’s³⁴⁴ claim thy birth O thou fair damsel? Or the swift gods who ride the storm? Or the Vasus?³⁴⁵ Thou appearest to me as of a celestial race. Art thou Rohini, the best and most accomplished of the stars, who, reft from the Moon, hath fallen down from the abode of the celestials? Who art thou O blessed dame, O thou having blameless eyes? Art thou, O lotus-eyed damsel, the blessed Arundhuti, who hath fled in wrath or jealous pride from the side of her lord (Vashishtha)? Or O lovely damsel, who is the son, father, brother or husband gone from this world for whom thou art weeping? Yet by thy tears and sighs, by the earth thou art treading and by calling on a monarch’s name it appears that thou art not a celestial.³⁴⁶ But from the marks on thy person it appeareth that thou art either the consort or the daughter of a king. Art thou that Sitā, I do ask thee, who had been stolen and borne away by Rāvana from Janasthāna? May good betide thee! From thy wretched plight, thy unrivalled beauty and thy ascetic garb, thou art, I ween, for certain, the queen of Rāma.” Hearing those words of Hanumān and greatly delighted at Rāma’s name, Vaidehi spoke unto him—”I am the daughter-in-law of Daçaratha, knowing his own self, the foremost of the kings of the world and the slayer of the enemy’s host, and the daughter of Janaka the high-souled king of Videha. My name is Sitā and I am the consort of the highly intelligent Rāma. I lived twelve years in Rāghava’s abode, enjoying every earthly comfort and satisfying every desire. And at the beginning of the thirteenth year the king, advised by his priest, arranged for the installation of the descendant of Ikswakus (Rāma) on the throne. And while the articles for the installation were being collected, the queen Kaikeyi addressed her lord saying—’I shall not drink or eat for days and this shall be the end of my existence if Rāma be installed. If thou dost not wish to falsify the vow³⁴⁷ thou made unto me, O best of kings, let Rāma then repair to the forest.” The monarch was truthful and remembering his vow and hearing the unpleasant and vile words of Kaikeyi lost himself (in grief). And thereupon the old king abiding by truth, weeping, begged of his elslest son, the kingdom. The graceful Rāma liked his sire’s command more than the installation, and resolving within him, promised to obey his words. Rāma, having truth for his prowess, never, for his life, takes back what he gives, never speaks an untruth and always speaks truth. And leaving aside his costly attire, the highly glorious (Rāma) renounced with all his heart the kingdom and gave me over to his mother. But myself wearing the garb of an ascetic, repaired speedily before him. Separated from him, I do not like to live even in the celestial region. And the great son of Sumitrā,the enhancer of friends’ joys, to follow his elder brother, dressed himself in bark and kusa. And thus abiding by our sire’s behest, and taking firm vows we entered a dreary forest never seen before. While that one, of unmitigated effulgence was thus living in the forest of Dandaka, I, his consort, was stolen by the vicious-souled Rākshasa—Rāvana. He hath kindly allowed me two months’ respite after which I shall be slain.
³⁴⁴ The Rudras are manifestations of Siva.—T.
³⁴⁵ A kind of demi-gods of whom six are enumerated viz., Dhava, Druva, Soma or the Moon, Vishnu, Anila or wind, Anala or fire, Prabhusa and Prabhava.—T.
³⁴⁶ The celestials never shed tears nor touch the ground when they walk.—T.
³⁴⁷ This refers to the vow which Daçaratha made unto Kaikeyi at the time of the war going on between the celestials and the Asuras.—T.
HEARING those words of Sitā stricken with grief, Hanumān, the foremost of the monkeys, replied in soothing words, “O worshipful lady, by Rāma’s decree I come as a messenger unto thee. He is safe and sound, O Vaidehi, and has asked of thy welfare. O worshipful dame, Rāma, the son of Daçaratha, the master of the Vedas, and the foremost of those conversant with Vedas hath enquired of thy welfare. And the highly effulgent Lakshmana, the beloved follower of thy husband, worn with grief, bows his reverential head unto thee.” Hearing of the welfare of those two lions among men, the worshipful dame, with all her frame worked up with rapture, again spake unto Hanumān, saying—”Verily the wise saw of the people appears to me to be true that once in a hundred years true joy appears to a living man”. Sitā, at that time, attained such a wonderful joy, as would have been acquired by her in the company (of Rāma and Lakshmana). And they confidingly conversed with each other. Hearing those words of Sitā,racked with sorrow, Hanumān, the son of the Wind-god drew a little nearer to her. The more Hanumān approached her the more Sitā suspected him as Rāvana. “Alas! Alas! why have I spoken to him? It is the Rāvana, who hath appeared again in a new disguise.” And leaving off the Asoka branch, that one having a blameless person, overwhelmed with grief, sat down on the earth. In the meantime the mighty-armed monkey bowed unto Janaka’s daughter, but she, worked up with fear, did not cast again her looks towards him. And beholding him bow unto her, Sitā, having a moon-like countenance, sighing, spake unto that monkey in sweet accents—”If thou art that Rāvana’s self, who, changing thy shape by magic art, want to distress me again—this thy vile deed doth not behove thee. Thou art surely that Rāvana, whom I saw at Janasthāna, in a mendicant’s guise, renouncing his own shape, O night-ranger, O thou wearing shapes at will! it doth not behove thee to distress me who am poorly and famished with fasts. But no, thou canst not be (the fiend) whom I suspect, since I have such joy from seeing thee. And may good betide thee if thou art Rāma’s messenger. I do ask thee, O foremost of monkeys, something about Rāma that is pleasant unto me. O monkey, do thou relate the glories of my dear Rāma. Thou art (thus) shaking my mind O gentle one, like unto water breaking down the banks of a river. Alas! this dream has afforded me immense pleasure since, I, who have been separated from my lord for so long a time, have beheld this monkey sent by Rāghava. I do not sink even if I can behold in dream the heroic Rāghava along with Lakshmana—but dream even is jealous of my well-being. Nor do I regard this as dream. To behold a monkey in a dream doth not lead to prosperity—whereas I have attained it.³⁴⁸ Or is it mental derangement? Or have I been possessed by a devil? Or have I run mad? Or is it the sultry vapour floating over sands and appearing at a distance like water? No, it is not madness—for derangement of mind is the sign of madness—I have not lost sense and I do distinctly perceive me and the monkey.” Thinking thus in many a way and ascertaining the strength (of the monkey and the Rākshasa) Sitā took him for the lord of the Rākshasas, wearing shapes at will. And having arrived at this decision, Janaka’s daughter—Sitā, ceased from talking with that monkey. And apprised of Sitā’s thought, Hanumān, the Wind god’s son, (replied) in words sweet unto her and enhancing her delight—”Bright as the sun that lights the sky and dear as the moon to every eye, he pleases all his subjects with bounties like unto those of Vaisrabana.³⁴⁹ He is gifted with prowess like unto the greatly famed Vishnu, truthful and sweet-speeched like unto Vāchaspati.³⁵⁰ Graceful, grateful to the eye and beautiful like unto Kandarva’s³⁵¹ self, he displays his wrath in a proper quarter—the foremost of men and of a mighty car. The whole world of creation (liveth safe) in the shadow of the arms of that high-souled one. Thou shalt soon see the consequences he shall reap by whom, assuming the shape of a dear, Rāghava was taken away from the hermitage and thou wert stolen away from that lonely place. And soon shall that powerful (hero) destroy Rāvana in the battle, with fiery arrows, discharged angrily. I have been sent by him as a messenger to thee. Worn with grief in thy separation he hath enquired of thy welfare, as well the highly effulgent Lakshmana, the enhancer of Sumitra’s joy, bowing reverentially unto thee. The king of monkey hosts, by name Sugriva—Rāma’s friend, hath also enquired of thy welfare, worshipful dame. Rāma, Sugriva and Lakshmana, have thee always in their minds. Blessed are we, O Vaidehi, that thou dost still live, subject as thou art to the Rākshasees. Thou shalt soon behold Rāma, and Lakshmana of a mighty car, and Sugriva of unmitigated prowess in the midst of the million of monkey hosts. I am Sugriva’s minister, by name Hanumān. I have entered this city of Lankā after crossing over the great main. And by means of my prowess and placing my feet on the head of the vicious-souled Rāvana, I have come here to see thee. I am not he (Rāvana) for whom thou art taking me, O worshipful dame. Do thou renounce thy suspicion and rely on my words.”
³⁴⁸ Here prosperity means joy—Sitā attained an immense treasure of joy on beholding Rāma’s messenger—Hanumān—T.
³⁴⁹ Another name of Kuvera, the god of gold.—T.
³⁵⁰ The god of speech.—T.
³⁵¹ Cupid or the god of love in Hindu mythology described as the most beautiful of the celestials.—T.
Hearing the tale of Rāma from that best of monkeys, Vaidehi, spoke in sweet accents, soft and low,—”Where didst thou meet Rāma, how didst thou come to know Lakshmana? How did the monkeys and men meet on terms of brotherhood? Do thou again relate unto me, O monkey, the regal signs that deck the persons of Rāma and Lakshmana— and I shall then relinquish all grief. Do thou relate unto me the form and grace of Rāma, his thighs and arms and as well as those of Lakshmana.” Being thus addressed by Vaidehi, Hanumān, the Wind-god’s son, began to give an exact description of Rāma. “If dost thou, by my good luck, O Vaidehi, O thou having eyes like lotus-petals, knowing me (as his messenger) ask me to describe thy lord’s person as well as that of Lakshmana, I shall relate them unto thee. Do thou hear, O large-eyed dame, what regal signs I have marked on the persons of Rāma and Lakshmana. O daughter of Janaka, Rāma has eyes like lotus-petals and a countenance resembling the full-moon and is gifted with great beauty and goodness. In effulgence he is like the Sun, in patience like the earth, in intellect like Vrihaspati³⁵² and in fame like Vāsava.³⁵³ He is the protector of the world of creation and his own kinsmen. He follows right in all his ways and never swerves from his royal duties and is the slayer of foes. O dame, he upholds the dignity of the people of four-castes— he confers honors on the people and preserves them. He is worshipped by all like the Sun, observes ascetic vows, knoweth well the time when the saints should be honored and is conversant with the nature and procedure of actions. He is well acquainted with royal duties and abideth by the commandments of the Brāhmanas—is wise, gifted with a good character, humble and the slayer of foes. He is the master of Yayur Vedas and is adored by those who are well-versed in Vedas—is proficient in the science of bended bow, Vedas and Vedāngas.³⁵⁴ He is broad-shouldered, large-armed, has a conch-like neck and a beautiful countenance. His throat is plump and his eyes are red—and he is famed all over the world under the name of Rāma. He has the voice of a bugle, is of a cool hue and highly powerful, has equally proportioned limbs and a green colour. His three limbs (thigh, fist and wrist) are hard and three others (brow arms and scrotum) are long; and three (tops of the hairs, scrotums and knee-joints) equal and three (navel, abdomen and breast) high. And three (the angles of the eyes, nails and palms) are copper-colored— three are cool and three (voice, navel and gait) are grave. His belly and throat have three folds of skin. The sole of the foot, the lines thereon and the nipples are equally bended. His neck, eyes and back are short. He has three locks of hair on his head. He has four lines on his thumb indicating his proficiency in the four Vedas. His body is four hands tall; arms, thighs and cheeks are plump; eye-brows, the hollows of the nose, eyes, ears, lips, nipples; wrists, knee-joints, scrotums, hips, hands, feet are all equally proportioned. Four teeth by the side of each row, are gifted with auspicious marks of the Sāstras. His gaits are like those of a lion, tiger, elephant or a bull. His lips and jaws are fleshy and elevated. His nose is long; words, countenance, nails, down and skin are all cool; his two arms, two little fingers, two thighs and two legs are long; his face, eyes, mouth tongue, lips; palate, nipples, nails and feet are like lotuses, his breast, forehead, neck, arms, navel feet, back and ears are spacious. He is gifted with grace, fame and effulgence. His paternal and maternal race are pure. His armpit, belly, breast, nose, shoulders and forehead are high; his fingers, hairs, down, nails, skin, beard, eye-sight and intellect are thin and sharp. Rāghava, with a due division of his time is engaged in acquiring piety, wealth emancipation and desires. He is truthful and graceful, amasses wealth and thereby protects his subjects. He is cognizant of the divisions of time and country and dear unto all. His stepbrother Saumitri is gifted with incomparable prowess and is his equal in attachment, beauty and accomplishments. The person of that graceful one is gold-hued whereas that of the highly famous Rāma is green. And those two lions among men had no other delight but seeing thee. And they ransacking the whole world in quest of thee met us in the forest. And ranging the earth for thee they beheld Sugriva, of comely presence, the lord of monkeys, at the foot of the mount Rishvamuka covered with trees, banished by his elder brother and resorting there in his fear. And we were serving that truthful Sugriva, the lord of monkeys, driven from the kingdom by his elder brother. And beholding those two best of men, wearing bark and with bows in their hands, that best of monkeys, stricken with fear, leaped above and stationed himself on the crest of the hill. He then sent me to them. And thereupon by Sugriva’s decree I, approached with joined palms, those two foremost of men gifted with beauty and royal marks. And they were pleased by me, being informed of the real facts. And then placing those two best of men on my back I arrived at the top of the hill and communicated the truth unto the high-souled Sugriva. And conversing with each other those two lords of men and monkeys attained great delight. And they consoled each other narrating their respective misfortunes. And Rāma then consoled Sugriva, driven away by his greatly powerful elder brother Vāli on his wife’s account. Thereupon Lakshmana related unto Sugriva, the lord of monkeys, the grief, of Rāma of unwearied actions, in consequence of thy being borne away (by Rāvana). And hearing Lakshmana’s words, the lord of monkeys became pale, like unto the radiant Sun possessed by Rāhu. And collecting all those ornaments which were thrown off by thee on the earth, when thou wert borne away, the leaders of the monkey hosts, delighted brought them before Rāma. But they could not make out thy whereabouts. And all those ornaments, which were handed over to Rāma, were collected by me when they fell tinkling on the ground, Rāma being beside himself with grief. And placing them on his lap, the god-like Rāma bewailed in various accents. And they inflamed the more Dacarathee’s³⁵⁵ grief. And being overwhelmed with grief that high-souled one laid himself low on the ground. And consoling him in various words, I raised him up again. And looking again and again with Saumitri, at those costly ornaments, Rāghava handed them over to Sugriva. Rāghava burns in grief, O worshipful dame, in thy absence, like unto a volcanic mountain burning with a perpetual fire. For thee, sleeplessness, grief and anxiety are distressing Rāghava like unto three fires³⁵⁶ burning down the fire temple. Rāghava is moved by thy separation like unto a huge mountain shaken by a terrible earth-quake. O daughter of a king, he is ranging at large in many a beautiful forest, river and fountain—but he finds delight nowhere. O daughter of the king Janaka, bringing about the destruction of Rāvana, with all his kith and kin, Rāghava, the foremost of men, shall soon regain thee. And thus Rāma and Sugriva entered into a friendly covenant, to encompass Vāli’s destruction and to institute enquiries about thee. And thereupon returning to Kishkindhā with those two heroic princes, the lord of monkeys killed Vāli in battle. And destroying Vāli by his prowess in battle, Rāma made Sugriva king over all monkeys and bears. And in this way, O dame, the alliance between Rāma and Sugriva was made. And know me as Hanumān, their messenger who hath come to thee. Regaining his own kingdom, Sugriva summoned all the mighty monkeys and despatched them in various quarters in quest of thee. And the highly powerful monkeys, resembling mountains, commanded by that lord of monkeys, proceeded to all the regions of the earth. And terrified by Sugriva’s decrees, those monkeys, since then, have been ransacking the whole earth for thee. And I am one of them. And the beautiful and mighty son of Vāli, by name Angada, hath proceeded with three armies under him. And many were the days and nights that we spent, overwhelmed with grief and having lost our way on that best of mountains Vindhya. We gave up all our hopes for the accomplishment of our end and our appointed time was well-nigh spent. And in fear of that lord of monkeys we addressed ourselves to put an end to our lives. Ranging the mountain strongholds, rivers and fountains and not finding thy reverence, we were ready to do away with our existence. And on the crest of that hill we took to fasting. And beholding those foremost of monkeys engaged in fasting Angada, sunk in grief, bewailed, O Vaidehi, mentioning thy rape, the destruction of Vāli in that way, our fastings and Yatāyu’s death. While we were thus waiting, ready for death and giving up all hopes for the fulfillment of our master’s behest, there appeared,as if the cause of our success, the mighty and powerful vulture,the brother of Yatāyu, by name Sampāti. And hearing of the destruction of his brother, he in wrath, said—’By whom and where hath my younger brother been killed? I wish to hear this from you, the foremost of monkeys.’ And Angada related unto him verily Yatāyu’s destruction at Janasthāna, for thee, by that grim-visaged Rākshasa. And hearing of Yatāyu’s death, Aruna’s son became afflicted with sorrow and informed us, O thou exquisitely fine damsel, of thy stay in the abode of Rāvana. And hearing those words of Sampāti, enhancing our delight, we all, headed by Angada, left that place. And leaping from the crest of Vindhya mountain we reached the excellent brink of the Ocean. Being greatly anxious to behold thee and delighted, those plump monkeys headed by Angada, arrived at the banks of the main. And worked up with a strong desire to see thee, they again engaged in anxious thought. And beholding the ocean, the monkey hosts lost their heart. And removing their fear, I leaped a hundred leagues across the deep and entered Lankā, at night, infested with demons. I have seen Rāvana, and thee stricken with grief. O thou of a blameless person, I have related all unto thee in regular order. Do thou speak to me, O worshipful dame, I am Dāçarathee’s messenger. Do thou know me as the Wind-god’s son, the counsellor of Sugriva, who am engaged in Rāma’s service and have come here for thee. It is all well with thy Kākuthstha, the foremost of those using weapons, as well as with Lakshmana, O worshipful dame, gifted with auspicious marks, engaged in the worship of his superiors and in the well being of thy lord. By Sugriva’s decree, I alone have reached here. And I, ranging alone and wearing shapes at will, have come to this southern quarter, to find out thy whereabouts. By my good luck I shall be able, with thy news, to remove the grief of those monkey hosts who are lamenting for thee. By my good fortune, my crossing over the main, hath not become fruitless. I shall be praised there, O worshiful dame, for I have been able to see thee. And the highly powerful Rāghava shall soon regain thee, destroying, with all his sons and friends, Rāvana the king of Rākshasas. There is a hill, O Vaidehi, named Mālyabāna, the foremost of all the mountains. There lives my father, the great monkey Kesari. Being commanded by the celestial ascetics, he once repaired thence to the mount Gokarna and at the holy watering place of the lord of the rivers he brought about the destruction of (the Asura) Samvasādana. O Vaidehi, I was born, on the field, of that monkey. And I am known all over the world as Hanumān by my own actions. To create thy confidence, O Vaidehi, I have related thy lord’s accomplishments. And forsooth, thou shall soon be taken, O worshipful dame, by Rāghava.” Having her confidence formed by these reasonings and various marks, Sitā, worn with grief, took him for Rāma’s messenger. And Jānaki attained an excess of delight and shed tears of joy from her eyes having curling eye-lashes. And the beautiful countenance of that large-eyed dame, having spacious eyes, appeared like the Moon released from the hold of Rāhu. She then took him for a real monkey and none else. Thereupon Hanumān again spoke unto her, having a comely presence,—”I have related unto thee all this. Do thou be consoled, O Maithilee! Tell me now, what am I to do and what dost thou like. I shall soon repair hence. When the Asura Samvasādana was destroyed in conflict by that best of monkeys at the desire of the celestial ascetics, I was born of the Wind, O Maithilee. I look like a monkey but am his equal in prowess.”
³⁵² The god of wisdom.—T.
³⁵³ The lord of celestials.—T.
³⁵⁴ A sacred science considered as subordinate to and in some sense a part of the Vedas—six sciences come under this denomination—Siksha (pronounciation); Kalpa (religious rite) Vyakarana (grammar) Chandas (prosody) Jyotish (astronomy) and Nirukti or explanation of difficult words.—T.
³⁵⁵ Son of Daçaratha—Rāma.—T.
³⁵⁶ The aggregate of the three fires maintained by the Brahman householder.—T.
The highly effulgent son of the Wind-god, Hanumān, to create Sitā’s confidence, again addressed her with the following words:—”O great dame, I am a monkey, the messenger of the highly intelligent Rāma. Behold this precious ring with Rāma’s name engraven on it, given by thy high-souled lord and brought as a token to create thy confidence. Do thou take heart and may good betide thee, there will be an end of thy grief soon.” And taking the ring that used to deck her lord’s finger and looking at it, Jānaki seemed to have actually got her lord. And her graceful countenance, having large eyes, looked, with delight, like unto the Moon released from the possession of Rāhu. And greatly delighted at her husband’s news that modest damsel, affectionately welcoming Hanumān, applauded that great monkey—”O foremost of monkeys, thou art brave, powerful and wise, since thou hast alone smitten this abode of the Rākshasas. Thou hast, with thy laudable prowess, leaped, a hundred leagues, across the ocean, the abode of marine monsters, taking it for Goshpada.³⁵⁷ O foremost of monkeys, I do not consider thee as an ordinary monkey, since thou dost not care or fear Rāvana. O best of monkeys, thou art worthy of my welcome, since thou hast been despatched by Rāma, knowing self. Rāma, hard of being got at, hath not sent thee, specially to me, without a trial of thy prowess. By my good luck, is it all well with the virtuous-souled and truthful Rāma and the highly powerful Lakshmana the enhancer of Sumitrā’s joy? And if Kākuthstha lives untouched by ill, then why does he not burn the earth, encircled by the ocean, with his ire like unto the fire of dissolution? Or they are capable of His comfitting the celestials in a battle but me-thinks by my ill-luck, the end of my miseries hath not arrived as yet. Is Rāma greatly pained? Does he grieve? Is that foremost of men making preparations for my rescue? Has he forgotten his work being overwhelmed with fear and poorliness of heart? Is that son of the king performing still his manly duties? Is that slayer of foes, desirous of acquiring victory, pleasing his friends still with forgiveness and gifts and dealing his enemies with punishment, sowing dissensions amongst them, and with other expedients? Is he still gaining friends and are friends gathering around him? Is he welcoming his friends and are they honoring him the more? Is that son of the king invoking the blessings of the celestials? Hath he attained manliness and assistance from the celestials? Hath Rāghava lost all his affection for me for my living at a distance from him? Will he save me from this disaster? Hath not Rāma, ever used to happiness and unused to misery, been enfeebled by this disaster? Is he informed always of the welfare of Kauslaya, Sumitrā and Bharata? Is not Rāghava, worthy of honors, beside himself with grief in my absence? Will not Rāma rescue met Will not Bharata, ever devoted to his brother, send out one Aksauhini of terrible soldiers under the command of his ministers for my rescue? Will not the graceful Sugriva, the lord of the monkeys come to help me with hosts of monkeys having huge teeth and nails? Will not the heroic Lakshmana, the enhancer of Sumitrā’s joy, conversant with the use of weapons, burn down the Rākshasas with his shafts? Shall I not behold soon that Rāvana with his kinsmen hath been destroyed in battle by Rāma with terrible weapons? Is not the gold-hued and lotus-smelling countenance (of Ramā) dried up in my absence like unto lotus dried up by the rays of the sun in shallow water? Does he still hold patience in his heart, who renouncing his kingdom for virtue and repairing, on foot with me even to the forest, was not stricken with fear and grief? His love for his mother, father or any other person is not greater than or equal to his love for me. O messenger, I shall keep my life so long I do not hear anything about my dear one.” Having addressed that lord of monkeys with these highly sound and sweet accents, that graceful and worshipful dame ceased, with a view to hear again from him pleasant tales regarding Rāma. And hearing the words of Sitā the terribly powerful Māruti, placing his joined palms on his head said,—”The lotus-eyed Rāma doth not know that thou art here, and hence he hath not been able to rescue thee like unto Purandara regaining Sachee. And hearing about thee from me soon shall Rāghava come assisted by a large army of monkeys and bears. And impeding the course of the unagitated deep and building, by means of his terrible shafts, a bridge across it, Kākuthstha, shall divest the city Lankā of all the Rākshasas. And forsooth shall Rāma destroy them, even if the celestials, or Death himself stand in his way. O worshipful dame, stricken with grief in thy absence, Rāma is restless like unto an elephant smitten by a lion. I can swear, O worshipful dame, by the mounts Mandāra, Malaya, Vindya, Sumeru, Dardura and all the fruits and roots, that thou shalt behold like unto the rising of the full moon, the countenance of Rāma having beautiful eyes, graceful, Bimba-like lips and beautified with beautiful kundalas. Thou shalt soon behold, O Vaidehi, Rāma, on the mount Prasravana, like unto the performer of hundred sacrifices seated on the back of the elephant (Airavata). Rāghava doth not take meat nor drink honey—he takes every day in the evening boiled rice and such wild fruits as are sanctioned by the Sastras. His heart is so much attached unto thee, that he does not drive away even flies, insects and snakes from his body. Rāma is always engaged in meditations, overwhelmed with grief, and he has no other thought but seeing thee. Rāma hath no sleep and even when asleep that best of men awakes exclaiming in sweet accents, ’O Sitā!’. He always welcomes thee sighing and saying “O my dear love!” whenever he beholds any fruit, flower or any object liked by the ladies. O worshipful dame, he is always lamenting, exclaiming ’O Sitā!’ and that high-souled son of the king, to regain thee, hath resorted to ascetic observances.” On hearing about Rlma, Sitā was greatly delighted and she was equally grieved on hearing of his sorrow. And it appeared like the rising of the moon and the appearance of the clouds at the same time in an autumnal night.
³⁵⁷ A measure as much as a cow’s foot-step will hold.—T.
Hearing those words, Sitā having a moon-like countenance, again spoke unto Hanumān, words, sound and pious:— “O monkey, what thou hast said that Rāma is not attached unto any other thing and is worn with grief, is like nectar mixed with poison. Whether in the enjoyment of vast riches, or emerged in the abyss of miseries, Death is pulling a man, binding him roughly with a chord. O best of monkeys, people cannot thwart the course of destiny. Behold me, Rāma and Saumitri, therefore sunk in miseries. I do not know when shall Rāghava get at the other end of the ocean of grief, by displaying his prowess, like unto one, swimming across the ocean when the boat is sunk. I do not know when shall my lord see me, destroying the Rākshasas, killing Rāvana and devastating the city of Lankā. Do thou tell him to come before this year expires for till then I shall live. This is the tenth month and two months still remain, O monkey and that is the time appointed by the cruel Rāvana. He was entreated very much by his brother Bivishana to restore me but he paid no need to his requests. Rāvana doth not desire to restore me (unto Rāma) for he has been brought under the influence of Death who is seeking him in battle. Bivishana’s eldest daughter, monkey, by name Kalā, hath related this unto me, being appointed by her mother. There is a leading, steady, old, intelligent and educated Rākshasa, gifted with a good character, named Abindhya and highly respected of Rāvana who told him that the destruction of the Rākshasa race would proceed from Rāma, but the vicious-souled one paid no attention to his well-meaning words. I hope, O foremost of monkeys, that my husband shall soon regain me for pure is my soul and he is gifted with many accomplishments. Rāghava hath in him, O monkey, energy, manliness, strength, kindness, gratitude and prowess. He brought about without his brother’s aid, the destruction of the fourteen thousand Rākshasas at Janasthāna. What enemy is not troubled at this? The disaster-creating Rākshasas can never be compared with that best of men. I am cognizant of his prowess as Sachee is of Indra’s. O monkey, Rāma the Sun, with his arrow-like rays, shall dry up the water—the inimical Rākshasas.” Saying this she was overwhelmed with grief on Rāma’s account, and Hanumān again spoke unto her having her countenance bathed in tears,—”No sooner shall Rāghava hear from me than he shall speedily repair hither followed by a huge army of monkeys and bears. Or I shall release thee even to-day from the grasp of that Rākshasa and these miseries. Do thou place thyself on my back, O thou of a blameless person. And having thee on my back I shall leap over the main. I am capable of carrying the city of Lankā even with Rāvana. I shall restore thee to-day, O Maithili, unto Rāghava on the mount Prasravana, like unto fire carrying unto Indra, the sacrificial offerings. Thou shalt behold to-day, O Vaidehi, Rāma along with Lakshmana, making preparations (for the destruction of his enemy) like unto Vishnu, engaged in the destruction of demons. (And thou shalt observe) that highly powerful one, anxious to behold thee and seated like unto Purandara on the summit of that foremost of mountains. Do thou place thyself on my back, O worshipful dame, do thou not neglect it, O beautiful lady, and be thus reconciled unto Rāma like unto Rohini restored to the Moon. By the time, that we will take in talking thus, thou shalt reach Rāma like Rohini restored to the Moon. Do thou therefore place thyself on my back and I shall cross the ocean sailing by the aetherial way. O fair one, carrying thee from this place, none amongst the inhabitants of Lankā shall be able to follow me. In the same way I have come here I shall return by the welkin, O Vaidehi placing thee on my back.” Hearing those surprising words from that best of monkeys, Maithilee, having her entire frame worked up with joy, again bespake Hanumin—”Hanumān, how darest thou take me to such a long distance? O lord of monkey hosts, this attests to thy monkey hood. O foremost of monkeys, little-bodied as thou art, how dost thou desire, to take me hence to my husband the lord of men?” Hearing the words of Sitā, the graceful son of the Wind-god Hanumān reflected aside—”This is my first insult. The lotus-eyed dame is not cognizant of my prowess or strength. Vaidehi should therefore learn that I can assume shapes at will.” Thinking thus, Hanumān, the foremost of the monkeys and the slayer of foes, showed himself unto Sitā, in his true shape. And leaping down from the tree, that best of monkeys began to increase himself to create Sitā’s confidence. His person appeared like the hill Mandāra and the flaming fire. And that best of monkeys having a copper-colored countenance, thunder-like nails and teeth and mountain-like huge body, appeared before Sitā and said—”I am capable of carrying this Lankā with her lord, the mountains, forests gardens, buildings, walls and gate-ways. Do thou therefore confide in me, O worshipful dame, and be not suspicious. And O Vaidehi, do thou remove Rāma’s grief as well as Lakshmana’s.” Beholding the Wind-god’s own begotten son, Hanumān, resembling a huge mountain, Sitā, the daughter of Janaka, having eyes resembling lotus-petals, said,—”O great monkey, I know thy strength and bravery, thy air-like motion and thy wonderful fire-like energy. What ordinary man can come here crossing the incomparable ocean. O lord of monkey hosts, I understand that thou art capable of returning and thou shalt be able to carry me. But I should consider now how the work might be accomplished. O foremost of monkeys, I should not go with thee. Perhaps I might lose my sense with thy air-like velocity. When moving terribly thou shalt proceed high up in the welkin, perhaps I shall then fall down. No sooner I shall fall down into the ocean infested with fish and other animals than I shall be an excellent food unto them. O slayer of foes, I shall not be able to accompany thee. For seeing thee carry a woman; they shall surely suspect thee. And finding me stolen, those terribly powerful Rākshasas commanded by the vicious-souled Rāvana, shall follow thee. O hero, carrying me and encircled by those heroic Rākshasas with maces and darts in their hands, thou shalt be beset with dangers. And on the sky the Rākshasas shall be armed with weapons and thou shalt be without any. How shalt thou be able to fight and protect me at the same time. And when thou shalt be engaged in conflict with those Rākshasas of terrible deeds, I, O foremost of monkeys, stricken with fear, shall fall down from thy back. O foremost of monkeys those terrible and powerful Rākshasas shall be able to defeat thee a little. And when thou shalt be defeated in battle I shall fall down and those vicious Rākshasas shall carry me away from thy hands or destroy me. Victory or defeat is uncertain in a battle. I shall thus be distressed by those Rākshasas setting up terrible roars and thy endeavours shall be fruitless, O best of monkeys. Thou art capable of destroying the Rākshasas very easily (I admit)—but Rāma’s fame shall then be soiled if dost thou bring about their destruction. Or the Rākshasas taking me away shall keep me in such a secret place, that neither the monkeys nor Rāghava shall be able to ascertain my whereabouts. And all thy preparations for me shall thus be useless. And mighty shall be the result of Rāma’s coming with thee. O large armed one, the life of Rāghava of unmitigated prowess, those of his brothers and of thy royal race are all subject to me. And when they shall give up their hopes of releasing me, they, worn out with grief and anxiety shall renounce their lives along with the monkeys and bears. O monkey, being guided by my love for my husband, I do not like willingly to touch any body’s person but Rāma’s. When Rāvana, by force touched my person, I had no other help, for I was then without my lord and therefore was subject to another person. If Rāma can take me away from here, destroying the Ten-necked one with all the Rākshasas—he shall then perform the worthy action. I have heard of and myself seen the prowess of the highly-souled (Rāma) unconquerable in a battle. There is none amongst the celestials, Gandharbas, Nāgas and the Rākshasas who can match him in a conflict Beholding that highly powerful Rāghava, in a conflict, like unto Vāsava in prowess, holding a wonderful bow and followed by Lakshmana, who can withstand his prowess resembling the flaming fire? O foremost of monkeys, who can withstand Rāghava in a conflict, followed by Lakshmana moving like an infuriated elephant and showering shafts like unto the rays of the sun at the time of Dissolution? O best of monkeys do thou speedily bring here my dear one along with Lakshmana and the lord of monkey hosts. O heroic monkey, do thou soon satisfy me, who am stricken with grief in consequence of my long separation from Rāma.
Hearing those words, that foremost of monkeys, skilled in speech, was greatly delighted and again addressed Sitā in the following words,—”O worshipful lady, O thou of an auspicious presence, what thou hast said, speaks well for a feminine nature and the modesty of a chaste damsel. And because thou art a female, thou art not capable of crossing on my back, the main extending over a thousand leagues. The second argument—I shall not touch any other person’s body than Rāma’s, which thou hast produced, O Jānaki! O thou gifted with modesty! truly becometh thee, who art the spouse of that high-souled one. Who else than thee, O worshipful one, can give expression to such words? Truly shall Kākutstha hear from the beginning to the end, O worshipful dame, of thy actions before me, and all thou hast said. For many reasons, I gave vent to such words, O lady,—I am anxious to compass Rāma’s end, and my heart is melted with affection. It is very difficult to enter this city of Lankā, it is equally hard to cross over the main —but I am capable of doing all these, and hence I gave utterance to all those words. I wish to take thee even today to the descendant of Raghu. It is for my devotion unto him and regard for thee that I said so and for nothing else. If thou dost not wish to go with me, O thou of a blameless person, do thou give me such a token as might create Rāghava’s confidence.” Being thus accosted by Hanumān, Sitā resembling the daughter of a celestial, spoke, gently, words with their letters strung on the vapour of grief,—”Do thou mention unto my dear lord (in my words) what had happened unto me while living in the hermitage at the foot of the mount Pratyanga, situate on the north-east of Chitrakuta, abounding in roots, fruits and water. ’At no distance from that place frequented by the ascetics flowed the sacred stream Mandākini. While ranging in that woodland fragrant with the odour of many flowers, thou, having thy person wet in consequence of thy sport in the water, didst sit on my lap. A crow, at that time, longing to feed on my flesh, tore my breast With its beak. And I threatened it with a pebble. But it continued tearing my breast as if it sat there to feed on my flesh and therefore did not fly off. Being enraged with that bird, as I tried to tighten the cloth around my waist, it gave way a little, and thou, rising up from thy seat and looking at me, didst laugh over it. And I was greatly enraged with thy laughter and ashamed, and, being wounded by the crow, I approached thee. Thereupon, tired as I was, I sat on thy lap, and, exercised with ire, I was consoled by thee laughing. Now I, having my countenance bathed in tears, gently rubbed my eyes. And I was seen by thee, O my lord, in that wise, greatly enraged with the crow. O Rāghava, I slept for sometime, at thy lap, out of exhaustion, and thyself in turn, slept at mine, O elder brother of Bharata. In the meantime, that crow again suddenly approaching, tore my breast with its beak, as I awoke and was rising up from thy lap, O Rāghava. Thereupon Rāghava awoke with the shedding of blood. Beholding my breast wounded, that larged-armed hero wroth like a serpent, sighing, said,—O thou having thighs like the trunk of an elephant, by whom hath thy breast been wounded? Who wants to play with an angry five-hooded serpent?—Thereupon, casting his looks around, he espied the crow, sitting in my front with its claws besmeared with blood. That crow, best of birds, was the son of the lord of the celestials in disguise. And gifted with air-like velocity, he speedily entered inside the earth. Thereupon that large-eyed hero, best of the intelligent, with his eyes whirling with ire, resolved to destroy that crow. And taking a blade of Kuça off his seat, he tied it to a Brahma weapon. And that blade, facing the bird, appeared with its flaming face, like the fire that would destroy the world. And he hurled that burning blade at the crow. And it pursued the crow high up in the welkin. Being thus pursued, that crow, in order to save himself, traversed various regions. And being then renounced by his father (Indra) and the great ascetics, he, ranging the three worlds, at last resorted to his (Rāma’s) shelter. And, placing himself on the earth, he sought his shelter, and Kākutstha, out of mercy, saved him, albeit worthy of being killed. And he spoke unto him, greatly famished, of a pale countenance and lying on the earth,—It is impossible to render this Brahma weapon fruitless. Therefore, do thou speak (as to what is to be done.)—He then destroyed the right eye of the crow. Having given up his eye, he saved himself. Then bowing unto Rāma as well as king Daçaratha, the crow, liberated by that hero, went to his own abode. ’Thou hadst on my behalf discharged the Brahma weapon even at a crow. Why then, O lord of earth, dost thou forbear him who had carried me off from thee? O foremost of men, do thou dispense unto me thy kindness capable of inspiring hope. O lord, possessing a lord in thee, I (now) appear as if I had none. That kindness is a prime virtue—I have heard even from thee; and I know that thou art exceedingly energetic and possessed of great strength and high courage,—unfettered by considerations of time and space, incapable of being agitated, thou in gravity resemblest the ocean, and like unto that lord of the earth furnished with seas—Vāsava. O Rāghava, being thus the foremost of those acquainted with weapons, powerful, and possessed of strength, wherefore dost thou not direct thy weapon against the Rākshasas?’ Neither Nāgas, nor Gandharbas, nor the gods, nor the Maruts, are competent to resist the onset of Rāma in battle. If that puissant one still retains any regard for me, why doth he not by means of sharpened shafts make root and branch work with the Rākshasas? And why, taking the permission of his brother, that repressor of foes, the heroic Lakshmana gifted with great strength, doth not deliver me? If those foremost of men be indeed equal to Indra and the Wind, and incapable of being repressed even by the celestials, wherefore do they disregard me? Surely I must be guilty of some great crime, since although capable, those subduers of enemies do not look at me.’ Hearing Vaidehi’s piteous words uttered with tearful eyes, that leader of monkey-bands, the exceedingly energetic Hanumān, said,—”O exalted one, I swear by truth, Rāma turneth away his countenance (from every work) in consequence of grief for thee. And Rāma being seized with sorrow, Lakshmana burns in grief. Now that I have been able to obtain a sight of thee, this is no season for sorrow. O auspicious one, even now thou shalt witness the end of this woe. Filled with hope from my sight of thee, those foremost of persons, those mighty princes, shall reduce the worlds to ashes. And, O thou of expansive eyes, slaying in battle the wicked Rāvana with his allies, Rāghava shall take thee back to his palace. Now tell me what I shall communicate unto Rāghava, and the highly powerful Lakshmana, and the energetic Sugriva, and all the assembled monkeys.” Thus addressed, Sitā again spoke unto him, saying,—Do thou on my behalf, bowing down the head, enquire after the welfare of that protector of men whom Kaucalyā hath brought forth. Do thou on my behalf, and on account of my words, enquire after the welfare of him, who, renouncing wreaths and gems of all kinds, and beloved damsels possessed of transcendent beauty, and wealth such as is difficult to obtain on this spacious earth; and who, honoring and bowing unto his father and mother, followed Rāma,—in whom Sumitra hath an excellent son,—of that righteous one, who, espousing the cause of his brother, renouncing choice happiness, followeth his brother to the forest, ministering unto him; who is lion-shouldered, long-armed, intelligent, and of a prepossessing presence; who beareth himself towards Rāma as if he were his sire, and towards me, as if I were his mother; of that heroic Lakshmana who did not know when I was ravished away;—the servant of the elders, crowned with auspiciousness,—who is competent and reineth in his tongue; who is the foremost of those dear unto the king’s son,³⁵⁸ and worthy of my father-in-law; who is dearer (unto Rāma) than even my own self; of Lakshmana, brother into Rāma; that energetic one who undertaketh even such tasks as he is not equal to, and seeing whom Rāghava hath forgotten his deceased sire³⁵⁹,—him for the sake of my words, thou must ask as to his welfare. Lakshmana is always mild and pure, and dear unto Rāma. Do thou speak to him so, that, O best of monkeys, he may remove my miseries. O leader of monkey-bands, do thou bring about success on this undertaking. From this preliminary endeavour of thine, Rāghava shall take pains on my behalf.—This also shalt thou say again and again unto that hero—my lord,—’O son of Daçaratha, I shall keep on this life for another month; and this I swear unto thee by truth that I will not live beyond this month. O hero, even as Vishnu rescued Kauçiki from the nether regions,³⁶⁰ it behoveth thee to rescue me, who have ignominiously been confined by the impious Rāvana.”— Thereupon, saying,—”Hand this unto Rāghava,” Sitā gave to Hanumān a noble and excellent jewel for the head³⁶¹, which was tied up in her attire. Then taking that best of gems, the hero tried to fix it on his finger; but it did not enter into it.³⁶² And taking the gem, and bowing unto Sitā and going round her, that foremost of monkeys remained by her side in humble guise. And experiencing rapture in consequence of his seeing Sitā, he mentally presented himself before Rāma, and Lakshmana graced with auspicious marks. And taking that costly and superb gem, which by virtue of some power, king Janaka’s daughter had managed to hide (from the gaze of the Rāshasis), Hanumlān, feeling delighted like one, shaken by the wind blowing on the top of the foremost of mountains, and then getting away from it, prepared to set out.
³⁵⁹ In consequence of the fatherly care of Lakshmana.—T.
³⁶⁰ According to Kataka, Kauçiki is Earth, who was rescued by Narayana from the subterranean regions. According to Tirtha, Kauçiki is Indra’s Auspiciousness, who on the occasion of the destruction of the Asura, Vritra, took refuge in the nether regions, and was brought back by Vishnu.—T.
³⁶¹ Chudāmani. According to the commentator, the word means a gem worn in the head.—T.
³⁶² Another meaning is,—”But fearing discovery on account of the brilliance of the jewel, he desisted.”—T.
Having made over the gem, Sitā said onto Hanumān,— “This sign is very well known to Rāma. Seeing this gem, that hero, Rāma, shall recollect three persons,—his mother, myself, and king Daçaratha, Thou, O foremost of monkeys, wilt again be commissioned on this business. Do thou bethink thee as to what thou wilt do afterwards, when thou hast been entrusted with this task. O foremost of monkeys, thou art capable of compassing this work. Therefore, think as to what course of his (Rāma’s) shall remove (my) misery. O Hanumān, undergoing toils, be thou instrumental in removing my misery.” Saying, “So be it,” the Wind-god’s offspring of terrible prowess, bowing down the head, prepared to depart. Seeing that (Hanumān) was about to set out, that exalted one, Mithilā’s daughter, addressed that monkey, son unto the Wind-god, in words choked by the vapour of grief,—”O Hanumān, do thou communicate good news to both Rāma and Lakshmana, to Sugriva with his counsellors, and to all the aged monkeys. And, O best of monkeys, in consonance with righteousness, communicate good tidings (unto Rāma). And it behoveth thee to strive so that the mighty-armed Rāghava may rescue me from this sea of sorrow. And, O Hanumān, do thou speak so that the illustrious Rāma may deliver me while I am still alive; and thereby do thou reap righteousness. Ever breathing high spirits, Dācarathi,³⁶³ hearing my words, shall attain an access of manliness for my deliverance. Soon as Rāghava shall hear words couching tidings of me, that hero shall duly resolve on displaying his prowess.” Hearing this speech of Sitā, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, with his joined hands raised to his head, said,—”Soon shall Kākutstha come, surrounded by the foremost monkeys and bears; and, vanquishing the foe in fight, shall remove thy grief. Find I none either among men, or Asuras, or celestials, that dares remain before him as he discharges his shafts. For thee, in especial, he can stand in conflict even the Sun, Indra, nay—Yama himself, that offspring of the Sun. For thee, he prepareth himself to conquer the Earth bounded by the main; and victory, thou daughter of Janaka, shall be Rāma’s.” Hearing his words excellently spoken and thoroughly true, Jānaki honored them highly, and spoke (as follows). And gazing at him once and again as he prepared to go away, Sitā from affection honored the speech which had been uttered (by Hanuroan) out of attachment unto his master,— “If thou wish it, O hero, do thou, O subduer of enemies, stay here for one day. Having rested in some hidden nook, thou wilt depart to-morrow. O monkey, (if thou dost remain), thy vicinity shall for a moment remove the huge grief of me of slender luck. But even if thou go (passing to-day here), I have, O tiger-like monkey, doubts as to thy return; and, accordingly, doubt, certainly, as to my life. And the grief incident to my not seeing thee shall burn me greatly, even, O monkey, as grief burneth one that is already consumed by sorrow over and over again. And, O hero, O lord of monkeys, this doubt is also before me. How, alas! shall the mighty lord of monkeys, albeit backed by the monkeys and bears, cross over the mighty main hard to cross,—and (how shall) those forces consisting of bears and monkeys or those sons of the best of men (cross over the same)? In all the three worlds, Vinatā’s offspring, thyself, and the Wind-god, have alone the power of crossing over the deep.—Then, for the accomplishment of this work, difficult to compass, what, O hero, O thou best of those conversant with business, what way dost thou see as to its success? Or thou alone, O destroyer of hostile heroes, art quite enough for the fulfilment of this purpose; and thou shalt reap, in the shape of fame, the fruit of thy achievement. But if (Rāma) himself together with all his forces, conquering Rāvana and (recovering me) in battle, returned victorious to his own city,—this would be worthy of himself. If blocking up Lankā with his army, that afflictor of hostile hosts, Kākutstha took me (hence), that would be worthy of him. Do thou, therefore, adopt such means that the high-souled heroic warrior may have an opportunity of putting forth prowess. Hearing those words fraught with sense and reason and informed with affection, Hanumān, by way of reply said mildly,—”O revered lady, that foremost of monkeys—the lord of bears and monkeys—Sugriva, possessed of truth, hath made up his mind on thy behalf. That destroyer of Rākshasas, O daughter of Videha, environed by thousands of millions of monkeys, will come hither without delay. And exceedingly powerful and mighty monkeys possessed of prowess, and speeding far with the rapidity of thought, are in his command. Nothing can impede their courses, either upward, or downward, or tending in both directions; and those ones of measureless energy never experience depression in the most arduous undertakings. Braced by their exalted spirits, these, resorting to the aerial way, have many a time and oft circumambulated the Earth containing mountains and meads. There are (in that army) rangers of woods, some equal and some superior to me. And near Sugriva there are none who are inferior to me. And since even I have reached this place, what shall I say of those ones endowed with immense might? Nor are superior (monkeys) sent on errands; it is only the inferior ones that are sent. Then, O exalted one, thou needst not grieve: let thy sorrow depart. Those leaders of monkey-herds will come to Lankā by one bound; and, like unto the risen Sun and Moon, those leonine men, having large numbers to back them, will come to thy side, riding my back. Those heroes and foremost of men, Rāma and Lakshmana both, coming to the city of Lankā, shall destroy her by means of their shafts. And slaying Rāvana together with his adherents, Raghu’s son, taking thee, O paragon among women, shall return to his own city. Therefore, do thou take heart, good betide thee! Do thou remain, eagerly wishing for the time. It will not be long before thou shalt behold Rāma resembling flaming fire. On the lord of Rākshasas being slain along with his counsellors and friends, thou shalt meet with Rāma, even as Rohini meeteth with the Moon. O worshipful one, speedily shalt thou behold the other shore of thy misery, O Maithili; and thou shalt see Rāvana slain by Rāma by might of arm.” Having thus solaced Videha’s daughter, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, again spoke unto Vaidehi, saying,—”Soon shalt thou behold that destroyer of foes, Rāghava of subdued soul, and the bow-bearing Lakshmana also, come to the gate of Lankā. And soon shalt thou behold the assembled heroic monkeys, endowed with the prowess of lions and tigers, and the splendour of the monarch of monkeys, and having nails and teeth for their arms. And thou shalt, O noble one, behold innumerable companies of choice monkeys, resembling hills and clouds,—roaring on the plateaus of Malaya in Lankā.
Like an elephant tormented by a lion, Rāma afflicted in the vitals by the dreadful shafts of Manmatha, doth not attain ease. Do not weep, exalted one, in sorrow. Let not fear take possession of thy heart! Even as Sachi meeteth with Sakra, shalt thou, O auspicious one, meet with thy lord. Who is greater than Rāma? And who is equal to Sanmitri?³⁶⁴ And these brothers resembling Fire and the Wind, are thy help. O revered one, thou wilt not have to dwell long in this extremely dreadful place inhabited by the Rākshasas. The arrival of thy beloved one is not distant. Just remain expecting (as best thou may), during the time that elapses between this and my meeting with Rāma.”
³⁶³ Daçaratha’s son—T
³⁶⁴ i. e. Sumitrā’s son, Laksamana.—T.
Hearing the speech of the high-souled offspring of the Wind-god, Sitā resembling a daughter of the celestials, said in words fraught with her welfare,—”Even as the Earth with corn half-way towards harvest is gladdened on receipt of showers, have I, O monkey, been gladdened on seeing thee that speakest sweetly. Do thou so dispense thy kindness unto me that, with my desire attained, I may touch that tiger-like one with my body reduced by grief. And, O foremost of monkeys, present this sign onto Rāma, and tell him also for a sign that he had in ire buried the dart which destroyed a single eye of the crow. And tell him also,³⁶⁵—’On my (first) tilaka having been wiped out, thou didst paint beside my cheek another made of red arsenic —this thou shouldst remember. Why, O thou endowed with prowess, resembling Indra the Great or Vanuna, dost thou disregard the ravished Sitā, sitting in the midst of Rakshas? This jewel for the head I had preserved with care. In my misfortune, O sinless one, I used to inspire cheerfulness by a sight of this, resembling thyself. This graceful water-sprung (gem) I part from. Hereafter, overwhelmed with grief, I shall not be able to live. For thee only do I bear insufferable miseries, heart-cleaving speech, and companionship with Rākshasas. O destroyer of enemies, for a month longer will I maintain being. Beyond that, O king’s son, bereft of thee, I will not live. This Rākshasa king is dreadful. (This being so), if I hear thee tarrying, I would not live for a moment.” Hearing Vaidehi’s speech pathetic and uttered with tears, the highly energetic Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, said,—”My revered one, I swear unto thee by truth itself that Rāma neglecteth every business because of grief for thee. And Rāma being overwhelmed with woe, Lakshmana burneth in grief. Now that I have succeeded in seeing thee after no end of ado, this is no time for lamentation. O fair one, this very moment thou shalt witness the end of thy woe. Those blameless princes— foremost of men, gathering courage from my sight of thee, shall reduce Lankā to ashes. And, O thou of expansive eyes, slaying in battle Rāvana along with his friends, Raghu’s, sons shall take thee back to their own palace. Now, O faultless lady, thou ought to give me such a sign as Rāma shall certainly recognise, and as shall more please him by far.” “Ah!” (answered Sitā), “I have already furnished thee with an excellent sign. This ornament, O Hanumān, when carefully examined by Rāma, O hero, shall render thy words credible.” Thereupon, taking that best of gems, that graceful foremost of monkeys, bowing down the head unto that exalted one, prepared to depart. Seeing that monkey-leader intent upon leaping up, and surcharged with energy,—with his person enlarged, Janaka’s daughter, with a tearful countenance, spake in woe-begone guise, her accents choked with the vapour of grief,—”O Hanumān, communicate tidings of my good health onto those lion-like brothers, Rāma and Lakshmana, to Sugriva along with his counsellors, and to all (the monkeys). And it behoveth thee so to compass things that the mighty-armed Rāghava may rescue me from this sea of sorrow. Do thou, going to Rāma, make known to him the fierce current of my grief, as well as the railing of these Rākshasas. Good fortune be thy portion, thou exceedingly heroic monkey!” Thus furnished with the intentions of the princess, the monkey, having gained his object, and, growing exceedingly exhilarated in his heart, reviewed the small work that yet remained for him, became bent upon proceeding to the north.
³⁶⁵ Sitā wishes Hanumān to use her own language to Rāma.—T.
Having been honored by her (Sitā) in excellent words, the monkey proceeding, left that place, thinking,—”A small work it is that remains. Beheld have I this dark-eyed lady. Passing by three means, I see that I shall have to resort to the fourth. No treaty with Rakshas can answer the end. Neither can gifts prevail with the wealthy. Nor is it possible to sow dissensions among persons proud of their strength. Then, display of prowess appeareth to me applicable in this case. Without resorting to prowess, way find I none for ensuring success in this matter. If the Rakshas find their foremost heroes fallen in battle, they may temper their (martial ardour). He that, having compassed his (principal) purpose, accomplishes many more without marring the prime one, is entitled to act He that doeth a small work is certainly not a worker,—he it is that knoweth to bring about success in diverse ways, is alone capable of securing the same.³⁶⁶ Although my sole commission was to effect this much,³⁶⁷ yet if I repair to the abode of the lord of monkeys after having ascertained the strength of our ownselves and that of the foe in the field, then I shall have done the mandate of my master. How can my arrival (at this place) be made to bring forth good fruit? How can I forcibly bring on engagement with the Rākshasas? And how can the Ten-necked one in battle be made to form a just estimate of the respective strength of myself and his forces? Coming in contact with the Ten-necked one, with his three orders, forces and charioteers, I shall, reading the intention that is in his heart, as well as his strength, —happily return from hence. This grove of the fell (fiend) resembling Nandana itself, containing various trees and plants, and captivating to eye and heart,—will I destroy; even as fire destroyeth a dry wood. This grove being ravaged, Rāvana shall get into a fury. Then the Rākshasa monarch shall summon up an army consisting of horses, elephants, and mighty cars, equipped with tridents, iron axes and other arms,—, and mighty shall be the encounter that shall take place. And I with unimpaired prowess battling with those terrific Rakshas, and annihilating that host despatched by Rāvana, shall merrily journey to the abode of the monkey-king.” Then furious like the Wind, the offspring of the Wind-god possessed of dreadful prowess set about knocking down the trees with impetuous violence. Then that hero, Hanumān, devastated that garden of the damsels, resounding with the roars of mad elephants, and filled with diverse trees and shrubs. And with its trees crushed and its tanks damaged, with its fair peaks shattered in fragments and its pools eloquent with the notes of birds, riven all over, with coppery and withered sprays cast about (in all directions), and with its trees and plants shorn of their liveliness,—that wood was no longer beautiful,—as if it had been burnt up by a forest-fire; and its plants resembled damsels with their apparel falling off. And that magnificent wood, with its arbours and its picture-gallerys destroyed, and its ferocious animals, beasts and birds crying in distressful accents,—and its rocky structures and other mansions broken down, was bereft of its loveliness. And that grove of the inner apartment belonging to the damsels³⁶⁸ of the Ten-necked one, with its numbers of açoka trees and plants cast about disorderly, was, in very sooth, through the might of the monkey, rendered a sight composed of plants, etc., tending to awaken the regret of the spectator.³⁶⁹ Then having done what was wondrous disagreeable unto the mind of the magnanimous lord of the world, that monkey desirous of coping alone with a vast host, stood by the main entrance, flaming in effulgence.
³⁶⁶ The commentator explains this passage thus:—”He that by great pains accomplishes a small work, cannot be a great actor; but he that bringeth about his end in a variety of ways through the minimum of effort, is the actor.”—T.
³⁶⁷ i. e. see Sitā.
³⁶⁸ Promadāvanasya—gen.—occurs twice in this passage. The commentator, as usual, refines on the word,—to one he assigns a literal sense; another he explains—of the grove belonging to the protector of the females,—i. e. the wood, which, by arousing their desire for Rāvana, assured their stay there!—T.
³⁶⁹ There is a pun on the word soka—occuring twice. One of them, originally açoka, but entering into a vowel combination with the preceding word, is the name of a tree; and Soka means sorrow. The açoka trees being shattered, inspired the onlooker with soka—sorrow.—T.
Then on account of the cries of birds and the sounds of breaking trees, all the denizons of Lankā were seized with trepidation in consequence of fright. And agitated with fear, birds and beasts hurried (on all sides); and omen-boding evil unto the Rākshasas, began to appear (everywhere). And grim-visaged Rākshasis, awaking from their sleep, saw that wood devastated, and that heroic mighty monkey. And observing them, that mighty-armed and powerful monkey endowed with immense strength, magnified his dimensions, capable of striking terror into the Rakshasas. And beholding that exceedingly strong monkey resembling a mountain, the Rākshasis asked Janaka’s daughter, saying,—”Who is this? And whence, and wherefore, hath he come here? And why did he carry on converse with thee? Tell us this, thou of expansive eyes. O lucky one, entertain no fear. And, O thou having eyes with dark outer corners, what is the talk that this one hath held with thee?” Thereat, the chaste Sitā, having all her parts perfect, answered,—”What is my power to read Rākshasas capable of wearing forms at will? Ye know who he is and what he doeth. Serpents, without doubt, know the way of serpents. And, furthermore, I am very much frightened,— nor know I who that one is. I take him to be a Rākshasa,— who hath come here through his capacity to put on any shape.” Hearing Vaidehi’s words, the Rākshasis swiftly took to their heels. Some remained,—and some departed to inform Rāvana of the matter. And before Rāvana, the Raksbasis of deformed visages informed him of the hideous and dreadful monkey. “O king, in the heart of the açoka wood there is a monkey of a terrific body, who, possessed of immeasurable might, stayeth, after having carried on a conversation with Jānaki. Nor, albeit questioned by us many a time and oft, doth Janaka’s daughter, Sitā, having the eyes of a deer, intend to tell us who the monkey is. He may be the emissary of Vasava, or of Vaipravana; or he may have been sent by Rāma himself from eagerness to get at the whereabouts of Sitā. And he it is that, wearing a wonderful form, hath destroyed thy charming arbour of the interior, filled with beasts of various kinds.—And quarter there is none which hath not been destroyed by him; and only that place where the exalted Jānaki is, remained uninjured by him,—whether for preserving Jānaki, or from fatigue—it doth not appear. But what is his fatigue? She it is that hath been preserved by him. And that overgrown Sinçapā tree, affluent with elegant foliage, under which Sitā herself hath (always rested), hath been spared by him. It behoveth thee to order sharp chastisement to be inflicted on that one of a fierce form, who, having carried on converse with Sitā, hath laid thy wood waste. Who, O Sovereign of the Rākshasas,that hath not his life severed from him,—converseth with Sitā, who hath captivated thy heart?” Hearing the speeches of the Rākshasis, Rāvana, lord of Rākshasas, with his eyes rolling in rage, flamed up like the fire of a funeral pyre. And as fall drops of lighted oil from a flaming lamp,fell drops of tears from the eyes of the enraged Rāvana. And that highly energetic one ordered his heroic servants, resembling himself, to punish Hanumān. And from that mansion speedily issued eighty thousand of those retainers, carrying in their hands maces and mallets³⁷⁰,—having huge bellies, and large teeth, of dreadful forms, and possessed of unwieldy strength,—all eager to engage in the conflict and take Hanumān. And having come near that monkey staying at the main entrance, those swelling spirits rushed on, even as insects rush into a flame. And equipped with variegated maces, and bludgeons, and golden angadas,³⁷¹ and arrows resembling the Sun, they approached that foremost of monkeys. And accoutred in maces, axes, and javelins, and bearing bearded darts and lances in their hands, they suddeuly surrounded Hanumān and remained before him. And the graceful and energetic Hanumān also, resembling a hill, flourishing his tail over the ground, sent up tremendous roars. And attaining mighty proportions, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, brandished his tail, filling Lankā with sounds. And at the sounds of his flourishing, as well as with those resounding ones set up by himself, birds began to drop down from the sky. And he loudly proclaimed,—”Victory to the exceedingly strong Rāma and to the mighty Lakshmana! And victory unto king Sugriva, protected of Rāghava! I am the servant of the Sovereign of Kerala, Rāma of untiring deeds,— (I am) Hanumān, the destroyer of hostile hosts, offspring of the Wind-god. And a thousand Rāvanas cannot cope with me in conflict, when I shall hurl crags and trees by thousands. In the very presence of all the Rakshas, shall I, having desolated the city of Lankā and paid my reverence to Maithili, go away, my end being compassed.” They were struck with affright at his roars; and they beheld Hanumān elevated as an evening cloud. And now knowing for certain that the monkey had been despatched by his master, the Rākshasas commenced assailing him with various kinds of dire arms.³⁷² Environed on all sides by those heroes, that exceedingly powerful one, staying by the main entrance, took up a terrific bolt. And taking that bolt, like Vinatā’s offspring handling a darting serpent, he slew those rangers of the night. And grasping (the bolt), the Wind-god’s son began to range the welkin and destroy (the Rākshasas), like the thousand-eyed (deity) slaughtering Daityas with his thunder-bolt. And having slain those Rākshasas, who were the retainers of Rāvana, the heroic offspring of the Wind-god—foremost of heroes—desirous of fight, stood at the gate. Then certain Rākshasas, getting off from the field in fear, informed Rāvana of the destruction of all his servants. Hearing that a mighty host of the Rākshasas had been slain, the king, with his eyes whirling in ire, ordered Prahasta’s son of incomparable prowess, and invincible in battle.
³⁷⁰ Kuta—hammer. The commentator, however,says that it means a weapon resembling a hammer.—T.
³⁷¹ A bracelet worn on the upper arm.—T.
³⁷² Swāmisandehanihçancāh—may also mean, having been assured by Rāvana as to his firm resolve—i.e. the Rākshasas must fight with Hanumān, however desperate the undertaking might prove.—T.
Having slaughtered the servants, Hanumān, having reflected awhile, thought,—”I have broken down the wood; but have not destroyed the edifice dedicated to the deities of the Rākshasas. Therefore, this very day will I demolish this structure.” Having thought thus in his heart, that foremost of monkeys, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, displaying his strength, bounded unto the Chaitya³⁷³ building, elevated like a summit of Meru. And having ascended the edifice resembling a mountain, that leader of monkey-bands, possessed of wondrous energy, looked like another Sun risen (in the sky). And having broken down that superb edifice, the irrepressible Hanumān, flaming in auspicionsness, resembled (the mountain) Pariyātra. And magnifying his dimensions through his energy, the offspring of the Wind-god fearlessly fell to striking his arms with his hands, and thus filling Lankā, with the sounds. And at those sounds of striking arms, capable of striking deafness into the hearer, birds began to drop down there, as well as the warders of the religious mansion, with their senses overwhelmed. “Victory unto Rāma versed in arms! And unto Lakshmana endowed with immense strength! And victory unto king Sugriva, who is protected by Rāghava! Hanumān, son onto the Wind-god, destroyer of hostile hosts, is the slave of Rāma of untiring deeds. And not a thousand Rāvanas can cope with me in conflict as I hurl stones and trees by thousands. Having destroyed the city of Lankā and paid my respects to Mithilā’s daughter, I, my object gained, shall depart in the presence of all the Rākshasas.” Having spoken thus, that one of a prodigious person, seated on the Chaitya, emitted tremendous roars, striking terror into the Rakshas. In consequence of that mighty cry, an hundred guards attached to the Chaitya sallied out, taking various weapons—bearded darts, scimitars and axes; and they surrounded the Wind-god’s offspring, as he went on increasing his body. And they encountered that foremost of monkeys with various maces, and axes, and golden Angadas, and arrows resembling the Sun. And those numbers of Rakshas, encountering that best of monkeys,resembled an extensive and mighty whirlpool in the Ganga. Thereat, the Wind-god’s son, the mighty Hanumān,³⁷⁴ waxing enraged, violently uprooting a huge piller of the edifice, plated with gold, and having an hundred borders, began to whirl it (in the air).³⁷⁵ And the fire generated there thus, burnt down the entire edifice. Seeing that edifice in flames, the graceful monkey-leader, having slain the hundred Rākshasas, like Indra slaying Asuras with his thunderbolt,—remaining in the sky, said,—”Thousands of strong, high-souled and foremost monkeys like myself, having been created, and remaining under the command of Sugriva, —including ourselves as well as other monkeys—are ranging all over the world. Some are endowed with the strength of ten elephants, some with the strength of an hundred, some have the prowess of a thousand elephants, and some the strength of elephants numbered by herds. Some are equal in strength to the Wind,—and there are there some monkey-leaders who have no limit to their strength. Surrounded with monkeys of this sort, having nails and teeth for their arms,—in hundreds and thousands and kotis and ayutas, cometh our Sugriva,—the slayer of all (foes). Neither this city of Lankā, nor you, nor yet Rāvana, shall exist,—having created hostility with that high-souled hero of the Ikshwāku race.”
³⁷³ A building designed for deities.—T.
³⁷⁴ Marutatmaya—son unto the Wind-god, left out on the score of redundancy.—T.
³⁷⁵ The reader is powerfully reminded of a like feat of Manoah’s son—’the Herculean Samson.’—T.
Commanded by the lord of Rākshasas, Prahasta’s son, the powerful Jamvumāli, having large teeth, went out bow in hand. And he wore a red wreath and attire, with a garland hung round his neck, and elegant ear-rings; and he was huge, and terrible, with his eyes whirling,—invincible in encounter. And he impetuously stretched a graceful bow, resembling the bow of Sakra, and roaring like vajra and the thunderbolt.³⁷⁶ And the entire welkin, and all sides and quarters, were suddenly filled with the mighty sounds of that bow as it was being stretched. And seeing him approaching in a car yoked with asses, Hanumān endowed with vigour both rejoiced and shouted. Thereat, the highly energetic Jamvumāli pierced with whetted shafts that mighty monkey, Hanumān, who was seated on an awry plank at the gate serving as a perch for pigeons.³⁷⁷ He pierced that lord of monkey’s face with half-moon (shaped) arrows, his head with one having its head made like a hook and his arms with ten nārāchas.³⁷⁸ And pierced by the arrows, his coppery face looked beautiful like a blown autumnal red lotus shot at by the solar rays.—And his naturally red countenance being painted with blood, looked lovely like a majestic red lotus in the sky, washed with the honey of the red açoka.—Wounded by the shafts, the redoubted monkey grew enraged. And he espied a huge and gigantic crag beside him. Thereat, at once uprooting it, that one endowed with celerity and strength hurled it (at his foe). And the enraged Rākshasa opposed it by ten shafts. Witnessing his action rendered fruitless, the energetic Hanumān of terrific prowess, uprooting a large sāla, began to whirl it (in the air). Seeing the exceedingly strong monkey whirling the sāla tree, the highly powerful Jamvumāli dischanged a many shafts. And he severed the sāla by means of four shafts, and wounded the monkey in the arm with five, in the chest, with one, and with ten, between the teats. With his body covered all over with shafts, (Hanumān) getting into a furious passion, taking up the same bolt, again began to swing it with rapidity. And that terrific one gifted with exceeding impetuosity, having whirled the bolt with wondrous rapidity, let it light upon Jamvumāli’s spacious breast. And (anon) there was neither seen there his head, nor bis arms, nor his thighs, nor his bow, nor his car, nor his steeds, nor his arrows at that place. And that mighty car-warrior, Jamvumāli, speedily slain, fell down to the earth, like a tree whose trunk hath been crushed. Hearing Jamvumāli as well as his exceedingly powerful servants slaughtered, Rāvana became transported with anger, and his eyes became reddened in wrath. And on the mighty son of Prahasta having been slain, the lord of the night-rangers, with his reddened eyes rolling in rage, speedily commanded the sons of his counsellors, endowed with vast energy and prowess, (to encounter Hanumān in battle.)
³⁷⁶ For distinction between the two, vide ante.—T.
³⁷⁷ This is all that I can make of the commentator’s gloss on toranavitanka.—T.
³⁷⁸ Iron arrows.—T.
Then ordered by the lord of Rākshasas, the sons of his counsellors, seven (in number), in splendour resembling fire, issued forth from that mansion. And surrounded by a mighty army, furnished with bows, endowed with wondrous strength, and accomplished in arms—the foremost of those acquainted with weapons—each burning for victory, with mighty cars yoked with steeds, covered with golden net-works, bearing pennons and standards,and having sounds like those proceeding from clouds,—exultingly stretching with immeasurable prowess bows decked with gold,—resembling clouds surcharged with lightning,—those warriors sallied out. Learning that the servants had been slain, their³⁷⁹ mothers, along with their friends and kindred, were overpowered with grief. And vieing with each other in eagerness, those (warriors) decked in ornaments of polished gold, confronted Hanumān staying at the gate. And with their cars sending roars, the Rākshasas, pouring showers of shafts, ranged (the field), resembling clouds during the rainy season. And covered with those arrowy showers, Hanumān had his person concealed, like the monarch of mountains hidden by a downpour. And that swift-speeding monkey, coursing the cloudless sky, evaded those shafts of those heroes, as well as the impetuosity of their cars. And that hero, playing pranks with those bowmen, appeared like the masterful Wind playing tricks with the bow-bearing clouds.³⁸⁰ And sending up a dreadful shout, and thereby filling that vast host with fright, the energetic Hanumān rushed on that Rākshasa army. And that subduer of enemies slew some with slaps, and some he rived with nails, and some he killed by blows, and others with (the pressure of) his chest. And some dropped down on the ground at the very same spot at the sounds that he emitted. And on their being slain or falling on the earth, that army, afflicted with affright, began to fly in all directions. And the elephants roared in frightful tones, and the steeds fell down oa the earth.—And the Earth was covered with broken boxes, flagstaffs, and umbrellas, (belonging to the cars), as also with the cars themselves.—And rivers running gore were seen on the way, and Lankā uttered various frightful cries. And having slain those overgrown Rākshasas, that exceedingly powerful and heroic monkey of terrific power, desirous of again coping with other Rākshasas, retraced his steps to the self-same entrance.
³⁷⁹ i. e. the mothers of the sons of the councillors.—T.
³⁸⁰ i. e. having the iris.—T.
Learning that the sons of the counsellors had been slain by the high-souled monkey, the Ten-necked one suppressing the apprehension that was in his heart, restored the balance of his mind. And he directed five of the foremost leaders of his forces, the heroic Virupāksha, Yupaksha, the Rākshasa Durdharsha, Praghasa, and Māsakarna, versed in polity, endowed with the speed of the Wind in conflict and alert on every occasion, to take Hanumān captive.”Ye generals, do ye taking a mighty host with steeds, elephants and cars, chastise that monkey. And coming to that dweller of the woods, ye had better act heedfully, and should accomplish this work in consonance with place and season. Having regard to his acts, I do not take him to be a monkey. He is a great being endowed with extraordinary prowess every way. My mind is not satisfied that he is a monkey. He may have been brought into being by Indra, through ascetic might, for injuring us. Backed by you, I have defeated (deities), and Nāgas, and Yakshas, and Gandharbas, and Asuras, and Maharshis. And, for certain, they have herein tried to do us some wrong. Therefore there is no doubt about this,—do ye by main force take him. And, ye generals, go ye, taking a mighty force with steeds, elephants and cars. Do ye chastise this monkey. This monkey of deliberate prowess should not be disregarded by you. I have seen³⁸¹ monkeys of immense prowess,—Vāli with Sugriva and the exceedingly powerful Jāmbavān, and Nila the general, and others with Dwivida at their head. Their speed is not dreadful, nor their energy, nor their prowess, nor their intelligence, nor their strength, nor their courage, nor their capacity to change shapes. Therefore ye should know him as some great being staying in the form of a monkey. Exerting yourself to the uttermost, do ye chastise him. These three worlds combined, with Indra, celestials and mortals, are incapable of long staying before you in the field of battle. Still a person versed in polity, albeit anxious to secure victory in battle, should carefully preserve self, as success in war is unstable.” Thereupon, they, possessed of the energy of fire, accepting the words of their master,rushed forth vehemently, accompanied with cars, mad elephants, fleet steeds, sharp and whetted weapons,—and forces of all kinds. Then those heroes saw that effulgent mighty monkey, shining in his native splendour, like unto the risen sun,— possessed of great strength and immense speed, and magnanimity of mind,—seated at the gate. And soon as they saw him, they, frightened at his appearance, assailed him with their respective terrible weapons. And Durdhasa discharged at Hanumān’s head five white iron³⁸² arrows with yellow heads, and possessing the lustre of lotus-leaves. Having been pierced in the head with those shafts, the monkey, roaring, leapt into the sky, making the ten cardinal points resound. Then the exceedingly powerful and heroic Durdhara, mounted on a car, with his bow stringed, came forward, showering innumerable arrows by hundreds. Thereat, even as the wind driveth away rain-pouring clouds at the end of the rainy season, the monkey, remaining in the sky, resisted (his antagonist) as he kept on pouring his shafts. And sore beset by Durdhara, the Wind-god’s son again emitted cries, and that puissant one also increased himself. Then darting far up in the air, the monkey suddenly descended on the car of Durdhara with extreme vehemence, like unto a mass of lightning alighting on a mountain.—Thereat his eight steeds getting mangled, and the wheels and pole of his car having been broken, Durdhara leaving the car, fell down to the earth, deprived of life. Seeing him down on the earth, those irrepressible subduers of enemies, Virupāksha and Yupāksha, waxing wroth, sprang up. And springing up suddenly, they by means of maces, dealt blows on the chest of the monkey, who was staying in the unclouded sky. Thereat resisting the furious rush of those gifted with ebullient energy, that exceedingly powerful one descended to the earth with the violence of the Fair-feathered (bird).³⁸³ Then getting at and uprooting a sāla tree, that monkey, the Wind-god’s offspring, slew both of those heroic Rākshasas. Learning that those three had been slain by the monkey gifted with speed, the mighty and onrushing Praghasa laughing in scorn advanced (in the encounter). And the energetic Bhāsakarna also came forward in rage, taking a dart. And (they) meeting together, Praghasa assailed the famous, tiger-like monkey with a sharp-edged axe, and Bhāsakarna (attacked) the elephantine monkey with a javelin. And with his limbs wounded by them, and his hair wetted with blood, that monkey resembling in splendour the infant sun, grew furiously enraged. And that elephantine monkey, the heroic Hanumān, uprooting a mountain-peak, with beasts, snakes, and trees (in it), slew those Rākshasas; and, crushed by that mountain-summit, they were reduced to powder. On those five generals having fallen, the monkey slew the remaining forces. And as the thousand-eyed Deity destroyed Asuras, the monkey destroyed steeds with steeds, elephants with elephants, warriors with warriors, and cars with cars. And with horses and elephants, swift steeds, with broken wheels and mighty cars, and Rākshasas slain, all the ways were blocked up. And having destroyed in battle the heroic generals with all their forces and vehicles, that hero in the same way rested at the gate like Kāla himself engaged in destroying people, when he hath gained respite.
³⁸¹ There is a word—sighra, soon—in this sloka, of which I fail to pertain the relation.—T.
³⁸² This may rather look an incongruous mixture of images; but the ironed arrows may have been silvered over.—T.
³⁸³ Suparna—a name of Garuda.—T.
Hearing that the five generals had been slain by Hanumān alone with their vehicles and followers, the king, gazing at prince Aksha, who was ready and eager to go to battle, commanded him to take the field. And that puissant one of a bow decked with gold, on being commanded (by Rāvana) with a glance, started up, like unto fire on being fed by clarified butter by foremost regenerate persons on the sacrificial ground. And that best of Nairitas³⁸⁴ possessed of prowess, ascending a car resembling the infant sun in effulgence, and surrounded all round with networks of burnished gold, sallied forth in quest of that mighty monkey. And (that warrior) in prowess resembling an immortal, sallied out ascending that car, obtained with long-contianed asceticism, embellished with a network of glowing gold, furnished with pennons, having a standard studded with gems, nicely yoked with eight excellent steeds having the fleetness of thought, incapable of being overpowered either by celestials or Asuras, competent to course over uneven ground, of the lustre of lightning, sky-ranging, completely garnished, equipped with quivers, with swords fastened to the banners in eight directions, with darts and lances arranged in proper places, splendid with every object in full measure, bearing golden threads, wearing the brilliancy of the sun and moon, and possessing the effulgence of the sun. And filling the firmament and the earth containing mountains with sounds proceeding from steeds, elephants and mighty cars,—he, accompanied by his forces, presented himself before the capable monkey, who was seated at the gate. And coming before the monkey, Aksha, having the gaze of a lion,with eyes betokening regard, gazed at Hanumān resembling the Fire on the occassion of the universal dissolution at the end of a yuga, intent on destroying creatures, and who was seated and was influenced alike by surprise and regard. And seriously considering the impetuosity of the high-souled monkey as well as his prowess in relation to a foe,—as also his own strength, he increased (in strength) like the Sun on the expiration of a Yuga. And growing enraged, (Aksha), staying calmly in the field, with concentrated soul, challenged Hanumān difficult to resist in conflict and of prowess worthy to witness, with three whetted shafts. And finding the monkey proud and untiring, capable of vanquishing his foe, and possessed of exalted spirits, Aksha took up his bow and held his arrows in his hands. And wearing a golden corslet, angadas, and earings, and possessed of fiery vigor, he closed with the monkey; and their meeting was something unparalleled on this earth,—and was calculated to raise the respect³⁸⁵ even of the celestials and the Asuras. And witnessing the mighty conflict of the prince and the monkey, Earth emitted cries, and the Sun did not burn, and the Wind did not blow, and the mountains shook, and the welkin sounded, and the main was vexed. And that hero, skilled in aiming, fixing and discharging arrows, shot at the monkey’s head three fine-headed feathered shafts plated with gold near the feathers, and resembling venomous serpents. And with his rolling eyes washed with blood in consequence of the shafts having alighted at his head, Hanumān, resembling a new-risen Sun having arrows for its rays, looked splendid like the light-engarlanded Sun. And seeing in battle that son of the foremost of monarchs, with his excellent weapons upraised and his beautiful bow, that best of the counsellors of the lord of monkeys, rejoiced, and intent on encounter, increased himself. And with his ire heightened, that one endowed with energy and prowess, like unto the ray-decorated (Sun) on the crest of Mandara,³⁸⁶ began to burn with the fiery rays of his eyes, Aksha, along with his forces and vehicles. And as a mass of clouds showereth rain on a high hill, the arrow-showering Rākshasa resembling clouds, having the bow for his rain-bow, discharged shafts at that foremost of monkeys, representing a mountain. And then the monkey, having sounds like those of clouds, beholding in battle Aksha of terrific prowess in conflict, and strong in energy, strength and shafts, sent up shouts from elation of spirits. And as an elephant approacheth a deep pit covered over with grass, (Aksha) from a spirit of childishness elated in conflict with his prowess, with his ire heightened, and eyes resembling blood, drew near the monkey in the field. And as Aksha went on hastily pouring shafts, that one uttering roars resembling the rumbling of clouds, looking terrible in consequence of his arms and thighs flung about, darted into the sky with exhuberant energy. And as he leapt up, that strong and powerful one—foremost of Rākshasas—that car-warrior and the best of choice car-warriors—rushed at (Hanumān), showering arrows on him, like a cloud showering hail-stones on a mountain. And dashing in the midst of the arrows like the wind, and thus baffling them, the heroic monkey of dreadful prowess in conflict, and endowed with the speed of thought, began to range the path of the air. And witnessing Aksha with regardful eyes, as that one intent on contest, taking his bow, was covering the sky with various excellent arrows, the Wind-god’s offspring was plunged in thought. Wounded in the arm with shafts by that high-souled, noble prince, that mighty-armed one, capable of adequately appreciating the nature of actions, thought on (Aksha’s) prowess in battle. “This exceedingly powerful one, endowed with the splendour of the infant sun, is doing dire deeds incapable of being done by a boy; and I am loth to slay one that hath shown himself equal to every martial feat. This one is high-souled, mighty in energy, of concentrated self, and capable of bearing extreme hardships in war; without doubt, by virtue of his actions, he is worthy of being honored by Nāgas, Yakshas and ascetics. With his mind braced by prowess and hope, that foremost of heroes eyeth me staying in the fore-front. The prowess of this light-handed (one), I ween, maketh even the hearts of the celestials and Asuras tremble. If I disregard him, he shall certainly vanquish me, for his prowess in battle increaseth (fast). Therefore I must even slay him: it is not proper to suffer an increasing fire.” Thus reflecting on the strength of his foe and having ascertained his line of action, that puissant one endowed with great strength, summoned energy and set his heart on slaying him (his antagonist). And remaining in the path coursed by the air, that heroic monkey, the offspring of the Wind-god, with his slaps slew his eight powerful and excellent steeds, capable of bearing pressure and trained to diverse circular movements. And successfully assailed by the councilor of that lord of monkeys, the car with its seat smashed, and its pole broken, and deprived of its steeds, fell to the earth from the sky. Thereat, forsaking that car, the mighty car-warrior sprang up into sky with his bow and holding his sabre,—and (resembled) an ascetic of fierce energy consequent on austerities, going up to heaven, renouncing his body. Then the monkey possessed of the energy and vigor of the Wind, approaching him as he was ranging the air coursed by the king of birds, the Wind and the Siddhas, at length fast caught hold of his legs. And as the foremost of birds, Garuda taking a mighty serpent, whirls it, that foremost of monkeys, resembling his sire in prowess, whirling Aksha in the conflict, violently dropped him on the earth. And with his arms, thighs and chest crushed, bleeding, (having his bones and eyes smashed, his joints riven, and his tendons snapped, the Rākshasa lay on the earth, slain by the offspring of the Wind-god. And tormenting him (Aksha) on the earth, that mighty monkey caused great fright unto the ruler of the Rākshasas; and he was gazed at by the assembled Maharshis and the orbit-coursing ones and all beings with Yakshas and Pannagas, come to see him. And on the prince being slain, that monkey was gazed at by the celestials with Indra, who had been seized with extreme wonderment. And having slain in battle prince Aksha resembling a son of the celestials and possessed of blood-red eyes, the hero (again) neared the same gate, and waited there like Kāla bent upon destroying all creatures.
³⁸⁵ Sambhramaprada, according to Rāmānuja, means, capable of exciting
³⁸⁶ The Sun is on Mandara in mid-day; therefore the meridian Sun is meant here.—T.
On prince Aksha having been slain by Hanumān, the magnanimous monarch of the Rākshasas, wrought up by wrath, repressing his feelings, ordered Indrajit resembling a celestial, (to take the field against the foe.) “Thou art the foremost of those bearing arms; and thou hast afflicted even the gods and Asuras (in battle); thy deeds have been witnessed by the celestials with Indra; and thou hast procured a weapon³⁸⁷ even from the Great-father. And coping (in conflict) with thy might of arms, all the celestials with the Maruts, headed by the lord of celestials himself, could not stay in the field. And there is none in these three worlds (save thyself), who doth not come under the influence of fatigue in battle. And thou art preserved by the prowess of thy arms, and protected also by thy ascetic merit; and being skilled in the knowledge of season and place, thou, methinks, art the foremost of them all in intelligence. And there is no deed which thou canst not perform in the field; and there is nothing in counsel capable of being arrived at by arguing on the lines prescribed by the scriptures, which thou art not equal to; and there is none in all the three worlds who doth not know thy strength and prowess in arms. And thy ascetic energy is like unto mine, as well as thy prowess and might in arms in battle. And having thee in the conflict, my mind assured (of victory), doth not experience sorrow. Slain have been all the servants, as also Jamvumāli, and those five generals, the heroic sons of my councilors, and the swelling forces including steeds, elephants and cars. And low lieth Mahodara, and prince Aksha hath also been slain. O destroyer of foes, my mind did not feel the same confidence in them that I do in thee.³⁸⁸ And seeing this mighty host slain, as well as the prowess and energy of the monkey, and the taking into consideration thine own strength, do thou put forth thy energy according to thy strength, And on nearing the scene (of conflict), do thou, O foremost of those bearing arms, seeing thine own strength and that of the foe, so exert thyself that the latter, (now) resting quietly in consequence of having created a carnage (on the hostile hosts), may wax enfeebled.³⁸⁹ O hero, army can serve no purpose here; for hosts fly (before) Hanumān or are reduced to nothing. Neither can it avail to use arms of terrific power and resembling the thunderbolt. Nothing can resist the rush of the Wind-god’s offspring; and this one like unto fire is incapable of being slain with weapons. Revolving well (in thy mind what I have remarked), do thou in order to the attainment of success, with an intent mind remember the divine virtue of this bow, and repairing (to battle) strive to vanquish the foe, baffling his attacks.³⁹⁰ O foremost of intelligent ones, (that I send thee to battle) is certainly not proper; yet this course of action is endorsed by Kshatriyas and those following the morality of kings. O subduer of enemies, one should be versed in various branches of learning as well as be masterful in war.³⁹¹ He that craves victory in fight, should be acquainted with various branches of knowledge.³⁹²
Hearing the words of his father, (Indrajit) gifted with celestial prowess, determined to fight, instantly circumambulated him. Excited with a desire for fight and worked up with energy, Indrajit, eulogized by the friendly Rākshasas, set out for battle. And that highly effulgent and graceful son of the lord of the Rākshasas, having expansive eyes resembling lotus-petals,—issued out like unto the rising of the ocean during a parva.³⁹³ Thereupon Indrajit of unbearable prowess, equal to the lord of the celestials, ascended a car drawn by four horses, having sharpened teeth and resembling Garuda in velocity. And that master of a car and foremost of bowmen, conversant with the use of all weapons —the best of those using swords—proceeded soon in his car where Hanumān was. And hearing the sound of his car and the twang of his bow, that heroic monkey attained an excess of delight. And taking up a bow and sharpened darts, Indrajit, versed in the rules of war, proceeded towards Hanumān. And as he issued out for battle, greatly delighted, with arrows in his hands, all the quarters became dark, and jackals began to set up terrible cries. And there arrived the Nāgas, the Yakshas, the Maharshis, the planets, and the Siddhas, and the birds, covering the welkin, and, greatly delighted, began to make a noise. And beholding that car having a flag like that of Indra, approach very quickly, the monkey began to emit terrible roars and increase himself. And Indrajit too, seated on the celestial car and having a painted bow, began to stretch it, emitting a sound resembling that of thunder. Thereupon closed in conflict those two greatly powerful (heroes)—gifted with swift movements and fearless in battle—the monkey, and the son of the lord of Rākshasas, like unto the lords of celestials and Asuras. And baffling the shafts of that hero of a mighty car, an accomplished bowman and a finished warrior, the immeasurably powerful monkey increasing himself began to range in the welkin.³⁹⁴ Thereupon the heroic (Indrajit)—slayer of foes—began to discharge incessantly shafts, large, sharp, well-feathered, painted in gold and swift-coursing like unto thunder. And hearing again the noise of his car, the sounds of drums, bugles, and war-drums, and the twangs of the bow, he again leaped up (in the sky). And baffling the aim of (Indrajit), who had always an eye on it, that great monkey ranged at a distance from those shafts. And again facing the arrows and stretching his hands, the Wind-god’s son again leaped up. And those two heroes,gifted with swift movements and versed in the art of war, engaged in a combat, admired of all beings. And Hanumān could not find out the short-comings of the Rākshasa, nor could that high-souled one detect the weak points of the son of the Wind-god. And these two gifted with celestial prowess, engaged in conflict, became unbearable unto each other. And seeing him unhurt though aimed at with infallible arrows, the high-souled (Indrajit), controlling his senses, engaged in deep and devout meditation³⁹⁵ (to realize the true identity of Hanumān). Thereupon, that son of the lord of Rākshasas pinned his thoughts upon that foremost of monkeys, and, finding him incapable of being slain, he began to devise plans how he could be bound. And that hero, foremost of those versed in the use of weapons, discharged at that best of monkeys the highly powerful weapon conferred on him by Brahmā, the Great-father of the celestials. And knowing him incapable of being slain, Indrajit conversant with the use of weapons, bound that large-armed son of the Wind-god with that weapon. And being bound up by that Rākshasa with the weapon, the monkey became motionless and fell down on the earth. And thinking that he was bound up with a Brahmā weapon, he did not feel the least pain in consequence of Brahmā’s blessing. And that heroic monkey began to think of the boons conferred on him by the Great-father of the celestials. And thinking that the weapon was conferred by the Self-create and consecrated by sacred Mantras, Hanumān began to think of boons conferred by the Great-father. “In consequence of the power of the Lord of creation I am incapable of extricating myself from these bonds.” (Knowing this by means of devout meditation,he reflected again,)—”This has been ordained by Him, and I must put up with this pain for sometime.” Revolving well the power of the weapon, the boon of the Great-father, and his own prowess to extricate himself from the bonds, the monkey followed the Great-father’s behest,—”I do not fear though bound by this weapon, since I am being protected by Brahmā, Indra and the Wind-god. It will be better if I am carried off by the Rākshasas, for I shall reap very great benefit by my conversation with the lord of Rākshasas. Therefore let the enemies carry me.” Having resolved this, the considerate (monkey)—slayer of foes—remained motionless. And being ruthlessly bound by the foes and remonstrated with by them, he began to moan piteously. And beholding that slayer of foes motionless, the Rākshasas bound him up with cotton and bark. And he gladly allowed himself to be tied up and rebuked by his enemies, thinking that he might converse with the lord of the Rākshasas, if he, out of curiosity, should like to see him. Being bound with bark, that powerful (monkey) got himself freed from the binding of the weapon, for the binding force of a Brahmā weapon becomes null when there is any other binding. And beholding that best of monkeys tied up with bark and liberated from the binding of the weapon, Indrajit reflected that the binding force of the Brahmā weapon became powerless when there was any other binding. “Alas, (those Rakshas) have rendered my mighty deed fruitless. They know not the action of Mantras.³⁹⁶ And on the Brahma weapon being baffled, any other weapon cannot effect anything; and thus we have all been placed in a critical predicament.” On being released from the weapon, Hanumān did not betray any signs of his liberation, albeit he was pulled by the Rākshasas and pained by the bonds they had bound him with. And the monkey, Hanumān, was pulled by those cruel Rākshasas having fatal boxes, in the direction of the lord of Rākshasas. And seeing (Hanumān) freed from the (Brahmā) weapon yet bound by the bark of trees, he (Indrajit) showed the exceedingly powerful and highly heroic monkey unto the king along with his adherents. And the Rākshasas related unto the ruler of Rakshas everything touching that foremost of choice monkeys, resembling a mad elephant who was in bonds. “Who is he? And whose son? And wherefrom? And what’s his errand? And by whom is he backed?”—thus did the heroic Rākshasas converse on beholding Hanumān. And others said,—”Kill him,” “Burn him”—”Eat him up.” The Rākshasas, growing enraged, thus said unto each other.—Having passed some way, that magnanimous one saw there old servants sitting at the feet of the lord of Rākshasas,—as well as a mansion embellished with countless jewels. And the exceedingly energetic Rāvana saw that foremost of monkeys dragged hither and thither by Rākshasas of frightful forms. And that best of monkeys too saw that lord of Rākshasas, endowed with strength and energy and resembling the resplendent son. And with his reddened eyes rolling, the ten-necked gazing at that monkey, ordered his principal counsellors, boasting of high pedigree and noble character, (to interrogate the incomer). And by turns questioned by them as to his mission and purpose, as well as the fundamental occasion (of his inroad), that foremost of monkeys replied,— “A messenger, I come (from Sugriva.)”
³⁸⁷ viz. the Brahma weapon.—T.
³⁸⁸ According to another reading, the meaning would be:—”O best of warriors, do thou, considering thy own strength and that of the enemy, so exert thyself that he may no longer inflict terrible losses on our army.” (Tirtha).—T.
³⁸⁹ Another meaning is: Looking on thyself, and (not on my forces), as constituting my main stay, put forth thy prowess.—T.
³⁹⁰ One should know in what branches of knowledge one’s enemy is proficient, and, understanding this, one should strive for victory.—T.
³⁹¹ According to a different reading,the meaning would be, “Thou art competent to fight agreeably to the rules.”—T.
³⁹² The Sloka is very difficult and incapable of interpretation withoet at places meanings being read into it.—T.
³⁹³ A name given to certain days in the lunar month at the full and change of the moon, and the 8th and 14th of each half month.—T.
³⁹⁴ Literally it means the passage of his father. Hanumān’s father being the Wind, it means the sky.—T.
³⁹⁵ According to Hindu philosophy, one by virtue of yoga and self-control can realize many great things which are beyond ordinary human conception. Beholding Hanumān unhurt though assailed incessantly with terrible shafts, Indrajit at once jumped at the conclusion that he must be a great spirit in a monkey-form. To realize who he in reality was, he engaged in yoga or devout meditation.—T.
³⁹⁶ That the action of a Brahmā mantra upon one is nullified if one is bound physically.—T.
And struck with his³⁹⁷ deed, that one of dreadful vigor, Hanumān, his eyes reddened in wrath, steadily looked at the lord of Rakshas; flaming in gorgeous and precious gold, with a splendid diadem studded with pearls; (adorned with) excellent ornaments, containing diamonds and costly gems,—seeming to have been forged by the mind; appareled in costly linen; smeared with red sandal paste, and beautifully painted with various and variegated devices;³⁹⁸ looking splendid with his sightly yet terrible eyes; having sheeny, sharp and long teeth,—with hanging lips;—and that hero (saw) that one of great energy, radient with ten heads; like unto Mandara with its summits containing serpents; resembling a mass of blue collyrium; with his breast graced by a chain; with his countenance possessed of the lustre of the moon; looking like a cloud beside the new-risen Sun; with his dreadful arms bound with keyuras, and graced with excellent sandal paste, brilliant with angadas, and resembling five-headed serpents; seated on a superb seat,—upon a spacious, variegated, and gay sheet embellished with crystals, and studded with gems; ministered on all sides by gorgeously adorned damsels, bearing hair-furnished fans,— the strength-elated one surrounded by four Rakshas—his counsellors versed in the mystery of counsel,—viz., Durdhara, Prahasta, the Raksha Mahāpārçwa, and the minister Nikumbha,—like the entire world girt round by the four seas,—and encouraged by other counselors, fair of forms and versed in counsel, even like the sovereign of celestials by the celestials. And Hanumān beheld the immensely energetic lord of Rākshasas surrounded (on all sides by his advisers), like a cloud containing water on a summit of Meru. And undergoing exceeding trouble at the hands of the Rakshas of dreadful prowess, (Hanumān) struck with mighty amaze, gazed at the lord of Rakshas. And seeing the sovereign of Rakshas, appearing splendid, Hanumān, bewildered by his effulgence, mentally reflected: “Ah! the form! Ah! the patience! Ah! the strength! Ah! the splendour! Ah! the entire auspiciousness of the king of Rākshasas! If the lord of Rākshasas were not impious unto the height, this one could well be the protector themselves of the celestial regions with Sakra. But in consequence of the fell and remorseless acts of this one, which are the aversion of every one, all the worlds with gods and demons hold him in fear. This one, being angered, dares to convert this earth into one entire ocean.” Beholding the potency of the Rākshasa king of immeasurable prowess,the intelligent monkey thus indulged in a variety of thought.
³⁹⁸ e. g. the three horizontal marks painted on the forehead by Saivas and Sāktas.—T.
Seeing the tawney-eyed one staying before hiip, the mighty-armed Rāvana, affrighter of (the worlds), was overwhelmed with fierce wrath. And gazing at that foremost of monkeys girt with power, and with his soul exercised with apprehension, he (thought),—”Is this the worshipful Nandi, come hither in person, by whom I, on my jeering at him, had formerly been cursed in Kailaça?³⁹⁹ Or is this one wearing the shape of a monkey Vāli’s son, Vana?” And with his eyes coppery with rage, the king asked his foremost counselor, Prahasta, in words fraught with sense and suiting the season,—”Ask this wicked-minded one, whence is he? And what led him to ravage the grove, and what was his object in brow-beating the Rākshasas? And what hath been his purpose in entering my metropolis incapable of being subdued; and what for did he also fight (with my retainers?) Do thou ask the wicked-minded one about this.” Hearing Rāvana’s speech, Prahasta said,—”Take heart! Fair fortune to thee! Thou needst not be alarmed, O monkey. If thou hast been sent to Rāvana’s residence by Indra, tell us truly everything. Let no fear, O monkey, be thine. Thou shalt be liberated. If thou belong to Vaiçravana, or to Yama, or to Varuna, and hast entered into this city of ours disguising (thy proper shape),—or if thou hast been despatched by Vishnu burning for victory, (tell us this truly). Thy prowess is certainly not that of a monkey,—thy form alone is that of a monkey. Unfold this (unto us) faithfully,—O monkey, and thou shalt get (back) thy liberty. But if thou shouldst say aught untruthful, thy life shall pay dear for it. Or tell us wherfore thou hast entered into Rāvana’s mansion.” Thus addressed then, that foremost of monkeys said unto the lord of Rākshasas,—”I am not Sakra’s, nor Yama’s, nor Varuna’s. I have no friendship with Dhanada,⁴⁰⁰ nor have I been despatched by Vishnu. This is my race; and I have come hither a monkey for obtaining a sight of the Rākshasa chief. And it is to attain a sight of the Rākshasa lord that I have destroyed his peerless grove; and it is for this that, the powerful Rākshasas seeking for fight, I for the preservation of my person have resisted them in conflict. I am incapable of being slain with weapons even by the celestials and the Asuras themselves. This boon I also⁴⁰¹ happen to have received from the Great-father. It is because I was desirous of seeing the king that I have suffered this weapon to restrain me. Although the Rākshasas have brought me (hither thus), yet I am free from any weapon (restraining me). I come near thee on a certain business of Rāma. Knowing me for a messenger of Rāghava endowed with measureless prowess, do thou, O lord, listen to my words, calculated to work thy profit.”
³⁹⁹ Rāvana had formerly laughed at Nandi for his monkey-face.—T.
⁴⁰⁰ Lit.—giver of wealth—a designation of Kuvera.—T.
⁴⁰¹ like thyself.
Seeing the Ten-necked one of mighty energy, that foremost of monkeys, endued with strength, calmly spoke unto him words containing sense,”—I have come unto thee at the command of Sugriva, O lord of Rākshasas. Thy brother, the king of monkeys, enquires after thy welfare. Listen to the desire of thy brother, the high-souled Sugriva, and his words fraught with righteous sense and capable of working one’s good here and hereafter. King Daçaratha, master of cars and elephants and steeds,—is the friend of all like unto their father, and is furnished with the splendour of the sovereign of celestials. His eldest son,—mighty-armed, and masterful, the darling (of his sire), hath, in accordance with his father’s order, entered the forest of Dandaka with his brother Lakshmana and his wife Sitā. His name is Rāma, and he is exceedingly energetic, and ever abideth on the path of virtue. His spouse, the celebrated Sitā, daughter unto Videha, the high-souled king Janaka, either died or was carried off in Janasthāna. Seeking for that exalted lady, the king’s son, accompanied by his younger brother, arriving at Rhrishyamuka, met with Sugriva. And Sugriva promised that he would undertake the search for Sitā, and Rāma (on his part promised) that he would confer on Sugriva the kingdom of the monkeys. And, thereupon, slaying Vāli in battle, the king’s son established Sugriva as the lord of the monkeys. Thou formerly hast known that foremost of monkeys, Vāli. That monkey was slain in battle by him (Rāma) with a single shaft. And, thereupon, the lord of monkeys, Sugriva, true to his vow, eager for searching Sitā, despatched monkeys in all directions. And thousands and hundreds and niyutas of monkeys are exploring all sides, below and above in the sky. And some are like Vinatā’s offspring,⁴⁰² and some like the Wind; their course is incapable of being resisted; and those heroic monkeys are endued with strength and celerity. I, Hanumān by name, am the son of the Wind-god. For Sitā, I, desirous of seeing her, have come hither, bounding over the main measuring a full hundred Yojanas. And as I was roving, I came to see Janaka’s daughter in thy house. Thou art cognizant of righteousness and interest, and hast attained prosperity through thy asceticism. Therefore, O eminently wise one, thou ought not to confine another’s wife. Actions opposed to righteousness, and bringing on countless evils, and causing extermination,—ill become persons of thy sort. Who is there even among celestials and Asuras that is competent to stay before the shafts shot by Lakshmana and Rāma in wrath? There is none, O king, in all the three worlds, that is capable of attaining ease, after inflicting injury on Rāghava. Treading the path of virtue and profit, do thou pay heed unto my speech fraught with good for three times;⁴⁰³ and do thou return Jānaki unto that foremost of men. Seen have I this exalted lady,—which was difficult to compass. As for what remaineth to be done, Rāma himself shall bring it about. That Sitā I have beheld overwhelmed with grief, whom, albeit resembling a five-hooded serpent in thy mansion, thou knowst not. And even as food thoroughly mixed with poison, being taken, is incapable of being digested, this one is incapable of being subdued even by the celestials and Asuras. It is not proper to destroy religious merit reaped by undergoing extreme mortification, as well as access of life (attained by the same means).⁴⁰⁴ Thou deemst thyself by virtue of thy asceticism incapable of being destroyed by the celestials and Asuras; and herein thy great merit (incident to thy austerities) is the cause.—But Sugriva is not a god or a Yaksha or a Rākshasa. Rāghava, O king, is a mortal and Sugriva is the lord of monkeys. How canst thou, O king, save thy life from them? He that, confiding in his strength, committeth himself to foul proceedings, cannot count upon his righteous deeds, but his evil ones follow him. Virtue destroyeth vice, (yet vice like thine destroyeth all virtue).⁴⁰⁵ Thou, without doubt, hast obtained the fruit of thy righteousness, and the fruit also of this iniquity thou shalt reap without delay. And taking to heart the carnage in Janasthāna and the slaying of Vāli as well as the friendship of Rāma with Sugriva, do thou understand thine own good. I, alone that I am, can at my will destroy Lankā with her steeds and elephants and cars; but he whose envoy I am hath not yet decided on this point. Rāma hath in presence of the tawny-eyed (ones) forsooth promised the annihilation of the foe by whom Sitā hath been sore oppressed. On wronging Rāma, Purandara himself cannot escape scot-free,—what shall I say of persons like thee? Her whom thou knowest as Sitā staying in thine abode—know her for the Fatal Night that shall bring destruction down on all Lankā. Therefore, beware of thyself turning about thy neck the fatal noose in the shape of Sitā! Do thou rather study thy welfare. Thou shalt behold this city crowned with edifices and stalls, in flames fed by the wrath of Rāma, and consumed by the energy of Sitā. Do not bring to destruction thine friends and ministers, and kindred, and brethren and sons, and thine entire welfare,— thine enjoyments and wives and this Lankā. O sovereign of the Rākshasas, do thou faithfully listen to these words of me, a monkey and the servant and envoy of Rāma. Abolishing all the worlds with their creatures mobile and immobile objects, the illustrious Rāma is capable of creating these anew. Neither among celestials nor Asuras, Yakshas, Rakshas, nor serpents, Vidyādharas, Nagās, Gandharbas nor beasts, Siddhas, the foremost Kinnaras, nor all birds,—nowhere among any class of beings in all time breathes he who can cope with Rāma equal to Vishnu’s self in prowess. Having done such a wrong unto the foremost of all creatures—even unto that lion of a monarch, Rāma, thy life is in high peril. Neither deities nor Daityas, nor the foremost night-rangers, nor Gandharbas and Vidyidharas, nor Nāgas, nor Yakshas, can stay in fight against Rāma—the leader of these three worlds. And neither Brahmā, self-create, having four countenances, nor the three-eyed Rudra, destroyer of Tripura, nor the august Indra, the generallissimo of the celestials, can stay in fight before Rāma.” Hearing the distasteful yet excellent speech of the bold and matchless monkey, the ten-necked one, with his eyes whirling in wrath, ordered the destruction of that mighty monkey.
⁴⁰³ Present, past, and future.—T.
⁴⁰⁴ By such an iniquitous act as this.—T.
⁴⁰⁵ The parenthetical part is the commentator’s filling in of the difficiency in the sentimcnt.—T.
Hearing the words of the high-souled monkey, Rāvana, bereft of his senses by wrath, ordered that he should be put to death. On the death of that one who had proclaimed his own position of being an envoy, having been ordered by the wicked-minded Rāvana, Vibhishana did not agree (with the decision). And knowing that the lord of Rākshasas was wroth and that that affair⁴⁰⁶ was at hand, Vibhishana, resolved to act according to justice, began to reflect as to what was to be done. Having arrived at a decision, that one skilled in speech, paying homage unto that conqueror of foes, his elder brother, spoke unto him in words eminently good,—”O lord of Rākshasas, forgive me and renounce thy wrath.⁴⁰⁷ Extend thy favor unto me, and hear these words of mine. Lords of the earth, endowed with integrity and knowing high and low, never put messengers to death. The taking the monkey’s life, O king, is opposed to morality and repugnant to social usage; and it is also unworthy of thyself. Thou understandst morality, art grateful and versed in the morality of sovereigns, and canst distinguish between high and low among beings, and even thou knowst the prime sense of things. If discerning persons like thee come under the governance of passion, mere toil is the pains that are undergone to master the scriptures. Therefore, O destroyer of enemies, be pacified. O lord of Rākshasas, difficult to approach, consider what is proper or otherwise, and then do thou mete out punishment to the envoy.” Hearing Vibhishana’s speech, Rāvana lord of Rākshasas, overcome with a mighty wrath, answered,—”O slayer of foes, to slay the sinful doth not cause sin. Therefore shall I slay this monkey, worker of iniquity.” Hearing these words grounded in unrighteousness, evil every way, and worthy of the base, that foremost of intelligent ones, Vibhishana, spoke words couching supreme import,—”O lord of Lankā, be propitious. O Sovereign of Rākshasas, listen to speech containing the significance of virtue and profit. O king, an envoy is not to be put to death on the occasion of his discharging his proper functions. This righteous people say everywhere unto all. Surely this is an overgrown enemy; and he hath perpetrated immense injury (unto us). But say the good, envoys are not to be slain, albeit many are the punishments that have been assigned for messengers. Disfigurement of the body, stripes, shaving of the head,—one of these or all combined,—these are said to be the punishments that should be inflicted on envoys. But I have not heard of the punishment of death being a penalty of the envoy. Why doth one like thee, having one’s intelligence rendered meek as respects righteousness and profit, and capable of proceeding on certain decisions on the merits or otherwise of things,—come under the sway of passion? Those possessed of power never give way to anger. Neither in religious discussion, nor in social concerns, nor in appropriating the right sense of the scriptures, is there any that can approach thee, O hero. Verily thou art the foremost among celestials and Asuras. Invincible to the gods and Asuras themselves gifted with prowess, high spirits and intelligence, thou hast in battle oftentimes put to the rout the chiefs of celestials and monarchs. Those heroes that have heretofore mentally entertained enmity against such a one as thou, foe of deities and Daityas,—heroic and valient and unconquerable, have not been deprived by thee of their lives.⁴⁰⁸ Nor do I see any good that may likely accrue to us from the slaying of this monkey. Let thy vengeance descend on those that have despatched the monkey. Whether honest or otherwise, this one hath been commissioned by others. Advocating interest not his own and identifying himself with another, an envoy doth not merit the being put to death. O king, if this one be slain, no other sky-ranger whatever would show himself unto us. Therefore, O captor of hostile capitals, do not seek to slay this one. Thou shouldst spend thyself on celestials with Indra (at their head). On his being killed, another see I not who, O thou that lovest warfare, can move those haughty sons of a king to take up arms against thee. And, O bringer-in of joy unto the heart, it is not proper for thee, invincible to celestials and Asuras gifted with prowess, high spirits and intelligence, to disappoint the Nairitas (as to their eagerness for encounter). They are devoted to thy good, and are heroic and intent on thy well-being, born in lines having high and fiery virtues, and endowed with intelligence, —the flower of those bearing arms—and have been maintained by thee. Therefore let a portion of the forces, having received thy order, march to-day, and bring (hither) those foolish princes. It is meet that thou shouldst display thy prowess before foes.” Thereat, the lord of the night-rangers, that potent enemy of the celestials and the foremost of Rākshasa monarchs, lending free play to his intellect, accepted the excellent words of his younger brother.
⁴⁰⁶ The destruction of Hanumān.—T.
⁴⁰⁷ The commentator says, the passage means,—’Give up thy promise (to slay Hanumān) and abate thy anger.—T.
⁴⁰⁸ There is a particle api, even, which stands in the way of this sloka fitting in with the context.—’Even those heroes who have mentally etc’ is a lame reason why Hanumān, who had wronged Rāvana so outrageously in overt acts, should be let off.—T.
Hearing those words of his, the high-souled ten-necked one spoke unto his brother a speech consonant to season and place,—”Properly hast thou spoken,—to slay a messenger is improper. But let him be punished with any chastisement save slaying. Certainly the tail is a darling ornament to a monkey. Therefore let his tail be set on fire anon; and this having been consumed, let him go away. Then shall his best friends and kindred and acquaintances see him crest-fallen, with his person deformed.” And the lord of Rākshasas ordered,—”With his tail in flames, let this one be taken all round Lankā containing terraces.” Hearing his words, the Rākshasas, cruel through wrath, cover up his (Hanumān’s) tail with worn pieces of cotton cloth. Thereat, even as fire in a forest increaseth on getting dry fuel, the mighty monkey grew in dimensions on his tail being wrapped up. And having soaked (the cloth) in oil, they set fire to it. Thereat with his soul overpowered with rage and hatred, and his countenance like the risen sun, he lashed them with his flaming tail. And those—rangers of the night—those Rākshasas—old and young and females—again bringing that foremost of monkeys, grew exceedingly glad. And that hero (being bound), entertained a purpose in harmony with the season. “Albeit bound, the Rākshasas cannot forsooth cope with me. Snapping these bonds, I shall, darting up, again slaughter these. Although agreeably to the mandate of their master these wicked-minded ones have bound me, yet have they not been able to clear scores with me. I can slay all these Rākshasas in battle; but I suffer this (maltreatment) for not marring the (pure delight) Rāma shall derive from my deed.⁴⁰⁹ I shall once more range around Lankā. Let this be so. At night I could not satisfactorily examine the fortifications.⁴¹⁰ For certain, by me is to be beheld Lankā when night hath departed. Let them bind me anew. The Rākshasas pain me by setting fire to my tail; but my mind doth not tire.” Then the Rākshasas, rejoicing greatly, went off, taking that mighty monkey endowed with strength, an elephant (in prowess) among monkeys. And blowing conchs and trumpets, and bruiting it abroad by various actions,⁴¹¹ those Rākshasas of cruel deeds took (Hanumān) about the city (of Lankā). And led by those Rākshasas, that subduer of enemies, Hanumān, experienced delight, and going about the mighty metropolis of the Rākshasas, the redoubted monkey surveyed variegated cars, enclosed court-yards, well-ordered terraces, streets thronged with edifices, crossings, by-ways, and the interiors of dwellings. And on terraces and highways the Rākshasas proclaim the monkey, saying,—”This is a spy.” On Hanumān’s tail being in flames, Rākshasis of frightful eyes related unto that exalted lady⁴¹² tidings of this great mishap. “O Sitā, the copper-faced monkey with whom thou hadst held talk, is being led around with his tail flaming.’ Hearing these cruel words, like unto loss of life, Vaidehi, burning in grief, approached the Fire. And wishing for the welfare of the mighty monkey, that large-eyed lady with an intent mind began to pray unto that bearer of sacrificial offerings,—”If I have served my lord, if I bear a character, if I have ascetic merit, if I have been the wife of one alone, then prove thou cool unto Hanumān.” Thereat, as if communicating the welfare of the monkey unto that one having eyes like those of a young deer, the Fire flamed up,—and Hanumān’s sire, albeit furnished with fire and a tail, blew ice cold before that worshipful one, breathing health (unto Hanumān). On his tail flaming, the monkey reflected,—”This fire is flaming. Why doth it not then burn me all over? I see it of exceeding brightness, yet it paineth me not. (On the contrary), at the end of my tail it seemeth like a mass of ice. Or this is clearly due to Rāma’s power, even like the wonder (that I witnessed) while bounding over the main—the mountain under the lord of streams.⁴¹³ If the Ocean and the intelligent Maināka could show such regard for Rāma, what may not the Fire do (for him?) Fire doth not burn me for Sitā’s (absolute) goodness, for Rāghava’s prowess, and for (his) friendship with my sire.” Then the elephantine monkey again reflected for a while,—”Why should one like me suffer one’s self to be bound by vile Rākshasas? Therefore it is meet that I should, displaying my prowess, avenge (this wrong).” Thereat that vehement and mighty monkey snapped his bonds, and furiously springing into the sky, the terrible monkey uttered a shout. And then the graceful son of the Wind-god arrived at the gate of the city resembling a hill, where Rakshas there were none. And after having attained the magnitude of a mountain, anon that self-controlled one diminished himself and cast off his bonds. And having freed himself, the graceful one again became mountain-like; and eying around, he saw a bolt standing against the gate. And that mighty-armed one, the Wind-god’s son, taking up that bolt of burnished iron, again slaughtered the guards. And having slain the warders, that one of terrific prowess crowned with a luminous wreath forged from his flaming tail, and appearing like the sun garlanded with glory, once again cast his eyes over Lankā.
⁴⁰⁹ This, as interpreted by Rāmānuya; but the sense is not satisfactory. How Hanumān’s resistance would have anywise marred Rāma’s joy, is not easy to understand.—T.
⁴¹⁰ Another meaning is:—Its places inacessible on account of works.—T.
⁴¹¹ Publishing Hanumān’s penalty.—T.
Casting his eyes on Lankā, the monkey, his wish attained, increasing his person and bursting with spirits, considered as to how to give the coup de grace to his exertions. “What recently is to be done by me here to finish this business, that may afflict them the more? I have ravaged the wood, and slain the choice Rākshasas, and destroyed by main force a portion of the army. Now it remains to demolish the fortifications. On the fortifications being destroyed, my work shall have its toils crowned with joy. By undergoing slight labor in this business, I shall have my pains furnished with fruit. That bearer of sacrificial offerings⁴¹⁴ who flameth on my tail,—it is my duty to propitiate him with these excellent edifices.” Thereat that mighty monkey, with his tail aglow, and resembling a cloud (luminous) with lightning, began to range before the dwellings in Lankā. And that monkey with a calm mind, eying (all round), ranged one house from another, and gardens, and stately piles. And that one gifted with exceeding vehemence, and in strength resembling the Wind, bounding up set fire unto the dwelling of Prahasta. Then Hanumān endowed with prowess, leaping up, set unto Mahāparçwa’s mansion fire resembling that at the universal dissolution. And (then) the mighty monkey darting up, set fire unto Vajradanshtra’s; and (then) that highly energetic one set fire unto Suka’s and unto the intelligent Sārana’s. And the leader of monkey bands in the same way burnt down Indrajit’s mansion; and then he burnt the abodes of Sumāli and Jamvumāli; and Raçmiketu’s mansion and Suryyacatru’s, and Hraswakarna’s, and the Rākshasa Romaça’s; and the houses of Yuddhonmattn, and Matta, and the Rākshasa Dwajagriva, and the calm Vidyujjibhwa, and Hastimukha; and of Karāla, and of Viçāla, and of Sonitāksha; and Kumbhakarna’s mansion, and Nikumbha’s, and the residence of Yajnaçatru, and of Brahmaçatru. And leaving alone the dwelling of Vibhishana, that exceedingly energetic one—foremost of monkeys—by and by burnt (all the houses there). And in those costly mansions and dwellings, that famous one, that foremost of monkeys, burnt all the wealth of those affluent persons.— Having passed the dwellings of all, that powerful and auspicious one approached the residence of the lord of Rākshasas, Rāvana. And in that foremost of mansions, adorned with various gems, resembling Meru or Mandara, graced with diverse auspicious things, he set unto the same, fire flaming at the end of his tail. And the heroic Hauumān roars, resembling a cloud (appearing) at the end of a Yuga. And assisted by the wind, that highly powerful and vehement one (Fire) flaimed up, like fire at the wreck of all, and the fire attained energy. And the wind spreading the flaming fire all round those dwellings, those mansions furnished with golden networks; and containing pearls and gems; enjewelled and magnificent, were shorn of their splendour. And cracked edifices began to topple down to the ground, like the mansions of Siddhas falling from the firmament on the exhaustion of their righteousness. And there arose a mighty uproar of those Rākshasas, as, bereft of their good fortune, despairing of preserving their abodes, they rushed in all directions,—”Forsooth it is Fire himself that hath come hither in the form of a monkey.” And females crying with babes on their breasts, suddenly plunged (into the fire). And some fair ones with hair dishevelled, and surrounded on all sides with fire, as they fell down from dwellings, looked lovely like lightning from the welkin. And he (Hanumān) saw various kinds of metals, mixed with diamonds, and coral, and lapises and pearls and silver, runing down in streams from the mansions. And as Fire is not cloyed with wood and straw, Hanumān never at all felt satiety on slaying those foremost of Rākshasas. And the Earth could not contain the Rākshasas slain by Hanumān. And as Rudra had burnt down Tripura, the vehement and high-souled monkey, Hanumān, burnt down Lankā. And rising to the brow of Lankā’s mount,⁴¹⁵ the fire of terrific energy kindled by the impetuous Hanumān, spread wide his tongues. And with the Wind assisting him, the smokless Fire in the dwellings, with his flames feeding on the bodies of the Rākshasas representing sacrificial offerings, spread his magnitude, touching the horizen—resembling the conflagration kindled at the universal dissolution. And possessing the fierce energy of a koti suns, the mighty Fire completely encompassing the entire Lankā, increased (in volume), riving the mundane Egg with various sounds resembling thunder-claps. And the Fire of terrific might, having his flames resembling Kinçuka blossoms, rising up to the sky, clouds caused by volumes of smoke arising from extinguished fire, in hue resembling blue lotuses, looked exceedingly beautiful. “Either the thunder-bolt-bearing Indra the Great—chief of celestials, or Yama himself, or Varuna, or the Wind-god, or the Fire generated by Rudra’s third eye, or the Sun, or Dhanada, or Soma. This is no monkey,—this is verily Kāla⁴¹⁶ himself. Or is this the Rākshasa-annihilating Fire of Brahmā himself—the Great-sire of all, the four-faced Disposer of the world’s destinies,— come hither, wearing the form of a monkey? Or is this Vishnu’s Energy, inconceivable, unutterable, infinite and sole, and of surpassing power,—now come hither in its own illusory nature, assuming a monkey-form?” Seeing that city suddenly consumed, with her souls, dwellings, and trees, Rākshasas of note, assembled together, thus talked unto each other. And then Lankā, suddenly consumed with Rākshasas, horses, cars, serpents, crowds of birds, beasts and trees, began to bewail tumultuously and loud in forlorn guise,—”O father! O son! O love! O friend! O lord of my life and frame! all our religious merit is abolished.” Indulging in various lamentations, the Rakshas thus created a mighty and frightful uproar. And with the flames encircling her, and her foremost heroes fallen, and her warriors destroyed, Lankā, overcome by the might of Hanumān’s wrath, became as if she had been blighted by an imprecation. Then the mighty-minded Hanumān beheld the Rākshasas in terror and trepidation and castdown, and Lankā marked by fire and bright flames, even as the Self-sprung eyeth the world destroyed by his rage. And devastating the forest filled with many excellent trees, slaying many a terrible Rākshasa in conflict, and burning down the city of Lankā filled with picturesque houses, the monkey, Hanumān, Wind-god’s son, stationed himself there. And destroying many a Rākshasa, felling many trees in the forest and setting fire to the houses of the Rākshasas, the high-souled (monkey) became engaged in thoughts touching Rāma. Thereupon all the celestials praised highly the high-souled, excellent and mighty son of the Wind-god, foremost of heroic monkeys, gifted with the velocity of the Wind. And all the celestials, the foremost ascetics, the Gandharbas, the Vidhyādharas, the Pannagas, and all other great heroes, attained excess of delight. And having devastated the forest, slain the Rākshasas in conflict and burnt the grand city of Lankā, the great monkey appeared there. And seated on the variegated top of a splendid and high mansion, the foremost of monkeys, spreading the rays of his burning tail, looked like unto the sun of many rays. And having consumed the city of Lankā, the great monkey quenched the fire of his tail in the ocean. Thereupon beholding Lankā burnt down, the celestials along with Gandharbas, Siddhas, and the great ascetics, were struck with wonder.
⁴¹⁴ Vide ante.—T.
⁴¹⁵ Trikuta on which Lankā rested.—T.
⁴¹⁶ A name of Yama.—T.
Beholding Lankā burnt down and devastated and the demons terrified,the monkey Hanumān began to reflect. And worked up with fear and remorse, he reflected,—”What a mighty iniquity have I perpetrated by burning down Lankā of my own accord? Blessed are those high-souled ones who control their wrath by dint of their own good sense, like unto fire quenched by water. What iniquity is there which cannot be perpetrated by the angry? They can even slay the worshipful and vilify the pious with harsh words. The angry cannot decide what should be spoken and what not. There is no vice which cannot be committed by them, and there is nothing which cannot be spoken by them. He is the proper person who can subdue his rising ire by means of forgiveness as a serpent leaves off his worn skin. O fie on me who am vicious-minded, shameless and the perpetrator of a mighty iniquity. Not thinking of Sitā, I have slain my master with fire. Forsooth hath the worshipful Jānaki been burnt, since the whole city of Lankā hath been devastated with fire. And she being burnt, foolishly have I spoilt the work of my master. I have defeated the great object for which I have laboured so much. In burning down Lankā, I have not saved Sitā. To have burnt down Lankā is assuredly a trifle, but in my ire I have lost my great object. Forsooth hath Janaki been consumed, since I behold no spot in Lankā which is not made desolate with fire— in fact the whole city hath been reduced to ashes. As I have committed such an injury under the influence of my perverse understanding, it behoveth me to relinquish my life here. I shall jump into this flame or into a submarine fire, or I shall resign my mortal frame to the animals that infest the ocean. For, living, I shall not be able to face that lord of monkeys, and how shall I, having spoilt their work utterly, show myself unto those foremost of men? I have through my culpable passion furnished an illustration of the reckless monkey-nature, which is well known over the three worlds. Fie on this activity, born of (the quality of) passion, which is the source of incompetence and rashness; since although capable, I did not protect Sitā. On Sitā having met with destruction, both of them⁴¹⁷ shall cease to exist; and on their ceasing to exist, Sugriva shall die along with his friends. And hearing these tidings, how shall the righteous Bharata, attached unto his brother (Rāma), along with Satrughna, live? And on the virtuous Ikshwāku race being extinct, without doubt, all the subjects shall be overwhelmed with grief. Therefore, I of curst luck hath had my harvest of virtue and profit taken away; and being under the influence of baleful passion, I am the cause of the destruction of creatures.” As he was reflecting thus, he bethought him of auspicious omens which he had witnessed since. “Or it may be that one of charming limbs hath been preserved by her proper energy. The blessed one may not have met with her end, for fire doth burn fire. And Fire should not touch the spouse of that virtuous one of immeasurable energy,—who is protected by by her own character. And that bearer of sacrificial offerings hath not burnt me, is owing to Rāma’s power and the virtue of Vaidehi. And why should she that is a very goddess unto the three brothers, Bharata and the others, and that hath enchanted the mind of Rāma, meet with destruction? And when that everywhere unspent Lord, having burning for his office, hath not consumed my tail, why shoud he burn the exalted lady?” Then Hanumān with wonder again thought of the sight of the golden mountain under the water.⁴¹⁸ “By virtue of her asceticism, veracity, and devotion unto her lord, she it is that can consume Fire, but Fire cannot burn her.” And as Hanumān was thinking of the magnitude of that revered lady’s religious merit, he heard the converse there of high-souled Chāranas. “Ah! hard is the feat that Hanumān hath forsooth achieved. He hath created a terrific and fierce conflagration in the abode of the Raksha. The females of Rakshas accompanied by boys and old folks, are flying amain; and in consequence of the hubbub it seems as if (Lankā) is in lamentation through her mountain-caverns. Burnt is this city of Lankā with her turrets, walls and gateways; and we are astonished that Jānaki is not burnt.” These words resembling ambrosia Hanumān heard (at that time); and his mind was filled with joy. And what through the auspicious omens that he had witnessed, and what through the speech of the saints, Hanumān was delighted (beyond measure). Then the monkey, with his end attained, knowing that the king’s daughter was unhurt, became bent upon returning after seeing her once again.
⁴¹⁷ Rāma and Lakshmana.—T.
⁴¹⁸ Remembering the incident of his seeing the mountain Maināka through Sitā, Hanumān was put in mind of Sitā’s superhuman power.—T.
Then seeing Jānaki seated at the foot of the Sinsapa tree, (Hanumān) saluting her said,—”By luck it is that I see thee unhurt.” Then eying him again and again as he was on the point of departing, Sitā said unto Hanumān in words informed with affection for her husband,—”If, my child, it liketh thee, do thou, O stainless one, stay here today in some retired spot. To-morrow having refreshed thyself, thou shalt set out. Thy vicinity, O monkey, for a while beguiles me of slender luck of my measureless grief. Thou wilt go, O powerful monkey; but ere thou return, it is, O foremost of monkeys, doubtful whether I shall live. And, O hero, the not seeing thee shall try me sorely, who have fallen from one misfortune into a greater one, and who, my mind distracted, have been exercised by sorrow. And, O hero, this mighty doubt is (ever) present before me. How shall that exceedingly powerful one or that host of monkeys or those two sons of that man of men, albeit backed by mighty monkeys, cross over the ocean incapable of being crossed? Three beings have the power to bound over the deep;— Vinatā’s offspring, thou, and the Wind-god. Then in this business at hand hard to accomplish, what means dost thou, versed in business, see, whereby the end may be attained?— O slayer of hostile heroes, thou alone art quite competent to perform this task; and thou shalt attain fame through thy rising prowess. But if blocking up Lankā with his forces, that afflictor of enemies, Kākutstha, taketh me (from hence,) then that shall be worthy of him.—Therefore do thou so order things that that powerful and high-souled hero in conflict, may act as becomes himself.” Hearing her resonable, affectionate and pregnant speech, that hero, Hanumin, answered,—”O noble lady, that lord and foremost of monkeys, Sugriva gifted with strength, is determined on thy behalf. And that master of monkeys, Sugriva, O Vaidehi, surrounded by thousands and Kotis of monkeys, shall speedily come here (for the purpose). And those best of men, those heroes, Rāma and Lakshmana, coming together, shall afflict Lankā with their arrows. And slaughtering the Rākshasa with his own adherents, Raghu’s son, O exceedingly fair one, shall ere long take thee back to his palace.—O gentle damsel, do thou console thyself. Remain, expecting the hour. Soon shalt thou see Rāvana slain in battle by Rāma. On the lord of Rākshasas being slain along with his sons, councilors, and friends, thou shalt meet with Rāma as Rohini meeteth with the Moon. At once shall Kākutstha come, accompanied by the foremost of monkeys,—who, conquering (Rāvana) in conflict, shall remove thy grief.” Having thus consoled Videha’s daughter, Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god, setting his heart upon departure, saluted Vaidehi. And having soothed Vaidehi, and displayed his surpassing strength, having rendered the city disconsolate, and baffled Rāvana, exhibited his terrific might, and saluted Vaidehi, Hanumān became bent upon returning, crossing over the mid-sea. Then that repressor of foes, the powerful monkey, anxious to see his master, ascended Aristha, foremost of mountains; (as if covered) with a sheet consisting of blue woods of tall padmakas, and clouds lying in the interspace between peaks,—and displayed from love by the glad light of the Sun; appearing to be beholding with the minerals scattered about serving for its eyes; seeming to be reciting aloud in consequence of the solemn sound of waters, to be carolling clearly through its many fountains, and to stay with uplifted arms by means of devadarus; appearing to be crying distressfully on account of cascades sounding all round; seeming to be trembling in consequence of verdant autumnal woods waving, and to be piping on account of kichakas vocal through the breeze; eloquent; with the foremost poisonous serpents appearing to be sighing forth ire; appearing to be sunk in contemplation on account of caverns covered with snow and looking solemn in consequence; as if moving about by means of hills looking like its cloud-legs; seeming to yawn in the sky with peaks towering heavenwards,—scattered with summits, and graced with innumerable caves; surrounded with sālas, palms, tamālas, Karnas, and bamboos; graced with spreading and flowering underwoods; abounding in various beasts, and decked with mineral streams,—containing numerous rills,— thronged with collections of crags; frequented by Maharshis, and Yakshas, and Gandharbas and Kinnaras and serpents; impracticable in consequence of plants and trees; with caverns harbouring lions; filled with tigers and other (ferocious beasts); and furnished with trees having tasteful fruits and roots. And the Wind-god’s offspring—foremost of monkeys—ascended that mountain. Aud on the lovely level of that mountain, the crags, crushed with sounds under the tread of that one burning to behold Rāma and wrought up with excess of joy, were scattered all round. And ascending that lordly hill, the mighty monkey magnified himself, desirous of going from the southern to the northern shore of the salt waters. And getting to the top of the mountain, that hero, son unto the Wind-god, cast his eyes upon the dreadful main inhabited by terrible snakes. And that foremost of monkeys, offspring of the Wind-god,⁴¹⁹ (mentally) went from the south to the north, as if it were the air. And then that best of mountains, sore pressed by the monkey, began to emit cries, and with various creatures (on it), entered underneath the Earth, with its peaks tottering and its trees toppling. And borne down by the violence of his thighs, trees bearing flowers, being shattered, as if destroyed by Sakra’s weapon, fell to the ground. And the dreadful yells of mighty lions in pain, inhabiting caves, entered the ear, piercing the heavens. And Vidyādharis with their attires falling off and their ornaments disordered, suddenly rose from the mountain⁴²⁰ unto the sky. And exceedingly powerful and mighty snakes of virulent venom,—having flaming tongues, with their hoods and necks tortured, began to roll (on the earth). And Kinnars and serpents, Gandharbas, Yakshas and Vidyādharas, forsaking that foremost of mountains in affliction, took refuge in the sky. And that graceful mountain also, tormented by that powerful one, entered the nether regions with its tall trees and summits. And that mountain, which (heretofore) had measured ten yojanas in area and thirty in height, became level with the earth. And desirous of crossing over the salt waters, with their shores menaced by sounding (waves), the monkey rose to the sky.
⁴¹⁹ Māruta—this term is used twice in this sloka, once for Hanumān, and next for the Wind-god. One of these is left out on the score of redundency.—T.
⁴²⁰ Dharanidharāt.—ab.—from the holder of the Earth, the latter being supposed to rest on a mountain.—T.
And springing up like unto a winged hill, that one endowed with energy, the untiring Hanumān, began to swim on the ocean of the firmament having for its blown lotuses and lilies, snakes, Yakshas and Gandharbas; with the Moon for its comely Kumuda;⁴²¹ and with the Sun for its Kārandavas; charming to behold; having Tishya and Srāvana for its swans, clouds for its mosses and grass, Punarvasu for its mighty fish, the red-bodied one⁴²² for its huge aquatic animal, Airāvata for its spacious island, Swāti for its sportive swan, breezes for its billows, and moonlight for its cool waters. And as if swallowing up the welkin and touching the lord of stars, abolishing the sky decorated with stars and the solar disc, and cleaving the clouds, the unfatigued Hanumān began to cross over that sea. And (on all sides) mighty masses of clouds, sable, crimson, blue, Mangistha-hued, and green-red, looked exceedingly beautiful. And now entering into clouds and now imerging from them, he, again and again becoming visible and lost to sight, looked like the Moon. And that one clad in white raiment, coursing through diverse clouds, the hero’s body was (alternately) visible and invisible, like unto the Moon in the sky. And the Wind-god’s son went on in the sky, scattering the clouds and descending again and again. And sending up mighty sounds, that exceedingly energetic one gifted with a powerful voice like that of the clouds, having slain the foremost Rākshasas and rendered his name famous, having filled the city with lamentations and afflicted Rāvana, having distressed the mighty heroes and paid obeisance unto Vaidehi,—again held his course along the mid-ocean. And touching Maināka—foremost of mountains—that one endowed with prowess proceeded amain like an iron dart let go from a string. And from a distance approaching and beholding that mighty mountain, Mahendra, resembling clouds, that redoubted monkey began to roar. And having a lusty voice resembling that of clouds, that monkey, roaring, filled all quarters with his lofty shouts. And arriving at that place, he, eager to behold his friends, emitted tremendous roars, and began to flourish his tail. And as he went on roaring in the path ranged by Suparna, the firmament with the solar disc seemed to be rent by his shouts. And (it came to pass that) those powerful and heroic (monkeys) that had formerly stationed themselves on the northern shore of the ocean, anxious to see the Wind-god’s offspring, heard the sounds proceeding from Hanumān’s vehement speed, resembling the rumbling of clouds agitated by the winds. And all those rangers of woods, (staying) dispirited, heard the roars of that foremost of monkeys, like unto the roaring of rain-pouring clouds. And hearing those sounds as he kept crying, those monkeys (sitting) around, eager to see their friend, became extremely anxious. And that best of monkeys, Jambavān, with a joyful heart addressing all the monkeys, said,—”Hanumān hath succeeded completely. There is no doubt about this. If he were unsuccessful, he would not utter shouts as these.” And hearing the sounds produced by the violent movements of the arms of that high-souled (hero), as well as the shouts of that magnanimous one, the monkeys, filled with delight, leapt up on all sides. And they, eager to have a sight of Hanumān, joyfully went from mountain-top to mountain-top and from peak on to peak. And influenced by joy, the monkeys remained holding a bough at the top of a tree, and waving their clean apparels. And as the wind roareth in a cavern, roared the powerful Hanumān, son unto the Wind-god. And seeing that mighty monkey resembling a mass of clouds, alighting, those monkeys stood joining their hands. And then the vehement monkey resembling a hill, having leapt up from that mountain, alighted on the top of that (other) mountain⁴²³ filled with trees. And bursting with delight, (Hanumān) dropped near a fountain, like unto a hill whose wings have been clipped. Then with joyful hearts, all the principal monkeys stood encircling the high-souled Hanumān. And surrounding him, they experienced excess of delight, and drew near the newcomer with joyful faces. And bringing fruits and roots, the monkeys honored that chief of monkeys, the offspring of the Wind-god. And some, filled with delight, sent shouts, and some raised ululations; and the foremost monkeys fetched branches of trees.⁴²⁴ And that mighty monkey, Hanumān, saluted his superiors and the aged, headed by Jambavān; as well as Prince Angada. And honored by the monkeys, as he very well deserved to be, and gratified by them, (he) briefly said—”Seen have I the exalted lady.” And taking Vāli’s son by the hand, he sat him down in a charming tract of the woodland belonging to the mountain Mahendra.—Then asked (by them), Hanumān addressed those foremost monkeys,—”I have seen Janaka’s daughter in the Açoka woods. That blameless one is guarded by dreadful Rākshasis. The girt weareth a single braid of hair, and burneth to attain a sight of Rāma. She is faint in consequence of fasting, and dirty, weareth matted locks and is emaciated.” Hearing the words, “I have seen” from the Wind-god’s offspring resembling ambrosia, all the monkeys were filled with rejoicing. And thereupon, some of mighty ones roared, and some shouted, aid some blustered, and some raised ululations, and others stormed (in return). And some elephantine monkeys in joy upraised their tails, and some lashed with their long and broad tails. And others, transported with joy, bounding up to the mountain-summit, touched that foremost of monkeys, the handsome Hanumān. And when Hanumān had ended, Angada said these excellent words in the midst of the heroic monkeys,—”There is none, O monkey, that is like unto thee in strength and prowess. As having bounded over the spacious main, thou hast come back (here), thou art, O excellent monkey, the only giver of our lives. By thy grace it is that, our end attained, we shall meet with Rāghava. Oh for thy fidelity! Oh for thy prowess! Oh for thy fortitude! By luck hast thou seen that exalted one, the illustrious wife of Rāma, by luck it is that Kākutstha shall forego his sorrow in consequence of separation from Sitā.” Then surrounding Angada, Hanumān, and Jāmbavān, the monkeys, exceedingly rejoiced, sat down upon a spacious stone. And having sat them down on the spacious rock, the monkeys became eager to hear of the bounding of the main and of (Hanumān’s) seeing Lankā, Sitā and Rāvana. And they stood with joined hands, looking wistfully into Hanumān’s face. And the graceful Angada was there, surrounded by many monkeys, and honored by them, even as the lord of celestials is honored in heaven by the celestials. When the famous and renowned Hanumān, and Angada with bracelets on his arms, had sat down, the elevated and mighty mountain-summit was illuminated with splendour.
⁴²⁴ To serve for a seat for Hamiman.—T.
Then on the summit of the mountain, Mahendra, those powerful monkeys, headed by Hanumān, rejoiced exceedingly. And when the high-souled delighted monkeys had sat them down, Jāmbavān, glad at heart, asked that offspring of the Wind, the happy Hanumān, all about his proceeding: “How hast thou seen the worshipful one? How doth she fare there? And how doth the cruel Ten-necked one bear himself towards her? Do thou truthfully relate all this unto us, O mighty monkey. How couldst thou track the exalted lady? And what did she say in reply (to thy querries)? Having learnt the real state of things, we shall decide what is to be done. And do thou also tell us what we, repairing there, shall unfold unto that one of controled self and what we shall keep to ourselves.” Thus directed by him, that one (Hanumān) with his down standing on end, bowing down the head unto that revered one, Sitā, replied,—”In your sight, I bounded up with a concentrated mind, eager to reach the southern shore of the ocean. As I voyaged on, a great impediment occurred in the way. I saw a goodly and noble golden peak, standing, obstructing my way. I found the mountain as an obstacle to my course. Nearing the grand and splendid golden mount, I thought within myself,—’I will rive this.’ And the sun-like summit of that mighty mountain, Prahasta, was cleft in a thousand fragments by my tail. Seeing his own condition, that mighty mountain, gladdening my heart, addressed me with the sweet speech,—’O son, know me for thy uncle. I am a friend unto the Wind,— famed as Maināka, and living in the great deep. Formerly all the foremost mountains were furnished with wings. And (once on a time) they began to range the earth at will, committing devastations. Hearing of the conduct of the mountains, that possessor of the six kinds of riches, Indra the Great, the swayer of Paka, with his thunderbolt cut off by thousands the pinions of the mountains. At that time, my son, I, having been delivered by thy sire, the high-souled Wind-god, was cast into the abode of Varuna. O repressor of foes, I shall have to assist Rāghava. Rāma is the foremost of the righteous, and possessed of prowess like that of Mahendra himself.’ Having heard this from the magnanimous Maināka, I apprised the mountain of my mission, and my thoughts held their course. Having given me his permission, the magnanimous Maināka, the mountain that had put on the form of a man, vanished, and, assuming his mountain-form, went into the vast sea. And I, summoning my best celerity, began to journey the remainder of my way. And having swiftly proceeded long in the path, I saw the exalted lady, Surasā, mother of the serpents. And that worshipful one stationed in the sea, said,—’By the celestials hast thou, O best of monkeys, been assigned as my food. Therefore shall I eat thee up. Thou hast been ordained as mine by the gods.’ Thus addressed by Surasā, I, remaining in humble guise with joined hands, and with my countenance turned pale, I uttered these words,—’Rāma, the graceful son of Daçaratha, repressor of foes—hath entered the woods of Dandaka, in company with his brother Lakshamana and Sitā. His wife Sitā hath been carried off by the wicked Rāvana. At Rāma’s mandate I go to her as an envoy. In this business, thou, O chaste one, shouldst help Rāma. Or having seen Mithilā’s daughter, as well as Rāma of untiring deeds, I shall come to thy mouth,—this I promise unto thee truly.’ Thus accosted by me, Surasā, wearing forms at her will, said,—’None is able to escape me. Even this is the boon that I have received.’ Having been thus addressed by Surasā, I attained the magnitude of ten yojanas; and then anon I dilated to another ten. But she opened her mouth wider than my magnitude. Seeing her stretched mouth, I again diminished myself, and on the instant again reduced myself to the measure of a thumb. And speedily entering her mouth, I immediately came out. Then the exalted Surasā again spoke unto me in her native shape,—’Thy end having been attained, go, O mild one, O foremost of monkeys, according to thy pleasure. Bring about the meeting of Vaidehi with the high-souled Rāghava. Be thou blessed, O mighty-armed one. I am well pleased with thee, O monkey.’ Then I was praised by all beings, with,—’Excellent!’ ’Excellent!’ Then like unto Garuda I again sprang up into the air. But now my shadow was overtaken by somebody, though I saw no one. And my velocity being deprived, I looked at the ten cardinal points; but I found there naught which could deprive me of my speed. Then I thought,— ’What is this obstacle that hath suddenly arisen in respect of my course? No form find I here?’ And as I stood aggrieved, my glance fell downwards. Then I saw there a dreadful Rākshasi supine on the flood. And laughing (scornfully), that grim one said these inauspicious words unto me, who was inert, although undaunted,—”Whither art thou bound, O thou of a gigantic body? Desired by me, who am hungry, do thou becoming my food, gratify this body deprived of diet for a long time.’ Saying, ’Well,’ I accepted her speech, increasing my body at will more than the capacity of her mouth; and her huge and dreadful mouth extended wide to eat me up. She did not understand me,⁴²⁵ nor that I had altered my shape. Then in the twinkling of an eye contracting my vasty shape, I, extracting her heart, darted into the sky. Thereat, throwing about her arms, that terrific one dropped into the salt waters. On that chaste one, resembling a hill, having her heart torn, I heard the meek speech of magnanimous persons, who had come there of themselves,—’This dreadful Rākshasi, Sinhikā, hath been swiftly slain by Hanumān.’ Having slain her, I again, remembering the delay that had occurred touching my work, set out on the great road, and at length saw the southern shore of the sea, covered with mountains; where is situated the city of Lankā. On the sun having set, I entered the city of the Rākshasas—their home—unnoticed by the Rākshasas of terrific vigor. I had entered in when a certain female casting forth violent laughter, and wearing the splendour of clouds at the end of a Kalpa, presented herself before me. And striking with my left clenched fist that exceedingly dreadful (form), having flames for her hair, who had sought to take my life,—and vanquishing her (thus), I entered (Lankā) at dusk. Then that one affrighted addressed me, saying,—’I, O hero, am, the city of Lankā. Vanquished have I been by thy prowess. Thou shalt everywhere conquer all the Rākshasas’. There I wandered all the night (seeking for Janaka’s daughter) and (at length) entered Rāvana’s inner apartment; but that one of a Diity waist I found not. And not finding Sitā in Rāvana’s abode, I was cast in a sea of sorrow; nor found I how to cross over it. And as I was sorrowing, I saw a mansion with a charming grove encircled by a wall of excellent gold. And leaping over the wall, I saw a grove rife with trees; and (at last) saw in the midst of an açoka wood a great Sinçapā. And ascending the tree, I saw a golden tract of plantains; and hard by from the Sinçapā tree I espied that transcendentally beautiful one, dark-blue, having eyes resembling lotus-petals, with her face faded in consequence of fasting, clad in the same single piece of cloth, her hair covered with dust,—her limbs emaciated by the heat of sorrow and grief,—Sitā, ever engaged in the welfare of her lord; surrounded by cruel and deformed Rākshasis living upon blood and flesh,—like unto deer environed by tigresses. And I managed too swiftly to present myself before that one, menaced momentarily in the midst of the Rākshasis, wearing a single braid of hair; woe-begone; ever thinking of her lord; her limbs discolored by lying down on the ground, like unto a lotus on the approach of winter,—having eyes resembling those of a young deer, who had turned her face away from all the enjoyments offered by Rāvana, and who had resolved to put a period to her existence. Seeing that lady the illustrious wife of Rāma in that condition, I seeing her remained even on that Sinçapā tree. Then I heard in Rāvana’s mansion loud and solemn sounds mixed with the tinklings of zones and bangles. Thereat exceedingly agitated, I changed my proper shape; and remained like a bird in a dark part of the Sinçapā tree. Then the wives of Rāvana along with Rāvana himself of exceeding strength came to that place where Sitā was. And seeing the lord of Rākshasas the exceedingly beauteous Sitā contracted her thighs and covered her full breasts with her arms. And seeing Sitā flurried and extremely excited and casting about her gladness up and down, not finding any relief and trembling forlorn, the Ten-necked one said unto her undergoing extreme anguish,—”Without saying anything, I fall down (here). O fair one, do thou regard me. If, O haughty one, thou do not honor me from pride of heart, I shall, O Sitā, two months hence, see thy blood.” Hearing these words of the wicked Rāvana, Sitā, growing exceeding wroth, spoke these excellent words,—”O worst of Rākshasas, having used improper speech towards the wife of Rāma of measureless prowess, and the daughter-in-law of Daçaratha, lord of the Ikshwāku line, why hast thou not thy tongue fallen off? Fie upon the prowess of thee that, O wretch, hast carried me off while my husband was away; and not being seen of that high-souled one. Thou art never like Rāma,—thou art not even fit to be his slave. Rāghava is invincible, truthful, heroic and (even) hungering for warfare.” Thus addressed in harsh speech by Jānaki, the Ten-necked one flamed up in wrath, like Fire in a funeral pyre. And with his wicked eyes whirling in rage, he raised the clenched fist of his right hand to slay Mithilā’s daughter; but then the females set up a cry of “Oh” and “Alas.” And rising up in the midst of the females, the wife of the wicked-minded one, the excellent one, named Mandodari, prevented him. And she spoke soft words unto him influenced by lust.—”O thou that resemblest Indra the Great in prowess. Do thou to-day sport with me. Jānaki is not superior to me. And, O lord, do thou sport with the daughters of celestials and Gandharbas, and with the daughters themselves of Yakshas. What wilt thou do with Sitā?” Then that exceedingly powerful ranger of the night was speedily raised up and taken (back) to his residence. On the Ten-necked one having departed, the Rākshasis of fearful faces fell to railing at Sitā in cruel and rough words,—But Jānaki heeded their speech as a straw; and their fury was lost upon Sitā. Desisting from their unavailing railing, the flesh-feasting Rākshasis imparted unto Rāvana the mighty intent of Sitā. Then, they all failing in their hope and deprived of energy, and tired, came under the sway of sleep. And on their sleeping, Sitā intent on the welfare of her lord, lamenting piteously, in forlorn guise, and striken with extreme sorrow, mourned profusely. Then sitting up in their midst, Trijatā spoke,—”Do ye without delay fall to your own selves; but never (eat up) the dark-eyed Sitā, the chaste daughter unto Janaka and the daughter-in-law of Daçaratha. In truth I have seen a dismal dream capable of making one’s hair stand on end; (presaging) destruction unto Rākshasas and victory unto the husband of this one. For protecting us, Rākshasis from Rāghava, let us solicit Vaidehi. Even this is relished by me. If we relate such a dream unto the aggrieved one, she, being freed from her diverse woes, shall attain the height of joy. Propitiated by our bowing down, Janaka’s daughter, Maithili, shall rescue the Rākshasis from a mighty fear.” Thereat, that bashful maiden, rejoiced at the prospect of her husband’s victory, said,—’If all this prove true, then for certain, (ye shall) meet with succour at my hands. Witnessing such a hard condition of Sitā I began to reflect; nor did my my mind attain ease or freedom from thought. And I cast about for finding means of addressing Jānaki. And I began by extolling the Ikshwāku race. Hearing the words that I uttered, embellished with descriptions of the virtues of Rājarshis, that exalted lady replied with her eyes covered with tears. “Who art thou? And how hast thou, O foremost of monkeys, found thy way here? And what is thy delight in Rāma? This it behoveth thee to relate unto me.” Hearing her speech, I too said,— ’O revered one, thy husband, Rāma, hath found a help-mate in a one endowed with terrific strength, named Sugriva —redoubtable, the highly powerful lord of the monkeys. Do thou know me as Hanumān his servant, despatched here by thy spouse—Rāma of unwearied actions. O famed damsel, that highly effulgent son of Daçaratha—the foremost of men, hath sent as a token this ring. I desire to know, O worshipful dame, what behest of thine may I obey now. Shall I carry thee to Rāma and Lakshmana on the northern shore of the Ocean?” Hearing this and revolving within herself Sitā, Janaka’s daughter, replied—”Discomfitting Rāvana, may Rāghava himself carry me hence.’ And bowing my head unto that worshipful and blameless dame, I wanted of her a token as might conduce to Rāghava’s pleasure. Whereto replied Sitā—’O thou of mighty-arms do thou take this excellent jewel for which thou shalt be highly regarded by Rāma’. Having said this that best of fair ones gave me the excellent jewel, and wrought up with anxiety, related unto me the story of crow (for Rāma’s information). Thereupon bent on returning here, I, with a fixed mind, circumambulated and bowed unto that worshipful dame. And revolving within herself she again replied— ’Hanumān, do thou relate this unto Rāghava in such a wise that the heroes Rāma and Lakshmana, along with Sugriva might instantly come here. Or else there remain two months more of my life. Rāghava shall not see me and I shall quit my life like one having no husband. Hearing those piteous accents I was worked up with ire and at once resolved upon destroying the city of Lankā. Thereupon my body increased like unto a mountain and desirous of entering into conflict I began to lay waste the forest. The whole forest was devastated—the birds and deer strayed away in fear and the Rākshasees, having terrible faces, awaking, beheld all that. And beholding me in the forest, they all, gathering, instantly conveyed the message unto Rāvana. O King, O thou of mighty prowess, this thy forest and castle has been broken down by the vicious-souled monkey not knowing thy strength. O King, he has been impelled by his vicious sense, to do thy mischief. Do thou order for his head so that he might not return. Hearing this the lord of the Rākshasas despatched a chosen band of demons named Kinkaras.⁴²⁶ I despatched with my mace in no time eighty thousand of them no sooner than they entered the forest with darts and maces. And the few, who were saved, proceeded very quickly unto Rāvana and related unto him the destruction of the soldiers by me. Thereupon I thought of destroying the Chaitya⁴²⁷ palace and destroyed with the pillar all the Rākshasas stationed there. Excited with wrath I destroyed that palace; the best in the whole city of Lankā. Thereupon (Rāvana) despatched Jambhumāli, the son of Prahasta. With my fierce mace I destroyed that mighty Rākshasa, versed in the art of war, along with his retinue and surrounded by a band of terrible and grim-visaged demons. Hearing this, Rāvana, the lord of Rākshasas sent the highly powerful sons of the ministers followed by a regiment of infantry. But I despatched them to the abode of Death by means of my dart. And hearing of the destruction in battle of the ministers’ sons of feeble prowess Rāvana sent five heroic commanders. But I slew all of them along with their hosts. Thereupon the Ten necked demon sent his highly powerful son Aksha in the battle followed by a number of Rākshasas. No sooner the princely son of Mandodari, versed in the art of war, rose high up in the welkin than I got hold of his legs and whirling him for hundred times ground him to the dust. And hearing of the discomfiture of Aksha, Rāvana, exercised with ire, sent his second son, the highly powerful Indrajit incapable of being repressed in battle. And discomfitting that best of Rākshasas with his host I attained to an excess of delight. That hero of great prowess and mighty-arms with a number of other proud heroes was despatched by Rāvana in great confidence. And beholding my unbearable prowess and his own soldiers slain, speedily he went away fettering me with his Brahmā weapon. Thereat the other Rākshasas bound me up with a rope and carried me to Rāvana. And thereupon I was welcomed by the vicious-souled Rāvana and was asked why I did come to Lankā and slay the Rākshasas. Whereto I replied,—”I have done all this for Sitā. To behold her I have come here, O hero. I am the monkey Hanumān, the own begotten son of Maruta. Do thou know me as Rāma’s ambassador and the minister of Sugriva. And on Rāma’s embassy have I come here before thee. Do thou hear of my mission—I do relate unto thee, O lord of Rākshasas, the message which the monkey chief hath commanded me to communicate unto thee. O great hero, Sugriva hath asked of thy welfare and hath desired me to communicate unto thee these well meaning words, conducing to the acquirement of piety, wealth and desires. While I lived on the mount Rishyamuka covered with huge trees I made friends with Rāghava dreadful in conflict. He hath spoken to me, O king, ’My spouse hath been taken away by a Rākshasa. It behoveth thee to promise me thy help in this.’ And in the presence of fire, Rāma, along with Lakshmana, contracted friendship with me who had been deprived of his kingdom by Vāli. And he hath made me lord over all the monkeys after slaying Vāli in conflict with a single shaft. It therefore behoveth us to assist him by all means. And by virtue of this contract I have despatched Hanumān unto thee as an envoy. Do thou therefore speedily bring back Sitā and return her unto Rāghava before the heroic monkeys discomfit thee. Who knoweth not the prowess of the monkeys who in the days of yore used to visit the celestials invited?’ With these words the king of the monkeys hath despatched me unto thee. And thereupon he eyed me as if burning me with the looks of his angry eyes. And the vicious-souled demon—Rāvana, of terrible deeds, ordered for my destruction, not knowing my prowess. Thereupon Bivishana, the high-souled brother of that lord of the Rākshasas interceded on my behalf in the following strain— ’O thou foremost of the Rākshasas, do thou alter thy resolution. The way, thou art following, is beyond the pale of royal policy. The destruction of an envoy is not sanctioned by the royal morality, O Rākshasa. They communicate simply the mandate of their masters. O thou of incomparable prowess, there is no sanction for the destruction of a messenger albeit he perpetrateth a mighty iniquity. Sometimes they have however been disfigured.” Being thus accosted by Bivishana, Rāvana ordered all the demons, saying “Burn down this monkey’s tail.’ Hearing his mandate, the Rākshasas, of well-protected armour and terrible prowess, enveloped my tail with the fibres of cotton, silk and jute. And then striking me with their clenched fists they put fire to my tail. Although bound and fettered with many ropes I did not feel the least anguish for I was very much anxious to behold the city during the day. And thereupon fettering me and putting fire to my tail and announcing me in the public streets those heroic Rākshasas got at the city gate. And thereupon contracting again my huge person and relieving myself of the fetters I stood again in my pristine state. And taking up iron darts I slew all the Rākshasas there. And leaping over with great velocity the city gate, I, with my burning tail, burnt down the whole city from the palace to its outer gate like unto the fire of dissolution devastating the entire creation. And I was not the least flurried at it. ’Forsooth hath Jānaki been destroyed—for behold I nothing in Lankā which hath not been burnt down—indeed the whole city hath been reduced to ashes. For certain have I burnt down Sitā while burning the city Lankā—and I have thus baffled the great work of Rāma.’ While I was reflecting thus, being overwhelmed with grief, I heard the auspicious accents of the Charanas, exciting my wonder, ’Jānaki hath not been burnt down.’ Hearing those wonderful words I regained my sense. I was then convinced by an auspicious sign that Jānaki was not burnt down, for I was not reduced to ashes albeit my tail was burning. My heart was excited with joy and the wind spread its delicious fragrance. And by virtue of those manifest omens, by my confidence in the prowess of Rāma; and Sitā, and the voice of ascetics, I was greately delighted at heart. And beholding Vaidehi again, I left her. And thereupon ascending the mount Aristha I began to leap, desirous of beholding you. And following the track of the Wind, the Sun, the Moon, Gandharbas, and Siddhas I have beheld you all. By virtue of Rāma’s grace and your prowess I have satisfied the charge of Sugriva. I have thus related unto you, what I had performed in Lankā, and it now remains with you to fulfill the rest.”
⁴²⁵ Understand that I was able to assume any shape at pleasure.—T.
⁴²⁶ Literally it means servants—here it means his own personal attendants who were brave and heroic.
⁴²⁷ A place of sacrifice or religious worship.—T.
Having related all, Hanumān, the Wind-god’s son began again, saying—”Fruitful is Rāghava’s endeavour and Sugriva’s energy—for greatly pleased have I been with Sitā’s conduct. O heroic monkeys, Sitā hath been keeping the life of a highly chaste damsel. She can maintain the animated creation by virtue of her asceticism and burn it with her ire. Rāvana, the lord of the Rākshasas is also highly advanced in asceticism by virtue whereof he hath not been ruined albeit he hath touched Sitā’s person. Even the flame of fire cannot do, although touched by the hands, what Janaka’s daughter can bring about by her ire. I have related unto you what had happened. It now behoveth us to behold Vaidehi along with those two sons of a king, after commanding all the monkeys headed by Jambavān and others. I am alone capable of destroying the city of Lankā along with the Rākshasas and their lord—Rāvana. What more can I achieve if I am accompanied by the heroic monkeys like ye, powerful, having control over their own minds, well-armed, able and desirous of winning victory! I shall slay Rāvana in conflict along with his sons, brothers army and retinue. I shall destroy all the Rākshasas and baffle all the weapons of Indrajit conferred on him by Brahmā, Rudra, Wind and Varuna albeit they are invisible in battle. Without your permission my prowess hath been brought to a stand still. Hills and mountains, uprooted and discharged by me continually, can destroy even the celestials, what of those night-rangers? Even if the ocean overfloweth its banks, the Mount Māndara moveth off its place, the enemy’s host cannot frighten Jambavān in conflict. And specially the heroic monkey, Vāli’s son, is alone capable of destroying the whole host of the Rākshasas. Even the mount Mandara is weakened by the velocity of the thighs of the high-souled monkey Neela—what of the Rākshasas in conflict? What hero is there amongst the celestials, Asuras, Yakshas, Gandharbas, serpents and birds who can equal Manida or Divida in battle? I do not find any one who can oppose in the battle field the two best monkeys, the sons of Asvi gifted with great velocity. By me alone hath the city Lankā been devastated burnt down and reduced to ashes. And I had announced in the public streets there—”May victory crown the highly powerful Rām and Lakshmana, and may the king Sugriva advance in prosperity being protected by Rāghava. I am the servant of the king of Koçala, the own begotten son of the Wind-God and my name is Hanumān. I have announced thus everywhere. (And I beheld there) in the Açoka forest of the vicious-souled Rāvana, at the foot of a Sinçapā tree, the chaste Sitā waiting very poorly. She was encircled by the Rākshasees, worn out with grief and anxiety and was like unto the rays of the Moon shorn of their brilliance being enveloped with clouds. And Vaidehi, having a beautiful waist and devoted unto her husband, did not care for Rāvana proud of his prowess and was accordingly confined by him. And that graceful daughter of the king of Videha was by all means devoted unto her lord and had all her thoughts centered in him like unto Poulomi⁴²⁸ devoted unto her lord Purandara. And I saw her in that garden, wearing a single piece of cloth soiled with dirt, surrounded by the Rākshasees and remonstrated with now and then by those ugly demons. Having a single braid of hair, poorly, engaged in thoughts touching her lord, she was lying on the earth shorn of all grace like unto a lotus on the appearance of the winter. She had not the least attachment for Rāvana and was resolved upon putting an end to her existence. And somehow creating her confidence I addressed that damsel having the eyes of a fawn and related unto her the whole story. And hearing of the friendship between Rāma and Sugriva she attained to an excess of delight. She is well-behaved and devoted unto her lord par excellence and blessed is the high-souled and ten-necked demon that she hath not destroyed him (yet). And Rāma shall become an instrument only in bringing about his destruction. She hath really been greatly reduced and worn out by the separation of her lord. Her person hath been shattered like unto learning waning by its prosecution on the first day of a lunar fortnight. Thus liveth there the great Sitā worn out with grief. Do ye now perform what you think proper.”
⁴²⁸ The wife of Indra the lord of the celestials who was confined by the king Nahusa.—T.
Hearing his words, Vāli’s son Angada spoke, saying,— “These two monkeys, the sons of Asvi, are very powerful and gifted with great velocity and are specially proud in consequence of the boon conferred on them by the Great Grand-father. Formerly to honor Asvi the Grand-father, of all the worlds, made these two monkeys incapable of being slain by any. And crushing the mighty host of the celestials, these two heroes gifted with great prowess, and maddened with haughtiness in consequence of the boon, drank up nectar. And these two, if worked up with ire, are capable of destroying the whole city of Lankā with her horses, chariots and elephants. What of other monkeys, I, myself, am capable of destroying soon the city along with the Rākshasas and the mighty Rāvana! And there is not the least wonder about it if I am aided by powerful monkey heroes like you, having control over themselves, well armed, capable and desirous of winning victory. I have heard, that, by Wind-god’s son alone Lankā was burnt. Ye are all famed for your manliness, it doth not behove you to speak before Rāma. ’We have seen the worshipful dame but have not been able to bring her.’ Ye foremost of monkeys, there is none amongst the celestials or Aauras who can equal you either in leaping or in prowess. And therefore winning Lankā, slaying Rāvana along with his Rākshasa host in conflict and taking Sitā, let us go, delighted and having our ends accomplished. What else is there for us to perform than bringing the daughter of the king Janaka when the Rākshasa crew shall be slain by Hanumān? And we shall place Janaka’s daughter between Rāma and Lakshmana. What is the use of putting the other residents of Kishkinda into trouble? It therefore behoveth us alone to go to Lankā and after slaying the best of the Rākshasas, to see Sugriva, Rāma and Lakshmana.” Thereupon Jambavāna, the foremost of the monkeys, greatly delighted spoke unto Angada, who was thus resolved, the following pregnant words, —”O great monkey, O thou of best understanding, what thou hast spoken, is, (I think) not proper, for we have been despatched by them to ransack the southern quarter, but we have not been commanded by the king of the monkeys and the highly intelligent Rāma to bring her. And it shall not please him even if we rescue her. And mentioning his own lineage, that best of the kings, Rāghava, promised before all the leading monkeys, that he would himself rescue Sitā. How would he now falsify his own saying? What is the use of undertaking this work for nothing which shall not conduce to his pleasure? And useless shall be the display of your prowess, O ye, foremost of the monkeys. Let us therefore proceed where Rāma with Lakshmana, and the highly effulgent Sugriva is, and relate unto them our proposed work. What thou hast judged, O prince, is liked by us. And still you should look to Rāma’s resolution and bring about his end.
All the heroic monkeys, headed by Angada and the great monkey Hanumān, approved highly of the words of Jambavān. And these leading monkeys headed by the Wind-god’s son proceeded leaping from the summit of the Mount Mahendra. And these highly powerful ones, having huge persons, resembling the Mount Mandara, covered the welkin as if like so many mad elephants. They carried, as it were with their own looks, the highly powerful Hanumān, gifted with great velocity, having control over his own self, and adored by the Siddhas. They were resolved upon satisfying Rāma’s end and acquiring glory for themselves. Their desires were satisfied and mind elevated in consequence of their beholding Sitā and burning down Lankā. All of them were anxious to communicate this pleasant news, to enter into conflict and were resolved upon bringing about Rāma’s wellbeing. And leaping and ascending the sky they got at the Madhuvana,⁴²⁹ preserved by Sugriva, resembling the celestial garden, covered with many trees, picturesque and incapable of being devastated by any. And the monkey-chief Sugriva’s maternal uncle, the heroic and high-souled Dadhimukha always guardeth that picturesque and spacious garden of the lord of monkeys. They were greatly worked up with anxiety. And beholding thdt large orchard, those yellow-coIouted monkeys were greatly delighted and begged honey of the prince: And the prince respectfully allowed these elderly monkeys headed by Jambavān to drink honey. And being thus commanded by the intelligent prince—Vāli’s son, those monkeys ascended the trees infested with bees and feasting on fragrant fruits and roots, were greatly delighted and intoxicated. And thereupon those monkeys, beside themselves with joy for being allowed to drink honey began to dance hither and thither. Some sang, some laughed, some danced, some bowed down, some read, some walked hither and thither, some leaped and some talked at random. Some sprang upon one another, some quarrelled with one another, some leaped from one tree to another, and some jumped down on the earth from the tops of the trees. Some rose up with great velocity from the earth to the tops of the huge trees—some sang, others approached them laughing—some wept and others approached them weeping. Some were stricking with their nails and others struck them in return. And thus the entire monkey host were bewildered with intoxication. There was none amongst them who was not drunk and none who was not excited with pride. Thereupon beholding all the fruits eaten up and the trees divested of leaves and flowers, the monkey Dadhimukha was worked up with ire and attempted to prevent them. And that heroic, elderly monkey, the guard of the garden, was in return remonstrated with by them who were greatly intoxicated. Thereat the highly spirited monkey again made up his mind to protect the garden from their devastations. He used harsh words, undauntedly towards some, struck the weak with his palm, quarrelled with some, and consoled others with soothing words. They were greatly excited with drink, and being prevented forcibly by Dadhimukha, they giving up all fear, began to pull him. And striking him with their nails, biting him with teeth, crushing him with their palms and feet, they, being drunk, almost reduced him to death and devastated the mangoe forest.
⁴²⁹ An orchard teeming with various trees bearing delicious and sweet fruits.—T.
Thereupon Hanumān, the foremost of the monkeys, spoke unto them, saying—”O monkeys, do ye undisturbed drink honey. I shall myself thwart them who will obstruct you.” Hearing his words, Angada, the best of the monkeys, delighted, said—’Drink honey, O monkeys, we must follow Hanumān’s advice, who hath already been crowned with success. We must follow him even if he leadeth us to an unworthy action, what of this which is most becoming?” Hearing these words from Angada, the leading monkeys attained to an excess of delight and eulogized him again and again. And adoring Angada—their prince, those monkeys proceeded by the way leading to the Madhuvana like unto trees carried by a stream. And entering that orchard they forcibly attacked the waiters there. Hanumān saw Maithilee, and others heard of her from him—and those monkeys, renouncing all fear in consequence and obtaining permission, drank honey and feasted on various sweet fruits. And they, given to the drinking of honey, attacking the guards who were approaching by hundreds, gave them a sound beating. Some monkeys,collecting honey with their hands measuring a Drona,⁴³⁰ drank it; others collecting themselves delightedly into a band spoiled it; while other yellow-coloured monkeys drank and sprinkled it. And some, being beside themselves with intoxication, struck others with the remaining quantity, while others waited at the foot of the trees, holding their boughs. And some, being exhausted with drinking, spread leaves and laid themselves thereon—and some being drunk and delighted struck others down in mad fury. And some lost their steps. Some roared and some delightedly set up the music of the birds. Some of the monkeys, inebriete with honey, slept on the earth; some laughed at others impudently and some cried aloud. Some spoke contrary to what they had done—and others put a different construction thereon. And all the waiters of the garden and the servants of Dadhimukha, were repressed by those terrible monkeys with censure and thrown up in the sky by their knee-joints. And terrified, they fled to different directions. And being worked up with anxiety, they approached Dadhimukha and said—’Commanded by Hanumān the monkeys have forcibly devastated the Madhuvana and we were thrown high up by them in the sky.” Hearing of the destruction of the orchard, Dadhimukha, being greatly enraged, consoled all the monkeys. “Proceed ye before, I shall soon follow you and repress by force all those monkeys, greatly excited with pride and the drinking of the excellent honey.” Hearing these words from Dadhimukha those leading and heroic monkeys proceeded with him towards Madhuvana. And Dadhimukha proceeded with great velocity in their midst taking up a huge tree in his hand. And all his attendants, taking trees, mountain crags, proceeded, wroth, where those leading monkeys were. And biting their lips in wrath and remonstrating with them again and again, those monkeys began to suppress them by force. And beholding Dadhimukha greatly enraged, all the monkeys, headed by Hanumān, approached him with great vehemence. And as the mighty Dadhimukha of huge arms, was proceeding towards them vehemently with a huge tree, Angada, wroth, caught him by the hand. He was beside himself with intoxication and therefore did not show him the least mercy, albeit he (Dadhimukha) was worshipful unto him. And accordingly with great vehemence he ground him to the dust. His arms and thighs were broken and his countenance was disfigured and that great heroe, the foremost of the monkeys, bathed in a pool of blood, remained senseless for sometime. And thereupon releasing himself from them by some device that leading monkey, proceeded to a nook, and addressed his attendants, saying—”Let us all proceed there where our lord, the spacious-necked Sugriva liveth with Rāma. I shall relate unto him all the unfair dealings of Angada and forsooth shall that wrathful king punish all these monkeys. The picturesque Madhuvana is the most favourite orchard of the high-souled Sugriva. It was enjoyed by his forefathers and is not even approached by the celestials. And meting out punishment unto these monkeys, eager to drink honey and almost half dead, Sugriva shall slay them as well as their friends and relatives. Those vicious-souled ones are worthy of being slain since they have transgressed the royal mandate. And then shall my wrath, arising out of impatience, bear fruits.” Having thus spoken unto the guards of the forest the highly powerful Dadhimukha leaped high up in the welkin and went away with them. And in no time he reached where the highly intelligent monkey Sugriva, the offspring of the sun, was. And beholding Rāma, Lakshmana, and Sugriva and the level ground he descended from the sky. And descending from the sky that great and heroic Dadhimukha, lord over all the monkeys engaged in protecting the forest, placing his folded palms on his forehead and with a poorly countenance, laid low his crown at Sugriva’s feet.
⁴³⁰ In common use a measure of thirty-two seers or rather more than sixty-four lbs. quadrupeds.—T.
And beholding that monkey place his crown at his feet the monkey-chief, with an anxious mind, accosted him, saying—”Rise up, rise up, why hast thou lain thyself at my feet? I declare thou hast no fear, speak out the truth, From whose fear hast thou come here? It behoveth thee to suggest the becoming proceedure. Is it all well with my orchard Madhuvana? I long to know everything, O monkey.” Being thus addressed hopefully by the high-souled Sugriva, Dadhimukha, gifted with an intelligence of a very high order, rose up and spoke—”Neither thyself, nor Vāli, the lord of the monkeys, O king, allowed that orchard to be freely used by the monkeys—but that hath been now laid waste by them. I prevented them along with these attendants, but disregarding me, they drank and feasted there at their pleasure. They were prevented, O lord, in their act of devastation, by these guards, but those monkeys, without caring for me the least, feasted there. Some of them went beyond the pale of good conduct, others ate at their pleasure, and all frowned (at us). And when these attendents, being insulted by them, were greatly wroth, they were driven out of the garden, by those powerful and enraged monkeys. And they were greatly assailed by those many thousand heroic monkeys, worked up with ire and having reddened eyes. Some had their arms broken, some had their knee-joints crushed and some of them were thrown up in the sky. Thyself their lord living, these heroes are beaten, and the entire Madhuvana is being freely enjoyed by them.” The highly intelligent Lakshmana, the slayer of foes, addressed Sugriva, the foremost of the monkeys, while he was thus being informed, saying,—”O king, why hath this monkey, the guard over the forest, come to thee, and what sorrow hath led him to give vent to these expressions?” Being thus addressed by the high-souled Lakshmana, Sugriva, skilled in the art of speech, replied,—”O worshipful Lakshmana, the heroic monkey Dadhimukha speaks that the war-like monkeys headed by Angada have drunk honey. They would not have engaged in such an unfair proceeding had they been unsuccessful in their mission. They have surely achieved success while they have thus been bent upon devastating the orchard. For this the warders were struck on their knee-joints for obstructing their revelry and for this they went so far as to disregard the powerful monkey Dadhimukha. I myself appointed this monkey the lord of my orchard. Forsooth hath Hanumān espied the worshipful Sitā and none else. There is none else but Hanumān who is the instrumental of this work, for that best of monkeys hath in him a high intellect, knoweth the art of success, is gifted with courage, strength and prowess and is conversant with Sastras. That work is sure to succeed whose leading spirits are the mighty Jambavāna and Angada, and worker is Hanumān. Forsooth that orchard hath been laid waste by these heroes headed by Angada. And ransacking the southern quarter, those leading monkeys have come back and delightedly entered the Madhuvana. And the whole orchard has been explored and enjoyed by those monkeys and the attendants beaten and wounded on their knee-joints. To communicate unto me this intelligence, this monkey of known prowess, and sweet accents, named Dhadimukha, hath come here. O thou of mighty arms, O son of Sumitrā, forsooth they have beheld Sitā, since the monkeys, just on their return, have engaged in drinking honey. O best of men, they are all well-known monkeys and without espying Vaidehi they would not have engaged in the destruction of that orchard conferred on us as a gift by the celestials.” Hearing these words from Sugriva, pleasant unto ears, the virtuous-souled Lakshmana along with Rāghava, was greatly pleased. And hearing this from Dadhimukha, Sugriva, greatly gratified, addressed that lord of the forest, again, saying,—”Greatly pleased I am, since, they, being successful, have explored this forest. And the insulting procedure of the successful is also pardonable. Do thou soon go there and protect that orchard, and send here all those monkeys headed by Hanumān. Along with these two descendants of Raghu, I long to know soon from these monkeys headed by Hanumān, and proud like lions, what they have settled for the regaining of Sitā. And beholding these two princes greatly delighted and their eyes expanded with joy, the king of the monkeys, thought that the accomplishment of the great wort was near at hand, and was accordingly greatly delighted.
Being thus addressed by Sugriva, the monkey Dadhimukha, delighted, bowed unto him, Rāghava and Lakshmana. And adoring Sugriva and the highly powerful descendants of Raghu, he along with other heroic monkeys, leaped up in the sky. He went away with the same speed with which he came and leaping down on the earth from the sky, entered the orchard. And entering that forest he beheld all the leaders of the monkeys spending the hours delightedly, having passed urine, the outcome of honey. And approaching them, the heroe, with folded hands and delighted, addressed Angada, with the following words—”O gentle one, do thou not take offence, for these monkeys, protecting the garden enraged, unweetingly prevented thee. O thou of great strength, thou art worn out with thy long journey, do thou drink thy own honey, thou art our prince and the master of this garden. It behoveth thee to forgive us for our wrath arising out of ignorance. Like unto thy sire before, thyself and Sugriva are the lords of these monkey hosts, O thou foremost of them, and none else. O innocent prince, I have related all about this unto thy uncle. When I described unto him, the arrival of all these forest rangers, as well as of thine accompanied by them, and the destruction of this garden by you all, he was not the least offended, rather delighted. And worked up with joy thy uncle Sugriva, the lord of earth and monkeys, said “Send them all here speedily.” Hearing those words from Dadhimukha, Angada, the foremost of the monkeys and skilled in speech, addressed them all, saying—”O ye leaders of the monkey hosts, I fear, Rāma hath heard all about this. Dadhimukha relates everything joyfully and hence I infer this. And our work finished, O slayer of foes, it doth not behove us to remain here (any longer). You have all drunk honey at your pleasure and there is nothing left and you should now go where the monkey king Sugriva is. O leading monkeys, I shall follow what you will in a band desire me to do. In actions I am surbordinate unto you all. I am not justified to command although I am a prince. You are all of accomplished actions, it is not proper to repress you forcibly. “ Hearing those sweet words of the prince Angada, the monkeys delightedly replied, saying—”O king, O foremost of monkeys, who else can speak thus being a master? Any one else, we think, is proud of his wealth. Such like words become thee only and none else. Thy humility speaks of thy future greatness. We are all anxious to go there, where Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, is. Verily we speak unto thee, O foremost of monkeys, that without thy permission, none amongst us, is capable of advancing a single step.” They addressing him thus, Angada replied—”All right, let us all go.” Saying this he leaped up in the sky and was followed by all those monkeys, clouding the welkin as if with stones thrown up by a tool. And placing before them Angada and Hanumān, the monkeys leaping vehemently up in the sky roared like unto clouds driven by the wind. And Angada nearing, Sugriva, the lord of the monkeys, spoke unto the lotus-eyed Rāma, stricken with grief, saying—”May good betide thee. Do thou console thyself. The worshipful dame has been found out; there is not the least doubt about it. Or else they would not have come as the time is already past. I (further more) infer this from Angada’s joy, O thou of auspicious presence. Without being successful in his mission, the large-armed prince, Angada, the foremost of the monkeys, would not have come to me. If the monkeys had engaged in such an unfair proceeding without being successful in their mission, Angada would have looked poorly and his mind would have been over-whelmed with grief and forgetfulness. And without beholding the daughter of the king Janaka they would not have dared to destroy Madhuvana obtained and preserved by my forefathers. Do thou console thyself, O Rāma, by whom Kauçalyā hath become the mother of a good son. O thou, rigidly observing any religious vow or obligation, forsooth hath Hanumān beheld the worshipful dame and none else. No other wight is so qualified an instrument in encompassing this end. O thou of excellent intellect, Hanumān knoweth the art of success, is gifted with intellect, perseverance and courage and is versed in Sastras. That work cannot fail, which is worked out by Jambavān and Angada and presided over by Hanumān. Be not laden with anxiety, O thou of unmitigated prowess. These monkeys have come here excited with pride and drink. They would not have come with such a grandeur had they been but unsuccessful. From their breaking down the orchard and drinking honey I inferred so. Thereupon he heard in the sky the joyous sounds of the monkeys proud on account of Hanumān’s work, proceeding towards Kishkindhā and as if announcing their success. Thereupon hearing the noise of these monkeys, Sugriva, their chief, being greatly delighted, uplifted his tail. And placing Angada and Hanumān before them those monkeys proceeded to behold Rāma. And those heroes headed by Angada, delighted and intoxicated, descended before Rāghava and the lord of the monkeys. And the mighty-armed Hanumān, lowering his head, related unto Rāghava, Sitā’s spiritual and physical well-being. And hearing from Hanumān the sweet words that he had beheld Sitā, Rāma and Lakshmana were greatly delighted. And being confirmed thus by the Wind-god’s son, Lakshmana, greatly pleased, respectfully looked towards Sugriva. And Rāghava too, the slayer of foes, worked up with joy, cast respectful looks towards Hanumān.
Thereupon getting at the Mount Prasravana surrounded by a variegated forest, lowering their heads unto the mighty Rāma and Lakshmana, placing before them their prince (Angada) and bowing unto Sugriva, the monkeys began to relate the story of Sitā. And they described unto Rāma, the confinement of Sitā in Rāvana’s seraglio, the remonstrances of the she-demons, her unflinching attachment in her lord and the time appointed (by the Rākshasa for her destruction). And hearing of Vaidehi’s well-being Rāma said—”O monkeys where liveth the worshipful Sitā? And how is her attachment unto me? Do ye relate everything unto me.” Hearing those painful words of Rāma, the monkeys desired Hanumān, conversant with the whereabouts of Sitā, to describe every thing unto him. Hearing their words, Hanumān, the Wind-god’s son, versed in the art of speech, lowering his head in Sitā’s name and towards the southern direction (where she liveth) began to relate how he succeeded in beholding Sitā. And conferring on (Rāma) the heavenly jewel set on a golden leaf and burning with its own effulgence, Hanumān, with folded hands, began—”Anxious to behold Sitā, the daughter of the king Janaka, I, ploughing over the main extending over a hundred yojana, wended my way and by and by reached Lankā, the capital of the vicious-souled Rāvana. Lankā is situated on the southern bank of the southern occean. And I saw there Sitā, in the inner appartment of Rāvana. Centering all her thoughts in thee, breathes that damsel, O Rāma. I saw her reviled by the she demons again and again. She is being guarded in that garden by the grim-visaged Rākshasees. And that worshipful dame, O hero, ever used to happiness, is now stricken with grief in thy absence. Confined in Rāvana’s inner apartment, well protected by those she-demons, wearing a single braid of hair and poorly, she is engaged only in thoughts touching thee. She in lying on earth, shorn of all grace like unto a lotus on the appearance of the winter. She hath not the least attachment for Rāvana and is resolved upon putting an end to her existence. O Kākutstha, O innocent prince, after enquiring for sometime, I found that worshipful dame devoted unto thee, and narrating the glories of the Ikshwāku race, O foremost of men, I created her confidence by and by, and addressing her I related everything. And hearing of the friendship between thee and Sugriva she was greatly delighted. And she has her respect for thee unshaken and all her actions are for thee. O great man, O thou best of men, I beheld the daughter of Janaka in this plight, engaged in hard austerities and ever devoted unto thee. O thou of great intelligence, O Rāghava, offering me (this jewel) as a token, she wanted me to relate unto thee, the occurrence at the mount chitrakuta regarding the crow. And Jānaki addressing me said—’O Wind-god’s son, do thou describe everything of what thou hast seen here, unto Rāma. And relating everything before Sugriva, do thou present him with this jewel which has been preserved by me with great care. I have kept with great care this excellent jewel of great effulgence. Do thou remind him of the mark which he made on my forehead with red arsenic. O innocent monkey, greatly delighted am I on beholding the brilliant jewel which he has sent through thee. Breathe shall I only for a month, beyond that I shall never live, subject as I am to the demons.’ Thus was I accosted by Sitā, reduced to a skeleton, observing pious observances, shut up in Rāvana’s inner apartment and having eyes like those of a hind. I have described unto thee everything, O Rāghava, do thou make arrangements for bridging over the ocean.” And considering those two princes greatly consoled, the Wind-god’s son handed over that token unto Rāghava and described everything from the beginning to the end.
Being thus accosted by Hanumān, Rāma, the son of Daçaratha, placing that jewel on his breast, wept with Lakshmana. And beholding that excellent jewel, Rāghava, stricken with grief, with eyes full of tears, spake unto Sugriva, saying,—”Forsooth my heart melteth on beholding this jewel as milk trickleth down from the udders of a cow on beholding its calf. This jewel was conferred on Sitā. by my father-in-law at the time of our wedding, and to enhance its beauty, she wore it on her head. And this jewel, obtained from the bed of the ocean, was conferred on him (Janaka) by the intelligent Sakra, greatly delighted for being adored in a sacrifice. O gentle one, this bringeth back to my mind, the memory of my father, and father-in-law the king of Videha. This excellent jewel appeared beautiful on the crown of my dear one, and methinks, on beholding it, I have as if got back my beloved spouse. Do thou relate unto me again and again, O gentle one, what Vaidehi hath said, as if sprinkling me with the water of her words like unto one rendered senseless. What greater grief can there be, O Saumitri, that I behold the jewel obtained from the ocean but not Vaidehi? Truly doth Vaidehi live for a long time if she breathes for a month. But O hero, I cannot live for a moment even without that one having dark-blue eyes. Do thou take me there where thou hast beheld my dear spouse. I cannot live for a moment while I have received intelligence about her. How liveth that timid damsel, having a beautiful waist, being terrified, amidst the terrible and grim Rākshasees? Truly her countenance is not appearing beautiful like unto the autumnal moon, enveloped with clouds, although cleared off the darkness. Do thou relate unto me in sooth, O Hanumān, what Sitā hath spoken unto thee. I shall live by these words, as the sick are cured by medicine. O Hanumān, what halh my dear wife, sweet-speeched, and highly beautiful, spoken unto thee, being separated from me? How breathes she going through a series of calamities?”
Being thus addressed by the high-souled Rāghava, Hanumān, related unto him all of what Sitā had said,—”O foremost of men, the worshipful Jānaki, related as a token, all the incidents at the Mount Chitrakuta from the beginning to the end. Sleeping happily with thee, Jānaki one day awoke before, and in the meantime, a crow wounded her breast with its beaks. O Rāma, thou wert then asleep on Sitā’s lap and that crow again afflicted the worshipful dame. And it again wounded her. And being bathed in blood and suffering terrible pangs, that worshipful dame aroused thee. O slayer ol foes, O thou of mighty-arms, seeing her breast wounded, thou, wroth like a serpent, didst speak saying— ’O timid damsel, who, with his nails, hath wounded thy breast? Who hath played with an angry serpent having five faces?’ And casting thy looks around thou didst behold a crow facing the worshipful dame with sharpened nails besmeared with blood. That crow, the best of the birds, was Sakra’s son. And it entered speedily into the earth with the velocity of the wind. Thereupon, thy eyes rolling with ire, thou, O mighty armed hero, O foremost of the intelligent, didst resolve to destroy that crow. And taking a kuça off thy seat thou didst set it on Brahma weapon. And it flamed like unto the fire of dessolution before that crow. And thou didst let off that burning kuça towards that bird. And thereupon that burning kuça followed the crow. And being forsaken even by the celestials, who were terrified, and ransacking the three worlds it did not get a refuge. Thereupon it again came to you, O subduer of foes. And seeking thy shelter it laid itself low on the ground. And O Kākutstha, thou didst save it albeit it was worthy of being slain. And thinking it improper to baffle the aim of the weapon, thou didst, O Rāghava, destroy the right eye of the crow. Thereupon bowing unto thee and the king Daçaratha, that crow, bidding adieu, went to its quarter. O Rāghava, thou art the foremost of those skilled in the use of weapons, powerful and gifted with an excellent character, why dost thou not discharge weapons towards the Rākshasas? The celestials, the Gandharvas, the Asuras, the Marutas—none of them is qualified, O Rāma, to equal thee in conflict. If thou, gifted with great prowess, hast any affection for me, do thou speedily, with well-armed shafts, destroy Rāvana in conflict. And obtaining the behests of his brother, why doth not Lakshmana, the subduer of foes and best of men, protect me, O Rāghava? Those two best of men, gifted with the effulgence of Wind and Fire, and incapable of being repressed even by the celestials, are disregarding me. Forsooth have I perpetrated a mighty iniquity since those two slayers of foes, being capable, do not protect me.’ Hearing those sweet and piteous accents of Vaidehi I again spoke unto that worshipful dame, saying—’Forsooth can I swear by thee, O worshipful dame, that Rāma is sorely stricken with grief in thy absence. And Lakshmana too relenteth heavily beholding him laden with sorrow. It doth not behove thee to relent any more as I have succeeded in finding thee out. Thou shalt at this very moment behold the end of thy grief. And those two princes, the foremost of men and slayers of foes, actuated with energy on hearing that I have seen thee, shall reduce Lankā to ashes. And slaying in conflict the terrible Rāvana, with his kith and kin, Rāghava, in sooth, O excellent damsel, shall take thee back to his own city. O thou of a blameless person, do thou confer on me such a token, as might be recognized by Rāma and conduce to his pleasure.’ Thereat, casting her looks around, she took out an excellent jewel from her cloth, worthy of being set on her braid and conferred it on me, O thou of great strength. And O thou, the most favourite of the Raghu race, taking for thee that gem with my hands and bowing unto her, I addressed myself speedily for departure. And thereupon beholding me ready to depart and increase in bulk and about to leap up in the welkin, Sitā, the daughter of the king Janaka, poorly, bathed in tears, overwhelmed with sorrow and having her voice choked with grief, spake, saying—’Blessed art thou O great monkey, since thou shalt behold the large-armed and the lotus-eyed Rāma and the highly famed Lakshmana, my lord’s younger brother.’ And being thus accosted by Maithili, I said—’Do thou speedily place thyself on my back, O worshipful dame, O thou the daughter of king Janaka, and I shall soon show thee, O great dame, O thou having dark blue eyes, thy lord along with Sugriva and Lakshmana.’ Whereto she replied—’This is not the pious course, O great monkey, O thou the foremost of thy race, that I shall, of my own accord, place myself on thy back. And although before this I was touched by the demon, O hero, it was because I could not help otherwise subject as I was to circumstances. Do thou thyself repair, O foremost of monkeys, where those two princes are.’ Addressing me with these words she again said—’O Hanumān, do thou relate my well-being unto Rāma and Lakshmana of leonine prowess, and Sugriva accompanied by his followers. Do thou so describe as the large-armed Rāghava may save me from this ocean of grief. Do thou narrate unto Rāma this my terrible sorrow and the affliction by the she-demons. May good betide thee, on thy way, O foremost of the monkeys.’ Thus the worshipful Sitā gave vent to these piteous accents. Hearing these words do thou believe that it is all well with her.”
Whereupon, O foremost of men, out of thy love and adoring me for thy friendship, that worshipful dame— addressed me again, saying—”Do thou thus speak every thing unto Rāma, the son of Daçaratha, so that he might soon take me hence, slaying Rāvana in battle. O heroe, O slayer of foes, if it pleaseth thee, thou mayst relieve thyself of the toil by living in a secret nook and then proceed to-morrow. O monkey, in thy company, I do momentarily forget the weight of my grief, unfortunate as I am. O thou gifted with great prowess, thyself departing, I shall wait for thy return, but doubt I very much whether I shall live till then. Burnt I shall be with the fear of not beholding thee again, wretched and striken with grief as I am. And so I shall be, hereafter, overwhelmed with a mightier grief. O hero, besides, I entertain a grave doubt about thy assistants, the monkeys and bears. I do not know how shall the host of monkeys and bears and those two princes cross over the mighty main? O innocent monkey of all the creatures three only are qualified to cross over the ocean, thyself, Garuda and the Wind. O thou foremost of those skilled in speech, what hast thou settled about the accomplishment of this hard work? True it is that thou art alone qualified to accomplish this work, O thou the slayer of inimical heroes—but such manifestation of thy prowess shall increase thy glory only. But if Rāma, obtaining victory, can take me hence to his own city, it shall redound to his glory. It doth not behove the heroic Rāghava, to take me away by stealth, like unto Rāvana capturing me from the forest under a disguise. Truly it shall be his becoming work, if Kākutstha, the repressor of enemy’s host, can take me away, enveloping the city Lankā with his army. Do thou therefore initiate that work as becometh that high-souled hero and may display his prowess.” Hearing these sound reasonable and affectionate words I gave her the last reply, saying—’O worshipful dame, Sugriva, the foremost of the monkeys, the lord of monkey and bear hosts and gifted with manliness, hath resolved upon rescuing thee. He hath under his command a number of mighty and courageous monkeys gifted with great prowess and quick-coursing like imagination. Their course is never thwarted—whether going upwards or downwards—or moving tortuously. They are never exhausted in their actions— highly courageous and of measureless prowess. And those great and powerful monkeys, coursing in the air, have again and again circumambulated the earth. Sugriva hath many monkeys—my equal—and greater than I, but none of inferior strength. While I have crossed over the main—what of these mighty heroes? The leading heroes are never sent on a mission but only those of inferior merit. No more of bewailing, O worshipful dame. Do thou remove thy grief. And with one leap these leaders of monkey-hosts shall reach Lankā. O great damsel, these two princes, placing themselves on my back shall come to thee like unto the rising Sun and Moon. Thou shalt soon behold before Lankā’s gate Rāghava the slayer of foes resembling a lion and Lakshmana with a bow in his hand. And thou shalt soon observe in a band the heroic monkeys, gifted with the strength of lions and tigers, and having nails and teeth for their weapons. And thou shalt soon hear the roaring of the leading monkeys on the summit of mount Malaya, resembling the muttering of the clouds. And thou shalt soon behold Rāghava, the slayer of foes, installed along with thee on the throne of Ayodhya after returning from the forest.” And that daughter of the king of Mithilā although heavily laden with sorrow in thy absence was greatly comforted and pleased by my auspicious words boding the fulfilment of her desire.
** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RĀMĀYANA, VOLUME 2. SUNDARA KĀNDAM **