||Sundarakanda ||

|| Sarga 53 ||(Summary in English)


(PS: This is a true translation of the Sanskrit epic which tends to have long descriptive sentences which are retained as they are)||om tat sat||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 53

The powerful ten-headed one, Ravana, hearing his brother's words which are keeping in line with the time, place and propriety, spoke in reply.

' You have spoken well. Killing messenger is censured. His punishment other than killing can surely be done. The tail is Vanara's ornament, and is dear to them. His tail may be set on fire. When it is burning let him go. Then all his friends relatives and his kinsmen will see him disfigured and deformed'.

The king of Rakshasas ordered that with the tail set on fire, the Rakshasas may take him all over the city's four corners. Hearing those words , the angry Rakshasas wrapped his tail with tatters of cotton.

While the tail was being wrapped, the great Vanara grew in size like a wild fire fed by dry wood of the forest. Then they soaked the tail and set fire to the same. Overtaken by indignation and anger and looking like a rising Sun, he struck the Rakshasas with his tail.

To see the Hanuman with his tail burning bright, happy Rakshasas, children and old people along with women came.

When the Rakshasas gathered together and bound Hanuman again, the best of Vanaras thought of what was appropriate for the moment. ' Although bound by Rakshasa they are not capable. I can again break the bonds and kill them. While moving here for the well being of my master, these evil ones bound me on the orders of their master, I will not let them escape. In the battle I am enough for all the Rakshasas. But for the sake of Rama I will go around Lanka like this. I will bear this. The fortifications of Lanka have not been seen by me clearly in the late hours of the night. They ought to be seen. Again by binding me and burning of the tail the Rakshasa's may torment me as they wish. I am not tired '.

Then the Rakshasas joyfully captured the shrunken Vanara, the elephant among Vanaras, and left. The Rakshasas who are known cruel actions, beating drums and blowing conches , announcing their deeds, paraded him around the city. The subduer of enemies , Hanuman being followed by Rakshasas went around happily. He ranged forth in the city of Rakshasas.

Then the great Vanara saw wonderful towering mansions secured all over and well laid out squares and streets. The son of wind god, the Vanara, saw streets with tall mansions, highways and by ways. Similarly he saw interior routes of houses, also houses appearing like clouds.

All the Rakshasas went around the cross roads, the altars with four pillars, the royal path announcing the Vanara as a thief. To see the Hanuman with glowing tail , women, children and old people gathered every where.

Then as the Hanuman's tail was set on fire , the ugly looking Rakshasis took the unpleasant news to the divine lady Sita. ' Oh Sita, the Vanara with red face , who spoke to you , he was being paraded in the streets with his tail on fire'.

Vaidehi hearing that news which was as cruel as her abduction, burning with grief invoked the god of fire. Then that lady wishing auspicious happenings for the great Vanara invoked the god of fire in her mind.

' If I have served my husband, if I have practised austerities, if I am loyal to my husband , you be cool for Hanuman. If the wise one has a little compassion for me , if there is any luck with me, let Hanuman become cool. If the righteous one believes I am pure in mind , and that I am longing to unite with him then be cool for Hanuman. If Sugriva the noble one who is true to his promise in warfare is going to rescue me from this sea of sorrows then be cool for Hanuman'.

Then tips of the intense flame glowed steadily as though assuring the fawn eyed lady about being auspicious to the Vanara. The father of Hanuman the wind god and the fire god burning the tail, blew cool wind to calm her down.

As the tail continued burning Hanuman started thinking. ' Why is this the fire which is burning everywhere is not burning me. The great fire is seen, but it is not hurting me. At the end of my tail, it is cool like there is a mass of ice. Or it may be because of Rama's power. Like the wonderful incident of a mountain floating in the sky seen while I leaped, If the wise Sagara and Mainaka had such anxiety to serve Rama , why will not god of fire do ? Because of Sita's steadfast chaste character, Raghava's luster, and my father's friendship , the god of fire is not burning me'.

The best among Vanaras again started thinking. Then flew up quickly and roared. Then the illustrious son of wind god reached the entrance of the city which is like the peak of the mountain and turned away the Rakshasas.

Hanuman making himself appear like a mountain, in a moment making himself small he cast off all the ropes binding him. The illustrious one having freed himself again assumed the form of the size of a mountain. Looking around , sitting on the archway he found the iron club. The strong armed son of wind god, again seizing the club made of black iron killed all the guards.

Hanuman who was of fearsome valor in war with the Rakshasas, having killed them gazed at Lanka once again. Garlanded by the flames of his tail around, he shone like the Sun covered with garland of rays.

Thus ends Sarga fifty three of Sundarakanda of Ramayana , the first poem composed in Sanskrit by the first poet sage Valmiki .

|| om tat sat||