||Sundarakanda ||

|| Sarga 58(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 58

Then the mighty Hanuman and other other Vanara leaders who assembled on the peaks of Mahendra mountain felt very happy with the successful return of Hanuman.

Then the delighted Hanuman was asked very affectionately by Jambavan about all that happened. "How did you see the divine lady. How is she. How is the evil minded Ravana treating her. Oh Great Vanara ! Tell us truly everything. Having heard, then we can think of the next course of action . When we go, we can decide what is worth saying. What is to be protected. Tell us in detail .You are wise".

Thus having been asked, delighted about speaking on all of that , he ( Hanuman) bent his head in obeisance to the divine lady and replied.

' Intent on reaching the Southern shores, I rose up from the top of Mahendra mountain where you were all present. While going I felt a terrific form of obstruction that presented itself. I saw a very beautiful wonderful golden peak . Standing in the path of travel I thought it is an obstruction. I thought in my mind that the wonderful golden peak shall be broken. I hit the great mountain with my tail. The peak of that great mountain radiating like Sun broke into thousand pieces. That great mountain, realizing that he is going to be smashed, spoke in affectionate tones addressing me as Son'.

"Son ! Known as Mainaka living in the ocean. I am a friend of the god of wind. Know me as your father's brother. Son ! Earlier the best of mountains had wings tormenting the earth by the moving all over at will . Hearing the story of the mountains, Mahendra cut thousands of wings with his Vajra. I have been protected by a great soul, your father Maruti. Son from that time I am hidden in the great sea. Oh Subduer of enemies ! Having been helped I have to make efforts to help Rama. Rama is the best among all the wielders of bows. He is equal in valor to Mahendra".

' Hearing those words of great Mainaka, I told him my intention to go on. I have been allowed by the great Mainaka too. That mountain in the form of a human being hidden remained hidden in the ocean'.

' Then reaching great speed I continued on the remaining path for a long time.'

Then in the middle of the sea I saw the divine mother of serpents, Surasa. That divine lady spoke to me. " Oh best of Vanaras ! You have been destined to be my food by the immortals. So I am devouring you. I have found you after a long time". Saying so Surasa stood with folded hands.

With a face that turned pale the following words were uttered ( by me)'.

"The scorcher of enemies Rama, the son of Dasaratha, along with Sita and Lakshmana entered the Dandaka forest. His wife Sita was abducted by the evil minded Ravana. I am his messenger. By the orders of Rama I am going to meet her. Oh Lady ! You ought to help Rama who can overcome all difficulties. Else after seeing Maithili I will come back to your mouth. I am telling you the truth". Having been told thus, Surasa who can assume any form at will said, "This is my boon . It cannot be escaped".

Surasa having said this grew in size by ten Yojanas. Then in a moment I grew in size by fifteen yojanas. She opened her mouth in proportion to my size. When she opened her mouth. seeing her mouth , in a moment I made my form of the size of thumb to move in. Then entering her mouth I exited in a moment. The divine lady Surasa assuming her own form then spoke to me. " Oh Noble one ! Go happily and achieve your task. Unite Vaidehi with the great Rama. Mighty Vanara be happy. I am delighted". Then I was praised by all creatures saying 'good', 'good'.

Then I flew across the vast skies like the Garuda'.

' Then my shadow was being held some how. I could not see who it is. With reduced speed I looked in ten directions to see who is seizing my movement. I could not see anything. Then it occurred to me "Who is obstructing in the sky not being seen. What is her name who is obstructing me this way" . Thinking so I looked downwards. Then in those waters of the sea a fierce Rakshasi was seen'.

' I was addressed by her who was frightening, who was laughing loudly. She was steadfast and with out any hesitation. " Oh One with huge body ! Where are you going. Hungry without food. I am eager to eat you. Do please my body". I said well and faced her mouth. Then I enlarged my body to be more than her size. Her big mouth was opened to eat me. She did not know that I grew in size of my own. Then in a moment reducing my large size, I entered her heart and and sprang into the sky .Then she who resembled a mountain, fell down in the sea with her arms hanging down as I pulled her heart out. The I heard all the Charanas , Siddhas and those residing in the skies, saying that the fierce Simhika has been killed in a moment'.

Then having killed her, thinking again of the great work done , remembering the mission went ahead and saw the city of Lanka on the southern shores.

When the sun was setting, unnoticed, I entered the city which was protected by the fierce Rakshasas.

As I entered the city a woman resembling the cloud at the time of dissolution, stood in front of me making great noises . Then the one with the frightening form who had burning hair like sacrificial fire, was hit by me with the fist of my left hand and defeated. I was told by her," Oh Hero I am the city of Lanka, won over by your valor. So you will win over all Rakshasas".

'Then through the night I went through the inner chambers of Ravana in search of the daughter of Janaka with beautiful waist. Then not having found Sita, I could not reach the other shore of the sea of sorrows, Thus when I was worried, a long golden wall surrounding a very beautiful and splendid garden was seen. Climbing on to the boundary wall I see a garden full of many trees. In the center of the Ashoka grove was a Simsupa tree. Climbing on that I saw golden grove of banana plants'.

' Not far from the Simsupa tree I saw a beautiful, dark complexioned lady who had eyes resembling a lotus. With a face emaciated due to fasting, she was wearing a single cloth. Her hair was filled with dust. She was lost in sorrow, and is a well wisher of her husband. Surrounded by ugly cruel Rakshasis who eat flesh soaked in blood , she was like a deer surrounded by a group of tigers. She was every moment being threatened, wearing a single braid, looking piteous , thinking only about her husband , lying down on the ground. Pale , like a lotus at the onset of winter, not knowing how to escape Ravana, she was set on giving up life. Seated in the middle of the Rakshasa women, with eyes like that of a deer, she was some how quickly seen by me'.

Seeing the renowned woman, the wife of Rama, I remained on the Simsupa tree.

Then I heard a loud noise from the Ravana's harem mixed with sounds of jingling golden anklets. Then very scared I contracted my form and remained like a bird on the Simsupa tree. Then the mighty Ravana along with his wives came to the place where Sita is seated.

The then best among women seeing the lord of the Rakshasas, covered her plump breasts with her shoulders and thighs. Sita who was full of fear and was very much worried , who is looking here and there, who not seeing anybody who can protect her was trembling with fear , who is ever meditating, who is is in sorrow, was addressed by Ravana who bent his head down and said "Trust me and respect me. Oh Proud Sita ! In your pride if you do not respect me in two months I will see your blood ".

Hearing those words of the evil minded Ravana, Sita was very angry and spoke these excellent words.

" Oh Worst among Rakshasas! speaking words that shall not be spoken to the wife of highly valorous Rama, the daughter in law of Dasaratha , the leader of Ikshvaku race, how is it that your tongue has not fallen down. Oh Ignoble sinner ! Abducting me when my husband is not near, coming unseen by the great one, you have no courage. You are not equal to Rama. You cannot be even his servant . Rama is a performer of Yagnyas. He is truthful and valiant in war".Hearing those harsh words of Janaki, the ten-headed one immediately blazed up in anger like the funeral fire. Raising his eyebrows, lifting his right fist he got ready to strike at Maithili. Then the ladies raised their voice.

The wife of evil minded one, a noble one by name Mandodari getting up from among the women prevented him. She spoke sweet words to him who was tormented by god of love. " Oh Being equal to Mahendra in Valor ! What is your desire with Sita. Oh Lord you can enjoy with Deva Gandharva Yaksha women. Why do you need Sita". Then that mighty night being quickly went back to his palace along with all the women.

When the ten-headed one went , the ugly faced Rakshasis , started threatening Sita with frightful words. Janaki considered their words as worthless as a blade of grass, their frightening threats were of no use. The flesh eating Rakshasis with their threats being useless, reported to Ravana about the great determination of Sita, Then all of them , having given up the hopes, having given up the efforts too, fell asleep.'

While they were sleeping , Sita , committed to the well being of her husband, piteous , very sad, lamented.

From among them Trijata woke up and spoke these words.

" You eat yourselves. the daughter of Janaka and the daughter in law of Dasaratha will not be destroyed. Today I saw a horrible hair raising dream. The victory of her husband and the destruction of Rakshasas is foreseen. To protect us from Raghava we should plead with Vaidehi only. That is indeed what I think". Who ever in a sorrowful state sees such a dream will be relieved of all sorrows and will also experience happiness. The Janaka's daughter, Sita, will bless us with protection. Then that bashful young lady delighted to hear about her husband's victory spoke. "If that is true I shall protect you".

'I , being heroic, seeing that state of Sita , started thinking. My mind was not at peace. To start the conversation with Sita I thought of a strategy of praising the Ikshvaku race.

The divine lady too hearing those words spoken by me in praise of the royal seers, with tears in her eyes, she spoke to me. " Oh Foremost of Vanaras ! Who are you. Why and how you have come here. How did you become friends with Rama. That you deserve to tell me".

Hearing those words I also spoke in reply. "Oh Queen ! Sugriva the warrior of fierce valor and King of Vanaras developed friendship with your husband. Know me who is here as his servant. I have been sent for you by your husband Rama who is tireless in action. Oh Glorious lady ! The tiger among men, the Illustrious son of Dasaratha gave this ring as a token of identity. Of Devi I am ready to be ordered by you. What should I do. I can take you to be by the side of Rama and Lakshmana. What do you say'. Sita, the delight of Janaka having heard this and having thought over said " Rama should kill Ravana and take me". Then bowing down with my head and offering salutations to the blameless lady , I asked for a token that will be pleasing to Raghava'.

Then Sita spoke to me. "Take this best of gems, with this the long armed Rama will respect you." The best among ladies having said so, gave the wonderful gem. Being anxious she gave a message also." Then I having paid obeisance to the princess, with a focused mind on going back circumambulated her again. Again deliberating in her mind I was spoken to."Oh Hanuman You should tell my story to Rama. You may convey in a way that the two heroes along with Sugriva should come here as soon as they hear. Or else Kakutstha will not see me, as my life is only for two more months. I will die like an orphan".

' Hearing those piteous words I became very angry. After her reply I saw the action left to be done. Then desirous of a battle I grew my size to that of mountain. Then I started destroying the grove. The ugly Rakshasa women , woke up and saw the destroyed garden, with terrified birds and beasts. Having gathered together, seeing me in the grove, understanding at once they reported to Ravana. " Oh Mighty King ! , Not knowing your strength, the grove in the fort has been destroyed by an evil minded Vanara. Oh King of kings ! The aimless wanderer acting contrary to you interest must be ordered to be killed".

Having heard that, the king of Rakshasas, sent Rakshasas by the name Kinkaras who are invincible , who know his mind. In that grove with an iron bar I killed eighty thousand Rakshasas who were armed with spears and maces . Among them those that are not killed, the less powerful ones went and reported to Ravana that the great army has been destroyed. Then it occurred to me to take hold of the high rise mansion. Having killed hundred Rakshasas stationed there with a pillar, I destroyed the decorative mansion'.

Then many Rakshasas who are terrific in appearance, who are frightening, together with Prahasta's son and Jambumali were ordered. Then that expert in war endowed with great strength , along with other Rakshasas who accompanied him were killed using the terrific iron bar. Hearing that the king of Rakshasas sent powerful sons of the minister along with mighty foot soldiers. I sent all of them to the abode of Yama with that iron bar. Ravana hearing that the less valiant sons of the minister were killed, sent five army generals.

' I killed all of them along with their army. Then the ten-headed Ravana ordered his powerful son Aksha along with many Rakshasas. The expert in war, and son of Mandodari, when he rose up in the skies he was caught by his feet. Whirled around hundred times he was smashed to the ground. The ten-headed Ravana hearing that Aksha was killed became enraged. Then he ordered his second son the mighty Indrajit who is thirsting for war'.

' Having destroyed the whole army and the Rakshasa warriors in the battle I was very happy. Ravana again sent warriors who are strong armed, powerful, intoxicated' .

' Indrajit realizing that I cannot be killed , knowing that his power is reduced , he quickly captured me with Brahma astra. Then Rakshasas there tied me up with ropes. Dragging me, they brought me near Ravana. After being seen I was spoken to by the evil minded Ravana.

He asked me about my coming to Lanka and the killing of Rakshasas.

' Oh King ! All that was burnt for Sita sake. Desiring to see her, I came to your mansion. I am a Vanara , son of wind god, by name Hanuman. Know me, a Vanara, as the messenger of Rama and the minister of Sugriva. I have come here with a message of Rama to be delivered to you'.

"The highly powerful Sugriva enquires about your welfare. He sent beneficial advice which is righteous too. Living on Rishyamuka with plenty of trees, I made a treaty of friendship with Raghava who is skilled in war. O King ! He told me 'My wife is abducted by Rakshasas. There you have to help us by all means'. I have also told him about killing of Vali. It is proper to make an agreement to help. With fire as witness , that great lord Raghava along with Lakshmana made an agreement with Sugriva whose kingdom was usurped by Vali. Then in the battle Vali was killed with one arrow, and Sugriva was made the king of Vanaras. Then we too have to help him in this task. A message was sent to you by him on righteous grounds. Before the Vanara warriors destroy your army , Sita may be returned to Rama at once. Who does not know the strength of Vanaras whom even Devas ask for help'.

I told him that "Thus the king of Vanaras spoke to you" .

Then he looked at me with anger in his eyes like he was going to burn me. Then the evil minded Rakshasa Ravana, not knowing my powers, ordered that I be killed.

Then his highly intelligent brother Vibhishana begged the king on my behalf. "Tiger among Rakshasas, you must drop such decision. According to the science of diplomacy it is not permitted. Oh Rakshasa ! In diplomacy the killing of messenger is not seen indeed. A well wishing messenger is to convey the truth. Oh Ravana of immeasurable courage! Even if a harm of any kind is done, the messenger may only be mutilated as per Sastras. Killing is not done".

Thus told by Vibhishana, Ravana ordered the Rakshasas that my tail may be set on fire.

Then hearing those words of Ravana, all of them together wrapped my tail with saris made of fiber, and pieces of cotton. Then the ferocious Rakshasas who were all set, hit me with fire sticks and fists, while I was tied with ropes. Then they set my tail on fire. Then those Rakshasa warriors took me, who was bound and set on fire, along the royal streets to the gate of the city.

Then I reduced my huge form to a small size and got rid of the bonds. Again coming back to my natural huge form, took the iron bar and killed all the Rakshasas. Then I quickly jumped on the city gate without being perplexed. Then like the fire at the time of the dissolution, I burnt the city along with all its boundary walls the towers.

After doing so I thought Janaki too might have been killed since there was no place that was not burnt. The full city was burnt. I burnt Lanka. Sita too was burnt without doubt. The great mission of Rama has been spoilt by me.

Thus over taken by sorrow I started thinking. The wonderful utterance and auspicious words of Charanas saying "Janaki is not burnt", was heard by me. Hearing those wonderful words that Janaki was not burnt, it occurred to me by the signs that it was because of her. The tail though set on fire did not burn me. There was joy in my heart and wind carried fragrance. By such signs, great virtues and reasons, by the words of Rishis and Siddhas I felt happy at heart.

Seeing Vaidehi again , seeking her permission, ascended the mount Arista again, desirous of meeting you all, started the leap.

Then following the path followed by the Siddhas , Gandharvas I have come here to see you all. By the power of Rama, and your powers, for achieving Sugriva's purpose everything has been accomplished by me .

All this has been told by me as it is. That which is not done, that which remains to be done is to be accomplished.

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

|| Om tat sat||