||Sundarakanda ||

|| Sarga 1 with English Summary ||

|| om tat sat ||
ततो रावण नीतायाः सीतायाः शत्रुकर्षणः ।
इयेषपदमन्वेष्टुं चारणाचरिते पथे ॥1||
स॥ततः रावण नीतायाः सीतायाः पदं अन्वेष्टुं (हनुमान्)  शत्रुकर्षणः चारणाचरिते पथि (चरितुं)इयेष ॥
Then following the path of the celestial bards Hanuman, the destroyer of enemies, resolved to search for Sita carried away by Ravana. 

Sarga 1
Hanuman's leap across the ocean

(Preamble: With Rama having lost his wife Sita, who was abducted by the Rakshasa king Ravana, with Vanaras facing a huge obstacle in the form of an ocean to be crossed in their search of Sita, with Sita lost in a sea of sorrow being a captive of Ravana, Sundarakanda starts in a background of a prevailing doom. It is at this juncture that Jambavan deprecating his own capabilities and praising Hanuman's capabilities prompts Hanuman to cross the ocean in search of Sita. Thus prompted Hanuman agrees and in turn prompting soaring of spirits all-round in anticipation of success.)

Then Hanuman, the destroyer of enemies resolved to search for Sita carried away by Ravana, following the path of the celestial bards  

Intending to accomplish the very difficult action of crossing the ocean which had no rival, Hanuman raised his head and neck. With the raised head, he appeared like the king of bulls. Then the mighty Hanuman strolled on the green grassy lands with a sheet of water happily. The wise Hanuman scaring the birds and many other animals, uprooting and trampling the trees with his chest, went about like a lion. The mountain with its natural blue red green and yellow colors as well as white and black colors of minerals looked as if it is decorated all over.

The mountain was very much frequented by, Yakshas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Pannagas and people who can take any form as they please, along with their retinues. They were looking like gods. The best of Vanaras standing at the center of that mountain filled with lordly elephants looked like an elephant.

 Offering salutations to Sun, Indra, Vayu, and the creator and all the elements, Hanuman decided in his mind to proceed to Lanka. Facing east and offering salutations to his father, the wind god, the capable Hanuman grew to go in the southern direction.

 Then having resolved to take a leap for achieving the task of Rama, while being seen by the all the Vanara chiefs, Hanuman grew in size like the sea during the full moon days.  With an immeasurable size of body to cross the ocean, Hanuman started to put pressure on the mountain with his feet and hands in preparation for his leap.

The immovable one, namely the mountain, was for a moment shaken by the pressure exerted by the Vanara. Then the flowers on the top of trees fell. The mountain covered with the fragrant flowers fallen from the trees, looked like a mountain of flowers. Pressed by the highly valiant one, that mountain let go of waters like the elephant in a rut. The Mahendra mountain, pressurized by his might, let go of streams of gold and silver. The mountain let go of big boulders with Sulphur pigments just like fire emits columns of smoke possessed with fire. Being shaken by the mountain all the beings living in the caves shrieked in fear with horrible sounds. Caused by the crushing power of the mountain, the loud noises made by all the creatures filled all the groves on earth in all directions.

The snakes with the signs of swastika on their foreheads, scared by the noises all around, bit the rocks with their fangs producing great fire. Then the mountain bitten by the angry and venomous snakes and burnt by the fire, broke into thousands of pieces. The medicinal plants capable of counteracting the poisons, grown on the mountain were not enough to neutralize the poison spewed by the snakes.

Thinking that this mountain is breaking up, the scared ascetics as well as the Vidyadharas along with their women folk flew up in fear. In their fear valuable vessels, golden drinking cups with golden goblets were left behind. Food that was licked, various type of small and big eatables, meat, hides of bulls, swords covered with golden sheaths were all left behind. The Vidyadharas, intoxicated, wearing valuable chains, wearing garlands with red lotus like eyes, and red unguents flew into the sky.

Wonder struck women wearing necklaces, anklets and armlets stayed up in the sky with their lovers smiling gently. The great seers among Vidyadharas, proficient in all studies, were also watching the mountain, staying up in the sky.

Then the sounds of seers who are seekers of truth, Siddhas, and Charanas who stay in the skies were heard. They said, 'This son of wind god, the swift Hanuman of the size of a mountain, is desiring to cross the ocean which is the abode of crocodiles. The other shore of the ocean is very difficult to reach. He wants to reach the other shore of the ocean to achieve a difficult task, for the sake of Rama and for the sake of Vanaras'.  

The Vidyadharas having heard the words of the ascetics, saw Hanuman the bull among Vanaras whose strength is immeasurable. The great Hanuman, as huge as a mountain, shook his hair on his body and produced a great thundering sound like a cloud.

Like the king of birds shaking a serpent, he shook his tail covered with hair in order to take off. The tail curled at his back looked like the great serpent being carried off by Garuda. The Vanara pressing down his arms which are looking like iron clubs, firmly on the mountain, crouched his waist and contracted his feet. The glorious Hanuman contracted his shoulders and the head similarly and summoned up energy as well as vigor. Setting up his eyes to look up in the direction in which he must leap, he restrained his breath in his chest. The elephant among the Vanaras, keeping his feet firmly in that position, contracting his ears, ready to fly said the following to the Vanaras who were watching.

'With the speed of wind, like the arrow released by Rama, I will go the Lanka ruled by Ravana. If I do not see Janaka's daughter in Lanka, then with the same speed I will go to the abode of gods, If I do not find Sita in heaven in spite of all my efforts, then I will secure that king of Rakshasas and bring him here. Completing my task, I will come back here along with Sita. Otherwise I will uproot Lanka along with Ravana and bring him here'.

Having said this to the Vanaras the swift Hanuman who is the best among Vanaras, leaped into the sky without any effort. Hanuman, the elephant among Vanaras, thought himself like the bird Suparna. 

As he took off with speed, all the trees along with the branches flew along with him. The speed of his thighs uprooted the trees full of flowers and intoxicated birds, as he coursed through the cloudless sky. Pulled along by the speed of his thighs, the trees followed him for a distance, like the relatives follow the kin on a long journey. Uprooted by the force of his thighs, Sala trees and other great trees followed him like the army following the king.

With many trees having blossoms at the top following him, mountain like Hanuman, the Vanara, appeared in a fantastic form. Then the huge trees fell off into the ocean like the mountains which fell into the sea out of fear of Indra. 

Covered with many kinds of flowers, buds and sprouts spread over like a cloud, Hanuman shone brightly like a mountain covered with fireflies. Free of his speed, the trees shedding the flowers fell off into the sea, like the friends who return after having followed the departing relative for some distance.

Driven by the wind caused by the speed of the Vanara, the trees with variety of flowers fell on the ocean. The trees and flowers being light rose up in the sea and the sea shone like the sky with stars. Stuck with flowers of different colors, the Vanara looked like the clouds glowing with lightning. The sea water, with the flowers dropped by his speed, looked like the firmament with rising stars. The arms stretched out in the sky emerging from the mountain looked like five headed serpents. The great Vanara looked like a thirsty one drinking the sea with rising waves.

 Following the path of the winds his eyes, resembling the glow of lightning, looked like two fires burning on the mountain. The large reddish-brown eyes of the Vanara chief shone like the rising Sun and Moon. His copper colored face with red nose with the twilight coming close looked like the Sun's orb. 

The lifted-up tail of Hanuman shone like the flag staff of Indra. With white teeth, with curled up tail the very wise son of Vayu looked like the Sun covered with a halo. The great Vanara with copper red buttocks shone like a mountain filled with deposits of red minerals. The air passing through the arm pits of the lion among Vanaras crossing the ocean, sounded like a thundering cloud. The elephant like Vanara appeared like a meteor released from the northern part following a path in the sky falling in the southern hemisphere. Looking like the moving sun coursing through the sky, the broad Vanara with tail bound around his girth, looked like an elephant bound around the waist. 

With Vanara flying in the sky, his shadow on the ocean looked like a ship being swept by the wind. Wherever he flew, those places in the ocean appeared as riotous, with eddies being formed because of the wind generated by the speed of his thighs. As the Vanara flew with high speed the oceanic waves seemed to rise to mountainous proportions as though touching his chest. The forceful wind generated by the mighty Vanara, was rushing towards the wind generated by the clouds which were agitating the ocean violently. Together they generated dreadful sounds. As the tiger among the Vanaras flew forward, it looked like he is occupying the intermediary space between the sky and the earth.

Hanuman, who is travelling at high speed, seemed to be counting the mighty waves which were as huge as Meru and Mandara mountains, as he crossed the ocean. The waters pushed up by his speed, along with the clouds in the sky, shone like outstretched autumnal clouds. Then the whales, crocodiles and tortoises appeared bare like bodies without clothes. Seeing Hanuman, the tiger among Vanaras, coursing through the sky the serpents in the ocean thought him to be Garuda.

The ten Yojana wide thirty Yojana long Vanara's shadow appeared more pleasing. The broad shadow of the son of wind god, following him shone like a dark row of clouds sailing in the sky.

Glorious Vanara, with great body coursing through the skies without any support, looked like a mountain with wings. As this powerful Vanara who is like elephant among Vanaras, was proceeding swiftly along, the ocean below looked instantly like a valley between two mountains by the force of the winds generated by his flight.

Hanuman pulling along clouds with him, like the wind, looked like the king of birds attracting flocks of birds while landing. The Vanara while drawing large clouds of white or red blue or yellow along with him looked charming. Entering and leaving strings of clouds, he looked like the moon that appears and disappears. Then seeing Hanuman crossing the ocean quickly the Devas, Gandharvas, Danavas showered flowers on him. The Vanara coursing through the skies to achieve the purpose of Rama, is not troubled by the Sun's heat and even the wind blew to serve his purpose. The flying Hanuman was extolled by sages and the delighted Devas and Gandharvas praised him and sang too.

Seeing the untiring Hanuman all the Nagas Yakshas, Rakshasas, learned ones, as well as all other birds praised him. While the tiger among Vanaras was flying across the ocean, the ocean who wishes well for the Ikshavakus started thinking.  He said to himself, 'If I do not help the leader of the Vanaras, all the wise ones will forever blame me. I have been brought up by Sagara, a scion of Ikshwaku's line. Hanuman being the minister of Ikshavakus, it is my duty to help him. I should help so that Hanuman can get rest. After resting, he can leap over the ocean easily'.

The Sagara having made up his mind, spoke to Mainaka, the best among mountains hidden in the waters. 'Oh, Best of mountains, you are here as a barrier for the legions of Asura groups who are the residents of the nether world. You are staying at the entrance preventing these immeasurable demons from coming up again. Oh Mainaka, you have the power to grow upwards or downwards or across. Hence Oh Mainaka, I am asking you to rise'.

'This Hanuman, a mighty Vanara, tiger among Vanaras, performer of forceful actions, is flying over you in the skies for accomplishing Rama's tasks. Helping this one, who serves the Ikshvaku line, is my duty. The Ikshavakus are worthy of adoration. To you also they are most adorable. Help us minister their cause. Our chance to do worthy action, which is our duty, shall not be lost. An unfinished task will make good people to lose their cool. Come up from the waters. This best of fliers is our guest and worthy of worship. This Vanara may rest on you'.

'Oh Golden peaked one, you having been visited upon by Devas and Gandharvas. Hanuman may rest on you and then proceed to cover the rest of the ocean. Considering the noble nature of Ikshavakus, the kidnapping of Mithila's daughter, Hanuman's efforts, you ought to rise up to help Hanuman'.

 Mainaka, the golden peaked mountain, full of great trees, hidden in the salty waters, having heard the request, immediately came up from the waters. Then as the mountain rose up from the waters, it looked like the Sun coming up through water laden clouds. Thus, deployed in the waters in a moment Hanuman, the great soul, saw the mountain peaks. He saw the mountain with Nagas and Kinnaras, with golden peaks which are as if scraping the sky, resembling the rising Sun, With the mountain's peaks of burnished gold, the dark blue sky assumed the color of burnished gold. The self-effulgent glittering golden peaks made that best of mountains shine like thousand Suns.

Hanuman thought that the one standing in front of him, which rose up from the water of the sea, surely as an obstruction. The speedy Vanara pushed that, instantly risen one, with his chest like wind pushes the clouds away.

Thus, pushed down by the Vanara, Mainaka, the best of mountains having realized the Vanara's speed, felt happy and roared too. Delighted, happily assuming the form of a human, standing on his peaks, Mainaka spoke to the mighty Vanara flying in the sky.

'Oh best of Vanaras, you are performing a very difficult task. Rest among my peaks and go as you please. This ocean is nurtured by those born in Raghava's line. That Sagara wanting to act in the interests of Rama wants to honor you in turn. That "help rendered is to be repaid", is an age-old custom. To perform that service in return, the Sagara wants to honor you. For your benefit, I have been prompted by Sagara. Oh tiger among Vanaras, please stay. Resting on my peaks you may go. The Sagara prompted me saying, 'leaping over Hundred Yojanas this Vanara may then proceed after resting in your peaks'. Oh best of Vanaras, tasting these sweet-smelling fruits and roots and resting, you may proceed."  

'Oh chief of Vanaras, we have a kinship based on merits which is well known in the three worlds.  Oh son of wind god, elephant among Vanaras, I consider you as the foremost among those who fly very fast. By the wise men who know righteousness, a guest even if he is an ordinary person, is worthy of worship. That being so what to say of great ones. Oh elephant among Vanaras, you are preeminent among divine beings. You are son of wind-god. In speed, you are equal to him'.

'Oh knower of righteousness, if you are worshiped, the wind god too receives the veneration. So, you are worthy of worship for me. Let me tell you the reason. Dear son, long time ago in Krita Yuga the mountains were having wings. They were moving at the speed of Garuda in all directions. Then as they went about flying freely, the legions of gods along with venerable sages and other beings panicked for fear of their falling on them. Then the angry thousand eyed one who performed hundred sacrifices, cut off the wings of the mountains. The angry king of Devas, holding the Vajra approached me. Then I have been dropped down by the great wind god. Oh best of Vanaras, thrown down by your father, I have been protected with my wings intact'.

'Oh chief of Vanaras, so the wind god is worthy of worship for me. So I am worshipping you. My relationship with you thus is great. Oh great Vanara, being deployed in this action, you deserve to please us, the Sagara and myself. Oh best of Vanaras, relieving your fatigue, receiving our worship, accepting our love, you may oblige us. I am delighted in seeing you' 

Having been told thus by Mainaka, the best of Vanaras then spoke. 'I am delighted. Take it as though your hospitality has been accepted. Remove your unhappiness. My time limit is approaching. The day is also coming to its end. I have taken a vow not to stop in the middle'. The mighty Hanuman having said this with a smile, touching the mountain with his hand, moved on flying through the sky.

The son of wind god was adored by the mountain and was honored with proper blessings. Then leaving the mountain and the great ocean, Hanuman jumped up into the clear sky taking the path of his father and flew away. The son of wind god again attaining higher path, looking at the mountain went into the sky without any support. 

Seeing the accomplishment of the second such difficult task being performed by Hanuman, the Suras, Siddhas and the venerable sages praised him.

The Devas, who were present there, as well as the thousand eyed Vasava too were delighted by the gesture of the golden Mainaka mountain. Indra, the wise husband of Sachi, satisfied spoke to Sunabha, the best of mountains, with a choked voice of happiness. 

'Oh Hiranyagarbha, the best of mountains, I am very happy with you. Oh pious one, I am giving you my protection. You may rest as you please. Though there is reason to fear, the fearless Hanuman is unafraid while leaping a hundred Yojanas and great a deed was done. This Vanara is working for Rama's purpose only. I am very happy with the service offered to him'. 

Then seeing the happiness of Indra, the king of Devas, the best of mountains experienced a delight. Then the mountain, having been given a boon, stood there delighted. 

Hanuman also moved on across the ocean.

Then the Devas, Gandharvas, along with Siddhas and great ascetics spoke to Surasa the mother of serpents who is shining like the Sun. 'This illustrious son of wind god, named Hanuman is flying across the ocean. You provide him an obstruction for a moment. Assume a hideous form of a demon, gigantic like a mountain, with big teeth, yellow brown eyes, with opening mouth like a sky. We want to know again his strength and prowess. Whether he will win with intelligence or faces sorrow'.

Thus, having been told by Devas and receiving their honors, that lady demon presented herself in the middle of the ocean obstructing Hanuman. Then surrounding Hanuman who was flying, Surasa with an ugly and terrifying form, said the following.

'Oh bull among Vanaras, the Lord has sent you as my food. I will eat you. Enter my mouth'. Thus, having been told by Surasa, the illustrious Hanuman with a happy and willing countenance said the following. 'The son of Dasaratha by name Rama, along with his brother Lakshmana and his wife Sita entered the Dandaka forest. While Rama was engaged otherwise by Rakshasas with deep rooted enmity, his wife Sita, a glorious lady has been abducted by Ravana. I am Rama's messenger going on his command. Oh resident of his kingdom, it is proper for you to help Rama. Or else after seeing Maithili and informing Rama who makes difficult things look easy, I will come back to your mouth. I am telling you the truth'.

Having been told thus by Hanuman, Surasa said, 'None can cross me. That is my boon'. Surasa, the mother of serpents, desirous of knowing Hanuman's strength, addressed these words to Hanuman who was attempting to go away.

'Oh best of Vanaras, enter my mouth quickly and then you may go. Such is my boon given to me by Brahma, the creator'. She opened her mouth wide and stood in front of Maruti. Thus, having been told by Surasa the Vanara became angry.

The Vanara said, 'Oh Surasa open your mouth wide enough for me'. So, saying, the angry Hanuman grew ten Yojanas wide and ten Yojanas long.  Seeing the ten Yojanas wide Hanuman looking like a cloud, Surasa too stretched her mouth wide by twenty Yojanas. The angry Hanuman also stretched his body to thirty Yojanas. Surasa then stretched her mouth to forty Yojanas. Then the hero Hanuman became fifty Yojana high. Then Surasa became sixty Yojanas wide. In the same way Hanuman grew to seventy Yojanas. Surasa became eighty Yojana wide. Then Hanuman grew to ninety Yojanas like a mountain. Then Surasa's mouth became hundred Yojanas wide.

The very intelligent Hanuman seeing the terrifying mouth with long tongue thus opened, made himself to be of the size of a thumb in a moment. The illustrious and mighty Hanuman quickly entered her mouth and came out. Standing in the sky said the following words.  

'Dakshyani, I have entered your mouth. Your boon has come true. Salutations to you. I will go in search of Vaidehi'. Seeing the Vanara who looked like the Moon released from the mouth of Rahu, Surasa assuming her own form said the following. 

"Oh, The best of Vanaras, proceed to accomplish your task. Unite Vaidehi with Raghava".

 Seeing that accomplishment of a third task which is difficult to accomplish all creatures praised Hanuman and said 'very good, very good'.

Like Garuda Hanuman speedily flying over the invincible ocean, the abode of Varuna, coursed through the sky. Hanuman looking splendid followed the path, frequented by the clouds that release torrents, inhabited by the birds, traversed by the masters of music and dance, attended by Airavata. It is also the path frequented by the well decorated aerial vehicles drawn by lions, elephants, tigers, birds, serpents, It is a path frequented by the gods of fire who strike fiercely like a thunderbolt. It is a path followed by those who have done meritorious deeds, and those accomplished people who have conquered heaven., The path decorated splendidly, adorned with planets, stars, Moon and other constellations, was frequented by the god of Fire carrying the Havis. The path was filled with groups of great Rishis, Gandharvas, Nagas, Yakshas, with isolated clear region inhabited by Viswavasu, 

The path travelled by Hanuman is also the sporting ground of the elephant of king of Devas, the path of Sun and Moon, auspicious place of living beings created by Brahma, the extensive canopy covering the earth. Like Garuda Hanuman traversed that path, traversed by the groups of Vidyadharas who are best of heroes.

Hanuman, the son of wind god, being seen everywhere in the sky, was looking like a mountain with wings flying unsupported in the sky. Seeing that Hanuman flying like that, a Rakshasi by name Simhika who can assume any form expanded in her size started thinking. 'After a long time this great being has come into my fold. Today I will be satiated'. Simhika having thought like this, held him by his shadow. 

Being held by the shadow the Vanara started thinking.

'Like the ship in the sea caught by the opposing wind, I have been caught and become powerless'. Then Hanuman looking up, down, and across saw the great creature risen in the waters of the sea.

Maruti seeing that ugly faced one started thinking. 'This creature is no doubt the amazing to look at. This is the powerful creature capable of capturing the shadow, as told by the King of Vanaras'. The wise Hanuman recognizing the true nature of Simhika, grew like a cloud in a rainy season. That Simhika extended her mouth having the depth of underworld. Roaring like heavy clouds, she ran towards the Vanara. Then the great intelligent Vanara saw the body, enormous open mouth and the vital parts too.

The mighty Vanara with thunderbolt like physiques contracted himself and entered her open mouth. The Siddhas and Charanas saw him drowning in her mouth, like the full moon being grabbed by Rahu. Then the Vanara tearing her vital parts with his sharp nails quickly rushed out with the speed of mind in action. The great Vanara, with firmness of mind and ingenuity, threw her down again and rapidly grew.

With the heart torn, the miserable one, instantly killed by Hanuman dropped down in the sea. Seeing her who has fallen, the Charanas who travel the sky addressed the best of Vanaras. 

'Oh, best of flyers, today you have killed a great being. Fierce task was done. Fulfill your mission unobstructed. Oh best of Vanaras, the one who has fortitude, vision, intelligence and dexterity like you will achieve his mission and will never lose'.

 The venerable Vanara, thus honored, having ascended the skies flew like Garuda to achieve his objective. 

Having reached the other shore as he looked around, the Vanara saw rows of trees at the end of hundred Yojanas. Hanuman the best among creatures that jump on trees, even while flying saw the island adorned with many trees and garden bordering the Malaya mountain. Looking at the ocean, he observed the sea, the land bordering the sea, the trees grown on the land bordering the sea, and the mouth of the branches of the sea.

The great Vanara, looking at his own body of the size of a cloud as though obstructing the sky thought as follows. 'Seeing my increased size of body and the speed, the Rakshasas will be inquisitive about me.' Then having contracted his body which is like a mountain assumed normal form, like a wise Rishi getting rid of his attachment. Then Hanuman contracting himself to be of a very small size, like Vishnu the vanquisher of Bali with three steps, stood in his normal form. The one who can take different forms, having reached the other shore of the ocean, which is impossible for others, looking at his own self assumed a form suitable for the purpose.

Then the great soul, who resembled a great mountain descended on the top of Lamba mountain, which is full of fruits and blossoms of Ketaka, Uddalaka, Narikela trees with many wonderful peaks. Having reached the seashore, then observing the Lanka located on top of the mountain, Hanuman shook his body which scared the beasts and birds on the mountain he landed. 

Having crossed the ocean filled with demons and serpents with his prowess, having landed on the shore Hanuman saw Lanka adorned with garlands of waves which is like the city of Amaravati.

Thus, ends the first Sarga of Sundarakanda in Ramayana the first poem ever composed by the first poet Valmiki.

||om tat sat||
स सागरं दानवपन्नगायुतम् बलेन विक्रम्य महोर्मिमालिनम्।
निपत्य तीरे च महोदधे स्तदा ददर्श लंकां अमरावतीम् इव॥ 201||
Having crossed with his prowess the ocean filled with demons and serpents, having landed on the shore Hanuman saw Lanka adorned with garlands of waves which is like the city of Amaravati 
|| om tat sat ||