|| Sarga 58 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 58

"कथंदृष्टा त्वया देवी"

"कथंदृष्टा त्वाया देवी"
means "how did you find Sita".
Old and wise Jambavan asks Hanuma to tell everything.

Old and wise people have a method.
When they ask a question they also indicate why.
Jambavan says that without mincing.

श्रुतार्थाः चिन्तयिष्यामो भूयः कार्य विनिश्चयम्।
यश्चार्थ: तत्र वक्तव्यो गतैः अस्माभिरात्मवान्।
रक्षितव्यं च यत् तत्त्र तत् भवान् व्याकरोतु नः॥ (58.05)

"We can decide on the course of action.
You also must decide what is to be too told,
and what is to be protected"

Govindaraja in his commentary adds
रक्षितव्यं means गोप्तव्यम् ,
that which is not be told in राम सन्निधौ! in the presence of Rama.
||गो टी॥तत्र रामसमीपे गतैः प्राप्तैः अस्माभिःयोऽर्थो वक्तव्यः
यत् च रक्षितव्यं गोपनीयं अव्यक्तम् इति तावत्॥
Commentaries are cryptic but unambiguous.

Jambavan asks Hanuma to tell everything.
But he can also decide what is not to be told in presence of Rama.
Jambavan is already foreseeing that there will be details,
which need not be told.
It is a little mystifying to think that there would be such information.
But as we go along, we will see
how Hanuman elaborates to Vanaras and
how he elaborates to Rama later.

On being thus requested Hanuma starts.

His first act is,
"प्रणम्य शिरसा देव्यै सीतयै प्रत्यभाषत"|(58.06)
Fully delighted to elaborate his exploits,
he bows his head conveying his respect to Sita and then speaks.
Hanuma is now a fully committed Sita Bhakta.

The story to be told was already heard from Valmiki.
It starts with "ततोरावण नीतायाः".
Hanuma's flight across the ocean.
"ददर्शलंकां अमरावतीमिव" - Hanuma saw Lanka resembling Amaravati,
'एवं सीतां तदा दृष्ट्व'- then Hanuma saw that Sita,

In this Sarga all of that is again told in Hanuma's own words

Hanuma mentions Mainaka.
"कांचनं शिखरं दिव्यं पश्यामि सुमनोहरं"|. (58.08)
He mentions Nagamata Surasa.
"ततः पश्याम्यहं देवीं सुरसा नागमातरं"| (58.21)
Then he mentions " I saw Sita"
"ततः सीतां अपश्यन्तु".(58.52)

Hanuma tells about the destruction of Ashok Van,
and killing of Rakshasa warriors.
He tells about the discussion with Ravana.
" दृष्ट्वा संभाषितश्चाहं रावणेन दुरात्मना"|(58.127)
"Saw and spoke to that cruel Ravana".
He mentions that he burnt Lanka.
" Lanka was burnt by me"
"दहता च मया लङ्कां" | (58.155).

This is a story told in first person.
So, we hear the word "I" "अहं" many a time.
These are not words spoken with "अहं", the ego.
The start with bowing to Sita clarifies that.

The ending lines to confirm that.
राघवस्य प्रभावेण
भवताम् चैव तेजसा।
सुग्रीवस्य च कार्यार्थं
मया सर्वमनुष्थितम् ||(58.165)
"Because of Rama's powers,
and enthusiasm of all of you
I have accomplished everything
to achieve Sugriva's purpose."

These are words of a devoted Rama's follower.
The account was told in that tone.

After telling everything, Hanuma says,
he did all of this as per the orders of the King of Vanaras.

"अत्र यन् अकृतं शेषं" -
"If there is anything left be done",
"तत् सर्वं क्रियताम् इति"
"All of that is to be completed now".

There are a few thoughts to be noted in this narration.

Narrating the dream of Trijata,
Hanuma repeats Trijata's claim about
the result of seeing such a dream.
Here Hanuma continues narration in the words of Trijata.

यस्याः एवं विधः स्वप्नो दुःखितायाः प्रदृश्यते।
सा दुःखैः बहुधा मुक्ता सुखमवाप्नोत्यनुत्तमम्॥(58.87)
'Who ever in a sorrowful state sees such a dream
will be relieved of all sorrows and will also experience happiness'.

Ramayana tilaka in its commentary says,
एतेन स्वप्नस्य मिथ्यात्वेऽपि तत् दर्शन फलस्य सत्यत्वं ध्वनितम्॥
By this, though the dream itself is imaginary,
the fruit of seeing that dream is indicated here.
This having been repeated twice in Sundarakanda,
it became part of the lore of Sundarakanda.

There is another interesting point to be noted.
That is in the narration of encounter with Ravana.
In this narration Hanuman adds a little more about Vanaras.
The help rendered by the Vanaras to Gods.

Advising Ravana that it is better he returns Sita to Rama,
before the Vanara armies overpower Rakshasa armies,
Hanuman adds the following in his narration.

"वानराणां प्रभावो हि न केन विदितः पुरा।
देवतानां सकाशं च ये गच्छन्ति निमन्त्रिताः॥"(58.139)
"Who does not know the power of Vanaras in the olden times?
They went to support Devas, being invited."

The cause of the power of Vanaras,
or even the extent of that power,
is not clear except for the reference in Balakanda.

In Balakanda (Sarga 15) Vishnu in response to the pleadings,
announces that he will be born on earth to kill Ravana.
He asks other devas to be born as Vanaras.

Beyond that nowhere in the narration,
we hear about the great past of Vanaras.
We did hear about "monkey ness" "Kapitvam" on occasions.

Here in recounting the happenings in Lanka,
Hanuma mentions this as part of his statement to Ravana.
In his direct encounter with Ravana,
this was only implied in his statement,
while speaking about the greatness of Vali and Sugriva.

In the end ever humble Hanuma,
attributes his success to all.

"राघवस्य प्रभावेन भवतां चैव तेजसा |
सुग्रीवस्य कार्यार्थं मया सर्वमनुष्ठितम्॥".(58.165)
"Because of Rama's prowess,
and your enthusiasm,
all this has been accomplished,
to serve the purpose of Sugriva."

Hanuma's narration is as a follower of Rama.
This comes out in the Jayamantram.

In the Jayamantram we hear "दासोsहं".
"दासोsहं" means I am the "servant of" Rama.
When we read Jayamantram that being in first person,
it is as though we are shouting
that we are servants of Rama too.
We get the benefit of that Mantra.

Very much in that fashion,
when we read Hanuma's elaboration in this Sarga,
it is as though we are there in search of Sita.
It is as though we are telling the story.
That is why it is said reading this Sarga
is as good as reading the entire Sundarakanda.

So, we hear the entire story through Hanuma.
In the following, the same is repeated in its entirety.

The first line of the Sarga starts with
"ततस्तस्य गिरे शृङ्गे महेन्द्रस्य महाबलाः"( 58.01).

Hanuman and other powerful Vanaras,
sat with unparalleled delight,
on the peak of that Mahendra Mountain.

Then Jambavan asked the delighted Hanuman very affectionately
'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, you 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,
Hanuman bent his head in obeisance to the divine lady,
and starts his narration.

Hanuma starts his narration saying,
"प्रत्यक्ष्यमेव भवतां
महेन्द्राग्रात् खमाप्लुतः"||(58.07)||
'When all of you were present,
I rose into the sky from the top of Mahendra Mountain'.
Then he continues the fascinating account.

'While going I felt a terrific form of obstruction
that presented itself in my path.
I saw a very beautiful wonderful golden peak.
Standing in the path of my 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 your father, a great soul.
Your father, the wind god, flung me into the ocean,
thus, saving me'.

'Oh, subduer of enemies!
Having been thus helped,
I must make efforts to help Rama.
Rama is the best among all the wielders of bows.
He is equal in valor to Mahendra'.

Here Hanuma repeats Mainaka's words.
'रामस्य च मया साह्ये वर्तितव्यमरिंदम।
रामोधर्मभृतां श्रेष्ठो महेन्द्रसम विक्रमः॥'(58.17)

In this first encounter while flying over the ocean,
we hear Mainaka sing the praises of Rama.
We also hear the wish to help Rama in his task.
In all subsequent encounters
it is Hanuma who sings the song of Rama.

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

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

'Then in the middle of the sea
I saw Surasa, the divine mother of serpents.
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.
By the orders of Rama, I am going to meet her as his messenger".

"Oh Lady! You ought to help Rama in this matter
Else, after seeing Maithili,
informing Rama who can resolve most difficulties
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 overcome".

'Surasa having said this grew by ten Yojanas.
Then in a moment I grew by fifteen yojanas.
She opened her mouth in proportion to my size.
Seeing her mouth wide open,
in a moment I reduced my form again'.

'That very moment reduced my size to that of a thumb.
Then entering her mouth, I exited in a moment'.

'The divine lady assuming her own form then spoke.
"Oh, Noble one! Go happily and fulfil your mission.
Unite Vaidehi with the noble Raghava.
Mighty Vanara, may you be happy.
I am delighted with you."

'Then I was praised by all creatures repeatedly.
And I flew across the vast skies like the Garuda'.

'Then my shadow was being held somehow.
I could not see who it is.
With the curtailed speed, I looked in all the ten directions
to see who is seizing my movement.
I could not see anything'.

'Then I was wondering,
"What is its name,
that is obstructing me in the sky, not being seen?".

'Thinking so I looked downwards.
Then in those waters of the ocean,
a fierce Rakshasi was seen,
who was frightening to look at.
Laughing loudly, she was steadfast and
without any hesitation addressed me.'

"Oh, one with huge body!
Where are you going?
Being hungry and 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 too was opened further to eat me.
She did not know my strategy'.

'Then in a moment reducing my large size,
I entered the wide-open mouth,
pulled her heart and sprang into the sky'.

'Then she who resembled a mountain,
fell in the sea with her arms hanging down as I pulled her heart out.
Then I heard all the Charanas, 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, I went ahead.
Then I 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,
who was wanting to kill me,
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 conquer all the Rakshasas".

'Then through the night
I went through the inner chambers of Ravana
searching for 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,
I saw a long golden wall surrounding a beautiful and splendid garden.
Climbing on to the boundary wall,
I saw 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 the same single cloth.
Her hair was filled with dust.
She was lost in sorrow,
always thinking about the welfare 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.
She was 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 her life'.

'Seated in the middle of the Rakshasa women,
with eyes like that of a deer,
she was fortunately 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.
That was 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 was full of fear and was very much worried.
Looking everywhere and not seeing anybody who can protect her,
she was trembling with fear.

Sita, who was ever meditating and in sorrow,
Sita, who sat with her bent down, was then addressed by Ravana.

"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 and the leader of Ikshwakus race,
how is it that your tongue has not fallen?"

"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 are not fit to be even his servant.
Rama is ever truthful and valiant in war.
Rama is ever worshipful too."

'Hearing those harsh words of Janaki,
the ten-headed one immediately glowed with anger.
like the fire on the burning funeral pyre'.

'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'.

" Oh King, being equal to Mahendra in Valor!
What do you want with Sita?
Oh, Lord you can enjoy with Deva, Gandharva, and 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 left,
the ugly faced Rakshasis,
started threatening Sita with frightful words'.

'Janaki considered their words worthless as a blade of grass.
Their frightening threats were of no use'.

'The flesh eating Rakshasis with their threats being ignored,
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,
committed to the well-being of her husband,
piteous, very sad Sita
lamented bitterly in deep sorrow.

Trijata, from among the Rakshasis,
woke up and spoke these words to all'.

"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".

"If a dream like this is seen
when a woman is grieving
She will be relieved from every kind of sorrow
and all happiness will be hers".

"The Janaka's daughter,
can be won over with an appeal for mercy.
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".

'Seeing that state of Sita, I 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,
spoke to me with tears in her eyes'.

"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 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".

"Oh, 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 now.
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,
I asked for a token that will be pleasing to Raghava'.

'Then Sita spoke to me.
"Take this best of gems,
Seeing 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 having paid obeisance to the princess,
with a mind focused on going back,
I circumambulated her again'.

'Deliberating in her mind, Sita spoke again.

"Oh, Hanuman, you should tell my story to Rama.
You may convey in a such way
that the two heroes along with Sugriva
should come here as soon as they hear".

"Or else Kakutstha will not see me,
as I will be alive for only for two more months.
After that I will die like an orphan".

'Hearing those piteous words, I became very angry.
After her reply, I thought of 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 hearing terrified birds and beasts,
and saw the destroyed garden'

'Having gathered together,
understanding at once on seeing me in the grove,
they reported to Ravana.

" Oh, mighty King!
the grove in the fort has been destroyed,
by an evil minded Vanara,
not knowing your strength".

"Oh, King of kings!
The aimless wanderer,
who is acting contrary to your interest,
must be ordered to be killed".

'Having heard that, the king of Rakshasas,
sent Rakshasas by the name Kinkaras,
who are invincible, and who know his mind'.

'I killed, with an iron bar, eighty thousand Rakshasas
who were armed with spears and maces.
Among them those that are not killed,
the less powerful ones went back 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,
together with Prahasta's son, Jambumali, were ordered.
Then again using the terrific iron bar,
that expert in war endowed with great strength was killed,
along with all other Rakshasas who accompanied him'.

'Having heard that, the king of Rakshasas
sent powerful sons of the minister along with mighty foot soldiers.
I sent all of them also to the abode of Yama with that iron bar'.

'Hearing that the valiant sons of the minister were killed,
Ravana sent his 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 son of Mandodari, expert in war, rose up in the skies to fight.
He was caught by his feet and whirled around a hundred times
Then he was smashed to the ground'.

'Hearing that Aksha was killed,
the ten-headed Ravana 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, and intoxicated'.

'Indrajit realizing that I cannot be killed,
knowing that his power is reduced,
quickly captured me with Brahma astra'.

'Then the Rakshasas tied me up with ropes.
Dragging me, they brought me to Ravana's assembly.
After being seen I was spoken to by the evil minded Ravana'.

'He asked me about my coming to Lanka.
Asked me about the killing of Rakshasas too'.

"Oh King! All that was accomplished for Sita sake.
Desiring to see her, I came to your mansion.
I am a Vanara by name Hanuman, and son of wind god.
Know me, a Vanara, as the messenger of Rama,
and the minister of the Vanara king 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.
The following is his message".

'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 was abducted by Rakshasas.
There you must help us".
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,
Sugriva was then made the king of Vanaras.
Then we too must help Rama in his 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 Ravana, the evil-minded Rakshasa,
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 a decision.
According to the science of diplomacy
the killing 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 scriptures.
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,
Rakshasas wrapped my tail with bark of hemp,
and pieces of old cotton cloth.
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.
Those Rakshasa warriors then took me,
to the gates of the city
announcing all along the way on the royal streets'.

'Then I reduced my huge form to a small size
and freed myself of the bonds.
Again, coming back to my natural huge form,
took an iron bar and killed all the Rakshasas'.

'Then I quickly jumped on the city gate.
Using the fire at the tip of my tail
I set fire to the city with all its ramparts and the towers,
like the fire at the time of the dissolution'.

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

'Thus, overtaken by sorrow I started thinking.
Then I heard that wonderful utterance.
Those were the auspicious words of Charanas.
They said, "Janaki is not burnt".

'Hearing those wonderful words that Janaki was not burnt,
it occurred to me by the signs that,
the tail though set on fire did not burn me because of her'.

'There was joy in my heart and the 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,
I started the leap'.

'Then following the path followed by the Charanas
I have come here to see you all.'

'By the power of Rama, and your enthusiasm,
everything has been accomplished by me,
for achieving Sugriva's purpose'.

'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 58 of Sundarakanda.

||om tat sat||
|| This is what we understood from Tattva Dipika of Shri Bhashyam, Appalacharyulu garu"||
|| om tat sat||