Sundara kanda:

Chapter 15

Hanuman sees Sita in Ashokvan !!

Sundarakanda Chapter 15 is one of the more often read Sargas of Sundarakanda.

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Chapter Summary :

Hanuman hidden in the thicket of the Simsupa tree started looking around in anticipation of Maithili walking that way. Then he noticed a lady in distress dressed in worn out clothes surrounded by Rakshasa women sitting under the simsupa tree. Noticing the ornaments which were hung from the tree as those described by SriRama, Hanuman quickly concludes that the lady is indeed Sita the consort of Rama. Looking at her and thinking of SriRama Hanuman was delighted that he could finally locate Sita.

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'Hidden in the simsupa tree awaiting Sita , Hanuman looked all around in search of Sita'


Chapter 15

Hidden in the simsupa tree awaiting Sita , Hanuman looked all around in search of Sita'.

The Ashokvan was adorned with Kalpa tree with excellent fragrances and juices . That beautiful forest appeared like Nanadana garden ( of Indra) . It was interspersed with palaces and resounded with sweet noises of cuckoos and shrill voices of peacocks. The ponds were filled with golden lotuses and the whole forest shone with red glow of Ashoka flowers. Wide variety of all fruits and flowers were available. Also beautiful seats were erected at various places. The branches of the trees were covered with birds . The birds were continuously jumping from one branch to another giving the impression that tree was covered with birds and there were no leaves ! There were Punnaga, Saptaparna, Champaka and Uddalaka trees. There were also numerous Ashoka trees. Some of them were of golden hue, some were flaming red like fire, some were of deep collyrium hue. The Ashoka grove was more beautiful than Nanda garden and Chaitraratha wood of Kubera. Various kinds of smells were there as in Himalayas or in Gandhamadhava mountains. At a short distance he saw a coral palace white as Kailasa mountain resting on a thousand pillars. Its stairs were made of Coral and had several dias of gold. Shining brightly its height touched the sky.

Then Hanuman saw a woman emaciated through fasting, surrounded by many Rakshasa women.

She was sighing repeatedly and seemed to be immersed in sorrow. She was immaculate like the moon in the bright fortnight with delightful splendor which was difficult to recognize much like the flames enveloped in smoke . She was devoid of all ornaments and wore single piece of yellow cloth of superior quality though covered with dust. She looked like Goddess Lakshmi without a Lotus. It seemed like she was brooding over some thing and tears were rolling down her cheeks. Away from her kindred she looked exactly like the she deer separated from her herd and surrounded by a pack of hounds. Beholding the large eyed woman who looked emaciated and who seemed to have never known the calamities before and who though deserving all comforts was now stricken with sorrow, Hanuman thought she must be Sita

He said to himself " This lady is precisely endowed with the same form in which that woman being carried away by the Rakshasa was seen "

Hanuman gazed on that Devata like form of Sita, whose countenance resembled a full moon, who had shapely eyes and graceful rounded breasts and who was dispelling darkness in all quarters by her radiance . She was seated on the bare ground like an ascetic woman leading an austere life . And much like the scared serpent keeping all at a distance, she was sighing repeatedly. She was like the intense fire covered by smoke.

She resembled a Smriti text with doubtful meaning , a treasure that has been cast away , a faith that has been shattered , a hope that has been frustrated, a perfection impeded by blemishes, a reputation marred by false scandal. Obstructed from service of Rama she was sighing repeatedly and looked like a fawn looking all around out of helplessness. With difficulty Hanuman could identify her to be Sita.

Observing the large eyed Sita Hanuman concluded that she is indeed Sita on the following grounds. He saw the same ornaments described by SriRama hung from the branches of the Simsupa tree. He said to himself " The ornaments described by Srirama are all there except those thrown away in the flight. The yellow garment with golden border whose threads were stuck on the trees in the Rishyamuka mountain can be see here. Although the clothes she is wearing seems worn out they still have the marks of an excellent garment. This lady with golden limbs is the consort of Rama. Though she is physically far away, she is still living in the mind of Rama . Rama was tormented by a four fold grief born out of not having saved the lady in distress , not having protected those who are under his care, sorrow of being separated from his loving wife, and the distress of passion for his wife separated from him. Her form is that of a a celestial. Rama is of beautiful form. She is certainly his wife. Her mind is filled with his form and her form is on the mind of Rama. That is why both of them who are pious minded are alive. Lord SriRama has done what is really hard to accomplish namely that he has preserved his life though separated from his wife."

Delighted to behold Sita in this way Hanuman remembered SriRama and praised SriRama repeatedly .

Thus ends Chapter 15

'Delighted to behold Sita in this way Hanuman remembered Srirama and praised SriRama repeatedly'