Sundarakanda Chapter 58

Hanuman recounts the events in Lanka !

Chapter 58:

Summary : Questioned by Jambavan Hanuman tells the details of his exploits in reaching Lanka, locating Sita , meeting Ravana , burning of Lanka.

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Chapter 58

सुंदरकांA very much delighted Hanuman sat together with all other Vanaras chiefs on the top of that Mahendra mountain.

Then Jambavan asked Hanuman about all that has happened . " How did you locate Sita ? How is she ? O Great Vanara ! Tell us all that which has happened " . Then Hanuman paying his obeisance to Sita in his mind and very much delighted replied as follows.

"You have seen me leaping into the sky from the Mahendra mountain to reach the southern shore. Then as I was flying I came across a huge obstacle. It was a beautiful golden mountain. Since it was standing in my way I considered it as an obstacle. As I approached the mountain I decided in my mind to break it and lashed at it with my tail. Hit with force the mountain fell apart, and realizing my strength the mountain spoke to me.

" SriRama is the greatest protector of Dharma. In valor he is equal to Devendra. Oh Destroyer of foes ! I consider helping that SriRama is my duty ". Hearing those words of Mainaka the mountain, I told Mainaka about my mission and proceeded there after with his permission.

Then I saw Surasa the celestial mother of Nagas. She stood there in the middle of the ocean and spoke to me as follows ." The Devas have offered you as my food .It is after a long time I am getting one like you. Therefore I am going to eat you ". Then paying my obeisance I spoke to her with respect.


I told Surasa who is capable of taking any form as follows " You can be of help in the matter of SriRama. Or else after seeing Maithli and giving the details about her to SriRama I shall come back to you. This is my promise". Then she said " No body can escape me and that is my boon !" . When she stated as above I grew ten yojana long and half as wide. To accommodate my form she also opened her mouth as wide.


Then immediately I made my body very small and in a moment reduced my size to that of a thumb . Then I entered her mouth and flew back in a moment making her word true. Then Surasa taking her celestial form told me " Oh Vanara you proceed ahead on your mission and unite Sita with Srirama ".

Then I flew on like a Garuda in the sky. Then I felt that that my shadow was being held back. But I could not find any reason. Then while I was thinking my eyes fell on on monster in the waters of the ocean. Then making my body very small I entered her body came out piercing her heart and flew into the sky .

Then I heard the words of Charanas traveling in the sky saying " The fearsome demon Simhika has been killed by the great Hanuman". Having killed Simhika and remembering the related events I flew on for a long time. Then I saw the mountain full of trees on the southern shore on which the city of Lanka is located.


When I was entering the city of Lanka a fierce Rakshasa woman stood in front of me making sounds like the fearful clouds at the time of deluge. Then that woman with fearful locks flaming like fire attacked me. Then I gave her a punch with my left hand and floored her. Thus defeated and seeing me entering the city in the twilight period she was afraid and spoke to me .

"I am the city of Lanka . I have been conquered by your might. Having conquered me you will conquer all others too !" Then searching for Sita I entered Ravana's inner palaces. Not finding Sita there I was immersed in an ocean of sorrow which seem to have no shore !


While I was immersed in sorrow I saw a grove surrounded by a wall in laid with gold . I jumped over the wall and saw the Ashoka grove full of trees. In the middle of the Ashoka grove there was a tall Simsupa tree . Climbing the tree I saw a grove of plantation trees. Near that Simsupa tree I saw a lady with golden manes. She was in pitiable condition. Always thinking of her husband , wearing her hair in a single plait and squatting down on the ground, her face resembled a lotus discolored by the winter snow.


Then I heard noises of anklets and the waist girdles proceeding from the palaces of Ravana. Then that powerful Ravana along with his wives came to that place where Sita was sitting.


Then the ten headed Ravan addressed Sita lost in her ocean of sorrow . " Oh Sita respect me . Oh proud lady if out of your insolence you refuse to accept me then I will drink your blood after two months ". Hearing those cruel words of Ravana , fiery Sita burning with anger spoke with measured words. " oh evil minded Rakshasa ! I am the wife of illustrious SriRama and daughter in law of highly respected scion of Ikshwaku line the King Dasaratha. For having spoken those unspeakable words why is it that your tongue is not falling off !! Great indeed is your valor which found a convenient time to carry me away in the absence of my husband and and when he is out of sight !

Hearing those stinging words of Sita , Ravana glowed with anger like a fire . Then mollified by ladies accompanying him , Ravana left the grove went back to his palace. After Ravana left the grove all the Rakshasa women started tormenting Sita using cruel words. Sita treated their words like a straw and their loud remonstrations were also of no avail.


In the midst of those Rakshasa women a rakshasa woman by name Trijata spoke. " You better think of eating yourself. Sita is th daughter of King Janaka and the daughter in law of King Dasaratha. She shall never be destroyed. I saw a terrible dream which portends victory of SriRama and defeat of the Rakshasas. Only she can protect us from the wrath of SriRama.So I think it is better we ask for her protection ".

Then Sita delighted at the thought of her husband's victory said " if this comes true I give my word for your protection ! ". Seeing the plight of Sita and I was distraught and I could not gather myself. Then thinking of a way to speak with Sita I recited the greatness of the kings of Ikshwaku line. Hearing those words spoken by me, Sita with her eyes full of tears spoke to me. " Oh Vanara! Who are you ? Who sent you here? How did you come here? How did you strike friendship with SriRama? Please explain everything fully." Hearing these words I spoke to her in the following manner.

" Oh Devi ! Sugriva the king of Vanaras is a friend of SriRama. I am the servant of Sugriva. My name is Hanuman. Oh pious lady Srirama gave this signet ring as token to be given to you . O Devi ! Tell me what needs to be done . You can command me . I can take you directly to SriRama and Lakshmana. O Devi ! What is your command?"

Hearing my words and understanding their import Sita said ," SriRama taking me after defeating Ravan is the most appropriate". Then bowing down to Sita I asked her to give me a token which will please SriRama. Then Sita said " Take this most priceless jewel . Sight of this signet ring will rouse Srirama and his regard for you will grow" . So saying she gave me that jewel. Still disturbed in her mind she said to me once more. " I will be alive only for two more months . If SriRama does not come here immediately he may not see me.Then I will be giving up my life amid these Rakshasas like an orphan "

Hearing those pitiable words of Sita I was full of anger . Then I thought of actions to be completed by me

Then my body grew in proportions to equal a mountain. Intent on a battle I started destroying the grove. Ravana sent warriors by name Kimkaras who know what is wanted by the king and who cannot be defeated. Eighty thousand Kimkaras bearing spears and iron rods came to fight me . I destroyed all of them using the Iron pestle.

Then ravana ordered Jambumali the son of Prahasta along with fearsome Rakshasas to battle me. I destroyed that powerful Jambumali along with his associates using the iron pestle. Hearing about the defeat of Jambumali Ravan sent the sons of the ministers. I destroyed them also in a moment and sent them on their way to the kingdom of Yama.

Hearing that the sons of the ministers have been killed Ravana sent five generals a along with their armies. I destroyed the five generals with their armies. Then Ravana sent his valorous son Aksha kumara. The prince Aksha jumped into the sky well armored and carrying the swords. I caught hold of his feet twirled him around hundred times and threw him down to his death.

Hearing that the Prince Aksha met his death at my hands Ravana then ordered his second son Indrajit to battle me. Then using Brahmastra, he captures me . Then the other Rakshasas tie me up with ropes etc.

Then they take me to Ravana. The evil then Ravana starts speaking to me. He asked me reasons for entering Lanka and also the reasons for killing the Rakshasas. I told him that i did all that to locate Sita. I told him " O King ! Know me as the messenger of Sri Rama and the minister of Sugriva . I have come as messenger of SriRama. O king of Rakshasas I have a message from the Vanara king seeking your welfare !"

King Sugriva sent the following message "Before the powerful Vanara's destroy your armies please restore Sita to SriRama ! " Fiercely angered Ravana immediately looked at me with eyes that threatened to burn me. The cruel Ravana not knowing my capabilities then ordered that I be killed

Then intelligent Vibhishana the younger brother of Ravana spoke on my behalf. " Oh King the code of conduct provides that a spy may be disfigured but not killed under any circumstances". When Vibhishana said this Ravana said " Let it be so" and ordered the Rakshasas . " Set fire to his tail". Then those Rakshasas paraded me tied in ropes through the gates of Lanka and announced to all "look at this Vanara "

Then I made my form smaller and thus got out of the bonds . Then increasing my size . Using the fire on my tail I set fire to the city of Lanka with forts towers and ramparts. The fire raged like the fire at the time of deluge destroying people and destroyed the city of Lanka. Realizing that all parts of Lanka have been destroyed, I was thinking Sita would also have been burnt in the fire.

In deep sorrow while I was thinking like this , I heard the Charanas who move about in the sky paths saying , " Janaki was not burnt ". Considering all the good omens even I was thinking that Sita Devi cannot be burnt.

Then having seen Sita again I reached the mountain by name Arishta . Wishing to see you all I started my journey back

Because of the blessings of SriRama and and your wishes I performed all these activities to complete the mission as commanded by Sugriva.

Thus I have completed all activities as required . We should now consider what has to be done consequently".

Thus ends chapter 58 of Sundarakanda

om tat sat