After that, Hanuma, the destroyer of foes, desired to travel in the sky where celestials like chaaranas tread, to search for Seetha, who was taken away by Ravana. Hanuma who desired to perform a deed done by no one else, shone like a bull without any obstacles, with his stretched neck and raised head.
After that, the mighty and courageous Hanuma roamed at ease on the lawns with the hue of an emerald, which looked like still water from a distance. The thoughtful Hanuma tread like a rampant lion, making birds fear, uprooting trees by his breast and also killing many animals.
That great monkey Hanuma shone like an elephant in a lake, standing on the foot of that great mountain by the name of Mahendra, where many elephants of good breed resided, which was beautifully decorated with many naturally formed mineral rocks of varied hue like black, white, red, blue, yellow and green and which was surrounded by godly serpents and Yakshas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas who were capable of assuming desired form, together with their families.
He saluted with joined palms to the Sun-God, Lord Indra, God of Wind, Lord Brahma and Bhutas and decided to leave. Hanuma turned towards east, saluted his father, the Lord of Wind and increased his body to go towards southern direction. With all the Vaanaras seeing, Hanuma decided to fly and like an ocean swelling on full moon days, grew for Rama's success.
With a desire to cross the ocean, Hanuma grew his body immeasurably and pressed the mountain with his feet and hands. Thus tormented by Hanuma, that mountain shook for an instant and showered all flowers of trees on it.
Covered all through by those fragrant flowers which fell down from the trees, that mountain shone like a mountain made of flowers. That mountain shed water like an elephant in rut emitting rut juice, after being pressed by the mighty Hanuma. Pressed by that mighty Hanuma, streaks of gold silver and antimony color appeared on the Mahendra mountain.
Huge Rocks of Sulfur were also shot forth from that mountain, just as a fire burning with a medium flame would emit columns of smoke. Being pressed on all sides by the mountain which itself was being pressed by Hanuma, creatures living in the caves of that mountain shrieked in horrifying tones.
That loud noise from creatures which emanated because of stress caused to the mountain, filled the earth and all four directions and forests near that mountain. Great snakes with clear swastika signs on their hoods, spewed out frightening flames with their great heads and bit the rocks with their teeth.
Then those great rocks bit by those snakes with anger and venom, burned due to the flame and split into thousand pieces. Medicinal herbs from that mountain, although capable of destroying ordinary poisons, could not neutralize the poison from those snakes. Ascetics residing on that mountain flew away from there thinking that some demons were destroying it. Vidhyadharas who lived there, became afraid and flew away with their women folk, leaving behind them golden jugs of wine in the liquor house, gold vases, a varieties of sauces that can be licked, eatables, various meats, skins of oxen and swords with golden hilts.
The intoxicated Vidyadharas with garlands around their neck decked with red flower garlands and smeared with sandal paste, with reddened eyes, and with lotus shaped eyes, obtained the sky. Vidyadhara women wearing necklaces, anklets, armlets and bangles stood in the sky with surprise and with smiles along with their loved ones.
Vidyadharas and great sages stood in the sky in a group, showing their great prowess and viewed the mountain. Then they heard words of Charanas, Siddhas and pure hearted Rishis who were located in that clear sky. "This Hanuma, who is equal to a mountain, who is the son of Vayu, and who has great speed, wants to cross the ocean which is abode to crocodiles. Hanuma has decided to perform an impossible task for the sake of Rama and Vanaras and wants to obtain the other side of ocean which is hard to obtain."
Vidyadharas thus listened to the words of those great people and looked at the incomparable Hanuma, best among Vanaras, standing on the mountain. He, who is equal to a mountain, shook his hair, quivered his body and let out a great roar like from a vast cloud.
About to fly, Hanuma jolted his tail, which was rolled into a circle from top to bottom, and which was covered with hair, just as Garuda, the king of birds would jolt a snake. Receiving his vigor, the tail curled at his back was seen like a great serpent being stolen by Garuda. Hanuma firmly supported his arms (on the mountain surface) which resembled huge iron clubs, crouched the waist and contracted his feet.
Bending shoulders and neck, that mighty and glorious Hanuma, increased his energy, strength and courage. With his eyes raised up, seeing the way from a distance, viewing the sky, he held his breath in his heart. That mighty Hanuma, equal to an elephant among monkeys and the best among Vaanaraas, stood firmly with his legs, bent his ears and before flying spoke these words to the Vaanaraas.
"I will go to the city of Lanka, ruled by Ravana just like an arrow released by Rama will go, with wind-like speed. If I do not see the daughter of Janaka there, I will go with the same speed to the abode of gods. If I do not see Seetha there in heaven, I will get Ravana the king of raakshasaas tied up in chains without any effort. I will, in all events, return successfully along with Seetha or I will get Lanka along with Ravana after uprooting it."
The best among Vaanaraas, Hanuma, spoke in this way to Vaanaraas and then without thinking about anything else, flew up with lot of vigor. That great monkey also thought himself equal to Garuda, the king of birds. While he was flying up, due to that force, all trees on that mountain flew away in all directions, drawing together all their branches.
While flying in the sky, he took along with him, because of the force of his thighs, trees shining with flowers and with fattened lapwing birds. The trees thus being held aloft by the speed of Hanuma's thighs, followed him for a while just as relatives would follow their loved ones embarking on a long journey.
Uprooted by the force of Hanuma's thighs, Sal and other excellent trees followed Hanuma like soldiers following their king. Hanuma the great monkey presented a wonderful sight, with his mountain-like appearance together with the well flowered trees.
After that, powerful trees sank into the salt ocean like mountains sinking into ocean due to fear of Mahendra. That Hanuma who was equal to a cloud, covered with flowers of various kinds, shoots and buds, shone like a mountain with fireflies. Those trees which were released by Hanuma's speed, dropped flowers and fell down in the water like friends going back after bidding farewell to their dear one. Set in motion by the wind from the movement of Hanuma, that variety of blossom, with various hues, from the trees fell down into the sea. That great ocean shone like the sky filled with stars.
Hanuma shone like a cloud in the sky decorated by lightening, with flowers of various hues sticking to his body. That sea water looked like the sky with delightful stars rising up, with flowers flown up by Hanuma's speed. That sky-borne Hanuma's arms which were spread out, were seen like five-headed serpents coming out of a mountain's peak.
That great monkey shone like one who is drinking the great sea together with its waves. He also seemed like one who desires to drink the whole of sky. The eyes of that Hanuma, who was following the path of sky, which had a brilliance equal to that of lightening, were shining like two fires on a mountain.
The round, wide, reddish brown eyes of Hanuma, the best among the monkeys shone like fully risen sun and moon. The ruddy face of Hanuma, with His reddish face shone like the Sun touched by twilight. The tail of Hanuma, the son of Vayu floating in the sky, being risen up looked like the pillar erected in honour of Indra.
The great intellectual Hanuma, with his great body, and with white teeth, shone like the Sun, being surrounded by his circular tail. That great monkey Hanuma, with his red colored buttocks, shone like a mountain with a large deposit of red Gairika herb broken into pieces.
Air passing through the lion among monkeys Hanuma's arm pits sounded like a thundering cloud. The best among monkeys Hanuma flying thus in the sky, looked like a meteor darting away with great speed in the sky from northern direction. With a fast pace equaling that of Sun god, the tall Hanuma shone like an elephant which increases its size when being festered by a rope.
Then Hanuma who was flying above the ocean with his body above the ocean and his shadow being immersed in the sea below, looked like a boat being driven by wind. Whatever place Hanuma went towards on the ocean, that place became agitated due to the force of thighs.
That great monkey with great speed flew in the sky striking with his chest series of waves which had a great body like that of mountains. Wind from the mighty Hanuma and the wind released from the clouds caused the ocean with a fearful sound to shake a lot.
Hanuma flew in the sky dragging along with him big waves from the ocean as though he were sprinkling them in the sky. Hanuma with great speed crossed waves which were equal to Mount Meru and Mount Mandara, that had risen up in the sea, as if counting them.
Then the water together with clouds which was driven up by the force of Hanuma, shone like a stretched autumnal cloud in the sky. Then various whales, fishes, turtles and crocodiles were being seen clearly in the sea just as bodies of humans would be seen when clothes are removed.
Serpents living in the sea saw Hanuma flying in the sky and thought that it was Garuda, the king of birds. Hanuma's shadow which was ten yojanas wide and thirty yojanas long appeared very beautiful on water.
Comment : "Yojana" is a measure of length in ancient India like the modern mile. However its value does not seem to be a standard even within India. Some consider it as six miles, some as eight miles and some as two and half miles. Hence it is difficult to have an accurate conversion from yojanas to miles.
That shadow which was following Hanuma and spread on the ocean, shone like a series of dense white clouds. That great monkey Hanuma, the great resplendent one with a huge body, shone like a mountain with wings flying in the sky without any support underneath. In whatever path Hanuma the mighty one went, in that path, there immediately appeared a trough in the ocean below.
Hanuma while coursing through the path of birds like the king of birds Garuda, dragged with him series of clouds like the god of wind. Great clouds with white, red, blue and madder colors shone on being dragged by Hanuma.
Hanuma who is repeatedly entering and leaving series of clouds as He flies in the sky, is being seen like the moon who shines and is hidden alternately. Then, on seeing Hanuma flying quickly in the sky, Devas, Gandharvas and Danavas showered flowers on him.
Then, the Sun did not scorch Hanuma, the best among Vanaras, who was flying for Rama's welfare. The wind god Vayu also served him with a delightful breeze. Sages praised the great resplendent Hanuma flying in the sky. Devas and Gandharvas also sang in His praise. Immediately on seeing the best among monkeys, Hanuma, flying without any effort, Nagas, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Devas and birds all praised Him.
While that best among vanaras, Hanuma, was flying, the god of ocean thought thus for the respect of Ikshvaaku dynasty: "If I do not help this best among vanaras Hanuma, I shall become prone to all kinds of ill-talk by those who want to speak against me. I was developed by Sagara of Ikshvaaku dynasty. This Hanuma who is helping a descendant of that dynasty should not become tired. I have to behave in such a way that Hanuma would take rest. After resting in me for a while, He can cross the remaining distance with comfort."
Samudra thus making a good thought, spoke to Mainaka, the best among mountains with gold in the middle hidden in water. "O best among mountains Mainaka! You have been positioned here by Devendra as an obstacle to the groups of asuras living in paataala. You are standing at the entrance of paataala which is difficult to measure, fully covering it, when asuras courageous by birth are trying to rise up again. O mountain, you have capability to grow wide, up or down. O best among mountains, for that reason I am encouraging you. Raise up. Hanuma, the best among monkeys, the courageous one, who has taken up a fearful task for the benefit of Rama, that such Hanuma while flying in the sky is coming over you."
"To this Hanuma, who is a follower of the Ikshvaaku dynasty, help should be done by me now. Descendants of Ikshvaaku are repectable to me. They are even more respectable to you. Do help to us. Our task may not be miscarried. A task which needs to be performed and not done, will increase the anger of good people. Raise up above from the water. This Hanuma is the best among fliers and is a guest to be worshipped for us. Let him stand on you."
"O mountain with golden hued middle area and one who is served by Devas and Gandharvas! Hanuma can take rest on you and then traverse rest of the distance. You are fit to raise up after seeing the gentleness of Sri Rama, and the exile of Seetha, and the effort of Hanuma."
The mountain with gold in the middle, Mainaka, listening to the words of the salty ocean, got up quickly from the water, together with great trees and creepers. Then that Mainaka became in the risen state, passing through the ocean water, just like the Sun piercing through a cloud with His shining rays.
That great Mainaka who was covered by water in all directions, who had peaks with Kinnaras and great serpents, which were equal to a sun rise, which were touching the sky, and which had a golden hue, being ordered by the ocean, showed his peaks in an instant. The sky which had a bluish tinge like that of a sword, shone with a golden hue because of the peaks of the mountain which rose up and which was like molten gold. That best among mountains became equal to a hundred suns with its peaks which had a golden hue and which were shining with a self generated shine.
Hanuma on seeing the mountain which stood before Him, rising up from the middle of the salty ocean suddenly, decided that it as an obstacle. That great monkey Hanuma with a great speed, brought that great tall mountain with His chest just as the God of wind would a cloud. That best among mountains Mainaka, thus being fell down by that Hanuma, recognized Hanuma's speed and lauded him with pleasure.
Mount Mainaka with love and with gladdened heart obtained a human form and standing on its own peak, spoke these words approaching that courageous Hanuma in the sky. "O the great Vanara! You have performed this impossible task of flying over the ocean. Do come down on to my peaks and rest for a while to your comfort. The ocean was developed by people born in Sri Rama's dynasty. That such ocean is worshipping in lieu of Sri Rama, you who is desirous of Sri Rama's welfare."
"When a service is done, a return service needs to be rendered. This is an ancient tradition. Such this ocean who wants to do a return service to the Raghu dynasty, is suitable for respect by you. "After flying a hundred yojanas, let this Hanuma rest on your peak and then travel the rest of distance." - Thus I have been encouraged by this ocean for your sake due to His great respect for you. O best among vanaras! Stop for a while and then go after resting on me."
"O best among vanaras! For that reason, here is lots of roots, fruits and other eatables which are fragrant and sweet. May you leave after eating that and resting here for a while. O chief among vanaras! Besides this, there also exists a relationship which is famous in all the three worlds, which is based on great virtues, for us with you."
"O son of Vayu, the god of wind! O best among vanaras! I am thinking you as being very important among those vanaras who are fast and who are capable of flying. By a person who wants to know dharma or by one who knows dharma, a guest even though ordinary is to be respected. What else can I say in the case of a great guest like you. O best among vanaras! You are the son of the great Vayu - the God of wind, who is best in speed among the Devas. In speed you are equal to him alone."
"O knower of Dharma! If you are worshipped, Vayu also gets worship. For that reason you are to be worshipped by me. Also listen to another reason in this matter. O son! Earlier in the Krita yuga, mountains had wings. With speed equal to that of Garuda and Vayu, they went in all directions. After that when those mountains were thus flying freely, Devas and living creatures together with sages obtained fear in the doubt that those mountains might fall down."
"Then the angry Devendra who performed a hundred Asvamedha rituals, cut off the wings of thousands of mountains by his weapon vajra then and there. That Devendra angrily reached me with raised vajra. Then I was thrown away immediately by the great Vayu. O best among vanaras! With saved full wings, being thrown down into this salt ocean, I have been protected by your father."
"O chief among vanaras! Vayu is thus indeed respectable to me. For that reason I am respecting you. My this relationship with you has great virtues. O great Vanara! Because this matter is like this, you are suitable to make myself and Sagara happy, with a gladdened heart. O best among Vanaras! Reduce your fatigue. Accept our worship also. Respect our love. I am happy by your manifestation."
Hanuma listening to the best mountain's words, spoke thus : "I am happy. Hospitality has been done. Let this ill feeling be removed. The time to perform my duty is hastening me. The day too is passing. A promise has also been given by me. I should not stand here in the middle neglecting my duty."
The courageous Hanuma saying thus, touched the mountain with His hand, entered the sky and flew on with a smile. That Hanuma was thus seen with great respect by the ocean and the mountain, and also worshipped with suitable blessings. After that leaving the mountain and the great ocean, and flying up far into the clear sky, Hanuma followed the path of his father.
The son of Vayu obtained the speed to fly still higher into the sky and seeing that mountain below, went in the clear sky which had no support. Seeing Hanuma perform that very difficult second task (first one being the flight over ocean), all Devas, Siddhas and great sages praised Him.
Devas and the thousand eyed Devendra who were there, became happy by the task of that golden hued Mainaka. The wise Devendra himself spoke these words through faltering tones due to extreme happiness, to Mainaka, the best among mountains. "O Mainaka, the king of mountains! I am very happy with you. O gentle one! I am giving protection to you. Proceed according to your comfort."
To the dauntless Hanuma crossing hundred yojanas, who is fearless even when there is reason to be afraid, a great help has been done by you. This Vanara Hanuma is going for the benefit of Sri Rama, the son of Dasaratha. I am very happy with you who is doing respect to Him.
Thereafter, the best among mountains obtained great happiness on seeing Devendra, the lord of Devas being happy. Then that mountain with a given boon from Devendra stood still there. Hanuma also leaped over that part of the ocean in an instant.
Thereafter, Devas together with Gandharvas, Siddhas and great sages spoke thus to Surasa, the mother of Nagas, equal to the Sun in brilliance. "This glorious son of Vayu, going by the name of Hanuma is flying over the ocean. You obtain a horrible mountain like demonic appearance and make a face with fearful tusks, red-brown eyes and as vast as the sky, and create an obstacle to Him for an instant. We are desiring to find out if by His strength and also courage and intelligence He can win over you or obtain sorrow."
That Goddess Surasa, thus spoken to by Devas and also being respected by them, wearing a horrible disfigured appearance of a demon in the middle of the ocean which caused fear to all, and stopping Hanuma who was flying, spoke these words. "O best among Vanaras! You have been given by Devas as my food. I will eat you. Enter inside my mouth."
Thus spoken to by Surasa, the glorious Hanuma, with a happy face and with folded hands, spoke these words to Surasa. "The son of Dasaratha, with the name of Rama entered the forest of Dandaka together with His brother Lakshmana and wife Seetha. When that Sri Rama, with a bitter enmity towards Rakshasas, was diverted in another task, His famed wife Seetha had been taken away by Ravana. I am going for Rama's sake as a messenger to find Her presence. O subject of Sri Rama! You are suited to help Rama. Otherwise after seeing Seetha and informing that to Sri Rama who makes Seetha without troubles, I will obtain your mouth. I am promising truthfully to you.”
Thus being spoken to by Hanuma, Surasa with power to take desired form, spoke thus: "No one can overcome me. This is my boon." Mother of Nagas, Surasa, desiring to know the strength of Hanuma, spoke these words on seeing Him going away.
"O best among Vanaras! You are bound to go only after entering my mouth. This boon had been given to me long ago by Brahma." - speaking thus, with quickness she opened her wide mouth and stood before Hanuma. Then Hanuma speaking thus to Surasa, became angry and became ten yojanas long and ten yojanas wide.
Seeing Hanuma, who looked like a cloud, being ten yojanas long, Surasa also made her mouth twenty yojanas long. Thereafter, Hanuma got angry and became thirty yojanas long. Surasa made her mouth forty yojanas high. The courageous Hanuma then became fifty yojanas high. Thereafter, Hanuma got angry and became thirty yojanas long. Surasa made her mouth forty yojanas high. The courageous Hanuma then became fifty yojanas high.
Surasa then made her mouth sixty yojanas long. The mighty Hanuma in the same fashion, became seventy yojanas high. Surasa made her mouth eighty yojanas high. The mountain-like Hanuma then became ninety yojanas high. The great wise Hanuma seeing that mouth with a long tongue which was horrible and equal to hell being opened by Surasa, greatly reduced His own body and became the size of a thumb.
The glorious Hanuma with great speed, quickly entered Surasa's mouth and came out of it and standing in the sky spoke these words to Surasa. "O daughter of Daksha! I indeed entered your mouth. My regards to you. I will now go where Seetha is. Your boon also came true."
Seeing that Vanara being released from her mouth like the moon from the mouth of Rahu, goddess Surasa spoke these words assuming her normal form. "O gentle Hanuma! Go according to your comfort to achieve the desired task. Bring Seetha together with the great Sri Rama."
Seeing that third very difficult task of Hanuma, all the creatures then praised Hanuma saying "Good! Good!". That Hanuma, equal to Garuda in speed, neared the ocean which is the abode of Varuna, entered the sky and went in His original path.
Hanuma went, like Garuda, in the sky served by clouds (or streams of water), served also by birds, tread by masters of music Tumbura and other Gandharvas, served by Airavata, borne by lions, elephants, tigers, birds and serpents, decorated by clear Vimanas moving with great speed, shone by fires with thunderous jolt equal to that of Vajra - the weapon of Devendra, decorated by people with good deeds, people with great luck who conquered the heavens, served by the God of fire carrying great quantities of oblations, shone by planets, stars, moon, sun and starlets, occupied by groups of great sages, Gandharvas, Nagas, Yakshas but unpopulated by humans, clear and all pervasive, served by the gandharva king Vishvaavasu, roamed by elephants of Devendra, the path of the moon and the sun, the auspicious one, a wide canopy of the earth constructed by Brahma, served in various ways by excellent courageous groups of Vidyadharas.
Hanuma, the son of Vayu, visible everywhere, obtained the sky without support, like the king of birds with long wings. A demoness by the name of Simhika with the power to assume desired form, saw Hanuma flying, increased in size and thought thus in her mind. "After a long time, this great animal came into my grasp. After long time, today I will enjoy my meal."
Thinking thus in her mind, Simhika attracted His shadow. While the shadow was thus being grasped, Hanuma thought thus. "Like a great boat in the ocean with opposing winds, I am being pulled back forcefully, with disabled power."
After that, Hanuma looking sideways, upwards and downwards, saw a big animal raised up in the salty ocean. Hanuma saw that animal with a horrible face and thought: "This animal with a strange appearance, with great strength attracting shadow, is indeed the animal that had been told by Sugriva. There is no doubt in that." That wise Hanuma recognizing that animal correctly as Simhika, increased His body greatly, like a cloud in rainy season.
That Simhika seeing the growing body of the great monkey Hanuma, spread her mouth to be equal to the middle of Patala. Roaring like a dense cloud, she ran towards the Vanara. Then the wise Hanuma saw her opened very big mouth equal to His own body and also her internal organs. That Hanuma with great strength and with a body equal to a diamond, repeatedly contracted His body and fell into her opened mouth.
Siddhas and Charanas saw Hanuma sinking in her mouth, like the full moon on a full moon day being swallowed by Rahu. Then Hanuma rend her internal organs with His sharp nails and after that flew up with a speed equal to that of thought.
That wise Hanuma felling Simhika down with His vision, courage and ability, developed again by speed. That Simhika with heart rend by Hanuma fell in water with sorrow. Seeing Simhika killed by Hanuma, creatures roaming in the sky spoke thus to that best among Vanaras. "O best among Vanaras! A huge animal has been killed by you. A great task has been done. Perform the task dear to you auspiciously. O best among Vanaras! Whoever has the four qualities of courage, vision, intellect and skill, all these four virtues like you, such a person will not fail in any task."
That Hanuma the respectable one, thus respected by them, entered the sky and went like the Garuda with a determined goal. Hanuma after almost reaching the other shore, looked in all directions and saw a series of trees at the end of his journey of hundred yojanas.
The best among Vanaras, Hanuma, immediately after getting down also saw an island decorated by a variety of trees and also the forests in the region of Malaya. That Hanuma with controlled senses and with good thoughts looked at the ocean, the bay and the trees born in the bay, and also the faces of the wives of the ocean (rivers are considered wives of ocean), observed Himself to be equal in size to a great cloud as though stopping the sky, and thought thus.
Comment : It is considered an auspicious sign to be welcomed by married women. Hanuma seeing the wives of Sagara coming to meet their husband thus bodes well for Hanuma.
For that reason, Hanuma reduced His mountain-like body and obtained the nature of one who reached self-realization, free from infatuations. Hanuma greatly reducing His size became normal in nature regaining His original form, like Vishnu who mitigated the strength of Bali by taking three strides.
Hanuma capable of assuming many different beautiful forms, who cannot be defeated by enemies, obtained the other side of ocean and being cognizant of Himself restored His own form and became with a decided mission. After that great one who looked like a huge mass of clouds, alighted on the mountain peak of Lamba with wonderful lower peaks, abundant with various things and filled with Ketaka, Uddalaka and coconut trees.
After that Hanuma for His part obtained the ocean shore, observed the city of Lanka from the top of the mountain, leaving His original form, tormenting animals and birds, alighted on that mountain. Having traversed, by the dint of his strength over the ocean which was infested with demons and reptiles and endowed with series of huge waves, and alighting on the shore of the great sea, Hanuma then saw the City of Lanka having a resemblance of Amaravati, the capital City of Indra.
Thus, this is the 13th chapter in Sundara Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© January 2003, [Revised July 2009] Kishore Kopalle