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Valmiki Ramayana - Sundara Kanda in Prose Sarga 36

Hanuma gives Seetha, the signet ring sent by Rama through him in order to strengthen her confidence in Seetha felt very happy to see the ring and praised Hanuma for his arrival to Lanka after having crossed the sea single handedly. She expresses her hope to Hanuma, saying that Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Sugreeva will come to Lanka with their armies so as to destroy Ravana, for her sake. Hearing Seetha's words, Hanuma consoles Seetha saying that Rama, Sugreeva and a host of monkeys will come to Lanka by crossing the ocean, so as to defeat Ravana and his army, with assurance that Rama will appear before her shortly.

 

Hanuma, the highly energetic son of wind-god, with an inducement to obtain confidence from Seetha, again modestly spoke the following words:

"O illustrious lady! I am a monkey and a messenger of the wise Rama. O princess! Look at this ring too, marked with Rama's name. I brought this ring given by the high souled Rama, for the purpose of gaining your confidence. Get consoled indeed. Happiness to you! You are now free from the object of your grief. I brought this ring given by the high souled Rama, for the purpose of gaining your confidence. Get consoled indeed. Happiness to you! You are now free from the object of your grief."

The countenance of that large-eyed Seetha, which appeared charming with red and white eyes shone like a moon the king of stars liberated by Rahu the demon. Then, that young Seetha, gladdened by the message of her husband, became shy and message of her husband, became shy and well-pleased. Uttering delightful words, she praised Hanuma the great monkey (as follows):

"O Hanuma the best of monkeys! You have singly overpowered this place infested by demons. You are valiant. You are competent. You are intelligent. You, with an acclaimable gallantry, crossed the ocean having a width of one hundred Yojanas and an asylum of crocodiles, making it as a small puddle. O excellent of monkeys! For you there is no fear nor even bewilderment from Ravana. Hence, I do not consider you as an ordinary monkey."

"O the best of monkeys! If you are sent by that Rama, who knows the nature of his self, you are worthy of talking to me well. The indomitable Rama must not have sent you indeed, especially to me, without knowing your enterprise and without testing you in advance. Rama the righteous man who is true to his promise and Lakshmana of great splendour who enriches the joy of Sumitra are fortunately safe."

"If Rama is safe, with his anger why is he not scorching the earth with ocean as its belt, like rising fire at the end of the world? Otherwise, Rama and Lakshmana are capable of holding down even the celestials. But I think there is no end indeed to my troubles. Is not Rama getting perturbed? Is he not tormented with grief? Is Rama the best of men now doing the right acts to annihilate the enemies? Is Rama the prince miserable and confused? Is he even mistaken in his actions? I hope he is doing all acts which require human effort."

"Is Rama the annihilator of enemies as per necessity resorting to the two strategies viz., conciliatory and partaking approaches and even the three strategies viz., partaking, sowing dissension and open assault? Is he kind-hearted towards friends, with a wish to conquer the enemies? Is he getting friends? Has he been approached for friendship by others? I hope he is having good friends and even so honoured by them. Is Rama the prince wishing the grace of the gods? Is he equally aware of the role of human endeavour and the role of fate? 

"O Hanuma! Is Rama not losing affection in me because of my staying away from home? Will he release me from this evil predicament? Is Rama, who is habituated always to pleasures and not habituated to pains, not sinking into despondency by now getting this great pain? Are you constantly hearing the news of safety of Kausalya, Sumitra and Bharata?"

"Is Rama worthy of honour, suffering from pain just because of me? Will he liberate me from my sorrow, without fixing his mind on something else? I hope Bharata, having a brotherly affection, will send for my sake, an army furnished with banners, guarded by the ministers, consisting of ten anikinis (21870 elephants, 21870 chariots, 65610 horses and 109350 foot soldiers) which were terrific in appearance."

"The glorious Sugreeva the lord of monkeys will indeed come for my sake along with his valiant monkeys, who have their tusks and nails as their weapons. Lakshmana, the strong man, who augments the joy of Sumitra and who is an expert in weaponry, will indeed destroy the demons by the multitude of his arrows."

"Within a short time, I hope see Ravana killed along with his companions in the battle-field by terrific weapons burning brightly. That face of Rama with its golden and with the fragrance of a lotus may be looking miserable as bereft of me and getting dehydrated too. I hope it is not parched by the sun, like a louts. Which Rama left the kingdom as an indication of his righteousness and to whom there was neither disturbance nor fear nor sorrow even while taking me to the forest by foot, I hope that the same Rama is maintaining boldness in his heart. To Rama, in the matter of affection, neither his mother nor his father nor any body else is equal to or more than me. O Hanuma the messenger! I wish to survive only as long as I hear the activity of my beloved."

Uttering thus those greatly meaningful and sweetly worthwhile words, Seetha the princess further abstained from talking so as to hear Hanuma's delightful words describing the matters pertaining to Rama.

Hearing Seetha's words, Hanuma of terrific prowess, keeping his joined palms on his head, spoke the following words in reply. "O Seetha having lotus eyes! Rama does not know that you are here. For that reason, he did not take you back soon, as Indra the destroyer of strong holds did not take back Sachi, his wife. Soon after hearing my words, Rama will come soon, drawing forth a large army, consisting of a multitude of monkeys and bears."

"Rama will paralyze the imperturbable ocean with his flood of arrows and make the City of Lanka extinguished of demons. If the goddess of Death along with demons or celestials stand firmly in the way of Rama at that time, he will kill them also. O noble lady! Being full of grief caused by your non-appearance, that Rama is not obtaining happiness, like an elephant tornmented by a lion."

"O Seetha the princess! I swear and tell you by the mountains Malaya, Vindhya, Meru and Dardura as well as by our staple food of roots and fruits, that you will soon see Rama's face, having good eyes, handsome, having lips with the colour of a bright-red gourd (fruit of Momordica monodelpha) and with its charming look like a rising full moon."

"O Seetha! You will see soon Rama on the Prasravana mountain, like Indra the Lord of celestials seated on the back of Airavata, the chief of elephants. Rama is not eating meat, nor indulging even in spirituous liquor. Everyday, in the evening, he is eating the food existing in the forest, well arranged for him."

"With his mind wholly devoted to you, Rama is not even driving away forest-flies from his body, nor mosquitoes nor insects nor reptiles from his body. Rama always cogitates on something or the other. He is forever engaged in sorrow. He is enamoured with the god of love and thinks of nothing else."

"Rama mostly does not have sleaze. Even if that best of men sleeps, he keeps awake uttering sweet words like "lo! behold! Seetha! When he happens to see a fruit or a flower or any other beautiful object, he recollects of you and says 'O beloved!' many times and breathes a sigh."

"O Seetha the princess! Rama the magnanimous prince is always lamenting, speaking just about you, recollecting "Seetha, Seetha!". Being firm in his vow, he makes effort to find you only. That Seetha, who has the same amount of grief as that of Rama, became worn out of her grief upon hearing the adoration of Rama, like a night with the moon obscured by the remnant clouds at the commencement of autumn."

 

Thus completes 36th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

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October, 2005, K. M. K. Murthy