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Seetha asks Hanuma, who is prepared to depart with the jewel for her head, to convey her enquiries about the welfare of Rama, Lakshmana and Sugreeva. She further requests Hanuma to urge them to rescue her. Then, Seetha expresses her doubt about the capacity of Rama, Lakshmana and the troops of monkeys and bears to cross the ocean. Hanuma explains to Seetha about the strength of monkey-heroes and assures her about their ability to cross the ocean. In the end, Hanuma consoles Seetha by promising to bring Rama and Lakshmana on his back across the sea so that they will together destroy the City of Lanka.
Then, after giving the jewel for head, Seetha spoke to Hanuma as follows: "This token of remembrance is actually known to Rama. By seeing this jewel, the heroic Rama can recollect three of us, viz. my mother, myself and the king Dasaratha. O Hanuma the excellent among monkeys! Driven by your enthusiasm again, think what remains to be done in undertaking this task. O Hanuma the best among monkeys! You are capable of fulfilling this task. O Hanuma! Become the one who can remove my misfortunes, by employing your effort. If you think of it carefully, your effort will become the one which can remove my misfortunes."
That Hanuma of terrific prowess, having promised 'so be it', offered salutation to Seetha by bowing his head to her and was set off to go. Getting to know Hanuma ready to set out, Seetha the princess spoke the following words with her voice choked by tears: "O Hanuma, the excellent among monkeys! Ask about the welfare of both Rama and Lakshmana together. You also ask, according to our usage, about the welfare of Sugreeva together with his ministers and of all the monkeys who are elder. You deserve to evolve a strategy through which the long-armed Rama can make me to cross over this ocean of misfortunes."
"O Hanuma! Tell, in whatever manner, by which the illustrious Rama can console me, even while I am still surviving. Reap righteousness, by helping me through your word. Constantly hearing the words endowed with energy spoken by you, Rama's manly strength will be intensified to recover me." Hearing the words containing my message from you, the valiant Rama will duly set his heart in exercising his strength."
Hearing the words of Seetha, Hanuma the son of wind-god, having placed his open hands side by side, slightly shallowed on his head in salutation), spoke the following words in reply. "Coming soon together with valiant monkeys and bears, Rama after defeating the enemies in battle, will eliminate your sorrow. While discharging his arrows, none can be seen either in men or in monkeys or in celestials who are able to stand before Rama in battle. That Rama is capable of enduring even the sun-god, even Indra the god of rain or even Yama the god of death, son of the sun-god a battle-field especially for your sake. Rama is indeed worthwhile to master the entire earth bounded by the ocean. O Seetha! Rama's victory is indeed for your sake."
Hearing those words of Hanuma, spoken rightly and truly well, Seetha held him in great respect and proceeded to speak (the following) words: Thereupon, looking again and again towards that Hanuma who was going away, Seetha kind-heartedly adored his words endowed with friendliness for her husband. "O valiant monkey, the annihilator of enemies! If you are agreeable, stay for a day at any one secret place. After taking rest, you can go tomorrow. O Hanuma! Because of your vicinity, there may be a relief for a moment to this great sorrow of me, who is less fortunate."
"O Hanuma the lion among the monkeys! If after that, there is any doubt about your return, there is a doubt even for my survival too. There is no suspicion about this matter. O Hanuma! To me, who is tormented by one grief after another grief, my sorrow due to your disappearance will further torment me, like a burning flame. O best among the monkeys! O valiant one! In the matter of monkeys and bears who are your helpmates, this highly great doubt is lingering before me."
"How indeed can those troops of monkeys and bears or Rama and Lakshmana can cross that great insurmountable ocean? Three beings viz. Garuda the eagle, or yourself or the wind-god only have the capacity of crossing this ocean. O valiant monkey! That is why, what strategy are you visualizing to fulfill this act, which is thus impassable? You are indeed excellent of those who know how to accomplish a task. O Hanuma the annihilator of hostile enemies! You, as one alone, is capable of fulfilling this task. Your act of fulfilling the result is well-known."
"If Rama defeats Ravana with his entire army in battle and as a champion takes me back to his own city, it will be quite worthy of him. If Rama, the destroyer of rival army, fills the entire Lanka with his arrows and takes me home, it will be quite worthy of him. For that reason, you act in such a way, that Rama the high-souled man, valiant in battle, may exhibit the prowess befitting of him."
Hearing those words, which were meaningful humble and attended with reason, Hanuma gave his final reply (as follows): "O Seetha the princess! Sugreeva, the Lord of the troops of monkeys and bears and the premost among the monkeys, who is endowed with strength, is firmly determined in your cause. O Seetha! That Sugreeva, endowed with thousands and crores of monkeys, will come soon to destroy the demons. So many monkeys, endowed with prowess, perseverance, great strength and who can rush to any place as they wish are intensely committed to Sugreeva's command. There is no hindrance to their movement either in the sky or in the ground or in any horizontal region (between the sky and the ground) with unlimited splendour are not indolent in performing any great task."
"The earth with its oceans and mountains has been circumambulated clockwise many times by those monkeys, who are highly energetic and who follow the aerial path. In them, some of the monkeys are superior to me and some are even equal to me. No one in the vicinity of Sugreeva is inferior to me. When I have arrived here, why to talk about the mighty ones? Generally, superior ones are not sent for errands. Only others are indeed sent."
"O Seetha the princess! Enough of your lamentation. Take away your sorrow. Those leaders of monkeys will reach Lanka by one single leap. Rama and Lakshmana, those two lions among men also of great strength, ascending on my shoulders, can come to you, like the rising sun and the moon. Coming together, Rama and Lakshmana the valiant and the excellent among men, can destroy the City of Lanka with their arrows."
"O Seetha with a good waist! Rama, the delight of Raghu dynasty, killing Ravana together with his troops, will return to his town, duly taking you with him. For that reason, console yourself indeed! Happiness to you! If you wait for some time, you shall see, within a short time, Rama like a blazing fire. When this king of demons is killed along with his sons, ministers and relatives, you will meet Rama, as Rohini* met the moon."
*Rohini: A consort of the moon-god, presiding over a constellation of the same name.
"O Seetha the princess! You shall see the end of your sorrow soon. Within a short time, you will also see the end of Ravana, as destroyed by Rama. Thus consoling Seetha, Hanuma the son of wind-god made up his mind to go back and spoke to Seetha again as follows: "That Rama the annihilator of enemies, who firmly decided to destroy his adversaries and Lakshmana wielding a bow in his hand will soon reach the entrance of Lanka and you will see them. You can see soon those valiant monkeys, with their claws and tusks as weapons, having the prowess of lions and tigers and looking like lordly elephants, coming together."
"O venerable lady! You shall see many troops of excellent monkeys resembling hills and clouds, thundering on the peaks of Malaya mountain in Lanka. Hit in the vitals by the darts of venerable Manmatha the god of love, Rama is not obtaining happiness, as an elephant gets tormented by a lion. O Seetha the princess! Do not weep with grief. Let your mind be without any unpleasantness. You are indeed having Rama your husband as your protector like Shachi having Indra her husband as a protector."
"Who else is there greater than Rama or who else equal to Lakshmana? Those two brothers, like fire and wind, are supportive to you. O Seetha the princess! You will not stay for long at this place, which is very terrific and occupied with a multitude of demons. The arrival of your husband will not be delayed. Be patient till the moment of my meeting with Rama on my return."
Thus completes 39th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
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© January, 2005, K. M. K. Murthy