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6-Hanumaan in Lankaa

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6-Hanumaan in Lankaa

Hanumaan Meets Raam

We meet Hanumaan in Tulasee's Raam Charit Maanas as Sugreev's minister in Kishkindhaa Kaand, when Sugreev, scared of Baali, saw Raam and Lakshman coming to his side. He sends Hanumaan to find out about those two gracious men to find out whether they had not been sent by Baali to kill him. Hanumaan goes there in disguise of a Braahman and he talks to them in a very balanced language prescribed in Ved and Shaastra. [That is what Raam's observation was.] Raam introduces themselves and asks his introduction. That is why Raam said to Lakshman to ask him - "He doesn't look like a Braahman at all. Ask him "Who is he?" Knowing that He was his Isht Dev, Hanumaan falls on His feet saying - "Prabhu, If I did not recognize you, it was justified, but how come that you forgot me?" Then Hanumaan showed his real form and told about Sugreev. Hanumaan took them to Sugreev on Rishyamook Parvat. He was the medium of friendship between Raam and Sugreev.

On asking why Sugreev was living like this on a secluded mountain, Sugreev told Raam that Baali had taken his wife Romaa and has exiled him from the kingdom and now he was living there fearing Baali. So it was necessary for Raam to get back Sugreev's kingdom. He promised Sugreev that He would kill Baali first. He killed Baali and coronated Sugreev on the throne. But then Sugreev forgot his promise to help Raam in searching for Seetaa. It was only Hanumaan who reminded him to do Raam's work. Then Sugreev remembered and made preparation to send his Vaanar army in search of Seetaa. He made four search parties and sent them in four directions. Hanumaan, Angad and Jaambvaan etc were assigned the south direction. All parties were assigned one month for this work to complete.

In Search of Seetaa

When search parties were sent to search Seetaa, Hanumaan was sent to South, as all expected Seetaa would be found in South. So Hanumaan, Nal, Neel, Jaambvaan went to south in search of Seetaa under the leadership of Angad. Ramm gave Hanumaan His ring as the mark of identification for Seetaa. At last they came on seashore and all got stuck there, as nobody was able to cross it. There they met Jataayu's brother Sampaati who told them location of Seetaa. Everybody knew where was Seetaa, but how to reach Her?  All started thinking over it, but failed to find any solution. Hanumaan moved to a lonely place and sat there thinking. Then Jaambvaan reminded Hanumaan about his powers. Then only he got his powers back in his body. After that he crossed 100 Yojan sea in one jump.

Why Hanumaan Was Sitting Alone

When Vaanar had known about Seetaa's whereabouts through Sampaati, they all started thinking as who could cross 100-Yojan wide sea to see Seetaa. At that time..

Here (in both Maanas and Raamaayan) Hanumaan is said to be sitting 'comfortably' far from the maddening crowd of monkeys. When everybody is clamorous, how can this monkey sit comfortably - clearly creates the doubt. In reply it may be said, that he is apparently comfortable but in his heart of hearts he is churning the problem of vaulting over the ocean and if so, then who is to go. 

On one hand, Raam gave his golden ring to Hanumaan in the presence of these very same monkey heroes, and on the other hand Angad is asking all the monkeys to jump over the ocean. Hanumaan is fully aware that all the other monkeys are somehow escaping the situation, not because they cannot jump just a 100-Yojan ocean, but owing to the fear of Raavan. 

Hanumaan neither fears Raavan nor cares for the stooge-Raakshas, but his concern is his duty. If somebody comes forward to leap, then it is well and good and Hanumaan has to accompany that monkey as a standby, because he is handling the ring of Raam. If none comes forward, even in that situation he has go to Lankaa unaccompanied, alone. In either case it is Hanumaan who has to go, hence the 'comfortableness' is 'decisiveness' and thus he is deciding his duty.

A verse from Skand Puraan says this only:
neelo angado hanumaan cha jaambavaan ath kesaree | 
samudra teeram agamya na shekuh spanditam padam | 
raavanasya balam gyaatwa teerey nada nadee pateh || 
--Skand Puraan
[From - Valmiki Ramayan 4/65/35]

On the Way to Lankaa

As Hanumaan flew, Mainaak Parvat rose from the sea to give some rest to Hanumaan. Mainaak Parvat was the friend of Pavan Dev - Hanumaan's father. Once Pavan saved him from other Devtaa. In olden days Parvat also had wings. They were also able to fly from one place to another. Since they used to be very tall they used to create obstacle in Sun and Moon's paths, so Devtaa thought to cut their wings. They cut the wings of most Parvat, but Pavan hid Mainaak Parvat and Mainaak got saved from cutting his wings. That is why he could still move from place to place. To show his gratefulness to Pavan Dev he came to give some rest to Hanumaan. But Hanumaan politely said - "At this time I am going to do Raam's work. Later, when I will come, I will take rest." So Mainaak Parvat went inside the sea.

As Hanumaan proceeded, Devtaa thought to test his strength and wisdom. They sent their mother Surasaa to test him. Surasaa came from somewhere and said to him - "Devtaa have given me good food today after long time. I will eat you today." Hanumaan said - "Maa, I am going to do Raam's work, I cannot stay back. Let me come back after knowing about Seetaa's whereabouts, then you can eat me." Surasaa said "No" and expanded her mouth to one Yojan. But Hanumaan expanded his body double the size of her mouth. Thus Surasaa expanded her mouth up to 100 Yojan, then Hanumaan reduced his size to a very tiny size, equivalent to a fly, went into her mouth and came out immediately before she could swallow him. He greeted her and asked her permission to go. She blessed him for his success saying that now she got convinced that he could find Seetaa. Both went on their way.

Then there was a Raakshasee who used to eat flying objects by capturing their shadow in the water below. He played this trick with Hanumaan also. But Hanumaan knew her tactics, so he killed her. Her name was Sinhikaa.

In Lankaa: Meeting With Vibheeshan and Seetaa

After crossing the sea and the hurdles therein Hanumaan arrived in Lankaa. He climbed on a Parvat to see the beauty of Lankaa. There he found many guards guarding Lankaa, so he thought that he would enter Lankaa in a tiny form and in the night.

When night fell, he took the form of a tiny fly, and tried to enter Lankaa, but there was a guard named Lankinee who was guarding Lankaa's main gate. She saw a fly going inside Lankaa, so she asked it - "Where are you going insulting me?" Hanumaan hit her with his fist. She fell down and bled through her mouth. She got up and greeted Hanumaan and said - "When Brahmaa Jee gave Var to Raavan, He told me the sign of the destruction of this Raakshas Kul, that "when you feel intense pain by a hit of a monkey, you should take it as the sign of death of Raavan. I am very lucky that I have got Darshan of Raam's messenger. Remember Koshal Raaj and enter the city." Thus Hanumaan entered Lankaa with the permission of the guard.

My Note
After this both Maanas and Raamaayan give different descriptions of Hanumaan's activities in Lankaa. Here most activities are listed according to Maanas.

Hanumaan went to see many palaces including Raavan's palace, but he couldn't see Seetaa anywhere. He was just wandering here and there, that he saw a palace with a temple nearby, in which there were many pictures of Raam's bow and arrow and several Tulasee plants. Hanumaan entered that palace wondering who was living there who had Tualsee plants in his house. As he entered the palace, Vibheeshan woke up saying "Raam, Raam". Hanumaan got very happy to hear Raam's name. 

Vibheeshan asked him who he was and what was his purpose to come there. Hanumaan told him that he was the servant of Raam and had come there to find about Seetaa. Vibheeshan told him the whereabouts of Seetaa. So Hanumaan went to Ashok Vaatikaa where Seetaa was sitting in a very unpleasant attire and depressive mood. Many Raakshasee with fierce look were guarding Her. Hanumaan hid himself behind the leaves of that tree and waited for the opportunity to introduce himself to Seetaa Jee.

The then Hanumaan saw Raavan coming there along with Mandodaree and other Raakshasee. He threatened Seetaa a lot saying that if She did not choose him as Her husband he will cut Her head. Hearing this Seetaa said - "Either I will have Raam's arms or this sword, this is my vow." Raavan immediately ran towards Her to cut Her head, but Mandodaree held him back to do so. Then Raavan told Raakshasee guards that if She did not obey him within a month, he would cut Her neck with that sword and went away.

My Note
Although it is written in Maanas, that Mandodaree stopped him by advising him ethically, but I doubt it if one Satee can face another Satee. I have never heard that Mandodaree ever went to see Satee Seetaa. Anybody has any idea?

After Raavan had left, Seetaa started weeping. There was a Raakshasee named Trijataa who was a great Bhakt of Raam, she said to Seetaa - "I saw a dream last night that one Vaanar has come here and burnt the whole Lankaa, Raavan was riding on a donkey, naked. So you don't worry, keep patience, and you will see my dream coming true." Seetaa asked her to get some fire so that She could immolate Herself, but Trijataa told Her that it was too late for it and went home. Other Raakshasee also went here and there.

Considering it a good time, Hanumaan dropped Raam's ring below. Seetaa picked that ring thinking it fire, but found it the ring of Raam. She was still doubting it, that Hanumaan started singing the glory of Raam. Then he came down the tree and stood before Jaanakee, told everything about Raam, Sugreev and their Vaanar army and asked Seetaa's welfare.

Seetaa said - "You have already seen my condition. Tell Raam that if He doesn't come within a month, I will die." Then She asked - "You Vaanar are very short, how Raam will win Raavan with such army?" Then Hanumaan showed Her his huge form and said - "There are many like me in Sugreev's army, so do not worry about it." Seeing Hanumaan's that huge form, first Seetaa got frightened, then got convinced that if all Vaanar were like this then Raam would certainly get victory over Raavan.

In Lankaa: Meeting With Raavan and Burning of Lankaa

After meeting Seetaa, Hanumaan thought that he should do some comical activities here so that everybody can know that a Vaanar came here. So he said to Seetaa Jee that he was feeling hungry and wanted to eat some fruits. Seetaa said - "Putra, Many fierce and powerful Raakshas guard this Van, so be careful." Hanumaan said - "Maa, I have no fear from them, you should be happy, that is all." Seetaa said - "May Raam protect you. Go and eat sweet fruits to your satisfaction." Hanumaan ate lots of fruits, broke many big trees, and destroyed Raavan's beautiful Ashok Vaatikaa.

Seeing this, guards of Ashok Vaatikaa went to Raavan to report that a monkey has come there and has destroyed the whole Vaatikaa. Raavan got very angry and sent many brave soldiers to seize him but Hanumaan beat some, killed some, and threatened some. Some who escaped went to Raavan again. This time he sent his youngest son Akshaya Kumaar. Hanumaan killed him also along with his army. Raavan got very sad hearing this and wondered what kind of monkey he was that he had killed his so many brave soldiers including his son.

So he sent Meghnaad. Meghnaad first fought with him, then used Brahm Astra at Hanumaan. Hanumaan regarded Brahmaa Jee and got fainted only by seeing it. Meghnaad tied him with Naag Paash and brought him to Raavan's court. Hanumaan saw Raavan's court, it was indeed glorious. Raavan asked him - "Why did you destroy my Vaatikaa? On whose power you destroyed it? Are you not afraid for your life? Why did you kill my people without any fault?"

Hanumaan said - "With whose power Brahmaa, Vishnu and Mahesh manage this world. With whose power thousand-headed Shesh Jee balances this world on his head. By whose Khar, Dooshan, Baali have been killed, whose wife you have abducted, I am His messenger. I was hungry, so I ate fruits, and because of my monkey nature I uprooted the trees. Your guards beat me that is why I also beat them. Everybody loves his life, so I am not at fault. If you return Raam's wife, He will forgive you."

Raavan got very angry hearing this, he said - "Somebody come and kill him." With great difficulty Vibheeshan explained him that "messengers are not to be killed. Think of some other punishment. You may cut some part of his body and send him back." Courtiers suggested that monkeys love their tails, so why not to burn his tail after tying oil-drenched cloth to it. Everybody agreed it. So some people started tying cloth on his tail, while others started pouring oil on it. [It is said that at that time Hanumaan enlarged his tail so much that there was no cloth and no oil left in Lankaa.] After tying the cloth on his tail  he was given a round of Lankaa Puree. Then at one crossing somebody set the fire in it.

Now Hanumaan was ready to play his game, so he became very small in size and jumped over all the palaces and houses burning them fast. Seeing this everybody got frightened, but nobody could stop him doing this. Within a short time he burned the whole Lankaa except Jaanakee's living place and Vibheeshan's palace. The whole golden Lankaa turned into ashes. Then he himself jumped into sea, put out the fire and came back to Jaanakee and said - "Now you give me some identification which I can show to Raam as proof of meeting you. And you be patient, as now Raam will know your whereabouts, He will soon come here and take you from here." Seetaa Jee gave Her Choodaamani as Her identification. Hanumaan took it and returned to his place.

When he arrived across the sea, all Vaanar got very happy to see him. He told each and everything to Jaambvaan and other Vaanar. Then Jaambvaan told the whole story to Raam. Raam was so obliged to receive Seetaa's news and Her Choodaamani that He said - "Putra, There is nothing I can give you for this news." And they started making preparations for war.


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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on 07/27/2011 and Updated on 01/24/2013