Sundara Kandam

Chapter: 3
Hanuman's Victory over Goddess

[Stopping of Hanuman by Goddess of Lanka and his victory over her.]

Hanuman the monkey chief, who is the son of Wind God, who is remarkably intelligent and strong and who was on the Lamba Mountain, which was as big as a cloud, prepared with courage to enter the city of Lanka which had pretty gardens and lakes and which was also protected by Ravana. 1-2

Hanuman saw the city, which was shining like the clouds of autumn, which had the booming sound of ocean, where sea breeze wafts continuously, which was similar to Alakapuri the capital of Kubhera, * which was full of enthusiastic army, which had very regal and pretty tower gates, which had a white decorated gate way, which was protected like Bhogawathi the city of serpents, which was great, which was having clouds like the streak of lightning, which reached up to the path of stars, which was similar to Amaravathi the city of Devendra, which had cool breeze, which was surrounded by big golden walls, which had the jingling sound of bells and which was decorated by flags, again and again and with thoughtful surprise neared it and with happiness and force jumped and climbed its walls. 3-8
* Lord of Wealth.

Hanuman saw with pleasure the city of Sri Lanka, which had Gates made of gold, which had floors on which precious gems were embedded, which had majestic towers that appeared to fly and were made of gold in which diamonds, crystals, pearls and other precious gems were embedded, which had courtyards and houses made of molten gold and decorated by silver and thus appearing white, which had steps made of precious gems interspersed with powder of crystals through which swans walked hither and thither, which was filled with sounds of Krouncha birds (mythical birds) and peacocks, which had many musical instruments which when played were making reverberating sounds and which was like the city of Indra touching the sky. 9-12

That heroic Hanuman seeing the splendorous, rare and richly endowed city of the chief Rakshasas thought like this. 13

"Protected by the army of Ravana, which has kept all arms in readiness; this city cannot be conquered by anyone using his strength." 14

"This perhaps can be entered only by the famous Kumuda, Angadha, the great monkeys Sushena, Mainda and Dwividha. 15

"This could be entered possibly by Sugreeva the son of Sun, Kusa Parva the monkey, Jambhavan the bear, Kethumala and myself." 16

"He then remembered about the great valor and masculinity of the great heroes Rama and Lakshmana and became pleased." 17

(Though the above monkeys were capable of entering the city, he was not sure that they would be able to conquer it and so the thought of these heroes pleased him.)

Hanuman saw that famous decorated city which had palace like buildings from which darkness was removed, which was complete and which did not have any deficiencies and which looked like a young lady, who wore the glitter of gems as her dress, the pretty stables as ear studs. 18-19

Then the city goddess took her actual form and saw the very strong, monkey chief, who was the son of the wind god, entering the city. 20

(This goddess called Lanka Lakshmi was earlier called Vijaya Lakshmi and was the keeper of the treasury of Lord Brahma. She was once careless and did not do her work properly. Brahma cursed her to become the watch woman of Ravana. He also told her that on the day she is defeated by a monkey, she will regain her original form.)

That Goddess of Lanka City, who was looked after by Ravana, saw the monkey chief and appeared with a grotesque face. 21

She stood in front of the valorous son of wind god and with a booming loud voice spoke to the son of wind. 22

"Who are you? Why have you come here? Tell which is the truth, for then only your soul will continue to exist" 23

"This city of Lanka is protected on all the four sides by the invisible soldiers of Ravana and so definitely you cannot enter it." 24

(This Sloka also indicates that the Goddess of Lanka is immortal and hence would continue protecting it even if the soldiers were defeated.)

Then the valorous Hanuman replied to her who was in front of him, "I would tell the truthful answer to what you have asked." 25

"By the way who are you? Why are you seeing me cruelly? Why are you dangerously bullying me? But also why are you standing near the gate?" 26

That lady of Lanka, who was capable of taking any form she liked, hearing the words of Hanuman, addressed the son of wind God with hatred thus: 27

"I am one who obey the orders of Ravana, the all-powerful King of rakshasas and I cannot be won over by anybody and I protect this city." 28

"Hey monkey, you cannot enter here disregarding me. Now itself, you are going to sleep after losing your soul as I will kill you." 29

"Monkey, I am the city of Lanka and I alone guard it with utmost care and I am telling this to you only." 30

Hearing the words of Sri Lanka, Hanuman the monkey chief, who was the son of Wind God, became sad and stood like another mountain. 31

He who is an expert and the greatest among those, who can jump facing her, who has taken a feminine form, spoke to her softly like this: 32

"I am going to see this city which has forts, spires and towers. I have come here only for this as I am interested in it." 33

"My coming to this city of Lanka is to enable me to see the gardens, forests, fields and mansions." 34

That Lanka Rakshasi, who can take any form she likes, even after hearing the words of Hanuman, still spoke to him in a harsh manner. 35

"Hey bad monkey, without winning over me, who am guarding this city, you cannot enter in to it." 36

Then the great monkey facing the Rakshasi told her, "Lady, I will just see the city and go away". 37

Then the Goddess of Lanka shouted uproariously and with great strength beat the chief of the monkeys. 38

Having been beaten by the Lady of Lanka, that monkey chief, who was a hero and also the son of Wind God, roared in a very high pitch. 39

Then Hanuman forgetting himself because of anger, folding his fingers hit her strongly with his left fist. 40

Because he knew that she was a lady, he did not show his anger too much. 41

That Rakshasi because of the first punch suddenly fell down on the ground with broken limbs, horrible face and showed her real form. 42

Because of the knowledge that she was a woman, seeing her fall on the ground, Hanuman looked at her with mercy. 43

After this, that Goddess of Lanka, with stuttering voice and devoid of pride, told him the following words. 44

"Hey, great hero, please show mercy on me. Hey, Monkey chief who is soft by nature, please save me. Good people of great strength always are stable in showing justice." 45

(She indicates that the just people who are strong do not kill a woman.)

"Hey, very strong monkey chief, I am myself the Goddess of the city of Lanka and a great hero, and you have defeated me by your prowess." 46

"Hey, Lord of the monkeys, I am telling you truly about the boon given to me by Brahma himself. And so please hear." 47

"The day when a monkey defeats you by his prowess, then you please understand without doubt that bad time has come to the Rakshasas." 48

"Hey graceful one, by your sight, I understand that the time has come to me. Whatever has been told by Brahma is the truth for no change can come to it." 49

"The final end has come near to the bad soul Ravana and his rakshasas due to Sita.". 50

"And so monkey chief, enter this city protected by Ravana and do there whatever you wish to do." 51

"So you who are the Lord of Monkeys, please enter this good town ruled by the Rakshasa King, which is badly affected by the curses and search for the daughter of Janaka properly." 52

(This clearly indicates that Sita was present in the city. The curse referred to above is given by the bull Nandi Deva, the vehicle of Lord Shiva, when he was jeered at by Ravana.)

Thus ends the third chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki

Thus ends the sixteenth day story of Ramayana sung by Lava and Kusha in front of Rama.

Songs sung in fourth to twenty-fourth chapters of Sundara Kanda by Lava and Kusha in front of Sri Rama at the place where Aswa Medha sacrifice was being performed on seventeenth day. The total verses sung on that day were 773.

Chapter: 4
Hanuman's Lanka Travel

[Description of the city of Sri Lanka]

That Resplendent monkey chief and great Hero Hanuman winning over the great goddess of City of Lanka, who in her valor could take any shape that she wishes, entered the city by jumping over the wall and not by crossing the gate. 1

(When your intention is to destroy the city, it is believed that you should not enter by the gate.)

Hanuman who always does good deeds to the King of Monkeys, Sugreeva, entered the city and placed his left leg on the head of his enemy. 2

(It is believed that if your first step is of left leg, you bring calamity to the city/house.)

That monkey, who was the son of Wind God and who has entered the city at night, reached the main avenue of the city which was decorated by precious gems and flowers and he saw round the city with extreme courage. 3-4

That city which was full of music created by drums and which was full of sounds of happiness, had a lot of great buildings with windows decorated by diamonds like the great elephant of deva loka and looked like the sky decorated by clouds. 5

That city shined with the good houses of the crowd of Rakshasas 6

That city with buildings of the type Padmam (lotus), Swasthikam (like swastika) and with palaces like Vardhamanam (ever increasing) had many beautifully constructed good houses and shined greatly like the sky by its clouds. 7

Hanuman, who does only good service to the King of Monkeys, with an intention of completing the work of Sri Rama, completely saw that city which was decorated by pictures, garlands and ornaments and became happy. 8

That Son of Wind God, who was going from one house to another house saw houses of many sizes and shapes all over. 9

He heard the three sweet musical sounds of Thara, Madhyama and Manthra, which emanated from head, throat and belly respectively from the voluptuous ladies who were like the Apasra (court dancers) of Deva Loka. 10

In the houses of Lords, sounds of the waist belt, sounds made of anklets, sounds while climbing stairs, sounds of clapping hands and enthusiastic shouts were heard here and there. 11

He also heard sound of chanting of Manthras (sacred poems) from the houses of Rakshasas. 12

He also saw Rakshasas, who were experts in the knowledge of Vedas and also them, who were shouting poems in praise of Ravana. 13

He also saw several spies among the great army of Rakshasa who were standing round the main avenue of the city. 14
He also saw those who were doing penance for performing Yaga, those with uncut hair, those whose head was shaved off completely, those who had covered themselves with hide of cow, those who had one hand full of Durbha grass as weapons, those who had fire pits as weapons, those who had spear and thorn pointed stick as weapons, those who had ordinary sticks as weapons, those who had only one eye, those who had only one ear, those who had hanging stomachs and chests, those who were fierce looking archers, those who carried swords, those who had slanted mouth, those who carried pestle and mortars as weapons, those who were handicapped, those who were dwarfs, those who carried big steel rods, those who shined in peculiar shirts made of steel, those who were not very fat, those who were not very thin, those who were tall, those who were dwarf, those who were white, those who were black, those who were hunch backed, those who were midgets, those who were ugly looking, those who were in different shapes, those who were handsome, those who were holding flags, those who were holding small flags, those who were having trees and spears as weapons, those who were having mace as weapon and also those who were carrying different type of weapons. 15-20

That great monkey further saw those who had in their hands rope and a stone, those who were wearing garlands, those who had applied perfumes, those who were wearing costly ornaments, those who were wearing different types of dresses, those who had joined the army in their free will, those who were carrying many sharp spears and those who were very strong people and carried the Vajrayudha (ace made of diamond) 21-22

Before the harem, he saw lakhs of very careful sentries appointed by the King of Rakshasas. 23

Then the monkey chief saw the very famous and huge palace of the King of Rakshasas constructed on the mountain top, surrounded by walls and moats full of lotus flowers which had a very precious golden tower. 24-25

The great monkey entered the beautiful palace of the King of Rakshasas, which was pretty, which was similar to heaven, which was echoing divine sounds, which was full of sounds of horses, which had the jingling sound of ornaments, which was protected by chariots, palanquins, planes, wonderful horses bringing only good and four tusked elephants, which were like a series of white clouds and which was decorated by thick fat animals and birds and which was protected in all sides by Rakshasas. 26-30

That Hanuman entered the harem of Ravana, which had surrounding walls made of gold and silver, which was decorated by costly pearls and other precious stones and which was full of scented smoke emanating from good quality myrrh and sandalwood. 31

Thus ends the fourth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 5
Rakshasa and Rakshasis Seeing

[Hanuman is searching the houses and streets of Lanka for Sita and is able to see many women but not her.]

Then the intelligent Hanuman saw the moon, which was in the center of the sky, which was with rays and which was spreading the sheet of moon light, like an enthusiastic bull wandering in its stable. 1

(According to commentators, this sloka indicates that Hanuman entered Ravana's house after midnight. Since moon increases the pain of parting to Sita and Rama, Hanuman thought that moon was scorching with rays like the sun.)

Then he saw the moon, which destroys the sorrows of the world, which increased the levels of the great sea and which travelled by giving light to all beings. 2

That Goddess Lakshmi who shined normally on the Mandara Mountain of earth, in the sea during dusk and on the lotus in the ponds, at that time shined sitting on the moon. 3

The moon in the sky was similar to the swan in the silver cage, lion in the caves of Mandara Mountain and the heroic soldier sitting on proud elephant. 4

The moon, which was full of all its crescents, resembled the bullock with its sharpened horns, the silver mountain with its peaks and the elephant whose tusks were decorated by gold. 5

That moon, who did not loose the luster due to dense dew drops, who had borrowed light from the sun by which he drove away darkness, who was serving the luminous Lakshmi in his crystal clear mien and who had the rabbit mark, shined in the sky. 6

The moon shone with great light like the lion climbing on the stone clusters, like the great elephant reaching the war and like the King getting his Kingdom. 7

The early part of night was devoid of darkness due to rise of the moon and was tainted by the eating of meat food by the Rakshasas and was full of lovers joining together after romantic quarrels. 8

At that time musical instruments like Veena gave strumming sounds from their strings, which was sweet to the ears and virtuous wives were sleeping with their husbands and Rakshasas started wandering about with very wonderful and horrible acts. 9

The intelligent monkey chief saw many houses where people were in intoxicated state induced by consuming alcohol and which had garages for chariots, elephant and horse stables. 10

Those tipsy ones were teasing each other, placing their stout hands on each other and were shouting vulgar words at each other. 11

Those Rakshasas were bare in their chest, putting their body on their sweet hearts, assuming various shapes and leaving free the tightly held bows. 12

He also saw several well made up maidens, some ladies who were sleeping, some who were laughing and some who were upset and very angry. 13

That city was full of trumpeting of elephants, well-honoured friends, gasping heroes and hissing snakes. 14

He also saw there some Rakshasas, who were very intelligent, who talked sweetly, who were full of attention, who were considered noble in this world, who were made up in different manners and who had very good names. 15

That Hanuman became very pleased on seeing them, who were handsome people, who had all sort of good qualities and who were looking good and suitable to their good qualities. He also saw some ugly people, who had made up themselves so as to look as handsome. 16

He saw many star like women, who were pretty, who had a very clean mind, who were of good character, who were well known, who in spite being drunk were passionate towards their husbands. 17

He also saw many woman like the birds hidden by flowers, who were shining because of their wealth, who were very shy, who were attracted by tremendous passion and to whom their husbands were making passionate love in the mid of night. 18

The intelligent Hanuman also saw some married women sitting in comfort on the laps of their husbands, who were making passionate love with their husbands and putting on nice behavior because of good upbringing, some who were having interest in Dharma and some who were sitting at the top of their houses. 19

(Here he describes virtuous woman of the house.)

That monkey chief Hanuman saw also many women with the colour of the flash of gold and some with the colour of molten gold, some noble ladies with out the upper cloth covering them, some with pretty attractive colour, some who are of the colour of the moon because they were separated from their lovers, some who were glowing in light because they have got the lovers of their choice and also many happy and very pretty girls in those houses. 20-21

(Here the poet describes unmarried women in love.)

He also saw some with faces as pretty as the full moon, some with curved eyelids over pretty eyes and some with ornaments like the flash of lightning. 22

(He was seeing their eyes and faces to see whether they were human beings or Rakshasis and their ornaments to see whether they were wearing Sita's ornaments.)

But he did not see Sita who was brought up in a royal family of good lineage, who had very high celestial birth, who was with a body like a fully developed climbing plant and who was born outside the womb as per her will. 23

He became extremely sad and felt foolish because in spite of a long search he was not in a position of being able to locate Sita, who permanently dwells in the path of justice, who had very pretty eyes, who was full of love, who for ever lived in the mind of her husband, who was any time much greater than any great lady, who was suffering because of the absence of her husband, who had a neck made wet with tears, who in earlier days used to wear dollar hanging from her neck, who was like a peacock which with its very pretty wings was dancing in the forest, who was like a faded crescent of the moon, who was like a piece of gold dimmed by dust, who was like the wound* pierced by an arrow and who was the wife of Lord Rama, who was greatest among those who speak and who was lord of human beings. 24-27
* Wound which apparently looked as healed but which was giving pain.

Thus ends the fifth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 6
Ravana's Palace Entry

[Hanuman enters the houses of nobles in the palace complex of Ravana and finally enters the house of Ravana.]

That monkey, who can take any form he liked, thoughtfully wandered with speed in to the different palatial houses of Sri Lanka. 1

Then that Hanuman, whom Lakshmi has showered her grace, reached the house of the King of Rakshasas, which was surrounded by walls, which glittered like Sunflower. 2

Examining the house protected by the Rakshasas, like the lions protect the forest, the monkey chief glistened with wonder. (or by the glitter of the houses) 3

That monkey chief saw the great one's great house which had pictures made of silver, which was decorated by gold, which had towers, multiple buildings and pretty gates, which was occupied by great elephants ridden by heroic soldiers and chariot tied horses which cannot be controlled, which had chariots covered with the hides of tiger and lion and were made of ivory, gold and silver and had booming sound, which had forever moving great mega chariots making huge sound inlaid with precious gems filled with special weapons and vessels and occupied by great heroes, which was filled on all four sides by thousands of different types pretty and special animals and birds, which was saluted and cared for by several Rakshasa sentries, which was filled with many great ladies, which was occupied by jewel like ladies who were happy, which was the house of the King of Rakshasas, which was filled with booming sound of the ocean made by the jingling of very special jewels, which was filled with luxurious objects fit for great Kings, which had perfumed objects like sandal and myrrh, which was occupied by large gathering of people who were like the lions of a great forest, which had the noise created by drums, cymbals etc, which was filled by the sound made by conches, which had sacrificial performances for special occasions conducted by Rakshasas, which had daily worship being performed, which had non stop celebrations, which had sounds like the tides of ocean and which had very good quality carpets made of jewels. 4-13

That monkey chief thought that the house, which was glittering and which had elephants, horses and chariots as an ornament of the city. Then Hanuman walked here and there for some time near Ravana. 14-15

That monkey went round and searched without fearing the different houses of Rakshasas and also in their gardens and palaces. 16

That great hero, who had very great speed, jumped in to the house of Prahastha and jumped from there to the house of Mahaparswa (ministers of Ravana). 17

From there the monkey chief went to the cloud like house of Kumbakarna and from there jumped to the house of Vibhishana (brothers of Ravana), 18

He then jumped in to the houses of Mahodhara, Virupaksha, Vidyujihwa, Vidhyunmali and Vajra Damshtra. 19

(Army chiefs of Ravana.)

Like this the great resplendent monkey went to the houses of Shuka, Charana the great hero Indrajit. 20

(Shuka and Charana were the chief spies of Ravana and Indrajit his eldest son.)

He visited the houses of Jambumali, Sumali, Rasmikethu and Surya shathru. 21

That monkey chief, who was the Son of Wind God, jumped in to the houses of Vajarakaya, Dhoomraksha and Sampathi. 22

The son of the Wind God visited one by one the houses of Bhima, Vidhyadhroopa, Ghana, Vighana, Sukhanasa, Sasa, Vikata, Brhamakarna, Dhamshtra, Romasa, Rakshasa, Yudhonmatha, Matha, Dwajagreeva, Nadhi, Athikaya, Aksha, Vidhyujjihwa, Indrajjihwa, Hasthimuka, Akambana, Karala, Pisascha, Sonithaksha, Devanthaka, Naranthaka, Kumbha, Nikumbha, Ugravakthra, and Ghoraand Ghorara. 23-29

That famous monkey chief saw the invaluable riches in each of these rich peoples houses. 30

The lucky Hanuman after seeing and searching these houses on all four sides reached the house of the King of Rakshasas. 31

Hanuman, who was the most intelligent monkey of all, entered inside and saw the women sentries with ugly eyes, who were armed with spear and the thorn mace doing their shift duty. 32

He also saw very huge Rakshasas belonging to different regiments and armed with diverse type of arms in the house of the Rakshasa chief. 33

In that house Hanuman saw horses which were swift, pretty, red, white, armed sufficiently to do a battle and possessing very high speed, and elephants, which were capable of winning the elephants of the enemy, which were trained in the elephant discipline, which were capable of killing the army of the enemy, which were like clouds equal to the prowess of Iravatha, which were similar to the mountains giving birth to several streams, which were making sound like thunder and which can never be won over by the enemies. 34-36

That monkey, who is son of Wind God, saw in the house of Ravana, the King of Rakshasas, thousands of horses decorated with gold, several type of gold plated palanquins, which were like the young sun, several houses covered with climbing plants, several art galleries, several houses of entertainment, playing bulls made of wood, pretty houses of passion and several houses to spend the day time. 37-39

That Hanuman saw the house of Ravana, rivaling the house of Shiva the chief of beings, which was similar to Mandara mountain, which had places for peacocks, which was full of flag poles, which was filled with thousands of jewels, where heaps of treasures were lying about here and there and which had several art works made of very great sculptors. 40-41

That house due to the glitter of precious stones and because of Ravana's prowess was shining like the sun because of its rays. 42

That monkey warrior saw glittering golden cots and seats as also several shining vessels. 43

Hanuman entered that great palace, which was full of gem studded vessels, which have become wet because they were used to serve honey and alcoholic drinks, which was extensive like the very beautiful house of Kubera, which was booming because of sounds made by the jingling of anklets, shaking sound of waist belt and the sounds made by drums and cymbals, which had several houses, which was occupied by several jewel like women and which had many architectural marvels. 44-46

Thus ends the sixth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 7
Pushpaka Vimana Seeing

[Hanuman, when he searched the city, further saw the Pushpaka Vimana and though he was terribly attracted by it. He felt sad because he had not made any progress in search of Sita.]

That strong Hanuman saw a row of houses, which glittered during rainy season, which were having a flock of birds, which were like a whiff of cloud and which had golden windows inlaid with diamonds. 1

In those houses he saw avenues full of precious conch, arms and bow and further he saw in those mountain like houses broad moon lit paths. 2

He also saw houses, which were won by their own strength, which were free of all blemishes, which were being worshipped by asuras and devas and which were glittering by the several riches in them. 3

He saw the house of the King of Lanka, which was made as a result of great effort, which looked as if it was constructed by Maya (famous Rakshasa architect) and which was full of all luxuries in the world. 4

(This house was constructed by Viswa Karama, the architect of Gods but looked like one constructed by Maya.)

He saw the very great house, which stood out, like clouds, which had the glitter of the prettiest gold, which was fit to the strength of the King of Rakshasas and which was definitely pretty. 5

He saw the Pushpaka Vimana (literally flower like plane) which was like heaven descended to the earth, which was shining because of its wealth, which was full of flowers of several trees, which was covered by pollen, which looked like the tip of the mountain, which was fit to be worshipped, which was made greatly shining similar to the streak of lightning in the clouds by presence of great ladies, which was like the planes of people of good deeds floating in the sky, which was being carried by great swans, which was similar to the tip of the mountain painted using several colours, which was similar to the sky decorated by the moon and the planets, which had many joined big pictures resembling the clouds and which had many paintings decorated by jewels. 6-8

In that Vimana, there was painting of the earth with its mountains, painting of forests full of trees and the painting of lotus flowers with its petals and sepals. 9

Not only that, pictures of white mansions were painted on it, besides paintings of pretty flower filled lakes, lotus flowers with its tendrils and luxuriously growing forests. 10

That great plane, which was glittering by the shine of precious stones and which was the greatest among the palaces, was called Pushpaka. In it were made several birds flying in the sky, which was made of diamond, silver and corals. Not only that horses of noble lineage, which indicated prosperity and snakes, were also made in it using several types of precious jewels. 11-12

Hanuman again went near that plane and with wonder examined it. The birds made of coral and gold with flower like wings were hung on it. These were with good, bent drooping wings and had very pretty faces. They appeared as if they were the real helpers of the God of love Manmatha. Also elephants with pretty captivating trunks, which were playing in the lotus pond and were catching the lotus flowers were also found there. Like that the figure of Goddess Lakshmi, whose good event making hands were catching the lotus flowers, was also there. Like this, the very pleasant plane was shining with light, like the end of winter, which had very pleasing perfume and which was like a tree and also like a mountain with many beautiful caves. 13-15

Then the monkey became very thoughtful, because he could not find Sita, who was only attracted by the good qualities of her husband, who was being worshipped by all good people and who was the daughter of King Janaka, in spite wandering and jumping about all over the worshipful city, which was maintained by the prowess of the ten headed Rakshasa. 16

The mind of that holy one, who was very intelligent, who did only right actions and who was having several confusing thoughts because he was not able to see the daughter of King Janaka was filled with sorrow. 17

Thus ends the seventh chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 8
Pushpaka Vimana Description

[This short chapter gives a vivid description of Pushpaka Vimana as seen and understood by Hanuman.]

The redoubtable hero Hanuman, who was the son of the Wind God, saw the very great plane, which was standing in the middle of that building, which had windows made of gold and which was decorated by precious jewels. 1

That plane whose glitter could not be measured and which could not adequately be described by others was made by Viswakarma with an intention that it should be the greatest plane, which could move anywhere in the sky and was parked in the route of wind and was like a sign post of the path of Sun. 2

In that there was nothing which was made without very hard work. There was no part of it which was not made by very costly gems. The assets of that were not even within the ambit of Devas. There was nothing in it, which was not very wonderful. 3

He saw the great Pushpaka Vimana, which was won by the valor gained by full meditation and prayer, which can go in different styles just by mental wish, which was constructed with several types of dwellings, which had equal but differing sights in all its places, which can go at any speed by knowing the wish of its master, which cannot be stopped by anybody, which can go in the speed of wind, which had all possible riches of great and holy people, which looked like the dwelling place of Devas and equally famous people, which has been made in much greater manner than each wish of its maker, which had peculiar pillars, which had spires and domes similar to the peaks of mountains, which was as clear as the autumn moon, which was as pretty as the crowd of flowers of the spring season, which was more pleasing to the eyes than the spring season, which had faces shining by the ear studs worn, which was protected by gluttonous, fat sky riding, rakshasas and which was also protected by thousands of swift Boothas (devils) who had round sunken eyes, 4-8

Thus ends the eighth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 9
Harem Visit

[In this chapter the search of Hanuman for Sita in the harem of Ravana and the first impressions of him about Ravana's harem is described.]

Hanuman, the son of Wind God, saw in the middle of the great Pushpaka Vimana a very big and great building. 1

That was the house of Ravana, which was many yojanas (two and a half miles) broad, one yojana long and with many decorated platforms. 2

The killer of the enemy Hanuman searched everywhere for the long eyed Sita, who was the Princess of Videha. 3

Inspecting the houses of many great Rakshasas, Hanuman, who was graced by the Goddess Lakshmi, reached the house of the King of Rakshasas. 4

The very extensive dwelling of Ravana was protected by many with top pointing arms, surrounded by four tusked elephants as well as three tusked elephants and also full of Rakshasa ladies, who were his wives and also some forcefully abducted Ladies from Royal families. 5-6

(This is contrary to what is expressed in sloka 76 of this chapter.)

That house was like an ocean tumultuously moved by a tempest, which was full of crocodiles, sharks, whales, fishes and snakes. 7

His house was full of all riches, which were in the house of Kubera (God of Riches), Indra (King of Devas) and Sun God. 8

The treasures in the House of Rakshasa King Ravana was similar and much more than the riches of Indra, Kubhera, Varuna (Rain God), Yama (God of Death). 9

The Son of God of Wind saw another mansion in the center of that house, which was beautifully built and in which several artistic works were done. 10

That Pushpaka Vimana, which was prettily made for Brahma by Viswakarma (Architect of Devas), could be used for travel as one pleases. 11

Kubhera by doing very great penance got that Vimana, which was fully decorated by jewels and which was venerated by beings of all the three worlds, from Brahma. 12

The King of Rakshasa won Kubera by his prowess and got it from him. 13

Not only that but that Vimana was decorated by life like statues of deer, decorated all over by gold, had many very beautiful pillars and appeared as if it was shining by its own light. 14

That Vimana was decorated on all the four sides by several towers, which appeared as if they were touching the sky like the Meru and Mandhara mountains. 15

That plane, which was built by Viswakarma, had golden steps and was charming, great and had the luster of the fire and the Sun. 16

It had platforms made of precious gems like Sapphire and windows and shelves decorated by gold and crystal. 17

It appeared pretty as it had floors decorated by corals, very costly gems, incomparable pearls and also several pretty drawings. 18

It was similar to the Sun at dawn and had gold like saffron and sweet scented sandal. 19

That monkey chief climbed the sacred and well decorated Pushpaka Vimana which had different type of pretty halls. 20

Then Hanuman, who stood there, smelled the sweet perfume from the eatables and drinks spread out there which looked like the air personified. (i. e. spread in all places.) 21

It appeared as if the scents called the very strong Hanuman, "come here, come here", like a relation calling another very close relation. 22

He saw a great stage in the middle, which being firmly there attracted the mind of Ravana, which like a pretty lady was causing only good, which had steps made out of pearls and diamonds, which shined because of its golden windows with ivory inlaid here and there, which had floors made of crystal stones, which had very tall decorated pillars built using gold, silver, pearls and corals, which was decorated by different type of pillars, which had very tall and wing like sky touching perfect pillars which were straight, which was as broad as the earth itself with its cities and houses, which was covered by a very big carpet on which the different parts of earth were drawn, which was filled with sounds of songs by energetic birds, which had beautiful incense wafting about, which had special seats with the presence of the King of Rakshasas, which was made dark by the incense and myrrh, which was very clear, which was white like the swan, which was peculiar because of the flowers used for worship, which gave happiness to the mind like the glittering Kamadhenu (sacred wish granting cow of heaven), which was decorated so that it will get fame, which looked like the mother of all treasures, which could destroy sorrow and which was famous and divine. 23-30

That stage, which was protected by Ravana, like a mother satisfied the five sense organs by its pretty form, taste, smell, touch and voice. 31

Hanuman doubted and wondered whether it was heaven, the city of Indra himself, or the city of Gandarwas. 32

He also saw the big golden lights, which were still like those defeated gamblers by the deceit of other gamblers. 33

He felt as if the entire area was burning because of the strong light from those lamps and also by the glitter of the ornaments and power emanating from Ravana. 34

There he saw thousands of ladies lying on the jeweled carpet dressed in cloths of varied colours, wearing several types of ornaments and with varied appearances. 35

Those ladies after long love play and being drunk were sleeping soundly because it was already midnight. 36
Those ladies looked as if no sound coming from the shaking of their ornaments and were like a lotus pond full of silent and bees. 37

He saw the faces of those great ladies, who were sleeping with open mouth, closed eyes and with the smell of lotus flowers. 38

Their faces looked like the lotus flowers, which opened during daytime and had closed during night. 39

The honey drunk bees, without any doubt, had faces like the fully opened lotus flowers. 40

Because of that and because of other valid reasons that great monkey chief thought their faces equivalent to lotus flowers. 41

Because of the glitter produced by the bevy of ladies that stage looked like the star filled clear sky of the autumn. 42

That King of Rakshasas surrounded by them looked like the moon surrounded by the stars. 43

Seeing them Hanuman thought that they looked like a collection of stars fallen from the sky, after they have enjoyed the benefit of all their good deeds. 44

In that place the shine, colour and presence of the ladies glittered, very much like the great shine of the big stars. 45

They were almost in deep sleep because of their love play and intoxication by drink and their garlands and ornaments were very much displaced. 46

Some of them were great ladies, in case of some, their Tilaka (sindhoora) was erased, in case of some their anklets were broken and in case of some their chain of pearls was lying by their side. 47

Like the mare which carried lot of burden was rolling in the ground to recoup its strength, some of them had broken their pearl chains, some had undressed and in case of some, the anklets were completely broken. 48

Some appeared with good ear studs but with broken garlands due to their exertions like the flowering climber in a deep forest was crushed by an elephant. 49

In other cases the broken pearl necklaces were lying in the chest of some and appeared as if some swans were sleeping there. 50

In case of others their diamonds looked like the King fisher birds and the broken golden chains looked similar to the Chakravaka* birds. 51
* Mythical Holy Bird.

With hips similar to the sandy shores some of them looked like the shores of river with many swans, King fisher and Chakravaka birds. 52

With glittering belled anklets, with lotus faces and with nail marks in many places of their body, they looked like rivers with beauty as their shores. 53

In case of some ladies, the pressure marks made by ornaments on their busts and other soft parts appeared as if they themselves were ornaments. 54

The cloth corners which were flying hither and thither by their breaths again and again fell on the top of their chest. 55

Those edges of the very pretty and shining cloths of various colours with various ornaments when shaken over their foreheads appeared as if they were waving victory flags. 56

In case of some women with luster even the ear studs were slightly moving hither and thither by their breath. 57

Their naturally sweet scented breath along with the smell of wine wafted towards Ravana, with pleasure. 58

Not only that some of Ravana's wives mistook the other wives faces as that of Ravana's and kissed them several times. 59

Because those ladies loved Ravana very much, they behaved with those other wives with love even though they did not like them. 60

Some other ladies were sleeping using their bangle clad arms and their cloths as a pillow. 61

With one lady attaching herself to the chest of another, one attaching to her hands, one sleeping on her lap, and another on the same lady's arms, and embracing each other tightly with their thighs, hind parts, hips touching each other, all of them slept together because of their love towards Ravana. 62-63

As the ladies with very ample hips were tightly embracing each other, they were happy and with linked hands were sleeping soundly. 64

That bevy of ladies linking themselves together appeared as if they were a garland which had attracted several big tipsy bees. 65

The harem of Ravana looked like a flower garden in the month of May-June in which the climbing tendrils with full of flowers are intertwined, in which the bees fly from one place to another, in which the heads of the plants are attached here and there and in which the flowers shake in the wind. 66-67

Though their ornaments, cloths and various parts of the body were in places where they should be, they were not knowing whose is where and which. 68

The well-lit golden lamps appeared as if they were staring at the sleeping Ravana along with his multi coloured collection of women. 69

Lasses from the families of Kings, sages, Pithru devas, Rakshasas and Gandarwas appeared as if they were there attracted by their passion to Ravana. 70

Most of the ladies who were there, were the ones who were abducted by the war thirsty Ravana and some of those voluptuous ones came there because of their passion to him. 71

Except the noble daughter of Janaka, all of them were there because of his great valor and none of them have been abducted and brought, none who came against their wish and none were there who had accepted anyone else. 72

None of them were born in a baser family or not pretty or not intelligent or not suitable to be served upon or none without wealth or none who is not suitable to be loved by their husbands. 73

That good-natured Hanuman thought, "If the wife of Sri Rama also attains this state of Ravana's wives towards Rama, my birth in this world would be a blessed one." 74

With sorrow that Hanuman thought, "Sita is the storehouse of all good qualities and this King of Lanka has done acts which should not be done towards her, alas!". 75

Thus ends the ninth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 10
Mandodhari Seeing

[This chapter gives further description of the harem of Ravana, It gives a vivid description of Ravana, his women and his wife Mandodhari. It ends describing the happy Hanuman, who mistook Mandodari for Sita.]

Hanuman who was searching there, saw a cot, which was fit to be in the land of Devas, which was great, which had special parts made of gold and ivory, which had bed covers inlaid with diamonds, which had extremely costly special seats and which was fully decorated by gems and crystals. 1-2

He also saw a particular very special seat, which was decorated all over by gold, which was shining like sun, which was very broad and which had all things that end sorrow 3

On one side of the seat, he saw a very special umbrella, which glittered like the moon and which was decorated by many very special garlands. 4

On all four sides, women were fanning the cot with white fan with soft bristles, it was scented by collection of many perfumes, several incense generating smoke were wafting about it, very precious bed sheets made of wool and hides covered it and all around it was decorated by garlands made of several rare flowers. 5-6

That monkey chief Hanuman saw on the shining bed on the cot, the Chief of Rakshasas, who was of the colour of deep black cloud, who was wearing special glittering ear studs, who was having red eyes, who was having very long hands, who was wearing a cloth with golden zari, who had applied the highly perfumed paste of red sandal, who wore precious ornaments which was like the streaks of lightning in the red clouded sky of the dusk, who was handsome, who could assume any form that he wished, who was equal to the immobile Mandhara mountain with its several trees and bushes, who wore several pretty ornaments, who was tired after love play during the night, who was the darling of Rakshasa ladies, who created pleasant life to the Rakshasas and who was not showing the effect of alcohol that he has drunk. 7-11

Nearing Ravana, who was like a hissing serpent, Hanuman, who could even scare very strong people, was scared and confused and stepped back. 12

Afterwards that monkey chief Hanuman climbed a stairs reached another hall and from there carefully examined the sleeping King of Rakshasas. 13

That costly bed on which the chief of Rakshasas was sleeping looked like garden in which an elephant was sleeping after trampling over it. 14

He saw the two hands of the Rakshasa King, which was attached to his golden shoulders, which were long, which were like the flags of Indra, which had scars made by the tusks of elephant Iravatha, which were starting from his thick shoulders having the scars made by Vajrayudha, which was having the wounds made by Vishnu's wheel, which was attached to his equal and thick shoulders, which had good hands and fingers, which had ideally shaped fingers and thumb, which were able and were like iron bars, which were round and resembled the trunk of an elephant, which were lying on the clean bed and which were like five headed serpents. 15-18

He looked at his two hands which were well covered with specially cold specially scented sandal wood which was as red as the blood of rabbits, which were decorated, which was applied with mixture of several scents, which was massaged by great ladies, which used to make devas, yakshas, Pannagas, gandarwas and Danavas weep, which were kept on the bed and which resembled pythons sleeping on both his sides. 19-21

That Mountain like Rakshasa with his two hands shined like the perfectly shaped Mandhara Mountain with its two peaks. 22

The breath of the sleeping King of Rakshasas, which was having the sweet smelling scent of mango flower, Pongamia flower and Vakula flower, which was having the smell of many food items and which was having the reeking smell of alcoholic drinks spread throughout that area, came out of his very big mouth. 23-24

Hanuman saw in that hall, Ravana who was shining with a slightly out of place crown made of precious gems and pearls, who was having a glittering face because of his ear studs, who was having a fat long and broad chest applied with the paste of red sandal which was shining because of his garlands, who was wearing a white silk upper cloth which was slipping down, who was wearing a very costly yellow silk, who was having red eyes, who appeared as if he was a mountain made of black gram, who was breathing like a serpent, who was like a royal elephant sleeping in the river Ganges amidst huge crowds, who was having the entire body shining by the light provided by golden lamps, who was like a cloud lit on all four sides by streaks of lightning, who was a great individual and who was having love towards his wife, sleeping along with his wives, who slept at the corners of his feet. 25-30

He saw many of them (wives), who were having shining faces like the moon, who were wearing pretty ear studs and who were wearing flower garlands which never fade. 31

He also saw some experts in dance and music, who were seated and wearing the great ornaments worn by Ravana on his shoulders and lap. 32

He saw them wearing shoulder bangles of molten gold and ear studs made of diamond and other precious stones. 33

Due to their pretty glittering ear studs and faces like moon that Vimana was shining like the sky because of a collection of stars. 34

Those narrow hipped ladies of Ravana were sleeping in various places due to tiresomeness caused by various exercises like love making. 35

One lady was sleeping in the dancing pose with pretty Mudhras (symbols) shown by her hands and with many of her pretty parts exposed. 36

One lady who was sleeping embracing the Veena looked like a boat afloat in a mighty river, which was tied by the tendrils of Lotus plant. 37

A black eyed sleeping beauty with the Madduka (a type of drum) kept in her armpits looked like a mother with her darling baby. 38

Another lady with very pretty chest, who was also pretty all over was sleeping embracing a drum and looked like a lady embracing her husband whom she has met after a very long separation. 39

Another lotus-eyed beauty was asleep embracing the Veena and appeared as if she had met her boy-friend when nobody is around. 40

Another very passionate lady, who was a dancer, was sleeping embracing the Vipanchika (a stringed instrument) and appeared as if she was sleeping in tight embrace of her husband. 41

Another lady with eyes like wine was asleep embracing the drum with her golden coloured soft voluptuous and pretty body. 42

One flawless pretty lady was holding the drum in her armpits between her arms and chest and was sleeping tired because of her passion. 43

Another lady was sleeping with the two pieces of the drum (tabla) in her tight embrace and appeared as if she was holding her husband and baby in her hands. 44

Another lotus leaf eyed lady was holding with her two stretched hands the giant drum and was sleeping because of exertions of zest. 45

Another lady who was asleep with the slightly tilted Ghata (earthen pot musical instrument) looked like a small hill of the multi coloured flower garlands, which were kept fresh by sprinkling of water. 46

A young girl, who was deep asleep, was hiding her chest with hands and sleeping. 47

A full moon faced lady with lotus petal like eyes forgot herself in her love zest and was sleeping embracing another lady with a pretty backside. 48

Many noble ladies in their great passion were sleeping embracing tightly to their chest several musical instruments like they would embrace their lover. 49

That monkey then saw another very pretty lady sleeping on a beautiful bed in a place away from these ladies. 50

That great hero Hanuman, who was the son of Wind God, saw the sleeping Mandodari,* who was wearing very prettily crafted ornaments made of pearls and other precious gems, who by her natural luster was an ornament for that great house, who was dear, who was white in colour, who was chief queen of that harem, who was golden in colour, who was having a pretty appearance and who was well made up, Hanuman mistook her for Sita because she was the epitome of youth and beauty and became extremely pleased and happy. 51-54
* Mandodari was the daughter of Maya, the Asura Architect and her mother was cursed by Goddess Parvathy to become and live like a frog (Mandooka) for 12 years. Mandodari was living with Parvathy and she was gifted by her to Ravana.

Exhibiting his monkey qualities, he clapped his hands, kissed his own tail, became happy, jumped here and there, sang, ran, climbed on the pillar and jumped from there. 55

Thus ends the tenth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 11
Hall of Drink Search

[A full and detailed description of the hall of drink and Hanuman's search for Sita there is recounted.]

Within a quarter of minute, he rejected his momentary wish that it was Sita as not right and became clear headed and started thinking, in the right path. 1

After that Hanuman decided that "There was no chance of Sita who was separated from Sri Rama sleeping, nor eating, nor wearing of ornaments, nor even drinking water nor go near another male even if he were the King of Devas for even among devas there is none as great as Rama and so this lady has to be somebody else." And he started searching further in the hall of drinking. 2-3

The monkey chief saw Ravana, who was deep asleep due to being tired by his intense love making and his collection of ladies among whom some were tired, some because of singing, some because of dancing and some asleep because of consumption of alcoholic drinks. He saw some ladies leaning on drums of different types and on small seats as well as many sleeping on special beds made for sleep by ladies. He saw thousands of ladies some decorated by ornaments, some who had the habit of describing their bodily beauty, some who describe the meanings of songs, some who work according to the need of place and time and some who can speak properly to suit an occasion 4-7

Amongst those ladies, the Rakshasa King of great valor, looked like a bull among cows of high pedigree in a very wide stable. 8

Naturally being surrounded by those ladies, the King of Rakshasas shined like an awesome he-elephant among large number of she elephants of the forest. 9

In the house of the great chief of rakshasas, the monkey chief saw collection of well stocked drinking places (bars). 10

In that drinking place Hanuman saw meats of deer, pig and raven kept separately. 11

He also saw further half eaten peacocks and hen kept in large golden vessels. 12

Hanuman saw the meats of eagle, sheep, porcupine, deer and peacock cooked with curd and Masalas, fully cooked doves, half eaten ravens, buffalos and one thorn fishes, well cooked mutton, several type of side dishes, several type of drinks and several type of light eatables. 13-14

Similarly by different types of drinks which were sour, salty and other great tastes made by concentrating the juices of grapes, orange and pomegranate and those chains, armlets and bangles which have been removed and strewn all over and also decorated by flowers and fruits kept in goblets that place was very pretty. 15-16

That place of drink appeared to be glistening even without fire by the very many tastefully arranged sofas and chairs. 17

Garlands and also very many distilled alcoholic drinks, various alcoholic drinks made with sugar syrup, honey, fruit juices and flower concentrates, several other drinks which were sorted and kept and various types of meat which were properly mixed, cooked and made by great chefs, with great care in which various spices and condiments which were added in proper proportion filled that drinking place and added to its luster. 18-20

That monkey chief saw many specially made drinks filled in silver and golden pots arranged in different place all over. 21

He also saw large number goblets, which were made of gold, silver and many made with several gems. 22

That place was also filled with serving cups for these drinks, which were made of gold, crystal and gold alloy. 23

That Hanuman saw in some place half emptied goblets, in some places empty goblets and in some places goblets filled to the brim. 24

He wandered here and there seeing various eatables, drinks sorted in different categories, left over food, broken drink pots, spilled water, fruits and prettily made garlands. 25-26

There were white cushions used by ladies for sleeping and various beauties sleeping tightly embraced. 27

Not only that in some cases one lady in her sleep was covering herself with the pulled out dress of another and several were in very deep slumber. 28

It was wonderful, that the cloths on their body and the garlands that they were wearing did not move by their heavy breath, which was like the slowly wafting wind. 29

The breeze carrying with in it the incense of cool sandal, by the scents of various alcoholic drinks and the various flowers in garlands was wafting here and there, That Puspaka Vimana was also full of scents of various perfumes worn by different ladies, the sandalwood and other incense that were being burnt. 30-31

In that house of Rakshasa some of the ladies were brown, some were black and some others were of golden colour. 32

Their looks because of deep sleep and made loose by their passion, appeared like the lotus pond in which the flowers have closed up. 33

Like this the great soul Hanuman wandered all over Ravana's harem and searched in all places but in spite of that did not find Janaki (Sita, Janaka's daughter). 34

Hanuman became very thoughtful and worried because he thought that in staring at those women he has slipped from Dharma (the standards of right conduct.) 35

He thought that the sight of this crowd of wives of the enemy when they were deep asleep made him to commit a great sin. 36

Then he thought that his stare at the wives of somebody else was not done in a worldly manner. 37

"This sight of other people's wives has not done by me with passion", he further thought. 38

Then a new doubtless thought pointing towards the correct decision arose in the mind of very intelligent Hanuman who was capable of great thought 39

"I saw all the wives of Ravana who were sleeping without any fear and with great belief. In spite of that my mind did not waver even a little bit." He thought. 40-41

"Mind is the sole cause of all the sense organs doing good or bad and that mind did not waver even a bit in my case", he thought. 42

"Always, suppose a lady has to be searched it should be in the crowd ladies only and therefore it is impossible for me to search and find out Sita in any other place." he further thought 43

"Search for an animal of a specific type has to be made within the type only and a lost woman cannot be searched among a group of deer." He thought. 44

"And therefore this Harem of Ravana was searched well by me with a very clean mind and in spite of that I could not find Sita" he thought. 45

The great Hero Hanuman saw many lasses of Devas, Gandarwas and Nagas but was not able to find Janaki. 46

Having seen many great ladies, because he was not able to find Sita, he went outside from that hall at that time and started thinking. 47

The great soul Hanuman having come out of that hall of drinking, took great pain in starting the search for Sita again. 48

Thus ends the eleventh chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 12
Hanuman's Dejection

[Hanuman's final search for Sita in the harem, his fear for having committed a sin because of his entry in to the Harem and his sense of dejection in not being able to find Sita are described.]

That Son of Wind God visited separately the garden enclosures, picture galleries and bedrooms in the center of the palace, but he who was interested in seeing the beautiful Sita, could not see her. 1

Because that great monkey was not able to see the darling of the son of Raghu, he thought thus "because Sita who is very upset is not visible to me, it is definite that she is no more alive." 2

"It is possible that the daughter of Janaka, who treads by the path of pristine duty, who is devoted to her husband, who has interest in protecting her virtue, might have been killed by the chief of Rakshasas who exhibits many bad qualities." he thought 3

"After seeing the ladies of the chief of Rakshasas, who are having ugly features, who are ugly, who do not have the luster in their body and who are having a very cruel vision, Sita who is the daughter of Janaka might have died out of fear". He thought 4

"Without seeing Sita, without doing my duty and having spent lot of time with other monkeys, I should not go back to Sugreeva because the powerful Sugreeva awards great punishments", he thought. 5

"I have searched all over the harem, I have seen all ladies of Ravana but I only could not see the sterling natured Sita and so all my efforts are in vain", thought he. 6

"When I go back and meet all the monkeys, who have gathered together, they would ask "Hey hero, what did you do there? Please tell us about it. What happened there?" and what will I who has not been able to see her reply to them?" He thought. 7

"If the time is delayed too much for my return definitely they will all commit mass suicide by starvation", he thought. 8

"When I return after crossing the sea, all those assembled monkeys and also Angada and the very old Jambhavan would individually find fault with me". He thought. 9

"Being not disappointed in one's intentions leads to greater wealth, very real pleasures and zest in doing things", he thought. 10

"This emotion of not getting dispirited by failure leads to success in man's actions and so I should put in more effort and do more searching", he thought. 11

He decided that he would put in more intense search in all places where search was not done and started searching. 12

He searched in drinking halls, he searched in flowerbeds, again he searched in picture galleries and he searched well in sporting arenas. 13

He also searched in streets in between the gardens, various types of towers, underground cellars, memorial houses and outer halls of the palaces. 14

That great monkey Hanuman travelled to all places and searched by climbing, getting down, stopping once in a while, walking, opening the doors, breaking open closed doors, getting in, getting out, jumping down and jumping up. 15-16

The places that he has not visited in Ravana's Harem were not even four fingers broad. 17

That Hanuman searched in the streets between outer walls of buildings, the platforms associated with memorials, wells, and lakes. 18

In those places, Hanuman saw Rakshasis with various forms, who were very ugly, whose actions were ugly but he was not able to see the daughter of Janaka. 19

Hanuman saw there many Vidhyadara maidens, whose beauty was unparalleled in the world, but was not able to see the wife of Rama. 20

Hanuman saw there very beautiful Naga maidens, who had faces like the full moon, but he was not able to see the good-natured Sita. 21

Hanuman saw Naga maidens, forcibly abducted by Ravana after victory in war, but he was not able to see the daughter of Janaka. 22

The son of Wind God, who was both intelligent and heroic, saw several ladies with good lineage but not Sita and became very sad. 23

His sorrow went on increasing when he thought that the effort put up by monkeys and his crossing of the ocean was fully wasted. 24

The son of wind God got down from the Pushpaka Vimana with immense sorrow and became very thoughtful. 25

Thus ends the twelfth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

Chapter: 13
Hanuman's Disappointment

[The worries of the very disappointed Hanuman are described graphically. At the end he sees a glimmer of hope when he sees the Asoka forest.]

After jumping from the Vimana on to the wall, he was restless like the streaks of lightning among the clouds. 1

The monkey Hanuman after not being able to find the daughter of Janaka in Ravana's palace in spite of vigorous and complete search told to himself as follows: 2

"I, with a desire to do good to Lord Rama, have searched this city completely and in spite of that was not able to find the very pretty Sita who is the daughter of Janaka." 3

"I have definitely searched fully in small ponds, big ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, bushes in the deltas, forts, mountains and plains and am not able to find the daughter of Janaka anywhere." 4

"The eagle King Sampathi told me about the presence of Sita in Ravana's palace and still I am not able to find her." 5

"That Sita. who was not born out of a womb, who was brought up in the Kingdom of King Videha, who was well brought up with culture by the King of Mithila, who is the foster daughter of the sage-king Janaka will never reach the arms of Ravana who is uncultured. Is it not?" 6

"I think that when Ravana, who was afraid of the arrows of Rama, abducted her and was flying at a great height, Sita must have slipped from his hands and fallen to earth and died." 7

"I feel that, it is a possibility that the heart of the well pedigreed Sita, who was being abducted and was travelling in the paths of the sky used by sages, must have stopped on seeing the sea." 8

"I feel by the power of Ravana's thigh and being trampled in his tight hands must have made her to give up her life." 9

"Another possibility is that travelling far above the sky that daughter of Janaka must have tried to escape and fallen in the sea and must have died." 10

"Alas, it is a possibility that the Sita, who was far away from her relations, who was doing great penance and who was bent upon preserving her purity must have been eaten by the horrible Ravana." 11

"Or it is possible that the cruel wives of the Rakshasa King must have eaten Sita who is pure and had black eyes." 12

"It is also possible that always thinking about the full moon face of Rama, who had eyes like the petals of lotus flower and seeing there was no other alternative, she must have simply died." 13

"It is also probable that Sita, who was born in the Kingdom of Mithila, must have cried aloud "Hey Rama", "Hey Lakshmana" and "Hey Ayodhya", and also crying many other things must have forsaken her body." 14
"I also think that sometimes she must have been hidden in some dark underground vaults and like a bird put in a cage and must be crying even now." 15

"How can Sita, who is the wife of Rama, who has eyes like lotus petals, who is famous and who has brought up in the house of Janaka, submit herself to Ravana?" 16

"Whether she has been well hidden or has been killed or is no more because of her deep sorrow, this should not be informed to Sri Rama who is very deeply attached to her?" 17

"If I do inform him the truth, danger will result and if I do not inform, then also it would have a worse result and in this circumstance I am not able to decide either way." 18-19

Hanuman then again re-examined his thought process to conclude as to what would be timely, yield good result and would be accepted as right by everybody. 20

"If I do return to the Kingdom of the monkeys without seeing Sita, what great thing would I get?", he thought. 21

"My crossing of the ocean, entry in to the city of Lanka and seeing of Rakshasas would go waste", he thought. 22

"What will Sugreeva and the monkeys, who have accompanied me and those two sons of Dasaratha who have reached Kishkinda, tell me?", he thought. 23

"As soon as I reach, if I inform the bad news to Sri Rama that I have not been able to find Sita, because of that he will die", he thought. 24

"He would not stay alive if he hears the very cruel, hard hearted, terrible and hard words which are without mercy and which cannot be borne by sense organs", he thought 25

"The intelligent Lakshmana, full of love to him, seeing that Rama is bent on death, will not also continue to live", he thought. 26

"Once Bharatha hears that his two brothers are no more, he will also die. Once Shatrugna knows that Bharatha is dead he will also die", he thought. 27

"Once they know that their sons are all dead, the mothers Kausalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi would also not live", he thought. 28

"When he sees Sri Rama in this state, the grateful and truthful King of monkeys Sugreeva would also forsake his life". He thought. 29

"The miserable Ruma (Wife of Sugreeva) would be afflicted by the loss of her husband and be unhappy, sad and suffering pain and would leave her life", he thought. 30

"Once Sugreeva is no more, Tara who is already miserable by the loss of Vali and also gone down in health by that sorrow would also die", he thought. 31

"How will the lad Angadha continue to live in spite of the sorrow of losing both his parents and also Sugreeva", he thought. 32
"It is certain that afflicted by the sorrow of the loss of their Kings, the monkeys would beat their head by their hands and fists and break their head", he thought. 33

"All the monkey heroes, who were respected and loved by good words and gifts by the famous monkey King would sacrifice their lives", he thought. 34

"After that the monkeys would not go to play in places where there are lot of houses or in forests or in mountains", he thought. 35

"Those who live with families and with wives and children, would be affected by the sorrow of their King and would roll in to rough terrain from the top of the mountains and die", he thought. 36

"Otherwise they will all die by consuming poison or hanging themselves or by starvation or by entering in to the fire or falling on weapons", he thought. 37

"I think that by my return, the Ikshuvaku clan and the monkeys would all be destroyed and consequently there would be intolerably great wailing", he thought. 38

"So I would not return to the city of Kishkinda, for it would not be possible for me to see Sugreeva, without seeing Sita", he thought. 39

"If without returning I stay here, then those two great heroes who are also great souls, with a hope that the work will be done eventually would keep their souls and so the monkeys also would live boldly", he thought. 40

"If I am not able to see the daughter of Janaka, I can live in the shadow of the trees here with whatever good food that I get or with whatever food that comes my way, controlling my five senses and live a life of a recluse", he thought. 41

"Otherwise I can raise a raging fire in these fertile areas with fruits and roots, near the sea and die by entering it", he thought. 42

"The other alternative is to die of starvation so that the crows and other flesh eaters would eat away my body", he thought. 43

"I know that this method of leaving ones life is permitted by great sages", he thought. 44

"If I am not able to find Janaki then with grace I can fall in to the water", he thought. 45

"This beautiful long night, which began very well for me, in which benefits were received one after another, which lead to my fame, became a waste to me, because I am not able to see Sita", he thought. 46

"At least I can become a sage who controls all his senses and live below a tree", he thought. 47

"Without seeing that black eyed beauty, I will not return from here", he thought. 48

"If I return from here, without finding Sita, Angada will die with all his monkeys", he thought. 49

"There are many bad results because of death and the one who lives ultimately gets the good and the one who lives definitely gets pleasures, and so I will keep my life", he thought. 50

That monkey chief in spite of again and again analyzing his sorrow did still not reach the end of his sorrow. 51

He then thought "Let the abducted wife of Rama be anywhere but let me kill the very strong ten headed Ravana for by doing that base act and at least I would have taken revenge." 52-53

"Otherwise, I will take him like a sacrificial cow being taken to the fire over the sea and put him at the feet of Rama", he thought. 54

Not knowing anything about that Sita, being very thoughtful, worried and sad the monkey thought thus. 55

"Till I am able to see the famous Sita, who is the wife of Rama, I would keep on searching the city of Lanka again and again." 56

"Had I brought Rama with me fully believing the words of Sampathi, not being able to see his wife, Rama would have burnt all the monkeys." 57

"I would live here reducing my food and controlling my organs for because of that those men and monkeys will not all die because of me." 58

"I am able to see an Asoka forest with very big trees and this is the only one place I have not searched yet." 59

"I would salute the eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, eleven Suns two Aswini Devas, and seven Maruths and become some one who will increase the sorrow of these Rakshasas" 60

‘I am going to somehow win over all the rakshasas and present Sita belonging to the Ikshuvaku clan to Sri Rama like giving the end result to the one who is doing fire sacrifice." 61

The resplendent Hanuman, who was the Son of Wind God, meditated like this for some time and ended up with the senses devoid of the tie of sadness. 62

"My salutations to Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana. My salutations to Sita, who is the daughter of Janaka. My salutations to Rudra, Indra, Yama the god of death, Vayu the god of wind, moon, sun and the people of Maruth", he saluted 63

After saluting thus and also saluting Sugreeva, Hanuman thoughtfully examined all the ways to the Asoka forest. He considered Asoka forest as the first place for success and thought about his future steps. 64-65

"This Asoka forest, with all sort of decorations, with densely populated trees and which is full of Rakshasas should be searched immediately", he thought. 66

"Here sentries have been posted here and there and are protecting the trees and the wind is also blowing strong", he observed. 67

"Let the sages and Devas bless me to give me result in this attempt by making me small and not visible to Ravana and also for the sake of Rama", he prayed 68

"Let the ever existing Lord Brahma, other Devas, God of Fire, God of Wind and Indra with his weapon of diamond grant me success", he further prayed. 69

"Let Varuna (God of Rain) with the rope in his hand, sun, moon, the great Aswini devas, Maruths, Parameshwara, that God who is the chief of all beings, all the beings and several other invisible gods, who are on my way, grant me victory in my attempt", he prayed. 70-71

"When will I be able to see the noble Sita's face, which has a prominent nose, which has clean teeth, which is without blemishes, which has eyes like the petals of lotus flower and which glitters like the moon without blemishes?", he wailed. 72

"How is she, who is without support, who is forever meditating, who has been abducted by the cruel sinner Ravana, who wore a good form over his terrible aspect, going to become visible in front of my eye?", he thought. 73

Thus ends the thirteenth chapter of Sundara Kanda in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.