Sundara Kandam

Chapter: 24
Rakshasis Bullying

[This chapter describes the various ways the Rakshasis tried to bully Sita.]

After this the ugly looking hard hearted Rakshasa ladies came near Sita and told the following harsh and undesirable words: 1

"Hey Sita, why are you not consenting to the life in Harem which is liked by all beings and which has very special beds?" 2

"You think a human lady should only be the wife of another human being but that is not going to happen to you and so drag away your mind from Sri Rama." 3

"Accept being the wife of Ravana who enjoys the greatest pleasures in all the three worlds and engage in pleasant love play." 4

"It is strange for you who is a lucky human being without any defects, wanting to rejoin Rama who has been driven away from his Kingdom, who is dejected and who is suffering because of sorrow." 5

Sita, who had eyes similar to the lotus, after hearing the words of Rakshasis with tear-filled eyes, told the following words: 6

"All the words told by you jointly are against the percepts of the world and are sinful and is not acceptable to me." 7

"A human lady should not become the wife of a Rakshasa, even if all of you are going to eat me away. I am not going to listen to your words." 8

"Though my husband has been driven away from his Kingdom and though he is in dire straits, he is always one who is respected by me and like the Lady Suvarchala is always with the Sun God, I will always be with him." 9

(This simile is strange, because Suvarchala being hurt by Sun's harsh rays, left her shadow instead of her to be his wife.)

"I would never part from my husband Rama who is the prince of Ikshuvaku clan, like the very lucky Lady Sachi Devi from Indra, like Arundathi from Vasishta, Rohini from the moon god, Lopamudhra from Sage Agasthya, Sukanya from Sage Chyavana, Savithri from Prince Sathyavan, Madayanthi from Soudasa, Kesini from Sagara and the great Bhima princess Damayanthi from the great King Nala." 10-12

(Here she lists the various great virtuous ladies of her time. Since each couple represents a famous well known story, they are not related here. She also indicates that like Damayanthi and Madayanthi, she will also rejoin her husband.)

Those Rakshasis appointed by Ravana, hearing the words of Sita, became livid with anger and uttered the following harsh words and bullied her. 13

Hanuman the monkey who was silently hiding atop the Simshuba tree carefully watched Sita and those Rakshasis. 14
Those angry women surrounded her who was trembling by fear on all the four sides licked and bit their dry and elongated lips. 15

They who were very angry took the white axe in their hands and told, "This lady does not deserve to be the wife of Ravana who is the King of Rakshasas." 16

(Till this time, the Rakshasis were trying to convince Sita logically.)

Terrorized by the hateful Rakshasis, she who had a pleasant face wiped away her tears and reached the Simshuba tree. 17

Surrounded by the Rakshasis that broad eyed Sita drowned in her sorrow reached the Simshuba tree and stood there. 18

Those Rakshasis surrounded on all sides Sita who was thin, who had a faded face and who wore dirty cloths and started bullying her. 19

Then a Rakshasi called Vinatha who was having all signs of being angry, who was having a hateful look, who was having a pot belly and who was ugly to look at addressing Sita told: 20

"Madam Sita, you have till now shown that you love your husband sufficiently and doing anything more than this necessary leads to sorrow." 21

"Hey princess of Mithila, I am very much satisfied by your proper observation of the duty of human beings and let all good come to you. Be pleased to obey me who is telling you what is good for you." 22-23

"You please accept Ravana who is the King of all Rakshasas, who is handsome, who is valorous, who is like Indra, the King of devas, who is powerful, who has the sense of sacrifice and who tells sweet things to every one as your husband." 24

"Hey pretty lady who is the daughter of Videha, leave the poor unstable Rama and accept Ravana as husband and from today wear very costly make up and ornaments and become a queen of the three worlds. You would be then like Sachi Devi to Indra and Swaha Devi for the God of fire." 25-26

(Swaha is the wife of Agni, the god of fire.)

"Hey daughter of Videha, what is the use of your having the mortal Rama who does not have any support whatsoever? If you are not going to obey these words of mine to you, immediately all of us would eat you completely." 27

Then a Rakshasi called Vikata, who was having stooping chest, became very angry and with fists held up roared and told the following words to Sita. 28

"Hey very ignorant princess of Mithila, We have been tolerating several of your illogical words due to mercy towards and because of our peaceful nature." 29

"You are not obeying our words which are the only suitable ones to the present circumstances." 30

"Hey princess of Mithila you have been brought to the other shore of the ocean which cannot be crossed by any one and you have also come in to the horror filled harem of Ravana." 31
"Stop those tears and give away your sorrow which is going to cause problems to you." 32

"Leave out this permanent bad feeling and take as your share yourself happiness and love." 33

"Hey Sita, enjoy yourselves by passionate love with the King of Rakshasas." 34

"Hey, coward, you seem not to know that the youth in ladies is not a permanent and so it is necessary to enjoy all pleasures till youth is there with you." 35

"Hey, lady with a pretty eye, along with the King of Rakshasa see many flower gardens and mountain parks." 36

"Hey pretty one, under your control there would be seven thousand ladies to obey you." 37

"Hey princess of Mithila, if you do not act according to my words, I would definitely tear open your heart and eat it." 38

After that a Rakshasi called Chandodhari with cruel looks and rotating a huge spear, told her the following words: 39

"Seeing this lady who was abducted by Ravana, who is having with shaking chest due to fear and who has doe like eyes, I am getting a great desire." 40

"It is my wish to bite away and eat her liver. Pancreas, the fleshy part above that, her fleshy bones, heart, intestines, and head." 41

Alas, after that a Rakshasi called Praghasa told, "Why are we keeping quiet? Let us strangle this bad lady's neck and tell our King that that human lady is no more. Then he will tell us" You can eat her" and "I do not have any doubt about his telling like this." 42-43

Then another Rakshasi called Ajaamukhi (sheep headed one) told "Let us cut her in to small pieces and divide them equally among us and let us all take part in that. I do not like to go on arguing with her without doing this. Go and swiftly bring several types of drinks and several chutneys." 44-45

Then a Rakshasi called Surpanaka (lady having very broad nails) told, "I am in agreement with what Ajamukhi has told us. Go bring wine which makes us forget all sorrows. Let us eat the human flesh and dance in the grounds of Nikumbila." 46-47

(Nikumbila is the ground outside the city where Ravana used to carry out his fire sacrifices.)

Terribly bullied thus by all the Rakshasis, Sita who is like a divine lady lost her courage and started crying. 48

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

Chapter: 25
Sita’s Sorrow

[The terrible picture of the sorrowing Sita and the very sad thoughts that ran through her mind are given in this chapter.]

When those disturbed Rakshasis were talking to her with anger and hate, the daughter of Janaka wept and cried a lot. 1

She making wet her broad chest with the copious tears, was immersed in thought l and still did not reach the end of her sorrow. 2

She with a very disturbed face was trembling because of the bullying of the Rakshasis, and fell like a banana plant caught in the storm. 3

Her long broad hair, which was moving hither and thither, moved along with Sita who was trembling because of fear and appeared as if it was a serpent, which moved here and there. 4

That daughter of Videha, who was terrorized by the Rakshasis, who was very much full of fear and who had firm conviction of virtue towards her husband told the following words with eye full of tears: 5

"A human lady is not entitled to become the wife of a Rakshasa and since I am not going to obey your words, you can eat me all together." 6

Alas, that princess of Mithila having been drowned in sorrow, exceeded the limits of sadness and was heart-broken and with heavy breath and cried aloud accompanied by tears. 7

"The proverb that "Death is difficult to attain except in the fated time to males or females" told by learned people is very true, because in spite of the fact that I am mentally wounded and sad because of cruel Rakshasis and also because I am not with Rama, I continue to be alive, at this moment." 8-9

The sorrowing Sita who was like a deva maiden and who was cruelly treated by Ravana, did not find any other alternative. 10

Sita like the strayed deer attacked by wolf, started shivering uncontrollably like her soul was piercing deep inside her body. 11

During that time, becoming depressed by sorrow, she caught hold of a flowering branch of an Asoka tree and started thinking of her husband. 12

That great lady cried "Hey Rama", "Hey Lakshmana", "Hey Mother-in-law Kausalya", "Hey Sumithra" being luck less and being ignorant of my duties. "I am like a fully loaded ship shaken by cyclone in the middle of the sea; Iam going to die like an orphan. I am melting down by my sorrow similar to the eroding shore by the speedy tide of water. I am not able to see Him who is my husband as I am in the custody of these Rakshasis. All lucky (blessed) people are able to see him, who has eyes like the fully open lotus flower, who has the majestic gait of a lion, who is thankful, who utters only sweet words and who alone is my master". 13-16

"My life without Rama is terrible similar to the one who has consumed very potent poison. I do not know what great sin, I have committed to merit this terrible sorrow that is eroding me. I being in the custody of Rakshasis am not able to see Lord Rama. Since I am suffering this extreme sorrow, I wish to give up this life. Human life is not all good; especially one under the custody of others, for one does not have independence to end even one's life." Such thoughts made her further sad. 17-20

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

Chapter: 26
Sita's Decision for Suicide

[Sita who is extremely sad lists out logical reasons for her to commit suicide and decides on that course.]

That wailing daughter of Janaka, with a bent head, eye full of tears and crying like a child was similar to the one who is mad, who has lost her wisdom and who is fear struck and started wailing like a mare rolling in mud to get rid of her tiresomeness. 1-2

"When Raghava (one who belongs to the clan of Raghu) was ignorant and away, this Rakshasa called Ravana, who can assume any shape he wants, attacked me and abducted me and brought me here, when was crying." 3

"Being in the custody of Rakshasis and being bullied by them terribly, I have become very sad and very much worried and so I am not interested in living further." 4

"Without Rama the great charioteer and being in the custody of Rakshasis, there is no purpose in my living even with riches and ornaments." 5

"My mind must be a very hard granite stone or a thing which does not erode or die, because even with all this sorrow, it is not breaking." 6

"Being with less of virtue and not being a lady, I should have been destroyed and in spite of being not in the company of Rama this sinner is protecting her life for this small period." 7

"What interest have I to look after my body and continue to live after parting from my darling, who is the lord of all land surrounded by the sea and who has such a sweet desirable speech?" 8

"I would not like to tolerate this great sorrow of being away from him for a long time and I do not mind even if I am cut in to pieces or eaten alive." 9

"I would not even touch this base thief Ravana by even by my left feet and where is the question of my making love to him?" 10

"That cruel one, who desires to request me to be his wife, does not understand when he is being rejected by me with aversion, nor does he understand his stature, nor his family." 11

"I would not accede to Ravana, even if I am crushed or cut or put in a raging fire. What is the point in this waiting?" 12

"I doubt that Sri Rama who is very knowledgeable, grateful, shows mercy to those in danger, well behaved and very famous, is devoid of any pity towards me due to my lack of luck." 13

"Why is he, who exterminated fourteen thousand Rakshasas all alone in Janasthana not interested in saving me?" 14

"This Ravana with very little valor has imprisoned me and I do not have any doubt that my husband is capable of winning him in war." 15

"Why is it that Rama who killed that great Rakshasa Viradha in Dandakaranya not freeing me from this custody and taking me back?" 16

(Viradha was a Gandharwa who was cured by his master Kubhera. He fought with Rama and Lakshmana and was killed.)

"It is true that this Lanka is in the middle of the ocean and prevents the entry of outsiders but I do not think that it is capable of preventing the arrows of Raghava." 17

"What could be the reason that a very stable hero like Sri Rama does not come here and release his darling wife, I do not understand." 18

"I believe that the great valorous one who is the elder brother of Lakshmana does not know that I am here, for once he knows about it he will not tolerate this insult." 19

"That great King of Hawks, who would have rushed to Raghava and informed him that I have been abducted by Ravana, fell in the battle." 20

(She is referring to Jatayu, the hawk son of Varuna, who fought with Ravana and died in the battle. However he was alive till he told Rama that Ravana had abducted her. Rama cremated him in the forest with all honours. Sita was ignorant of this story.)

"In spite of the fact that the Jatayu, who no doubt is old was defeated in the wrestling fight against Ravana and was defeated though he did a very great job." 21

" If that Raghava knows that I am here, immediately with great anger using his arrows he would make the world devoid of Rakshasas, he would blow Lanka away, dry the great ocean and even destroy the name and fame of Ravana." 22-23

"Afterwards, similar to my crying and wailing, in every house of Sri Lanka, these Rakshasis who have become widows would cry and possibly cry more." 24

"Rama accompanied by Lakshmana would search and find out Lanka, and it is definite that the enemy, once found out by them will not even live for a second more." 25

"Soon, this Lanka is going to be filled with the smoke emanating from burning coffins and would be like a cremation ground filled with crowds of hawks." 26

"Within a short time my desire would be fulfilled and definitely and this bad conduct of yours would lead to the destruction of you all." 27

"Within a short time this Lanka is going to lose its luster and very many bad omens are visible even now." 28

"When the great sinner and the worst among Rakshasas is killed then this Sri Lanka which is impregnable, is going to get weakened like a lady who has become a widow."29

"This fertile and rich Sri Lanka which has lots of holy festivals and the Rakshasas would become leaderless like a lady who has lost her husband." 30

"In this place, I am going to hear soon the wailing of Rakshasis who are sad and pained from every house." 31

"Once the red eyed valorous Sri Rama knows that I am alive and in the house of Ravana, then definitely, Lanka would be burned by the arrows of Sri Rama and would become dark by losing its luster and would be filled with dead Rakshasas." 32-33

"The limit of time which has been fixed by this cruel and base Ravana is approaching near." 34

"These Rakshasas, who are sinners do not know that they are performing acts which should not be done and would as a result, danger would definitely come to all those who live in this town." 35

"These flesh eating Rakshasas do not understand what is just action and it is definite that they would fix me for breakfast." 36

"Without seeing Rama, who has eyes with red corners and who is pleasing to the eye, what can I who am very sorrowful do?" 37

"If it happens that any one here, would give me poison, I being without my husband would go and see the God of death." 38

"Rama who is the elder brother of Bharatha must be ignorant of the fact that I am alive for if not they both would not spare any effort to find me in this earth." 39

"That valorous elder brother of Lakshmana due to the sorrow because of me, must have left this body and must have reached heaven." 40

"How lucky are those Devas, Gandarwas, Siddhas and sages because they are able to see the lotus eyed Sri Rama who is my lord." 41

(Assumes Lord Rama has reached the heaven.)

"Possibly there is nothing I can do as a wife to Sri Rama who is very wise, who is very charitable, who is like a royal sage and who is the personification of God." 42

"Thankless people show love towards you when you are near them and do not show love when you are not near, but Rama is never like that." 43

"Is it because I do not have desirable traits or is it because that I am not lucky, that I, in spite of being a woman, is suffering because of the absence of Rama." 44

"I think it would be better for me to die rather than live away from Rama who is a great man, who has a faultless character, who is heroic and who is capable of destroying his enemies." 45

"Or is it that those two brothers who follow just action and who are sterling among men have decided to throw away their ornaments and live in the forest eating only fruits and roots." 46

"Or is it possible that those heroic brothers have been killed using deceit by Ravana who is the King of Rakshasa and a bad one?" 47

"In this state I wish to die but I do not get a suitable death even in this very sad state." 48

"Those who do not have likes and dislikes are very great souls, for they have won over their senses, they are very lucky, they are really sages, they are recognized by the world and are the ones who should be really applauded." 49

"When pleasures come, mind is not having sorrow. When sadness comes there is pain in the mind. My salutations to those who stand separately from both these states." 50

"I who am not able to achieve such victory over mind have got away from my husband Rama who lives according to law and am in the custody of Ravana and so I am going to commit suicide." 51

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

Chapter: 27
Trijata’s Dream

[This chapter is about the dream of Trijata, one of the guards of Sita, who is the daughter of Vibhishana, which foretells good tidings for Sita and Rama and very bad happenings to Ravana and other Rakshasas.]

Having been told like this the horrible Rakshasis became livid with anger and some of them went to tell it to the bad soul Ravana. 1

Then the terrible looking Rakshasis surrounded Sita and told the following words, which lead to the same result and which are hurting to the ears. 2

"Hey ignorant Sita, who has decided upon to do sinful act today and now itself, we the Rakshasis are going to eat your flesh." 3

Seeing the methods of bullying used by them which are not lady like, a very elderly and wise Rakshasi called Trijata* spoke the following words: 4
* Trijata has been described as the daughter of Vibhishana, the younger brother of Ravana.

"Hey sinners, you can eat me and please do not kill Sita, who is the daughter of Janaka, who is the daughter in law of Dasaratha and who respects all others." 5

"Just now, I saw a dream and truly I saw it. When thinking about it I am upset, my hairs stand upright for the dream is about the fall of Rakshasas and the victory of her husband." 6

Thus informed by Trijata, those Rakshasis who had lost their senses due to anger were suddenly full of fear and asked Trijata, "What is the type of dream that you have seen at night? Please explain it in detail." 7

Once she heard the words emanating from the mouth of Rakshasis, Trijata started talking to them about her dream. 8

"Raghava clothed in white silk and wearing white flower garland arrived happily along with Lakshmana in a palanquin made of ivory and carried by thousand swans and travelling in the sky." 9

"I saw in my dream Sita also clothed in white silk who had reached the White Mountain surrounded by the sea and being happy with Sri Rama like the sun light with the sun." 10

(Please note that dressing in white was considered as auspicious during the time of Ramayana.)

"I Saw Rama along with Lakshmana arriving, riding on a mountain like, four tusked great elephant." 11

"Then those two human heroes clothed in white silk and wearing white flower garland, shining in their own luster approached the daughter of Janaka." 12

"Then Janaki from that mountain itself climbed on to the neck of the elephant, which was looked after by her husband." 13

"Then she rose from the lap of her lotus eyed husband and stated patting the moon and the sun". 14

"Then the elephant ridden by those two princes and the broad eyed Sita came and stood on the sky just above Lanka." 15

"Then accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana, Rama climbed on a chariot drawn by eight pairs of bulls and reached here on his own." 16

"I saw Sri Rama, who is capable of exterminating problems swallowing all the three worlds along with several globes and its moving and not moving inhabitants." 17

"From the middle of the waters of the ocean of milk, one White Mountain rose up. On the top of the mountain was a very big white elephant with four tusks. And on the top of it, the lotus eyed Sri Rama, his brother Lakshmana and his wife Sita were seated." 18-20

"Sita arose from there and embraced the pretty, full moon with both her hands and was there as a part of her husband." 21

"After that in another place, the lotus eyed Rama who was born in the Kakustha clan and who was a gentleman, sat on a wonderful seat facing east and was anointed by all the holy waters by the group of great sages, I also saw him being worshipped by all devas." 22-23

"There she, who is the daughter of Janaka, who was having a very pretty middle part, clothed in white silk, wearing white flower garlands and also anointed by scents from several holy flowers shined greatly." 24

"After this Devas accompanied by Gandarwas, sages and Sidhas keeping Lord Brahma in their front saluted Sri Rama." 25

"The great Sri Rama who was expert in pleasing every one became himself Lord Vishnu and sat on a holy seat. I also saw him like this." 26

"The red eyed gentleman Sri Rama who was the lord of all worlds and who was a descendent of Raghu, shined there as the ultimate truth, as the ultimate essence, as the personification of ultimate knowledge, as the ultimate mediation, as the ultimate cause, as the ultimate place, as the ultimate cause of everything, holding conch, holy wheel and mace in his hands, with very long eyes, with Sri Vatsa* on his chest, as the Kingdom leading to ultimate deliverance, as somebody who can never be defeated, as somebody who is permanent, as somebody who is perennial, as Vishnu the abode of peace and as someone who was glowing greatly. 27-29
* Sri Vatsa is on the chest of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi resides there.

"Then the King of devas, manes, great sages, Gandarwas, Vidhyadaras, the chief of Pannagas surrounded Rama, who was crowned and with folded hands sang his praise." 30

"Then all the Apsaras (Deva dancers) joined together sang with happiness and danced accompanied by necessary musical instruments. Along with them instruments like Veena, Muraja,* drums and conches together made pleasant royal music." 31
* A musical instrument.

"After this I also saw the real hero Rama, in another place. That prince among men with Lakshmana, his brother and his wife Sita was riding the sun like holy Puspaka Vimana and was travelling towards the north." 32-33

(In the Northern side of India, Gods used to reside and was considered holy.)

I saw like this in my dream the valorous Sri Rama who was very similar to Lord Vishnu along with his brother Lakshmana and with Sita. 34

"That resplendent Sri Rama who cannot be won over either by Devas or asuras or rakshasas or anybody else is similar to the fact that heaven cannot be won over by sinners." 35

"Not only this, I saw the head shaved Ravana who had applied oil all over, clothed in red cloths, tipsy being drunk and wearing Kara Vira flowers. 36

(Here red colour is indicative of bad. This stanza also indicated shaving of head indicates miserable state.)

"At another time I saw the head shaved Ravana who has fallen to the earth from Pushpaka Vimana being forcibly dragged by a lady wearing black dress." 37

"He wore a red garland and red Thilaka and was travelling to the south riding a chariot dragged by donkey and was drowned in a hole in the mud." 38

"I saw a black lady laden with mud all over her body wearing a cloth smelling of blood dragging the ten headed one holding him tightly on the neck towards south." 39

"He was riding fast towards the south on a donkey having lost his senses by drinking oil, laughing, tottering, with dulled senses and with weak body" 40

(God of death and hell were supposed to be in the Southern direction.)

"I also saw the King Ravana falling from the donkey with head downwards and stunned by fear and ultimately falling on earth." 41

"That Ravana suddenly got up, was caught by fear, started trembling, was shaking because he was drunk, was shouting many meaningless words like a mad man and fell in a intolerable, very dark, hell like shit pit and went down in to that." 42-43

"I also saw the very strong Kumbhakarna* there. I also saw all the sons of Ravana applied with oil and head shaved in side there." 44
* Younger brother of Ravana.

"Ravana riding on a pig, Indrajit riding on a crocodile and Kumbhakarna riding on a camel went towards south." 45

"But I saw in my dream only Vibishana carrying a white umbrella clothed in white silk, wearing a white garland, anointed with white sandal paste and accompanied by music of Dundhubhi* and honoured by dance and music." 46
* A deva musician.

"There I saw Vibishana along with four ministers riding on a holy four tusked elephant which was equal to a cloud and which was roaring like a cloud reaching Sri Rama." 47

"I also saw huge crowds of drunk Rakshasas in blood drenched cloth, wearing blood red garlands along with sound of drums and music." 48

"I saw the pretty city of Lanka which has horses, chariots and elephants drowning in the sea with its towers and decorations broken down." 49

"I saw in my dream, the city of Lanka which is well protected by Ravana being burnt down by a monkey who was the emissary of Rama." 50

"All the Rakshasis were loudly crying and dancing after drinking oil and in the city of Lanka which had turned in to ashes, all Rakshasa chieftains like Kumbhakarna, all dressed in red, were getting drowned in a pit of cow dung." 51-52

"Raghava who cannot tolerate crimes is going to kill Ravana along with all his people and is going take back Sita. You will see this and you better run and hide yourself." 53

"Raghava will not forgive you all for terrorizing and bullying his wife who is his darling, who is honoured by him and who accompanied him to live in the forest." 54

"So let your cruel words stop, talk to her and console her. Let us all beg the daughter of Videha and I feel that is only the good decision." 55-56

" This very sad lady about whom this dream was seen, is going to get out of the different kinds of sorrow and is going to join back her very great husband." 57

"Hey, Rakshasis, what is the use of hesitating, go and beg the forgiveness of her who has been terrorized." 58

"All the Rakshasas are going to suffer grave danger from Raghava." 59

"Hey, Rakshasis, there is no doubt that the princess of Mithila who is the daughter of Janaka would get quickly pleased with you as soon as you bow to her. She alone is sufficient to save us all from this grave danger." 60

"Not only that, I do not see even a bit of anything, which is not a good omen, in all parts of her body." 61

"The only sorrowful state which had happened to her, who attained the Vimana in my dream and who should not have got all this sorrow is her being dulled by the dirt" 62

"I am seeing that, the downfall of the King of Rakshasas, victory of Rama and the fulfillment of desires of the daughter of Videha has come very near." 63

"Good omens are happening to her who is going to hear pleasant news. I am seeing that her long left eye, which is like a lotus petal, is beating about. Apart from that only the left arm of Vaidehi is throbbing because of pleasure. Also her left thigh, which is like the trunk of an elephant, is throbbing. All this indicates that Raghava is standing in front of her eye." 64-66
"Not only that, the bird living on the branches with great zest and happiness is making lovely soft sound indicating the safe arrival of someone again and again and appears as if it is helping her by its song." 67

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

Chapter: 28
Sita’s Attempt to Suicide

[After reflecting her sad state of affairs, Sita decides to commit suicide through hanging by use of her rope like hair. At that time she saw some good omens.]

That Sita, hearing the intolerable words of the Rakshasa King Ravana, became dejected and sad and shivered like a young she elephant caught in the clutches of a lion. 1

That Sita who was caught between the Rakshasis and hence terrified, being bullied by Ravana's harsh words started crying like a young girl who has been left in the middle of a solitary forest and started wailing again. 2

""Sages say that in this world, you cannot die except at the appointed time. How true the saying is, for in spite of being terrorized like this and in spite of being a sinner, I am kept alive for more than a second." 3

"May be my heart which is devoid of pleasures and filled with sorrow is immortal? Even at this time it is not breaking in to thousand pieces like the peak of a mountain hit by Vajarayudha." 4

"I would commit suicide immediately and there would not be any sin for me in this. I should not agree to the desire with intolerable intention of Ravana, like A Brahmin should not teach Vedas to those who are not Dwija*." 5
* Twice born

"If he who is the chief of the world does not come at this time, the ungentlemanly Ravana would cut all the parts of my body by sharp weapons like an animal caught in the womb is taken out after cutting it in to pieces." 6

"Like a thief punished by death and kept in custody finds it difficult even to spend a night, for me who is sorrowful, these two months are very long. Alas what a great sorrow it is." 7

"Hey Rama, Hey Lakshmana, Hey Sumithra, Hey mother of Rama, I am filled with sorrow like a boat caught by cyclone in the middle of the sea." 8

"Because of me those two sons of the King of men (Dasaratha) should have been killed by the Rakshasa who came there as a deer like two great lions being killed by thunder." 9

"Possibly the God of death himself came in the form of a deer and tempted me who is unlucky and due to this only I parted company with the gentleman Rama who is the elder brother of Lakshmana." 10

"Hey Rama who has taken truth as a penance, hey long armed one, hey Rama who is similar to the full moon, hey Rama who is dear to all animals, hey Rama who does only good, are you not knowing that the rakshasas are going to kill me." 11

"My conviction that there is no god except you, my patience, my sleeping on the floor, my standing firm on my resolve of doing just actions, and my virtue as a wife, are going to go waste, like the help done to ungrateful people." 12

"I being away from you, being famished and thin, being pale and being not at all sure that I would see you again, am not able to see any way to see you, So this just conduct that I have been observing is of no use and also my determination to be with only one husband is also of no use." 13

"I desire that at least you should complete the desire of your father strictly, return from the forest and become elated at having being done so, leave out all sorrow at having completed the penance and be relaxed under the careful service of the women there." 14

(Though" women" is the word used, commentators feel it only indicates his mothers and other elderly woman.)

"Hey Rama, I have served you with all my mind but at last, having decided to commit suicide, am going to sacrifice my life at last, being unlucky and having observed meditation and penance without any use." 15

"I should have ended my life by poison or by use of a sharp sword but I do not find any one in the palace of Ravana to give me poison or the sword." 16

Thus thinking, wailing, trembling and with a dry throat Sita approached a big flowering tree with the thought of Sri Rama in her mind." 17

Thinking thus in various ways, being extremely upset by sorrow, that Sita took her singly made up hair in her hand and deciding that "Immediately I am going to hang and die by tying this hair to my throat and travel to the place of the God of death.", she who had a with soft and tender body, stood catching the branch of that tree. At that time when continuous thought of Rama and Rama's brother were passing through the mind of that holy lady, some omens which are not the cause of sorrow, which contribute to strengthening of the mind and which were world famous as indicating good tidings happened to her. 18-20

(Her though process indicates she was not willing to embrace such a sinful way of death, which was unsuitable to the greatness of her family.)

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

Chapter: 29
Good Omens Seeing

[Good omens occurred to Sita who was consoled by those omens and gained more confidence.]

Good omens approached her, who is faultless, who does forever well, who was mentally perturbed and who because of lack of happiness was terribly depressed like the helpless people approaching a generous man. 1

That long haired lady's very pretty left eye which is surrounded by curved eye brows, which is black, which is broad and which is bright white colour, surrounded by red colour started throbbing like the lotus flower shaken by a fish. 2

Her pretty long round arms which merit the application of dark sandal paste and which were caressed by her darling, started throbbing fast for quite some time. 3

Not only that apart from these two, her left thigh which was round and fat like the elephants trunk throbbed giving initial signals to her of the coming back of Sri Rama. 4

Also the gold coloured dress which was coated with dust, of that very pretty standing woman, who had teeth which are like the buds of jasmine and who had very clear eyes, slightly loosened indicating good things are bound come. 5

Getting more confidence by these good omens and others, which were indicative of fulfillment of desires from very ancient times, that pretty lady became very happy similar to the wind and sun dried seed when it received rain. 6

Her face with lips which were similar to the red guava fruit, her pretty eyes and eye brows, her long hair, her curved eyelids and her teeth which were white started shining again like the moon which got its freedom from the serpent Rahu. 7

(Hindus believed that at the time of lunar eclipse the serpent Rahu swallows the moon)

Face of that lady with her sorrow removed, with no thoughts in her mind, with her worries quenched and, with more strength due to more happiness glowed like the night lit by the cool moon. 8

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

Chapter: 30
Hanuman's Thinking to Console Sita

[Hanuman then analyses the situation and thinks what he should do? He decides that he should see and console Sita. Then he comes to the conclusion that he should sing the praises of Rama so that she would pay attention to them and not get startled.]

That heroic Hanuman observed with attention the bullying of Sita by the Rakshasis, Sita's reply, and Trijata's words. 1

Afterwards that monkey having seen Sita, who was like a deva maiden in the garden of Indra, before his eyes, started thinking in various ways. 2

"That lady whom thousands and ten thousands monkeys were searching in all directions has been seen by me." 3

"I, who am an emissary was able to know all this, because with an intention of knowing the strength of the enemy with enthusiasm, I moved without catching anybody's eye " 4

"I was able to know especially about the Rakshasas, the fame of this King of Rakshasas and about this city." 5

"This is the proper time to console the wife of the all merciful man with great character, whose only desire is to see her husband." 6

"Let me console her, who has a face like full moon, who did not know what is sorrow, who at present is full of sorrow and who does not find the means to end her sorrow anywhere nearby." 7

"If I go without consoling her, who has a mind ebbing with sorrow, my going would cause lot of bad results." 8

"If I return now, this Janaki the princess with lot of fame would not find any way to get out of her sorrow and would definitely give up her life." 9

"Apart from that I also have to console Rama who has a face like the full moon, who is a great hero and who only wants to see Sita." 10

"This necessary meeting with her cannot be done at present in front of the Rakshasis and how is it possible? I am not able to find any solution." 11

"I should console her during the remaining part of the night only, for if not she would definitely commit suicide." 12

"When Rama asks me as to what message did Sita send, if I do not meet her, what reply would it be possible for me to give?" 13

"Suppose I hurriedly return without any message from Sita, he who belongs to the clan of Kakustha would get angry at me and burn me, with his intolerably angry look itself." 14

"Also if Sugreeva tries to gather an army for the cause of Rama, his coming along with the army would be without any use." 15
"I would continue to be here and wait for a proper time and at that time I would slowly console her who is steeped in sorrow." 16

"Especially since I am a monkey with a very small stature, at this time I will speak the language of the ordinary men." 17

(The common man of those times spoke a colloquial version of Sanskrit language called Prakrit. The tribals spoke a version called Paisachi and the learned Brahmins only spoke Sanskrit.)

"If I speak Sanskrit like Brahmins, Sita would think how a monkey like me got that power to talk like that and she would be scared of me, assuming that I am Ravana." 18-19

(This indicates that Ravana spoke to her in Sanskrit.)

"Since She who is faultless should be consoled by me, I should certainly talk in the language of ordinary men as there is no other way." 20

"She who has already been bullied and terrorized by the Rakshasis would again be scared if she sees my form and hears my language." 21

"Then the sad broad eyed one would become more scared and thinking that I am Ravana who can assume any form he likes would start shouting." 22

"As soon as she starts shouting, those horrible Rakshasis who are similar to the God of death, would come along with various weapons." 23

"Then those, with wrongly shaped faces, would surround me from all the four sides and would make efforts to catch and kill me." 24

"Seeing me running and jumping all over the branches and sticks, one after another they would start shivering out of fear." 25

"Not only that, seeing my big form travelling through the forests, those Rakshasis with misshaped faces would start shivering out of fear." 26

"Then those Rakshasis will summon the Rakshasas appointed by the King of Rakshasas in his palace." 27

"They armed with spears, sword and other arms would come and join this crowd creating more fear." 28

"Surrounded on all sides by them, I would blow away the strength of Rakshasa and possibly in that state would lose the strength to reach the other shore of this great ocean." 29

"Some of those very active ones may possibly be able to catch me and I would get imprisoned and Sita would not be able to know any news." 30

"Those of them who are interested in violence may possibly kill the daughter of Janaka and if that happens, then the job entrusted by Rama and Sugreeva would end dangerously." 31

"Janaki being here is a secret, which is impossible to find out as this place is guarded by Rakshasas and is surrounded by the sea." 32

"I also am not able to think of another one to do the job of Rama, if I am defeated in war or imprisoned by Rakshasas." 33

"If I am killed, in spite of hard thinking, I do not know of another monkey who can cross this great sea which is one hundred Yojanas broad." 34

"I am definitely capable of killing thousands of Rakshasas fighting alone but I am doubtful whether I would be able to reach the other shore afterwards." 35

"This danger that I may face in the uncertainty of war is not suitable to me at this time and no intelligent individual would enter a dangerous act without suspicion." 36

"If I do not see and talk to her, death will happen to Vaidehi and by talking to her this great danger would happen." 37

"Even jobs which can have good results, would fail to get any result, similar to the vanishing of darkness at Sun rise by employing an emissary without the strength of thoughtful analysis." 38

(An inefficient thoughtless emissary will not be able to complete any job.)

"It is not clear to me as to what should be done by me and what should not be done and I feel jobs are spoiled by those emissaries who think that they know everything." 39

"What is to be done so that the job is not spoiled? How to ensure that there is no dearth of right decision? What to do to ensure that this crossing of the ocean is not wasted? 40

"How will she hear my words with careful attention and not only that, how to ensure that my words do not make her tremble?" Thinking like this Hanuman arrived at a decision, which was really without any flaws. 41

"By singing the praise of Rama who can get any job done without any danger and who is close to her, I can keep her, whose mind is firmly fixed on her husband, not startled."42

"I would make her hear those words which describe the just and good actions of Rama who is all knowing and who is the greatest among Ikshuvaku clan. I would tell these by singing his praise and also do things in such a way that she will believe in them." 43-44

That great Hanuman thinking thus in various ways about the wife of the King of the world, sitting in the middle of the branches of the tree spoke the sweet words which would lead to positive result. 45

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

Chapter: 31
Rama’s Story Narration

[Hanuman narrates the story of Rama up to that point in brief manner after the Rakshasis have slept. Sita hears the story, becomes happy and locates Hanuman.]

After thinking like this in various ways and having decided on what to do, he sweetly narrated in a clear manner the following: 1

"There was a King called Dasaratha, who had an army consisting of chariots, horses and elephants, who was greatly resplendent, who was truthful and who was famous all over". 2

(Dasaratha's original name was Nemi. He undertook to fight with Shambara to help his friend Indra. Shambara took ten different forms all sitting on chariots and attacked him from ten different directions. With a single chariot, Nemi efficiently fought and killed him. Afterwards he was known as Dasaratha, the ten-chariot man.)

"He was greatest among the Kingly sages, was equal to sages by his penance, was born in the family of emperors and was equal to Indra in strength." 3

"He was non violent, was having a great mind, was charitable, was truly a hero, was the head of Ikshuvaku clan, was lucky and was responsible for increase in the clan's wealth." 4

"He was a King in all respects, was very rich, who was famous in the world, which surrounded by four oceans and was one who does good and was also one who is good." 5

Rama was his eldest and darling son, who was having a face like moon, who was a specialist and who was the greatest among the archers." 6

"Rama was a protector of his just actions (dharma), was a protector of his people, was a protector of all animals and the nation's Dharma and was one capable of giving pain to his enemies." 7

"Due to the promise given by his father who was firm in his belief of truth and who was an elderly man, he adorned himself with sagely dresses and was sent to the forest along with his wife and brother." 8

(The promise was given to Kaikeyi. She was with him in the chariot when he fought Shambhara. While fighting was in progress, the wheel axle got loose. Kaikeyi tightened it by using her thumb and as a result Dasaratha was able to kill Shambhara. Pleased with his wife's daring, he gave her two boons. But she made him promise to give her those boons at any time she wants.)

"Rama who was hunting in the deep forest killed many Rakshasas who could assume any shape they wanted." 9

"Hearing the destruction of Janasthana and killing of Khara and Dhooshana, Ravana deceived Rama by illusion of a deer and Janaki was abducted by him with great passion for her." 10

(Maricha who was his uncle played the part of the deer. Janasthana was an area of Dandakaranya forest where Rama stayed for a long time.)

"Rama who was searching the virtuous and innocent Sita in the forest, met a monkey called Sugreeva and became his friend." 11

"Sugreeva took a vow to find out the place where Sita was living and Rama assured him that Sugreeva would be made as the King of the country of monkeys." 12

"Because of that, the very strong and great hero Sri Rama killed Bali and gave the country of monkeys to Sugreeva." 13

(Bali was the elder half-brother of Sugreeva.)

"Appointed by Sugreeva, several thousand monkeys, who are very attractive, are searching for her in all directions." 14

"I being enthused by the words of Sampathi jumped and crossed this great ocean which is one hundred Yojanas broad for the sake of that broad eyed lady." 15

(After a hopeless search for Sita, the monkeys decide to commit a mass suicide. While discussing, they happen to mention about the valiant fight of Jatayu with Ravana. Sampathi, who was the elder brother of Jatayu (both were sons of God Aruna), who had earlier tried to protect his younger brother from the harsh sun rays, was living in a cave nearby having lost his wings. He was shocked by the news of Jatayu's death and by his far sighted vision was able to locate Sita in the island of Lanka)

"I, well known to Raghava, have found out that lady of whom I have heard with the specified appearance, with specified colour, with specified glitter" 16

After telling thus the great monkey observed silence. 17

Janaki after hearing the above words was greatly wonderstruck. 18

Then that lady who had very pretty hair, which had a curved ends, lifted her face, which was partially covered by her hair and examined the Simshuba tree. 19

That Sita whose soul was filled with only Sri Rama's thought, examined all directions and places and after well grasping the words of the monkey said to herself, "So be it" and became very happy. 20

She after searching round, up and down her saw Hanuman who was extremely wise, who was the minister of the monkey King, who was the son of God of wind and who looked like the rising son from behind the mountains. 21

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

Chapter: 32
Sita sees Hanuman

[Sita becomes confused on seeing a red copper coloured monkey because she thinks it is a bad omen. She analyses the situation and prays God that whatever has been narrated by Hanuman should be true.]

Seeing him, who was hiding in the branches, who was attired in white and who was copper coloured like streaks of lightning, she was very much confused. 1

She saw there, the monkey who had eyes like molten gold, who had the luster of the body like the fully opened Asoka flowers, who was very soft and who was speaking lovable words. 2

Maithili wondered greatly and thought like this. 3

Seeing the horrible and unusual features of the monkey she thought that it was bad omen and unfortunately started to get worried. 4

That fear struck Sita wailed in a pitiable manner and that pretty and good natured Sita muttered "Rama, Rama" and "Lakshmana" often while crying. 5

That pretty princess of Mithila seeing in front of her that Monkey chief, who was standing with humility, thought that "It was definitely a dream." 6

She saw the son of Wind God, who was the minister of King of Monkeys, who always obeyed the order of his King, who was foremost among intelligent beings, who was having a mis-shaped face and saw him as very thoughtful. 7

As soon as the wide eyed Sita saw him properly, she almost fainted and took to the appearance of a dead woman but at last she woke from her stupor and started thinking. 8

"I am seeing in my dream this monkey with a mis-shaped face, which is agreed upon by the sciences as not showing good. Let good happen to Rama with Lakshmana and my father, the King Janaka." 9

"This is not a dream also, because I who has been affected by sorrow and sadness do not sleep at all. I had a parting from Rama who had the face of the full moon and after that I do not have anything pleasant happening to me." 10

"Because I am, within my mind, always thinking of Rama and by my words always praising him, I also always hear the story suitable to him and possibly due to that I am hearing his story." 11

"As of now I am full of thoughts in my mind about him, I have offered my mind fully to him and I always meditate on him and naturally I think, I see him and also think that I hear about him." 12

"I think what happened was only a feeling in my mind but in spite of that I am able to think and analyze about it. Thought will not have a form. But what I see has a clear form and is talking to me." 13
"My salutations are to Indra, Brahaspathi* and Brahma. Let whatever has been told by this monkey come true and let it not be false." 14
* The teacher of Devas.

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

Chapter: 33
Hanuman’s Dialogue with Sita

[Hanuman enquires with Sita, whether she is actually Sita and she confirms it.]

That hanuman, who was having a face like coral, who was the son of Wind God and who was greatly resplendent got down from the tree, went near Sita and fell at her feet with a sad and humble face. Then he started talking to her with sweet praises with both his hands clasped in salutation over his head. 1-2

"Hey lady, who wears ruffled silk cloth, hey lady, who is having eyes like lotus flowers, hey lady without any defects, who are you and why are you holding the branch of a tree?" 3

"Why are tears flowing from both of your eyes, like drops of water falling from two lotus flowers?" 4

"Hey very good lady, who are you among Asuras, Nagas, Gandharwas. Rakshasas, Yakshas and Kinnaras?" 5

""Hey lady who is great and pretty, to me you appear as if you are a Deva maiden. Who are you among Rudras, Maruths and Vasus?" 6

(Various types of demi gods.)

"Are you the Holy Star Rohini enshrined with all good characters, who has parted with the moon and fallen down on earth?" 7

"Hey lady, who brings only good and who has eyes without any blemish, who are you? 8

"Hey lady with black eyes, who is harbinger of good, are you by chance Arundathi, who has deserted and angered your husband Vasishta because of anger or passion?" 9

(Arundathi, the sage wife of great Sage Vasishta, occupies the constellation of great bear along with her husband. She is possibly one of those extremely rare ladies who has been promoted as a star.)

"Hey lady, who has a pretty waist, who is your son or your father or your brother or your husband? From which world have you fallen down to this world and have become so sad?" 10

"Because you are crying, taking painful breaths, your feet touches the earth and you have taken one lord's name as your everything, I do not think that you are a deva maiden." 11

(Devas are not supposed to blink and their feet does not touch the earth.)

"From your form and features which I have seen, I think that you are a princess or a queen of a great King." 12

"If you are Sita, who has been abducted by Ravana from Janasthana, please tell me clearly, who is enquiring about you, because by your telling, good things will happen to you." 13

"Your beauty is greater than any human beauty, your features shine because of penance and your sorrow is indescribable. Because of this I feel that you are the queen of Rama." 14
That daughter of Videha, becoming happy because of the praise of Rama, thus replied to Hanuman who was standing leaning on a tree: 15

"I am the daughter in law of Dasaratha who was first among the great Kings of the world, who use to defeat enemy soldiers and who is famous." 16

(Please note that Hanuman, Ravana and other Rakshasis used to refer her as Daughter of Janaka and Sita introduces her as daughter-in-law of Dasaratha.)

"I am known as Sita and am the daughter of King Janaka who is great and who is the King of Videha, I am the wife of Rama, who is a great hero." 17

"I enjoyed a life for twelve years in the palace of Rama with all my wishes fulfilled and was enjoying all pleasures which are proper for human beings." 18

"After that in the thirteenth year, the King along with elders ordered the coronation of Rama, who belonged to the Ikshuvaku clan." 19

"When arrangements were under progress for the coronation, the queen Kaikeyi told about his promise to her." 20

"If Rama is going to be crowned, I would not eat my food from now, I would not drink either and this is the last day of my life." 21

"Hey great among the Kings, if the loving promise made by you to me in olden days should not be made a lie, then Rama should go to the forest." 22

"That truthful King remembering the promise he had given to his queen, hearing Kaikeyi's words which were cruel and undesirable became very much worried." 23

"Then that old King standing firmly on justice and truth requested with tears, his eldest son Rama for the Kingdom." 24

(kingdom was still Dasaratha's. He wanted him to forsake the poison of Yuva Raja)

"That great one considering his father's orders as greater than the coronation, thought it as a great good deed in his mind and by words agreed to the request." 25

"Sri Rama who considers truth as his greatest valour would always give but never take and even if he looses his life, will not tell anything that is harsh and hurting." 26

"That famous one then removing his costly robes, sacrificed the Kingdom willingly and gave me in the custody of his mother." 27

"But I prepared myself for the journey to the forest faster than him for even living in heaven without him is not liked by me." 28

Lakshmana, the son of Sumithra, who is a great holy one and a friend to those who are friendly became ready before everyone and dressed in bark with a determination to look after his brother." 29

"Then all the three of us, considering the orders of elders as more important took to the life in forest which was strange to us and which creates seriousness." 30

"I, who am the wife of him, who was having great valour and living in the Dandaka forest, was abducted by the Rakshasa Ravana, who is a bad soul." 31

"I have been given the blessing of lease of life for two more months by Ravana and so only after two months I would sacrifice my life." 32

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

Chapter: 34
Hanuman’s Narration of Rama

[Though initially Sita becomes glad on seeing Hanuman, she gets confused when he starts going near her and decides that he is only Ravana. Slowly by his actions and sweet words, Hanuman tries to dispel this misunderstanding.]

Hearing her words, which are steeped in sadness after sadness that monkey chief Hanuman, gave the following mind pleasing reply: 1

"Holy lady, I am the emissary of Rama, sent by him here and have come here to inform you about news pertaining to him." 2

"Hey Godly one, that Rama who is the son of Dasaratha, who is the greatest among those who knows Vedas and who has knowledge of Vedas and Brahmasthra, enquired about your well being." 3

Lakshmana who is dear to your husband, who is always with him, who is suffering due to sorrow and who is greatly resplendent has offered salutations by his head to you." 4

(Hindus as an extreme sign of respect prostrate before those whom they respect with their head at their feet.)

That lady hearing the news about the well being of those two lion among men was pleased all over her body and addressed Hanuman in a different way as follows? 5

"The proverb that "Happiness comes to the living man even after one hundred years" which is normally told appears to be true in my case. How happy I am!" 6

She got wonderful confidence in Hanuman whom she has seen face to face. And they with confidence between them started mutual conversation. 7

Hearing her words, that monkey chief Hanuman, started going near Sita, who was wilting with sorrow. 8

The nearer and nearer he approached her, Sita started more and more suspecting him as Ravana. 9

"This must be Ravana who has changed his appearance and how foolish it is that I and he had conversed with each other. What a great tragedy", she thought. 10

She who had all the holy qualities and who was being pained by extreme sorrow left the branch of the Asoka tree which she was holding and sat firmly on the floor. 11

The great hero Hanuman, seeing her afraid of him due to the misunderstanding, saluted Sita who was afflicted by sorrow by falling at her feet. But she, who was totally scared of him, did not see him by opening her eyes. 12

The sweet voiced and moon faced Sita seeing that he was bowing to her for a long time, gathered little courage and told him thus: 13

"If you are indeed Ravana who is bent upon violence, you are causing me intense sorrow and that is not good for you." 14

"You are the same Ravana whom I saw in Janasthana as the one who has taken the form of one who has given up the world by hiding his own form." 15

"Hey Rakshasa, who is personification of passion, you are troubling me who is starving, shivering and in anguish and this is not good." 16

"Or perhaps, what I doubt about you is not right, for just by looking at you, my mind is peaceful." 17

"If you are indeed the emissary of Lord Rama, let good happen to you. Hey, monkey chief, I am requesting you to narrate the story of Rama. Hey peaceful monkey, you have attracted my mind like the banks of the river. Please describe the qualities of my Lord, Rama." 18-19

"Hey, what is this, why this pleasant dream to me. Why am I, who has been abducted by force, assuming that this monkey has been sent by Rama?" 20

"Even in my dream, if I see the valorous hero Lord Rama with Lakshmana then I would not be scared. Has dreams also have become my enemy?" 21

"I do not think that this is a dream that forebades good, for good would not happen by seeing a monkey in a dream. And I have received only good news." 22

"This could be self deceit or could be the action of some evil spirit or a lunacy created by intense longing. Perhaps this is possibly the mirage." 23

"No, this is not madness or mental state created by madness, for I am clearly recognizing myself and this as a monkey." 24

Analyzing in various ways thus about the strengths of her various thoughts, she concluded that the monkey was indeed the King of Rakshasas who can assume any form he wanted. 25

Then Sita who was the daughter of Janaka and who had a very thin waist, assuming thus in her mind, did not utter anything to the monkey. 26

Hanuman the Son of God of wind, understanding her sorrow started pleasing her by words, which were sweet to her ears. 27

"He is resplendent like the sun god, pleasing to the world like the moon god and a King to all the world like Lord Kubhera." 28

"He is one with great fame, one who has extreme valor like Maha Vishnu and one who tells sweet truth like Lord Brahaspathi." 29

(Brahaspathi is the official teacher of all Devas. He is the planet Jupiter in the sky.)

"He attracts the eyes like the God of love, who is reborn, he is handsome, he is a gentleman, he is capable of anger where required, he punishes his enemies, he is a great charioteer and he is the best in the world." 30
"Hey lady, you will soon see that, he who took the form of a stag and removed that great one, on whom the whole world depends, far away from the hermitage and abducted you, when nobody was there, would get the punishment he deserves." 31-32

"I am the emissary who has been sent to your presence by that great hero who would soon kill Ravana by sending burning arrows which are like fire and which would be sent with anger. Because of your parting, he is drowned in sorrow and told me to tell you about his welfare." 33-34

(It is an Indian custom to inform your welfare first and then ask about the welfare of those whom we meet.)

"That Lakshmana, who increased the happiness of his mother Sumithra, who is a great hero, who is resplendent, is sending news of his well being along with his salutations." 35

"Hey, holy lady, that monkey Sugreeva, who is the friend of Rama and who is the King of monkeys also told me to inform you good tidings." 36

"Rama along with Sugreeva and Lakshmana always think about you. Hey, Vaidehi, by the grace of God, you also are alive in the custody of Rakshasis." 37

"You are soon going to see Rama, the very strong Lakshmana and Sugreeva with immeasurable power surrounded by crores of monkeys." 38

"I, who have crossed the great ocean and reached the city of Lanka, am named as Hanuman and am the minister of Sugreeva." 39

"I am the one who has come here for keeping my feet on the head of Ravana and show my valor and also to see you." 40

"Hey lady, I am not what you think. Leave out this doubt and please keep faith in me." 41

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

Chapter: 35
Hanuman’s Description of Rama

[To convince Sita, Hanuman described in detail about Rama and also told her the story of the meeting of Rama with Sugreeva as well as killing of Bali and consequent successful search for her. Sita is at last convinced that he indeed is Hanuman.]

Once she heard about the story of Rama from Hanuman, Sita with a sweet voice started telling the following friendly words. 1

"Where did you get to know of Lord Rama? How do you know Lakshmana? How did the friendship between men and monkeys develop?" 2-3

"Hey, monkey, be pleased to tell in detail once again the bodily signs of Rama and Lakshmana. By this no sorrow will ever reach me." 4

"How is the bodily appearance of Rama and Lakshmana? How are their features? How are their thighs? How are their hands? Please describe these in detail for my sake." 5

Thus requested by Vaidehi, Hanuman the son of Wind God, started telling in detail about Rama. 6

"Hey, lady with lotus leaf like eyes, Hey broad eyed one, Hey Vaidehi, it is extremely lucky that you asked me to describe the features of Rama and Lakshmana. Be pleased to hear the features of Rama and Lakshmana as is known to me." 7-8

"Hey daughter of Janaka, Rama has eyes like the lotus leaf; he steals the mind of all beings as he was born with beauty and pity." 9

(The word "Rama" means "He who is handsome.")

"He is equal to Sun in the resplendency, equal to earth in his patience, equal to Brahaspathi in wisdom and equal to Indra in fame." 10

"He is the protector of animals, protector of his own people, protector of beliefs and just action and killer of his enemies." 11

"Hey pretty one, Rama is the protector of the four castes of the world, author of just practices of the world and he is the one who makes others obey such practices." 12

"He is one with luster, he is always being worshipped, he is very firm in continence, he is an expert in doing service to the poor and he knows the best methods of doing any action." 13

(Tilakat, the famous commentator, translates "He is one with luster" as "He is being worshipped as Sun God by Brahmins".)

"He is an expert in royal administration and hence he worships Brahmins, he understands science and practices it, he is by nature of a very good character, he is humility personified and in spite of that a valorous hero." 14

"He is an expert in Yajur Veda, he is one who is respected by great Vedic scholars and he is an expert in science of war, Vedas and Vedangas." 15

"Hey, Devi, he has high shoulders, he has long hands, he has neck like a conch, he has a smiling face, he has shoulder bones hidden by flesh, he has red eyes and he is the one who is addressed as "Rama" by all people." 16

"He has a musical booming voice of a trumpet, he is of soft shade, he is one with fame, he is one with ideal height and girth, he has proportionate organs and he is of black colour." 17

"Three of his are firm (chest, wrist and fist), three of his are long (eye brows, hands and Andas*) three of his are equal (ends of hair on the head, knees, Andas) three of his are high (stomach, belly and chest), three of his are red (ends of the eye, nails, and bottom of the feet), three of his are shining (hair, lines on feet and private parts) and three of his are having a regal look (sound, stride and overall looks) 18
* Literally egg but could be testicles.

(What are mentioned in the bracket in this and later stanzas are views of expert commentators. The slokas do not contain them.)

"He has three folds in his belly and neck, three of his are depressed (chest, nipples and lines on his feet), four of his are short (neck, private parts, back side and knee joint), he has three whirls on his head, he has four lines on the thumb of his feet, he has four lines on his forehead, he is four hands tall (one hand is one and a half feet) and he has four organs equal (hands, knee joints, thighs and cheeks)" 19

"He has fourteen parts as equal (eye brows, nasal orifices, eyes, ears, lips, nipples, arm joints, wrists, knee joints, hips, hip joints, back sides, hands and legs). He has four sharp teeth, he has the combined gait of four animals (lion, tiger, elephant and bull), he has pretty lips, jaw bones and nose, he has five organs soft (hair, eyes, teeth, skin and feet) and he has eight organs long (back bone, body, hands, nose, eyes, private parts, fingers and legs)." 20

"He has ten organs like lotus flower (Face, mouth, eyes, tongue, lips, cheek bones, chest, nails, hand and feet), he has ten big ones (Chest, head, forehead, neck, shoulders, hands, belly, sides, back and voice), he is spread throughout by three (fame, riches and renown), he has two of them white (teeth and eyes), six of them standing out (arm pit, belly, chest, nose, hands and forehead), Nine of the ones are very sharp (hair on the head, moustache, nails, hair on the body, skin, fingers, eyes, private parts and knowledge) and he observes three aspects of life (charity, wealth and passion), three times a day (morning, noon and evening)" 21

"He is interested in truth and justice, he is very lucky, he is interested in charity all over the world, he knows the differences brought about by time and place and he tells only those words which are good to all beings." 22

"Sumithra's son Lakshmana, who is his younger mother's son and also one who cannot be defeated by anybody, is equal to him in affection and features." 23

"Those two great men, who were going round and round the world with the intention of finding you out, were seen by us." 24

"Those two men who were wandering throughout the out the world in search of you, had a friendly meeting with Sugreeva, who was insulted by his elder brother, who was extremely sad because of the fear towards his brother, who was the King of animals and who was in hiding to take revenge of his brother in the thickly wooded forest of Rishya Mooka." 25-26

(Bali was the King of monkeys and his younger brother was Sugreeva. Once they chased a giant called Dundubhi, who entered a tiny cave. Bali went in chase of the giant inside the cave and requested Sugreeva to keep guard in the mouth of the cave. Since Bali did not come out for a long time, Sugreeva thought that he is dead and crowned himself as the King of monkeys. But Bali did return and thought that Sugreeva was insulting him. Chased by Bali, Sugreeva hid along with some of his friends, in the Rishya Mooka Mountain, where Bali cannot set foot, because of a curse by a sage.)

"We, few people, served Sugreeva, who was truthful, who was driven out by his brother and who was the King of monkeys." 27

"While things were like this, those two wearing the bark of the trees and holding huge bows neared the Rishya Mooka Mountains." 28

"That monkey chief seeing those two great souls, who were great warriors was fear stuck and ran away to the upper parts of the mountain." 29

(The fact that Sugreeva was a coward is brought out in this stanza.)

"Then that monkey chief sitting on the peak of the mountain immediately sent me as an emissary to those heroes." 30

"Under the orders of Sugreeva, I went and informed them, who were two handsome and powerful Lords, with folded hands about the situation in the mountain." 31

"Understanding the situation and getting pleased, those two rode on my back and were brought to the place of Sugreeva." 32

"Both of them were introduced to the great soul, Sugreeva and by mutual conversation both of them developed faith in each other." 33

"The Chief of the monkeys and Chief of men, were told during the conversation about things past and being convinced about each other became happy." 34

"Because of that, elder brother of Lakshmana consoled Sugreeva who was driven out by his elder brother and a great hero, Bali because of a woman." 35

(There are differing versions of this story. One of them is that Sugreeva was driven out because while he became a King instead of Bali, he married one of the wives of Bali)

"This time Lakshmana who can get any job done without effort informed the monkey King Sugreeva about the sorrow caused to Rama because of parting with you." 36

"Hearing the words of Lakshmana, that monkey chief became dull similar to the Sun affected by Rahu and Kethu during eclipse." 37

"That time, the monkey warriors brought out all those ornaments, which were shining on your body, which were thrown by you on earth, while you were being abducted and exhibited them before Rama but the monkeys were not knowing the place where you have been taken." 38-39

"When Rama was benumbed by sorrow, we gave him those ornaments which fell down and broke with tingling sound" 40

"Your husband who is like a God, kept those very pretty ornaments on his lap and wept several times." 41

"The son of Dasaratha's sorrow went up and up seeing those ornaments again and again and the fire of his sorrow was burning more and more." 42

"Drowned by his sorrow, he lay down silently and I used several words of consolation with great difficulty made him stand up." 43

"Rama accompanied by Lakshmana saw those very great ornaments again and again and pointed them out several times and gave them to Sugreeva for safe keeping." 44

"Hey holy lady, that Raghava, who is not able to see you, internally burns like a volcano burning in huge fire." 45

"Because of you, he was sleepless and worries and thoughts also were burning that Raghava like the fire burns the fire place." 46

"He was shattered because of the sorrow in not being able to see you like a huge mountain was shattered by an earth quake." 47

"Hey princess, he did not get an iota of happiness because he was not able to see you after he wandered round and round the streams, gardens and springs." 48

"Hey daughter of Janaka, that Raghava, who is a lion among men, is going to kill Ravana along with all his relations soon." 49

"That time Rama and Sugreeva together signed a treaty for killing Bali and undertaking a thorough search for you." 50

"Because of that Bali was killed by those two princes in a war near Kishkinda." 51

"Sri Rama killed Bali by his valor and after that appointed Sugreeva as the King to all monkeys and bears." 52

"Hey holy lady, the unity in purpose between Rama and Sugreeva happened like this and I am an emissary sent by both of them because of that." 53

"Once Sugreeva got his Kingdom back, he sent the very powerful monkey chiefs for searching for you in all the ten directions." 54

(Below and above has also been included along with eight directions.)

"Ordered by the King of monkeys, those monkeys who are very strong and equal to the Himalaya Mountains started their search in all parts of the earth." 55

"From then onwards, we as well as the other monkey groups, interested in carrying out the orders of Sugreeva, travelled throughout the world in search of you." 56

"The monkey chief Angadha who is blessed by Lakshmi, who is very strong and who is the son of Bali started his search assisted by one third of the armies." 57

"We spent several nights on the Vindhya Mountains without getting any result and as a result became very sad." 58

"We, because we were not able to get the job done in the time stipulated and also because of the fear of the monkey King, decided to give up our life." 59

"After searching for the divine lady in forests, mountains, caves, streams and being not able to find her place of residence, we decided to give away our life." 60

"Hey, Vaidehi, Angadha seeing that all monkeys have decided to give up their life by starvation, drowned in great sorrow, related the stories of Jatayu's death, killing of Bali and how we were not able to find the divine lady and our consequent decision to give up our life and became extremely sad." 61-62

"A heroic great hawk seeing us, who were about to commit suicide, because we were not able to complete the instructions of our boss, came near us with an intention of helping us to complete the job." 63

"This hawk King called Sampathi who was the elder brother of Jatayu on hearing the death of Jatayu, came near us very fast and told the following words." 64

"Hey, monkey chiefs, who defeated and killed my younger brother Jatayu and where was it done? I am interested in knowing it from you." 65

"Then Angadha related to him the war that was done for saving you with the horrible Rakshasa at Janasthana and the consequent death of the great soul, as it happened." 66

"Hey pretty lady, that son of Aruna hearing the story of Jatayu's death became very sad and told us that you are living in the house of Ravana." 67

(Hawks has the ability to see for long distances.)

"Hearing the happy tidings from Sampathi, we all, who were led by Angadha started from there." 68

"Those monkeys with the extreme exuberance for locating you, happily and without any thought reached the northern shore of the great ocean." 69

"Those monkey chiefs led by Angadha with great wish to see you after reaching the sea shore, became filled with fear (because of difficulty in crossing the sea) and became very sad." 70

"Then I, after seeing the sea, removed the fear from the minds of those very sad monkeys and crossed the one hundred yojanas." 71

(Initially even Hanuman was filled with fear, but Jambhavan told him that he was the only one who has the capacity and he is under-estimating his own strength because of a curse during his childhood. Once he realized his strength, Hanuman crossed the sea.)

"Within a night, I searched all over Lanka filed with Rakshasas, saw Ravana and needless to say, also you who is filled with sorrow." 72

"Oh, holy lady, please know me as the son of Wind God, Minister of Sugreeva, the one who is enthused by Lord Rama and the one who has come here because of you." 73

"Oh lady, who is devoid of any blemishes, I have just narrated to you every thing as it happened. I am the emissary of the son of Dasaratha and so please recognize me as such." 74

"Your Kakustha (descendent of Kakustha), who is foremost among all archers, is all right. Similarly that Lakshmana who is interested in serving his elder brother and who is symbol of all that is good is also all right." 75

"Hey holy lady, I, who am interested in the well being of your valorous husband have reached here alone as per the orders of Sugreeva." 76

"I who can assume any shape I want, with a deep wish to find out the path that you have travelled and who can travel anywhere without any help have reached this southern side." 77

"I, because of my luck, am going to console the monkey army, who are all sad because they are not able to locate you, by informing them about my meeting with you." 78

"Hey, holy lady, it is indeed lucky that my crossing of the sea has not gone waste and because of my great luck, I am going to get the fame of locating and meeting you." 79

"That great hero Raghava, is going to exterminate Ravana along with his friends and relatives and is going to take you back." 80

"Hey, Vaidehi, Malyavan is the most holy among the mountains and from this mountain a monkey called Kesari reached the mountains of Gokarna." 81

"He, the great monkey chief, who is my father, under the orders of Devas and Rishis killed an Asura called Sambasadhana in this holy waters of Varuna" 82

"Hey, Maithili, I was produced in the wife of this monkey chief by the wind God and I became famous as Hanuman by my work." 83

(There are lot of stories of Hanuman's birth. One story says that he was produced by Shiva and Parvathy when they were playing in the forest as monkeys. Parvathy did not want to bear this child and the child was entrusted to the wind god. He put the child in the womb of Anjana, the wife of Kesari.)

"Hey holy lady who has done only good deeds, hey Vaidehi, to gain your complete belief I told you all about Rama. That Raghava is going to take you from here very soon." 84

Famished by sorrow that Sita seeing the reasons and proper information, believed in Hanuman and decided that he is indeed the emissary of Rama. 85

That Janaki having attained immense happiness and due to extreme happiness shed happy tears from her eyes, which had curved eyelids. 86

That broad eyed one's, incomparable pretty face which was blessed with red, white long eyes appeared as if it was the moon who has escaped from Rahu. 87

She decided without any doubt that indeed it is Hanuman for there was no other reason to decide otherwise. Hanuman, seeing the holy lady with friendly eyes, told the following: 88

"Hey Maithili, I have told you all that is to be told in its entirety. So please take courage and give me leave. What do you think, I should do now? 89

"Hey Maithili, I was born as a monkey to the god of wind, when according to the wishes of sages, Sambasadana was killed by a monkey in war and I am equal in power to the God of Wind." 90

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