Sundara Kandam

Chapter: 46
Army Commanders Destruction

[Ravana, who was perturbed, sends his five army commanders advising them to be careful in catching and bringing Hanuman. He told them that he knew several warrior monkeys but none of them equalled this monkey in prowess. Those five army commanders along with their army were killed by Hanuman.]

Hearing about the killing of the sons of ministers, Ravana without making others know about his thoughts took a very suitable decision. 1

That ten headed one, facing the five army commanders Virupaksha, Yupaksha, Praghasa, Durdhara the Rakshasa and Basakarna, who were all greatly learned in the art of war, who had enthusiasm in binding and bringing Hanuman, who had the speed of wind in their war, ordered as follows: 2-3

He told, "Hey, Army Commanders, all of you start along with a huge army accompanied by horses, chariots, elephants. Let that monkey be punished." 4

"When you near that monkey, you should definitely be careful. Not only that you also should use proper techniques to suit the time and place." 5

"Thinking by his actions, I do not consider him as an ordinary monkey. Whatever way you think, it is a huge devil with lot of strength. It should have been created by Indra through incessant prayer just to oppose us." 6

"When all of you join together with me, Nagas, Yakshas, Gandarwas, Devas, Asuras and Sages have been defeated." 7

"It is possible that they would play some trick against us. This definitely is that. There is no doubt about it. Use all your strength and catch hold of it and tie it." 8

"Do not make a poor estimate of that Monkey who is very heroic. For I have seen other very great warrior monkeys like Bali with Sugreeva, the very strong Jambhavan, their army-commander Neela and others like Dwividha. But none of them have this great speed, nor do they have this luster, nor heroism, nor wisdom, nor the strong capacity, nor the power to assume any form." 9-11

(In Uttara Kanda, there is a story that Bali simply caught hold of Ravana and took him along with him once. It seems he tied Ravana to the rope holding cradle of Angadha. Later at the request of Brahma, he released him. It is mentioned that the only other person who had defeated Ravana was Kartha Veeryarjuna, who was in turn killed by Parasurama.)

"I think it is a very great devil which has assumed the shape of monkey. You have lot of effort and stop its jumping." 12

"All people among Devas, Asuras an men including Indra cannot stand before you in war. This is definitely true." 13

"In spite of that, the expert who desires victory in war, has to take great efforts to protect his soul, because in war victory is never definite." 14

All of them who had luster like fire, who were very intelligent and who were greatly valorous accepted the advice of their master and started for war with chariots, vigorous elephants, very fast horses, armed with several types of weapons. 15-16

Then those warriors saw that great monkey who was shining like the rising sun with its natural rays. 17

All of them as soon as they saw him, who was exuberant, who was very courageous, who was very strong, who was very intelligent, who had assumed a very big form, who was very wise and who was sitting at the entrance of the tower, surrounded him from all sides and opposed him with several great weapons. 18-19

Durdhara shot at the head of Hanuman, five arrows made of steel which were hurting, sharp, black like Uthpala (black plant) and having red ends. 20

Hurt by the five piercing arrows, he rose in the sky with a roar which could be heard in all the ten directions. 21

Then the very strong and great warrior Durdhara who was sitting in a chariot and who had connected arrows in his bow started continuously shooting very sharp arrows at him. 22

That monkey approached him who was raining arrows from the sky, like the wind at the end of rainy season nears the raining cloud. 23

Then that clever son of wind-god, who was attacked by Durdhara, increased in size more than before and roared with a huge sound. 24

That very intelligent monkey rose up to a very great height in the sky and suddenly jumped on the chariot of Durdhara like the fire of thunder. 25

Then that Durdhara left his chariot with eight dead horses and whose axle was broken and fell out lifeless. 26

Seeing him lying dead on the floor, Virupaksha and Yupaksha, who are unperturbed and who can destroy their enemies became very angry and attacked him. 27

Those two, who were raising very fast in the clear sky, hit the big handed monkey, who was standing, with Thorne maces. 28

He, who was very strong and equal in valour to Garuda, became very angry and after clearing them away jumped on the earth. 29

That monkey, who was the son of wind-god, saw a Sala tree, uprooted it and hit those two warriors with it and killed them. 30

Then Praghasa seeing that the strong monkey has killed all the three of them, opposed the monkey with great anger and force. 31

The great hero Bhasakarna from one side took a spear and became very angry at the unperturbed and famous monkey chief. 32
Bhasakarna pierced the great monkey by his spear and Praghasa pierced him with a long handed sharp spear. 33

That monkey, wounded by those two, was angry with all his hair getting blood soaked and looked like the shining young sun. 34

That monkey chief and great warrior Hanuman, uprooted a peak of mountain, which was full of animals, snakes and trees and killed the two rakshasas. 35

After killing those five army army-commanders, then destroyed their remaining army. 36

Like the thousand eyed Indra opposing the rakshasas that monkey killed horses by horses, elephants by elephants, soldiers by soldiers and chariots by chariots. 37

Covered fully by the dead elephants, dead horses, axle broken big chariots and dead Rakshasas, the earth became path less. 38

Then the monkey chief, after killing those chiefs of army along with their soldiers, returned back to the gate and waited there similar to the God of death waiting to kill the people. 39

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

Chapter: 47
Aksha Kumara’s Death

[This chapter deals with the ferocious war of Aksha Kumara, the second son of Ravana and Hanuman, in which Aksha Kumar is ultimately killed.]

Then that King Ravana, seeing that Hanuman has killed five army-commanders and army along with vehicles, saw in front of him, with affection, his son Aksha who was enthusiastic for war. 1

Enthused by the eye examination of Ravana, he stood up in the assembly holding a special bow made of gold and appeared as if he was the sacrificial fire kindled by the offerings of Brahmins. 2

Afterwards he, who was a valorous Rakshasa hero climbed up a huge chariot which was covered all over with gold and which had the luster of young sun and departed to fight the great monkey. 3

He who was equal to Devas climbed in the fully complete chariot, which was got by him by rigorous prayers, which was pretty because of the covering by molten gold, which had flag poles, which had flag inlaid by precious stones, which was pulled by eight very fast moving horses, which could not even be attacked by devas or asuras, which could travel anywhere without being blocked, which was shining like sun, which could travel in the sky, which had several quivers, which had a platform in which eight swords were hung, which had been stored properly with spears and thomaras, which was equipped with all necessary things, which was shining like sun and which was pulled by golden rope similar to sun and moon and departed from there. 4-6

He who filled the sky and the mountain clad earth, with the sound made by horses, elephants and very big chariots along with a unified army neared the intelligent monkey, who was sitting on the tower gate. 7

That Aksha who had lion like stare, nearing that monkey who had the stability of the fire during deluge in killing people, out of respect to him because of wonder, raised his head and looked at the monkey with respect. 8

That very strong prince, understanding the great monkey's speed and valour towards his enemies and estimating his own strength, started increasing in size like the sun at the end of winter. 9

Aksha who was standing opposite the monkey, well understanding his stable valour which cannot be prevented from any one, became angry but set his attention properly and kindled Hanuman by three sharp arrows. 10

Taking the arrows in his hand and holding the bow, that Aksha seeing that the monkey is not tired at all and that he was capable of defeating his enemies, started thinking with a perturbed mind. 11

That great warrior, wearing medallions, armlets and pretty ear studs made of gold attacked the monkey. The fight between those two was unequal and made even the Devas and Asuras nervous. 12

Witnessing the fight between the prince and the monkey, the earth rattled, sun faded, wind did not move, mountains trembled, sky roared and ocean churned. 13
Then that hero, who knew how to find proper aim, how to place the arrows on the bow and how to send them, sends again three arrows which had very sharp points, which had golden handle, which were dipped in poison and which were guided by feathers aimed at the head of the monkey. 14

That Hanuman, not in the least affected by those arrows sent at the same time aimed at his head, which was decorated by the ray like arrows, with eyes from which blood was dripping and with the luster of just emerged sun, appeared as if he was really the sun along with its rays. 15

Afterwards Hanuman, who was the minister of the King of monkeys, staring at the darling son of the King who was in the field of war armed with several sharp weapons as well as several bows, got ready for the war and roared greatly. 16

Then that strong and valorous Hanuman with increasing anger and appearing like the Sun atop the Mandhara Mountain burnt Aksha Kumara, who was accompanied by the army and who was having several vehicles to ride, by the fire of his eyes. 17

Because of that, he who was a Rakshasa cloud along with a rainbow like bow used to shoot arrows, rained several arrows like a cloud raining on a mountain, on the mountain like monkey chief. 18

Seeing Aksha kumara as of great valour in the war and as increasing heroism and power with passage of time, the monkey who was as powerful as the cloud roared with happiness in the war. 19

That Aksha becoming proud of his valour, because of childishness, became very angry and with red shot eyes, fell on the monkey who does not have any one equal to him as if he was falling on a well covered with grass. 20

(He fell for him out of ignorance of real facts.)

That Hanuman hurt by the arrows sent with great force by him (Aksha) roared like a royal thunder. That son of wind god spreading his palms and thighs jumped on to the sky in his fearful form. 21

He who is very strong, who is the best among Rakshasas, who is filled with fame and who is the greatest among those who drive in the chariot, ran and opposed him showering arrows at Hanuman, who was jumping and this was like a rain of stones on the mountain. 22

That monkey chief, who was a great warrior and who had the speed of the mind, kicked off the arrows and entered within the arrows, like wind and came out and travelled in the sky and was in the path of the sky like the wind. 23

That son of Wind God stared with respect at Aksha, who was using the bow, who was desirous of war and who was covering the sky with sharp and great arrows and thought in his mind thus: 24

That monkey, who was capable of analyzing the result of actions and having a chest severely wounded by the arrows shot by the valorous prince who was great, roared and thought in his mind about the actions to be done in the war. 25

"This one is very strong and he has the luster of the baby sun and does all great deeds like a grown up man. My mind does not allow to kill him (Aksha) who is an expert in all aspects of war, now itself." 26
"There is no doubt that he is extremely strong, great in his valour, does not get rattled in adversity, patiently opposes even in war and not only that he is fit for praise by the efficiency of his work by Nagas, Yakshas and even sages." 27

"He is the one whose mind is elated by enthusiasm and valour and he opposes me and stares at me. His valor which is fast paced would even make the minds of Asuras and Devas tremble." 28

"Even if he is disregarded, there is no guarantee that he will not oppose, for in war his valour increases greatly. I feel it is proper for me to kill him now itself for the spreading fire should not be disregarded." 29

That very strong abode of valour thinking and estimating the great speed of the enemy and the need to complete his work took an important decision and decided in his mind in killing the bad souled one. 30

That monkey hero, who was the son of wind god, killed the eight horses, which were having great speed, which never knew tiredness and which could carry the chariot easily in the windy sky by hitting them with his open palm. 31

Then his big chariot having hit by the palm, having been broken by the minister of the monkey King, having its horses killed, having its roof broken and having its axis separated fell in to the ground from the sky. 32

That great hero and the great charioteer Aksha left the chariot and holding the bow and with sword in his hand rose in to the sky, like a sage raising to the heaven after leaving his body because of the power of his penance. 33

Then that monkey, who was equal in valour to the God of Wind, neared him who was moving in the sky, which was used by Garuda, wind and sages and caught him strongly between his two legs. 34

That monkey who was one of the greatest monkeys and who was equal in valour to his father, caught him in the battlefield like Garuda, the King of Birds catching a snake, rotated him thousands of times and threw him on the floor with lot of force. 35

Because of this that Rakshasa fell dead on the earth with broken hands, thighs, waist and neck, with eye balls coming out due to shattered bones, with blood flowing all over, with joints separated and with unsettled ties. 36

Due to this, that great monkey created great fear to the King of Rakshasas. 37

Once that prince was killed, he was seen with great awe, by sages who travel in the sky and who do great penance, by Bhoothas who included Yakshas and Pannagas and Devendra surrounded by Devas. 38

After killing Aksha Kumara, who had the dazzle of the son of Indra and who had blood red eyes, that hero Hanuman, started waiting for suitable occasion like the God of death waiting for the death of the beings and again reached the gate of the tower. 39

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

Chapter: 48
Hanuman’s Capture

[Indrajit, the eldest son of Ravana, is sent to capture Hanuman. He puts in lot of fight and at last sends Brahmasthra, which ties Hanuman. The rakshasa soldiers tied Hanuman by rope, which made Hanuman free of Brahmasthra, but still with a wish to see Ravana in person, he submits to the Rakshasas. Ravana asks his ministers to question him. Hanuman replies that he is the emissary of Sugreeva.]

After Hanuman killed Aksha Kumara that famous Rakshasa King, gained mental composure somehow and after that gave the following order to Indrajit who was equal to Indra and who was very angry. 1

"You are the one who knows the science of archery, you are the one of the greats among those who carry weapons, you are the one who can give even Devas and Asuras sorrow, you are the one who has shown great valour against Devas including Indra and the one who has worshipped Brahma and got special arrows." 2

"Neither Asuras, nor devas, nor those who are helped by Indra are capable of facing the power of your arrows in war." 3

"There is no one who does not get tired of war in all the three worlds, but you are protected by the power of your penance. Not only that you are protected by your own valour and also you are capable of acting as per the needs of time and place. You are also greatly intelligent." 4

"There is nothing in the war that cannot be achieved by your effort. Nothing is impossible to you in jobs that need the use of brain and thought. There is no one in all the three worlds who does not know the power of your arrows and intelligence." 5

"The power of your penance, valour and the strength of your arrows are equal to me. After getting you (as son), who would definitely achieve victory in war, my mind had never experienced any effort." 6

"All the Kinkaras, the Rakshasa called Jambumali, the sons of ministers who were valorous, and the five commanders have been killed. Similarly the great army consisting of horses, elephants and chariots has been killed. Your dear brother Aksha Kumara has also been killed." 7-8

"Hey, killer of enemies, I do not definitely have the faith that I have you in them." 9

"Hey, intelligent one, after estimating and understanding this great strength, power and valour of the monkey, use your strength properly and do effort equal to your strength." 10

"Hey greatest among those who know archery, you who has the strength to conquer enemies, take further action such that, you use as much of your strength as required to destroy the army and take further action after judging your as well as the enemies strength." 11

"Hey heroic warrior, it (the monkey) has got capability of exterminating crowd by crowd and so army is useless against it. Further you should not near it depending on Vajrayudha, because even God of wind does not have its speed. Since it is equal to fire, war of deceit does not help to kill it." 12

"Please go, after thinking clearly about all the points mentioned, having great confidence in the stability of your actions, after well remembering the bow and the power of arrows given by devas. Complete the job without failure." 13

(Ravana seems to be of the opinion that without the use of holy god given arrows, the monkey cannot be defeated.)

"The fact that I am sending you is contradictory to the fact that I love you, but this decision is proper for the King and the dharma (just action) of the King." 14

"Hey, killer of enemies, in war it is essential to show the expertise learned in a careful manner and what should be wished in war should only be victory over the enemy." 15

That hero, who had the strength equal to devas and who had untiring ability, after hearing the words of his father, decided on going to war mentally and went round his master (father). 16

After a respectful farewell by his own friends and with interest in war, Indrajit with an intention to be careful decided to depart. 17

That resplendent Rakshasa prince who had eyes like the petals of lotus, who was a gentleman ebbed out like the sea during the full moon and new moon. 18

That Indrajit, who was equal to Indra, then climbed in to a chariot capable of travelling anywhere, drawn by four tigers that were comparable to the King of Birds, who were comparable to each other and who had white sharp teeth. 19

He who was greatest among archers, who knew the science of war, who was an expert in the war with arrows and who was great, reached quickly, riding on his chariot, to the place where Hanuman was sitting. 20

Hearing the sound made by his chariot and the twang of the bow, the famous Hanuman, who was a great monkey hero became very happy. 21

Indrajit who was an expert in war went near Hanuman carrying his bow and very sharp arrows. 22

When he was going with a bow and with interest in war, all the directions rattled and wild animals made various types of sounds. 23

During this time Nagas, Yakshas, Sages and Sidhas who travelled in the sky assembled there, besides the several species of birds hid the sky completely and shouted loudly. 24

That monkey, seeing Indrajit coming fast riding in the chariot, roared loudly and increased the size of his body speedily. 25

Riding on a miraculous chariot Indrajit, who could complete any job in an artistic manner, made thunderous sound by his bow. 26

Then that very strong monkey, who was equal in prowess to Indra and the Rakshasa King and who was not afraid of war, fought with the son of the King of Rakshasas and they faced each other like born enemies and with great anger. 27
That monkey, who was beyond sight, destroyed the speed of arrows of Indrajit, who had won laurels in war, who was great archer, who was a great charioteer and who was a great hero. He increased further and further and travelled in the sky, which was the path of his father. 28

At that time, he who was capable of killing the opposing warriors shot arrows which were long and sharp, which had been attached with good feathers, which had ends decorated by gold and feathers, which were capable of being drawn well and which were as fast as the thunderous fire. 29

That Hanuman, hearing the huge sound made by his chariot, the sound made by drums Beri and Pataha (types of war drums) and the sound made by the well drawn bow again jumped up. 30

That brown coloured great monkey travelled fast in between several properly shot arrows by him who was capable of shooting arrows correctly and made them all useless. 31

Hanuman, the son of wind god, stood in front of him giving him facility to shoot him but spreading his hands jumped away from the arrows that he shot. 32

Those two, who were very fast and who were experts in war. carried on a war that attracted and surprised all beings. 33

That Rakshasa did not know the Achilles heel of Hanuman and the son of wind God did know the weakness of the courageous one. Thus those two fought opposing each other an intolerable war similar in valour to the devas 34

The great one, who had firm capacity to shoot arrows without missing his aim, seeing that his arrows which never go waste, were going waste not able to hit his aim, became extremely thoughtful then. 35

That son of the King of Rakshasas, understanding that the monkey was deathless, took a decision on how to tackle and catch him after great thought. 36

At that time, that great hero who was very learned in archery sent the Brahmasthra against the monkey. 37

Indrajit, who knew the essence of archery and who was a great hero, decided, "This one should be killed only by Brahmasthra" and tied him, who was the son of wind God, by Brahmasthra. 38

That monkey tied by the Rakshasa using that arrow (asthra) became incapable of moving and because of that very sad. 39

Then that monkey chief understanding that his speed was reduced by the power of Brahma and understanding that he was tied by the arrow (asthra), remembered the blessing of Brahma to him. 40

Hanuman thought in his mind about the Brahmasthra, which was sent with the Chant of Brahma and also the boon given to him by Brahma. 41

"This arrow has been sent with an understanding that "I who am under the control of the arrow do not have strength to tie myself loose because of the power of the universal teacher." And so I have to respect the tie of the arrow of Brahma and obey it." 42

That monkey, understanding the power of that arrow and also remembering the blessings of Brahma permitting him to tie himself, decided to obey the order of Brahma. 43

"Even though I am tied by the arrow, I who am protected by Brahma, Indra and Vayu, do not have any sense of fear." 44

"Even this coming under the control of Rakshasas, I have the great benefit of having a meeting with the King of Rakshasas and so let the enemy carry me." 45

That Hanuman, who destroyed the valour of his enemies, who could take the right decisions and one who could guess the future course of events, did not move his limbs. Because of this he was caught by the enemies who neared him and acted as if he was bullied by all those who came there and made sounds like a weakling. 46

At that time, they finding him, who could destroy is enemies as still, strongly tied him by strong jute threads and pieces of tree hides. 47

That Hanuman deciding that "It is possible that the King of Rakshasa may come to me to understand things, " tolerated peacefully the tying by the enemy soldiers and their bullying. 48

That hero was only tied by the ropes and hides and freed by the arrow, because that arrow does not tolerate tying by any other object. 49

At that time, only the heroic Indrajit having understood that he was only tied by ropes and freed by the tie of Brahmasthra thought as follows, "He has been tied by some other material. Will Brahmasthra tolerate it?, Alas, my great effort became in vain. Rakshasas do not know the power of chants. If Brahmasthra becomes useless, then no other arrow will work against him and all of us should be afraid for our lives." 50-51

Hanuman did not allow any one to know that he is free from the control of Brahmasthra. Because of that he suffered the troubles of other ties and was dragged by the Rakshasas. 52

That monkey was dragged to the presence of the King of Rakshasas by the cruel Rakshasas, who beat him with fists and logs of wood. 53

Even though Indrajit understood well that he was free from the ties of Brahmasthra and was only tied by ropes allowed that very strong monkey warrior, who was surrounded by his army, took him in front of the King. 54

Those rakshasas tying him, who was the greatest among monkeys, like a ferocious elephant, presented him in front of the King of Rakshasas. 55

At that time the following conversations took place among the Rakshasas, "Who is this? Whom does it belong? Where from it has come? What job has it here? Who is helping him?" 56

The other Rakshasas, who were very angry, shouted among themselves, "We have to kill it. We have to burn it. We have to eat it." 57

That great one, with contempt for them crossed the path and stood in front of the King of Rakshasas who was surrounded by people ready to serve him in any way that he wants and saw the palace decorated by various precious stones. 58

(Some commentators interpret "With contempt for them" as "being dragged forcefully" also the "Path" is interpreted as "In the month of Magha" by some of them. One version of Ramayana says that Hanuman crossed the sea in the month of Magha, on Ekadasi Thithi and on a Sunday.)

That greatly glittering Ravana saw that great monkey being dragged hither and thither by those ugly looking Rakshasas, 59

The monkey chief, Hanuman also saw the King of Rakshasas, who was shining like the sun God and who was resplendent and very strong. 60

That ten headed one rolling his red eyes due to intense anger stared at the monkey and ordered his important ministers who were sitting near him and who were elders known for their pedigree and good character to question the monkey. 61

That monkey properly questioned by them about the reason as to why he came and also the cause of the reason, initially told. "I am the emissary coming from the King of monkeys." 62

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

Chapter: 49
Prowess of Ravana

[Here Hanuman's reaction on seeing Ravana is described. He feels but for Ravana's bad qualities he would have been a great person.]

The greatly valorous Hanuman became wonder struck by his action and stared at the King of Rakshasas with reddish eyes. 1

(Hanuman felt bad that Ravana asked his ministers to question him instead of directly questioning him.)

Then Hanuman looked and saw the Valorous King of Rakshasas, who shone with the extremely lustrous golden crown, which was decorated by pearl garlands, who appeared imperial by wearing several golden ornaments in which several diamonds were struck and other precious stones were used, who wore very costly silk dress, who anointed himself with several scented sandal potions, who had several pretty designs drawn all over his body with red sandal paste, who had very red broad eyes which were horrible to look at and which stood out, who had great teeth which were sharp and shined, who was shining like the Mandhara mountain that was full of wild animals, with his ten heads and hanging lips, who had a body like the black Anjana mountain, who was like the cloud with storks, with his pearl necklace shining like full moon hanging over his chest, who was having hands which looked like the five headed serpent, on which he wore armlets, beautiful bangles and had applied sandal paste, who was sitting on majestic and pretty throne that was made of jade inlaid with several precious gems and on which was spread several broad pretty carpets, who was being assisted by several pretty lasses standing near him, who were well made up, and who were holding fans in their hands, who was surrounded by the four ministers Durdhara, Prahastha, Mahaparswa and the very intelligent Nikumbha who all were very strong capable rakshasa counselors, who was served by other rakshasa ministers who knew the principle of holy chants, who were capable of showing him the right way and who served him like devas served Indra and who was full of royal looks like the cloud which surrounded the Meru mountain 2-14

(Ravana appeared with his ten heads only during war. Possibly he appeared with ten heads in his court in order to scare Hanuman.)

Though he was very much troubled by the greatly valorous Rakshasas, he was greatly wonder struck and kept on looking at the King of Rakshasas. 15

Hanuman, after seeing that shining King of Rakshasas and being surprised by his power, thought as follows in his mind. 16

That intelligent Hanuman, after observing the power of the very famous King of Rakshasas, became thoughtful in various ways and thought, "Ha, what a figure. Ha, what a courage. Ha, what a strength. Ha, what a dazzling power. It is very surprising that he is a combination of all these characteristics. If this strong god of Rakshasas has not been an unjust person, he would have been the protector of the world of devas including Indra. The entire world is afraid of him because of his cruel and fearless deeds, which are contradictory to the norms of the world. If he becomes angry, he would create a deluge and sink the world." 17-20

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

Chapter: 50
Prahastha’s Questioning of Hanuman

[Ravana orders his minister Prahastha to question Hanuman. Hanuman replies to him that he is the emissary of Raghava.]

The long armed Ravana, who was habituated to make the whole world cry, stared at the yellow-eyed monkey standing in front of him and became immeasurably angry. 1

Seeing the enthusiastic chief of monkeys, he became thoughtful out of fear and thought as follows, "What? God Nandi must have personally come here." 2

"He must be the same one who cursed me, when I shook Kailasa mountain long ago and who has taken the form of a monkey or is he Banasura?" 3

(See note under Sloka 52 in Chapter 3, Banasura is a thousand handed Rakshasa who was the son of Mahabali.)

That King with red eyes due to anger addressing Prahastha, who was his minister in chief, told the following words which were very timely and meaningful. 4

"This bad person may be questioned as to where from he has come? What is his purpose? And what did he get by scaring the Rakshasis and destroying the garden?" 5

"This bad character may be asked, as to what benefit did he get in entering my town which cannot be entered by any one and what was the purpose of killing the Rakshasas?" 6

Hearing the words of Ravana, Prahastha spoke as follows, "Hey monkey, there is no reason for you to be scared. You would be safe." 7

"Hey, monkey, if you have been sent by Indra to the house of Ravana, please tell the truth. You would not face any problem and you would be released." 8

"Did you come to our city assuming the form of spy for the sake of Yama or Kubhera or Varuna or where you sent by Vishnu who is desirous of victory?" 9

"Hey, monkey, I think you have assumed the form of monkey, for when we think of your valour, we do not feel that you are a monkey. Tell the truth and you would be immediately released." 10

"If you tell a lie, it would be very difficult for you to continue to live. So what is the reason for your coming to the city of Ravana?" 11

Then the monkey who has been questioned thus addressing the chief of Rakshasa group replied as follows: "I do not belong either to Indra, Yama or Varuna." 12

"I do not have acquaintance with Kubhera. Vishnu has not sent me. I, who have come here, is really a monkey only. This is my caste." 13

"Since I could not personally get an interview with the King of Rakshasas, this garden was destroyed by me for seeing him." 14
"Then those strong Rakshasas, who were desirous of war, came before me and I fought with them for protecting myself." 15

"I cannot be tied by either the devas or asuras with their arrows. I also got this boon from Lord Brahma." 16

"Because I was desirous of seeing the King, I obeyed the Brahmasthra and as soon as I was troubled by the Rakshasa, I was free of Brahmasthra." 17

"I have come before you for the purpose of another King." 18

"Be pleased to know that I am the emissary of Raghava, who is immeasurably strong." 19

"Besides, Oh, King, be pleased to hear my words that would bring good to you." 20

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

Chapter: 51
Hanuman’s Advice

[Hanuman points out to Ravana, the prowess of Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and other monkeys and advices him to give back Sita to Rama to avoid destruction of Lanka, death to him and his near and dear ones. Then Ravana sentences Hanuman to death.]

That valorous Hanuman stared at the greatly valorous ten headed one and without fear told the following meaningful words. 1

"Hey, King of Rakshasas, I have come here to your place because of the orders of Sugreeva. The King of monkeys told me to inform you of his welfare." 2

(Since Bali and Ravana had signed a treaty of friendship, Sugreeva becomes like a brother to Ravana.)

"Be pleased to hear the words of the great Sugreeva, who is your brother, which would be useful to you in this and the other world." 3

"There was a King called Dasaratha who was equal to Indra, who had an army with chariots, horses and elephants and who was related to the world like a father." 4

"Rama, his greatly resplendent son, who had great arms, who did good to all people and who was a lord ordered by his father, chose the path of justice and entered the Dandakaranya forest along with his brother Lakshmana and his wife Sita." 5-6

"His wife Sita, who never left the company of her husband and who was the daughter of Janaka the great King of Videha, was lost in the forest." 7

"That prince along with his brother, searching for that lady, reached Rishya Mooka and became a friend of Sugreeva." 8

"That Sugreeva promised him to search and find out Sita and Rama promised him the Kingdom of Monkeys." 9

"Because of that that prince killed Bali and Sugreeva was appointed as the King of all the monkeys and bears." 10

"You know about Bali for a long time. That monkey was killed by just one arrow by Rama in war." 11

(When Ravana went to war with Bali once, he caught hold of him and hung in the cradle of his baby Angada as a plaything. Brahma interceded and got him free. Ravana from that time was exceedingly afraid of Bali. It should be also noted that Rama did not kill Bali in war but sent an arrow from hiding.)

"The monkey King Sugreeva, who is steadfast on his words, carefully sent monkeys to all directions to search for Sita." 12

"Tens, thousands and millions of monkeys are searching in all directions, top and bottom as well as the sky for her." 13

"Some of them who are powerful are equal in prowess to Garuda and some like wind can travel to even nooks and corners with great speed." 14

"I am the son of wind god and am known as Hanuman. For the sake of Sita and to see her, I crossed with speed this ocean, which is one hundred yojanas long and have come here. I searched for her hither and thither and found her in your home." 15-16

"Hey, very intelligent King, you know well the path of justice and you have achieved great heights by penance and so you do not merit to steal other peoples wives and keep them under custody." 17

"Intelligent people like you would not stick on to actions, which are against justice, which would lead to several dangers and which would destroy one completely. 18

"Who is there among Devas or Asuras who can stand before arrows sent by Lakshmana and those arrows sent by Rama in anger?" 19

"Hey King, once a bad deed is done to Raghava, where can you live with pleasure and I feel nowhere in the three worlds." 20

"So please understand what I say, as the one which leads to good in past, present and future, one which is according to the path of justice and one which leads to good luck. Let Janaki be returned to the God of the world." 21

"This holy lady has been seen by me. Whatever was extremely difficult has been achieved and whatever remaining in this is to be done by Raghava himself." 22

"This Sita has been found by me with indescribable sorrow. You do not understand that she is a five headed serpent in your house." 23

"Like the rice which is laced with poison and which was eaten in plenty cannot be digested, Asuras and even devas cannot digest her with their valour." 24

"It is not proper for you to waste away, this lucky life earned by you, by control of senses and by doing just deeds." 25

"You are thinking with courage that you will not attain death from devas and asuras because of the strength of your penance. But this is not sufficient enough reason." 26

"This Sugreeva is neither a Deva nor a Rakshasa nor a Danava nor Gandharwa nor Yaksha nor Pannaga for Sugreeva is but a monkey King. And that Raghava is but a human being." 27

(Ravana asked Brahma for a boon of deathlessness which he refused. Then he requested for deathlessness from all known type of people except monkeys and men. Hanuman is pointing out to him that the people who are opposing him are monkeys and men.)

"So King how are you going to save your life. The result of just action will not save you from the sins of unjust action for just action would only give its result." 28

(What he means that by doing some good things, the result of sinful action cannot be washed way.)

"You have already enjoyed your life which is the result of just action and you are going to immediately suffer for your misdeeds." 29

(If you want to wash away the sin of stealing Sita, you have to do the just deed of returning her. No other just action is going to help you.)

"Please remember the war of Janasthana, the killing of Bali and the treaty between Rama and Sugreeva and decide what is good for you." 30

(In Janasthana Rama alone killed a huge army of Rakshasas stationed there by Ravana.)

"I alone could have destroyed the city of Lanka with its horses, chariots and elephants. But this is not his wish." 31

"It has been sworn before the assembly of monkeys and bears that the complete destruction of those people, who were the reason for abduction of Sita, would be done by Rama alone." 32

"Even if bad is done to Rama by real Devendra himself or any one else, he would not be able to live happily. What about a person like you?" 33

"Understand that she, whom you think as just Sita and who is under your custody, as the intense dark night who is going to destroy the entire Lanka." 34

"So please stop the impending destruction by Sita, who is like the rope of God of death, which you have put as garland round your neck. Think of what is proper for your welfare." 35

"Think in your mind immediately that this city, which is full of palaces, towers and spires as already destroyed by the power of Sita and is burning because of the anger of Rama." 36

"Please do not allow the destruction of the city of Lanka as well as your friends, ministers, forefathers, brothers, sons, dears, pleasures and wives." 37

"Hey Rakshasa King, understand clearly that this advice as coming from me, who is a monkey and a servant of Rama, who has come as an emissary, as based only on just action and follow it." 38

(He calls himself as "servant", because he knows the power of Rama, "emissary" because he is relating a message and "monkey" because he is neither a Rakshasa nor a man and can be impartial.)

"Rama is capable of destroying very easily the entire world with its beings, with its movable and immovable assets and create them again and he is famous beyond the speed of the mind." 39

"There is none among Devas, Asuras, Kings, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Vidhyadaras, Gandharwas, Uragas, Sidhas, Kinnaras, Birds and not only that but among all beings, in all worlds, in everything, in all directions and for all time, who can oppose and wage a war against Rama who is equal to Lord Vishnu." 40-41

"After doing this bad act to Rama, who is the King of all worlds and who is the lion among Kings, for you it is impossible to keep your soul in tact any longer." 42

"Hey King of Rakshasa, even if all the devas, asuras, Gandharwas, Vidhyadaras, Nagas and Yakshas joined together they will not able to withstand the war with Rama." 43

"Even the four headed Brahma, who created himself, the three eyed Rudra, who burnt the three cities, Indra who is the King of Devas and who killed Vrthrasura cannot save one whom Rama has decided to kill." 44

(Commentators believe that because Hanuman did not include Vishnu, he must be knowing that Rama is Vishnu himself. But this is contradictory to his calling Rama equal to Vishnu in sloka 40-41.)

That incomparable Rakshasa with ten heads and with rolling red eyes due to intense anger, finding that the cleverest words delivered with fearlessness by the monkey not suiting to his taste, sentenced the monkey chief with death. 45

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

Chapter: 52
Vibishana's Advice

[Vibishana with soft words of logic and justice advises Ravana that Hanuman should not be killed but can be punished in other ways.]

Vibishana thought it is wrong to sentence an emissary, who has brought the message of someone else, to death by the bad soul Ravana. 1

(During ancient times, it was thought that an emissary, who is only delivering the message of some one else, should not be punished. This theme occurs in several Puranas.)

He who always takes action, when it should be done, seeing that his brother was very angry and bent upon on carrying out his words, thought as to what he should do. 2

Then he who was capable of serious thought, he who had an expert in his language and he who had decided as to what he should do, addressed his elder brother by good humble words and told him that which was good for him. 3

"Hey, King of Rakshasas, leave out this anger, become pleased and hear my words. Great Kings who know the tradition do not sentence an emissary to death". 4

"Hey valorous one, death sentence to this monkey is against law, against hoary traditions of the world and not proper." 5

"You, yourself are an expert in the knowledge of justice, who observes tradition, an expert on kingly justice, an expert on tradition, and one who knows the secrets of this world." 6

"Suppose even wise people like you are caught in the grips of anger, then getting knowledge of science of life is an useless effort." 7

"Hey chief of Rakshasas, who cannot be opposed by any one and who can kill his enemies, therefore leave out this anger and calm down. Let the emissary be punished after deciding as to what is proper and what is improper." 8-9

Ravana, the King of Rakshasas, hearing the words of Vibhishana became very angry and told him the following reply. 10

"Hey, killer of his enemies, there is no injustice in giving sentence of death to sinners. I am going to get this monkey, who took sinful actions killed." 11

That Vibhishana, who was the foremost of intelligent ones, hearing these words which were the root of injustice, which had many flaws and which was suitable to unjust people, again told words which were the essence of just action. 12

"Hey King of Lanka, please calm down and be pleased to hear wise words of justice, Hey King, learned and just people think that emissaries do not merit punishment of death no where and at no time." 13

"There is no doubt that this is a very great enemy. This has done several unpleasant things. It is seen that emissaries are given several type of punishments but nowhere it is told that emissaries can be put to death." 14

"It is told that emissary can be punished by disfiguring him or giving lashes by a whip or by shaving off his head or by marking his organs in an untraceable manner. But it is never heard that emissary has been put to death." 15

"How can you, who is very wise and just, who is an expert on good and bad of traditional wisdom, come under the control of anger. People who do not swerve from Dharma (just action) do avoid anger." 16

"Hey valorous one, there is none equal to you neither in the knowledge of Dharma (just action) nor in worldly duties and nor in deep knowledge of the science of life. You are the greatest among all devas and asuras." 17

"Not only that, I do not find any merit in killing this monkey; this punishment should be given to them who sent this monkey." 18

"This may be a just one or unjust but is an emissary, who is in the control of others, who has been sent by them and is telling what is told by them. And so it does not merit punishment by death." 19

"Hey King who conquers the forts of other cities, if this is killed who can come again to this place which is far-far away from the ocean. I do not see any one else who is capable of travelling in the sky and so please do not try to kill him. It is necessary for you to show this type of wisdom to your enemies including Indra." 20-21

"Hey, King who likes war, suppose this dies, I do not find any other emissary who can send those two sons of a King of men, who are both bad people and who are far away." 22

"If this chieftain of monkeys is killed, good people will tell lot of bad things about us. I do not see them saying good words and words of fame about us. All the world will only find fault with us." 23

"Not only that, hey King, who travels in darkness, we should try fast to take action for the destruction and death of those people, who are bad natured, who are very proud of themselves, who are not intelligent and who have sent this monkey." 24

"Hey enemy of Devendra, immediately take efforts to enforce justice among Devas, who include Indra and Daithyas which include Dhanavas." 25

"Hey, King of Rakshasas, approve by your mind my words, take firm action with utmost care, get killed those two princes and make victory thine." 26

"Hey King, who creates happiness in the mind of Rakshasas, it is not proper for you, who has qualities like valour, courage and enthusiasm and who cannot be won over by even devas and Rakshasas, to stop the forthcoming war." 27

"Under you control you have crores of heroes, who do good to you, who are great warriors, who desire only your good, who have won in several good events, who are enthusiastic, who are the greatest among those who carry weapons and who are good servants." 28

"So let few people along with a part of your army start now itself to fulfil your orders, to kill these two princes and to prove your power against your enemies." 29

That very strong King of Rakshasas, who was the chief among Rakshasa Kings and who was the enemy of the world of devas, hearing the good words of his younger brother Vibhishana understood them and decided that they should be agreed upon. 30

That King of Rakshasas thought in various ways like, "There is no doubt that this definitely is the power of Vishnu which has taken the shape of a monkey to destroy me. This warrior monkey is the essence of the power of Vishnu, who is deva among devas, which is the very greatest and very intolerable power, which is the root of everything. Or is this the Para Brahma (the ultimate essence of god)" and again became very angry. 31-32

But the King of Rakshasas, who is a great soul, controlling the anger in his mind which was raging like fire, recognizing Vibhishana who was the greatest among those who carry weapons and respecting the words of Vibhishana told as follows. 33

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

Chapter: 53
Hanuman’s Tail on Fire

[Ravana convinced by the advice of Vibhishana orders that Hanuman's tail be burnt and he be dragged round the city. Hanuman thinks that this is a good opportunity to see round the city during daytime and submits to this punishment. Informed about this Sita prays to God of fire not to harm Hanuman. Hanuman does not feel any pain and after seeing the city loosens himself from the bonds.]

The ten headed one understanding that the words of Vibhishana are according to laws of land, told the following to the great one who is his brother. 1

"What you have told is right. To kill an emissary is condemned by all. But for this we have to give some other punishment other than death." 2

"Monkeys consider their tail as their favourite ornament. Let its tail which is its ornament be burnt. Let it return back with its burnt tail. 3

"Let its friends, relations, its favourite ones and its relatives see it being in the sad state of having been with an ugly limb." 4

That King of Rakshasas ordered "Let him be dragged with his burning tail all through the several road junctions all over the city." 5

Those Rakshasas whose anger had increased a lot, hearing the orders of Ravana, tied around Hanuman's tail torn cloths made of cotton thread. 6

When they were tying cloths on his tail, that great monkey increased in size as fast as the forest fire. At that time they poured oil over the cloth and set fire to it. 7

At that time many Rakshasas among whom were ladies old people and children came there with a wish to see the burning tail of Hanuman. 8

That Hanuman who was like the infant sun became extremely angry and beat the Rakshasas with his burning tail and made them fall. 9

That monkey chief who was a great warrior was further imprisoned by the cruel Rakshasas who came in hoards and started thinking as to what is to be done. 10

"I can break these ropes and jump up and kill all of them for even though I am imprisoned, these Rakshasas are not equal to me. There is no doubt about it." 11

"If I do like this, I who am supposed to take beneficial action to my lord, would not be doing so. Is it not true, that these cruel people have tied me who am supposed to run about because of their King's order." 12

"I am sufficient to oppose in war all these Rakshasas together but I am tolerating all this because this would be according to the wish of Rama." 13

"I have not seen the entire city of Lanka in the night properly. It is thus necessary for me to see the city in the daytime so that I know the secrets of its forts. Therefore it has become necessary for me to see the city once again." 14
"Let the Rakshasas give me, who has been tied and whose tail has been set afire more trouble as they please." 15

Because of this those Rakshasas, who did not understand his mind dragged the monkey, who is great and who is the chief among monkeys with happiness and came out of the palace. 16

Those Rakshasas, who were to do cruel deeds made lot of sound by their own action as well as by the sound of drums and conches and walked all over the town dragging Hanuman. 17

Hanuman, who exterminated his enemies, walked on his own accord, followed by the Rakshasas and understood well the great city of the Rakshasas. 18

Then that monkey chief saw peculiar palaces, places encircled by tall walls and well divided royal junctions. 19

That monkey who was the son of wind god, saw streets filed with houses, places which provided way to all directions, as also big avenues, small streets, places in between these small streets and big buildings which were like clouds. 20

In the junctions of roads, in the inns and in royal avenues, all the Rakshasas announced loudly "Spy, spy". 21

Ladies, children and old people came out here and there with a wish to see that Hanuman whose tail was set afire with glee. 22

Once the end of the tail of that Hanuman caught fire, those Rakshasis with ugly eyes, ran from there and informed the holy lady about this unpalatable news. 23

"Hey Sita, that monkey with a red face, who was talking to you, is being dragged hither and thither with his tail being set afire." 24

Hearing the news, which acted as if it was stealing her soul, that Vaidehi, who was caught by sorrow, thought of the god of fire in her mind. 25

That broad eyed lady started praying for the welfare of the monkey chief and at that time with great devotion saluted the God of fire and prayed. 26

"Suppose I had looked after my husband properly, suppose I had observed the rules of penance properly and if I had thought in my mind of husband only, then be cool to Hanuman." 27

"If that great one has little pity on me and not only that if I have at least a bit of luck, then be cool to Hanuman." 28

"Suppose you know me as one as virtuous and only praying always to reach the company of whom who is the soul of justice, then be cool to Hanuman." 29

"If the long armed, truthful and gentleman Sugreeva will help me to cross this danger, then be cool to Hanuman." 30

That God of fire, who had powerful flames, because of that (prayer of Sita) burnt peacefully and softly so that not to harm Hanuman and as if he was informing the doe eyed Sita. 31

The God of wind, who was the father of Hanuman, even though Hanuman's tail was set afire starting slowly blowing like snow so that the holy lady is satisfied. 32

When fire was raging on his tail that monkey thought, "why is it that this fire which is burning well, not consuming my entire body?" 33

"This appears to burn with big flames but is not creating any pain to me and it appears to me that they are bathing the end of my tail with snow." 34

"There is no doubt and it is very clear, it is as wonderful an incident like my seeing a mountain in the middle of the sea when I was crossing it because of the grace of Rama." 35

"Even when the God of the sea and the Mainaka Mountain has so much interest in the welfare of Rama, how can the god of fire not help at this stage." 36

"The God of fire is not burning me because of the kindness of Sita, the power of Raghava and because of his friendship to my father". That monkey chief further thought in his mind the future course of action for some more time 37

Immediately with great speed that monkey jumped up and roared. 38

Then the very famous monkey chief climbed the top of a tower, which was very tall and was without Rakshasas. 39

That very intelligent one grew as big as a mountain and immediately assumed a very tiny form and unloosened himself. 40

That famous monkey thus got himself freed from the bonds. Then seeing the huge beam on the top of the main entrance grew as big as a mountain. 41

That strong-armed son of wind god, loosening the beam with iron rings, killed all the guards with it. 42

That Hanuman, who was a great expert in war, faced the city of Lanka and the flames in his tail burning like garlands shone like the Sun with great many rays. 43

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

Chapter: 54
Hanuman’s Burning of Lanka

[Hanuman decided to inflict more misery to the city of Lanka by setting fire to it. He systematically set fire to all the houses, places and forests. He was praised by all Gods for such a great achievement. He put out the fire of his tail by dipping it in to the sea.]

That monkey having succeeded in his mind's wish, facing Lanka with lot of enthusiasm thought as to what has to be done. 1

"What is remaining undone in this place to me? What action of mine would increase the sorrow of these Rakshasas?" 2

"Asoka forest has been destroyed. Several strong Rakshasas have been killed. A part of their army has been broken asunder. Now only destruction of their fort remains." 3

"If I can destroy the fort with very little effort, my action would be well done and the result would be proper to the effort done." 4

"This fire burns with cold on my tail and so it would be proper if these great houses are given to it and it be satisfied." 5

Then that great monkey with his burning tail, which was like the cloud with lightning travelled above the tops of the buildings. 6

Fearlessly that monkey travelled from one house to another, staring at the Rakshasas and travelled catching hold of gardens and houses. 7

That valorous and very strong Hanuman, with enthusiasm similar to the wind God, jumped into the house of Prahastha and set fire to it. From there he jumped and set fire to the house of Mahaparswa similar to the fire during deluge. 8-9

That monkey chief and resplendent great monkey similarly, jumped entered, set fire and destroyed the palaces of Vajra Damshtra, Shuka, the intelligent Sarana and Indrajit. 10

Afterwards he burnt the houses of Jambumali and Sumali. 11

That greatly resplendent monkey chief then one by one set fire to the houses of Rasmi Kethu, Surya Sathru, Hruswa Karna, Damshtra, Romesa, Yudhonmatha, Matha, Dwajagreeva, the horrible Vidyujihwa, Hasthimukkha, Karaala, Pisacha, Sonithaksha, Kumbhakarna, Makaraksha, Yagna Shatru, Brahma Shatru, the very bad Nikumbha, Naranthaka and Kumbha but did not set fire to the house of Vibhishana. 12-16

That very famous monkey chief destroyed all the wealth contained in respective houses palaces suitable for the rich. 17

That very courageous warrior after destroying everybody's houses reached the house of Ravana, who was the King of Rakshasas. 18

That valorous Hanuman after placing the fire, which was on the tip of his tail, which was burning wildly on that house, which was similar to the Meru and Mandhara mountains, which was full of all good materials, which was decorated by several type of gems and which was the best among all the houses, roared like the clouds at the time of deluge. 19-20

That fire burnt like the fire at the time of deluge joined with the wind and increased strongly and many fold. 21

Because the wind spread that fire and mixed with air, the fire burnt wildly. 22

Those houses, which had spires, made of gold, which were inlaid with pearls and gems and which were full of costly luxurious materials broke in to pieces. 23

Those broken palaces fell to the ground similar to the houses of saintly people which fell back to earth once the effect of their good deeds were over. 24

(It was believed in Hinduism that till the effect of good deeds last, people will be in heaven and fall down to earth once the effect is over.)

That time huge sound of lament arose from the Rakshasas, who were running to protect their own houses and those who have lost their courage and wealth, "Ahoy, this is the real fire God and it has come taking the shape of a monkey." 2.

Some ladies carrying their babies terribly scared and with disheveled hair jumped out of those houses were completely upset. 26

They, who were falling from the sky, appeared as if they were streaks of lightning falling from the clouds. 27

That Hanuman saw those great houses made of diamond, coral, topaz, pearls and silver as if they were melted minerals. 28

The fire was not satisfied by the grasses and pieces of wood. And similarly Hanuman was not at all satisfied by killing of Rakshasas. 29

And the earth also did not appear to be satisfied by the Rakshasas whom Hanuman has killed. 30

The flames burnt in some places like the red flowers of Palasa trees, in some places like the flowers of silk cotton trees and is some places like that of Saffron. 31

That great Hanuman, who was extremely capable, turned the entire city of Lanka in to ash similar to Lord Rudra who burnt the three cities. 32

That fire placed by the very capable Hanuman, spread horribly, burnt further and by spreading its flames arose from the top of the mountain on which the city of Lanka was built. 33

That fire fanned by wind after spreading from the houses, seemed to burn without smoke and applied with the Ghee of the bodies of rakshasas spread further like the fire at the time of deluge and seemed to touch the sky. 34

That fire which had spread throughout the city of Lanka, which shined like crores of suns, shined greatly and appeared with great sounds to break the planet earth itself. 35

That time greatly spread fire shined with horrible light and appeared as if it was flowers of the Palasa tree and the smoke emanating from the fire which was about to be put off looked like the bluish thick clouds of the sky. 36

Various crowds of Rakshasas and the many animal groups of the city seeing that the houses and trees were burning, conversed together as follows, "Is it the Devendra with his Vajrayudha? Is he Varuna? Is he the God of Wind? Is he the Sun God? Is he the God of fire? Is he Kubhera, the God of wealth? Is he the moon God? Is he the God of death in person? Is it the anger of the four-faced Brahma who is the creator of all beings and who is the grand father of all taking the shape of a monkey? Or is it the Power of Vishnu, which is immeasurable, which is invisible, which is beyond thought and the greatest among all which has come for the destruction of rakshasas taking the shape of a monkey using its power of illusion which has come here?" 37-40

Then at that time the entire city of Lanka where Rakshasas, horses, chariots, elephants, crowds of birds, animals and trees were burning and getting destroyed, cried loudly with open mouth and arousing great pity. 41

"Hey father, hey son, hey lover, hey friend, how much sorrow and what a well grown, pleasure filled life has been destroyed", Thus shouted the crowd of Rakshasas horribly making great sound. 42

That city of Lanka which became the target of the anger of Hanuman was completely engulfed by fire and with its heroes destroyed as also full of warriors torn in to pieces became like a city under curse. 43

That great hearted Hanuman saw Lanka which was full of Rakshasas, who were running here and there out of nervousness, which was marked by the flames of raging fire and appeared as if it was earth, which was destroyed by the curse of God. 44

After destroying the city, which had forests full of valuable trees and which had several such forests, which were like a garland and after killing warriors who were very great in war, that Hanuman, who was the son of wind God, rested happily for some time. 45

That monkey warrior chief standing firmly on the top of Trikoota Mountain with raging flame in his tail shone like the Sun with its bevy of rays. 46

That great Hanuman after destroying the forest which was full of many trees, after killing those huge Rakshasas and after setting fire to many houses of Rakshasas meditated on Rama for a moment. 47

At that time all the crowds of Devas praised that son of wind God, who was very strong, who had similar speed as the wind God, who was very intelligent and who was chief among monkey warriors. 48

That great monkey after destroying the forest, after killing several rakshasas in war and after burning the very pretty city of Lanka appeared greatly resplendent. 49

That very strong monkey chief after setting fire to the whole city of Lanka dipped his tail into sea and put out the fire on it. 50
All beings seeing the great monkey, who was the chief among monkeys, trembled thinking him as the fire of hell. 51

All devas, great sages, Gandarwas, Vidhyadaras, Yakshas and all great beings became endlessly happy. 52

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

Chapter: 55
Hanuman’s Fear

[After seeing the entire city burning, suddenly Hanuman feels that Sita also might have been destroyed. He curses himself for causing such an eventuality because of his anger. Rethinking about the several immortal happenings and overhearing Charanas, who told that Sita was alive, he decides to return after seeing Sita once more.]

That monkey Hanuman after burning to ashes the entire city of Lanka and seeing it with full of Rakshasas, who were running because of fear, became thoughtful 1

Hanuman became very dejected and thought, "Why did I do this action of burning the city of Lanka," and started hating himself. 2

"He who can put off, the ebbing anger intelligently similar to a raging fire being put off by pouring water is indeed blessed. They are very great beings." 3

"Which of those, who are controlled by anger, does not commit sins? When you are angry you even kill respectful teachers. The male who is controlled by anger would insult good people by disrespectful words." 4

"Man who is angry cannot distinguish between words which can be told and words which should not be told. There is nothing, which should not be done by one who is angry. In that state there is nothing which should not be told." 5

"He is only called a "Man", who can remove anger by patience like serpent removes its coat." 6

"I, who have burnt, without thinking of the great Sita, should be despised as a fool, one without shame, first among sinners and traitor to the master." 7

"It is definite that like the city of Lanka being burnt, that lady Sita would have also been burnt and so my masters job was spoiled by my ignorant self." 8

"The purpose for which this effort has been made, has been completely destroyed for while burning Lanka, I did not take care to save Sita." 9

"This great accomplishment ended in to a very insignificant one. There is no doubt that because of my anger I destroyed the root of this job." 10

"This entire city has turned in to ash and I do not see any place in the city not affected by fire. So most probably Janaki might have died." 11

"I feel that if that job has been destroyed due to my ignorance, then the only option for me is to commit suicide here and now." 12

"Shall I fall in this fire which has burnt the city now? Or shall I make my body as food to the beings living in the sea?" 13

"Is it proper for me, who has spoiled all the job, to be seen alive by Sugreeva the King of monkeys and those two who are the greatest among males." 14

"The instability of monkeys which is famous in all the three worlds and which is an inborn nature for them, was shown by me personally because of my bad nature of being angry." 15

"The proud nature which is not under the control of intellect and which does not allow one to have stability in natural instinct is to be despised. For even I, who am capable of great attainment, was not allowed to protect Sita because of my anger." 16

"If Sita dies, those two people also will die. On the death of those two people, Sugreeva and his relatives will also die." 17

"How will Bharatha, who loves his brother and who is the storehouse of good qualities along with his brother Shatrugna, after hearing this news, agree to live further." 18

"Once the Ikshuvaku clan which is based on just action is destroyed, there is no doubt that all their citizens would come in to the clutches of the fire of sorrow." 19

"Therefore there is no doubt that I am one who is sick with anger, unlucky, one in whom the effect of just action is destroyed and one who destroys the world." 20

Hanuman who was thinking thus suddenly thought that there is a necessity to think of some good effects that happened to him and started thinking once again in detail. 21

"Possibly she who is very pretty and she who does only good for others, has escaped because of her immortal powers and would not have been destroyed. After all fire cannot destroy fire." 22

"She who is the wife of the resplendent personification of just action would have been saved by her virtue only and that lady cannot even be touched by fire." 23

"Perhaps because of that, that fire whose nature is normally to burn due to the power of Rama and virtue of Vaidehi is not burning me now." 24

"How can she, who is the wife of Rama, who has stolen his mind, who is like God to the three Bharatha brothers, be ever destroyed." 25

"How is it that this fire, which has never proved ineffective, which is very powerful, which is personification of burning, did not even burn my tail? How can it then burn the lady Sita?" 26

Apart from this, Hanuman thought of the Mainaka Mountain, rising up from the middle of the sea and then suddenly, was filled with wonder about one happening. 27

"That holy lady by her virtue, truth and unmatchable love towards her husband can even burn fire itself. How can fire touch such a person like her?" 28

When Hanuman was thus thinking about the greatness of the holy lady, he heard the words of Charanas who are the singers of praise in heaven. 29

"What to say, a very great valorous deed has been performed by Hanuman by horribly setting fire to the residences of Rakshasas." 30

"This city of Lanka sounded as if its palaces, walls and towers along with the caves inside the mountains were shouting and it is also filled with wail of running Rakshasis, children and old people and also the tumultuous sound of its citizens is booming. It has been completely burnt but the wonderful thing to us is that Janaki is spotless and has not been burnt." 31-32

That Hanuman because of the various thoughts (proofs) in his mind, the good effects he was seeing and words of Charanas became very happy. 33

Then the monkey, though he knew that the princess was out of danger, wanted to see her once more and decided to return after the wishes of his mind are satisfied. 34

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