Sundara Kanda 2 - Hanuman’s Encounter with Sita
Ravana was furious when Sita rejected his advance. He threatened her, saying she had two months to climb on his bed, else he would have her cooked for his breakfast. An angry Sita then criticised Ravana for stealing another man’s wife. He ordered all the rakshashis to use all strategies to make Sita accept him.
Ravana then stormed away from the grove. The rakshashis then surrounded Sita threateningly and asked her to become Ravana’s queen. They told her no one could save her and even Indra could not enter Lanka. They then threatened to chop her into pieces. Remembering Rama, Sita wept bitterly.
She told the rakshashis that Rama would save her. If that didn’t happen, she would prefer to end her life rather than accept Ravaana. An old rakshashi Trijata then told the others about a dream where saw Ravana fall from his vimana. She predicted that Rama would come and rescue Sita.
After seeing all this, Hanuman loudly said that he had found Sita, the wife of the great Rama. Looking around, she saw the ape. Sita first suspected that Hanuman was Ravana, who had assumed the form of a monkey. Hanuman then reassured her and narrated how Rama was searching for her, and how he had crossed the ocean to find her.
Hanuman then described Rama’s grief at having been separated from Sita. He told her how Sugriva had sent apes to find Sita. Hanuman then introduced himself as the son of Vayu. To convince Sita, he gave her Rama’s signet ring. Sita was filled with joy seeing the ring. Hanuman then told her that Rama would come to Lanka with the army of apes, kill Ravana, and take her back.
Hanuman told Sita he could assume a huge form and then carry her back to Rama. Sita told him that she would wait for her brave husband to come and rescue her. She gave him her chudamani jewel, so Rama would recognise it. She told Hanuman that if Rama did not come within a month, she would not be alive.
Sita then told Hanuman about how Rama had used the brahmastra against a crow that had bitten her. She narrated incidents from their life to make him remember her. After taking Sita’s leave, Hanuman decided he would fight with Ravana before leaving. Using his strength, he destroyed the grove uprooting trees and making birds shriek in fear.
The scared rakshashis ran to Ravana to tell him about the ape causing havoc in the grove. An angry Ravana sent 80,000 kimkara demons to capture Hanuman. When Hanuman saw them coming, he roared. Picking up an iron club, he swung it around, slaughtering the rakshasas en-masse. Those who survived ran to Ravana to tell him of the ape’s prowess.
Ravana sent Prahasta’s son to capture Hanuman. Meanwhile, Hanuman leapt on the palace, and seeing him thousands of rakshasas attacked him. He slew them all even as Prahasta’s son Jambumali attacked him. A fierce battle took place with Jambubali shooting arrows at Hanuman who effortlessly handled them. Picking up a club, Hanuman struck Jambumali and killed him.
Ravana then sent the sons of his ministers to fight Hanuman. They attacked Hanuman with arrows, but he swatted them away. Using his bare fists, he struck and killed his opponents, causing terror in the rakshasa ranks. Ravana then sent 5 of his most powerful warriors to fight Hanuman.
The five warriors, Virupaksha, Yupaksha, Durdhara, Praghasa, and Bhasakarna surrounded Hanuman and shot arrows at him. Pulling out a tree first and then an entire mountain, Hanuman clubbed Ravana’s warriors and sent them to the other world. Ravana then sent Prince Aksha to battle Hanuman.
… to be continued