Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 13

Chapter: 13
Hanuman's Disappointment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It is also probable that Sītā, who was born in the Kingdom of Mithilā, must have cried aloud "Hey Rāma", "Hey Lakṣmaṇa" and "Hey Ayodhyā", and also crying many other things must have forsaken her body." 14

"I also think that sometimes she must have been hidden in some dark underground vaults and like a bird put in a cage and must be crying even now." 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What will Sugrīva and the monkeys, who have accompanied me and those two sons of Daśaratha who have reached Kiṣkindha, tell me?", he thought. 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"How will the lad Angada continue to live in spite of the sorrow of losing both his parents and also Sugrīva", he thought. 32

"It is certain that afflicted by the sorrow of the loss of their Kings, the monkeys would beat their head by their hands and fists and break their head", he thought. 33

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

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

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

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

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

"So I would not return to the city of Kiṣkindha, for it would not be possible for me to see Sugrīva, without seeing Sītā", he thought. 39

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I would salute the eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, eleven Suns two Aśvinī Devas, and seven Maruts and become someone who will increase the sorrow of these Rākṣasas" 60

‘I am going to somehow win over all the Rākṣasas and present Sītā belonging to the Ikshvāku clan to Sri Rāma like giving the end result to the one who is doing fire sacrifice." 61

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

"My salutations to Sri Rāma and his brother Lakṣmaṇa. My salutations to Sītā, who is the daughter of Janaka. My salutations to Rudra, Indra, Yama the god of death, Vāyu the god of wind, moon, sun and the people of Marut", he saluted 63

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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