Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 16

Chapter: 16
Hanuman's Lamenting

[Seeing Sītā, Hanuman is upset and thinks about her in various ways and pities her. He again decides that the lady whom he has found is Sītā herself.]

After thinking highly of Sītā, who is fit to be praised and Rāma who has a beautiful character, that monkey chief again became thoughtful. 1

That glittering Hanuman meditated thus for some time about Sītā and with tearful eyes cried. Alas! 2

"If the great man's wife Sītā, who is fit to be worshipped by Lakṣmaṇa, who always behaves with humility towards elders, is troubled by sorrow, then the dictates of time are impassable." 3

"This great one who knows the inner mind of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa does not get much stormy like the river Ganges in rainy season", he thought 4

(This indicates that Sītā is very hopeful of her being rescued by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa and has not broken to pieces.)

"Endowed with similar characters, age and conduct and belonging to similar families and possessing similar characteristics, Sri Rāma deserves Sītā and this black eyed beauty deserves Sri Rāma", he thought. 5

Having seen her who is with colour of molten gold, who is the prettiest in the world and who is like Lakshmi (Consort of Lord Vishnu) and having also thought of Śrī Rāma. , he told himself the following: 6

"For the sake of this broad eyed damsel, the very strong King Bali was killed, and also Kabandha who was equal to Rāvaṇa was killed". 7

[Kabandha who was a Gandharva who got his head and thighs pushed inside his trunk by Vajra in a fight with Indra. Since he had the boon of immortality from Brahma, he was given two very long hands (8 miles long) and mouth in his stomach. He used to draw whatever he could from the forest by using his extra-long hands and push it in to his stomach. After the war with Rāma, he was defeated and resumed his original form.]

"The Rākṣasa Virādha who was having extremely great valour was killed in the war in the forest similar Indra killing Sambarāsura, again for the sake of this damsel" 8

(Virādha was actually a Gandharva named Tumburu who was cursed by his master Kubera. In the forest in the war with Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, he initially caught hold of Sītā and left her to fight with Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. He then caught hold of, both of them and kept them on his shoulders. With their swords they cut of his hands. At that time he remembered about his actual, form and by the grace of Rāma, got rid of his curse.)

"Fourteen thousand Rākṣasas who were doing terrible deeds were also killed in Janasṭhāna by using arrows which are like flame of fire for her sake." 9

(Janasṭhāna is a part of Daṇḍakāraṇya forest on the shores of Godāvarī. Here fourteen thousand Rākṣasas lead by Khara, Dūṣaṇa and Triśirā attacked Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. They were all killed by the two brothers.)

"The all-knowing Rāma killed in war the greatly powerful Khara, Triśirā and similarly Dūṣaṇa." 10

"It is for this broad eyed damsel's sake that the Kingdom, which was ruled by Bali, which was considered as great by the world and which was difficult to obtain for monkeys was got by Sugrīva." 11

"It is for her sake that that I crossed the ocean which is the lord of streams and rivers and for her sake that I searched this city well." 12

"I feel that for her sake if Lord Rāma turns upside down the earth surrounded by oceans and even the universe, it would be most apt". 13

"Suppose in the three worlds, a choice is given between Sītā who is the daughter of Janaka and the Kingship of the world, the Kingship will not be even equal to a tiny part of Sītā." 14

"This Sītā who is eternally devoted to her husband came out breaking apart the earth coated with field dust similar to the pollen of lotus, when the great Janaka who was the King of Mithilā ploughed the field and became his very famous daughter." 15-16

"She is the eldest daughter in law of King Dasaratha who was very good, who never came back defeated in war and who was having great valour." 17

"This lady, who is the darling wife of just and philosophic Rāma, who does unblemished actions and is like the lord of wealth, has fallen in to the hands of these Rākṣasīs." 18

"She, without bothering about sorrow and sacrificing all pleasures, accompanied her husband to the solitary forest for the sake of love from him, gave it the utmost importance and lived with happiness by eating fruits and roots of the forest thinking it similar to her life in the palace and was engaged in service to her husband." 19-20

"She who is having all the above qualities, who was having a body of the colour of gold, who was always adorned with a smile, who always used to talk of only good things and who never had experienced sorrow in her life, now tolerates extreme sorrow." 21

‘"Even though troubled by Rāvaṇa similar to a thirsty man attacking the water house, she has remained virtuous and Sri Rāma deserves to see her." 22

"If Rāma gets her back again he would attain the happiness of a King who lost his Kingdom and got it again." 23

"Even though forsaken by love and passion, even though taken away from her relatives and friends, she is keeping her body pure for the sake of union to him". 24

"Even now she is not seeing the Rākṣasīs and does not give any attention to these flower and fruit filled trees but with absolute concentration is meditating on Rāma." 25

"Husband is the ornament which is better than all ornaments to a lady and she who deserves such an ornament does not shine without one." 26

"The Lord Śrī Rāma is keeping his body intact in spite of parting with her and does not disintegrate and is doing some action which no one can perform." 27

"Seeing her who is having a pitch black hair, who is having eyes of the shape of lotus and who is fit only to enjoy, suffering my mind is in turmoil." 28

"She who is having the patience of earth, who has eyes like lotus and who should have been protected by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, is now being guarded by the ugly Rākṣasīs below a tree." 29

"This daughter of Janaka, who is lifeless like the lotus flower touched by snow, who is suffering by sorrow again and again, has attained the tragic state of Chakravāka bird who ha lost the company of its beloved." 30

"These Asoka trees bent low because of the large number of flowers produced after the autumn season, and this moon with its thousand rays, produces lot of sorrow to her." 31

(Moon light and flowers make her remember her life of love with Rāma and thus causes sorrow to her.)

The strong and wise chief of monkey thought about the matter as described above and decided that "She is definitely Sītā" and stayed hidden in the Simshuba tree. 32

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