Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 33

Chapter: 33
Hanuman’s Dialogue with Sītā

[Hanuman enquires with Sītā, whether she is actually Sītā 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 Sītā 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, Gandharvas. Rākṣasas, Yakṣas 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, Maruts and Vasus?" 6

(Various types of demi gods.)

"Are you the Holy Star Rohiṇī 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 Aruṇdhatī, who has deserted and angered your husband Vasiṣṭha because of anger or passion?" 9

(Aruṇdhatī, the sage wife of great Sage Vasiṣṭha, 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 Sītā, who has been abducted by Rāvaṇa from Janasṭhāna, 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 Rāma." 14

That daughter of Videha, becoming happy because of the praise of Rāma, 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, Rāvaṇa and other Rākṣasīs used to refer her as Daughter of Janaka and Sītā introduces her as daughter-in-law of Dasaratha.)

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

"I enjoyed a life for twelve years in the palace of Rāma 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 Rāma, who belonged to the Ikshvāku clan." 19

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

"If Rāma 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 Rāma should go to the forest." 22

"That truthful King remembering the promise he had given to his queen, hearing Kaikeyī’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 Rāma for the Kingdom." 24

(kingdom was still Daśaratha’s. He wanted him to forsake the poison of Yuvarāja)

"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

"Śrī Rāma who considers truth as his greatest valour would always give but never take and even if he loses 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

Lakṣmaṇa, the son of Sumitrā, 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 Daṇḍaka forest, was abducted by the Rākṣasa Rāvaṇa, who is a bad soul." 31

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

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