Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 36

Chapter: 36
Hanuman’s Ring Presentation

[To prove his bona fide, Hanuman presents the royal ring of Rāma to Sītā. She is convinced by this memento. She then realizes her mistake and praises Hanuman. She sounds hopeful about her being saved by Rāma; She is also perplexed because Rāma does not appear to save her. Hanuman tries to dispel her misunderstanding and tells how sad Rāma is.]

The son of wind god and the greatly resplendent Hanuman with an intention of increasing Sītā's faith in him told the following words with all humility. 1

"Hey holy lady, I am the monkey who is the emissary of the great Hero Rāma. And so to dispel any misunderstanding that you may have and to increase your faith, please see here, the signet ring of Rāma in which his name is inscribed, which was given to me by him and which was brought here by me. You would remain safe. You would soon see the end of your sorrow." 2-3

After telling like this he presented the ring to Sītā. 4

Then Sītā after receiving the ring examined it closely and became as happy as if she saw her husband in person. 5

Then that lady becoming a little shy and also becoming pleased by hearing the story of Rāma, being mentally happy and understanding that the monkey chief has done her a great help started praising him. 6

(According to Tilaka, she became shy because she felt that her husband was near by and another commentator feels that she became shy because she suspected the great Hanuman instead of trusting him.)

"Hey great monkey, you are a great hero, you are greatly wise and you are greatly intelligent and only because of those qualities you were able to see this place of Rākṣasas all alone and without any help." 7

"You, who can be described as a great hero, have crossed this ocean which is one hundred yojanas broad and which is the home of sharks, in one jump and made it equivalent to the hoof mark of the cow." 8

"Hey monkey chief, I do not think that you are an ordinary monkey for you do not have any fear for Rāvaṇa and you also are not nervous." 9

"Hey chief of monkeys, due to the fact that you have been sent by Rāma, who knows the mind of others, you are definitely fit to hold conversation with me." 10

"That matchless Hero Rāma would not send an emissary, without knowing his valor and without examining him especially to me." 11

"That very just votary of truth, Śrī Rāma is luckily all right and it is also lucky that the greatly resplendent Lakṣmaṇa who increases the happiness of Sumitrā is also all right." 12

"Because the Kākutstha is all right, possibly he would burn all the earth surrounded by the sea by his anger, which is similar to the fire that will engulf the world during deluge." 13

"I know that both of them are capable of even punishing the Devas but I think there is no end in sight for my sorrow." 14

"I think that Rāma is not mentally upset and would do what remains to be done now without being affected by sorrow." 15

"I think that prince Rāma is not broken down and is not committing mistakes because he is perplexed and also is doing the duties of a man." 16

"He who gives pain to his enemies, I hope is using two approaches (peaceful affectionate advice - Sama) and by bestowing help, riches etc. (Dhāna) with love towards his relatives and three approaches bribery (Dhāna), creating rift and confusion (Bheda) and punishment (Daṇḍa) towards enemies with a view to win over them." 17

"I believe that he is being visited by his friends, he is hospitable towards them and he is respected by them." 18

"I believe that Rāma who is the son of an emperor is praying to Gods for blessing and has faith in the fact that physical effort is God's blessing." 19

"I believe that though he is far away from me, his love towards me has not diminished and Hey, Monkey, I also believe that he is taking appropriate action to free me from this sorrow." 20

"I believe that Rāma who always deserves to be happy and who does not deserve to be sad is not becoming very feeble because of this intense sorrow." 21

"I believe that he gets news about Kausalya and Sumitrā frequently and that he gets news about Bhārata also." 22

(Please note that she is not asking about news of Kaikeyi.)

"I believe that because of the sorrow caused by me, he has not lost his pride and is listless. I also believe that Rāma would save me from this misery." 23

"I believe that Bhārata would send one great Akshouhini army protected by ministers for the sake of me." 24

(21, 870 chariots, 21870 elephants, 65, 610 horses and 1, 09, 350 infantry is termed as Akshouhini army.)

"I believe that the great monkey chief Sugrīva would come surrounded by monkeys, who have claws and teeth as weapons for my sake." 25

"I believe that the great hero and great archer Lakṣmaṇa, who increases the happiness of Sumitrā, would exterminate all the Rākṣasas by his rain of arrows." 26

"I believe that very soon, Rāma using burning arrows would kill Rāvaṇa along with his friends and that I would be able to see him very soon." 27

"I believe that that golden face of Rāma who has a perfume similar to the lotus flowers would not wilt because of my separation, similar to the lotus flower being wilted by torrid Sun light." 28

"I believe that courage permanently resides in his heart which neither had sorrow, fear or worries even when he forsook the Kingdom for the sake of just action or when he brought me by walk in to this forest." 29

"Hey emissary, for me, because of my love towards him, my great father is not equal to him, nor my mother nor anyone else and so I wish to continue this life only till I hear about his actions." 30

That all knowing holy lady, after telling these very meaningful and pleasant to hear words halted with a view to hear the reply of Hanuman which were aimed at attaining Rāma and which was about Rāma. 31

That great hero Hanuman hearing the words of Sītā, keeping his hands in salutations over his head told the following words. 32

(Salutations with hands opposite to the chest is done for persons of equal stature and over head to God and to persons who are much above your stature.)

"That lotus eyed Rāma does not know that you are here and that is why he is not taking you back like Indra took back his queen Sachi Devi. 33

(Anuhlada abducted Sachi Devi, the queen of Indra. Indra after killing the Rākṣasa took back his queen.)

"As soon as Rāghava hears my words, he along with a great army consisting of only monkeys and bears is going to reach here soon." 34

(Hanuman's reply indicates that he would not ask for armed help from Bhārata as indicated by Sītā.)

"That Kākutstha is going to freeze the ocean which cannot be moved and going to make Lanka devoid of Rākṣasas." 35

"If the god of death or Asuras along with Devas are going to block his way, he would kill them immediately." 36

"Hey, holy lady, that Rāma because of his sorrow in not being able to see you, is suffering like an elephant attacked by a lion and does not know what is pleasure" 37

"Hey, holy lady, I am taking an oath with witnesses the Malaya mountain, the Vindhya mountain, the Meru mountain, the Mandāra mountain, the Durudhura mountain and on the vegetables and fruits, that you are going to see and enjoy the handsome face of Rāma, which has very pretty eyes, which has lips like the red guava fruit, which has wonderful ear rings and which is like the rising full moon." 38-39

(Hanuman being a monkey is taking an oath on things, which he considers as important.)

"Hey, Vaidehī, you are going to see immediately Rāma who is on Prasravaṇa mountain and who resembles Indra on Naga Prashta* in heaven." 40 * A special place in Amarāvatī, the city of Indra, literally "back of a serpent."

"Rāghava is daily not taking either the edible portions of fruit or drinking honey and takes food in the fifth part of the day that too only cooked vegetables and roots as ordained for people who are about to forsake the world (Vana Prastha Āśrama)." 41

(It is believed by Hindus that after leading a complete family life, at a particular stage the husband and wife retire in to a forest and lead a life of partial renunciation called Vana Prastha AshRāma. It is believed that they should take only one-fifth portion of food that they had taken earlier.)

"Because he has already given his heart to you, Rāghava is not driving away the flies which sit on him, nor mosquitoes nor worms and nor insects that crawl." 42

(Here the lovelorn Rāma is described in the state of "Arathi" i. e. loosing of the senses due to parting from the beloved.)

"That Rāma due to extreme love is always drowned in sorrow and is always thoughtful and does not know any other thing." 43

"That great man, Rāma is always without sleep and even if he is asleep wakes up immediately muttering sweetly Hey Sītā". 44

"If he happens to see either fruits or flowers or any other thing dear to ladies, with very great sorrow, he remembers you as "My darling"". 45

"Hey holy lady, that great soul and prince Rāma who believes firmly in just action, is always unhappy and always keeps on muttering "Hey Sītā" and keeps on trying to find you." 46

That Sītā who is the daughter of King Videha got rid of her sorrow due to hearing the praise of Rāma and became equally sad when she came to know that Rāma is drowned in sorrow and looked similar to the night lit by early autumn moon hid by dark clouds. 47

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