Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 38

Chapter: 38
Sītā’s Chūḍa maṇi Giving

[Hanuman appreciates Sītā for her noble words. She then tells him about the story of a crow attacking her and how Rāma sent a Durbā grass with mantra of Brahmāstra to kill him. She wonders why he is not doing it now. She gives her Chūḍa maṇi [Golden brooch worn in the head by ladies] as a memento to Hanuman so that Rāma will have faith that Hanuman has indeed seen her.]

That chief of monkeys hearing this and being one who can analyse and understand words, became happy on hearing these words and told the following to Sītā. 1

"Hey holy lady who tells that which is good, whatever you have told is extremely suitable to your character and also suitable to the humility and womanly character of virtuous ladies." 2

"Because the character of ladies is not capable to cross the ocean of one hundred yojanas broad, making me as a vehicle." 3

"Hey lady who wears humility as an ornament, your words that, "you would not allow the touch any other male except Rāma", which you told as your second reason is very suitable to you who is the wife of that great man. Hey holy lady, who else except you can tell such a sentence?" 4-5

("In spite of the pitiful sorrow state without bothering about her release from the clutches of Rāvaṇa, thinking only of just duty, only you can tell "I would not come with you".)

"Hey holy lady, whatever you have told and did in front of me, all those things would be informed immediately to Rāma." 6

"Hey holy lady, I told you like this with a loving and merciful mind, with a intense desire to do good to Rāma in various ways." 7

"I told you like this because of the difficulty in crossing the wide ocean, because of the difficulty in entering the city of Lanka and because of the faith in my strength." 8

"I wanted you to be re-joined with Rāma immediately and because of intense devotion and love I told you like this and not with any other intention." 9

"Hey holy one, because you do not have an intention of accompanying me, please give a memento so that Rāma would understand the truth without any doubt." 10

Thus told by Hanuman that Sītā who was like a divine lady started slowly telling the following with words mingled with tears. 11

"Please inform whatever I tell, which is true and which is known to him, using the same words to my lord: "In the Chitrakūṭa mountains, in the north west valley, in the shore of river Mandākinī, in the hermitage blessed with fruits, roots and water, after spending time with different flowers and the aroma filled gardens and thus getting tired you were lying down with your head on my lap."" 12-14

"At that time one crow which was attracted by flesh attacked me with his sharp beak and I drove it away using a piece of mud." 15

"But that flesh eating crow desiring for food did not leave the meat and went on attacking me and remained around there." 16

"I got angry with the bird; when I removed my dress belt, my dress got unloosened and in that state I was seen by you." 17

"I who was tired due to anger because I was pecked by the crow which was desirous of food was teased by you. Because of this I was very shy but in spite of that I came nearer to you and sat on your lap as you were sitting. You became happy and I was slowly consoled of my anger by you." 18- 19

"Oh, Lord I who was slowly wiping away the tears which made all my face wet, was understood by you as having been made very angry by the crow." 20

"Due to tiresomeness I slept on the lap of Rāghava and the brother of Bhārata in turn sleep on my lap. Again the same crow reached there." 21

"That crow seeing me completely recovered due to my sleep on the lap of Rāma suddenly came near me and wounded my chest." 22

"Like this that crow came near me several times and inflicted severe wounds and Lord Rāma was made wet by the flowing drops of blood." 23

"That lord who was deep asleep, terror to his enemies and very pretty even then was woken up by me who was severely attacked by the crow." 24

"That great one, seeing that my chest was wounded, became very angry and hissing like a serpent asked as follows." 25

"Hey lady who has thighs like the trunk of an elephant, who inflicted that wound on your chest and who is playing with the very angry five headed snake?" 26

"Seeing all round he saw just opposite to me that crow whose sharp nails are coated with blood." 27

"That crow was the son of Indra, foremost among birds and in speed was equal to the God of wind and due to this he disappeared in to the earth immediately." 28

"That great one who was foremost among the intelligent with rotating angry eyes due to the crow, took a very cruel decision." 29

"He took one Durbhā from the Durbhā mat on which he was sitting chanted the mantra for Brahmāstra and that which was aimed at the bird lighted like the fire of hell. : 30

(Brahmāstra was the ultimate weapon during those times. It was got as a blessing from Lord Brahma. It was believed that once it is sent, no other weapon will work. Also it was believed that without inflicting an wound, it cannot be recalled. Rāma was blessed with Brahmāstra by Viśvāmitra.)

"He then sent the burning Durbhā towards the crow. What to say, from that time that Durbhā started chasing the crow in the sky." 31

"At that time that crow which was chased went in search of protectors all over the world and what to say visited several places." 32

"In spite of wandering and searching in all the three worlds and being forsaken by sages, devas and its own father, it again came back to Rāma." 33

"That Kākutstha who is a protector seeing the bird lying on the earth seeking his protection, though it was fit to be killed, with mercy gave protection to it." 34

"Seeing that shamed one who was lying there without any other option, he said "Brahmāstra cannot go waste and so tell me what to do?"" 35

"It said, "If it is so, let it take away my right eye." And that arrow took away the right eye of the crow." 36

"It saved itself by sacrificing its right eye and from that time the fact that crows have only one eye became well known." 37

"It offered salutations to Rāma and the King Dasaratha and being permitted to depart by that hero, it went to its home." 38

"Hey Lord of the earth, for my sake, in case of the crow, you used Brahmasthra and why have you tolerated him who has stolen me from your custody?" 39

"Hey great man, you who are greatly enthusiastic like that, take mercy on me. Hey Lord I, who have taken as my Lord (protector), can be seen by you as an orphan (i. e. without protector)" 40

"I have heard only from you that the greatest Dharma (just action) is to remove the sorrow of others." 41

"Being my Lord, I have understood him as as a great hero, great enthusiast, very strong man, man capable of limitless action, one who cannot be rattled by others, one who is similar to sea in looks, one who is like Indra to this earth surrounded by the sea." 42

"In spite of being like this and being greatest among archers, truthful and very strong, what is the reason for his not sending his arrows against the Rākṣasas." 43

"There are no Nagas nor Gandharvas nor Asuras nor Marut Gaṇas who have sufficient strength to face a war with Rāma." 44

"If that great hero has at least slightest belief in me why is he not destroying the Rākṣasas with his arrows." 45

"Why is it Lakṣmaṇa who is very strong, who gives pain to his enemies and who is a hero not take me back after seeking permission from his brother." 46

"Why are both these who are like lion among men, who are as powerful as Vāyu (Wind God) and Agni (Fire God) and who cannot be faced by even the Devas disregarding me?" 47

"Since both these two capable and victorious ones are not even bothered about me, there is no doubt that a great sin which is not known to me should have been committed by me." 48

Hearing these words which were told by Vaidehī with tearful eyes and which were capable of melting the mind, the great Hanuman who was the son of God of wind told the following words. 49

"Hey holy lady, I am telling you after taking oath on truth that Rāma is not interested in any thing because of the sorrow about you. Because Rāma is drowned in sorrow Lakṣmaṇa also is sorrowful." 50

"Hey lady without blemish, you who are a great lady was seen by me due to blessings of God and this is not the time for sorrow for just now you are going to see the end of your sorrows." 51

"Those two princes who are both very strong and who both are lion among men in the great wish for seeing you are going to make the city of Lanka in to ash." 52

"Hey broad eyed lady, Rāghava is going to kill the cruel Rāvaṇa along with his relatives and take you back to his own city." 53

"Please tell me those words which should be told to Rāghava, the indomitable Lakṣmaṇa, the great hero Sugrīva and the assembled monkeys." 54

Thus told by Hanuman that goddess like Sītā who has wilted by sorrow thus replied to Hanuman, the monkey. 55

"Please give my salutations to that great one who was given birth by the great minded Kausalya for the good of the world and enquire about his welfare." 56

(Sītā implies that since Kausalya gave birth to Rāma for the good of the world he would not disregard her and save her)

"That great holy one who was born as a good son of Sumitrā sacrificed because of his devotion to Rāma all his garlands, his jewels, ladies who used to love him, that wealth which cannot be earned in spite of great effort in this earth and incomparable pleasures and followed Rāma after worshipping his father and mother and taking their permission and accompanied the great Kākutstha in the forest protecting him." 57-59

"That great minded, handsome great warrior who was like a lion was doing service to me like his mother and to Rāma like his father." 60

"When I was being abducted the great hero Lakṣmaṇa was not near me Lakṣmaṇa serves the elders well and he is Very lucky and intelligent, a prince who is similar to my father in law and one who serves Rāma constantly more than me." 61-62

(Sītā, without telling plainly, expresses her anguish for sending Lakṣmaṇa to help Rāma in spite of his unwillingness. She also acknowledges the fact that he worships Rāma and constantly serves him.)

"That hero seeing whom Rāma did not even remember his father is fully capable of completing any job entrusted to him." 63

"That Lakṣmaṇa who is always dear to Rāma, who obeys him always who is very careful and who is a relation without any guile is one to whom enquiries of welfare should be made on my behalf." 64

"Hey chief of monkeys, similar to the fact that Rāma would be the cause of ending my sorrows, you are responsible for me to complete this job." 65

"Rāghava because of your effort should take all necessary steps in my case and so please tell again and again my Lord who is a hero, the following." 66

"I am telling on oath, hey son of Daśaratha, I would be alive for one more moth and afterwards I would not be alive." 67

"Be merciful to save me from the clutches of Rāvaṇa who is a bad person and who is a base soul similar to how Kauśikī was saved from Pāṭala." 68

(Kauśikī was abducted by God Varuṇa when she was taking bath and kept in Pāṭala, Uchathya, her husband went to Pāṭala and brought her back.)

Then she removed her hair brooch (Jaṭā Valli or Chūḍa maṇi) tied in her cloth and gave it to Hanuman saying, "Give this to Rāma." 69

That hero Hanuman received that Jewel made of pearls from Sītā and put it on his fingers and that ornament fitted to his fingers. 70

After wearing that pearl jewel he saluted Sītā and circumambulated her and stood near silently with folded hands. 71

Being present there only bodily, that Hanuman because of the great joy in seeing Sītā mentally travelled to the place of Rāma. 72

He understood that the very precious jewel was got by super human efforts and of inestimable value and started thinking of returning back with full of joy like a mountain after shaken by a tempest. 73

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