Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 42

Chapter: 42
Hanuman’s Destruction of Kinkaras

[Rākṣasīs enquire with Sītā about Hanuman but she refuses to tell anything about him. They then inform Rāvaṇa, who sends the eighty thousand strong army of Kinkaras. Hanuman kills them all with an iron rod. Rāvaṇa then sends the son of Prahastha to catch Hanuman.]

Then because of the loud shrieking of birds and sound of breaking of trees all those who were in Lanka were fear struck. 1

The animals and birds, which were running, made horrible noise and because of that bad omens happened to the Rākṣasas. 2

That time those bad looking Rākṣasīs lost their sleep and saw the garden which was destroyed as well as the great monkey hero. 3

Hanuman, who was very courageous, who was very strong, assumed a very big form so that the Rākṣasīs were afraid. 4

Then those Rākṣasīs seeing that the monkey was very strong and having a very big body asked the daughter of Janaka as follows. 5

"Who is this? Whose is this? Where from is it coming? For what purpose has it come here? It would be nice if we know. Not only that how did you converse with, like we converse with you?" 6

"Hey broad eyed one. Hey lady with black tipped eye, is it not true that this talked to you? Hey lucky one, please tell us truthfully. You would not get in to any problems." 7

Then Sītā, who is of good character and who is pretty all over replied as follows: "Why should I enter in to the affairs of Rākṣasas, who can assume any form they like?" 8

"You yourself should understand as to what action this one is going to do. It is no doubt that only thief can without mistake find out the intentions of a way farer." 9

"I understand that this one who has come here has the ability to assume any form which is the character of Rākṣasas. I do not know about his ability. I am also afraid in his case." 10

(The stanzas 8-10 above are one of the controversial parts of Rāmāyaṇa. All the commentators agree that Sītā told a lie to protect Hanuman. By one of the very famous saying of Sanskrit, it is all right to tell a lie to save one's life. Some others have commented that she has done this out of fear. But stanzas in other parts of Rāmāyaṇa clearly indicate that she is fearless. Then why did she do it, is another question which is very difficult to answer.)

Hearing the words of Vaidehī the Rākṣasīs were aghast and some ran hurriedly and some went to meet Rāvaṇa to inform him. 11

Those ugly faced Rākṣasīs started describing about the monkey, who can take different forms, in front of Rāvaṇa. 12

"Hey King, in the middle of Aśoka forest, there is a monkey which is greatly valorous and which has a great form, which is talking to Sītā." 13

"Sītā, who is the daughter of Janaka, did not like to tell us about him, in spite of our enquiring in various ways." 14

"Is he an emissary of Indra? Is he an emissary of Kubera? Is it possible that he has been sent by Rāma to search Sītā?" 15

"Your forest of the harem, which is surprisingly pretty and thus a stealer of hearts and which is filled with many animals has been completely destroyed by it." 16

"There is no place in that forest which has not been destroyed by it. But it has not even touched the place where Sītā, the daughter of Janaka, is sitting." 17

"Has it been done to protect Janaki or has it been done because he became tired, we do not know. Where is tiresomeness to that monkey; the fact is she has been saved by the monkey." 18

"That luxuriously growing Simshuba tree alone below which she sits of her own accord has been left without touching by that monkey." 19

"Kindly be pleased to accord a severe punishment to that terrible one which talked with Sītā and which destroyed the forest." 20

"Hey lord of Rākṣasas, who would dare to talk with that Sītā who has been brought by you out of desire? Can the life stay for long with such a one?" 21

Hearing the words of the Rākṣasīs, Rāvaṇa the King of Rākṣasas, rolled his eyes in anger and burnt like the sacrificial fire. 22

From the two eyes of the angry one, tears dropped as if oil drops mixed with flames dropped from two lit lamps. 23

That shining one gave order to destroy the pride of Hanuman to Rākṣasa called Kinkara who are similar to him and are valorous. 24

("Kinkara" means lowly servants.)

Those valorous Kinkaras who had very big belly, who had very big teeth and who were horrible looking were eighty thousand in number. All of them with a desire for war and with a desire to catch the monkey left the house armed with thorny sticks and an arm called "Kotta". 25-26

They moved very fast and reached the monkey, who was sitting on the tower and waiting and opposed him like insects oppose the fire. 27

They hit the monkey chief with strange maces, gold bordered pestles and arrows similar to the sun. 28

They holding spears and Thomara stood strongly surrounding Hanuman armed with thorn sticks, long spears and tridents. 29

The Mountain like Hanuman with immeasurable power beat his tail on the floor and made war like sound. 30

Hanuman, the son of wind-god, made his body to a very big size and made Lanka shake by his voice and clapped his hands with enthusiasm. 31

In the resounding echo of the sound of clapping of Hanuman, birds fell on the floor out of fear and Hanuman announced loudly as follows: 32

"Victory to the very strong Rāma and similarly victory to the very strong Lakṣmaṇa and victory to the King Sugrīva, who is protected by Rāghava. 33

"I am Hanuman, the son of Wind God, exterminator of enemies and the servant of Rāma, who is the King of Kosala and who can carry out any job without effort." 34

"Even thousands of Rāvaṇa cannot face me, who fights wars with stones and trees and hits in thousand ways." 35

"Even when all the Rākṣasas are staring, I can shake the city of Lanka, salute the princess of Mithila and return back after achieving my wish." 36

Because of his loud announcement, those Rākṣasas became fear struck and saw Hanuman high above like the dark clouds in the sky. 37

Those Rākṣasa became bold by thinking about the order of their lord and beat Hanuman using different type of weapons from different directions. 38

That very valorous Hanuman was surrounded by those heroes in all the four directions. He took huge iron rod from the tower and using the same iron rod killed those Rākṣasas. 39

That valorous son of wind-god taking that rod circled the sky and like Garuda, the son of Vinutha holding the snake and rising in the sky. 40

(Garuda on whom Lord Vishnu rides is the son of sage Kaśyapa and his wife Vinutha.)

That hero, who was the son of wind-god, after killing Kinkaras, who are Rākṣasa heroes, desiring for more war again went near the tower. 41

Then some of the Rākṣasas who were far away from the danger informed Rāvaṇa about the killing of all Kinkaras. 42

That Rāvaṇa, who was the King of Rākṣasas, hearing that his great army has been destroyed, blinked rolling his eyes and sent the son of Prahastha, who was valorous, who cannot be faced by any one and who cannot be won over in war. 43

(Prahastha is one of the great ministers of Rāvaṇa.)

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