Rāmāyana | Sundara Kaṇḍa | Chapter 5

Chapter: 5 Rākṣasa and Rākṣasīs Seeing

[Hanuman is searching the houses and streets of Lanka for Sītā and is able to see many women but not her.]

Then the intelligent Hanuman saw the moon, which was in the centre of the sky, which was with rays and which was spreading the sheet of moon light, like an enthusiastic bull wandering in its stable. 1

(According to commentators, this śloka indicates that Hanuman entered Rāvaṇa's house after midnight. Since moon increases the pain of parting to Sītā and Rāma, Hanuman thought that moon was scorching with rays like the sun.)

Then he saw the moon, which destroys the sorrows of the world, which increased the levels of the great sea and which travelled by giving light to all beings. 2

That Goddess Lakshmi who shined normally on the Mandāra Mountain of earth, in the sea during dusk and on the lotus in the ponds, at that time shined sitting on the moon. 3

The moon in the sky was similar to the swan in the silver cage, lion in the caves of Mandāra Mountain and the heroic soldier sitting on proud elephant. 4

The moon, which was full of all its crescents, resembled the bullock with its sharpened horns, the silver mountain with its peaks and the elephant whose tusks were decorated by gold. 5

That moon, who did not lose the lustre due to dense dew drops, who had borrowed light from the sun by which he drove away darkness, who was serving the luminous Lakshmi in his crystal clear mien and who had the rabbit mark, shined in the sky. 6

The moon shone with great light like the lion climbing on the stone clusters, like the great elephant reaching the war and like the King getting his Kingdom. 7

The early part of night was devoid of darkness due to rise of the moon and was tainted by the eating of meat food by the Rākṣasas and was full of lovers joining together after romantic quarrels. 8

At that time musical instruments like Vinā gave strumming sounds from their strings, which was sweet to the ears and virtuous wives were sleeping with their husbands and Rākṣasas started wandering about with very wonderful and horrible acts. 9

The intelligent monkey chief saw many houses where people were in intoxicated state induced by consuming alcohol and which had garages for chariots, elephant and horse stables. 10

Those tipsy ones were teasing each other, placing their stout hands on each other and were shouting vulgar words at each other. 11

Those Rākṣasas were bare in their chest, putting their body on their sweet hearts, assuming various shapes and leaving free the tightly held bows. 12

He also saw several well made up maidens, some ladies who were sleeping, some who were laughing and some who were upset and very angry. 13

That city was full of trumpeting of elephants, well-honoured friends, gasping heroes and hissing snakes. 14

He also saw there some Rākṣasas, who were very intelligent, who talked sweetly, who were full of attention, who were considered noble in this world, who were made up in different manners and who had very good names. 15

That Hanuman became very pleased on seeing them, who were handsome people, who had all sort of good qualities and who were looking good and suitable to their good qualities. He also saw some ugly people, who had made up themselves so as to look as handsome. 16

He saw many star like women, who were pretty, who had a very clean mind, who were of good character, who were well known, who in spite being drunk were passionate towards their husbands. 17

He also saw many woman like the birds hidden by flowers, who were shining because of their wealth, who were very shy, who were attracted by tremendous passion and to whom their husbands were making passionate love in the mid of night. 18

The intelligent Hanuman also saw some married women sitting in comfort on the laps of their husbands, who were making passionate love with their husbands and putting on nice behaviour because of good upbringing, some who were having interest in Dharma and some who were sitting at the top of their houses. 19

(Here he describes virtuous woman of the house.)

That monkey chief Hanuman saw also many women with the colour of the flash of gold and some with the colour of molten gold, some noble ladies without the upper cloth covering them, some with pretty attractive colour, some who are of the colour of the moon because they were separated from their lovers, some who were glowing in light because they have got the lovers of their choice and also many happy and very pretty girls in those houses. 20-21

(Here the poet describes unmarried women in love.)

He also saw some with faces as pretty as the full moon, some with curved eyelids over pretty eyes and some with ornaments like the flash of lightning. 22

(He was seeing their eyes and faces to see whether they were human beings or Rākṣasīs and their ornaments to see whether they were wearing Sītā's ornaments.)

But he did not see Sītā who was brought up in a royal family of good lineage, who had very high celestial birth, who was with a body like a fully developed climbing plant and who was born outside the womb as per her will. 23

He became extremely sad and felt foolish because in spite of a long search he was not in a position of being able to locate Sītā, who permanently dwells in the path of justice, who had very pretty eyes, who was full of love, who for ever lived in the mind of her husband, who was any time much greater than any great lady, who was suffering because of the absence of her husband, who had a neck made wet with tears, who in earlier days used to wear dollar hanging from her neck, who was like a peacock which with its very pretty wings was dancing in the forest, who was like a faded crescent of

the moon, who was like a piece of gold dimmed by dust, who was like the wound* pierced by an arrow and who was the wife of Lord Rāma, who was greatest among those who speak and who was lord of human beings. 24-27 * Wound which apparently looked as healed but which was giving pain.

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