A gist of epic Ramayana-Part XII
Monkey army build bridge to Lanka!
The ocean bridged!
Hanuman sat majestically over the make shift throne he weaved through his tail. He addressed Ravana thus! Oh Ravana! you are assuming yourself as a great one. But I am a mere monkey. See how much your demons suffered at my hand! When your demons could not confront a monkey, how they will confront the mighty Rama who is our leader. Hence, it is time for you to reconsider your plans and buy peace with Rama. Hand over Sita to Rama!
Ravana's eyes became red and his face was shivering with anger. He told Hanuman, "You mischievous monkey, you have the audacity to advise me. You will undergo death just now. He wanted to kill Hanuman. But the wise ministers in his hall advised him not to do so. He is just a courier from Rama. Monkeys are fond of their tail. Hence let us mutilate the tail and leave him! Every one in the hall agreed for this and Ravana ordered the demons to catch hold of the monkey's tail and apply flame to it. Hanuman taught over a strategy. He made his tail to grow longer than usual. Many demons held the tail in their hands and clutched it tightly. Many more demons wound pieces of cloth around the tail. Some demons applied oil to the cloths. Then few demons lit the cloth. Hanuman jumped hither and thither and in the process, many items in the palace caught fire. There was huge conflagration of fire. Then Hanuman jumped from one mansion to other. In that process he set fire to entire Lanka. All the inmates were rushing out unable to put down it. Thus foolishly Ravana brought misery to his kingdom. After setting fire to Lanka, Hanuman assumed a small form and doused his tail in the sea water. He returned to Ashoka vana, took final permission from Sita and returned to the place where the monkeys were anxiously awaiting his return. By the countenance of Hanuman, all monkeys understood that he has successfully completed his task. Hanuman came to Rama's presence and let out the glad news that he has spotted Sita in Ashokavan and handed over the crest jewel to Rama. Rama could not contain himself. He embraced Hanuman for the good news.
Now all the chieftains of monkey clan and the bear king Nala and Neela confided with Rama for a strategy to cross the ocean. Both Nala and Neela were gifted with one boon. Whichever item they put in water will float! Hence they thought that a bridge to be erected over the water for crossing the ocean. Hence they tried to put some stones in the ocean. They started floating! But the problem is that each individual rocks floated separately. Then they thought that the syllable "Ra" in one stone and the syllable "Ma" in another will solve the problem since the name Rama would combine together. They tested their ingenuity and found it working. Thus each monkey was made to carry either small or huge boulders according to the strength. It was handed over to Nala and Neela. The stones were in scripted with the syllables Ra in one and Ma in the other. Slowly some length of bridge was formed initially. Thus in a few days time, a complete bridge was ready to reach Lanka! All consulted Rama for an auspicious time to cross the bridge and to reach Lanka.
Thus the entire monkey army along with their leaders, and Rama and Lakshmana safely reached the other shore of the ocean. Ravana caught hold of the news of their reaching from his spy. He too started alerting his generals to prepare for the war with the monkey army.All able demons gathered in groups and they were led by demon generals. Thus all preparations were ready for the commencement of the war between the demons and monkey army. Rest in next part.