Today is the birthday of Sri Rama, an ancient incarnation - Part III
Hanuman with Sita; crosses ocean to find Sita.
Hanuman finds Sita in Ashokavana!
Now Sugriva regained his Kingdom from Vali, it remains to be seen how he is going to organize the search for Sita. It was rainy season in the forest and they waited till the rain abutted. Rama sent Lakshmana to counsel Sugriva for prompt action as agreed. Sugriva gathered his entire army of monkeys which had commanders in the form of bear etc. They were discussing the ways to search for Sita without knowing from which direction the demon fled! Initially, the monkeys were grouped in several numbers and sent to comb the entire land area nearby. Finding no clue, they reached the shore of the Ocean bemoaning their fate. Sugriva knew that beyond the ocean there is Lanka, a fortress of demon king Ravana. Now his task is clear.Who has to be deputed to cross the mighty ocean. Though each monkey warrior possessed power to leap over certain distances, none could dare to cross it in one leap. They were discussing about the powers of the best monkeys. None seemed to possess the power to cross the ocean. But they have forgotten one great monkey Hanuman. He was silently watching the deliberations. Suddenly some one suggested the name Hanuman. They approached him and requested his help. Hanuman prayed to Rama to give him the power to cross. He ascended a huge hill from where he leaped a long jump keeping Rama in mind.
Though he met with several obstructions on the way, he could safely land on the grounds of Lanka. The fortress was guarded by a demon called Lankini. She watched the small monkey landing from nowhere. She wanted to pounce the little creature. But Hanuman grew in size and dealt a deadly blow on the demon who fell vomiting blood. She knew for certain that it is not a small monkey but the mighty Yama who has come to destroy and conquer Lanka! She knew about the prediction long ago! Unfortunately Hanuman is not aware of the identity of Sita! Where he will search her. He assumed a small form, leaped from one place and other and saw many demon women lying asleep. He knew for certain that Sita could not be found here. Then he heard the voice of some holy man chanting the name of God. He went there and enquired him about the whereabouts of Sita. Fortunately, he was the wise younger brother Vibishana who was virtuous among the demons. His daughter was guarding Sita in a distant park named Ashoka vana! Having gathered the vital information, Hanuman thanked Vibishana and flew in the direction of the Ashoka Vana!
He reached the tree tops and hopping from one tree to other without getting noticed by the demons who guard the beautiful garden! Now he could see a lonely woman head bent and suffering distress and surrounded by demons. He went to the very tree under which Sita is held captive. He saw Ravana approaching the place and cajoling Sita. But she never lifted up her face. She plucked a grass and addressed it. "Oh bad creature! My husband Rama will vanquish you in a thrice! Do not entertain banal ideas!. Then she started weeping about her condition. Ravana warned the demons to bring her in submission. He went away. Hanuman saw this and felt very sad. To divert the attention of Sita, he sang the name of Rama and his might. Sita was really astonished. She lifted her head to find a small monkey repeating the name of Rama! Hanuman came down and prostrated before her and said, "Mother, Rama sent me to know about your condition. He handed over this jewel as a mark of identification. Sita saw the beautiful jewel and placed it over her eyes as a mark of respect. She enquired how the monkey could trace her beyond the ocean. Hanuman explained the entire events culminating in the search for Sita and his mission to trace her.
Now Sita gave her own jewel to Hanuman and said, "The demons will kill you. Proceed to Rama and tell my miserable plight here. Ask him to rescue me from Ravana! Hanuman took the jewel and he was hungry too and hence he leaped over the fruit bearing trees and plucked sweet fruits and started eating them. The demons saw the monkey and started aiming stones etc on the monkey. But it escaped the hits leaping here and there. When they tried to catch it, It grew in form and killed all the demons with trees plucked from the ground. Ravana was informed about the strange monkey causing damages in the garden. He sent many demons to kill the monkey but in turn all the demons were dead by the mighty blows of Hanuman. Finally Ravana sent his mighty son Indrajit who aimed a fatal arrow called Brahmasthara. Hanuman submitted himself to the arrow and he was tied and taken to the presence of Ravana......to continue.