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Chapter 34: Sita Doubts Hanuman’s Bona fides

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Sita Doubts Hanuman’s Bona fides

Summary

Hearing the words of the grief-stricken Seetha, Hanuma reveals himself to be a messenger of Rama and repeats the enquiries made by Rama, Lakshmana and Sugreeva. Seetha, however, suspects Hanuma to be Ravana in disguise and chides him when Hanuma approaches nearer to her. Seetha then asks Hanuma to describe the good qualities of Rama. Hanuma on his part discloses to her his actuality as a minister of Sugreeva and tells the important qualities of Rama. He requests her to have faith in his words.

Chapter [Sarga] 34 in Detail

tasyaah tat vacanam shrutvaa hanuumaan hari yuuthapah |

duhkhaat duhkha abhibhuutaayaah saantam uttaram abraviit || 5-34-1

Hearing those words of Seetha who was overthrown from one grief to another, Hanuma the best of monkeys gave the following reply in a kindly and affectionate manner.

aham raamasya samdeshaat devi duutah tava aagatah |

vaidehi kushalii raamah tvaam ca kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-2

"O Seetha the daughter of the king of Videha Kingdom! I have come here as your messenger on Rama's directions. The virtuous Rama enquired about your welfare too."

yo braahmam astram vedaan ca veda vedavidaam varah |

sa tvaam daasharathii raamo devi kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-3

"O Divine Lady! Rama the son of Dasaratha, who is excellent among the knower of Veda and who knows Brahma's missile (a mythical weapon which deals infallible destruction) and Vedas the sacred knowledge, enquired about your welfare."

lakshmanah ca mahaatejaa bhartuh te anucarah priyah |

kritavaan shoka samtaptah shirasaa te abhivaadanam || 5-34-4

"Also the greatly splendorous Lakshmana, the favorite brother and the follower of your husband, himself tormented with grief, performed salutation to you by bowing his head."

saa tayoh kushalam devii nishamya nara simhayoh |

priiti samhrishta sarva angii hanuumaantam atha abraviit || 5-34-5

Hearing that news of welfare of Rama and Lakshmana the excellent of men, the divine lady, with all her limbs thrilled with joy, spoke to Hanuma (as follows):

kalyaanii bata gathaa iyam laukikii pratibhaati me |

ehi jiivantam aanado naram varsha shataat api || 5-34-6

“‘Joy rushes to surviving man even though (it be) as the end of a hundred years' - this popular adage appears true and auspicious for me."

tayoh samaagame tasmin priitih utpaaditaa adbhutaa |

parasparena ca aalaapam vishvastau tau pracakratuh || 5-34-7

Seetha showed wonderful friendly disposition towards Hanuma who approached her. Both of them also conversed with each other in full confidence.

tasyaah tat vacanam shrutvaa hanuumaan hari yuuthapah |

siitaayaah shoka diinaayaah samiipam upacakrame || 5-34-8

Hearing that reply of Seetha who was afflicted with grief, Hanuma the army-chief of monkeys endeavored to draw nearer to her.

yathaa yathaa samiipam sa hanuumaan upasarpati |

tathaa tathaa raavanam saa tam siitaa parishankate || 5-34-9

In as much as that Hanuma drew nearer to her, in the same way, that Seetha suspected him as Ravana.

aho dhig dhig kritam idam kathitam hi yat asya me |

ruupa antaram upaagamya sa eva ayam hi raavanah || 5-34-10

"O shame! It was my guilt to tell him all this to him. He is indeed that Ravana, who obtained another guise."

taam ashokasya shaakhaam saa vimuktvaa shoka karshitaa |

tasyaam eva anavadya angii dharanyaam samupaavishat || 5-34-11

That Seetha, having faultless limbs, leaving that branch of Ashoka tree and as emaciated with grief, sat down on that ground itself.

hanumaanapi duhkhaartaam taam dristvaa bhayamohitaam |

avandata mahaabaahuh tatah taam janaka aatmajaam || 5-34-12

saa ca enam bhaya vitrastaa bhuuyo na eva abhyudaikshata |

Seeing Seetha afflicted with grief and deluded with fear, the great armed Hanuma also then simply saluted her. She too, trembling with fear, did not look towards him again.

tam drishtvaa vandamaanam tu siitaa shashi nibha aananaa || 5-34-13

abraviit diirgham ucchvasya vaanaram madhura svaraa |

Seetha, with her countenance resembling the moon, seeing Hanuma saluting her, had a deep sigh and spoke to Hanuma in a sweet-sounding voice (as follows)

maayaam pravishto maayaavii yadi tvam raavanah svayam || 5-34-14

utpaadayasi me bhuuyah samtaapam tan na shobhanam |

"If you are Ravana, who made use of an illusive guise and yourself a conjurer, you are causing me a further agony. It is no good."

svam parityajya ruupam yah parivraajaka ruupadhrit || 5-34-15

jana sthaane mayaa drishtah tvam sa eva asi raavanah |

'You are indeed the same Ravana, who, abandoning your real form appeared to me in the guise of a vagrant religious mendicant in Janasthaana."

upavaasa krishaam diinaam kaama ruupa nishaa cara || 5-34-16

samtaapayasi maam bhuuyah samtaapam tan na shobhanam |

"O demon who can assume any form at your will! It is no good that again you are causing agony to me, emaciated because of fasting and feeling very miserable."

athavaa naitadevam hi yanmayaa parishankitam || 5-34-17

manaso hi mama priitirutpannaa tava darshanaat |

"Otherwise, whatever is suspected by me is not indeed true because in my mind, a pleasurable sensation indeed occurred by reason of your audience."

yadi raamasya duutah tvam aagato bhadram astu te || 5-34-18

pricchaami tvaam hari shreshtha priyaa raama kathaa hi me |

"If you have come as Rama's messenger, may you be blessed! O the best of monkeys! Rama's anecdote is very pleasurable for me. Hence, I am requesting you to narrate it."

gunaan raamasya kathaya priyasya mama vaanara || 5-34-19

cittam harasi me saumya nadii kuulam yathaa rayah |

"O monkey! Narrate the qualities of my beloved Rama. O gentle one! You are eroding my mind as a rapid course of stream erodes a river bank."

aho svapnasya sukhataa yaa aham evam cira aahritaa || 5-34-20

preshitam naama pashyaami raaghavena vana okasam |

"I, who was taken away long ago, is seeing a monkey sent by Rama in this way. Alas! How delightful this dream is!'

svapne.api yadyaham viiram raaghavam sahalaksmanam || 5-34-21

pashyeyam naavasiideyam svapno.api mama matsarii |

"If I have seen the eminent Rama together with Lakshmana, I would not have disheartened. In my case, even my dream is wicked!"

na aham svapnam imam manye svapne drishtvaa hi vaanaram || 5-34-22

na shakyo abhyudayah praaptum praaptah ca abhyudayo mama |

"I do not deem it as a dream. Seeing a monkey in a dream does not bring about prosperity But prosperity has come to me!"

kim nu syaac citta moho ayam bhavet vaata gatih tu iyam || 5-34-23

unmaadajo vikaaro vaa syaat iyam mriga trishnikaa |

"How possibly is it a delusion of my mind? Is it an impending course of flatulence or changing mental condition of madness? Is it a looming mirage?"

athavaa na ayam unmaado moho api unmaada lakshmanah || 5-34-24

sambudhye ca aham aatmaanam imam ca api vana okasam |

"Otherwise, it is neither madness nor even a delusion, which is a symptom of madness. Because I know about myself as also about this monkey."

iti evam bahudhaa siitaa sampradhaarya bala abalam || 5-34-25

rakshasaam kaama ruupatvaan mene tam raakshasa adhipam |

Thus deliberating upon the strengths and weaknesses in several ways, Seetha finally imagined him to be Ravana, as demons can change their forms at will.

etaam buddhim tadaa kritvaa siitaa saa tanu madhyamaa || 5-34-26

na prativyaajahaara atha vaanaram janaka aatmajaa |

Then, that slender waist Seetha, the daughter of Janaka, thus having made up her mind, did not reply in return anything further to Hanuman.

siitaayaah cintitam buddhvaa hanuumaan maaruta aatmajah || 5-34-27

shrotra anukuulaih vacanaih tadaa taam sampraharshayat |

Understanding the contemplation of Seetha, Hanuma the son of wind-god then brought about a great joy in her with his words most favorable to her ears (as follows):

aaditya iva tejasvii loka kaantah shashii yathaa || 5-34-28

raajaa sarvasya lokasya devo vaishravano yathaa |

vikramena upapannah ca yathaa vishnuh mahaayashaah || 5-34-29

"Rama has a great splendor like that of the sun. He is pleasing to all like the moon. As Kubera the Lord of wealth, he is a lord to the entire world. Like Vishnu, he is greatly renowned and endowed with valor."

satya vaadii madhura vaag devo vaacaspatih yathaa |

ruupavaan subhagah shriimaan kandarpa iva muurtimaan || 5-34-30

"Rama is a speaker of truth. Like Lord Brihaspati, he has a sweet voice. He is a handsome man, possessing good fortune and a royal dignity. He is a personified Manmatha, the lord of love."

sthaana krodha prahartaa ca shreshtho loke mahaarathah |

baahuc chaayaam avashtabdho yasya loko mahaatmanah || 5-34-31

"Rama gets anger only at right time. He strikes a befitting person at a right time. He is an excellent chariot-warrior. The world is resting under the shelter of arms of this high souled man."

apakrishshya aashrama padaan mriga ruupena raaghavam |

shuunye yena apaniitaa asi tasya drakshyasi yat phalam || 5-34-32

"Showing an illusory antelope, Ravana detracted Rama and took you away from a deserted hermitage. You will see later, the consequence Ravana will get for this act."

naciraat raavanam samkhye yo vadhishyati viiryavaan |

rosha pramuktaih ishubhih jvaladbhih iva paavakaih || 5-34-33

tena aham preshito duutah tvat sakaasham iha aagatah |

tvat viyogena duhkha aartah sa tvaam kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-34

"Which valiant Rama with arrows strongly shining like sparkles released with anger, by the same Rama I was sent here as a messenger and I arrived at your presence. That Rama, agonized by your separation wishes to enquire of your welfare."

lakshmanah ca mahaatejaah sumitra aananda vardhanah |

abhivaadya mahaabaahuh so api kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-35

"That long-armed Lakshmana too, having a great splendor and who augments the happiness of Sumitra his mother, saluted you and enquired about your welfare."

raamasya ca sakhaa devi sugriivo naama vaanarah |

raajaa vaanara mukhyaanaam sa tvaam kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-36

"O princess! That monkey called Sugreeva, a companion of Rama and the king of the excellent monkeys, asked about your welfare."

nityam smarati raamah tvaam sasugriivah salakshmanah |

dishtyaa jiivasi vaidehi raakshasii vasham aagataa || 5-34-37

"Rama, together with Sugreeva and Lakshmana, is always recollecting you. O Seetha! Even though coming into the control female-demons, you are somehow surviving by your good luck!"

naciraat drakshyase raamam lakshmanam ca mahaaratham |

madhye vaanara kotiinaam sugriivam ca amita ojasam || 5-34-38

"Within a few days, you will see Rama, the mighty Lakshmana and the highly splendorous Sugreeva, in the presence of crores of monkeys."

aham sugriiva sacivo hanuumaan naama vaanarah |

pravishto nagariim lankaam langhayitvaa mahaaudadhim || 5-34-39

"I am a monkey, the minister of Sugreeva, called Hanuma. I entered the city of Lanka, by traversing the great ocean."

kritvaa muurdhni pada nyaasam raavanasya duraatmanah |

tvaam drashtum upayaato aham samaashritya paraakramam || 5-34-40

"Asserting my strength and putting down my feet on the head of the evil minded Ravana, I have come to see you."

na aham asmi tathaa devi yathaa maam avagacchasi |

vishankaa tyajyataam eshaa shraddhatsva vadato mama || 5-34-41

"O Princess! I am not so, as you comprehend me (as Ravana). Let your suspicion be given up. Believe me as I say it."

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye sundarakaande chatustrimshah sargah

Thus completes 34th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Durga, Kishore Kopalle, and K. M. K. Murthy. (2001). Sundara Kanda - Book Of Beauty.

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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