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Chapter 38: Sita Gives Hanuman a Token
Sita Gives Hanuman a Token
Hanuma asks Seetha to give him a token of remembrance, which Rama can recognize. Seetha then narrates the episode of a crow which occurred on the Chitrakuta Mountain and requests Hanuma to repeat it before Rama by way of a token of recollection. She further sends greetings to both Rama and Lakshmana, conveys her enquiry about their welfare and conveys to them her resolve to survive only for a month after the expiry of the time-limit given by Ravana. Thereupon, she hands over to Hanuma her jewel for the head as a token of remembrance.
Chapter [Sarga] 38 in Detail
tatah sa kapi shaarduulah tena vaakyena harshitah |
siitaam uvaaca tat shrutvaa vaakyam vaakya vishaaradah || 5-38-1
Hearing those words of Seetha, the eloquent Hanuma was very much pleased and spoke to Seetha (as follows):
yukta ruupam tvayaa devi bhaashitam shubha darshane |
sadrisham strii svabhaavasya saadhviinaam vinayasya ca || 5-38-2
"O Seetha, the beautiful princess! Whatever you spoke is befitting. It is in keeping with woman's nature and humility of a chaste woman."
striitvam na tu samartham hi saagaram vyativartitum |
maam adhishthaaya vistiirnam shata yojanam aayatam || 5-38-3
"It is indeed not fit for a woman to mount on my back and traverse an extensive ocean, which is having a width of one hundred yojanas."
dvitiiyam kaaranam yac ca braviishi vinaya anvite |
raamaat anyasya na arhaami samsparsham iti jaanaki || 5-38-4
etat te devi sadrisham patnyaah tasya mahaatmanah |
kaa hi anyaa tvaam rite devi bruuyaat vacanam iidrisham || 5-38-5
"O Seetha endowed with modesty! The second reason you mentioned that you would not be touching any one else other then Rama is befitting of you, the wife of that high soled Rama. O princess! which other lady except you can speak of such sweet words?"
shroshyate caiva kaakutsthah sarvam niravasheshatah |
ceshtitam yat tvayaa devi bhaashitam mama ca agratah || 5-38-6
"O princess! I can completely inform Rama of all that you have done and of all that you have spoken before me."
kaaranaih bahubhih devi raama priya cikiirshayaa |
sneha praskanna manasaa mayaa etat samudiiritam || 5-38-7
"O princess! All this was told by me because of several reasons, being desirous of doing good to Rama ad with my mind moistened with affection towards him."
lankaayaa dushpraveshatvaat dustaratvaan mahaaudadheh |
saamarthyaat aatmanah caiva mayaa etat samudaahritam || 5-38-8
"I spoke this because of the unassailability of Lanka, its great ocean so difficult to be crossed and also my capacity of taking you."
icchaami tvaam samaanetum adya eva raghu bandhunaa |
guru snehena bhaktyaa ca na anyathaa tat udaahritam || 5-38-9
"Because of my great affection and devotion towards you, I wish to carry you well now itself to Rama your husband. These words were not spoken by me with any other motive."
yadi na utsahase yaatum mayaa saardham anindite |
abhijnaanam prayaccha tvam jaaniiyaat raaghavo hi yat || 5-38-10
"O faultless Seetha! If you are not willing to go with me, give me a token of remembrance which Rama can recognize."
evam uktaa hanumataa siitaa sura suta upamaa |
uvaaca vacanam mandam baashpa pragrathita aksharam || 5-38-11
idam shreshtham abhijnaanam bruuyaah tvam tu mama priyam |
Hearing Hanuma's words, Seetha like the daughter of a god, slowly spoke the following words, strung together with alphabets of tears: "You tell this (following) excellent thing as a token of remembrance to my beloved husband."
shailasya citra kuutasya paade puurva uttare tadaa || 5-38-12
taapasa aashrama vaasinyaah praajya muula phala udake |
tasmin siddha aashrame deshe mandaakinyaa aduuratah || 5-38-13
tasya upavana shandeshu naanaa pushpa sugandhishu |
vihritya salila klinnaa tava anke samupaavisham ||
paryaayena prasuptah ca mama anke bharata agrajah || 5-38-14
"There is a place inhabited by sages at a hillock in the north-eastern It was bountiful with roots fruits and water. In that place, while we were residing in a hermitage of sages, on a day long ago, we were strolling in water in parts of groves with various kinds of flowers of perfume in that hillock. Your thereupon became wet and sat at my proximity."
tato maamsa samaayukto vaayasah paryatundayat |
tam aham loshtam udyamya vaarayaami sma vaayasam || 5-38-15
"Then, a crow, yearning for meat, began to peck me. Picking up a clod of earth, I prevented the crow from its act."
daarayan sa ca maam kaakah tatra eva pariliiyate |
na ca api uparaman maamsaat bhaksha arthii bali bhojanah || 5-38-16
"Pecking me again and again, the crow was hiding there only. That crow, yearning for food, did not resign from meat."
utkarshantyaam ca rashanaam kruddhaayaam mayi pakshine |
sramsamaane ca vasane tato drishtaa tvayaa hi aham || 5-38-17
"While I was angry with that bird, my skirt was slipping and I was pulling its string (so as to tighten it). I was seen by you then."
tvayaa vihasitaa ca aham kruddhaa samlajjitaa tadaa |
bhakshya griddhena kaalena daaritaa tvaam upaagataa || 5-38-18
"Moved by anger, I felt abashed for being laughed at by you. Torn down by the crow, which was yearning for food, I sought shelter with you."
aasiinasya ca te shraantaa punah utsangam aavisham |
krudhyantii ca prahrishtena tvayaa aham parisaantvitaa || 5-38-19
"Feeling tired, I again settled on your lap. As though angry, I was consoled by you and I was fully delighted."
baashpa puurna mukhii mandam cakshushii parimaarjatii |
lakshitaa aham tvayaa naatha vaayasena prakopitaa || 5-38-20
"Slowly wiping my eyes, my face filled with tears, I was seen by you, O Lord, as having been annoyed by the crow."
parishramaatprasuptaa cha raaghavaanke .apyham chiram |
paryaayena prasuptashcha mamaanke bharataagrajah 5-38-21
"I even slept for a long time on Rama's lap because of my fatigue. In his turn, Rama the elder brother of Bharata slept in my arms."
sa tatra punare vaatha vaayasah samupaagamat |
tatah suptaprabuddhaam maam raamasyaankaatsamutthitaam || 5-38-22
vaayasah sahasaagamya vidadaara stanaantare |
punah punarthotpatya vidadaara sa maam bhrisham || 5-38-23
"Meanwhile, the same crow appeared there. Descending all of a sudden, the crow clawed me at the space between the breasts, even as I awoke from my sleep and rose from the lap of Rama. Flying up again, it tore me up a lot."
tatah samuksito raamo muktaih shonitabindubhih |
vayasena tatastena balavatklishyamaanayaa || 5-38-24
sa mayaa bodhitah shriimaan sukhasuptah paramtapah |
"Then, Rama got wet by the discharged drops of blood. Thereafter, that splendorous Rama, the annihilator of enemies, who was in a pleasant slumber, was woken up by that crow and by me who was grievously tormented by the crow."
sa maam dristvaa mahaabaahurvitunnaam stanayostadaa || 5-38-25
aashii visha iva kruddhah shvasaan vaakyam abhaashathaah |
"That long-armed Rama, seeing me pierced violently on the breasts, and then spoke the following words, hissing like an angry serpent.
kena te naaga naasa uuru vikshatam vai stana antaram || 5-38-26
kah kriidati saroshena panca vaktrena bhoginaa |
"O Seetha the round-thigh woman! Who has wounded the space between your breasts? Who is playing with a fire-faced serpent filled with fury?"
viikshamaanah tatah tam vai vaayasam samavaikshathaah || 5-38-27
nakhaih sarudhiraih tiikshnaih maam eva abhimukham sthitam |
'Then, throwing a glance around, Rama saw that crow with its sharp claws moistened with blood and sitting in front of me alone."
putrah kila sa shakrasya vaayasah patataam varah || 5-38-28
dharaa antara carah shiighram pavanasya gatau samah |
"That crow, the best among birds, seems to be the son of Indra the Lord of celestials, staying in mountains and moving with a peed equal to the wind."
tatah tasmin mahaabaahuh kopa samvartita iikshanah || 5-38-29
vaayase kritavaan kruuraam matim matimataam vara |
"Then, the long-armed Rama, the best among wise men, swirling his eyes in anger, made a resolve in the matter of that ferocious crow."
sa darbha samstaraat grihya brahmano astrena yojayah || 5-38-30
sa diipta iva kaala agnih jajvaala abhimukho dvijam |
"Taking a blade of Kusa grass from his bed (made of Kusa grass), Rama employed it to work with Brahma's missile (a mythical weapon which deals with infallible destruction). That blazing shoot of grass, resembling a fire destroying the world, flared up in front of that bird."
sa tam pradiiptam chiksepa darbham tam vaayasam prati || 5-38-31
tatastam vaayasam darbhah sombare.anujagaama ha |
"As Rama threw that blazing blade of Kusa grass towards that crow, that blade of grass went chasing that crow in the sky."
anusrishtah tadaa kaalo jagaama vividhaam gatim || 5-38-32
traana kaama imam lokam sarvam vai vicacaara ha |
"Then, while that blade of grass came chasing, that crow went flying in many a way. Seeking protection, it roamed all over the world."
sa pitraa ca parityaktah suraih sarvaih maharshibhih || 5-38-33
triin lokaan samparikramya tvaam eva sharanam gatah |
"Roaming the three worlds in search of a saviour, that crow was abandoned by Indra; its father, the celestials and the sages. Finally, it sought refuge in the same Rama."
sa tam nipatitam bhuumau sharanyah sharanaa gatam || 5-38-34
vadha arham api kaakutstha kripayaa paryapaalayah |
"That Rama, who affords protection, was compassionate and protected that crow, which fell on the ground (in salutation to Rama) and sought for protection, even though it was apt to be killed."
paridyuunam vishannam ca sa tvam aayaantam uktavaan || 5-38-35
mogham kartum na shakyam tu braahmam astram tat ucyataam |
"Seeing that crow, coming exhausted and dejected, Rama said to it: 'It is not possible to make Brahma missile a waste. For this reason, tell me what to do now."
hinastu daksinaaksitvachchhara ityatha so.abraviit || 5-38-36
tatah tasya akshi kaakasya hinasti sma sa dakshinam |
dattvaa sa daksinam netram praanebhyah pariraksitah || 5-38-37
Thereafter, that crow said "Let your arrow shoot my right eye." Then that blade of Kusa grass shot the right eye of that crow. By giving away its right eye in that way, the crow saved its life."
sa raamaaya namaskritvaa raajjne dasharathaaya cha |
visristastena viirena pratipede svamaalayam || 5-38-38
"After offering salutations to Rama and King Dasaratha and being discharged by that valiant Rama, the crow returned to its own abode."
mat krite kaaka maatre api brahma astram samudiiritam |
kasmaat yo maam harat tvattah kshamase tam mahii pate || 5-38-39
"O lord of the earth! For my sake you hurled a Brahma's missile even at a crow. Why are you forgiving the one who has taken me away from you?"
sa kurushva mahaautsaaham kripaam mayi nara rishabha |
tvayaa naathavatii naatha hyanaathaa iva drishyate || 5-38-40
"O Rama the best among men! You, with great strength, annihilate the enemy and bestow your mercy on me. O Lord! She, who has a protector in you, actually looks like one without any protector."
aanrishamsyam paro dharmah tvatta eva mayaa shrutah |
jaanaami tvaam mahaaviiryam mahaautsaaham mahaabalam || 5-38-41
apaara paaram akshobhyam gaambhiiryaat saagara upamam |
bhartaaram sasamudraayaa dharanyaa vaasava upamam || 5-38-42
"You yourself told me that kindness is the best righteousness. I know you, having a great prowess, a great energy, and a great strength. I know your non-acquiescence, imperturbability, profoundness like an ocean, as Lord of the earth including the oceans and as equal to Indra the Lord of celestials."
evam astravidaam shreshthah sattvavaan balavaan api |
kim artham astram rakshahsu na yojayasi raaghava || 5-38-43
"O Rama! Even though you are strong, excellently skilled in archery and a truthful man, why are you not utilizing your arrow on demons?"
na naagaa na api gandharvaa na asuraa na marut ganaah |
raamasya samare vegam shaktaah prati samaadhitum || 5-38-44
"Neither the serpent-demons, nor the divine musicians nor the demons nor the storm-gods are able to resist the onrush of Rama in battle."
tasyaa viiryavatah kashcit yadi asti mayi sambhramah |
kim artham na sharaih tiikshnaih kshayam nayati raakshasaan || 5-38-45
"If the valiant Rama has any haste in my case, why does he not destroy the demons with his sharp arrows?!
bhraatuh aadesham aadaaya lakshmano vaa param tapah |
kasya hetoh na maam viirah paritraati mahaabalah || 5-38-46
"For what reason, even Lakshmana the tormentator of enemies, the mighty man and the valiant man does not protect me, by taking the command of his elder brother?'
yadi tau purusha vyaaghrau vaayv indra sama tejasau |
suraanaam api durdharsho kim artham maam upekshatah || 5-38-47
Those two tigers among men, Rama and Lakshmana, with a sharpness equal to that of wind and fire, even if they are unconquerable by demons too, why are they neglecting me?"
mama eva dushkritam kimcin mahat asti na samshayah |
samarthaav api tau yan maam na avekshete param tapau || 5-38-48
"There is not doubt that I would have committed a great sin, for which reason those two brothers Rama and Lakshmana the tormentator [torturer] of enemies, even when capable , are neglecting me."
vaidehyaa vachanam shrutvaa karunam saashubhaasitam |
athaabraviinmahaatejaa hanumaan maarutaatmajah || 5-38-49
Hearing the pitiable appeal Seetha with tears, Hanuma of great splendor and the son of wind-god spoke (as follows)
tvachchhokavimukho raamo devi satyena te shape |
raame duhkhaabhipanne cha laksmanah paritapyate || 5-38-50
"O Seetha! Rama has grown averse to everything else, caused by grief towards you. I swear it to you by truth. When Rama is overpowered by grief; Lakshmana too gets tormented by grief."
katham chidbhavatii dristaa na kaalah paridevitum |
imam muhuurtam duhkhaanaam draksyasyantamanindite || 5-38-51
"O faultless Seetha! Somehow or other, you have been discovered by me. This is not the time to lament. Your will see the end of your sorrow within a short time."
taavubhau purusavyaaghrau raajaputrau mahaabalau |
tvaddarshanakritotsaahau lankaam bhasmiikarisyatah || 5-38-52
"Those two mighty princes, the excellent among men, are eager to see you and they will reduce Lanka to ashes."
hatvaa cha samare kruutam raavanam sahabaandhavam |
raaghavastvaam vishaalaaksi nesyati svaam puriim prati || 5-38-53
"O large-eyed Seetha! Killing the cruel Ravana along with his relatives in battle, Rama will take you back to his own city."
bruuhi yadraaghavo vaachyo laksmanashcha mahaabalah |
sugriivo vaapi tejasvii harayo.api samaagataah || 5-38-54
"Tell me what to be expressed to Rama or to the mighty Lakshmana or to the splendorous Sugreeva or even to the other monkeys assembled there."
ityuktavati tasmimstu siitaa surasutopamaa |
uvaacha shokasamtaptaa hanumantam plavamgamam || 5-38-55
Hearing the words of Hanuma, Seetha, like the daughter of a sage, tormented with grief, spoke to Hanuma the monkey (as follows):
kausalyaa loka bhartaaram sushuve yam manasvinii |
tam mama arthe sukham priccha shirasaa ca abhivaadaya || 5-38-56
"On my behalf, salute by bowing your head and ask about the welfare of Rama, the Lord of the worlds, whom the magnanimous Kausalya gave birth."
srajah ca sarva ratnaani priyaa yaah ca vara anganaah |
aishvaryam ca vishaalaayaam prithivyaam api durlabham || 5-38-57
pitaram maataram caiva sammaanya abhiprasaadya ca |
anupravrajito raamam sumitraa yena suprajaah || 5-38-58
(On my behalf, ask about the welfare of) Lakshmana, that good child of Sumitra who, having renounced the wreaths of flowers, all the riches, pleasant and beautiful girls and even the prosperity difficult to be obtained in this extensive world, offered his profound respects to and pacified his father and mother, followed Rama to exile."
aanukuulyena dharma aatmaa tyaktvaa sukham anuttamam |
anugacchati kaakutstham bhraataram paalayan vane || 5-38-59
"Renouncing a great comfort, the righteous Lakshmana, acting in an affectionate manner towards Rama, followed him, watching over him in the forest."
simha skandho mahaabaahuh manasvii priya darshanah |
pitrivat vartate raame maatrivan maam samaacaran || 5-38-60
"Lakshmana, who has broad shoulders like that of a lion, mighty-armed, steady-minded and having pleasant looks, behaves towards Rama as towards his father and looks to me as his own mother."
priyamaanaam tadaa viiro na tu maam veda lakshmanah |
vriddha upasevii lakshmiivaan shakto na bahu bhaashitaa || 5-38-61
raaja putrah priya shreshthah sadrishah shvashurasya me |
"The valiant Lakshmana, on that day of occurrence, did not know that I was being taken away by Ravana. He serves elders. He possesses a splendor. Though capable, he does not talk much. To Dasaratha, my father-in-law, he is his replica a beloved and the best prince."
mattah priyataro nityam bhraataa raamasya lakshmanah || 5-38-62
niyukto dhuri yasyaam tu taam udvahati viiryavaan |
"Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama is the one who is dearer to me always. That energetic Lakshmana carries out well, whatever load of work is entrusted to him"
yam drishtvaa raaghavo na eva vriddham aaryam anusmarat || 5-38-63
sa mama arthaaya kushalam vaktavyo vacanaan mama |
"Seeing whom, Rama ceases to recollect his deceased father that Lakshmana is to be asked about his well-being, as my word and on my behalf."
mriduh nityam shucih dakshah priyo raamasya lakshmanah || 5-38-64
yathaa hi vaanarashrestha duhkhaksayakaro bhavet |
tvamasmin kaaryaniryoge pramaana harisattama || 5-38-65
"O Hanuma, the excellent of monkeys and the best of monkeys! You are the model for fulfilling this act of addressing him in such a way that Lakshmana, the mild, every-pure and clever darling of Rama may bring my sorrows to an end."
raaghavastvatsamaarambhaanmayi yatnaparo bhavet |
idam bruuyaah ca me naatham shuuram raamam punah punah || 5-38-66
"Depending on your effort, Rama will be more active with his effort the following words again and again to Rama, my Lord and the hero:"
jiivitam dhaarayishyaami maasam dasharatha aatmaja |
uurdhvam maasaan na jiiveyam satyena aham braviimi te || 5-38-67
"O Rama! I shall hold my life for a month. I cannot survive after a month I am telling you the truth."
raavanena uparuddhaam maam nikrityaa paapa karmanaa |
traatum arhasi viira tvam paataalaat iva kaushikiim || 5-38-68
"O valiant man! You are required to rescue me, detained (as I am) by Ravana the criminal and subjected to humiliation, as you (as Lord Vishnu) earlier protected Indra the Lord of celestials and Lakshmi the goddess of prosperity from the abode of servants and demons."
tato vastra gatam muktvaa divyam cuudaa manim shubham |
pradeyo raaghavaaya iti siitaa hanumate dadau || 5-38-69
Then, untying the bright divine jewel for her head tied in her garment, Seetha gave it to Hanuma, saying that it might be handed over to Rama.
pratigrihya tato viiro mani ratnam anuttamam |
angulyaa yojayaamaasa na hi asyaa praabhavat bhujah || 5-38-70
Taking the excellent jewel, the valiant Hanuma thereupon fitted it to his finger, since his arm (even though he had assumed his former tiny form), was not fitting to it properly.
mani ratnam kapi varah pratigrihya abhivaadya ca |
siitaam pradakshinam kritvaa pranatah paarshvatah sthitah || 5-38-71
Receiving that jewel, Hanuma the best among the monkeys, offered his salutation to Seetha, by engaging himself in circumambulation and stood aside with humbleness.
harshena mahataa yuktah siitaa darshanajena sah |
hridayena gato raamam shariirena tu vishthitah || 5-38-72
Filled with a great delight, born out of Seetha's discovery by him, that Hanuma mentally sought (the presence) of Rama but stood there with just his physical body.
mani varam upagrihya tam mahaaarham |
janaka nripa aatmajayaa dhritam prabhaavaat |
giri vara pavana avadhuuta muktah |
sukhita manaah pratisamkramam prapede || 5-38-73
Taking that excellent and highly venerable jewel, worn by Seetha and by its influence resembling one who was shaken by a blast coming from the top of a huge mountain, Hanuma was mentally pleased and set out for crossing the ocean in his return journey.
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye sundarakaande astatrimshah sargah
Thus completes 38th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate
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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