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Chapter 74: Hanuman Brings Herbs to Revive the Army

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CHAPTER 74

Hanuman Brings Herbs to Revive the Army

The monkey army leaders were bewildered when the two princes had fainted on the battlefront. Nor could Sugreeva, Nila, Angada or Jambavan do anything. Then Vibhishana reassured all the monkey solders of Sugreeva by speaking the following unparalleled words: “Do not be afraid! This is not a time to worry. Although the two princes appear to be helpless and afflicted, they are doing so out of deference to the weapon of Lord Brahma attached to the weapons discharged by Indrajit. The weapon given to Indrajit by Lord Brahma cannot be counteracted. Respecting that, the two princes have allowed themselves to be struck down. Therefore, why be despondent at this time?”

Hearing what Vibhishana said and respecting the weapon, Hanuman spoke as follows: “Let us restore whatever monkeys are still breathing after having been struck by that weapon.” Carrying torches in their hands, Vibhishana and Hanuman wandered around the battlefield together at night. The two warriors saw the ground covered with huge monkeys whose tails, hands, feet and heads had been severed, who were bleeding profusely and urinating, as well as shining weapons that had been dropped. Vibhishana and Hanuman saw that Sugreeva, Angada, Nila, Sharabha, Gandhamaadana, Jambavan, Sushena, Vegadarshi, Mainda, Nala, Jyotirmukha and Dvivida had been struck down in battle. By the end of the evening, sixty-seven hundred million monkeys were injured by the weapon presided over by Lord Brahma.

Seeing the army stricken with arrows like a frightful ocean, Hanuman and Vibhishana began looking for Jambavan. They finally found Jambavan, who was naturally worn out from age. His body was covered with hundreds of arrows and he looked like a dying fire. Approaching him, Vibhishana said: “O noble one, I hope your life is not finished by these sharp arrows!” Hearing Vibhishana’s voice and speaking with difficulty, Jambavan said: “O Vibhishana, I recognize you by your voice. Because my body is pierced by sharp arrows, I cannot see you with my eyes. Is that best of monkeys, Hanuman, son of the wind, still alive anywhere?”

Hearing Jambavan’s inquiry, Vibhishana said: “Why do you ask about Hanuman while ignoring the two sons of King Dasharatha? You have not shown the same supreme affection for King Sugreeva, Angada or Rama as you have for Hanuman.” Hearing Vibhishana’s remark, Jambavan replied: “Listen, O tiger among rakshasas, why I ask about Hanuman. If he is still living, our destroyed army will survive. If Hanuman is dead, though we are alive, we are dead. My dear child, if Hanuman, who is just like the wind-god, is still alive, then we have a chance of surviving.”

Approaching the elderly bear and clasping his feet, Hanuman greeted him with humility. Hearing Hanuman’s words, Jambavan considered himself reborn. Then the glorious Jambavan said to Hanuman: “Come, O best of monkeys! You have to save the monkeys. No one else has the prowess you do. You are the true friend of the monkeys. Now is the time for you to exhibit your prowess. I see no one else who can do it. Gladden the heroic warriors among the troops of monkeys and bears. Also heal Rama and Lakshmana who are injured.

“Going a long distance over the ocean, you should approach Mount Himavan in the Himalaya Mountains. From there you will see the golden and lofty Rishabha Mountain, and from it you will be able to see the peak of Mount Kailasa. Between those two peaks you will see a mountain glowing with unequalled splendor and covered with medicinal herbs. On its summit you will find four glowing herbs illuminating the directions: mritasanjivani, which is able to revive the dead, vishalyakarani, which heals all wounds, suvarnakarani, which restores one’s complexion, and sandhani, which rejoins severed limbs or reunites broken bones. Get all those herbs and quickly come back, O Hanuman! After restoring the monkeys’ lives, reassure them.”

After hearing Jambavan’s instructions, Hanuman became full of tremendous power, like the ocean surging with the force of waves. Hanuman stood on the summit of Trikuta Mountain and pressed his feet down. Thus he looked like a second mountain. When pressed down by Hanuman’s feet, the mountain sank. It could no longer support its own weight because of the excessive pressure. Because of the force of Hanuman’s feet, some trees fell over and others burst into flames, and the mountain’s peaks crumbled. While being pressed down, the mountain began to reel so that the monkeys were unable to stand. Panic-stricken, the city of Lanka appeared to be dancing at night, its gateways shaking and its dwellings and entranceways collapsing. Pressing the mountain down, Hanuman caused the earth with its oceans to tremble.

Hanuman then jumped to the Malaya Mountain, which was like Mount Meru or Mount Mandara and which had springs. It was covered with trees and vines, blossoming lotus flowers and lilies and frequented by demigods and Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, celestial damsels and many hermits. It was four hundred and ten yojanas high. It had many herds of deer and many beautiful caves. Growing in size like a cloud, Hanuman confounded all the Yakshas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras present there. Pressing his feet down and opening his mouth, which shone like an underwater fire, Hanuman roared fiercely, terrifying the night-stalkers. When the rakshasas in Lanka heard Hanuman’s roars, they were unable to move at all.

Offering respects to the ocean, Hanuman made up his mind to perform a great task on behalf of Lord Rama. Raising his serpentine tail, depressing his back, pressing back his ears and opening his blazing mouth, Hanuman jumped into the sky with tremendous speed. He dragged behind him clumps of trees, boulders and rocks, as well as ordinary monkeys. Raised up by the force of his arms and legs, they fell into the water when their speed diminished. Stretching his arms which resembled snakes, Hanuman, who was equal to Garuda in prowess, headed for Himavan, the greatest of mountains, seemingly drawing behind him all the directions. Gazing down at the ocean, whose waters and sea creatures were swirling around, Hanuman sped along like the discus released from Lord Vishnu’s finger. As Hanuman, who was equal to his father in speed, proceeded rapidly, he observed mountains, flocks of birds, lakes, rivers, ponds, great cities and prosperous regions. Hanuman, who was never exhausted, flew quickly along the course of the sun, causing all directions to resound.

As he was remembering Jambavan’s directions, all of a sudden Hanuman saw Mount Himavan. It had many flowing springs and numerous caves and waterfalls. Its peaks were of charming appearance and shone brightly like white clouds. It was covered with different kinds of trees. Reaching that highest of mountains with golden peaks, he saw large, holy hermitages inhabited by many divine sages. There he saw the silvery residence of Lord Brahma, the abode of Lord Indra, the place from whence Lord Shiva shot an arrow at Tripura, the abode of Lord Hayagriiva, the place where Lord Shiva activated the Brahmashira weapon and the abode of the servants of Yamaraja. He also saw the abode of Agni, the abode of Kuvera, the place where the sun had been tied down by Vishvakarma, the abode of Lord Shiva’s bow and the navel of the earth. He also saw Kailasa, the abode of the dreadful Lord Shiva, the snowy rock upon which Lord Shiva practiced austerities, Lord Shiva’s bull Nandi, and the lofty golden mountain called Rishabha, upon which grew all kinds of medicinal herbs and which was glowing because of their presence.

Hanuman was amazed to see that mountain which was shining like a mass of fires. Jumping to that mountain rich in vegetation, Hanuman began looking for the herbs. Searching for millions of yojanas, Hanuman wandered about on that mountain. Seeing that someone had come looking for them, they all made themselves invisible. Not finding them, Hanuman became vexed and roared very loudly. Unable to bear the situation, Hanuman, whose eyes were as red as fire, spoke the following words: “What is the use of this resolve if you are not compassionate to Lord Rama? Just watch as I now shatter you to pieces with my huge arms, O great mountain!”

Grabbing hold of that mountain peak, which possessed thousands of mineral deposits, trees and elephants, Hanuman suddenly broke it off, shattering its summit and causing fires on its plateaus. Pulling it up and terrifying the worlds with their gods and demons, the monkey jumped into the sky and quickly flew away with the frightful speed of Garuda as numerous celestial beings praised him. Carrying that mountain peak and reaching the upper region of the sky, Hanuman, who was near the sun, looked like a reflection of the sun. Flying through the sky with that mountain, Hanuman looked like Lord Vishnu holding His flaming discus with a thousand edges.

Seeing him, the monkeys roared loudly, and seeing them, he also roared jubilantly. Hearing their roars, the rakshasas in Lanka produced even more dreadful roars. Hanuman then landed on Trikuta Mountain in the midst of the monkey army. Bowing his head to those fine monkeys, Hanuman then embraced Vibhishana. By smelling the fragrance of the powerful herbs, the two human princes, Rama and Lakshmana, were immediately healed and the heroic monkeys stood up. Even those monkeys who had been killed were completely healed of their wounds in a moment by the fragrance of those herbs, as those who are asleep wake up at the end of night. From the time that the monkeys and rakshasas started fighting in Lanka, the rakshasas, under orders of Ravana, had thrown their dead into the ocean so that the monkeys would not know how many had been killed. Thereafter the son of the wind-god hurriedly carried the mountain back to the Himalaya Mountains and returned to Lord Rama.

Thus completes 74th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Biggs, Robert. (2005). Yuddha-kanda – The Conquest of Lanka.

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

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

 

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