The legend of Black Cave is informed to Hanuma and others by Swayamprabha, the sainted lady who safeguards the paradisiacal [resembling paradise] creation of a demon named Maya. Maya crafted this cave as a heaven on earth, for which the infuriated Indra eliminated Maya. Hema, an Apsara, nymphal-virtuoso accords this fantastic creation to Swayamprabha. Swayamprabha offers hospitality to all the monkeys who entered that cave.
Chapter [Sarga] 51 in Detail
iti uktvaa hanumaan tatra punah krisna ajina ambaraam |
abraviit taam mahaabhaagaam taapasiim dharma caariniim || 4-51-1
Thus, Hanuma on saying therein [that subject,] again spoke to that most reverential and sainted lady who is dressed in black deerskin and conducting herself in probity. [4-51-1]
idam pravistaah sahasaa bilam timira sa.mvritam |
ksut pipaasaa parishraa.ntaah parikhinnaah ca sarvashah || 4-51-2
"Overtired with hunger and thirst we are overawed anywise, and we suddenly entered this cavity, which is overspread with darkness..." [Thus Hanuma is speaking to her.] [4-51-2]
mahat dharanyaa vivaram pravistaah sma pipaasitaah |
imaam tu evam vidhaan bhaavaan vividhaan adbhuta upamaan || 4-51-3
dristvaa vayam pravyathitaah sa.mbhraa.ntaa nasta cetasah |
kasya ete kaa.ncanaa vriksaah taruna aaditya sannibhaah || 4-51-4
"We entered this extensive hollow of earth thirstily, but on seeing this kind of these diverse and marvelous mansions we are verily amazed [presuming that this is a dominion of some demon,] and we are agitated [in not knowing dos and don'ts,] and agonized [at our incarceration...] whose trees are all these golden ones, splendid like young sun... [4-51-3, 4]
shuciini abhyavahaar.hyaani muulaani ca phalaani ca |
kaa.ncanaani vimaanaani raajataani grihaani ca || 4-51-5
tapaniiya gava aksaani mani jaala aavritaani ca |
"The edibles, tubers, and fruits are all depurated... golden are the aircrafts... mansions silvern... ventilators golden and encased in jewel laces... [4-51-5, 6a]
puspitaah phaalavantah ca punyaah surabhi gandhayah || 4-51-6
ime jaa.mbuunadamayaah paadapaah kasya tejasaa |
"Flowered and fruited and also aromatically scented are these auspicious and completely golden trees... by whose splendor [they are rendered thus?] [4-51-6b, 7a]
kaancanaani ca padmaani jaataani vimale jale || 4-51-7
katham matsyaah ca sauvarnaa drishyante saha kacchapaih |
"Also how the lotuses born in limpid water are golden, and how the fishes along with tortoises are ostensibly golden? [4-51-7b, 8a]
aatmaanah anubhaavaat vaa kasya vai etat tapo balam || 4-51-8
ajaanataam nah sarvesaam sarvam aakhyaatum ar.hhasi |
"Or, is all this owing to the innate prodigy of yours or to whose ascesis' prowess all this is owed... as all of us are oblivious of it, so it will be apt of you to narrate all of it..." [Thus Hanuma requested that sainted lady.] [4-51-8b, 9a]
evam uktaa hanumataa taapasii dharma caarinii || 4-51-9
prati uvaaca hanuuma.ntam sarva bhuuta hite rataa |
Thus when Hanuma addressed her, that sainted lady, and a blissful one in the well being of all the beings, she replied Hanuma. [4-51-9b, 10a]
mayo naama mahaatejaa maayaavii daanavarsabhah || 4-51-10
tena idam nirmitam sarvam maayayaa kaa.ncanam vanam |
"A marvelous fantasist by name Maya was there, a bullish demon of wizardry and by him with his phenomenal expertise all this golden woodland is constructed..." [Thus, that sainted lady started her narration.] [4-51-10b]
puraa daanava mukhyaanaam vishvakarmaa babhuuva ha || 4-51-11
yena idam kaa.ncanam divyam nirmitam bhavana uttamam |
"Once he was the Universal Craftsman to the lords of demons by whom this divinely golden and superb mansion was constructed... [4-51-11]
sa tu varsa sahasraani tapah taptvaa mahat vane || 4-51-12
pitaamahaat varam lebhe sarvam aushasanam dhanam |
"But he on practicing ascesis for thousands of years in this horrendous forest, obtained a boon from Brahma, the Forefather, [which entails acquirement of] entire wealth of those people, who immoderately and avariciously beseech all the available gods, to accord all wealth to them only...[4-51-12b, 13a]
vidhaaya sarvam balavaan sarva kaama iishvarah tadaa || 4-51-13
uvaasa sukhitah kaalam ka.mcit asmin mahaavane |
"That dynamic one methodized everything and then resided comfortably in this great forest for some time, privileged with all his wishes... [4-51-13b, 14a]
tam apsarasi hemaayaam saktam daanava pu.ngavam || 4-51-14
vikramya eva ashanim grihya jaghaana iishah purandarah |
"Indra, the Administrator of Worlds and destroyer of enemy citadels, on taking His Thunderbolt eliminated Maya, when that eminent demon was engaged with an apsara, a paradisiacal nymph, called Hema... [4-51-14b, 15a]
idam ca brahmanaa dattam hemaayai vanam uttamam || 4-51-15
shaashvatah kaama bhogah ca griham ca idam hiranmayam |
"This marvelous woodland, these everlasting wish-fulfillers, and this golden mansion, are beneficed by Brahma for Hema... [4-51-15]
duhitaa merusaavarneh aham tasyaah svaya.mprabhaa || 4-51-16
idam raksaami bhavanam hemaayaa vaanarottama |
"I am the daughter of Merusaavarni, oh, best monkey, named Swayamprabha and I am safeguarding this mansion of her, [that apsara] Hema... [4-51-16b, 17a]
mama priya sakhii hemaa nritta giita vishaaradaa || 4-51-17
tayaa datta varaa ca asmi raksaami bhavanam mahaan |
"Hema is a virtuoso in dance and music and my dearest nymphean-friend, and she bestowed a boon upon me [by which none can dishonor me, and thus] I am safeguarding this superb mansion... [4-51-17b, 18a]
kim kaaryam kasya vaa hetoh kaa.ntaaraani prapadyatha || 4-51-18
katham ca idam vanam durgam yusmaabhih upalaksitam |
"What is your effort or for what reason you came to pass this impervious forest, and how you all have discovered this impassable forest... [4-51-18b, 19a]
shuciini abhyavahaar.hyaani muulaani ca phalaani ca |
bhuktvaa piitvaa ca paaniiyam sarvam me vaktum arhatha || 4-51-19
"Dine on these wholesome edibles, fruits and tubers, also on drinking soft drinks, it is apt of you to inform me all about [your mission..." Thus Swayamprabha gave hospitality to the monkeys.] [4-51-19b, 19c]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye kiskindha kaande eka pa.ncaashah sargah
Thus, this is the 51st chapter in Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate