Hanuman Delivers Rama’s Message to Sita

When Hanuman, son of the wind-god, had been instructed in that way, he entered the city while being honored by night-stalkers. Entering Ravana’s great residential palace, Hanuman found Sita seated at the foot of a tree. She was unbathed, surrounded by rakshasis and joyless, like the star Rohini affected by a malevolent planet. Approaching her and greeting Her, Hanuman stood motionless, bowing with humility. Seeing that the mighty Hanuman had arrived, Lady Sita remained silent at the time. After looking and recognizing him, though, she then became very delighted. Noticing her placid face, Hanuman began relaying the entire message from Rama:

“O Princess of Videha, Rama is well, as are Sugreeva and Lakshmana. Now that He has killed His enemy, He inquires about your well-being. O lady, the valiant Rama killed Ravana with the help of Lakshmana, Vibhishana and the monkeys. I deliver this good news to You, O lady, and I shall further please you. O You who know what is righteousness, fortunately You are alive, otherwise our victory would have been useless. By the strength of your faithfulness to your husband, we achieved victory in battle. O Sita, be at ease and free from anxiety, for the enemy Ravana is dead and Lanka has been subjugated. Here is Rama’s message: ‘After being sleepless for a long time and determined to regain You, I built a bridge over the ocean and fulfilled my promise. You do not need to be in anxiety any longer while staying in the palace of Ravana, for the dominion of Lanka has been bestowed upon Vibhishana. Therefore, be at ease. You are in your own home. In fact, the jubilant Vibhishana is coming, eager as he is to see you.’”

When spoken to in this way, Sita, whose face shone like the moon, was tongue-tied due to joy and could not speak at all. Therefore that best of monkeys spoke to Sita, who was not answering: “What indeed are you thinking of, O lady? Why do you not answer me?” When addressed in that way by Hanuman, Sita replied with a voice chocked up by joy: “When I heard this good news about the victory of my husband, I was overjoyed and left speechless for a while. After thinking, I do not see any suitably pleasing words to speak to you who have just brought Me such good news, nor do I find a suitable gift for you anywhere in this world. Neither gold, silver, different kinds of gems, nor sovereignty over the three worlds can equal what you have said.”

After being spoken to in that way, Hanuman stood in front of Sita with joined palms and joyfully replied: “Such words are only possible for You, O sinless lady, for you are devoted to what is pleasing and beneficial to your husband and are always desirous of His victory. These pithy words spoken by you are also pleasing and superior to a mass of different kinds of jewels or sovereignty over the gods. Seeing Rama victorious and well-situated after slaying His enemy, I have achieved the fruit of sovereignty over the gods and so forth.

Hearing Hanuman say that, Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, spoke to him words that were even more complimentary: “You alone are able to speak words endowed with exceptional characteristics, adorned with the qualities of sweetness and enhanced by intelligence endowed with the eight excellences. You are a praiseworthy and most pious son of the wind. No doubt strength, courage, knowledge of scripture, potency, prowess, utmost skill, spirit, forbearance, firmness, steadiness and humility—these and many other good qualities are found in you alone.”

Standing unaffected before Sita with joined palms, Hanuman humbly spoke to her once more out of joy: “If you permit me, I wish to kill all these rakshasis who were intimidating you in the past. While you were suffering in the Ashoka grove, I heard these cruel and hideous rakshasis of terrible behavior and even more terrible eyes speak harshly to you a number of times on the orders of Ravana. I wish to kill these cruel, deformed and atrocious rakshasis with different kinds of blows. I wish to kill these rakshasis who spoke offensively to you and abused you by striking them with my fists, feet, long arms, shanks and knees, as well as by damaging their teeth, biting off their ears and noses and pulling out their hair. Please grant me this boon. By striking them in this way, I shall kill these grotesque rakshasis who threatened you in the past, O illustrious woman.”

The forlorn Sita, who was very fond of the distressed, thought for a while when addressed in that way by Hanuman and then said to him: “O best of monkeys, who would get angry with obedient maid-servants dependent on their king and acting under his orders? My present misfortune is due to some fault which I committed in the past. That is why all of this has happened to me, for one reaps the fruits of one’s own actions. Do not speak like that, O strong-armed one. Such indeed is fate, the ultimate destiny. This was predestined for me because of a combination of circumstances. I pardon the abuse of Ravana’s maid-servants, soft-hearted as I am in this regards. The rakshasis threatened me because they had been ordered to do so by Ravana. Now that he is dead, they no longer threaten Me, O son of the wind-god.

“There is an old saying in accordance with virtue that was uttered by a bear in the presence of a tiger. Hear it from Me, O monkey!

na parah papam adatte

paresham papa-karmanam

samayo rakshitavyas tu

santaish caritra-bhushanaih

‘A superior person does not take note of the sins of those who have committed an offense. The practice of not seeking revenge should be maintained by those saintly persons adorned with good qualities.’

“O monkey, a noble person should be compassionate to the sinners and the pious, and even to those deserving death. No one can avoid not doing something wrong. Nothing bad should be done not even to those cruel persons who enjoy harming others and are engaged in sinful acts.”

After receiving this admonishment from Sita, the faultless wife of Lord Rama, Hanuman expertly replied as follows: “You are the worthy and lawfully wedded wife of Rama and are endowed with all good qualities. Give me a message in reply, O lady, and I shall return to where Rama is.” To this, the daughter of King Janaka replied: “I want to see my husband who is fond of His devotees.” When Hanuman heard Sita’s request, he pleased Her by speaking the following words: “You will see Rama’s, whose face is like a full moon, His friends alive and His enemies dead, as well as Lakshmana, as Shaci would see Indra, the lord of the gods.” After saying this to the princess, who was beaming like the goddess of fortune, the glorious Hanuman went to where Rama was.

Thus completes 113th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate