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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

HANUMAN CROSSES THE OCEAN
Page Two

THE CAPTURE OF HANUMAN

Sita felt reassured that all would be well with her. Hanuman relieved, suddenly realised that he was hungry. He not only ate the fruits but also uprooted the mighty trees of the garden of Lanka.

In this earth, the garden of Eden that we live in, it is necessary to satisfy our hunger but after that it is essential to uproot the roots of desire that confound us and enmesh us in its grip.

Hearing of the havoc created in the garden. Ravana sent his messengers and his son to fight with Hanuman. Hanuman killed them all.

After having proved his strength it is believed that Hanuman wanted to allow himself to be captured so that he could try and persuade Ravana to return Sita and thereby avert a war. Hanuman was captured by Ravana’s son Indrajit and taken to the court of Ravana.

Hanuman beseeched Ravana to come to his senses and amicably return Sita to Rama. Hanuman reassured Ravana that Rama’s compassionate nature would forgive Ravana all his previous misdeeds.

How could the great King of Lanka take advice from a mere monkey! Ravana laughed.

Sages believe that words of wisdom should be imbibed no matter who utters them.

Ravana did not heed the words of Hanuman.

To humiliate Hanuman further, Ravana ordered that Hanuman’s tail should be put on fire.

By the power that Hanuman possessed he allowed himself to grow in size. His tail grew to such an extent that it is said that all the oil and cloth in Lanka was exhausted to ignite Hanuman’s tail.

Hanuman jumped up with a mighty roar and with the burning tail engulfed the city of Lanka in flames.

He then jumped into the sea to put out the fire in his tail.

Jumping into the sea may also be symbolic of Hanuman washing himself of the impurities and temptations inflicted on him by the alluring city of illu­sion.

One learns from the above incident never to underestimate and harm another, lest he turns round and destroys you a hundredfold.

MANDODARI

Looking at the burning flames of Lanka, two souls from the royal household got further concerned - Ravana’s wife Mandodari and Ravana’s brother Vibhishana.

Mandodari had all the time been trying to bring her husband Ravana to his senses. She had been urging him to return Sita to Rama. She knew that Sita’s abduction could only spell ruin to Lanka and it’s inhabitants. But Ravana paid no heed. He believed that Mandodari’s entreaties were only due to her fear of competition if Sita were to remain in Lanka.

An egoist will always see things in the light that suits him, no matter how much a well-wisher may be trying to make him see the truth.

VIBHISHANA

It has earlier been mentioned that Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, believed that Rama was a Divine Incarnation.

Vibhishana had directed Hanuman to Ashok Vatika where Sita was being held a prisoner.

Seeing Lanka going up in flames Vibhishana tried to bring to Ravana’s notice that if one monkey could create such havoc, what would not a whole army do?

Vibhishana implored Ravana that he should return Sita to Rama.

Ravana accused his brother Vibhishana of siding with the enemy and banished him from the kingdom.

Vibhishana was in confusion. Where was he to go? What was he to do? Ravana had refused to heed his urgings. The inhabitants of Lanka were going to be the innocent victims of a war that was inevitable.

To avert this disaster there was only one way open to him. He had to go to Rama even at the risk of Rama’s army killing him, suspecting that he was a spy from Ravana’s camp. They would be justified in thinking this. After all Vibhishana was Ravana’s brother.

Vibhishana decided to go to Rama despite the risk that he may be captured. He went empty-handed with only the belief in his heart that he was doing what he believed to be right.

Vibhishana arrived where Rama and his army had encamped.

The army warned Rama not to heed Vibhishana’s words as in all probability he was a spy lying in order to gain access in enemy territory.

However Rama welcomed Vibhishana with open arms. Rama believed in Vibhishana and claimed that one brother should not be penalised for another’s wrongdoing.

Rama promised Vibhishana that he would avoid as much bloodshed as he could during the war in Lanka.

Rama crowned Vibhishana King of Lanka in advance, and treated Vibhishana with the protocol that one king reserves for another.

Vibhishana belonged to the class of devotees that risks all, even their life, for what they believe to be right and for the benefit of others.

God takes such devotees close to His heart and gives them His Kingdom.

Rama gave the Kingdom of Lanka to Vibhishana.

By crowning Vibhishana the King of Lanka Rama showed another facet of his divine character.

Rama was not waging a war for power. He was not interested in annexing Lanka to his kingdom.

All Rama wanted was what belonged to him. Sita.

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