CROSSES THE OCEAN
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
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
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
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 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.
at the burning flames of Lanka, two souls from the royal household got further
Ravana’s wife Mandodari and
Ravana’s brother Vibhishana.
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.
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.
has earlier been mentioned that Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, believed that
Rama was a Divine Incarnation.
had directed Hanuman to Ashok Vatika where Sita was being held a prisoner.
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?
implored Ravana that he should return Sita to Rama.
accused his brother Vibhishana of siding with the enemy and banished him from
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
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.
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.
takes such devotees close to His heart and gives them His Kingdom.
gave the Kingdom of Lanka to Vibhishana.
crowning Vibhishana the King of Lanka Rama showed another facet of his divine
was not waging a war for power. He was not interested in annexing Lanka to his
Rama wanted was what belonged to him. Sita.