Hanuman was also applauded by Suras who showered flower petals on him. The Sun God silently blessed Hanuman by radiating less of heat. The Wind God, Vayu, turned into a gentle breeze in his direction and wished his son success.
To test Hanuman’s devotion towards Rama, the Devas sent Surasa, who obstructed Hanuman’s I light. She turned herself into a 11< ‘inoness and opened her mouth wide. Hanuman grew bigger in size. She opened her mouth several miles wide i nd challenged Hanuman that she would let him pass only if he could enter her mouth. Hanuman at once shrunk his body to the size of a thumb and even before suras could realise what was happening, Hanuman got in and got out of her mouth. suras regained her earlier form and wished him well.
Hanuman encountered several more obstacles but he overcame all of them. He finally landed on Mount Trikuta on which the city of Lanka had been set up.
Lanka was a dazzling city. It had beautiful gardens and parks. The city was surrounded by forts. Fierce looking Rakshasas kept watch day and night and never let any stranger enter the city. So Hanuman decided to turn into a very tiny being and slip past the guards. Soon, it was dark Hanuman tried to climb over the foi l wall and enter Lanka. But he was spotted by Lankini, the protector of Lanka and she tried to stamp him with her massive feet. The enraged I hanuman punched her very hard and with blood running out of her nose and ears, Lankini slumped to the ground.
I le then quickly entered the city.
Bearing in mind Rama’s • Inscription of Sita, Hanuman searched for her all over Lanka. But everywhere he found only hideous looking Rakshasis. He then peeped into each and every house but could not find Sita. “Ravana might have forced her to stay in the royal chamber. Let me cheek there,”
I bought Hanuman, but could not find her there. He closely examined each wife of Ravana, including Mandarin, Imt none could match the description nf Sita. Hanuman got worried. If he wore to go back to Rama empty- handed, Rama would die. This would lead to Lakshmana’s death too. Unable to bear the news, Bharata, Shatrugna, Kassala …. and the entire Ayodhya will die mourning for Rama. Sugriva will end his life unable to bear his friend Rama’s death. Hanuman trembled to think of the consequences if he could not find Sita. “Whatever happens, I will not return to Kishkinda unless I have news of Sita,” swore Hanuman.
Searching for Sita, Hanuman entered the Asoka garden. With hundreds of trees, the garden looked beautiful. Under a tree sat a beautiful lady. All her clothes were torn and faded. She looked pale. The beautiful lady was surrounded by ugly-looking Rajshahi who kept on praising Ravana in front of her. By then, Hanuman recalled seeing Sita when she had thrown down the ornaments lie felt happy and relieved that Sita was alive. But at the same time he Celt sorry for her condition and also Celt sad that a woman like Sita had to undergo such cruelty. Hanuman decided to talk to her when she was ■ done. So he climbed the tree above her and hid himself amongst the I tranches.
In a short while, Ravana reached l he garden and tried his best to make Sita adore him. Hanuman was so 111 rous to hear his talk that he wanted to kill Ravana at that very spot. Sita even refused to listen to what Ravana was saying, and closing her ears said in a firm voice, “I belong to Rama 111 tally. Rama will definitely come and rescue me. That will be the final day el your life. Get out.” The irritated Havana ordered the Rakshasis to lake Sita change her mind. With the exception of a kind Rakshasi called
Triratna, all the others pestered Sita, but in vain. Finally they gave up and went off to sleep. Unable to bear che situation any longer, Sita decided to hang herself from the tree and die.
Hanuman who was watching Sita said softly, “Rama, Rama,” Sita looked up and saw a monkey. She thought that Ravana was up to some magic tricks. Hanuman then talked about what Rama’s likes and what he did not. Sita’s hand which was about to tie the noose, stopped. Hanuman slowly got down from the tree and bowing his head before Sita, introduced himself as Rama’s humble servant. To remove any doubts from her mind, Hanuman showed her the ring sent by Rama. Tears of happiness filled up Sita’s eyes as soon as she saw her husband’s ring. She believed Hanuman when he told her that Rama would soon be waging a war against
Ravana and rescue her from Lanka. She gave Hanuman one of her ornaments and blessed him, “Please convey my love to Rama and ask him to rescue me soon.”
Now that Hanuman had met Sita, he decided that he would find out about Ravana’s army and his strength and inform Sugriva of them. He had a plan. He provoked all the Rakshasas to attack him and when they did, he jumped on and trampled all the trees in Asoka garden. The Rakshasas rushed to capture him but he killed them all. When Ravana’s commanders-in-chief and other able soldiers tried to catch the monkey, they were defeated and killed. When Ravana heard about the destruction caused by a monkey, he sent his son Introit to capture the monkey.
Indurain was a very skilled warrior, who, at one time, had even defeated Devendra. He used one of his powerful weapons on Hanuman, imprisoned him and dragged him to Ravana’s court, When Hanuman was brought before the king, he was very impressed with the ten-headed Ravana. His court was very grand and dazzling. Ravana was sitting on a high throne. As soon as Hanuman came face to face with Ravana, he freed himself from chains and ropes, prepared a high seat out of his very long tail and sat on it.
“O Monkey! Who are you? And why did you destroy the Ashoka garden,” asked Ravana. “Sir,” replied Hanuman, “I am Rama’s messenger. I came to Lanka in search of Sita. You have committed a great mistake by abducting Sita. If you want to live, you return Sita to Rama gracefully and seek refuge in him.”
Having warned Ravana thus, Hanuman added, “Listen! I myself could have rescued Sita from here.and carried her on my shoulders. But I do not have such orders. Only Rama should do this. And don’t underestimate Rama. He is the Lord of the entire universe. Don’t seek your own destruction by angering him.”
Ravana was very angry. “How dare a monkey talks to a king like me in such a way,” he thundered. He ordered his soldiers, “Kill this arrogant Vanara.” But Vibhishana, his brother, stopped him, “Brother, he is after all Rama’s messenger. A king does not kill a messenger. Instead, you can punish him suitably and let him go back to Rama.”
“Yes, brother,” agreed Ravana, “What you say makes sense.” He then ordered his servants to set fire to Hanuman’s long tail and make him walk in the streets of Lanka.
The Rakshasas dipped the monkey’s tail in oil and set fire to it. Anjaneya used it as a whip and lashed all the Rakshasas. He then jumped from building to building and reduced them to ashes, he did not even spare Ravana’s palace. The whole of Lanka looked like an enormous fire pit.
He only spared the Asoka garden. He made sure that Sita was safe and after seeking her blessings, left Lanka. He dipped his tall in the sea water, expanded his body, climbed a nearby mountain and with a powerful thrust, flew back.
Hanuman reached Kishkinda and told Rama all about Sita and Ravana’s conduct. He conveyed her message and then handed over the ornament Sita had sent as a memento.
Sugriva and the entire Vanara army felt very proud that Hanuman was able to accomplish his mission. Sugriva hugged Hanuman and congratulated him.