Sunday, 8 June 2014

Untold Stories from Ramayan -Part 10


They were somewhere between Rameshvara and Puri, but this land extended so many miles down in Treta-yuga. The Ceylon that we are seeing today is not the same Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is further down, because Hanuman flew one hundred yojanas. A yojana is eight miles. Eight hundred miles is not the distance from Rameshvara to Ceylon. You can reach it in forty five minutes by a boat. It's not that far. It is mentioned that they were on top of a mountain from where Hanuman flew, and in the area of Rameshvaram you don't find any mountains. So that area from where Hanuman jumped, the Gandha-madana hills, is much more down. And that is all eaten up by ocean. We shouldn't think that this was the shore where they were standing. They were miles down at that time, because the ocean comes and eats the land. Hanuman and the others saw this Mahodadhi ocean. It was very fierce. Angada said, "We have come to the end of the land. Where is Sita? We have not found her. How can we go back, now that is a month? We started on the full moon night, and now it is again full moon night." Angada felt very bad. He said, "Bring some darba grass." He placed it with the tips facing the north. He was going to do a Prayopavesha.
Prayopavesha means that when a great personality cannot accomplish a task which he promised he would do, he would sit on the kusa grass and leave his body by fasting. He was sitting there on the kusa grass. Hanuman was sitting there with his head in his hands looking at the ocean. He thought, "We have come to a blank disc. What is going on now? Should I go back or forward? What should I do?" Jambavan was taking rest, because he was tired after drinking wine and eating so many fruits. Other monkeys were wandering around and looking here and there. Hanuman saw the monkeys, and he asked them, "What are yougoing to do?" They said, "We have a good idea. We will go back to the cave. Plenty of fruits, plenty of wine. You cannot get out. If you cannot get out, you cannot get in, and no-one will come to trouble us. We will be happy there."
Hanuman said, "What a silly idea. This is maya. Ramacandra is our Lord. What do you need this security for? You want to take shelter in wine and fruit? You must be a monkey." He chastised them. Angada was sitting there chanting mantras, and preparing to leave his body. Hanuman also approached him. "Angada, you are a prince. What are you doing looking to the north, sitting on kusa grass? This is not meant for strong people. Look at your shoulders, they're so strong. They are supposed to be for fighting for Lord Ramacandra. Here you are fasting, preparing to die. What are you going to accomplish because of this? You will die. And everyone will say, `That son of Bali is a useless monkey. He died because he couldn't accomplish his mission." Angada said, "You are saying all this, but you tell me, what are we supposed to do? If I go back Sugriva will kill me and take the kingdom. Already he planned somehow to kill my father. Now he has got a reason to kill me. He will say, `Now you didn't accomplish your mission so I will kill you.' No-one will say anything, and he will have the kingdom. Let him have the kingdom anyway, let me just die. At least he won't die." Hanuman realised he would have to use politics here. Sama dhana bheda danda. There are four ways of preaching. First you speak nicely, and then you offer something, then you make a bheda, a difference of opinion between the groups. "Do you know what he said about you?" If none of those work, you use the stick, danda. Hanuman thought, now I have to use bheda, politics. He said, "Yes, Sugriva is like that. He may take the whole kingdom, but your mother is there. If you die, she will certainly suffer. He will give her no food, no cloth and no respect. She will beg in the street. Your mother!" Angada said, "No!" And he threw the kusa grass away. "I'm not fasting!" Hanuman said, "If you die, what is the benefit? You must go back now. Somehow or other we must convince him that we couldn't find Sita." Angada said, "How will I go back? I have no strength." Hanuman said, "You sit down. I will tell you the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra. Then you will gain strength." He began to describe the pastimes of Ramacandra. They discussed all these wonderful things of how Lord Ramacandra broke the bow, how he defeated Parasurama, how he caressed Jatayu and cremated him. As soon as they were talking about that, they saw some change in the atmosphere. Everything was trembling and shaking. Hanuman caught hold of Angada and said, "Some demon is coming." They were looking everywhere, and then from under the mountainside they saw two big feet coming out. They looked like bird's feet, and each nail was about two kilometres long. Angada said, "That's it. All thirty thousand monkeys will be eaten by this bird demon now. Look at his fingers, they are so big!" Slowly the bird came into sight, and then they noted that this bird did not have any speed. It was dragging itself, slowly. They saw the wings also, which were each 14 yojanas long. However, the wings were broken, and they looked completely burned. They looked like charcoal. He was dragging himself with great difficulty, and then slowly his face came into view, a huge beak. He opened his mouth and spoke, "Who is talking about my brother Jatayu?" So many monkeys were blown over just by the air coming out of his mouth. Jambavan was called, and Hanuman said, "Look after the monkeys, we must take care of this person. He may be useful to us." They both came to him, and asked him, "Who are you? We are talking of Jatayu, and I am Hanuman and this is Angada. I am the son of Vayu, and we are messengers of Rama." Slowly the bird opened his eyes and said, "Rama? Is this the son of Dasaratha?" Hanuman said, "Yes, this is the same Rama." The bird continued, "He was exiled to the forest. Has he completed his exile?" "What a wonderful bird," Angada remarked. "He is sitting under the mountain and cannot see anything, yet he knows history. Yes they are still in exile because they lost their wife. Sita has been taken by Ravana."
The bird said, "Ravana! Aargh! I will eat him up." Hanuman said, "Oh very good! Please do it." The bird said, "But I cannot fly. My wings are broken. I am Sampati, the elder brother of Jatayu. I am much stronger than Jatayu. I heard that Jatayu was killed by Ravana. I want to kill him, but I can't kill him as I have entered into an agreement with him." Long ago when Sampati was flying, when he was young and very strong, Ravana was flying with somebody's wife. This is what he does all the time. Once he was doing a fire sacrifice, and when Agni came to give a blessing, he took Agni's wife. Ravana is famous for taking people's wives. Sampati stopped him and said, "Where are you going? Who is this woman?" Ravana said, "This is Nalakuvera's wife, and I am taking her to Kailash." Sampati said, "You had better leave her right here, otherwise you don't know what I will do to you." Ravana said, "Ah, you are just a dirty bird." So he took one of his feet and caught hold of Ravana and crushed him. Blood came out of his body, and that is why Ravana has five holes in his body, from Sampati's claw. Ravana covers these so no-one can see him. But there is one hole which he doesn't cover on his chest. That is the tusk of Airavata. He wants to show that because it is a great fighting wound. At that time Ravana touched Sampati's feet. "Although you are a bird, I touch your feet. Please make an agreement with me. I won't come in your area and do anything, and you don't come in my area." They signed an agreement. Because of this, Sampati was bound by dharma. Hanuman asked Sampati, "And how have you become old like this?" Sampati said, "Once Jatayu and I were having a competition, and we were flying higher and higher. But we came very close to the sun, and I saw Jatayu was burning. So to protect him I put my wings over him. However, I also was very close to the sun, and my wings got burnt and came loose. After that I don't know where my brother went. You are the first I have heard say that he died in the service of Lord Ramacandra. I have stayed here so long, and a rishi once told me that when I told you where Sita was, at that time I would get my strength back." Hanuman became very excited, "What did you say?" Sampati repeated, "When I tell you where Sita is..." Hanuman cut him short, "You know where Sita is?" And all the monkeys
started jumping up and down. "We've found Sita, we've found Sita!" Sampati said, "Can you please move me out of this cave? I have to climb on top of the Vindhya mountains to look at it." Angada asked, "Look at what?""To look at Lanka," the bird replied. Angada said, "Look at Lanka? It is eight hundred miles away!"
Hanuman came close to Angada and said, "Just look at this bird. He's so huge, fourteen yojanas each wing. This bird itself is about thirty yojanas long. Can you imagine how much power he must have in his eyes? He can sit here and see Lanka!" With great difficulty all the monkeys came under Sampati and moved him. Thirty thousand monkeys were trying so hard. It was difficult for them to somehow put him on top of the rock with his wings like that. Then he lifted his beak and said, "I can see Sri Lanka. I can see the ten-story building of Ravana. I can see the roof, and Ravana standing on the top." He could see everything, he had such optical power. Sampati is the son of Aruna, the charioteer of the Sun-god, so he must be very powerful. "I cannot see Sita," he continued, "But Ravana is walking here and there. So many demons are around. I can see a forest of Ashoka trees. I can see a yellow cloth hanging there." As soon as he said that, Hanuman said, "Yes, yellow cloth. That is what Mother Sita was wearing." Previously Sita had taken some ornaments, put them in yellow cloth that she tore from her sari, and threw them down. Hanuman picked them up before Rama came to Kishkinda, and Laksmana identified them as Sita's jewellery. Hanuman became very happy. Even while they were looking, slowly Sampati's wings became straight, and new feathers were coming out of his body. Next moment they heard a loud, "Rama!" Sampati had chanted Rama. When he started "Ra" he was already up in the sky. By the time they had heard the whole world he was just a point in the distant sky. Sampati went to the heavenly planets. He didn't want to be there, because he wanted so desperately to kill Ravana, but because of the pact he couldn't do it. So he just helped them and then went. They had found out where Sita was. Hanuman was asked by Jambavan, "You must leap over this ocean, and go to SriLanka." Hanuman said, "This ocean is so big. How will I do it?" Jambavan then told Hanuman his own pastimes. How he got the sun planet inside his mouth etc. As Jambavan was narrating, Hanuman began to grow. He became bigger and bigger and bigger. He became so big that Valmiki says his shadow was fifty yojanas long. All the monkeys were like mosquitoes in front of him. Then he said to Jambavan, "Yes, I am the servant of Rama! I am the son of Vayu. No-one can stop me! I will crush Ravana with my thumb, and I will bring Sita on my shoulder! There is no need for Ramacandra to go. I am going now." He chanted "Rama!" He started with "Ra," and he ended with "m". When he said "m" he was in Sri Lanka. That was how fast he was. Being an angsha of Lord Siva, he took the path that Lord Siva travels. There are different levels that different entities travel at. Gandharvas travel very close to earth, and after Gandharvas come Kinnaras, after Kinnaras come Vanaras, and after Vanaras come Siddhas, after Siddhas come Caranas, and after Caranas come bigger demigods like Ganesh or Kartikeya, and them comes Lord Siva's tract. In that area no-one flies. It is Lord Siva's zone. That is where Hanuman went. He was flying fearlessly. In this way, by chanting Rama only once, Hanuman reached Sri Lanka. Before reaching Sri Lanka he encountered many disturbances, as well as much help on the way. There was one mountain called Mainata Parvata. which can grow simply by thinking. The ocean king told Mainata Parvata, "Hanuman, the servant of Rama, is coming, and he must take some rest. He is leaping in one breath, so you must grow upwards and give him somewhere to rest." Mainata Parvata grew upwards to the sky and stopped Hanuman. Hanuman said, "What's this? There is no mountain here. Who are you?" Hanuman can speak not only from his mouth but from any hole in his body, this was his yogic perfection. He had only one breath, so he didn't use his mouth which he was using to chant Rama. "M" had to be pronounced in Sri Lanka, and he was still on "Ra". He was talking through some other hole. Mainaka Parvata thought, "This is a wonderful phenomenon. A monkey with a long tail speaking through the holes of the body. Please put your lotus feet on my head," the mountain said, "because I have to show to the ocean king that I have served you." Hanuman said, "No rest when I am doing Krsna-seva. I am going." The demigods thought, "This is not correct that he reaches Lanka so easily. There must be some fun." So they called a great snake called Sarasa. This Sarasa was ordered to stop Hanuman. This Sarasa took the form of a demoness. She came there and opened her mouth. Hanuman was flowing and she was growing upwards, her mouth open like a big cave. Hanuman said, "Please move away from here. I am on the Lord's mission." "No no no," she said. "Brahma has given me a benediction that unless somebody goes in my mouth, he cannot pass by." Hanuman said, "Ah, but this mouth is too small for me." And he started growing more.
She started growing also, making her mouth bigger, so he also grew. She grew more. They were growing and growing, and her mouth became half the size of the universe. At that time Hanuman suddenly became small, and he entered the mouth and came out. Then he said, "See, I have defeated you. I entered your mouth and came out again. Now you please bless me." So she gave blessings, and then he went. Another great demoness came and said, "She didn't swallow you, but I must swallow you." She also did the same thing. Hanuman also asked the same thing. "You please open your mouth a little wider so you can eat me comfortably." She opened her mouth wider, and Hanuman became small. Though he became small, the strength is same. He went inside the mouth, and hit the back of her mouth. By that hitting, blood came out and she died. Then Hanuman got her blessings too, while she was dying. She was some Gandharvika that had been cursed to become a demoness. She said, "Now I am killed by Hanuman, I will get liberation." So she blessed Hanuman. She said, "There is one more person that you have to kill, at the entrance gate." Hanuman landed in Sri Lanka. He looked at Lanka, a beautiful city. He felt very bad. "Why should a demon have such a beautiful city?" He made up his mind, "Before I go from here, I will destroy this city, somehow or other."He came and Lankani was sitting there, a great demoness with a trident. So Hanuman became a small monkey, very small, and he was running inside the gate. She was sitting there and she said, "Wait! You are not going." "She is very intelligent," Hanuman said. "I am so small and she saw me." He climbed on her hand and up to her shoulder. He looked at her and said, "I am a small monkey, please let me in. I want to eat some fruits." "Fruits?" she asked. "What fruits are you going to eat?" Hanuman said, "I heard that there are beautiful mangoes, and Ravana is keeping them only for himself." She said, "I will get you any mango outside this gate. There are so many gardens here. Why are you going inside for food?" Hanuman said, "Don't waste my time. You'd better let me in." She was shocked. "What? You are just sitting on my shoulder. Don't you know who I am? I am Lankani." Hanuman said, "You are Lankani? I will slap you." She was amused. "You will slap me? You can't even reach my cheek." "Please take me to your cheek," Hanuman said. She took Hanuman and placed him next to her cheek. He slapped her and she fell down and blood came from her mouth. He was so small, but his strength was the same as when his size was normal. Then he went inside the city.
Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima in Sridham Mayapura

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