RaamaayaN by Valmiki-5
A unique expedition in search of Sita
Sugreeva was installed as the king of Kishkindha with full religious celebration.
Water from pious streams, rivers and oceans from all the quarters were brought in pictures of gold. The foremost monkeys and bears – Gaja, Gavaakshha, Gavya, Sharabh, Gandhamaadan, Dwivid, Hanumaan and Jaamvaan, the chief of bears, gave him bath. They poured pious water on him through the horns of bulls as per religious tradition.
Thousands of monkeys, apes and bears, present there, cried loudly with joy.
After him, Angada, the only son of Vaali, was concreted as the prince.
It was rainy season. Sky was captured by thick black clouds and it roared like thousands of lions together. It colored days like nights. Frightening lightning danced on the sky among roaring clouds. It poured water on the earth continuously. Rivers were full; fountains were flowing from the mountains in full force. Trees were green and rising up to touch the sky. Paths were covered with wild and thorny grasses making movements very difficult.
There was understanding between Ram and Sugreeva to start search for Sita after the rainy season was over.
Ram decided to live in a cave of the mountain Prashravan with his brother Laxman during this season.
Passing four months of rainy season was not easy for mighty Ram without Sita. He was counting every day for the arrival of Sharad ritu (autumn season). He always talked of Sita with Laxman.
One day , when he was sitting on the peak of the mountain ,he said to Laxman-‘ brother! look, clouds are returning back fast to lord Indra, sky is clearer, nights are bright with lovely moon . Rivers have come to the normal in their level of water, mud on the earth is drying fast, paths are getting clearer, birds have started chirping and flying freely , peacocks have started dancing .It appears Sharada ,autumn, has arrived.
But Ram found no any activity from Sugreeva side.
Sugreeva was enjoying the comforts of life with his wife Roma and Tara, wife of Vaali. He appeared to have forgotten everything other than sensuous pleasures and luxuries of life.
His senior counselor Hanuman reminded his promise to Ram to commence search of Sita after the rainy season was over. He told him that he must order to start expedition for the search of Sita as the rainy season has ended. This suggestion opened the eyes of Sugreeva. He called Neel, one of his senior counselors to call all his army commanders from all directions with their best of soldiers within fifteen days from now. He also asked Neel to contact senior monkeys, apes and bears, personally.
Neel left immediately to see this order in action soon.
Ram had no information of these activities. He took it as negligence from Sugreeva. It made him terribly angry. He asked his brother Laxman to go to Kishkindha and convey his warning to sugreeva and tell him- ‘the route by which Vaali has departed on being killed by me, on the field of battle ,has not closed yet.’ Tell him- ‘O king of monkeys! implement the pledge given to me or keep yourself ready to follow the path, Vaali was sent forever.’
Watching anger of his mighty brother, Laxman started burning with rage. He took his bow and arrows and moved to Kishkindhaa immediately. He reached Kishkindhaa crushing all the hurdles of the path under his feet. He was looking like five hooded ferocious cobra. He saw Kishkindha guarded by mighty and huge bodied monkeys, strong like lions. Nobody could dare to ask him any question and his whereabouts. He stood at the gate of the castle of Sugreeva which was situated in a huge cave ,surrounded by houses of his ministers and other important residents. It reflected richness and happiness.
Laxman was standing at the gate of the cave like flames of fire. Angad saw him. He bowed his head before him in respect. Laxman asked him to inform Sugreeva about his arrival. Angad went inside, but Laxman had no patient to wait there, he was so angry. He furiously went directly to the house where Sugreeva was enjoying music and dance surrounded by charming women along with his wife Roma and Tara.
Laxman did not care to see here and there. He roared loudly and addressed sugreeva –‘o monkey! He who accomplishes his own purpose with the help of his friends and does not repay the service of his friends is ungrateful and deserves to be killed. You have accomplished your purpose through the good office of Shri Ram in the first instance, but you are not responding to the services of Shri Ram for the discovery of Sita. O sinful and evil minded monkey! Have you forgotten the power of arms of Ram which finished physical existence of Vaali within no time? Are you waiting for the same fate for yourselves also? The path, from which Vaali has departed to the abode of death, is yet open. Do what you have promised to Ram immediately or I will kill you.’ Sugreeva looked at Laxman. He was looking like god of death. Sugreeva could not dare to face him. He came fast before him and stood with his hands folded and said-‘ O mighty Prince! I have not forgotten my promise. I have already sent my message to all my army commanders to assemble at Kishkindha with their selected soldiers within fifteen days, so that the search can be started without any delay.’ This information cooled Laxman a bit. Sugreeva said further-‘I will spare no stone untouched in search of Sita. I am true to my promise. However, if you wish I can send my call- notice again to my commanders.’ He looked at Hanuman, who was standing near him and asked him- ‘O mighty and wise Hanuman! Summon all best possible monkeys, mighty and fast runners from all the five rages of the mountains- the Mahindra, Himalay,Vindhya, Kailas and Mandrachal. I have already sent my orders to the boarders for sending their army soon. They must have left by now, but remind them again. If they don’t report in time they will be awarded nothing less than capital punishment.’
Hanuman did not wait any more. In compliance to the order of Sugreeva, he sent many selected monkeys to different directions to call all of them and gather in Kishkindha soon.’ Laxman was pleased to see these activities. He returned back to his brother and informed him about these preparations.
In the next few days monkeys, apes and bears started coming from all directions to Kishkindha with their commanders. They were all huge and mighty. Some were black like coal, some red; some of them were of shining golden color.
After that Sugreeva came to shri Ram. He fell down on his feat. Ram lifted him with love and regard and embraced him. There were thousands and thousands of monkeys standing around them with their folded hands, ready to follow the instructions of their commanders.
Sugreev addressed them all – ‘O my mighty and unbeatable great soldiers! You have to search Sita, wife of Sri Ram, abducted by Ravan, maximum within a month time without fail, either from the earth, or sky or from plains or mountains, from the rivers or from the oceans. I am sure, you are all selected ones from your mighty armies and you are capable to go anywhere. You must prove your breed by achieving the target assigned to you. All cheered loudly in positive response to him.
They were divided into different groups and sent to the different directions with their commanders in search of Sita.
They all started enthusiastically. They were in such a huge number that they looked as if clouds have covered the whole sky.
Hanuman was sent to southern end of the empire. He was accompanied by many mighty monkeys, apes and bears. This team was led by Angad. Shri Ram, out of intuition, gave his ring to Hanuman to show Sita to convince her, in case he finds her.
They all proceeded immediately with the blessings of Sugreeva and Shri Ram.
A full month was about to pass, from the day they had left Kishkindha. They had searched everywhere without any result. They could not get any sign of Sita anywhere.
They all were extremely worried. Angad was ready to kill himself than to return back empty handed to kiskindha. They all were badly depressed. They were discussing their problems sitting on a mountain.
Sampati, the old and mighty vulture lived there. During their discussion they referred Jataayu. Hearing the name of his younger brother , Sampati came to them. Monkeys told him the whole story and requested him to tell if he knew anything about the whereabouts of Sita. Sampati told them that Sita is abducted by Ravan, the king of Lanka. He has taken Sita there. He told them that Lanka is an island situated in the ocean on huge mountain , known as Trikut. It is far from there and had no any land link.
This information gave great solace to them. They felt comfortable.
All monkeys reached to the beach of the ocean.
It was the universe of water spreading up to horizon. It was a big challenge to cross the ocean and reach to Lanka.
Who will do it? It was a big question.
Great monkeys like Gaja, Gavaakshha, Gandhamadan and others narrated their leaping capacities which was not enough to cross the ocean.
Hanuman was listening silently what they were talking.
Jaamvaan eyed on him with respect.
Hanuman was a great celebrated hero who was known for doing many wonders. He could do what others never thought of doing, Jamvaan knew this.
He was fast like wind with lightening speed. He had strength of thousands of lions which was matchless.
Jamvaan looked at Hanuman and said to him- ‘O mighty Garuda among monkeys! You have no parallel in strength and wisdom in the whole universe. You have matchless capacity of leaping. You jumped up to the rising sun, taking it as a ripe fruit to eat in your childhood. Feeling you danger for the sun, Indra hurled his thunderbolt on you. You fell down from there on the top of a mountain and broke one side of your chin, because of this you became known as Hanuman. When your father wind came to know that you are hurt by Indra, he stopped blowing. This caused suffocation to the whole universe. Brahma , in order to please wind gave you a boon that you will never die till you yourself desire to die.’
‘O great Hanuman, if you can jump up to the sun, this ocean is nothing for you. It is like a small ditch with water for you.
Hearing these words, the size of Hanuman started growing larger and taller. Within no time his head touched the sky. He addressed all the monkeys standing around him, looking puzzled ‘
‘O my dear all, don’t worry now. ‘I can touch the sun, I can tear the earth into pieces like old piece of cloth if needed, and I can cross the ocean in my single leap. I can carry Lanka on my palm. The whole universe will watch my mega jump today.
These great words of Hanuman filled all monkeys with new hope and faith. Their eyes started glowing and faces started shining with hope.They all started shouting with joy and praising Hanuman in many words