RamaayaN by Valmiki -9
There was nothing like a Lanka of gold now
Ravan was not in habit of enjoying preaching. He was only R A VA N and only R AV A N, the last word on everything. He could not tolerate a monkey playing wise in front of him and praising someone else than him. He angrily asked his soldiers to kill the monkey immediately.
Vibhishan, his younger brother was sitting there. He was different in nature from his other brothers. He believed in truth to be respected. He realized that though the words of the monkey were distasteful, there was power of truth in what he said. Forceful abduction of anybody’s wife cannot be approved by any virtuous soul.
Vibhishan stood up and told Ravan with his folded hands ‘o ruler of ogres! Cast off your anger and forgive me and pay your ears to my appeal. Virtuous rulers know what is exalted and what is low. Wise do not sanction the killing of a messenger. There are many other punishments recommended by the authorities as mutilation of any of his limbs, shaving of head, flogging and some other treatments like this, but killing of a messenger is against all the provisions of virtues. Better to cast punishment of death on those who have sent him here.’
Ravan approved what Vibhishan suggested. He waited a moment and said- ‘in case of monkeys, their tail is cherished embellishment. Therefore, set his tail on fire and give him a round of the whole city. Let this monkey return to his master with his tail burnt.’
All the ogres present there enjoyed this order with whimsical cheerful sounds and they started dancing and preparing for the same.
They began to wrap the tail of Hanuman with clothes and whatsoever they found inflammable in Lanka. Hanuman smiled from within. He decided to perform an unimaginable act which will turn Lanka of gold into a matter oh history or ever.
He started increasing the size of his tail slowly. Ogres consumed everything whatever they had at their end. His tail was fully soaked in oil and ghee. They set fire to it and took him to give round of Lanka, so that every resident can enjoy this rare scene. The body of Hanuman was still tied tightly. They were beating kettledrums and blasting conches. All women, children, old and young men of Lanka were following the monkey making fun of him and hitting him with their legs. They took the monkey as in their full control. He was so tightly tied from his every part of body that he cannot manage to release himself ever, they thought. They were sure that finally, after the game of fire was over, the monkey will either die or will be badly disfigured by the deep burns on his body.
But, something unexpected happened. The huge monkey reduced his size and slipped away silently from all the ties around his body. Now he was seen on one of the buildings of Lanka. His burning tail was looking like a huge flag of flames .He started running from here and there on the buildings of the city like a huge cloud with lightening. Houses started catching fire fast .where ever he took a jump it turned into a burning body of fire. Excepting the house of Vibhishan, which he had spared, the whole Lanka was burning. The strong wind had made the fire more and more damaging. The peak of mountain Trikut, where the Lanka was situated, had turned into a burning body of fire. It produced a horrific dance of flames which were singing in their crackling sound all around the city. Men, women, old, young and children all were crying out of fear. They were searching their mothers, sisters, wives, sons and daughters. They all were trying to run away from the fire around them, but there was no escape left visible around.
By now, huge number of animals were also out from there husbandries and they were running here and there to save themselves. Many citizens of Lanka were crushed by them to death.
By now, Hanuman had no time to think. He stood on the peak of the mountain Trikut and saw only fire and fire all around. Houses, trees all had turned into violent flames of fire.
All at a sudden he was flashed with a thought- ‘have I burnt Sita also?’ this idea disturbed him badly. He jumped towards the garden where Sita lived. He saw Sita worried, but safe under the tree. The flames of fire had not touched this pious place.
Satisfied Hanuman, in all respect, sunk his burning tail into the ocean and took leave of fire which turned Lanka of gold into the body of ashes.
Ravan lost his credibility forever as a power which cannot be surpassed, even by gods, as he claimed.
If your virtues are lost, you can be shown your limits, even by a monkey with faith in values, be you Ravan or anything.
Gold loses its glitter in dirty hands.