Friday, June 18, 2010

PDE Ramayana: Hanuman Captured

Reading Guide. Hanuman's adventures in Lanka are not yet over: Ravana's mighty son Indrajit captures Hanuman and brings him, bound, to Ravana's court.

Image: The illustration shows Hanuman brought into the presence of Ravana; if you look at a detailed view of the image, you will see that this artist does Ravana's heads in two levels, with five heads below and five heads above, which is an ingenious solution to the problem every artist faces when they try to show all ten heads.

SourceMyths of the Hindus and Buddhists by Sister Nivedita (1914). [300 words]

Hanuman and Sita | 55. Hanuman Captured | Ravana

But Hanuman was not satisfied with finding Sita; he dashed about the Ashoka grove and broke the trees and spoiled the pavilions, like the Wind himself. The rakshasis sent messages to Ravana for help, and he, hearing that a mighty monkey was destroying his servants, sent the powerful Jambumali, son of Prahasta, bow in hand, to slay Hanuman forthwith, and, indeed, he wounded him with a sharp arrow as he sat upon a temple roof, but Hanuman hurled a bolt at him and crushed him utterly.

Then a host of heroic rakshasas, led by Prince Aksha, proceeded against Hanuman and met their death; next Indrajit was sent against him, and an awful battle was joined, whereat the very gods were amazed. He sent a million shafts against the monkey, but he, ranging the sky, escaped them all; then Indrajit paused and, with concentrated mind, pondered over the true character of Hanuman and with spiritual insight perceived that he was not to be slain by weapons. Therefore he devised a way to bind him, and he loosed a Brahma shaft at him.

Therewith Hanuman was bound and knew the bond unbreakable, and he fell to earth, but he reflected that it would be well for him to converse with Ravana, and therefore he struggled not, but let the rakshasas bear him off. But they, seeing him still, bound him yet closer, pitifully moaning the while, with cords and bark. But that binding was the means of his release, for the binding power of a Brahma weapon is broken at once if another bond is added to it.

But the wily monkey gave no sign that the bonds were loosed, and the fierce rakshasas, crying to each other "Who is he? What does he want?" and "Kill him! Burn him! Eat him!" dragged him before Ravana.

Hanuman and Sita | Hanuman Captured | Ravana

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