Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Image: Hanuman in Lanka

Hanuman in Lanka
(British Library: Mewar Ramayana)

From the Library site:  Arrived on the island of Lanka, Hanuman has shrunk in size, and eventually finds Sita near a dazzling white temple in a grove of ashoka trees within the palace complex. She is seated on the ground like a female ascetic and sunk in melancholy. From his perch in a tree Hanuman can see her guarded by female demons and surrounded by Ravana's wives, the daughters of gods and other divine creatures whom he had already captured. Ravana, who has ten heads and twenty arms, comes to beg her to marry him, but she repulses him. If she does not change her mind, Ravana threatens, he will have her killed. One of his wives seeks to divert him, but he strides angrily away. Sita is comforted by Hanuman when he reveals himself to her as Rama's messenger with his ring, but she cannot allow herself to be rescued by him: to her husband alone belongs the right to rescue her and the glory of so doing. She does however give Hanuman a jewel as a token for Rama.

Detail: Ravana and Sita in the Ashoka grove.

Mandodari and Ravana

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