BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Thereupon Rama, being stricken with curiosity, with folded palms and humbly accosted Agastya, residing in the southern quarter, with pregnant accents, saying: Thou sayest that Ravana and Vali had unequalled strength but methinks theirs can not equal that of Hanuman. Heroism, liberality, strength, patience, intellect, knowledge of laws and means, prowess and energy all exist together in Hanuman.
When the Vanara host lost heart on beholding the ocean, Hanuman, consoling crossed over the deep extending over a hundred leagues. Having discerated the presiding goddess of Lanka and on beholding Sita there, he consoled her. What to speak of more, Hanuman, single handed, slew Ravana s commander in chief, the minister s son, his servants and his one son.
Being released from the Brahma weapon Hanuman remonstrated with Ravana, and reduced Lanka into ashes like unto fire burning down earth. What I have seen myself performed by Hanuman in the conflict is above the power of Kala, Vasava and even the lord of riches. It is by the strength of the arms of that Vayu s son I have obtained Lanka, Sita, Lakshmana, Victory, kingdom and my friends.
What more, had not Hanuman, the friend of the king of Vanaras Sugriva, been in my company who could have brought Sita s intelligence ?Why did not Hanuman, although wishing welfare unto Sugriva, reduce Vali to ashes like so many creepers on the occasion of his quarrel with Sugriva ?Methinks, Hanuman was not cognisant of his own prowess then ?And therefore he did stoop to witness the miseries of Sugriva the king of Vanaras who was dearer than his life. O thou worshipped of the immortals, do thou truly describe unto me this action of Hanuman." Hearing those well meaning words of Raghava, the ascetic Agastya said to him in the presence of Hanuman.
"O foremost of Raghus, what, thou hast said regarding Hanuman, is all true. As regards, strength, velocity and intellect there is none who can equal Hanuman. O represser of enemies, in the days of yore Hanuman was imprecated by the ascetics, whose curses never become fruitless, to the effect that he would never be conscious of his whole strength.
I am not capable of describing to thee the wondrous childish feat which Hanuman did perform in his boyhood. But if thou art, O Raghava, greatly anxious to hear it, I shall relate do thou hear with a quiescent mind. Hanuman s father Kesari reigned in the mountain Sumeru which resembles gold by the inluence of the sun.
Kesari had a well known wife by the name of Anjana to whom he was greatly attached. The deity Wind begot on Anjana an excellent son. Repairing to a dense forest for collecting fruits, the excellent damsel gave birth to Hanuman resembling the tip of a Sala tree and went away.
Being distressed with hunger on account of the absence of the mother, Hanuman, just born, cried like Kartikeya, the commandcr in chief of the Devas, in the forest of Saras. At this time the sun resembling Yava flowers, having risen, Hanuman, to get a fruit, sprang up. Being desirous of holding the newly risen sun, Hanuman, resembling it, began to leap in the middle of the welkin.
The child Hanuman having thus ascended the sky, Devas, Danavas and Yakshas surprisingly exclaimed "The velocity, with which Marut s son is going, is not possessed even by the Wind, Garuda and mind. If he has got such vehemence in his boyhood what great strength he shall have in his youth." His own son thus leaping, the wind, becoming cool by the touch of snow, began to follow him proceeding in the sky lest the rays of the sun might scorch him.
Rising high up in the sky on account of childish freaks and traversed many thousand leagues by the help of his father Hanuman neared the sun. Considering that he was a mere child and therefore not tarnished by any sin and that a great divine work would be accomplished by him in future the sun did not burn Hanuman. At the every day when Hanuman sprang up to hold the sun, Rahu too essayed to possess him.
Having reached the top of the sun s car Hanuman touched Rahu; so he, the represser of the moon s rays, accordingly went back on beholding the sun thus possessed. And repairing to the house of Indra, Sinhika s son, in wrath and with frowns, said to him encircled by the Devas "O Vasava !O slayer of Bala and Vritra to remove my hunger thou didst give me both the sun and moon; why thou hast then given them to another ?On account of the Parva I came to devour the sun but another Rahu came and possessed him." Hearing the words of Rahu, the King of the Devas, wearing a golden garland, having his understanding bewildered, proceeded, on the back of his elephant chief Airavat, huge like the summit of the Kailasa hill, with temporal juice always trickling, having four tusks, roaring, and adorned with golden bells, towards Hanuman and the sun with Rahu before him.
Having left behind Indra, Rahu quickly went there but led away on beholding the huge bodied Hanuman resembling a mountain summit. Thereupon leaving aside the sun and being desirous of holding Rahu, the son of Sinhika considering him as a fruit, Hanuman again sprang up into the sky. Beholding Hanuman approach renouncing the sun, Rahu with his countenance only visible, desisted and went back.
And considering Indra as the saviour he again and again cried aloud Indra"! Indra!!" Understanding everything by the piteous accents of Rahu Indra said, "No fear, I shall soon slay him." Thereupon beholding the huge bodied Airavat and considering him as a bigger fruit Maruti ran towards him. Proceeding thus tempestuously when he rose above the head of Indra, Hanuman, looked in a moment dreadful like the fire of dissolution.
But not greatly enraged the thousand eyed lord of Sachi, with the thunder bolt in his hand, struck the running Hanuman. Belaboured by the thunder bolt of Indra Hanuman fell down and broke his left jaw. He being thus overwhelmed by the stroke of Indra s thunder bolt, the Vayu became displeased with the king of Devas and was determined upon bringing about mischief unto all created beings.
The all comprehending wind, not spreading himself, entered into a cave with his son. Like unto Vasava distressing all creatures by putting a stop to the showers, the wind too put all animals into unbearable sufering by obstructing all execrations. On account of the anger of the Vayu their breath was completly obstructed, and the joints as if pierced, became hard as wood.
Sadhya Vasatkara and all the religious observances of the triple world were put a stop to by the anger of the Vayu. So the three world appeared as if stricken with sorrow. Thereupon the afflicted Devas, Gandharvas, Asuras and men repaired to the Patriarch Brahma with a view to bring about the well being of created beings.
And with their bellies swollen for the obstruction of the wind the Devas with folded hands said "O lord of created beings, thou hast created four classes of beings and thou hast given us wind to preserve our lives. But we do not know, why the wind, the lord of our beings, is distressing us, by obstructing our movements like unto females conined in an inner apartment. Being thus distressed by the Vayu we have come to seek thy shelter.
O thou the remover of miseries do thou remove our afflic tions consequent upon the obstruction of the wind." Heaing those words of the created beings, their lord (the Patriarch Brahma) again said "Hear, why the Vayu, being enraged, has obstructed the course of all beings. Hearing the words of Rahu, Indra, the king of the Devas, hath belaboured the Vayu s son.
It is for this that he hath been offended. Preserving the bodied, the wind, having no person, passes through them all. Without wind the body becomes like wood.
Therefore the wind constitutes the life, the happiness and the whole universe. Renouncing the wind the world cannot attain to happiness. Being cast off by the wind and having their breaths obstructed, behold, the world, to day appeareth like dried wood.
Let us therefore go there where the wind, the giver of our afflictions, waiteth. If we do not please the son of Aditi we shall all meet with destruction," Thereupon the Patriarch Brahma, the Devas, Gandharvas, Nagas, Guhyakas and other created beings went where the wind was waiting with his own son belaboured by the king of the Devas. Thereupon beholding that boy, on the lap of the Vayu,resembling gold and Vaishvanara, the four mouthed Brahma, the Devas, Gandharvas, Rishis, Yakshas and Rakshasas were all moved with pity.