The Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “hanuman’s speech” and represents Chapter 32 of the Kishkindha-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Kishkindha-kanda].

Chapter 32 - Hanuman’s Speech

At these words of Angada and his ministers, Sugriva, learning of Lakshmana’s anger, rose from his seat and came to himself.

Having considered the different aspects of the matter, he addressed his counsellors, who were versed in the sacred formulas, with which he too was conversant and of which he was a strict observer, saying:—

“I have neither spoken nor acted wrongfully; why is the brother of Raghava, Lakshmana, incensed against me, I ask myself? Evilly disposed persons, enemies ever looking for an occasion to charge me with imaginary crimes, have set the younger brother of Raghava against me. It behoves you all to reflect on the matter wisely in order to discover the cause of his anger. Assuredly I do not fear Lakshmana any more than Raghava, but a friend who becomes angry without reason invariably creates anxiety. It is easy to contract a friendship, but extremely difficult to sustain it, for owing to the fickleness of the mind a friendship can be broken for the most trivial reason. Because of this, I am apprehensive in regards to the magnanimous Rama, for I have not been able to render back a proportionate service to him for that which he has done for me.”

Sugriva having spoken, Hanuman, that foremost of monkeys, answered according to his understanding, saying:—

“It is in no way surprising, O Chief of the Monkey Tribes, that you are unable to forget the significant and unexpected service rendered to you by Rama. Assuredly that hero, for your well-being, fearlessly slew Bali, equal to Indra in power. Undoubtedly Rama’s feelings have been wounded, which is evidenced by his sending his brother Lakshmana, the increaser of his happiness, as his deputy, to you. O You, the most skilled in discerning the seasons, autumn is here in all her glory, the Saptacchada and Shyama trees being in full flower, but you, given up to pleasure, does not perceive it. The sky, free from cloud, is filled with brilliant stars and planets, and on all the regions, lakes and rivers, calm prevails.

“The time has come to inaugurate the search for Sita of which you are conversant, O Bull among Monkeys. Finding you forgetful, Lakshmana has come to inform you that the hour is at hand. Grieving over the abduction of his spouse, the magnanimous Rama will speak harshly to you through the lips of this hero; is it a cause for wonder? Having acted improperly towards him, I see no other means tending to your welfare but to offer obeisance to Lakshmana and crave his pardon.

“It is the duty of counsellors to utter what is true freely to a king and it is for this that after mature reflection I have spoken thus.

“Armed with his bow, Rama, in his wrath, is able to subdue the whole world as also the Gods, the Asuras and the Gandharvas. It is unwise to provoke one of whom subsequently forgiveness must be craved, the more so, when the recollection of a favour received places one under the obligation of gratitude. Therefore incline thine head before this man with your son and thine entourage, O King, and remain faithful to your promise, as a woman to her husband’s will. It is ill-advised of you to oppose Rama’s behests, even in thought, for you are well aware of this man’s power, whose prowess is equal to Indra and the Gods.”

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