The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Hanuman Makes His Appearance which is chapter 36 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the thirty-sixth chapter of the Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 36 - Hanumān Makes His Appearance

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-2. Kindly tell me, O virtuous one, what happened thereafter. At the outset, O excellent speaker, narrate it in full. How long did that holy place remain stable? By whom was it being protected? Whose sway reigned supreme there, O lord.

Brahmā said:

3-5. From Tretā till the end of Dvāpara up to the advent of Kali, the son of the Wind-god, Hanumān, was capable of protecting it single-handed. O son, it was not possible for anyone other than Hanumān by whom Laṅkā was destroyed and powerful Rākṣasas were killed. (Now) he alone is the protector at the order of Rāma, dear son. There is the sway of Brāhmaṇa and Śrīmātā.

6-8. Day by day the delight of people staying there increased. The Brāhmaṇas used to recite Ṛk, Yajus and Sāma Vedas. They recited loudly Atharva Veda also day and night. The sound emanating from the Vedic chant filled the three worlds including mobile and immobile beings. There were festivities in every village and city. Different kinds of Yajñas based on various religious rituals continued.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

9. Did any destruction to the holy place occur at any time or not? Was the place overrun by Daityas or wicked Rākṣasas?

Vyāsa said:

10. O king, you have asked pertinently. You are always pure and a knower of Dharma. Listen to what happened in the beginning of Kali Age.[1]

11. For the sake of the welfare, satisfaction and happiness of all the worlds, I shall describe a special Yajña. O king, listen to everything.

12-13. Now, when the advent of Kali Age was imminent, at the end of Dvāpara, when Kali had not yet started, there was a king named Āma who became the ruler of Kānyakubja.[2] He was glorious, a knower of Dharma, calm, self-controlled, eager to maintain justice, of good conduct and devoted to truth and piety, O excellent king.

14-15. Due to their acute fear of unrighteousness, thanks to special attack of Kali Age, all the Devas abandoned their respective places on the earth and resorted to Naimiṣa forest. Rāma too accomplished the construction of the bridge with due assistance, O king.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

16. Of what nature is the fear all over the world when Kali arrived that it became very difficult to overcome and the earth (possessing jewels in her womb) was abandoned by Suras?

Vyāsa said:

17-19. Listen to the salient features of Kali Age that will become manifest,[3] O king.

The people will be speakers of falsehood. They will be engaged in slandering good people. All of them will be given to robberlike activities. They will be devoid of devotion to their parents. They will be sexually inclined to the wives of their kinsmen. Their thinking will be full of lustfulness. They will hate Brāhmaṇas. All of them will be against one another. In Kali Age the people will be the destroyers (exploiters) of those who seek refuge in them.

20-21. Brāhmaṇas will take up the activity of Vaiśyas: they swerve from the path of the Vedas; they are haughty. When Kali arrives, the Brāhmaṇas will cease to perform Sandhyā prayers.

When there is peace, they behave (as if they are) brave; when there is danger, they become dejected. They neglect Śrāddhas and Tarpaṇas. Indulging in demoniac conduct, they are bereft of devotion to Viṣṇu.

22-25. The people are greedy of other people’s wealth. They engage in taking bribes. The Brāhmaṇas take food without taking bath. The Kṣatriyas avoid war. When Kali arrives, all people become dirty and wicked in their conduct. All become addicted to drinking liquor. The priests perform Yajñas on behalf of those who are not eligible for such performance. Women hate husbands; sons hate their parents. In Kali Age, all silly people will become haters of their own brethren. Eager to amass wealth, Brāhmaṇas will become sellers of milk products. When Kali Age has actually arrived, cows do not yield milk.

26-29. Trees will not bear fruits at any time, O descendant of Bharata. In Kali Age, people will become sellers of their daughters, of cows and goats, of poisons, liquor and even of the Vedas. A woman conceives after eleven years. All the people desist from fasting on the eleventh day in a lunar fortnight. Brāhmaṇas will not take to pilgrimages. They will eat too much; they will sleep a lot.

30-33. All will be engaged in fraudulent activities, hating even the Vedas and recluses. They will cheat one another. In Kali Age, there will not be the fear of contact (with indecent fellows). Kṣatriyas will be stripped of their kingdom and Mlecchas will become kings. All will become breachers of trust and all are engaged in troubling the elders. O king, they will be treacherous friends and will indulge in gluttony and sex. All the four castes will mix up into one caste when Kali has arrived, O great king. My words can never be otherwise.

34-38. On hearing this straight from his preceptor, the powerful ruler of Kānyakubja named Āma continued to rule the kingdom. He became an emperor and was keen in protecting the subjects. Due to the advent of Kali, the subjects became inclined to commit sins. Incited by Kṣapaṇas[4] (Buddhist mendicants) and following their instructions, the subjects gave up their Vaiṣṇava cult and adopted the Buddhist[5] way of life.

The senior-most queen of that king well-known by the name of Māmā and possessing all good features conceived. When the tenth month was complete, a daughter endowed with all beautiful features and a face resembling the full moon was born.

39-45. She was known by the name Ratnagaṅgā. She used to be bedecked in gems. Once by chance a mendicant named Indrasūri came to the kingdom of Kānyakubja. The said girl of sixteen years, the princess not yet initiated into the religious cult, was secretly taken to Indrasūri by a maid servant.

O descendant of Bharata, he initiated her into the Śābarī Mantra Vidyā. Fascinated by the activity of the trident-bearing mendicant, she attended to it with concentration. Then she became fascinated all the more and eagerly grasped (followed) each and every statement. Instructed by the Kṣapaṇas, O dear one, she became one devoted to Jaina cult. The king of great exploits gave Princess Ratnagaṅgā to the intelligent Kuṃbhīpāla, the lord of Brahmāvarta. Deluded by fate, the king gave Moheraka to him (the son-in-law) at the time of the marriage. He came to Dharmāraṇya and established his capital. He duly installed the gods mentioned in the Jaina cult.[6]

46-52. All the different castes were converted to Jaina cult. Brāhmaṇas were not honoured. No religious rites like Śāntika and Pauṣṭika were performed. No one ever used to perform charity. Time passed like this.

The Brāhmaṇas, the original ones who had the edict of authority, were deprived of their possession. They were worried in the mind day and night. They came to the brave king Āma stationed in Kānyakubja, who was surrounded by heretics. After arriving at the city of Kānyakubja, O king, they stayed for a few days on the banks of Gaṅgā. Those Moḍha Brāhmaṇas became tired. The king was informed by spies and they were brought to his presence. The Brāhmaṇas who were summoned in the morning came to the royal assembly. The king did not respectfully receive them or bow to them. Even as the Brāhmaṇas were standing, he asked all of them, “O Brāhmaṇas, tell (it now) why you have come. What is the matter?”

The Brāhmaṇas said:

53-55. O king, we have come here from Dharmāraṇya to you. (It is) your son-in-law Kumārapālaka (Kuṃbhīpāla in v 43) by whom the edict of authority of the Brāhmaṇas, which was wonderful, has been destroyed. He has done so, because he follows the Jaina cult and has been instigated by Indrasūri.

The king said:

By whom have you been established in the city of Moheraka? O Brāhmaṇas, report everything correctly.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

56-62. At the outset, we were established by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. In the splendid place here, a city was founded by the intelligent Dharmarāja and Rāma thereafter. On seeing the Royal Charter issued by Rāmacandra, it was duly honoured by the other kings, O excellent king. Now your son-in-law does not protect the Brāhmaṇas.

On hearing the words of the Brāhmaṇas, the king spoke to them: “You all may go quickly and at my behest say to King Kumarapāla: Return the settlement of the Brāhmaṇas to them.” On hearing those words, the Brāhmaṇas were highly delighted. With great delight they went and told these words to the king.

Kumarapāla said:

O Brāhmaṇas, I shall not abide by and honour the Royal Charter issued by Rāma. I disown the Brāhmaṇas who indulge in violence and kill animals in Yajña. There is no question of my having any respect for and devotion to these killers.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

63. O excellent king, how is it that you have destroyed the charter (copper-plate edict)? Please abide by it. Do not be inclined towards sin.

64-68. Non-violence is the greatest virtue. Non-violence is the greatest penance. Non-violence is the greatest wisdom. Non-violence is the highest fruit. The inner souls are alike, O Brāhmaṇas, in grass, in trees, birds, men, worms, bugs etc., horses and goats, elephants, spiders, snakes and buffaloes. All creatures, whether small or great, are similar. How is it that you indulge in violence?

On hearing those thunderbolt-like words the Brāhmaṇas became furious. Their eyes reddened. The excellent Brāhmaṇas replied:

The Brāhmaṇas said:

69-73. What is said by you is true. Non-violence is surely the greatest virtue. But still greater virtue is there. Listen with concentration of mind.

The violence sanctioned by the Vedas is no violence.[7] That is the final verdict. When the animals are struck with a weapon and they are made to suffer pain, there is sin involved and this alone is Adharma, O superior one among the knowers of Dharma. Animals are killed only with the recitation of Vedic Mantras without the use of weapons. That violence is not the one that causes pain to the animal; that violence is pleasant. Helping other is conducive to merit and harassing others leads to sin. One is not defiled by sins even after committing the violence sanctioned by the Vedas.

On hearing the words of the Brāhmaṇas the king said again:

The king said:

74-78. The excellent Dharmāraṇya is the holiest spot of Brahmā and others. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśa and others do not exist today. Nor is there Dharma. The said Rāma was a mere man. Where is that long-tailed one, who was entrusted with your protection? The charter of authority of yours is never seen; nor will I honour it (even if produced).

Then the Brāhmaṇas who became infuriated replied:

The Brāhmaṇas said:

O fool, how do your speak thus at the height of your arrogance? The Four-armed Lord himself incarnated on the earth as a man for the destruction of Daityas and protection of Dharma. He is the refuge to those who are helpless. He is devoted to Dharma, compassionate and sympathetic, the protector of living beings.

The king said:

79-81. Where is Rāma today? Where is the son of the Wind-god? All of them are like clouds which have disappeared. Where is Rāma? Where is Hanumān? If Rāma or Hanumān were to exist around, I believe he would have come to help the Brāhmaṇas by this time. Show me Hanumān, Rāma or Lakṣmaṇa. If there is evidence, O Brāhmaṇas, let it be shown.

82-85. They said: “After making the son of Añjanā his messenger, Lord Rāma gave more than four thousand four hundred villages, O king. Coining again to this place he gave thirteen villages.

At Kāśyapī and Gaṅgā, he made sixteen great gifts to the chiefs of the Brāhmaṇas. Splendid villages were given. Again, O heroic one, he had the Saṃkalpa (mental decision) of donating fifty-six (more). Excellent Gobhūjas(?) numbering thirty-six thousand were born. One hundred and twenty-five thousand merchants were given the title Māṇḍalīka.”

86-90. He said: “O Brāhmaṇas, show the son of the Wind-god. Merely on coming to know him, I shall give back the previous status. If the proof is shown, I shall carry out the words of the Brāhmaṇas. Then all of us will become followers of the Vedic cult. If not, you all adopt the Jaina cult.”

On hearing the words of the king all of them came back to their respective places. The Brāhmaṇas were dejected in their minds. They were rendered blind with fury. Exhaling heavy breaths and heaving sighs, they shouted Hā! Hā! They gnashed their teeth and pressed the hands together. They told one another: “What shall we do hereafter?”

91-99. All of them assembled together and discussed. Brooding over Rāma’s statement (in their minds) and meditating on the son of Añjanā, they convened a great congregation of Brāhmaṇas including children and old people. The oldest Brāhmaṇa among them made this splendid statement: “We have seventy-two groups belonging to sixty-four Gotras. The Avaṭaṅka of each Gotra is the representative of a village. Let one intelligent Brāhmaṇa of one Varga join this group. All of them shall go to Rāmeśvara Setubandha. Hanumān is present there.

May all who are free from illness go to Rāma. Eschewing food, controlling anger, devoid of deceptive tricks, may all of them eulogize, meditate and repeat the names of Rāma. Then Rāma, the son of Daśaratha, will have pity on the Brāhmaṇas. He will give a letter of authority that can never be violated even in Yuga after Yuga. Pleased with our great penance, he will grant what we desire.

If any Brāhmaṇa representing a Varga refuses to go there, he shall be excommunicated from that Varga and certainly divested of the rights of his position. He will not have anything to do with the business affairs, marriage rite, collective activities of the village. He will be excluded from all places.”

100-109. On hearing that announcement in the assembly, a pure Brāhmaṇa among them who was eloquent, efficient and goodvoiced, proclaimed to the Brāhmaṇas repeating each statement three times. Clapping the hands at every statement he said: “If anyone is disinclined to go, he will incur the sin of those who utter falsehood, those who slander others, of a man who ravishes other men’s wives, who is engaged in harassing others, of those who imbibe liquor and are thieves of gold. Why make too much talk, O Brāhmaṇas? Let all excellent Brāhmaṇas go on.” On hearing that terrible utterance they decided to go.

On hearing that the Brāhmaṇas were going, King Kumārapālaka called them and said: “The agricultural products and what is got by means of alms, I will certainly send to the Brāhmaṇas of the different Gotras.”

On hearing that, all became sad. “What shall happen after this?” Three thousand Brāhmaṇas decided then: “There is no doubt, we shall go to Rāma.” This was attested by signatures of the Brāhmaṇas. With joined palms the Brāhmaṇas spoke thus: “The knowledge of Trayī is destroyed here. The presiding deities of the three Vedas have been made angry. Hence all the eighteen thousand should go there.”

Thereupon, the excellent king called all those Gobhuja merchants and said, “Stop those Brāhmaṇas.”

Vyāsa said:

110-113. Those chief Vaṇiks called Gobhujas who were not much attached to the Jaina cult, kept quiet because they were afraid of the loss of their means of livelihood. “How can we stop those Brāhmaṇas who are veritable fire(-gods)? The Brāhmaṇas burn by means of the fire of curse, O king; these Brāhmaṇas are deadly.”

The king then called those Śūdras who were born in Aḍālaya and ordered, “May the Brāhmaṇas intending to emigrate be prevented.” Among them (Śūdras) a few were adherents of Jaina cult. At the behest of the king, they went to the Brāhmaṇa-colony for preventing them.

Some of the Śūdras said:

114. Where is Rāma accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa? Where is the mighty son of the Wind-god? O excellent Brāhmaṇas, speak of the present time.

115. Why do you go through the impassable forests infested by tigers, lions and wild elephants? You are risking your life. You are forsaking your sons, wives and homes.

116. Why do you go to a kingdom of wicked administration?

On hearing these words, some of the Brāhmaṇas thought to themselves.

117. Afraid of the great king and tempted by the gifts indicated, those fifteen thousand Brāhmaṇas said, “May everything be so.”

118-121. “Sometimes we shall carry on cultivation with needed implements. Or we shall beg for alms.” Then those fifteen thousand excellent Brāhmaṇas made a terrible statement: “Let the others go. Let the charter of authority issued by Rāma certainly be yours.”

All those prominent Brāhmaṇas were well-known as Traividya. Only three thousand became (real) Traividyas (‘Masters of the three Vedas’).

The king said:

122-128. A fourth of the kingdom is given as (donation of) the plot of land. Henceforth the kinship shall be therefore mutually in four ways(?). Cyavana will give his daughter. You accept the girl, (otherwise) you will lose your avocation and will never have mutual kinship.

On hearing these words, the Brāhmaṇas of Trayīvidya section went to their respective places without backing out from the stipulated resolution [of meeting (?)]. Fifteen ṃousand leading Brāhmaṇas, the excellent Brāhmaṇas called Cāturvidyas, went away.

The three thousand spent that day with their minds worried with thoughts. They were being dissuaded by their humble sons and wives (from their resolve). With their mind concentrated on one point (viz. departure), they did not get sleep. They got up at the early dawn (in Brāhma Muhūrta). They shook off the shackles of worldly attachment; abandoned their dear sons, wives and abodes. All those leading Brāhmaṇas met together at the outskirts of the village.

129-133. All the three thousand performed their daily rites, gave monetary gifts to Brāhmaṇas and worshipped the Kula Mātā (the family deity).

Gaṇanāyaka stationed at the southern gate was worshipped with Sindūra and garlands of flowers for the purpose of the destruction of all obstacles.

Bakula Svāmī, the Sun-god, who enables (devotees) to attain all objects was honoured. So also Śrīmātā of great power was respectfully worshipped. They worshipped Śāntā and bowed to Jñānajā, the mother of the Gotra. Intent on going they attained great delight. The Cāturvidya Brāhmaṇas inviting them again, asked them about their return.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

134-140. Either you do not go or after going return quickly so that what is given by Rāma will be helpful ere long.

On hearing it, the excellent Cāturvidya Brāhmaṇas said again: “Neither for the sake of this place nor for the Brāhmaṇas nor for livelihood will we return. This should not be told to us again. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, livelihood was accorded to us by the eminent scion of Raghu’s family. We are proceeding towards (getting back) that livelihood by means of Japa, Homa and Arcanā.”

Those fifteen thousand said to them again respectfully: “We must stay here with devotion for serving the Fire-god. You must go there for the sake of the accomplishment of the task of all. Certainly we shall render all mutual help. If you do not keep up your word, you will be devoid of livelihood.” Thereupon from among them, a Cāturvidya spoke.

The Cāturvidya said:

141-147. O Brāhmaṇas, at the outset it was Rāma who gave the livelihood to us. The Cāturvidyas are of noble qualities. They preserve their pious rites.

They are created by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva as persons with the duty of performing Yajñas and study of Vedas.

After giving the gift, Rāma said to you that you should not go away abandoning this place. This is the condition laid down. At a time of great danger, the mighty son of the Wind-god should be remembered.

With this stipulation, you have been established in your place. How can one go away by thus transgressing the instruction of Rāma? Hence we tell you even as you are going for the sake of accomplishing your tasks. (We shall also endeavour) for the fulfilment of your task by means of Homa, Arcanā etc. Your task will be accomplished. It is true. It is true. There is no doubt about it.

On hearing these words those Brāhmaṇas diverted their attention to the journey. Then the three thousand excellent Brāhmaṇas started from that place.

148-154. Traversing country after country, forest after forest, performing Śrāddhas at every holy place, propitiating the ancestors, meditating on Rāma and Hanumān, taking food only once a day, the Brāhmaṇas of good conduct went slowly.

The Brāhmaṇas who were calm, devoted to the vow of truthfulness and refused monetary gift, went a long way seeking the vision of Hanumān.

They offered Sandhyā prayers three times a day with concentrated minds. As they were proceeding thus, auspicious omens occurred (yet) while they were going their bundle of viaticum (provision of food etc. for the journey) fell short. They became exhausted and faced fatigue. Taking the great path, after walking a short distance, they became unable to proceed even a step.

But resolving firmly within their mind, emboldening themselves, with the determination, ‘Without seeing Hanumān we will not go back home’, the Traividyas proceeded to the place of the Monkey Lord and Rāmeśvara.

155-160. Devoted to truth, steadfast in their vows, having only bulbous roots and fruits for food, they meditated on Rāma and Hanumanta. After taking up the vow, abandoning food and water, they went along distressed with thirst and hunger, but devoutly adhering to their vow.

Even as the Brāhmaṇas were undergoing great distress, Rāma, the receptacle of devotion, became distressed in mind and spoke to Hanumān: “O son of the Wind-god, O knower of Dharma, hasten for the sake of the Brāhmaṇas. The inhabitants of Dharmāraṇya are distressed. My mind is burning now. I do not have any peace. The person causing misery to the Brāhmaṇas should be chastised. There is no doubt about it. O monkey, I am rendered miserable by those people who cause misery to the Brāhmaṇas.”

161-163. On hearing his words, the Lord of Monkeys bowed down to Rāma. He was overwhelmed with great sympathy. In the guise of an old Brāhmaṇa, the Lord of Monkeys appeared before the Brāhmaṇas for the sake of testing them. He joined his palms with great devotion to the Brāhmaṇas feeble with fatigue. Pouring water through Kamaṇḍalu, he received and paid obeisance to all and spoke these words:

Hanumān enquired:

164. Whence have you come here? Where are you desirous of going? For what purpose are you traversing the terrible forest?

The Brāhmaṇas replied:

165-166a. We are Brāhmaṇas who have come from Dharmāraṇya for the sake of the vision (and audience) of Rāma and to represent our distress. We are desirous of going to the great holy place Setubandha that accords all desires. Due to the strict observance, we have become emaciated in body. We are eager to see Rāma where the Monkey Lord, the son of the Wind-god, as well as Rāmeśvara is present.

166b-172. On hearing that, the Brāhmaṇa said: “Where is Rāma? Where is the son of the Wind-god? Where is Setubandha and Rāmeśvara, O Brāhmaṇas? It is far, far off. The forest is infested by tigers and lions. It is vast and terrible. After going there, it is difficult to return. O blessed ones, if my word is to be carried out, all of you return. Or you may go. O Brāhmaṇas, live long. Be happy.” On hearing the words of the old man, the Brāhmaṇas of single-minded resolve said:

“O Brāhmaṇa, all of us do (wish to) go to Rāma’s presence. There is no doubt about it. If anyone of us dies on the way, he shall attain Rāma’s world. If anyone (of us) survives, he will undoubtedly get livelihood from Rāma. There is no refuge unto us other than Rāghava.”

173-176. After saying this, they set off eager to see Rāma. After spending the whole day when it dawned once again, Hanumān in the form of an old man endowed with all features as before was seen holding the Kamaṇḍalu and desirous of saluting.

He said:

From which place have you come here, all ye Brāhmaṇas? Is there some great profit expected? Or is there a festival of marriage?

On hearing these words of his, the Brāhmaṇas were extremely surprised. Duly bowing down, they made these respectful submissions:

177-184. “Our previous history is highly surprising. O Brāhmaṇa, as you appear to be a sympathetic person, listen.

At the outset, at the beginning of the creation of the world, we were established by the trinity of gods, Viṣṇu, Śiva and Brahmā. Thereafter, by repairing the ruins (of Dharmāraṇya and its shrines) we were established by Śrīrāma. The revenue of villages numbering four hundred and forty-four was given (to us) with due honour by the Lord of the Monkeys. For the sake of the worship, thirteen villages including Sītāpura were given.

Thirty-six thousand Vaṇiks were assigned the duty of maintaining the Brāhmaṇas. They are named Gobhūjas. The Śūdras were one hundred and twenty-five thousand.

They were of three classes, viz. Gobhūjas, Aḍālajas and Māṇḍalīkas. These were excellent ones. Crores of precious stones were given by him for the sake of their maintenance.

Then there were Moḍha (eighteen thousand), Gobhūjas (eighteen thousand), Māṇḍalīyas (hundred and twenty-five thousand) and Aḍālajas (eighteen thousand).

Now, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, a wicked king named Āma does not honour the charter issued by Rāmacandra.

185-189. His wicked son-in-law named Kumārapālaka (alias Kuṃbhīpāla) is always surrounded by heretics, in accordance with Kalidharma (the characteristics of Kali Age).

Instigated by the Jaina Indrasūtra (alias Indrasūri) following the cult of Buddha (?) he has certainly repealed the charter of authority issued by Rāma.

There were some Vaṇiks too like him with similar mentality. They disown Ṛāma and the noble-minded Hanumān.

‘Without a proof, I will not give (the privileges granted)’ (says he). On coming to know of this, these Brāhmaṇas have sought refuge in Ṛāma and the great heroic Hanumān, the protector of Rāma’s charter (to us). Hence, O highly intelligent one, all of us approach Rāma.

190. If the son of Añjanā does not accord our desire, we will commit suicide with the vow of non-intake of food.

191. To you who asked, we have spoken in detail. Considering the feelings of affection reveal your avocation.”

Hanumān said:

192. As the Kali Age has arrived, where can one get the divine vision, O Brāhmaṇas? Go back, O eminent Brāhmaṇas, if you desire great happiness.

193. It is impossible to enter the desolate forest infested by tigers and lions and wild elephants, and full of many forest fires.

The Brāhmaṇas replied:

194. The previous day, a Brāhmaṇa said this. Today you have come and speak the same.

195. Who are you? Rāma or the son of the Wind-god in the guise of a Brāhmaṇa? Have pity on us and tell us the truth, O lord, O great Brāhmaṇa.

196-197. Hanumān told them what was concealed from the Brāhmaṇas: “O Brāhmaṇas, I am Hanumān. Know me definitely (to be so).” He revealed his form and showed his big tail.

Hanumān said:

198-203. This is the visible ocean (expanse of water), the beautiful Setubandha. This is Lord Rāmeśvara who stops appearing in the womb (i.e. gives Mokṣa).

This is the excellent city well-known by the name Laṅkā where Sītā, the destroyer of the grief of Rāma, was met by me.

At the point of the index finger, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, shines the great golden city of Laṅkā inaccessible to others except me. It was here that Vibhīṣaṇa was installed by Lord Rāma. This is that great city.

Multitudes of devout people observing vows have brought water from Gaṅgā during their pilgrimage and poured over Rāmeśa. Huge masses of these are seen in the great ocean. Thereby those devout people have become free from sins, because they were steadfast in their vows. Indeed prosperity comes up at the rise of merit and loss, when sin predominates.

204-205. Formerly Cāturvidya Brāhmaṇas had been ousted from their positions. At the time of the repair of the ruins, they were re-established by Rāma.

In the previous birth, O Brāhmaṇas, worship of Hari was done by me. Now firm devotion is seen in the form of your service. Delighted by the power of the merit, I shall grant you the boon.

206-208. I am blessed. I have fulfilled my duties. I am fortunate on the earth. Today my birth is fruitful and the life is lived well since I have come near the feet of Brāhmaṇas.

Vyāsa said:

On seeing Hanumān their entire bodies thrilled with hair standing on their ends. With the words choked in the throat, those experts in speech spoke thus:

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The Purāṇa-writer is not aware that Yudhiṣṭhira and Pāṇḍavas abdicated their kingdom as soon as the Kali Age began on the same day as Kṛṣṇa’s death in 3402 B.C.

[2]:

This is a glaring anachronism. Jaina works like Prabandha Kośa refer to King Āma, the disciple of Bappa-Bhaṭṭi. Āma who embraced Jainism died in CE 832 (VS 890). Yudhiṣṭhira who abdicated his throne at the beginning of Kali Age, is shown posterior to Āma. The reference is useful to determine the date of this part of SkP i.e. post 9th Cent. CE.

[3]:

VV 17-33 describe the effect of Kali Age on the people. This description is common to other Purāṇas also.

[4]:

The author makes a confusion between Jainism and Buddhism. The footnote in the text here interprets ‘Kṣapaṇaka’ as ‘a Buddhist mendicant’ but later on the author corrects himself and uses the word ‘Kṣapaṇaka’ in the sense of a Jaina mendicant.

[5]:

The author confuses Buddhism with Jainism. Kṣapaṇakas are Jaina monks.

[6]:

There is some historical basis to this legend, but the confusion between Kumbhīpāla and Kumārapāla in the text and the confusion between Yaśovarman and Yaśodharman in Jaina works make this chapter a suspect—probably an interpolation in the ninth cent. CE.

[7]:

This is the defence of Mīmāṃsakas about violence in sacrifice (yajñīyā hiṃsā).

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