by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Surasa included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).
Mother of nāgas (serpents).
Obstructed the passage of Hanūmān.
To test whether Hanūmān, who jumped into Laṅkā to seek out Sītā, possessed power enough for the purpose, Devagandharvas backoned Surasā to them and told her as follows: "You mother of nāgas, do please assume a terrible form like a big mountain and appear before Hanūmān and obstruct his passage. As soon as she heard the injunction, she jumped before Hanūmān and attempted to devour him. In spite of Hanūmān’s earnest pleadings she stood before him with her mouth opened wide. Hanūmān then, by his power of illusion, grew ten yojanas in size. Then Surasā opened her mouth twenty yojanas wide. Hanūmān then grew thirty yojanas in size and Surasā opened her mouth forty yojanas wide. In this competition ultimately when Surasā opened her mouth hundred yojanas wide, Hanūmān reduced his size to that of a finger, entered Surasā’s mouth and came out through her ear. Surasā was pleased and blessed Hanūmān. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Sundara Kāṇḍa, Canto 1).