Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes Meeting of Hanumat (Hanuman) and Sita which is the seventh part of chapter VI of the English translation of the Jain Ramayana, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. This Jain Ramayana contains the biographies of Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana, Naminatha, Harishena-cakravartin and Jaya-cakravartin: all included in the list of 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 7: Meeting of Hanumat (Hanumān) and Sītā

Then Hanumat (Hanuman) took leave of Laṅkāsundarī with fair words and entered the city Laṅkā, possessing great power. Then the son of Pavanañjaya, the abode of strength, terrifying to enemy soldiers, went to the home of Bibhīṣaṇa. Questioned by Bibhīṣaṇa, after he had entertained him, as to his reason for coming, the son of Añjanā said, his voice deep from strength: “As you are the brother of Rāvaṇa, considering the consequences of proper action, have Sītā, the virtuous kidnaped wife of Rāma, freed from Rāvaṇa. The kidnaping of Kākutstha’s wife by your brother, though powerful, is the cause of suffering both in this world and the next.”

Bibhīṣaṇa said: “Well said by you, Hanumat. I have already told my elder brother to release Sītā. I shall ask. my brother again urgently, if he will free Sītā now at my request.” At these words of Bibhīṣaṇa the son of Añjanā flew up and went to the garden Devaramaṇa occupied by Vaidehī. There the son of Pavanañjaya saw Queen Vaidehī at the foot of an aśoka, her hair in disorder on her cheeks, with the ground made into a pool from the repeated streams of tears, her lotus-face dark like a lotus nipped by frost, her body extremely thin like a digit of a new moon, the blossom of her lip suffering from the heat of passionate sighs, motionless like a yoginī, meditating “Rāma! Rāma!” her clothing soiled, indifferent to her body.

Hanumat thought: “Indeed, Sītā is a very virtuous wife. People are purified by the mere sight of her. Rāma is justly crushed by separation from her; Rāma who has such a pure wife, beautiful and virtuous. This wretched Rāvaṇa will perish twice over because of the great majesty of Raghūdvaha and his own great evil. Then making himself invisible by magic, Hanumat threw the ring into Sītā’s lap and she rejoiced at seeing it. Just then Trijaṭā reported to Daśakaṇṭha: “Jānakī has been depressed for so long, but today she is cheerful.” “I think she has forgotten Rāma and is now willing to stay with me. Go and remind her,” he said to Mandodarī. Then Mandodarī went again as go-between for her husband and spoke to Sītā respectfully in order to seduce her:

“Daśānana excels in unique strength and good looks. You are unequaled also in beauty and grace. If a suitable union was not arranged for you two by an ignorant fate, nevertheless, let it take place now. Having approached him who deserves to be loved, love him loving (you), Jānakī. Let his other wives and me execute your commands, fair-browed lady.”

Sītā said: “Wicked woman, acting as go-between for your husband, who can bear to look on your face or your husband’s, evil-faced woman! Consider me at Rāma’s side and that Saumitri has come here to kill quickly your husband and his brothers as he did Khara and others. Get up! Get up! wicked woman. I will not talk with you in future.” Thus reviled by Sītā, she went away, angry.

Then Hanumat became visible, bowed to Sītā with joined hands, and said: “By good fortune Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa are victorious. I have come here, ordered by Rāma to get news of you. After I have gone back there, Rāma will come here to destroy the enemy.” Weeping, Sītā asked him: “Who are you? How have you crossed the ocean difficult to cross? My husband lives some place with Saumitri. Where have you seen him and how does he spend the time?”

Hanumat related: “lam the son of Pavana and Añjanā. I crossed the ocean in an aerial car by a vidyā. Rāma with Lakṣmaṇa is lord over Kiṣkindhā, having reduced Sugrīva, lord of all the Vānaras, to the status of a footman by killing his enemies. Rāma grieves day and night because of the separation from you and makes others grieve, like a mountain with a forest-fire. Like a calf separated from a cow, Lakṣmaṇa, separated from you, mistress, experiences no pleasure, looking at the empty sky constantly. Your husband and your husband’s younger brother, one moment sorrowful, the next moment angry, are not happy, though consoled by Sugrīva. Bhāmaṇḍala, Virādha, Mahendra, and other Khecaras attend them, like the gods serving Śakra and īśāna, having become footmen.

I was recommended by Sugrīva and was sent by Rāma to deliver his ring and obtain news of you, queen. If your crest-jewel is taken by me as a token from you, your lord will know from seeing it that I have come here.”

At Hanumat’s insistence and from joy at news of Rāma, she ate at the end of the twenty-first day and night. She said to him: “Take my crest-jewel as a token from me and go quickly, friend. If you stay, there will be violence. If that cruel Rākṣasa knows that you have come here, he, strong, will surely come to kill you, like death.” Smiling confidently, his hands joined, he said: “You say this to me from affection, being timid, mother. I am the footman of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, conquerors of the three worlds. Who is this miserable Rāvaṇa, even with his army, compared with me? Taking you too on my back, mistress, I shall take you into the master’s presence, having conquered Rāvaṇa and his army.”

Sītā said with a smile: “You do not shame your lord, Rāmabhadra, speaking with such confidence, sir. Everything is suitable for you, a soldier of Rāma and Śārṅgin, but it is not proper for a strange man to touch me at all. That being so, go very quickly. You have done everything so that when you have gone my husband will make active preparation.”

Hanumat said: “I am going, but I shall show these Rakṣases the fickleness of power. This Daśāsya, thinking himself a conqueror, scorns the strength of others. Let him know the power of Rāmabhadra’s soldier.” Saying, “Very well,” Sītā gave him her crest-jewel. He bowed to her and departed, shaking the earth with his heavy footsteps.

He began to destroy that same garden Devaramaṇa by the strength of his hand reaching forth, like a forest-elephant destroying a forest. He began the sport of destruction, without pity for the red aśokas, without confusion among the bakulas, without compassion for mangoes, without motion among the campakas, with sharp anger for the coral trees, without mercy for the plantains and for other beautiful trees.[1] Then the doorkeepers at the four gates of the garden, who were Rākṣasas, ran to attack him with hammers in their hands. Their blows stumbled on Hanūmat like ocean-waves on a mountain on the coast. Pāvani, angered, struck them with the same trees of the garden, without fatigue. Everything is a weapon for the strong. Quickly he destroyed the trifling Rākṣasa guards, as well as the trees, he—the Aikṣvāku soldier, unstumbling as the wind. Some men went and told the lord of Rākṣasas about the killing of the guards of the garden committed by Hanūmat.

Then the lord of Rākṣasas instructed Prince Akṣa, the destroyer of enemies, with an army to kill Hanumat. Pāvanañjayi said to Akṣa challenging to battle, “You fall to me in the beginning of battle like fruit at the beginning of a meal.” “You thunder in vain, Kapi,” the son of Rāvaṇa scolded and rained sharp arrows filling the range of the eye. Śrīśaila,[2] like a high-waved ocean, made the son of Rāvaṇa like an island by a heavy rain of arrows like water. After the son of Añjanā had made weapon against weapon for a long time from curiosity, wishing to put an end to the battle, he killed Akṣa like an animal.

Then Indrajit came quickly from anger at his brother’s death, saying confidently, “Stay! stay, Māruti.” Then a battle started between the two very powerful men, cruel as the end of the world, causing the universe to tremble for a long time. Raining unceasing streams of arrows like streams of water, they looked like Puṣkarāvartaka-clouds in the sky. The space between them became hard to see at once from the constant clashing missiles, like an ocean with sea-animals. As many missiles as the son of Rāvaṇa, hard to restrain, discharged, Māruti destroyed them with many times as many missiles. All of Indrajit’s soldiers, their limbs crushed by Hanūmat’s missiles, perished, like living mountains with rivers of blood. Seeing his army vanished and his own weapons made useless, the son of Daśāsya discharged the missile nāgapāśa[3] at Śrīśaila. The son of Pavana was bound from head ṭo foot by the nāgapāśas which were very strong, just like a sandal tree. This binding by the nāgapāśas was endured by Hanūmat. For from curiosity one is able to give temporary victory even to the enemy. Hanūmat was led by the delighted Indrajit to Rāvaṇa, observed by wide-eyed Rākṣasas who were witnesses to the victory.

Rāvaṇa said to Māruti: “Wretch, what has happened that these two miserable men are supported by you who have belonged to me since birth? Living in a forest, eating fruit, unclean, wearing dirty garments, like Kirātas, what glory will they give to you when they are satisfied? In the circumstances why have you come here at their command, since you jeopardize your life just by coming here, stupid? These earth-inhabitants are clever that they have made you do this. For rogues pull out charcoal (from a fire) by another’s hand. As you were the best of followers to me and now are the messenger of an enemy, you are not to be killed, villain, but you are ridiculed just to teach you.”

Hanumat said: “When was I your follower? And when did you become my master? Are you not ashamed to talk so! Once upon a time your vassal, Khara, esteeming himself highly in battle,[4] was freed from capture by Varuṇa[5] formerly by my father from friendship for you. I too came to your assistance in the past, summoned by you. I guarded you from Varuṇa’s sons in battle and in danger. You are not suitable for assistance now, engaged in crime. Even conversation with you, the kidnaper of another man’s wife, is for evil. I do not see anyone among your people who will protect you now from Saumitri alone, to say nothing of Rāma, his elder brother.” Angered by that speech, terrible from the frown on his brow, Daśānana said, biting his lips: “Since you support my enemies and have made an enemy of me, you are sūrely anxious to die. Why do you have disgust with existence in this case? Just as no one kills a leper, even one who. wishes to die, from fear of murder, who would kill a messenger, villain! Now you are to be led around every road in Laṅkā, surrounded by people, mounted on a donkey and with five tufts of hair (like an ascetic).”

Angry at these words, Māruti burst the nāgapāśas. For how long does an elephant remain bound by lotus-stalks? Flying up like a flash of lightning, Māruti broke the diadem of the lord of Rākṣasas into pieces with a kick. As Rāvaṇa cried, “Kill him! Seize him!” he destroyed the city with blows of his feet as if it had no lord. After furnishing amusement in this way, Pāvani flew up like Garuḍa, went to Rāma, bowed, and delivered Sītā’s crest-jewel. Rāma put Sītā’s crest-jewel over his heart, as if Sītā had come in person, touching it again and. again. Questioned graciously by Dāśarathi who embraced him like a son, Hanumat (Hanuman) related the humiliation of Daśavaktra and all the news of Sītā in detail, the success of his strength of arm being heard by others.

Footnotes and references:


There are puns on the adjectives and names of the trees which are purely a matter of sound and can not be reproduced.




A sort of magic noose. Literally ‘snake-noose’.


I.e. of little worth?


See above, p. 176.

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