This article is part of “Sundara Kandam of Sage Valmiki”

Thirty eighth Chapter

(Giving of Choodamani)

(Hanuman appreciates Sita  for her noble words. She then tells him about the story of a crow attacking her and how Rama sent a Dhurba grass with manthra of Brahmasthra to kill him. She wonders why he is not doing it now.She gives her Choodamani as a memento to Hanuman so that Rama will have faith that Hanuman has indeed seen her.)

That chief of monkeys hearing this and being one who can analyze and understand words, became happy on hearing these words and told the following to Sita. 1

Hey holy lady who tells that which is good, whatever you have told is extremely suitable to your character and also suitable to the humility and womanly character of virtuous ladies. 2

Because the character of ladies is not capable to cross the ocean of one hundred yojanas broad , making me as a vehicle. 3

 Hey lady who wears humility as an ornament, your words that, you would not allow the touch any other male except Rama, which you told as your second reason is very suitable to you who is the wife of that great man. Hey holy lady, who else except you can tell such a sentence? 4-5

Inspite of the pitiful sorrow state without bothering about her release from the clutches of Ravana, thinking only of just duty, only you can tell i would not come with you)

Hey holy lady, whatever you have told and did in front of me , all those things would be informed immediately to Rama. 6

Hey holy lady, I told you like this with a loving and merciful mind, with a intense desire to do good to Rama in various ways. 7

I told you like this because of the difficulty in crossing the wide ocean, because of the difficulty in entering the city of Lanka and because of the faith in my strength. 8

 I wanted you to be rejoined with Rama immediately and because of intense devotion and love I told you like this and not with any other intention. 9

 Hey holy one, because you do not have an intention of accompanying me, please give a memento so that Rama would understand the truth without any doubt. 10

Thus told by Hanuman that Sita who was like a divine lady started slowly telling the following with words mingled with tears. 11

Please inform whatever I tell , which is true and which is known to him ,using the same words to my lord. In the Chitra Koota mountains, in the north west valley, in the shore of river Mandakini, in the hermitage blessed with fruits, roots and water , after spending time with different flowers and the aroma filled gardens and thus getting tired you were lying down with your head on my lap.  12-14

 At that time one crow which was attracted by flesh attacked me with his sharp beak and I drove it away using a piece of mud . 15

 But that flesh eating crow desiring for food did not leave the meat and went on attacking me and remained around there. 16

 I got angry with the bird and when I removed my dress belt , my dress got unloosened and in that state I was seen by you. 17

I who was tired due to anger because I was pecked by the crow which was desirous of food was teased by you. Because of this I was very shy but in spite of that I came nearer to you and sat on your lap as you were sitting. You became happy and I was slowly consoled of my anger by you. 18-19

 Oh, Lord I who was slowly wiping away the tears which made all my face wet , was understood by you as having been made very angry by the crow. 20

Due to tiresomeness I slept on the lap of Raghava and the brother of Bharatha in turn sleep on my lap. Again the same crow reached there. 21

 That crow seeing me completely recovered due to my sleep on the lap of Rama suddenly came near me and wounded my breasts.  22

Like this that crow came near me several times and inflicted severe wounds and Lord Rama was made wet by the flowing drops of blood. 23

 That lord who was deep asleep , terror to his enemies and very pretty even then was woken up by me who was severely attacked by the crow. 24

 That great one seeing that my breasts were wounded became very angry and hissing like a serpent asked as follows.  25

 Hey lady who has thighs like the trunk of an elephant, who inflicted that wound on your breasts and who is playing with the very angry five headed snake? 26

Seeing all round he saw just opposite to me that crow whose sharp nails are coated with blood. 27

That crow was the son of Indra, foremost among birds and in speed was equal to the God of wind and due to this he disappeared in to the earth immediately. 28

 That great one who was foremost among the intelligent with rotating angry eyes due to the crow , took a very cruel decision. 29

He took one Durbha from the Durbha mat on which he was sitting chanted the manthra for Brahmasthra and that which was aimed at the bird lighted like the fire of hell.:  30

(Brahmasthra was the ultimate weapon during those times .It was got as a blessing from Lord Brahma. It was believed that once it is sent and failed no other weapon will work. Also it was believed that without inflicting an wound it cannot be recalled .Rama was blessed with Brahmasthra by Viswamithra.)

He then sent the burning Durbha towards the crow. What to say, from that time that Durbha started chasing the crow in the sky. 31

At that time that crow which was chased  went in search of protectors all over the world and what to say visited several places. 32

In spite of wandering and searching in all the three worlds and being forsaken by sages, devas and its own father , it again came back to Rama. 33

That Kakustha who is a protector seeing the bird lying on the earth seeking his protection, though it was fit to be killed, with mercy gave protection to it. 34

 Seeing that shamed one who was lying there without any other option, he said Brahmasthra cannot go waste and so tell me what to do? 35

 It said, If it is so , let it take away my right eye.  And that arrow took away the right eye of the crow. 36

It saved itself by sacrificing its right eye and from that time the fact that crows have only one eye became well known. 37

It offered salutations to Rama and the king Dasaratha  and being permitted to depart by that hero , it went to its home. 38

Hey Lord of the earth, for my sake , in case of the crow, you used Brahmasthra and why have you tolerated him who has stolen me from your custody?  39

Hey great man, you who are greatly enthusiastic like that , take mercy on me. Hey Lord I who have taken as my Lord(protector) can be seen by you as an orphan (i.e. without protector) 40

I have heard only from you that the greatest Dharma(just action) is to remove the sorrow of others 41

Being my Lord, I have understood him as as a great hero, great enthusiast, very strong man, man capable of limitless action, one who cannot be rattled by others, one who is similar to sea in looks, one who is like Indra to this earth surrounded by the sea. 42

In spite of being like this and being greatest among archers, truthful and very strong, what is the reason for his not sending his arrows against the Rakshasas. 43

There are no Nagas nor Gandarwas nor Asuras nor Marutganas who have sufficient strength to face a war with Rama. 44

If that great hero has at least slightest belief in me why is he not destroying the Rakshasas with his arrows. 45

 Why is it Lakshmana who is very strong, who gives pain to his enemies and who is a hero not take me back after seeking permission from his brother. 46

 Why are both these who are like lion among men, who are as powerful as Vayu(Wind God) and Agni(Fire God) and who cannot be faced by even the Devas disregarding me? 47

Since both these two capable  and victorious ones are  not even bothered about me, there is no doubt that a great sin which is not known to me should have been committed by me. 48

Hearing these words which were told by Vaidehi with tearful eyes and which were capable of melting the mind, the great Hanuman who was the son of God of wind told the following words. 49

 Hey holy lady, I am telling you after taking oath on truth that Rama is not interested in any thing because of the sorrow about you. Because Rama is drowned in sorrow Lakshmana also is sorrowful. 50

 Hey lady without blemish, you who are a great lady was seen by me due to blessings of God and this is not the time for sorrow for just now you are going to see the end of your sorrows. 51

Those two princes who are both very strong and who both are lion among men in the great wish for seeing you are going to make the city of Lanka in to ash. 52

Hey broad eyed lady, Raghava is going to kill the cruel Ravana along with his relatives  and take you back to his own city. 53

Please tell me those words which should be told to Raghava, the indomitable Lakshmana, the great hero Sugreeva and the assembled monkeys. 54

Thus told by Hanuman that goddess like Sita who has wilted by sorrow thus replied to Hanuman, the monkey. 55

 Please give my salutations to that great one who was given birth by the great minded Kausalya for the good of the world and enquire about his welfare. 56

(Sita implies that since Kausalya gave birth to Rama for the good of the world he would not disregard her and save her)

That great holy one who was born as a good son of Sumithra sacrificed because of his devotion to Rama all his garlands, his jewels , ladies who used to love him, that wealth which cannot be earned in spite of great effort in this earth and incomparable pleasures and followed Rama after worshipping his father and mother and taking their permission and accompanied the great Kakustha in the forest protecting him. 57-59

That great minded , handsome great warrior who was like a lion was doing service to me like his mother and to Rama like his father. 60

When I was being abducted the great hero Lakshmana was not near me Lakshmana serves the elders well and he is Very lucky and intelligent , a prince who is similar to my father in law and one who serves Rama constantly more than me. 61-62

(Sita without telling plainly expresses her anguish for sending Lakshmana to help Rama in spite of his unwillingness. She also acknowledges the fact that he worships Rama and constantly serves him.)

That hero seeing whom Rama did not even remember his father is fully capable of completing any job entrusted to him. 63

 That Lakshmana who is always dear to Rama , who obeys him always who is very careful and who is a relation without any guile is one to whom enquiries of welfare should be made on my behalf. 64

 Hey chief of monkeys similar to the fact that Rama would be the cause of ending my sorrows, you are responsible for me to complete this job. 65

 Raghava because of your effort should take all necessary steps in my case and so please tell again and again my Lord who is a hero, the following. 66

 I am telling on oath , hey son of Dasaratha, I would be alive for one more moth and afterwards I would not be alive. 67

 Be merciful to save me from the clutches of Ravana who is a bad person and who is a base soul similar to how Kousiki was saved from Patala. 68

(Kausiki was abduced by God Varuna when she was taking bath and kept in Patala. Uchathya , her husband went to Patala and brought her back.)

Then she removed her hair brooch(Jata Valli or Chooda mani) tied in her cloth and gave it to Hanuman saying, Give this to Rama. 69

That hero Hanuman received that Jewel made of pearls from Sita and put it on his fingers and that ornament fitted to his fingers. 70

After wearing that pearl jewel he saluted Sita and circumbulated her and stood near silently with folded hands. 71

Being present there only bodily. That Hanuman because of the great joy in seeing Sita mentally traveled to the place of Rama. 72

He understood that the very precious jewel was got by super human efforts and of inestimable value and started thinking of returning back  with full of joy like a mountain after shaken by a tempest. 73

 Thus ends the thirty eighth chapter of Sundara Kanda which is in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.

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