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

Fifty-ninth Chapter

Thinking about the future action

(Hanuman then narrates the problems of Sita in Lanka in a graphical manner. He tells the other monkeys that as a virtuous woman she herself could kill Ravana but is not doing so, because it would bring bad fame to her husband,)

After telling all these in detail, Hanuman told the important matter that needed to be told and ended his speech. 1

My mind has been set at calm after seeing the virtuousness of Sita personally. The work of Rama has born fruits. Similarly the zest of Sugreeva also has borne fruits. 2

(Work of Rama is searching for Sita)

 Ravana who is the chief of Rakshasas and one who is great for doing penances is certainly capable of protecting all the world. If he becomes angry he can also destroy the world. His body has not been destroyed after touching her because of the power of his penance. 3

(Translators like Kamban and Thulasi das could not bear, Sita to be touched by Ravana and so they have changed this aspect in their translation. While Kamban says that Ravana uprooted her house along with her, Thulasi das assumes that she whom he took to Lanka is only an image.)

 Whatever action taken when blackened by anger by that virtuous lady who is the daughter of Janaka , cannot even be done by the flames of fire that are touched by hand. 4

That lady who is the epitome of justice is steeped in the ocean of sorrow below a Simshuba tree in the middle of Asoka forest owned by that bad soul , Ravana. 5

Like the crescent of moon hidden by series of clouds, she is surrounded by Rakshasis and has wilted due to sorrow and lives a life without luster. 6

That daughter of Janaka has been imprisoned, but that virtuous pretty lady does not bother about the very strong Ravana. 7

That Vaidehi who is virtuous considered from any aspect, without any other thought, always thinks with love of Rama like the Indrani does about Indra.  8

 Sita is still dressed in the cloth she was dressed when abducted, she is coated with dust , faded because of sorrow , is very lean and always thinks about the good of her husband. 9

I saw her in the garden of the harem surrounded by ugly looking Rakshasis, who were terrorizing her often. 10

I wish that she, who is doe eyed, who always thinks of her husband, who had made up her hair in a single bundle, who is sleeping on the floor, who is like the lotus flower in winter, who had decided to commit suicide because she was not able to see any way to escape from Ravana and who is in a miserable situation, gains confidence with lot of effort. 11-12

 After that I conversed with her. She was informed of everything. She became happy on hearing the treaty between Rama and Sugreeva. 13

 That Rama who is of firm conviction, who follows all good principles and who is great would become only an instrument in case of killing of Ravana. It is only because of her devotion to her husband that she is not killing Ravana. 14

(Hanuman clears the doubt of other monkeys who feel that as a virtuous woman she herself could have killed Ravana. He tells them that she is not doing so because of her devotion to her husband.)

 By nature she is lean, Because of her being taken away from her husband’s company she has further become lean similar to the one who learns without understanding. 15

 That Sita who is great is thus drowned in sorrow. Let us now do what all should be done in this case. 16-17

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

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