In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama calls Hanuman by his side and hands over his ring, so as to show to Sita as a token of his love for her. Hanuman receives it from Rama and gets ready to start along with Jambhavan, Angadha and others towards the southern direction. However, it is to be remembered by the readers that Hanuman still has his own doubts over why is everybody so involved in this big search mission and why can’t Rama move on in his life without Sita! We shall reserve this argument at this point for now. There will be a context in the future wherein we can witness whether Hanuman’s doubts were cleared or not.
Now moving on, the Vaanara camp led by Jambhavan and Hanuman set out towards the southern direction in pursuit of Sita. As they proceed southwards, the entire Vaanra camp gets stuck up inside the cave of “Svayamprabha”. It was a huge cave and the entire camp didn’t know how to get out of it. At the end, Svayamprabha appears in front of the Vaanaras and bring them out of the cave. Post that, the entire camp searches its way through the entire southern India and finally reach the shores of the southern ocean. Unfortunately for the Vaanaras, so far their search operation turned out to be futile. They weren’t able to find Sita anywhere. Days were running and their deadline for the completion of the mission was nearing.
As the Vaanaras neared the ocean shores, everybody started losing hope. Some of them started weeping, some were afraid of the punishment that would be metted out to them by Sugriva if they failed to execute this mission successfully. Angada started to have memories of his dead father, Vaali and began weeping. Upon seeing Angadha himself losing hope, the entire Vaanara camp was plunged into sorrow and despair. At this point, everybody started talking, “Just like how Jataayu laid down his life while doing service to Rama, we should also lay down our life!” As the entire camp was murmuring thus within themselves, there was a pleasant surprise waiting for them!
The surprise comes in the form of Sampaathi, who is none other than the brother of Jataayu. In some way, Sampaathi overhears the conversations of the Vaanaras and slowly comes near them. He was not aware that his brother Jatayu had passed away! Upon hearing this from the Vaanaras, Sampathi was shocked beyond words and goes near them to enquire. As Sampathi asks the Vaanaras, Hanuman and Co. narrate the story as to what happened to Jatayu, how he fought with Ravana to protect Sita and how he eventually was killed by him. Upon hearing this, Sampaathi was in the loss of words as he was in total grief. However, he was happy that his brother had the unique opportunity in his lifetime to be of great help to Lord Rama! Thus Sampaathi says, “My brother is so fortunate to be part of the ‘Raama-Kainkariya”! I’m feeling so proud of my brother! It is a pity that I couldn’t get such an opportunity to be of service to Lord Rama in any way! However, even now it is not too late. I’m an eagle and my eyesight is very sharp. I shall try to see from here if I can view Ravana and the place where Sita is imprisoned!”
Saying thus, Sampaathi turns towards the southern direction and focuses his vision towards Lanka and Ravana. He is able to have a blurred view of Sita being imprisoned in Ravana’s palace. However since he was too old in age, he couldn’t have a much clearer vision. Thus Sampaathi says, “Oh Vaanaras! I’m able to see Sita imprisoned in Ravana’s palace in Lanka, which is in the other side of this ocean! If I would have been younger, I would have crossed the ocean by myself and protected Sita, but now I’m not in a position to fly that long a distance! In any case, you need to decide and come up with an idea as to how to cross the ocean and meet Sita!”
Upon hearing this from Sampaathi, the Vaanaras are extremely happy on one side and on the other, they are puzzled as to how do they cross this mighty ocean! Now the debate begins as to who would be that person who would cross the ocean and search for Sita in Lanka! Jaambhavan is chairing the debate as each monkey comes up and says, “I can only jump across a few kilometers! I don’t think I would be able to cross such a huge ocean all by myself!” Angada says, “I have the strength and power to cross the ocean fully once! However, I don’t know if I would be having that same power to come back from Lanka by crossing the ocean again!” Thus each Vaanara comes and expresses its inability to undertake this mission. Everybody was puzzled! At last Jaambhavan remembers that there is one person in the camp who is capable of doing this with ease! However, he is sitting silent owing to a reason! Who is that person? Why is he sitting silent? Let’s wait for the important answers till the next episode! 🙂