Till now in the “Sundara Kaanda” we had witnessed that Hanuman, with the due motivation from Jaambhavaan sets off towards Lanka. He gradually grows in size to everyone’s utter amazement and pushes himself forward to start flying over the huge ocean. Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out the event of Hanuman’s departure to Lanka with a slew of slokas along with some beautiful comparisons and meanings.
Thus as proceeding further, Hanuman thinks within himself that he should not stop anywhere in the middle for anybody or anything until he finds Sita, comes back and informs the matter to the Vaanaras and Rama – Just like how Lord Rama’s arrow goes to it’s destination, finishes the assigned task and comes back to Rama’s bow!
“Padbhyaam dhrida-avasthaana krithvaa cha kapi kunjaraha!
Gacchethath gamishyaami lankaam raavana paalithaam!!”
At this point, Hanuman turns back for a moment towards his fellow Vaanara colleagues and gives them the much-needed assurance. He says, “Oh friends! With this speed and motivation I shall directly go to Lanka, search for Sita and somehow find her! If I’m unable to find Sita in Lanka, I’ll go and search the other worlds (Underground, Sky, etc.) until I find Sita. Even if I’m unable to find her anywhere, I shall defeat Ravana, tie him up and bring him to the feet of Lord Rama! As a last option, I shall even lift the entire Lanka Island in my hands and bring it to Lord Rama’s feet!” Saying thus, Hanuman proceeds further. As the entire Vaanara army cheers Hanuman, he flies off to a greater altitude.
As Hanuman flies further, there is a beautiful scene in the sky. Here we can see different colour combinations as explained by Valmiki Maharishi – The sky is blue in color. Hanuman who is flying across the sky is greenish in color! His face and cheeks are reddish in color! His mouth is constantly chanting the “Raama-Naama” (Divine name of Lord Rama) every passing minute! His eyes were shining like brilliant stars in the night sky! On one side there was the sun with all his glory! Hanuman was so bright and shining that for a moment everybody who was looking from the ground were confused as to who is the real sun – Hanuman or the Sun God himself? Thus everybody is in awe upon witnessing the divine happening in the sky!
As Hanuman was flying his way through the sky, the “Aakasha” (Another name for the Sky) was so happy and praises Hanuman! He says, “Oh Hanuman! I’m so happy that I got to see you so close to me today! It’s because, you didn’t walk nor swim across the water. Instead, you chose to fly across, wherein I also have got this divine opportunity to be of some small service to our Lord Rama!”
Here, Vaalmiki Maharishi interestingly says that as Hanuman is flying over the waters, his shadow is spotted down on the sea, which is 10 yojanas in length! He says,
“Ambarastham vibhuggraaje saradhabbhva vibhaa gatham!
Dasha yojana vistheernaa krimshadyojana maayathaa!!”
In one of our previous episodes, I’ve given a detailed explanation as to how to convert this “Yojana” into our modern day measurement scale. It is believed that 1 Yojana equals almost 13.2 kilometers! Hence, if we’ve to calculate the size of Hanuman’s shadow, it should be around 132 kilometers in length! If such is the length of just the shadow, we can imagine what would have been the size of Hanuman while he was flying! Of course, we can infer from many ancient anecdodes that the average height of a human being was much higher than what we are today! We can be sure that in those days of the Ramayana, the height of a human being would have been enormous as compared to today!
Thus Hanuman motivates his colleagues as he moves forward! Is he going to be able to keep up his words of not stopping even for a moment till he reaches Lanka? Let’s wait and find out in the next episode! 🙂