HANUMAN BURNS LANKA
After seeking permission from Mother Sita, Hanumaji walked towards the orchard and started plucking some fruits. Hanuman was so hungry that in order to quench his hunger he started uprooting the trees. In those trees some of the rakshas were resting and seeing a small monkey trying to destroy their vatika they ran towards him to attack him. Hanuman who was busy enjoying his fruits, gave those rakshas a blow which flew them into the air and later dropped them onto the ground. All those who came to save their vatika was either killed or injured by Hanuman. He jumped all over that vatika breaking trees after tress. Ravans beautiful Ashokvtika which was once a leisure and beautiful place was now in shambles. A few frightened rakshas managed to escape and reached Ravans palace to inform him about the whole incident.
Maharaj! a monkey has destroyed our Ashok Vatika and has killed many rakshas, shouted a wounded guard. Ravan was surprised to learn that how could an ordinary monkey single handedly kill his powerful men. He was filled with anger and he shouted, Go and capture that monkey. Tie him up and bring him in Ravan orders to capture Hanumanfront of me. Hearing Ravans command everyone rushed out of the palace to kill Hanuman. Hanuman saw them coming and he cried, Jai Shri Ram Victory to Shri Ram and leaped towards them. But as fate would have it, they all met their death. Reciting the name of his Lord Ram, Ram Ram; Hanuman killed thousands of heavily armed rakshas including the powerful Jambhumali, chief commander of his army. Jambhumali shot a sharp arrow at Hanuman who sat upon the vatika roof but Hanuman killed him. Ravan was shocked to hear about Jambhmalis death, he soon dispatched some of his other heroic rakshas to capture Hanuman but they all met their fate just like Jambhumali. Learning that his heroic rakshas were also slaughtered, Ravan now decided to send his dear son Akshayakumara, in his eight horsedrawn chariot to fight with Hanuman.Akshayakumara chariot was a special one as it was blessed that it cannot be destroyed.
When he reached Ashok Vatika he started raining arrows at Hanuman but Hanuman in Ashok vatikaHanuman was ready to fight his enenmies. Soon his eternal chariot was broken into pieces by Hanuman leaving Akshayakumara in shock. To take revenge he attacked Hanuman with all his weapons (club, sword, arrows) but all the weapons were destroyed by Hanuman. Soon Akshayakumara flew in the sky and so did Hanuman and they they fought a fierce batte in sky. In the end Hanuman gave a huge blow to Akshayakumara, that he fell dead on the ground. Ravan was in a state of disbelief when he learned about his sons untimely death.Raged with anger Ravan screamed so loudly that the whole land shivered in fear. He announced that to avenge his sons death he himself will go and kill that monkey. But his other son named Meghnath ( which means thundering of the clouds; also known as Indrajeet ), the most powerful and obedient one came forward and sought permission to defeat this monkey. At first Ravan was reluctant but later granted him permission. In his chariot and followed by a huge army Meghnath left for Ashok Vatika. From the sounds of trumprets and the march Hanuman understood that someone big is coming to fight him but he sat unmoved on a tree. Seeing the condition of Ashok Vatika, Meghnath was filled with anger and he challenged Hanuman to fight with him.He shouted, Monkey, you have caused enough destruction to our kingdom, now I have come to teach you a lesson. They both got indulged in a fierce battle. Meghnath attacked Hanuman with his powerful shafts and Hanuman destroyed all of them. Later Meghnath used a celestial weapon named BRAHMASTRA to strike Hanuman. When Hanuman saw BRAHMASTRA, he did not want to counteract it as it would show disrespect to Lord Brahmas weapon so he thought of surrendering.On the other note Hanuman thought that it was high time to meet Ravan. Hanuman got trapped in BRAHMASTRA and fell to the ground. Meghnath tied Hanuman with a rope and dragged him to meet Ravan. When Hanuman entered Ravans court he saw Ravan and all other rakshas staring at him with surprise and anger.
Finding him to be an ordinary monkey Ravan growled and asked, Who are you and what brings you to Lanka? Why have you played havoc on Lanka, speak up or face punishment? I am Hanuman, messenger of Shri Ram, replied Hanuman, proudly holding his head high, With his permission I came to Lanka in search of Mother Sita. Let go of her and seek forgiveness from Shri Ram.I you fail to do so than I assure you, your end is near. The whole monkey clan has joined Shri Ram who himself is the supreme lord and a great warrior in all the three worlds. Wake up Ravan! to save yourself and your people from the wrath of Shri Ram, return Mother Sita to him and he will forgive you.Ravan was furious at the arrogant words of Hanuman and standing in his court he had the audacity to threaten Lankapati Ravan. Ravans anger was beyond control and he order his ministers to kill this insolent monkey. Lanka DahanVibhisan who was watching all this silently rose up from his seat and with folded hands he said, Brother! it is not right to kill a messenger, its against the royal principles. Please reconsider your decision and grant him some other punishment instead of killing him. Vibhisan tried to deter Ravan from killing Hanuman. Hanuman was very pleased with Vibhisans words. All the other ministers in the court supported Vibhisans suggestion.
Ravan, who desperately wanted to punish this messenger for killing his army and son; with an evil laugh uttered, A monkeys tail is his prized possession, so set his tail on fire and send him off to his friends and family. He further said to wrap his tail in cloth and set it on fire and then he should be paraded around the Lanka city so that all those who were afraid of this monkey should now see his condition. Everyone in the court except Vibhisan was delighted to hear this decision.Few of the ministers came forward to wrap his tail in oil but to their utter surprise Hanumans tail started to grow longer and longer until it circled the whole city. Even after hours of wrapping and using up all the scraps of cloths they had in Lanka they couldnt cover his tail which kept on growing.Finally they decided to pour oil on that tail before setting it on fire. They took him to the center of the city before setting the tail on fire so that the people can enjoy this view.
The moment they set fire to his tail,with a deafening roar Hanuman jumped high into the air and assumed his gigantic form all the ropes which were holding him became loose and fell off. All the rakshas ran off seeing this sight. Hanuman then again took his small size and jumped to the top of a roof. With his tail blazing and chanting Shri Rams name he started jumping from one roof to the other, setting the whole Lanka ablaze. Rakshas were running around to save their lives. Hanuman burnt the entire Lanka leaving Ashok Vatika and Vibhisans house. Soon the golden city of Lanka changed into heaps of ashes. Finally, Hanuman jumped into the sea to put out the flame set to his tail.
Because of all this Hanuman was tired so he resumed his small form and before leaving Lanka he went to Ashok Vatika once again to meet Mother Ashok VatikaSita. He greeted her with folded hands and said, Mother! my work here in Lanka is done but before leaving please give me something so that I can prove Shri Ram that I have met you in Lanka. Soon she took of her Chudamani( a gemset jewelry with is worn by ladies at the back of heir head) and placed it in Hanumans hand. Hanuman was overcomed with joy, he bowed in Mother Sitas feet and said, Mother have courage for few days and soon you would see hordes of monkey and Shri Ram and Lakshman coming across the ocean to rescue you. Mother Sita blessed him, and said, Hanuman! convey my regards to my Lord and may you succeed in your mission. After taking leave from Mother Sita, Hanuman reached the ocean shore and with a loud roar he leaped into the air. His mind was filled with satisfaction as he had accomplished his task and chanting Shri Rams name in his heart he continued his journey and soon he reached to the other side where everyone Angad, Jhambvant and others were waiting for him.