YUDDHA KĀNDA

        Listening to Hanumān, Rāma became glad and said in high praise of Hanumān thus. "What Hanumān did was and this Hanumān, who can cross this mighty ocean. Even the celestials who entered Lanka, guarded any one, unless one by Rāvana, cannot come out of it safely. Even to enter it, it is impossible for has the caliber of Hanumān. Hanumān, not only did the task entrusted him, but also did other mighty deeds, though not ordered to be done, quite answering his might. There are three kinds of persons commissioned by their Lords to do a certain task. One performs not only what his Lord a great feat, not only impossible for any one to do but also even to conceive of it. I have not known any one other than Garuda, Wind-God has told him expressly, but also other side-tasks, which tend to enhance the effect of the main entrusted task. Such a person is of the first order of servants. To the second order belongs one, who just does what he is told, but does nothing more though capable of doing that. But he, entrusted with a duty, fails to do so, though capable of doing so, is the worst servant and belongs to the third class.

        Our Hanumān, not only accomplished the task entrusted to him, but also had done other laudable things, to his great credit and also to the joy and credit and also to the joy and credit of Sugreeva. In finding out Sita, he saved me, my Lakshmana and my family and protected our dharma and fame. But what pains me most is that I being helpless am unable to give him a suitable reward for his most comforting message. I cannot reward him adequately, unless I give him my all. At this time, all I can give him is this embrace. "So saying, Rāma hugged Hanumān close to his chest in a transport of joy".

         At this Hanumān is in the seventh heaven of happiness. What more does his want, when is idol embraces him? For mundane rewards and pleasures there is Sugreeva, who will shower on him all such gifts even without asking, not only because of his successful undertaking, but also because hanu is his most favourite minister, who also was with him during his exile. Again Rāma was a unique king, in thought, word and deed, quite apart from every king. No king has ever embraced his subject, unless that subject is also a near member of his royal family, even if that subject protected his throne. Again in all humility, he says that he is helpless in the matter of rewarding Hanumān, when his word is law even in his exile, with no one by side, except Lakshmana, who, of course, is a host in himself. One word reaching Ayōdhya, would bring in an army of one Akshoūhini men besides wealth to reward the whole monkey-kingdom and Rāma would not accept even a petty gift from other kings. But most unfortunately he appears to some of us (with odd logic) as an imperialist. His concern for the safety of the monkey-hosts (especially lesser fry) is unique unlike all other kings or despots, to whom they are mere "food for powder". On thinking of the vast ocean, which must be crossed by his whole army, for a successfully assault on Lanka, Rāma, from his most jubilant mood, plummets down into the depths of despair. This is the second instance, where he has shown unique concern for the smallest fry as to their safety in crossing the ocean, the first being at the killing of Vāli, when he threw all his fame and prestige to the winds and went behind (normally only from a correct reading of the text) the tree, to shoot down the most impregnable and unpierceable (body of) Vāli by a single arrow, which hurled him down to the earth, almost dead, with its mind-boggling force and which shook the whole forest and scared the birds and beasts. All that was to avoid the terrible massacre about to be thrust on him by the mindless, innocent monkeys.

        Again, Hanumān assumed different roles at Lanka, according to his situation at the time. The only role Sugreeva and Rāma gave him, was that of the leader of the search party, with an implied assent to show his might to overcome any danger or difficulty. But after finding Sita he assumed the role of depredator, for which Rāvana, wanted to kill him. But Hanumān was, at the court and in the role of an ambassador and he escaped that punishment through Vibheeshana (then thoroughly loyal to Rāvana) stressing that role with its attendant immunity from death penalty. Then he was a spy in prying into the secrets of the military organization and in destroying the forts and filing the moats etc.

        After a little thought, Rāma in agony spoke thus, "Hanumān! We are successful in finding Sita. But on thinking of the great ocean, I find no peace of mind. How can all our monkey hordes reach the south coast of the great ocean as you assured Sita?