In the previous episode we had witnessed the significance of the “Sundara Kaanda” and why is it considered to be the most important part of the entire Ramayana text of Vaalmiki Maharishi. So far in the previous four Kaandas, we’ve witnessed the auspicious birth of Lord Rama at Ayodhya, his marriage with Goddess Sita Devi, the fourteen-year exile to the forest, destroying a slew of Raakshasaas, Ravana abducting Sita and finally Rama and Lakshmana making friendship with the Vaanaras and their leader, Sugriva. Eventually we also witnessed that the Vaanara camp heading towards the southern direction under the leadership of Jaambhavan, Angada and Hanuman have reached the shores of the southern ocean. As they were debating as to who would cross over the ocean and go to Lanka, it was decided that Hanuman would be that person to undertake this complex mission.
Accordingly Hanuman gets ready to take up the mission. He grows in size and climbs over the rocks of the “Mahendragiri” Mountain. We can worship this Mahendragiri Mountain today too. Near the southern tip of India (Today’s Kannyakumari) there is a place called Nagercoil in the south-Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There is a continuous mountain range called the “Western Ghats” that runs from this town and it continues until the state of Maharashtra in Central India. This mountain range runs parallel to the western coastline of India. It is at the starting point of this Western Ghats near to Nagercoil, is the Mahendragiri mountain. There is a famous Vishnu Temple at this particular spot called “Thirukkurungudi” which is considered to be one amongst the 108 “Divya-Desams” (Holy Temples) of Lord Vishnu. This Mahendragiri comprises seven mountains adjacent to each other, just like how Tirpuathi is adorned by the seven hills (Also called “Saptha-Giri”). It is at the top of this Mahendragiri, Hanuman is now standing with all his mighty power and is getting ready to leap across the ocean! Thus, with the significance and the power of the “Rama-Naama” (Name of Rama), Hanuman prepares himself to commence his long journey.
“Aaruroha nagashreshtam mahendramari vardhanaha!
Mahathbhir ucchithasshringaihi mahendrasya mahaabalaha!!
Vichachaara harishreshtaha mahendra savikramaha!
Baahubhyaam peeditasthena mahaashailo mahaathmanaa!!”
Thus from the above slokas, Vaalmiki Maharishi gives a beautiful description of how Hanuman is preparing himself to commence his journey. Hanuman climbs up the Mahendragiri Mountain and starts to grow in size. It is to be remembered that Hanuman has the unique capability of increasing and/or decreasing his size as and when he wants to! Thus here we can see that Hanuman is growing into an enormous size and as he reaches the topmost portion of the mountain, he makes a huge sound.
“Mumocha salilo peedaan vipraheerna sirorchayaha!
Viprastha mrugathaam maathangaha prakalpitha mahaadhrumaha!!”
From the above sloka, Vaalmiki Maharishi beautifully describes how Hanuman grows in size. He is growing to the size of an elephant and subsequently to the size of many elephants put together! Such is the enormity of size that Hanuman grows himself into! As he is about to leap across the water, Hanuman takes a deep breath, focuses all his power and strength into his breathing and offers his prayers to Lord Rama. He prays to Rama that the mission should be successful and he should somehow be able to trace the whereabouts of Sita.
“Atha vaidurya varneshu shaabvaleshu mahaabalaha!
Dheerassalila kalpeshu vichachaara yathaa sukham!!”
As Hanuman is getting ready to leap across, it seemed as if he has the capability of climbing up any mountain range and crossing over any huge water body with absolute ease! Thus as the other Vaanaras were anxiously watching Hanuman grow enormously and going to the top of the Mahendragiri mountain, they were extremely confident that Hanuman would definitely succeed in the mission! They were motivating and encouraging Hanuman in their small and simple ways!
Now Hanuman is at the tip of the Mahendragiri Mountain and is about to cross over. For today let Hanuman get fully ready for the complex mission! We shall wait till the next episode to let him cross over and travel across the sea! 🙂