In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman has reached Ravana’s mighty palace, by crossing over numerous points. In the meanwhile, Hanuman also searches his way through the “Pushpaka Vimana” of Ravana, the houses of all his ministers and chiefs to find if Sita was kept hidden somewhere in any of these places. However, Hanuman failed to find Sita anywhere.
Now Hanuman comes back to the main courtyard of Ravana’s magnificent palace. He now goes into the place where Ravana himself was sleeping! Valmiki Maharishi goes on to describe the exorbitant beauty of Ravana’s inner courtroom where he was asleep! The cot on which Ravana was sleeping was made with gold of the highest quality and purity! It was adorned with several pearls and gems that were extremely expensive and abnormal in nature. Adorning Ravana, there were innumerable lamps that added to the beauty of the entire place.
Amdist all this, Hanuman sees Ravana sleeping on this beautiful cot! He has a closer look at Ravana now. At one moment he was awestruck with Ravana’s charisma that reflected on his face while sleeping – If there was one king in this world who deserved to be praised and worshipped for what he is, it was Ravana! However, although Hanuman was admiring Ravana, he knows that this same Ravana had committed the biggest ever crime in this world by abducting Sita! So he has an angry look at him. Moreover, since Ravana was wicked, his bad “aura” was radiating all around him and this pushed Hanuman to take a step back! Hanuman thinks within himself “Oh my goodness! At the beginning of the search I was thinking that I could find Sita easily in this Lanka city, however, I’m still unable to find Sita, but I’m seeing this wicked Ravana first! What a pity!”
Thinking thus, he takes a step backwards and enters Ravana’s bedroom from a different window. Now he is able to see numerous women sleeping around Ravana’s cot! Each woman had her own beauty and it was indescribable! Hanuman thinks within himself, “Oh my God! While looking at all these women, I think this Ravana is a womanizer! He had defeated various kings all over the world and has abducted all their wives!”
“Yaahi vaishravane lakshmeehi yaa chandre hari vaahane!
Yaa cha raagnyah kuberasya yamasya varunasya cha!!
Taadvisheethadh vishishtaavaa vrudhi rakshomireshgruha!
Adhyaktham chaktha manasaha raavanovaa varah sthriayaha!!
Yuddha kaamenakaa sarvaa raavanena hithaah sthriyaha!!”
Thus Valmiki Maharishi describes the innumerable women who were sleeping around Ravana. Hanuman thinks within himself, “This Ravana has imprisoned all these innocent women in his palace! I should somehow release all of them!” As Hanuman was thinking thus, he commences his search for Sita. He starts going near each of the women and checks if this woman would perhaps be Sita! As Hanuman goes near each woman, he is not even getting a clue that she would be Sita! It is to be remembered that Hanuman had once seen a glimpse of Sita from Kishkinta, when Ravana was abducting her! Having that glimpse in his mind, Hanuman is searching for Sita amidst all the women! However, he wasn’t able to match Sita’s form in his mind with any of those women! Moreover, Hanuman thinks within himself as he searches on, “Oh! Sita is a unique woman who is completely devoted to her husband! Will she even think in her wildest dreams to share a bed with Ravana?”
“Tathra divyopamam mukhyam sphaatikam rathna bhooshitham!”
As Hanuman searches on amidst the “Anthah-Pura” of Ravana, he is unable to find Sita anywhere! Normally, it is to be noted that in those days, every king had the practice of having an “Anthah-Pura”, which is solely dedicated to his wife (or wives). Of course it should also be remembered that in olden days, it was a common practice for kings to have more than one wife!
As Hanuman searches on, he comes to a place where he finds a cot that is made of pure gold and diamonds adorned all over it! Upon this cot was sleeping a woman who was extraordinarily beautiful! She was none other than one of Ravana’s beloved wives, Mandodhari. Upon seeing Mandodhari, Hanuman initially thinks that she might be Sita! Hence he is happy for a moment that he had at last found Sita after an exorbitant search operation! However, the next moment he realizes that this woman is not Sita but someone else! How can Sita share a bed with a wicked king like Ravana? Hanuman realizes that this doesn’t fit Sita’s high stature as a “Pathi-vratha!” (Completely devoted towards husband). Hence he understood that this woman was not Sita!
Now, Hanuman has completely searched the “Anthah-pura” of Ravana. He was able to find innumerable women, but not Sita! He was able to find wives of different kings from various kingdoms, but not Sita! He was even able to find the wives of Devas (Celestial beings), but not Sita! As Hanuman feels demotivated and depressed, he looks at other places where he could extend the search operation. Where does he go next? Whom does he find there? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!