Valmiki Ramayana

Hanuman Meets Sita

Vibhishan detailed Hanuman about the whereabouts of Sita. He showed the way to Ashokvan where Sita was kept captive. He also warned Hanuman to remain vigilant and cautious as Sita was guarded by police-women loyal to Ravan. Moreover, whole of Ashokvan was surrounded by armed guards who would not hesitate to kill any intruder.

Thus forewarned, Hanuman saluted his newly-formed friend and left for the garden for his first meeting with Mother Sita. It was easy for Hanuman to jump and climb the trees, to hide himself in the bushes or the leafy branches.

He could, in addition, at his will, become very small and thus escape the attention of the guards. At last, Hanuman entered the garden. He could see an assembly of women around one Aryan lady whom Hanuman immediately recognized as Sita.

Condition of Sita in Ashokvan

The question vexed Hanuman's mind as to how to present himself before Sita. The problem had two dimensions:

  1. Sita was surrounded by many attendants, and
  2. Sita might take him to be a demon in the form of an impostor-monkey!

She would refuse to accept him as a friend and devotee of Ram. Hanuman was sure that the second problem would be solved as he had brought the ring from Ram which Sita was sure to recognize as authentic.

Just then, Hanuman heard shouts of 'Lankapati Ki Jai Ho -Victory to King Ravan'. Hanuman saw Ravan approaching the garden. Immediately he jumped up the tree under which Sita was seated. He hid himself nicely on one of the branches and decided to observe the proceedings below from there.

Ravan came towards Sita. His wife, Queen Mandodari and a few other maid servants were accompanying the King. Ravan addressed Sita thus: "O beautiful lady, why do you persistently refuse my proposal of marriage? I will treat you as the first honorable queen of this vast empire. However, if you still think that Ram would come and seek your release, I am afraid, you are sadly mistaken. Nobody ever has dared to attack my kingdom, and if anyone does dare so, he and his army will be destroyed within days."

"Probably you are unaware of my power. Therefore, for the last time, I modestly ask you to become my wife. It would be an honour to you and a joy for me."

So saying, Ravan gave three day's time for her to finally make her decision. The negative answer would call for Ravan's wrath. The thin and emaciated Sita did not answer. How can she utter a single word when her whole mind and heart was engaged in constant prayer and Japa of Ram!

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