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Search of Sita
|by Dr. C.S. Shah|
The urgency of finding Sita was visible in the movements of these devotees of Rama. It was decided that both Rama and Laxmana should take rest and wait for them to bring the news of the whereabouts of Sita. Thus Hanuman, Angad, Jambuwanta, and others reached the southern tip of India. The vast Indian Ocean was seen spread out as limitless expanse. No one knew what to do next. Hanuman was not prepared to return back to Rama without definite news of Mother Sita. He would rather put an end to life than go empty handed to his Master.
Thus, confused and with anxiety laden heart, almost dejected, these mighty Rama Bhaktas sat down on the rock near the sprawling ocean shore. Behind them, in a cave not far off, a huge vulture, almost famished with hunger, was pleased to see these people as his prey! Sampati was his name. His sense of hearing, vision, and smell were phenomenally acute. His power was such that he could eat a person in one bite! Thus, to satisfy his age-old hunger, he decided to attack one of them.
But, just then he heard Hanuman talking about Jatayu: How he had tried to protect Sita from the hands of Ravana. The sudden surprise of Sampati was attributed to Jatayu being his brother! To know more about Jatayu and his fate Sampati went near the group and inquired, "O noble ones, who are you? From whence do you come to this remote and lonely place? And may I know the details of your reference to my brother Jatayu?"
Thus spoken to, Hanuman narrated the valiant sacrifice Jatayu made in the attempt to rescue Sita. He further told Sampati about Rama, Laxmana, and Sita, and how Ravana had kidnapped Sita. They had come to that remote place in search of Sita. Sampati thought over the matter. When he realized that Sri Rama - the Lord Himself - had liberated the soul his brother, he also decided to help Rama in his mission to eliminate evil from this earth.
Sita Located in Lanka!
He could see for miles ahead across the sea. His penetrating vision could visualize every tiny detail on an island there. And, yes, on the island of Lanka, was seated a lady under the tree in a beautiful garden - Ashokvan. He realized that it was the kingdom of the mighty Ravana. He could also see that Sita was under arrest and many watchful eyes were on her, mostly of demon lady servants of Ravana. He narrated the scene to others. Angad, Hanuman, Jambuwanta and others were full of joy.
But their joy was short lived. Hanuman said that it was useless to go Rama without positive proof about Sita. Someone must go there to actually talk to Sita, confirm and return after which they should inform Rama. For this purpose said Hanuman, he had already brought the royal and private ring of Rama familiar to Sita on the basis of which someone could give Sita guarantee of early help and safe return back to Rama.
However, the question as to who could/would go to that far off land sprang up as a problem for which the answer was not forthcoming with ease. Sampati said that he could not go as he had become old and the power in his wings had left him. Angad said, if I was asked to go on land I would go any distance; but water! No, it was not possible for him to swim or jump so high and long.
Then Hanuman, the great Yogi, sits in meditation, repeating the holy name of his Chosen Ideal - Rama.
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