Sugriva ordered all his forces, “return within one month; otherwise, you will be punished by execution. However, if you find where Sitha Devi is, you will be rewarded greatly regardless of how long it takes.” 

Four groups set out in search of Sitha Devi, one in each direction. Hanuman, along with the great warrior bear, Jambavan, as well as many others, travelled towards the South.

As they marched ahead, they stepped inside a big forest that was under the reign of a divine power named Swayamprabha. The forest was so huge that they could not see the ends of it. However, it was also very rich in flora and fauna. Each of them tasted the beauty and enjoyed the material fruits of the forest. Realizing that it was getting late, they requested the Swayamprabha to help them exit the forest. She asked them to close their eyes.

As they opened their eyes, they found themselves at the banks of a ocean. They were disappointed to find no signs of Sitha Devi and considered spending the rest of their days in this beautiful forest as opposed to embarking on this near impossible mission. They thought if they try to cross this ocean, they will die. If they go back without finding Sitha Devi, they will die. They felt too ashamed to go back in failure to their King Sugriva and the beloved Sri Rama Chandra. Right then, a bird named Sampaati informed them that she saw Sitha Devi on the other end of the ocean! Everyone was excited with this newly found ray of hope.

They started to discuss who could take a leap long enough to cross this 100 yojana long ocean and return successfully. One claimed he could jump up to 10 yojanas. Another 50 yojanas, and another 99 yojanas. Another one said that he can cross the 100 yojanas but was not sure if he can return. Whether one jumps 1, 99 or 100 with no return – the result is the same, failure. None of them were good enough for the task. Jambavan reminded Hanuman of his immense, divine capabilities. Hanuman gained courage and what he did next was beyond what anyone expected. He expanded himself, crossed the ocean with all its hurdles along the way, located Sitha Devi, established perfect communication with Her, killed many rakshasas, and finally conveyed Sri Rama’s message to Ravana with valour, humour and intellect. He then flew back to report to Sugriva and Sri Rama.

Everyone was enthused to see Hanuman return. They all tried to touch him with tips of their fingers and bow down to him with closed eyes, indicating their deep adoration and reverence to Hanuman for having accomplished the mighty task.

Hanuman is regarded as a representation of an acharya who brings together Atma (Sitha) with Paramatma (Rama). The mighty task (crossing the ocean) of our acharyas is to overcome various temptations by using proper intellect, dedication, perseverance, and  patience! 

Hanuman, a Symbol of Humility!

Hanuman (acharya) is deeply devoted to Rama (God) and therefore accomplishes this task. He then supports Sitha (soul) to reach her goal. This is only possible for a Sadachaya (a true acharya). Ravana (manas) in Lanka (body) thinks that he can bring Sitha (the soul) under his control and makes many attempts. But, as long as Sitha awaits reunion with Rama (Lord) and establishes connection with Hanuman (acharya), she remains safe.

All the vanaras returned with great excitement and started giving information to Rama about Lanka and Sitha Devi (only as described by Hanuman to them). Rama observed everyone’s recounting of the events and watched Hanuman stand behind with utmost humility. Rama knew that doers don’t talk unnecessarily, they simply respond to the cause with fullest dedication.

Rama then asked the vanaras, “what did Sitha Devi convey to me?” Everyone was quiet. They did not have an answer to this question. They all looked at Hanuman. Hanuman described all the events of his journey to his brothers except for this one detail. Sitha’s message was to be delivered only to Rama as per Her request. Hanuman therefore conveyed it only to Rama.

Hanuman, a Symbol of Humility

Sitha (the soul) conveys to Hanuman (acharya) that she cannot wait longer than 2 months to see Rama. If it takes a minute longer, she would end her life. Rama (Lord) thinks to Himself – “ what to say of 2 months, I cannot wait even a minute” (indicating that Lord’s love for us is always more than what we feel for Him. It’s analogous to how a mother’s love for a child always surpasses the child’s love for the mother).

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– November 7  th 2019, Khaja Guda
– Bhadrachala Murthi, Sri Sitha Rama Chandra
– Kalyana Mahotsavam,
– (brief retelling of  Sundara Kanda)