The wind-god's son Hanuman, Sugreeva's son Angadaa and a General of the Vanara Sena Taara with other soldiers searched many areas and finally reached the sea-shore. They were all sad about not finding Sita and did not want to go back to Sugreeva with news of their failure. They thought that it was better to fast and die on the sea-shore. Only Hanumaan did not share this negative feeling.
From a neighbouring hill, Sampaati, the vulture King, saw this crowd of Vaanaras, resigning themselves to fate. Having lost his wings and being unable to move, Sampaati had been famishing for a long time. He now rejoiced, saying to himself, "So many monkeys are going to die here together. I shall have enough food for a long while without effort." The Vaanaras, expecting death, were recalling the past and talking to one another and loudly lamenting over all that had happened.
"Because of Kaikeyi, Dasaratha died," they said: "Because of Dasaratha, Raama had to dwell in the forest. Raavana carried off Sita. The heroic Jataayu lost his life in the attempt to save Sita. If the heroic bird had strength enough to continue the struggle a little longer, Rama and Lakshmana would have arrived on the spot and recovered Sita. By fate did all these things happen and the end of the tale is that we are dying here. In what curious ways does fate work!"
Listening to these lamentations, Sampaati stared at the mention of Jataayu, who was his brother. Hearing him spoken of as dead, he naturally wished to hear the whole story. "Who brings sad news of my dear brother Jataayu?" he cried in agony. "Oh, Vaanaras, is beloved Jataayu dead indeed? Why did Rama son of King Dasaratha, go to the forest? Why did he lose his wife? Was Jataayu killed by Raavana? Tell me all."
The Vaanaras got up, went to Sampaati and gently led him down from the hill. Then they talked and exchanged information. Sampaati recounted his story. Angada related all that had happened in Kishkindha and asked old Sampaati how Raama could be helped.
Sampaati was old and weak, but his eyes had not lost their keenness. He could see things which were very far off. Looking in the South across the sea, he could see Sita captive in Lanka. He described in detail how Sita sat surrounded by raakshasis in a garden in Lanka. The Vaanaras were wild with joy. They jumped about saying, "Now we know all about Sita. There is no need for us to die, Raama's purpose will be achieved."
They decided that they had to cross the sea, find Sita and only then go back to Sugreeva to report what they had seen. They went to the edge of the water and discussed matters. "How can we cross the sea, enter Lanka, see Seeta and return?" Anxiety and fear overwhelmed them.
Angada said: "No matter bow bard the task, one should never lose courage. Courage is the key to success. To lose heart is to lose everything." Then he asked each one of his followers to state truly the maximum length that he could jump. One by one, they all spoke estimating the length they could jump, but all fell short of the distance to Lanka. Finally, the aged Vanara Jaambavaan cast an admiring look at Hanumaan, who had sat apart, listening to the talk, but saying nothing. "I feel that the son of Vaayu, sitting there in silence is the one best fitted by strength and skill to do this deed," said the old Vaanara and walked up to Hanumaan and brought him to their midst. Jambavaan addressed Hanuman thus:
"Born of Anjanaa and the spirit of the Wind-God, you are equal to him in splendour, intelligence and power. But, for all your strength, you are virtuous and modest. You alone can help us to fulfil Raama's purpose. Crossing the sea is no hard task to you. Increase your stature. You are the equal of Garuda. Once I too was strong like you and traversed the globe twenty-one times. At the churning of the ocean of milk, I fetched herbs from the four quarters at the bidding of the gods. But now I am old and weak. You are the sole hope of the Vaanaras."
Hearing Jaambavaan reminding him of his strength, Hanuman's dormant courage was roused. At once his form began to swell like the sea in high tide. Even as the Vaanaras were watching him, the son of Vaayu grew in size. The radiance of his body filled Angada and his companions with wonder and joy. Reminded of his might by Jaambavaan, Hanumaan was now determined to fulfil Raama's purpose. And with fervour he uttered his faith: "May your words come true. Flying through the sky and alighting in Lanka, I shall see Jaanaki, I have no doubt. I shall return and bring you good news. To take the jump I must press my foot hard against the earth. This hill may stand it," he said and climbed up the Mahendra hill. There for a while he threw his whole strength into his foot and walked a few steps.
Standing on the hill, Hanumaan looked at the sea and directed his yoga-concentrated mind towards Lanka. He said to himself: "I shall search and find Seeta. I shall fly in the sky and cross the sea." With this resolve he offered worship and prayer to Soorya, Indra, Vaayu, Brahma, and all creation. Then facing east, he made obeisance to his father Vaayu and, magnifying his frame still further, turned towards the south.
He Pressed the hill with his feet and struck it with his hands. He roared and lashed his tail on the ground. He contracted his hind parts, held his breath, pressed down his feet, folded his ears and stiffened his muscles. Then with a roar of triumph he rose into the sky and like Garuda flew with the speed of Raama's arrow. With the momentum of his speed, many trees were uprooted and followed in his wake. Like friends who speed a parting guest, they accompanied him a little way, showering down their flowers, and dropped.
With courage equal to every occasion, with foresight, skill and resolution, Hanumaan met and survived the obstacles on the way. Shooting up suddenly from the sea, a mighty mountain rose and stood in his way. Hanumaan struck it with his chest and the Mynaaka mountain yielded, like a cloud struck by the wind. The mountain said: "My son, I am mount Mynaaka. My king the Ocean bade me to help Sri Raama, the descendant of the Sagara race. The Ocean is an old friend of that race. In honour of that ancient association, stay here on me for a while. You will fulfil Raama's purpose all the better for resting here for some time."
But Hanumaan could not accept Mynaaka's request and offer of hospitality and said politely: "I cannot stop, my friend. I have no time to lose. My vow to fulfil Raama's purpose permits no delay. Your kind words are enough to please me." He stroked the mountain affectionately with his hand and took its leave.
Surviving many trials with the help of his subtle wit, courage and strength, and Rama's Grace, he flew across the ocean and approached the coast of Lanka covered with plantain and coconut trees. On the shore of the island he saw groves and mountains and forests and the mouths of rivers.
Hanumaan saw the wealth of Ravana's kingdom and the beauty of the fortified city. "I have reached the destination," said Hanuman to himself. "Now without letting the Raakshasas know who or what I am, I must search the place and find out where Sita is kept." He reduced his huge form to the size of a normal monkey and alighted on a hill-top in Lanka.