AFTER taking leave of Sita, Hanumaan sat for a while on the top
of the garden wall and began to think:
"What can I do to put courage into Sita and some fear into Ravana and his friends to shake their arrogant confidence? It would be good to leave them some souvenir of my visit, some indication of what the future has in store for them. I must instill some fear into Ravana to prevent him from troubling Sita and fear is the only argument he will understand."
At once he began to grow and assumed a huge form and began to destroy the garden. The beautiful Asoka Park soon became a mass of ruin from which the deer and the birds fled in fear. The sleeping raakshasis woke up and ran to Ravana to report. Ravana at once sent a strong force to attack and kill or capture the intruder.
When he saw the soldiers, Hanuman snatched a huge iron bar from the gate and began to attack them all. He sprang and leaped in all directions and, whirling the iron rod, struck the Raakshasas down, one by one. After finishing them thus, he resumed his seat on the top of the pillared entrance of the garden, and announced that he was sent by Rama, Lakshmana and Sugreeva to destroy the city of Lanka and roared in a terrifying voice. His roar reached all of Lanka and the hearts of the Raakshasas trembled in fear.
Ravana sent more soldiers commanded by great generals; all were destroyed by Hanuman. Finally, Ravana sent his son Indrajit, the conqueror of Indra and a great battle ensued. When Indrajit found that ordinary weapons were not successful, he released his most powerful weapon, the Brahmastra. At its touch the Hanuman lay bound and helpless.
Hanumaan realised that he had been bound by the great and powerful Brahmaastra. But he remembered that he had secured a boon from Brahma: 'This weapon will keep me bound for only one muhoorta (four fifths of an hour). 'I run no real risk. Let me see what the Raakshasas do to me while I am bound by the astra and pretend to be help less."
To make it safer, the soldiers foolishly brought ropes of jute and coconut fiber and bound Hanuman tight and shouted with joy: "Now we have bound him, let us drag him to the Lord of the Raakshasas." But Indrajit, who noticed this too late and could not prevent this foolish act, felt sad. 'Alas!' he thought with sorrow. 'They have undone all my work. These fools do not know that by binding him, the astra has withdrawn its power. The binding force of the mantra is undone when physical bonds are added. Hanumaan is now held only by the ropes which he can burst open. Alas, the Brahmaastra can not be used a second time.'
Hanuman's captors took him to the
court of Ravana and placed him in front of the King with great pride.