[ Transcribed from lectures given by Sri Atmatattva Das ]

So Hanuman flew back. And then while coming back, and when they reached Kishkinda, there was a beautiful forest called Madhuvana. This Madhuvana was a privSo Hanuman flew back. And then while coming back, and when they reached Kishkinda, there was a beautiful forest called Madhuvana. This Madhuvana was a private garden of Sugriva. There was so many honey hives there, and honey was flowing on the ground and so many fruits. It was well guarded. There was one great monkey called Dadhimukha. Dadhimukha was sitting in front of this garden at four doors. Only Sugriva was allowed in. So when the monkeys were returning, they went to Hanuman and said to him, “We have done a great task, so we must have some enjoyment. Let us go inside Madhuvana and drink honey.”

Hanuman said, “What? Go inside Madhuvana? Sugriva will get angry. He will know we have done a good job. We are not allowed to go in there.”

Then Jambavan said, “Oh Hanuman, you don’t think properly. That Madhuvana is such a wonderful place, there is so much honey there. We have worked so hard. All these monkeys were so patient. They must be rewarded. If you are not going, I am going.” So Jambavan entered the Madhuvana, and all the monkeys entered the Madhuvana. There was a difference of opinion, but eventually they were won over, and then all the monkeys were all drinking honey like anything and eating fruits.

Dadhimukha went to Sugriva and said, “What is this? Even your defense minister Hanuman is totally useless. Even your great uncle Jambavan is also useless. They are all coming inside the royal forest, and they are drinking the honey.”

Sugriva looked at Ramacandra and said, “O Lord, Your work has been accomplished.”

Ramacandra said, “How do you know that?”

Sugriva replied, “How can they dare enter Madhuvana, my garden, and drink honey? This means they have done some wonderful task. Maybe Sita is with them, otherwise they wouldn’t dare to do it.” So he told Dadhimukha, “Give them more honey! Give them more fruits. Open the gates of Madhuvana, it is open for everyone.”

And then Hanuman came, and he was saying, “We found Sita! We found Sita!” Hanuman was thinking, “If I say “Sita…” then Ramacandra may think that I have not found her.” He did not want to confuse him. First of all he said, “Found, found, found.”

When Ramacandra heard this, he said to Sugriva, “What you said was true. Hanuman is in the sky, and he is saying, `I have found.’ What would he have found? He would have found Sita, because he was looking for Sita.” So then Hanuman came and there was discussion, and then Ramacandra decided, “Attack!” So to summarize, they built this wonderful bridge and crossed over it. Then they arrived there on the shore.

As soon as they arrived there Sugriva was looking this way and that, and Vibhisana said, “That is Ravana’s palace, that ten-floor building.” So then they all commented, “What a beautiful building.”

When Ramacandra looked back there was no Sugriva. He said, “Sugriva! Where is Sugriva?”

Vibhisana said, “Some demon is playing a trick. We must be on guard, everyone be ready.” Everyone took their weapons but Sugriva was not there.

Sugriva flew to the tenth floor of the building. He simply could not tolerate that Ravana was living there with Sita under his custody, and Ramacandra was here. Sugriva got so angry, he went there, and Ravana was as usual looking upon the mirror. Sugriva became small, and he went around his face and spat on it. Ravana was doing his make-up with fifteen assistants spraying, and doing all sorts of things to make up his face, and then he felt something wet. “What is this? What is that?” Sugriva was spitting all over his face. Then he told his servants to stop doing what they were doing, but still it was coming. He said, “There’s some bee or mosquito here.” He looked around, and then he caught hold of Sugriva, holding him in his hand. Ravana said, “How dare you do this? What are you doing, spitting on my face?” He looked closely, and realized it was a monkey. “Another monkey! And so small?”

The monkey was speaking, “Ravana, I spat on your face. Now I am happy,” and before he could catch him he flew away. He landed in front of Ramacandra.

Ramacandra said, “Sugriva, where have you been?”

Sugriva said, “I went there and spat on the rascal’s face!”

Ramacandra said, “What did you do? Oh, I have made a great mistake by associating myself with monkeys. I am the son of Dasaratha. I have landed in another man’s country, and you have already gone and spat on his face.”

Sugriva said, “I am sorry my Lord, but you must understand that after all, I am a monkey. When I get angry, I can’t control it. All your yuga-dharma you can keep in your pocket. Nobody will blame you, because they will say, “Sugriva was a monkey. What can you do? It was not Ramacandra’s defect.”

So then Ramacandra said, “I want to send a messenger.””

So Sugriva said, “The only person who has got so much sense control, apart from Hanuman, and he has already gone anyway, is Angada.”

So Ramacandra called Angada and embraced him. He said, “My dear Angada, I am going to send you to Ravana. He is a very dangerous person so be careful. You go to him and tell him that Ramacandra does not have any intention to fight with him. All I desire is that he give back Sita, and I will leave. I will make friendship with him. I will be his greatest friend. If anybody attacks Lanka, I will protect him. You please tell this to him. Only Sita, nothing else do I want from him. I don’t want these monkeys to get killed and I don’t want to kill his demons, and I don’t want to kill Ravana.”

So Angada said, “All right, I will take this message to Ravana.” He circumambulated Rama and Laksmana, touched Rama’s feet. Then he came to Hanuman, touched his feet and said, “You must bless me, because you were the first one to go.”

“Go there,” Hanuman said, and he called him close by and in his ear he said, “You must insult them.” And then Angada flew off.

Angada came straight in front of Ravana, flying in, landing right in front of him. He said, “Ravana, my name is Angada. I am the son of Bali. You may remember him.” This Bali did one wonderful pastime with Ravana. When Ravana heard that anyone who goes in front of Bali will lose half his strength, he was thinking, “This means that he will become more powerful than me in this world, so I must first control Bali.” So he went there, and Bali had made a vrata or vow that he would worship Salagram in four holy places every day. He would worship in Rameshvaram, Badrinath, Jagannatha Puri and Dvaraka. All that he would do in one way. Each place he would visit in one leap. He would leap from Kishkinda to Rameshvaram. He would do the worship, and before it is too late then he will jump back to Kishkinda. From there he would jump to Dvaraka. He was just leaping. Then to Badrinath and coming back. While he was doing this he would make sure that he would keep his foot on top of Sugriva’s head and press it a little bit. That he was doing also. Sugriva was hiding there, in one area. In that place Bali cannot go because he was cursed that if he entered there his head would break into 10,000 pieces. Sugriva took shelter in that place. Even then, before going to Dvaraka, Bali would make sure he would give him one kick on his head, and then he would go to Dvaraka. While coming back, again one kick. In a day, eight kicks Sugriva was getting.

Hanuman could not tolerate, so once when Bali was kicking like that Hanuman caught Bali on his waist, and he was trying to pull him down, because if he touches the ground he would be dead. Bali knew that if he touched the floor he would be dead, so he was trying to pull Hanuman up. One was pulling down and one up, and they were in one spot. They had equal strength, ten thousand elephant strength. Neither was going anywhere. Bali said, “Leave me alone! Let me go!” Hanuman said, “I will let you go on one promise; you don’t do this kicking any more. Otherwise, I will pull you down.” Bali said, “All right, we will make a truce. I am not against you, you are not against me. I am against Sugriva. I will not come here and kick him, and you leave me alone.” He left.

After being harassed by Hanuman, he went to Dvaraka and quickly he was doing his worship and Ravana was behind. Ravana did not come in front because he knew he would lose half of his strength. From the back he was thinking, “Slowly I will catch hold of the tail, and then I will do something.” So when Ravana came close to the tail, he caught it, and he was thinking, “Oh that was very easy.” But when he was trying to pull the tail, instead of pulling the tail the tail pulled him. And then the tail extended and came around his body. He held him in his tail, and then he leaped to Kishkinda, from there to Badrinath, from there back and to Puri, leap back. Ravana was hanging in the tail. Even the Gandharvas were laughing, the women and the Caranas were laughing, and Ravana was closing his eyes, and he said, “Bali, please leave me, don’t tie me in the tail. At least carry me in the hand, it is more prestigious than being tied in a monkey’s tail. This is not good.” Finally when they arrived in Kishkinda he brought his tail around in front of him and said, “Hey, you be careful. You don’t come in this area any more.” Ravana said, “I am surrendered to you, I am your servant. And don’t attack Sri Lanka, and I won’t come here.” So Ravana made a pact.

Angada told him, “Ravana, do you remember Bali? At least you should remember his tail. I am his son. I am the smallest in the army that Ramacandra has brought. That is why Ramacandra picked me to come and see you. I am a very small person. I am a prince, and there are bigger monkeys there. But I am requesting you one thing. Ramacandra said that if you give back Sita, he would go back, and he does not want anything.”

Ravana said, “Why are these monkeys coming and talking like ministers to me? You had better put your tail between your legs and run away from here before I kill you.”

Angada said, “Oh, you are going to kill me? You can kill me later.” He lifted his leg and put it in front of Ravana. “But for now you please move my foot. Then we can think about scheming and murdering and killing.”

Ravana said, “Come here Indrajit.”

So Indrajit got up and went there. He slapped, and after slapping he saw his palm swell up, because it was like a rooted Banyan tree. Then he sat down and used both hands and tried to shake it, and found that it was like Mount Meru. Indrajit was sweating profusely, and he gave up. Vibhisana got up and said, “Ravana, your time is coming. Look at this. A monkey’s foot cannot be shaken. Don’t you understand that there’s something happening? You were keeping the planets in your kitchen and now a monkey’s foot cannot be shaken? Something is wrong somewhere. Think about it.”

Ravana said, “You are so weak-minded. I will do it,” and he got up.

Angada said, “You want to touch my foot?”

Ravana said, “Aaargh! I have lifted Kailash!” So Ravana had all his twenty hands going, he was holding his legs and straining like anything, but he couldn’t move it.

Angada said, “Try my toe. You may be able to do that.” Ravana bent down and he was completely helpless, because he couldn’t move it.

Ravana sat down and said, “Where do you get your strength from?”

Angada said, “The same old question. Where are you getting your strength from? Where is anyone getting their strength from? The source of strength is Rama, and simply by chanting his name I am holding my breath. That is why you are not able to move my toe. I am the smallest monkey in the army. There are bigger monkeys than me. And with all of us is your brother Vibhisana who is helping. Laksmana is also there, and above him is the Supreme Lord Ramacandra. Use your intelligence Ravana, and give back Sita.”

Ravana said, “No! I’m not giving back Sita. I don’t believe any of this.”

Angada said, “Then you will meet your death,” and he flew back. When he came back, Jambavan came to him, and asked him, “They couldn’t move your toe?” He was seeing Ramayana over and over. So then Angada said, “How do you know this?” Jambavan said, “I am Jambavan. I have been here for a long time.”

Then the monkeys asked Angada, “Tell us the story.”

Jambavan said, “I will tell you the story, Angada go and tell Ramacandra what happened.”

So Angada went and told Ramacandra. Vibhisana said to Rama, “Now is the time. We must attack.”

Ramacandra said, “We will wait for tomorrow,” and they all took rest.

Vibhisana told Hanuman, “You can’t believe these demons, they’re very tricky. Especially when the sun sets they become more strong. This is one property of demons. I know, because I am from this civilization. Be careful with these demons.” So Vibhisana said, “We have to protect Rama and Laksmana,” and he told Hanuman, “You build a fort with your tail, and we will put Rama and Laksmana inside. Then we won’t lose them. You and I should guard.” They divided the monkey army into four groups, east, west, south and north. Angada, Nila, Sugriva, Jambavan, they all became guards. No-one slept, because they were expecting someone to come and kidnap Rama and Laksmana. So he made a huge big fort with his tail. It had rooms, verandas, courtyards, seven stories. To enter this fort you have to first go through the ear of Hanuman, and from there enter the mouth. From there you go to the back of the neck. There is one nerve that goes from there straight to the tail. You go into that, and past the tail. You travel in the tail and a little bit along there is a small opening. That is the gate. How could anyone enter Hanuman’s ear and go through his mouth and all that? So everyone was satisfied, “This is such a good defense.” The tail had been circled, and circled differently in some places to make windows. Everything was there, recreation and swimming pool. Everything was created by the mind of Hanuman, and it was all inside his tail. Outside Hanuman was going around that tail fort guarding. It was a conscious building, because it was the tail. Rama and Laksmana were there inside. Hanuman and Vibhisana were patrolling back and forward guarding.

Then at one point when Hanuman saw Vibhisana, Vibhisana said, “I want to go in and check. Please make sure that no-one comes over to this side. You stay here.” Hanuman was standing standing standing, but he did not come.

He said, “Let me take a quick flight.” He flew across and he came back. When he was coming back he saw Vibhisana standing outside.

He said, “If you went inside, why didn’t you come back? I was in the door.”

Vibhisana said, “I never went inside.”

Hanuman said, “There is something wrong,” and they both went inside. They saw that there was no Rama and no Laksmana. They were missing. They checked everywhere but they couldn’t find them. Then all the monkeys were crying and lamenting.

Vibhisana said, “This must be the work of Mahi-Ravana, the brother of Ravana. He stays in the netherlands, he has a secret city somewhere underneath. He is a great Mayavi. Somehow or other he has taken Rama and Laksmana. Hanuman, only you can go and get them, and I can tell you how to reach this place.” Hanuman decided to go and get Rama and Laksmana.