|The Vast Sea
Hanumantha, Angada, Jambavantha and others went towards the South in search of Seetha.
Sugreeva had given them only a month's time to find her. They wandered far and wide and
grew utterly weary. At last
they came to the sea. They stood before the vast, roaring sea.
The period granted by Sugreeva was over. So that were they to do? The brave soldiers of
Sugreeva sat bewildered. If they returned to Kishkindha, Sugreeva would certainly punish
them. So, Angada suggested that they should fast to death on the seashore. But Hanumantha
replied, "Angada, that would not be right. Surely Sugreeva will not punish us if we
return." He tried to persuade them in many ways.
But the other's in their pessimism would not listen to him. All of them spread some darbha
grass and lay down on it, determined to die.
then a person by name Sampathi came there. From him they learnt that Seetha was Ravana's
prisoner in Lanka. Their joy knew no bounds. They danced about shouting, "Oh! Now we
Seetha!" With great enthusiasm, they turned to the sea. But who could cross the
One of them said, "I can jump across ten yojanas." (The 'yojana' was the old
unit of measurement of distance.) Another said, "I can jump twenty yojanas."
Jambavantha was a mighty warrior, but now old. He said, 'When I was young, I could leap
over any distance.Now I am old, and can leap ninety yojanas. But this is a hundred."
Angada went further - 1 can cross a hundred yojanas, and reach
Lanka. But I do not know if I will have strength left to come back."
The old Jambavantha consoled them all and said, "Hanumantha is the only great hero
who can leap over the sea to Lanka and come back. Let me go and cheer him up and encourage
Hanumantha was sitting apart from the. Others and silently gazing on the sea.
You remember that some sages had pronounced a curse upon Hanumantha, when he was a young
boy - which he would not be aware of his own strength unless others told him of it.
Jambavantha now praised Hanumantha's strength and ability He said, "No other living
creature has your strength, wisdom and radiance. -Why are you sitting quiet, not knowing
yourself? You can certainly jump over the ocean."