|What Can Stop
As Hanumantha became aware of his own powers, great enthusiasm welled up in him. He stood
up and after glancing at them all began to grow. His companions were astonished. As they
went on praising him, his stature grew.
He grew so tall that he could jump across the sea. Still he was very modest. He bowed to
the elders and said, "I am the son of the Wind God who can move in the skies without
touching the earth. If need be,I can throw skyward all the water of this ocean and make
the three worlds float on water. I will go like lightning and surely see Seethadevi."
His voice was like thunder. He stood on Mount Mahendra and grew even bigger and then
leapt. Even the gods in Heaven were amazed at Hanumantha's flight over the ocean. They
wanted to test his strength; they sent an unearthly spirit by name Surase, from the
serpent world, to obstruct him. She appeared before Hanu- mantha in the form of a rakshasi
and roared: "The gods have given you for my food. I will swallow you," "You
cannot go further without entering my mouth," she added.
She opened her mouth, and it was big enough to swallow the huge Hanumantha.
Hanumantha increased his size further and said, "Eat me if you want but your mouth
will have to be much bigger."
Surase's mouth grew wider as Hanu- mantha's body grew bigger.
Hanumantha's form grew bigger and bigger. Even so, Surase's mouth grew
wider and wider.
Hanumantha was clever. He thought there would be no end to this process. Suddenly he
shrank to the size of a thumb, entered her mouth and came out. He now stood before her and
entreated her with these words - "Now that I have entered your mouth and come out of
it also, please allow me to continue my journey."
Surase was pleased with his cleverness and allowed him to go, wishing him success.
Hanumantha moved on. But lo! There was another obstacle. There was another rakshasi in the
way and she had a strange power. She would drag down those who were flying above the sea
by catching hold
of their shadows from below and would eat them up later. She was now overjoyed that she
could get food and dragged down Hanumantha's shadow. Hanumantha entered her mouth. But
once inside, he
grew bigger; he then burst open her body and came out.
Hanumantha could see Lanka at a distance . His joy knew no
bounds. But he feared that if he entered Lanka as he was, every one would see him. So
assuming his normal size, he alighted on a mountain near the seashore.