Ramayana water color illustrations
Sunderkanda part one
The agony and esctacy
An unexpected barrier springs from the sea to block Hanuman’s path.
Menak mountain tells Hanuman how Indra clipped the wings of all mountains. Gigantic Surasa blocks Hanuman’s path and expands her mouth as big as Hanuman’s size.
Hanuman shrinks himself and escapes through the gap within Surasa’s teeth. A dangerous Rakshasi catches Hanuman by his shadow, and drags him down.
Hanuman tears his way out of the Rakshasi’s innards. Hanuman is amazed by the opulent, golden, gem studded city of Lanka.
The massive opulent golden gates of Lanka. Hanuman observes pretty women dancing to soul stirring music played on melodious instruments.
Hanuman stopped by a pretty woman who turns out to be the spirit of Lanka. One blow and the spirit of Lanka falls down flat.
Lanka tells Hanuman about Brahma’s prophesy. So many pretty women in Lanka! How do I find Seetha?
“The golden bed is elegant no doubt, but I wonder how he is able to sleep so peacefully on its hard surface! He did not even wake up when I fell on him” Hanuman muses, not knowing that it is Kumbhakarna. Hanuman spots the Pushpaka Vimana.
Pushpakatma or the spirit of the aeroplane challenges Hanuman. Hanuman observes Ravana sleeping peacefully with one of his wives.
Hanuman mistakes Mandodari for Seetha. In depression, Hanuman decides to fast unto death, but is blessed by visions of Rama who gives him an idea.
Hanuman spots a Rakshasa maid taking a platter of food to the garden of joy. Hanuman flabbergasted on seeing the beauty of Ashok Vatika.
Hanuman spots a distraught Seetha. Seetha guarded by fearsome and fierce asuras.
Hanuman spots the arrival of Ravana with his wives, shaded by an umbrella and fanned gently. “Please become my wife! Why are you so stubborn and heartless? I will give you the world” Ravana pleads to Seetha.
“Till my last breath, I wont think of anyone else but Rama. You may kill me but I will never succumb to your desires” “Oh stubborn Seetha, I give you two months. At the end of that I will enjoy your flesh, either on my bed or on my dining table!”
Ravana’s wives plead “Oh Master! What does Seetha have that we lack? Forget her!” Ravana is unable to tell his wives about his shameful secret of Rambha’s rape and the subsequent curse.
Swethajata tries to convince Seetha by pleasant words. Ekajata threatens with dire consequences if Seetha does not agree to Ravana’s desires.
Hanuman observes a tearful Seetha contemplating suicide. “I will rather starve to death, than eat your food” Seetha flings away the platter of food.
Trijata dreams of a tonsured Ravana on a pig, and other evil porrents. Hanuman is in a dilemma about how to approach Seetha.
Seetha is surprised to see a pleasant faced smiling monkey singing verses in praise of Rama. “I am a messenger from Rama” says Hanuman, but Seetha is unconvinced and suspicious.
“Tell me something about Rama and Lakshmana to convince me that you really come from them” says Seetha. Hanuman describes in detail the characteristics of Noble Rama.
Hanuman allays Seetha’s suspicion by reminding her about the incident at the banks of Mandakini River, when a crow pecked her breast. Hanuman gives Rama’s ring to Seetha.
“If Rama is alive and well, why has he not yet come to rescue me?” Seetha wonders. “Oh mother Seetha! Worry not. I will carry you on my back”
Hanuman expands his size to convince skeptical Seetha. Seetha tells the other half of the story, when Rama charged a blade of grass with Brahmastra and threw it to the crow who had pecked Seetha’s breast.
Seetha blesses Hanuman for a safe journey. Lakshmana suspicious by the inordinate delay in the return of the south team.
The two daughters of mountain Emperor Himavan. Uma (Parvathi) and Ganga. Ganga bears Shiva’s seed thawed by Agni to beget six headed Kartikeya.
Parvathi gets angry at Shiva, who leaves on his aimless wanderings. Parvathi creates a baby boy out of her body secretions.
“Oh dirty creature! Who are you and what do you want?” Vinayaka challenges Shiva. Shiva strangles his own son, suspecting him to be a bastard.
After Uma’s tearful explanations, Shiva repents and restores his son’s life by transplanting an elephant head over his body.
Go to Sunder Kaanda Volume two illustrations
Part one Part two Part three Part four Part five Part Six Part seven Part eight Part nine Part ten Part eleven Part twelve Part Thirteen Part fourteen Part fifteen Part sixteen
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