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My name is Hanuman, son of the Wind god and champion of the kingdom of Kishkindha. That is where our story begins, with the humble and dharmic capital to the monkey kingdom, at its heart was the throne of Valin, the most powerful of all apes and sovereign over all his kingdom, at least, for the time being. Truly, the most powerful being to step on ape soil was not Valin; it was Rama, son of king Dasharatha of Kosala. Valin’s past was revealed to Rama, that Valin’s brother, Sugriva was actually the true heir to the Kishkindha throne; although the truth was not recognized by the current ape king. I watched as Rama left Kishkindha to search for righteous Sugriva, or so he was called by his loyalist compatriots. Rama returned with Sugriva and killed Valin, instating his brother on the seat of power, with the promise that, after the turn of two seasons, ape search parties would fan out across the globe in search of Rama’s lost wife, Sita. In time, I became Rama’s loyal servant, a bull among apes, answerable only to the chastiser of his foes, Ragava. Aiding him served a dharmic function that spanned years prior to my existence, in the seats of power granted to ancient ascetics and inherited by the gods.
A long time, years, in fact millennia before I was born, events were set in motion by an evil avatar called Ravana, whose asceticism was so undeniably spiritual that his power threatened the gods. Ravana made a deal with the gods to become invulnerable lest he attempt to destroy them and in that deal he requited that he be impervious to the likes of all gods and demons, including the minor deities. However, he omitted invulnerability to humans, giving him exceptional and exclusive weakness to my master, Rama. Indeed, by being Rama’s advocate, I, Hanuman, am an agent of the good in this world, aiding the blue avatar to his goal. I am a attaché in a squadron of apes sent out to find traces of Sita, Rama’s wife. Lead by Angada, the son of Valin, we are the most favoured of the monkey search parties.
Rama saw exclusive promise in me when he awarded me a token of his rescue, to born upon his wife; it was his ring. Giving this to the woman would turn the tide of Rama’s fortunes indubitably so now, we are a month lost in the forest, past a deadline set by Sugriva that promised death to any apes that returned to Kishkindha after a month of not finding traces of Sita. I look down at the beautiful band, reflecting sadly on what could have been a heroic rescue of Rama’s prized wife. Angada jumps to a drastic solution: granted that we could not return to our home and hope to survive Sugriva’s wrath, we should fast to death. And so it was, until…
A huge vulture descended on us. My vision was blurred from hunger and my eyes widened in fear of the bird. We were all afraid the monster was going to devour us but it refrained, after hearing one of us utter the name of tis brother. The utterance was part of a ramble of tragedies that had lead up to the crisis we faced, a deathly grim vulture. I said nothing, watching as Angada began to communicate with the bird. It told us of a sage that had long ago assigned it a task, to warn passing monkeys of a monstrous flying rakshasa called Ravana who kidnapped Sita, flying toward Lanka. The stream of knowledge revealed where we needed to head, conveniently across the southern ocean. To our notice, we had been fasting on the southern beaches for days before the vulture arrived, so we were ready to continue the mission. Or at least, one of us was. After all, only one ape could leap over the entire ocean, to Lanka, the heart of evil in the world, home to all rakshasas. Of all the apes in our squadron, I could leap the furthest, given the exploits of my youth and my birth as the son of the wind god. I volunteered for the task graciously, as would noble and righteous Rama, were he required to do anything of heroic merit. Parting ways with the group, I sprinted to the peak of the tallest mountain around me and observed the Southern ocean with a prospective gaze. I caught a running start and leapt into the air, high above the crashing waves of the sea and flew out into the fringe of civilized domain. Flying through the air, I saw a huge mountain rise from the ocean far ahead of me, trying to give me a resting place but I passed it up almost instantly and continued to cruise toward Lanka. I landed and got my bearings, thanking the gods for a safe journey across the ocean.
Sita was being held in Ravana’s palace in the heart of the evil city. It was a place of fantastic and incredible sin, unlike anything I had ever seen before, with rakshasas of all verilities wandering aimlessly, viciously, hungrily. I have an innate ability to change my own size at will; therefore, before going into the city of Lanka, I opted to become smaller, so that the vicious rakshasas wouldn’t be able to see me. My journey took me to the heart of Ravana’s wives’ den where I resisted the temptations of the rakshasis. Afterward, I found Sita, terrified in the den of all the women, who tormented her by day and gave her nightmares by night. I handed her the ring with my hairy hand and watched her smile, thinking of Rama. I was eager to fulfill my promise to Rama and bring him his wife but things were not that simple. Sita refused to hold onto me as I could cross the Southern Ocean in a great leap. Instead, she demanded that I return to Rama with news that she was still alive, in Ravana’s captivity.
And so I departed her company and prepared to leave Lanka but before I left, I felt an urge to do some damage to the rakshasas which had caused these atrocities to the world and Sita. I smashed columns and threw architecture from the city at rakshasas, slaughtering them and crushing them like vegetables. Ravana got word of this violence and decided to have me eliminated by his most elite warriors, whom came after me in packs, sometimes many at a time, sometimes few. One by one, they fell before me, dead carcasses piling onto one another, making a field of death over the island of Lanka. Literal armies of rakshasas came after me, to destroy me entirely but they were nothing compared to my speed, powerless in the face of my magnitude.
Finally, Ravana sent his son, Indrajit, after me to finish me off. However, he was not sufficiently skilled enough, much to Ravana’s dismay, to kill me immediately and, in fact, our battle lasted several hours. Reaction time was key in this battle of speed and power. Ultimately, though, I decided to not attempt to defeat Indrajit and to let him live…because his skill was on par with my own, a feat admirable beyond my ability to defeat. Turning my back on the rakshasas’ evil son and Sita, I left the battle. After, I escaped the island of Lanka and returned across the ocean to my master, Rama, who was pleased to meet me after months of unknowing.
I told him of his wife Sita being trapped on the island of Lanka, residential sovereign nation of Ravana, the incarnation of evil who kidnapped her. Rama was infuriated and thrown into a violent rage. I watched as he drew his bow back as far as he could, lit his arrows with pure rage and shot the arrows off into the sea, riling the ocean god up below. He arose and spoke to Rama, offering himself to Rama’s architect, a monkey builder, one of my brothers. The sea submitted to letting itself be bridged by us and as Rama called this out to the monkey army, they began hurling boulders into the sea to build the bridge’s foundation. Gradually, a bridge of stones climbed out of the water as rocks piled onto the foundation. Once the bridge was complete, Rama led the march across the ocean; I was a little ways behind him, with my monkey brothers, claimed to be different from men and yet we were all so similar, fighting the same enemy in the end. Lanka at last and we were all there to appreciate the gravity of its downfall. We marched on, toward the dark red city, still stained with blood from my slaughter of Ravana’s elite rakshasa assasins. They were no match for me, just as the entire race of raskshasas was no match for the combined might of humanity, apes, and the divine. Our combined efforts, a dharmic motion set forth long before even Rama’s birth, will bring about the first ever utopia under the kingship of Rama. He is my liege, the leader of my people, his sovereignty extending everywhere on Earth, making the universe his kingdom, or so some say.
The army marched right up to the walls of Lanka and set up the siege. Rama watched as Lakshmana and myself led the first attacks on the forces of Ravana on the battlefield. Meanwhile, within the safety of his palace, Ravana was surely regretting his decisions to capture Sita and fight Rama as he was planning to do. We were wolves at his door, waiting to seal the kill, until Indrajit joined the battle. Rama and Lakshmana were bound by the same mystic coils that the son of Ravana utilized to incapacitate me in battle only days before.
Fortuneately, destiny was on our side this day, in this fight for our lives. I watched as the eagle of Vishnu descended from the heavens to the battlefield, rescuing the sons of Dasharatha from their peril and delivering them to safety, removing their binds in the process. Once again, the forces of evil were thwarted by extensions of the powers of the divine on the other planes of existence. More importantly, Rama was one such extension of the power of the divine. Of course, we didn’t know it at the time; I had no clue that he was really the avatar of Vishnu, god of forbearance and good will and fortune. Rama had always been kind and supernaturally powerful but I knew nothing of the implications of these clues to his true nature.
As we defeated Indrajit, Ravana was driven to extreme measures to defeat us warriors of Kosala and Kishkindha. He took to awakening the monstrous rakshasa, Kumbakarna, who towered over every other being on the field of battle. It took Ravana and his forces a long time to wake up the giant monster and when he finally awoke to the slapping and yelling, he demanded food in bulk to satiate his colossal hunger. The army fed him cows, deer, and other animals, almost like a sacrifice of animals in the form of food. In return, Kumabakarna, came to his senses. Even then though, he was still upset at Ravana, demanding an explanation. After receiving one, he conceited to serving Ravana in his conflict, joining the battle in Lanka.
Kumbakarna’s huge figure appeared on the battlefield and was attacked by the sons of Dasharatha. They cut off his ears and nose and the giant rakshasa, mutilated, looked like a statue covered in wet paint. The giant was defeated and Ravana and Rama were at last face to face. Unapologetic, Ravana took Rama’s challenge and they fought finally, unleashing their pent up rage and attempting to destroy one another. I was in awe when at last Rama delivered the killing blow and finished off the incarnation of evil. At last, evil was defeated.
Ravana had a righteous relative that was instated as Lanka’s new king, just as Sugriva was instated in my kingdom of Kishkindha and Rama took leave to his home of Kosala. Before leaving, he of course burned the corpse of Ravana, the action of an ascetic, with mutual respect for the asceticism of another who attained great power by it and through it. Dharma can be a tool and yet, as Rama understands, it can also use you as a tool for its own agenda.
After the war with Lanka, I retired to my home in Kishkindha, saying a final goodbye to him after his tragic banishment of his wife Sita. I never understood why he thought such actions were righteous but then again, he is not on my level of thinking. I’m only an ape. Or so I’ve thought for all this time. It’s come to my attention at last that I was cursed by someone, a long time ago…but I can’t remember who. Rama’s consoling goodbye provides me with the only relaxation after all that has led me to this point of finishing. Then again, these events will never truly die out from our minds, from our epic perspective, so to speak. That’s what Rama would say perhaps, or not. I was cursed and I can’t remember certain things so that’s about all I know about such existential matters.
In conclusion, what made Rama a good person by the end of this story was what he did with his time after he made the world a perfect place. He decided to consult with some sages about the righteousness of his actions over the course of the past months that he had been killing monsters, men, and rakshasas alike. He at last figured out where they all fit into the divine picture, the cosmological map that sees us all as stars on a black back drop. We just twinkle, a part in a total system, adrift, like an ape on the the wind.
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