Eight-fold qualities of intellect

Sita was so much pleased with Hanuman’s reply that she said he was the only one capable of intelligent and balanced conversation accompanied by the eight –fold qualities of the head, namely:

Grahanam dhaaranam chaiva smaranam pratipaadanam

Oohaapohaarthavijnaanam tattvajnaanam cha dheegunaaha


Grahanam – absorption;

Dhaaranam –installation of absorbed material;

Smaranam – memory of installed material;

Pratipaadanam – logical proof;

Oohaapoham – determination of exploration of possibilities & reality;

Arthavaijnaanam – knowledge of literal implication;

Tattvajnaanam – knowledge of philosophical implication.


Only Maruti, according to Sita, was endowed with the eight limits of intellect of superlative qualities:-

Atilakshana sampannam maadhurya gunabhooshitam,

Buddhyaah ashtaangayaa yuktam twamevaarhasi bhaashitum


When a person in whom there is a conglomeration of these qualities of the head speaks, his voice and speech will be as melodious and receptive as the sweetness of honey. Vaidehi said that these qualities of brain had made a bee-line in adorning his intellect. She proceeded to praise his other qualities too: You are the worthy son of Vayu and supremely righteous. You are the repository of such great virtues as physical strength, valour, knowledge of scriptures, mental strength, bravery, wisdom, spiritual glow, mercy, courage, dependability and humility. This is beyond doubt!”


Whither rakshasis?

Sita’s showers of praise did not disturb his ego or composure a bit. He was not carried away by the encomium. On the other hand, it brought his hands together in worship of Vaidehi. He stepped a little forward and said:

“Devi! If only you permit me, I shall kill all those rakshasis who instilled fear in you and threatened you with dire consequences. You had looked upon your husband as God but had the mortification of suffering mental torture here in this Ashoka Vana. At that time, as commanded by Ravana, these cruel rakshasis with fearful forms, fierce-looking eyes and ugly faces, with capacity for incarceration, had been tormenting you several times with very harsh words. I intend giving all these personifications of cruelty, coarseness and twirled faces such severe mortal blows as to put an end to rakshasis”.


Righteous indignation

“Devi!” continued Hanuman, “Kindly give me this singular boon. These rakshasis were tyrannizing you with words shocking to the ear. They had even threatened to devour you like cannibals. I want them all to be preys to the powerful impact of my fists, knees, my brawny arms and beastly legs. I shall remove their eyes and chop off their ears. I shall pluck their coarse hairs one by one. This is the only way to bring about a disgraceful end to those who sacrilegiously embarked on a punitive expedition against you. Dame of fame! Kindly accede to my request. This is the only one I seek from you.”


The ocean of kindness

Hanuman’s prayer for permission to use the sceptre of retributive justice in a spirit of retaliation and witch-hunting sent Sita to a moment of silence. The ocean of kindness thought over conflicts of right and wrong and counselled the son of Vayu restraint and patience.


Acting under instruction

“Great among the Vaanaras!” said Sita, “All these had been under Ravana’s protection. Naturally, they were subservient to him. They had to act according to his direction. Who can find fault with the maids and subordinates who were loyal to their king?”


Sita’s “karma”?

“I for one” continued Sita, “was unfortunate. Whatever wrong and assailable karma I had of the past was producing results then – up to this present day. I had to reap what I had sown and the inalienable fruits in the shape of difficulties. Swakritam hyupabhuyathe – every living being must swallow the fruits of personal action – right or wrong, good or bad – and go through the ordeals. It is therefore not proper for you to pass death sentence on these dasis. This is exactly what divinity has ordained as my lot. It was inevitable that I had to undergo a period of distress and discomfort in accordance with my yoga as to dasha-bhukti of planets and planetary configurations. I therefore absolve all these dasis of Ravana of all their misdeeds as they were helpless. More than that, don’t you see that the rakshasis were hurling threats at me as they were under total control of Ravana and when he is dead, why will they continue the threats? They were not troubling me on their own and when Ravana has embraced death, there is no one here around to give commands and directions. It is clear therefore that there is no question of my being threatened by them in any way. It will certainly be not proper therefore to do away with them. This reminds me, Hanuman, of the legend about the bear and the tiger.”

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