The Ramayana, in English – Hanuman Prepares to Leap to Lanka

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Having traveled several kilometers, the group arrived to the shore of the ocean. According to Sampati’s indications, Lanka was many kilometers away, and there was Sita, the object of their search.

The Vanaras looked at the great ocean and the distance that separated them from the island. They looked at each other’s face thinking: «how could they cross such a vast ocean?» Once again they were overwhelmed by discouragement.

Seeing that his best warriors were astonished, Angada wanted to encourage them by giving them hope.

“None of you,” he thundered, “being the best warriors that exist, are able to jump the distance that separates us from Lanka? How is it possible?”

Nobody dared to speak.

“How far do you think you are able to jump?” he asked again. “Why don’t you answer?”

Once again, no one answered. But Angada, Vali’s son, did not lose heart.

“We will never be able to proudly return to our homes, to our families, without having found Sita. Take courage, then, and tell me how much each of you think you can jump.”

Each Vanara declared their abilities, but none felt capable of leaping the eight hundred miles of ocean. Then, Jambavan intervened.

“I can jump eight hundred miles,” he said, “but I don’t know if I could come back later.”

“I also know I can jump eight hundred miles,” Angada later declared himself, “but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to return.”

At this point a chilling silence descended among the heroic Vanaras: everyone had spoken, but no one thought himself capable of such an undertaking. Only Hanuman had not yet spoken. He sat on the sidelines and did not participate in the discussion. Everyone was looking at him now. Jambavan approached him.

“Hanuman, you are capable of jumping eight hundred miles,” he told him. “I know it.”

Hanuman looked at him, genuinely amazed.

“I am not capable of it. What do you say? How could I do something like that?”

“You don’t remember who you are and the powers you possess,” Jambavan urged. “Listen to me patiently, and I will tell you the story of your youth and how you forgot it.”

Jambavan told him the whole story, and Hanuman could remember that he had extraordinary powers that could allow him fantastic feats. So, he decided to go to Lanka by jumping over the ocean.

He climbed Mount Mahendra and concentrated. Then he flexed his legs against the ground to push himself, and the huge mountain screamed in pain.

Inside of him, Hanuman was just thinking about Lanka.


This is a section of the book “The Ramayana”, in English.

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