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Hanuman meets Sita in Ashok Vatika, as ‘Ram Doot’

This story narrates how Hanuman meets Sita for the first time while she is Ravan’s prisoner in Lanka. ‘Ram Doot’ Hanuman conveys Ram’s message to Sita.

Sita in Ashok Vatika

Hanuman combated Surasa, Simhika, and Lankini and finally entered the city of Lanka. He used his powers to become very tiny so that Lanka’s asura guards would not notice him. Hanuman climbed up the golden walls and searched for Sita inside the houses, in the palace of Lanka, in the royal chambers, and finally reached Ashok Vatika – the beautiful garden in Lanka.

Ashok Vatika was dense and green, with large trees, various fruits, and beautiful flowers blooming. As Hanuman entered the garden, he saw many demonesses walking up and down, guarding the place. Hanuman hid behind the bushes and observed them. Then he saw a delicate and beautiful woman wearing plain orange clothes. She sat alone in the shade of a tree and seemed focused in prayer. Her eyes were closed in sadness. After a few minutes, she put her hand to her heart and said, “Raghunandan Ram!” Hanuman’s eyes welled up hearing Ram’s name! He knew his search had ended, and the woman was Sita! He joined his palms and whispered, “Devi Sita! You are here!”

sita in ashok vatika

‘Ram Doot’ Hanuman meets Sita

The demonesses walked towards Sita and said, “You are lucky that Lankapati Ravan wants to marry you! You are such a fool to refuse him! You must agree to marry Ravan, or else, you will not live long!” Sita turned her face away and said, “Never! My husband Ram will punish Ravan for his wrong deeds!”.

Hanuman could see how Sita was trying to be as brave as possible. He had tears in his eyes, seeing Sita’s state. He wanted to rescue Sita, fly away, take her safely to Ram, and see them happy again. But how will she agree to go with him? Will she believe in a stranger?

Hanuman said, “I have to speak to Devi Sita. But how will she recognize me?” A while later, when the demonesses were asleep, Hanuman approached Sita. He joined his hands in prayer and said, “Maata, I am Ram-Doot Hanuman. My Lord Shri Ram sent me here to look for you.”

Sita and Hanuman’s conversation

Sita’s eyes were wide open, hearing the word “Ram”! She asked, “Where is my Ram, how is he? Tell me, Hanuman!” Hanuman opened his palms to show the ring given by Ram. He said, “Shri Ram asked me to give this to you, so you know that he has sent me. So please, Maata, let me take you safely out of this place, back to Shri Ram.”

Sita gently took the ring and held it to her heart. She said, “Hanuman, I am very grateful for this, but I cannot come with you. Ram’s self-respect is the most important, and hence, I want my Ram to come here, punish the evil Ravan, and free me from this place.” Sita pulled out a jewel [chudamani] that was pinned to her jet-black long hair. She gave it to Hanuman, saying, “Give this chudamani to Ram, and let him know his Sita waits for him, with her faith as strong as ever.” Hanuman bowed in front of Sita. He said, “Maata, I am blessed to meet you. I shall convey to Shri Ram.”

Hanuman was emotional after meeting the strong and graceful Sita. Hanuman chanted “Jai Shri Ram” and jumped up the tree. He looked at the greenery in Ashok Vatika – there was a feast of fruits waiting for him! Hanuman’s eyes gleamed in mischief, and his mouth watered, seeing the ripe fruits.

Hanuman smiled and said, “Ahaa, Lanka! It is time for you to know I have arrived!” With his speed like the wind, he flew over the garden.

hanuman in ashok vatika

That was the beginning of the destruction of Ravan’s Lanka at the hands of ‘Ram Doot’ Hanuman.

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