Telugu Original : Hara Hara Mahadeva – Story Published in Navya
To the south of the Vindhyas, was a big Neredu (Jambu) tree. In it was a little Vanara. Happily wandering, chomping and grinning. His father came looking for him, “Valaka, where are you?”. Valaka did not answer. Of all his favorite games, he loved playing dongata (hide-and-seek) with his father the best. So he hid among the leaves. His father saw him, but pretended not to. He persuaded him, “You win! little one. Come down from whichever tree you are hiding up in!” Valaka jumped down laughingly.
“What is it dad?”, he asked.
“It’s not good to snack all the time? I brought you four bananas. Come and eat them! Children must eat food that makes them strong.”
“If I become strong can I come with you for the next battle with the Rakshasas?”
“Of course! Sure! Eat up!”
Valaka gobbled up the bananas very quickly and went to play with the other Vanara children. His father went to the king’s court. There was a lot of excitement there. King Sugriva had sent for all the Vanaras and Jambavus in the four corners of the country (all directions of the country), to come and help in the war against Ravanasura.
Valaka’s father was worried. It was impossible to cross Sugriva. If he started for the war, Valaka would certainly come along too. Since Valaka’s mother passed away when Valaka was born, he had raised Valaka with a lot of love and care, as someone more precious than his own life. As he was thinking thus, his king said, “Let him come! Its okay. Agni’s son Nila is coming along. He is also very mischievous. Vali’s son Angada is also coming. His intellect is just becoming steady, but he hasn’t completely lost his playful monkey mischief. Viswakarma’s son Nala has become an excellent bridge engineer like his father. Let us put Valaka to help him!” and gave him confidence.
Valaka was very happy that he could see the fruits of eating bananas so quickly. The Vanara group started out. Along the whole way, other Vanara groups kept joining them from other regions.
Valaka was very excited. As they walked, everyone shouted, “Victory to Rama!”, “Victory to Sugriva!”, and Valaka too joined in yelling and jumping. Slowly the Vanara hordes reached Kishkinda.
A person on a high seat got up and said, “Tomorrow, we leave for Lanka!”.
“Who is he, dad?” Valaka asked his father. ”That is Sugriva! He is the Maharaja (great king) of all of us!”
Then Valaka yelled, “Victory to Sugriva Maharaja!” Everyone shouted “Jai! (Victory)” after him. Valaka was thrilled that so many people responded to his cry. So he enthusiastically yelled it out another couple of times. And the Vanaras responded again.
Sugriva was pleased and said, “Nila, Angada, take this little fellow into your group. He will be useful in keeping the soldiers enthusiastic.” Valaka’s father said, “I am grateful, Maharaja!”
Valaka was full of questions.
“Who are those two?
Why don’t they have tails?
Oh, they are Rama and Lakshmana! Why didn’t they comb their hair?
Why are they coming with us? Oh, we are going with them! Not the other way!
Why are we going with them? If Ravana carried Sita away, Rama could have just married another girl, no?”
Nila liked Valaka! But Angada was just learning how to be dignified. He was the crown-prince after all. So he warned them, “if you are mischievous, I shall chop off your tails.. just watch out!”
Nila showed Valaka all his skills and tricks. When he threw stones in the water, they appeared to sink for a bit and they floated on top. Valaka saw this and clapped.
“Who is this bear like person?” Valaka asked Nila with new humility.
“He is Jambavantha, the son of Brahma, he fought alongside Indra in wars. He is very strong. He is a gnyani (a knower of truth).”
“He always looks like he is think about something., who is he?”
“He is Hanumantha. He is the one who found Sita in Lanka, saw her and came and told about it. He also set Lanka on fire.”
As soon as he heard that, Valaka became very enthusiastic. He slowly came next to Hanuman and said, “”Pedananna (father’s elder brother), Pedananna! This time when we go to Lanka, you will set it on fire, no? Then I shall be with you”.
Hanuman affectionately said, “I never do anything unnecessarily my little son, at that time, they set fire to my tail. Therefore I set fire (to Lanka). If I am to set fire again to Lanka, they have to again set fire to my tail, isn’t it? Then I was a messenger, that’s why I let them catch me. Now they cannot catch me, right? ” When Hanuman himself did not know about his own strength, then how was Valaka to know about it?
Valaka was a little disappointed that Lanka was not to be set on fire, but he also did not like the idea of Uncle Hanuman’s tail being set on fire either! “Let it be”, he thought, “also, if they set my tail on fire, I won’t even be able to save it.” Valaka suggested an alternative, “let us pluck all the fruits on their trees an eat them up! okay?”
“All right, son!” said Vayuputra. (Hanuman, the son of Vayu). The Vanara Sena set out, everyone with a single purpose, but Valaka had his own ideas. He thought that war was like his wrestling bouts or fist fights with his friends. He did not know that some of the persons who set out would never return. His father was worried. “What will happen to this fellow if I do not return?” he thought.
The land masses that joined the southern peninsula to Lanka was submerged under the ground. Nila was given the job of placing boulders on the land masses to raise their level and create a land route above the water surface. As the stones placed by Nila floated on the water surface, the other Vanaras were made to place boulders on the sunken land to raise the level. Nila asked every one to work as per a laya (beat). They laid the bridge to the laya of Rama-Sri Rama. It was Valaka’s job to keep the beat. As the stones thrown by Nila were carried off by the waves, Nala had creepers brought which he twined together to create thick ropes to bind the surface rocks together. (This increases their mass and prevents them from being carried away.) Valaka sang, this is Ra, this is Ma, naming the rocks being tied together.
A squirrel carried bits of sand to help build the bridge, according to its capacity. Rama ruffled its back with his fingers. At that time Valaka went and stood next to the squirrel. Rama ruffled Valaka’s tail. Valaka made happy kichakicha sounds.
After that there was a fierce war to the chanting of “Hara Hara Mahadeva”! Valaka was bewildered to see it. This wasn’t a playful pretend battle of maces, wrestling and fists. Vanaras on this side and rakshasas on that side lost their lives. With the death of Ravana, the war ended. Siva’s Tandava ended.
Lakshmana and Vibhishana brought Sita. Sita entered the fire. As Agni brought her out, Nila yelled, “There’s my nanna (dad)!” “Pedananna!” Valaka called out.
“Who is she?” Valaka asked. “That lady is Sita!” Nila replied. “How lovely she is!”, said Valaka.
“Everyone thinks their mother is lovely. She is a mother to all of us, isn’t she?” said Hanuman devotedly. “Amma (mother)” yelled Valaka as he ran towards Sita. Sita, who had no children (yet) took Valaka close to her. Rama gave a chirunavvu (little smile).
“It is for this mother, that so many people died,” thought Valaka. ”This mother is Dharma. Fighting for Dharma is unavoidable. This mother is Purity”, said Hanuman. Valakudu sang happily, “Sitamma mayamma, SriRamudu maaku tandri” (Sitamma is our mother, Sri Rama is our father).
See Also :
- Sitamma mayamma is a kirthana of Thyagaraja
- Rama श्री राम
- Sita Devi
- Viswakarma, Nala, Purochana – Architects and Engineers
- Vanaras and Kishkinda
- Rama Sethu – A Vanara Achievement
- Devas: Human or Divine?
- Versions of the Ramayana
Vanara Rakshasa Conflicts : The Rama Ravana war over Sita was not the first conflict between the Vanaras and the Rakshasas. The Vanaras were fast and strong and had won over technically sound Rakshasas many times before the Ramayana war.
- Vali defeated Ravana
- Vali defeated and killed Dundhubhi and Mayavi, the sons of Maya Danava, the father-in-law of Ravana and Maya ran away to Patala.
- Under the leadership of Sri Rama and Sugriva, the Vanara Armies defeated the Rakshasas of Sri Lanka.
Translation, Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula, Kavana Sarma