Rama dropped his ring, and it fell through a crack.
"I'll get it!" shouted Hanuman.
He jumped down through the crack into the land of the nagas, and they took Hanuman to Vasuki, their king.
"I seek Rama's ring," said Hanuman.
Vasuki offered Hanuman a platter of rings: hundreds of identical rings!
"Which one is Rama's?" asked Hanuman.
"They all are," Vasuki explained. "There have been as many Ramas as there are rings. When a Rama incarnation ends, his ring falls down. By now, your Rama will have departed."
Hanuman rushed back to Ayodhya.
What Vasuki had said was true.
Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 4 of the book, and is reiterated on p. 307. It also appears in Ramanujan's essay, Three Hundred Ramayanas. In that version, Hanuman goes to the land of the bhuts (ghosts).
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