~ 172. Sita Rewards Hanuman ~

After Rama's coronation, Sita honored Hanuman with a pearl necklace.
Hanuman started biting the pearls, cracking them open and looking inside.
"What are you looking for?" Sita asked, laughing, and all the people in attendance laughed too.
"I am looking for you," said Hanuman, "and for Rama. Without you inside, these pearls are useless."
"Rama and Sita are on their thrones!" the people shouted. "How could they be in the pearls?"
"In the same way they are in my heart," Hanuman replied, tearing open his chest; everyone could see Rama and Sita there. "Are they not in your hearts also?"

Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik.
Notes: This story is on p. 267 of the book. Pattanaik also mentions the Kannada version of the story where Rama's name is written on Hanuman's bones.

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