~ 129. Hanuman Burns the Houses of Lanka ~


Hanuman then set fire to the royal living quarters. Ravana's wives all ran out, shrieking, "The fire-god Agni has taken the form of a monkey!"
Next, Hanuman found the house of Ravana's general, Prahasta; he leaped to the roof, using his tail to set the house on fire.
One by one, Hanuman set fire to all the great houses of Lanka. Flames and smoke filled the city.
"This is Kala himself, Time-the-Destroyer!" the rakshasas screamed. "Lanka is doomed!"
But in another house, Hanuman saw a rakshasa chanting Rama's name; it was Vibhishana, Ravana's righteous brother. Surprised, Hanuman spared that house.


Inspired by: Valmiki's Ramayana
Notes: This is the Sundara Kanda (Book 5), sarga 54. In Devdutt Pattanaik's book, Sita, he refers to a festival called Lankapodi which commemorates the burning of Lanka, celebrated in the Sonepur district of Western Odisha around the time of Ram Navami (p. 202). The story of Hanuman seeing Vibhishana in his house comes from the Bengali Ramayana; Pattanaik mentions this on p. 197.

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