Volume 5: Sundara Kāṇḍam (UVS Tamil Text)
Paṭalam 1: Kaṭaltāvu Paṭalam, 76-84
Translated by Archana Venkatesan. Draft Translation. May not be reproduced without prior written consent.

The description of Hanuman’s encounter with the sea-monster, Angaratarai, when he leaps the ocean.


Angaratarai rose

like apocalyptic poison[1]

like a foaming black sea

birthed by a boiling ocean,

spitting the question

‘Who are you to cross me?’


Her eyes could sweep

the far horizons

Her anklets boomed

like the roaring sea.

She was akin to the twin demons

Madhu and Kaitabha,[2]

who in the distant past

ran across the ocean

seeking a fight with him,

the luminous goal of the Veda.


Her fangs glowing like twin crescents

Her body draped in elephant skin

like the god with a poison-stained throat

Her wide gaping mouth

like a door to the worlds

the lotus-born one creates


she rose, stretched till the ocean waves

washed her feet and her head scraped the sky.

The wise monkey studied her,

understood that this woman

had devoured both faith and favor.


That great devotee saw no path

beside her huge mouth

which blocked the vast sky

that itself shaded the wide world.

His only way

Was through the deep pit of her stomach.

He drew near and spoke

with firm resolve.


You used your gift

for capturing shadows

to hold me, but even that

couldn’t break my speed.

You understand nothing.

You’ve measured the vast sky

with your mouth leaving me no path.

Who are you?

How have you come to be here?


Abandon the thought ‘she’s a woman.’

Even gods aren’t safe near me.

If I catch sight of you,

even Yama can’t stop me 

from devouring you.

There’s no way to stop me.


The great hero leapt into her gaping maw.

Thinking he had died

Divine virtue wailed while the gods wilted.

Born again in the blink of an eye,

he ripped through her like the fierce lion of old.[3]


The she-demon shrieked,

her breath reeking of drink

as he grabbed her entrails

in his broad hands and flew

into the sky, rising like fearsome Garuda

with vile serpents he had ferreted

from inhospitable fissures

clasped in his talons.

[1] The apocalyptic poison is the hala-hala, which emerged during the churning of the ocean of milk.

[2] Madhu and Kaitabha were two demons who fought Vishnu, here referred to as the luminous goal of the Vedas.

[3] Hanuman is described here as kōlari, which offers two possible meanings. Literally it means lion, but contextually, it alludes to Vishnu in his man-lion avatāra, ripping the bowels of the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu.