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.
like apocalyptic poison
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,
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.
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.
 The apocalyptic poison is the hala-hala, which emerged during the churning of the ocean of milk.
 Madhu and Kaitabha were two demons who fought Vishnu, here referred to as the luminous goal of the Vedas.
 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.