In search of Sita, who was abducted by Ravana, Hanuman has decided that he will fly through the skies over the ocean. Hanuman said to other monkeys, “Like an arrow released by Rama, I will go to Lanka with great speed and search for Sita. If I do not see her there, I will go to heaven and look for her there. If I do not find Sita in heaven, I will tie Ravana with chains and bring him here. I will either return with Sita or the entire Lanka along with Ravana”.
He joined his two palms and saluted Indra, Vayu, Brahma and other devatas and increased his size of the body multifold. With the pressure caused by his size, there was a great disturbance on the Mount Mahendra. Creatures living in the forest shrieked in horrifying tones and snakes spewed fire. Ascetics residing in the mountain flew away from there. Vindhyadharas along with their women tried to run away from their places to hide from destruction. Then they all heard a voice from the sky, “ Hanuma has taken up an impossible task of crossing the ocean for the sake of Rama.” Everybody looked up to the skies wishing good for Hanuma.
With a body like a mountain, Hanuman flew into the air with great energy and speed and caused a great disturbance in the sky and ocean. On seeing him fly, Devas, Gandharvas, and danavas showered flowers on him. Sagara (the god of the ocean) thought, “Hanuma has taken up an impossible task for Rama. Rama’s dynasty is responsible for my well being today. I need to help Hanuman”. Sagara went to the gold mountain Mainaka and said, “Mainaka, you have been positioned here as an obstacle for asuras. You have the capability to rise and grow wide. I request you to rise so that Hanuma can take rest on you”.
Mainaka rose like a sun clearing the clouds, shining in a gold color in the middle of the ocean. Hanuman saw the mountain from a distance and thought that it is an obstacle for him. Hanuman hit the mountain with his chest with great speed and the mountain fell. Mainaka rose in a human form with folded hands and said, “Hanuma, Please come and take rest on my peeks. Rama’s ancestors developed this ocean. As per the traditions, when we take a service, we need to return service. Sagara wants to do a service for you. I also have taken a favor from your father. I would request you to take rest for a while, enjoy the great food and sweets”. Hanuma replied, ” Please consider that your service is done. It is time to perform my duty. I have taken a vow that I will not rest and neglect my duty and the day is also passing.” Hanuma touched Mainaka’s hand with affection and flew into the sky.
Devas and Gandharvas were very happy to see Hanuman flying with great speed. They wanted to test his strength, courage, and intelligence. Devas and Gandharvas requested Surasa, the mother of Nagas, “please create an obstacle for Hanuman. We want to see whether he will win over you or suffer with sorrow”. The serpent mother rose up in the middle of the ocean with a horrible appearance obstructed Hanuma, and said, “You have been offered as my food today, and I want to eat you. Enter my mouth now”. Hanuma folded his hands and said, “I am going on Rama’s task to find Sita. Once I find Sita, I will come back, and you can eat me. For now, please let me go”. Surasa rejected Hanuman’s request and said, “you cannot overpower me. You have to enter my mouth now”. Hanuma became angry and increased his size by ten times and Surasa also increased her size of the mouth accordingly. Hanuman increased it to 20 times, and Surasa made her mouth also that long. Hanuma increased his size to 60 times and Surasa responded. The wise hanuma immediately reduced his size to a thumb went inside Surasa’s mouth and quickly came back. He said to Surasa, “My respects to you. Please leave me now as I have entered your mouth. I will go and find Sita”. Seeing this, Devas and Gandharvas became very happy and showered their wishes.
A demon named Simhika, who resides in the ocean, saw Hanuman flying on the see with great size. Simhika has the power to catch anybody by attracting their shadow. When Simhika attracted Hanuman’s shadow, Hanuma realized that he is not able to fly faster, and a great force is pulling him back. He then saw Simhika in the middle of the ocean, enlarged her size enough to eat Hanuman. Simhika ran towards Hanuman to capture him. The wise Hanuma contracted his body size and fell into the mouth. With his sharp nails, he killed Simhika by cutting her internal organs. He came out of Simhika with the speed of thought.
Seeing Simhika killed by Hanuman, devas said, “Hanuman! You have displayed great abilities. A person will never fail in his goal if he has courage, vision, intellect, and skill. Go ahead and accomplish your goal.” Hanuman regained his speed and reached the shores of Lanka. Hanuma thought that he will attract unnecessary attention if he lands on Lanka with this great size. He contracted his size and landed on Lanka without anybody noticing him.
Source: Valmiki Ramayana