A glittering coronation took place in the kingdom of Ayodhya. After fourteen long years of waiting and yearning, the inhabitants witnessed the rapturous scene: flanked by his three brothers who stood joyously in service, Lord Ram, tall, broad and majestic, sat on the bejewelled golden throne with his beautiful wife, Sita Devi. Lord Ram’s new companions: Vibishna, demon king of Lanka; Sugriva, the monkey king; and his many valorous commanders, Hanuman, Angad, and Jamavan also surrounded the regal couple. It was indeed a charming sight.

Sages and priests chanted sacred mantras and sprinkled holy waters on Lord Ram before placing the magnificent crown on his head. A joyous cheer resounded through the great hall while demigods in the heavens and their celestial dancers also celebrated with sweet music and divine dance.

Flower confetti marked the end of the formalities and then, as was custom, Lord Ram began giving out gifts. He offered thousands of cows, millions of gold coins and heaps of precious jewels in charity. As special presents to his friends, he gave a stunning divine necklace to Sugriva and exquisite diamond bracelets to Angad to thank them for their loyalty and courage in the recent battle against demon King Ravana.

Watching with pleasure, Sita Devi also desired to show her gratitude and affection. Without a thought, she unclasped a priceless necklace given to her by Lord Ram. It was a gift from Vayu, the wind demigod, and its precious stones sparkled brighter than a cluster of stars. Sita Devi gestured towards Hanuman to come forward and gave him the dazzling jewellery. The citizens roared with appreciation.

Hanuman was beloved to Lord Ram and Sita Devi. His brave actions, unconditional love and absolute faith had captured their hearts. He had selflessly served them in every possible way he could: leaping over the ocean in search of Sita Devi; giving her hope and strength with news of Lord Ram’s rescue plan; carrying a divine mountain through the skies to the battlefield and saving Lakshman’s life with its special herb; and later saving Bharat’s life by arriving just in time in Chitrakut.

A silence spread as everyone watched Hanuman examine the necklace. He looked puzzled. Then to Sita Devi’s amusement and the horror of the rest of the audience, Hanuman began to crack each gem with his teeth as if looking for something inside. A few seconds later, the string broke scattering jewels everywhere.

“Well, how can a monkey appreciate the value of a heavenly necklace?” said a courier under his breath.

As if Hanuman had heard, he approached the king’s throne and bowed.

“I meant no disrespect Mother Sita. I was looking for treasure but I didn’t find any, so these gems have no value for me,” he said.

“What treasure were you looking for, dear Hanuman?” Sita Devi asked.

“The most precious treasure that exists; treasure that outshines these sparkling stones that are only glass – I was looking for the treasure that I carry in my heart. I was looking for you and Lord Ram in the gems.”

With these heart-felt words, Hanuman ripped his chest open and displayed the shining images of Lord Ram and Sita Devi sitting on a throne in his heart. The court was amazed. Lord Ram and Sita Devi looked on with eyes filled with love and appreciation.