Hanuman was flying back from Lanka, when he decided to cause some havoc. He decided to destroy the gardens and buildings and so he began to uproot trees and damage fields. He toppled statues and disfigured many monuments. Soon, the news of this destruction reached Ravana and he was furious as to who was causing so much chaos in his kingdom. He sent his youngest son Akshaya Kumara to capture this troublemaker.
When Akshaya Kumara went towards the destruction, he saw a huge monkey wreaking havoc everywhere. He shot arrows and tried to capture the monkey, but it was of no use. Hanuman chased him and threw a tree on him, killing him instantly. Ravana was informed of Akshaya Kumara’s death and this made him much more furious than before. He now sent his son, Indrajit to capture Hanuman. Indrajit went and tried too, but was unsuccessful. He then used his brahmastra on Hanuman. Though Hanuman was invincible against the brahmastra, he surrendered out of respect for Lord Brahma. Indrajit dragged Hanuman, who was tied up, into the court of Ravana.
Ravana was irritated to see that it was just a monkey who had caused so much damage to his kingdom. He asked Hanuman as to what was the reason for him having caused so much damage to his kingdom. Hanuman smiled and freeing himself from the brahmastra that binded him, said that he had done all this as a messenger to show Lord Rama’s military prowess and that it was best for him to return Sita as soon as possible to Lord Rama. As Hanuman was not offered a seat until now, he increased the length of his tail and made a tall chair out of it by coiling his tail. He then sat on top of this chair and smirked at Ravana.
Ravana was infuriated beyond measure and he ordered Hanuman to be killed. One of Ravana’s ministers intervened and said that it was not good to kill a messenger. Instead, he suggested to Ravana that a fire be lit to Hanuman’s tail, as it was the most precious part of a monkey’s body. Ravana agreed and so a fire was lit to Hanuman’s tail. Hanuman smiled and flew out of Ravana’s court and swinging his tail left and right, he made sure to set fire to everything he came across. Soon, the entire Lanka was burning and Ravana was fuming. Hanuman doused the fire on his tail in the ocean and he went back to Lord Rama. He showed the necklace of Sita that assured Lord Rama of Sita’s safety.