Hanuman is in the court of Ravana in front of Ravana as he has agreed to go with Meghanada. Ravana is already furious as Hanuman has killed Akshay and he is still roaming free. To make matters worse, Hanuman has also caused massive destruction to the Ashok Vatika. Ravana has heard the message of Rama and ridicules Hanuman for being so idealistic that he would fear someone as ordinary and simple as Rama. He immediately orders his soldiers to the court and orders them,
“Go and tie this stupid Vanara and make sure that he does not leave the court. I would kill him to ensure that Rama gets a message. He has not seen the power and the strength of Ravana and he would only know once he witnesses himself my powers. Go and immediately do as I told!”
The soldiers go hurriedly and get some rope to tie Hanuman. However, as Hanuman is tied, he grows in size and the rope becomes smaller and smaller. Hanuman is smiling and Vibhishan understands that Hanuman is no ordinary Vanara and if Ravana tries to kill him, there would be a lot of trouble. Ravana is fed up watching this prank that Hanuman is playing on him. He orders the soldiers as well as Meghnad to hold Hanuman so that he could kill him.
On hearing this, Vibhishan interferes and says,
“O Lanka King, please do not kill this Vanara. He has only come to deliver a message and that too from Rama. It would be very unethical and immoral to kill a messenger of peace. Please spare him.”
Ravana hears the plea of Vibhishan and replies,
“O Vibhishan, it seems like you have forgotten what injustice Rama and Laxman did to us. It was them who had cut off Shurpankha’s nose and here you are, talking about leaving this Vanara?”
“I have not forgotten what happened to our sister. You have already kidnapped Sita as revenge and your enmity is with Rama, not this Vanara so let him go and tell about your strength and reply.”
“You have talked sense for the first time, Vibhishan. I shall let him go and let him tell Rama how powerful I am. However, he must pay a price for the destruction he has caused and for killing my beloved son Akshay. He shall not go unharmed.”
“Soldiers, burn his tail and let him return to Rama to tell about the mighty Ravana.”
Thus, the soldiers immediately went and tied a cloth on the tail of Hanuman. As they would try to light up the cloth, hanuman would increase or decrease the tail so the cloth would prove imperfect in size. After some time, he let the soldiers tie a cloth to his tail. As soon as they lit up the fire, Hanuman escaped the soldiers and the rope and started lighting up each and every house in his way as he flew away from Lanka. Ravana could not believe his eyes and the whole of Lanka was in the fire caused by Hanuman! Hanuman burns down Lanka with ease.