|| Sarga 53 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 53

'शीतो भव हनूमतः'।

'शीतो भव'
means 'may (he) become cooler'
here it means 'let Hanuma become cooler'.
This is Sita's prayer.

It is not a simple prayer.

It is prayer where Sita is using all her ascetic powers.
यद्यति पति शुश्रूषा' - 'If I have served my husband well'
'यद्यस्ति चरितं तपः' -' If there is power in my penance'
'यदि चास्तेकपत्नीत्वं' -'If I have been true to my marriage vows'
'यदि वाभाग्यशेषो मे' - If I have any fortune left'
'शीतो भव हनुमतः' - 'Let Hanuma become cool'
It means Sita is staking all her ascetic powers.
Sita is praying to God of Fire that he shall ensure that Hanuma remains cool.
That is because Rakshasas set Hanuman's tail on fire.

How Sita has come to that stage is what we hear in this Sarga,

In the last Sarga - Vibhishana tells
" न दूत वध्यां " meaning that 'messengers shall not be killed".
Though Ravana did not like the idea initially,
he finally comes around to show his agreement.

The Sarga 53 starts with,
'तस्य तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा'.
The all-powerful ten-headed one, Ravana, hearing his brother's words,
which are in line with the time, place and propriety, spoke in reply.

'You have spoken well.
Killing a messenger is censured.
His punishment surely can be other than killing.
The tail is a Vanara's ornament.
And is dear to him.
His tail may be set on fire.
When it is burning let him go.
Then all his kinsmen will see him disfigured and deformed'.
Thus, disfigured and deformed, he will be in a pitiable condition'.

That is the order of the Rakshasa king.

The king of Rakshasas ordered that with the tail set on fire,
the Rakshasas may take Hanuma all over the city's four corners.
Hearing those words, the Rakshasas were excited.
They wrapped his tail with tatters of cotton.

While the tail was being wrapped,
the great Vanara grew like a wildfire fed by dry wood of the forest.
Then they soaked the tail and set fire to the same.
Overtaken by indignation and anger and looking like a rising Sun,
he struck the Rakshasas with his tail.

To see the Hanuman with his tail burning bright,
happy Rakshasas, including children and old people along with women came.

When the Rakshasas gathered together and bound Hanuman again,
the best of Vanaras thought of action appropriate for the moment.

'Although bound by Rakshasas,
These Rakshasas are not capable of capturing me.
I can again break the bonds and kill them.
If I did that, I may be failing in discharging my duty in all respects'.

'These evil ones bound me on the orders of their master.
In the battle I am enough for all these Rakshasas.
But for the sake of Rama I will go around Lanka like this.
I will bear all their persecutions'.

'I have not seen the fortifications of Lanka clearly in the late hours of the night.
It is proper that I see the fortification in the broad day light.
Again, by binding me and burning my tail,
the Rakshasa's may torment me as they wish.
But I am not tired '.

Hanuma who declared himself as
'दाऽसोहं', meaning that he is a follower of Rama,
decided to bear the pain for the sake of Rama.
So Hanuma pretends to act as though he is under the control of Rakshasas.

Then the Rakshasas joyfully captured the shrunken Vanara,
who is actually like an elephant among Vanaras.
The Rakshasas who are known for cruel actions,
paraded him around the city, beating drums and blowing conches,
as well as announcing their deeds.
The subduer of enemies, Hanuman went around happily.

Then the great Vanara saw the wonderful Lanka.
A city with towering mansions secured all over with well laid out squares and streets.
The son of wind god, the Vanara, saw streets with tall mansions, highways and byways.
Similarly, he saw interior routes of houses, also houses appearing like clouds.

The Rakshasas went around all the crossroads,
which had the altars with four pillars,
They went around the royal path too announcing the bound Vanara as a thief.
To see the Hanuman with glowing tail,
women, children and old people gathered everywhere.

With the Hanuman's tail set on fire,
the ugly looking Rakshasis took the unpleasant news to the divine lady Sita.
'Oh Sita, the Vanara with red face, who spoke to you,
he was being paraded in the streets with his tail on fire'.

Vaidehi hearing that news, which was as cruel as her abduction,
overcome with grief invoked the God of fire.
Then that lady wishing auspicious things for the great Vanara
invoked the God of fire in her mind.

'If I have served my husband,
if I have practiced austerities,
if I am loyal to my husband,
then may you be cool for Hanuman.

'If the wise one has a little compassion for me,
if there is any good fortune with me,
then may you be cool for Hanuman'.

'If the righteous one believes I am pure in mind,
and that I am longing to unite with him
then may you be cool for Hanuman'.

'If Sugriva the noble one
who is true to his promise in warfare and is going to rescue me from this sea of sorrows,
then may you be cool for Hanuman'.

This is a fervent prayer

Sita in her deep sorrows could have said 'दग्धो भवतु रावणः'.
That means, "Let Ravana burn to Ashes"
She did not, as she said because of" रामस्य असन्देशात्',
or for lack of communication from Rama.

But when she felt Hanuma is in danger, she had no hesitation.
She stakes all her powers and prays to the Lord of Fire.

Then tips of the intense flame glowed steadily,
as though assuring the fawn eyed lady about being auspicious to the Vanara.
The father of Hanuman, the wind god, blew cool wind to calm her down.

As the tail continued burning Hanuman started thinking.
'Why is this the fire which is burning everywhere is not burning me.
The great fire is seen, but it is not hurting me.
At the end of my tail, it is cool like there is a mass of ice'.

'Or it may be because of Rama's power.
Like the wonderful incident of a mountain floating in the sky seen while I leaped,
If the wise Sagara and Mainaka had such anxiety to serve Rama,
why will not God of fire do?
Because of Sita's steadfast chaste character,
Raghava's luster, and my father's friendship,
the God of fire is not burning me'.

The best among Vanaras again started thinking.
Then flew up quickly and roared.
Then the illustrious son of the wind god reached the entrance of the city,
which is like the peak of the mountain and moved away from the Rakshasas.

Hanuman who was appearing like a mountain,
in a moment making himself small casts off all the ropes binding him.
The illustrious one having freed himself,
again, assumed the form of the size of a mountain.

Looking around, sitting on the archway he found an iron club.
The strong-armed son of the wind god,
again, seizing the club made of black iron killed all the guards

Hanuman who was of fearsome valor in war with the Rakshasas,
having killed them, gazed at Lanka once again.
Garlanded by the flames of his tail around,
he shone like the Sun covered with a garland of rays.

That is what we hear in the fifty third Sarga of Sundarakanda.

The unquestionable highlight of the Sarga is Sita's prayers.

We heard of Hanuma, as the Acharya or the teacher,
who set out in search of the Jiva who strayed away from Paramatman.
Acting as a teacher, he sets out in search of the Jiva.

Having found the Jiva,
having observed Jiva to confirm that he has the necessary characteristics of a Seeker,
he, the teacher, owns the Jiva as a seeker.
Having created the confidence in him as the teacher,
then the teacher becomes the agent for the unification of the Seeker or Jivatma and Paramatma.

In this narration Hanuma is the teacher.
Sita is the Seeker.

The two benefactors or protectors of the Jiva are the teacher and the Supreme being.
The Seeker who goes astray loses both the protectors.

The teacher must be seen in relation to Supreme being
The Seeker is to be seen in relation to the teacher.
For the Seeker the teacher is the guide
Now we see Hanuma and Sita's actions.

While the tail was on fire
Hanuma decides to bear the pain in the interest of his duty. 'रामकार्यार्थम्'.

But Sita could not bear the thought of Hanuma bearing that pain,
She prays to the God of Fire to keep Hanuma cool.

In the relationship between the disciple and the teacher,
how each should act is illustrated by this event

The teacher is responsible for the protection of the disciple.
The disciple under the charge of Guru need not worry about his own protection.
After having obtained a teacher, the Seeker shall be at peace,
knowing that teacher, by extension the Supreme being, is there to show the path.

Similarly, Sita depending on Rama as the Supreme being,
did not use her powers to protect herself.
She has the ascetic powers of a virtuous wife.
She did not use those powers.
She was sure Rama will come and protect here.
But she did use her powers to protect Hanuma.

A disciple under a teacher is also under the protection of the teacher.
The teacher protects the disciple from all sorts of impediments
The disciple under a teacher too has a similar responsibility.
He shall always take charge of physical protection of the Teacher.
Here Sita uses her power for the protection of Hanuma, the teacher.

The teacher who had the grace of the Supreme being,
who continues to serve under the orders of the Supreme,
shall be ready to bear the burdens in serving the Supreme.
He is sure the Supreme being will come to his aid if necessary.

That is what we see in Hanuma
Hanuma, though being tormented by Rakshasa, decides to bear it.
Bears it in the interest of his task for Rama.
Hanuma went around the city as the captive of Rakshasas.
Thus, the roles of the disciple and the teacher is illustrated through this event,

Here the four Slokas of Sita's prayer are important.

यद्यसि पतिशुश्रूषा यद्यस्ति चरितं तपः।
यदि चास्त्येकपत्नीत्वं शीतो भवतु हनूमतः॥28||
यदिकिंचिदनुक्रोशः तस्य मय्यस्ति धीमतः।
यदि वा भाग्यशेषो मे शीतो भवतु हनूमतः॥29||
यदि मां वृत्ति संपन्नां तत्समागम लालसां।
स विजानाति धर्मात्मा शीतो भवतु हनूमतः॥30||
यदि मां तारयेदार्यः सुग्रीवः सत्यसंगरः।
अस्मादुःखाम्बुसंरोधात् शीतो भव हनूमतः॥31||

These four Slokas render peace to a burning heart.

one more thing.

Hanuma is Rama's messenger.
Hanuma is captured and brought before Ravana.
We know how Ravana reacted to the same.

There is a similar event in Yuddhakanda.

Rama reaches Lanka with the Vanara Army.
To know more about the Vanara army
Ravana sends two Rakshasas Suka and Sarana to spy on the enemy camp.
Vibhishana finds these two spies moving about in the Vanara camp.
He brings them to Rama.
Rama's statement at that time is indeed a lesson.

"न्यस्त शस्त्रौ गृहीतौ वा
न दूतौ वधं अर्हतः"
The spies who discard weapons or who are caught shall not be killed.

Having told this to Vibhishana,
Rama asks the spies whether they got the information they desired.
Rama tells Vibhishana to show whatever is wanted by the spies and let them go.

That is Rama's order.
We can see the contrast of Rama and Ravana's orders.

Ravana is known as a well read one.
But we know from these orders the difference.
Rama combines strength and knowledge with compassion.
Ravana lacks the knowledge and compassion.

Thus, ends Sarga fifty-three of Sundarakanda.

|| om tat sat||
|| This is what we understood from Tattva Dipika of Shri Bhashyam, Appalacharyulu garu"||
|| om tat sat||