|| Sarga 55 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 55

"दग्धेयं नगरी सर्वा!"

"दग्धेयं नगरी सर्वा!"
means the whole of the city got burnt.

Not only that,
"साट्टप्राकार तोरणात् "
It got burnt along with the ramparts and arches.

Who is saying that?
Charanas, the travelers of the skies.
They add in amazement,
"जानकी न च दग्धेति",
"that Janaki was not burnt".
That Janaki is safe is the news.
That dissolved the tension of Hanuma.

Sarga 55 is about the concerns that engulf Hanuma
after having torched Lanka literally.

Sarga 55 starts with the line
लङ्कां समस्तां संदीप्य लाङ्गूलाग्निं महाबलः।
निर्वापयामास तदा समुद्रे हरिसत्तमः||
"Having set the whole of Lanka on fire,
Hanuman then was putting off the fire on his tail in the sea".

Seeing the burning the city of Lanka,
seeing also the panic-stricken Rakshasas,
Hanuma started thinking.

Here poet says 'कुत्सा चात्मन्यजायत'.
in that thinking process
self-contempt got triggered, in Hanuma.

When Hanuma starts thinking, he gets a big fright.
Seeing burning Lanka, there was a flicker of thought.
'Did I burn Sita also in the fire that burnt Lanka?'

That thought was a flash.
Suddenly Hanuma was overwhelmed by a wave of self-contempt.
With that wave of self-contempt Hanuma says to himself.

' By burning Lanka what did I do?
Those who quenched the rising anger by their wisdom,
like a burning fire is put out by water, are blessed.
They are best of men and great souls.'

'What sin, the angry one will not perform.
The angry one will kill even the master.
The angry one will insult good people with harsh words.
An angry one will not know to differentiate
between what can be said and what cannot be said'.

'For the angry one there no act that is barred.
There is no word that cannot be said.
The one who sheds the rising anger with tolerance,
like a snake sheds its skin,
he alone is called a truly wise man'.

In these few lines, through Hanuma,
the poet enunciates a signal truth of life.
Anger is the root cause of many calamities.

Here Hanuma realizes the consequences of anger,
and concludes the one who sheds his anger is the real person.

"सवै पुरुष उच्यते"
He is known as the "purusha"
"the one who sheds his anger like a snake that sheds her skin".
He is "Purushottama", the best among men.

We hear the same in Bhagavad-Gita too.

"क्रोधात् भवति सम्मोहः
सम्मोहात् स्मृति विभ्रमः।
स्मृति भ्रंशात् बुद्धिनाशो
बुद्धि नाशात् प्रणस्यति ॥" ( Gita Ref)

This is an undeniable truth across the ages.
This is heard in many places.
Ramayan being the first epic poem,
we can say that this truth came in Ramayana first.

Hanuma continues his soliloquy.

'Fie on me, who without thinking about Sita,
set fire to Lanka betraying my master'.

Hanuma is now sure of his wickedness,
as well as his shamelessness in performing the thoughtless act.
Hanuma continues.

'If this Lanka is burnt then respectable Janaki is also burnt.
Without realizing, I have destroyed my master's mission.
The purpose for which this was started,
that purpose is destroyed.
I burnt Lanka without protecting Sita'.

Hanuma is certain his action has adversely affected his mission.

'The task for which I came is almost done.
The anger that got generated destroyed the root of my achievement'.

'Surely Janaki was lost.
There is no place that is not burnt in Lanka.
All the city is burnt.
If because of my stupidity that mission was destroyed,
then it is proper that I should also sacrifice my life here itself.'

If Sita is lost in the fire,
Hanuma feels he should die too here and now!
He thinks of jumping into the fire.
He thinks of offering himself as food for the sea creatures.
He even thinks he demonstrated कपित्वं,
The fickle mindedness of his community.

We hear Hanuma's thinking.
'Shall I jump in the fire.
Shall I jump in the mouth of the submarine fire,
or offer my body as the food for the sea creatures'.

'Having destroyed the whole mission,
how can I see the king of Vanaras?
Or even the two tigers among men'.

'Because of my yielding to the fault of rising anger,
I have exhibited the instability of the mind of monkeys,
which is known in the three worlds'.

'Fie upon the uncontrollable unstable excitable nature.
Though powerful, I could not save Sita because of my anger'.

Now Hanuma goes through the 360-degree view of all likely events.
Hanuma continues.

'If Sita is destroyed those two Rama and Lakshmana will die.
Their loss will result in the loss of Sugriva and all relatives.
Hearing those words about a loving brother,
the righteous one Bharata, along with Shatrughna will perish'.

When the righteous Ikshvaku race perishes,
all the people will be tormented by grief and remorse.
There is no doubt.

That, I am the unfortunate one who failed to secure Dharma and Artha,
who overwhelmed by anger is the cause of the destruction of the world'.

While Hanuma was thinking like this,
good omens as in the past appeared before him.
He started thinking again.

'Or else the Devi is saved by her own brilliance.
The auspicious lady cannot perish.
Fire cannot burn fire.

The wife of the righteous one,
who is protected by her own chastity,
cannot be touched by the fire'.

'This fire which consumes,
which carries the oblations did not burn me.
This is surely because of the power of Rama and the good deeds of Vaidehi.

The one who is goddess for Bharat and the three brothers,
who is the devoted wife of Rama,
how can she perish?

The fire burns everything and is not stoppable.
If it has not burnt my tail,
how can it burn Sita?'.

Now Hanuma thinks of the good events that happened.
Hanuman remembered again the wonderful event.
The appearance of the mountain Mainaka, in the middle of the ocean,
Hanuma continues his musings.

'By virtue of her asceticism,
adhering to truth, devotion to her husband,
she may even burn the fire,
but she cannot be burnt'.

As he was thinking about the righteous power of Sita,
he heard the words of the great Charanas.
'Fierce fire was spread by Hanuman in the Rakshasa palaces.
A marvelous task has been accomplished".

'Crowded with children women and old ones running,
the city was loud with wails of Rakshasas.
It was as if the city was wailing.

This city of Lanka along with its ramparts and arches was burnt.
But Janaki was not burnt.
It is surprising and wonderful".

Then with appearance of omens, proofs seen,
and the words of sages giving good tidings,
Hanuman became happy at heart.

The Sarga ends with the line
'प्रतिप्रयाणाय मतिं चकार'।

Then the Vanara having achieved the cherished goal,
knowing that the princess was not burnt,
thought of departing after seeing Sita again.

Thus, ends the Sarga fifty-five of Sundarakanda in Ramayana

||om tat sat||

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