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Chapter 55: Sita Unharmed by the Fire
Sita Unharmed by the Fire
Making out that the whole of Lanka is reduced to ashes and conjecturing that Seetha too thus might have lost her life, Hanuma begins to reproach himself for his unrestrained exhibition of anger. Hanuma regrets that if Seetha dies now in this fire of Lanka, Rama and his brothers on hearing that report will not survive. While reflecting thus, Hanuma sees some good omens and asserts himself that Seetha can survive from the harsh forces of fire by her virtues of penance and devotion to Rama. In the meantime, he hears of her safety from the lips of Charanas (celestial bards) and feels consoled. Hanuma makes up his mind to return only after seeing her again.
Chapter [Sarga] 55 in Detail
samdiipyamaanaam vidhvastaam trasta raksho ganaam puriim |
avekshya haanumaaml lankaam cintayaamaasa vaanarah || 5-55-1
Seeing the city of Lanka blazing, and frightened with its multitude of demons getting alarmed, Hanuma the monkey became thoughtful.
tasya abhuut sumahaan traasah kutsaa ca aatmani ajaayata |
lankaam pradahataa karma kimsvit kritam idam mayaa || 5-55-2
A great anxiety entered his mind and there arose in him a feeling of self-contempt. He said to himself "What an admonitory act has bee done by me in burning Lanka."
dhanyaah te purusha shreshtha ye buddhyaa kopam utthitam |
nirundhanti mahaatmaano diiptam agnim iva ambhasaa || 5-55-3
"As a burning fire is extinguished with water, blessed indeed are those great-souled men of excellence, who in their wisdom, restrain their elevated fury."
kruddhah paapam na kuryaatkah kruddho hanyaadguruunapi |
kruddhah parusayaa vaachaa narah saadhuunadhiksipet || 5-55-4
"Which enraged man would not incur a sinful act? An enraged person may even kill his elders. An enraged person may insult virtuous men with harsh words."
vaachyaavaachyam prakupito na vijaanaati karhichit |
naakaaryamasti kruddhasya naavaachyam vidyate kvachit || 5-55-5
"An agitated person ever does not know which appropriate words are and which are forbidden words to be uttered. For enraged persons, there is neither an improper act nor ever an improper word to be spoken."
yah samutpatitam krodham ksamayaiva nirasyati |
yathoragastvacham jiirnaam sa vai purusa uchyate || 5-55-6
"As a serpent casts off its slough, whoever casts aside an intense anger sprung up in him suddenly by virtue of his endurance, he verily is said to be an excellent man."
dhigastu maam sudurbhaddhim nirlajjam paapakrittamam |
achintayitvaa taam siitaamagnidam svaamighaatakam || 5-55-7
"Shame be upon me, the greatest sinner with utter foolishness and impudence, who became a fire-brand without giving thought to that Seetha and became hurtful to my master."
yadi dagdhaa tu iyam lankaa nuunam aaryaa api jaanakii |
dagdhaa tena mayaa bhartuh hatam kaaryam ajaanataa || 5-55-8
"If this whole Lanka for its part has been burnt, the worshipful Seetha too has surely been burnt. Thus, I have spoilt the purpose of my lord inadvertently."
yat artham ayam aarambhah tat kaaryam avasaaditam |
mayaa hi dahataa lankaam na siitaa parirakshitaa || 5-55-9
"That purpose for which all this effort was taken, has been spoilt. At the time of burning the city, I have not saved Seetha indeed."
iishat kaaryam idam kaaryam kritam aasiin na samshayah |
tasya krodha abhibhuutena mayaa muula kshayah kritah || 5-55-10
"This task (of burning Lanka) has been fulfilled by me and it has been completed only with a small effort. Overpowered as I was with anger, the very root of that fulfillment has been destroyed by me. There is no doubt."
vinashtaa jaanakii vyaktam na hi adagdhah pradrishyate |
lankaayaah kashcit uddeshah sarvaa bhasmii kritaa purii || 5-55-11
"The entire Lanka has been reduced to ashes. No place is seen un-burnt in this City. Therefore, Seetha also must have been surely lost.”
yadi tat vihatam kaaryam mayaa prajnaa viparyayaat |
iha eva praana samnyaaso mama api hi atirocate || 5-55-12
"If this task has been spoiled due to my perverted intelligence, it is appropriate even for me, here and now itself, to give up my life."
kim agnau nipataami adya aahosvit vadavaa mukhe |
shariiram aaho sattvaanaam dadmi saagara vaasinaam || 5-55-13
"Shall I jump into fire now or into the mouth of a submarine fire? Or shall I give up my body as a feed to the marine animals?"
katham hi jiivataa shakyo mayaa drashtum hari iishvarah |
tau vaa purusha shaarduulau kaarya sarva sva ghaatinaa || 5-55-14
"By me who has ruined the entire task, how can I, even while remaining alive, see Sugreeva the Lord of monkeys or Rama and Lakshmana the best of men?"
mayaa khalu tat eva idam rosha doshaat pradarshitam |
prathitam trishu lokeshu kapitam anavasthitam || 5-55-15
"Due to culpability of my anger, I have indeed shown this apishness that is famous for instability in the three worlds."
dhig astu raajasam bhaavam aniisham anavasthitam |
iishvarena api yat raagaan mayaa siitaa na rakshitaa || 5-55-16
"Let there be shame upon the passionate way of my thinking, which breeds helplessness and instability. For, even though capable as I am, Seetha could not be saved by me due to my exciting passion of anger."
vinashtaayaam tu siitaayaam taav ubhau vinashishyatah |
tayoh vinaashe sugriivah sabandhuh vinashishyati || 5-55-17
"If Seetha dies, those two princes, Rama and Lakshmana will die. If their death occurs, Sugreeva along with his associates will also die."
etat eva vacah shrutvaa bharato bhraatri vatsalah |
dharma aatmaa saha shatrughnah katham shakshyati jiivitum || 5-55-18
"How can the virtuous Bharata together with Shatrughna, who are affectionate to his brother, survive after hearing this news?"
ikshvaaku vamshe dharmishthe gate naasham asamshayam |
bhavishyanti prajaah sarvaah shoka samtaapa piiditaah || 5-55-19
"When the virtuous Ikshvaku dynasty perishes, all the people will undoubtedly be tormented with anguish and affliction."
tat aham bhaagya rahito lupta dharma artha samgrahah |
roga dosha pariita aatmaa vyaktam loka vinaashanah || 5-55-20
"Therefore, I, the unfortunate being, deprived of the values of duty and interest, with my mind filled with culpability of anger, clearly became the destroyer of the world."
iti cintayatah tasya nimittaani upapedire |
puuram api upalabdhaani saakshaat punah acintayat || 5-55-21
While thinking thus, Hanuma clearly saw some omens, whose welcome-results had already been directly experienced by him and again thought (as follows);
athavaa caaru sarva angii rakshitaa svena tejasaa |
na nashishyati kalyaanii na agnih agnau pravartate || 5-55-22
"Or else, Seetha the auspicious lady, who is completely charming of her limbs and protected by her own effulgence, does not get destroyed. Fire does not indeed destroy fire!"
na hi dharmaat manah tasya bhaaryaam amita tejasah |
sva caaritra abhiguptaam taam sprashtum arhati paavakah || 5-55-23
"Fire is not indeed entitled to touch; Seetha, the wife of that Rama the virtuous man having unlimited splendor and duly protected by her own good conduct."
nuunam raama prabhaavena vaidehyaah sukritena ca |
yan maam dahana karmaa ayam na adahadt havya vaahanah || 5-55-24
"If this fire with its burning nature is not igniting me, it is surely due to the power of Rama and the benevolence of Seetha."
trayaanaam bharata aadiinaam bhraatririnaam devataa ca yaa |
raamasya ca manah kaantaa saa katham vinashishyati || 5-55-25
"How should that Seetha, who is a godhead for the three brothers (of Rama) starting with Bharata and who is dear to the heart of Rama perish?"
yat vaa dahana karmaa ayam sarvatra prabhuh avyayah |
na me dahati laanguulam katham aaryaam pradhakshyati || 5-55-26
"This fire, which spreads everywhere without any hindrance, is not burning my tail. How can it burn the venerable Seetha?"
punashchaachintayattatra hanumaanvismitastadaa |
hiranyanaabhasya girerjalamadhye pradarshanam || 5-55-27
Hanuma then recalled with wonder the sight of Mount Mainaka (having gold in its cavities) in the midst of sea-water there.
tapasaa satya vaakyena ananyatvaac ca bhartari |
api saa nirdahet agnim na taam agnih pradhakshyati || 5-55-28
"That Seetha can even burn away the fire by her penance, true utterances and undivided devotion towards her husband. Fire does not ignite her."
sa tathaa cintayan tatra devyaa dharma parigraham |
shushraava hanumaan vaakyam caaranaanaam mahaatmanaam || 5-55-29
Hanuma, who was thus thinking there about the overpowering virtue of Seetha, happened to hear the words of the high-souled Charanas (heavenly bards).
aho khalu kritam karma durvishahyam hanuumataa |
agnim visrijataa abhiikshnam bhiimam raakshasa sadmani || 5-55-30
"Alas! Hanuma, who hurled a very terrific fire into Ravana's house, has indeed done a difficult act."
prapalaayitaraksah striibaala vriddhasamaakulaa |
janakolaahalaadhmaataa krandantiivaadrikandaraih ||31
"The city of Lanka, full of demons their wives, children and elders running hither and thither, as also filled with an uproar of people, appears as if it weeping through its mountain-caves."
dagdhaa iyam nagarii lankaa saatta praakaara toranaa |
jaanakii na ca dagdhaa iti vismayo adbhuta eva nah || 5-55-32
"It is just so surprising a marvel to us that the entire City with its market-places, ramparts and arched door-ways, was burnt, but Seetha alone was not burnt."
sa nimittaih ca drishta arthaih kaaranaih ca mahaagunaih |
rishi vaakyaih ca hanumaan abhavat priita maanasah || 5-55-33
That Hanuma became delighted in his mind, by seeing the omens, with their apparent advantages in them and very high qualities of their origin as also the words of those sages.
tatah kapih praapta mano ratha arthah |
taam akshataam raaja sutaam viditvaa |
pratyakshatah taam punah eva drishtvaa |
pratiprayaanaaya matim cakaara || 5-55-34
Then, Hanuma, having fulfilled his object of desire by learning that Seetha the princess remains uninjured, made up his mind to return only after seeing her personally yet again.
ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye sundarakaande pajnchapajnchaashah sargah
Thus completes 55th Chapter of Sundara Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate
Durga, Kishore Kopalle, and K. M. K. Murthy. (2001). Sundara Kanda - Book Of Beauty.
Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.
Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.
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