Rama gives ring to Hanuma as a memorabilia enabling Seetha to recognise Hanuma without dismay. Sugreeva holds Hanuma's capabilities very high and reposes full confidence in him for locating Seetha. On seeing Sugreeva assigning the task to Hanuma, Rama perceives that Hanuma alone can achieve results and thus hands over his ring to Hanuma. Then Hanuma starts on the expedition with others.
विशेषेण तु सुग्रीवो हनूमति अर्थम् उक्तवान् |
स हि तस्मिन् हरि श्रेष्ठे निश्चितार्थो अर्थ साधने || ४-४४-१
1. sugriivaH = Sugreeva; visheSeNa tu = expressly, on its part; hanuumati = with Hanuma; artham = [this] topic; uktavaan = has broached; saH = he - Sugreeva; artha saadhane = purpose, in achieving; tasmin hari shreSThe = in that, monkey, the best - Hanuma; nishcita arthaH hi = decidedly, determined, indeed.
Sugreeva expressly broached the topic of searching Seetha with Hanuma, as Sugreeva is decidedly determined about Hanuma, because that best one among monkeys, namely Hanuma, alone is decidedly the achiever of purpose. [4-44-1]
By the word visheSeNa it is observed that Sugreeva purposefully instructed Hanuma that Rama is Vishnu's in human form as said at:
vaayu putra samiipam tu gatvaa tam vaakyam abraviit | shR^iNu mat vacanam viira hanumaan maaruta aatmaja | ayam ikShvaaku daayaado raajaa raamaH prataapavaan | sarva aatmaa sarva lokesho vishNuH maanuSha ruupa dhR^it | - nR^isimha puraaNa; 'on nearing Air-god's son Sugreeva spoke, 'oh, Hanuma listen to my saying, he this Rama, the valorous scion of Ikshvaku, is the Cosmic Soul and Vishnu in human form...' Nrisimha Puraana.
अब्रवीत् च हनूमंतम् विक्रंतम् अनिल आत्मजम् |
सुग्रीवः परम प्रीतः प्रभुः सर्व वन ओकसाम् || ४-४४-२
2. sarva vana okasaam prabhuH = of all, forest, residents - monkeys, king of; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; parama priitaH = well, pleased; vikrantam anila aatmajam = venturesome, to Air-god's, son; hanuumantam = to Hanuma; abraviit ca = spoke to, also.
The king of all the residents of forest Sugreeva is well pleased to pick and choose Hanuma for the purpose, and spoke to the venturesome son of Air-god, Hanuma. [4-44-2]
न भूमौ न अंतरिक्षे वा न अंबरे न अमर आलये |
न अप्सु वा गति संगम् ते पश्यामि हरि पुम्गव || ४-४४-३
3. hari pungava = oh, monkey, the foremost; bhuumau te gati sangam = on earth, to your, transit, impediment; na pashyaami = not, I foresee; antarikSe vaa na = in wild blue yonder, either, no; ambare na = in high skies, no; amara aalaye na = in immortals, abode of, no; apsu vaa na = in waters, or; no.
"Oh, foremost monkey, Hanuma, I do not foresee any impediment in your transit on land where homogenous enemies will usually obstruct one another, or in high skies where there is no foothold, thus only birds and clouds hover there, or in the wild blue yonder where celestial bodies alone gravitate at random, nor in waters where there is no underwater movement for earthly beings, nor in the heaven, the abodes of immortals, where those immortals will not allow mortals like us to meander as we like. [4-44-3]
स असुराः सह गंधर्वाः स नाग नर देवताः |
विदिताः सर्व लोकाः ते स सागर धरा धराः || ४-४४-४
4. sa asuraaH = with, demons; saha gandharvaaH sa naaga nara devataaH = with, gandharva-s, with, naaga-s, humans, gods; sa saagara dharaa dharaaH = with, oceans, earth, sustained by [that are sustained by earth, namely, mountains]; sarva lokaaH = all, worlds; te viditaaH = to you, known.
"All the worlds that contain demons, gandharva-s, naaga-s, humans, gods, and the oceans and mountains therein are known to you. [4-44-4]
गतिः वेगः च तेजः च लाघवम् च महाकपे |
पितुः ते सदृशम् वीर मारुतस्य महा ओजसः || ४-४४-५
5. viira = oh, valiant one; mahaa kape = oh, marvellous, monkey; te gatiH = your, mobility; vegaH ca tejaH ca laaghavam ca = celerity, also, vivacity, also, ability, also; pituH = [your] father; mahaa ojasaH = of marvelling, dynamism; maarutasya = of Air-god; sadR^isham = identical to.
"With your unusual mobility, unstoppable celerity, unremitting vivacity, and untold ability you are identical to your father Maaruti, the Air-god of marvelling dynamism. [4-44-5]
तेजसा वा अपि ते भूतम् न समम् भुवि विद्यते |
तत् यथा लभ्यते सीता तत् त्वम् एव अनुचिंतय || ४-४४-६
6. tejasaa vaa api = by radiancy, or, even; te samam bhuutam = your, a coequal, being; bhuvi na vidyate = on earth, not, evident; tat = for that reason; siitaa yathaa labhyate = Seetha, as to how, accessible; tat = that - process; tvam eva anucintaya = you, alone, have to think about.
"Or even by your radiancy none on earth is coming to mind who can be a coequal of yours, thereby you alone shall think about that process as to how to access Seetha. [4-44-6]
त्वयि एव हनुमन् अस्ति बलम् बुद्धिः पराक्रमः |
देश काल अनुवृत्तिः च नयः च नय पण्डित || ४-४४-७
7. naya paNDita = in ethics, oh, scholar - ethicist; hanuman = oh, Hanuma; balam buddhiH paraakramaH = brawniness, astuteness, venturesomeness; desha kaala anuvR^ittiH ca = place, time, you conduct yourself - in abidance with; nayaH ca = ethicality, also; tvayi eva asti = in you, alone, are there.
"Oh, Hanuma, in you alone there are brawniness, astuteness and venturesomeness, and oh, ethicist, you conduct yourself in abidance with time, place and ethicality." Thus Sugreeva said to Hanuma. [4-44-7]
ततः कार्य समासंगम् अवगम्य हनूमति |
विदित्वा हनुमन्तम् च चिन्तयामास राघवः || ४-४४-८
8. tataH = then; raaghavaH = Raghava; hanuumati = in Hanuma; kaarya = task's; sam aasangam [aasan~njana, aasajjana] = entrustment of - onus of the task; avagamya = on cognising; hanumantam ca viditvaa = about Hanuma, also, on comprehending; cintayaamaasa = started pondaration.
Raghava started pondaration when he is cognisant of the entrustment of the task to Hanuma and on cognising Hanuma as an efficient cause. [4-44-8]
सर्वथा निश्चित अर्थो अयम् हनूमति हरि ईश्वरः |
निश्चित अर्थतरः च अपि हनूमान् कार्य साधने || ४-४४-९
9. ayam = this [Sugreeva]; hari iishvaraH = monkeys, king [Sugreeva]; sarvathaa = anywise; hanuumati = [reposed] in Hanuma; nishcita arthaH = definitive, in resolve; kaarya saadhane = task, in achieving; hanuumaan = Hanuma; nishcita artha taraH ca api = definite, resolute, highly, also, even
"This king of monkeys, Sugreeva, is anywise definitive in his resolve reposed in Hanuma, and Hanuma is definitely resolute in achieving the task. [4-44-9]
तत् एवम् प्रस्थितस्य अस्य परिज्ञातस्य कर्मभिः |
भर्त्रा परिगृहीतस्य ध्रुवः कार्य फलोदयः || ४-४४-१०
10. tat = by that reason; evam prasthitasya = in this way, who started out - Hanuma; karmabhiH = by [his earlier] tasks; parij~naatasya = one who is well-known - has good track record; bhartraa = by husband [preserver, king]; pari gR^ihiitasya = well-received, well chosen one; asya = his / of this task; kaarya phala udayaH = task, fruit, dawn - fruition of task; dhruvaH = is certain.
"By that reason Hanuma must have good track record of the tasks he accomplished earlier, besides, he is specifically chosen by his king. As such, this Hanuma will certainly bring task to fruition.
"This Sugreeva is well-aware of each individual's accomplishments and hence he specifically chose Hanuma, and Hanuma who is now transiting must be individually well-known for accomplishment of any task assigned to him. Hence the fruition of the task is certain." Thus, Rama pondered. [4-44-10]
तम् समीक्ष्य महातेजा व्यवसायोत्तरम् हरिम् |
कृतार्थ इव संहृष्टः प्रहृष्ट इन्द्रिय मानसः || ४-४४-११
11. mahaatejaaH = highly resplendent [Rama]; vyavasaayaat taram = by his endeavours, ablest one; tam harim = at that, monkey - Hanuma; samiikSya = on perusing; prahR^iSTa indriya maanasaH = with gladdened, senses, heart; kR^itaartha iva = archived, purpose, as if; sam hR^iSTaH = highly, delighted - Rama.
On perusing Hanuma who is the ablest one in his endeavours, the highly resplendent Rama is immensely delighted, and his heart and senses are elated as if his purpose has been achieved. [4-44-11]
ददौ तस्य ततः प्रीतः स्व नामांक उपशोभितम् |
अंगुलीयम् अभिज्ञानम् राजपुत्र्याः परंतपः || ४-४४-१२
12. tataH = then; parantapaH = enemy-inflamer [Rama]; priitaH = happily; sva naama anka upa shobhitam = his own [Rama's,] with name, sign, shining forth; anguliiyam = ring; raaja putryaaH = for king's daughter - for princess Seetha; abhij~naanam = as a remembrancer; tasya = to him [to Hanuma]; dadau = gave.
Then that enemy-inflamer Rama happily gave his ring that is shining forth with his own name engraved as sign to Hanuma, as a remembrancer for princess Seetha. [4-44-12]
When Rama shed all his regalia while coming to forests how he kept a ring on his finger, and when Angada is there as troop leader why this ring is given to Hanuma - are the debated topics. Please refer to the endnote.
अनेन त्वाम् हरिश्रेष्ठ चिह्नेन जनकाअत्मजा |
मत् सकाशात् अनुप्राप्तम् अनुद्विग्ना अनुपश्यति || ४-४४-१३
13. harishreSTha = oh, best monkey; anena cihnena = by this, emblematic [ring]; janaka aatmajaa = Janaka's, daughter [Seetha]; tvaam = you; mat sakaashaat anupraaptam = from my, proximity, has arrived; an udvignaa = without, apprehension; anupashyati = she identifies.
"By this emblematic ring, oh, best monkey, Janaka's daughter Seetha identifies you to have reached her from my proximity, without apprehension. [4-44-13]
व्यवसायः च ते वीर सत्त्व युक्तः च विक्रमः |
सुग्रीवस्य च संदेशः सिद्धिम् कथयति इव मे || ४-४४-१४
14. viira = oh, brave one; vyavasaayaH = enthusiasm; sattva yuktaH vikramaH ca = vital-force, combined with, venturesomeness, also; sugriivasya sandeshaH ca = Sugreeva's, message, also; me siddhim = to me, achievement; kathayati iva = heralding, as if.
"Oh, brave one, your enthusiasm, vital-force combined with your venturesomeness, and also the message of Sugreeva to you, are as if heralding achievement to me." Thus, Rama spoke to Hanuma while giving his ring. [4-44-14]
स तत् गृह्य हरिश्रेष्ठः स्थाप्य मूर्ध्नि कृतांजलिः |
वन्दित्वा चरणौ चैव प्रस्थितः प्लवगर्षभः || ४-४४-१५
15. plavagarSabhaH = monkey, foremost one; saH harishreSThaH = he that, monkey, noteworthy one - Hanuma; tat gR^ihya = that [ring,] on taking; muurdhni sthaapya = on head, placing it; kR^ita anjaliH = making, palm-fold; caraNau caiva vanditvaa = at two feet, having reverenced - Rama; prasthitaH = started off.
On taking the ring that foremost monkey Hanuma kept it on his own head, and making palm-fold he reverenced the feet of Rama, and then that noteworthy monkey started off. [4-44-15]
स तत् प्रकर्षन् हरिणाम् महत् बलम्
बभूव वीरः पवनात्मजः कपिः |
गत अंबुदे व्योम्नि विशुद्ध मण्डलः
शशी इव नक्षत्र गणोपशोभितः || ४-४४-१६
16. hariNaam mahat tat balam = of monkeys, massive, that, force; prakarSan = dragging along - like a dragoon without coercion - leading monkey; viiraH = brave one; pavana aatmajaH saH kapiH = Air-god's, son, he, that monkey - Hanuma; gata ambude vyomni = gone, clouds, on sky - on a cloudless sky; vi shuddha maNDalaH = with very, clear, sphere; nakSatra gaNa upashobhitaH = stars, with clusters, brightened by; shashii iva = moon, like; babhuuva = he became - appeared to be.
That brave monkey-son of Air-god leapt to sky along with that massive force of monkeys as if he is hauling them up, and he who is brightened by monkeys around him on the skyscape appeared like the moon in a very clear lunar sphere on a cloudless sky brightened by clusters of stars around. [4-44-16]
अतिबल बलम् आश्रितः तव अहम्
हरि वर विक्रम विक्रमैः अनल्पैः |
पवन सुत यथा अधिगम्यते सा
जनक सुता हनुमन् तथा कुरुष्व || ४-४४-१७
17. ati bala = oh, highly, powerful one [Hanuma]; hari vara vikrama = monkey, the best, venturesome one [or, lion, the best, charging, i.e., a best lion charging - this synonym of hari as lion is not taken here]; pavana suta = oh, Air-god's, son; hanuman = oh, Hanumaan; aham tava balam aashritaH = I [Rama,] on your, vivacity, relying upon; an alpaiH = not, with inconsequential; vikramaiH = by adventures; saa janaka sutaa = she, that Janaka's, daughter; yathaa adhigamyate = as to how, she can be accessed; tathaa kuruSva = in that way, you do - you make happen.
"Oh, highly powerful Hanuma, I rely upon your vivacity, being the best venturesome monkey, oh, son of Air-god, showing your adventures that are not inconsequential you make happen as to how access can be gained to Janaka's daughter, Seetha." Thus, Rama shouted at Hanuma flying in the sky. [4-44-17]
- - - .
The ring of Rama assumes a great importance in the course of Ramayana. Though Valmiki says nothing extraordinary, commentators attach many good reasons and attributes to this episode. After the two foots of verse 4-4-12 the following foot is traditionally read, in affection.
suvarNasya su varNasya su-varnasya a~Nguliiyakam
That is to say suvarNasya 'golden ring...' su varNasya 'greatly glittering...' su-varNasya 'good lettered...' 'That ring is golden, that too highly glittering, [rather high in carats, maybe 48 carats,] and has very good letters on it...' That ring has one jewel on upper side and two jewels below that. The upper jewel has a carving of the letter shri and lower two raa, ma... so goes the tradition.
When Rama abdicated everything and no other jewellery is evident on his body, though his bow and arrows have golden finishing, then why this lone ring is still there with him - is the debatable question. This indicates the custom of exchanging rings in marriage. This is the ring got prepared by Seetha in her kingdom Mithila and she herself put it on Rama's finger in their marriage as vara varaNa 'selecting the wooer...' When Hanuma gives this ring to Seetha in Sundara Kanda the reaction of Seetha is: gR^ihiitvaa prekShamaaNaa saa bhartR^i kara vibhuuShaNam | 'on taking the adornment of her husband's hand she looked at it...' at 5-36-4.
This ring to men is almost like the mangala suutra 'the sacred marriage-time pendant of Hindu ladies. Thus, none can ask a man to remove his wedding ring as long as his wife is alive and attached.
Next, 'in giving such ring to Hanuma, bypassing the troop leader Angada, Rama slighted the imperial protocol...' and 'Sugreeva being a king why eulogise Hanuma this much, a simple minister? Is it to deify Hanuma? This is another objection. For this Dharmaakuutam gives a vivid and extensive commentary, saying it is not at all a violation of protocol. The objection is:
na anvatra yuvaraaje bala adhyakShe a~Ngade sati hanumataH svatantratayaa puraskaaraH abij~naana pradanaadikam ca anucitam-'when prince regent Angada is there, entrusting some work to Hanuma independently, that too after eulogising him, is unbefitting...' This is countered by the commentator saying that:
evam ca avishvasaniiyam angadam apahaaya vishvasaniiyo hanumati bishShyua puraskaaraadikam yuktam eva |-'still Angada has not gained the confidence of the king, though he is anointed as prince regent, thus entrusting a piece of work to Hanuma by Sugreeva is reasonable...' Then the counter-question is 'why Angada is anointed as prince regent, at all...' for this it is said:
tathaa ca angadasya j~naatitvaat avishvasaniiyatvaat aparityaagena rakShaNiiyatvaadviniitam vidhaaya yauva raajye abhiShecaniiyatvaat ca rakShaNa yauvaraajya abhiShecana kaarya niyojanaadikam - mantiNaH ca hanumataH sakala kaaryeShu vishvasaniiyasya svaatnatreNa puraskaaraadikam yuktam eva | 'a blood relation is to be anointed as a prince regent to look after the affairs of the kingdom, and here too, Angada is nominated as the troop leader of the expedition to look after the safety of this particular troop, and it does not preclude the king to entrust certain work to some of his true believable adherents...' This being so, Angada also expresses his resentment against Sugreeva and openly criticises Sugreeva at the end of this canto on similar lines, when they are unable to leap the ocean.
- - -
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये किष्किन्ध काण्डे चतुः चत्वारिंशः सर्गः
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