Monkeys decide to fast unto death as they failed in executing Sugreeva command. Sugreeva already said that anyone returning after timeframe might deem himself as dead. Thus, Angada casting aspersions on Sugreeva and his ruthless commands, takes this decision on many counts. All the other monkeys follow the suite.
śrutvā hanumato vākyam praśritam dharma saṃhitam |
svāmi satkāra saṃyuktam aṃgado vākyam abravīt || 4-55-1
1. hanumataH = from Hanuma; prashritam = polite; dharma samhitam = to probity, compliant [righteous words]; svaami = to lord [of Hanuma]; satkaara samyuktam = respect, having [yeomanly]; vaakyam = words; shrutvaa = on hearing; angadaH vaakyam abraviit = Angada, sentence, said.
On hearing the polite and righteous words of Hanuma, which are just yeomanly towards Hanuma's lord, namely Sugreeva, Angada said these sentences. [4-55-1]
sthairyamātmamanaḥśaucamānṛśaṃsyamathāarjavam - yadva -
sthairyam ātma manaḥ śaucam ānṛśaṃsyam atha ārjavam |
vikramaḥ caiva dhairyam ca sugrīve na upapadyate || 4-55-2
2. sthairyam = steadiness; aatma manaH shaucam = of soul, heart, cleanliness; aa nR^ishamsyam = not, cruelty [harmlessness]; atha = then [further more]; aarjavam = frankness; vikramaH caiva = salience, also thus; dhairyam ca = valiance, even; sugriive na upapadyate = in Sugreeva, not, deducible.
"Un-deducible in Sugreeva are his steadiness, or harmlessness, or frankness, also thus salience, or even valiance, further more cleanliness of heart or soul. [4-55-2]
bhrātuḥ jyeṣṭhasya yo bhāryām jīvito mahiṣīm priyām |
dharmeṇa mātaram yaḥ tu svīkaroti jugupsitaḥ || 4-55-3
katham sa dharmam jānīte yena bhrātrā durātmanā |
yuddhāya abhiniyuktena bilasya pihitam mukham || 4-55-4
3, 4. jugupsitaH = despicable one; yaH = which - Sugreeva; jyeSThasya bhraatuH jiivitaH = elder, brother, while alive and well; dharmeNa maataram = morally, [his - Sugreeva's] mother [like]; bhaaryaam = [his brother's] wife; priyaam mahiSiim = lady love, [and an] empress; sviikaroti = has taken - arrogated; yaH duraatmanaa = which, by that bad-minded [nefarious, Sugreeva]; bhraatraa yuddhaaya abhi niyuktena = who by brother [Vali,] to fightback [the demon,] assigned; yena = by whom; bilasya mukham pihitam = cavity's, mouth, closed; saH = he - Sugreeva; dharmam katham jaaniite = rectitude, how, he knows.
"Which Sugreeva has arrogated his elder brother's wife when that elder brother is still alive and well, where she is morally his motherlike, an empress and a lady love of that elder brother, thus he is despicable, and which Sugreeva closed the mouth of the cavity when his brother in all his belief assigned and stationed him alone at the mouth of the cavity to fightback the demon Dundubhi if he tries to escape, all the more when his own brother is still inside the cavity, thus he is nefarious, how then he can be said as one conversant with moral rectitude? [4-55-3, 4]
satyāt pāṇi gṛhītaḥ ca kṛta karmā mahāyaśāḥ |
vismṛto rāghavo yena sa kasya sukṛtam smaret || 4-55-5
5. satyaat paaNi gR^ihiitaH ca = truthfully, hand, on taking [handshake, befriending,] also; kR^ita karmaa mahaayashaaH = facilitated, task, great-glorious one [Rama]; raaghavaH = Raghava is; yena = by whom [by which Sugreeva]; vismR^itaH = is overlooked; saH kasya su kR^itam smaret = he [Sugreeva,] whose [others like us,] good, services, he remembers.
"Which Sugreeva has overlooked no less than the great glorious Raghava, whom he truthfully befriended and from whom his own task of arrogating my kingdom by eliminating my father is facilitated, how then can he remember the good services of others like us? [4-55-5]
For this statement Hanuma may retort saying 'Sugreeva has not overlooked Rama but otherwise engrossed in material comforts. He sent all of us all over to search for Seetha in requital to the help rendered by Rama... is it not the upright conduct of Sugreeva?' For that Angada is ready with an answer as.
lakṣmaṇasya bhayena iha na adharma bhaya bhīruṇā |
ādiṣṭā mārgitum sītām dharmaḥ tasmin katham bhavet || 4-55-6
6. iha = to here; lakSmaNasya bhayena = of Lakshmana, from fear; siitaam maargitum aadiSTaaH = for Seetha, to search, we are ordered [and sent]; a dharma bhaya bhiiruNaa = un, scrupulousness, fearing, as a coward; na = not; not as a coward fearing his own unscrupulousness; tasmin dharmaH katham bhavet = in him, scrupulosity, how, manifests.
"He has ordered and sent us for searching Seetha owing to the fear from Lakshmana, but not as a coward fearing his own unscrupulousness, how then can scrupulosity be manifest in him? [4-55-6]
tasmin pāpe kṛtaghne tu smṛti bhinne cala ātmani |
āryaḥ ko viśvaset jātu tat kulīno viśeṣataḥ || 4-55-7
7. paape = sinner - shameful one; kR^itaghne = unthankful one; smR^iti bhinne [hiine] = remembrance, goes against - contrary to tradition, unmindful one; cala aatmani = wavering, mind having - changeful one; tasmin = in him - Sugreeva; jaatu = at anytime; aaryaH = a respectable one; kaH vishvaset = who, believes; visheSataH = especially; tat kuliinaH = to his, one belonging - one belonging to his family.
"Who is that respectable one who can put belief in Sugreeva, while that Sugreeva is shameful by his shameless act of eliminating my father, and unmindful of tradition in usurping my mother and throne, and unthankful in requiting Rama by himself, instead of using us as pawns, and changeful in ignoring his promise to Rama, but in fearing for Lakshmana? Will it be possible especially for one like me belonging to his family? [4-55-7]
rājye putraḥ pratiṣṭhāpyaḥ sa guṇo nirguṇo api vā |
katham śatru kulīnam mām sugrīvo jīvayiṣyati || 4-55-8
8. sa guNaH vaa nir guNaH api = with, honesty, or, without, honesty, whether; putraH raajye pratiSThaapyaH = son, in kingdom, is investable; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; shatru kuliinam = enemy's, familial; maam katham jiivayiSyati = me, how, let live.
"Whether a son is honest or dishonest he alone is investable in the kingdom. How then can Sugreeva let me, the one from the family of his enemy, live on? [4-55-8]
This is in reply to Hanuma's advise, 'he establishes you only in kingdom, as before...' as at 4-54-20. But Hanuma cannot rebut Angada for he has no valid proof to show to Angada about Sugreeva's goodness towards Angada, as sermonised by Hanuma in the earlier chapter. Hence, 'better to follow the leader, than to argue...' is the only option left to Hanuma.
bhinna mantro aparāddhaḥ ca hīna śaktiḥ katham hi aham |
kiṣkindhām prāpya jīveyam anātha iva durbalaḥ || 4-55-9
9. bhinna mantraH = broken [backfired, my secret] slyness; aparaaddhaH ca = culpable, also; hiina shaktiH = less, power; aham = such as I am; kiSkindhaam praapya = Kishkindha, on reaching; durbalaH anaatha iva = a caitiff, like, a wretch; katham jiiveyam hi = how, I can live, indeed.
"My slyness in planning to live in Black Hole has backfired, I am now culpable in not finding Seetha being the troop leader, and I am a powerless as you all are Sugreeva's side, how then can I live on indeed after reaching Kishkindha, like caitiff turned into a wretch. [4-55-9]
upāṃśu daṇḍena hi mām baṃdhanena upapādayet |
śaṭhaḥ krūro nṛśaṃsaḥ ca sugrīvo rājya kāraṇāt || 4-55-10
10. shaThaH = disingenuous; kruuraH = ferocious; nR^ishamsaH = barbarous; such as he is; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; raajya kaaraNaat = kingship, for the reason of; maam = me; upaamshu daNDena = by mysterious, punishment; bandhanena = for trammelling; upapaadayet hi = surceases, indeed.
"Indeed he surceases me by some mysterious trammelling punishment, for that Sugreeva becomes disingenuous, ferocious, also barbarous just for the reason of his kingship. [4-55-10]
baṃdhanāt ca avasādāt me śreyaḥ prāyopaveśanam |
anujānaṃtu mām sarve gṛham gacchaṃtu vānarāḥ || 4-55-11
11. bandhanaat ca avasaadaat me = than trammels, also, than tramples, to me; praayopaveshanam shreyaH = fast unto death, behoves; sarve vaanaraaH = all, Vanara-s; maam anujaanantu = my [proposal]; be acquiescent; gR^iham gacChantu = to dwelling place, may go back.
"Fast unto death behoves me than trammels and tramples, thus you all be acquiescent to my proposal and you may go back to your dwellings. [4-55-11]
aham vaḥ pratijānāmi na gamiṣyāmi aham purīm |
iha eva prāyam āsiṣye śreyo maraṇam eva me || 4-55-12
12. aham vaH pratijaanaami = I am, to you all, reiterating; aham puriim na gamiSyaami = I am, to city, not, I wish to go; iha eva praayam aasiSye = here, only, fast unto death, I will sit out; me maraNam eva shreyaH = to me, death, alone, is expedient.
"I am reiterating to you all that I do not wish to go to the city of Kishkindha, and here only I sit fasting unto death, as death alone is expedient to me. [4-55-12]
abhivādana pūrvam tu rājā kuśalam eva ca |
abhivādana pūrvam tu rāghavau balaśālinau || 4-55-13
vācyaḥ tātaḥ yavīyān me sugrīvo vānara īśvaraḥ |
13, 14a. balashaalinau = formidable two; raaghavau = Raghava-s; abhivaadana puurvam tu = deference, afore, but [firstly paying deference]; [kushalam eva ca = well-being, thus, also asked about]; vaanara iishvaraH = vanara-s, lord; me yaviiyaan taataH = my, younger, father; raajaa sugriivaH = king, Sugreeva; abhivaadana puurvam tu kushalam = deference, afore, but [firstly paying deference]; eva ca = thus, only; vaacyaH = be asked after.
"On my behalf Raghava-s wellbeing may be enquired firstly paying deference to them, so also the wellbeing of my paternal uncle and king may be enquired, only after paying deference to that lord of vanara-s. [4-55-13, 14a]
ārogya pūrvam kuśalam vācyā mātā rumā ca me || 4-55-14
mātaram caiva me tārām āśvāsayitum arhatha |
prakṛtyā priya putrā sā sānukrośā tapasvinī || 4-55-15
vinaṣṭam mām iha śrutvā vyaktam hāsyati jīvitam |
14b, 15, 16a. me maataa rumaa ca = my, [step-] mother, Ruma, also; aarogya puurvam = [her] healthiness, regarding; kushalam vaacyaa = well-being, be spoken [asked after]; me maataram taaraam caiva = my, of mother, Lady Tara, also thus; aashvaasayitum arhatha = to solace, apt of you; prakR^ityaa saanukroshaa = by her nature, warm-hearted; priya putraa = having cherished, son [who cherishes her more]; tapasvinii = austerely one; saa = she - such as she is - my mother Lady Tara; iha = now; maam vinaSTam shrutvaa = me, as perished one, on hearing; vyaktam jiivitam haasyati = obviously, life, leaves off.
"My step-mother Ruma may be asked after regarding her healthiness. And it will be apt of you to solace my mother Lady Tara, who by her nature is a warm-hearted and austerely lady who cherishes her son more, and such as she is she will obviously leave off her life on hearing that I breathed my last." So said Angada to all monkeys. [4-55-14b, 16a]
etāvat uktvā vacanam vṛddhān tān abhivādya ca || 4-55-16
viveśa aṃgado bhūmau rudan darbheṣu durmanāḥ |
16b, 17a. etaavat vacanam uktvaa = to that point, words, on speaking; taan vR^iddhaan abhivaadya ca = them, older [vanara-s, available there,]on paying deference, also; angadaH = Angada; rudan = while puling; dur mukhH = bad-faced - glum, facedly; bhuumau darbheSu vivesha = on ground, on sacred grass, entered - reclined.
On speaking to that point and after paying deference to older vanara-s available there, Angada puling glum facedly reclined on the sacred grass spread on ground. [4-55-16b, 17a]
tasya saṃviśataḥ tatra rudanto vānara ṛṣabhāḥ || 4-55-17
nayanebhyaḥ pramumucuḥ uṣṇam vai vāri duḥkhitāḥ |
17b, 18a. tasya tatra samvishataH = his [Angada's,] apropos to, his becoming recumbent; vaanara R^iSabhaaH = vanara-s, [other] outstanding ones; duHkhitaaH rudantaH = emotionally, sobbing; nayanebhyaH uSNam vaari = from pairs of eyes, heated [seething,] verily [effusive,] water [teardrops]; pramumucuH = sluiced down.
Apropos to Angada's recumbency on ground, the other outstanding Vanara-s snivellingly sluiced down seethingly effusive teardrops emotionally. [4-55-17b, 18a]
sugrīvam caiva nindantaḥ praśaṃsantaḥ ca vālinam || 4-55-18
parivārya aṃgadam sarve vyavasyan prāyam āsitum |
18b, 19a. sarve sugriivam nindantaH = they all, of Sugreeva, disesteeming; vaalinam prashansantaH ca = of Vali, esteeming, also; angadam parivaarya = Angada, gathering around; praayam aasitum = for fast unto death, to sit down; vyavasyan = decided to.
While disesteeming Sugreeva but esteeming Vali, all of the vanara-s have gathered around Angada deciding to sit down for fasting unto death in step with Angada. [4-55-18b, 19a]
tat vākyam vāli putrasya vijñāya plavaga ṛṣabhāḥ || 4-55-19
upaspṛśya udakam sarve prāk mukhāḥ samupāviśan |
dakṣiṇa agreṣu darbheṣu udak tīram samāśritāḥ || 4-55-20
mumūrṣavao hariśreṣṭā etat kṣamam iti sma ha |
19b, 20, 21a. vaali putrasya = Vali, son of; tat vaakyam = that, sentence; vij~naaya = on discerning; plavaga R^iSabhaaH = fly-jumpers, best ones; sarve hari shreSTaa = = all, monkey, best ones; etat = all this [as said by Angada]; kshamam iti = appropriate, thus [agreeing]; mumuurSavaH = bent on self-immolation; upaspR^ishya udakam = on touching, water; udak tiiram = northern, shore; samaashritaaH = positioning [themselves]; praak mukhaaH = eastward, facing; dakSiNa agreSu darbheSu = on southerly, edges [of grass,] on sacred grass; sam upaavishan = readily, became decumbent. sma ha = they are, indeed.
Those best ones among fly-jumpers on discerning the words of Angada, the son of Vali, and agreeing to what all said by Angada as appropriate, they positioned themselves on the sacred grass after touching waters sacramentally. The sacred-grass is spread as sacred beds to cast off their lives. The edges of grass blades are positioned southward. As they are on that northern shore of southern ocean, all those best monkeys who are bent on to self-immolation, they became recumbent facing eastward. [4-55-19b, 21a]
rāmasya vana vāsam ca kṣayam daśarathasya ca || 4-55-21
janasthāna vadham caiva vadham caiva jaṭāyuṣaḥ |
haraṇam caiva vaidehyā vālinaḥ ca vadham tathā |
rāma kopam ca vadatām harīṇām bhayam āgataḥ || 4-55-22
21b, 22. raamasya vana vaasam ca = Rama's, forest, living, also; dasharathasya kshayam ca = of Dasharatha, dying, also; janasthaana vadham caiva = Janasthaana's, causing calamity, also thus; jaTaayuSaH vadham caiva = of Jataayu, casualty, also thus; vaidehyaa haraNam caiva = of Vaidehi, stealing, also thus; tathaa = thus; vaalinaH ca vadham = Vali's, slaying; raama kopam ca = Rama's, anger [at Sugreeva]; vadataam = while they are talking - about those topics; hariiNaam bhayam aagataH = for monkeys, dread, came upon [the monkeys.]
An unknown apprehensive dread came upon those monkeys when they discussed Rama's living in forests, Dasharatha's demise, calamity caused to Janasthaana, casualty to Jataayu, like that the stealing of Vaidehi and slaying of Vali. [4-55-21, 22]
Here Maheshvara Tiirtha says that 'an apprehensive dread swept over them subconsciously...' not because of the past episodes, but due to some future events, where their becoming pray to some unknown carnivore, namely Sampaati, is apprehended. Thus, their fasting unto death, as per scriptural sanction is going to fail.
sa saṃviśadbhiḥ bahubhiḥ mahīdharo
mahāadri kūṭa pramitaiḥ plavaṃgamaiḥ |
babhūva sannādita nirdara antaro
bhṛśam nadadbhiḥ jaladaiḥ iva aṃbaram || 4-55-23
23. samvishadbhiH = while recumbent; mahaa adri kuuTa pramitaiH = great, mountain, top, mirroring; bahubhiH plavangamaiH = many, by fly-jumpers; bhR^isham = highly; sannaadita = made stridently; nirdara antaraH = caves, entrails; saH mahiidharaH = that, mountain; nadadbhiH = while strident; jaladaiH ambaram iva = [filled] with clouds, skyscape, as with; babhuuva = became.
While those many fly-jumpers who mirror up great mountaintops by their physique are recumbent discussing stridently, the entrails of caves of mountain are rendered strident, and that mountain itself appeared like skyscape filled with strident clouds about to burst a good fortune. [4-55-23]
- - -
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye kiṣkindha kāṇḍe paṃca paṃcāśaḥ sargaḥ
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© Dec, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04