In the previous episode we had witnessed that as Hanuman’s valuable advice comes to an end, Ravana’s ego is completely hurt. Instead of sparing a thought over what Hanuman had explained to him, Ravana orders Hanuman to be killed! It is at this time, Vibhishana intervenes and educates Ravana on an important ‘Raaja-Dharma’ – A righteous king should never put a messenger to death, although he is a wicked person. In due course, we also learnt a very important leadership lesson that a leader should never give himself/herself away while taking crucial decisions. There should be no space for emotions while taking decisions. Ravana was a bad example at that! It is Vibhishana who stops Ravana from proceeding further with the death sentence for Hanuman.
As Vibhishana explains in a beautiful way with the right words at the right place, Ravana re-thinks his strategy. He now thinks what to do! After a few moments of pondering he replies, “Oh Vibhishana! Whatever you have just said is totally correct! I agree to your suggestion. We have to give this fellow a different punishment – But at the same time it should be an insult and defamation to him!”
Now Ravana continues and spells out the punishment:
“Kapeenaam kila laangoolam ishtam bhavati bhooshanam!
Tatasya dveepvyathaam sheegram thena dadhyena gacchathu!!”
Thus Ravana spells out, “Normally monkeys take a lot of pride with their long tails (Laangoolam), isn’t it? Let us burn his tail with fire! This would be the apt punishment that would also serve as an insult to what he has done to us! Drag this fellow along with his burning tail and take him everywhere in Lanka! Let all our people see him and make fun of his burning tail!”
“Kaamam khalu name shakthaa nivarthasyaabhi raakshasaaha!
Yathu barthni kruthaarthaaya charantham bharthu shaasanaath!!
Vaidehi shoka sampthathvaa udaasanamupaagatham!
Mangalaabhi mukhee tasya saathasaaseen mahaa kapehe!!
Upathasthe vishaalaaksheem prayathaa havya vaahanam!”
Thus the Raakshasaas are happy with Ravana’s decision of burning Hanuman’s tail. Hence all of them come close to Hanuman and tie all the old sacks and clothes around his tail. Once the tying is done, they dip Hanuman’s tail in a bucket full of oil. As Hanuman’s tail is soaked with oil, one of them lights the fire to it. Thus, Hanuman’s tail starts to burn! It is burning with a bright light and with lot of fumes! As Hanuman sees his tail burning, he gets frustrated. His anger begins to increase. He is now clearly insulted by Ravana and Co. He tries to beat away all those Raakshasaas who were trying to torture him more and more.
However, Hanuman made up his mind at one stage and decides to be a bit more patient. The plan is made – He now thinks “Wow! So far I’ve seen Lanka only during the nighttime! Now I’m getting an opportunity to visit Lanka during the day. If these Raakshasaas have to hide Sita in some other place, it would be easy for me to trace her down, if I keenly observe the city during the daytime! So let these Raakshasaas do whatever they want! Nothing can harm me! I shall take it as an incentive and carefully observe the nooks and corners of Lanka one more time!”
As the Raakshasaas drag Hanuman here and there, some of them run to Sita and conveyed the news that Ravana has managed to catch Hanuman and his tail is put to fire! Immediately Sita gets stunned by Ravana’s wicked act and decides to pray to Agni Bhagawan (Lord of Fire). She prays, “Oh Agni Bhagawan! If it is true that I’m a ‘Pathi-vrath’ and I have my mind under complete control, and if it is true that Hanuman is a sincere messenger and a devotee of this Sita and Rama, please do not harm Hanuman with your heat! Please protect him!”
The moment Sita prays, Agni Bhagawan immediately answers her prayers – He reduces the level of heat that Hanuman is experiencing! Rather, Hanuman feels ice cold at the place where the fire is burning the tail! At this point, Hanuman is surprised. He thinks, “Oh wow! What a miracle! My tail is burning, but I’m unable to feel even a trace of heat in my tail. It is as if my tail is covered with ice cubes everywhere! It is so chill! However, I’m sure this is how my Lord Rama protects me everytime! He is my God and I surrender to his lotus feet!”
Hanuman thinks further, “So far according to my objectives of my mission, I’ve searched and found Sita, spoken with her, handed over the ring of Rama, obtained her messages, spoke to Ravana and understood his stance. What else needs to be done? How can I make these Raakshasaas more frustrated and unhappy?”
What is Hanuman going to do next, with his burning tail? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! 🙂