Devotees organize Shree Hanuman Chalisa Satsangs to collectively chant this sacred hymn.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 16 in English with Meaning & Analysis
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 16 Benabling Sugriv
सुग्रीवहिं कीन्हा ।
राज पद दीन्हा ॥
Eternally grateful to you
You introduced him to Ram
who made him king.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 16 Meaning in English
This chaupai draws our attention to events in Kishkinda that led to Sugriv becoming king, thanks to Hanuman’s intervention, with the help of Ram. As stated earlier, the story of Ramayana draws attention to the state of affairs between three, worlds: Ayodhya, where humans (manava) uphold dharma; Kishkinda, where monkeys (vanara) reside and struggle with dharma; and Lanka, where barbarians (rakshasa) reside and ignore dharma completely. Vanaras are thus located between the world of dharma and adharma.
In dharma, you give in order to get, and accept whatever you receive. In adharma, you grab whatever you want, as there is no concept of, or regard for, personal property. In between these two worlds is the world where you give and take: you are bound by obligations to fulfil.
This is the world where you demand fair exchange, where fairness is not spontaneous, but enforced, through law or force. This is demonstrated in the politics of Kishkinda. The king of Kishkinda, Riksha, once fell into a pond and turned into a woman.
Two gods fell in love with his female form: the rain god Indra and the sun god Surya. From his union with the two gods, Riksha had two sons: Indra gave him the mighty Vali, and Surya gave him the meek Sugriv. Riksha, who had been both father and mother to the two brothers, asked them to share the kingdom equally after his death.
All was well until there was a misunderstanding. A rakshasa attacked Kishkinda and in the attack that followed, Sugriv assumed that Vali had been killed. But Vali had been victorious, and saw his brother’s hasty conclusion as indicative of his guile and ambition.
Rather than sort out the mistrust, and re-establish faith, Vali drove Sugriv out of Kishkinda by force and claimed the kingdom for himself. He made Sugriv’s wife, Ruma, part of his harem. In other words, Vali behaved like a typical alpha male monkey who corners all the foraging lands and females of the troop for himself.
Had Hanuman not intervened, Vali would have killed Sugriv. Hanuman was a student of the sun god and had been asked by the sun god to take care of his son Sugriv; and Hanuman had promised to protect him.
Hanuman observed that Vali wanted to kill Sugriv and Sugriv survived by hiding atop Rishyamukh mountain – the one place that Vali feared to go. A sage had once cursed Vali that if he ever stepped on this mountain, he would die. So Vali, determined to hurt Sugriv, would fly over the mountain and kick Sugriv on the head.
When Hanuman saw this happening day after day, he decided to stop Vali. He caught Vali’s leg and threatened to drag him to the mountain top to perish. Vali begged for mercy and Hanuman let him go after threatening him with a slap (resulting in the icon known as ‘tamacha’ Hanuman) and extracting a promise: Vali would quit his petty behaviour and let his brother be.
If Hanuman wanted, he could have hurt, even killed Vali. But he did not, as he had no quarrel with Indra’s son. In other words, he did not interfere in the Sugriv-Vali conflict and focussed on taking care of Sugriv, as instructed by his guru.
It was Hanuman who spotted the jewels that Sita cast down to mark a trail as she was being taken to Lanka by Ravana on his flying chariot, the Pushpak-viman. This led Hanuman to Ram and Lakshman who were moving south in search of Sita. He introduced Ram to Sugriv. He felt the two could help each other: Ram could help Sugriv become king of Kishkinda and Sugriv could help Ram find Sita.
While Hanuman had sensed Ram’s nobility and valour, Sugriv had no faith and wanted proof of Ram’s talent as an archer. Ram had to shoot an arrow through seven trees, convincing Sugriv that he was indeed a worthy ally. Sugriv then challenged Vali to a duel and while the two were fighting, Ram who was hiding behind the bushes shot Vali dead with his arrow.
Vali condemned this act as cheating and Ram argued, ‘One who does not know how to share, or forgive, one who lives by the jungle way, and uses his might to establish his authority, should not condemn the use of cunning in a duel, for that too is the jungle way, available for the survival of the meek. Besides, if I challenged you to a duel, by the ways of the jungle, Kishkinda would be my kingdom, not Sugriv’s.’
Thus, with Ram’s help, Sugriv became king. But when it was time to fulfil his end of the bargain, Sugriv said, ‘Let’s wait until the rainy season ends, travelling in the rain is dangerous.’ While Ram waited patiently, Sugriv indulged in the pleasures of his harem, for even Vali’s wife Tara was now his. He forgot all about his promise to help Ram even after the rains ended.
Finally, an angry Lakshman decided to force Sugriv to help. ‘I shall kill the cheat if he refuses to help; declared Ram’s brother. It was Hanuman who sensed trouble and restored peace. While he got Tara to calm the angry Lakshman down, he went to Sugriv and told him to mend his ways, and keep his promise. Sugriv finally saw sense, apologized to Ram and organized his troops to find Sita.
Thus it was Hanuman who not only protected Sugriv from Vali’s wrath but also enabled Sugriv to become king with Ram’s help and protected him from Lakshman’s outrage. Hanuman got Sugriv to follow the ways of dharma-not just take, but also give. Ideally, Sugriv should have helped Ram without any reminding or nudging.
Hanuman had to remind Sugriv of his obligations. While Lakshman expected Sugriv to keep his end of the bargain, Ram had no such expectation. For Ram was a yogi, who knows a man has rights only to action, not to the results of action. Only Hanuman noticed this and wanted to be the servant of the man who had no desire to be anyone’s master.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 16 Analysis in English
tuma upakara sugrlvahi kinha
rama milaya rajapada dinha ||16||
You rendered Sugriva a great favour,
Connecting him to Lord Rama
and making him king. (16)
In Treta yuga, the Supreme Lord helped Surya’s son, Sugriva, and killed Indra’s son, Vali. But in Dwapar yuga, he helped Indra’s son, Arjuna, and killed Surya’s son, Kama. Was there any hidden significance behind this change in order with the change in yuga? Was he trying to balance it out? Though to the external vision it may seem to be a balancing act, but the real reason is much deeper than this understanding. In Dwapar yuga, Aijuna was humble and Kama was egoistic. In Treta yuga Sugriva was humble while Vali was full of pride.
So who does the Supreme Lord help? He helps the one who has no pride. One who is devoid of the ‘me’ mind-set gets God’s grace. God does not like pride; his nature is to destroy it. Sugriva was weak physically and he was definitely weak in his character and he had no courage; but his only plus point was that he had no pride. Pridelessness was his only qualification.
One cannot demand grace. When and how it will come no one can tell. But if we get saintly association, our weakness can become an asset in getting the grace of the Supreme Lord. This is where Hanuman comes into the picture in Sugriva’s life.
Hanuman was that saintly person who united Sugriva with God. Hanuman led Sugriva to God through the path of mercy and not effort. In this world, there are three categories of people materialists, sadhakas (those pursuing the path of spiritual perfection), and siddhas (those who have perfected the path of spirituality). The materialists are least likely to reach God.
Sugriva is one such materialist. Hanuman, the exact opposite of Sugriva, is a prime example of a siddha who has reached perfection. Hanuman’s character has so many strengths and Sugriva’s character has so many weaknesses. But Sugriva, who more or less falls in the materialist category, still attained God. If it weren’t for the perfect Hanuman, the imperfect Sugriva wouldn’t have met Rama.
The mind is known as Tripurasur because it lives in three cities of desire, anger, and greed. Greed can be counteracted by giving charity. But charity leads to pride. After giving charity, one desires to be praised and recognized for it and wants respect in return.
And knowledge means absence of desire for respect. When Hanuman completed his education with Surya, he wanted to offer guru dakshina, which is a form of charity. The charity that Surya sought was not wealth but a promise.
He wanted Hanuman to promise him that he would take care of his son Sugriva and serve him. Hanuman immediately made that promise and from then on stood beside Sugriva through thick and thin. Though he offered charity, Hanuman had no desire to be recognized or respected for that charity and he had no pride of being a giver. Thus he proved that he had gained complete knowledge from his guru Surya. Because knowledge means absence of desire for respect.
Not only did Hanuman serve Sugriva, but he also made him respectable in the eyes of Rama and in the eyes of the world. From Sugriva’s example we learn that it is not by our own sadhana and efforts that we attract God’s grace but by God’s mercy that comes through the grace of the saintly people. Sugriva received God’s grace without any sadhana or effort. To such an extent that Sugriva is constantly thinking of Rama and Rama is constantly thinking of Sugriva.
That makes Sugriva extremely respectable. This perhaps is the greatest help Hanuman rendered Sugriva. tuma upakara sugnvahi kinha Hanuman’s entry in the Ramayana is to give hope to others. This is his role even in today’s times. Giving hope to others.
“Do not worry! There is no fear on this mountain!” These were Hanuman’s first words to Sugriva and his assistants who hid on the Rishimukha Mountain due to Vali’s fear. In fact these were his first words in the Ramayana.
He entered into the Ramayana and in this world to give hope, assurance, and confidence to everyone. When Sugriva and his assistants saw Hanuman, they smiled through their fears. Every inch of Hanuman’s body was chiselled with rippling muscles that indicated years and years of disciplined lifestyle. He wore a yellow silken garment on his lower half and his upper torso was bare except for the golden ornaments that decorated his broad and deep chest.
With a set of armlets and bracelets embracing his arms, he looked powerful and regal Hanuman assured the scared vanaras, “There is no fear of Vali on this mountain anymore. As long as we are by your side and the curse of Matanga Rishi favours you, there can be no danger for you on this mountain from Vali.” With that assurance Sugriva turned in the direction of the problem he had recently perceived. He had spotted two humans making their way towards them and he was afraid they had been sent by Vali to kill him.
“Look at their lengthy arms. Look at their broad eyes. Look at their bows and arrows. Just one look at these two beings instils fear in me. Vali has surely, drafted these two divine-looking handsome human beings to ensure my death. Hanuman, if my premonition is true then there is no one that can save me and there is no place that is safe for me to feel safe in.”
Following Sugriva’s gaze, Hanuman walked forward towards the edge of the cliff and carefully looked down at the two handsome human beings that were walking by the edges of the Pampa Sarovar heading towards the Rishimukha Mountain.
From his vantage point, Hanuman could immediately decipher a few facts about these two stunning personalities. They appeared to be the most virtuous people that Hanuman had ever glanced upon. In fact, their brilliant lustre gave them godly looks. Were they in reality gods in human form? But such divine beings wouldn’t engage in immoral acts.
Walking back towards the shaken Sugriva, Hanuman revealed his observations. “O’ Sugriva, look at the two of them carefully. They seem to be oceans of mercy. They don’t seem to be indulging in acts of violence for their own sadistic pleasure or to facilitate anyone else’s adharmic whims.
It appears that their weapons are meant for protecting the weak. O’ Sugriva, there is no fear from them.” Sugriva thought of a plan that he revealed to Hanuman. “Hanuman, I can’t rely on intuition anymore. When my life is at stake, I need clear proof before making any conclusions.
I want you to use your guise-changing ability to ascertain the intentions of these personalities. I specifically want you to take the form of a genuine wandering sanyasi. Any dharmatma cannot possibly hide his intentions from a saintly soul. Use your expertise in analysing human psychology through behavioural sciences to decode their minds.” Hanuman immediately took the form of a sanyasi and left to find the identity of the two strangers.
In the short conversation that followed, Hanuman could easily understand that the two were not enemies but friends. But in that short conversation, Rama understood that Hanuman couldn’t be a sanyasi nor could he be any ordinary entity. The first impression of Hanuman on Rama was intense. Rama was very highly impressed hearing the flawless speech of Hanuman’s from which he got a glimpse into his character and mind-set.
“If this is the quality of a servant, what must be the quality of the master?” Rama whispered into Lakshmana’s ears while looking at Hanuman with great admiration. “Just by meeting Hanuman, I am thoroughly convinced that Sugriva is the right person to help us find Sita.” As soon as Rama declared that Lakshmana agreed too.
He expressed their eagerness to connect with Sugriva to Hanuman. Hanuman’s face lit up with great joy. More than joy it was a hope that Sugriva would soon be liberated from his bondage.“It is actually Sugriva who is fortunate to have your refuge. In fact, Sugriva should have come himself and sought your shelter rather than you having to go to him.
But now Sugriva is tired of life. If the patient cannot go to the doctor then the doctor has to go to the patient, ” saying this Hanuman bent down on one knee. Folding his hands in front of the brothers, he made a request. “Please allow me the fortune of carrying the two of you on my back to meet Sugriva who lives on top of the invincible Rishimukha Mountain.” One who is capable can reach God himself but if one is incapable, then God goes to him.
Soon both the brothers, seated on Hanuman’s broad shoulders, were cruising up the lofty stone mountain. Hanuman was nimble and agile as any other monkey. He made sure that the two brothers weren’t inconvenienced too much and were comfortably seated on his shoulders. He carried them up the mountain where Sugriva was.
When Rama met Sugriva, he declared that he saw all nine limbs of bhakti in Sugriva simply because he had the association of the saintly Hanuman. Sugriva had a simple heart. He was so simple that he had no hesitation in telling Rama all his shortfalls.
He could have easily covered his faults but he frankly narrated to Rama how he had been running from Vali like a coward. He admitted all his failures and his weaknesses. The ability to admit one’s weakness is actually the sign of one’s inner strength, humility, and simplicity.
The word Sugriva means neck. A humble person always stands with his neck bent. A special feature of Sugriva was his humility. Sugriva had many capabilities as well as weaknesses but Hanuman channelized those capabilities in the right direction.
One should know one’s capabilities and incapabilities. Some people after knowing their inabilities become dejected and so disappointed with life that they commit suicide. But after knowing your inabilities, if you search for your abilities then that knowledge is worthwhile. Most often when we focus heavily on our inabilities, we lose sight of our abilities. That is when we need a guide to step into our life. Hanuman helped Sugriva look beyond his inabilities and look towards Rama. Hanuman was the link between Bhagawan (God) and Bhakta (devotee).
Once Rama and Sugriva shook hands and mutually agreed to help one another, Hanuman lit a fire to seal the friendship between them. Both wood and fire need each other to bum. Both represent the dharma of friendship. But Rama says more important than the wood and fire is the person who brings them together. Even if there is wood and fire but without vayu or air the two cannot bum together.
So if Pavanputra (son of air god) Hanuman was missing then there would be no friendship between Rama and Sugriva. Rama milaya rajapada dinha Lakshmana asked Rama why he chose Sugriva and not Vali to find Sita. Rama laughed at Lakshmana’s assumption that Vali was stronger.
Sugriva had two unique strengths. One was that he was fast in running. Because of that neither Vali nor pride could catch him. Second was that he was very resourceful. He had found out that he could stay on Rishimukha Mountain, which was out of bounds for Vali. These two strengths were the right qualities to find Sita.
Finding Sita through Hanuman would not have been a miracle. Miracle lies in making a person like Sugriva, a sadhaka, to find Sita (bhakti). To highlight the incapacity of Sugriva, Shabri takes his name. And the last certificate is given by Hanuman.
Sugriva’s life is full of deficiencies, which he presents to Hanuman. Then the saintly Hanuman brings Rama into his life and unites him with God. Finding Sita is a process. First knowledge of God should dawn which then facilitates bhakti. Sugriva takes help of Hanuman to get this transcendental knowledge. And Hanuman is faith personified. This implies that we need intelligence to learn about material knowledge but faith to acquire knowledge of God.
However, after Rama killed Vali and made Sugriva the king of Kishkinda, he immersed himself in worldly pleasures. Once in a while he would remember God but his mind would say that there’s no time limit given so what’s the hurry.
God had not given a time frame to find Sita. This is also an excuse people give, what is the hurry to practice bhakti. In fact, they tell youngsters also that they should not take up bhakti in young age. Do it later. They assume death will wait till they are ready. If we knew our time of death then we could allot a certain time for bhakti. But not knowing when death will come, we are only fooling ourselves.
Meanwhile, Hanuman reminds Sugriva about the promise he gave to Rama. He gave such a Rama katha that the clouds of desires covering Ramachandra from Sugriva got scattered. Hanuman being the son of the wind god could scatter the clouds.
He asked Sugriva if he knew what happened to the arrow that Rama used to kill Vali. Sugriva said that it went back to Rama because Rama does not let anybody leave Him; He calls everyone back. Hanuman rejected it; this logic was not right for this situation.
Hanuman told him that the arrow was back with Rama because he had vowed that if Sugriva forgot his promise then he would use the same arrow on him. As soon as Sugriva heard this, he began to tremble. The clouds of lust were scattered and the moon of Ramachandra started rising. Sugriva ran back to Rama and rendered his service of assembling the monkey army to find Sita.
Thus in every step in Sugriva’s life Hanuman was present. He not only helped him connect with Rama, but he also helped him gain a kingdom. But when he was lost in the pleasures of the kingdom, Hanuman helped him gain back Rama, tuma upakara sugrivahi kmha/rama milaya rajapada dinha