Hanuman ji loved to be with saints who were worshippers of Lord Shri Ram. Hanuman ji always thought of himself as the greatest worshippers of Lord Shri Ram and so he would frequently visit Tulsidas ji’s recitations of Ramayan. Tulsidas ji used to have regular sessions of Ramayan recitations where he would tell parts from the epic and explain the learnings from one of the greatest saga of victory of good over evil.
During one such session, Hanuman ji was listening to the recitation when Tulsidas ji said, “and Hanuman ji entered the Ashok Vatika, looking for Sita Mata. The Ashok Vatika was a beautiful garden with white flowers all around, the lack of colour of the flowers was also because the flowers shared the pain of Sita Mata!”. Hearing this, Hanuman ji got troubled. He knew the flowers didn’t lack colour, they were all glowing fiery red. He politely asked Tulsidas ji if he missed something in the recitation; if in fact the flowers were mentioned to be of red colour instead of white as he mentioned. “Mahatman, please check again to see if flowers were red like the fire in the belly of the sun. I am sure the flowers were not white but red”, he said.
Tulsidas ji got excited and said, “I am sure the flowers were white because there was so much pain in that beautiful garden that even the plants lacked life and colour”. Hearing this, Hanuman ji got slightly angry as he had been to the Ashok Vatika and of course who could know the colour of the flowers better than him, he had seen the flowers with his eyes.
The argument continued, with no one seeming to budge. Hanuman ji revealed himself and mentioned that he was there in the garden and saw the flowers. “Lord Hanuman, you may have been there and you may have seen the flowers in red colour with your own eyes, but the flowers were white”, said Tulsidas ji. There seemed to be no end to it as Hanuman ji couldn’t believe Tulsidas ji were so stubborn that he discounted the eye-witness account of the colour of the flowers! Finally, they decided to head for Baikunth, where they would settle the argument with the only other person who was there at that time, Sita Mata.
As soon as they reached, Hanuman ji flat out asked Sita Mata, “Mata pranam! Tulsidas ji is a great sage and I respect him a lot but I am unable to understand why he is so stubborn. He refuses to believe what I saw with my eyes, the flowers in Ashok Vatika were fiery red, just like the glowing fire in the belly of the sun”. Hearing this, Sita Mata politely said, “Lord Hanuman, Tulsidas ji is correct. The flowers in Ashok Vatika were in fact white and lifeless”. Hanuman ji could never doubt what Sita Mata said and therefore asked her, “Mata, how is it that I remember them as red, I can still picture them in my eyes and they all seem red to me”.
Tulsidas ji was a very learned sage and Sita Mata looked at him, signalling him to answer the question. Tulsidas ji said, “Lord Hanuman, upon seeing the condition of Sita Mata, you became very angry. Blood shot in your eyes and all you could see was red. The flowers were white but because of your anger, they appeared as red to you”. Lord Hanuman understood, accepted and thanked Tulsidas ji for clarifying it!
Anger makes us see things in an absolutely different perspective. We are unable to think coherently and decide correctly. Ziad K. Abdelnour has well said –
“Don’t promise when you’re happy, Don’t reply when you’re angry, and don’t decide when you’re sad.”