Daily Story Sundara Kanda Parayanam (31MAR TO 08APRIL 2014) | Rama | Sita

THE SUNDARA KANDA PARAYANAM STORY AS TOLD EACH DAY (Mar 31 – April 8, 2014) Shree Ramachandram Dasharathaatmajam Aprameyam

l Sitaapatim Raghukulaanvaya ratnadeepam ll Aajanu baahum Aravinda-dalaayataaksham l Raamam nishaacara vinaashakaram namaam ll

Sitaapatim Raamam namaami Let us begin with a short dhyanam sloka on Lord Raama. Here Shree Raama is described as Dasharathaatmaja, which means the son (aatmaja) of King Dasharatha. If you think about it, this is unique. Children are usually described with reference to their mothers, not their fathers, as in Devakinandana for Krishna, One who brought great joy to Devaki, or Yashodanandana, One who brought great joy to Mother Yashoda.

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Dasharathaa was very fond of his son Raama and hence Raama is called Dasharathaatmaja. And, if you recall the story of Ramayana, Dasharathaa could not bear the pain of being separated from Rama. When Kaikeyi asked for the two boons that Dasharathaa had promised, and wanted Rama to be banished to the forest with one boon, Dasharathaa could not bear the pain. Dasharathaa never spoke to Raama and told Him about the vanavaasam. That news was conveyed to Raama by Kaikeyi, who said His father had suddenly taken ill and that she was conveying the news on his behalf. And, if you remember the story before this, Dasharathaa was suffering like Shravana-kumar parents suffered. One day, while hunting in the forest, Dasharathaa, by mistake, killed the young boy Shravana-kumar who was fetching water for his thirsty parents. The kalasha that he dipped into the river to collect water made a sound (budu budu) as the water entered the empty vessel. Dasharathaa thought it was the sound of an elephant and sent his arrow (that follows the sound) which killed Shravana-kumar. When he realized his mistake and went to Shravana kumar's parents, the grief stricken parents cursed Dasharathaa that he should suffer likewise, when he meets his own death. According to Naam Ramayanam, that we recite regularly in the temple, it is this Dasharathaatmaja Rama who is described as Dasharathaa santata cintita Raam One who was always remembering His father Dasharathaa, while in the forest. This comes before the episode where Bharata comes to Chitrakoota and begs Raama to return to the kingdom and instead is sent back with Rama padukas Bharatarpita nijapaduka Raam Raama Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam Raama Raama Jaya Sitaaraam
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Day 1 Story Sundara Kandam

http://cms.boloji.com/articlephotos/Introduction%20to%20Ramayana16.jpg Dear All: Today’s (day 1) parayanam ended with sargam 5, one of the most delightful and the most poetic sargams in the entire Valimiki Ramayanam. It describes the night with the full moon shining in the sky as Hanuman was searching for Sita in Lanka. The story begins with Hanuman leaping across the ocean in sargam 1. Valmiki provides a very detailed and beautiful description of how Hanuman prepared to leap across. It almost feels like the space shuttle is ready to take off. In one sloka, Valmiki also describes how Hanuman made himself more aerodynamic to reduce the resistance as he traveled through the sky. Before his departure, Hanuman vowed to return only with good news about Sita, if not that he would drag Ravana out of Lanka and bring the latter to the vanaras.

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After he was airborne, Hanuman encountered a few obstacles that he overcame successfully. First, the King of the Oceans (saagar raja) decided that he must honor Hanuman, who was acting on behalf of the race of Ikshvakus. He asked the mountain Mainaka (who was hidden in the ocean) to rise and offer Hanuman due hospitality and a place to rest. Hanuman was perplexed when he saw a huge mountain suddenly rising and obstructing his path. Then recognizing the friendly obstruction, he gave Mainaka a pat and a hug and kept moving. The lesson for us – do not get distracted and stay focused when you are on a mission. http://www.uttaradimath.org/jvp/images/surasa.jpg Then, Hanuman came across the female demon named Surasaa. She wanted had been instigated (by celestials) to create a hindrance so that Hanuman could be tested. So she appeared and demanded that Hanuman enter into her mouth so that she could eat him. Hanuman dared her by assuming a huge form and in turn Surasaa opened her mouth wide to devour him. The two got into a contest with Hanuman getting bigger and bigger and Surasaa opening her mouth wider and wider. Finally, Hanuman quickly shrunk himself, entered into the mouth of Surasaa and came out quickly and told her, “O Mother, see I have fulfilled your wish for me to enter your mouth. Now, I shall proceed.” Surasaa was happy and blessed him with success. The lesson for us – use your mind and act intelligently when faced with hurdles in your task while staying focused. Then, a totally unexpected thing happened. Again, the devas and other celestials wanted to test Hanuman and see if he put to the task (of entering Lanka and searching for Sita). This time they employed another female
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demon, named Simhikaa, who had the power to obstruct by pulling on shadows. She pulled Hanuman’s shadow that was cast on the waters of the ocean below. Hanuman suddenly found his speed being diminished, as if someone was putting the brakes on him. When he examined the situation, he realized that the shadow-grabber (chaaya-graahi) was pulling on him. He had no choice but to kick her with his foot and this killed her. Thus, having overcome all these obstacles, Hanuman found himself on the other shore and saw the great city of Lanka, the peaks of the Malaya mountain and rivers flowing from it in all directions, forests, and lush greenery spreading all around. Hanuman realized that now he cannot attract attention and decided to shrink the huge form he had assumed to leap across the ocean. He turned into a tiny monkey and landed on the shores of the island of Lanka. The city was resplendent rivaling the capital city of Indra, the king of the gods. Thus, ends the story of sargam 1. It was still daylight when Hanuman landed. Hanuman decided to wait until nightfall before entering the city to search for Sita. A beautiful description of Lanka follows in sargam 2. Hanuman now started wondering if the monkey forces would ever be able to conquer this mighty and well-fortified city. Hanuman then enters the city itself as it gets dark. At the gates of the city he finds a female demon guarding it. He ignores her and tries to get past her but she stops him and demands to know what he was doing there. Hanuman says that he as just visiting and wanted to look around and enjoy the sights of the city. He promised to go away after looking around. But, the demon guard would have nothing to do with it and refused to let him enter and indeed smacked him hard. Hanuman gets angry and returns her blow by simply poking her with the tip of his little finger. However, that was enough and the female demon gave a gut-wrenching painful roar and fell to the ground. She then recalled the boon she had received from Brahma himself, about being defeated by a monkey. That would also signal the coming defeat of the rakshasas of Lanka and of Ravana. After retelling this, she wished Hanuman success in his mission and let him enter the city.

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Sargam 4 describes Hanuman entering the city. There are two interesting points that Valimiki makes in this context. First, Hanuman did not enter through the front entrance. Instead, since he was entering the kingdom of an enemy, he entered through the back door. (Every year when I narrate this story, I call this to everyone’s attention. Here in the US we invite people into our homes by asking them to enter through the garage door. That is NOT auspicious. We should take the lesson here and invite people into our houses through the front door. I hope ladies will take note and make sure they invite their friends to enter through the front door, certainly on important occasions. Entering through the garage door is like the ‘advara pravesham’ that Hanuman does while entering Lanka.) Second, Hanuman was careful to place his left foot forward while entering even through the back door. This is the opposite of what we carefully tell our important guests, especially a newly married bride when she enters her husband’s home for the first time. We are careful to point out that she must place her right foot forward as she steps into the house. When you enter an enemy’s house, or a place where you have to win a confrontation, enter by putting your left foot forward, like Hanuman did. Valimiki describes the city as night was falling and Hanuman moving around quickly and looking for Sita. Then the full moon rises in the sky and Valmiki describes the beautiful scene of the full moon rising gloriously over Lanka. The full moon is significant too – for it was lighting the way for Hanuman while he was looking for Sita in the darkness of the night. Sarga 5 ends sadly with Hanuman feeling exhausted and greatly saddened after not being able to find Sita anywhere. We will continue the story tomorrow from here. Very sincerely V. Laxmanan March 31, 2014

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Day 2 Story Sundara Kandam
Today’s reading took us to sarga 13 with Hanuman praying to Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Rudra, Indra, Yama, Anila, the moon, the sun, the Marut gaNaas, and all other deities to grant him success in his endeavor. Namostu Raamaaya sa LakshmaNaaya Devyai ca tasyai Janakaatmajaayai l Namostu Rudrendra Yamaanilebhyo namostu Candraarka-Marut gaNebhyah ll 13.63 ll With the bright full moon lighting his way, Hanuman had moved quickly through the city but did not find Sita anywhere. He was filled with great sorrow. He was blessed with the power to be able to assume any form he wished, as we saw earlier in the story, in the encounter with the demon Surasaa and later with his ability to grow or shrink his size at will when he leapt across the ocean and landed on the shores of Lanka. This is how the story begins in sarga 6. He anxiously moved quickly from one mansion to another in the city. Now we encounter the names of all the Rakshasas including KumbhakarNa and VibhishaNa the two brothers of Ravana. Valmiki describes the splendor and the opulence of the various palaces in the general campus within which was Ravana’s palace. There were wonderful chariots made of ivory, gold, silver, covered with the skin of lions and leopards (modern cars have leather and fabric seating, this is the corollary of the same). There were many different species of animals and birds, held as pets. Precious jewels decorated many palaces. The sounds of various musical instruments could be heard and the air was filled with the fragrance of sandalwood and fragrant trees. A long list of names of various Rakshasas is given. Finally, he entered the quarters of Ravana himself.

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When we come to any house, especially an affluent person’s house, the first thing we see is their car parked either outside or in some covered parking space. In the temples we see what is called the “vahana”, or the vehicle of the deity placed right in front of and famous the deity, like the mooshika facing Ganesha, the peacock facing Muruga or Karthikeya, or Garuda facing Lord Venkateswara. And, likewise, Hanuman saw the famous Pushpaka vimanam, the aerial cart made of flowers in front of Ravana’s house. This is described in sarga 7 and also in sarga 8. Hanuman admires the architectural beauty of this vimanam and also all the palaces of Lanka. The entire place seemed like heaven had descended upon the earth. It was studded with various precious stones and many heavenly damsels and other high born ladies occupied this craft. In several verses, in this sargam,and the next two, we find Valmiki telling us that all the opulence and wealth possessed by the celestials was present in Lanka. (One need not wonder, since Sita who is Mahalakshmi, was Herself in Lanka!). Hanuman admired all these riches but nowhere did he find Sita. Again sarga 7 ends with two verses that describes how sad Hanuman felt when he could not find Sita. All of the vigorous search had been in vain. Sargam 8, a short one with just 8 slokas, is devoted entirely to the description of the Pushpaka vimanam. It felt like the abode of the gods. It interior chambers were beautiful. Seeing it was like seeing the trees in full bloom during the spring that fills the heart with joy. Now, Hanuman decides to enter the palace and the interior chambers (anthah puram) where the women usually reside. Before that, Valmiki says that Hanuman did not just look at the Pushapaka vimana, he also decided to enter it and try it out (like the Kate Winslet and Leonardo Capri, the young couple in the movie Titanic, when the see one of the most expensive cars being transported – before the Titanic hits the iceberg!). Inside the women’s quarters Hanuman saw many beautiful women in various states of undress and intoxication. They had been singing, dancing and enjoying themselves and had fallen asleep. Some of them were held in deep embrace, others embraced
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the veena and other musical instruments and had fallen asleep. All of these women were those who had been conquered by Ravana, or those who had come to him voluntarily enchanted by his great power and wealth. No one was from any lowly family, no one was ugly, none unfit to be loved. These were the daughters of great kings, rishis, deval, gandharvas, all of them objects of Ravana’s love. Then the thought came to Hanuman, “If this is so beautiful to see, how much more beautiful it would be to see Sita Herself with Her Lord Rama! How fortunate I would be if were to see that. Alas, the powerful lord of Lanka has misbehaved with Her who is endowed with all noble virtues.”

The scene in Ravana’s bedchambers. Courtesy, Sundara Kandam, Little Flower Publishers, Chennai, India (2007 edition). Thus ends sarga 9 with a description of the all the heavenly damsels in the inner chambers of Ravana’s palace.
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In sarga 10, we find the description of Mandodari, the chief queen of Ravana. In the inner chamber was a huge bed richly decorated. Several verses are dedicated just to describe this opulent mega-King-size bed and richly crafted it was. Hanuman saw Ravana lying on the bed and fast asleep. As he breathed, it felt as if a mighty serpent was breathing and Hanuman himself was a bit frightened when he heard those snores. Many women were lying on the bed in various states of embrace and holding various musical instruments amorously. Then Hanuman’s eyes fell on one extremely beautiful woman lying apart from all the others. On seeing her beauty and youth and her nobility, Hanuman started to leap with joy. He took his tail and kissed it and banged his tail with great joy on the ground. He exhibited all the symptoms that monkeys express when they are happy. “This must be Sita”, he said and was filled with great joy. Thus ends sarga 10. But, very soon sanity dawned upon Hanuman. He started to curse himself for even entertaining such a thought. “Without Rama, Sita would not even fall asleep let alone be found sleeping on a bed such as this. Separated from Rama, Sita would not be seen in the company of any other man, even a Deva (god). Separated from Rama, Sita would not deck Herself with any ornaments. This woman must be somebody else. This cannot be Sita.” Then he left the inner chambers and entered the pantry and kitchen sections of the palace. Here we find Valimiki describing all the choicest of dishes, fruits, drinks, juices, and every kind of meat dish that one can conceive. There was peacock meat cooked as was the meat of the ordinary cock (or chicken). There was also the meat of Varaha (boar) and vultures. All kinds of fishes and aquatic creatures were being served. I think I have said enough and I have not even started for the list we find Valmiki giving to be a long one. More than 30 verses are devoted to this description before we come to the conclusion of this sarga. Hanuman saw all of this but not Janaki, the daughter of King Janaka, and the wife of Raama. Then, Hanuman was also filled with remorse for what he did.
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He said to himself, “I have seen so many women, the wives of others, in intimate states, and my eyes fell upon their bodies. This is surely immoral.” Then he consoled himself with a great sloka that is worth repeating. Mano hi hetuh sarveshaam indriyaaNaam pravartane l Shubhaashubaas-va-vasthaasu taccha may suvayavatitham ll 11.42 ll Indeed it is the mind (manas) that is the root cause of all engagement, all the sensory organs are activated only because of the mind. In other words, while the eyes are the instrument used for seeing, until the mind is engaged nothing is seen. Likewise, for the other sensory organs. Hanuman tells himself, this is always true, in good and bad situations. I have not engaged my mind, only my sensory organs were active. In other words, Hanuman, now absolves himself of any sinful actions due to his tour through the inner chambers of Ravana’s palace and the sight of all the beautiful women there. This is also what we learn, BTW, from the Gita, especially chapters 2 and 3 where Krishna emphasizes the roles of the sensory organs, the objects of our sensations (or desires, or kaamaas, or lust), the mind (manas) and the intellect (buddhi). One must learn to control the mind (manas) to control the indriyas (sensory organs). One must learn to control the buddhi (intellect) to control the mind (manas). When manas and buddhi are under the control of the indriyas, we start chasing the objects of our senses. Hanuman tells himself that his mind and buddhi were disengaged and only the indriyas were doing their cursory duties of seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. Thus ends sarga 11 and Hanuman emerges from these quarters and wonders want to do next to search for Sita. Sarga 12 and 13 will fill your eyes with tears. Today a couple of devotees had joined the priest and myself during the reading and we were all choking as we read these two sargas. Hanuman starts wondering now. Where is Sita if she cannot be found anywhere? Has She died already? When Ravana touched Her and carried Her
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into the aerial cart, did She die out of the dreadful thought of being touched by another? Did She fall off the aerial cart while crossing the ocean? Or may be She died after seeing all the fearsome Rakshasis here. How can I go and see Sugreeva now? He is a tough and stern king and he will surely order me killed for not fulfilling his mission. I saw all these women but not Sita. Wasted is my effort to leap across the ocean. The vanaras are all surely going to mock me when I return with “O you went to Lanka and saw all this but couldn’t find Sita!” What will Jambavan say, “O you shameless one, you couldn’t find Sita?” What will the prince Angada say? What can I reply to them? Now find an immortal verse that one should memorize and which is also part of the Samkshepa Sundara Kandam (with 40 verses which tell the whole story). Anirvedah shriyOmoolam anirvedah param sukham l Anirvedo hi satatam sarvaartheshu pravartakah ll 12.10 ll We have encountered words like “vedana” in other languages which means “pain”. We feel pain when we were dejected, depressed, fail. Anriveda is the opposite – not feeling depressed, not becoming dejected, not getting depressed when all the odds are against us. Hanuman tells himself that he cannot succumb to such depression, despondency, become broken hearted. The source of great wealth and prosperity is anirvedah, not giving up, not getting depressed and son. That is what produces great happiness; see also discussion by Prof. V. Krishnamurthy, in Gems from Ocean of Hindu Thought, page 137, http://www.scribd.com/doc/184658548/Final-Gems . This is the equivalent of what we say in English, “Fortune favors the brave.” One must be fearless in the face of dangers and undaunted by obstacles. So, Hanuman gets himself reinvigorated and now Valmiki describes him going once again quickly through each of the places that he had been and to again carefully survey to find Sita. He jumped, he leaped, he ran, he stopped, he opened doors and broke them went up and down. All verbs used by Valmiki show great haste in action and determination in the search. And then, as if to emphasize what is going on Valmiki says again and again, with the same words in the second half of each of verses 19 to 22, that:
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Hanuman saw beautiful heavenly damsels of the Vidyadhara clan, but did not see the daughter of Janka (drushTaa Hanumataa tatra na tu Janakaatmaja) Hanuman saw all the beautiful daughters of the king of the Nagas (serpents race) but Hanuman did not see the joy of Rama (na tu Raghava-nandini) Hanuman saw all moon-faced beauties, but did not see the lovely Sita with a narrow waist (na tu Sita sumadhyama). Hanuman saw all the beautiful women whom Ravana had won, but not the joy of Janaka (na saa Janaka-nandini). DrushTaa Hanumataa tatra is repeated with each verse to emphasize what Hanuman saw and what he did NOT see. One must have a very strong heart that is colder than stone NOT to be moved by such poetry. And thus ends sarga 12 with Hanuman filled with great sorrow. After he got out of Ravana’s palace, he had perched himself atop of a huge building to look around. Now, he jumped down from there and was absorbed in deep thought and fully overcome with grief not knowing what to do next. In sarga 13, where we ended today’s parayanam, Valmiki again describes Hanuman’s despair. Then he saw the Ashoka grove ahead of him as described in verse 59 AND AGAIN IN VERSES 65 and 66. But, before I go there, the only place that I have not searched let me offer my prayers. Then he offered the prayers to Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, and all the celestials (in verse 63) that we started the story with today. When Hanuman jumped down from his high perch he started wondering again. I cannot find Sita. I have looked everywhere among all the palaces, among the trees, lakes, tanks, streams, fortresses, and hills of this city. Sampati, the great vulture (the brother of Jatayu who fought Ravana after seeing Sita’s abduction and was killed by Ravana), said that he could see Sita

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in Lanka and that is how I got here (see the text of Samkshepa Sundara Kandam, published in 2011 season, click here).

Hanuman seated atop a high building in deep thought about the next course of action. Courtesy, Sundara Kandam, Little Flower Publishers, Chennai, India (1973 edition).

Did she fall of the aerial cart, into the ocean during the crossing, out of fear? Has she been devoured by these Rakshasis (female demons) here? She must have died just lamenting in great sorrow and saying “Haa Raama, Haa Lakshmana, Haa Ayodhyaa,..” Or, she could have died being imprisoned here in Lanka. How I tell Rama that I could not find Sita? What wil Sugreeva tell me if I said that? Rama is holding his lifebreath only to hear word about Sita. If I say, I did not find her, He will surely fall dead – na drushTeti mayaa Seetaa tatas tyakshati jeevitam (verse 24). If Rama goes so will Lakshmana, and so will Bharata, and so will all the mothers. If Rama is lost, so will Sugreeva be lost and then so will his dear wife and Tara. Then the prince Angada too will give up his life. And so will Jamabavaan and all the monkeys. They will all cast themselves off the top of the peaks of huge mountains and hurl themselves to their deaths.

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My going back now will only lead to huge roar of sorrowful grief and crying and wailing. No I should not go. Let me stay here something and become an ascetic. I will eat nothing, may be just some roots and fruits. I will became the cause of a great calamity now if I return. No, I should kill this Ravana who is responsible for all of this. As these thoughts raced through his mind, Hanuman saw the Ashoka grove, filled with huge trees, the only place that he had NOT searched and he decides that he will offer his obeisances to all the celestials and then finally to Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Rudra, Indra, and all the celestial gaNas, to bless him in his endeavor. He says he will enter the grove and search and if not fill the hearts of the Rakashas with fear. He prays with a sincere heart and turns to all, every single being (sarvaaNi bhootani) to bless him with success. Every bhootaa, every being, is capable of blessing the endeavors of a great soul like Hanuman, when engaged in the divine duty (Ramaa kaaryaartham) since every soul has an ounce of satvam and has done some punyam. This is enough to bless him and so Hanuman seeks the blessings of all, even the humble bhootas as he resolves to search the Ashoka grove. Let them all bless me he says. Let me conclude today’s story with the final three slokas of sargam 13.
Siddhim sarvaaNi bhootani bhootaanam caiva yah Prabhuh l Daasyanti ma-ma ye caanye hydrushTaah pathi gocaraahaa ll 13. 71 ll Tadunnasam paaNdura-dantam-avraNam Shuci-mitam Padmapalaasha-locanam l Drakshye tadaaryaa-vadanam kadaa-nvaham Prasanna taraadhipa-tulya-darshanam ll 13.72 ll KshudreNa paapena nrushamsa-karmaNaa sudaaruNaalankruta-vesha-dhaariNaa l Balaabhibhootaa hyabalaa katham nu may drushTi-athedya saa bhavet ll 13.73 ll
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Hanuman prays to be blessed with the fortune of having Sita cross the path of his sight (drushTi patha). There is an exactly similar description of the devotee praying to see Lord Jagannaatha in the chariot during the great festival in Puri. Let me be blessed to see Her pure and radiant smile (shucismitam). Let me be blessed to see Her lovely lotus eyes (Padma palaasha locanam). Let me be blessed to see the noble (aaryaa) face of that moon-faced lady. When will I be so blessed? When will I blessed to see those white gleaming teeth when she smiles? O it is some misfortune, O it is some petty sinful character like Ravana, who has abducted Her, helpless as She was, and forcibly put Her in this state? O what is She suffering from? Let every being bless me so that I can blessed have Her cross the path of my sight. Jagannatha swami, nayana-patha-gaami sadaa bhavatu may So, say the devotees of Lord Jagannatha. May this lord always be in the path of my sight. And so is Hanuman also praying for Sita to appear in the path of his sight. We will continue the story tomorrow. Very sincerely V. Laxmanan April 1, 2014.

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Day 3 Story Sundara Kandam
The day 3 parayanam ended with sarga 22 where Ravana issues Sita a crude ultimatum – dwau maasau rakshitavyau may yOvadhiste mayaa krutah l Tatah shayanam aarOha ma-ma tvam varvarNini ll 22.8 ll Please allow me to give you the literal meaning of this sloka instead of sanitized translations that are around. Ravana tells Sita (you can read the story to find out why) that he has allotted a duration of just two months for Her. After that, he says, “O beautiful one (of beautiful complexion), You should climb into my bed.” And that is why it is a “crude” ultimatum. And it gets worse in the next sloka. The sanitized version is “resolve to become my wife”. Our day 2 story ended with Hanuman finding a huge grove full of wonderful trees – the Ashoka vana - the only place that he had not searched for Sita. Then he resolves to search there but prays to Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Rudra, Indra, the Moon, the Sun, and all the Marut gaNas, and even every single living being to bless him with success. In sarga 14, Valmiki describes this beautiful grove. Hanuman was sitting on the top of walls (praakaaram) surrounding the palace (veshmanah) and meditated for a muhurtam (48 minutes) says Valmiki, thinking about the Divine Sita (manasaa caadhigamya taam – the “taam” here is a female indicative pronoun and means Sita) and then jumped down from that wall and made his way to the Ashoka grove. One should remember that Hanuman has never met Sita yet was filled with so much devotion for Her, being the wife of Lord Rama. You will see this devotion overflowing in today’s story. When Hanuman jumped down, the hair on all of his body stood on ends (because of the divine blessing received from his meditation) as he saw before him various trees that filled the grove. They were in full bloom. There were mighty trees like Saalaa, Ashoka, Champaka, Uddaalaka, Mango (cootaan), all entwined beautifully with hundreds of creepers (lataa-shaata). Hanuman sped through the grove like an arrow that had been released from its bow and looked carefully. Birds filled the trees and herds of deer were roaming around. The trees were laden with fragrant
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flowers and tasty fruits. Cuckoos, honey bees, peacocks roamed freely. As Hanuman entered some birds that were sleeping were awakened. The trees showered flowers upon Hanuman and he looked like a mountain moving through that grove. The ground was covered with leaves and flowers like a beautiful woman who was dressed up with various ornaments. The description of the Ashoka vana continues through 25 verses. Then Hanuman saw in the distance a mountain with a beautiful river flowing down. Valmiki says the river seemed like a beautiful woman who was sitting on the lap of her lover and who decided to get away from it. The trees surrounded it were bending and obstructing the flow of the water and in some places the water was actually flowing backwards (as if trying to stop the woman from getting away). The sand on the banks of the river was gleaming as if it were made of precious gems, pearls, and corals. And there Hanuman saw a golden colored Simshupa tree – kaancaneem simshupaam ekaam dadarsha Hanuman kapih (verse 36). The tree was surrounded by golden colored platforms (vedikaagbhih vrutaam). The reflection of all this golden made Hanuman think that he too was golden. He quickly jumped to the top of this tree and sat there thinking that may be here he would find Sita. There was a lotus pond nearby. And Hanuman told himself, “Surely, the noble Sita, who is anxious to see Raama, will come to this beautiful place. Although a queen, She knows about life in a forest. The dear wife of Rama and the daughter of Janaka will surely come here to offer her evening prayers. She will come here to this river and divine and sacred waters of this river to sip it for Her sandhya prayers.” Naddem cemaam shivajalaam sandhyaarthe varvarNinee (verse 49). Here is an interesting statement made by Valimiki via Hanuman. It appears that Sandhyakaal pooja (or Sandhya vandanam) is NOT the exclusive domain of males. Even women performed their Sandya prayers. Even today, many women do, if not like the men do. They will freshen themselves and light the lamp at the altar at home in the evenings, and night falls. This beautiful place – the Ashoka vana - is fully fitting Her and indeed seems to be fashioned after Her (tasyaam anuroopeyam ashoka vanika shubha) – the
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daughter-in-law (snushaa) of King Dasharatha and the wife of Raama. If She is indeed alive, She will surely come to this place to partake the holy and sparklingly clean waters of this sacred river. Yadi jeevati saa devee taraadhipa nibhaananaa l Aagamishyati saa-vashyam imam shiva-jalaam nadeem ll 14. 51 ll And, Hanuman describes Sita, as we find in many other places in Sundara Kandam, as the moon-faced one. The word taaradhipa (the lord of the stars) means the moon. The word “nibha” means like and aanana means face. So, Sita is the lovely moon-faced one. Thus, Hanuman hid himself among the foliage of the Simshupa tree and from that vantage point witnessed all that was going one. Thus ends sarga 14. I had to write about the Ashoka vana in detail and the devotion of Hanuman that we see here (after having read about Hanuman’s “shoka” in the day 2 story, his sorrow and grief at not finding Sita, he is now in the a-shoka vana). In the next Valmiki continues the description of the beautiful grove and what Hanuman saw sitting atop the Simshupa tree. This continues for 15 more verses. Far away, he saw a huge temple-like structure (caitya praasaadam) rising as it were to the sky itself. And in the middle of this, surrounded by a thousand pillars, that were white like the peaks of Mount Kailaasa, with several steps leading up to it, on a platform, dazzling brilliantly, made of gold, with pearls and corals bedecking the steps.. Hanuman saw a woman … Upavaasa krushaam deenaam nishavasanteem punah punah She was helpless with a body that had become lean due to excessive fasting or starvation, who was sighing heavily, again and again. Her garments seemed soiled. She was surrounded by many female demons (raakshasees). The heart wrenching description continues for several verses and words fail me. Her face was filled with Her tears (ashrupoorNa
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mukheem), She seemed so helpless (deenaam), She was so lean (krushaam anashanena ca) because of not eating, Valmiki says again in verse 22, Her thoughts were deeply immersed in sorrow (shoka dhyaana paraam), She was chanting sorrow itself it seemed (duhkha paraayaNaa), She seemed like a noble one deserving all the joys of life (sukhaarhaam) but was being burned in the fire of sorrow (duhkha samtaptaam)… I wish I am blessed some time to translate all the verses of this sargam that describe what Hanuman saw. Valmiki concludes in verse 38 with “tarkayaam aasa Seeteti kaarunNair upapaadibhih” that Hanuman came to the reasoned and fully debated conclusions, based on all the observations, that this must be Seetaa Herself. And continues Hanuman to think, “All of the ornaments of Seetaa that Ramaa told me about are to be found here, except that they are soiled and sticking to Her body. This must be the chaste wife of Raama. This must be wife for whom Raama is grieving with all of His senses. This must be the nobel lady, the goddess whose thoughts are filling the mind of Raama. Her thoughts are in Him and His thoughts are in Her. This must be the lady for whom Raama is still life and breathes for even a muhurtam.” Asyaa devyaa manas tasmin tasya caasyaam pratishTitam l Teneyam sa ca dharmaatmaa muhoortamapi jeevati ll 15.51 ll And continues Hanuman, “O my Raama is so brave. He can do the impossible. O my lord, He can keep Himself alive after being separated from this lady. He can keep His life breath and not give it up in sorrow.” And, so having seen Sita, Hanuman’s thoughts went to Rama and he praised His lord Rama for being able to hold His own lifebreath while being separated from this nobel lady that he saw before his eyes. Thus ends the story as told in sargam 15. I don’t know when I will complete the rest. There is so much more to tell in the story through sargam 22 where the day 3 parayanam ended today. (I will upload this in the interim.)

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In sarga 16 Valmiki continues to describe all the sorrow that grips Hanuman after he concludes that the woman, in a pitiable state, whom he is seeing seated on that platform and surrounded by Raakshasees must be Sita. Maanya gurvineetasya LakshmaNasya ca gurupriyaa l Yadi Seetapi duhkhaartaa kaalO hi duratikramah ll 16.3 ll After seeing Sita, Hanuman wonders, “She is highly regarded by all, She is humble and pays due respect to all gurus and elders, She is constantly being served by LakshmaNa who considers Her to be an object of his veneration. If such Sita can be in this pitiful state and filled with such immense sorrow, then yes, the ravages of time are indeed cruel and cannot be overcome.” Hanuman is talking here about the all powerful kaala – time, or what we call the workings of destiny or fate. Before the sun sets, on any given day, one does not know what will happen. Great empires are built and great empires fall into the dustbin of history – all between the times the sun rises and before it sets on any given day. Fortunes are made and fortunes are lost. Hanuman tells himself, “this Kaala is indeed unconquerable if Sita can be put in this condition”. She had all the royal comforts to enjoy. She gave up all of them because of Her love for Her husband and followed Him to the forest without thinking for a moment about the turmoils of such a life (verse 19). She was happy to be served with just fruits and roots (samtushTaa phala moolena). She was intent on serving Her husband. O, She of golden hue, it She who is not be considered in anyway to inherit any misfortunes (anarthaanaam abhaaginee, verse 21), One who always speaks with a smile on Her face, it is She who is now being subject to such sorrow. Then, Hanuman continues, Bhartaa naama param naaryaa bhooshaNam bhooshaadapi l Esha tu rahitaa tena bhooshaarhaa na shobhate ll 16.26 ll With the gender wars that we see today, and the ravages of such gender wars on our social fabric, it is worth reflecting on this sloka from the Sundara kandam. If Ramayanam is to be cherished and held dear, and is the saaram
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(the essence) of all the Vedas, then indeed we must take this statement seriously. Hanuman says here, to himself, “Indeed, the husband is the most important and cherished ornament of a woman. This noble woman, who is fully deserving of being decked in all the choicest ornaments does not shine now because She now lacks that essential ornament and is without it.” The most beautiful woman in the world, the most beautiful Hollywood stars and Bollywood stars are made more beautiful when they are accompanied by their husband or loved one. Ladies, don’t worry, your turn is coming – now just listen to what Ramayana tells you about the husband in your life and the unnecessary gender wars that we are going through in the 21st century.  Again, Hanuman tells himself that Raama is indeed brave to be holding His breath without this noble woman. And,, even my mind is filled with such sorrow just to see Her in this state. And so ends the story in sargam 16. In sargam 17, Valmiki describes the surroundings of this noble lady. She is completely surrounded by a host of raakshasees (female demons) who are described in gory detail. It was a horrifying sight to see. It was hideous. It was monstrous. Some of them had only one eye, some only one ear, some had nostrils over their heads, some were short and bulky, others huge. Hanuman saw ugliness personified in many of them. They delighted in flesh and liquor and had blood and flesh smeared all over their bodies. The sight was enough to run and chill and give rise to horripilations out of fear. And among them was Sita, like a cow elephant separated from her herd and surrounded by lions (the implication here is the imminent danger – the lion will eat the elephant, and so could Sita be eaten by these Raakshasees!) Sita was filled with fear like a doe that was looking all around with arrows pointing at it from all directions. Yet, She was still beautiful, even without Her ornaments. Hanuman was thankful to have found Her and was filled with joy for that reason. He started shedding tears, tears of joy at finding Sita. And with tears rolling down his eyes, he bowed to his Lord Rama. He bowed to Rama, he

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bowed to Lakshmana, he was happy for having found Sita and remained hidden with the branches of that Simshupa tree. Harshajaani ca sOshrooNi taam ca drushTvaa madirekshaNaam l Mumoca Hanumaans-tatra namas-cakre ca Raaghavam ll 17.32 ll Namaskrutvaa ca Raamaaaya LakshamaNaaya ca veeryavaan l Seeta darshana samtushTo Hanuman samvrutObhavat ll 17.33 ll So ends the story in sargam 17. Then Ravana himself arrives and this is told in sarga 18. The night was coming to an end as Hanuman watched all of this. As the night was ending, Hanuman started hearing Vedic chants, even in that city of the Raakshaas. It was the early morning hours before dawn (Brahma muhoortam). Ravana got up at this time His clothes were all in disarray but his thoughts were directed to Sita, infatuated as he was with Her. Then Ravana dressed with all his royal paraphernalia and surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women, who were his wives, he made his way to Sita. These wives were still partly asleep but they followed him and walked in a daze. They were in various states of intoxication and not properly dressed. Hanuman heard the sound of the jingling belts and anklets these women wore. And, he saw Ravana, with long curved red eyes, looking like a second Cupid. Hanuman looked at him again and again. He remembered this the same person he saw sleeping some time back. The grandeur of Ravana made even powerful Hanuman feel a bit agitated. Ravana, who wanted to see the beautiful Sita then came up to the spot where She was. Thus ends sarga 18. Sita shivered at the sight of the approaching Ravana. Valmiki describes this in sargam 19 and follows it in sargam 20, with the description of Ravana professing his love for Sita. The brave Sita replies but does not speak to Ravana directly. She places a blade of grass between the two and addresses that blade – meaning to Her Ravana was nothing more than that. And, she also advises him about what he should do. This is sargam 21. Then Ravana in a fit of rage threatens to have Her killed and eat Her for his breakfast if She does

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not agree to climb into his bed within two more months that he has allotted for Her. Oh, the love of these demons! Now, let me tell you the story in a bit more detail for there is something to learn from this. Ravana approaches Sita, who was trembling as he approached Her, like a tender plantain tree in a strong wind (pravaate kadalee yathaa, verse 19.2) and tells Her there is no need to fear him. There is no reason for Her to be in this condition, starving Herself and being inappropriately dressed and undecorated. Become my wife and give up this delusion. He promises to bestow immense wealth upon Her father King Janaka. There is nothing Raama, who is lost His kingdom and all His wealth and opulence (gata-shree) can do for Her. Rama is no match for him, says Ravana, in any way, not by tapas (the wealth and power of austerities), not by strength, nor by wealth, nor by fame, nor by wealth of victories. So, says Ravana, “enjoy life in my company and I shall bestow upon You and all Your relatives all the riches of the world”. This is the story in sargas 19 and 20. Sita then places a blade of grass between Herself and Ravana and addresses it, speaking slowly and in a feeble tone. “Turn your thoughts away from me and direct them towards your own loved ones. You are not even qualified to make such a request to me, just like a sinner cannot ask for Moksha (vserse 3). This whole prosperous Lanka will be destroyed because of the evil ways of just one. I cannot be enticed by offers of any kind of wealth. I am forever inseparable from Raghava, just the radiance of the sun is inseparable from it. I am His and His wife alone. O Ravana, it would be good for you to unite Me, who am so filled with sorrow, with Rama and take Me to Him, like uniting a cow elephant, who has become separated, with the king of the elephants. If you were to do this, the follower of dharma and the knower of dharma that He is (dharmajna), and one who shows great affection to those who seek His refuge (sharaNaagata vatsala) will protect. Please Him if you wish to protect yourself and live. That is what you should do. Very soon you will hear the
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sound of the twang of Rama’s great bow. The arrow from that bow will soon rain here and release their power like the fiery poison of a thousands of serpents. Like Garuda who can devour all the serpents Rama will swiftly destroy all the rakshasas here. If you have any doubts recall the hundreds of thousands of asuras who were killed by My husband already in Janasthaana. All your bragging is useless. You are a jackal no match for the lions that are Rama and Lakshmana. Like the sun dries up a tiny pond, very soon Rama and Lakshmana will rid you of your life breath. There is no place for you to seek shelter except at the feet of Daasharathi, Raama, the son of Dasharatha. Asamshayam Daasharather-na mokshayse Mahaadruma kaalahatOshaneriva Like an old tree cannot be protected from a lightning bolt, you can hide wherever you wish, in the abode of Kubera, Varuna, Indra, or wherever you like, but you will be destroyed and cannot escape the arrows of Daasharathi. Thus, ends sarga 21. The frail lady, who was filled with sorrow and completely reduced to bones with Her intense fasting, spoke these fearless words in Her feeble voice. She advised to do what is right and also assured that he would be protected by Her husband who always protects those who seek His refuge, for He is always a sharanagata vatsala. (Later in the Yuddha kandam, when Vibhishana abandons Ravana and seeks Rama’s refuge, we find Rama Himself saying the same to Sugreeva and others before announcing that He will accept Vibhishana’s surrender.) Ravana is furious and enraged. “Because I love you so much, he says, I am not going to kill you. That is the power of kaama. You deserve death for all the words that you have spoken. I will give you two months. Before that time, you make up your mind and climb into my bed. If not, I shall have you killed and ear you for my breakfast.” Seeing the daughter of Janaka being addressed in this away, the daughter of the devas and gandharvas (who had become Ravana’s wives) felt very sorry and tried to console Sita. She then addressed Ravana once again.
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“Who else but you would covet to have Me for a wife, who like Sachi is wedded to Indra forever, is wedded forever to Raama. How is it that your two eyes that have been cast upon Me have not fallen off their sockets to the ground? How can your tongue that speaks to Me like this stay in place and not fall to the ground? O ten-headed one, I can burn you right now and reduce you two ashes with the fire of my tapas but I am restraining Myself to allow Raama to perform His swadharma and come and rescue Me. That is your destiny – to be killed by Raama Himself. There can be no doubt about that. “ O what a blessing Sita has bestowed now upon Ravana, even as She spoke to Him so fearlessly. Let us remember what Sita says here. She could burn Ravana in moment and reduce him to ashes but She will not do so to bring glory to Her husband. And She wants Ravana to attain Moksha by being killed by Her husband instead of Her. Ravana, of course, is furious and would have nothing of this. He order all the rakshasees surrounding Sita to use every means possible (saama, daana, bheda, DaNDa, verse 38) to make sure that Sita will accede to his wishes. As Ravana was exploding with his own rage, Dhanyamaalee approached him and embraced him tightly and said, “Come and enjoy with me, O great king, what joy can you get from this human female, who is so pale and frail? Her body is burning up and she cannot reciprocate your love in anyway. Come show your love to one who wants you. That is what is appropriate and brings you glory.” Ravana bursts into a great laugh like the roar of a thundering rain bearing cloud. And he departed, being dragged away by those females, stomping his foot so mightily on the ground as to sends quivers to Mother earth. His eyes were glowing red like the burning sun and he went back to his palace. Thus ends our story of day 3. I had to struggle to write this today. But the struggles will get even more intense as the parayanam proceeds. How, I was able to finish the day 3 narration now is beyond my comprehension. V. Laxmanan, April 3, 2014 (3:16 am)
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Day 4 Story Sundara Kandam

http://www.exoticindia.com/books/sundarakandam_of_srimad_valmiki_ram ayana_with_original_idg425.jpg http://www.amazon.com/Adhyatma-Ramayana-Sanskrit-EnglishTranslation/dp/8171209262/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396584970&sr=83&keywords=adhyatma+ramayana The day 4 parayanam ended with the reading of sarga 30 that he must speak to Sita and console Her before his departure from Lanka. But, how should he begin talking to Her? Why would she believe him, after what She been put through? What should he say to gain Her confidence? After Ravana left, ordering the rakshasee guards to employ all possible means (saama, daana, bheda, DanDa) to force Sita to accede to his demand that She agree to become his wife, the rakshasees started tormenting and harassing Her, to frighten Her, by taunting Her with harshest of harsh words, one by one.
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They said, “Why do you think being a human female that you should only be the wife of human male? Why don’t you accept Ravana as your husband and enjoy all the wealth and comforts that he can offer? What is the point of being love with one who has been banished from his own kingdom?” Sita replied, “A human female should never be the wife of a Rakshasa. You can eat me, if you wish, but I will never give up on my Lord Rama, just like Shaci, the wife of Indra is forever faithful to him, and like Arundati is forever wedded to VasishTa, Lopaamudra to Agastya, Savitri to Satyavaan, Damayanti to Nala. And so, will I forever be the chaste of the pride of the Ikshavaku clan.” Hanuman was listening to all of this from atop the Simshupa tree. Hearing Sita, the Rakshasees started threatening Her with violence. Three Rakshasees, named Vinata, Vikata, Chandodari, and Praghasa, and then Ajaamukhi, and finally one named Shoorpanakha, spoke to Her with different words all threatening Her in different ways to accept Ravana. Said, Ajamukhi, I don’t like all this idle talk and arguments. Let us cut Her up into pieces and divide Her flesh equally among us. Get me some liquor and some sauce and condiments and let’s get on with it.” Shoorpanakha said, “I concur with what Ajamukhi said. Let’s enjoy Her human flesh and sing and dance now.” Sita was terrified and started weeping. Thus ends sarga 24, the first of the sargas of our day 4 parayanam. Sarga 25 describes the deep anguish and sorrow felt by Sita (Sita vishaada). Her breasts were now wet with the tears that rolled down Her cheeks like torrential rain. As she trembled with fear Her singly-braided hair (which is considered inauspicious, women are supposed braid their hair with two locks, like they do for young girls) started moving and felt like the motion of a serpent. “Alas”, She said, “the words of the great sages are true. Man or woman, one will live as long as one is supposed to live. It is not possible to meet death in an untimely when one wishes. Why would I be alive after hearing these words?”

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“O Raama, O Lakshmana, O my mother-in-law Kausalya, O Sunitra” She went wailing and calling all Her dear ones. I am sinking like a ship in a storm. Fortunate are those who can see My husband Raama. Unable to see Him, I am like the bank of a river that is being washed away (the bank confines the river, and is acting like a protector, the husband is like the bank, a protector).” Then She adds, “What sin did I commit in my previous births to go through this now? I wish to give up My life and die. O fie upon (that is how I was taught to translate Dhigastu, it is sort of like saying, ‘O be damned’) this wretched life of a human, O fie upon this wretched life of dependence that one cannot give up one’s own life when one wants to.” Thus, ends sargam 25 with Sita lamenting, calling Herself a great sinner, and wishing She had the power to die instantly. If Sita can feel so helpless, we should think about our own selves when faced with misfortunes in our lives. Why can’t we die when we want to die? The pain and heart-wrenching sorrow that Sita felt is described further in sarga 26. Now Sita has verily decided to commit suicide. Shedding tears, her head held down, She started rolling on the ground and wailing some more. There is no question of My touching this Ravana even with My left foot. I must indeed have a heart made of granite for it not burst even after such sorrow. Why has Raama not appeared to rescue Me, after I was taken away by employing deceitful means? My husband can kill this Ravana, like He killed so many in Dandakaranya. He can dry up the ocean and blow up the whole of Lanka. Why is He not here? “ She tells the Rakshasees that very soon all the women of Lanka are going to share Her fate of weeping due to the loss of their husbands. Then she says, “I wish someone will give Me some poison. Does Raama have nothing anymore to do with Me? Out of sight, does He think He does not need me? Or, has this Ravana, the king of the Rakshasas managed to kill both the brothers, Rama and Lakshmana? O, I wish to die. Great are those sages who are above all happiness and sorrows. I bow to such great souls.”

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“But, I am unable to conquer my sorrows. I will now give up my life, having been abandoned thus by Raama and now under the control of the sinful Ravana.” Saaham tyaktaa priyeNeha RaameNa viditaatmanaa l PraaNaan tyakshyaami paapasya RavaNasya gataa vasaham ll 26.15 ll Thus, ends sarga 26 with Sita resolving firmly that She will commit suicide. When the Rakshasee heard this, some out of fear ran to inform Ravana. Other surrounded Her and spoke to Her harshly again. This is the story of sarga 27. “O stupid woman, who wants to commit suicide. We are going to eat you now, so why commit suicide.” At that time, an old Rakshasee named Trijata, who was fast asleep, woke up and started speaking. She said, “O sinful ones, eat me up, if you like but not Sita. She is the daughter of Janka and the daughter-in-law of Dasharathaa. I just had a dream. It is so horrible to even describe it. I saw in my dream the destruction of the entire race of the Rakshasaas and the victory of Her husband Raama.” (The dream was horrible from the perspective of the Rakshasaas. Also, remember it was almost day break and the dream she had was just before dawn. Such dreams, they say, come true.) When Trijata spoke thus all the Rakshasees gathered around her and asked her to tell them more about the dream she had. This dream is now described in detail in sarga 27 (click here for some more discussion of this dream). Trijata said, “I saw Rama along with Lakshmana dressed in silk robes and Sita too sitting happily dressed in silk, on the top of a mountain by the sea, united with Her husband Rama, like the radiance of the sun united with the sun. RaameNa sangataa Seetaa bhaaskareNa prabhaa yathaa (verse 10).

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I saw Sita seated on the lap of Her husband and then She playfully got off His lap and was caressing the sun and the moon with Her hands. I saw a kingly elephant stationed in the sky above Lanka, with Sita seated on it along with Her husband Rama and Lakshmana. I saw a chariot driven by eight milkwhite bullocks with them all arriving here in Lanka. I saw all the three worlds being swallowed as it were by Raama, of immeasurable valor and deeds. I saw a white mountain rising up from the milk ocean and on top of it was a white elephant with four tusks. And seated on this elephant were Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana. Sita rose even there and charmingly embraced the moon and the sun and went back to sit on Her husband’s lap. I saw Raama, the crest jewel of the family of Kakutstha, seated on a great throne facing east. He was being bathed by the waters of all the holy rivers by all the Brahmarishis. He was being greeted by the devas. And there Sitaa too appeared all resplendent, decorated with white garlands, white dress, and all fragrant unguents smeared over Her body. I saw Rama revealed in all glory as Mahavishnu Himself, as the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Consciousness, the Supreme Cause, the Supreme austerities, the seed of all seeds, the Holy of all holies and the Cause of all causes. The Sanskrit verses saying this are given below. Purneva mayaa drushTo RaamO ramayataam varah l Vishnureva swayam bhootvaa tasmin aaste varaasane ll 27.26 ll Param Brahma param tatvam param jnaanam param tapah l Param beejam param kshetram param kaaraNa kaaraNam ll 27.27 ll Through Tirjataa, Valmiki has revealed to us that Raama, who considered Himself to be just human, is none other than the Supreme Being. Trijaata goes on to describe more glorious scenes of joy. She describes Rama as adorned with the Shanka, chakra, gadhaa, with lotus-like eyes and the Srivatsa mark on His chest, ever the abode of Shree (Mahalakshmi, all opulences), the unconquerable, the eternal, and steadfast and the Lord of all
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the three worlds. Then she says, the devas, pitrus, rishis, gandharvaas, vidyaadharaas, pannagaas, and others surrounded Rama and crowned Him as the Emperor and started singing His praises with their hands joined together in salutation. The apsaras danced with joy and the began to sing and dance and play the flute, veena, muraja, drums, and conchs, all at the same time. And then she says, “I saw Rama riding the Pushpaka vimaanam, with Sita and Lakshmana, heading north.” She concludes by saying, “This Raama cannot be conquered by anyone. Just as sinful people cannot gain heaven, no one can conquer Rama of unlimited prowess.” Then Tirjata describes the fate of the Rakshasas as well and of Ravana. She says she saw Ravana with his head shaven, his body smeared with oil and wearing a garland of (inauspicious) karavira flowers. At another time, she saw Ravana fallen down from his aerial vehicle, shaven head, dressed in black, being dragged by a woman. She also saw Ravana riding a chariot drawn by assess. A woman who was black in appearance, smeared with red on her body, was heading in the southern direction on an ass and dragging him. Then she saw Ravana fallen off that ass and in great fright and confused like a drunkard. He was fully naked, uttering incoherent words like a mad man, falling and sinking into a pit filled with fecal matter in the darkest of regions. She also saw Kumbhakarna riding on a cake, and Indrajit, son Ravana on a crocodile, Ravana riding a pig, all facing the southern direction (inauspicious direction, as opposed to the northern direction). But, she says, she saw Vibhishana being honored by all. She saw him approaching Rama on an elephant with four-tusks, accompanied by ministers and auspicious sounds being made (mangala vaadyam); click here for a perspective on Trijata She also described the destruction of the entire city of Lanka in her dream and a monkey burning down the whole city.

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Then she told the rakshasees that it is better that all beg the forgiveness of Sita. This sorrowful woman is sure to be rescued and united with Her husband soon. Do not hesitate to ask Her to forgive you, the same person that you have been threatening. She will no doubt forgive you, if you bow down to Her. Save yourself from great danger (click here for a discussion of this point). Trijata continues, “I do not see a single inauspicious mark on the body of this woman. Here complexion is a bit faded. I see the victory of Her husband and the destruction of Ravana. I see various signs that signal the coming auspiciousness. Her lotus-like, long, left eye is throbbing. Her two arms are trembling. Her left thigh, like the soft supple trunk of an elephant, is also throbbing. All these indicate that Rama is indeed before Her. And she concludes, hear a bird sitting on this tree here, cooing again and again with overflowing joy indicating the arrival very soon of a very close and nobel friend. Pakshee ca shaakaa nilayah prahrushTah punah punah cottama saantva-vaadee l Suswaagataam vaacam udeerayaanah punah punah codayeetva hrushTah ll 27.67 ll Thus ends sarga 27 which describes Trijataa dream in detail. The auspicious signs that are described are worth recalling and rejoicing about. Sita, however, seems to have not heard any of this conversation and is ready to commit suicide by using Her own long hair as a rope to hang Herself from the branch of the tree. This is the story of sarga 28. (I will upload this part of the story now and continue the story through sarga 30 shortly.) Let us not spend time on sarga 29 which describes in detail the pain and sorrow of Sita, however heart wrenching, as she decided to hang herself using Her own long hair as a rope by tying the hair to the Simshupa tree. She seems to be completely oblivious of the narration of Trijataa dream which foretells good fortune just round the corner for Her. But, as she was about to tie Her hair to the tree, She was suddenly overcome by many physical omens that
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entered into Her body that signal good fortunes and auspicious beginnings. These have described by the great sages and seers, the siddhas, which means those who accomplished success (siddhi) through various yogic processes and therefore know who the physical body and the spiritual body are united. Shokaanimitaani tathaa bahooni dhairyaarjitaani pravaraaNi loke l Praadur-nimittani tadaa babhuvuh puraapi siddhaan-yupalakshitaani ll 29.20 ll Upalakshinaani means whose signs have been described. They have been described in the past as well (puraa api). Dhairyaarjitaani means those that can induce mental strength and courage (dhairyam) and pravaraaNi means excellent. The omens were not weak signals, there were strong signal of the best kind. There are ordained by the divine. Thus ends sarga 28 which describes the great lament of Sita. One should read it in full and only then one can enjoy the reading of the auspicious omens as well that are described in sarga 29. I leave that up to the reader to find other sources, two of which have been highlighted and some more added in the Sri Balaji Temple Facebook page post today (photo of Ramayana Granthas). Now let us read about the auspicious omens. It is said that a daily reading of these auspicious omens, in the early hours of the morning, will bring great good fortune. The eight slokas that describe these omens are also highlighted prominently Sri Anantarama deekishitar’s popular book, Jaya Mangala Stotram (page 247 of 2011 edition, stotram no. 70 in the list, Part I, available in many religious book stores of Chennai, no publisher is mentioned). It is also of interest to note that yesterday I stopped my narration with sarga 28 and updated the file and it is only now, in the early morning hours of Friday that I am again rewriting and telling this part of the story! May be that is an auspicious omen too.

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SARGA 29: AUSPICIOUS OMENS GRIP SITA She was without a blemish, without a fault, without any cause for censure (aninditaam) all of Her joy was gone (vyapeta-harshaam), Her mind was feeble and faint (parideena manasaam), She was extremely tormented (vyathitaam). And then, into Her (taam) entered all of the auspicious omens (shubhaam nimittaani), as if entreating Her, begging Her, worshipping Her (shubaani bhejire), like dependents (upajeevinah) who encircle a person (naram) who has been smitten with great wealth (shree jusTam). We find many people want to associate themselves with a rich person, who can provide them with a job, a living, shelter. When someone becomes wealthy all of a sudden, such as by winning the lottery, many long lost friends and relatives seek them. This is what is being described here as “Shriyaa jushTam”, smitten by the Goddess of Wealth, and with “upajeevinah”, who are living like dependents on such a person of great fortune. In the same way, all great fortunes themselves became the dependents of “taam”, that Seeta, who is described as one who is greatly tormented and wishing to end Her life. I urge everyone to learn these slokas and commit them to memory and recite them in the early morning hours. It is our great fortune that is now exactly that auspicious hour in the morning as I write this. Then Valmiki describes, one by one what these auspicious omens were that had be talked about by the great sages. Her left eye (vaamam nayanam) throbbed. How did it throb? In the lotus pond we have many lotuses growing and usually there will be a lot of fishes there too. Suddenly a fish will decide to speed off and move very fast and in doing so will hit one of the lotus stalks which will start vibrating with the lotus flower. That is what “meenaa hatam” here means. Her beautiful left eye started throbbing like a lotus that has been suddenly hit by a fish swimming in the pond. Then the eye itself is described. They were long. The pupils were dark and the rest of the eye a brilliant white. There were eyebrows that

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spread like a beautiful arch. And, the eye also had a reddish tinge to it. The throbbing of the left eye is considered to be auspicious omen for a woman. Then Her left arm too trembled. This was the arm that was caressed by Her dear husband, the exalted One with no comparison, lovingly. It was tender and supple. It was the arm that in times past would be smeared with fragrant sandalwood paste and other unguents. Then Her left thigh started throbbing too. It was slender and perfectly matched to Her size like the trunk of an elephant. The vibrations felt in the thigh only meant that Shree Raama was soon to be near Her. It was as if He stood right next to Her. Sita is also described as one with lovely hair, one that all husbands find attractive. Then the dress, yellow in color and slightly soiled, slipped slightly off Her shoulder as She stood (ready to hang Herself). O they were beautiful, each limb of Hers (caaru gaatram). This too is an auspicious since chaste women will only let their dress slip in the presence of their husbands. After describing these, Valmiki says, these and many others that have been described by the pious (sadhu) and the yogic masters (siddha) omens were suddenly felt by Sita of beautiful eye brows. It was as if the seeds that were sown in the heat of sun suddenly felt the first cooling and nourishing rain showers. After these showers the seeds sprout as if they are overjoyed. And so, Valmiki says, Her whole face lighted up and start to shine (vakram babhaase) and glow like the full moon that has just been released by the planet Rahu that grips it (during the eclipse of a full moon when the moon is completely darkened). Her white teeth dazzled like pearls as Her lovely lips opened a little like a flower bud opening and Her eyes and eyelids were glowing in the background of Her beautiful lovely face and the beautiful long tresses of hair that She had.

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And so, Valmiki says, She was now rid of Her sorrow (veeta shokaa), the immense fatigue that drained all of Her energy was suddenly gone (vyapaneeta tandree). It was as if a great fever had broken (shaanta jvaraa). Her consciousness (satvam) now awakened being nourished by joy (harsha vivruddha). She looked radiant and beautiful like the full moon that rising the sky in the darkness of the night and spread its cool rays all around. Thus ends the lovely sargam 29 with which Valmiki fills us with the same joy after the heart-wrenching descriptions of Sita’s sorrow and also Hanuman’s sorrow in the earlier sargas. The day 4 parayanam ended with sarga 30, where we find Hanuman resolving what to do next now that he has found Sita. I will describe that with the story for day 5. For now just relish what you just read and enjoy the description of the auspicious omens that filled Sita’s self. May the same auspicious omens spread all over and into our lives as well. Hare Raama Hare Raama Raama Raama Hare Hare l Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare ll Sarga 29 is one of the shortest in the Sundara Kandam and has exactly 8 verses, like many stotrams which have 8 verses. It is definitely something we should all commit to memory and think about when we feel tormented in our lives by various problems that seem to offer no easy or ready solution.
Tathaa gataam taam vyathitaam aninditaam vaypeta harshaam parideena mansaam l Shubhaam nimittaaani shubhaani bhejire naram shriyaa-jushTam ivOpajeevinahaa ll29.1ll Tasyaah shubham vaamam araala pakshmam-araajeetvrutam Krishna-vishaalam-shuklam l Praaspandat-ekam nayam Sukeshyaah meena-hatam padma ivaabhi taamram ll 29.2 ll Bhujash ca caarvancita-vrutta-peenahaa paraardhya-kaalaa-garu chandanaarhah l Anuttamenaa-dhyushtah priyeNa cireNa vaamah samavepataashuh ll 29.3 ll Gajendra-hasta-pratimasch ca peenah tayOr dvayOh samhatayOh sujaatah l Praspanda-maanah punar ooruru-rasyaa Raamam purastaat stitham aacacakshe ll 29.4 ll

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Shubham punar hema-samana-varNam eeshat-rajo-dwastam ivaamalaakshyaah l Vaasas stithaayaah shikaraagra-datyaah kincit parisamsrata caaru-gaatrayaah ll 29.5 ll Etair nimittaih aparaih ca subhrooh samboditaa praagapi saadhu siddhaih l Vaataa-tapa-klaantamiva praNashTam varsheNa beejam pratisamjaharsha ll 29.6 ll Tasyaah punar bimba-phalopamOshTam swakishibhru keshaantam aralaapakshma l Vaktram babhaase sitashuka-damshTram RahOr-mukhaat Chandra iva pramuktah ll 29.7 ll Saa veeta shoka vyapaneeta tandree shanta jwaraa harsha-vivruddha satvaa l Ashobhata arya vadanena shukle sheetamshuna raatri-rivoditena ll 29.8 ll And so ends sarga 29 of the Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam, the Adikaavyam, Sundara Kandam

Hanuman who was seated atop the Simshupa tree was carefully listening to all the threats made by the Rakshasis, Sita’s reply, and Tirjata’s narration of her dream. This is the story in sarga 30. Hanuman started thinking about this in many ways. “I have found Her, whom thousands of monkeys have been searching in all the directions. I have moved through the entire city of Lanka and know the capabilities of the Rakshasas. Now, it is only proper that I console Sita, who is in great distress, before I leave. If I leave now without assuaging Her fears, this daughter of Janaki might give up Her life. How can I do this? Wouldn’t Rama ask me if I talked to Her and ask me what She said? If I go without any message from Sita, Rama will surely be angry with me. And if Sita perishes all of our efforts would be in vain.” “I will speak to Her in this form I have now, of a small monkey, using the language of common people. If I speak in a polished language then She would think I am Ravana incognito. She has already been frightened by the Rakshasis. If she fears me and starts crying then the Rakshasis will surround me and if a fight erupts it can lead to many problems and make it impossible for me to cross the ocean and return. What can I do now to save the mission of crossing the ocean to find Her?”
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Thinking thus, Hanuman came up with a plan that will not likely to agitate Sita in anyway. “Let me start singing the praises of Rama, who is dearest to Her. I shall recite His glories so that She can hear them. Let Her thus gain confidence so that the success of this entire mission can be accomplished. Thus ends the story in sarga 30 where our day 4 parayanam ended, yesterday.

Day 5 Story Sundara Kandam

Hanuman appears before Sita and converses with Her. The above is the lasting and most beautiful image of Hanuman conversing with Sita, taken from the cover of the Sundara Kandam book published by LIFCO (Tamil translation of all the slokas by Srinivasa Iyengar; each sloka is beautifully translated, very concisely, without the slightest loss of meaning). Hanuman started speaking, hidden among the branches of the Simshupa tree, so that his words could be heard by Sita. “There was a powerful King named Dasharatha who was very powerful and virtuous. He was a Rajarishi, equal to Indra, the king of the Devas. He was wedded to the preservation of dharma. His fame spread far and wide. His dear and eldest son was named Raama who had a moon-like face. He was extremely skilled in archery and in all branches of knowledge. He was the protector of dharma and the protector of His own
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people. At the command of His father, he was forced to the forest. His wife and His brother accompanied Him. There, in Janasthana, He killed many Rakshasas, like Khara and DooshaNa. Hearing about this Ravana deceived Rama, with the help of another Rakshasa who took the form of golden deer, and abducted His wife Sita.” This part of the story was already known to Sita. Now comes the story that is known to Sita and Hanuman is carefully narrating this to Her. “The virtuous prince Rama and His brother LakshmaNa were searching for Sita and there happened to meet an ally in Sugriva, the king of the vanaras (monkeys). Sugriva promised to help Rama in the search for Sita and in return Rama promised to help Sugriva regain his kingdom from his brother Vaali. Rama killed Vaali and installed Sugriva as the king. And Sugriva has sent forth a large number of monkeys, in all directions, to search for Sita. After listening to the words of Sampati, I took the leap across the ocean and arrived here to find Sita. I think I have now found Her and Her description matches what I have heard from Rama, in every ways, in form, in complexion, and in all Her splendor. Yathaa roopaam yathaa varNaam yathaa lakshmeem vinishcittam l Ashrousham Raghavasyaaham seyam aasaaditaa mayaa ll 31.16 ll With this Hanuman paused. Janaki, the daughter of King Janaka, was listening to all of this, wonderstruck. She lifted Her heard and looked around and peered at the Simshupa tree from where the sound seemed to be emanating. Her heart was filled with joy. She who was always thinking about Rama now was hearing the glories of Rama. She looked up and down in all directions. Then, hidden in the branches of the Simshupa trees, She caught the sight of th son of the Wind-god (vaataatmajam), the minister (amaatyam) of the King of the monkeys (pingaadhipateh amaatyam), glowing like the rising sun in the early morning (sorryam ivodayam). Thus ends sarga 31, the first sarga of the day 5 parayanam.

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Sita was perplexed by the sight of the tiny monkey amidst the branches of the Simshupa tree. He was dressed in white clothes, had the yellowish and lighting-like complexion , with eyes glowing like the color of molten gold. His words were sweet and comforting to Her and he showed great humility. She was also filled with anxiety. O the sight of a monkey is not considered to particularly auspicious. She got frightened again and started crying. O Rama, O Lakshmana, she cried in a feeble voice. She thought this must be a dream. Let Rama and Lakshmana be unhurt (swastyastu Raamaya sa-LakshmaNaaya). But this cannot be a dream. I have had no sleep, I am always thinking of Rama and so I am always hearing Rama all around. I think of Rama and so I see Rama everywhere. I am hearing these words from someone in front of me. I bow to Bruhaspati, to Indra, to Brahma, to Agni, let what this form has spoken to me be true and not otherwise. Thus ends sarga 32 where Sita has seen Hanuman and is wonderstruck at the sight. Hanuman now climbed down from the tree and stood before Sita. He saluted Her with both hands joined and raised above his head. Then he began speaking to Her in a sweet tone. “O beautiful lady with lotus-like eyes, dressed in crumpled silk, one above all censure, why do you hold the branch of this tree with your hand, with tears flowing down your eyes like water dripping off a lotus? Who are you, O lovely one? Are you the one of the devas, asuras, nagas, gandharvas, or rakshasas. Or, are you from the yakshas, or kinaras, with such lovely limbs? You are so beautiful, are one of the Rudras, Maruts, or Vasus? Or are you Rohini, the wife of the moon, who is upset with him and has fallen off him? Or, be you Arundati you got angry with VasishTa and left him? Who is your son, your father, your husband O lovely one with a slender waist? From where have you come? I have to conclude, from all the signs I see, that you must be a princess, the daughter of kings and a king’s queen. Are you Sita who was abducted by Ravana in Janasthana. If so, please confirm it with a definite yes.”

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How beautiful and soothing these words must have been to Sita. And, we also learn that wives getting upset with their husbands and taking off is an age old tradition and not a new age phenomenon. Even Arundati? Can’t believe it! Sita, who was overjoyed to hear the glories of Rama, started speaking to Hanuman. “I am the daughter-in-law of King Dasharathaa, the foremost among the kings of his earth, the daughter of Janaka, the king of Videha, who is a very high-minded soul. I am called by the name Sita and I am the queen of Rama.” Look at how Sita identifies Herself. She is foremost the daughter-in-law, then the daughter and finally the wife. This is our age-old tradition and this is what women of the 21st century can learn from Sita. Hanuman had heard all that he wanted to hear from her. Then She narrates Her story after Her marriage to Rama. “I lived for 12 years as the wife of Rama and enjoyed all the pleasures any mortal can have. In the13th year, the king Dasharathaa wanted to crown Rama the king. But, because of a promise made to his wife, Rama was forced to go to the forest. Rama honored his father’s words but I started even before him to leave for the forest for I do not wish to live even in heaven without Rama. And, Lakshmana, the younger brother, who was always devoted to Him and served Him, also followed Rama to the forest. While we were living in Dandakaranya, I was abducted by the evil minded Ravana. He has now given me two months and I shall surely end my life before that. Thus, ends sarga 33. Mission accomplished as far as Hanuman was concerned. But, see how much better this mission accomplished story gets from here on. Hanuman now started speaking and consoling Sita who had experienced sorrow that is greater than sorrow itself. He said, “I am here, O great lady, as the messenger of Rama. Rama is well and so does He wish well for you and seeks to know of Your welfare. Vaidehi kushalee Raams tvaam kaushalam abraveet.” So how beautifully and succinctly Hanuman speaks. All that Sita wanted to hear too has been conveyed. Rama is well. He is thinking of Her and enquires about Her welfare.
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Hanuman continues and repeats, “Rama, the son of Dasharathaa, who knows all the Vedas, who is best among those who know the Vedas, who wields even the astram of Brahma, enquires O lady about Your welfare. And the powerful Lakshmana, who is so dear to Your husband, who is burning in the fire of anxiety with great sorrow also sends You his respectful greetings.” Sita was overjoyed to hear the welfare of these two great lion amongst men. Her entire body was now feeling joyful sensations. “These words of yours are so auspicious. And so it is that it is told that everyone will experience joy even if one has to wait for a hundred years. They have been proved true in my case.” (In other words, don’t kill yourself and commit suicide in a big hurry, good days will come for everyone!) Hanuman was pleased to hear this from Her. A wonderful sense of intimacy and fondness had developed between the two. They both seemed to have developed great trust in each other. Sita was so filled with sorrow and helpless and Hanuman unconsciously took a step to get closer to Her. As she took his steps, Sita started suspecting that this must be none other than Ravana and his tricks again. She let loose of Her grip to the branch of the tree and fell down to the ground and started weeping. Hanuman was shocked and prostrated himself completely before Her as if asking for forgiveness. “If you are Ravana,” said Sita, “it is not right that you should continue to torment me in this way. But, perhaps, this is not what I suspect. If you are indeed what you say you are, then tell me about Rama (Ramakathaam broohi may) and let all auspiciousness come to you. Let me about Rama’s great gunas. You are attracting me like the bank of a river attracts its waters. Just if I just Rama and Lakshmana in a dream, that would save Me. But, even dreams are getting difficult for Me to have.” Hanuman understood Sita’s predicament and started singing all the glories of Rama and Lakshmana to soothe Sita and dispel all of Her grief. He assured Her that very soon, once Rama finds out Her whereabouts, the armies of monkey and bears will descend upon Lanka and Ravana will be killed in the battle. And He assured Her again that he was indeed the messenger of Rama, the minister
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of Sugriva who was in Lanka to search for Her and will soon leave with the good news of having found Her. And he concluded, with the touching words, Naahamasmi (na aham asmi) tathaa Devi yathaa maam avagacchasi l Vishankaam tyajataam eshaa shraddasva vadatO ma-ma ll 34.41 ll Please dispel all these doubts, please do trust me. I am not who you think I am in a suspicious way. Thus, ends the story in sarga 34. Now Sita is felt assured and wanted Hanuman to tell Her more about Rama and LakshmaNa and describe them to Her so even can be more than 100% sure. “How did you meet Rama? How did this friendship develop between monkeys and men? Tell me more about all of the physical marks on Rama and Lakshmana.” Then Hanuman narrated to Her in detail first all the physical markings and then the whole story of Rama and Lakshmana were spotted by the vanaras while they were searching for Sita and how Hanuman first met Rama and Lakshmana and took them both to Sugriva and how the two then made a pact to help each other. He told Her that the ornaments that She had thrown at them while She was being carried away were collected and they were presented to Rama. He described how Rama put them on His lap and cried again and again for a long time. It took a great deal of effort to make Him stand up again, which Hanuman and Lakshmana did by holding His hands to pick Him up from the ground. He told Her that Rama had not slept, had not eateh, was constantly thinking about Her, while awake and if He slept would wake up saying “O Sita”. The he describe the slaying of Vaali and the pact made by Rama and Sugriva to search for Her and how the search began. He described the slaying of Jatayu and how the vanaras met Sampati and all were in despair when they could not find Sita. While they were lamenting, and narrating their own misfortunes, Sampati, the brother of Jatayu, heard about the latter’s killing by Ravana and immediately told them that he too had seen Sita being taken away by Ravana. And peering into the distance, with his great and powerful vision, he told them that he could see Sita in Lanka.
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And so its that Hanuman decided to take the leap across the ocean to find Sita and confirm Her presence there. And, he assured Her that Rama is well. Lakshmana is well and always serving Rama. I am here to soon carry the good news about you. Then he told Her about his own birth, as the son of Vayu born of Anjana, the wife of the monkey king named Kesari. He is known as Hanuman in all the worlds. Very soon, he promised Her, Rama will be here. I have told you everything he said. Now rest assured. He concluded with, “A great monkey hero named Kesari, Hanuman’s father, destroyed the asura named Shambasaadana. I am the son of that Kesari, born of the seed of Vayu, in the womb of Anjana*. By the blessing of those rishis, I have all the power of that Shamabasaadana and am equal to every task.” Thus, ends the story in sarga 35. Then Hanuman told Her once again, “O fortunate one! I am the messenger of Rama. See here with me the ring with name of Rama inscribed on it that was given to me to present to You. Be assured. Very soon the situation for You will improve. The fruits of sorrow that You have experienced will soon vanish. Let all auspiciousness befall you (Bhadram te).” Thus begins the story in sarga 36. Hanuman blesses Her with “Bhadaram te”. Samaashvsi-hi bhadram te ksheeNa-duhkha-phalaa hyasi (verse 3). Everyone can bless a person in great distress. Remember Hanuman himself sought the blessings of every living being when he was in great distress at being able to find Sita after searching all over Lanka. Then he found the Ashoka vana and then found Sita. Now, it is time for him to bless Her with “Bhadram te”. ________________________________________________ * It is interesting to note how Hanuman himself states about the facts of his birth to Sita. His mother is Anjana. She is the wife of vanara king named Kesari but he is born of the seed of Vayu and so Vayuputra, Maruti, etc. There is no embellishment of the facts of his birth.
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When we chant in the temple, we say, “Mangalam kausalendraya.” We say, “Pallandu, pallandu” and bless Perumal. We end the Suprabhatam prayers with “Shree nivaasaaya mangalam”. This is the joyful awakening of the soul when it unites with the Supreme. There is mangalam everywhere and extends to all. And so, Hanuman says, Samaashvaasihi bhadram te ksheeNa duhkhaphalaa yasi”. Let only good become for You. You are now going to experience (asi) the end (ksheeNa) of all the sorrowful fruits (duhkha phala) that have befallen You thus far. (I will finish the rest of the story through sarga 38 that ended the day 5 parayanam soon and in the interim provide this update for devotees.) Sita saw that signet ring of Rama that had adorned Her husband’s hand and was overjoyed as if She had found Rama Himself – bhartaaram iva sampraaptaa Janakee muditaabhavat. And, she in turned showered high praise on Hanuman. “You are indeed the most courageous”, She said, “the most accomplished, the wisest of all, O great vanara. Rama would not send you here, near me, if He had not judged properly your abilities and your valor.” How the story evolves from here on is very interesting with all the twists and turns it takes until the good news of finding Sita finally reaches Lakshmana first and then Rama. That is where we ended the Parayanamam today (Monday April 7, 2014, with sarga 63). I have been lagging behind in the story writing because of the hectic schedule of weekend activities and will try to catch up now as fast as I can while doing justice to Valmiki’s narration. Just listen to how Sita reacts after She is assured that Hanuman can be trusted and that he is indeed the messenger of Rama, as confirmed by the presentation of Rama’s ring to Her. She says, “If the great descendant of the Kakuthsa clan (Kaakuthsa, one of the names of Rama, like Raghava, descendant of the family of another ancestor, King Raghu) is well. He is capable of burning up the whole earth and drying up all the oceans with the fire of His anger. But, I do not see the end of my miseries. I hope Rama does not allow Himself to get despondent and keeps a
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balanced mind, without getting confused, and recognizes the course of events and the actions that need to be taken. I hope the distance from Me has not in anyway reduced His love for Me. I do hope He is thinking of the steps to be taken to relieve Me of the torture that I have been put through.” Kaccin-na vigatasnehO vivaasaan mayi Raaghavah l Kaccin-maam vyasanaat asmaan mokshayiyati Vaanara ll 36. 20 ll As we see from the above, Sita is very focused on what She expects Rama to do now. He has to come and resuce Her. She repeats this again and again, in many different ways, during the rest of the story, until Hanuman finally departs from Lanka with the news of having found Sita. “I hope the tragic circumstances surrounding Me have aroused the resolve to overcome His own sorrow and concentrate on rescuing Me. I hope Bharata is eager to deploy his army to rescue Me. I am sure King Sugriva and all the vanara armies will also come soon. I am sure Lakshmana too, a great warrior and the joy of Sunitra, will be eager to destroy all the Rakshasas to relieve Me of my sorrows. I hope to see Ravana killed, very shortly, by the fierece and powerful Rama’s weapons. I know the one who happily gave up the kingdom to uphold dharma, and bring Me to the forest with Him, will NOT be overcome by grief, and sorrow, and will have the courage to be unaffected under any circumstances. I know there is no one, not His father, not His mother, or anyone else, whom He holds as dear as He hold Me. Therefore, I will hold on to my lifebreath a bit longer, just long enough for the news about Me reaches Him. I only want to live to hear the news from My beloved Lord and the actions that He is contemplating.” Valmiki ends this beautifully with the repeated use of “Rama” in different ways to enhance the beauty and the meaning of the verse that concludes Sita’s reply to Hanuman after She is presented with the signet ring. Shrotum punas tasya vacObhiraamam Raamartha yuktam viraraama Raamaa

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Raamaa, the last word refers to a lovely damsel, here Sita. Viraraama means rested, or stopped talking. Abhiraamam means lovely and vacobhiraamam means the lovely speech (or reply, by Hanuman). Raamaartha yuktam means loaded with words that tells about Raama – filled with Raama – filled with the meaning or the higher objectives of what Rama means. Sita makes Her statement to Hanuman. She is happy that Rama is filled with grief. But, She does not want that grief to become so overpowering that Rama loses His mind and fails to focus on Her rescue. Hanuman then replies and seems to launching a lovely defense of Rama and his state of mind. I posted about this on my Facebook page (Ourgitapage within the main page) earlier today (April 7, 2014) and will reproduce that post now which is the conclusion of the story of sarga 36.
RAAMASYA SHOKENA SAMAANA SHOKA The Sundara Kandam of Ramayana tells us the story about how Hanuman crossed the ocean and found Sita who was being held in captivity by Ravana. Hanuman crosses over and arrives on the other shore as the sun is setting. He then decides to enter the city and search for Sita after dark. It was full moon day and the moon lighted the way for Hanuman as he searched all over for Sita. But, She was nowhere to be found. Hanuman is overcome with great sorrow at his failure and Valmiki provides with a heartwrenching description of Hanuman's sorrow. Hanuman even wants to end his own life and never return since returning with the news of failure (not finding Sita) would have grave and disastrous consequences. But, then Hanuman decides to pick himself up and stops wallowing in his own misery. The slokas from Gita (chapter 6, slokas 5 and 6) come to find where Krishna tells Arjuna that one should not wallow in one's own misery. When overcome with testing circumstances, one has to lift oneself up. One is one's own best friend and only one's own worst enemy. These are the exact words of Krishna. That is what we find Hanuman doing. After being overcome with great sorrow and getting despondent, he realizes that he must NOT allow this despair to overtake him. Hanuman then decides to pray to Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, all the other deities and even ask for blessing from
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all bhootas (living beings) to help him. He also sees the Ashoka vana in the distance - the only place he had not searched. And there, as we know, he finds Sita. Sita is in an extremely pitiable condition and completely overcome with grief. Valmiki provides a stirring and detailed description of Sita's condition and how Hanuman found Her. You will need a very strong heart not to be moved by the story. Then, Hanuman eventually starts talking to Sita and confirms that She is indeed who he was looking for. He gains Her confidence by first singing the glories of Rama. Sita is wonderstruck when She hears the praises of Rama and looks around to see where these soothing words were coming from. Hanuman was hiding within the branches of the Simshupa tree nearby and witnessed all of the torments (by the Raaskshasis and Ravana himself, who comes to profess his love for Sita and then threatens to have Her killed and eat her up for breakfast if She keeps refusing to become his wife). Once Sita feels assured, Hanuman alights from the tree top and appears in front of Sita and talks with Her. Sita confirms who She is and Hanuman then tells Her about how he had arrived in Lanka, and the all the happenings after Sita's abduction and the friendship that had developed between Rama and Sugriva and that thousands of vanaras and rukshas (bears) were searching for Her in all the directions. After listening to all this, Sita feels consoled but then She asks why Rama is not there yet to rescue Her. Is she out of sight and out of mind? Hanuman assures Sita that Rama is always thinking about Her, when He is awake and even when asleep and that when He wakes up, He says "O Seeta". This part of the story is described in sarga 36. The concluding slokas from 40 to 47 of this sarga are indeed heart wrenching. Valmiki concludes with the following. Saa Raamasankeertana veetashokaa Raamsaya shokena samana shokaa l Sharanmukhe saambuda-shesha chandraa nisheva Vaidehisutaa babhoova ll 36.47 ll After hearing Ramanamam and Rama sankeertanam from Hanuman, Sita's own sorrow was diminished and vanished (veeta shokaa). But, then She was also hearing from Hanuman that Ramaa was equally, indeed even more, tormented by His separation from Her. Now, she realized that Her own sorrow and misfortune, which was the only thing on Her mind till then was in no way higher than Rama's sorrow. She realized that both are indeed equal - samaana shokaa. Her own sorrow was waning but he sorrow of Rama that She was now hearing about was growing.
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Valmiki gives a beautiful simile in the second line of this verse to describe this situation. It felt like the night where one was seeing alternately the full moon, in autumn, shining brightly and becoming cloud covered. Ambu means water and ambuda means a cloud since clouds give us water. And, nisha means night. The word nisheva is compounding of nish + iva, like the night. Raamasya shoken samaana shokaa .... One cannot forget Rama's shoka. Acaryas say that the separation of Rama and Sita here represents the separation of the Jeevatama and the Paramaatma. The Jeevaatma (Sita) is suffering and filled with sorrow. But, Paramaatma also longs to be united with the Jeevaatma. We hear this longing expressed by Krishna in chapter 7, in particular. How do those who are separated get united? Hanuman got Sita and Rama together. The guru's role in our life is the same as the role played by Hanuman in Sundara Kandam. The guru enlightens us and opens our eyes (chakshur unmeelitam yena) to find the path back to Paramaatma.

Sita’s reply again shows that while She is happy to hear that Rama is also filled equally with grief, She dismisses it and tells Hanuman, “Your words are like poison mixed with amrutam (ambrosia, nectar).” Then She adds, “If Rama, Lakshmana, and Myself, can suffer in this way, surely the effects of past Karma must be very strong indeed and binds a person like a rope, as it were.” Then She quickly gets back to Her main point, that Rama has to focus His energies on rescuing Her and that She is confident that He would indeed do that. She also mentions that She is aware that Ravana’s brother Vibhishana has already advised that Ravana should make peace with Rama and return Her but the advise has been rejected by Ravana. The news of this was conveyed to Sita by none other than Vibhishana’s daughter, Anala. Hanuman responds by saying that he can take Sita back to Rama, right now and that She should just climb on his back. Sita smiles and looks at him with wonder and says, “You are a little monkey. How can you cross the ocean with Me too on your back. You are really showing Me your monkiness now.” Hanuman now thinks, “O, this lady does not know who I am and what I am capable of.” Then he starts growing right in front of her eyes to assume a high form and tells Sita She is underestimating his prowess and what he can do.
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Sita looked at him and said, “I know, O dear one, what you are capable of and how fast you can travel. But, it would be totally inappropriate for Me to go with you now. First, it is not safe and you are likely to be attacked and having me with you will only increase your problems. Second, out of fear, I can fall off your back. But, more importantly, I do not wish to touch voluntarily the body of any other male, other than My own husband. Back when I was abducted by Ravana, I was helpless. I was without My husband to protect Me. That contact with Ravana’s body did not happen was beyond my control and wishes. I am forever devoted to My husband and I cannot do this. It is only proper that Rama come here and rescue Me.” Bhartru bhaktim puraskrutya Raamaad-anyasa Vaanara l Naaham sprashTum swato gaatram icchayam vaanarotama ll 37.59 ll Yadaham gaatra samsparsham Raavanasya balaadgataa l Aneeshaa kim karishyaami vinaathaa vivashaa satee ll 37.60 ll Then She pleads with Hanuman to make Her happy by doing whatever it takes to ensure that Rama and Lakshmana will soon come to rescue Her. “Bring them here quickly”, She says, “with all the armies and make Me, who has been suffering for long, happy again.” Thus ends the story in sarga 37. Hanuman responds to Her words with great joy. He says, “O Janaki, when You say that You do not want to touch (or be touched) by anyone other than Rama, You are indeed upholding the highest standards of the virtues of noble and chaste women. Who else but You can utter such words? I will make sure that Rama hears everything that You have told me, without anything being held back.” Then, as if begging Her forgiveness, he adds, “What I said was out of great affection for You and Your condition here. I wanted to be useful to Rama. If You do not wish to come with Me now, give me something that I can take with that will assure Rama that I have indeed met You and spoken to You.”

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Then, Sita tells Hanuman an incidence in Her life that none other than Rama and Sita knew. Once, Rama was resting with His head on Sita’s lap, while they were in the beautiful surroundings of Chitrakoota (where Bharata came to plead with Rama to accept the kingdom). At that time, with Rama asleep, a crow started harassing Her. It wanted to eat some flesh that had been kept to dry. When Sita tried to drive it away, it attacked Her and started pecking at the space between Her breasts with its sharp beak. To drive it off, She unloosened Her waist girdle, as if wanting to smack it. Rama woke up and laughed when He saw Her in that condition. Sita felt mortified by but She came and sat on His lap and started crying. Rama consoled Her and She then fell asleep for some time on Rama’s lap. Then, after She woke up, Rama took turns and fell asleep on Her lap. The same crow then returned and started attacking Her again in the breast area and wounded Her to the point that drops of blood started trickling down and fell on Rama’s face. Rama woke up and was angered at whoever was responsible for harming His lovely Sita. When he found out the reason, He took a blade of darbha grass and chanted the mantras needed to turn into the Brahmaastram (missile of Brahma) and hurled it at the crow. The crow, who was the son of Indra, who coveted Sita, was now overcome with fear and ran away but was chased by the Brahmaastra. He went all over the three worlds seeking protection from Maharishis, devas, and his own father Indra but was rebuffed by all. Then, he came back and fell at Rama’s feet and sought refuge. Rama, who is forever wedded to protect all those who seek His refuge, even His enemies, accepted his surrender. However, the power of the Brahmaastra has to be respected and cannot be withdrawn. Rama told the crow that He would use the Brahmaastram to injure one of its eyes and thus spare its life. And so it is that from then on the species of crows have a single eye. Sita then says, “If Rama can do this on My behalf, why can’t He come now to rescue Me?” “Your dharma”, She added, “O Rama, is to protect the humble and

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the weak. Now I am helpless, without anyone to protect Me. And, so You, O Rama, have a duty to protect Me.” After hearing this very confidential story and Sita’s lament, Hanuman vows to reassure Her that very soon Rama, Lakshmana, and the vanara armies will arrive and will rescue Her. Sita again impresses upon Him to do whatever it takes to bring Rama to Lanka and get Her rescued. It is now his responsibility to accomplish this task. “I will only hold on to my life for one more month. (Ravana had given Her two months but Sita has cut it down 50%.) After that, I do not wish to live and will kill Myself,” Then, She took out the ChooDaamani, the crest jewel that She would wear on the top Her hand as an ornament to ie Her hair with, and gave it to Hanuman. “Give this to Rama”, She said. Hanuman accepted it and put it on his own finger where it fitted perfectly. He then circumambulated Sita with reverence and stood close to Her with his hands folded in reverence. His heart was filled with joy and his thoughts went immediately back to his Lord Rama. Only his body was present in Lanka. Then he decided to apply himself to the task of returning to Rama from Lanka. Thus ends the story in sarga 38 where we concluded our Day 5 parayanam. Day 5, April 4, 2014 story completed on April 7, 2014.

Day 6 Story Sundara Kandam
The day 6 narration, of Saturday April 5, 2014, was scheduled from 2 to 6 PM and ended with sarga 54 which describes the burning of Lanka by Hanuman. The story to be covered from the receipt of the ChooDamaNi from Sita to the burning of Lanka is a long one and I will try to present it briefly, with some important highlights.
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Sarga 39 After presenting the ChooDaamaNi to Hanuman, Sita said, “So as He sees this jewel, Rama will remember three people – His mother, His father and me.” The jewel had been presented to Sita during Her wedding and so very dear. Then She tells Hanuman to apply himself vigorously to the task that has been entrusted to him. Hanuman bows to Her and is ready to leave. Sita speaks again and says, “O Hanuman, do convey my best regards and greetings to Raama and Lakshamana, to Sugriva and all the ministers, and to all the vanara leaders. Convey the message in such a way that Rama will take steps immediately to come to My rescue.” Hanuman reassures Her and is ready to leave. Sita speaks again, “If you like to, please stay here for an extra day. That way you will be close to Me and unfortunate as I am I can feel some comfort for a little bit more time. I do not know if I will be alive when you return.” Then She starts wondering about the armies will cross the ocean and come to Lanka. How will Rama and Lakshmana themselves cross over. Only the wind, Garuda and Hanuman have the ability to cross the ocean. Then She tells Hanuman to think these difficulties and come up with a plan and finally states again that everything should be done that Rama comes to Lanka, kills Ravana, and takes Her back home. “Do everything that will bring honor to Rama.” Hanuman now indulges in what seems to be pure hyperbole and belittles his own abilities compared to those of the other vanara warriors who will all he says be in Lanka shortly. “If I can cross the ocean, they can too”, was his reply. “Therefore, O lady”, he tells Her, “Do not be depressed. You will not be much longer here in this horrible place inhabited by the Rakshaasas. Be patient till I return with Your dear husband.” Sarga 40 Sita and Hanuman again re-iterate the same feelings of pain, sorrow, mutual assurance and earnest entreaties by Sita to get Rama to Lanka as quickly as
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possible. Valmiki repeats the same thoughts but in so many different words that the language is not repetitive but resonates with poetry and fills one’s heart with sorrow. She bids one last farewell to Hanuman with tears filling Her eyes. AshrupoorNa-mukhee deenaa baashpagadgadayaa giraa ll 40. 22 ll Hanumat simha-samkaashau bhraatarau Rama-lakshmanau Sugreevam ca sahaamaatyam sarvaan broohi hyanaamayam ll 40. 23 ll Hanuman was happy that he had been fully accepted by Sita now as Her messenger. He was already at the other shore, mentally speaking. Yet, he felt there is a little bit more to be accomplished here in Lanka. Sarga 41 Hanuman is thinking about the situation and makes some interesting observations that are relevant even today for us, as we undertake important tasks in various walks of life. A skilled person (any worker on a job or an emissary, like Hanuman was) should not only complete the main task that has been assigned but also fulfil other related tasks that are not contrary to the original objectives (verse 5). The worker (saadhaka) should have only one (the main task) as the only motivator (hetuh) even when entrusted with a minor job (alpasya api karmaNahaa). The one who can understand (veda) the meaning (artham) and the many ramifications (bahudhaa) of the task, that person is indeed the truly skillful one. While I am still here, I should ascertain the strength of the enemy and how the enemy will respond to attacks. What can I do now to easily draw them easily into a fight with me? Then Hanuman resolves to create havoc by destroying the Ashoka vana itself, which must surely be very dear to Ravana. Then Ravana would certain huge armies and a big battle would ensue. When I destroy them all, I will return, having tested the might of the enemy.
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So, the heroic Hanuman mustered a lot of rage and started uprooting the trees of the Ashok vana and hurling them all around. The whole place soon turned into a big mess of uprooted and fallen trees. The birds in the trees started screeching with frights. Pavilion around the garden were smashed. What was a place for pleasure for the women of Ravana turned into a scene of total devastation. Then to provoke the enemy, he climbed on top of the tower of Lanka and assumed a huge form radiating in the glow of victory. Sarga 42 With the screeching of thousands and thousands of birds and the loud bursting and smashing sound of hundreds and hundreds of trees, all the residents of Lanka were filled with fear and were perturbed. Hanuman’s forms was fearsome. The Rakshasis (female demons) asked Sita, “Who is he? Where did he come from? How is it that he was talking to you?” Sita feigned complete ignorance. She said, “I do not know anything. How would I know anything? Only a snake can recognize another snake’s intentions.” We can learn from this. Speaking the truth, especially when there is no virtuous outcome, is of no use. The unpleasant truths, i.e, truths when spoken will have unpleasant consequences, are not to be uttered. This is also emphasized by Krishna Himself, chapter 17, verse 15 and in the famous verse from the Vedas Satyam brooyaat priyam brooyaat na brooyaat satyam apriyam l Priyam ca naanrutam brooyaat esha dharmah sanatanahaa ll Speak the truth, speak the pleasant, but do not speak the unpleasant truths. Do not also speak pleasant untruths. This is the Santana (eternal) dharma (code of conduct). Satyam eva jayate, Always speak the truth, is superceded by this need to also ensure the pleasantness of the truth. Here speaking the truth, a very noble virtue, about Hanuman, was not a choice that Sita wished to
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exercise. She exercised the option of hiding the truth for it would immediately pose great risks and harm Hanuman. (Modern example, if your friend is having an affair, MYOB. It not your duty to inform the spouse about it and creates unforeseen problems. The spouse might know about it. If not known, your revealing it might cause embarrassment to the spouse and others unforeseen consequences as well – including physical harm to one or both parties depending on the reaction.) The Raaskhasis then go to Ravana and complain. They were trying to protect themselves, actually since they were entrusted with the task of guarding Sita and now all of a sudden this unforeseen turn of events. Ravana was enraged and order an army of 80,000 kinkaras (literally, those who are on duty and willing to bid any command with what can I do). They were fearsome and were equipped with various kinds of weapons. They all rushed to attack Hanuman who took on an even more huge form. With the mere clapping of his hands, his huge roar and the lashing around of his tail, he struck fear in their hearts and also smashe them up. Then he roared to declare war. Jayati atibalO Raama LakshmaNash ca mahaabalah l Raajaa jayati SugreevO RaghaveNaabhi paalitahaa ll 42.33 ll DaasOham Kausalendrasya Raamasyaa-kilshTa karmaNah l Hanuman shatru sainyaanaam nihantaa Marutaatmajah ll 42.34 ll These two are famous sloka from the Ramayana which talks about the glory of Raama but their context, especially first one taken alone, is often misquoted. It is the war cry of Hanuman as the battle with the Rakshasaas of Lanka begins for the first time. Hanuman declares first the glories of Rama and Lakshmana and proclaims them to be victorious at all times, as is Sugriva who is under the protection of Rama Himself. Then he declares himself to be the humble servant (daasa) of Rama, of incomparable valor (One who can gain victory over enemies without experiencing any fatigue, or too much exertion). He also declares Himself as the son of Marut (Wind-god), who can destroy all the armies of the enemies.

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Very soon the entire hoard of the kinkaras was destroyed and a few who survived ran to Ravana and informed him of the destruction of his servants. Sarga 43 After vanquishing the kinkara hoards, Hanuman literally declares war with a repeat of the same verses given in sarga 42 with minor word changes. Even a thousand Ravanas are not equal to me in battle, he declares. I will destroy this entire city and take leave of Janaki, even as the Rakshasaas are looking. Before the makes this declaration, Hanuman climbs on top of the palatial mansion and his reddish face was shining brilliantly. It appeared as if a second sun had risen over Lanka, verse 4. (The king is like the second sun and now the rising of another sun is to be taken as a bad omen, according to some traditionalist commentators of this verse.) Then he resolves to destroy the huge mansion that been erected within the Ashoka grove where Sita was placed (sparing of course, Sita’s immediate spot). He then vows that the destruction that he has just inflicted will be multiplied many thousands of fold when all the vanara armies arrive in Lanka. “All of you, including Ravana, will be destroyed”, he declares, striking fear in all of their hearts. Ravana learned of the destruction and now deployed Jambumali, the son of his minister named Prahasta. Sarga 44 The fight between Hanuman and Jambumali and the eventual killing of Jambumali is the topic of sarga 44. Jambumali roared like a lion and came fearlessly to attack Hanuman. He started hurling many arrows at Hanuman and pierced his face. With the redness of the blood oozing being reflected by the sun’s rays, Hanuman was glowing. Everything that Hanuman hurled at him was cut into pieces by Jambumali with his powerful arrows. Finally, Hanuman
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decided to pick Jambumali up, raised him above his head, and whirled him around and threw him afar. The brave Jambumali thus met with his death having been smashed into pieces. Sarga 45 to 47 Next Ravana deployed the sons of his seven ministers (sarga 45), then five commanders of his army (sarga 46) and then his own son, Aksha kumar, the son of his chief queen Mandodari (sarga 47). Hanuman crushed the seven ministers with just the blows from his hands, and his legs and fists. Others got strangled by Hanuman either on his chest or between his thighs. When they fell down and got crashed, blood flowed like a river. The elephants that accompanied them to battle roared with fright. Flagstaff, chariots, umbrellas, etc. were all smashed to pieces (sarga 46). After the killing of the sons of his ministers, Ravana deployed his five commanders, Viroopaaksha, Yoopaaksha, Durdhara, Praghasa, and BhaasakarNa. Ravana warned that this monkey is unlike any others like Vaali, Sugriva, Jambavaan, and others that he has seen. This one seems to have special powers. So, they should proceed to use all the strength and intelligence to bring him under control. The five attacked Hanuman with all their might and their arrows, chariots, horses, elephants, and other weapons. First Durdhara gave Hanuman battle, fired many arrows at Hanuman and got killed. Then Virupaksha and Yupaksha joined forces and attacked and gave blows to Hanuman’s chest. Hanuman uprooted a huge Saal tree and used it to smash them both. Praghasa and Bhaasakarna rushed forth with their tridents and injured Hanuman whose body got soaked with blood. Now, Hanuman shone more like the reddish sun. Finally, Hanuman took the peak of a whole mountain and used as his weapon to kill them. The heroic Hanuman then once again climbed atop the tower of the city and appeared like Death (Yama) himself.
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Sarga 47 Next Ravana sent his own son, Akshakumara. The young warrior was eager to battle and attacked Hanuman with great zest. They dueled fiercely. Hanuman admired the bravery of this young prince of Lanka and decided finally that it was time to put an end to the battle and vanquish Akshakumara. He did what only he could do. He picked up Akshakumara and raised him above his head and whirled him around and then threw him at a great distance. The brave Akshakumara thus met with his death. And, then Hanuman again went to the tower and the gate pillar of the city and waited there for the next hoard of warriors. Sarga 48 Now Ravana was even more agitated. He beckoned his son, Indrajit, who was equal in glory to Indra himself, and told him to think carefully about how vanquish Hanuman and capture him. Indrajit proceeded to battle in his chariot and twanged his bow. He twanged it repeatedly to create loud and fearful sounds. Hanuman and Indrajit fought bitterly and fiercely. Indrajit became very thoughtful after he found that all of the arrows that he showered could not slow Hanuman. He realized that this monkey could not be killed and he must just capture it. So, he decided to hurl the most powerful of missiles, the Brahmaastram, against Hanuman to bind him up. Hanuman now found himself incapable of any movements and fell to the ground. Hanuman decided that he must respect the missile of Brahma and be bound by it. He considered it a blessing to be so bound since it would give now the opportunity to meet Ravana face to face. Hanuman also knew that he would be able to release himself from that missile, after submitting to it. The Rakshasaas now surrounded Hanuman and started tying him up some more with ropes, tree barks, creepers, thinking themselves to be heroic and
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able to bind Hanuman. Alas, they did not know that the power of the Brahamaastram is immediately neutralized if other means are used to bind someone already bound by the Brahma missile. Indrajit knew this well and secretly bemoaned the folly of the stupid Rakshasas. “O my great efforts are all now in vain”, he thought. But, Hanuman pretended that the missile was still effective and continued the appearance of being bound. All the Rakshasaas were now rejoicing. Who is this? Where did he come from? What does he want? Let us kill him. Let us burn him. Let us eat thim. Such were the cries and roars of the Rakshasas. They dragged Hanuman through the city and finally Hanuman was face to face with Ravana. They both gazed at each other. Ravana ordered his high ministers to interrogate the monkey. Find out why he is here and what does he want. Hanuman replied calmly, “I am the messenger sent here by the king of the Monkeys.”
Nivedayaam aasa Hareeshwarasya dootah sakaashaat aham aagatOsmi ll 48.62 ll

The sargas that follow, 49 to 51, describe the interrogation of Hanuman, Hanuman advise (upadesham) to Ravana, which is a masterpiece that all diplomats would do well to read and master, Ravana’s response to Hauman and VibhishaNa’s bold interference after Ravana, in a fit of rage, orders the killing of Hanuman. I will update the story soon with those details.

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Day 6, April 5, 2014 story completed on April 7, 2014 Day 7, April 6, 2014 story, completed on April 7, 2014. Day 8, April 7, 2014 story completed on April 7, 2014.

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