Parallels in Meghadootha and Sunderakand

Some correlations that crossed in my mind..

Sujatha R
4 min readDec 8, 2020

Though different.. Meghadootha seems to have a few parallels with Sunderakandam..

The feeling of virah vedana of separation and saundarya shringaar is very similar in both the poems.. Both of them are replete with emotions, visuals and vivid descriptions.

Sita narrates to Hanuman the beautiful gardens and the Mandakini waters at Chitrakoota which she reminisces. And the Yaksha is banished from the Himalayas TO THIS VERY LOCATION of Ramagiri.. And perhaps the thought of sending a Hanuman like DHOOTA occurs to the Yaksha.

40 out of 60 sargas in Sunderkand is about Hanuman’s travel and meeting Sita Devi.. Which is comparable to the Cloud’s mission of delivering the Yaksha’s message.

The Yakshini is in the North ruled by the dhanapathi Kubera.. And Sita Devi captured in Lanka in the south ruled by his dhanapathi brother Ravana.. Both separated for a years time..

Megha goes Uttara.. Hanuman goes Dakshina..

Beautiful women in Lanka and Alakanagari.. Drinking of wine.. Lanka compared to Amaravati, capital of Indra..

In the path of Hanuman’s flight.. trees, mountains and oceans do the talking.. Sagara narrates to Mount Mynaka.. Legend of mountains once able to fly.. Their wings cutoff by Indra.. Their wings became the clouds. And when ever there is Union of clouds and mountain, there is that joy of reunion. Hence the mountain requests Hanuman to take rest in its long journey.

Similar mention in Meghadootha. The cloud has to part with his friend mount Ramgiri. Mount Nichias is all excited hosting the cloud and in its goosebumps of happiness, the Kadamba flowers sprout on rainfall..

The Siddhas & celestial observers of the scenes.. The kinnara women performing music.. Similar elements of Yaksha Kinnara during journey of Hanuman and when Sita was crying.. When Hanuman was fighting and when he burns the city of Lanka.

The stairway of beads.. mani sopanam mentioned in both.. Alaka mansions & Lanka mansions on top of a mountain touching the sky..

Beautiful Ashoka Vana with lotus ponds, pleasure gardens, variety of birds and plants vs Beautiful Alakanagari with step wells, forests, lotus ponds.. Beautiful Kubera palace with indradanu Arch vs Lanka compared with Airavathi and having an beautiful arch..

Ashoka tree outside Yaksha’s home vs Ashoka grove where Sita was captured..

Both of them thinning down in seperation.. Not in a position to even sleep and catch a dream..

On a smaller note, while describing the women of the Himalayas.. Kalidaasa mentions chooda pasha ornamentation on their hair style only reminding me of choodamani token of Sita..

Both Hanuman and Cloud are called Kaamaroopini.. Ability to change their appearances.

Sita expresses her doubts on the Vanaar sena able to commute to Lanka over the ocean. Only Garuda, Wind and Hanuman have this ability..

On Hanuman’s journey back to his friends.. the echoing sound in the caves, the whispering song of the bamboos, the resounding cascades resembling chant of scriptures seemed to match a verse in Meghadootha.. And mention of Shiva’s victory in Tripura.. Hanuman being like a kalpa anta cloud seemed to match the pushkaravarta cloud of Meghadootha.

Few interesting references and metaphors from Sunderkand.. in the meta language of clouds, rain and wind..

While standing on the Arch of the palace near Ashoka gardens, Hanuman smeared with blood is compared to Sandhya Megha

“The enemy seemed like a thundering cloud showering a rain of gold tipped arrows. Hanuman was like a huge mountain unaffected by the scrub of arrows and walking mighty in the cloudless sky.. IT SEEMED that mighty son of wind was playing with the little enemy clouds and sporting a rainbow..”

Ravana’s guess of Hanuman.. “Who could he be? महत् भूतम् महाबल परिग्रहम् A mighty powerful collection of mass?An evil spirit.. An agent of Indra? Unlike other monkeys he has seen so far..”

“Hanuma warded his opponent off from showering the arrows on him in the sky.. just as the wind wards off a rainy cloud from raining at the end of a monsoon.”

Lot of matching vocabulary.. bhakthibhi is markings on Reva mountain / Ravana.. Vaapi well,

Complexity levels in understanding both of them?

They are story like and simple to understand. Not complex like Gita and other Tattva Gyan works which need guidance in understanding.

Sunderakanda spreads across 3152 verses divided into 68 chapters and hence very very verbose. Minutest details like the thought process and conflicts in the mind.. trajectory of arrows and how it cuts across the impeding obstacles.. And Valmiki Maharshi’s shower of metaphors paints the minutest details, visuals and emotions in us..

The online resources with word to word translation and the brief summary of the verse meaning is good enough for those who are not very strong in Sanskrit Grammar.

I wonder on the stickiness and affinity of the exercise though.. Since it is so voluminous. One may not remember the vocabulary and details after some time.

If there are melodious musical renditions.. Different voices for Sita, Hanuman, Ravana, Valmiki, Rakshasis.. And a melody at the beginning to indicate rasa dwani of turbulent wind speed, stealth search mode, birds chirping in Ashoka, Sita in her emotion of melancholy/doubt on hanuman/reassurance , battle sounds etc.. It would be such a beautiful treat both for those who understand and those who do not understand that much of Sanskrit.. Hope to see this in the days to come.

If I were to chant next year and if I had a visual guide for each chapter on scene and speaker change and key vocabulary table.. It might only take 5 minutes to recollect all of this. NLP and visualization tools can help here..

Meghadootha has only 115 verses.. Hence scene change is very drastic.. Not that much shower of metaphors. Language seems little scrambled may be due to meter constraints and poetic puns. English listing of words and phrases not available which is a big handicap..

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns