Sundara khanda of Valmiki

Some topics and musings

Sujatha R
25 min readNov 17, 2020

Separated by an ocean of space and time and the limited cognition of the human mind, it gives excitement to read this epic in its unedited form. At the same time it is human to err and underestimate.. My apologies for transgressing any such limits.

In this post, I have collated some interesting observations, provided some analogies with the digital world, and bookmarked Gita like tatva gyaan, and interesting vocabulary and phrases.

A few topics that I have explored.

A taste of Valmiki’s literary grandeur. Distant imagery through vivid metaphors. Vivid description of the beautiful city of Lanka and the lavish lifestyle of those times.

Hanuman’s intense search operation if it can be compared with ‘Face Detect Algorithm’. His mental Conflicts and Resolutions. The language of his Mind.

Sita’s vishada vocabulary comparable with Arjuna. Multi level authentication checks between Hanuman and Sita. Description of Rama. Sita’s questions for Rama. And the intense dailogs.

Ravana decides to kill Hanuman and Vibhishana’s wise dailogs to change Ravana’s mind.

Hanuman’s tail was set ablaze and in a fury he burns Lanka. Hanuman then laments on his fury, what could have happend to Sita and Gita like exposition on Anger Management.

And narrating the events back to Jambavaan and Rama with additional stories to intrigue our attention that were not mentioned earlier.

I had a question on why it was called “Sundarakandam”. This word does not occur frequently in Valmiki version as much as the other versions. Dr Gauri Mahulikar’s explains the etymology of “Saundarya”. ‘Su aadrate’ -that which is well esteemed, well respected and appreciated. Another expansion is from the word ‘kled’ -that which moistens the heart. Another expansion is sunda-’ra’ like madhu’ra’ ruchi’ra’ ‘ra’ suffix means ‘full of’.

That which is full of poetic beauty, emotion, esteem.. In my opinion, the descriptions of the travel over the sea, the beautiful palace and Ashoka vana, Sita’s feelings, the bow piercing the objects on its way are so very vivid.. The thought process of Hanuman is crafted so well. And hence the name is so befitting.

Hanuman sets off on his flight over the ocean.

He is offered by the Ocean and the golden Mountain Myneka to have some rest. Later he encounters the demons Sarasa, the shadow eating Simhini and Lankini.. He gets rid of all his obstacles with wit and finally lands into the palace.

Imagery of Ravana and his Palace

Night time when every one is asleep, Hanuman begins his search in the palace. The beautiful wives of Ravana were daughters of sages and kings only willing to be with Raavana happily. He compares them to the close knit petals of a lotus.. And paints a picture of pleasure seeking and ineberation. A woman in a dancing pose and another with Veena in her hand dozing off. And several other women dozing off clasping a tanpura, dindimah, adamba..

And Ravana looked mighty like a powerful elephant.. His arms were like strong serpents.. Shining like a fresh rain cloud with shining ear rings, deep eyes, royal clothing.. and a handsome desirable form.. His mouth smelled with mango. His body smeared by chandaan.. His breath was like a snake.

There was smell of wine, flowers, incense sticks, chandan.. The banquet hall was exquisite. It had meat of peacock, hen, deer, boar marinated in curd and spices. Beautiful wine jars with fresh and fermented drinks. Devi Sita is not be found anywhere.

And we think meat marinated in curd and spices is a recent Arabic influence aka kebabs??

Hanuman’s search Operation

Hanuman is awestuck by the beauty of Lanka. He compares it with Amaravati.. The City of Indra. In his mission to search Devi Sita, he combs through Lanka and provides a vivid description of the Palace and the Landscape, about Ravana and his wives.

Hanuman’s description quite unbiased and non judgemental.

What an amazing state of mind to have. We are separated in space and time and have a preconceived imagery of Ravana.

Recently heard this incident at a Satsang talk about Hanuman vs Sugriva. It is also repeated at a later part of Sundarakand. Hanuman and Sugriva stand on top of a hillock and observe two young men approaching their kingdom. Sugriva is scared about his brother and hence his attachment impairs his judgement. He thinks they could be his enemies..

Hanuman on the otherhand is free from such attachment, fear and hence says.. they could just be innocent folks entering our territory..

This fearless unbiased judgement of Hanuman is amply seen through the initial search operation.

Resolution of Hanuman’s Conflicts

So far Hanuman carries the search operation with out any bias. The following passages shine how nicely he resolved his conflicts. The language of his doubts and thoughts. He had to elevate himself from the clasps of Vishada and swing back into decision making and action.

To be unbiased, to think of the possible outcomes, to meditate on the lord when stressed out and spring back to action gives a kind of faith, bliss and strength to go about the tasks that lie ahead.

After the inspections in the inner chambers, Hanuman wonders if he has transgressed his Dharma. He tells himself they are Ravanan’s loyal wives and no other ill intentions. How else would he about for Sita Devi. He reassures himself. Shub Ashub are outcomes of the mind. When Indriyas in control and mind is pure and shuddh, he is not wrong doing.

After some more searching, he gets desperate and negative thoughts start popping up. He reminds himself not to get desperate. Freedom from despair makes human action fruitful..

Anirvedha yatnam chestam.. karothi karmam safalam janthu..

And he starts the search all over again. Closely he combs through flower garden, picture halls, banquet halls, palaces, homes, tanks, temples..

Again he does not find and thinks the effort and udyoga of the monkeys is going waste.

He analyses Possibilities-Did the evil Ravana mistreat her? Did she fall off from the Vimana? Did she faint seeing the ocean? Did she get crushed in his mighty arms? Did she die safegaurding her chastity? Did the mean rakshasas eat her? Did she meditate and merge with the elements? Was she caged some where?

What can be the impact of my action? If I go back without Devi Sita, both the dynasties will perish. Overcome by sorrow Rama Lakshmana followed by their brothers and mothers.. Sugriva followed by his wife and sons. The monkeys will beat with their fists and end their life..

Thinks of ending life.. I better live here by the shores and prepare my funeral pyre.. But Self Destruction has too many evils. Let me not take this suicidal path. Should I kill that 10 headed Ravana or drag him to Rama?

Sees an unexplored path.. I see that Ashoka Grove with large trees. I have not checked that yet..

Meditates for Tranquility.. He sits dow and meditates for a while to settle his troubled mind.

The unbiased search operation, combing about every 4 inch area, repeated iterations and the conflict resolution reminded me of Face Detect AI Algorithm and Reinforcment in the neural network RNN, coming out of false positives and performing even better..

14. The beautiful Asoka Grove

This pleasing forest is filled with intoxicated peacocks and cuckoos, Ashoka and Mango trees and bloom of flowers

Shaken by the might of Hanuman, the trees in the Ashoka forest dropping their flowers, leaves and fruits and the flock of birds flying off them, the trees looked like gamblers who had lost all their wealth.

The pond was filled with beautiful Lotues. Mountain peaks and water falls in the vicinity. Man made gardens, birds and river beds. The leaves of the trees rustled like a hundred anklets.

Devi Sita will surely come to the waters for her Sandhya Vandana. Her love for forests and animals, she will come here for sure.. And he kept waiting eagerly hidden in the leaves of the branches.

The Ashoka trees looked like the second sky with a canopy of flowers.. A second ocean with a canopy of flowers down. Sweet fragrances wafting in the breeze and the sounds of birds.

Lotuses in Srilanka

15. Hanuman Sights Devi Sita

He sights a golden mansion amidst the forest. A dejected lady with old clothes and emancipated in strength. Tearful and consumed in sorrow. He saw that she was a great beauty with black eyes. Clad in yellow without ornaments and hair till her hip, she looked like a pond without lotus. Like a Dove surrounded by a pack of wolves. Like a Star fallen on the ground. She was like a she-elephant without a herd, being detained by a lion. Like an unplucked Veena.. Like the moon covered by clouds.. Like a creeper without flowers..

She appeared like thrown away wealth.. Eyes with tears and filled with sorrow. He looks again and again to confirm his judgement. Though devoid of ornamentation, she still had a few that matched. Well crafted ear rings. Hanuman thinks. “Both Rama and Sita are a perfect match. Not a moment goes by without thinking of the other. She neither sees these rakshasi or these flowers. She surely sees only Rama in her mind. Lord Rama too is performing a difficult task clinging to his body without withering away.”

17-Sita Devi is surrounded by horrible looking ogres.. with animal faces and disfigured appearances and weapons in their hands.

18-In the early hours, Ravana eners Ashoka garden with his retinue of beautiful and dazzled wives carrying lamps in golden baskets and wine along.

19- With Ravana approaching, Sita shook like a plantain tree torn in the wind. She was like an altar desecrated.. like a worship stolen.. like a lotus destroyed.. like a drying river.. like a pond agitated by a wild elephant.

Seetha was as though going to Rama in the horses of her thoughts. Ravana tries to allure her and threaten with death.

20- Ravana entices Sita with wealth, gems and sovereignty over his other wives. “O beautiful one.. This world shall all be yours. You drink, roam freely and play along with your folks.. Rama is no match for me.

21-Sita replies to Ravana

Frightened, she places a straw between her and Ravana. She says she is unfit to be his wife as she is married and devoted to her husband. Ravana is atushta not contended, chapala fickle minded and consumed by his indriya senses. Are there no good people here in this land whom you follow?

“Like you care and protect your wives, others wives ought to be protected.”

“Due to your sin alone and uncontrolled mind, your beautiful city will be destroyed very soon. O Ravana! When there is destruction of a shortsighted one (adeergha darshinah) being hit by his own deeds, the world will be happy.”

“I cannot be tempted by wealth or by money. I am not separate from Raghava like the sun-shine from the sun. I come from a great dynasty and cannot have many husbands.” “He is a Sharanaarthi Vatsala. Surrender to him if you wish to live.”

“O Adhama.. You abducted me when those brothers were gone. My husband Rama and Lakshmana shall take your life away with arrows lije Sun drying up a shallow lake. You are no match for him. Like a dog in front of a tiger.”

“I can hear the pluckered sound of his bow. Those intense arrows shall devour this city. Like an eagle devouring in the snakes, they shall eliminate all you snakes.. No matter where you run.. you shall not be spared from destruction.. like a tree from a thunderbolt

22-Ravana replies..

“The horses of my anger are getting subdued and weakened due to my desire for you. Your words are worth humiliation and death and yet I stand helpless. In two months accept me or else you shall be killed and served as breakfast.”

The Gandharvas and Yakshas console the frightened Sita with their looks and gazes. Sita bounces back with pride.

“I am definite..there is no one who cares for you. I am definitely not capable of being abducted by you. It is for meeting your end. You are like a hare in front of the mighty elephant like Rama. I wonder why your cruel black brown red eyes have not fallen after seeing me., Your tongue speaking ill of me not fallen yet. I can reduce you to ashes.. I am waiting for my Lord to order..”

Ravana orders the terrible looking ogres to accomplish the task. By punishment, reward, consolation whatever. He looked angry, fierce and terrible like a mountain.. like a funeral in a grave..

One ogre DhanyaMaalini says.. “Sport with me my lord . Why do you take interest in her who has lost her colour? Of what happiness is it to a man to aspire a woman not interested in him..”

23- Rakshasas speak with Sita and try to lure her about his fame and reach.. He belongs to the great lineage of Brahma.. Pulastya.. Vishrava.. Defeated the devas..

24- The Ogres remind her “You are a mere Human and thinking great of yourself..”

Says Sita, “A human should not marry an ogre. Eat me if you wish. No matter what my husband is, He is my Guru. I shall wait for him like Sachi Indra.. Nala Damayanthi.. Arundathi Vasista..”

Ogres -“Don’t waste your youth which is temporary. Enjoy with the handsome king and rule this place. ”

Discuss the Ogres-“I feel like pulling out your heart. I want to eat the liver..” “I want some drinkables lickables and wine. Let us share and not fight.” “I too agree. And let us dance.”

Quite a bit of Word Play..

‘shokam drudam ashokah’.. filled with sadness in Ashoka Forest..
‘ravana shatru-ravana’-killer of enemies..
‘adeergha darshi’- short sightedness..

Sita’s Shoka at Ashoka Vana.. Some linguistic parallels with Arjuna’s Vishada..

After the threat from Ravana and the rakshasis, Sita is shatterred.

ashrupoorna iikshanam (teary eyed)
seedanti(trembling), vepanthi(shivering),
visrujyam(Arjuna lays down his Gandeeva, Sita Devi wants to cast away her life)

avishta(enters into her.. like Nachiketa’s epiphany .. shraddha avivesha and Arjuna’s sad state entering into him.. krupaya avista)

apahata-chetasa (robbed of tranquility kinds)
sochathi (lament.. naanu sochanthi panditaah)
anaaryam (ignoble.. anaarya justa aswargyam)
upapadyathe befits (na etat twayi upapadyathe)

hata.. (death.. Arjuna lamenting on the thought of guru-hatya.. Krishna tells him atma cannot be killed) (Sita wanting death of Ravana and death to the Glory of Lanka)

26-Sita’s Questions and Thoughts

Sita has many thoughts. She is weak but Rama is valiant. He has fought many battles. Surely he will reduce Lanka to ashes if he knows her whereabouts. Did they know she is here.. Did they give up their lives in sorrow? Did they leave for heavens? Were they cheated by Ravana? Was he not interested in Sita anymore? Is her good qualities and merit and fortune diminishing?

The wise who are beyond sukha dukha are indeed blessed.

धन्याः खलु महात्मानो मुनयस्त्यक्तकिल्बिषाः || ५-२६-४९
जितात्मनो महाभागा येषां न स्तः प्रियाप्रिये |

27- an ogress named Trijata describes her dream. She dreams of Sri Rama triumphs and the ogre Ravana is conquered. He is miserable looking riding a donkey.. A monkey sets fire..

28–29 Sita thinks of ending life with her plait.

She reminisces her love for Rama. If not for kaala time that lured her for the deer.

They might butcher her like a surgeon shalya operating on newborn.

Suddenly she senses omens of good. Her left eye, shoulder, arm twitching spandana. She gets a ray of hope. The seed fostered by the wind rain soil.

30. Hanuman in a deep dilemma.. whether to talk and console (aashwasan) Sita.
She might end her life otherwise. If he talks in his monkey form, she might get scared and mistake him for Ravana changing his appearance (kaamarupini) and in the process invite trouble from other rakshasas.

He wants to speak with her in Sanskrit, the language of manushya and twiceborns dvija ..

And the mahanubhava Hanuman decides to eulogise and praise Rama so that Sita does not get agitated..

31 — 34 Authentication of Hanuman

In the Ashoka forest.. Sita finds it hard to believe that Hanuman is not Ravana in disguise. She thinks perhaps she is dreaming. A monkey conversing with her?

Both of them narrate a bit of their backgrounds and when Hanuman approaches in proximity to discuss further course of action, she again suspects him. She asks for Rama’s physical description and more details.. How did they make friendship with the Monkeys.. So that her fear and misgivings could be put aside for ever.

And Hanuman starts off with a train of specifications.. On Rama’s glories and character.. Description of Rama’s gait and sturdiness, details of his neck and eyes, lines on the palm and sole, his elevation and front view kind of mind blowing anatomy details. And then he presents Rama’s ring as token.

On a side note.. The conversations in these chapters reminds of the current day security protocols.. Man in the middle attack.. 3 Factor Authentication.. Biometric Validation and Token Exchange kind of protocol ..

He narrates the meeting of brothers at Kishkinda, friendship with Sugriva, battle with Vali, meeting Sampatti, search at Vindhyas and readiness near the ocean.

देश-काल-विभागज्ञ knowledge appropriate for space and time

36. Sita’s Questions.. Why did Rama not come?

Sita then asks Hanuman why Rama did not arrive if he knew she was here. Had Rama lost his poise and balance that he maintained even when he had to give up his kingdom? Why is that Parantapa ‘annihilator of enemies’ not burning down the ocean and fighting with Ravana and liberating her? He had loved her more than anything else in the world. Was he not able to cope with the sorrow? Did he loose interest in her?

Hanuman says that Rama did not know for sure she is here. He swears by all the mountains that Rama would have burnt the city and freed it from Rakshasas had he known. Rama has not been having meat and wine. He has been lamenting in sorrow. Every beautiful object reminding him of Sita. He has not been even shooing off the insects mosquitoes flies reptiles hovering around him.. Now that Rama will get to know about Sita’s whereabouts for sure, for certain he will wage a war and liberate Sita even if it means to fight with Devas Asuras and Mrutyu.

Sita is extremely comforted with the assurance that Rama has not changed his mind.. but saddened to hear about his state of dejection.

37 -38 Hanuman offers to fly her back. Sita’s Token

She refuses on various grounds that she might fall down and become food for the sharks, the rakshasas might fight back and this act will make it hard for Hanuman to fight back, she does not want to be carried by other than Rama.. and Rama coming back and decimating the Rakshasas seems the right thing.

Hanuman agrees with her reasoning. Clarifies that he offered help only to help alleviate pain of Rama. There was no easy way for others to cross the ocean and attack Lanka.

As a token to be narrated to Rama on his journey back, Sita narrates to Hanuman the time Rama and Sita spent happily in various ashrams, gardens and water bodies at Chitrakoota.. A crow disturbing Sita and Rama launching Brahmastra .. And her Choodamani jewel of hair which she had tucked in her dress.

39 Sita’s doubts on Sugreeva’s army

S: It is a doubt if I will survive. Stay in Lanka for one more day. Tell me a few words to get back my courage.

H: Rama will fight all odds. If needed with the Gods of rain, sun, death.. No man, monkey or God can stand his might. He is the ruler of the earth and the oceans.

S: I have a doubt. How will the army reach Lanka. Only Garuda, wind and yourself have the ability to fly. It will be worthy and befitting if Rama comes and liberates me.

H: Thousand and crores of mighty monkeys will be in action. Nothing in the earth or the sky will deter them. Many of them far superior than me. The most valiant is not sent as a messenger. They are used to the path of wind and earth. They have the prowess of lions tigers and look like lordly elephants. They will be a cloud and mountain of them. I will carry Rama and Lakshmana. Do not cry O Aryaa.. Console yourself..

40 Bids Hanuman Bye..Sita is overjoyed by Hanuman’s words like the sprout on a shower of rain. Requests Hanuman to remind Rama of the crow and the blade of grass episode.. Her desire for the touch of Rama. The beautiful choodamani that was acquired by Rama from the waters. Her wretched plight in Lanka.. She will not survive more than a month if he does not come. And bids Hanuman Bye Shivah asthu

Shodum to bear
Eeshathi will come
Abhigyaanam token
Hanuman
arindaama annihilator of enemies
Maruthi-suunah son of wind..
Vyaagra-skanda shoulder of tiger(Lakshmana)
Shakri pulomaja Indra and sachiSita
Asit-iikshana dark eyed
Anagha Devi
Kakustah RamaMonkeys.. harih, vanarah, kapih
Bears rushk
Aaswashan console
Dustya goodluck
Tamra Shukla — red and white
akyatha tell
asadya obtain
sunoh son
Aasamsham .. asamshayam .. no doubt
Vaayasah crow, tundam peck, posthaste earth

41 Hanuman’s strategy

In order to assess the design and strength of Ravana’s army, Hanuma gives a thought that he should implement the fourth strategy. First 3 being sowing dissension, negotiation, bribery and these schemes not applicable with a wealthy powerful enemy like Ravana. He emphasises the knowledge of multiple streams in order to facilitate quick decision making..

He assaults the demons, so as to meet Ravana and his ministers for knowing their designs and strengths. He defaces the grove of the palace.. uproots the trees.. smashes the mountains.. animals and birds go haywire.. so that he is taken inside.

Yuuyam you, ayam he
uta and
Dhumra, papadatree
Ahi snake

Patangaa iva paavaka.. fireflies rushing into the mouth of fire
Shara arrow.. mudgara mallet

42 — Rakshasas inform about the terrible monkey destroying all of the forest except the Simshuka tree sheltering Sita.. Angered, Ravana sends some demons called Kinkaras to catch hold of Hanuma. Hanuman announces ‘Hail Rama Hail Lakshmana Sugriva.’ He expands and makes a thunderous sound causing the birds to fall .. sandhya Megha unnata .. with his might, kills all Kinkaras with an iron rod that he pulls out from the arch. Ravana then sends Jambumali, the son of Prahasta to catch hold of Hanuma.

43. Hanuman grows like a towering figure and stands on the arch.. His claps causing a thunder. The pillar of the palace uprooted and the friction causing fire.. Scene of fight looks like a whirlpool in Ganges. He threatens that there are Monkeys who were 10, 100 and even1000 times better than him..

Hanuuman wide jaw
paariyaatra upama- towering figure like mount pariyaatra
aasphoTayaamaasa claps
chaitya paalaashcha = the guards
oghabalaaH = power of steam
Vayu balah
Nagabalah = power of elephant
Aprameya balah = not measurable..
शतैः शत सहस्रैः च कोटीभिः

44. Mighty battle between Hanuman and Jambu Maali Hanuman swirls stones and trees and Jambu releases arrows.. Splitting the tree and piercing Hanuman. Hanuman whirls an iron rod with force and Jambu is shattered.. His head, thigh, horse and chariot were shatterred and not to be seen..

What an epic vivid description of the war..

athivipulaam shilam- big rock
sharaihi tadayaamasa — with arrows he attackedSa
ala bhramaramaasa- wirled. with saala tree
chikshepa bahuun- released many arrows
parighameva — returns the iron rod..

45. The enemy seemed like a thundering cloud showering a rain of gold tipped arrows. Hanuman was like a mountain in effected by a scrub of arrows walking mighty in the cloudless sky.. That mighty son of wind It seemed.. was playing with the clouds sporting a rainbow..

The mighty struck some with his palms, some with his feet and some others with his fists and nails and crushed with his chest and thighs..

talena = with palms; paadaiH = with his feet; muSTinaa = with his fists; nakhaiH = with his nails. urasaa = with his chest; uurubhyaam = with his thighs;naagaaH = elephants; vineduH = trumpeted; visvaam = with a wrong accent; vaajinaH = Horses; nipetuH = fell down;vikR^itam = horrible scene and sounds..vaajiyuktaiH = yoked with horses; hemajaala parikSiptaiH = overlaid with aprotective armour of gold;dhvajadbhiH pataakibhiH = flags and bannerschaapaani = their bows;tapta kaaNchana chitraaNi = glazed with refined gold and looking colourful;janyastu = mothers (cried) chamuum = great army Ninadaam = roar

46. Ravana sends 5 of his generals

Virupaksha, Yupaksha, Durdhara, Praghasa and Bhasakarna were sent to capture Hanuma. They think perhaps Hanuma may not be an ordinary monkey, but an evil spirit created by Indra the Lord of celestials. Hanuma kills all of them and again returns to the archy door entrance of the Ashoka groove.

47 : Ravana sends his son Aksha

49 : Ravana sends his son Indrajit who overpowers Hanuman with spell of Brahma pitamahah

Nice words on being to the point and action in accordance to space and time.

samaadhi-samyoga samaahit-aatmaa = who was well known for hitting his target

50 : Hanuma sees the well-adorned Ravana. Ravana through his ministers asks if he was messenge of Indra, Yama or Vishnu?

Nice expression. Concise and meaningful words relevant to that occasion

kAlayuktaM uvAchEdaM vachO vipulaM arthavat

51 : Hanuma declares himself to be a messenger . He warns Ravana that Rama is invincible and Sita is like a serpent, kaala will be cause for Lanka’s doom if not sent back.

52 : Wise words of Vibhishana.

Ravana orders Hanuman to be killed. Vibhishana, however, advises Ravana to desist from the act, pointing out that the killing of an envoy is forbidden. More over, if Hanuma is killed, no other messenger will be able to fly back and incite those brothers for a fight.. Ravana loves to fight.. Why eliminate an oppurtunity?

धर्मज्ञ्श्च कृतज्ञ्श्च राजधर्मविशारदः O great one..
गृह्यन्ते यदि रोषेण त्वादृशोऽपि विपश्चितः |
ततः शास्त्रविपश्चित्त्वम् श्रम एव हि केवलम्
If vipaschitas like you are seized by anger.. knowledge of scriptures is indeed just a labour in vain.

53 : Later Ravana orders to set fire to his tail

The demons wrap up old rags around Hanuma’s tail, pour oil to it and burn it with fire. Hanuman is taken around the city.

लान्गूलम् जीर्णैः कार्पासिकैः पटैः
Old cotton rags tied to his tail

विमानानि ..भूमि भागान् ..चत्वरान्
Hanuman is taken around houses, plots, crossways

54 : Hanuma sets Lanka on fire

Hanuman wishes to see the city and the fort in day light. A beautiful description on the organised city of Lanka.

55 : Hanuma doubts whether Seetha dies in the fire.

Hanuman gives a beautiful exposition on anger.. In the lines of ‘kaama esha krodha esha..rajo guna’, ‘raaga dwesha paripanthinau’ of Gita chapter 3. In a state of fury, he burns the city of Lanka. Later on he laments if damage was done to Sita.

धन्याः ते पुरुष श्रेष्ठ ये बुद्ध्या कोपम् उत्थितम् |
निरुन्धन्ति महात्मानो दीप्तम् अग्निम् इव अम्भसा || ५-५५-३

क्रुद्धः पापम् न कुर्यात्कः क्रुद्धो हन्याद्गुरूनपि |
क्रुद्धः परुषया वाचा नरः साधूनधिक्षिपेत् || ५-५५-४

वाच्यावाच्यम् प्रकुपितो न विजानाति कर्हिचित् |
नाकार्यमस्ति क्रुद्धस्य नावाच्यम् विद्यते क्वचित् || ५-५५-५

यः समुत्पतितम् क्रोधम् क्षमयैव निरस्यति |
यथोरगस्त्वचम् जीर्णाम् स वै पुरुष उच्यते || ५-५५-६

धिग् अस्तु राजसम् भावम् अनीशम् अनवस्थितम् |
ईश्वरेण अपि यत् रागान् मया सीता न रक्षिता || ५-५५-१६

“As a burning fire is extinguished with water, blessed indeed are those great-souled men of excellence, who in their wisdom, restrain their elevated fury.”

“Which enraged man would not incur a sin? He may even kill his elders.. may insult virtuous men with harsh words.”

“An agitated person ever does not know which words are appropriate and which are forbidden . There is neither an improper act nor ever an improper word to be spoken.”

“As a serpent casts off its slough, whoever casts aside an intense anger sprung up in him suddenly by virtue of his endurance, he verily is said to be an excellent man.”

“Let there be shame upon the passionate way of my thinking, which breeds helplessness and instability. For, eventhough capable as I am, Seetha could not be saved by me due to my exciting passion of anger.”

56 : Hanuma again visits Ashoka garden and sees Seetha. Prepares to leave

अर्थ उपहितम् वाक्यम् प्रश्रितम् हेतु सम्हितम्
Meaningful, humble and befitting reasonable words of Sita

After bidding adieu to Seetha, he ascends Mount Arishta and enlarges his body making himself ready to leap across the ocean. Hanuman describes the exquisite beauty- Mountains seem to be reciting scriptures through its sounds of cascades. Clouds touching the mountains looking like its feet. Minerals shining on the touch of Sun rays like the glistening of eyes. When Hanuman expands and stands on the peak, the roaring of the lions trapped in the crushing caves resonated in the sky.

57 : Hanuma leaps from Lanka and reaches Mt Mahendra

He advances further and roars at the top of his voice at the Mount Mahendra, so as to bring jubiliation to the monkeys awaiting his return there.

In the ocean of the sky blosommed the lily of the moon, rose the stork of the sun.. shone the alligator of the mars.. raised the weeds of the clouds.. swam the swan couple of the constellation.. jumped the fish of the punarvasu constellation.. glistened the waters of the moonlight.

It seemed he was swallowing the sky, scratching the moon and carrying off the sky with its stars and sun dragging a mass of clouds. He looked like the moon becoming visible and invisible again and again passing through the clouds.

सुहृद्दर्शनलालसः
desirous of seeing his friends

58 : Jambavan requests Hanuma to narrate

In Ch 58 of SK, Hanuman kind of summarizes and narrates the salient incidents of the trip to his monkey friends.

Interestingly he mentions a few trivias that were not part of the big narration in the first 56 chapters. Like Hanuman flies away with the heart of Simhika.. Sita pleads Ravana to respectfully speak to her. She promises to forgive the rakshasis if they supported her..

As the real incidents are analog in nature, decimation is unavoidable. Rishi Valmiki perhaps captured the salient moments and weaved it in his exquisite style.

Was wondering if actual dialog exchange between Arjuna and Krishna was in 700 verses as in Gita. What was their style of conversation? Maybe if there was a preamble in Mahabharata saying these 700 verses were exchanged in this much time, that would kind of put a boundary. Not that it matters. Just a thought.

vaktavyaH = can be disclosed; rakSitavyam = need to be hidden and not disclosed

59 : Hanuma suggests they meet Rama only after they get Sita from Lanka.

Hanuman further rewinds and narrates the state of Sita.

60: Angada suggest that Seetha must be got. But Jambavan replies that it is not proper t without enquiring Rama’s intention.

61 : Monkeys took halt at Madhuvana

On their way from Mount Mahendra to Kishkindha, the monkeys halt at Madhuvana. Interesting to note the excitement and celeberations in the monkey land. They devour the grove and the caretaker Dadhimukha has a fight with them.

62 : Dadhimukha departs to Kishkindha

With the permission of Hanuma and Angada, the monkeys have a party time . Make sounds like Lion and birds. Totally in an ineberated state drinking Honey. They attack the caretakers and Angadha has a fight with Dadhimukha. Disappointed, Dadhimukha approaches Sugriva.

63 : Dadhimukha reports Madhuvana destruction to Sugreeva

Lakshmana enquires about the discussion. Sugriva says this is good news indeed and Hanuman along with Angada and Jambavat must have suceeded in their mission of finding Sita and hence the celebrations. They should be forgiven.

vaakyam vishaaradaH: eloquoent
krutsnam entire
amarsha resent

जाम्बवान् यत्र नेता स्यात् अन्गदस्य बल ईश्वरः |
हनूमान् च अपि अधिष्ठाता न तस्य गतिः अन्यथा || ५-६३-१९
Sounds like Yatra Yogeshwara krishna of Gita.

64 : Hanuma apprises of the discovery of Seetha

Angada and other monkeys including Hanuma spring forward into the air towards Kishkindha.

Angadha checks with his troop what should be the next steps. Pleased with his humble nature, they tell
ऐश्वर्य मद मत्तो हि सर्वो ‘अहम्’ इति मन्यते
“Every one indeed thinks one’s supremacy with an excited arrogance and says ‘I, I’”

O कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम
Sugriva assures Rama that Angadha would have surely had good news and hence the celebration.

नियताम् अक्षताम् देवीम्
Hanuman apprises that Sita devi is safe and sound

65 : Hanuma conveys Seetha’s message to Sri Rama.

Angada, Hanuma and other monkeys approach Rama, Lakshmana and Sugreeva at Mount Prasravana. Rama asks, “Where is Seetha, the princess? How is she disposed towards me?

Hanuma appraises of Seetha’s presence at the foot of a Simsupa tree in the midst of female-demons. (He does not narrate the journey and the search part like he narrated earlier to his friends.) He says that she is conducting severe penance and devotion towards Rama. He delivers to Rama the jewel for the head Chudamani as a token, informs about the token of the crow incident and the painting on her cheek by Rama.

Also that Sita wishes a bridge to be constructed to Lanka.

66 : Sri Rama on seeing Chudaamani

Rama draws the Chudamani jewel of Sita on his bosom and says his heart melts seeing it.. That excellent jewel was adorned by Sita in her wedding and was obtained by her father from Indra. It brings him memories of Sita, his father and father in law. Rama urges Hanuma, to repeat the words spoken by Seetha.

maNi ratnam = excellent jewel
muurdhni = to her head;
dhiimataa shakreNa = by the intelligent Indra
vaari sambhavam = found in waters;

bhiiru bhiiruH = who is very shy
satii sushroNii = virtuous wife

“O gentle Hanuman! Repeat again and again, what Seetha said to you, sprinkling me with your stream of words, like offering water to a thirsty person.”

किम् आह सीता वैदेही ब्रूहि सौम्य पुनः पुनः |
पिपासुम् इव तोयेन सिन्चन्ती वाक्य वारिणा || ५-६६-८

“If Seetha can survive for a month, it is really a long period. Without that black-eyed Seetha, I cannot survive for even a moment.” “Tell me, what my beautiful consort has said to you. Like medicine to a sick person, I shall survive listening to her words.”

67 : Hanuma narrates an incident connected with a crow

Hanuma narrates at length an incident connected with a crow that occured at Chitrakuta which was to be presented to Rama as a token of remembrance. Why is that brave Rama who can fight with the Gods and that brave Laksmana not coming to save me?

मम एव दुष्कृतम् किंचिन् महत् अस्ति न संशयः
May be I have done a grave misdeed that these capable brothers are not giving me attention.

Hanuma consoles Seetha, saying that Rama and Lakshmana would reduce Lanka to ashes and take her back to Ayodhya. When Hanuma further requests Seetha to give a token of remembrance to be handed over to Rama, she gives him a jewel for the head as a token.

Sita gives her regards of well being (anaamayam) of everyone.

68 : Seetha expressed a doubt on the capacity

Sita requests Hanuman to stay back for one more day in some corner. There will be a temporary freedom from the pangs of sorrow. Once he travels back, her life is not certain. The misfortunes are piling upon her one after another.

shoka vipaakasya vimokSaNam
temperory freedom from deep infliction of sorrow

Hanuma informs Rama how Sita expressed her doubt as to how monkeys and bears could leap across a vast sea. Her wish that Rama destroy Ravana along with his entire army in Lanka and take her back to Ayodhya.

Hanuma further informs Rama, how he resolved her doubt by explaining the prowess of the troops of monkeys and bears, commanded by Sugreeva as also how he brought solace and peace to her from her worries.

REFERENCES

Introduction

Sandhi Marked verses for chanting

SANSKRIT chant with simple English translation

Available for 18 sargas out of 68. An easy way to familiarise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQsu_K3eHBs

CHANTING Audio

https://www.valmiki.iitk.ac.in/sloka?field_kanda_tid=1&language=dv&field_sarga_value=1

Translation

There is an option at the bottom to only read the prose in English or with Sanskrit.
http://www.valmikiramayan.net/sundara_kanda_contents.html

Commentary in Telugu by Chaganti Garu

https://youtu.be/Or5UkJwmegE

Tulasidas Sunderkand REcital

http://www.valmikiramayan.net/sundara_kanda_contents.html

Telugu SK Recital

https://youtu.be/jsnL4THsWPo

Sanskrit Grammar Analysis

https://nivedita2015.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/valmiki-ramayana-sundarakandam-selected-verses-till-sarga-21/

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Sujatha R

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