Withered Flower - Sundara Kãnda

Continued from Qualms of Celibate - Sundara Kãnda

If Mahabharata's Bhagvad-Gita is taken as a philosophical guide, Ramayana's Sundara Kãnda is sought for spiritual solace. What is more, many believe that reading Sundara Kãnda or hearing it recited would remove all hurdles and usher in good tidings!

Canto 15 - Withered Flower

Failed as Seetha to turn up
Came in open then Hanuman.

Deep breathed as he so he felt
Scent there that of sandalwood. 

Ventured as he further down
Thought he was in Indra’s grove.

Wildlife he found there so rare
Thought he visited other planet.

Buildings there were five-storied
By boulevards wide hundred feet.

Fruits they bore all golden hues
Seemed they street lamps in their scores.

Perched as they in their thousands
Seemed as trees had birds for leaves.

Birds as flew with flowers in beaks
Looked they all like well-decked brides.

For their flowery burden then
Developed branches some hunchbacks.

Garden plants in some courtyards
Peeped over their compound walls.

Find them would a passerby
In their varied shades of green.

Wondered Hanuman how he failed
First to search that wondrous place.

In the gardens of all earth
Won’t it score a perfect ten?

What other place can Ravan find
Helps which Seetha change her mind?

Saw he then that hall supreme
Built by Ravan to rival
God’s own pavilion in grandeur.

Raised on thousand gold pillars
Glowed that like one thousand suns.

When he could his sight adjust
Saw he towers its kiss the clouds.

As if it were by sixth sense  
To Sinsupa turned back Hanuman
Only to find there seated
Woman so young with dress so old.

Heard her sighs he on and off
Circled her as demonic guards. 

Seemed she like a flame so bright
Shrouded then by smoke that thick.

Clad she was in soiled silk
Wore no necklace on her self.

Grief her wore down to core
Sat she bowing head in shame.

Cried she with her tear-filled eyes
Looked she distraught ’n famished.
Like a hare that lost its way
Into hounds on hunt she looked.
Dark hair hers in plait that thick
Touched the ground on which she sat.
In spite of her soiled dress
Demeanor hers was lady like.
Well she could be Rama’s wife
Kidnapped by the Lankan king.
No doubt it was Rama’s spouse
For she matches thumbnail sketch
That Lord Rama drew for him.
Charm her golden frame oozes
Brings forth brightness to darkness.
Waist her narrow lends her frame
The flowing look that aids her gait.
Eyes her wide like lotus leaves 
Were shaped to acquire amorous looks.
But, in her grief they lost lustre
As would stars by clouds shrouded.
As would spendthrift his holding
Agony of hers shrivelled her frame.
With signs none of her rescue
Seemed she lost her will to live.
Wanted she her man to know
Ravan by force brought her there
Though she would not yield to him.
Swollen were her tearful eyes
Sunken were her crimson cheeks.
Ever since Ravan brought her there
Looked she had no bath since then  
Made which seem her cloudy moon.
Found in dilemma Hanuman then
If she could be Rama’s spouse.
But then aura he espied
None but Seetha could have that. 
Looked he then on for jewels
As though they were missing links.
Those to him Ram made privy
Found them lying on low branch.
To help Seetha please Rama
Well crafted were all of them.
Dust as they all thus gathered
Turned those into dirty brown.
Missing indeed from that lot
What she let go from mid-air
So to give clue to her man.
It was vanars who found her 
Shawl with jewels hers tied in
That she dropped on Rushyamook.
How well these all now I see
Match with those that dropped by her.
That she wears the same saree
Wore she when was abducted
Won’t that shawl well go with this.
Who else would have this aura
Than dear Rama’s spouse Seetha!
Bound am I to rescue her
From the clutches of these guards.
Won’t that gladden Rama’s heart
Saddened for so long for her?
Paired as well as Seetha-Ram
Were there ever a couple on earth!
Ravan though had parted them
Minds in their they stay as one.
Robbed as he of his Seetha
Rama still has will to fight.
What a wonder Rama lived
Sans his spouse for so long now.
Felt glad Hanuman that he could
Find the beloved of his Lord.

Canto 16 - She is Seetha

Prayed then Hanuma in earnest
Lord Rama he revered most
And then thought of task on hand.
Seeing her in such distress
Felt as if his heart was seized.
Casts when shadow fate on man
Can he ever go beyond its reach?
But for being Rama’s spouse
Wouldn’t have fate ever crunched her more?
Whichever way one might see it
Made for each other couple they make.
Seeing Seetha in her plight
Recalled he then Ram’s valour.
If not for her would have Ram
Cared to end ever Vali’s reign? 
If not for his exile Ram
Why should ever he kill Viradha?
Miss not targets Ram’s arrows
Struck were demons in their thousands.
Khara neither nor Trisura
Could stand Rama in combat.
But for Seetha how Sugreev
Would have got great Vali’s crown.
Why in search of her I came
To this land that Ravan rules.
Were Rama to lose patience
Won’t he topsy-turvy world?
Not for Ram the crown of earth
Were Seetha not sharing throne. 
But for being Janaka’s darling
Can one decline Ravan’s hand?
Daunting must be plight her now
Though she is Lord Rama’s spouse.
Wonder how she puts up with
Fiends all those who pester her! 
How sad Seetha had to miss
Folk back home all who love her.
It’s her love for her man Ram
Makes which Seetha shun Ravan.
In her sorrow for her man
Lost she appetite once for all.
Ceases not she not to sigh
Once she never ceased to smile.
Seeks as oasis one in sands 
Craves Rama to see his wife.
Gets Ram when his beloved back
Won’t he feel like dethroned king 
Gets when back his crown in time!   
No doubt it’s her will to meet
Her man that keeps her going.
Turned she to her captor blind
Ever she keeps her man in mind.
Seetha though is crown jewel
Sans Ram she’s jewel-less crown.
It’s no different with Lord Ram
Braves who though she’s not on hand.
Sight of hers as shakes me thus
How would Ram ever take her plight?
Can he bear to see Seetha’s
Plight now wretched as here captive?
In the forlorn state of hers
Shadow she’s no more than 
Of the former self of hers.
Seem in vain the rays of moon
Try to soothe her soul perturbed.
At the plight of his Lord’s spouse
That’s what mighty Hanuman felt.

Canto 17 - Guards all Hideous

Swans as swim in blue waters
So did moon in Lankan skies. 
It’s as if moon wanted him
Espy Seetha’s distressed self. 
For the eyes of Hanuman then
Seetha seemed a sinking boat. 
Seen then Hanuman in moonlight
All those guarding Rama’s spouse.
Saw he many a single eyed
With no ears he many there found.
Baldish there were some of them
Had hair others from head to foot.   
Many had there such drooping lips
Brushed which with their sagging breasts.
Midgets ugly were there too
With weird sentries in their scores.
Coarse all were they in discourse
Wore all sheepskin for their dress.
On their well built torsos some
Had there animal heads varied.
Had some of them camel feet
Moved while others on elephant legs.
On their beastly bodies some
Carried handsome human heads.
Noses had some there across
Had others vertical lips on them.
Tongues had many of carpet size
Hanged which on their wall like lips.
Ogresses such as kept an eye
On Rama’s spouse in that garden.
Armed they were all to their teeth
With varied weapons of war carried.
Flesh they ate of every beast
Drank they blood from veins direct.
On guard was that hideous lot
Circled Seetha round the clock.
Bathed not Seetha in Lanka
Cared she not to comb her hair. 
Pulled was Seetha thus forlorn
Weaned from Rama for so long.
Bereft though of she jewels
Love for her man lent aura. 
Seemed she hapless deer no less
Strayed who into lions on prowl.
Looks she had of looking glass
Never once dusted for so long.
Failed that graceful Ravan’s grove
To cheer despaired Rama’s spouse.
Sans her smile did Seetha seem
Flowerless plant in midst of spring.
Moved was Hanuman by her sight
Thought he too of Rama’s plight.
Won’t she know in heart of hearts
That her man would come to her?
Doubt she had none in her mind
Life of hers was tied with Ram.
Heat of her sighs seemed to char
Nascent leaves of high branches.
Having perceived her nature
Poised Hanuman to praise her.
Felt he glad for his Lord too
Got who such a wife like her.
Having prayed to Lord Rama 
Hanuman lay in wait for dawn.

Canto 18 - Ravan on Heat

In time it was time to dawn
Sprang up Lanka to last man.
Vedic chants that rent the air
Sounded music to Hanuman.
Surely Ravan would wake up
Then to sound of that music.
Thought as Hanuman so Ravan
Stirred in bed in Seetha’s thought.
Lust of his for Rama’s wife
Made him lose his peace of mind.
Got as he down from his bed
Lost he no time to reach her.
Entered Ravan that garden
Failed it charm his enamored heart.
Stride in his to reach Seetha
Left Ravan all deer stranded.

Heat of Ravan’s lusting self
Made the drops of dew boil.

So to be at beck and call
Moved in tow his women folk too.

Heading he thus his harem
Headed Ravan to add one.
Fanned some then their man on move
Dames with swords some doubled for guards.
Held one pretty jug of gold
Filled with vintage wine for him.
Shade one leggy lass of grace
Gave him with a hood of gold.
Still in stupor some of them 
Seemed to follow him by scent.
With no time to turn becoming
Followed him some as they woke.
Let loose was hair on their face
Had they none their bras on them.
Lusted they all for Ravan
Bestowed on them he favours.
Felt they proud of his valour
Fetched which riches of all worlds.
Wore they all those gold jewels
Made which Hanuman gasp for breath.
Sighted as he Ravan then
With the women he saw by night
Overawed Hanuman none the less.
Aiding nascent light at dawn
Led him some with candlelights.
With his libido thus evident
Looked Ravan like Cupid on earth.
In his stride his silk garment
Slid over his broad shoulders.
Overwhelmed by what he saw
Discreet distance kept Hanuman.
Hand in hand moved Ravan’s wives
Seemed they strengthened his position.
Cooed then koels to caution
Seetha as he seemed nearing.  
Strode yet Ravan in long strides
Towards Seetha whom he snared.
Wondered Hanuman why Ravan
Wanted Seetha who spurned him.
For she spurned a handsome king
Valued Hanuman Rama’s spouse.
At the might of king Ravan
Felt he humble being strong.
At length Ravan reached Seetha
Turned who by then his heartthrob.

Canto 19 -Dame in Despair

Seetha whose head bowed so low
Sensed that Ravan neared her then.
Shook she like a paddy reed
Swept by stormy coastal winds.
Cried she no end in her fright
Black-eyed Seetha at the threat. 
Like she was a forlorn boat
In the midst of sea that vast.
Severed as from a well-grown tree
Seemed so withered a branch Seetha.
In spite of her forlorn state
Gave her bright look innate charm.
Made though Ravan her captive
Mind of hers was with her man.
Bore she travails to love Ram
Than to triumphant Ravan turn.
Kept as captive by Ravan
End of tunnel she saw none.
Wondered Hanuman how her fate 
Deemed it fit to languish her.
In her grief then looked Seetha 
Like one caught in some scandal.
Looked she like a waning lamp
Amidst Ravan’s women on guard.
For the loss of Rama’s love
Wore she look of bankrupt then.
Made her grief then look her like
Lotus stem that plucked from bed.
Like the moon on eclipse night
Lost she spark of her charm then.
Looked she like a lotus pond
Trampled by score wild elephants.
River beds seemed cheeks her both
With lean streams in summer months.
Fair as lily though she was
Sunburns turned brown her fair skin.
Pined then Seetha as lioness
In some zoo for jungle mate.
With her thick plait Seetha looked
Like earth with its well-grown trees.

Fed by Rama’s thoughts Seetha
Lived she just by breathing air.

That her man might slay Ravan
Prayed she gods all in reverence.
It was in that state Ravan
Found the one he craved no end. 

Canto 20 - Womanizer at Work

To fair Seetha he confined
Spoke then Ravan in disdain. 
With thy pair of lovely hands
Why block sight of thy bosom
Hope it’s not the fear of me
Prompts thee squat in like fashion.
Is a beauty like thine ever
And a lover than me better!
What to fear in this Lanka
Lost whose Lord his heart to thee.
Fair it’s not for thee to blame
Granted when it’s to our ilk 
Force we might all women we fond 
Never mind ever their state of mind.
Crave as I for thine embrace
Wait I though for thy consent.
Fill thy heart with love for me
Let not fear ever grip thy mind.
Having known my love for thee
Don’t thou know that it’s not fair
That thee should fail thy upkeep
And thus make me sad for thee. 
From heaven I fetch garments such
To make thee best dressed dame on earth.
For thy wear I get jewels
Not even by angels worn.
Thou being the crown jewel
Of the feminine world at large
How come then thou shun jewels!
Knowing as well youth is like
River that courses to the seas
Why not grant me thy favour
And thus make the best of life.
Since there none to rival thee
Having set the hallmark thus
Looks like Brahma ceased His work.
Perchance He now espies thee
Finding thou so well endowed
What with such rare sex appeal
Would He ever quit ogling thee? 
Such is beauty of thy frame
Wherever I look I get stuck.
Dearth there none for mates for me
Brought them in scores from all lands
Yet I’ve taken to thy charms
Make I thee my Queen of Hearts.
Gods from I got such ransom
Made me that the richest man,
Not to speak of self as well
Won’t I place all at thy feet.
Worlds I conquered all the three
Wealth of nations I plundered
Consent if thou to take me
Gift all that to thy father.
None is there in heaven ’n earth
Dares who ever to cross my path.
Dust I made to bite enemies 
Burnt their standards in their sight.
Since no one can rescue thee
Better thee tie thy life with me.
Know I value thee no end
Turn thy mind to life at hand.
Spend thy days in royal ways
Make we love in nights for long.

Having enslaved my heart now
Might well treat me as thy slave.
Weigh if thee that Ram and me
In the scale of thy interest
Won’t thou know the way it tilts?
Lost he crown when all too young  
Could have died though not so old.
What if he still lives on earth
Gets he how a clue of thee?
Were he to get wind of thee
How doth he dare to face me?
O dear lady thou have won
The heart of mine the ladies man.
O femme fatale as I burn
For the possession of thy frame
Fail I women all who crave me. 
See all these are queens no less
Make them willing maids to thee.
Served as thus by all of them
Won’t thou look a goddess then?
In the Pushpak that I won
Come to live like favoured one. 
If ever thy man regains crown
Would he make a patch on me? 
So that I add honey as well
Know thy buttered side of bread.
Lovebirds like we all our life
Live ever making love no end. 

Continued to Steadfast in Love - Sundara Kãnda 


More by :  BS Murthy

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