More of the Same - Sundara Kãnda

Continued from Rama's Ballad - 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 36 - More of the Same

Went on Hanuman in same vein 
So that Seetha trusts him more. 
O Lord Rama’s revered wife 
Gave thy man this ring of his
Me to pass on to thee now.
Guessed thy man thy state of mind
Felt his ring would make thee trust
Me he sent in search of thee.
Grabbed then Seetha Rama’s ring
Fondled it for ever so long
As she would her husband’s hand.
Aided by that bright diamond
Face her glowed like moon in bloom.
Reminisced as she Rama’s love
Turned then coyer her demeanour.
For the valour he had shown
Seetha in time praised Hanuman. 
One as would a small canal
Wonder how thou crossed the sea!
It’s but bravado O Hanuman
For thou came to face Ravan.
That thou enjoy my man’s trust
Know thee have my trust as well. 
Came it when to judging men
Know my man is none to err.
That Rama is keeping fit
Take that as my good fortune.
Having lost his loving  wife 
Wonder why it takes so long
For him to scorch all this earth!
Looks like I am ill-fated
That Ravan could confine me
Wife of whom all gods give way. 
Hope not my loss made Rama
Lose his nerve to face Ravan. 

Despair in his at my loss
Hath it made him lose focus?
Hath he in his forlorn state
Lost all interest in his mates?
Came it when to foes of his
Hath he softened in his stance? 
Bid in his to rescue me
Can he count on his allies?
Doth he draw his plans with care?
And yet to make it good in life
Need as men all gods’ blessings
Won’t he pray for his success?
Hope not year long separation
Made him lose his love for me.
Knew he not what hardship is
Wonder how he bears all this!
Hope they are all doing fine
Won’t he get to hear from home?  
Beset by grief of my absence
What if Rama got bogged down
And goes he slow on my rescue?
Dutiful sibling that he is
To join battle with Ravan
Did Bharata send his army?
Would thy good Lord Sugreeva
Force his bring to fight my cause?
Know I Lakshman on his own
Can take Ravan and his men.
Hope the day is not far off
Ravan when is felled by Ram.
Doth the heat of his passion
Stoked thus by my separation
Wont to wither his handsomeness?
Word to keep of his father
Left he crown with no regret,
With no bother in the world
Led me with him to the woods,
Now that I am not with him
Hath he lost the track of life? 
Loves as he me dear than self
Loves his people nonetheless.
Having reminisced her man thus
Hoping Hanuman picks up threads
Kept then silent Rama’s spouse. 
Having read her mind Hanuman
Made the position clear then thus:
In the know is not thy Lord
Ravan it was who snared thee.
Report as I back to Ram
Ravan it’s thee made captive
Won’t he descend on Lanka
With our vanar force to boot?
To help us land in Ravan’s land
Won’t he with his arrows make
Bridges across sea though vast?
Were the god of death to try
Stop to Rama in his tracks
Won’t he slain that god even?
Sans his consort to comfort
Stirs Ram in bed restlessly. 

To espy thy man in Lanka
Takes it not long for thee now. 

On my word O Rama’s dear
Day that now is not far off.
Sees as Rama demeanour thine
Won’t his visage turn so bright?
Touches he not drink or meat
Partakes but a meagre meal. 
Fails he feel the flies on him
Lives as he lost in thy thought.   
Engrossed as ever in thy thought
Thought he hath none for the rest.
Forlorn in his eyes so deep
Barring eyelids from closing
Fills thy picture to the brim.
Sees as he a flower or fruit
Wont it his to sigh for thee.
Sad though he in separation
None he slacks in preparation
To take thee back for reparation.
That her man would rescue her
Made the hapless Seetha glad,
But the plight of her beloved 
Made the spouse of Rama sad.

Canto 37 - Aborted Move

In time Seetha gave Hanuman
The key to state of mind of hers.
That my man is so constant
Lifts my spirits all well to skies
But the news of his despair
Pulls me down back to square one.
Vices if were to drag down
Man on road of his misery  
In the plenty of riches
Forever loses man his course
Can one really overcome
What is ordained by his fate?
Won’t my story underscore
Aspect this of life on earth.
In the high seas of sorrows
Boat of my life as capsized
Can my man ever carry me
To the joyous shores of life? 
When Rama would bring nadir
Closer to the Lankan shores?
Tell Rama to beat deadline
Set by Ravan for my death.
For Ravan to snuff my life
Left are just but two more months.
Plead did my case Vibhishan
But paid deaf ear his sibling.
Won’t make my man Ravan pay
The price for treating me badly?
Told me Anala in person
Daughter dear of Vibhishan.
Aid de Ravan Avindhya
Advised his Lord in public
‘Better give Seetha to her man’.
Averred Ravan’s ablest aide
Lands when Rama in Lanka
That would be the end of it.
Sixth sense of mine seems to tell
That my man would come for sure.
It’s not in Ram to leave his wife
High and dry in enemies’ hands. 
Know I know that he did kill
Demons in thousands at one go.
Know I my man can tackle
Ticklish things as one trivia
Strike his arrows his enemies
As would lightning its targets.
Felt glad Hanuman he induced
Hope in Rama’s distressed spouse.
To cheer Seetha all the more 
Assured he then Ram would come.
Or else why not escape now
Carry thee would on my back 
And  land thee in thy man’s lap.
Permit if thou I would pluck
Lanka from its roots in earth
And place it at the feet of Ram.
Either way it helps thee meet 
Man thine who is in thy wait.
Be that as it may thy man
Is all set to rescue thee.
Choose if thou to come with me
Cuts that short thy separation.
Make up thy mind Rama’s wife
Leave thus thou this Ravan’s den.
Rest as thou on my strong back
Fly I would at Mach two speed.
Thee as I fly back to Ram
None of Ravan’s could catch up.
Came as I here in flicker 
Won’t we slip back in whisker?
Amused at what Hanuman said
Spoke then Seetha to him thus:
With due respect to thyself
To take me over sea this wide
More it takes than simian jumps.
Tell me how with tiny frame
Thou me carry on thy back?
Words those Seetha’s naïve uttered
Made great Hanuman feel slighted.
Why to fault good Rama’s wife
For she knows not my true worth.
So thought it fit then Vayu’s son
To show her all his innate strength.
For that he then chose a spot
Which wouldn’t restrict his full  growth.
Tried as she to keep up pace
Glimpse to have of his face then
Seetha at length found herself
Staring at the stars themselves.
Having shown her his prowess
Assumed normal form Hanuman. 
Told he then her that he could
Fetch her forthwith to her man.
Won’t that let her cut short all
Suffering of her beloved Ram? 
Splendorous Seetha then in awe
Spoke to wondrous Hanuman thus.
Seen O Hanuman with my eyes
What a mighty frame thou have! 
If not for thy skill Hanuman
Know I it’s no joke to reach
Lanka across sea this vast.
Sure I feel thou fly me back
For me to reach Rama’s feet.
But on second thought I wonder 
Whether I lose my self in flight.
Once in mid-air nerve I might
Lose and fall down from that height.
Then the hungry whales in seas
Won’t they make a meal of me? 
Slow down if thou for my sake
Won’t that make us sitting ducks?
Gives that Ravan’s loyal men
Time to spare in catching us.
Gherao as they us mid-air
Contrive how thou to escape?
Won’t that put thy life at risk
And mine as well in mid-flight? 
Fight as thee all Ravan’s men
Won’t in fright I lose balance?
Dares not one to ever engage 
Thee in dogfight in high skies 
But then Ravan’s men in hoards 
Prevail might by hook or crook.
Engage as thou all of them
Won’t that leave me unguarded?
For vile Ravan’s men to kill
Won’t that make me easy prey? 
Comes it if to such a pass 
Won’t thy toil go in vain?
In spite of the odds so great
Should thou take me to my man
Won’t that leave him feel slighted?
In case Ravan gets me back
Holds me tight in no man’s land
How on earth my man gets there? 
Whichever way might one may look
Seems it sound that thou might fetch
Man mine here than other way round.
Turns it if our mission failure
Won’t that put the life of Ram
As well the rest all at risk?
Hear if they soon none of me
Ram ’n Lakshman both of them
For sure embrace death in time.
Credo  it’s but of my soul
Touch I never another man
Than my Rama whom I love.
Held me Ravan in kidnap
Disgust it caused all the way.
Know I well my man doth hit
Bull’s-eye every time he aims.
Enters he once battle zone
Know his arrows like sun-rays
Cease they never from his bow.
To join battle with Ravan
It’s my request O Hanuman
Fetch thou my man with Lakshman.  
Canto 38 - Story to Tell

Respect with all due to her
Addressed Hanuman thus Seetha. 
Surmise I can from thy words 
What a woman of virtue makes.
It was not a fair offer
For the fair sex on my part
Help I them as piggyback.
Intent that thine not to touch
Someone other than thy husband
Made I know thee stay thus put.
One so chastely as Seetha
Is there ever in all three worlds! 


 Won’t I tell Ram in detail 
Spoke thee what and all I saw.
Urge it’s mine to bring an end
To the suffering of thee both
That was at the back of mind
Offered when I thee my back.
Thought I fit to offer help
Takes as it some time for Ram
Reach to Lanka with his force.
Owing to my love for Ram
Without further loss of time
Thought I would fetch his beloved.
Canst if thou come back with me
Bestow something that soothes him.
Moved to core as Rama’s wife
Spoke with ardour to Hanuman. 
Dost thou remind my man then
The story of that amorous crow.
It was during our outing
On the banks of Mandakin
Happened that in broad daylight. 
Stayed we then at Siddhashram
Laid which was in thick garden.
Lay as I in Rama’s lap
Having lapped up garden path,
Got a crow at my bosom 
Dropped I pallu chasing it.
Pushed as that I in dismay
Back it came to try its luck.
Lord mine witnessed that tussle
In which my breasts got exposed. 
Amused by its eagerness
Teased as Ram with innuendos
Kept I blushing all the while.
Scolded him as I roundly
Me he took then in embrace
Smiled he sweetly to soothe me.
Tears that gushed then from my eyes
Streams as they made on my cheeks
Wiped them he to comfort me.  
Sapped as I lay in his lap
Slumbered I for so long thus.
Woke up as I my man took
Turn his to rest on my thigh.
Finding my man in deep sleep
Back came that crow to resume
Beaked it flesh from my bosom. 
Bore all as I fearing that
Gets disturbed my man in sleep
Blood in streams from my valley
Made its way to Rama’s chest. 
Having woke up by its warmth
Saw my Lord then my torment. 
Hurt as I was by that crow
Pearl like breasts mine turned corals.
Saw as Ram that eager crow
With its blood stained beak ’n all
Gripped was my Lord with anger.
Oh, that crow was Kakasur
Happened to be Indra’s son
Known to cover the earth and all
With the matching speed of sound.
Seeing Rama’s blood red eyes
Saw the danger Kakasur
Flew thus swiftly in panic.
Upset by the hurt it caused
To me beloved of his heart
Lost no time Ram to punish it.
Took he some reed lay nearby
Which with power of his mantra
Turned then into Brahmastra.
Chased that missile Kakasur
All the way to Indra’s place.
Even Lord of heavenly gods  
Felt he could not help his son.
Back came that crow to save life
Sought he pardon from my Lord. 
Though Ram came to forgive him
The weapon in use was sure to hurt.
As a way to save his life
Pleaded Kakasur with Ram
Let the damage be limited
To the right eye that he bore.
Having owed his life to Ram
Left then one-eyed Indra’s son.
Wonder how the one who used
Brahmastra on Kakasur
Fails to put the same to use  
To punish the man who confines me?
Is it that Ram fails to know
Bitter would be his better half!
Having taken vow to help
All and sundry in distress
Is it fair for Ram to leave 
His own one thus in the lurch? 
Not the one to act in haste
Hath he patience of oceans.
Hath my suffering not tested
Patience his with vile Ravan?
Aims as he and shoots arrows
Escape none there for his foes. 
If my Lord has some concern
For me forlorn spouse of his
Won’t he come to my rescue?
What of Lakshman his sibling
Moves not one inch in spite of 
The loss of sister-in-law his?
Surely my Lord and Lakshman
On their own can bring to knees
Gods all there in heaven at once. 
Looks like it’s my misfortune
That my Lord and his sibling
Should make no move to rescue
Me from clutches of this man.
Moved as Hanuman by lament
Of the hapless Rama’s wife
Tried he thus to cheer her up.
Swear I to the fact that Ram
Swallowed was by thy sorrow.
Now that I would head to Ram
With the tidings of our meet
Know its beginning of the end
Of thy sorrows of all hues.
For these demons to rue in time
Count on Ram to bring curtains
Down on Ravan’s Lankan stage.
It’s no big deal for Rama
To make cruel Ravan meet
His nadir with all his men.
Let me hasten to thy man
So to convey news of thine.
In spite of the hope it gave
Spoketh in teras thus Seetha.
Tell my man that I live by
Hope of making life with him.
What else can I wish for him
Rama’s dearest brother Lakshman
That he joins his wife soon
Whom he left to serve us both.
Sad it was that he gave up
Conjugal his life for long
So to take care of us both.
He is such a pet of Ram
For he is a handsome man.
Though he is my brother-in-law
Me he treats as mother no less.
If not for his loving care 
In our exile in those woods 
Life would have been hell for us. 
Know that Rama loves Lakshman
Much more than me his own spouse.
Sees Ram their dad in Lakshman
And that helps him soothe himself.
To do the needful for my sake
Trust I would thou spur Lakshman.
Entrust I would thee the task
To goad my man to take me back.
Let my man know I wouldn’t live
Day one longer than one month.
Surely Rama can save me
From the sin of my suicide.
As a token of her love
To be passed on to her man
Gave him Seetha her diadem.
Took that Hanuman in reverence
Matched which well with ring finger.
Felt then Hanuman truly blessed
For the trust that Seetha placed.
Being in front of Seetha
Bore he Rama in his mind. 
At length he came out of trance
Made he move to take her leave. 
Canto 39 - Doubts to the Fore

In her new found hope Seetha
Voiced then her feelings thus:
Once Rama sees this diadem 
Warmth of my love fills his heart.
It’s all left to thee Hanuman
How thou make it back to Ram.
Hope thou slip not on thy way 
So that I could come out clean.
Having assured her Hanuman
Inclined was he to take leave.
Lost her nerve then Rama’s wife
Leave would Hanuman all too soon.
In the choking tone of hers
Encored she her feelings thus:
Tell O Hanuman my concern
To my man and his sibling.
Protocol by thou deem it fit
Regards mine pay to thy folk
One by one to each of them.
Feel I thou art the right one
To goad my Lord to save me true.
Fetch thou Rama for my sake
Earn thee goodwill of us both.
Like a rock thou stand by Ram
Hurricane like stir his conscience.   
Roused if  Ram by thee Hanuman
Know he would turn typhoon then. 
Having heard thus Seetha speak
Assured Hanuman Rama’s spouse.
At the head of vanar force
In no time would land Lord Rama. 
Declares as Ram war on him
Face would Ravan wrath his then.
Surely thy hurt would impart
Cutting edge to thy Lord’s wrath. 
Know thy Ram is all eager
To make thee empress of this world.
At those words of Hanuman then
Pleased was Rama’s spouse no end.
Stood as he to bid adieu
Tried she thus to detain him.
Why not stay  for one more day
Wish I now thou took some  rest. 
Presence thine in precincts these 
Soothes my hard pressed mind as well.
Till thou come back with my man
Wonder whether my life would last?
Visit of thine as soared my spirits 
Fear thy farewell doubles my grief.
Honest to be with thee now
Came to develop on second thought
Doubts on Sugreev’s simian force.
How can vanars ever on earth
And for that matter Ram even
Cross the seas to reach this shore?
For all I know, other than thee
God Vayu and good Garuda
Can none ever cross Lankan seas.
Be that as it may pray tell
How thou could bring vanars all
With Ram ’n Lakshman to this land.
Find if ways ’n means to take
Me back to my anxious Lord
Brings that glory none to Ram.
Regain I but my glory
Go back as I to my folk
With the standard of my Lord.
If my man ever slays Ravan
Battle great in for his spouse,
Enhance that would his prestige
As the one to contend with. 
Battle in that for his spouse
For my Ram to slay Ravan
Pray thee show me script thou have.
Felt then Hanuman Seetha’s words  
Worthy they all woman of note
So he  addressed her nerves thus: 
How thee fail to reckon Sugreev’s
Resolve to win this war for Ram?
To take on Ravan and his men
Know brings Sugreev to Lanka
Tens and thousands of vanars.
Know our vanar force excels
Man to man all Ravan’s men.
Creed it’s that of us vanars
Not to show our backs to foes.
Bears in our force in numbers
None the less than our vanars.
Deem if thou me fit and strong 
Know my folk score more than me.
Came as I here all the way
For the rest all it’s child’s play.
Thus O Seetha in no time
Land would vanars in Lanka. 
On my shoulders take I Ram
As well Lakshman to fly them.
Once they set foot in Lanka
Know that would end Ravan’s reign.
Perish as Ravan and his men
Take thee back would Rama home.
Lurks as Ravan’s end in corner 
Come to quick end thy sufferings. 
As would Ravan bite thus dust
Reach thou thy Lord as free soul.
Bound as Ravan to exit
Bid all sorrows thee adieu.
Though he felt he said it all
Resumed Hanuman on second thought.
Mark my word O Rama’s wife
Man thy would soon kill Ravan. 
So to slay all Ravan’s men
Vanars know need no more than
Mere their nails ’n teeth of theirs. 
Won’t the war cries of vanars
Make all Ravan’s men stone-deaf?
Piqued as by pain in groin 
Caused by longing for thee long
Heat thy man turns on Ravan
Caused who thus thy separation. 
Thus O Seetha be certain
Bound is Ram to take thee back. 
Man as thy hath his sibling 
Face to Ravan’s force in tow
What is there for thy worry?
With the end of Ravan thus
Turn thou new leaf in thy life. 

Canto 40 - Repeats the Dose

Spurred as Seetha by pep talk
Spoke she then with fortitude. 
Words thy no less drops of rain
Land on that so parched for long. 
In the despaired heart of mine
Seed like words as sowed by thee
Seem they turned all sprouts of hope. 
Ever I cherish the time I spent
With my beloved spouse Rama,
Keep in mind to remind my Lord
The tale of crow that lost its eye. 
In that night-long lovemaking
Smudged as dot my vermillion
Remind my Ram that he fashioned
Dot on my cheek not forehead. 
How a valorous man like Ram
Fails to wreck his vengeance on
Man who came to snare his wife? 
Let him know that this diadem
Which I got at our wedding
Helps me think of him fondly. 
Now that I have parted with
Let him know that have I none
Helps that to soothe my torment.
It’s the hope of meeting  him
With which I bear slights all these.
Live I thirty days in hope
Fails if my Lord me by then
Left I with but no option
Than to take my life on own.
Ram if fails to come in time
With no reason to live more,
Ogles at me as Ravan 
Bear I won’t his lustful look.
Sank as Seetha in sorrow 
Spoke thus vanar to cheer her.
Swear I do now by thy man
Fond he is no less of thee.
Now that I traced thee at last
For the end of thy sorrows
Note the count down hath started.  
As and when I let him know
Though art confined by Ravan
To land in Lanka with vanars
Wastes not Ram a second even.
Battle Royal that follows
Ensures Ram would slay Ravan.
To spur on Rama even more
Why not give me something more?
Show if thou him my diadem
To spur him on to fight for me
Need there none for something else.
Enthused by her words Hanuman
Stirred his frame to fly back home.
Grew as he in size Hanuman
In awe Seetha gazed at him.
At the prospect of his loss
Spoke to him in tears Seetha.
Tell my man ’n his sibling
Suffering am in anxiety.
How to rescue me in time
Counsel Rama O Hanuman.
Fare thee well O dear vanar
Know I wish thee bon voyage.
To journey back to Kishkindha
All set Hanuman to leave her. 

Continued to "Rampage in the Park" - Sundara Kãnda


More by :  BS Murthy

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