What of Seetha? - Sundara Kãnda

Continued from "Advice to Deliver - 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 55 - What of Seetha?

Died as embers in Lanka
So to quench his burning tail
Went upto beach then Hanuman. 
Cooled as he tail by seashore
Felt then Hanuman thus in qualms.
Have I gone wrong by burning
Lanka to the last dwelling?
Was it all wrong on my part  
Lost I bearing in my wrath?
Of all what that afflicts man
Anger takes the pride of place.
Drives to extremes man anger
Thought in his ’n deed as well.
Whoever can nip his anger
In the bud is man seasoned.
Reckoned as I not her welfare
On whom Rama stakes his life
Raison d’etre of Odyssey mine
Doubt there none it’s foolhardy. 
Now that Lanka is on fire
Wouldn’t have Seetha lost her life?
What for came I to Lanka
Is it to kill Rama’s wife?
While the going was so good
How come lost I my bearing!
Spared as fury of Fire God
Not a square inch of Lanka
Where was space for her to hide?
Were Seetha to perish in fire
How am I to show my face
To her Lord who trusted me.
Why not I now end my life 
Why to go to Ram with guilt.
How am I go back to them
How to look all them in face?
How I subscribed to world-view
That vanars wouldn’t get focused!
To let him in spite all go wrong. 
Makes man passion imperfect   
Hear if they that Seetha died
Ram ’n Lakshman won’t live more.
At the death of their siblings
Bharat ’n Satrughn follow suit.
Reign if ends of Ikshvaakus
Orphaned would be world at large.
For the foolish act of mine
Won’t I turn the accursed soul?
As sunk Hanuman in sorrow
Omens he sighted all too good.
Felt he raging flames of fire
Won’t match power of Rama’s wife.
Won’t her aura keep at bay
Flames of raging fire from her. 
Won’t the Fire God himself know 
Touch he cannot Rama’s spouse?
How can ever be Rama’s wife
Destined to burn like some sack? 
As well Agni spared my tail
Would he ever touch Seetha then?
Mainak as did offer help
To sustain cause of Lord Rama
Wouldn’t then Agni follow suit?
Won’t her love for Rama make
Lakshman rekha for Fire God? 
Wavered as thus Hanuman then
Heard he angels speak in awe.
Gods too never dared to dream
Ever would Ravan get subdued,
With Lanka thus now on fire
Lankans have no place to hide. 
What did Hanuman to Ravan
Was like taming lion on heat
In its own den with bare arms. 
Turned though Lanka to ashes
Wonder what made tongues of fire
Leave out Rama’s spouse unscathed!
Having heard all those angles
Spoke of her escape from fire
Heaved a sigh of relief he then.
That Seetha was left unharmed
Made then Hanuman jump for joy.
On the spur then felt Hanuman
Should go back to Rama’s spouse
So that he could take her leave.

Canto 56 - Havoc of a Take-off

Finding Seetha in fine shape
To her Hanuman prostrated.
As bade Hanuman her goodbye
Spoke in fondness Rama’s spouse.
Wish I now thee in some nook
Take some rest for day or two.
Well, O Hanuman thy advent
Made my sorrows turn their backs.
Bring as and when thou my Ram
Know am not sure  whether I live.
Leave as thee to fetch Rama
Wonder whether I stand agony
Replace that would joy thou gave.
Can ever Ram ’n Lakshman cross
Sea this vast to reach Lanka
With the vanar force that’s large? 
In spite of thy words so bold
Find I linger doubts these mine.
Apart Garud ’n Vayu, thou
Who else could cross sea this vast?
Tell me how thou would address
Problem this that confronts Ram. 
If thee take me back I know
Spares the bother for my man
To cross this sea with force of his,
But then Rama wouldn’t have it
Since it’s not the proper way
For him to reclaim his Seetha.
It’s but proper for Lord Ram
That he takes me on his own. 
Measure of Ravan as thou got
Guide my Ram to subdue him.
Impressed as he by her words
Addressed Hanuman her concerns.
Vast is bear and vanar force
To help thy man sure rescue thee
Lord Sugreev mine hath at hand. 
Know our army is so vast
Once it lands on Lankan shores
Fills it to the last square inch.
Ram ’n Lakshman with arrows
Could kill Lankans to last man.
Once they thus end Ravan’s reign
Takes thee back Ram to thy town.
Having endured ordeals long
Time thou embrace hope from now.
Having Ravan seen thus dead
Walk thee would free to thy man. 
Know the day is not far off
Lands when Ram on Lankan shores.
Having said thus Hanuman took
Leave of Rama’s spouse Seetha.
That Hanuman had come and gone
Seemed that all like dream for her.
That he did make Lankans rue
Portend well for things to come. 
Assured that he Ravan’s end
Made Seetha pray Ram no end.
For his take-off to go back
Arishta mountain climbed Hanuman.
Passing clouds made Arishta look   
Like the shy bride that was veiled.
Caressed by those sun rays thus
Seemed it woke up then from sleep.
Water falls of rivers on that
Sounded they like Vedic chants.
Seemed all trees of Arishta then
Like raised arms of scores of those
Ascetics engaged in prayers there.  
Orchestra of magic flutes
Breeze made Arishta’s bamboos turn.
Covered by snow from tip to toe
Seemed Arishta then blissful soul.
Peaks sky high ’n caves all deep
Made Arishta seem cover all worlds.
Flowers varied of myriad trees 
Gave that touch of bridal ware.
Beasts in woods all in their scores
Sauntered in groves that were thick.
Home it made all Gandharvas 
Home away home for all of them.
Herbs it all had so myriad
Made they medicines that varied. 
Set as Hanuman his huge foot
Rocks all got to pebbles reduced. 
In his bid to sail across
Grew he further frame his large. 
Sighted Hanuman sea across 
Crossed that he to reach Lanka.
On his return trip to home
Veteran like he then took-off.  
With the pressure it came to bear
Sank then Arishta deep in ground.
Pressed as Arishta to its core 
Caved in with groan ocean bed. 
Lost as Arishta its bearing
Trees then there got uprooted.
With their fate as thus got sealed
Roared lions all there in distress. 
Flew as Gandharv women all there
Slipped their pallus off their breasts.
Serpents there lay furlongs long
Curled in pits of square foot then.
Angels all then came to rest
On its lovely peak foremost,
With that havoc of take-off
Took flight all of them in fright.
In time only seen was tip
Of that Arishta of great girth.
Left no trace of its glory
At length that peach of mountains.
Unmindful of that havoc
Had a smooth sail back Hanuman. 
Canto 57 -  Flight sans Hassles
Airborne as he so he seemed
Like a mountain with huge wings.
Nagas all from stratosphere 
Saw him then in his flight route. 
Stars all in their resplendence
Saw him as he passed them by. 
Hanuman got a feeling then
Was he there in another world. 
Moved as he thus in high skies
Seemed he swallowed clouds all there.
Picked as up he speed in flight
Seemed as if skies shrunk in size. 
Formed then rainbow in mid-air
Looked that like a welcome arch. 
Clouds as darkened in mid-course
Played he hide ’n seek like moon.
As and when he came in view
In his vest he shone like moon.
Acquired as if Garuda’s grace
With such ease then Hanuman flew.
Seemed then ether spread to world
Words those Hanuman spoke to self
About the valorous deeds of his
Done by grace of Lord Rama.
Approached when he Mainaka
Touched him Hanuman in reverence.
Sighted as he Indra’s hill
Roared then like a lion Hanuman.
Induced by the roars of his
Thundered all the clouds in skies.
Sighted as he home shore soon
Waved his tail in triumph Hanuman.
Sounded as he his comeback
Seemed all worlds then shook to roots.
With such chaos in the skies
Guessed his peers all his approach.
Waited they with bated breath
For Hanuman to come then in sight.
Soared their spirits as with his roars 
Reached they shores to see him land.
Urge of theirs to see Hanuman
Made them all jump up and down.
Jambavan it was then addressed
All the vanars there gathered. 
Doubt there none that our Hanuman
Is well on his way back home. 
Neared as Hanuman southern shore
Raised sea mean level in welcome.
For the sight of Hanuman then
Climbed all vanars then treetops. 
Jumped for joy as those vanars
Fell all leaves from their branches.
Heard they roar of their hero
Raised that decibels all over.
Sighted as all Hanuman soon
Raised they hands in salute then.
Folks as his lay awestruck then
He on Mahendra’s peak landed.
Jumped he down to rejoin
All those vanars whom he left.
In their joy then vanars all
Ran to mob their own hero.
Finding him in pink of health
Sigh of relief heaved they all.
Looked at him all in reverence
Fetched they rare fruits all for him.
Sounding welcome for Hanuman
Gave their throats then vanars all.
To elders all and Prince Angad
For his part then bowed Hanuman. 
Knew as he their eagerness
To hear the story in detail,
As though to save all for Ram
Gave he brief as ‘Seen Seetha’.
Having embraced Prince Angad
Squatted Hanuman there on lawn.
Goaded by the vanars then
Told he how he found Seetha.
In her lament for her man
Found I famished her to bone.
That he himself saw Seetha
Cheered the vanars there gathered.
Roared as vanars with one throat
Shocked were birds all in their flight.
Raised as vanars tails their long
Looked like ladders they to skies. 
Pachyderm like as sat Hanuman 
In their joy they hugged him all. 
Bringing order then Angad
Addressed Hanuman thus in praise.
None can equal thee on earth
Flew who over sea this twice.
Swore as all of us to die
Had thee failed to find Seetha
It’s thy valour saved our lives.
It’s thy reverence to Sri Ram
Made thee as the chosen one
To discern Seetha there yonder.
News of Seetha in his wait
Sure to gladden Rama’s heart.
Clapped all vanars to one man
At what all Angad just then said. 
Kept they silence of pin drop
So that Hanuman could go on.
So to let him unfold then
With their hearts in mouths they sat.
So to catch his every word
Sat next Angad to Hanuman.
With the vanars there thus sat
Seemed the place then royal court. 

Continued to "Odyssey in a Nutshell - Sundara Kãnda"


More by :  BS Murthy

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