Continued from "Odyssey in a Nutshell - 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 59 - Pep Talk to Peers
Having told the main story
Fillips these then gave Hanuman.
Heartened that I found Seetha
Glued I then to Rama’s thought.
Lays who store on spouse like her
Woman there none so ever like her.
Ravan is no common man
For he survived Seetha’s ire.
Can turn Seetha to ashes
With her looks the gods even
Should they come ever coveting her,
But Ravan who laid on her
Hands his as he kidnapped her
Came out unscathed from her wrath.
How I wish that I could have
Brought her back to meet her man.
On my own then I could have
Killed all Lankans with Ravan.
Land as we all in Lanka
What would Ravan’s fate be then?
For me to slay all of them
Could have taken day or two,
So to bring them to their knees
Need we but an hour at most.
But then Ravan’s eldest son
By no means a pushover,
Dared he as well subdued too
None the less than Lord Indra,
Shy as gods all from him thus
Hails him world as Indrajit.
How I wish to fly back now
So to make him bite the dust.
With thy blessings on my own
Conquer could I all three worlds.
Were Jambavan to confront him
Where would Ravan hide his head?
Won’t our Angad on his own
Give a run to demons there all.
We’ve Neel ’n Panasa too
Need but fists to smash mountains.
None there ever in angels too
Match who might well Manduni.
What to speak of Dwividu then
Comes when it to fighting foes.
These two of the Aswin clan
Ever eager to fight such wars.
Come not to grief they in wars
Blessed are thus by Lord Brahma.
Partook both they nectar then
Subdued when they angels all.
Having them at our forefront
For us on the Lankan shores
Figure it would make but picnic.
Fire as I set to Lanka
Prayed all Lankans to Lord Ram.
Ram ’n Lakshman I extolled
Besides vanar Lord Sugreev.
Wondered as they who I was
Gave them that I’m Vayu’s son.
As I reached her to take leave
Found Seetha in great distress.
Amidst the guards who circled her
Seemed she full moon sunk in clouds.
Confined as thus by Ravan
Lost she none the sight of Ram.
Thinks she none of another man
Breathes she air that sounds Rama.
Wore she saree same old one
That which she had on her then
Snared when Ravan so long back.
Plaited she seems not her hair
Ever since she was thus confined.
Wont it’s her to chant Rama
Threaten her as and when her guards.
Pester ever as her captors
Rama’s wife is tired of life.
Felt all glad as Seetha learned
Her man made our Lord his friend.
Doomed as Ravan by her curse
Bound to get killed by her man.
Slim as Seetha by nature
Got she slimmer in despair.
Left it’s now to us vanars
How to see her out of woods.
Canto 60 - Angad on Rebound
Spoke thus Angad Vali’s son:
Found as Hanuman Seetha now
Why not we fetch her to Ram?
How it feels if we tell him
Found though we failed to fetch her.
Know we all could fly across
Ocean this vast to reach there
And slay Ravan and his men.
Then we could bring Seetha back
And make Rama meet his spouse.
Slain as Hanuman Ravan’s men
What is left for us to do
Than lead Seetha back to Ram?
Why to bother folk back home
For what we could do on our own?
When he expects her the least
Won’t it be a pleasant surprise
That we fetch her to him thus.
Having heard thus Angad speak
Said then Jambavan in response:
Sent we were to find Seetha
Not to take her back with us.
Exceed if we Rama’s brief
Might we earn his ire as well.
Better we mind all Rama’s vow
That he would slay with his hands
The one who dared to snare his wife.
Should we go by route thee show
Won’t we make him fail his word?
Sounds it prudent that we might
Go back to Ram with her news.
Move thine surely saves bother
For the rest of folks back home
But know Ram would like it not.
Canto 61 - Eying the Madhuvan
At that Angad retracted
Agreed he to fall in line.
Thought it fit then vanar folk
To let Hanuman lead them back.
Moved as they like cloud in skies
Played the sun then hide and seek.
Kept all vanars their eyes on
Hanuman at the head of them.
Felt all they were indebted
For him having saved their lives.
Buoyed were all by the thought
That Ram would be pleased with them,
Proud all felt that they could help
Lord Rama who helped their Lord.
In that mood they saw Madhuvan
Garden like which nowhere there
Full of honeycombs on huge trees.
Garden that was Sugreev’s own
Dared none ever to step in there.
Aided by all well-built guards
Dadhimukh, Sugreev’s own uncle
Guarded that place round the clock.
Tempted as were vanars all
Licked their fingers all of them.
Pleaded all with Prince Angad
To let them have a glassful each
Of honey in plenty in Madhuvan.
Nod as he got from elders
Gave nod Angad to vanars.
Swarmed then simians all over
Honey they savoured to last drop.
Left they not a fruit or root
Fill to the hilt they had all.
In their mirth then those simians
Danced they all till legs them failed.
Sang some then in sonorous tunes
Blabbered others as in small groups.
Pranks they played of every sort
Spared they none of one another.
Leapt as some from tree to tree
Others did jump from branch to branch.
Lost they all then their bearings
Poked some of them their noses.
Turned they naughty all in end
Spread they all then far and wide.
Wretched as made they garden rare
Warned then Dadhimukh all of them.
Heeded but they not his words
Made that Dadhimukh think over.
Took he then them all to task
And that spoiled their party.
Swarmed all vanars then Dadhimukh
As would bees when stirred from comb
And that frightened Dadhimukh then.
With their nails all long and sharp
Scratched as some the garden chief
Dug their teeth strong others in him.
Canto 62 - Orgy in the Garden
At length on the same coin
Paid as Dadhimukh trespassers
Went then Hanuman to save them.
Sending Dadhimukh then packing
Goaded Hanuman them for more.
With that go by from Hanuman
Beseeched Angad then his flock
That they could have more of fun.
Vanars at that hailed Hanuman
As well Angad their young prince.
Having got the license thus
Indulged they in wild orgies.
Cared they two hoots for the guards
And chased them out of that garden.
Having had their fill in time
Vanars then had their siesta.
To take the vanars then to task
Guards all regrouped in their scores.
Drove but vanars all of them
Back to their posts in no time.
Fought then vanars mock battles
Honeycombs with those they emptied.
Vanars some were high by then
Made they beds of leaves to sleep.
Faltered they all in their steps
Tried as some to walk a while.
Stumbled as some in mid-course
Stepped them over rest of them.
Inhaled as though laughing gas
Went on laughing some of them.
Twice shy being bitten for once
Staid put guards all in their posts.
Yet vanars all itched for fight
And threw them all in mid-air.
Injured as they fell on ground
Limped all in pain to Dadhimukh.
Annoyed as he with vanars
Addressed thus the chief of guards.
Time it’s not to lose our hearts
Better we regroup ’n fight them.
Bucked up as all by his words
Back they went to trespassers.
Uprooting a tree Dadhimukh
Signalled he the fight on hand.
Lined up guards all then in files
Marched on rampant vanars there.
Followed suit as some their chief
Lifted boulders others there large.
Angad’s vanars there scattered
Turned they sitting ducks all then.
So to save his men Angad
Took on Dadhimukh on his own.
Half drunk by then as Angad
Gave no quarter to Dadhimukh
And hit him hard with fist his strong.
Fell on floor as then Dadhimukh
Who was none but his grandad
Ceased not Angad to hurt him.
Beaten thus by his grandson
Lost his consciousness Dadhimukh.
Woke up Dadhimukh thereafter
Guards he led back to barracks.
Lost no time the Guards-in-Chief
Addressed his men thus aggrieved.
Serves no purpose to fight back
Appraise we might vanar Lord
Of the havoc wrought by these
To the Madhuvan loves he most.
Be it Angad for such foul
He’s not the one to spare.
Got this garden vanar Lord
As a bequeath from his dad
Who in turn got from his dad.
Treats as Madhuvan as his child
Sure this carnage would outrage
Sugreev our Lord no end now.
Count on me to tell Sugreev
That they be all put to death.
Having spoken thus Dadhimukh
Flew to Sugreev with his flock.
In no time did Dadhimukh sight
Lord his Sugreev with his folks.
Having with his aids landed
Headed Dadhimukh to his Lord.
Saw then Sugreev his uncle
Approach him with dull demeanour.
Led then by the boss of theirs
Guards of Madhuvan saluted
Vanar Lord all one by one.
Canto 63 - Sugreev’s Reading
Fell as Dadhimukh at his feet
Spoketh vanar Lord perplexed.
What’s thy fault that makes thee fall
At the feet of thy nephew?
Fright thine makes me worried man
Harmed might’ve been my Madhuvan.
Ardour thus by Sugreev showed
Moved then Dadhimukh to speak thus:
Though all knew it out of bounds
Trespassed vanars some Madhuvan.
Ignored they all my warnings
Ate they every fruit and root.
Swarmed as by all bees out there
Yet they squeezed out honey in tons.
Having got drunk to the hilt
Mocked they my guards who cautioned.
Guards as there did try to stop
Beat them to pulp those vanars.
Makes me sad that Prince Angad
Aided as well abetted them.
Lay as wounded men of mine
Flung some vanars them sky high.
In thy reign O Lord Sugreev
That’s how folk thine slew our guards.
Having sensed then some import
Enquired Lakshman then Sugreev
What could have gone awry them.
What’s the matter vanar Lord
Why thy folk all look depressed?
Having by then smelt the rat
Appraised Sugreev Lakshman thus:
Complains Dadhimukh my uncle
That Prince Angad and his flock
Ravaged Madhuvan to its roots
As well slew its guards in scores.
If not for the happy end
To the errand on their hand
Would have Angad ever condoned
Deeds those vandal of vanars?
Strong as Dadhimukh ’n his folks
Failed to stop them all in tracks
Would mean spirits of Angad’s flock
Could have soared to skies all high.
Feel I Angad and party
Having by then found Seetha
Would have indulged in orgies.
It’s but Hanuman who could have
Found out Seetha in spite of
Hurdles all there to reach her.
Fails he never to deliver
Backed by Jambavan ’n Angad
Leads when Hanuman from the front.
Turned as joyous by the news
Brought by Hanuman from Seetha
Lost they could have their bearing.
Had not Hanuman sighted her
Dare how they would ever enter
Madhuvan after mine own heart?
It’s but their joy that gave cause
For their pranks all with those guards.
It’s this grasp of their action
Made that Dadhimukh rush to us.
Feel I certain from all this
Found was Rama’s spouse Seetha.
If not Angad would not have
Let his flock thus play havoc
With the Madhuvan of our clan.
With the way Lord Sugreev spoke
Pleased no end was Lakshman then.
Happy was Ram at the turn
Of the tide in Seetha’s search.
Turned then Sugreev to Dadhimukh
Thanked him for the news he brought.
Dispatched Sugreev his uncle
So he sends back Angad’s flock.
No less eager all of us
To hear where Hanuman found Seetha.
Made the joyous look of Ram
Joyous Lakshman and Sugreev.
Continued to "Return of the Platoon - Sundara Kãnda"