Continued from Previous Page
Hanuman thinks long to chalk out a course of action after leaving sita, after having taken the Chudamani. He decides that Asokavana happens to be the dearest thing for Ravana. For one who loves God and dharma, his wife and children should be dear. But Ravana being away from dharma and God holds Asokavana as his dearest object. This again is Taamasaguna. He just wants to via with Kubera nad Indra. While the former has Chaitraradha the latter has Nandanavana. To destroy Asokavana is to rouse Raavana's wrath, to provoke his ire. Thus Hanuman decides on Dandaneeti. Hanuman is Vanara. Vana is brahma and also an Upasana according to Kenopanishad. Vanara is one who lives in and lives with brahma. Meta-physically speaking. Hanuman has been an upaasaka. Once he gets the chudamani vana which has been a vehicle is no longer necessary. He destroys it to provide a fore-taste of Ravana's undoing that is to come very shortly.
The Kavisamrat describes the devastation wrought by Hanuman as seen by the Vana itself. The reaction and the fright caused by the ravage are described by the demons in utter dismay.
The demon-women guarding Sita are thankful that they have not been uprooted, thanks to their proximity to Sita. The call her the one who kept hidden in herself the badabagni.
First Sita has been dari-near. She is sundari too. Now, Hanuman, her Lord's messenger having seen her. She is extremely powerful and she is Tripurasundari. As Lalitashasranama says. She is Sivaa now and Swadheena-vallabha. Now that his messenger has arrived, the rest would be accomplished too. She is Manoroopaikshu Kondanda.
On hearing about Hanuman's prowess. Ravana is first puzzled andshocked. He mounts attack upon attack just to capture or kill a single Vanara. First go the Kinkarasena of 80,000 destroyed by the Lord's Kinkara in just a muhurtakala.
Ravana, the demon-king is a victim of the six enemies-the Arishadvarga. His kaamasena destroyed, he sends Jambumaali, a symbol of Krodha the second among the six eternal enemies. The third attack is led by the sons of his ministers, a symbol of his Lobha. Ravana could have sent his son but he does not at that stage. He is in the vice grip of Lobha or else he would have sent his son Akshakumara.
21st December 1987
Ravana sends yet another huge army to attack and kill Hanuman. Hanuman realises that the ten or eleven armies have been administered a dose of cowardice by Ravana who asked them to attack the enemy in unison.
Hanuman feels that it is much more convenient to destroy them all at once. The seven sons of Ravana's seven ministers and the ten or eleven armies they led are destroyed them all at once. They appear to have come more to find death than to inflict it one the enemy. Hanuman in fact has been annoyed to have been so underestimated.
The more Hanuman exerts himself the more strong he becomes. Hanuman is called Vaanaravyaghra. A roar of his rocked the entire land. The armies have been scared beyond imagination. The eleven generals have been killed as snakes in a terrible swoop by garuda. Those beating a terrified retreat, Hanuman bound in his frightful tail and smothered them to instantaneous death.
Having heard about this, Ravana wants to punish him as a crimina. He decides on sending his son Akshakumara leading the five able generals Virupaksha. Upaksha Durdhara, Praghasa and Bhasakarna. He praises the enemy to rouse their anger against him.
The next battle once again has been an unequal one. Anjaneya has in him the power of the panchabhootas. Those who have come to beat him are but five valiant generals. Hanuman thinks of a strategy. He wades through the river of arrows shot at him by Durdhara like a crocodile. He kills Durdhara first and the rest are described to have been killed in no time. Then comes Aksha's turn. A very valiant son of Ravana, he feels that the jewel given by Nandi would stand him in good stead.
Hanuman's simhanaada is heard in Ravana's court like an awakening cock's crow. Ravana is torn between his duty to his wife and his duty to his land. Now his mada too is gone with the death of Akshakumara. He left with maatsarya. He realises the power of the Lord and asks Indrajit to go and avenge the death of his dear brother.
Rama darsana is possible only when one conquers the six eternal enemies. Aksha is a symbol of mada. Indrajit is a symbol of one who has transcended the Indriyas.
23rd December 1987
Ravana's Son. Indrajit fights with Hanuman furiously. The roar of his bow-string and the terrifying sound of his conch-shell are just ignored by Hanuman. Then he thunders and the meghanaada activates Hanuman. He, in tretun roars like air gushing through a cave.
In the sky, supernatural beings like Garuda, Gandharva, Yaksha, Kinners and Kimpurshas, Siddhas and Charanas range to be the spectators.
Ravana realises that Hanuman is no ordinary foe. He realises that the enemy must be a near equal. Hanuman wishes to see Ravana once and cals down in the fight. Indrajit realises that the result of the attack he mounts is strange. He shoots forth Brahmaastra which renders Hanuman immobile.
Hanuman, being a yogi transcends Samyoga and Viyoja. The Brahmaastra could only strike him with wonder for a while and he falls down almost willingly. Though rendered motionless his mind is alert.
The Kavisamrat lives his characters and feels as his characters do. Hanuman is a case in point. His chitta is free. He is the blessed one. At the abstract level the astra proved effective but is does not harm him thanks to a boon he has been granted by Brahma. Finding his troops binding the foe with ropes, Indrajit feels that the astra is effective and leaves.
Hanuman is taken to the demon king's court. He is struck with Ravana's glory and power. But for his evil nature there would have been nothing that he could not have achieved. He pities Ravana for having utilised all his powers for satisfying his kaama alone.
As for Ravana he is struck aghast. Is this one Nandi, the servant of his family deity ? How did Rama find one like this ? He remembers the curse of nandi and the warning and the prediction of Maareecha.
For the courtiers the two appear to be admiring each other. An expectant silence falls on the court.
Hanuman tells the demon king of his descent and his association with the elemntal deities. The court breaks into derisive laughter and Hanuman's roar silences them.
Hanuman tells Ravana of Sri Rama's power. He is the one who has outwshore parasurama. A worshipful attitude towards him would save him. Ravana not totally unaware of his poorva janma. Iha and para, listens with his head bowed.
26th December 1987
Hanuman's wise counsel-hitabodha-is described at length while he tries his best to make Ravana see reason. He is full of compassion for the demon King's armies he has destroyed, specially for the jeevas. He tells Ravana how conceit could bring deadly consequences. He himself has come there as a messenger and a servant but he is not one to be killed. He warns Ravana of imminent defeat and death. Ravana being a Vedavid should have understood that the divine in the jada is the force keeping any being alive.
It is a pity that such a learned one and knowledgeble Vedic scholar who has kept Sankara in the cage of his own breast should be bound to kaama alone. Kaama binds one to earth while dharma leads to everlasting life.
Restraint is essential for realisation. To desire another man's wife is evil, to desire the guru's wife is to get into a den of poisonous snakes and to desire the wife of Sri Rama is to go into total darkness. Had Ravana brought Sita as mother there would not have been unhappiness anywhere.
Ravana listens to Hanuman's harangue with his head bowed. Kaama is Ravana's obession while dharma is Rama's nishta-commitment. It is only through tyaga-enunciation-that the six ternal enemies of mankind can be won over.
After describing Rama, Hanuman goes on to extol Lakshmana, his humility and his devotion. He is as brave as his brother is serene and peaceful (saantha). He is capable of bearing the entire creation on his head. He is the thousand-headed.
The suggestion is that he is none other than Aadisesha, the Sahasraphan. It is impossible to face the brothers together in combat as it is to face paramasiva and his son Kumaraswamy.
Hanuman describes his attitude of Abedha (no difference) towards (Siva and Kesava. Siva is the one who knows Vishnutatwa best and Vishnu is the one who knows Sivatatwa best.
When we come to think of it even Ravana is not totally ignorant at one level. He sees Sita in Ashokavana, not in the garden of grief. The jeeva in him wants Rama to come.
Ravana orders prosecution and charges are levelled against Hanuman. Vibhishana argues that Hanuman should not be killed if the intention is to provoke the enemy. He should be allowed to go back and bring the others who sent him. It is not statesmanship to kill an envoy. His peroration is that the learned ones do not approve of killing one who comes alone and unarmed. Hanuman connects Vibhishana with the austere abode he has seen.
27th December 1987
Hanuman admires Vibhishana, listens to his arguments in the demon-king's court with rapt attention. Among all the demons killed not even one could have been on Vibhishana's side. His is adaitva paddhati. His logic is impeccable. He is gentle too.
For Ravana, his brother's words appear reasonable and he concludes that his brother approved of the abduction. But then he wonders how he would react when the enemy arrives. Of the various types of punishment like whipping, shaving the head breaking one of the limbs or all the three together, it is suggested that Anjaneya be disfigured by burning his tail. Hanuman wonders what Vibhishana's motive could be. Once his tail is set fire to, there would be two alternatives ; one to get it extinguished in the sea and the other to set Lanka on fire. The fire felt cool when he decided on the second. This is the grace of the Supreme Mother, she being Vahnimandalamadhyasta.
At the end of Divakhanda, Surya, Agni and chandra join. Tejas in all its manifestation is reflected in Hanuman. The sounds Rama has in it are “Ra” the Agnivachaka “A” Suryavachaka and “MA”, the Chandra vachaka.
In the divakhanda Sri Rama's prataapa is indirectly revealed. In Lankadhana the burning down of Lanka, Hanuman's ire and Sita's grief are symbolically represented. Hanuman has not heard of Sita coming to harm consequent on the dahana. It his generally held that She is safe. But the Lord's messenger wants to see her again before leaving Lanka. The nearer he goes to her the hotter it becomes. He waits. Sita opens her eyes with a smile and it cooled down.
The mother subtly suggests that he has been wasting time. She is all anxiety. There is just a month's time left. Hanuman justifies his action as intended to enable him to gather the information that would help him come out victorious.
He leaps once again from Trikuta which is crushed beneath his foot forming a bay rendering Sri Rama's arrival in Lanka easy.
30th December 1987
Anjaneya's flight across the ocean back to Kishkinda is joyful. He makes musical sounds as he proceeds along the skyway. Swato ranjayititi swarah. Swara is a musical note. He is full of enthusiam carrying good gidings and communicating with aakasa.
Jambavan is the first to hear the notes and he sends up a loud cry. Hanuman responds knowing the spot where he should make his descent. Hanuman's first words are telling and brief : Kaanchiti Seeta : I saw Sita. Then he smiles suggesting his making obeisance to Jambavan and others. It is danger and adveristy that bring cut the best in the worthy. He worships the mother as he worship Surya. Sita has been his preceptor in goodha yoga marga. She is compassion incarnate and grief incarnate, dayaavaarirasidynyamburaasi. Her grace is such that fire would not be able to burn those that have her grace. Then he narrates how they set fire to the cloth twisted round his tail. The fire failed to single his tail though the cloth went on burning.
Hanuman narrated to them the happenings at Lanka in a novel and electrifying manner. The Vanaras understand the mother's agnitwa. He reveals great insight in his analysis of the two demon brothers. Ravana nd Vibhishana. While the former wants to strike Sri Rama with grief the latter wants to provoke Sri Rama to set things right, to do justice. He tells his friends how he has found unfathomable depths and unscaleable heights in the divine mother's personality. Of one thing he is quite certain. She has compassion even for the demon-king. It is impossible to describe all her greatness. Anyone would be baffled if one tries to sum Her up.
Then he comes to the point of the urgency of the situation. Time is running out. If Sri Rama does not got to her succour, She would leave this life by yogamaarga.
He tells them how Dhanyamalini stopped Ravana when he drew his sword to kill Sita. If she had failed to stop the demon-king he himself would have fought the evil one.
Sita exists as the angels see her-her body is black with their grief. She just lives on her. Lord's name Ramanaama-without food and without sleep. Ramadarsana frees one form the needs like food and sleep. Valmiki is one such Lakshmana is another and so is Sita. Angada is electrified. Anjaneya's returning alone is nothing. Returning with the treasure is the thing. He preposes that they go together again immediately.
31st December 1967
On hearing Angada's enthusiastic words. Hanuman is reminded of Sita's gentle restraining advice. She is potent ; She can protect herself. Then he remembers her kind words trying to assuage the possible pain She has inflicted on him.
Every one among the Vaanaras is happy to hear of the whereabouts of Sita. Hanuman describes the pervasive moonlight of her presence in lyrical prose. The moonlight appears delicate and beautiful like the sloughs cast off by snakes.
Sita is Chandrakalavidya. Hanuman has travelled through Agnimandala, Suryamandala and Chandramandala and reached the Sahasraara as a Sadhaka. He has traversed through the Brahma Vishnu and Rudra Grandhis. Anjaneya's radiant humility impresses the knowledgeable ones like Mainda and Dwivida.
While crossing the ocean Hanuman felt like his father caressing and embracing him. To the vanaraas listening to his exploits with elation, he narrates his encounter with Mynaka, Dakshayini, Surasa and Lankhini.
Having nearrated all this, Hanuman feels blessed. A delectable kind of joy and ecstasy envelop him. This is “sadhyahparanivruti” consequent on “sitadarsana” Vidyayaamruta masnute.
Sri Rama too feels an ecstatic happiness on hearing the words “Kaanchiti Seeta”.
Sita's beauty in Asokavana comes from her Ramavirahatatwa and Swatmata. Sri Rama is described here as Chandrakalahaasa. This is the first stage to attain the some with all the 16 kalaas.
Asked what and how he talked to Sita, Hanuman wonders and smiles. He knows Sriramatatwa best. He smiles at the Lord questioning him like an ordinary human.
Rama extends his dosili (palms open together) to take the Chudamani. He receives it with all his praanasakti in the dosili. It his a symbol of mantra as power.
Lakshmana tells Sri Rama how Paavani offered to bring Sita on his shoulders. The kavisamrat uses appropriate tropes and literary devices and observes the proprieties. Hanuman tells Rama of Sita while Lakshmana tells Rama about Hanuman's achievement. Sugreeva tells Him about Ravana.
Anjaneya confesses to Sugreeva of the destruction he has wrought on Lanka. Sugreeva tries to mention it to Sri Rama but the latter remains dignified and silent. Sushena and Satavali narrate Sri Rama the incident of Lankadahana. These two consider it a heroic deed. Their words in the morning are in the nature of a suprabhata an awakening ritual to the lord to lead them to accomplish the task ahead.
1st January, 1988
The vaanaraas going round in four directions is suggestive of a pradakshina. The main objective is to prove the askasa lakshana in the divine. In the manipura Vishnu is like a black cloud and his consort Sthirasaudamini a steady and constant lightning.
Sugreeva assembles and addresses his generals in the presence of Sri Rama and Lakshmana. He has threatened his followers with death while sending them on the errand. But had they returned crest-fallen he would have hanged himself. He discovered. He has found 'dik' a direction and a support, a joy and a fulfilment. His success is Her grace. Everything is as ordained by the divine. Our oaths and promises are fulfilled and kept through grace alone.
Jambavan tells the assembled armies that they do not need the usual supplies like food. Nothing is needed except they weigh the strength of the enemy. That is known only to Hanuman.
Hanuman tells the asssembly of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and Ravana's son Indrajit. It is not easy to estimate their strength. No one knows how many boons Ravana has obtained from the various deities as well as Maheswara. He is raakshasa which read backwards is saakshara. He could not be ignorant of the punishment his grievous sin would attract. Kumbhakarna would not wake up. While his palace is ablaze he had to be draged out while he is fast asleep. It might be necessary to kill him in sleep. That would scarcely be against dharma. Ha is a maayavi. It is perfectly acceptable that maaya should be ended with maaya. Balichakravarti for example was destroyed by Vishnu as maaya Vatu, Vamana for transgressing time.
As for Vibhishana he is to Ravana as Lakshmana is to Sri Rama in brotherly love and devotion. Vibhishana knows dharma and his brother's adhamatwa. He has been spared by Hanuman for a political reason too. Hanuman spurs Sugreeva into action. With a signal from a corner of their king's eye, the armies of the vanaraas march to Sahya parvata. It is a natural army sustained by nature.
Sri Rama looks at the ocean and loses himself in Her thought. Prakriti appears to Him as Sita. Sita too should be looking towards him. Their looks form the vaaradhi first. Sri Rama begins pouring out the pangs of his separation to Lakshmana. Lakshmana is the kundalini which knows the intricacies of their love relationship. Sri Rama Himself reveals to him prema tatwa in all its grandeur.
2nd January, 1988
Sundarakanda in the Kavisamrat's Srimadramayana Kalpavriksha comes to a close with two inspired episodes : Vibhishanasaranagati and Setu bandhana. Both reveal Sri Rama in all his divine splendour.
While Sri Rama pours forth the agony of his unbearable suffering of separation from sita to his incomparable brother, the readers and listeners are in Lakshmana's position. The vanaraas may be of the opinion that the two great brothers are discussing strategy. They know not the intensity of His grief.
Sugreeva approaches with his chief associates and tells Sri Rama of Vibhishana who has arrived there with his three ministers. A raajaneetijna that he is, he suggests they be watched.
Jambavan assesses them differently. The truly courageous would never stoop to meanness. Vibhishana could not have been sent by Ravana as a spy. But Sugreeva argues that it would be wise to judge between a serpent and a rope in vivartapadha.
Sri Rama sees a twinkle of devotion and self-realisation in Vibhishana's eyes. He has seen it earlier in the eyes of Guha Bharata, Sabari and Sugreeva-all great devotees. Vibhishana's eyes are the colour of the eyes of Sita-Pingala varna. He looks like humility incarnate. He has in him paadukantadiksha. The radiance in his eyes brings to mind “Brahmapranava sandhananado jyotirmayah sivah”.
Vibhishana wonders at the beauty of the delicate lotus feet of the Lord. They transformed a stone into a woman. Their strength set to nought the power of jamadagni's son. The one who broke the sivadhanus is delicate like a flower pack. He loses no time in seeking refuge in the Lord. The very moment Sri Rama says that he would rule Lanka, his coronation is accomplished. Answering Sri Rama's question, vibhishana suggests that if only asked Sagara would give way.
With satwa Sri Rama tries to invoke the aid of Sagara. Failing to evoke a response he makes a sound with the bow string which shakes the creatures in the ocean bed. Then Sagara arrives with his cansorts Ganga and Kaveri bringing the north and the south together. Ganga is reminded of the vows of Sita and the tears in her eyes appear to be more moving than any Sri Rama has seen so far. Nala's capacity to build a varadhi is suggested. Sundarakanda is the most delectable. The one who knows and comprehends is sundara. The one who knows the monkey in him and destroys it voluntarily is sundara. The one who surrenders himself or leads one to surrender is sundara.
It is impossible to repay the debt we owe to the rishi, the drashta, the sage and the seer. The more we contemplate on the sweet epic, the nearer we go to the divine. Thus concluded Sri Bharata Sarma the service of his discourses at Praturi House.
3rd January 1988