Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sundara Kanda (Adhyaya VII of MahaBharata Tatparya Nirnaya)

My alpa prayatna, may Sri Hari Vayu grant me the strength to do this post more justice. I'll shall add more details as and when possible.

About SundarKanda

SundarKanda is the 5th Kanda in Valmiki Ramayana ( Bal Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkinda Kanda, Sundar Kanda and Yuddha Kanda )
SundarKanda is the 7th Adhyaya in MahaBharata TatParya Nirnaya (MBTN) of Sri Madhvacharya. This a scholarly work, condensing 68 chapters into just 50 shlokas is phenomenal.

Sundar Kanda primarily deals with the journey of Hanuman from KanyaKumari to Lanka, his meeting with Seeta Akruti, his war with the Rakshasas, setting fire to Lanka, his journey back and presenting Sri Rama with choodamani.

Sundar Kanda starts with Hanuman's leap across to Lanka and ends with Sri Rama's embrace to Hanuman for all his achievements. (MBTN)
Some renditions of Valmiki Ramayana end Sundar Kanda with the presentation of Seeta Akruti's Choodamani to Sri Rama

SundarKanda is totally unique
 - The Name SundarKanda (beautiful chapter) itself is unique, no other chapter has a complete adjective describing it's name like this.
     Sri Valmiki found this to be the most beautiful chapter out of all the chapters
 - Vayu Jeevothamma is out and out the theme; which the core essence of Madhwa siddhanta
 - There are serveral lessons that are to be learnt, which we will see as we proceed.
 - Sundara Kanda contains the whole of Ramayana in brief
    - Hanuman describes the whole story before Sundar Kanda to Seeta Akruti
    - SundarKanda in itself
        - Current narration and
        - In Valmiki Ramayana, Sri Hanuman explains all his exploits to the kapi sena after returning from Lanka. Some books omit these one/two chapters, because they see this as a repetition.
            Hence some books of Valmiki Ramayana have 66 chapters while others have 68 chapters.
            This chapter of Sri Hanuman narrating SundaraKanda in SundarKanda, clearly matches Sri Madhvacharya's SundarKanda Nirnaya
    - Hanuman also assures Seeta Akruti that Sri Rama will come defeat Ravana and take Seeta back to Ayodhya and rule (After SundarKanda in brief)
 - The miracles that happen with daily chanting of SundarKanda are enormous, which I leave the readers to test and verify for themselves, if people can share their experiences I would be greatly obliged

Prologue about SundarKanada

The Vanara sena headed by Jambhavanta (same as the one in Syamantaka mani episode in Mahabharata ), Angada who is Yuvraja and Chandra avataara (Abhimanyu in next avataara) and Sri Hanuman (Vayu Devaru avataara)
which comprise of the Southern search party for Seetha Akruti have been informed by Sampathi (brother of Jatayu) that Seeta Akruti is present in Lanka under Ashoka Tree. Lanka is 100 yojanas across the ocean.
The monkeys state their powress, one by one all below 100. Jambavanta mentions he could have done 100, but he hit his leg against Meru Parvata because of that he can jump 96 yojanas. Angada mentions he can jump 100 yojanas; but he would not have the strength to make the return journey.
The whole army speaks except for Sri Hanuman. All the monkeys, headed by Jambavanta approach Sri Hanuman and request him to make the jump. Hanuman immideately agrees, increases his size to be as tall as the mountain and is ready to jump.

* - During Vamana avtaara of Sri Hari, when Bali was vanquished by Trivikrama roopa of Sri Hari; Jambavanta was excited and jumped up in the sky to announce that Sri Hari was victorious to all the lokas. During this jump he hit his knee to Meru Parvata.
* - A popular version is that Sri Hanuman had forgotten his strength due to shapa of Rishi's. Although it is probable that the shapa is there, Sri Hanuman is way way above in the Taratamya, so Rishi's shaapa are no obstacle for Sri Hanuman


Since there are a lot of points to be discussed, I'm logically separating the events to look at each aspect in more detail

The Leap across the ocean

Just before the jump, Sri Hanuman increases his size to be as tall as the mountain; Valmiki Ramayana mentions Sri Hanuman prays to Sun-God, Lord Indra, God of Wind, Lord Brahma and Bhutas.
Sri Hanuman prays to the antaryami Sri Hari in all of these (for ex. Surya means Surya antaryami Surya Narayana etc.); this is more of a teaching for us. Also these are the Demi Gods whose varas he is going to overtake, hence a forementioned statement by Sri Hanuman.
Valmiki Ramayana gives a detailed and graphic representation of the Jump itself; when Sri Hanuman of the size of a mountain, presses his foot in the ground to jump, a depression is formed, the mountains shake, sulphur springs erupt and the mountain is basically flattened.
The velocity of the jump is so much that wind pressure uproots trees and the trees follow the trail of Sri Hanuman for some distance. Valmiki mentions it was like relatives, accompanying a loved one for a short distance while going on a long journey.
The flight itself is very graphic and the scenery is described with great accuracy. People who have travelled in flights can vouch for the details mentioned in SundarKanda.

Obstacle #1
Mainka Parvata (Mountain of Gold)- Was saved by Vayu and Sagar is Suryavamasha; so as service to Sri Hari Vayu, he requests Sri Hanuman to rest for a while.
Sri Hanuman is Vayu Devaru avataara. He needs no rest, shvasa-japa portfolio is awarded to Sri Hanuman because all Gods below him need rest at some or the other point.
Sri Hanuman appreciates the offer but declines it, he touches Mainaka Parvata as a token and proceeds.
Learning :
#1 Just the sankalpa of Sri Hari Vayu seve will send many riches your way (mountain of gold). SathyaNarayana pooje is full of such stories as well. Imagine how much the actual seve can fetch you.
#2 No rest should be taken when it is not required
#3 Sri Hari seve always comes first no matter what
#4 No amount of temptation(monetary or otherwise) should deter us from Sri Hari seva

Obstacle #2
Surase mother of Nagas is given a boon by the devates and sent to test Sri Hanuman. She is given a boon, that whatever she wishes will fall in her mouth. SriHanuman decides to honour this boon, he expands to 100 yojanas, Surase expands her mouth as well, before she can close it, Sri Hanuman reduces his size to a thumb, enters the mouth of Surase and comes out.
#1 Satisfied boon conditions but did not obstruct Sri Hari's work
#2 Some situtations should be dealt with tact, even though he could overcome the situation; he used his intellegence to diffuse the situation

Obstacle #3
Simihka a raskhasi has a boon by Brahma Devaru to be able to catch people from their shadow. She catches Sri Hanuman's shadow, although fully capable of escaping this, Sri Hanuman enters her mouth, tears her heart and kills the demoness
#1 Satisfied BrahmaDevaru's boon, but did not obstruct Sri Hari's work
#2 Some situations need to be dealt with force, tact will not work always neither does force. The challange is to use optimum tact and force.

Landing on Trikuta

Sri Hanuman lands in Lanka on Trikuta Parvata, flatnning it, thereby reducing the fortification of Lanka further.
Valmiki Ramayana clearly mentions that Sri Hanuman tells that although he has flown across the ocean and has overcome demons; he isn't even a bit tired.
This reflects the tattva that Vayu accomplishes tasks without even the slightest effort and that he was the suprememost vanar.
Sri Hanuman reduces his size to that of a cat and enters Lanka during nightfall. Night is when the rakshasas power double, so it is like entering a double danger zone.

Search for Seeta Akruti (Description of Lanka)

Sri Hanuman overtakes Lankini the gram devate of Lanka which proves Sri Hanuman is higher than any Gram Devate.

Valmiki Ramayana gives a very detailed and graphic description of Lanka, the splendid buildings, the arches, the decorations etc.

The pubs of Lanka are described in vivid detail; it's not possible for such glamourous pubs to even exist today.

The night life of Lanka includes description of drunk women strewn on the street with their clothes displaced and exposed.

This incident is clearly very relevant on a more subtle level.

If you see girls dressed inappropriately either drunk or in the name of fashion or whatever reason, does it constitute bhanga of Brahmacharya?
Sri Hanuman puts up this question for himself and replies in the negative, the reason; no matter how inappropriately the women are dressed, Sri Hanumans mind is not diverted from Sri Rama even for a second and therefore does not constitute bhanga of Brahmaacharya.

This is a very big learning for us.

#1 In this age of onsite travel craze; it reveals how to behave onsite. Some people try to justify saying following Dharma in India is fine but outside is not possible. Sri Hanuman is not one bit moved by all the grandeur. Valmiki Ramayana records a statement of Sri Hanuman saying that all this beauty is going to get destroyed by Sri Rama; because ravana opposes Sri Rama.
#2 Maintaing Sri Hari Dharma inspite of kaliyuga and the circumstances. (ravana is kali avataara, so Lanka is kali rajya)
#3 Sri Hanuman searches all of Lanka, inspite of Sampati telling him location previously, is sign of perfection. Because there is no garuntee that ravana would have kept Seeta akruti in the same place.

Meeting of Sri Hanuman and Seetha Akruti

SriMadacharya uses two words to describe this conversaton which is detailed in Valmiki Ramayana : Naraloka Vidambana
There are daityas in the universe who have the power to observe everything, these daityas don't deserve moksha. Hence this vidambana is acted out, so the daityas reach Tamas
This discussion is of great importance; because it brings out important teachings.
Before Seetha Akruti believes Sri Hanuman to be Sri Rama's messenger, she asks him to describe Sri Rama. There is a chapter in Valmiki Ramayana, completely dedicated to Sri Hanuman's description of Sri Rama.

Humility of Hanuman, Sri Hanuman to inspire confidence in Seeta Akruti mentions that he is the last kaapi (like a water boy) in the kaapi sena.

Sri Hanuman gives Sri Ramas ring as a sign of Sri Hari's authority and Seetha Akruti gives Sri Hanuman her choodamani (Ornament to tie hair) as a sign of surrender.

#1 Before believing in a Guru, you can measure the depth of faith of Guru in God itself.  Trivikrama Panditacharya places all his doubts before Sri Madhacharya, once they are all cleared effortlessly, he accepts SriMadhacharya as his Guru.

AshokaVana Bhanga

Sri Hanuman destroys all the trees except the Simshupa tree under which Seeta is present. Scholars and Learned people compare this to SriMadacharya crtizing all the wrong bashyas of Brahma Sutra and establishing the correct Matha of Tattvavada.
Valmiki Ramayana clearly mentions that Sri Hanuman, was unarmed. He took weapons like an iron bar from the iron gate and killed crores of soldiers.
Ashoka Vana Bhanga creates a lot of Shoka or sadness for ravana. he dispatches a battalion of army called kinkaras. These kinkaras are as valiant as ravana and almost equally powerful. Sri Hanuman destroys them, effortlessly.
Sri Hanuman then destroys the rakshasa temple and proclaims Sri Rama is sarvothamma. Seven ministers sons as huge as mountains and protected by boons of Rudra and Brahma of immortality come to fight with 80 crore soldiers. Sri Hanuman kills them all along with the seven sons of ministers.
aksha kumar son of ravana is dispatched; Sri Hanuman calculates that aksha kumar is as powerful as ravana. ravana, aksha kumar and indrajeet form a trio; so killing aksha kumar will reduce ravanas strength by 1/3 rd. Sri Hanuman catches akshakumar's legs wheels him in the air and dashes him to pieces.
indrajeet comes next and is frustrated as he is no match Sri Hanuman. indrajeet uses the brahmastra; Sri Hanuman thinks that he has violated plenty of boons already, so he'll honour this one. Sri Hanuman also wants to talk to ravana, so this is an oppurtunity to speak to him and accepts to get binded by the astra; even though he can overcome it.
The other rakshasa immideatly bind him with jungle vine and ropes. This is a very big insult to the BrahmaAstra and shows clearly asuric mentality; they cannot trust anything sattvik and suffer as a result.
This is like; taking influence of constable when Commisioner is already doing your job for you. If the commisioner sees that you have asked the constable to do the job; then he'll just back off and you can't use that influence again.

Lanka Sabha

Sri Hanuman is calm and Valmiki Ramayana mentions that Sri Hanuman thinks that even if these rakshasas want to harm me they cannot so he lets them play for a while.
Sri Hanuman is asked who/what/why/where about him. Instantly Sri Hanuman declares that he is Sri Rama's dasa and has come as a messenger of Sugriva.
Sri Hanuman warns ravana to mend his ways else he'll suffer the same consequence of his army. When Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma cannot stand before Sri Rama; how does he taking their boons hope stand in front of him.
Hanuman's tail is set on fire

#1 Sri Hanuman is preaching Dasoham and Sri Rama sarvothamma and ravana is pratika of Aham Brahmasmi. Who won??? You decide
#2 ravana is scared of Sri Hanuman because he could not be vanquished even by BrahmaAstra so he can't think of anything to do; hence the setting of tail on fire. Sri Vibeeshana is a satvik soul, but it should not be thought that he saved Sri Hanuman's life

Burning of Lanka

Sri Hanuman remains calm and goes around Lanka and observes it even more minutely this time to help Sri Rama's army. Agni is called MaruthSaka; meaning Vayu's friend more appropriately dependent on Vayu.
With the power of his Tejas Sri Hanuman sets fire to the whole of Lanka except Vibheeshana's house and Seetha Akruti's tree.

#1 Can you melt gold with a rag and oil. Gold needs extreme temprature to melt. Sri Hanuman burnt down Lanka with his tejas. Vishwakarma had made Lanka fireproof; but Lanka burnt. This is proof Sri Anjaneya's power.
#2 All the rakshasas were mute spectators to this feat of Sri Hanuman; they had no astras, no weapons to nullify this fire.
#3 It was rakshasa captial full of Aham Brahmasmi's, Sri Hanuman was alone and more than sufficient.

Returning to Kapi Sena

Sri Hanuman extinguishes the flame on this tail by just dipping it in the sea. (Again shows nimmita matra, can an oil fire be doused by water)
Sri Hanuman narrates his experiences to the Kapi Sena and they return to Kishkinda, near Kishkina there is honey forest. All the monkeys are giving permission to wreck havoc in the forest and enjoy the forest.
The "honey" news reaches Sri Rama and then Sri Hanuman appears before Sri Rama and presents the Choodamani and the news of Seeta Akruti to Sri Rama.
Sri Rama then commends Sri Hanuman and embraces him for his exception service rendered. This is the granting of Brahma Padvi to Sri Hanuman in the next kalpa by Sri Rama.

#1 The rest of the monkeys and Jambavanta travelled to the sea shore, waited for Sri Hanuman while he single handedly accomplishes the task to perfection. The monkeys then accompany Sri Hanuman back.
In the madhuvan, Sri Hanuman allows everyone else to enjoys all the fruits of his heroic deeds and they celebrate.


The most authentic and concise account of SundarKanda is found in the 7th Chapter of SriMadAcharya's MBTN.
It's a first party account (SriMadAcharya himself is Hanuman), it's concise(~50 shlokas), extremely effective (you have to try it to believe it, just one recitation with conviction can perform miracles.).
I'll add the translation as per Sri Hari Vayu anugraha, I'll thought I'll put out the text for now.

Learned people have advised that if you are pressed for time and have to choose between Sri HariVayuStuti and SundarKanda Nirnaya; choose this. If you learn this by rote should take you about 10 mins. Chant this as many times as you can as the magic unfold !!!

Vidyabhooshan has a good rendering that I heard which might help to learn by rote

SRIMAN Mahabharatha Thathparya Nirnaya
Srimad Ananda Theertha

atha saptamo.adhyAyaH


OM ||
rAmAya shAshvatasuvistR^itashhaDguNAya sarveshvarAya sukhasAramahArNavAya | natvA lilaN^ghayishhurarNavamutpapAta nishhpIDya taM girivaraM pavanasya sUnuH || 7.1

chuxobha vAridhiranuprayayau cha shIghraM yAdogaNaiH saha tadIyabalAbhikR^ishhTaH | vR^ixAshcha parvatagatAH pavanena pUrvaM xipto.arNave girirudAgamadasya hetoH || 7.2

syAlo harasya giripaxavinAshakAle xiptvA.arNave sa marutorvaritAtmapaxaH | haimo giriH pavanajasya tu vishramArthamudbhidya vAridhimavarddhadanekasAnuH || 7.3

naivAtra vishramaNamaichchhata niHshramo.asau niHsImapaurushhaguNasya kutaH shramo.asya | Ashlishhya parvatavaraM sa dadarsha gachchhan devaistu nAgajananIM prahitAM vareNa || 7.4

jij~nAsubhirnijabalaM tava bhaxametu yadyat tvamichchhasi tadityamaroditAyAH | AsyaM pravishya sapadi praviniHsR^ito.asmAd devAnanandayaduta svR^itameshhu raxan || 7.5

dR^ishhTvA surapraNayitAM balamasya chograM devAH pratushhTuvuramuM sumanobhivR^ishhTyA | tairAdR^itaH punarasau viyataiva gachchhan chhAyAgrahaM pratidadarsha cha siMhikAkhyam || 7.6

laN^kAvanAya sakalasya cha nigrahe.asyAH sAmarthyamapratihataM pradadau vidhAtA | chhAyAmavAxipadasau pavanAtmajasya so.asyAH sharIramanuvishya bibheda chA.ashu || 7.7

nissImamAtmabalamityanudarshayAno hatvaiva tAmapi vidhAtR^ivarAbhiguptAm | lambe sa lambashikhare nipapAta laN^kAprAkArarUpakagirAvatha saJNchukocha || 7.8

bhUtvA bilALasamito nishi tAM purIM cha prApsyan dadarsha nijarUpavatIM sa laN^kAm | ruddho.anayA.a.ashvatha vijitya cha tAM svamushhTipishhTAM tayA.anumata eva vivesha laN^kAm || 7.9

mArgamANo bahishchAntaH so.ashokavanikAtaLe | dadarsha shiMshapAvR^ixamUlasthitaramAkR^itim || 7.10

naralokaviDambasya jAnan rAmasya hR^idgatam | tasya cheshhTAnusAreNa kR^itvA cheshhTAshcha saMvidaH | tAdR^ikcheshhTAsametAyA aN^gulIyamadAt tataH || 7.11

sItAyA yAni chaivA.a.asannAkR^itestAni sarvashaH | bhUshhaNAni dvidhA bhUtvA tAnyevA.asa.nstathaiva cha || 7.12

atha chULAmaNiM divyaM dAtuM rAmAya sA dadau || 7.13

yadyapyetanna pashyanti nishAcharagaNAstu te | dyulokachAriNaH sarvaM pashyantyR^ishhaya eva cha || 7.14

teshhAM viDambanAyaiva daityAnAM vaJNchanAya cha | pashyatAM kalimukhyAnAM viDambo.ayaM kR^ito bhavet || 7.15

kR^itvA kAryamidaM sarvaM vishaN^kaH pavanAtmajaH | AtmAvishhkaraNe chittaM chakre matimatAM varaH || 7.16

atha vanamakhilaM tad rAvaNasyAvalupya xitiruhamimamekaM varjayitvA.a.ashu vIraH | rajanicharavinAshaM kAN^xamANo.ativelaM muhuratiravanAdI toraNaM chA.a.aruroha || 7.17

athAshR^iNod dashAnanaH kapIndracheshhTitaM param | didesha kiN^karAn bahUn kapirnigR^ihyatAmiti || 7.18

samastasho vimR^ityavo varAddharasya kiN^karAH | samAsadan mahAbalam surAntarAtmano.aN^gajam || 7.19

ashItikoTiyUthapaM purassarAshhTakAyutam | anekahetisaN^kulaM kapIndramAvR^iNod balam || 7.20

samAvR^itastathA.a.ayudhaiH sa tADitashcha tairbhR^isham | chakAra tAn samastashastaLaprahArachUrNitAn || 7.21

punashcha mantriputrakAn sa rAvaNaprachoditAn | mamarda sapta parvataprabhAn varAbhiraxitAn || 7.22

balAgragAminastathA sa sharvavAksugarvitAn | nihatya sarvaraxasAM tR^itIyabhAgamaxiNot || 7.23

anaupamaM harerbalaM nishamya rAxasAdhipaH | kumAramaxamAtmanaH samaM sutaM nyayojayat || 7.24

sa sarvalokasAxiNaH sutaM sharairvavarshha ha | shitairvarAstramantritairna chainamabhyachAlayat || 7.25

sa maNDamadhyakAsutaM samIxya rAvaNopamam | tR^itIya eshha chAMshako balasya hItyachintayat || 7.26

nidhArya eva rAvaNaH sa rAghavasya nAnyathA | yadIndrajinmayA hato na chAsya shaktirIxyate || 7.27

atastayoH samo mayA tR^itIya eshha hanyate | vichArya chaivamAshu taM padoH pragR^ihya pupluve || 7.28

sa chakravad bhramAturaM vidhAya rAvaNAtmajam | apothayad dharAtaLe xaNena mArutI tanuH || 7.29

vichUrNite dharAtaLe nije sute sa rAvaNaH | nishamya shokatApitastadagrajaM samAdishat || 7.30

athendrajinmahAsharairvarAstrasamprayojitaiH | tataxa vAnarottamaM na chAshakad vichAlane || 7.31

athAstramuttamaM vidheryuyoja sarvadushhshhaham | sa tena tADito harirvyachintayannirAkulaH || 7.32

mayA varA vilaN^ghitA hyanekashaH svayambhuvaH | sa mAnanIya eva me tato.atra mAnayAmyaham || 7.33

ime cha kuryuratra kiM prahR^ishhTaraxasAM gaNAH | itIha laxyameva me sa rAvaNashcha dR^ishyate || 7.34

idaM samIxya baddhavat sthitaM kapIndramAshu te | babandhuranyapAshakairjagAma chAstramasya tat || 7.35

atha pragR^ihya taM kapiM samIpamAnayaMshcha te | nishAchareshvarasya taM sa pR^ishhTavAMshcha rAvaNaH || 7.36

kape kuto.asi kasya vA kimarthamIdR^ishaM kR^itam | itIritaH sa chAvadat praNamya rAmamIshvaram || 7.37

avaihi dUtamAgataM durantavikramasya mAm | raghUttamasya mArutiM kulaxaye taveshvaram || 7.38

na chet pradAsyasi tvaran raghUttamapriyAM tadA | saputramitrabAndhavo vinAshamAshu yAsyasi || 7.39

na rAmabANadhAraNe xamAH sureshvarA api | viriJNchisharvapUrvakAH kimu tvamalpasArakaH || 7.40

prakopitasya tasya kaH purasthitau xamo bhavet | surAsuroragAdike jagatyachintyakarmaNaH || 7.41

itIrite vadhodyataM nyavArayad vibhIshhaNaH | sa puchchhadAhakarmaNi nyayojayannishAcharAn || 7.42

athAsya vastrasaJNchayaiH pidhAya puchchhamagnaye | dadurdadAha nAsya tanmarutsakho hutAshanaH || 7.43

mamarshha sarvacheshhTitaM sa raxasAM nirAmayaH | baloddhatashcha kautukAt pradagdhumeva tAM purIm || 7.44

dadAha chAkhilaM puraM svapuchchhagena vahninA | kR^itistu vishvakarmaNo.apyadahyatAsya tejasA || 7.45

suvarNaratnakAritAM sa rAxasottamaiH saha | pradahya sarvashaH purIM mudA.anvito jagarja cha || 7.46

sa rAvaNaM saputrakaM tR^iNopamaM vidhAya cha | tayoH prapashyatoH puraM vidhAya bhasmasAd yayau || 7.47

vilaN^ghya chArNavaM punaH svajAtibhiH prapUjitaH | prabhaxya vAnareshiturmadhu prabhuM sameyivAn || 7.48

rAmaM sureshvaramagaNyaguNAbhirAmaM samprApya sarvakapivIravaraiH sametaH | chULAmaNiM pavanajaH padayornidhAya sarvAN^gakaiH praNatimasya chakAra bhaktyA || 7.49

rAmo.api nAnyadanudAtumamushhya yogyamatyantabhaktiparamasya vilaxya kiJNchit | svAtmapradAnamadhikaM pavanAtmajasya kurvan samAshlishhadamuM paramAbhitushhTaH || 7.50

iti shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryavirachite
shrIrAmacharite hanUmatpratiyAnaM nAma saptamo.adhyAyaH

भारती रामन मुख्या प्रण अनातार्गता श्री  क्रिश्नार्पनामास्तु

1 comment:

  1. PLEASE change the heading..... Sundara kanda is from Ramayana and not from Mahabharatha.