|| Sarga 1 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| Om tat sat ||

Sarga 1 Leaping across the seas:

The essential story of Sarga 1 is that having made up his mind about searching for Sita in Ravana's Lanka Hanuman jumps across the seas. Having overcome three major obstacles Hanuman reaches the other shore. There is also a embedded story of Jeevatma and Paramatma in Ramayana. The following is an elaboration of that story.

The very first Sloka in the first Sarga of Sundarakanda has lot of prominence.

తతో రావణ నీతాయాః సీతాయాః శతృకర్షణః|
ఇయేష పదం అన్వేష్ఠుమ్ చారణా చరితే పథిః"||
ततो रावण नीतायाः सीतायाः शतृकर्षणः।
इयेष पदं अन्वेष्ठुम् चारणा चरिते पथिः"॥
Then Hanuman started in search of Sita carried away by Ravana following the path of celestial singers.

The first major fact is that the twelfth letter of Gayatri "Va" is embedded in the word 'रावण/రావణ'

Sundarakanda forms the middle part of Ramayana and the twelfth letter of Gayathri representing the middle syllable of Gayatri, forms an important letter in the first sloka .

In the first sloka we see Hanuman starting off in search of Sita.
How is that Hanuman equipped for that search?
Hanuman starts off with a special order from Rama , carrying a token given by him, in search of Sita.

It means that with the approval of Bhagavan and carrying a token given by Bhagavan , Hanuman starts in search of Sita.

What is the meaning of "Sita"?
Sita in Sanskrit also means that which was found by the plough tilling the soil.
In this body which is the domain of all actions, the intellect locates the "self" by its constant search or digging like the plough tilling the soil. That means Sita is the "Self"

That means Hanuman goes in in search of "Self" which got separated from the Paramatman, Sita separated from Rama.

What is purpose of search. To unite Sita with Rama or the Self with Paramatman.

That means embedded in the story of search for Sita is the search for "Atma"or "Self"
Any such search requires a Guru.
Here the Guru is Hanuman himself.

Hanuman is called శత్రుకర్షనః.That means , he is one who can crush the enemies. Hanuman is the one who can crush the Rakshasas troubling Sita

There is one more thing..

Who carried away Sita?

Ravana means - "రావయతి అసత్ ప్రలాపాన్ కారయతి ఇతి రావణః".
In Sanskrit the one that makes you think of " me" and "mine" and pushes you towards a raving speech is Ravana.

What is that one in the human body which forces the thoughts of "me " and "mine" , without any doubt that is the raging mind.

Ravana is nothing other than our mind.

Sita or the "Self" was carried away by the mind called Ravana.

That means the first sloka says that Hanuman started his search for Sita or the Self which was carried away by a Ravana which is none other than the evil thoughts of the mind.

In the spiritual enquiry the unification of Self or Jeevatman with the Paramatman is the ultimate goal.
In Sundarakanda also it is the same goal.

Reading this first sloka , meditating on this sloka is the way to liberation is the thought of many.
Reading this sloka alone is enough for that purpose

For meditation one needs a Mantra. There are many such Mantras meditating on whom one starts on the steps to liberation

In that process the first sloka of Sundarakanda is a Mantra too !

||om tat sat ||

|| Note for the readers- Although it may not be elaborate as much , most expounders of Sundarakanda say this. This was elaborated by Bhashyam Appalaacharyulugaru as above in his "Tattva Dipika"||