||Sundarakanda||

|| Sarga 13 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||


||om tat sat||

Sundarakanda
Sraga 13

Tattvadipika s

Hanuman in Jnyana maya Kosa

The story of thirteenth Sarga can be summarized as follows.

Though assured by Sampati that Sita is in Ravana's palace, unable to locate Sita , the mind of Hanuman moving about in Ravana's inner palaces , races in all directions.

The main themes of the thirteenth Sarga are the runaway mind, overcoming that runaway mind, breaking free from the bonds of sorrow to start search for Sita again, realizing that the success in the search requires the blessings of the Supreme being and offering prayers to all before entering Ashoka grove to search for Sita.

First we see the runaway mind of Hanuman, who is unable to find Sita in his search.

" What happened to Sita, has she succumbed to Ravana? or did she fall off Ravana who was flying away in a hurry to avoid Rama's arrows? or did she get scared seeing the ocean and die ? or trying to wriggle out of Ravana's grip, did she fall in the ocean? or trying to protecting her chastity , was she devoured by Ravana himself? or was she killed by the many wives of Ravana? or always thinking of Rama she may attained death, or crying "O Rama O Lakshmana" she might have given up her life?" Racing through these thoughts Hanuman travels full circle and comes back to his first question "has she succumbed to Ravan?" and flips it around wondering "How can Sita succumb to Ravana?".

In these thoughts of Hanuman we see the extreme mental agony faced by Hanuman.

The thoughts do not end there.

Hanuman's mind continues to run,.'Whether Sita, is lost or irrecoverable or dead , reporting the same to Rama is not proper. Informing the same is improper. Not informing is also not proper. What to do is difficult to decide".

Hanuman places himself in an acute dilemma.

Then his thoughts move on to possible events if he were to return to Kishkindha without seeing Sita. He sees the huge consequential catastrophe like Rama giving up life on hearing that Sita could not be located, and the subsequent collapse of Ikshvaku race on hearing death of Rama, with Vanaras too perishing on realizing the loss of Ikshvaku race.

Ending these thoughts , Hanuman decides "I cannot go back without seeing Sita . I will not see the king of Vanaras without seeing Sita".

Then his thoughts move back to the search for Sita. He thinks of killing Ravana who is the cause of all the chain of events or capture him and carry him to place him in front of Rama".

Finally he comes back to the resolution that he will keep searching for Sita.
Seeing Ashok grove ahead he decides to search for Sita in that Ashoka grove.

Then that illustrious one, meditating for a moment, frees himself of the bonds of sorrow.
And he prays.

Salutations to Rama along with Lakshmana.
Salutations to the divine lady the daughter of Janaka.
Salutations to Rudra Indra Yama and Vayu.
Salutations to Sun Moon and Maruts'.

That Maruti having offered salutations to all, including Sugriva, then looking in all directions moved towards the Ashoka grove.

His prayers continue.

'May gods here along with all the legions of Rishis give me success.
May the Svayambhu Brahma, Devas , Agni, Vayu , Indra who is invoked in all sacrifices,
the one holding Pasa, Varuna, Soma, Aditya, the two Aswins, Marut all of them give me success.
May the Lords of all beings and quarters help me to succeed.
May those whom I could not see also bring me success'.

Wondering how he will be able to see Sita, Hanuman enters the Ashoka grove.

That is the story of the thirteenth Sarga in Sundarakanda.

This intense mental struggle is representative of the struggle in the Manomaya Kosa to overcome the mind which runs in many ways, unable to distinguish body and the 'Self'

Not being successful in search for Sita, rasing doubts if Sita is even alive, then pondering on the likely events if it is known that Sita is not alive, Hanuman is not disheartened. He gathers himself for action to defeat Ravan ( which is another name for the mind ), or carry him off as a "Pasu" and drop him in front of Rama. Then the hero Hanuman , " वुदतिष्ठन् महातेजा " , got up having won the battle of the mind , deciding to go forward in the search for Sita.

One more thing.

Before entering the Ashok grove, Hanuman prays that search should be fruitful. This tells us that Hanuman too felt that he needed the blessings of the Supreme being to succeed apart from his own capabilities.

This is also the poet Valmiki telling us that in the search for "Self" too , it is not only our effort we also need the blessings of Bhagavan.

The most important sloka in the Sarga is as follows:

श्लो॥नमोस्तु रामाय स लक्ष्मणाय
देव्ये च तस्यै जनकात्मजायै।
नमोस्तु रुद्रेंद्रि यमानिलिभ्यो
नमोस्तु चंद्रार्क मरुद्गणेभ्यः॥

This is a prayer sloka, which can be read over and over again. This is part of the daily Parayana for many followers of Sundarakanda.

In the beginning of Sundarakanda, Sarga 1, we see Hanuman pray to Surya, Mahendra, Brahma and Vayu. before taking the leap.

Now this time before entering Ashok grove, Hanuman prays to Rama and Sita as well as Lakshmana before praying to many others. This is also in a way a hint of the divinity of Rama and Sita.

Here the poet is effectively saying, one who has the blessings of Bhagavan or the blessings of mother Goddess, will be able realize 'Self' and through that he or she also realize Bhagavan.

Praying to all other Gods and achieving their blessings is a way of achieving a clear mind. A clear mind free of attachments is a first step in the realization of 'Self'

Hanuman in praying to all the gods followed the rule of achieving spiritual realization of Supreme one through the process of praying to all forms or any form of Supreme one for attaining the Supreme one.

While jumping across the ocean from the Mahendra Mountain, Hanuman prayed to the Sun, Mahendra and others gods , Hanuman did not use the word "namah". Here in his prayer Hanuman uses the word "namah" three times. We shall also see the significance of the word "namah".

In these prayers we virtually hear Hanuman saying to himself, "Rama is Vishnu , and Sita is his consort Lakshmi. Lakshmi never leaves the side of her consort. To teach the Jiva, Sita is acting as though she is captive of 'Ravana'. How can I be the one to find Sita in this search . This is only my mental mirage. One cannot find Sita in this search on his own. He needs the blessing of the God or Goddess to find her. It is her own wish to be found that will make one find her. Not otherwise." That is indeed the substance of the thoughts behind these prayers by Hanuman

Namah can be explained as follows:
'na'- Not ; 'mah'- mine
'namah' mean that which is not mine

Through these prayers uttering 'namah', before entering Ashoka grove in search of Sita, Hanuman makes it clear that, " I am not the doer. I am only their implement". With this spirit we see that Hanuman is finally able to see Sita.

Saying "नमोस्तु देव्यै जनकात्मजायै", Hanuman explicitly acknowledges, Sita is the form of Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. And Rama is the form of "Vishnu". Only with their blessings can he succeed in his search.

The word "Devi" also means 'the illuminating one', illuminating others, as well as illuminating Self. Sita is called "janakaatmaja", the one who made herself seen by Janaka.

It as though Hanuman is saying to the invisible Sita " O Devi, it was not as though Janaka was tilling the soil in search of you or to find you. You made yourself visible to be found by him. O Devi It is futile to think that I am searching for you or that I can find you. You have to oblige me by making yourself visible. "

That is the spirit of saying "नमोस्तु देव्यै जनकात्मजायै" .

Thus having prayed to Sita, Hanuman moves forward to enter Ashoka grove.

One more thing.

Prodded by Jambavan, Hanuman took up the task of jumping across the ocean in search of Sita. While taking off on his leap, Hanuman compares himself with the arrow of Rama and vows that , " will reach the other end, achieve my goal, or otherwise will capture Ravan and bring him back here". But unable to see Sita , Hanuman goes through this mental torture thinking about all sorts of consequences,. Then he ridding himself of those thoughts , "उदतिष्ठन् महातेजा", the illustrious one pulled himself up and gets ready again for search. This time he starts with prayers for success. The prayers are indicative of the thoughts that success is not based on his own capabilities but the blessings of the Supreme being ".

The thought that springs in these prayers is the realization of Hanuman that it is the blessings of the almighty that will lead him to success. This realization of the truth, makes us also see that Hanuman is in that Gnynamaya Kosa or the sheath of Gnyana the ultimate truth.

So this is the sheath of Gnyana

When Hanuman himself is seen as repository of Gnyana, saying Hanuman realized the truth now would seem incongruous. But then Hanuman had all that ability to cross the ocean . But it is only after the prodding of Jambavan that Hanuman realized his capability and undertook the journey. It is true that Hanuman is also powerhouse of knowledge, but the raging storm of the consequences of his inability to find Sita made him realize the need to seek the blessing of the Supreme being for success of his mission.

Realizing that need is realization of Truth.

The prayers are the result of that realization.

That is the story of Hanuman in "Gnyana maya Kosa or the Sheath of Knowledge.

||om tat sat||
|| This is what we understood from Tattva Dipika of Shri Bhashyam, Appalacharyulu garu"||
|| om tat sat||