||Sundarakanda||

|| Sarga 20 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||


||om tat sat||

Sundarakanda
Sarga 20

Tattvadipika

After the first sloka in Sarga 20, we hear the uninterrupted dialog of Ravana.
Ravan expresses his desire for Sita in no uncertain terms.

So that Ravana then addressed the unhappy, sorrowing ascetic lady Sita, with sweet and animated words.

'Oh large eyed one! delight of all worlds!
I desire you.
Dear Sita oblige me .
Here there are no other men or Rakshasas who can change their form .
Sita be free of fear you have of me'.

'Oh Timid one, kidnapping by force and
approaching others wives is normal for Rakshasas.
There is no doubt.
Though the passion holds it sway on my body in this way,
I will not touch you since do not desire me.
O Lady trust me.
You have no fear here.
Truly love me. Do not entertain sorrow.

Oh Lady with single braid!
Sleeping on the ground, meditation, wearing soiled clothes,
and fasting without reason are not appropriate for you.
Mythili having secured me ,
you can get wonderful garlands,
sandal incense, several kinds of garments, divine ornaments, rich beds and drinks .
You can enjoy singing dancing and music too'.

'You are jewel among women.
Do not remain like this.
Decorate your limbs.
Lady of beautiful body having obtained me how can you be deprived of any thing.
This beautiful youth of yours thus created will pass away.
Like the fast flowing water it will not return again.
Oh lady of auspicious looks having created you, the creator must have stopped.
There is none who is comparable in beauty to you'.

'Vaidehi after getting you with your extraordinary beauty and youth,
who can retain his mind ?
Even creator cannot.
With face like that of a full moon and heavy hipped ,
when ever I see your limbs, which ever limb I see, I am unable to extricate my eyes'.

'Mythili be my wife.
Give up this delusion.
Be my chief consort among all the several excellent women who have been brought by me and be blessed.
Oh Timid lady ! All the gems and precious things I brought by force from all over the world,
all the kingdom and me too are yours'.

'Oh Lovely lady ! Winning the whole world and all the cities I will give them to Janaka for your sake.
In this world there is none equal to me.
See my unrivalled great strength in battle'.

'Again and again Devas and Asuras with their flags crushed were shattered in battle unable to stand against me.
My desire is that you do best decoration.
You wear radiant ornaments on your body.
I wish you to decorate yourself and wish to see your pleasing form'.

'O Charming lady !,
Timid one, liberally decorate yourself as you like,
Drink and make merry.
Give away land and wealth as you wish.
Being free enjoy with me.
Boldly order me.
Oh Auspicious lady ! By my grace enjoy enjoying with your relations.
You see my wealth and fame'.

'O Beautiful lady !
What will you do with the person in bark robes who renounced victory,
who lost fortune,
who is wandering in the forest , following asceticism , sleeping on the ground.
Whether Rama is alive or not I am doubtful.
Oh Vaidehi ! Rama may not even be able to see you,
like the flying cranes cannot see the moon rays veiled by the clouds'.

Hiranyakasipu was able to usurp the fame from the hands of Indra.'
But Raghava will not be able to get you back from my hands.
Oh Lady of charming smile, lady of beautiful teeth and beautiful eyes,
you have captivated my mind like the Garuda snatching away a serpent.

'Oh Tender woman, wearing only spoiled silk clothes,
seeing you I am not finding love in my other wives.
O Janaki ! Many of the ladies of my harem are endowed with all attributes .
You may exercise authority on all of them'.

'Oh lady with dark hair!
The best among the women in the three worlds,
and Apsarass who are mine will attend on you like Goddess Lakshmi.
Oh Lady of beautiful hips and beautiful eyebrows!
You be happy and enjoy with whatever gems and wealth and those worlds as well including me.
Oh Devi , Rama is not my equal in penance.
Not in prowess or in valor. Not in wealth, nor in brilliance or fame too'.

'Oh delightful one, Heaps of riches as well as lands I am presenting to you.
Drink, sport and enjoy.
Enjoy all pleasures with me as you please.
Enjoy along with your relations'.

'Oh Timid one !
Deck yourself with pure gold necklaces,
enjoy along with me in the enchanting sea side forest groves full of trees with blossoms'.

Speaking thus Ravan tries to allure Sita in many ways.

These are all Ravana's unabashed attempts to woo Sita.

We heard earlier that Ravans name is elaborated as रावयति इति रावणः - Effectively saying that Ravana is no other than our own mind, which finds innumerable opportunities to stray from the path of "Good" and take the path of "Pleasant"

All the innumerable ways in which a mind can be persuaded to wander or stray from the path of "Good" can be seen in the attempts of Ravana to win Sita.

Ravana starts his dialog saying "नेह केचिन्मनुष्या वा" "here there is nobody else". meaning that there is nothing to fear, since no body else is there.

That is how the mind acts in going after surreptitious thoughts

It is a known common failing. When one wants to do some thing that is not normal, he would like to do it when no body is watching him or he is alone. For one whose mind is ever focussed on things other than spiritual pursuits , the mind becomes ever eager to perform dark deeds when no body else is watching, even though the ever present Self is always watching.

Self belongs to Paramatman. But getting hold of that Self, and indulging oneself in all other pursuits of seemingly pleasant ways is the function of mind. Although Self is pure by nature, the preponderance of the ones nature in the form of Tamo Rajo and Sattav Gunas diverts one from the true Self to ego satisfying activities.

Ravana who is the other form of the fickle mind , tells Sita that to steal others wives and indulge themselves is in the nature of Rakshasa.

Thus through Ravan's words the Valmiki is again narrating the truth of the fickle mind indulging itself forgetting the true nature of Self

Mind diverts only those who have no self control. Mind cannot capture those who are of firm thoughts. We hear in Gita too, one who is Sthita pragnya does not waver under any circumstances,

Ravana too acknowledges teh same by saying
"एवं चैतदकामं तु न त्वां स्प्रक्ष्यामि मैथिलि"
Even though it is in our nature - I am not going to touch you since you are " अकामं तु ". You have no desire"

Desire is the cause of bondage
Desiring things other than Bhagavan creates bondage.
Sita desired the golden deer , that resulted in her bondage.
Now Sita's mind is locked on Rama only and Ravan cannot touch her as he says.

"अकाम " means one without any desires . It also means one desiring only "अ" meaning Vishnu. The one who is desiring only "Vishnu" can be captured by anything else.,

All the descriptions used by Ravana such as "एकवेणी" "धराशय्या" "यौवनं" are the same thoughts pushed by the mind too to drive one away from spiritual path. Ravan's exhortation "कुरु गात्रेषु भूषणं" too is the one which is on the top of many a being in pursuit of vanity.

Those who think that this body is the Self believe that the being born is to be wedded to pursuit of desires. Such people are lost in the fear of youth passing them by. Everything is to be experienced in the youth. Ravan keeps referring to the same. Let not your "youth go waste"

But Self is different from the "body".
Self enters the body to seek the unification with Paramatman.
That unification is possible only in the form of human beings.
Being born in human form is like the youth
Before that life is over one must experience the "Self" or "Paramatman"
Otherwise it is also a wasted life.

Here Ravan too presses Sita to leave Rama from her mind and enjoy the life . He praises Sita saying even the creator will want her. He puts down Rama as a simple wanderer in the forest.

Those are all the words of one whose ego is at its height.

Ego boosted by mind with the wealth , the indulgence tries to distance the man from the search of Self

Ravana's words in the end
"Drink, sport and enjoy.
Enjoy all pleasures with me as you please.
Enjoy along with your relations"
The poetic lines with a lilt give a hint of a man walking with swagger and a lilt blinded by his own power..

That is where the mind full of ego positions a man.

Thus Valmiki is presenting the push of the mind towards the path of "pleasant" described by Yama to Nachiketa , in this dialog of Ravana

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