||Sundarakanda||

|| Sarga 1 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||


|| Om tat sat ||

तत्त्व दीपिक ... धृतिर् दृष्ठिः मतिर् दाक्ष्यं .. - First Sarga!

"रामार्थं वानरार्थं च"
" for Rama and for the Vanaras ".
Sagara sees Hanuman flying across the skies to accomplish Rama's task and in turn work for the benefit of Vanaras.

Saagara grew under the patronage of Sagara, the Ikshvaku king. So Saagara feels obliged to help the scion of Ikshvaku line.

He gives his own reasoning

"कर्तव्यं अकृतं कार्यं
सतां मन्युमुदीरयेत्"।

"An action that needs to be performed if not performed, that is indeed to be indicted. or it will anger the learned ones.

To return a favor is indeed a well known dictum. .
In that line of thinking the Ikshvakus indeed need to be repaid by Saagara.
That is the thinking of Saagara. Not doing so is indeed improper.

So the Ikshvakus minister Hanuman flying across the seas to accomplish the task of Rama of Ikshvakus line is to be helped . Helping Hanuman is same as helping Ikshvakus

So to help Hanuman Saagara tells Mainaka, the mountain lying in the sea blocking the path of Asuras from the nether world. With a capacity to grow up or across or down, if Mainaka grows up above the sea then Hanuman can rest in its peaks and proceed. That is Saagara's thought. And he tells the same to Mainaka .

As soon as he was told thus, Mainaka grows up above the ocean with his peaks having golden glitter in the bright Sun light. Seeing Mainaka the mountain appearing in the way, Hanuman thought it is an obstruction . With a push using his chest he moves Mainaka away from his path.

Then Mainaka assumes a human form and explains to Hanuman the wish of Sagara to help Hanuman , as well as his own wish to help Hanuman, since he himself was the beneficiary of help from Hanuman's father Vayu. He requests Hanuman to rest on his peaks and then proceed.

Hanuman's reply is indeed brief and illuminating.

|प्रीतोस्मि। कृतं आतिथ्यं। मन्युरेषोपनीयताम्। त्वरते कार्यकालो मे।अहः च अपि अतिवर्तते। प्रतिज्ञाच मया दत्ता। नस्थातव्यं इह अंतरे॥"

"Delighted. Pleased with the hospitality. Do not insist. Delayed in discharging my duty. Have taken a vow. Not to stop in the middle of my path.

This is a brief discuss on without using any extra words and it indicates Hanuman's hurry,

Saying " before starting I have taken a vow, so I cannot stop".
Hanuman also continues the identification of himself with the arrow of Rama.
Rama's arrow does not stop. Nor should he stop.

Here Valmiki is also telling us an accepted norm. Once one takes up a task he cannot leave the task and take up another task. One cannot leave task on hand and take up another.

If indeed there is an invitation to digress, one should move away from such task politely like Hanuman, and continue on his own path.

There another point made by Valmiki..
"अतिथिः पूजार्हः
" Guest deserves hospitality.
That is Dharma,
On top of that if a Noble man comes as a guest,
There is no doubt at all.

Even as we go through the story of Hanuman crossing the ocean, we notice that the story of human being crossing the ocean of Samsara continues. Sadhaka is the one trying to accomplish the goal of crossing the ocean of Samsara. His characteristics are all well described in presenting Hanuman. Sadhaka , the one travelling the spiritual path moves ahead dependent only on his faith in the Bhagavan. To start on this path itself is the first difficult task. That is what Hanuman too achieved as the first task. The second difficult task accomplished by Hanuman is to continue on his path inspite of the offers of hospitality from Saagara and Mainaka.

Once you are on that path there will be others wanting to appreciate you, favor you and distract you. Like Hanuman, without losing sight of the ultimate task, one should move on. To continue on that path is indeed the second difficult task for the man set on accomplishing the task of crossing this ocean of life.

To continue on a steady path itself is indeed another difficult task. For the beginner in meditation after mediating for may be a hundred and eight times he would be tempted to stop. If one is able to continue to do the meditation beyond stipulated times or numbers, then we may say that that one is rich in meditation. Hanuman flying over the ocean without taking a break, and continuing to do so is an indication of the riches of resolve he has. The Rishis and celestials seeing this action of Hanuman praise him calling him "Sriman" the one steeped in riches.

When one is on a spiritual path there will be actions that are ordained in the scriptures . If the actions are seen as creating bonds in the path of accomplishing the realization of self, then how is one to perform such tasks seemingly ordained in scriptures? In Gita we have the answer that all such task are to performed as though performing for the Bhagavan while offering the fruits of action also to Bhagavan. Actions performed for Bhagavan with no fruits do not create bonds.

"यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोन्यत्र लोकोयं कर्मबंधनः"

The actions done in the name of Bhagavan are equivalent to Yagnya and do not create Bondage.

Seeing Hanuman flying across the ocean, the Suras send Surasa to provide an obstacle to see how Hanuman will overcome the same. When Surasa presented herself as an obstacle with a boon to devour Hanuman, Hanuman addresses her with folded hands and pleasant disposition

Respectfully bowing with folded hands Hanuman tells her of about the task of Rama for which he is flying. He even asks her to join in that effort since Surasa is also living in the kingdom of Rama.

Surasa does not agree and stands right in front of him opening her mouth wide enough to accommodate Hanuman. Then Hanuman increases his size . In turn Surasa increases the size of her mouth. Realizing that Surasa can keep increasing the size of her mouth as he grows in size , Hanuman make his size is as small as a small finger tip , quickly flies into the mouth of Surasa and comes out instantly. Then Hanuman tells " O Dakshaayani ! I have entered your mouth, now give me permission to go where Janaki is !"

In this, the process the growing of Hanuman in size which is matched by Surasa is treated as growing "ego" state. When Hanuman realizes and makes his size small, it is like the Sadhka performing the actions leaving the fruits. That action does not create bondage.

Thus the path to be followed by a Sadhaka is also revealed through the story of Surasa by the poet. .

Now as Hanuman moves further we see the story of Simhika . Here without Hanuman being aware, Simhika catches the shadow of Hanuman and brings him to a halt.

Just as the one travelling the path spiritual discovery must implement specified actions offering the same to Bhagavan , one must also reject actions that are forbidden. One may fall for the forbidden actions with even knowing that such a thing is happening. That is also the question raised by Arjuna. 'How is it that man knowing evil action is not to be performed , still commits such action as though he is being forced to do the same. Krishna says it the nature of man that forces him into such actions.

Now let us see the story of Simhika in Sundarakanda.

Simhika means the one who performs violent actions. Simhika brings Hanuman to a halt without his knowledge by catching hold of his shadow. Hanuman realizes this. Then knowing Simhika's nature he destroys her.

Both Surasa and Simhika are women. In the case of Surasa Hanuman enters her mouth comes out and then seeks her permission to proceed. In the case of Simhika, knowing that he was caught unawares, Hanuman proceeds to destroy her, just like the Sadhka who rejects forbidden actions.

In the Hanuman's story of crossing the ocean, we see four difficult tasks achieved by Hanuman

1 Trying to cross the ocean to reach with any support
2 Though Mainaka offered a place to take rest and proceed, Hanuman continues his journey like the arrow shot by Rama
3 Overcoming Surasa with intelligence
4 Overcoming Simhika with his powers.

To perform these four difficult tasks Valmiki says one need the four capabilities . Those four are

1 fortitude, 2 vision, 3 intelligence and 4 dexterity

To be able to turn one's mind towards enquiry into self and focus on actions without fruits requires courage and fortitude that is "Dhruti". One must have the courage of his conviction that he can do away with chasing of fruits of action. Only then one can focus on actions without fruits. The pile of fortune may be easily accessible. But to turn away and move forward requires courage. That is "Dhruti".

There is many a time that one would coming across actions that please one self. The one on a steady path gets many opportunities towards moving away from the set goal. To keep his focus on the goal and not be distracted requires Vision that is indeed "Drushti"

To continue the path of action yet be going all required or necessary action offering the same to the Bhagavan requires the mind that is tuned to accepting the vision. That is "mati".

To avoid the actions that needed to be avoided, requires a capability or dexterity. That is 'Daakshyamu".

Hanuman displayed these four capabilities in overcoming the four obstacles. Similarly the man who is on path to cross the ocean of Samsara in search of Self needs to master these characteristics to safely cross the ocean of Samsara. That is indeed what the poet is telling us.

We need to acquire and manage these four capabilities
They are sure to allow us to move through the path of spirituality.

|| om tat sat||

|| This is what Bhashyam Appalaachaaryulavaaru told us as the essence of Hanuman's Samudra lamghanam , the leap across the ocean in Sarga 1 ||

||om tat sat||