|| Sarga 41 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 41

Sarga 41
"प्रमदाननः बभंज प्रमदावनं"

The title of this Sarga is
"प्रमदाननः बभंज प्रमदावनं"|
"प्रमदाननः" means one who protects women (Sita).
"प्रमदावनं" means the garden of pleasure (of the king).
"बभंज" means destroyed.
So, the protector of women destroyed the garden of pleasure.
That is the thrust of this Sarga.
It also means that the story is taking a turn.

The fortieth Sarga ends with the line,
'दिशं ह्युदीशं मनसा जगाम',
" (he) in his mind, went in the northerly direction".
So, we hear that having completed the search,
Hanuma is virtually on his way back.
Search is over.

What happened so far?

In the first Sarga starting with,
ततोरावण नीतायाः सीतायाः शतृकर्शनः',
we read Ravana as 'रावयति असत्प्रलापान् कारयति इति रावणः'.
We understood that Ravana is not somebody else.
He is our own mind which makes us say baseless boasts.

By "सीतायाः पदं अन्वेष्टुं",
we understood that, " went in search of that found next to ploughshare".
Which meant searching for "Self" in the field of action.
Who went for the search?

That is a Guru or Acharya (Hanuma).
Hanuma went in search.

The Acharya went in search of "Self" for uniting Jivatma with Paramatma.

Digressing a little, we know the following.
"Mumukshu" or the Seeker is the one who desires मोक्ष or liberation.
That Seeker is none other than Jiva, after the desire for Moksha is ignited.
For that Seeker to get on the pathway to liberation,
he needs the guidance of a Guru or the teacher.
Seeker may approach a teacher,
Teacher too needs to know that Seeker's goals are real.
The Seeker in the process gets tested.
The Seeker under the guidance of the teacher should set aside all other desires.
He should focus on the Supreme being only.
When the belief in Supreme being is firm,
only then the teacher accepts him as a disciple.
After accepting him teacher initiates him with a Mantra.
And shows him the path for liberation.
Liberation happens by the grace of the Supreme being.
Only a teacher who has experienced the Supreme,
can initiate a disciple onto the path of liberation.

Let us see the process followed by the teacher in a little more detail,
in the context of uniting Jivatma with Paramatma,
which was the premise of the first Sloka in Sundarakanda.

The teacher having had the grace of the Supreme being,
on his orders enters the battlefield of householder.
He goes in search of the Jiva,
who is in bondage.
Jiva must be free of bondage.
That Jiva must first hear about the Supreme being.
Then he would continue knowing about Supreme being through the teacher.
Then becoming a believer of the Supreme being, Java's confidence in teacher grows.
Jiva then becomes a Seeker, seeking refuge or liberation.
The teacher then elaborates on his experiences to the Seeker.
Once the Seeker is firmly on the path to liberation,
the teacher then gives the instruction in the form of a Mantra.
The instruction of 'Mantra' is a form of giving knowledge.
This is the protocol teacher follows in providing instruction to the Seeker

In Sundarakanda Hanuma appears as the teacher
Hanuma starts with the express orders from Rama, the Supreme being.
Having taken a token from Rama, with his blessings, Hanuma starts on his search.

He sees Sita in Ashoka grove.
Sitting on the Simsupa tree he observes sorrowing Sita.
He could see Sita's belief in Rama, 'अनन्यसाध्यत्व'
Sees her resolve to give up her life if she cannot get back to Rama.
Sees her blaming herself for her misfortune, instead of blaming Rama.
All this is seen by Hanuma like a teacher testing his disciple

Like the teacher delighting the disciple with stories of the Supreme being,
Hanuma too delights Sita with his song on the story of Rama.
Describing Rama elaborately, he creates confidence in Sita,
Hanuma too gives Sita the ring of Rama.
The ring of Rama given by Hanuma is the Mantra for Sita,
It is like the teacher initiating the disciple with a Mantra,

The poet describes the ring as "करविभूषणं",
"kara", the hand is the one that helps in accomplishing things.
Among the many actions of "kara "or hand,
an important action is the protection.
The protection offered by the Supreme being is also "करविभूषणं",
since it enhances the power of that hand that protects.

The disciple, initiated with Mantra,
would feel as though he is in the presence of the Supreme being,
Here too, Sita having received the Signet ring,
felt as though she was in the presence of Rama.
Having received the signet ring,
Sita gives a "Chudamani" as a token for Hanuma to carry.

Hanuma, the teacher, is to carry this token to Rama.
One would wonder what is this token given by Sita?

The Mantra is received from the Teacher,
Mantra is a tool.
Mantra on repetitive thought establishes firm belief of being protected.
Mantra practice results in one being free from other desires.
Mantra practice results in a desire for the Supreme being.
The Seekers desire for Supreme being is to be conveyed by the teacher.
The "Chudamani" token given by Sita is symbolic of that.

There is a symbolism of Chudamani.
It is hair that creates bondage for men or women.
Symbolic of being free from attachment is the offering of hair.
The attachment for affairs keeps the self in bondage.
The attachment to Supreme being is an ornament to the Self.
The ornament for hair that Sita sent is message of her attachment to Rama.

Sita also gave the remembrance of the crow.
Through that Sita conveys that she too is seeking protection.
The one who protected that crow cannot ignore her.
Sita also mentioned the remembrance of Rama painting a tilaka.
That is suggestive of actions of Supreme being.
That is an act of the Supreme being.
It is not something one gets by one's own acts.

All these incidents are suggestive of many things.
We see the way of a seeker on a path for liberation.
We see how the teacher initiates the seeker with a Mantra

A disciple too does not own the teacher,
unless the confidence is built in the teacher.
The disciples own the teacher only after,
experiencing the teacher's discipline,
experiencing the teacher's teachings.
This is as much a path for the teachers as it is for the disciple.

We see Sita had concerns about Hanuma.
She wondered aloud, "was he the one she saw in Janasthana".
Hanuman describes the auspicious form of Rama to remove her doubts.
Presenting the "Signet ring", he reveals his true nature.
Only then Sita realizes the nature of Hanuma.

Thus, the whole dialogue is suggestive of the dynamic of teacher and taught.
The disciple being aware of teacher's experiences,
and the teacher being aware of the disciple's capabilities before initiation.

The dynamic of teacher being an ego-less form is also seen.
Ego mixed with knowledge is like poison mixed with juice.
The teacher must be free of ego.

We see this in two incidents

In his eagerness to unite Sita with Rama,
Hanuma propose to carry Sita on his back to Rama.
Sita rejects the proposal, virtually laughing.
She even says that he is indeed like a monkey.
Hanuma did not let the insult stop him.
Realizing the lack of confidence,
Hanuma shows his true self and creates confidence.

When Sita shows concern about the capability of his other colleagues,
saying "मद्विशिष्ठाश्च तुल्याश्च सन्ति"
"there are others are experienced or equals"
Hanuma displays his true egoless form.

In the dialogues of Sita and Hanuma,
we see suggestions of the dynamic of the teacher and the disciple.
We also see the wonderful acts of Hanuma as Rama's messenger.
We also see the transformation of Hanuma,
who initially laughed at Rama in grief over Sita,
becoming a "Bhakta" of Sita, admiring her many qualities.

In the portrayal of Sita too,
we see the suggestion of the Seeker's hunger for liberation,
and Seekers belief in being protected.
We also see how a wife separated from her husband behaves.
We also see the power of virtuous one of those times.

Thus, in this intricately woven inner and outer shell of the story,
we have seen many thoughts.

Now that search is complete,
with Hanuma virtually moving in the northern direction,
we see the story moving forward in different direction.

Having taken leave of Sita,
Hanuma moves forward and thinks of the next steps.

"दृष्टेयम् असितेक्षणा"| (41.2)
"Seen the black-eyed lady (Sita)"
"अल्पशेष मिदं कार्यं",
"only a little work is left".
Hanuma puts on his thinking cap.
'Beyond the three strategies here there is a fourth strategy.
With Rakshasas negotiation is of no use.
Being wealthy gifts also will not work.
For people proud of their strength dissension will not work'.

'Here only my valor will work.
Here for this task other than valor nothing else will be of use.
If I kill a few strong ones they may soften and yield.

'When a work is entrusted,
one who achieves many without affecting the earlier work is the one,
who is fit to do the work'.

'For achieving a small task effectively there is no unique way.
One who knows many ways is capable.
Here if I go back to the abode of Vanaras
after understanding the difference between the strength of the enemy forces and our strength in war,
then the orders of my lord are well executed'.

Hanuman continues.

' How to engage in a war with Rakshasas today?
How to have a happy ending?
That ten ten-headed will gauge his strength and ours in that way only.
Then after finding out the strength of the ten-headed with his army chiefs,
I can happily go from here.'

'This wicked one's Ashoka grove is a feast to the eyes and mind.
Like a dried forest is destroyed by the fire,
I will destroy this garden.'

'When this is devastated the ten-headed will be angry.
Then the king of Rakshasas will send a great force.
Then a great war will ensue.
Then colliding with Rakshasas of irresistible valor,
endowed with fierce strength and destroying them,
I can go happily to the abode of Vanaras'.

Then the fierce warrior Maruti being furious
started uprooting the trees,
in that beautiful garden meant for women folk
Then Hanuman felled a variety of trees and creepers.
which were inhabited by intoxicated birds.

That grove with destroyed trees,
breached ponds, and powdered mountain peaks became ugly.
With wilted trees and creepers,
with birds shrieking with different kinds of sounds,
with ponds of water breached,
the garden looked as though burnt by forest fire.

Describing all this the poet says,
"प्रमदाननः बभंज प्रमदावनं"
The protector who came to protect Sita,
destroyed the garden of pleasure of Ravana.

Having done enough to create a problem for Ravana,
Hanuma stood on the archway ready to face the Rakshasas.

That is how the Sarga forty-one comes to an end.

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