One more thing ! ......

"niyatām akshatām dēvīm"!!


niyatām akshatām dēvīm
"నియతాం అక్షతాం దేవీం.. !

This is the first half of a line in one of the slokas in Sundarakanda.
These are the words spoken by Hanuman and they remind me of a different time.

Those were the days when I was feverishly working on creating a condensed version" Samkshipta" of Sundarakanda where in we were condensing nearly three thousand slokas of Sundarakanda to about three hundred slokas, without losing the thread. My mother used to be arbiter of which sloka is a 'must' and I was focusing on ensuring that the thread of the story is maintained even as we select and deselect the slokas to be included in the Samkshipta Sundarakanda. That was also the time when I was in ECIL at the peak of my career and with very little spare time. I used to finish all my office related work at the the end of the day and then I would sit on the task of Samkshipta Sundarakanda while consulting with my mother. We finished our selections, edited the Samkshipta Sundarakanda and then gave it to the printers for composing in their graphics editor. I would bring the pages as they were composed and read them over to my mother. Just as we thought we finished everything my mother suddenly asked - ' is the sloka " niyatām akshatām dēvīm" there in the book? ".

Those were the days when my interest in Sundarakanda was more because it is high on mother's list. I would certainly be looking at the general meaning of the sloka, context of the sloka without so much focus on the inner meaning. In response to mother's query I immediately looked up the slokas in the Samkshipta Sundarakanda and confirmed to myself and my mother, that indeed that sloka is in place.

Then I wondered on that sloka on which mother was so much concerned.

The context is the scene after Hanuman's successful return from Lanka. All the Vanaras were set to land in Kishkindha to inform Rama of their success in finding Sita. We have in sixty fourth Sarga Valmiki describing the scene at Kishkindha with anxious Rama waiting for news about the search. Hanuman and other Vanaras come back to Kishkindha and land at a place very near Rama. Then Hanuman makes obeisance to Rama and his first sentence to Rama is:

"niyatām akshatām dēvīm
rāghavāya nyavēdayat"||

" niyatām akshatām dēvīm" means that "Sita following strict code of conduct is safe". Hanuman conveys this to Rama. As soon as he approaches Rama, Hanuman does not start with all his exploits. He simply conveys the success of the mission by this single sentence.

The story of Sundarakanda starting with "tatō rāvana nītāyāh sītāyāh ... iyēsha padam anvēshtum " in search of Sita in the first sloka of the first Sarga , ends with the Hanuman's declaration "niyatām akshatām dēvīm" which conveys the success of the mission.

In my mother mind this is indeed the culmination of the search and completion of the task on which Hanuman started. And it is the most important sentence in Sundarakanda. In fact in her Sundarakanda book the line is underlined indicating her conviction about the sloka line.

That is the line "niyatām akshatām dēvīm" . And it is a very important line of Sundarakanda.

After that when ever I read Sundarakanda I would be going at a significant pace and focussed on the reading style of slokas,. But after completing the sixty fourth Sarga , I would get a doubt whether I did read the sloka or not. So to avoid any ambiguity in my mind I would go back and read that sloka again. That has become a pattern with that sloka.

When I read that sloka again I can still hear mother asking " Is that sloka included"

I can hear her saying that even in my sleep.

|| om tat sat||