|| Sarga 10 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 10

Mandodari Darsanam

This Sarga can be summarized as follows.
Hanuma in search of Sita enters the sleeping quarters of Ravana.
He sees an excellent couch made with crystals and encrusted with gems and more.
"अशोकमालाविततं ददर्श परमासनम्" ,
That couch was decorated with garlands made of Ashoka flowers.

On that wonderful couch he saw "प्रसुप्तं राक्षसाधिपं".
Hanuma saw the king of Rakshasas sleeping on that couch

The sleeping Ravana made for a scene.
He was breathing like a hissing serpent.
Poet described Hanuma approaching that couch.
"आसाद्य परमोऽद्विग्नः उपासर्पत् सुभीतवत्",
"Approaching that couch very anxiously stepped back with a fright".

There are two interesting words 'परमोऽद्विग्नः' and 'सुभीतवत्'.
There is interesting commentary from Ramayana Tilaka on this line.
'उद्विग्नः' also means distressed.
Why is he very distressed?
"अयं पापी देवीं हृतवान् इत्येतत् समीपे आस्थानम् अनुचितमिति खिन्नचित्तो उपासर्पत्"।
'This sinner has kidnapped the 'Devi', being near him is in appropriate अनुचितं' etc.

Then the second word : 'सुभीतवत् '!
He stepped back सुभीतवत् !
Ramayana Tilaka says the following.
'सुभीतवत् - सुभीता यथा भयहेतोः पिशाचादेः संमुखेस्थातुं अशक्तः उपसर्पत् तद्वत्।'
'One may not be able to stand in the presence of "Pisachas" and similar entities and steps back in fear etc'.
That is only a momentary fear .

In that fashion Hanuma steps back
Both may seem unconnected and contra.
Two things happened.
The thought of Sita having been taken away made him परमोऽद्विग्नः.
The hissing sound of Ravana's breathing made him feel like he is in a dangerous place.
So he stepped back सुभीतवत् !

He took a step back like a frightened one.
Climbed a little higher altar to have a good look at him from a distance.
Then he looked at the Rakshasa King.

What did he see ?
"राक्षसेन्द्रस्य भुजौ".
How are they?
"वज्रोल्लिखित पीनांसौ"- wore the scars caused by the thunder bolt of Indra.
"विष्णु चक्र परिक्षतौ"- , wounded by Vishnu's discus.
Those shoulders are the ones which troubles many.
"देव दानव राविणौ "(9.20) made Devas and Danavas cry.
They are announcing Ravana's valor as it were.
"Raavinau" goes with Ravana, who makes other cry.

Then Hanuma saw the wives of the Rakshasa King.
The poet describes them.
The superlative adjectives flow.
"शशि प्रकाश वदनाः" faces bright as the moon
"चारुकुण्डलभूषिताः" adorned with beautiful ear rings ,
"आम्लानमाल्याभरणाः" wearing garlands of flowers that were not faded.
They were proficient in dancing and playing instruments.
"आम्लानमाल्याभरणाः" is an indication that some of them are celestials.

Then Hanuman saw one who seemed special among them.
One who was sleeping alone on an auspicious couch.
She was like a jewel lighting the mansion with her own splendor.
She is the favorite and the chief queen of Ravana.

That Hanuma of powerful arms,
seeing the very beautiful one with riches of form "रूपसंपन्नः".
Hanuma thought she may be Sita.
He rejoiced with joy.
He rejoiced with exuberance typical of monkeys.
Poet says that in that joy of rejoicing he displayed the natural behavior of Vanaras.

That is the outer shell of the story we hear.
Now let us see the meanings in more detail.

Hanuma earlier described Lanka as
" स्वर्गोयम् देवलोकोयम्..".
The descriptions of Ravana in the palace,
and the descriptions of the women of Ravana,
confirm that this is indeed a world of opulence.
These are places of enjoyment. "भोगलोकाः".
The opulence comes through in each and every line.

In the 9th Sarga reading the line
" अससादाध लक्ष्मीवान् राक्षसेंद्र निववेशनम्"
we postulated that Hanuma entered one more sheath of Pancha Kosas.
That is the Manomaya Kosa.

In this Sarga we hear more about that.
About Ravana sleeping in the Manomaya Kosa.

"Vasanas" are present consciousness of past perceptions lingering in the mind.
These could be in three states.

(1) सुप्त दश Sleeping state
(2) क्षीण दश state of deterioration
(3) उद्बुद्ध दश state of enhanced excitement.

When they are in the sleeping state, सुप्त दश ,
the power of those Vasanas is not visible.
However cruel one may be, one does not deal in cruelty during his sleep.

That nature of the mind, which is cruel normally,
remains suppressed during sleep.
Some times even in the in the normal behavior,
those cruel Vasanas may look like they are in decadence.
When one is not angry they may actually look like they are free of those Vasanas.
But like that small spark of fire which lights up a huge fire,
the suppressed Vasanas light up on the first possible opportunity.

So Appalacharyulu garu says
the search must happen in those moments of सुप्त दश, the sleeping state.
So the search must proceed in those moments,
when the Tamasic and Rajasic spirits are literally sleeping.

So in the case of search for Self also,
that search can happen when the Rajo Tamasa Gunas are under control.
Every description in this Sarga makes it clear.
How difficult indeed it is to overcome the opulence on display.
How easily the senses get attracted to the opulence that is visible.

In Hanuma's search,
wonderful palaces, groves, women, eatables, drinks etc are seen.
Seeing that Hanuma wondered aloud "स्वर्गोयं देवलोकोयम्.."
But he continues the search without getting diverted.
The poet doubles down on such descriptions in this Sarga.
It is as though to highlight the difficulties faced by the one in search.

There is a description of city of Ayodhya in Balakanda.
Sundarakanda has the description of the city of Lanka.
One would notice the difference in descriptions.

In the description of Ayodhya there is a description of the people
' नाकुंडली नामकुटी नास्रग्वी नाल्पभोगवान्', describing their wealth
'ननास्तिकः नचानृतकथः नाविद्वान् ना बहुश्रुतः', describing the wealth of their character.
It is about the people.

In the description of Lanka, it is about the palaces.
The emphasis is on the description of external beauty.
External beauty is the one that binds you to the body.
That hinders the search for real Self.

Only one who does not stray from his path,
the path in search of Self,
that one alone can attain the goal of discovering the "Self".
That is the secret of Search for Self.

That is the secret the poet is telling,
as Hanuma walks through the opulent visuals.

One more thing.

As he sees the Ravana sleeping on the couch ,
the poet describes the "भुजौ" , Ravan's shoulders.

How are they?
"वज्रोल्लिखित पीनांसौ"- wore the scars caused by the thunder bolt of Indra.
"विष्णु चक्र परिक्षतौ"- , wounded by Vishnu's discus.
Those shoulders are the ones which troubles many.
"देव दानव राविणौ "(9.20) made Devas and Danavas cry.
They are announcing Ravana's valor as it were.
There are more descriptions.

The two arms resting on the couch were ,
like two angry serpents asleep in the caves of Mount Mandara.

The arms are the tools for all actions, for all "कर्म".
The actions create the bondage that binds one even more.
Poet describes those shoulders and arms in great detail.
As though to remind us again and again that they are the cause of bondage.

In Sarga 4 also we came across the line
"अद्वारेण महाबाहुः प्राकारमभिपुप्लुवे"
There the discussion was about Hanuma as महाबाहुः.
"रामार्थं वानरार्थं च" for Rama and for Vanara's,
Those arms were involved in निष्काम कर्म .
They do not create bondage.
The Ravana's arms we see here are deeply involved with Bhoga Lokas.
Creating more bondage.

One more thing.

In these descriptions we come across "भुजौ" , meaning two.
One would wonder about Ravana described as 'दशमुखः', ten headed one.

Ravana is a "कामरूपि" meaning that he can assume any form he desires..
So he is one with ten heads in his battles and public appearances.
Ramayana Tilaka says,
'अत्र द्विभुजत्वैकमुखत्वोक्तिः स्त्रीणां कामनीयत्वाय'
With his wives and lovers he is of one head and two arms .

There is another hint in this .

'Ravana' is the mind.
That is the one we get from his name.
The ten senses and sense organs are the ten heads.
In sleep the senses stop their activity.
Only the mind is active
So there are no ten heads or Twenty arms.
Once he is awake the senses are back .
Then we have the ten heads.

When we are asleep the eye does not see.
The ear does not hear.
Once we are up both are back .
Thus when the senses are dulled the search for Sita continues.

In the search for Sita Hanuma sees the chief Queen Mandodari.
In form and youth she was like Sita.
Mandodari is also young and beautiful like Sita.
That is the reason for Hanuma to get mixed up.

But she is not equal of Sita in her virtues
Hanuma for a moment does not realize this.
Thinking she is Sita, Hanuma rejoices.

Just as babies would would jump at the hint of happiness,
Thinking Mandodari is Sita, Hanuma too rejoiced jumping up and down.
The poet goes out of the way to telling us that in many action words
That jumping up and down is
"निदर्शयन् स्वां प्रकृतिं कपीनां" (10.54)
This is demonstration of the nature of Vanaras.
That is to highlight the childish nature of the joy.
Children's joy is known by their many actions of joy.

That the one seen is not real Sita is indicated to us.
Indicated to us by the many childish actions of joy.
Poet called it as the nature of Vanara's.

Knowledge acquired through reading gives one an understanding.
But seeing and experiencing the same knowledge is entirely another different.
The difference in these two is seen in the two scenes.
Hanuma seeing Mandodari.
And Hanuma seeing Sita.

The difference in the two is the difference in
learning by experience and learning by understanding.
When he saw Mandodari he jumped with joy. May be he sang songs too.
When he recognized Sita poet describes him as "भाष्पपर्याकुलेक्षणः"( 16.2),
With tears of happiness filling his eyes he remained silent.
There was no jumping up and down or climbing the trees.

The bee makes buzzing sound, buzzing around.
But once it is on to the flower savoring the honey,
one only hears the silence.

The one experiencing the Self or the Bhagavan too is similar.
Such a one will be absorbed in that experience of "Self".
He experiences the Bliss.
There are no external demonstrations of that joy.

The climbing and jumping expressions of joy,
tell us that that this is not an event like seeing Sita or experiencing "Self"

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