|| Sarga 22 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 22

Ravana's threats.

Though Sita spoke in the voice of a mother chiding a child ,
towards the end of her reply she warns Ravana.
The warning is that he cannot avoid the arrows of Rama,
where ever he might be unless he seeks protection of Rama.
That surely is a hit on the ego of Ravana.
So in Sarga 22 we hear Ravana's threats and Sita's reply .
That is followed by the orders of Ravana to the Rakshasa women guarding Sita.
So we go through the Sarga 22.

सीताया वचनं श्रुत्वा.. (22.1)
So hearing those searing words of Sita,
which are not music to Ravana,
the king of Rakshasas starts his reply saying,

"यथा यथा प्रियंवक्ता
परिभूतः तथा तथा |"

Treating Sita's advise as a humiliation, he says that
"the more one speaks sweetly, the more one is is humiliated".
Saying that she is fit to be killed for the words she spoke,
Ravana says ,
"That passion that has arisen me has controlled the anger,
like a good charioteer controls the horses that are running on a wrong path".
Ravana says,
"For these reasons Oh the best among women!
though worthy of being killed and worthy of being put to shame,
you will not be killed."

Lot of times we see both anger and desire follow the same path.
Here the passion is keeping the anger under control,
and Sita is protected.

Having told Sita that she will not be killed,
Ravana then delivers his ultimatum.

"द्वौमासौ रक्षितव्यौ... ",
"I am giving you a deadline.
O Lady of beautiful color ! you are protected for two months.
There after you have to climb into my bed.
Beyond two months if you do not wish to accept me as your husband
then you will be sent the kitchen to be cooked as my breakfast".

In Aranyakanda, Ravana has given Sita a one year deadline.
It means that ten months have elapsed.
And only two more months are now left.

Seeing that Janaki who is being threatened by the king of Rakshasas,
the Deva and Gandharva women were distressed,
with their eyes giving that away.
Sita, being threatened by that Rakshasa,
was consoled by the others with the movement of lips,
and yet others with the movement of eyes and faces.
Thus consoled, Sita proud of the power of her virtues,
says the following.

"Surely people who are interested in your welfare
who can prevent you from this despicable act are not there.
In the three worlds there is no body other than you
who can even in his mind desire me the righteous Rama's wife".

"Oh the Lowest among Rakshasas !
For the sinful words you spoke to the wife of Rama who is of great brilliance,
where can you go to escape the consequences?"

"Oh Dishonorable wretch, seeing me with those dark brown eyes,
why those eyes are not falling off on the ground?
While you thus speak to me, the wife of that righteous one ,
why does not your tongue not fall on the ground ?"

Sita continued in that angry tone.

"Though you deserve to be turned into ashes ,
oh Ten headed one ! for want of permission from Rama
I am not turning you to ashes with my powers of penance".

Sita is a devout wife.
She is an ascetic too.
When she heard that Hanuma's tail was set on fire,
saying "शीतोभवतु हनुमतः,
she controlled the fire.

So why did she not simply say,
"दग्धोभव दशानना" and burn that Ravana down to ashes?
Sita gives two reasons that saying,

"असन्देशात्तु रामस्य

She has not received the permission from Rama to do so.
Secondly she is following the ascetic code.

The powers are gained through penance,
Those are only for the purposes of going forward in the spiritual path.
That is the ascetic code.
If one uses the spiritual powers for other purposes,
those powers get depleted correspondingly,
and the spiritual journey gets extended.
So she says, "तपसश्चानुपालनात्"

The other reason is
"असन्देशात्तु रामस्य"
No communication from Rama.
Even though Ravana deserves to be turned into ashes (भस्मार्ह !)
Even though Sita is capable of making Ravana into ashes( भस्मीकरणार्ह !)
Sita would not do anything because "असन्देशात्तु रामस्य".
She would not be doing anything that is not appropriate for herself or Rama.

When Hanuma who could cross the ocean easily,
offers to carry her back and unite her with Rama in a moment,
Sita declines that offer insisting that there is only one appropriate way.
That would be for Rama to come to Lanka defeat Ravana and take her back.
Any other way would be inappropriate for Rama.

Then Sita also says Ravana is in fact not capable of stealing her from Rama.
and she adds,
"विधिः तव वधर्थाय विहितो नात्र संशयः"।
"It is fate that made it happen to ensure your death , there is no doubt "
While Sita says this in her anger,
That is also the truth.
Rama was born to kill Ravana, abduction of Sita provided the cause.

Ravan reacts as only he would.
Hissing like a serpent and threatening that he can destroy Sita,
like the Sun destroying the early morning darkness,
Then Ravana orders the Rakshasa women guarding Sita.

"प्रतिलोमानु लोमैश्च

He orders them win over Vaidehi ,
"Adopting any means favorable or contrary using all modes ,
namely the persuasion, gifts , confusion, or threats".

Then other Rakshasa women try to wean him away.
Having derided Mythili who is steadfast wedded to righteous conduct,
who is trembling with fear,
that Ravana who is over powered with passion left
and he entered his glittering mansion,
glittering like the mid afternoon Sun.

Thus ends the 22nd Sarga of Sundarakanda

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