|| Sarga 23 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 23


Ravana tells Maithili that she has a time limit of two months.
He also commands the Rakshasa women guarding her,
to win over Sita to using all modes of persuasion.
Then Ravana, the tormentor of enemies leaves for his palace.

"निष्क्रान्ते राक्षसेन्द्रेतु.. " (23.2)
" After the King of Rakshasas left ..."

The fearsome Rakshasa women surrounded Sita.
Their job was clear.
That is to persuade Sita to accept Ravana.
They approach Sita with words of persuasion,
words of praise for Ravana,
and the words of fear about Ravana come at the end.

"दशग्रीवस्य भार्यात्वं सीते न बहु मन्यसे".

"Oh Sita ! Don't you think that it is a privilege to be the wife of the great soul ,Ravana".

They start with extolling Ravana's impressive lineage.

" Pulastya is the fourth among six Prajapatis,
He is known as the son born out of mind of Brahma.
The glorious Pulastya's son born out of mind ,
equal in splendor to Prajapatis is great Rishi Visrava.
Oh wide eyed one ! Ravana, the tormentor of enemies is his son".

That is the lineage of Ravana.

They take turns in praising Ravana.

"येन देवा त्रयत्रिंशत् देवराजश्च विजिताः' ।
" by whom the leader of the thirty three crore Devas was defeated".

"शूरस्य संग्रामेष्वनिवर्तिनः"
"Mighty valiant one, who never retreats in battle"

"प्रियां बहुमतां भार्यां त्यक्त्वा"
"Rejecting all the highly respectable ladies including his dear favorite lady,
Ravana is desiring you".

"Abandoning thousand wives in his harem provided with all kinds of gems,
Ravana is desiring you"

"असकृत् देवता युद्धे नागगन्धर्वदानवाः"
" He, who has often defeated Devas , Nagas, Gandharvas , Danavas in battle
wants to be by your side".

"Why do you not wish to be the wife of the great soul Ravana
who has abundance of wealth? "

Having said how powerful Ravana is, they tell Sita she is fit enough to be his wife
"भार्या भवितुं अर्हसि",
"You are worthy of becoming his wife"
Describing her as being worthy of Ravana shows their ignorance.

Having talked about his greatness,
the Rakshasa women describe how he is feared by others.

"यस्य सूर्यो न तपति
भीतो यस्य च मारुतः"
"Afraid of whom Sun does not shine and wind does not blow",

"पुष्पवृष्टिंच तरवो
मुमुचुर्यस्य वै भयात्।"
"Afraid of whom the trees shower flowers",

"Afraid of whom mountains and clouds release water,
That is Ravana !

Having praised Ravana in many ways ,
the Rakshasis now employ the last method of fear.

"गृहाण सुस्मिते वाक्यं
अन्यथा न भविष्यसि" (23.20)
"Accept these words spoken truly in your interest ,
otherwise you will not be alive".

When one is in search of "Self" or realization of Self.
there will be many obstacles.
One will have occasion to see many a "throne' which could be his.
Being the wife of a great person is one such throne.
The "mumukshu" does not fall for such attractions.
He also should not fall for such attractions.

A mumukshu may face obstacles,
he also gets aid from people supportive of his goals.

While fear of Ravana is described
as a cause for the behavior or Sun,moon, wind and trees,
we also heard earlier how the same come forward to help Hanuma.

In the first Sarga we hear about Sun and wind gods.
"तताप न हि तं सूर्यं"
"शिषेवे च तथावायुः".
There the Sun and Vayu are in a helpful mode.
Sun does not shine too brightly lest he tire out Hanuma
Vayu blows gently to make it easy for Hanuma.

Similarly in the second Sarga, Moon comes to the aid Hanuma.
" चंद्रोपि साचिव्य मिवास्य कुर्वन्" |

Moon helps in the search.
The trees in Ashokvan shower flowers on Hanuma,
as he enters the grove in search of Sita.

In pursuing good deeds , the helpers appear on the horizon.
This is because of the selfless nature of the deed.
That is the result of Nishkama karma.
Many people come forward when there no "selfish motive"

That is what we hear in this Sarga.

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