|| Sarga 24 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 24

दीनो वा राज्यहीनो वा!

"ततः सीतामुपागम्य..."(24.1)
"Then approaching Sita.." etc,.
In this Sarga also the Rakshasa women continue the four modes of persuasion.
They surround Sita telling her many things about Ravana.
All the time trying to win her over for Ravana.

They berate her.
"मानुषी मानुष्यस्यैव भार्यात्वं बहुमन्यसॆ"
"Being born as a human ,
and being the wife of human.."
- "बहुमन्यसे" -
"..you think is great."

"प्रत्याहर मनोरामात्"
" Remove Rama from your mind. "
These are the words of Rakshasis.

There is another echo to the reference of being human.
Rama and Sita are born human beings.
Ramayana is the story of best among human beings.
Valmiki seems to remind us of the beginnings of Ramayana.

We heard this in the first few Slokas of Ramayana.
In the beginning in Balakanda Valmiki asked Narada.
Who is that best one among men .
Narada's answer is that,
Rama born of Ikshwaku line is that person.
Rama was born as a human being,
who faced many difficulties,
who followed the prescribed code of conduct as primary goal,
and who overcame all the difficulties.
In Rakshasi's reference to Sita being "maanuShI"
we get back to remembering the root of the story of Ramayana.

Rakshasis tell Sita to accept that..
"त्रैलोक्य वसु भोक्तारम्"
"the enjoyer of the riches of the three worlds".
That is Ravana.
"Accept him and live happily there after".
That is Rakshasis push.

Sita's response is worth listening to and worth remembering.
Sits says
"न मानुषी राक्षसस्य भार्या भवितुमर्हति"
"No woman born as human can be the wife of a Rakshasas".

"दीनो वा राज्यहीनो वा"
"even if he is a dejected one or one who lost kingdom",
he is still my master.
The portrayal of Sita as a devoted wife,
and as a virtuous woman gets reinforced again and again.
The mystic of Sita as the ideal wife gets reinforced by her actions.
Like following Rama to forests,
like declaring Rama -"दीनो वा राज्यहीनो वा"- as her master.
Ramayana Tilaka says,
अति दुःख समयेऽपि दृढव्रतत्वद्योतनाय
अनेकसाध्वीनामुपन्यासो दृष्टान्तविधयेत्याहुः॥
"In the most sorrowful time also to declare her virtuous nature,
she gives the examples of many virtuous women."

Sita gives the examples of all virtuous women,
who followed their famous husbands.
Like Suvarchala following Sun,
Sachi following Indra,
Arundhati following Vasistha,
Rohini following Moon,
Lopamudra following Agastya,
Sukanya following Chyavana,
Savitri following Satyavan .
Sita is firm in rejecting the suggestions of the Rakshasa women.

The Rakskshasis angered by her response,
return to their mode of threats.
Hanuma hidden in the branches of Simsupa tree listens silently.
Again surrounding Sita, the Rakshasa women threaten her.

They conclude
"नेयमर्हति भर्तारं रावणं राक्षसाधिपम्।"
"This one does not deserve Ravana the leader of Rakshasas as her husband".

One of the Rakshasa woman by name Vinata goes on berating Sita.
"Oh Sita ! You have shown your love for your husband.
To that extent it is good.
Every where excess leads to adversity.
Maithili, I am happy.
You have done your duty as a human being. Good for you.
You follow my words also.
Ravana is the Lord of all Rakshasas, Courageous and handsome.
Lord of Gods too like Indra, generous one , sacrificing one, pleasing in appearance.
You accept him as your husband.
Leaving Rama the pitiable human being seek refuge in Ravana".

Having said that she adds her threat.

"एतदुक्तं च मे वाक्यं
यदित्वं न करिष्यसि"
If you do not follow what is said by me"

अस्मिन् मुहूर्ते सर्वाः त्वां
भक्षयिष्यामहे वयं॥
"in this moment we will eat you up"

The many Rakshasa women taking part in this dialog include
Vikata, Chandodari, Praghasa, Surpanakha and others.
Having tried their best,
concluding that Sita will not change,
they devolve into a discussion about how they may please themselves.

One says addressing Sita,
"thought of eating your spleen and liver ,
along with the heart and the intestines as well as the head.

One says,
"Let us all cut her in equal pieces.
Then we will divide".

One says,
"We will twist the head of this heartless one.
Why are we waiting".

One says,
"Quickly get the wine which is destroyer of all sorrows.
After relishing the human flesh
we will start Nikumbha dance"

The poet says,
"ऎवं संभर्त्युमाना सा..." (24.47)
"Thus being threatened .."

Thus being threatened by the dreadful Rakshasis ,
Sita who is like the daughter of gods cried giving up courage.

Thus ends the twenty fourth Sarga of Sundarakanda.

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