|| Sarga 35 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 35

Tattvadipika 35
रामः कमलपत्राक्षः

"रामः कमलपत्राक्षः
सर्वसत्त्व मनोहरः।"
This is the description of Rama
given out by Hanuma in his response to Sita.
"रामः कमलपत्राक्षः" is an interesting choice of words by the poet.
The poet has not been very vocal on the divinity of Rama.
The description of Rama here as " रामः कमलपत्राक्षः",
does hint at the divinity of Rama.
This aspect of Rama's divinity will be elaborated as we go through.

To start with earlier in Sarga 34,
Sita's delight after hearing Hanuma can be seen in her statement,
"एति जीवन्ति मानंदो नरं वर्ष शतादपि"
But then Sita slides into a cauldron of doubts,
She wonders if the one talking with her is the "मायावी" Ravana himself?

Addressing Sita, who is lost in doubts,
Hanuma speaks of Rama.
'आदित्य इव तेजस्वी लोककांतः शशी यथा'|
Saying "He is Glorious like the Sun.
He brings delight to the whole world like the Moon",
Hanuma starts on his favorite mode.
That is singing about Rama.

Mention of Rama eases the mind of Sita.
It is as though the word "Rama" is a weapon.
A weapon that destroys doubts and uncertainty!

"नाहमस्मि तथा देवी",
"Oh Devi I am not what you are thinking"
Hanuma confirms that he is indeed the messenger of Rama.

Now we move on with Sarga 35.

Although reassured, Sita wants to hear more about Rama.
When you hear a pleasing song, you want to hear it again.
The babies ask you to read the same story again and again.
Mind focused on the Brahman never tires of enquiry into Brahman.
So is the case with Sita.
Sita wants to hear more about Rama

So Sita asks Hanuma.

'Where did you meet Rama?
How do you know Lakshmana?
How did this friendship between the humans and Vanaras develop?
What are Rama's identifying marks and Lakshmana's too?
You can tell me again. Then my sorrow will subside.
How is Rama's form?
How are his looks?
How are his thighs and arms?
Similarly, Lakshmana's too!'
Oh, Hanuman please tell'.

Rama's form, looks, his thighs and arms are all known to Sita.
That Sita knows them is also understood by Hanuma.
Hanuma knows that Sita is asking these questions knowingly.
Only to hear from him about Rama.
People do ask questions whose answers are known.
Sometimes, the people who are being asked consider it as a slight.
It is a blow to their ego or "अहंकार" and react accordingly.
Hanuma has no ego.
He takes it as a good fortune that he got an opportunity.
Hanuma responds.

" Oh, Vaidehi! Knowing the form of Rama and Lakshmana,
it is my good fortune that you are asking me about them.
I will now tell you.
Please hear".

Hanuman continued.

"Oh, daughter of Janaka!
Rama is born with eyes like the lotus petals.
He is one who delights all beings.
He is endowed with a form reflecting politeness and charm".

"In glow he is equal to the Sun.
In forbearance he is equal to the earth.
In intelligence he is equal to Brihaspati.
In fame he is equal to Indra".

"He Protects all beings.
He protects his own people.
The destroyer of enemies protects his own race and the righteousness.
Oh, Beautiful lady! He protects all the four classes of society.
He follows the code of conduct and makes others follow too".

"He is intensely luminous and worshipped.
He is steadfast in observing the vows of self-control.
He recognizes the right actions of sages.
He knows the rites and administration too.
He knows the statecraft.
He is a devotee of Brahman.
He is the destroyer of enemies.
He is one who has learnt the Vedas.
He is disciplined and endowed with excellent conduct.
He is well versed in Yajurveda.
He is respected by those who know Vedas.
He is an expert in Vedas and all other parts of Vedas as well as the science of archery".

"Oh Devi! He is broad shouldered and long armed.
He is with a conch shaped neck.
He has an auspicious look.
He is round shouldered and coppery eyed.
He is heard by people, with voice like that of Dundubhi.
He is of shining beautiful complexion.
He is full of valor.
He is of dark color".

These are all characteristics of Rama.

The well-known saying about Rama is,
"रामः सुगुणाभिरामः",
Rama is one decorated with wonderful traits
That vision of Rama comes out clearly in these verses of Hanuma.

This is a description that also echoes the divinity of Rama.
The first Sloka in Hanuma's reply is as follows.

रामः कमलपत्राक्षः सर्वसत्त्व मनोहरः।
रूपदाक्षिण्य संपन्नः प्रसूतः जनकात्मजे॥

Hanuma starts with the word "Rama".
Hearing the word "Rama" one hears many echoes.
Like the word " इयं सीता" in Janaka's famous words at the marriage of Rama and Sita,
the word "Rama" here too has many echoes.

"Rama" is of course the name of Rama.
Hanuma can be understood as talking about the hero Rama.

"रामः" also means in Sanskrit "रमयति इति रामः"
"रमयति" means one who delights you.
He is one who delights you by his mere presence.

Every baby born is indeed a "Rama".
Every baby is the one who delights the parents.
The name Rama came about because he attracts the minds and delights.
Dasharatha's son delights one and all and is a "Rama".

Starting the description of Rama's "Gunas",
Hanuma says "रामः ".
Effectively he is saying in one word,
" Oh, Sita your Husband is "रामः"!
meaning there by that he is one who delights.
"Rama" meaning delight also brings us hint of the Supreme being.
Supreme being or Brahman is the form of Sat-chit-Anand.
Brahman is the form of Bliss.
By saying "Rama" Hanuma is reminding us that Rama is Brahman.

Continuing about Rama Hanuma says,
" कमलपत्राक्षः"
First thing one notes about a person is "eyes".
The first thing Hanuman says too is about eyes.
" कमलपत्राक्षः"
Rama's eyes resemble a lotus leaf.

Referring to Chandogyopanishad Applacharyulugaru says,
' saying " कमलपत्राक्षः"Hanuma recognizes the Supreme being in Rama'.

In Chandogyopanishad there is a description of the Brahman.
Brahman described as Sun, the cause of Universe.
Sun is praised as source of all light and life,
and is stated as worthy of meditation.
Sun is seen as a manifestation of Brahman.
Sun, a manifestation of Brahman is described as follows.

"हिरण्मयः पुरुषः दृश्यते
हिरण्य श्वश्रुः हिरण्य नखः।
अ प्रणखात् सर्व एव स्वर्णः
यथा कप्यासं पुंडरीक मेव अक्षिणी"॥

The Supreme being, as the Purusha is seen as "हिरण्मयः" golden.
How is he seen?
With golden hair and golden nails.
That all golden Purusha has eyes.
Those eyes resemble a full-blown lotus flower.
That Purusha is described as "कमलपत्राक्षः"
That is the description of the "Purusha "in "Chandogyopanishad".

Hanuma also describes Rama as "कमलपत्राक्षः".

That Supreme being, described as Purusha,
is born with a lineage of Surya, possessing all the wonderful attributes.
"प्रसूतः" also means the one without birth is born.
Thus, Hanuma's description of Rama is that of "Brahman" itself.

The poet in these descriptions adds words which ring a bell.
When he describes Rama as अर्चिष्मान्,
Ramayana Tilaka adds the following.
अर्चिष्मान् अति प्रकाशवान् ।
शृतिश्च " तस्या भासा सर्वविदं विभाति"|
Effectively it is saying that,
description of Rama as 'अर्चिष्मान्',
links it with the Sruti descritption of Brahman.

Having started describing Rama as Paramatman,
Hanuma moves on to describe all the physical features of "Dehatma".

The "Dehatma" description is very detailed.
He describes the rich form of the "रूप संपन्नः "
The words of that description simply flow.
"त्रिश्थिरः, त्रिप्रलंबः, त्रिसमः, त्रिषुचोन्नतः, त्रिताम्रः,
त्रिषुस्निग्धः, त्रिषु गंभीरः, त्रिवलीवान् , त्र्यवनतः, त्रिशीर्षवान्,

चतुर्व्यंगः, चतुष्कलः, चतुर्लेखः, चतुष्किष्कुः,
चतुस्समः, चतुर्दश समद्वंद्वः, चतिर्दंष्ट्रः, चतुर्गतिः,

महोष्टहनुनासः, पंचस्निग्धः, अष्ठवंशवान्,
दशपद्मः, दशबृहत्, त्रिभिव्याप्तः, द्विशुक्लवान्,
षडुन्नतः, नवतमः, त्रिभिःव्याप्नोति."

Each word describes the perfection of that part.

These are descriptions of SriRama's form.
Sita asked about Lakshmana too!
That too Hanuman adds.
"His brother Lakshmana, son of Sumitra,
is in form and virtues like his brother."

After that he Hanuma narrates the rest of the story.

"Those two tigers among men eager to see you,
were searching the whole world.
While searching they encountered us.
On the mountain Rishyamuka filled with variety of trees they saw Sugriva.
We were serving Sugriva, the King of Vanaras.
Sugriva is committed to the truth and has been thrown out by his elder brother".

"Then the two, Rama and Lakshmana, clad in bark clothes,
carrying their bows reached the Rishyamuka mountain.
The bull among Vanaras seeing the two tigers among men was scared.
He jumped up to the peak of the mountain.
The King of Vanaras sitting on the mountain top then sent me to meet the two.
On the orders of Sugriva, I stood in front of the two lords.
They were endowed with charming disposition and auspicious looks.
Realizing their true disposition,
I placed those tigers among men on my shoulders and carried them back to our place.
I faithfully reported on the two great souls to Sugriva.
Rama and Sugriva talked to each other and a fond friendship developed.
Then full of joy, the King of men and King of Vanaras assured each other.
Assured each other with the stories of the past".

"The elder brother of Lakshmana consoled Sugriva.
Then Lakshmana informed Sugriva about Rama's grief.
Oh Devi! That grief of Rama's was on account of your loss.
The King of Vanaras too on hearing the words spoken by Lakshmana,
became lusterless like the Sun overshadowed by the planet Rahu".

"Those ornaments thrown away by you,
while being carried away by the Rakshasa,
were collected by the Vanaras.
They had no idea of your whereabouts.
I collected those ornaments and gave them to Rama.
He lost his senses on seeing those jingling ornaments.
The divine Self who is effulgent like Gods,
wailed in many ways keeping the ornaments on his lap".

"Seeing those jewels again and again,
his grief got inflamed like fire.
Rama the great self, immersed in sorrow lay down on the ground,
With great difficulty I also consoled him with many words.
Rama, along with Lakshmana, looked at the jewels again and again,
And then returned them to the care of Sugriva.
Oh, respectable lady! Because of not being able to see you,
Rama is always burning like the fire on a mountain".

"Oh Devi! On account of you,
the great man is consumed by three fires.
The fire of sleeplessness,
the fire of sorrow, and the fire of concern.
Those are like the sacred fires of the sacred fireplace".

"Because of not being able to see you,
Raghava is shaken like a lofty mountain by an earthquake.
Even when he goes to delightful forests, rivers and streams,
because of not being able to see you,
the king is not delighted."

"Oh, Daughter of Janaka!
Raghava, the tiger among men,
will kill Ravana quickly and take you back to his city.
Both Rama and Sugriva reached an agreement to kill Vali and search for you.
Then that King of Vanaras came to Kishkindha along with the two heroic princes.
Then Rama killed Vali in a battle.
And made Sugriva as the king of all Vanara troops.
Oh Devi! The union of Rama Sugriva happened in this way".

"Oh Devi! know me as Hanuman.
I have come here as their messenger.
Sugriva having got back his kingdom,
sent Vanaras in search of you in all directions.
Then we and other Vanaras went about the earth in search of you.
Angada is the powerful son of Vali.
He departed with one third of the army in search of you.
We spent many days and nights in the mountains of Vindhya.
Unable to find you, we were greatly immersed in sorrow and lost our way'.

'Having searched the impenetrable forest forts, mountain streams,
unable to see the feet of the Devi, we decided to give up life.
Seeing all the Vanaras ready for facing death,
Angada himself was plunged in intense fire of sorrow'.

'Then a powerful gigantic bird came,
as though to help those disappointed and set to die.
He is Sampati, the brother of king of birds Jatayu.
Wanting to hear about the killing of his brother,
Sampati said the following words.
'Oh, best of Vanaras by whom was my younger brother killed?
Where was he dropped down?
I want to hear all about that from you".
Angada then narrated to him the story of the killings of Rakshasas.
He also narrated the dreadful story of your abduction'.

'Oh, best among women!
Grieving on hearing about the death of Jatayu,
Sampati said that you are in Ravana's palace.
Then hearing those words Sampati, with increased happiness,
Angada and others including all of us quickly departed from there'.

'The Vanaras flew up from Vindhyas in search of you,
And reached the northern shores of the ocean.
Standing on the shores of the ocean Vanaras were again concerned.
Then seeing the desperate mood of the Vanara army,
setting aside fear, I leapt across the ocean of hundred Yojanas'.

'I entered Lanka filled with Rakshasas in the night,
I have seen Ravana in his palace.
I have seen you too immersed in sorrow.
Oh! blameless lady! I have narrated this as it happened.
Please speak to me.
I am messenger of Dasarathi.
Oh Devi! know me as the minister of Sugriva and son of wind god'.

'The best among wielders of all weapons,
Rama is keeping well.
Lakshmana, involved in the service of his master, is well too.
Oh Devi! desirous of the welfare of your husband,
I have come here alone on the orders of Sugriva.
Being able to assume any form and moving about in search of you,
I reached this place'.

"Oh Devi!
Fortunately, I have been able to see you.
Fortunately, grief of the Vanara army in search of you will be dispelled,
Fortunately, the effort of jumping across the ocean is not wasted.
Fortunately, I will attain the fame of seeing you here".

"The great hero Raghava along with his friends will be here soon,
And having killed Ravana, he will take you back quickly".

"Oh Vaidehi! mountain named Malyavan is one of the best.
From there Kesari, a Vanara went to the mountain Gokarna.
There predicted by the divine sages,
my father, a great Vanara, killed Samabasadana.
Oh Maithili! born of wind god in the monkey's land,
I am known to all as Hanuman by my own acts".

"Oh Vaidehi! I have described all the qualities of Rama.
Oh Devi! Raghava will soon take you from here".

Sita immersed in sorrow,
presented with reasons,
identified Hanuma as the messenger of Rama.

Janaki shed tears of happiness and experienced immeasurable happiness,
The face of the wide-eyed lady, with her large red eyes,
shone like the moon released from the shadow of Rahu.

She realized that Hanuman is clearly a Vanara, not any other.
Then Hanuman looked at her who is pleasing to look at,
and spoke again to end his narration.

"Oh Maithili!
I have told you everything,
What shall I do?
What pleases you?
Oh Maithili!
when the best of Vanaras killed Samabasadana,
I was born with powers of Vayu and equal to Vayu".

Hanuma's skill in narration can be seen here.
He answered everything Sita asked.
He was focused on winning the confidence of Sita

In the end Hanuma talks about himself.
He was "born with powers of Vayu and equal to Vayu"
In the whole of Ramayana this is the only time,
we see Hanuma extolling his own prowess.
Here he had to give confidence to Sita.
So, he built on his ability to cross the hundred Yojana wide ocean.
He talked about his powers being equal to Vayu.
He even shows his gigantic form.

A little later Hanuman had to tell Sita about capability of the Vanara army.
There the "ego less" Hanuma adopts a different stance.
Hanuma says that Vanara army is full of warriors greater than him,
"none is inferior to him"
That is the greatness of Hanuma

Thus, ends Sarga 35 in Sundarakanda of Ramayana.

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