|| Sarga 36 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||

Sarga 36

"दूतो रामस्य धीमतः"

In Sarga 35 poet says
Hearing the words of Hanuma on Rama,
"मुमोच आनंदजं जलम्"
" (Sita) shed tears of happiness".

Hanuma too realizes that he has won the confidence of Sita,
Then he builds on that confidence in the Sarga 36.
Hanuma reintroduces himself as
"दूतो रामस्य धीमतः".
That he is a messenger of sagacious Rama,
virtually imitating Sita's
"भार्या रामस्य धीमतः"

Then he hands over the signet ring of Rama saying
"रामनामांकितं अंगुळीयकं पश्य".
"See this ring with Rama's name"

The corresponding Sloka in the Sarga is as follows.

"वानरोsहं महाभागे दूतो रामस्य धीमतः
रामनामांकितं चेदं पश्य देव्यंगुळीयकं।
प्रत्ययार्थं तवानीतं त्व दत्तं महात्मना
समाश्विसिहि भद्रं ते क्षीण दुःखफलाह्यसि"॥

Hanuma says
"Devi! I am a Vanara.
See the ring with Rama's name.
Rama has given this ring.
This is to provide assurance to you.
Be rest assured,
Your sorrows will go away.
May you be blessed'.

According to many,
this is a Sloka that is to be read before starting on Parayana,
The Parayana is a spiritual reading of Ramayana.

Again, according to many this episode illustrates
the way of a Guru or the teacher showing the path to a Seeker.

The classical process is as follows.

The Seeker first must hear the Story of Bhagavan,
Then the Seeker should know the celestial form of the Bhagavan.
Then having been taken in by that celestial form,
the seeker's confidence in the Guru grows.
Having observed the Seeker sufficiently,
Having realized that the seeker is now ready to put his belief in that Bhagavan,
The Guru then elaborates on his experiences to the Seeker.
Once the Seeker is firmly on the path to seek liberation,
the Guru then gives the instruction in the form of a Mantra.
The instruction of the 'Mantra' is a form of giving knowledge.
This is the protocol Master follows in providing instruction to the Seeker

In handing over the Rama's signet ring to Sita,
Hanuma seems to follow the same process.
Sitting on the Simsupa tree Hanuma observes Sita for a long time.
Having overheard the exchanges of Sita and Ravana,
Having seen Sita's longing for Rama,
Having seen her desperation for being rescued by Rama
Having seen her getting ready to give up life
Hanuma sings the story of Ikshwakus for Sita,
Hanuma describes the almost celestial form of Rama.
Having described how he was associated with Rama,
Hanuma announces himself as the messenger of Rama.
Then he hands over the signet ring of Rama.
The Signet ring of Rama is the token.
It is the 'Mantra' here.

Hanuma could have given the ring first to get Sita's confidence.
He would have at once received Sita's confidence.
But Hanuma did not do that.
Hanuma followed the process the Guru follows with the Seeker.
He waited till Sita is ready to believe him,
like the teacher who waits till seeker is ready.

The Sloka starts with "वानरोsहं".
Saying " I am a Vanara"
Saying that he is Vanara,
He distances himself from the evil Rakshasa
That he may be Rakshasa is uppermost in Sita's thoughts.
By saying 'Vanara', he declares his humbleness.

Hanuma then addresses Sita as 'महाभागे '
'Mahabhage' means most fortunate.
The Seeker favored by the Bhagavan is indeed the most fortunate
The fortunate Seeker will be blessed with a teacher who will provide necessary instruction.
Thus, the Seeker blessed with a teacher is the most fortunate.
Thus, Hanuma addressing Sita as "Mahabhage" is very appropriate.

The teacher carries the message of Bhagavan to the Seeker.
Thus, the teacher acts in the role of a messenger.
Here Hanuma is the messenger.
Whose messenger?
'रामस्य धीमतः'-
Messenger of wise and sagacious Rama.
Rama is a form of bliss.
Dhiman is store house of Knowledge.
He is the messenger of one whose form is bliss,
He is the messenger of one who is all knowledge
Here we hear the echo of Rama being that Supreme being.

The Mantra is obtained as a favor of Bhagavan,
The teacher passes it on to the Seeker.
As though following the same process,
Hanuma too gives the Rama's ring as token of knowledge to Sita

In the protocol of the Master and Disciple,
The mantra given by the teacher is the tool.
The tool enables the Seeker in his search.
That tool enables him to experience.
The tool ultimately drives the sorrows away

Sita, seeing the ring of Rama,
experiences Rama, as though Rama was right in front of her.
The ring was given by Rama.
Brought by Hanuma.
Given to Sita.
Like Seeker whose sorrows are dispersed by the Mantra,
Sita too was momentarily rid of her sorrows
That is what we hear through the poet.

"गृहीत्वा प्रेक्षमाणा सा भर्तु करविभूषणं।
भर्तारमिव संप्राप्ता जानकी मुदिताsभवत्।"।

"करविभूषणं" means the ring.
"गृहीत्वा" means "Having received the same",
Janaki was delighted as though she obtained her husband.

The word "करविभूषणमु" the emphasis is about "करं"the hand.
"करं" the hand helps one to accomplish things.
Bhagavan's hand projects protection.
Protection of the whole world.
Maintenance of the whole world is that act of protection.
The hand thus is a symbol of protection.

The acts of creation, maintenance and destruction are all part of the Supreme.
How does that realization of Supreme being come about?
What is the tool for that realization?
The Mantra given by the Master is that tool.
The realization that the Supreme being is the protector,
happens once the instruction is provided by the teacher.
The receipt of the instruction leads to the feeling of seeing Bhagavan himself.
It leads to delight.

As soon as she received the ring,
Sita was delighted.
In that delight Sita tells Hanuma the following.

"विक्रांतः त्वं" एकेन त्वया राक्षसपदं प्रधर्षितं
"You are very brave'.
समर्थः त्वं"- देशकालोचितकृत्य चतुरः
You are very capable.
प्राज्ञः त्वं" धर्मार्थविषयकसर्वशास्त्रार्थतत्वज्ञः
You are truly knowledgeable

These three are Hanuma's traits.
By this we know Hanuma has strength, power and knowledge.
These are also necessary for a teacher.
To control the Tamas and Rajas one needs the knowledge.
To control the powerful mind, one must be capable.
Thus, Sita lauds the power of Hanuma.

In Sundarakanda Hanuman plays the greatest role.
Despite many obstacles he moves on and on.
Thus, he shows how a man may cross the ocean of life.
Such a man too requires strength, power and knowledge.
That is what Sita emphasized

The Vanara crossed the sea infested with many beings.
The Vanara made the crossing of an ocean look like jumping across a calf's hoof mark.
The Vanara broke into impenetrable Ravana's fort.
That Vanara is not a simple Vanara.
That is amply clear to Sita.
The signet ring of Rama confirms that he is indeed the messenger of Rama.
With such evidence Sita knew that she can talk to Hanuma.

At once all the questions fears lingering in her mind come out,
They come out like the flood of overflowing river waters.

Now we hear that flood of questions

'Fortunately, the righteous Rama, the follower of truth, is well.
Fortunately, the glorious Lakshmana, who is the pleasure of Sumitra, too is well.
Why does Rama not burn this earth circled by the ocean,
in his rage as if it is the end of the Yuga?
Both can hold back even the Devas.
Why are they not coming for my rescue?
May be my sorrows are not a disaster, I think.
Is Rama depressed?
Is he suffering?
Is he too depressed to attend to action for my rescue?
Is he attending to his duties?

For retaining friends, one must follow two types of action.
Is Rama practicing those actions?
Desiring victory over enemies one must follow three types of action.
Is he practicing those actions?

"Is he acquiring friends?
Do the friends also need him?
Do the friends want his success?
Is he honored by his friends?"

"Is Rama pleasing Gods with his actions?
Is he doing actions aimed at pleasing people and gods?
In separation, has Raghava become devoid of love?
Oh Vanara! Will he liberate me from this misery?
Rama who knew only happiness and
Rama who is not used to unhappiness,
has he become depressed facing sorrows?"

"Hope he is hearing about the well-being of Mother Kausalya.
Hope he is hearing about the well-being of Mother Sumitra as well as that of Bharata.
Hope the respectable Raghava facing sorrow on my account has not become absent minded.
Hope he will save me".

"Bharat very much devoted to his brother,
Will he send an army of one Akshahauni, protected by ministers, for me?
The King of Vanaras supported by valiant Vanaras,
who use teeth as well as nails as weapons,
Will he reach here? "

"The valiant Lakshmana, son of Sumitra, is expert in using weapons.
Will he kill the Rakshasas with a flow of arrows?
When can I see Ravana and his friends slain in a fiery battle soon?"

"Hope, Rama who has face like that of a moon
Rama with golden complexion and lotus fragrance
has not withered away with severe grief
like the lotus without water in scorching heat".

"Rama who has given up kingdom
for the sake of truthfulness and righteous conduct,
Rama who led me to the forest on foot
without showing agony, fear or sorrow,
has that Rama retained the courage of his heart?

"Neither his mother, nor his father,
nor anyone else is dearer than,
or as dear as, I am to him.
It is not otherwise.
O messenger I wish to survive
until I see news from my husband".

Having thus told all her concerns in meaningful and sweet words
Sita then remained silent waiting to hear more about Rama.

Here poet says Sita told all her concerns to "वानरेन्द्रम्".
"वानरेन्द्र " is Sugriva.
By calling Hanuma as "वानरेन्द्र ",
poet is saying that through Sugriva, after his coronation,is is the King,
Hanuma is the "king of Vanaras" in the spiritual matters.
Ramayan tilaka says the same.
"सुग्रीवस्य शेषत्वेऽभिषिक्तत्वेऽपि पारतन्त्ये हनुमानभिषिक्तं इत्यर्थः।"

Poet also describes Sita's words as "रामार्थयुक्तं".
By that he meant "words said for the sake of Rama".
Some of the stinging words asking 'why Rama did not do etc.'
are meant as words addressed to Rama.
At one-point Sita said 'Why does Rama not burn this earth circled by the ocean'.
While referring to the island surrounded by the ocean,
Ramayana tilaka commentary says that Sita implied,
'सागरम् सलिलमेव तैलं कृत्वामहीं दग्धुं समर्थः'
Sita is virtually saying Rama is capable of converting the water surrounding island into oil,
and burn down the island.
She is asking why Rama is not doing that.
These are questions of an angry wife waiting to be released from captivity.

Maruti the fierce warrior, hearing the words of Sita,
bowing his head in obeisance said the following in his reply.

'Oh, Lady with eyes like lotus petals!
Rama does not know that you are here.
So, he has not brought you back immediately like Indra got back Sachi.
Hearing my words Raghava will immediately come here,
leading a huge army of the troops of Vanaras and bears.
The Kakutstha making the ocean still by a torrent of arrows,
will rid the city of Lanka of all Rakshasas.
If the lord of death or anybody else comes in the way,
Rama will destroy them too.
Oh, Gentle lady!
Not able to see you, immersed in sorrow
Rama is unhappy like an elephant tormented by a lion'.

'Oh, Sita I swear in the name of Malaya and Vidhya's,
I swear in the name of the Meru and Mandara mountains,
I swear in the name of Dardura and by the roots and fruits as well that
you will soon see Rama with a countenance resembling full moon'.

'Oh Vaidehi!
You will soon see Rama seated on the mount Prasaravana,
like the Indra sitting on the elephant'.

"Raghava does not eat meat.
Does not drink too.
He is always eating only one fifth of the food as prescribed.
Always thinking about you,
he no longer drives away flies or mosquitos,
nor insects or even serpents from his body.
Always immersed in sorrow,
Rama is always meditating.
Absorbed in love for you,
he does not think of anything else.
Rama is never sleeping.
Even if he sleeps, he will be saying Sita repeatedly in a sweet voice.
Whenever he sees fruits or flowers,
with deep sighs he calls out saying 'oh dear' again and again.
Oh Devi! The great soul and the prince,
he always burning with desire, wanting to talk about you.
Firm about his decision, he makes efforts to secure you only".

Hearing that Rama is ever in sorrow because of separation,
Sita whose sorrow equals Rama's sorrow,
shone like the moon,
that is at once bright and not bright too,
on a clouded monsoon sky.

Introducing himself saying,
"दूतो रामस्य धीमतः"
Hanuma elaborated on the sorrow of Rama.
At the end the poet says
While the thought that Rama is sorrowing for her generated happiness,
the words that Rama is in deep sorrow made Sita sorrowful.
Sita with these two contrasting moods of joy and happiness
exactly resembled the moon appearing and disappearing,
in the monsoon clouds of a moonlit night.
Thus, ends Sarga 36 of Sundarakanda in Valmiki Ramayana

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