|| Sarga 37 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

||om tat sat||


Sarga 37

'तत् तस्य् सदृशं भवेत्!'

'तत् तस्य सदृशं भवेत्'
'That is appropriate for him'
That is a line that is said with a deference.
That is said about someone whom we respect or admire or love.
A wife may say 'only such a thing is appropriate' for her husband.
That is what Sita says here.
Only Rama coming and taking her back is appropriate for him,
As opposed to Hanuma carrying her back surreptitiously.
That will be no different from Ravana kidnapping her surreptitiously.
We will come to that passage as move on.

We see Hanuma presenting the Signet ring of Rama to Sita.
After that the poet describes Sita as one "राम संकीर्तन वीत शोका ".
That means one who is rid of sorrow after hearing the praises of Rama.
Though the thought that Rama is not thinking of anything else in her absence is disconcerting,
Sita was rid of her sorrow at least momentarily after hearing the praises of Rama.

Then quickly Sita's mind pivots on the needed actions.
Actions that are needed for uniting with Rama.
That should also be done in an appropriate way.
Appropriate for the name and fame of Rama
That was the thought uppermost in the mind of Sita.
We are seeing Sita in her true nature as the सह धर्मचारिणि'.

In the conversation of Sita and Hanuman in this Sarga,
we see the ego-the free form of Hanuma,
and the mindset of a true 'सह धर्मचारिणि'.

So, we go through that conversation.

The Sarga starts with the line
"सा सीता वचनं श्रुत्वा" (37.1)
" That Sita hearing those words" of Hanuma etc.,
This is after Hanuma's description of Rama in separation from Sita.
Sita says the what he told her about Rama is like nectar with poison.
That Rama is not thinking of any other thing is like nectar,
and that he is immersed in sorrow is like poison
Sita continues.

"रज्जेव पुरुषं बद्ध्वा"
"Death will snatch a man with a rope
whether he is in great fortune or drowning in adversity.
Oh, the best of Vanaras! Surely it is not possible to overcome fate.
See how Rama, Lakshmana and myself are afflicted by sorrows".

Here the thought that
"Fate is all too powerful"
may sound like that it is indeed impossible for a normal person.
What we understand from Sundarakanda,
what we understand from Hanuma is that,
following an appropriate teacher, it is surely possible to stand up to the Fate.

One more thing.

We know that Rama is the incarnation of Vishnu,
and Sita is Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu.
Here even they fall prey to the vagaries of Fate.
Therein lies the central truth of Ramayana.
Rama, though he may be an incarnation of Vishnu,
faces the difficulties like any one and moves forward showing the way.

Sita's comment is also seen as indication of future.
Govindaraja in his commentary says.
'ऐश्वर्ये व्यसने वा विद्यमानं पुरुषं
रज्ज्वा बद्ध्वेव कृतान्तः कालः परिकर्षति।
ताभ्यां अन्यत्रकरोति इत्यर्थः।
एतेन रावण विध्वंसः अवश्यम् भवेत् इति सूचितम्।
Sita's reference to "ऐश्वर्ये वा" meaning "even those in great fortune",
is taken as reference to Ravana,
and that he is doomed despite the great riches.

Let us hear more from Sita.

"Raghava suffered like the one getting drowned in a shipwreck,
when will he reach the shore of the ocean of grief?
When will he kill the Rakshasas, kill Ravana, uproot Lanka?
When will he see me?"
"कदा द्रक्ष्यति माम् पतिः"

'There is a time limit of one year.
Before it is completed you must inform him.
I am alive till that time only.
Oh, Vanara in the time given by the wicked Ravana,
this is the tenth month.
Only two months are remaining.
Brother Vibhishana made efforts to advise my restoration.
Such thought has not been agreed to.
Ravana does not like to return me.
Having fallen into the trap of time,
Ravana is in search of death in a war.
Oh Vanara! The eldest daughter of Vibhishana by name Nala sent by her mother told this to me'.

Sita continues.

'Oh, best of Vanaras!
My husband will reach this place soon no doubt about that.
My conscience tells me of Rama's many virtues.
Oh Vanara! Raghava is endowed with perseverance,
manliness, prowess, kindness, gratitude, competence, and power.
Who is the enemy that will not tremble before the him?
He on his own without his brother killed fourteen thousand Rakshasas in Janasthana.
Oh, bull among men!
He will not be shaken by sorrow.
Like Puloma daughter of Indra I know his powers.
Oh Vanara! valiant Rama with his volleys of dazzling arrows
will dry up the sea of enemy forces like the Sun '.

While she was speaking freely about Rama,
tormented by sorrow her eyes filled with tears.

Then Vanara spoke to her.

" Raghava, on hearing my words will soon come here leading a huge army of Vanaras and the bears".

"Oh, Beautiful Lady!
Today itself I will redeem you from your grief.
Oh, blameless lady you climb on my back.
Keeping you on my back I will cross the ocean.
I have the power to lift the whole of Lanka along with Ravana.
Maithili! Like the sacred fire carries the oblation to Indra,
I will carry you to the one on Prasravana mountain today.
Vaidehi, you will see Rama together with Lakshmana
making all out efforts for killing Rakshasas like Vishnu killed Daityas".

"Rama staying in the ashram will be enthused in seeing you,
like the Indra seated on the king of elephants.
Oh, divine Lady! Climb on my back, do not be reluctant.
Like Moon joining Rohini, you can unite with Rama.
Climbing on my back you can cross the sky and ocean.
Oh, beautiful Lady!
It is not possible for any of the inhabitants of Lanka to speedily follow me
while I carry you from this place.
Vaidehi! Just as I reached here,
I will go across the sky carrying you on my back.
I have no doubt".

Maithili was delighted hearing those wonderful words of the best of Vanaras.

Experiencing joy and she said the following.
'Hanuman! How do you intend to carry me to such a distant place?
This is true to your monkey nature.
Oh, bull among Vanaras with your small body
how will you take me to the lord of men and my husband"?

The illustrious Hanuman,
son of wind God, hearing those words of Sita,
saw a new insult hurled at him.
He says to himself.
"न मे जानाति सत्त्वम्"
"The black-eyed lady is not aware of my powers.
Therefore, let Vaidehi see the form I can assume of my free will".
Thinking thus Hanuman,
the best of fliers and crusher of enemies started showing his real form to Vaidehi.

Here while Hanuma is showing his true from to Sita,
we also get a glimpse of his true form.
He does feel insulted by Sita's words.
He could have responded with an injured ego,
That injured ego could have lit a fire of anger.
What we see is the ego-less form of Hanuma.
He heard Sita.
Understood what she does not know.
Then showed his true nature.
This is also the form of a teacher.
Lack of ego is one of the most important attributes of a teacher.

The wise bull among Vanaras got down from the tree,
He started growing to increase the confidence of Sita.
The best of Vanaras glowing like a blazing fire appeared like mount Meru or Mandara.
Then he stood in front of Sita.
Resembling a mountain in size,
powerful with a red face with teeth and nails strong like diamonds,
He was looking fearsome.
Then he spoke to Vaidehi.

'Oh, Devi! I have the power to carry whole of Lanka with its mountains and gardens.
I can carry the Lanka with forts ramparts and gateways along with its king.
Oh, divine lady! Enough of these unworthy doubts.
Calm your mind.
Oh, Vaidehi, rid Rama of his sorrow'.
"विशोकं कुरु वैदेहि"

The daughter of Janaka,
The wide-eyed lady, with eyes like lotus petals,
seeing the fearsome form of the son of the wind God, spoke as follows.

"तव सत्त्वं बलं चैव विजानामि महाकपे"।
"Oh, Great Vanara!
I have understood your power and strength.
The speed like that of wind,
the brilliance like that of the fire, is astonishing and splendid.
Oh, best of Vanaras!
How can an ordinary person be capable of reaching this shore of the immeasurable ocean?

"I know that you have the power to carry me on your back.
After planning carefully, the great people will surely achieve success.
Oh, Sinless one, best of Vanaras,
It is not proper for me to come with you.
Your speed like that of the wind will render me unconscious.
When you go over the sea speedily,
out of fear I may fall off from your back.
Thus, falling into the sea filled with crocodiles,
I will be helpless and immediately be good for the aquatic animals.

'Oh, destroyer of foes!
It is not possible for me to go with you.
When you are burdened with a woman,
doubtlessly you will have a concern too.
Seeing me while being carried away,
the fearsome Rakshasas ordered by the evil Ravana will follow you.
Oh Hero! Being surrounded by those warriors and carrying me,
you too will have a concern.
In the sky there will be many armed Rakshasas,
and you will be without weapons.
How can you fight and protect me too?
Oh, Best of Vanaras, while you are battling those wicked ones,
I may fall off your back out of fear.
Oh, best of Vanaras! The fearsome massive powerful Rakshasas
may somehow win over you in the fight'.

Or else while you are engaged in the fight
when you turn your attention away, I may fall.
While I fall down the sinful Rakshasas may take me away.
From your hands they may take me away or cut me to pieces.
The success or defeat in a war is seen as uncertain.
Oh, best of Vanaras! In case I am caught by Rakshasas
and intimidated and die, then all your effort would be waste too'.

'You may be able to kill all the Rakshasas.
But by that act of your killing Rakshasas Rama's fame will be diminished.
Or else the Rakshasas having brought me back will conceal me in a place
which neither Raghava nor you will know.
So, for my sake the effort you started will be a waste.
Rama coming along with you will be great.
Oh, powerful one!
The survival of Rama, his brothers, your kings' relatives, and you are dependent on my survival.
Both immersed in sorrow,
as well as all the Vanaras too,
and with hopes lost will give up their lives.

'Oh, best of Vanaras!
Devoted to my husband I cannot touch the body of any other person.
I had body contact with Ravana when I was forcefully brought,
as I had no control on myself.
Without my husband what can I do.
If Rama kills Ravana along with all his people here
and takes me from here that will be proper'.

Here Sita says,
तत् तस्य सदृशं भवेत्'.
That is indeed very appropriate for Sita.
Hanuma could have made her join Rama in a moment.
But as the husband of Sita,
Rama killing Ravana and freeing her from her captivity is the honorable way.
That is Sita's thought.
That may mean increase the duration of her captivity.
It may result in increased period of separation from Rama
That suffering is minor in Sita's view.
Honor of Rama is clearly at a higher pedestal.
Surely the added suffering is worth the cause.

Ramayana is also known as a "सीतायाः चरितं महत्".
Indeed, this is what makes Ramayana as "सीतायाः चरितं महत्".
The age-old tradition of wives standing up for their husband's honor,
probably has its roots in Sita's devotion to Rama.
In that traditional mold wives keep doing many things for their husbands
'तत् तस्य सदृशं भवेत्' is a thought of many wives over the ages.
The husbands too should think on the same lines
'तत् तस्य सदृशं भवेत्'.

With the same thought Sita tells Hanuma.
"Oh, best of Vanaras,
Bring him along with Lakshmana,
and the army of Vanaras here quickly.
Oh, Chief of Vanaras make me happy
s one, who is immersed in sorrow thinking of Rama"?

That is how Sita conveys her wish to Hanuma.

In this context Ramayana Tilaka says,
"चिरकालं शोककर्शितां (मां)
रामस्य अत्र आगमने हर्षितांकुरुष्व।
समूल सकल नाशनेति भावः।".
"I am suffering with sorrow for long time.
make me happy with Rama coming here"
It means that Sita wants the destruction of the Rakshasas,
who is the cause of her sorrow?

Govindaraja in his commentary also refers to Sita 's wish.
" कुरुष्वमां वानर वीर हर्षिताम्",

"make me happy etc."
by bringing Rama and Lakshman here.
He says in his commentary
॥अनया भक्त्या उपायान्तरं स्वरूपविरुद्धं भगवत्प्राप्तौ
स ऎवोपाय इति दर्शितः॥
"offered a not so legitimate means of obtaining the 'Darshan 'of Bhagavan,
Sita stuck to the proper way of realizing Bhagavan"
Realization by any means is not the mantra.
The process shall always be appropriate.
This touches on the age-old issue of means and ends.
"Ends by any means is not OK.
Means are as important as the ends or goals"

Thus, ends the thirty seventh Sarga of Sundarakanda.

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