|| Sarga 56 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 56

"दक्षिणात् उत्तरं दिशम् प्रपेदे"

'दक्षिणात् उत्तरं दिशम्' means
'from South towards northern direction"
"प्रपेदे हरिशार्दूलः" - " Vanara flew "

The first Sloka in Sundarakanda stated the goal of this search.
'ततो रावण नीतायाः' (1.1)
Hanuma in search of Sita abducted by Ravana,
went in Southern direction
'चारणा चरिते पथिः'
'following the path of Charanas'.
Now Hanuma having completed that task,
flew in the northern direction from the South.

In thirty eighth Sarga,
when Sita gave the "Chudamani",
Valmiki wrote that
हृदयेन तु गतो रामं"
Hanuma reached for Rama in his heart.
With happy thoughts "प्रति संक्रमं प्रपेदे"-
Hanuma got ready for the return journey.
But he got held up answering Sita's doubts and questions.

After answering all Sita's queries,
Hanuma wanted to complete a small task before leaving.
'अल्पावशेषं', A small task that was not completed.
At the same time in his mind he moved towards the northern shores.
'दिशं ह्युदीशं मनसा जगाम'.
But he remained stuck in his physical form in Lanka itself.
That was in fortieth Sarga.

In the forty first Sarga, the story takes a turn.
Wanting to know the strength of the Rakshasa and meet Ravana,
Hanuma goes about the destruction of Ashok Van.
Successfully defending himself,
Hanuma destroys the Rakshasas who came to capture him.

Finally meeting Ravana Hanuma delivers a blistering message,
which was to "return Sita and plead forgiveness of Rama".

Unrepentant Ravana orders that Hanuma's tail be set on fire.
Hanuma accepts the punishment of burning tail.
And converts that to an opportunity to burn down Lanka.
Finally taking leave of Sita,
Hanuma is physically on a path to return.
So, the journey that started mentally in Sarga 38,
finally takes place in Sarga 56.

During this period, we learnt many things.
The dialogue of Hanuma and Sita is most revealing.

When Hanuma gets ready to go,
Sita had many questions. She says
"कामं अस्य त्वमेव एकः कार्यस्य परिसाधने".
That means " you can achieve what is required,
without anybody's help".

But Sita's wish is something different.

What is that wish?
"शरैस्तु संकुलं कृत्वा लङ्कांपरबलार्दनः।
मां नयेत् यदि काकुत्स्थः तत् तस्य सदृशम् भवेत्॥(56.4)
Rama to come to Lanka and defeat Ravana,
Then take her back.
That would be appropriate for Rama.
The distinction of defeating Ravana should be that of Rama.

That "husband's fame' is the wish of every wife.
That is the lesson from Sundarakanda.
That every husband shall also have a similar wish is also true.
We hear that from Rama in Uttara Kanda.

One more thought.
In the last Sarga - fifty fourth Sarga- we hear
'दग्धेयं नगरी सर्वा'
'जानकी न च दग्धेति'
That means,
'whole of Lanka was burnt, but Sita was not '

In that safety of Sita we learn one more thing.

Sita is known as 'अयोनिज'
"Self" has no birth.
'Self' is not born, nor does it have a 'death'
We hear that in Bhagavad-Gita. "न जायते..."
We also hear,
"न दह्यते दह्यमाने शरीरे",
Though the body can be burnt, the "Self" is not burnt.

Lanka is the symbolic representation of the body complex.
Hanuma went in search of the "Self".
Sita is that "Self".
In the burning of Lanka, Valmiki is establishing that,
though the body complex in the form of "Lanka " may be burnt,
Sita - the "Self" is not burnt and is safe.

Sita is Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu.
Rama is the form of Vishnu.
Sita is also the form of Jiva.
How a Jiva is stuck in the bonds of life,
may escape those bonds is established in Sundarakanda.

Guru helps in the unification Jiva with Paramatma.
Hanuma is that Guru or teacher.
Hanuma, the teacher, having found the Jiva with abiding interest in unification,
now starts back to convey the same to the Paramatman, the Supreme being.
So Hanuma, the teacher having completed his task is on the way back.

Thus, the many echoes in Sundarakanda,
culminate in this Hanuma's travel from South to North.

Now we hear the narration in the fifty-sixth Sarga.

The fifty-sixth Sarga starts with the line
"ततस्तु शिंशुपामूले जानकीं पर्यवस्थिताम् ।",
thus, referring to Sita sitting under the Simsupa tree.

Then offering salutations to Sita
Hanuma says "दिष्ट्या पश्यामि त्वाम्",
'Luckily I am seeing you unharmed'.

Poet through Hanuma uses the word "दिष्ट्या".
"दिष्ट्या" means fortunately.
Hanuma used this word many times.
including his being able to locate Sita.
Hanuma does not ever attribute any of those events as his success.
Success always is predicated by 'fortunately'.
That 'fortune' is because of Rama.
That selfless mode permeates the whole of Sundarakanda.

Continuing with the story, we see Sita's response.
Sita is focused on Rama coming and rescuing her.
She repeatedly tells that Hanuma.
There is no exception this time.

Then seeing Hanuman who is all set to go,
Sita speaks words showing her love to her husband.
' For this mission to be accomplished surely you alone are capable.
With this you attain fame and strength.
If the slayer of enemy forces, Kakutstha,
takes me back creating distress all over Lanka with his arrows,
that will be appropriate for his greatness.
You act in a way that the great one takes necessary steps,
and defeats the enemies with his prowess

Hearing those meaningful words supported with reason,
Hanuma spoke in response.

' Kakutstha will come quickly along with Vanara chiefs.
Defeating the enemies in the battle,
he will put an end to your sorrow'.

Thus, having assured Vaidehi,
Hanuman the son of wind god,
having made up his mind to go offered salutations to Vaidehi.

This is truly the end of the search.
For the moment all concerns are done.
The mood is lighter.
The poet takes us through similies,
of persons waking up, of chanting, of music and more
as Hanuma gets on top of the mountain Arista,
in preparation for his travel in the northern direction.
We continue with the poet's narration.

Then the tiger among Vanaras and crusher of foes,
eager for meeting the Lord,
ascends the best of mountains, Arishta.

The mountain was having forest ranges full of tall Padmaka trees and the dark ones.
The clouds hanging between peaks looked like an upper garment.
The auspicious rays of rising Sun were as though affectionately waking up (the mountain).
The colorful minerals pushed up by the wind gave appearance of eyes that are opening.
The loud sounds of mountain waterfalls were like the sounds Vedic chanting.
The different kinds of sounds of waterfalls were as though the mountain was singing.
The tall Devadarus trees were like one doing penance with the arms raised.
The sounds of waterfall filled all the quarters with reverberations.

The mountain appeared trembling with dark clouds of autumn.
The hollow bamboos hit by the winds made sweet noises like bamboo flutes.
The hissing sounds of dreadful poisonous snakes were as though the mountain was sighing.
The caves majestically covered with mist were as though meditating.
The ranges of foothills appearing like feet of the clouds and the peaks like garlands of clouds,
it made the mountain look like yawning with face looking up.

With many kinds of caves and mountain peaks the mountain was delightful.
It was covered with many Sala, Tala, and Aswakarna trees,
It was also covered with bamboos and reeds.
It was spread with creepers filled with flowers.
There were herds of many types of animals.
It was decorated with flowing streams carrying colorful minerals.
It had many waterfalls with heaps of rocks making the flow of water difficult.
It was inhabited by sages, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and Nagas.
There were clusters of creepers and trees.
There were many trees bearing tasty fruits and roots.
It had caves scattered all over were, that were inhabited by groups of lions.

Joyful Hanuman, the son of wind god,
anxious to see Rama soon, ascended the mountain happily.
The rocks on the beautiful mountain ranges
crushed under Hanuman's feet,
reduced to powder rolled down making a loud noise.

The great Vanara wishing to cross the ocean
from the southern tip to northern shore,
having climbed the mountain, enlarged his body.

Then the heroic son of wind god
having climbed the mountain saw the fearsome ocean,
inhabited by fishes and snakes.

The son of wind god, tiger among the Vanaras,
leaped into the sky from the south towards north.

Then pressured by the force of Vanara's leap,
the best of mountains sank into the earth along with all creatures,
making a great sound, with the shaken mountain tops and falling trees.

Shaken by the force of his thighs,
the blossoming trees fell on the ground
like sick people struck down by Indra's thunderbolt.

The terrific roar of lions residing in those caves,
crushed by the force were heard cracking the sky.
The scared Vidyādharas at once flew from the mountain,
with their clothes and ornaments in disarray,
anticipating danger.
As Hanuma pressed the mountain to take the leap,
strong and highly poisonous snakes
huge in size with glowing tongues
were pressed on their heads and necks.

The Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Vidyādharas
left the mountain and flew into the sky.

Pushed by Hanuma,
the mountain along with the trees and its peaks sank into the underworld.
The ten Yojana wide and thirty yojana high mountain was levelled to ground.

Desiring to cross the ocean of saltwater
with huge waves dashing towards the shore,
"उत्पपाथ नभो हरिः"
Hanuma leaped into the sky.

Thus, Hanuma leaves Lanka after completing the search for Sita.
Thus, ends the fifty sixth Sarga of Sundarakanda.

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