Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama who is one of the Dasavathara of Lord Vishnu is a source of inspiration and instruction, starts with the query as to who is a man of Good quality, having in him all the best that one can possess.
It also proceeds to represent precisely Rama and other characters as ideal persons with an individuality of their own, standing in various relations with one another.
Vishnu took avatara as a human in order to show to what height a human can go and ascend peaks of divine perfection in the midst of human imperfection ! Lord Rama appeals to us as a Godly Man rather than a Manly God. Sage Valmiki has written Ramayana in Sanskrit language. Therefore it is called Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam. He has divided the narration into sections or Kandam –
‘Kishkinda Kanda’ and
‘Sundara Kanda’, the fifth Kandam.
Sundara Kanda comprises of 2885 slokas spread in 68 chapters.
Hanuman commences his attempts to search Sita Devi. From this episode ‘Sundara Kanda’ begins. From Skandhamana Parvatha- a mountain – Hanuman successfully crosses the smaudra. Reaches Lanka and there he meets Sita in the Ashokavana.
He identifies himself as Rama Dootha and hands over his Lord’s Ring as his identity. At the court of Ravana, Hanuman was disrespected and ill-treated.
The rakshasas of Ravana’s court set fire over Hanuman’s tail. Hanuman took revenge by setting fire to the entire golden city of Lanka. While going back, He meets Sita, then gets back to Rama and shares the entire story, about his meeting with Sita as well as her eagerness to reunite with Lord Rama.
The Sundara Kanda shows us the power of the name ‘Rama.’ Hanuman repeats this name, and it is well known that he was invincible.
The entire Ramayana may be said to be contained in Sundra Kanda. Hanuman, when he meets Sita, narrates the events of the Bala Kanda and when he comes to meet Rama, after having met Sita, Hanuman says that Rama and Sita will be crowned ruling Ayodhya and have a happy life together. It is also the part that reveals the greatness of Hanuman, who says he can carry all of Lanka on his shoulders if needed!
It also shows that the Divine Couple Rama and Sita are inseparable. Any attempt to think of them as being apart from each other will only bring disaster to the one who thinks that way.
Ravana wanted Sita, and wanted to get rid of Rama. Surpanaka wanted Rama and wanted to get rid of Sita. That was why their lives ended in misery. Hanuman wanted to unite Rama and went in search of Sita. And that is why even today Hanuman is worshipped.
Sundara Kanda captures the determination of Hanuman to succeed, in spite of the hurdles that kept cropping up in his path to Lanka. He has to keep his goal in mind and yet, at the same time, he has to think quickly to overcome the hurdles.
When Surasa opens her mouth wide to swallow him, Hanuman too keeps growing and then he suddenly shrinks and enters her mouth and exits in a matter of seconds and is safely on his way towards Lanka.
Hanuman meticulously searches Lanka for Sita. Hanuman proves himself an excellent ‘doota’ of Rama. The Sundara Kanda’s greatness lies in many things, including the fact that it shows us the greatness of Hanuman.
This is the most blessed Kanda or section in the whole of Ramayana and therefore it gains this unique name ‘Sundara Kanda’. ‘Sundaram’ means Beauty. Hanuman’s other name is ‘Sundara’ his mother Anjani Devi used to call him Sundara.
In SundaraKandam, Sage Valmiki speaks about the achievements of Hanuman. For Hanuman nothing is impossible. His attitude always reminds us self-confidence, faith and devotion to Rama, fearlessness, and trustworthiness.
Benefits of Sundara Kanda Parayanam:
The events described in this Khanda bring confidence and hope from all corners. Hanuman’s indulgence in the destruction of evils has proved that Dharma alone will triumph.
People started believing in Dharma (good virtues), and Only Rama could destroy Adharma (all evil virtues). The Kanda teaches us that, if we want to be successful in life we have to practice Dharma.
The significance of performing Sundara Kanda Parayanam will definitely result in prosperity and it will mitigate all problems one face in daily life. Reading one chapter or sargam of Sundara Kandam is equal to chanting 1000 times Gayathri Japam.
Though it is desirable to represent Rama either by Dasavarana Yanthra or statue, it would be sufficient if one worship your Ramayana Book. One may keep the Pattabhishekam image of Lord Rama. And offer Naivedya of boiled milk added with Sugar to Rama before and after the Parayana.
If not at the beginning, at least offer Naivedya at the end of the Parayana.
Lotus and Thulasi flowers are the best to worship the Rama. If not available, any flower except Karavira can be used. Offering Pomegranate would bring in immense benefits.
One may commence with Chanting of Rama Gayathri or Shadakshari mantra before and after finishing the parayana.
“DasarathayaVidhmahe, SitavallabhayaDheemahi, Thanno Rama Prachodayath.” – Rama Gayathri
Om Ram RamayaNamaha – is the Shadakshari mantra.
SundaraKandamParayanam to Mitigate Specific Problem or Grief:
One may recite the slokas as per your capacity and convenience without following any plan or conventions. The purpose is to recite the slokas and complete Sundara Kanda.
Shiva told, Parvati: Whoever reads or listens to the Sundara Kanda Phalaprapthi, would become a great devotee of Lord Rama and would lead a happy painless life.
We always see where ever Hanuman’s praises are sung it is always said that Rama will bless us. Even the Hanuman Chalisa, speaks the benefits of taking Hanuman’s name but the intention of praying to Hanuman is to get blessed by Sri Rama.
The Bhakti of Hanuman has won Rama completely. They are inseparable. Whenever one surrenders to Hanuman automatically Rama will bless the devotee. Just by remembering Rama Nama, Hanuman will ward off any evil or hurdle in one’s path to happiness.
Dr. Sindhu Prashanth