Sundar Kanda Day 1 ( Part 2)
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
SUNDARA KANDA – DAY 1
Atri ke ashrama, Jaba prabhu gajau
Sulata Maha Atuni Harashi ta bayau
Ulakita gata adri udhi dhaye
Dekhi Rama adheera chale aaye.
Rama came to Atri Maharishi’s Ashrama, the abode of Atri Maharishi, and on seeing Rama, (he was doing his anushtana, Atri,(who was doing some puja at the time, some homa or some japa,)came running to see Rama. Once Appaji was discussing this chapter. He said that Atri Maharishi felt as if Dattatreya was coming to his Ashrama. He saw Dattatreya in Rama, because in one hand, he had his bow and on one side he had arrows. This looked like one face of Dattatreya, and these arrows looked like another face of Dattatreya! Rama’s face is there so Trimukha Rama, Rama’s Trimukha(three faces) he could see, and he thought, “Dattatreya is coming!” So Atri Maharishi came running and Rama did Namaskara to him.
See, this is our culture; respect elders, do namaskara. That is good for you. Our senior devotees, whenever they Appaji, they do Sashtanga Pranam. Appaji says, “No, don’t! you only can hold your hands like this, that’s it.” They say,“No, Swamiji, we have to do Shashtanga Namaskara. That is good for our health.” Keep doing Shashtanga Namaskara whenever you get the opportunity! Why we do Pradakshina? Because we want good health, so we do Namaskara also.
Rama did Namaskara and Atri Maharishi very happily hugged him. He gave a big hug to Ramachandra!
“Karata danda vata muni uralaye, prema barido, jana onda vaye.”
You all, I’m very happy , for, in this Chapter we have to remember Dattatreya Swami.
Rama’s eyes were searching for Dattatreya. Where is Dattatreya? Where is Dattatreya? Then Atri Maharishi must have told him,
“You cannot find Dattatreya here. We are also searching for him. He always goes somewhere here and there. He’s always roaming. He’s not here, so you better search for Him in your heart. You may find Him. It is difficult for you to find Him here in our Ashram, for He’s always roaming.”
However, in Uttarakanda, Rama had the Darshan of Dattatreya. Datta came to Rama. Here in Aranya Kanda he is searching for Dattatreya and in Uttarakanda, the final chapter of Ramayana, he had the Darshan of Dattatreya.
Bhajan: Dattatreya Mam Pahi
Anasuya’s gift to Sita
Then Anasuya Mata gave some decorations to Sita Mata. She said, “ No, I’m not supposed to receive any gifts.” Rama said, “No, you can. Kaikeyi asked me to go to the jungle, but not you. You can wear anything. See, Sita Mata refused to take gifts. Who does this? No woman does this. (as if I know... *laughs*)
But Seeta Mata did this. She said, “No, I don’t want to receive any gifts.” Rama said, “You can receive; she is like your mother. You should take. Rejecting or refusing is not good always. If someone is giving with love, then you should at least touch it as if you received. Seeta Mata received all the gifts from Anasuya Mata. She gave bangles. The power of those bangles, you know, they were very special bangles. Is anyone tries to see Seeta Mata with bad intentions, when she is wearing those bangles, they cannot see her! That is the speciality of those bangles! That means no demon can see Seeta Mata, no rakshasa can see her!
This is not in Valmiki Ramayana. It is in Ascharya Ramayana. Everything is Ascharya. Ascharya is, you look spellbound. You wonder “What is happening here?” That is ascharya. Everything Ascharya. You see everything with your mouth open! Huh! This is wonderful! That is Ascharya Ramayana. This special incident is in Ascharya Ramayana. She wore those bangles when Ravana came to kidnap her. Can you say kidnap? He could not see Seeta Mata because he had bad intentions. Then you know what he did? He sent his sister Shurpanaka who came in sattvic guise, decorated like a saint. This is also auspicious in our tradition. One who comes with these adornments, we should respect, though we know she is acting. That’s what our Sanatana Dharma says. She came in sattvic dress like a saint, so she could see Sita Mata then she asked for her bangles. “ I need your bangles,” she said. Sita Mata gave them to her. Then Ravana came and then he could see Sita. That is what happened in Ascharya Ramayana.
“Namami bhakta vatsalam krpalu shila komalam
Bhajami te padam bhujam adami nam svadamadam
Prapula kanjalochanam madadi dosha mochanam
Pralamba bahuvikramam prabho prameya vaibhavam.”
(We were in Atri’s Ashrama.) Rama asked, “ I cannot stay here for more days. Now I have to leave.”
Your Ashram is very good but I cannot stay, I have to go to Mysore right? I cannot stay here. You say, “No, Swamiji, you can stay.”
You can stay.” But I have to go to Appaji. You also should come to Appaji, right?
So like this, Sri Rama said, “I have to go to Dandakaranya. This is nice, this place is good, but I have to go. Show me the path,” he asked Atri Maharishi. “How do I enter into the real jungle. This is also jungle, but the real jungle, the real thick forest. I want to enter the thick forest, please tell me how to continue my journey.”
Then Atri Maharishi says, “Who am I to show you the path? You are the one who is showing the path to everyone in this world. How can I show you the path?”
Rama said, “Okay, this your saying with love. Okay, out of love I can take your words, but I have to go to the thick forest, so show me the path. Then Atri Maharishi did sankalpa. He knew what is going to happen, what should happen. (P 26) That is why,always be in company with good people, sages, those who have that knowledge. Make yourself surrounded by those people who can show you the path. That is important. When there are two ways, you don’t know, you are all confused—which way to take. This way? This way? Take diversion? We see that both are like diversion. Where to go?
Take help of Sadguru
It is difficult for you to know where to go, where to reach! You can take a path, but, if you don’t know where to go, then you have to take the help of sages, of Sadguru.
Rama asked Atri Maharishi who did some dhyana, then said, “ Rama, you can take this path. You can go on this path.” He knew what was going to happen!
Then Rama entered into Dandakaaranya. Now the real Ramayana starts, Journey of Rama. He was happy, always happy in the forest. He never cried, and Sita Mata never complained, “ Oh, I never knew this would happen, otherwise I wouldn’t have come with you. Never she complained! She was very happy. She said,
“Wherever Rama, you are, that is like Swarga, that is like heaven for me. Without you, even heaven is like hell to me. I don’t want to be there. I want to be with you always.”
So she took it as heaven. She was very happy. Lakshmana was very happy. The three were very happy.
Now you all know, Sita apaharna happened. Apaharna was kidnapping. Many people say Rama did some unnecessary things. He invited troubles.
Rama knew his duty.
No, it was not like that. He knew what was his duty. He came to the forest to protect sages there. Many demons were troubling sages. They were giving troubles to them, so he did Sankalpa of protecting them. He knew that enmity with demons was not good, but purposefully, he had Shurpanaka’s nose cut. You know that story? Then this enmity started. Then Ravana came, and you know what happened. Ravana kidnapped Sita Mata.
Then Rama started crying. Till that day, not even a drop of tears rolled from Rama’s eyes. Till that day, he was very happy. When he came to know that Sita Mata was not there, she was kidnapped, then Rama started crying. Once you are separated from your Prakrti, from your true nature, you cry. Rama, separated from Sita now, as she was not there, he could not be happy. So Rama started crying! Then Prakrti, Sita, started crying. So Prakrti, nature, cries for Paramatman. Paramatman never cries! He does not have crying. But what is this? Why Rama is crying? To teach us, to teach something!
Then Rama and Lakshmana started searching for Sita Mata. This is an important Chapter for us because this is the first time Hanuman is going to see Rama, Rama Darshana. This is called Hanuman Rama Samaa Gama. Samaa Gama means having Darshan. Rama is coming to Hanuman; Hanuman is coming to Rama. You cannot say who is coming to whom. Rama is coming to Hanuman or Hanuman is coming to Rama, like the devotees are going to Swamiji or Swamiji is coming to us? We cannot say that He is coming to us. Rama says, “I wish to see Hanuman. Now I am seeing Hanuman.
Why the name Sundara Kanda?
How it happened—Sugriva met four monkeys. Why do I use the name monkey, you know? To say the meaning of Sundara Kanda. Why he(Valmiki)named Sundara Kanda. What is Sundara? Sundara is beautiful Vanara. How can Valmiki call a monkey Sundara? Is a monkey Sundara? Yes! Come and see our Hanuman here, then you will know how a monkey is Sundara here! “Monkey god”. Don’t see our ordinary monkey. They are also beautiful. Every animal is beautiful, but something happened to our eyes.
We cannot see the glory, or we cannot see the beauty in those animals. That is the mistake of our eyes, not the beauty/monkey right? So some people question why Valmiki named this Sundara Kanda.