SUNDARA KĀNDA

         The great Hanumān dominates the whole Kānda, except a few Sargās at the end. Since "Rāmayana" is the story of Rāma, it is not probable, that the poet would choose the name of any Kānda, after any other personage, since the name of every Kānda bears and has close nexus with, the name of the activity or the name of the place of activity of the supreme hero, Rāma. Then how came this Kānda to be called Sundarā Kānda, without detracting from Rāma's eminence!

         Bhagawān Vālmeeki, created a powerful mantra, which is a garland of 27 (an auspicious number 1/4x108) names of the exploits and the high qualities of the head and heart of Hanumān, which is known as Sundarā Hanumān mantra and he flowered forth from this Kānda. Rāma also has a claim to this epithet Sundarā, (beautiful). Thus serving both ways this Kānda is called Sundarā Kānda. In this Kānda only, all the great exploits are Hanumān's exclusively. In the next Kānda (Yuddha Kānda) he shared the laurels with the other mighty monkey-chiefs, except in the two amazing deeds of bringing the mountain having the life saving herbs for Lakshmana. It is claimed and proved true that by a devout reading of this Kānda, one gets all his reasonable desires fulfilled by the grace of Lord Hanumān. Again this Kānda contains many splendid descriptions of various objects the ocean, the sky, the city of Lanka, its gardens and the superb description, of Moon light, of the pathos of Sita Dēvi's form and situation in superb abstract similar and of the most beautiful physical features of Rāma, in their most ideal aspects (as if the poet was writing the Sāmudrika sāstra), of the splendid Rāvana's features and his court, of the terrible fights of Hanumān and of the hideous beauty of the great fire of Lanka and so on. Thus this Kānda fully deserves its title Sundarā Kānda, which is more appropriate than any other title. The Kānda, by itself, appears as a Kāvya, by its varied sentiments, (Rasās) in various situations created by this mighty poet in various meters (as scholars say). Again, there is a Slōka, said to be sung at the time of the marriage of Lord Hanumān with Suvarchala Dēvi, the daughter of Sun-God. It says that Hanumān is capable of assuming any form (Kāmaroopi) and in whatever from he assumes he is Sundarā (very beautiful). He is beautiful as a bachelor (at the first meeting with Rāma), as a house holder, as a Vānaprastha hermit (third order of life) as Yati (wandering monk), as a very old person (with Bheema in Mahābhārata), as a young person, or as a boy, or as a simpleton (a dark horse by curse), or in a very small form (in Lanka, while searching for the Dēvi Sita) or in his cosmic form; and he is most beautiful in the three worlds, even though he is born as a monkey.

         कमाविन्क (small sparrow)          विस्बरुपांतं आत्मवान्न् !
         ब्रह्मचारी, ग्रुहस्थस्च, वानप्रस्थः, सभिक्षुकः !!
         अतिव्रुहो, युवा, मुग्धो, बालः, त्रैलोक्य सुन्दरः !

         Again here are two picturesque strokes from the pen of the great Kamba. Standing on the Mahēndra mountain, great Hanumān was like the Mandhara Mouintain placed on the back of Mahā Vishnu, in his incarnation of आदि कूर्म (Tortoise) for churning the milky ocean. When then mount Mahēndra shook under the weight of Hanumān, the tigers, in the caves, out of fear, ran out of the caves, holding their cubs with their mouths.

         (Standing on the mount Mahēndra) Hanumān, the mighty, intended to take to the skies of the celestial Charanās, to find the place of Sita, carried off by Rāvana. For this most difficult task of flying over the ocean and against all odds, he erected his head and neck and was like a powerful full and he freely walked about the cool green pastures there, like a great lion and killing many wild beasts and uprooting the trees with dash of his chest. Gandhavās, Kinnerās and Yakshās decked with jewels found there and celestial like snakes resided on the sides of the mount. He was like a huge elephant among the elephants in the lakes there.

         It seems this Kānda, more than the other Kāndās, lends itself to allegoricala, philosophical thoughts by the scholars. Further the words and phrases used by this great poet occur in the sāstrās dealing with some occult disciplines, though they seemingly describe the attempts of the great Hanumān to ready himself for his great flight. A great critic sees in it a brief exposition of the most difficult and sacred and esoteric Kundalini Yōga (activating the dormant primordial cosmic energy - "serpent power" located in the person, in the plexus, (in Astral plane only) in the region where the legs commence). When it (Kundalini) in activated by thus Yōga (discipline), It is said to "wake up" and pass up through the Sushumna Nādi (an Astral nerve along the spine) through the higher "chakras" and finally reaches the thousand petalled chakra or Padma in the brain. (The holy union, resulting in samādhi, the super conscious state where mental modifications cease to exist. When this Kundalini is travelling up, the sādhaka will be having mystic experiences and great celestials will be coming into his mental vision. That is what the great Yōgi Hanumān had got. The great poet, thus symbolically suggests this Kundalini Yōga, by double meaning words, as the critic claims. He bases his opinion on the fact, among other things, that, throughout this Kānda, only two crucial names Hanumān and मारुतात्मजः of Hanumān occur, the former signifying Yogi and the latter, प्राणायाम, the very basis of Kundalini Yōga. Again, this Kānda begins with ततोरावण नतायः: - the first letter Tat is obviously the first sacred letter (वर्ण) of the holy Gāyatri mantra, the mother of seven crores of Mahā mantrās. Thus this Kānda speaks of two occult disciplines- Gāyatri and Kundalini Yōga - an additional reason for this Kānda being named Sundarā Kānda. The prophetic dream of Trijata, is obviously the mystical exposition of Mahā Gāyatri mantra (जायत्रि देवि). In mantra sāstra, Rāma is Gāyatri Dēvi (Lalithāmbika) and Lord Krishna is said to be Syāmala Dēvi. The full Gāyatri mantra, with the 7, instead of the 3 Vyāhrutis (भूः भुवः etc.,) and its head (आपो ज्योति etc.,) is called प्राणायाम् मन्त्रः.

         Turning to the east (auspicious direction), with folded hands, Hanumān bowed to Sun-god, God Indra, his father Wind-God, the great God Brahma and the Gods of the Elements and then turning to the south for flight, he began to grow, bigger and bigger like the sea at the time of high tide, all for the sake of Rāma. While the great, monkeys were looking in wonder at his huge form, he pressed down, with hands and feet the mountain as a spring board, for his intended leap. Under this pressure, even that great mountain shook for a while. Its trees shed their flowers and the mountain looked like a mount of flowers. The hill streams burst their banks and the mount looked like a huge elephant in heat, (discharging dirty water of silt). The ores of gold, silver and other minefals of various hues were squeezed out and the mountain looked like one emitting fire wit smoke. Being squeezed, the various denizens in the caves, gave vent to terrible shrieks, heard far and wide. Terrible snakes came out and in great anger, bit the stones, which split and fire broke out, such being their poison. Though the mount contained many anti-dotal herbs, they were of no avail against their poison. Fearing that the mountain was breaking, the Rishis there left it for the sky. The semi-celestials, Vidyadharās, with their garlands of flowers, along with their consorts with jewels on took to the sky, leaving behind all their drinking vessels with their contents and their golden swords and shields. Some stood in the air, exhibiting their Yōgic skills. The Rishis and Siddhās, standing in the sky, spoke among themselves, that the mountain like Hanumān, for the sake of Rāma and all the monkeys, was bent on flying over the terrible ocean, with tremendous speed, to reach the most in accessible opposite coast the most difficult task for anyone. Hearing this, the Vidyadharās, looking about them, saw the gigantic Hanumān, standing on the cliff. The great mountain like Hanumān, vigourously shook his body, as also his long, hairy tail, like a great bird shaking the serpent in its claws, his hanging tail appearing like a serpent dangling from the claws of a great vulture. He gave vent to a thunderous cry. Tightening his mace like arms, waist and feet and neck and holding his breath tightly, Hanumān, roused himself to his full power and vigour and set his eyes on the path to be taken and on the sky. (The Prānāyāma discipline for becoming a Yōgi - hinted as noted above). Firmly standing on his feet and contracting his ears (all Yōgic steps for introspection) to keep out the external noise in his flight, he spoke to the monkey-chiefs, thus, "Like Rāma's arrow speeding like wind, I will fly to Rāvana's Lanka and if the Dēvi is not found there, I go to swarga and if she is not found even there, I will bring Rāvana as a prisoner along with his whole Lanka, after uprooting it easily. I shall return successfully, by bringing the Dēvi, in any event". So saying, with great speed and dauntlessly he rose into the sky. He thought himself to be the great Garuda, the celestial King of the Birds. (The poet uses the word Suparna, which is also the name of Gāyatri, or Parabrahma). A great many trees on the mountain were uprooted by the fierce wind generated by this sudden leap, of Hanumān and those trees followed him like the kith and kin following for some distance a person going on a long journey, or the soldiers their king. The huge Hanumān, flying with those huge trees, presented a wonderful sight. After being dragged for some distance, those huge trees, fell down and disappeared in the ocean, like the (flying) mountains in ancient times which plunged into the ocean from fear of being cut down by God Indra. Covered by the various flowers dropped from those trees, the huge Hanumān appeared like a mountain, at night, with glow worms swarming about it or like a large cloud with lightnings. Being lighter, after some more distance those flowers fell into the ocean, parting from him like relatives and friends and the ocean, by those flowers looked like the starry sky a fine sight. His large out stretched arms, with their large fingers appeared like two great five headed serpents coming out of a cliff, his huge body. His eyes were like two fires on a cliff or like Sun and Moon raised at the same time. When he soared high it seemed as if he was about to swallow the sky and when he rushed near the surface of the ocean, it seemed as if he was about to swallow it. His upright tail was like Indradhwaja and when the tail became round in the flight, it appeared like the great ring about the Sun. The wind generated by his speed, made a thunderous noise. With his great tail, he was like a malefic comet, going south, to bring disaster to Lanka. With his shadow on the waters and his body above, he was like a great ship, with its bottom submerged, driven by wind. Wherever he rushed, the ocean there became turbulent and as if maddened. With this wind (कपि वातः) joined the wind from the north (मेधवातः) driving the clouds south (aiding his speed and foreboding good luck). Billows, as high as mounts Mēru and Mandhara rose and reached the clouds, which turned (from clear sea water) like the clouds at Sarat time. The ocean, thus swelling up, exposed to view, its small and big fish and other animals, like the limbs of a naked person being seen. Then the great sea serpents became scared on seeing Hanumān, taking him to be the great. Garuda. His shadow on the ocean, was like a great white (from sea water) cloud, 30 yōjanās long and 10 yōjanās broad. He was like a winged mountain. Wherever he flew, the sea before him, appeared like a huge tub, the strong wind generated, shoring up the waters. He flew easily like the king of the birds and dragging along with him large clouds of different hues, sometimes concealed by them and sometimes coming out of them, like the Moon a thrilling sight and the celestials rained flowers on him and the Sun shone mildly on him and the wind also was cool, to help him in his mission. Seeing that he was flying without the least fatigue, all the celestials and Rishis praised him and some sang and danced in joy. This is the first feat of Hanumān, causing wonder among them.

         Then the great God of the ocean thought thus, "I thrived through the help of the great Ikshwāku king Sagara (hence I bear his name and am called Sāgara). This Hanumān is the friend of and is on the mission of, the great scion of that Dynasty, Rāma. If I keep quiet, everyone will censure me. So I must help Hanumān and lessen his toil and arrange some resting place here for him for a short while, so that he may continue his flight completely refreshed". The sea-god, then spoke to Mynāka, (the presiding deity of the great mountain (Hiranya Nābham) which had immense gold in its bowels and which was hiding in the ocean being a winged mountain, from fear of Indra) thus, "Have no fear of Indra. God Indra had blocked through you the great passage from the lower Pātāla Lōka to this upper world and prevented the entry of the Titans there into this world and you are serving as a huge lid to that under-world opening. You can expand in any direction. On Rāma's mission the mighty Hanumān is flying over me. I owe a duty to the Ikshwāku rulers, who are worshipable by, me from the great benefit I got from them and more worshipable they are by you, since you are very happily living in my bosom. So help me to discharge my duty before it is late (as Hanumān is flying over me very fast). One, who fails to do his duty, incurs the censure of the good. Great gold cliffed Mynāka! You are worshipped by the celestials. Come up and provide a resting place for a short while on you cliff for the worthy guest, the great Hanumān. Think of the righteous Rāma, Sita's plight and the arduous task of Hanumān". Hearing this Mynāka, at once, rose up out of the ocean like the Sun breaking forth from the clouds, disclosing his lofty cliffs of pure gold. Kinnerās and celestial serpents were on the cliffs. The dark sky shone like gold and the mountain, with its cliffs of gold, shone like hundred Suns. The flying Hanumān, thinking it to be an obstacle purposely coming in his way to spoil his mission, dashed against it with his adamantine chest, like a fierce wind against a large cloud. The mountain staggered. Mynāka got thrilled by this might of Hanumān and was further glad. Mynāka, assuming a human form and standing on his cliff, addressed in great joy Hanumān standing aloft, thus, "Great Hanumān! I am well pleased with this, your most unique feat, of dashing aside my huge mountain, even when you are flying. Rest awhile on my cliff, without any hesitation. This ocean-god, being very much benefited by the Ikshwāku king Sagara and his progeny, is honouring you, engaged in the mission of Rāma, by way of worship of his (ocean-god's) benefactor, Sagara and his progeny and Rāma being one such. To requite a good deed is the ancient dharma. Since you are on the most arduous and long flight of 100 yōjanās, this God (ocean) requested me to provide a halting place for you for some rest, with fine fruits and roots for your refreshment. So kindly rest awhile here and go away refreshed, after partaking of them found in plenty on my mountain. Further, persons like you most virtuous and most famous in the three worlds, must be honoured. Even a very ordinary guest, deserves to be honoured and then what to say of great persons like you? You are the son of the great God of Wind and you are on par with him in flight. In worshipping you, I am worshipping him (by proxy). Further, your father is my benefactor. He saved me. It was in Krutayuga that the mountains had wings and I am also a winged one. Seeing the terrible danger to the world, from those wings, God Indra began to cut off the wings with his Vajrāyudha. Once he pursued me, but your great father (Wind-God) dumped me in this ocean and saved me. Since I have a duty to honour the Wind-God, my saviour, I am honouring you, his son. Accept the hospitality heartily, of both of us and reward our affection for you. I am glad to see you. Take rest for a short while. Hanumān replied, "Great Mynāka! I am very much pleased with your kind words of welcome and thereby I feel I am duly honoured by you, without my further stay and partaking of your fruits and roots. Don't be angry with me for not doing so. My business brooks no delay and the day is advanced and I must reach Lanka by nightfall. Further I have taken oath not to stop midway". So saying, in token of stay, Hanumān just touched with his hand the mountain in reverence and flew off cheerfully. The sea-god and Mynāka eyed him in adoration and blessed him with success. The celestials wondered at this, second unique feat of Hanumān, in thrusting aside the great Mynāka mountain and nor even putting his foot on it for a slight nest. The celestials praised him and were pleased with Mynāka. Indra, in overwhelming joy spoke to Mynāka thus, "Hiranya Nābha! I am very glad. Be free from fear of me and be happy. I promise you protection. Though Hanumān was fearlesssy flying over the ocean for 100 yōjanās, we are afraid of his breaking down midway from fatigue and you have done a good deed to him (though he didn't accept it). I am very much pleased with you, since he is doing a good turn to Rāma". Mynāka became happy from this boon of Indra. In a very short time, Hanumān was flying at a great distance from this spot.

         Then all the celestials saw Hanumān, thus flying, in a gigantic form, which would be highly risky in Lanka. They wanted to test his calibre, his skill and presence of mind and foresight in dangerous situations.

         The celestials, approached the great Goddess-Mother, Surasā, of the serpents, shining like Sun and spoke thus, "Mother! See this Hanumān, the son of Wind-God, flying over the ocean. Assuming the horrendous form of a Rakshasi, of the size of a mountain, with a mouth as vast as the sky, with fierce tusks and eyes, Dēvi! go and confront him in his path and test his strength and prowess. We want to know whether he will get the better of you or flinch in fear (since he is going on a very dangerous mission among the giants in Lanka"). So saying the celestials duly worshipped her. Immediately, she, with a fierce and hideous form, striking terror to any being, was before the dashing Hanumān and roared thus, "Great monkey! Gods have sent you as my food. Enter my mouth. I will eat you". Then Hanumān, with folded hands and a joyful face (as if it was a matter for joy to him to be eaten by her, but for his mission), spoke, "Rāma, the son of king Dasaratha, came to Dandaka forest, with his wife Sita and brother. Rāvana stole Sita, in his absence, due to Rāma being the great enemy of the Rākshasās. On Rāma's behalf I am going to see Sita. You also have a duty to help Rāma, residing as you are in his kingdom. After seeing Sita and informing Rāma about it, I will surely return to you to be eaten by you and I am speaking this on oath and leave me for the present". Desiring to test his spirit, Surasa spoke thus, "Hanumān! You must go into my mouth. God Brahma gave me the boon that anyone coming before me, cannot dodge me". At this, Hanumān became furious and suddenly becoming bigger by 10 yōjanās in height and width, asked her to devour him. The mother of the serpents, immediately expanded her mouth to double his. size. For sometime both vied with each other in expanding the body of the one and the mouth of the other, till Hanumān grew to 90 and her mouth to 100 yōjanās in size. Then Hanumān, in the twinkling of the eye, reduced himself to the size of a thumb and rushed into and out of Surasa's huge mouth before. She could understand his manovour and shut her huge mouth on such tiny Hanumān. Rising into the sky he spoke thus, "Great daughter of Daksha Prajāpati! I bow to you. I fully abide by your boon from Brahma. Kindly let me depart to see Sita". Surasa Dēvi, regaining her celestial form, eyed him in wonder, as he emerged from her mouth, like the Moon from Rāhu (Eclipse) and spoke, "Great and fine monkey-chief! Go in peace, blessed with success in your undertaking. Bring about the union of Sita with noble Rāma". She then disappeared. Seeing this third unique feat of Hanumān (outwitting even Surasā Dēvi) all the celestials praised Hanumān. Then Hanumān rose into the sky and sped like Garuda (the king of the birds).

         Here follows a superb description of the aerial path Hanumān flew along, with rare poet's fantasy, combining philosophic thoughts, mysticism then nectar of poesy.

         It is the path of the great rainy clouds the path of the great birds freely flying. It is the path for the celestial musicians, for the great elephant Irāvata of God Indra, it is the path, over which shine the splendid rainbow. It is the path over which splendid, pure chariot, drawn by lions, tigers, elephants, birds and serpents, roll on. It is the path, where rage great fires, as powerful and destroying as Vajrāyudha or thunderbolt. It is the path frequented (adorned) by great souls, who conquered (earned) the heaven by spiritual merit gained by them while on Earth. It is the path of the Fire-God, carrying the sacricificial offerings of the mortals to the Gods. It is the pure and vast path of planets, stars, Moon, Sun, Mahā Rishis, Gandharavās, their king and other celestials. It is the path, the most blessed one created for all beings by God Brahma, Hanumān, like the king of the birds, took this path in the sky. While the celestials were looking on him, he flew like a great winged mountain. A terrible ogress, Simhika by name and capable of assuming any form, was living in that part of the ocean. She could catch her prey, by catching it's shadow and drawing it (prey) to herself. Hence she is also called छायाज्रहि (catcher through shadow) she was starving since a long time. Seeing the huge Hanumān, flying above, she taking it to be a windfall, grew bigger and began to drag down Hanumān, by catching his shadow on the water. The mighty Hanumān was surprised that he became powerless and could not move forward, like a large ship struck by a strong opposing wind. Looking out in all directions for the cause, he saw in the ocean below, the huge ogress with a hideous large mouth, rising above the water. Then the warning of Sugreeva about the manacing presence of a demoness like this flashed on his mind. He thought of a plan to destroy her. He grew very big, like the cloud in rainy season. Seeing him thus, the demoness also made her mouth as large as the entrace to Pātāla Lōka and rushed at him, making a thunderous noise. At once Hanumān (as in the case of Surasa) made himself as little as possible and rushed into its mouth like the full Moon into Rāhu, at the time of eclipse and tearing to pieces its vital parts, came out with the speed of mind, before she could close her huge mouth on him. The huge demoness lay dead, her huge sprawling body floating on the waves. Her tryst with death at the hands of Hanumān, was ordained by Brahma Himself. The celestials were thrilled at this another extremely difficult feat of Hanumān and spoke to him thus, "Great Hanumān! You have killed the most terrible ogress. With such daring, skill, presence of mind and ingeniousness, you have exhibited, you will succeed in your mission". Thus honoured by the celestials, Hanumān continued his flight and covering 100 yōjanās, reached the Southern coast of the ocean. He saw at a distance the Island of Lanka and the great rivers (the consorts of the ocean - a Poetic conceit) joining the ocean and the forests of the mount Malaya. Considering that his huge body would attract the notice of the Rākshasās, he shrank to his own small size just as a self-realized person, free from delusion becomes the supreme soul (पुनः प्रक्रुती आपेदे वीता मोहड्व आत्मवान् !) the supreme ब्रह्मन् (Brahman). It is like the great God Vishnu (त्रिविक्रम] after subduing the great Bali, in the three cosmic strides, becoming dwarf (वामन) again, in the incarnation as Vāmana. (Some say that Hanumān became as small as a cat). Thus the high-souled (Mahāthma), Hanumān, as firm as the great cliff of huge mountain and beautiful in whatever form he was in, in all the four most impossible deeds he had done (सचारु नानविध रूपधानी] crossed the high billowed ocean, full of terrible Rākshasās and huge serpents and flew to the Trikoota mount and alighted in the forests there, scaring the birds and beasts there by his colossal size. There he saw on the huge cliff of that mount the great Lanka (of Rāvana) as splendid as Indra's city Amaravati.

         The poets say of Hanumān, assuming many beautiful forms, in his flight and adventures, an additional reason for this Kānda being called Sundara Kānda. For instance before Surasa there is the beauty of his utter humility and devotion and before Simhika, the beauty of his ferocity. Taking the cue from the great critic, who spelt the esoteric Kundalini (serpent power) Yōga, I offer my little thoughts as follows.

         It is universally recognized in all religions, that them macrocosm has its reflection in the microcosm inside man but in an Astral form, the Astral counterpart of the physical body of man. The Mynāka mount coming in the way of Hanumān is symbolic of the Brahmagrandhi in the Kundalini Yōga. (These Astral nets are psychic forces tied up or concentrated and are situated along the Astral counter part of the spinal column). This Bahmagrandhi nourishes the student of Yōga. That is exactly what Mynāka intended to do for Hanumān. Goddess Surasa might stand for Vishnugrandhi. It tests the students' capacity and eggs him on the spiritual path Simhika, the Ogress, is obviously Rudragrandhi. It prevents the student from further practice or even destroys him when he is wantonly guilty of a grave lapse, or sinister motives or becomes a demon in the making, our to vitiate the dharma and all of such ugly features in his practices requiring to be nipped in the bred. The micro cosmic yōgic features in man, are more sacrosanct thereafter, the Rudra Grandhi being near the final goal of the 1000 petalled lotus in the brain, in the Astral form. In the "Divine Comedy" of Dante, even the great Latin poet Virgil was denied entrance into "heaven", under the new dispensation after the "Advent of Christ". The Sundara Hanumān (beautiful in every aspect and beauty being truth and dharma) passed through this Rudra Grandhi Simhika and had the beatific vision of that supreme Gāyatri Dēvi (represented by Sita) in the thousand petalled lotus in the brain (occult aspect). The lotus rises magnificently over the miry waters. The Gāyatri Dēvi (the Goddess-Mother) is seated in the 1000 petalled lotus in the brain which is worse than mire, with all kinds of hellish thoughts. Sita Dēvi was also like that Gāyatri Dēvi. Kālidas says of Sita in the midst of finds as being a life-saving herb, surrounded by poisonous creepers

         लन्कायां राक्षसी व्रुता !
         जानकी विषवल्लीभिः परितेव महौषधिः!!

         Again the seer-poet, Vālmeeki, uses two similes in this connection. One says that Hanumān shed his colossal form to resume his small form, like Mahā Vishnu, after pushing Bali down into Pātāla Lōka, resuming is Incarnate form of Vāmana. This might be a mere figure of speech But the other simile which says that Hanumān resumed his original form (small) like a realized soul who knowing the truth about the self ब्रह्मन् (Brahman), sheds his delusions and misconceptions about the human body and the spirit (soul) this simile is certainly the suggestion about the Kundalini (Gāyatri) and Prānāyāma Yōga. The summum bonum of these occult Vidyās is this knowledge (realization) of the self (soul) - the knowledge that all "beings" are perishable and the "soul" is imperishable and pervades the "body" the form of matter, the ignorant persons thinking that soul (spirit) is subject to change and destruction - a mere delusion that even persons, striving spiritually, but not sublimated, are apt to experience. Thus the "true self of man is the "soul" and not the "matter" "the body" which it (soul) pervades. The "holy Gīta" says of one more divine entity, calling it the super soul (the super-spirit - पुरुषोत्तम), which pervades both the "perishable beings" in the form of hunger, thirst, Prana Apāna etc., to sustain "those beings" and also the soul (the spirit). Hence, he is called the "super-soul". Thus the great poet has suggested the "Gāyatri Vidya" in this Kānda (Sundara). As a matter of fact, the whole of "Rāmāyana" of Vālmeeki, is a subtle exposition of the great Gāyatri Mahāmantra. For every thousand Slōkas, there is one mystic varna of Gāyatri, Its 24 varnas covering the 24000 Slōkas. Kānda-wise the varnas, from Tat (तत्) to यत् Yāt (यत्) are 3 (in 1st Kānda), 4 (in 2nd), 2, 2, 3, 6 and 4 (7th Kanda) total 24 in number. Again, in my little opinion, तत्सवितुः signifies (तत् Tat = Parabrahma; सवितुः Savituhu, the Adityaha behind the visible Sun) that great God (तत्) is born as Rāma in the Solar Dynasty. This is Bala Kānda. Rāma, showed himself to be the most perfect and adorable being by his virtues, signified by वरेण्यं in Ayōdhya Kānda. In Aranya and Kishkindha Kāndas, Rāma is Bhargaha, with splendour of God Rudra, destroying the Janasthāna garrison of Rāvana and killing Vāli and in Sundara Kānda he is Bhargaha, through his brotherly counterpart, Hanumān (almost alter-ego) and ob viously Bhargaha, in Yuddha Kānda. Rāma is देवस्य धीमहि - a worshippable great God, throughout all the Kāndās. Being a God and by virtue of his God-Head only, Rāma redeemed Ahalya, Kabandha, Virādha from their curses. At the great fire-ordeal of Sita, all the Gods appeared and worshipped Rāma as the great God "त्वं यज्ञः, त्वम् वषट्कारः, त्वं ॐकारः" etc., all being the aspects of Gāyatri. Further, on Rāma's mere asking, God Indra, restored to life all the monkeys, killed in the battle. Then the last portion (the third "feet") of Gāyatri - धियोयोनः प्रचोदयात्"

        May he inspire our intellect (or thoughts) is illustrated throughout the epic and more so in the seventh Kānda (Uttara Kānda) by his exploits in peace-time and his exemplary conduct throughout the epic. Again Gāyatri and the Vēdās followed Rāma to the river Sarayu on his departure to his Abode of Vaīkuntha. Again it is inconceivable that the reading of the life history of any human being, however great he might be, will confer spiritual merit, beyond some enlightenment. But the great Vālmeeki, with raised hands, declares "Rāmāyana" to be so potent both materially and spiritually. Thus the "Sundara Kānda" (even the whole of Rāmāyana) is a subtle exposition of Gāyatri and other esoteric Vidyās.