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Kishkindhakand - 98

By: Raghavendra

Sugreeva and his four-vanara ministers are taking refuge atop the mountain of Rishyamukha. One fine morning Sugreeva sees two handsome young men, divine looking and resplendent with the kshatriya armor. On seeing them, Sugreeva is terrified. He opines that his brother Vali has sent them to this mountain to kill him, and then in a rush hastens to flee from that place along with his entourage. But Hanuman calms him down and suggests that he would go and enquire about their identity and the purpose their visit to that place. After taking Sugreeva's permission he assumes the guise of a young brahmachari and approaches the two newcomers with reverence and humility. He enquires them of their identity and the purpose of their visit to the mountain. Lord Rama and Laxmana reveal their identity and narrate the purpose of their visit, which is to search for Sita with the help of Sugreeva. Lord Hanuman is extremely happy at the turn of events. He then carries them to Sugreeva on his shoulders.

Sugreeva's flight of fear is a lesson to us. In our day to day experiences we find innumerable opportunities knocking at our doors. But being apprehensive, we deprive ourselves the pleasure of welcoming them with open arms. Once we accept the situation in totality, and act accordingly, we are sure to reach our god consciousness or the Lord Himself, which is the ultimate destiny of the mankind. Here Lord Hanuman is comparable to the discriminative powers of the mind, and with its proper use, we are sure to reach the Lord.

After friendship is forged between Lord Rama and Sugreeva, they exchange their tales of misfortune. Lord Rama assures Sugreeva, of his full support in getting the kingdom of Kishkinda and also his wife Ruma who had been abducted by Vali . Sugreeva is extremely happy with the reversals of his fortune.

 

Sugreeva as per Rama's advice approaches Vali and challenges him to a duel. The arrogant Vali accepts the challenge and the great duel begins between two supreme warriors. At the anointed time, Lord Rama, unseen by Vali, shoots an arrow directed at his chest. Vali falls down to the ground unconscious. This news spreads like wild fire in the Kingdom of Kishkinda and all the people start running towards the site. Slowly Vali regains consciousness, sees Rama, and accuses him of killing him by unjust means and calls him an "adharmi". He says "Lord Rama , had you even given a hint I would have flown to Lanka, saved mother Sita from Ravana's evil clutches , slain Ravana and brought back Sita for you. But why did you take the weak Sugreeva's help and kill me in this unjust manner. Lord Rama then replies that, a person who wishes to kill his own brother and abduct his wife is the greatest adharmi and is fit to die. It is hence improper to take aid of such an arrogant and adharmi person. After listening to these explanations of Rama, Vali understands his folly and bowing humbly to the Lord, apologizes. Lord Rama who is ever compassionate forgives him and Vali reaches the Lord's abode.

Here one gets to see the greatness of the Lord. Not only one who is blessed by the Lord reaches his abode but also the one who is slain. We can note yet another important point that the Lord prefers the aid of a person with earnest heart and humility to carry out his work, rather than an arrogant but strong being.

After the slaying of Vali, Sugreeva is crowned the king of Kishkinda. Since the Varsha ritu starts, all gathered, unanimously agree that the search for Sita can be taken up again only after the next four months or so, that is when the rainy season is over.

Lord Rama and Laxmana return to the forest of Prasravana. Each day, for Rama is a like a Yuga. Bereft of his eternal consort, Sita, he is extremely unhappy and demonstrates his feelings of loneliness and sadness like a mere mortal of this earth. One may start wondering the divinity of the Lord. The Lord expresses through each one of us as life, he is the essence of everything in the shrishti; this is well confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita. But then, one should understand that this demonstration of extreme love is a guideline for the "Grahastha's." Accordingly the first 33.33% of the married life the couple should be mad for each other, for the next 33.33% they should be made for each other and for the balance 33.33% they should be meant for each other.

By the virtue of total dedication to one's duties only, it is possible to transcend the dualities of mind. Be it success or failure, victory or defeat, gain or loss.

 

After the elapse of four months the, skies begin to clear, and Rama is eagerly waiting for the arrival of Sugreeva. But Sugreeva is immersed in pleasures of the senses and has totally forgotten the promise he made to Lord Rama. Lord Rama here becomes impatient and despatches Laxmana to Kishkinda to find the cause of the delay and give Sugreeva a piece of his mind. Laxmana, well known for his bad temper, marches to the Kingdom of Kishkinda, in a state of fury. On hearing that a furious Laxmana has arrived Sugreeva regains his composure and begs for forgiveness. They come to the forest of Prasravana and Sugreeva humbly apologizes to Rama for getting carried away in the sensual pleasures and is instantly forgiven.

These kinds of instances happen in our lives also. We go to the Lord to fulfil our list our desires. The ever-compassionate Lord bestows us with all our desires and then after realizing them we are carried away in the pleasures of senses, and tend to forget our promises to the Lord. Only when misery in the form of Laxman attacks us, we realize our folly and bow to the Lord again in apology. It is rightly said by Sant Kabeerji:

Dukh me sumiran sab kare
Sukh me kare na koi
Jo sukh me sumiran kare
to dukh kahe ko hoi.

Meaning: All chant the names of the Lord at times of their misery. None do so when they are happy. But if one remembers the Lord during the happy moments, then why will misery ever befall us.

Sugreeva, now chalks out a detailed plan to search for Sita. Sugreeva dispatches all his ministers in all the directions. But he reserves Hanuman, his ablest and most trusted minister for the southern direction. For, when Ravana abducts Sita, in his Pushpaka Vimana, Sugreeva had seen him going in the southern direction. Hanuman and his team with the blessings of his master and Lord Rama, depart to the southern direction.

They pass cave after cave, sea after sea, but alas! no sign of Sita. Ultimately Angad is utterly dejected. Suffering from pangs of hunger and exhaustion and knowing that there is no way out he decides to commit suicide, for, if he returns to Sugreeva without achieving in his mission he is bound to be killed by Sugreeva. Instead of being killed at the hands of Sugreeva, it is better to fast until death. He then starts recounting the leelas of Lord Rama right from his birth to the present situation. Sampati, the aged brother of Jatayu, who is now devoid of strength in his wings, happens to listen to the tales and the name of his heroic brother Jatayu repeated often. Curious to know, he approaches Angad and enquires about his brother.

Angad recounts as to how Jatayu tried to valiantly save Sita from Ravana and gave up his life in the fierce fight which ensued between himself and Ravana. After listening to the story, Sampathi is drenched in tears. Wishing to help and avenge the death of his brother, he reveals the location of Sita who is now a captive in the Ashoka Vatika of Ravana's Lanka. Even before the information is given, his wings return back to its strength and his youth too is restored. Sampati once had been blessed by one of the rishis, who said that if ever he happened to do one noble and worthy deed, his wings and youth would be restored. Sampati flies away happily.

Now, Hanuman and his troupe are extremely elated, they feel that their problems are almost solved. But their happiness is short lived as everybody starts measuring their capabilities. There is none, which are engaged in the discussion that can jump the distance of a hundred Yojanas and return. The wise Jambavan, with clasped hands approaches the most humble Hanuman, who is quietly listening to the discussions, pleads and reminds him of his mission and purpose, which is the service of Lord Rama. On hearing this Hanuman is thrilled. He stands up and immediately starts increasing in size until he grows hundred yojanas tall. He marches towards the Vindhya Mountain, which is the only mountain which can take the shock of his leap. Here ends the Kishkinda Kanda.

There are a few things here, which we can learn, Sampati, is blessed with youth and wings, which symbolizes freedom, on performing a noble task, similarly if one does even a small work of the Lord selflessly, he is bound to get his freedom in the terms of attaining the absolute.

And the second point is that when Angad frustrated because of the failure, starts narrating the Lord's tales, is immediately rewarded with success. Hence, even if we chant the praises of Lord or his devotee, it is a sure means of our success. We all have our own share of success, failure, richness, poverty, gains, losses, etc., and in all these conditions, if we turn our attention to the Lord and sing his praises, it will not only cleanse our heart but will also put us on the successful path.

In Sanskrit there are two most melodious alphabets i.e. "Ra" and "Ma". This is the reason why Lord Rama's name is most pleasing to hear. Let us all chant the name of Lord Rama, who is the ocean of compassion and the very essence of life in each one of us.

Jai Sriram, Jai Sri Hanuman.