This is Ramayana mAsam in my native land of Kerala. When the Sun god moves behind the Western ghats to do Sandhya, the great AdyaAtma RAmAyanam hymn, scented by the sacred Name of Rama in every line, overflows from most of the houses. I’m attempting to join the devotees in my own humble way, spending some time to meditate on Sundara Kandam, where Hanuman meets Sita, with Rama’s message, like the ThiruvAdira jnAttuvela , monsoon rains which cool and nourish the parched lands of the western coast.
SundarakAndam in RAmAyanam is really Sundaram!
The poetic talents and imagination of Valmiki is in full blossom in the SundarakAndam. In every stanza, there is a pearl or diamond or ruby, studded to it, most charismatically. This poetical extravaganza turns into needle -tip precision, when the great monkey king Hanuman, starts talking to Sita.
In the very first stanza, in the very first line, he has an amazing message for Sita, separated from her husband and starving to hear a word of consolation and assurance.
This is how Hanuman introduces himself to Sita:
अहम् रामस्य संदेशात् देवि दूतः तव आगतः |
वैदेहि कुशली रामः त्वाम् च कौशलम् अब्रवीत् ||
‘I have come with Rama’s message, Videha Raja putri! . The virtuous Rama Enquires about your welfare”
Imagine how Sita would have received the message, ‘ I have come with Rama’s message!’
Then the assurance:
‘your Rama, be assured, continuous to be virtuous. Don’t entertain any doubt on that account.
‘कुशली’ Rama: the virtuous Rama.
And also, Devi, don’t have any doubt in your mind whether he is interested in your welfare or not. He is anxious about it.
कौशलम् अब्रवीत् |
In the next verse, Hanuman reminds Sita that Rama is a great archer. He is a great Vedic too.
यो ब्राह्मम् अस्त्रम् वेदान् च वेद वेदविदाम् वरः |
स त्वाम् दाशरथी रामो देवि कौशलम् अब्रवीत् || ५-३
Rama possess BrhmAstram.
This is to remove any apprehension in her mind, if any, as to whether her husband would be able to conquer Ravana and free her.
And Rama is a great Vedic exponent too. He will never deviate from the Path of Dharma.
And then the next and most important message:
Devi, such a Rama enquired about your welfare!
Does Sita needed such an assurance about Rama’s intentions and ability and repeatedly to be told by Hanuman that he was anxious about her welfare?
Think about her situation, then. Absolutely hopeless, under the wrench-like grip of a mighty demon, with a huge army, who had been torturing her directly and indirectly. The Rakshasis, day in and day out had been praising the might of Ravana. Rama was a sanyasi and apart from his brother, he had no other support. Had he been in the throne, things would have been different with a mighty army and many other kings to support him.
In the guise of a sanyAsi, Ravana carried away Sita, by treachery. He could go to any extend to harm Sita. Rama was aware that the Jadayu bird, who intervened and tried to stop the kidnapping was mercilessly slashed to the ground by Ravana. Though he didn’t know where she was and in which state, Rama was worried about her and welfare was topmost in his mind. That was effectively conveyed by Hanuman. There cannot be anything more reassuring for a wife under the custody of the usurper than to learn that her husband is concerned about her safety and security.