Friday, Dec 26, 2003
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In his discourse, Sri R. Aravamudan said the Ramayana was highly instructive and the Sundara Kanda in particular commanded a special place. The reasons are not far to seek. The canto pays rich tributes to the Lord's beauty; it dwells on the separation and union of the Lord and His Consort; its rendition is traditionally hailed as a harbinger of auspiciousness; above all it showcases Anjaneya (Hanuman) as preceptor. Scriptures stipulate that a preceptor is one who possesses knowledge and also puts it into practice, thereby setting an example for all. Anjaneya personifies everything that is desirable and more, in a mentor. In a larger sense, the epic symbolises the merger of the souls with the Supreme Being. Sita represents the soul and Anjaneya the preceptor who facilitates the union of the soul with God.
Arunachala Kavi graphically portrays Anjaneya's mission in a song. Ravana's 10 heads represent the five sensory organs and their five corresponding fields of action, the subjugation of which is crucial to a devotee's salvation. The scriptures emphasise the need for one to adhere to the Vedas and the outcome if their teachings are transgressed through the example of destruction of Lanka.
Tulsidas' work chronicles Anjaneya's pleasant experience of hearing Rama's name being repeatedly chanted in Vibhishana's house. Fully cognisant of the dilemma under which the prince laboured between loyalty to his brother and upholding virtuous conduct Anjaneya advised him to seek refuge in Rama, thereby teaching the devotee to surrender to God, which is the role of a preceptor. On beholding Sita he mentally united Her with Rama. Sita's plight and that of Yudishthira's described in the Mahabharata serve as inspiration for man to stay on the path of virtue despite severe trials and tribulations with the hope that evil cannot flourish forever.
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