So far in this blog series, we have witnessed five important “Kaandas” (Parts) of the Vaalmiki Ramayana and innumerable lessons for life, management and leadership were discussed. The last episode saw the culmination of the all-important “Sundara-Kaanda”.
If we look at the Ramayana closely, we can witness that each Kaanda is dedicated to explain each of the important paths of “Dharma” (Righteousness) – The “Baala Kaanda” emphasized on the “Dharma” that a son should always be obedient to his parents at all times. It also emphasized the “Dharma” of being an obedient student to a “Guru” (Master). The second “Kaanda”, the “Ayodhya Kaanda” laid major emphasis on the duties of a son towards his parents and keeping up their words to live up to their expectation.
Moving on, in the “Aaranya Kaanda” the emphasis was on how to be a loving husband towards his wife and the significance of leading a united and an enjoyable married life. Moreover, the foundation was laid to explain how “Adharma” leads to destruction. In the “Kishkinta Kaanda” we witnessed the significance of a friend. In the present day we have heard this famous proverb – “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. We saw the importance of how Rama and Sugriva were great friends in times of each other’s needs and how they helped each other at the apt time. Finally in the “Sundara Kaanda” we had witnessed how a messenger and a wife should conduct themselves during testing times. We had witnessed the significance of a messenger in different contexts and how Hanuman stood as an epitome of an ideal messenger. Moreover, we have witnessed how Sita is an epitome of the “Pathi-Vratha Dharma”, which signifies the devotion towards her husband at all times.
As we move into the “Yuddha-Kaanda”, Vaalmiki Maharishi describes in great detail, the significance of “Unconditional Surrender” by an ardent devotee of Bhagawan. He signifies and emphasizes this point through a person called “Vibhishana”, who is none other than Ravana’s brother. The surrendering of Vibhishana to the feet of Lord Rama and in turn, Rama accepting Vibhishana as one of his greatest devotees is the highlight of the Yuddha Kaanda. Of course, Vaalmiki Maharishi describes the war between the “Raakshasaas” headed by Ravana and the Vaanaras headed by Sugriva, Hanuman and Lord Rama himself. This “Yuddha-Kaanda” is extremely significant because it explains the victory of “Dharma” over “Adharma”. Moving further, we shall see the important excerpts from the “Yuddha-Kaanda” and I shall try my best to bring out the important lessons that we can learn for our modern-day life from the “Yuddha-Kaanda”.
Now moving further from where we left in the previous episode, we had witnessed that Lord Rama is completely overwhelmed and happy that finally after a long effort, Sita’s whereabouts have been traced and this treacherous job was accomplished by none other than Hanuman himself – who is an epitome of shrewdness and sharpness in whatever mission he undertakes. It is now time for the strategy to be framed by Rama and Co. to proceed towards Lanka, invade Lanka and to fight Ravana. As the strategy is being set, Hanuman gives a detail accord on the strengths of the mighty Ravana, his powers, his invincibility and also about Indrajith and his capability to wage a war using unique “illusionary tactics”. Rama and Lakshmana listen to Hanuman’s words very carefully and plan the strategy accordingly.
“Kim tvayaa tapyathe veera yathaannah praakruthastathaa!
Samudram lankayithvaathu mahaarakrama samaakulaam!
Lankaam aarohayisshyaamaha harisshyaamascha te lupum!!”
Thus, Hanuman explains in detail to Rama and Lakshmana, his views and understandings of Ravana’s powers and the significance of Lanka. Moreover he also talks about the ways and means to get to Lanka. Now the biggest obstacle that everybody is having in their mind is that, “Oh! This Hanuman was able to cross the ocean and reach Lanka! Now how would this entire Vaanara army consisting of more than 70,000 monkeys cross the ocean and reach Lanka? How do we all manage to go now?” As this point of discussion comes to the table, Sugriva says, “First let us start from this place and go near the shore of the ocean. We shall think and decide on the strategy to cross over at that point of time!”
As the decision is being made to start from Kishkinta, Rama and Sugriva decide on which day to start – After a bit of pondering over, they finally decide that the entire army would commence the journey towards Lanka on the auspicious “Panguni-Utthram” day.
“Tathvam buddhi mathaam sreshtaha sarva shaastraartha kovithaha!
Madhvidaihi sachivaissaardham harircherthum cha arhasi!!”
Thus it is decided that the entire army would commence journey on the day of “Pankuni” month when the “Utthiram” star falls. The entire army prepares to commence journey. For now, we shall also prepare ourself to start our journey with Rama, Lakshmana and the Vaanara army! Let’s wait till the next episode to commence our journey with all of them! 🙂