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The fourth Day of Navaham of Sundara KaaNDam ( April 7): Sargams 21-26 ( 216 slOkams)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Apr 07 2000 - 05:41:08 PDT

Dear Sri Raama BhakthAs :

In today's PaarAyaNam , the contents covered are:

Sargam 21: RaavaNa NirAkaraNam/Sita"s categorical
           rejection  of RaavaNA's daring appeal 
Sargam 22: avadhividhAnam / Setting a time limit
           by RaavaNan
Sargam 23: RaakshasI prEraNam/The prodding of 
           SeethA by the RaakshasIs to consider 
           RaavaNA's appeal
Sargam 24: RaakshasI tarjanam /RaakshasI's threats
Sargam 25: SeethA nirvEda:/SeethA's sorrow
Sargam 26: PrANathyAga Niscchaya:/SeethA's decision
           to take Her life .

Selected key slOkams for the Fourth day are :

thruNamantharatha: kruthvA prathyuvAcha SuchismithA
**Sargam 21.2

(meaning): SithA overtaken by sorrow on hearing 
the inauspicious words of RaavaNA cried , trembled,
meditated on Her Consort and replied to RaavaNA
after placing a blade of grass between Herself 
and the offending RaavaNan .

(Comments): This symbolic placement of a blade of
grass between Herself and RaavaNan are for 
number of reasons as explained by commentators :

(1) She could not speak with a para purushan
directly because of Her pathivrathA dharmam.

(2) She placed the blade of grass between
Herself and RaavaNan to indicate that She
considered RaavaNan and his wealth worthless 
as a thrumpu (blade of grass).

(3) She considered Her own life worthless under 
the circumstances of being separated from
Her Lord.

In the next slOkam , SitA pirAtti reminded the evil
RaavaNan that She should be treated like a worshipful
Mother by him :

nivarthaya manO(*) mattha: svajanE(*) kriyathAm mana:(*)
na maam prArthayithum yuktham Susiddhamiva paapakruth
Sundara KaaNdam: 21.3

(Meaning ): Oh RavaNA! Please turn your mind away 
from me and direct it to your own wifeand kins.Your appeal
to me is like the dushtan, who performs paapa karmA
and prays for the blessings of Brahma lOkam at  
the same time .

Here our Jaanaki MaathA uses the word Manam twice(*)
in the first line of the slOkam ( manO , mana:)

She suggests to RavaNA to turn around the word
"mana:" ; under that transformation " mana:" will
become " nama:". As merciful lOka MaathA , She instructs
the deluded RaavaNan with sadhupadEsam  and reminds
Him that She has to be linked to the "nama:" sabdham 
and spirit .She also hints to him that he should
prostrate before Her as his Mother through namaskAra-
kriyA .She also reminds him as to what would happen if
he persists on his evil course and asks him not to accumulate 
MahA-paapams through appealing to Her to become his chief
queen ;She reminded the ayOgyan that She is 
the dharma pathni of Raaghava Simham and that he should 
think of what happened to his "svajanam(*)like Kharan,
dhUshaNan at janasthAnam earlier . 

RaavaNan was mindless and began to come close to 
SeethA , who reprimanded him to stay away from Her.
SeethA cried out and asked :" Are there no righteous
ones in LankA to turn RaavaNA from his evil ways
( iha santhO na vaa santhi sathO vaa naanuvarthasE)?".

She reminded RaavaNA that She is inseparable from
Raamachandran , just as the lustre of Sooryan is
inseperable from Sooryan ( ananyA RaaghavENAham 
BhaaskarENa prabhA yathA: 21.15).At the very beginning
slOkam of Sri Raghu Veera Gadhyam , Swamy Desikan
reminds us of these revealing words of SeethA
with his own paraphrase of these powerful words 
relating to the yEkasEshithvam doctrine :

" prabhAvAn SeethayA DevyA Parama vyOma Bhaaskara:"
The most merciful JaganmAthA advises RaavaNA 
to save himself, his city and the citizens 
by befriending Raamchandran. She does not suggest
to RaavaNan to perform SaraNAgathi , since he will
not receive it  well and hence , She suggested that
RaavaNA  befriend Her Lord ( tEna maithrI bhavathu 
tE yathi jeevithum icchasi: 21.20 ).She reminded
RaavaNA about his cowardly act of stealing Her 
while Her husband and brother-in-law were away.
She reminded RaavaNA that his time of destruction 
was nearing and that he was not going to escape 
from RaamA's wrath and arrows even if he (RaavaNA)  
sought protection at the high altitudes of KailAsam 
or at  the depths of VaruNa's abode .

RaavaNA did not listen to the counsel of
SeethA and threatened her further by
asking his servants to persuade SeethA to 
accept his proposal . SeethA reminded RaavaNA 
that She could have reduced him to ashes with
the power of Her penanace as a pathivrathai ,
but chose not to because of lack of permission
from Her Lord :

asmdEsAtthu Raamasya tapascchaanupaalanAth
Sargam 22.20

After threatening lOkamAthA , the evil and unrepentant
RaavaNA returned to his palace.The jailors of SithA pirAtti
insulted her thereafter and praised the worthiness of their 
Lord as the supreme match for her hand .These words fell
on the ears of the pathivrathA sirOnmaNi as naarAsam .
Her eyes were filled with tears(nEthrAbhyAm asrupUrNAbhyAM 
idham vachanam abraveeth) and rejected their counsel totally.

She gave sadhupadEsam to the RaakshasIs also :

dhInO vaa raajyahInO vaa yO mE BHARTTHA SA mE GURU:
tamm NITHYAM ANURAKTHAASMI yaThA Sooryam SuvarcchalA 
Sargam 24.9

(Mening ): Whether I am low in spirit and helpless,
whether my husband is devoid of wealth and kingdom,
my husband , Sri Raamachandran is my object of adoration
and worship. I have surrendered to Him with the greatest
of affection , just as Suvarchalai relates to Soorya mUrthy.

SeethA PirAtti reminds them that Her total dependence 
on Her Lord is identical to the path followed by
other pathivrathA SirOnmaNis , who followed their 
husbands without question during their times of 
difficulties. She referred to the pairs:

IndhrANi and Indhran, Arundhathi and Vasishtar, 
RohiNi and Chandran, LobhAmudrai and Agasthyar ,
Sukanyaa and Shyavanar , Saavithri and SathyavAn ,
Srimathi and Kapilar , Dhamayanthi and SoudhAsan ,
kEsini nad Sagaran et al.

The cruel and tamO-guNam filled RaakshasIs  did 
not benefit from the upadEsam of our lOkamAthA
and responded with their counter counsel:

kim tE RaamENa VaidEhi krupaNEna gathAyushA
yEthadhuktham cha mE vaakyam yadhi thvam na karishyasi
asmin muhUrthE sarvAsthvAm bakshayayishyAmahE vayam
Sargam: 24.26

(Meaning): Oh VaidEhi! What is the use of your
doting upon Raaman , who is a human being with 
limited life? If you do not listen to our counsel
and marry our Lord , we all will consume You 
as our food. After being threatened by the evil
raakshasIs in this manner , SeethA PirAtti 
realized Her helpless and undefended  state
and began to lose Her courage and cried.
She decided to take Her life :

jeevithum thyakthum icchAmi sOkEna mahathA vruthA
raakshasIbhisccha rakshyanthyA RaamO naasAdhyathE mayA
Sargam 25.19

(meaning): Overcome by unbearable sorrow , I am
determined to commit aathma hatthi. With the raakshasIs
as jailors, I am unable to be near my PrANa nAthan.
(She  seems to hint here that She would have entered 
the ocean in the  absence of Her jailors and walked
across the ocean to the side of her Lord).

SrEyO mE jeevithAnmarthum vihInAya mahAthmana:
RaamAdhaklishtachArithrAccUrAcchathru nibarhaNAth
Sargam: 26.45

(Meaning): She considered that death is better
than being separated from Her Lord , who is
the supreme among heros, who is the nightmare for 
His enemies , who is the embodiment of 
righteous conduct and  who is a MahAthmA . 

At the end of the 26th sargam, SeethA PirAtti
salutes all the great ones , who are not affected
by the dhvandhvams such as priyam and apriyam :

priyAnna sambhavEtu dh:khamapriyaadadhikam bhayam
Sargam 26.50

(meaning ): Does n't attachment produce sorrow? 
( does not separation from people  dear cause 
sorrow?).Doesn't loathable objects cause fear?
Hence I bow to those mahAthmAs , who are above 
priyams and apriyams ( through this namaskArams,
SeethA PirAtti hints about the soubhAgyams that
are imminent through the dreams of Thrijadai ).

Sri SeethA SamEtha Raamachandra parabrahmaNE Nama:
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan         

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