SUNDARKAND: A STUDY
Valmiki, one of the greatest literary artists, is the author of the Ramayan. His Ramayan is considered to be the greatest Indian epic. It deals with Lord Ram’s journey of life. It consists of many sections. The fifth section of this epic is popular as Sundar Kand. This section highlights Hanuman’s devotion for Lord Ram. It commences with the departure of Hanuman in search of Sita and it ends with Ram’s preparation to cross the Ocean for Lanka to liberate Sita.
This episode is called sundar because it is auspicious and it promotes good human values. It contains poetic description of several beautiful objects, places and people. Whether the poet describes Ram or Ravan he goes into poetic rapture. This part contains all the elements of classical epic viz. grand character, grand action, grand theme, grand style, invocation and supernatural machinery. Commenting upon Sundar Kand Tilak says, ‘Sundare sundari Lanka, sundare sundari katha, sundare sundari Sita, sundare kim na sundaram.’
The plot of Sundar kand has all the qualities of an effective plot. It is interesting too. At the suggestion of Jambhvan, Hanuman decides to cross the Ocean to search Sita. On the way he has to face many hurdles. To test his efficiency, Devas sent Surasa. Hanuman successfully passed this test. Simhika, a demoness, appears as a hurdle. Crossing all these hurdles, Hanuman reached Lanka.
Hanuman entered Lanka by defeating Lankini. He located Sita in the Ashok Vatika. Her condition was pitiable. Hanuman appeared before her and gave her the ring of Ram as the identification. After that he took leave of Sita and began to destroy gardens of Lanka. In the due course he killed Akshay Kumar and many other demons. At last he was caught by Indrajeet and taken to the court of Ravan.
In anger Ravan ordered to set fire to the tail of Hanuman as punishment. Hanuman got golden opportunity and set fire to the city of Lanka. Then he took leave of Sita and jumped back to the other shore. With his friends hanuman informed Ram about his search mission.
Hanuman is the protagonist of Sundar Kand. For him nothing is impossible. He is the embodiment of faith, devotion and loyalty. Fearlessness and self confidence are beautiful petals of his character. It is he who crossed the vast sea by jumping. On the way he defeated many enemies. He successfully completed his search mission. His character shows that one has to combine the above mentioned qualities to achieve success in life.
To conclude, Valmiki’s Sundar Kand is really an excellent composition. The real beauty of this section lies in its revelation of spiritual truth and the path of a successful life. It helps human beings in Kalyug to overcome the problems of life. For the inhabitants of India Sundar Kand has great importance. They believe that reading or listening to this story is a panacea and final solution for all ills and problems.