CommentariesPrabhandam & Slokas

Raghuveera Gadhyam – 24

GS 53: praLaya sikhi parusha visika sikhA soshitAkupAra vAripura! Jaya! Jaya!

(Meaning): Hail to You, O Raghuveera, who evaporated the waters of the ocean with the power of your arrows that resembled the fire which destroys the world at the time of deluge!

(Background): The Sea-God did not understand the significance of your SaraNAgathi to him and ignored you. You were enraged by his indifference.He would not open a passage for the You and your army to cross the ocean. Then, You aimed frightening arrows at the Sea-God and his territory. Those arrows were more powerful than the assembly of flames that accompany the fire that consume the world and its contents during the time ofMahA PraLayam. They spewed forth fire and started their work of evaporating the waters of the ocean. Even then, the Sea-God did not appear before You. Angered further by this affront, You aimed the most destructive BrahmAsthram at him to destroy him and the denizens of his watery kingdom. Now, the Sea-God was seized with fear about his folly and the impending calamity. He rose out of the ocean and with joined palms appealed to You, the RaghuveerA to spare him and apologized. The Sea-God agreed to Your request for a bridgeto be built to cross over to LankhA.

Rama still had the powerful arrow in position to fly. He asked the Sea-God as to where he should direct that arrow. The Sea-God suggested that it should be aimed at a group of sinful marauders living to the north of where they were standing. Sri Rama let his arrow fly to where the Sea-God suggested, which is close to today’s MarwAr and Bikaneer in RajasthAn. Water gushed forth from the nether world. The power of the arrow dried up the sea there and replaced it with water from the nether world, which resembled sea water in brackishness. Rama blessed that land to become a charming region, now that the sinful marauders were destroyed.

The Sea-God (VaruNA) suggested that the glorious son of Viswakarma (the celestial architect) by the name of NaLA, a commander in the monkey army of SugreevA build the bridge over him and that he willsustain and support it. NaLA agreed to the command of Sri Rama to build the Rama Sethu over the abode of the Sea-God.

GS 54: prabhala ripu kalaha kuthuka chatula kapikula karatalatoolitha Hrutha giri nikara sAdhita sethupatha seemA semanthitha samudhra! Jaya! Jaya!

(meaning): O mighty hero of the scion of Raghus, who created the demarcation of the ocean with your bridge built by the mighty monkeys, who out of their eagerness to reach LankhA to fight their enemies splintered huge mountains and threw them into the ocean as though they were feathery bales of cotton! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

(Background): After the Sea-God gave the permission for the bridge to be built by NaLA, latter requested the powerful monkeys to collect the material for the building of the bridge.Directed by Rama, the monkeys went into the forests nearby and tore up rocks and trees and dragged them to the beach.They threw the assembled material as suggested by NaLA at the right places to construct the bridge. A well-constructed, magnificient, extensive, smooth and solidly-cemented sethu arose from these efforts and the vast bridge across the ocean looked like the parting of a woman’s hair. Sri Valmiki’s description is as follows:

visAla: sukrutha: srimAn subhumi: susamAhita:
Asobhatha mahAn sethu: seemantha iva sAgarE

VibishaNa guarded the front of the bridge from the landand SugreevA requested Rama and LakshmaNa to mount HanumAn’s and Angadha”s shoulders to travel across the newly built bridge. The rest of the army headed by SughreevA followed Rama and LakshmaNa reached the other shore and arrived at LankhA. The Devaas who witnessed that miraculous building of a bridge across the ocean hailed the Lord and wished him victory in the forthcoming battle with RavaNA this way:

“jayasva sathroon naradeva medhineem sasaagaram paalaya saasvathi samaa:”

(meaning): “O King! Conquer your enemies and rule overthe earth including the oceans for numberless years!”. Thus ends the twenty second canto of Srimad RamAyaNamof sage Vaalmiki.

Kodhanda dheekshA gurum aadhimoolam
guNAsrayam chandhana kumkumAnkam |
salakshmaNam sarva janaantharastham
parAthparam Ramam aham namAmi ||

Sri VaishNava Daasan,

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

To be continued…

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