Sighting the sea shore
Dear Swan friend! As you resume your flight after enjoying your sojourn on the banks of tAmraparNI, you will see on your left the banks of the ocean. On this shore, you will see palmyra trees along with dark green leaved trees (tamALa vrkshams). You will see young birds like you enjoying the beauty of the sea shore. The unceasing waves will bring and deposit the assembly of pearls from the sea and beautify the beaches. You will see the huge amount of pollen from the tAzhai trees spread tall resembling colored sand shoals on the shores of the ocean. You will experience these beautiful sights on the sea shore.
Leaving quickly from the sea shore for LankA
Oh Beautiful Swan friend! Please do not tarry long on the sea side. Stay for a very short time and use the strength of your wings to start on the long journey over the ocean to arrive at the city of LankA, the capital of RaavaNa to deliver my message to the waiting SitA PirATi. You should travel fast like the twin arrows (two wings) from the bow (of the sea shore). On the sea shore, the water from the mountains on both sides of the ocean descend as swift waterfalls making a huge noise and enter in to the ocean. When we take in to account the message from integrated picture of the bow of sea shore, your twin wings in the form of the two arrows speeding towards its target (LankA) and the majestic sounding chord of the bow in the form of the loud water falls indicating your speed, we are happy.
The tvarai (urgency) of the mission and the magnitude of the task assigned to the Raaja Hamsam is referred to here. The uvameyam (Swan) and the upamAnam (arrow) in this Slokam are:
The Swan is the speeding arrow; its two wings are the feathers attached on both sides of the arrow for gaining higher velocity; the starting place for the Hamsam is the sea shore and the starting place for the arrow is the Bow; the united water falls is the chord for the bow; The sound from the travel of the Hamsam is the sound of twanging the chord of the bow; the target for the Hamsam is LankA and the target for the arrow from the bow is that set by the archer.
Sizing the body of the sea first
Oh Hamsam! Flying over the ocean, you will now gain an understanding of the form of the Ocean. You will see forests of red corals under the dark blue waters. Lots of comparisons to this scene will come to your mind:
- A dark and leafy forest on fire with red flames leaping out
- Evening sky as the Sun sets
- A Big elephant wearing sindUram (red powder) on its forehead as a tilakam
- Our Lord of dark hue wearing a red silk garment
- The dark cloud housing the brilliant flash of lightning and the united form of a red hued female and a dark hued male. You will see the coral sea with all these image pictures as comparisons.
upacArams to be offered by the Sea
Dear Swan friend! A long time ago, one ancestor of our (IkshvAku) kulam by the name of Sagarar performed an aSvamedha yAgam. Indran stole the horse to interrupt the yAgam and hid himself along with the ceremonial horse. The powerful sons of Sagara were eager to find out the thief and began to dig the earth with immense energy to go to pAtALam, where the thief (Indran) was said to be hiding with the horse. The big ditch formed as a result of their digging became the basis for the sea (sAgaram) and its growth subsequently.
This sea knows that I belong to that IkshvAku-Sagara vamSam. Knowing that you are travelling at my behest, the sea will be extraordinarily cooperative and will aid and honor you in every way. The sea has few hidden mountains, which escaped the vajrAyudham of Indran like MainAkam and as a result kept their wings to fly around. They were assisted by vAyu and hid themselves under the ocean waters. The sea might decide to ask one of these mountains to rise up and to provide you upacArams as you speed towards LankA. You may not need any rest and might consider therefore that you do not need their offer of help. You must however accept the offer of upacArams by the King of the sea as a friend of mine and not reject it.
English Commentary by Sri Oppiliappan Sadagopan