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Chaitanya A

Valmiki - The Father of Science +91 95000 33731

29 January 2010 Jai Sri Ram...
10:35 PM

Sundarakaanda is a piece in Ramayana.

Valmiki had written the great epic Ramayana in different sections. Each section is a tome in itself. Consider the
names of the sections, or Kaandas.

1. Baala Kaanda
2. Ayodhya Kaanda
3. Aranya Kaanda
4. Kishkindha Kaanda
5. Sundara Kaanda
6. Yuddha Kaanda
7. Uttara Kaanda

If we observe carefully, all the Kaandas except one have nouns attached to them. Baala, Ayodhya, Aranya…
One Kaanda peculiarly was prefixed with an adjective. Sundara Kaanda. Was it coincidental or did Valmiki hide a
great secret inside this seemingly naïve observation that we are making?

Sundara Kaanda, if read carefully one notices that it has so many angles to it. Like "The Bhagavad Gita", it is like
an Onion.
You peel the Onion layer after layer and you will begin to discover more and more about it and every layer has its
own taste and importance. Sundara Kaanda, in its outer layer is the story of how Sri Hanuman had flown the 100
yojanas of the ocean's expanse, reached The Lanka Dweepa, searched for Maa Sita, found her and wiped her
tears, gave her solace, set the Lanka on fire and flown back the 100 yojanas to give the good news to Sri Ram.

Delving into the inner layers of spirituality, it is the story of a Yogi in all of us who begins his sojourn of Self-
Realization, reaches The "Lanka" inside every one of us, looks at the sense- pleasures with mere indifference and
goes about saying "Na-iti, Na-iti" (Not this - Not this) and finally finds The Self within "The Lanka" and realizes
that The Divine is within! The Yogi then sets fire to The Lanka and burns it just enough to survive for 'The
Kainkarya' - The Final Victory by The Lord himself!

This is the Soundaryam (beauty) in Sundara Kaanda. And there are many more Great Secrets hidden..
And they are only available for a clear mind which with a scalpel of discernment peels through the layers of this
Onion and all it will find is an endless river of joy.

Let us take a few Slokas of Sundara Kaanda and try and comprehend this one particular layer called Science
where the ancient sage had cleverly treasured some fantastic scientific observations.

Sri Hanuman gets ready to make the jump across the Ocean. He is atop the mountain Mahendragiri.
He begins to grow his body, holds his breath, takes his stomach inside, tenses his thigh muscles and with intense
concentration brings the eyebrows together.

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sa chachaalaachalashchaapi muhuurtaM kapipiiDitaH |
taruuNaaM pushhpitaagraaNaaM sarvaM pushhpamashaatayat || 12

tena paadapamuktena pushhpaughena sugandhinaa |

sarvataH saMvR^itaH shailo babhau pushhpamayo yathaa || 13

After this, the above slokas tell us this - Sri Hanuman had stepped up the pressure on the mountain. For a few
seconds the mountain shakes as if hit by an earth quake. The fully blossomed flowers on the trees had fallen down
on the mountain and filled the air with enthralling fragrances. For an instant it seemed like a huge dune of flowers.

It looks as if Valmiki had fully comprehended the laws of inertia long before Newton. Newton's 1st law says a body
continues to be in a state of rest or in a state of motion until an force brings it to be otherwise. We see this principle
being applied in something as simple as a moment when a 100m sprint kicks off or a rocket launch.

When a sprinter gets ready, he squeezes the ground to give him that kick from the inertia. Similarly, the
rocket pushes the exhaust gases at such speed that the whole ground shakes with the vibration displacing
huge amounts of dust. After all, it has to attain an escape velocity of 11.2 km/sec to be able to fly out of
earth's gravity!

That is what Sri Hanuman did!

Then, when he makes that prepared jump, this is what happened.

samutpatati tasmiMstu vegaatte nagarohiNaH |

saMhR^itya viTapaan sarvaan samutpetuH samantataH || 45

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saMhR^itya viTapaan sarvaan samutpetuH samantataH || 45

uuruvegotthitaa vR^ikshaa muhuurtaM kapimanvayuH |

prasthitaM diirghamadhvaanaM svabandhamiva baandhavaaH || 46

While Sri Hanuman made that jump and flew into the vast skies, the trees on the mountain got uprooted
from the ground and flew in all directions with their branches. And because of the force with which he made
that jump, some trees, being help aloft by his thighs, traveled with him to some distance just as relatives would
follow their loved ones embarking on a long journey.

Let is get back to the sprint example. When the sprinter in the picture kicks the dust to start his sprint, you
see that the force applied on the dust makes the dust to follow the feet that kicked it for a mere instant.

This again is inertia in place. The dust particles were set into motion from rest position by the force applied
by the feet which is why they travel in the direction of the force and settle back to the rest position.
You can also take the example of a person traveling in a bus. When brakes are applied, the person in the
bus is still traveling at the speed for a instant which is why he/she feels the jerk and settles back into the
original position. Or if the brakes are applied too hard then, the person gets displaced from his original

Now let us examine the beauty of description by Sage Valmiki… How he could visualize the finer details of
this journey...

kapivaatashcha balavaan meghavaatashcha niHsR^itaH |

saagaraM bhiimanirghoshhaM kampayaamaasaturbhR^isham || 70

vikarshhannuurmijaalaani bR^ihanti lavaNaambhasi |

pupluve kapishaarduulo vikiranniva rodasii || 71

The speed at which Hanuman was traveling, the powerful currents of air generated by his flight combined
with the winds from the clouds are adding to the sounds of the ocean and is heard like a magnificent roar!
Dispersing the high waves of the Ocean, Hanuman traveled like the dividing line between earth and the

Valmiki is definitely talking about Mach - 3 here. The boom that is heard when a body travels at a speed
greater than the speed of sound. Here, it is 3 times the speed of sound.. And notice the word Rodasi..
Rudra, comes from the word Rodasi - which means Heaven and Earth, two worlds, implying male and female
aspects of Rudra as elucidated in Rig Veda. [2] Incidentally, the word Rodasi continues to exist in Russian
and it became the battle-cry of the Russians in World War 2. "zhivyat rodina mat" = Sanskrit "jivyat rodasi
mata" : Long Live Mother Earth! [3]

So, Rodasi has this dual meaning; Earth &The Sky. Here Valmiki was using it beautifully coming to mean
both earth and the sky.
So, Hanuman was traveling like a rocket leaving a trail of white line dividing the spaces.

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I bow down to Sri Valmiki for visualizing the Iron Man - Hanuman centuries and centuries before even an
Air Plane was thought of!

Now, isn't this Kaanda justified in being called Sundara Kaanda? What beauty it stores within itself,
pouring down the nectar of various aspects of knowledge to the discerning seeker!

May all of us get drenched in this rain of infinite joy!


1. Slokas in English script:
2. The concept of Rudra-Siva through the ages by Mahadev Chakravarti
3. The thousand-armed Avalokitesvara By Lokesh Chandra

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