Ramayan, Hanuman and Sundarkand

The Ramayan and the Mahabharat are the two Itihas, a narration of historical events coupled with the deepest philosophy.

The Mahabharat also contains the Yogshastra Bhagvat Gita, which is a step by step guideline to what you deeply desire. In the Ramayan there is the Aditya Hrudaya stotra which in my opinion is the highly condensed ‘Gita’ of the Ramayan. If you are on the spiritual path, you must listen/ recite this once in a while.

There was a question on the Sundar kand so writing a detailed post on it.

The original Ramayan written by Rishi Valmiki is in Sanskrit  (Devbhasha Samskrutam) and ends with the coronation of Shri Ram. Ramayan means Ramasya ayanah iti Ramayan. It talks about the travels of Ram. It ends when the Rajya-abhishek of Ram as the King of Ayodhya ie Ram’s travels end with this event. The coronation is on the first day of the new year Chaitra Shukla pratipada. The death of Ravan, the King of Lanka, occurs on the last day of the year on Falgun Amavasya. Ram travels back to Ayodhya immediately after Ravan’s death in the Pushpak viman and is immediately crowned King of Ayodhya. The Ramayan ends here.

There are 6 main sections/ Kaand in the original Ramayan.

  • Bala kand has the part of the birth of the main characters and their childhood is described. (It has some interjected stories which were added later and not connected to the main story.)
  • Ayodhya kand – the princes live in Ayodhya, grow up, get married etc.
  • Aranya kand – the first part of the exile of Ram, Sita and Laxman.
  • Kishkindha Kand – Ram and Laxman interact with the Vanars of the kingdom of Kishkindha
  • Sundar kand – Hanuman realises Himself. This section is exclusively related to the activities of Hanuman.
  • Yuddha kand – describes the war between Sri Ram and Ravan, the King of Lanka. Ravan is killed at the end of the war. This section ends with the coronation of Ram as per Rishi Valmiki’s original text. The Ramayan ends with the coronation of Shri Ram as the King of Ayodhya.

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Now about Hanuman. His other equally popular name is Maruti. Maruti indicates his connection to the breath, wind, storms, war, divinity, movement, power, etc.

Maruti has several other names, Anjaneya, Kapish, Vajradehi, Kalanabha, Chiranjeevi, Manojava, Jitendreya, Vatatmaja, Vanar-yuth-mukhya, Ram-doot, Pavan-putra, etc. And because these are all Sanskrit words, each describes some trait of his. To understand the real meaning of Sanskrit words, you have to add intention and the energy of the Akshar. So Maruti is the son of Anjana, the one who was hit on his chin, the king of everything that moves, his body is tougher than lighting, indestructible, the navel of time, the one who exists forever, he is produced by the Mind/Manas, the one who conquers the organs of sense/action, the one concealed in the pran, the leader of the other-dimensional intelligence, the messenger of the ultimate happiness, etc.

Maruti is a ‘Vanar’, this word does not mean a monkey. In Sanskrit, ‘Markat’ is the animal ‘monkey’. So saying that Hanuman was/ is a ‘monkey’ is extremely offensive and demeaning. Vanar is ‘Vansaya narah iti Vanarah’. The ‘Nar’ who are of the ‘Van’. Nar are a class of beings like the Yaksha, Kinnar, Gandharva etc. ‘Van’ is the forest, distant lands, other dimensions, running water, sun-ray, vehicle, residence, desires, abundance etc. A Vanar can be understood as a being from the other dimensions as the simplest meaning. Our human body is composed of all the 5 panchabhoot, Akash, Vayu, Agni, Aap, Pruthvi. The other dimensional beings have other types of bodies composed of differing proportions of the mahabhoot, eg Yaksha have bodies composed of only Akash, Vayu and Agni.

The Ramayan is also a guidebook to self realization. Ravan the anti-hero is an embodiment of the ego, the tremendous and discordant vibrations created by a sense of personal-ego. (In the Mahabharat this role is fulfilled by Duryodhan, ‘the one who is extremely difficult to defeat’.) If you follow the Ramayan as your guide, you will see your self-ego as Ravan in the very last confrontation when you are finally required to destroy it in the highest stages of Dhyan.

So, in all this, who or what is Hanuman?

He is the embodiment of pran, the vital energy flowing in the energy channels/nadi of your pran-mai-kosh body layer. He is also called the Mukhya Pran devata. The energy of the seed of the vital energy. There are 5 different main types of pran, the panch-pran. Pran, Apan, Vyan, Saman, Udaan. Maruti is the combined conscious intelligence of the Panch-pran. You might have seen some images of Hanuman with 5 terrible faces. Now if you do your Dhyan sincerely there will come a time when you will see these the conscious energies of these 5 main types of pran and yes they are very Ugra, terrible and terrifying. The power of pran blasting in your nadis and in the universe around can indeed be terrifying, so you have to do your spiritual practice to prepare yourself.

The objective of every spiritual aspirant is basically to control the movement of pran consciously. To be able to shut down its movements in the rest of the body and to drive it into the Brahmanadi within the Sushumna. Then to guide it with infinite precision through the chakras till it reaches the top. This movement of pran in the Brahmanadi ‘cleans’ it, makes it through so that when the Kundalini starts moving, it can simply move from the Mooladhar chakra to the central Bindu with the Sahsarar chakra in one smooth sweep. This movement of the Kundalini grants Moksh in one stroke.

So to be able to control the pran, you must absorb the energy of Maruti. He is of supreme importance in spiritual practice. Unless you are able to control the pran/ vital energy flowing in your nadi/ energy channels, you cannot get anywhere.

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Now the question I was asked was on doing a Parayan of the Sundar kand.

The Sundar kand is that part of the Ramayan where Hanuman realises his power. He goes through several experiences and events which makes him aware of his reality. This is the reason why doing a Parayan of this section is very helpful. ‘Parayan’ पारायणं is reciting mantras with intention, absorbing the energies completely. The Ramayan is an esoteric text and each verse/ shlok is a mantra. So if you recite the Sundar kand with the intention that you gain the blessing of Maruti you will get it. You will gain the ability to control the pran, so this parayan will benefit the spiritual aspirant. This will also regulate the movement of the pran and bring it to the best possible levels. So if you are ill, or under mental stress, or suffering from negativity, evil eye energy, nightmares, psychic attacks, impending danger etc, all this will be removed. On the material levels too, power, courage, health, ability to win, destroying enemies, finding what you want, success, emotional stability, strength, peace of mind etc will be granted.

Doing the Sundar kand Parayan.

The original Valmiki Ramayan, the Sundar kand is 68 chapters long and is extremely powerful. Sundar kand parayan is an Anushtan, a powerful practice to use the mantra. Ideally a Brahmin is required as there is a specific way of reciting the shloks. But if you wish to do it on your own, this is the basic minimum you should do. The easiest method is this,

  • You start on any any auspicious day. (post here)
  • Get a small image of the deities or a photo. Set it on a small wooden altar in front of you.
  • You will sit on your Asan facing either the north or east direction. And obviously facing the deities image.
  • Begin with a small puja of Shri Ram and Devi Sita. Then do a puja of Maruti. Here you can offer flowers, saffron, sandal-wood, turmeric, incense, light a lamp, do an arti with camphor etc as per what is available in your house.
  • You can blow the Shankh thrice if you have it. Or sprinkle the Ganga water if you have it. Or at least visualise golden/silver aura around you, feel the kindness of the deities surrounding you in a loving cocoon. Recite ‘Jai Shri Ram’, while you are setting up all this.
  • You have to keep a sweet dish/ Naivedya for the deities. Panchamrut is mixing some milk, curd, honey, sugar (khadi-sakhar) and desi cow ghee. Or keep 5 types of fruits. Or 5 pieces of dry fruits, almonds, cashew, dried grapes, dry coconut, apricots, figs etc with some jaggery/sugar. Keep this Naivedya in a silver or glass bowl. (Never use iron/ steel in any form in your pujas.) 
  • Then speak aloud to the deities and tell them briefly why you are doing this parayan. eg for getting well from an illness, for resolution of disputes, or spiritual growth, or just because you love them. This is the Sankalp, the intention, so take a few drops of water in your right palm and drop it to the ground after you finish speaking.
  • Also request that they help you complete the parayan and protect you while this is going on. This request for protection is necessary. As you progress in your parayan, you will accumulate positive energy, your aura will glow like the Sun. Then the souls/entities roaming around trapped in our dimension will come to you and request you to use this energy to set them free. This can manifest as actual problems eg falling ill, or some unexpected event which makes you break the parayan.
  • There are 68 chapters in the Sundar-kand. Ideally you should read it all in one sitting but this is not possible for regular people. So try to recite 6 chapters daily for 11days and finish the remaining 2 chapters on the 12th day. (I think this is a reasonable time frame in which you can manage)
  • The small puja and sweet dish/ naivedya has to be offered on every day you do your parayan. After you finish for the day, eat the sweet dish as a Prasad or distribute it among your close family members.
  • After you finish on the 12th day, thank the deities for the love they have showered on you. Then do a Dhyan, Soham (Sushumna yog) 108 times, relax your mind and absorb the energy of the Sundar kand parayan into yourself.

This is the simplest way you can do your Sundar kand parayan.

Ramayan, Hanuman and Sundarkand

Now the other part of the question which was asked to me.

The actual Ramayan has been simplified and abbreviated into other languages over these thousands of years. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states of India, the commonly used ‘Ramcharitmanas’ is a version in the local dialect called Avadhi. It was written by Tulsidas a few hundred years ago. This version is written in very typical old time language and is a highly abbreviated form of the original Ramayan.

The Sundarkand in the original Valmiki Ramayan is 68 chapters long and in this ‘Ramcharitmanas’ it is a mere 63 verses. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, people think that reading these 63 verses in Avadhi is ‘Sundar kand parayan’. It is not. But then faith and intention is important so even if you recite these 63 verses in Avadhi you will get some benefit. But to answer your question, this is not Sundar kand parayan.

The actual Sundar kand parayan is reciting the 68 Chapters of the original Ramayan written by Rishi Valmiki in Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is the Devbhasha Samskrutam, the words cannot be translated and each word is a mantra, the Shabda-Brahma, the divine Intelligence manifested in perfection. You can try doing the parayan yourself in the highly simplified method as per what I have written above, or you can get it done through a proper Brahmin pandit for the maximum auspicious effects and positive results.

Jai Sri Ram ..

 

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Edit : I got a comment that what should someone do if cannot read Sanskrit? So here is a youtube link to the entire 68 sarga of the Sundarkand. Some kind soul has recited it beautifully in Sanskrit. So listen to it and try to follow what is being recited in your book.
Also buy a book with the Sanskrit text of the Sundarkand. Gita press has the Ramayan in Sanskrit with the Hindi translation. The book is priced at very very affordable rates. And now you may have to do fewer sarga per day depending on the recitation time/ sarga. So your parayan might continue for more days. During this Parayan period you should avoid non-veg, alcohol etc and live a satvik life style to derive the max auspicious benefits. (And later give yourself 10mins daily to learn some Sanskrit at least. It is our mother tongue, post here.)

Haunted Houses

Strangely this week was my first experience with a haunted house! I have seen ghosts in several houses, on the streets, wherever, in fact there was a ghost in my house. I live in a house not an apartment. One of the bedrooms had a resident ghost. Just that one point in the corner, an Indian servant who was killed by his British master, quite a mutilated body. Apparently his remains are somewhere below the foundations of the house, below that room, and he is still attached to them. Even spirits have free will I guess, if he doesn’t want to go I wont waste my energy. But I could not have him in the house, so I slightly tweaked stuff (I used a pendulum), now that spirit stays outside the gates and I keep a bowl of sea salt crystals over this point in my bedroom to keep it ‘clean’.

Haunted Houses

But back to the point, this was the first time I actually saw a family in trouble over a ghost in their house. This is an old friend whose husband in the army, so they had locked up their house and the entire family was living at the husband’s place of posting. Now they had come back after several months to stay here during the children’s winter vacations. They found a messed up house, naturally rats and insects had taken over, they cleaned up everything and then I went over for tea and chit-chat. Found the auras of the husband/wife/2 children completely drained, black streaks and even their complexion had turned ‘grey’. There was a massive entity, a ball of negativity residing with them in their house. This negative entity had further attracted the rats with their variant of negativity thus manifesting its filth in the physical environment too.

Hauntings do happen for real. Not only houses, but even old furniture and jewellery can be ‘haunted’. The usual suspects are spirits, possession, suspicious deaths and ghosts from the past. But if looked into deeply, haunting is basically a concentrated chunk of rather negative energy, which may be conscious or not conscious. Some of us can sense these haunting energies easily and be influenced by them. We naturally feel scared, this is something not of the normal world, cannot be located by the senses but still is very much there, affecting us on the sub-conscious levels. Our own mind also plays its part and adds to the scare. These hauntings are nothing serious if we dont let our imagination run away with us.

There are mainly 2 types of these haunting energies and two different ways of dealing with them.

The conscious energy We call this world ours, but we have invited and uninvited guests from the other dimensions here with us. These are quite rare but yes they happen.

  • Actual departed souls who for some reason remain trapped in this world of ours. See when a body dies in this world/Martyalok, the soul is directed to leave the body and travel to the other world/Pitrulok. The energies of the fire/Agni of the cremation/Anteyshti are necessary as they power the soul for its travel. Later the immersion of the ashes in flowing water or the sea ensures that the soul safely reaches its destination, does not stay back. But if for some reason the spirit does not move forward, it creates an energy disturbance, haunting
  • Then the invited guests are the spirits who are called in this world by tantriks/witches and not sent back properly. Books like Goetica tell budding witches how to make sigils of entities and leave them around in this world!
  • Your house is a conscious thing, it links to the energies of its residents to make itself habitable. Your movements in every room energise them. So always buy a house that you can fill with your energy, a family of 4 should not have a house bigger than 5-6 rooms. Empty rooms or rooms which no one uses for days will attract negativity.

Haunted Houses

My friend had left her house empty for too long. It would have been preferable if she would have rented out a couple of the rooms in the house so that there would have been some humans powering it with their energies. If you leave your house shut for months like this it will soon exhaust its energies and become an open invitation to anyone who can ‘occupy’ it, from which ever dimension. Now this family was being drained in 2 ways. The house was energy-deprived for months and was demanding. And the negative entity was also happily sucking away at their auras!

So if you ever have to re-activate such a house this is what you need to do,

  1. Dress up the house – Put a bunch of mango leaves and marigold flowers on the front door. (called toran in marathi). Draw a rangoli/kolam. Keep a lighted oil lamp at the front door in the evening twilight. Sprinkle the charged water from your puja/Gangajal all over the house. Keep an arrangement of fresh flowers, house plants, living energy in your house.
  2. Do your basic puja in the puja ghar. Blow your conch in the morning pujas and during the evening twilight. Take the Camphor arti all around the house.
  3. Some pujas – call a pandit, get a basic Satyanarayan Katha or whatever you like done in the house, call all your neighbours, distribute prasadam. Having people in your house for 5-6 hours like this will make your house happy!
  4. Throw a party – for the not so spiritually inclined, throw a mini house-warming party. Call your neighbours, friends and the caterers, karaoke and dance. Lots of energies for the house.
  5. If there are actual ghosts they will have to be removed actively. You can do this yourself. On the twilight of an amavasya, cook some fresh rice and take some fresh curd, in front of your puja ghar/altar mix them in a bowl with a spoon. Take an incense stick, light it. And now recite the siddhakunjika once in your puja ghar and then walk all through your house reciting the mantra, “Om aing hreeng kleeng chamundayi vicche”, and as you recite place a small tea-spoonful of this curd-rice at every door and window of your house, including the toilets and the front door. Or if you are more drawn to Shiv, use the Kaalbhairavashtak. Or if you are more drawn to Hanuman use any of his stotras. This is a very easy method to remove the negativity from the house. The oldest in the family does it, my Dad has been doing this since I can remember. In the next morning, the dried out curd/rice should swept out with the normal dusting, cleaning.
  6. And if you are scared to do this simple thing with rice/curd, it would be best to call a pandit and get a puja/ritual for Devi, Shiv or Hanuman done asap. Living with an energy-sucking ghost in the house will make the family members physically ill within 6 months.

The non-conscious energy – These are not the actual spirits but fragments of their energies which are left behind. The spirits have moved on to the Pitrulok. This is more common.

  • You must have sensed this. You have an ancestral house in your village where your grandparents lived. After they passed away this house was cleaned up and closed, with the furniture, mattresses and kitchen stuff that they used. Now when you go there once a year, you can feel your grandmom’s presence or hear your granddad’s voice. This is not a haunting.
  • The tiny fragments of their energies trapped in the furniture, the imprints in the mattresses and curtains are activated by your living presence in the house. You by your living energies are animating the remnants of your grandparent’s aura/energy adhering to the objects used by them.
  • So what do you do about these fragments of energy? If you can afford it, give away their stuff to poor people who can use it. There will naturally be some items which you cannot give away, so clean them thoroughly, air them, put them in the sun and then use them yourself for a few days so they take on your energy impressions. The gold jewellery should be ideally remade into new designs and the gemstones cleansed. This will solve these type of ‘hauntings’.

I could not have the tea and snacks made in my friend’s kitchen that day, the energy was not good. And neither could I sit inside, we took a couple of chairs and sat outside.

Do take care of your house and its energy. Keep your surroundings ‘clean’. It will be reflected back at you manifold.

 

Haunted Houses