ByBS Murthy

Apr 13, 2023

Sundara Kānda: Hanuman's Odyssey

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Whereas Mahabharata’s Bhagvad-Gita is taken as a philosophical guide, Ramayana’s Sundara Kãnda is sought for spiritual solace; many believe that reading it or hearing it recited would remove all hurdles and usher in good tidings! Miracles apart, it’s in the nature of this great epic to inculcate fortitude and generate hope in man for it’s a depiction of how Hanuman goes about his errand against all odds.
Besides, it portrays how Seetha, on the verge of self-immolation, overcomes despair to see life in a new light? With rhythm of its verse and the flow of the narrative this sloka to sloka transcreation of the canto beautiful of Valmiki’s adi kavya – the foremost poetical composition in the world, Hanuman’s Odyssey that paves the way for Rama to rescue his kidnapped wife is bound to charm the readers and listeners alike.
Interestingly, as the following verse illustrates, this epic was the forerunner of the magic realism of our times – “Gripped she then him by shadow / Cast which Hanuman coast to coast, Recalled he in dismay then / What Sugreev said at outset / That one fiend had aptitude / To grip its prey by mere shadow.”
On a personal note, my paternal grandfather, Bulusu Thimmaiah-garu, like many in his time, was a life-long practitioner of Sundara Kãnda parayana (the epic’s daily recital in part or full), whose spirituality could have providentially guided me in this, rather an effortless, trans-creative endeavour.

Cantos of the Kanda

Canto 1 – Hurdles in Skies
Canto 2 – City in Clouds
Canto 3 – Prelude to Entry
Canto 4 – Foray into Fort
Canto 5 – Life in Lanka
Canto 6 – Precincts to Beat
Canto 7 – Palace in the Plane
Canto 8 – Pushpak’s Prowess
Canto 9 – Harem at Night
Canto 10 – Women in Want
Canto 11 – Qualms of Celibate
Canto 12 – At Wits End
Canto 13 – Errand in the Bend
Canto 14 – Garden of Grief
Canto 15 – Withered Flower
Canto 16 – She is Seetha
Canto 17 – Guards all Hideous
Canto 18 – Ravan on Heat
Canto 19 – Dame in Despair
Canto 20 – Womanizer at Work
Canto 21 – Steadfast in Love
Canto 22 – Deadline to Death
Canto 23 – Guards that Pander
Canto 24 – Carrot and Stick
Canto 25 – Hapless Soul
Canto 26 – Wandering Thoughts
Canto 27 – Dream of a Nightmare
Canto 28 – On the Verge
Canto 29 – Good Tidings
Canto 30 – Hanuman’s Dilemma
Canto 31 – Rama’s Ballad
Canto 32 – Is it True?
Canto 33 – Genesis of Exile
Canto 34 – Swings in Mood
Canto 35 – Winning the Trust
Canto 36 – More of the Same
Canto 37 – Aborted Move
Canto 38 – Story to Tell
Canto 39 – Doubts to the Fore
Canto 40 – Repeats the Dose
Canto 41 – Rampage in the Park
Canto 42 – Panic in the Town
Canto 43 -Itching for Fight
Canto 44 -Takes on Prahastha’s Son
Canto 45 – Marshals in the Mire
Canto 46 – Generals in the Dumps
Canto 47 – Akshay’s Life on Line
Canto 48 – It takes Indrajit
Canto 49 – Ravan’s Darbar
Canto 50 – Cause of Loss
Canto 51 – Advice to Deliver
Canto 52 – Placates the Sibling
Canto 53 – Tail on Fire
Canto 54 – Arson to Hurt
Canto 55 – What of Seetha?
Canto 56 – Havoc of a Take-off
Canto 57 – Flight sans Hassles
Canto 58 – Odyssey in a Nutshell
Canto 59 – Pep Talk to Peers
Canto 60 – Angad on Rebound
Canto 61 – Eying the Madhuvan
Canto 62 – Orgy in the Garden
Canto 63 – Sugreev’s Reading
Canto 64 – Return of the Platoon
Canto 65 – News in Brief
Canto 66 – Tears in Torrents
Canto 67 – Hanuman’s Replay
Canto 68 – Times of Hope
Yuddha Kanda – War on Ravan
Canto 01 – Embrace of a Gift
Canto 128 – Coronation and After

  • Listing ID: 13131
  • Author's Name: BS Murthy
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  • Genre: Poetry, Free verse, Indian epics, Religion and Spirituality, Ramayana, Hinduism, Adventure, Fantasy
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By BS Murthy

BS Murthy is an Indian novelist, playwright, short story, non-fiction 'n articles writer, translator, a 'little' thinker and a budding philosopher in ‘Addendum to Evolution: Origins of the World by Eastern Speculative Philosophy’ that was originally published in The Examined Life On-Line Philosophy Journal, Vol. 05 Issue 18, Summer 2004. Born on 27 Aug 1948 and schooled in letter-writing, he articulated his managerial ideas in thirty-odd published articles, and later he penned Benign Flame: Saga of Love, Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life, Crossing the Mirage: Passing through youth (plot and character driven novels), Glaring Shadow: A stream of consciousness novel, Prey on the Prowl: A Crime Novel, Stories Varied: A Book of Short Stories and Onto the Stage: Slighted Souls and other stage and radio plays. His other books are Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife (novel non-fiction) and translations in verses Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help and Sundara Kanda: Hanuman’s Odyssey. Then entering the arena of non-fiction with a ‘novel’ narrative in , possibly a new genre, he ventured into the zone of translations for versifying the Sanskrit epics, Vyasa’s Bhagvad-Gita (Treatise of self-help) and Valmiki’s in contemporary English idiom. Later, ascending Onto the Stage with Slight Souls and other stage and radio plays, he returned to fictional form with and to finally reach the short story horizon with Stories Varied - A Book of Short Stories. While all his fiction had emanated from his conviction that for it to impact readers, it should be the soulful rendering of characters rooted in their native soil but not the hotchpotch of local and alien caricatures sketched on a hybrid canvas, all his body of work was borne out of his passion for writing, matched only by his love for language. His body of work as above is in the public domain as free ebooks

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