‘Sita Prema Sudha’
The author of ‘Sita Prema Sudha’, Dr.K.Subramanyam,Pro-Chancellor of SVYASA University, Bangalore is a prolific writer whose chief domain in literature being bringing out the profound and rich heritage of our country from our Sastras and presenting them in simple and unpretentious English, thus fulfilling the sacred responsibility given by Swami Vivekananda that the hidden truths in our ancient literature must be made accessible globally. In fact Swami Vivekananda’s mission was to make our religion available in an ‘easy, simple, popular’ language and at the same time ‘it should meet the requirements of the highest minds’ which is really a tough task. This serious responsibility has been taken up by Dr.K.Subramanyam and to a greater extent he has succeeded in this work of art ‘Sita Sudha’. The author’s 108 different views in expressing the love for Sita by Rama, amidst which no two verses are similar in form or content, are unique. Perhaps so far no poet has ever dwelt deep on the theme of love in 108 angles and needless to say that it is a mammoth literary task, the like of which after Sarojini Naidu, only he has accomplished.Each verse is easily grasped by an ordinary English knowing reader and no doubt each poem offers a good literary platform for a profound discussion. I hope that ‘Sita Sudha’ is going to be his Magnum Opus.
Various facets of love are expressed in these verses in which a discerning eye discovers the author’s veiled attempt to hint at the protagonist’s failed love that would consummate at his world of fantasy he is longing for. ‘At least there!’ – he yearns…as rivers which could not embrace in land would do so in the ocean where they meet finally… like the separated Sita – Jivatma merging with Paramatma – Rama at last.‘In these days of materialism’, ‘Smiles would peep thro’ fingers and kerchiefs’, in spite of the cosy cushions in A/C rooms, Sita, I am able to achieve name and fame,’– betray the hidden modern protagonist whose love is hinted at while describing the classical Rama’s love for Sita. Unfulfilled love or forced marital contract peeps out when he confesses that he has ‘to crown a corpse’‘garlanded grief.’
His yearning to unite with his imaginary love in the final ocean of love is evident amidst his attempts to describe the classical Rama’s longing for Sita. The reader is catapulted here and there between classical Rama’s shades of love and the author’s brain-child hero’s modern unaccomplished love.
Forget for a moment the hidden hero’s yearning for the lost love and you find classical Rama’s spectrum of love-angles in all degrees emerging – lamentation of love, cosmic love, respectful love, traditional love and so on. Each poem is an independent entity and love in all shades is presentedbut never sequential as the traditional Ramayana story is. Rama’s love for Sita in all directions is conceived by the author according to his choice of sequence. Is there any rationale in the order of presenting the love? May be the intensity of love grows in degrees in the ascending order! The author leaves it to the guess of the readers!
Rama’s poignant love pours forth with tears when he empathizes with Sita surrounded by fire at Ashoka Vana and later to prove her chastity in the eyes of doubting public.
“Sincerity, thy form is Hanuman.” saves him from drowning in despair. Rama is confident of breaking Siva Dhanus when the loving glance of Sita falls on him and, thathe anticipates separation too at that moment of Faithful Love makes him balanced and arrests him from jumping with joy.
He exhibits his ‘Sorrows of Love’ comparing Urmila, Lakshmana’s consort with Sita. Though husband is in exile, Urmila is comfortable at home and here Lakshmana is not suffering from pangs of separation, whereas Rama is afflicted with boundless grief, though senior to them both. Perhaps his sorrow soars high when he contemplates over the composure of his younger brother. A bit ashamed too?
There is a proud moment in the midst of his lamentations that never were Rama and Sita tormented by sensuous emotions though umpteen occasions were there to tempt them in the serene forest. Cosmic love teaches forbearance and self-reliancealong with dexterity and resourcefulness to Rama, converting disadvantages into advantages.
Rama recollects how her presence wakes up heroism in him and her absence too energizes him to wage a war against Ravana, the lust-incarnated to establish Dharma.
Marvelling over her purity and divinity, Rama wonders how she could not detect the evil designs of Ravana. He chides Sita that she should have followed her inner voice rather than unscientific tradition which made her fall into the villain’s luring snare. He laments why she failed to be prudent enough to doubt the dubious tradition built on superstition. Traditions, when built on superstition are very often detrimental to all and hence all these pangs of separation.
Rama wonders why Sita was senselessly drawn towards the deceptive deer which was not more beautiful than her. He could not make out how a less attractive creature was able to tempt her even to cross the formidable Lakshmana reka. After all she was not a commoner to fall a victim to sensuous and sense objects.
Distance cannot separate these true lovers. They are two bodies, but one life. Rama appeals to the sea Goddess to show the way in the sea.
Sita stubbornly rejects Hanuman’s humble request that he would carry her stealthily out of Lanka, since posterity would not forgive Rama if he does not rescue her. He must valiantly vanquish the lascivious Ravana and that would be manly and befitting to Rama. That is the impact of uniting love, according to the author.
The author glorifies Sita as Cosmic Mother as GuruMaharaj did for his spiritual consort Saradha. Rama is Sita and Sita is Rama and all beings are enshrined in Motherhood. ‘Srimati is Mati or intellect ignited by Sri… Stri’ is ‘Sri’ if only ‘T’ is slain’- this is how he glorifies Mother.
Thus the author travels through various shades of Love for Sita and his Love Journey touches Sobriety, Ire, Fire, Discipline Serenity, Energy, Culture, Righteousness, Judgement, Perfection, Freedom, Peace and so on and he finally dawns on Destiny and Dharma of Love before ending with Pearls of Love where his divine journey becomes a complete and perfect blossom.
Actions bounce back- is the dictum. What one did in the forenoon, one gets back in the afternoon. Rama feels guilty that he stealthily slew Vali hiding behind a tree. Though he justifies this action by saying that it was, after all, for establishing Dharma. But
he had to face the wrath of Dharma through Ravana who was all the while tarnishing Rama’s image at his back. Both unapproved actions happen at the back of the opponent. And this is the destiny of love.
In the Dharma of love, the author discusses the intricacies of the path of Dharma which is difficult to understand. ‘Dharma’ is a comprehensive term the meaning of which varies from context to context and time to time. Perplexing, but true. Sita’s Dharma was to pursue Rama and perform penance. Urmila’s was diametrically opposite. Her Dharma was to do penance at Ayodhya itself praying for Lakshmana. Her conviction that Lakshmana was with Rama to fulfil a righteous mission did not make her pine for her better half. Kumbhakarna stayed with and Vibhishana stayed out of Ravana, one fighting for and the other against Ravana. As the author traces the beauty of Dharmic Love, he finds it ‘intriguing’. Strangely enough, sometimes means are Adharmic, though Dharmic in spirit. It is a complex term indeed.
After showering 108 ‘Pearls of Love’, the author Dr. K. Subrahmanyam who all the time, has been identifying himself with Rama feels one with Sita in his divine love for this Cosmic Mother. The taintless pearls showered on the head of Sita become golden by her holy touch and their reflection upon the author makes him golden too. The author’s divine poetic fervour soars high in the realm of imagination and he revels in ecstasy that the dark charms of his eyes get revealed on Sita. That is the magic of marvellous love each had for the other. Rama and Sita merge with each other in their ecstatic pure love. The author too merges in divinity and feels one with the vastness of Ahandahara, crossing the assumed finitude melting into the Infinitude of Absolute Reality, trying to reach Brahma nirvana.
By Vishwarupa Rath