The Sundarakanda (The Beautiful Story) is a section of the Srimad Ramayana, considered to be the first great epic poem in Sanskrit. Authored by Sri Valmiki, the Sundarakanda provides an outstanding characterization of Hanuman who, with his valor, dedication and other divine qualities, overcame many obstacles to cross the ocean in his search of Sita Devi (Goddess Sita), Hanuman's mission was to locate Sita Devi and bring back information regarding her condition to Sri Rama.
The narrative includes how Hanuman planned the task of searching for Sita Devi, crossed hurdles as they arose, solved insurmountable problems using his own ingenuity, located her in Lanka, and finally returned to report the details to Sri Rama, His character exemplifies the noble qualities of focus, persistence, dedication and problem solving. These traits are essential to achieve success in every project one undertakes.
This book is a revised version of the Sundarakanda that was published on Sri Ramanavami, April 13, 2002. Recently, I was narrating the story of Hanuman from the earlier version to my grandson who was five years old at the time. He enjoyed the episodes of Hanuman's adventures, and asked, "Grandma, why don't you keep this book in the public library so that everyone can read it?" The current version of the book emerged from that conversation.
The purpose of this book is to share the beautiful descriptions and the exemplary character of Hanuman as given in the magnificent epic of the Ramayana. I chose to write the book in English so that children not familiar with Indian Languages can enjoy and learn from the story. The purpose is to provide a role model in Hanuman, to encourage growing children to emulate his qualities. It is not a verbatim translation of the Sundarakanda, Some lengthy descriptions and repetitions were summarized to be more appropriate and comprehensible to children.
My heartfelt thanks go to my husband, Dr. Sastri Kota for his constant support and encouragement. I kindly thank Dr. Srinivasacharyulu Garu for contributing the foreward. I sincerely appreciate Sri Sivaji Tumbali for providing excellent illustrations. I thank Smt. Prashanti and Sri Vinay Mamidi for the preparation of the first edition of this book. My appreciation also goes to Dr. Aparna Kota, Dr. Jean Herbert, and Smt. Padmaja Iyer for their reviews and valuable feedback and to Smt. Ranjana Gobburu for her supportive role in the first edition. I would like to appreciate Sri Malladi Vidyaranyulu for publishing the first edition. My thanks are also due to Sri Harbir Singh and Sri Prashant Padala for their valuable support of this edition. ,
May Sri Hanuman and Sri Rama bless everyone who reads this book with peace and happiness.
Valmiki's Ramayana, the first poem in Sanskrit beautifully describes the story of Sri Rama the encamation of Sri Mahavishnu in six Kandas. Sundara Kanda the fifth chapter in the poem is really sundaram. It describes the most exemplary qualities of Hanuman engaged in search of Sita Devi taken away by Ravana to Lanka. Sundarakanda is believed as most sacred book and people do parayanam of this for the fulfilment of their desires. The following sloka describes the excellent effect of Hanumatsmaranam.
Buddhir balam yaso dhairyam
Ajadyam vakpatutvam cha
By meditation on Hanuman one gets wisdom, strength, fame, courage, fearlessness, good health, alertness and eloquence.
I am very happy that the Sundarakanda translated in to simple and lucid English is published by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams for the benefit of the english readers especially young boys and girls.
I thank Smt. Krishna Kota (U.S.A.) for translating this book into English.
I hope the youngesters will read this book and emulate the excellent qualities of Hanuman.
About the Enclosed CD
Guide for Pronunciation and Transliteration System
Importance of Sundarakanda for Children
Highlights of Srimad Valimiki Ramayana
Introduction to the Ramayana
Srimad Ramayana Story (in brief)
Chapter 1: Hanuman Crossing the Ocean
Chapter 2: Hanuman's Strategy: How to Enter Lanka
Chapter 3: Hanuman Defeats Lankhini - Protector of Lanka
Chapter 4: Hanuman Enters Lanka City
Chapter 5: Description of Ravana's Palace
Chapter 6, 7: Hanuman's Description of His Findings
Chapter 8: Description of the Puspaka Vimana, the Special Airplane
Chapter 9: Hanuman Searches Ravana's Inner Palace
Chapter 10: Hanuman Mistakes Mandodari for Sita
Chapter 11: Hanuman Realizes His Mistake
Chapter 12: Hanuman Laments His Inability to Find Sita Devi
Chapter 13: Hanuman's Deep Despair and Search for Sita Continues
Chapter 14: Hanuman Describes the Asoka Gardens
Chapter 15: Hanuman Finds Sita
Chapter 16: Hanuman confirms she is Sita Devi without a Mistake
Chapter 17: The Demons Surrounding Sita Devi in the Asoka Garden
Chapter 18: Ravana Comes To the Asoka Garden
Chapter 19: Ravana Approaches Sita
Chapter 20: Ravana Expresses His Love for Sita
Chapter 21: Sita Devi's Courageous Reply to Ravana
Chapter 22: Ravana Threatens Sita Devi
Chapters 23,24: Demons Threaten Sita Devi
Chapters 25, 26: Sita's Sorrow
Chapters 27,28: Trijata's Dream
Chapter 29: Sita Devi's Good Omen
Chapter 30: Hanuman Plans To Speak To Sita Devi...
Chapter 31: Hanuman Chants Sri Rama's Story
Chapter 32: Sita Devi's Confused State
Chapter 33: Sita Devi Explains What Happened
Chapter 34: Hanuman Reassures Sita Devi..
Chapter 35: Hanuman Earns Sita Devi's Trust
Chapter 36: Hanuman Presents Sri Rama's Ring to Sita Devi
Chapter 37: Hanuman Considers Taking Sita Devi with Him
Chapter 38: Sita Devi Gives Hanuman the ChudamalJi
Chapter 39: Hanuman Prepares To Leave Sita Devi..
Chapter 40: Hanuman Leaves Sita Devi
Chapter 41: Hanuman Spoils the ASoka Gardens
Chapter 42: Ravana Learns Of the Destroyed Asoka Garden
Chapter 43: Hanuman Destroys the Caitya Prasada
Chapter 44: Hanuman Fights with Jambumalini
Chapter 45: Hanuman Fights With the Minister's Seven Sons
Chapter 46: Hanuman Fights with Five Commanders
Chapter 47: Hanuman Kills Aka Kumara
Chapter 48: Hanuman Fights with Indrajit
Chapter 49: The Description of Ravana's Court
Chapter 50: Hanuman in Ravana's Royal Gathering
Chapter 51: Hanuman's Speech in Ravana's Royal Court
Chapter 52: Vibhisana's Advice to Ravana
Chapter 53: Demons Burn Hanuman's Tail
Chapter 54: Hanuman Burns Lanka
Chapter 55: Hanuman realizes his wrongdoing
Chapter 56: Hanuman's Return Journey
Chapter 57: Hanuman Returns to the Mahendra Mountain
Chapter 58: Hanuman Narrates His Journey
Chapter 59: Hanuman Is Still Excited
Chapter 60: Jambavan's Advice
Chapter 61: Monkeys in Madhuvan
Chapter 62: Drunken Vanaras
Chapter 63: Rama and Laksmana Learn of Hanuman's Return
Chapter 64: The Vanaras Return to Sugriva
Chapter 65: Hanuman Tells Sri Rama about Sita Devi
Chapter 66: Rama Receives the Chudamani
Chapter 67: Hanuman Relates the Personal Story of Sri Rama and Sita Devi
Chapter 68: Hanuman Concludes the Task
Sri Rama Pattabhisekam
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