A tantric commentary on Valmiki Ramayana
The book “Shodasi” written by my friend Sri Guntruru Seshendra Sharma is literally his experiments in the study of of Valmiki Ramayana. Sri Seshendra Sharma is a devout and erudite scholar in the Tantra Sastra. The present book is an attempt on his part, among other things, to explain part of Valmiki Ramayana in terms of Kundalini Yoga.
According to the learned author, the exposition of the story of Ramayana by Valmiki is not a mere narration in good and excellent poetic style. Underlying this is an attempt to infuse in it the directives of the esoteric theories of Kundalini Yoga. Of all Kandas (Cantos) of Valmiki Ramayana, the author has given and rightly so, great importance only to the Sundara Kanda which, as is well known, represents the quintessence of the Valmiki Ramayana’s thought. The first verse of the Sundara Kanda “ Tato Ravana Nithayah” etc., has been interpreted by the author as representing an attempt by Hanuman to traverse the path of the Sushumna , which is the mystic path situated between Ida and Pingala, thereby reaching the final goal of oneness with the Kundalini Sakti. The word “Charana Charite patthi” has been interpreted by the author as the path of Kundalini by deriving the world Charana as the Tadditanta derivative of the Word Charana. In a similar manner several other verses have been interpreted in an extremely interesting and original light. According to the author, this underlying principle of interpreting Valmiki in the light of Kundalini Yoga is not merely a novelty that can be seen here and there, but represents a continuous under-current of thought which Valmiki keeps at the back of his mind while writing his immortal epic. In this respect, the author is of the view that Valmiki and his composition are not mere poetical and emotional out pours but represent a deliberate and well thought out attempt to reach the doctrines of Manthra , Yoga and Vedantha.
The author has also shown a lot of interest and original work with regard to internal evidence of the Ramayana and Mahabharata and has sought to bring out the antiquity of the Ramayana and its closeness to the Vedic thought. In particular, in the chapter on Indra Paratva as opposed to Vishnu Paratva, the author has sought to bring out an original thesis that the Ramayana closely follows the predominant position of Indra in the pantheon of gods, which is the Vedic pattern as against the Supremacy of Vishnu which is the Puranic Pattern. In other words, the author contends that the Ramayana is sought to be established as being more in consonance with the Vedic pattern than with the Puranic pattern of Vishnu.
The author also has done extensive research into the Maha Bharata and proves conclusively that Vyasa has , in his Maha Bharata closely followed Valmiki in several aspects of epic writing including description of hills , description of rivers etc. The description of Damayanthi as “ Malina Vastrangi” in the harem of a king in the guise of a Sairandhri is compared with the description of Sita in the Ashokavana of Valmiki. Similarly the flight of Garutman insearch of nector from the heaven is sought to be equated with the descripton of the flight of Hanuman over the seas. Many othe chaste Sanskrit expressions like “krodhamurchitaha” “ Satya Parkaramaha” etc., with which were first made familiar by Valmiki are found embedded into the Maha Bharata. Several other verses have also been similarly repeated in Vyasa’s Maha Bharata.
The author’s erudite scholarship and keen sense of research are evident throughout the book. The book is an original attempt at a re-interpretation of Valmiki in a new light ad all Devi Upasakas would gladly and gratefully welcome this. The book is so thought-provoking and so well written that It deserves to be translated into English and several other Indian Languages so that the new ideas propounded by the author can be made accessible and studied by several scholars of the several regions of our country.
I wish the author all success in this new attempt.
Secretary to Government (Education) A.P