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Hamilton joins the first global recitation of Ramayan verses


Priest Channa Keshava (Kishore Simha) Bhatter chanting verses of the Sundara Kanda at Sri Balaji Temple in Hamilton on December 3, 2022 (INL Photo by Praneeta Mahajan)

16 countries join to promote universal family under Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

Praneeta Mahajan
8 December 2022

Hamilton’s Sri Balaji Temple was the New Zealand venue for the recitation of ‘Sundara Kanda’ of Ramayan held on December 3, 2022.

Priest Channa Keshava (Kishore Simha) Bhatter said that 23 centres in 16 countries participated in the Recitation which was the first of its kind in the world.

The Parayanam (Recitation) corresponded to the Hindu belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The whole World is one Family).

“Sundara Kanda has more than 2000 verses and the Parayanam and each of the 23 centres was assigned a certain number of verses for recitation in order that over 18 hours, the Kanda can be completed. The world event was initiated by Harinatha Reddy of Jakarta, Indonesia and supported by the Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam of Tirupathi and the Singapore Telugu Samajam,” he said.

The countries that participated in the marathon Sundara Kanda Parayanam were  Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Mauritius, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

About Sundara Kanda

Sundara Kanda is the fifth book in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Priest Bhatter said that the original Sundara Kanda was in Sanskrit and was composed in popular tradition by Valmiki, who was the first to scripturally record the Ramayana.

“Sundara Kanda is the only chapter of the Ramayana in which the principal protagonist is not Rama, but Hanuman. The work depicts the adventures of Hanuman and his selflessness, strength, and devotion to Rama are emphasised in the text. Hanuman was fondly called ‘Sundara’ by his mother Anjana and Sage Valmiki is stated to have chosen this name over others as the Sundara Kanda is about Hanuman’s journey to Lanka. It is traditional to begin the reading (Parayanam) of the Ramayana with the Sundara Kanda,” he said.

It is the fifth Kanda in the Ramayan composed by Valmiki and presents an exciting and inspiring account of the adventures of Hanuman. It also gives adorable pictures of Hanuman’s physical prowess and superior intelligence.

Parayanam Benefits

Sundara Kanda is recited by Hindus mostly on Tuesdays or Saturdays as these are marked for special prayers to Lord Hanuman.

“It happens to be for nullification of the malefic effects of the crow mounted, the son of Surya and Chaya (shadow), Shani or Saturn. Ramayana reveals that Shani, who was captive at Ravana’s palace, was rescued by Lord Hanuman. As a token of thanks, Shani offered a reprieve to all devotees of Lord Hanuman,” Priest Bhatter said.

The Dharmic faith suggests that its recital brings harmony to the household, he added.

“Ramayan is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of more than 24,000 verses divided into seven Kandas. If a person does not have the time or the opportunity to read the entire epic, it is recommended that at least Sundara Kanda is read,” Priest Bhatter said.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

 

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