The following are the six main Kaandams of Kamba Ramayana:
- Bala Kaandam
- Ayodhya Kaandam
- Aaranya Kaandam
- Kishkindha Kaandam
- Sundara Kaandam and
- Yudha Kaandam,
There is a seventh Kaandam called ‘Uththara Kaandam.’
It is widely believed that chanting or reading Sundara Kaandam helps bring peace and prosperity to a family in distress. Even in our present times, I have come across families resorting to this practice.
Most of them say that this brought them out of the crisis they were facing. I don’t want to go into the merits or otherwise of this practice.
My bringing this issue of Sundara Kaandam is for a different purpose. Why is it called Sundara Kaandam and not ‘Crossing the Ocean’ or ‘Destruction of Lanka’ or any other?
Well, the reason generally put forward is since this Kaandam’s main character or hero here is Hanuman…. He is also called by other names like Vaayu Puthra, Maruthi, Aanjaneya, Vyakarna Panditha and Sundara. The last mentioned name is attributed to Anjana, Hanuman’s mother affectionately calling him ‘Sundara’ meaning good-looking. For a Mother, her son is the most handsome one in the entire world!
Those familiar with Asterix comics will recall Obelix referring to a certain character as ‘the good-looking one’! The name Sundara Kaandam hence stuck in preference to other possible names.
(But there is a hidden tale here waiting to be told, maybe in another Post!)