Published:10 Oct 2016 8 PMUpdated:10 Oct 2016 8 PM  Sakthi Vikatan
Vikatan Correspondent
சித்திர ராமாயணம்
பி.ஸ்ரீ., ஓவியங்கள்:சித்ரலேகா P.Sri., Paintings: Chitraloka
Guhan the boatman helps Ramar, Sita and Lakshmana     April 7, 2021
1. Guhan wants to know why Ramar, Lakshmana, and Sita were in exile from their country. Lakshmana narrates to him the story. Guhan alone suffers the grief experienced by the mother, the father, the city people, and others.

2. The Evening fell. Sita and Rama performed the evening rituals before bedtime. The grass floor serves as the bed. Lakshmanan stands guard with bow and arrow from evening to morning to prevent any mishaps to them.
3. As Lakshmana stands guard with transfixed eyes, what is Guhan doing? As Raman is lying on the floor. Lakshmana is standing guard, and grieving Guhan is awake and standing with the bow and arrow at the ready with tears running as streams. Just see how Guhan's love has significantly flourished for Raman and the rest.

4. A mere hunter! Is he the devout lover like the Azhvar hiding in the shell and body of a hunter?
5. As Lakshmana stands guard for Ramar and Sita, Guhan stands guard for all three. The compatriot hunters seem to make rounds and guard them all. Like the elephant herd, there exist three layers of protection around Sita-Raman, with Guhan at the front and the center.

6. Seeing the brother Lakshmana, Guhan wonders about the condition of Ramar. Ramar, used to a soft mattress, sleeps with his wife on a bed of grass on the forest floor like an orphan. His younger princely brother, thinking of his brother's circumstances, stands guard with bow and arrow and transfixed eyes like a night watchman. These thoughts pervade the mind of the hunter Guhan and tears of sorrow flow like torrents of rain. The poet sees the hunter's beast-like body resembling a hill shedding rivers of tears.

7. Just awakening to the beautiful face and form and of generosity, does the hunter suffer the pangs, we wonder? Is it not a roiling sea of love abiding in the hill-like body?
8. Lakshmanan stands like a fortress wall with the quiver at the shoulder and bow and arrow at the ready, but Guhan seems to stand guard with more alertness and alacrity than Lakshmanan. A night like this for two Jāmams (1 Jāmam = 3 hours). The night wears thin by Jāmams.

9. Raman leaves after performing the early morning rituals willingly. The Munis come his way. Raman, looking at Guhan, says, "Aiya, my beloved hunter! Bring the boat to us soon." Hearing these words, Guhan cries. Guhan was tremulous, thinking how he will live without Raman after this menial service to Raman. He feels his life is with Raman. He looks at Raman. Is this a blue ocean? Is this a blue cloud? Is this a splendor of blue flower? Guhan, like Sita, looks lovingly at the scintillating handsomeness of Raman.

10. What could be our deficiency from now on?
Guhan's body, mind, and soul are in turmoil with teary eyes. Thoughts come rushing in. 'Alright. Let me ply the boat to my place and keep Ramar with me. Won't that be nice?' Such were his thoughts belonging in the land of dreams. He desires to paint the picture of the delightful life of the hunter.

11. Since the hunters are forest dwellers, they are unfamiliar with the lifestyle of the townspeople. Guhan speaks with great pride of absence of pretension in the forest dwellers, unlike the townspeople.

12. Guhan: 'We do not utter lies. We claim no city lifestyle to utter any prevarications. We do not have the memory to tell nine lies to establish one lie. We are not deficient in our physical strength.' His mind and soul replete with love for Ramar, desire to serve him. He is ready to do any menial job for Ramar. Ramar's order is a pride of service for Guhan, as he does not regard them as humble service. It is enough to be a servitor to Ramar. Guhan says this greatness as a servitor is heartening. He pleads, 'I want to have this connection with you and serve you for a long time with you staying in my place.'

13. Hear this from Guhan. Should he not give Ramar food? Should he not have facilities for Sita's pastimes? Ask Guhan.

14. Raman is a vegetarian. Guhan discovered it when Ramar did not eat his fish and honey Guhan took for him. You can exist on millets. But Guhan feels that meat is best for the body. Guhan says, 'Hunting for the choicest cured meat varieties that excite the palate of celestials, will do. Scarcity of food, equitable distribution, and sale of stolen goods and such things are nonoccurrence in forest living.

15. Ramar and others have an interest in swimming. , Guhan discovered. Guhan does not like swimming as he disliked the lifestyle of the cities.
'Gange's water laps on the banks, so one can pursue swimming in the Ganges river. With such facilities, can there be any wants? '