Parvathy said: Oh, God of all beings, I would very much love to know from you, the greatness of Sundara Kanda in detail.
Sri Parameshwara replied:
I would summarize the greatness of Sundara Kanda for you, because to tell in detail, only the great Lord Ramachandra is capable. Similar to the fact that God Rama is the greatest among Devas, similar to the fact that Kalpaga tree is greatest among trees, similar to the fact that the Kousthubha gem is greatest among gems, in Ramayana, Sundara Kanda is the greatest chapter. By reading or listening to Sundara Kanda with devotion, all the wishes are fulfilled, all dangers will vanish, all diseases will be cured and all types of wealth will grow. Especially it is the greatest panacea for those who suffer from great diseases. Even diseases like tuberculosis, Leprosy and epilepsy, which cannot be cured by even divine medicines, would be cured completely by reading Sundara Kanda 68 times by the grace of Lord Ramachandra. Please hear its greatness, which I am telling you with attention.
Please hear, the following ancient story, which tells about the greatness of Sundara Kanda. There was a great city called Kanchipuram in the earth and once upon a time it was ruled by Chola dynasty. Among those kings, there was a great king called Vamsankara who lived with his wife Manorama, He gave very many charities and did several fire sacrifices. He was devoted to the great temple of the city, which included the great Temple of Kamakshy and Ekamranatha and the temple of Varadaraja and ruled the state with efficiency. Unfortunately he was not blessed by any children. Once coming out of the temple of Kamakshy he saw a great sage entering the temple. He worshipped that sage and when enquired introduced himself. The sage asked him, in what way he would be able to help him and the king requested him to bless him to become a father. The sage told the king, that “In your previous birth you were a saintly Brahmin who lived in Rameswaram and worshipped in the temple daily .As a result you are born as the king of this country, Unfortunately in your previous birth, you did not allow your daughter to join her husband and become a mother due to some family conflict. This is the reason why you are not able to become a father.” He then requested the king and the queen to observe strict penance, give gold and silver as charities to Brahmins, and worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva daily. The king and the queen followed his advice and as a result a good son was born to them. They named him Balachandra and the prince grew up as an extremely learned and able man. When he became old, the king decided to give his kingdom to his son and make him his successor and retire to the forest. Unfortunately the terrible disease of Tuberculosis afflicted Balachandra. In spite of treatment by the foremost expert doctors of the world and daily prayers the prince was not cured. When the king and queen were terribly worried and knew not what to do, the sage who had earlier blessed them with the child came again to that city. The king and the Queen fell at his feet and requested him to cure the disease of the prince. The sage told, “ In his previous birth, your son stole the materials kept ready for the worship of Rama and enjoyed life and that is why he is cursed with this disease. But later realizing his sin, he daily read Ramayana and worshipped Rama and that is why he has been born to you. I would tell you, how to get rid of the effects of that sin. ” The king thanked him and wanted to know in detail as to what should be done. The sage replied, “ Construct a decorated Yaga sala and in its middle construct a square platform. Spread a white silk cloth in that stage. On that cloth, spread six measures of Paddy and on that half the quantity of raw rice. On that keep a golden vessel made of one pound of silver full of pearls. Cover that vessel with a silk cloth. On that keep a gold plate in which the Sri Rama Yantra is drawn. Over that keep the golden statue of Sri Rama accompanied by Sita and Hanuman. Worship this statue using Rama Sahasranamavali. Then read the entire Sundara Kanda. This worship and reading should start in the early morning and end at noon. A non fading ghee lamp also should be kept burning for 68 days and the above procedure should be repeated 68 times. On each day, Payasam should be prepared and offered to God Rama. Though this is the best, completing the repetition 68 times can also be done in four months. It is best for the individual himself to read the Sundara Kanda, and it is of medium effect if it is got read by single Brahmin, and worse if it is got read by many Brahmins. After completing the above, The Yudha Kanda should be completely read either by 5 or 6 days. All the 73 days, in the evening a great scholar should retell the stories of Sundara Kanda. This would cure even diseases which Aswini Devas (Doctors of Gods) cannot cure. This also could help you win a war or even help you in getting occult powers, if your son does this, his disease would definitely get cured.” That sage then disappeared. The king performed the above worship and the prince himself read the Sundara Kanda daily and was fully cured of the disease. Hey Devi, just by reading Sundara Kanda 68 times the prince was cured of a terrible disease. There are also many others who got rid of their illness by reading Sundara Kanda. So even if one is poor or not physically able, he should observe the Vritha of Sundara Kanda and get benefited. There are also other methods of reading Sundara Kanda.
Reading 32 times
This consists of reading Chapter 1 to 38 on the first day and the rest the next day. This should be repeated 32 times in 64 days
Reading 24 times
This consists of reading Chapter 1-15 on the first day, 16-41 the next day and the rest of the chapters on the third day. This should be repeated 24 times in 72 days.
Reading 12 times
This consists of reading Chapter 1-15 on the first day, 16-32 on the second day, 33-51 on the third day and the rest of the chapters on the fourth day. This should be repeated 12 times in 48 days.
Reading 7 times
Read 7 chapters a day and complete reading on the fourteenth day and repeat it 7 times and complete the parayana in 68 days.
Reading 4 times
Read ten chapters per day for the first 27 days and read the remaining 2 chapters on the 28th day,
Reading two times
Read eight chapters per day and complete reading twice on the seventeenth day.
In all these cases on the last day, the last chapter of Yudha Kandam (131st chapter) should be read. On each day before and after the parayana boiled milk with Sugar should be offered as offering (Naivedya) to the God. On the day of completion it is desirable to give a feast to the Brahmins.
Methods for Reading Once
Suppose some one is not able to follow any of the above desirable rules, he can read it any way according to his capacity.
Several such methods are given below:
1. Read the entire Sundara Kanda once in a full day.
2. Read Chapter 1-35 on the first day and the rest of the chapters next day.
3. Read Chapter 1-37 on the first day, 37-40 on the second day and the rest on the third day.
4. Read chapter 1-15 on the first day, 16-37 on the second day, 38th chapter on the third day, 39-54 on the fourth day and the rest on the fifth day.
5. Start on a Friday, daily read 9 chapters and complete reading on the next Friday.
6. Read within 9 days stopping each day on 5th, 15th, 20th, 26th, 28th, 40th, 52nd, 80th and 68th chapters.
7. Daily read 6 chapters and complete it on the 12 th day.
8. Till 22 days read two chapters a day, 5 chapters on the 23rd day, 3 chapters on the 24th day, 6 chapters on the 25th day, 3 chapters on the 26th day, 4 chapters on the 27th day and the rest 3 chapters on the 28th day.
If some one is not able to follow any of the methods suggested above he can read it as per his capacity without following any rules.
Some of the specific problems, which could be solved by doing Parayana of certain chapters, are given below: –
1. Salvation can be achieved by reading the first chapter daily for six months.
2. Effect of attack of devils, ghosts, spirits can be warded off by reading 3rd chapter.
3. To get rid of dullness of brain, read 13th chapter
4. To get rid of the sin of having affair with some one else’s wife, read chapters 7-11.
5. To get permanent wealth and happiness read chapter 15.
6. To get rid of bad dreams read Chapter 27.
7. To get good behavior read chapter 20-21.
8. To rejoin with lost relatives read chapters 33-40.
9. To get rid of impending danger read chapter 36.
10. To get pardon from god for insult done to him knowingly and unknowingly read chapter 38.
11. Read chapters 42-47 to win over enemies
12. To become just and charitable read chapter 51
13. For improvement of assets like house, land etc read chapter 54.
14. To get peace and happiness read Chapter 61
15. To get perennial happiness and to attain God read chapter 67.
16. To get what one wishes read chapter 41
17. To realize God and to become one capable of sweet words read chapter 19.
It is essential to offer Naivedya to God before and after the Parayana. It would be great if at the end of the Parayana, Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Hanuman are worshipped using Sahasra Nama (1000 names). If someone is not capable of doing it, he can worship using 108 names of the God. As Naivedya boiled milk added with Sugar is supposed to be best offering to Lord Rama and Lotus and Thulasi (Ocimum) flowers are the best to worship the Lord. If not available any flower can be used. However Karavira(Arali) should never be used. Offering to God Pomegranate would bring in immense benefits .It would be better to the devotee to Chant Rama Gayathri during the beginning, Avahana and end of the worship.
This is given as:
“Dasarathaya Vidhmahe, Sita vallabhata Dheemahi, Thanno Rama Prachodayath.”
Also it is essential that after the Pooja, meditation is done using Gayathri manthra or the Shadakshari manthra of Rama viz “Ram Ramaya Nama.”. Though it is desirable to represent Rama either by Dasavarana Yanthra or statue, it would be sufficient if worship is done to the Ramayana Book. Rama with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman always is present wherever Ramayana book is there. It is also essential that whosoever does the Parayana for getting specific objectives should observe Brahmacharya during the parayana period.”
Lord Shiva after telling all this to Goddess Parvathy told her that whoever reads are listens to this book on the Sundara Kanda Phala prapthi, would become a great devotee of Lord Rama and would lead a happy painless life.