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I have come across the following verse in one website.

sundare sundaro ramah sundare sundari katha sundare sundari sita sundare sundaram vanam, sundare sundaram kavyam sundare sundarah kapih sundare sundaram mantram sundare kim na sundaram.

In the Sundara Kanda, or the beautiful chapter, beautiful is Rama, beautiful is the story; Beautiful is Sita Devi, beautiful is the Asoka Vanam; Beautiful is the poem; beautiful is the kapi Hanuman; Beautiful is the mantra; what is not beautiful in Sundara Kanda?

http://www.telugubhakti.com/telugupages/Sundara_Kanda/Sundarakanda.htm

Can anybody explain who wrote this verse? And, out of various beautiful aspects, which one is more appropriate in naming this Kanda as such?

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    @ChinmaySarupria: Sundara is a Sanskrit word, may be adopted in hindi also. Oct 24 '15 at 9:43
  • @srimannarayanakv Nannayya,Tikkanna and Erranna wrote AndhraMahabagavatam Were there any Poets ( contemporary to Nannayya, Errana and Tikkana) who wrote Ramayanam in Telugu? They might have added that stanza. ( facebook.com/notes/brahmasri-chaganti-koteswara-rao/… ) Chaganti Koteswara Rao says name of Sundara Kanda is irrevelant. But that stanza was not found in Valmiki Ramayana.
    – The Destroyer
    Oct 24 '15 at 12:18
  • @srimannarayanakv (ebooks.tirumala.org/Product/?ID=902) (ebooks.tirumala.org/Product/?ID=939) None of these books have that stanza. You can look other books on that site for that stanza.
    – The Destroyer
    Oct 24 '15 at 12:43
  • @AnilKumar: Why did Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao say the name of Sundara Kanda is irrevelant? Oct 24 '15 at 12:52
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    Anyway even the arguments here sound quite sundaram..
    – Narasimham
    Apr 1 '17 at 19:44
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According to wikipedia's article on SundaraKanda:

Sundara Kanda is the only chapter of the Ramayana in which the hero is not Rama, but rather Hanuman. Hanuman's selflessness, strength, and devotion to Rama are emphasized in the text. Hanuman was fondly called Sundar by his mother Anjani and Sage Valmiki chose this name over others as this kand deals mainly with Hanuman's journey to Lanka


Going for the verse mentioned in question, Found following information from various web-page:

Why it is named "Sunderkand" ?

  • The Trikutachal mountains at Srilanka have three ranges.
  • Neel range on which the country people stay.
  • Suvel range which is the vast plateau.
  • Sundar range where Ashok Vatika is located and the total events of - sunderkand took place on this range, hence the sunderkand.

Further more shri Tulsidasji has said

"Sundare sundaro ramah sundare sundari katha Sundare sundari sita sundare Kim na sundaram"

Meaning of this is, in sunderkand everything is sunder that is beautiful. Rama is beautiful; Sita is beautiful the story is beautiful. It is an upasana or a prayer of beautiful people hence the prayer has to generate a power for the devotee or sadhak or the reciter. It contains a lovely hugging of lord Rama and his devotee Shree Hanumanji showering the word of appreciation and indebt ness for all good Hanumanji did to Rama while rescuing Sita. A devotee to whom Rama could not reciprocate. He did as a sevak. This power percolates to the devotee who prays to lord Hanumanji via sunderkand containing the praise of lord Shree Hanumanji.


So, Your question may be answered as:

  1. Why was Sundara Kanda named as such?

    Because Hanuman was fondly called Sundar by his mother Anjani and Sage Valmiki chose this name over others as this kand deals mainly with Hanuman's journey to Lanka

  2. Who wrote this verse?

    Some says Shri Tulsidasji (as mentioned in above explanation available from various webpages) and others (like this and this) says Tilak wrote/said this versa.

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  • One of the pages linked in the last line is a PDF and other shows 404 page. I think better to update those links and caution that there will be a PDF downloading. Dec 23 '18 at 18:16
  • This reason (Hanuman being named "Sundara" by his parents) was cited by the renowned Vedic scholar Sri Mukkur Lakshmi Narasimhachariar as well.
    – hashable
    Aug 13 '19 at 9:04
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I think the names of other Kandas, as stated by one of our friends, are self explanatory. I am not quoting UTTARA KANDA, as it is an interpolation in toto.

Ayodhya Kanda - Major story revolves around Ayodhya city.

Aranya Kanda - Major story occurs in Dandaka Forest

Kishkinda Kanda - Major story happens in Kishkinda

Yuddha Kanda - Major story linked with the Great War.

This leaves only 2 Kandas, i.e, Baala Kanda and Sundara Kanda.

Baala Kanda:

Some scholars think that some Sargas of Ayodhya Kanda were separated and together with some interpolated Sargas like Viswamitra story (16 Sargas), Ganga, Sagara, stories (15 Sargas), etc, a new Kanda with the name Baala Kanda was formed. this issue is debatable. Let us leave it for the time being.

Sundara Kanda:

The name Sundara means - beautiful.

What is beautiful here? If we go by the nomenclatures of other Kandas stated above, then this Kanda should have a link with Lanka only.

Sage valmiki describes Lanka as follows:

काञ्चनेनावृतां रम्यां प्राकारेण महापुरीम् | ५-२-१६

"The great beautiful city surrounded by a golden boundary wall..."

So in my view Sage Valmiki consciously gave the name SUNDARA to this Kanda.

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    Ramayana adds up to 24000 slokas only when uttara kanda is considered. Uttara kanda is not an interpolation.
    – user1195
    Oct 24 '15 at 14:15
  • @moonstar2001: I am not first one to say that UTTARA KANDA is an interpolation in toto. Please go through the Internet. You will many scholars saying so. Oct 26 '15 at 1:03
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    I am aware. Their claims have been sufficiently refuted by other scholars
    – user1195
    Oct 26 '15 at 8:07
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Srimathey Ramanujaya Namaha

I heard the following in an upanyasam (discourse):

If Valmiki Bhagwan wanted to tell the beauty of Sri lanka, He should have named it as Lanka Kandam. Coz when things happened in ayodhya is called as Ayodhya kandam and Kiskintha is called as kiskintha kandam, y not lanka as lanka kandam.

Yes the beauty of lanka is been said there, but hanuman set it on fire. then how come it will be still beautiful?

The characters are so beautiful in it as said by valmiki. Apart from that, when lava and kusa sang ramayana, after kiskintha kandam, they read the title as Hanumantha Kandam. when hanuman heard it, he stopped and objected for the title. He said rama katha should praise only sri rama and sita. when valmiki said without hanuman, rama couldnt have find sita. Hanuman said, without Rama, i couldnt have strength to move and their discussion moves on. Valmiki stopped and thought for a while. He named it as sundara kandam. He said Rama is beautiful, sita is beautiful and so on. Hanuman was so much happy.

After the songs are over, hanuman went to his home. seeing his son after very long time, anjana called him Sundaraaaaa, how r u?. Hanuman stunned for a while and asked his mom why she called so. Anjana said, before his birth, Lord shiva said that we will get a beautiful (sundara) baby. When the baby was born, ofcourse he was so beautiful. before they name him as maruti, they called him as sundara. Valmiki, knew abt this, named the kandam as Sundara Kandam.

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