What is Sundara Kandam Parayanam? Systematic recital of Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam Sundara Kandam is known as Sundara Kandam parayanam.
What is the purpose / benefits of Sundara Kandam Parayanam? The benefits of performing Sundara Kandam Parayanam are umpteen and have been elaborated in Uma Samhita in a conversation between Lord Shiva and Parvathi. The Parayanam can be performed to ward off any problem or obstacles being faced by the individual such as delay in marriage, disturbed marriage, children, education, health, specific diseases, career, job progression, overcome difficulties in work environment, achievement of goals, purchase of assets like house, vehicle, etc; start of new business, recover from business losses, overcome enemies, legal battles, relationship issues, apart from a host of prayaschitams for sinful deeds. One can also aim for higher goals such as knowledge, enlightenment, and salvation.
Who can perform the Sundara Kandam Parayanam? It is best the individual desiring a specific purpose, himself, performs the Parayanam. Women also can perform this Parayanam. If the individual does not have knowledge of Sanskrit but has faith in the Parayanam, he can request close family or Acharya (Guru) to perform Parayanam on behalf of himself. The sankalpam must include his desires. Parents can perform on behalf of children.
What is the procedure to perform the Sundara Kandam Parayanam?
Sundara Kandam Parayanam is performed in various ways. Choice varies from single parayanam on single day; single parayanam on multiple days to multiple parayanams on multiple days. Decision on which way to perform is left to the individual choice driven by his desire and the internal direction he gets.

Parayanam is best commenced early hours around 6:00-6:30 am and concluded before 1:00 PM. Perform Parayanam afternoon or after sunset must be avoided. The person performing the parayanam should be seated facing East or North. The sacred books of Ramayanam or Sundarakandam should be kept opposite on a wooden plank or a reading cross stand for reading. Sacred books must not be placed on bare ground.

On the first day, peform Vigneswara puja, seek his blessings to perform the parayanam, perform the Sankalpam and perform the aavahanam, shodaupachara puja to Lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman. You can keep an idol of Rama, or Lord Rama Pattabhishekam photo, or Dasavarana Yanthra. The Gods can be invoked in the Ramayana books also (pustaka mandale). Keep a separate seat for Hanuman, as he will visit the place wherever Sundara Kandam is recited. Keep some fruits, beetle-leaves, nuts or seeval for Hanuman in a plate.

After the upachara puja, Ashtotharam, Dhoopam, Deepam, Naivedyam, begin the parayanam. Initially recite the dhayna slokas. Next recite from Bala Kandam three sargas namely: Sankespa Ramayanam (first sarga), Sri Rama Avathara (18 Sarga) and Seeta Vivha (73 Sarga). Next begin parayanam from the first sarga of Sundarakandam. After completing the 68 Sargas of Sundarakandam, conclude the parayanam by reciting the Sri Rama Pattabhisheka Sarga from Yuddha Kandam (131 Sarga)

Perform mangala aarthi, maha naivedhyam, and conclude the parayanam.

Naivedhyam can be as per ones capacity. It can be simple boiled milk with sugar, or elaborate like a samaradhani. It is common to make Panagam, Neer-Mooru, Kosumbari for Pattabhishekam. If one wishes to appease Lord Hanuman, garland made of Vadai, Bettle leaves may be adorned to the Lord. It is also good to perform a small scale Naivedhyam at the end of each Sargam, either by dry fruits, sugar candies, nuts, plantain, etc. On the concluding day, you can do anna dhanam as per ones capacity.
What are the methods of performing Parayanam ONCE? There are various methods mentioned in the scriptures for performing the Sundarakandam Parayanam. One time Parayanam can be performed by any of the following ways

One Day Uma Samhitam – 128 to 130 Read the entire Sundara Kandam in one day beginning by 6:00 am and concluding by 1:00 pm. This will require experience and fast reading skills
Two days Uma Samhitam – 130 & 131 First day Sarga 1 to 36 (till choodamani pradanam) Second day – rest of the chapters
Three days Uma Samhitam – 132 & 133 First day Sarga 1 to 27 Second day Sarga 28 to 40 Third day – rest of the chapters
Five days Uma Samhitam – 134 to 136 First day: 1 to 15 Second day: 16 to 27 Third day: 28 to 40 Fourth day: 41 to 54 Fifth day: rest of the chapters
Nine days (Navaham) Uma Samhitam – 141 to 143 Naivedyam prescribed for each day is given in bracket First day: 1-5 (Sakkari Pongal) Second day: 6-15 (Aapam and Pal Payasam) Third day: 16-20 (Ellu Saadam) Fourth day: 21-26 (Tengoal – 2 types) Fifth day: 27-33 (Curd rice) Sixth day: 34-40 (Kolzakattai) Seventh day: 41-52 (Variety of fruits) Eighth day: 53-60 (Ven Pongal) Ninth day: rest of the chapters (Cow’s milk)
12 days Read daily 6 chapters for 11 days 12th day – rest of the chapters
28 days First 22 days daily read two chapters 23rd day – 45 to 49 24th day – 50 to 52 25th day – 53 to 58 26th day – 59 to 61 27th day – 62 to 65 28th day – rest of the chapters

If one is not able to follow any of the methods suggested above he can read it as per his capacity without following any rules. However complete the chapter in full, do not leave a chapter incomplete for the day. Read the first sloka of the next chapter before concluding the day. Next day begin from the first sloka of the chapter you have to begin with. In every case on the last day conclude the parayanam by reciting the Sri Rama Pattabhisheka Sarga from Yuddha Kandam (131 Sarga) followed by mangala aarthi, and maha naivedhyam, If time permits perform sahasra nama archanai.
What are the methods of performing MULTIPLE parayanams?
Two times in 17 days Read eight chapters per day and complete reading twice on the seventeenth day
Four times in 28 days Read ten chapters per day for the first 27 days and remaining 2 chapters on the 28th day
Seven times (Saptha Sarga Parayanam) in 68 days Uma Samhitam of Vayu Puranam – 121, 122 & 123 Skandapuranam – 6,10 & 11 For fulfillment of all desires Read 7 chapters per day, complete 7 times on 68th day
Twelve times in 48 days First day – 1 to 15 Second day – 16 to 32 Third day – 33 to 51 Fourth day – rest of the chapters Repeat the same 12 times to conclude in 48 days
Twenty four times in 72 days First day – 1 to 15 Second day – 16 to 41 Third day – rest of the chapters Repeat the same 24 times to conclude in 72 days
Thirty two times in 64 days First day – 1 to 38 Second day – rest of the chapters Repeat the same 32 times to conclude in 64 days
What are the chapters to be recited to resolve specific problems?
Problem Chapter
Achieving Salvation Reciting first chapter daily for six months
Overcome effects of devils, ghost, spirits Chapter 3
Overcome dullness / lethargy Chapter 13
Get rid of sin of having affair with other man’s wife Chapter 7 to 11
To gain wealth and happiness Chapter 15
To attain detachment from worldly life Chapter 16
To realise God and become one capable of sweet words Chapter 19
For good behavior Chapter 20 and 21
To get rid of bad dreams Chapter 27
To rejoin lost relationship Chapter 33 to 40
Get rid of impending danger Chapter 36
Pardon from God / Guru’s for insult done knowingly or unknowlingly Chapter 38
To get ones wishes Chapter 41
Win over enemies Chapter 42 to 47
To be just and charitable Chapter 51
From improvements of assets like house, land etc Chapter 54
To get peace and happiness Chapter 61
To get permanent happiness and attain God Chapter 67