Sunday, January 04, 2009

Lord Hanuman: The Invincible

The Ramayana is an epic with a timeless appeal. A story of forces of good prevailing over evil intentions borne out of pride and ego in face of seemingly insurmountable odds finds a ready echo in our hearts today as much as it did to its first listeners so many centuries ago. Ramayana is not a story for the Hindus alone but a treasure trove that our fore-fathers have left for all humanity. Ramayana, like all Indian epics and legends have so many layers to it, so much to explore and learn in each reading.

The main protagonist Lord Rama, is a mortal who makes no claims to divinity. Indeed the unique aspect of Rama is his humanity complete with his fair share triumphs as well as moments of trails and despair the life deals to him. In fact the one thing that perhaps sets him apart is his sense of propriety and proportions, not something his is born with but cultivates aided perhaps by his understanding of the Yoga Vashista. He represents what each King, Husband, Son, Student and Warrior could aspire to be within the bounds of being a human. He is Maryada Purshtam, he is Lord Rama of our hearts.

There epic features some many other engaging characters; be it the brave and devoted brothers Lakhmana and Bharata, the allies Sugriva and Vivishna, the adviser Jambhuman, the architects Nala and Neel and countless other all play selfless and significant parts in aiding Rama fulfill destiny that he was born to bring to fruition. But still I can’t help but think that they are as planets around a blazing sun. Without Rama, they have no anchor, no central force to keep them in their orbit, as indeed is the case with us, except that we often forget that bond.

Not so, however, for the other towering protagonist of the story – Shri Hanuman. Though the foremost devotee of Lord Rama; he is a hero in his own right; brave, wise and perhaps even an equal of Lord Rama when it to comes to the art of warfare. Indeed were it not for Hanuman, would Rama have become the Rama of our hearts? While the creation (in Indian way of thinking at least) owes its very existence to Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman has the unique privilege of some one who could get Rama out of a bunch of sticky situations.

Here are few instances – had Hanuman not found Ma Sita in the clutches of Ravana, would Rama even know where to start looking? Had he not borne the mountain of herb for a wounded Lakhsman and thus saved his life, would Rama, for all his might, not have given way grief and forfeit the war? And wasn’t it Hanuman, who had the power to venture to the Netherworld and rescue Rama and Lakhman for the clutches of Mahiravan? In all his endeavours he emerges invincible. One has to be unique and blessed indeed to be able to help the Lord, even in His human form.

And in return of all this, what did he want – nothing, zilch, zero. For him serving the Lord, without for once boasting of own exploits, great as they were, truly defined the enigma that is Lord Hanuman. His humility comes from his wisdom. Remember his is not just a big rampaging monkey waving his wand around, but also an exponent of the Vedas, a selfless helper of the weak and wronged as well as a yogi in the truest sense of the term. Truly it is said, prayers directed at the Shri Hanuman brings one closer to Shri Rama, and removes accumulated pains (arising from ignorance) of previous births.

Tumhare bhajan Ram ko pave, Janam Janam ke dukh bishrave.

Beginning to understand Hanuman, needs one to look beyond the epic story and into the symbolism and philosophy that Ramayan hides within itself.

And believe me the journey is nothing short of being wondrous and if nothing else, gives you a whiff a the eternal bliss or Ananda that the scriptures talk about.

Try karke Dekh Lo :)

Jai Shri Rama. Jai Pavan Putra Hanuman.


Rakesh Vanamali has
awarded me the PROXIMITY award for which I am honoured. The custom is to roll this award to eight fellow bloggers who have inspired you. This I shall do in my next post. Meantime there is truly a spring in my steps :)

Thanks a lot Rakesh, I am really touched.