Thursday, 25 September 2014

198. Hanuman's journey to Lanka.

                    Book V : Sundara Kanda

         Hanuman was traveling in the sky where celestials like chaaranas dread, to search for Seetha, who was taken away by Ravana. Hanuman was determined to perform a deed done by no one else. 
    That great vanara also thought himself equal to Garuda, the king of birds. While he was flying up, all trees on that mountain flew away in all directions, drawing together all their branches.
     While flying in the sky, he took along with him, due to the the force of his thighs, trees shining with flowers and fattened lapwing birds. The trees thus being held aloft by the speed of his thighs, followed him for a while just as relatives would follow their loved ones embarking on a long journey.
       Uprooted by the force of Hanuman's thighs, Sal and other excellent trees followed Hanuman like soldiers following their king. Hanuman the great vanara presented a wonderful sight, with his mountain-like appearance together with the well flowered trees.
            After that, powerful trees sank into the salty ocean like mountains sinking into the ocean due to fear of Mahendra. Hanuman who was floating like  a cloud, covered with flowers of various kinds, shoots and buds, shone like a mountain with fireflies. Those trees which were released by Hanuman's speed, dropped flowers and fell down in the water like friends going back after bidding farewell to their dear one. Set in motion by the wind from the movement of Hanuman, variety of blossoms, with various hues, from the trees fell down into the sea making that great ocean shine like the sky filled with stars.
        Hanuman was shining like a cloud in the sky decorated with flowers of various hues sticking to his body. That sea water looked like the sky with delightful stars rising up, with flowers flown up by Hanumans speed. That sky-borne Hanuman's arms which were spread out, were seen like five-headed serpents coming out of a mountain's peak.
       That great vanara shone like one who was drinking the great sea together with its waves. He also seemed like one who desired to drink the whole of the sky. The eyes of Hanuman, who was following the path of the sky, which had a brilliance equal to that of lightening, were shining like two fires on a mountain.
         The round, wide, reddish brown eyes of Hanuman were shining like fully risen sun and moon. The ruddy face of Hanuman, with a tinge of reddish hue was shining like the Sun touched by twilight.
      That great vanara Hanuman, with his red colored buttocks, shone like a mountain with a large deposit of red Gairika herb broken into pieces.
    Air passing through his arm pits sounded like a thundering cloud. Hanuman flying thus in the sky, looked like a meteor darting away with great speed in the sky from the northern direction. With a fast pace equaling that of Sun god, the tall Hanuman was shining like an elephant.
      The shadow of Hanuman in the sea below looked like a boat being driven by wind. Whatever place Hanuman went towards on the ocean, that place became agitated due to the force of his thighs.
       Wind from the mighty Hanuman and the wind released from the clouds caused the ocean with a fearful sound to shake a lot.
       Hanuman flew in the sky dragging along with him huge waves from the ocean as though he was sprinkling them from the sky.
       Serpents living in the sea seeing Hanuman flying in the sky thought that it was Garuda, the king of birds. Hanuma's shadow which was ten yojanas wide and thirty yojanas long appeared very beautiful on water.
     His shadow following Hanuman and spread on the ocean, was shining like a series of dense white clouds. He the great vanara shone like a mountain flying in the sky without any support underneath. In whatever path Hanuman went, there appeared  immediately  a trough in the ocean below.
      Hanuman while gliding through the path of birds like the king of birds Garuda, dragged with him series of clouds, like the god of wind. Great clouds with white, red, blue and madder colors shone on being dragged by Hanuman.
        Hanuman who was repeatedly entering and leaving series of clouds as he flies in the sky, was seen like the moon who shines and hides behind a cloud alternately. Seeing the fast moving Hanuman in the sky, Devas, Gandharvas and Danavas showered flowers on him.
     Sun did not scorch Hanuman, as he was flying for Rama. The wind god Vayu caressed him with a delightful breeze. Sages praised the great resplendent Hanuman flying in the sky. Devas and Gandharvas sang in his praise. Nagas, Yakshas, Devas and birds praised him.
      Seeing Hanuman flying above him, the god of ocean thought "If I do not help this great vanara Hanuman, I shall become prone to all kinds of ill-talk by one and all against me. I was developed by Sagara of Ikshvaaku dynasty. This Hanuman who is helping a descendant of that dynasty should not become tired. I have to behave in such a way that Hanuman would take rest. After resting on me for a while, he can cross the remaining distance with comfort."
        With that end in view, Samundra spoke to Mainaka, the mountain with gold in the middle, hidden in water "O my dear Mainaka! You have been positioned here by Devendra as an obstacle to the groups of asuras living in paataala. You are standing at the entrance of paataala which is difficult to measure, fully covering it, preventing any asura trying to rise up again. O mountain, you have the capability to grow wide, up or down. Please raise up. Hanuman, the great vanara is going to Lanka for Rama. While flying in the sky he is coming over you.
        "To this Hanuman, who is a follower of the Ikshvaaku dynasty, help should be given by me now. Descendants of Ikshvaaku are respectable to me. They are even more respectable to you. Help us. Our task may not be miscarried. A task which needs to be performed and not done, will increase the anger of good people. Raise up above from the water. This Hanuman is a guest to be worshiped by us. Let him stand on you for a while for rest.
       "O mountain with a golden hued middle area and one who is served by Devas and Gandharvas! Hanuman can take rest on you and then traverse the rest of the distance."
      The mountain Mainaka, listening to the words of the ocean, got up quickly from the water, together with great trees and creepers. Then that Mainaka became in the risen state, passing through the ocean water, just like the Sun piercing through a cloud with his shining rays.
         That great Mainaka who was covered by water in all directions, had peaks with Kinnaras and great serpents, was equal to a sun rise, which were touching the sky, and which had a golden hue, being ordered by the ocean, showed his peaks in an instant. The sky which had a bluish tinge like that of a sword, shone with a golden hue because of the peaks of the mountain which rose up and which was like molten gold.
       Like man proposes, God disposes, Hanuman dispossed the proposal of the ocean and the execution of Mainaka. Hanuman assumed that the mountain which stood before him, rising up suddenly from the middle of the  ocean, as an obstacle. That great vanara Hanuman hit that mountain with his mighty chest. The velocity and the speed were so great the mountain fell down. The mountain was amazed, surprised, staggered, bewildered, astounded, dazed and stunned. He took the form of a human and and standing on its own peak, cried at the flying Hanuman "O the great Vanara! You have performed this impossible task of flying over the ocean. Do come down on to my peaks and rest for a while. The ocean was developed by people born in Sri Rama's dynasty. As such he asked me to take you on my peak for rest. Please therefore, stop for a while on me and then go.
      "O, dear chap, lots of roots, fruits and other fragrant and sweet eatables are available here. Fill your belly with those. Then leave after resting here for a while. O chief among vanaras! Besides this, there also exists a relationship which is famous in all the three worlds, which is based on great virtues, for us with you.
          "O knower of Dharma! If you are worshiped, Vayu also gets worship. For that reason you are to be worshiped by me. That apart, I have some special reason to host you. O son! You obviously must be aware that in the Krita yuga, mountains had wings. With the speed equal to that of Garuda and Vayu, they were roaming  around in all directions. Devas and sages were scared that those mountains might fall down on them.
     "Devendra agreed with them and started cutting off the wings of thousands of mountains by his weapon vajra. When he was about to cut mine the great Vayu saved me by pushing me into this ocean. As a requital I want to host you for rest. If you stay with me for rest for a while,  Sagara will be happy, too, besides me. Reduce your fatigue. Accept our worship also. Respect our love. I am happy by your manifestation."
        Hanuman replied "At the outset many thanks for the offer. Hospitality has been done. Awfully sorry I could not oblige you now. I cannot take any rest in the middle of my duty."
        Hanuman then touched the mountain with his hand, entered the sky and flew on with a smile. 
        Devas and the thousand eyed Devendra who were watching Hanuman's flight, were happy by the offer of that golden hued Mainaka. Devendra personally conveyed his happiness to Mainaka "O Mainaka, the king of mountains! I am very happy with you. I am giving protection to you. Go about anywhere at your will and pleasure."
       Indra and the Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas and the great sages who accompanied him there desired to know how capable, resourceful and shrewd Hanuman was. They told Surasa, the mother of Nagas, equal to the Sun in brilliance "This glorious son of Vayu, going by the name of Hanuman is flying over the ocean. You assume a horrible mountain like demonic appearance and make a face with fearful tusks, red-brown eyes and as vast as the sky, and create an obstacle to him. We like to see his reaction."
    That Goddess Surasa, assuming such an appearance that was quite daunting for even the devas and intercepting Hanuman in his flight, told him "Hi! Hero! You have been given by Devas as my food. Me gonna eat you. Without making any trouble enter my mouth."
        Hanuman, with a happy face and with folded hands, told Surasa with humility  "The eldest son of Dasaratha, Rama entered the forest of Dandaka together with his brother Lakshmana and wife Seetha. When that Rama, with a bitter enmity towards Rakshasas, was diverted to another task, his famed wife Seetha had been taken away by Ravana. I am going for Rama's sake as a messenger to find her whereabouts. As a subject of Sri Rama you are obliged to help Rama. After finding Seetha and informing that to Sri Rama, I will happily enter into your your mouth. This is my truthful promise to you.”
       Surasa the mother of Nagas,  who was curious to know the strength of Hanuman, told Hanuman "Hi! Monkey! You can go only after entering my mouth." Saying this she opened her wide mouth and stood before Hanuman, dauntingly.
     Surasa was surprised to see that Hanuman's face did not show any fear but anger! A moment later she was mightily surprised to see what she saw. Hanuman's body became ten yojanas long and ten yojanas wide. Surasa made her mouth twenty yojanas long so that the ten yojana long Hanuman can enter without any difficulty. Now Hanuman became angry and became thirty yojanas long. Surasa made her mouth forty yojanas high. Then Hanuman then became fifty yojanas high.
           Surasa then made her mouth sixty yojanas long. The mighty Hanuman in the same fashion, became seventy yojanas high. Surasa made her mouth eighty yojanas high.
       Seeing that mouth with a long tongue which was horrible and equal to hell, opened by Surasa, the great wise Hanuman remembered the aphorism that discretion was the better part of valor. With a sweet smile he suddenly reduced his body to the size of a thumb. Then without pausing even a moment the clever, shrewd, bright, cunning and the ingenious Hanuman with the speed of light entered Surasa's mouth and came out of it and standing in the sky told Surasa "O daughter of Daksha! As desired by you I actually entered your mouth. You failed to swallow me. Hence, please do not bother me anymore. My regards to you. I will now go to find where Seetha is."
        Seeing the clever way Hanuman evaded her that goddess Surasa, assuming her normal form told Hanuman "O gentle Hanuman! Go happily and comfortably to achieve the desired task. Bring Seetha together with the great Sri Rama."
        Hanuman continued his journey, flying like Garuda in the sky. A rakshashi by the name of Simhika who, like any other rakshashis can change her guise at will, saw Hanuman flying in the sky high above. She thought happily "After a long time, this great animal has come into my grasp.  I will enjoy my meal."
   Simhika then assuming the guise of a large animal attracted the shadow of Hanuman. Hanuma thought "Hare Ram! What is happening now? Like a great boat in the ocean with opposing winds, I am being pulled back forcefully."
      Hanuman then noticed down below the animal with a horrible face. He thought: "So this animal with a strange appearance, with great strength is attracting my shadow. This animal must be the one told by Sugreeva. (If you do not remember see 175. Search Party sent to South.There is no doubt in that." He then increased the size of his body vastly, like a cloud in the rainy season.
  Seeing the huge  body of Hanuman, Simhika opened wide her mouth, which then looked like  the middle of Patala. Roaring like a dense dark cloud, she ran towards the Vanara. Hanuman saw her wide-open mouth which was large enough to accommodate his own body. And he saw her internal organs too. Then Hanuman contracted his body and fell into her mouth voluntarily.
      Siddhas and Charanas(= celestial singers) saw Hanuman sinking in her mouth like the full moon on a full moon day being swallowed by Rahu. Then Hanuman went straight to her tummy and totally rent her internal organs with his sharp nails and after that he flew up and out in a jiffy.
      Simhika with rent innards fell into the sea water with great agony. Seeing Simhika killed by Hanuman, creatures roaming in the sky praised Hanuman "A huge animal has been killed by you. A great task has been done. You have proved the aphorism that 'Face the fearful with no fear, and its fearfulness disappears'. Perform the task dear to you auspiciously. Whoever, like you, has the four qualities of courage, vision, intellect and skill will not fail in any task."
       Hanuman thanked them and jumping up to the sky went like the Garuda with a determined goal. Hanuman after almost reaching the other shore, looked in all directions of the land and saw a series of trees yonder.
        Hanuman,  after getting down also saw an island decorated by a variety of trees and also the forests in the region of Malaya. Hanuman looking back at the ocean saw the faces of the wives of the ocean (rivers are considered wives of ocean), felt quite happy.

Comment : It is considered an auspicious sign to be welcomed by married women. Hanuman seeing the wives of Sagara (i.e. rivers) coming to meet their husband thus bodes well for Hanuman.
End Comment.
    Hanuman mused "After seeing my huge body and the speed, Rakshasas will become curious." And for that reason, Hanuman reverted to his original form. 
     Then he observed the city of Lanka from the top of the mountain. He was amazed to see the City of Lanka seemed to resemble that of Amaravati, the capital City of Indra.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

197. Hanuman braves himself for the leap.

        On seeing the metamorphosis in Hanuman, both physically and mentally all the vanaras there felt immensely happy and highly jubilant.
     Hanuman felt that he would require quite a huge body to cross that ocean. At his wish his body started growing. Seeing that phenomenon Jambavan told the vanaras that he is reminded of the phenomenon of  Narayana whose body was growing to tread the triad of worlds in His Trivikrama incarnation.
        Hanuman who was already superior than other vanaras by way of his energy, had now accrued additional energy through the gladness derived by the way of extolment from the other vanaras. That made him lash his tail impetuously.
       Hanuman, the lineal son of Vayu, now started prancing like a lion around the wide-open den of a mountain. While his body was growing, the face of that clever Hanuman shone forth like a red-hot frying pan and like the fumeless white-hot Ritual-fire. Reverencing the elderly vanaras, Hanuman told "He who is an inestimable one in his formidableness, and an expeditious one in his meandering in the skies, that Vayu who is the friend of Hutaazana (=Fire, but here it means Fire-god) will be toppling mountaintops. As the lineal son of that high-speeded, brisk paced, life-sustaining Vayu, I, too am as fast as him in flights and can topple mountaintops when so required.
     "Indeed I feel I could to go round the Mt. Meru, which is standing high, broad and lofty,  for thousands of times, that too, unremittingly.
      "Now I feel that I have the capability to skew down the ocean with the speed of my undulating arms to spiral up its waters, in order to completely inundate the world together with its mountains, rivers and lakes.
       "Now I can surely shove up the ocean, the abode of Varuna, with the speed of my thighs and calves in order that its underwater beings like sharks, alligators and crocodiles will be shoved up and spilled all over.
     "Now I can circumambulate for thousands of times around the Lord of Birds and the viper-diner, Garuda, while he is on the wing in the sky.
    No bird would dare to approach or trespass Garuda's flight path; all the birds would slide-slip when he is sighted.
End Comment.
     "Oh, my dear chaps, now I can venture to start with the Sun who starts his journey of the day from the Mt. Sunrise, and precede him to the Mt. Dusk, and comeback well before him.
    "I can pulverise the mountains while fly-jumping on them; I can splash out the waters of the great ocean just by the speed of my thighs while I fly over it, by which all of its water will trail after my tail. I could now let divers flowers of every climbing plant and tree straggle after me when I fly by the sky making my flight path like that of the Star Swati and its constellate stars twinkling in the sky.
     The star Swati is Arcuturus, as forming the 13th and 15th lunar asterism, and esteemed as deity bringing fresh rains and thereby crops.
End Comment.

     "Oh, friends, I can make all beings see my  ascent to the sky, my movement across the vast of sky, and my southerly descent from the sky.
    "While flying without any difficulty I can swipe at the cloudscape helter-skelter. And swirl the mountains topsy-turvy and the ocean pell-mell.........."
         In this vein Hanuman was telling all the vanaras what all he was now capable of doing.    
    On hearing the avouchments regarding the capabilities, which were not known to anyone, including that choicest vanara with illimitable resplendence Hanuman himself, all the other vanaras were stunned to stare overhead at his aggrandized form and they were extremely delighted. The distinguished doyen of that task force Jambavan felt highly exhilarated and fondly hugging Hanuman said
"Oh, brave one, oh, son of Kesari, oh, son of Pavan, oh, dear boy, you have wiped out the boundless bother of your kinsmen in its entirety. All our friends forgathered here are enamoured of your blessedness, and for the purpose of your attainment of the objective, they all obsecrate orisons devoutly. You will leap over this extensive ocean with the compassion of sages, the united choice of all of us, and with the consideration of our oracular teachers.
      "Every one of us will stay-put here on one's own single-foot till you return. The lives of all of us will be following you." 
       Then that son of Vayu shinned up that towering mountain Mahendra, where that mountain was hedged in with diverse flowers, its pastures were the sweethearts of deer.
    He who was equal in valour to the Paradisiacal Mahendra, that highly energetic and grand vanara Hanuman ambled on the loftiest and towery crags of that mountain. When squeezed by both the arms and hands of  Hanuman, that lofty mountain trumpeted, as if it was a lion-paw-hit brutish-elephantine-elephant.
        The force of his kick started to bestrew heaps of boulders, and the noise created thus  scared all the animals including elephants. Even gigantic trees on that mountain rocked as they would in an earthquake. The rapids and waterfalls spouted out of that mountain. Seeing these concomitant reactions caused by the force of the kick start of Hanuman, numerous gandharva couples and hoards of vidhyaadharas, who were indulging in drinking and inebriated on that mountain were scared and hurriedly  forsook those lofty cliffs of that mountain. And all the birds were put to flight, spanking snakes were completely slouching, and rising up and falling down are the stones of that mountaintops to each step of Hanuman, and thus that colossal mountain became desolated.
        With snakes popping up halfway through their snake-pits with their hoods swaying and tongues hissing that earth-borne mountain Mahendra appeared to be a gleaming mountain with flying flags.
      When the sages too forsook that towering mountain due to their own scare bewildering them, that mountain appeared to be the one desolated by his associates in the vast of a thick of forest, as a wilting wayfarer.
       And now Hanuman was seen going on his way to Lanka flying over the great southern ocean, delighting all his comrades.

 End of Kishkindha Kanda 


Friday, 12 September 2014

196. The Saga of Hanuman's childhood.

         Jambavan marched towards that pensive vanara and told him "Oh, the most valiant among the valiant vanaras, being an erudite scholar among all the scriptural scholars, my dear Hanuman, why don't you mumble something? Why are you sitting here alone and pondering over something? By your brilliance and brawn, oh, Hanuman, you look like our king Sugreeva! Why? You do not seem to be different from Rama or Lakshmana! The son of Kashyapa Prajapati and Lady Vinata is the best bird among all the birds who is superbly mighty and who is universally renowned as Garuda. The strength of your arms is not less than the strength of the wings of that great bird Garuda. And even by the yardsticks of his dash and dare, yours too, are unreprovable. Oh, forthright vanara, you are the finest among all beings by dint of your force, faculty, flair, and fortitude. Why then are you not telling about your capability in the matter of this task of leaping this ocean?
    "Punjikasthala yclept Anjana is the nicest apsara among all apsaras and she is the wife of the vanara Kesari. She who is distinguished for her unparalleled mien in the three worlds, oh, dear boy Hanuman, had to take a birth on earth as a vanara due to a curse. However, she retained her power of changing her guise by her will. She took birth as the daughter of the great vanara chief Kunjara. On a certain day, assuming a human physique, putting on caparisons of amazing garlands, dressed in silken clothing, and shining forth with the rarity of her beauty and nubility, she ambled on the top of a mountain like a streak of lightning athwart a black-cloud of rainy season. Seeing her strolling on the mountaintop, Vayu (the Air-god) slowly lifted up the auspicious and ochry silk apparel with red rouches. Then he beheld her well-twinned, thickset, roundish thighs, and also the beautifully paired off plumpish breasts. Then lovingly lifted her beautiful face which was astoundingly tantalizing .
      "Seeing him doing what he was doing, Manmatha, who happened to pass through that way smiled and took his sugarcane bow and flower arrow of love and hit him hard. This made Vayu totally, completely, entirely, absolutely, perfectly and fully  ensorcelled by Love. All limbs, (like you I, too am not aware that air has any limbs), embraced that immaculate lady with both of his far-flung arms, as he lost his heart for her. As that lovely girl could not see anyone but feeling someone, was perplexed. She exclaimed 'who is trying to despoil my vow of one-man-one-wife.'
        "Pavan told her 'oh, my lovely love, I don't dishonour you, hence let there be no fear in your heart, for I am the all-permeating Vayu. 
        " 'I could not control myself when I saw you sauntering with your beautiful body wearing such lovely garments. 
         " 'An admirably brave, and a bravely dazzling, and a dazzlingly forceful, and a forcefully overpowering son will be born to you (through me). He will equal me in flying off and jumping up.' 
       "Oh, arcane vanara Hanuman, when Vayu said so to her, she felt gratified and begot you in a cave.
       "Thereafter, when you were a little boy, one morning you noticed the just risen sun in the vast of forest, and deeming it to be a just ripen reddish fruit, and thinking it to be very tasty, you hopped up and flew towards the sun on the sky. Sun's heat did not bother you and when the sun's radiation puffed and blew you down, you did not get into any anguish as you were indefatigable. Oh, mighty Hanuman, your audacity angered Indra and he hurtled his Thunderbolt at you. That caused your left cheekbone broken and you fell down on a very high mountaintop. From that time onwards you became known as Hanuman. (The word hanu also means 'wisdom...' and Hanuman is one having an absolute wisdom. He is also addressed as Hanumanta, Hanuman and at certain places Valmiki terms him as Hani... nectareous...)

       "Seeing you lying hurt on the mountain top, your dad Vayu became very angry and stopped circulating. When all the worlds  started roiling with breathlessness, all the administrative gods of universe were bewildered, and they started to supplicate your dad Vayu for his grace. Your papa did not relent. To pacify your papa, Brahma gave you a boon decreeing your 'indestructibility by any missile, whatsoever.'
         "Seeing that you are not seriously hurt even after the hit by the Thunderbolt, the Thousand-eyed Indra kind-heartedly gave you a boon by which your death occurs only by your own volition.
       "Such as you are, you are Kesari's son through his wife, and you are the lineal son of Pavan. You have acquired all the capabilities of your dad Vayu.
    "My lad Hanuman, at present we are as good as dead, and among us presently you are the only one rife with adequate competence and valiance, and you are the other Sugreeva, the king of vanaras, to us. During the period of Trivikrama incarnation I have circumambulated the earth inclusive of its mountains, forests and thickets for twenty-one times, moving rightward around it. But that is neither here nor there.
       "Such as I am, I am now aged and my valiance is completely dwindled. At present, you alone are endowed with all the required endowments. 
    "Arise, oh, lion-like vanara, leap over this vast ocean. Oh, Hanuman, all these vanaras are dispirited. Why this indolence of yours? You boldly triumph over the ocean as your speed is supersonic and your celerity is super. Like Vishnu who trod the triad of worlds in a trice, you too shall triumph over." 
      After hearing Jambavan, Hanuman was getting some strange sensation in his body as well as in his mind. A few moments later Hanuman felt that he was physically immensely strong.

Lot of parables are afloat about Hanuman. A few of them are narrated below.
   Apart from trying to snatch the Sun (thinking that it was a fruit)  Hanuman's childhood pranks were numerous and most of them were intolerable for some sages and hermits. Hanuman used to tease and tickle the sages by snatching away their personal belongings, spoiling well arranged worship articles etc. Knowing that Hanuman was indomitable because of the blessings of Brahma they could not do anything to stop him. All of them wanted to do something to curb that intolerably naughty child. They cursed him to forget his might. All the sages knew that he i.e. Hanuman is destined to become Rama's special emissary in the future. Therefore, they added a rider to that curse that Hanuman would not remember about his might on his own, but would recollect it when someone reminds him about it. An interesting musing -- If Hanuma were to be aware of his own might, the course of Ramayana would have been otherwise. He would have simply enlarged his body and brought the whole of Lanka island to Rama, as he had lifted sanjivini mountain, to enliven Lakshmana in the war with Ravana's son, Indrajit. So this seemed to be a necessary curse upon Hanuman. Hence Jambavan had to harangue Hanuman.
       Another story about Hanuman is regarding the manner he got all his wisdom from the great Sun. Hanuman to his great dismay found that no one on this earth  was prepared to teach him scriptures etc. on the ground that he was  a fickle monkey. Being given to understand that the great Sun was an all-knowing teacher and an eternal witness of all deeds, he approached the Sun. Hanuman raisesd his body to the solar orbit and requested the Sun to accept him as his student. Sun declined saying, "I am ever on my wheels. How and where can I be standstill to teach you leisurely? I have my unending duty to perform, etc." But Hanuman did not relent. He enhanced the size of his body, and placing one leg on the eastern mountain range and the other on the western, face always facing the travelling Sun he again requested the Sun in this posture saying, "my face will always be towards you, in whichever orbit you go. So please teach me...oh! God..." Pleased by the perseverance  of Hanuman, Sun accepted him as his disciple and taught him all the scriptures.

          You have read above that Indra gave that boon to Hanuman that he would die only when he so desires. However, the belief is that Hanuman is one of the few chiranjiivis (i.e. one who lives forever)! howzat? When Rama was crowned as emperor, after his exile and eliminating Ravana, Rama and Seetha gave gifts to all their friends. When Hanuman was asked to choose a gift, shunning the heavens or other higher planes, he sought the boon of living in this mortal world as long as the name Rama is audible. Then Seetha blessed Hanuman with that boon saying "Oh! Hanuman, wherever you are, there will be plenty of fruits and eatables, and further, in villages, public shelters, temples, houses, gardens, cowsheds, cities, and at riversides, crossroads, pilgrimages, water tanks, trunks of banyan trees, and on mountains, caves, peaks and wherever people stroll, your image will be installed, so that you can listen Rama's name, uttered by the people from all corners of the earth." Thus Hanuman is believed to be still living, as the name of Rama is still audible. He is also called an old monkey living from ages till now. There is an incidence in Maha-Bharata, wherein Bhima could not lift the tail of this old monkey, on his way in forests. Even today one can see huge images and statues of Hanuman installed ages ago, or recently at all these places, as ordained by Seetha.
         There is a story that Hanuman is the first one to script Ramayana on claytablets, recording each and every detail of what Rama did. Having finished his writing he brought those claytablets to Rama, to bless that work. Rama humbly told Hanuman, "I have not done anything great to be recorded like this. I have done my righteous duty, that's all." That made Hanuman very upset. He took those clay tablets to the seashore, recited each verse, and broke each tablet on his knee and threw them into the sea. This writing is called hanumad ramayana. This work is unavailable from that time. But one tablet came to shore afloat on the sea, which was retrieved during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa, and hung at a public place to be deciphered by scholars. On that tablet only one foot of a stanza is available. That foot says "Oh! Ravana, those your ten heads, on which you lifted  Mt. Kailah, the abode of Shiva, are now bumped on battlefield by the claws of crows and eagles, know what has happened to your high-headed Decahedral pride, at the hands of virtue..." Kalidasa deciphers this stanza and informs that it is from hanumad ramayana, recorded by Hanuman, but an extinct script. And Kalidasa salutes that clayplate for he is fortunate enough to see at least one stanza of hanumad ramaayana.
        It is said that none can conclusively narrate about Hanuman, for he is many faceted. He is symbolic for unwavering dedication to righteousness, unstinting performance of entrusted duties, unfailing talents in service. So the tradition holds Hanuman dearly.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

195. Angada continues to strive.

       After a long moment, Gaja stepped forward and said "I guess that I can fly ten yojanas." 
       Gavaaksha said "I can go over twenty yojanas."
   Sharabha said "I can indeed go up to thirty yojanas." 
      The great resplendent Gandhamaadana said "I can go up to fifty yojanas." 
       Mainda said "I guess I can jump just sixty yojanas." 
      Then Dvivida informed, "I can go up to seventy yojanas." 
     The mighty Shushena said "I surely can jump eighty yojanas."
   Jambavan, the oldest one among all of them said "Years ago I was quite strong and can jump effortlessly to the other shore.
      "Once I have performed circumambulation around the Omnipresent and Eternal Lord Vishnu in His incarnation as Trivikrama, when He grandiosely increased His physique from that of a Divine-Dwarfish Brahman boy to that of a huge bodied one filling the whole of the Universe to tread all the three worlds, during the time of Vedic-ritual of the Emperor Bali. Now you see that I am old and decrepit and I have become slow jumping soldier of misfortune, though my energy in youth was matchless and unsurpassable. Now, at this age I wonder if I can jump a couple of yojanas." 
       Then on reverencing the great Jambavan, the highly intelligent Angada said "Now let me tell you all what I think I am capable of. I am sure that I can vault over this ocean which is said to be a hundred yojanas breadth, but I am not sure whether I am capable of coming back."
    Jambavan told Angada, "oh, Angada,  I know about your capability in traversal. Why a hundred? If need be you surely are capable of going up to a hundred thousand yojanas and return without any difficulty. However, your going over these waters is not acceptable by all of us for the reason that you are our leader ipso facto the  linchpin to this mission. As such it is our moral, ethical and appropriate duty to protect you.
     "Oh, Angada, you are instrumental to this task and as you are privileged with sagacity and audacity you are the keystone for this task of searching Seetha. For us you are indeed a respectable one by yourself, and as the son of the respected Vali too, and oh, my lad, sheltered by you we are indeed motivated and made capable of achieving the objective of our task." 
      Angada retorted "If I am not to proceed to Lanka, and no one else is capable to take the jump, then we have to undertake self-immolation once again. I do not perceive any secure protection for our lives on our going to Kishkindha without fulfilling the bidding of that resolute king Sugreeva who, all of you know is a lord who shows either forgiveness or furiousness immoderately.  And our going to Kishkindha without fulfilling his bidding is as good as our entering into our own doom.
      Hearing the ominous words of Angada Jambavan told him with a smile "Oh, brave Angada, this mission of yours will not be thwarted in the least. I will motivate him who will make all of us victorious in our efforts."
        On hearing Jambavan, Angada and all other vanaras were looking at Jambavan amazingly with a curious face. However, there was one vanara who was nonchalantly sitting comfortably in a lonely place and thinking hard about something which seemed obviously very important. He seemed totally unconcerned about what was going on between Angada and the other vanaras and Jambavan.