When Bhagwan Rama shed his mortal coil, he told Lord Hanumana to stay on the Earth till the glory of Lord Rama is sung. Mountain dwellers often talk of seeing traces of his presence in the higher hills.
King Dashratha had given the Prasadam received from the deity who had emerged from the sacred fire of the Putrakameshti Yajna, to his three queens. His third wife Sumitra, left the Prasadam on her windowsill and went to bathe. A bird flew away with it and dropped it in the lap of Anjana who was praying for a son. The son born to the couple Anjana and Kesari was called Anjaneya and Kesarinandan. The Prasadam being delivered by a gust of wind, he was also named Maruti (from air) or Vayuputra (son of air).
The child Maruti once mistook the Sun for an apple and tried to eat it. An angry Indra struck his jaw causing it to get disfigured. And Maruti became Hanumana (disfigured jaw)! The Hanuman Chalisa, Sankat Mochan and Sundar Kaanda are the ‘go to’ for many in trying times.
The simple heartedness of Hanumana is showcased in the story of Mother Sita applying sindoor in her hair-parting. When questioned by Hanumana, she said that this makes Rama happy and gives him long life. Hanumana smeared his entire body with sindoor, for the Lord’s happiness!
As Rama-doota (messenger of Rama), Lord Hanumana did an unparalleled job. He
vanquished many demons who waylaid him, enroute Lanka. Despite innumerable accomplishments, he was completely devoid of ego because his surrender was complete. Hanumanji understood the essence of what the Lord wanted. He was confident that Rama Himself would grant the strength and intelligence to do the job, because He had chosen him for it. So, he never doubted his own capability to deliver. That is self-confidence!
Lord Hanumana had the Darshan (sight), Sparshan (touch) and Sambhashan (conversation) of Rama. These gave him ultimate bliss and removed all his doubts. This is the experience of anyone who is fortunate enough to experience divinity. We too are some of the blessed ones who experienced the Divinity of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba while He walked the Earth.
Baba often stressed upon the importance of coordinating one’s thought, word and deed. He cited the example of Hanumanji for succeeding in coordinating the three. Recognising the AtmaRama illumining every being, Lord Hanumana revered it. This is practical spirituality!
A few years ago we went to the Hanumana temple in Salasar, Rajasthan. The night before, we stayed at Jaipur. I dreamt that I was in a temple complex where the walls were covered with silver plates with carvings of Gods and Goddesses on them. When we reached Salasar, we saw the same carvings on the inner walls of the temple! God has his ways of telling you that he too looks out for you … I was overwhelmed!
We have been going to the Mandir on Tuesday for as long as I can remember. With the grace of Hanumanji, we have been doing Langar on Tuesday in the Mandir in Sector 18, Chandigarh, since 2005. We have been holding Blood Donation Camps on Hanuman Janamutsav since 2010.
Lord Hanumana is an icon for all body-builders. As a diplomat sent to a foreign country, he conveyed his king’s message, gave them a taste of his might, scared the wits out of them, collected information galore about the enemy territory, reassured Sitaji and flew back with aplomb! What an envoy!
There are invaluable lessons to be learnt from him not only in devotion but in leadership, strategy, focus, problem-solving, understanding the larger picture, being a part of the solution, effective communication, mind reading, reacting in real life situations, dependability, diplomacy etc.
Perhaps someone will make a course for the study of Lord Hanumana to benefit our youth! With role models like Hanumana, why idolise those in the business of glitter and glamour?
(This article has been published in the Hindustan Times on 2nd April, 2023.)