“Lamenting greatly, deceived by fear, piteously saying ‘O Rama, O Rama’ and ‘O Lakshmana,’ while aggrieved by lamentation that noble lady cried in diverse ways in a low voice.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.5)
vilalāpa bhṛśaṃ sītā karuṇam bhayamohitā ||
rāmarāmeti duḥkhārtā lakṣmaṇeti ca bhāminī |
ruroda bahudhā sītā mandam mandasvarā satī ||
By any fair assessment, Shri Hanuman is pretty awesome. He does anything for his friends. Not that he’ll only lend you some money and then hope you know what to do with it. Not that he’ll just drop everything to be by your side in a time of crisis. He will actually risk his life, heading into danger. He doesn’t seek the spotlight, but he doesn’t shy away from it either. Through the encouragement of those who know his greatness, he goes to where no other person has gone before.
He is a kind and compassionate soul as well. He’s fearless, so the bad guys don’t scare him. He’s heroic, so you can rely on him when you’re in trouble. He’s reliable, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not he’ll help you. He’s humble, so no need to be concerned with whether he’s only boasting about his abilities. It’s very easy to say that you can do something difficult, that you would come through in a tough situation, but it’s a different thing to actually deliver.
Hanuman does the most amazing things and he is such a wonderful person. This combination makes his association very desirable. But how to get that association? Are we to simply call his name? Are we to summon him to our side and expect him to be there? Sita Devi’s behavior subtly reveals the answer, the way to get Hanuman to come in all his glory. She is an authority figure on so many things, and so it’s not surprising that she would teach us how to get the association of someone so wonderful.
In reviewing Hanuman’s qualities, the shrewd person will notice that simply calling for him will not do the trick. He is there for his friends. This means that if he’s working for someone who needs help, why will he come to us directly? He is a divine figure of the Vedic tradition, which means that he has special powers. Worship of him is authorized, which means that it’s not something concocted out of sentiment. There are specific benefits to worshiping him, with the topmost being devotion to God.
As that very devotion exists in Hanuman, why would he not want to share it with others? If a person of such tremendous qualities considers devotion to God to be the most important thing in life, why would he not want others to have it also? Why would he value material opulence, the removal of distress, esoteric knowledge, or mystic perfections instead? Why would he want his worshipers to have temporary comforts when he knows full well that devotion lasts beyond the current lifetime?
In this scene from the Ramayana Sita Devi is very distressed. The verse says that she is deceived by fear, and so she doesn’t feel comfort upon first seeing Hanuman. This is only natural, as who would feel safe suddenly seeing a monkey in an odd place while already in distress? In a fearful condition, Sita piteously cried out for Rama and Lakshmana. Rama is her husband and Lakshmana is Rama’s younger brother. By protecting herself with these two names, the vision of Hanuman in front of her suddenly changed. From a stranger in the Ashoka grove he turned into the well-wishing friend bearing good news of her husband.
And so others can call Hanuman to the scene in the same way. Simply say the names of Rama and Lakshmana. Say them in full dependence, when you have nothing else to hold on to. Say them when this material world has caused you so much fear that you don’t know what to do. Upon saying these names, which are so dear to Hanuman, that great servant of the Supreme Lord rushes to the scene. He is attracted most by devotion to Rama, and so he goes wherever that devotion flourishes.
Sita loves Rama more than any person could, so Hanuman comes to her rescue when needed. Rama is God, an incarnation of the origin of the universe. His name is the great purifier. It brings His presence as well. And the family gets completed with the name of Sita and the name of Lakshmana. As those are the people dearest to Hanuman, that wonderful servant arrives at the scene as well. This makes for the greatest protection, and so the wise person continues to chant their names and bask in their association.
Glorious is he who knows the secret to bringing Hanuman to the scene. More glorious is he who maintains that devotion to the Supreme Lord by always chanting the holy names and inviting all Vaishnavas to come and enjoy in their exercise of devotion: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
To Hanuman in character no match,
How the devotee his attention to catch?
Since all opulences to own,
Worship of him we’re shown.
But devotion real object of his life,
Will do anything for Rama and His wife.
By calling Rama and Lakshmana by name,
His presence brought by devotion the same.
Categories: spotting hanuman