Serpent Arrows

[Rama's arrows]“The heroic one who will soon kill Ravana in battle by angrily releasing arrows that resemble blazing flames…” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 34.33)

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nacirāt rāvaṇam samkhye yo vadhiṣyati vīryavān |
roṣa pramuktaiḥ iṣubhiḥ jvaladbhiḥ iva pāvakaiḥ ||

One of the properties of God is that He can penetrate into every area. Not every object represents Him. For instance, if we go up to a random tree and start worshiping it, it is not like we have found the Supreme Deity. Just as the tree is not God, neither are we. At the same time, the Supreme Lord has His presence in everything. The complete whole is in Him, part of the definition of who He is, but He is not in everything. He is always above and separate from the components.

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ

jagad avyakta-mūrtinā

mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni

na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ

“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.4)

One way He accomplishes omnipresence is through the Supersoul. I am individual soul and so are you. This has a specific meaning. The individual soul remains local to a specific area, namely the body. I can’t see what is going on across the globe. I can maybe hear through the aid of technology, but it is not like I am witnessing everything myself. I can’t go into your brain and read your mind. Another person can’t do that with me, either.

There is the notable exception of mystic yoga. Through enough practice of the ancient science that clears the distractions brought on by attachment to the body a person can maybe read some minds, some of the time. They may be able to transport themselves to different areas. Nevertheless, they can’t be everywhere and they can’t read every mind.

[forest]These limitations are inherent in individual soul. The Supersoul, on the other hand, is everywhere. Wherever there is life, there is Supersoul. The life form does not have to be advanced. If there is a tree, there is also Supersoul. If there is grass, the same applies. When a tree falls in an empty forest, someone is there to hear the sound. That someone is the Supersoul.

Not only can God be everywhere through an invisible expansion known as Supersoul, but any aspect of Him can accomplish the same. He can physically be anywhere and He can also send anything that relates to Him to penetrate any area. The above referenced verse from the Ramayana gives one example of how this works.

The speaker is referring to Shri Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. Rama is God in the form of a valiant warrior, viryavan. For combat Rama employs arrows released from His bow. Normally, we would consider this a primitive method of fighting. If you are the Supreme Lord, why wouldn’t you use the most powerful weapons available? Why not drop bunker-busting bombs? Why not use tanks and machine guns?

Actually, Rama’s arrows are much more powerful than any weapon we could imagine. When Rama rages in anger, He releases arrows that are like blazing sparks. At the tips, the arrows show the face of a serpent. They are like heat-seeking missiles, with no mistakes made as far as aim. Rama always hits His target, and that target does not even have to be within the normal range of vision.

“Neither the demigods nor any exalted personalities were there helping Rama, for He acted alone. You should not entertain any doubt on this matter. Indeed, Rama shot feathered arrows, plated with gold, which turned into five-headed serpents that devoured all the Rakshasas. The Rakshasas were oppressed with fear, and wherever they went and wherever they turned, they saw Rama in front of them. In this way, O spotless one, have your Rakshasas been destroyed in the forest of Janasthana by Rama.” (Akampana speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 31.18-19)

Lord RamaHanuman is describing Rama to Rama’s wife Sita. He is telling her that Rama will come and kill Ravana, the fiend who had kidnapped her. Though Ravana thinks he is safe living on an island that is surrounded by a vast ocean, Rama’s arrows will find their target. Sita knows this very well since she had witnessed Rama’s amazing fighting prowess herself. Hanuman’s awareness of the fact proves that he is indeed sent by Rama.

Hanuman is a genuine messenger of the Supreme Lord and he too finds the target when taking up a mission. He succeeds because he is empowered by Rama. The modern day representatives of the valiant Supreme Lord bravely extend their influence from village to village to seek out the sincere souls who are looking to reunite with God, the person to whom everyone is intimately tied. No matter how dire things seem, Rama hears every cry, every prayer, and every appeal. He hears every utterance of His name made with love and devotion: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Dense forest of human life is clear,

When tree falls is there sound to hear?

God as Supersoul witness being,

Nothing past Him, everything seeing.

Even in isolated area of Lanka soon to come,

Obstructions to His blazing arrows to be none.

Like Rama, Hanuman always hitting the mark,

Through Lord Himself success assured from the start.

Categories: hanuman the messenger

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