“Leaning on my powerful capability and placing my feet on the head of the wicked Ravana, I have arrived here to see you.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 34.40)
kṛtvā mūrdhni pada nyāsam rāvaṇasya durātmanaḥ |
tvām draṣṭum upayāto aham samāśritya parākramam ||
If I see someone do something extraordinary, it’s only natural to make a comparison to myself.
“I wonder if I could do that. Probably not. That person is amazing. How do they do it? Did they get help from someone else? Have they been training their whole lives for this? That must be the case. Maybe if I give it a try, I can accomplish the same.”
The insecurity is because man knows he is fallible. To err is human, after all. Vedic philosophy puts the defects of man into four general categories. There are imperfect senses. I can’t hear what is going on in a different room and I can’t see the sun once it is out of the sky. There is the tendency to cheat. I use coupons beyond their date of expiration and if I can find an advantage in playing a particular sport, I don’t reveal it. Man gets easily illusioned, mistaking one thing for another.
Illusion leads to committing mistakes, which man does constantly. In material life the fallibility leads to jealousy, as it seems others are not as affected by the defects. In spiritual life, there is no reason for jealousy, as any effort expended gets appreciated very much by the object of service. The idea is to take whatever gifts and talents you have and use them for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, a messenger tells how he relied on his powerful capability to reach a distant land. No human being could do what he did. No creature could dare think of repeating the feat. What the messenger did is so amazing that the less intelligent relegate the factual events to mythology.
The messenger was in the body of a monkey. He made a very long leap. Not just from one tree to another to fetch a banana, Hanuman made it across a vast ocean. To knowers of the spiritual science, such a feat is not entirely impossible. The limitations on the body are due merely to the collection of material elements surrounding the otherwise amazing spirit soul. When the influence of those elements gets altered through mystic yoga practice, the individual living within can do amazing things.
Still, even for mystic yogis leaping over a vast ocean is difficult. Today, a person can cross an ocean using the aid of aerial transport, but to do it in a jump is still a fool’s errand. Yet Hanuman made it across the ocean, relying on his capability. The use didn’t stop there. Hanuman then had to infiltrate the city, which was well-guarded. Then when he met the person he was looking for, he had to use his capability to win over her trust. She had not met him before.
The people in that land were generally deceitful. Their leader is described as duratmanah, which means sinful or wicked. Hanuman says he did those amazing things to see Sita, the distressed princess whom Ravana had taken away unfairly and in secret. Hanuman crossed the ocean while symbolically placing his feet on Ravana’s head. This means he didn’t have respect for Ravana. Hanuman was not like the others in Lanka.
Hanuman is blessed with amazing capability to match his unbelievably large heart that is filled with devotion to Sita and her husband Rama. The Supreme Lord knows that Hanuman uses all of his powers for good, and so his bodily features allow him to do a lot of good. Those following the same path of devotion set by Hanuman get tremendous inspiration from that messenger. Hanuman risked everything to please Rama, who was looking for Sita. Hanuman relied on his God-given talents, which came to him easily.
Ravana had similar abilities, but he used them for evil. He was wicked in mind, and he demanded respect from the entire world. Hanuman bows at the feet of Rama and places his own feet on the head of Ravana. Big or small, the devoted souls are humble in their service to the Supreme Lord, not wanting anything to do with the wicked people who are against Him. Empowered by that same Rama, they succeed in whatever is asked of them by either the Lord Himself or His bona fide representative.
To reach land of Ravana wicked and mean,
Hanuman on his capability to lean.
With single leap crossing ocean massive,
To safely deliver from Rama missive.
That ability from God Himself coming,
Devoted souls divinely empowered becoming.
Hanuman inspiring continuing today,
Blessed those who with love his name say.
Categories: hanuman the messenger