“His invincible half-brother Lakshmana, the son of Sumitra, is also just like Rama in affection, appearance and qualities.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.22)
bhrātā ca tasya dvaimātraḥ saumitriḥ aparājitaḥ |
anurāgena rūpeṇa guṇaiḥ caiva tathā vidhaḥ ||
The burden of proof was on Hanuman. Unlike in the modern day court of law, he was guilty until proven innocent. The judge and the jury were a single person, the princess of Videha. The charge was impersonating a friend and actually being a Rakshasa, which is like a man-eating ogre. Hanuman did not have the benefit of counsel. He was forced to represent himself. Sita would make the final determination as to his guilt or innocence.
Circumstantial evidence pointed to a guilty verdict. Sita was in Lanka for a while, and she noticed that everyone in that place was duplicitous. They were not truthful, to the point of masking their own form. She arrived there on the back of a great crime in deceit, perpetrated by Lanka’s leader Ravana. He impersonated a man of the cloth, a parivrajaka sannyasi, wandering the Dandaka forest. Taking advantage of Sita’s innocence, he forcefully dragged her back to Lanka, thereby separating her from her beloved husband Rama.
Hanuman claimed to be sent by Rama directly. He was on a mission to find her. All well and good, but Hanuman was in the body of a monkey. Ravana possessed the kama-rupa-siddhi. Breaking down the individual Sanskrit words, this means the mystic perfection of being able to take any form desired. Forget turning invisible every now and then, imagine if you could give off whatever appearance you wanted at any moment in time. This is what Ravana could do. It is not merely a thing of legend, either. Through perfection in mysticism, the individual soul can do amazing things.
Interestingly, Hanuman possessed the same perfection. Yet when meeting Sita he chose to remain in his true form, that of a forest-dweller, known as a Vanara in Sanskrit. The closest equivalent to species found in today’s world is a monkey. Hanuman could talk, though. His speech was brilliant both in composition and delivery. He was well-versed in the language of the gods, Sanskrit. His speaking ability was so exceptional that he impressed Rama immediately during their first meeting.
“One cannot speak this way without having been well-trained in the Rig Veda, memorized the Yajur Veda, and thoroughly understood the Sama Veda.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana about Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 3.28)
Using his natural form and taking advantage of his excellence in speech, Hanuman approached Sita. Despite speaking the truth, Sita was still skeptical. She was certainly justified, as everyone else in Lanka was against her. Nevertheless, she was pleased beyond belief to be hearing about her husband. The news was so soothing that she asked Hanuman to continue speaking. In the process, he would give proof to his genuineness.
Hanuman obliged. He spoke perfectly about Rama, the prince of the Raghu dynasty. He explained Rama’s excellent qualities, His spotless behavior, and the auspicious signs found on His body. These words left no doubt that Hanuman knew Rama the person very well.
Still, there is more to know. If a person truly understands the Supreme Lord, they will know about His associates as well. Rama is an incarnation of God the person, and in that descent, known as an avatara, there are certain personalities that are always associated with Him. Hanuman and Sita are two of them, with Hanuman acting as representative and emissary and Sita as faithful and devoted wife. The Sanskrit terms dharma-patni and sadharma-charini both apply to Sita based on her faith to her husband and the duty which she followed.
In this verse from the Ramayana, Hanuman shows again that he really does know Rama. If he had indeed met the son of Dasharatha in Dandaka, as he claimed, he would certainly have met Lakshmana too. The name used to reference Lakshmana here is Saumitri. This means the son of Sumitra. Lakshmana is Rama’s brother, but from a different mother. The father Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, had three queens. Lakshmana was born to Sumitra and Rama to Kausalya.
Hanuman may have picked up this fact along the way, from people who discussed Rama and Sita. To give further evidence of his knowledge, Hanuman says that Lakshmana is invincible. The Sanskrit word is aparajita, which also means undefeated and unsurpassed. Rama was a great bow-warrior, and He was going to come to Lanka to rescue Sita. He would bring with Him the invincible younger brother.
Hanuman says that Lakshmana is just like Rama in affection, appearance and qualities. They are like twins in every respect except one: complexion. Rama is of the shyama complexion, which is dark. Lakshmana is gaura, which is golden. When you get Rama, you get Lakshmana, and vice versa. Those who really know God in His incarnation of the son of Kausalya know that the dearly beloved younger brother Lakshmana is always with Him, wherever He goes.
Shri Rama, a person who Lord really knowing,
Affirms that Lakshmana with Him wherever going.
Like twin brothers are the two,
Only difference in bodily hue.
In Rama a dark complexion is there,
Lakshmana gaura, golden and fair.
From Shri Hanuman proper understanding get,
On his shoulders two brothers happily set.
Categories: hanuman the messenger