“Having understood the truth of the matter from me, those two were very affectionate. Placing them on my back, we arrived at where Sugriva was.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.31)
tau parijñāta tattva arthau mayā prīti samanvitau |
pṛṣṭham āropya tam deśam prāpitau puruṣa ṛṣabhau ||
There is something of tremendous value within the house. This is based on the monetary assessment. It’s not that you are into showing off. You don’t put much value on collecting things to display for others. This object was a gift from someone else. They knew no other way to repay the kindness you showed to them. While you did a noble deed out of the goodness of your heart, they felt compelled to give you something in return.
This object is one of a kind. You don’t want to hide it away somewhere, because then the donor will think that you don’t value their gesture. At the same time, you have young children in the house. They are known to break things. Why, just last week they dropped a few plates while carrying them from the kitchen table to the sink. They don’t know any better.
They see this gift and ask so many questions about it. They want to touch it. They want to hold it. You have no choice but to lay down the law.
“This is completely off limits. That means I don’t want you guys to even go near it. This is not a toy. When you are older, a little more mature, then maybe I will change my mind. But right now you have to listen to what I tell you.”
This hypothetical situation relates to a single object in the material world, but just imagine how much value is in the origin of everything. Should that origin be treated whimsically? Should it be carried by those who don’t appreciate its value? In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, we see that origin being carried on someone’s shoulders. That someone was known for only a short time as well.
It is not surprising for a living entity to want to see God. They are enamored by greatness, after all. According to Vedic philosophy, every living thing is in this world due to a desire to lord it over. What is the “it” exactly? Take any object and any kind of opulence. Land, money, strength, beauty – you name it and you’ll find that the living entity wants to have the most of it. They want more than anyone else. Even if the objective is renunciation and humility, there is a subtle desire for pratishtha, or notoriety associated with being different from everyone else.
Why did the origin of everything so quickly hop on the shoulders of a complete stranger? For starters, no one is a stranger to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who resides in every space through His expansion of the Supersoul. He is the all-pervading witness through this feature, which means that it is impossible to ever do something unseen. The Supersoul has perfect memory too, so it is not like anything can be forgotten by Him.
The meeting with Hanuman was brief. The minister to the Vanara-king Sugriva descended from Mount Rishyamukha to meet Shri Rama and His younger brother Lakshmana. Hanuman was not eager to have a vision of the divine. Rather, he was more concerned with carrying out his duty. Since he was sinless the meeting happened for him without a problem.
The attitude is what mattered. He met Rama and Lakshmana with a pure heart. He was not looking to exploit their presence for his own gain. He was not judging their strength and appearance against his own. He was not looking to become famous as a person who had met the Divine incarnate. In truth, Rama is the Supreme Lord appearing on earth in the beautiful form of a warrior prince. Lakshmana is a partial incarnation, the embodiment of the mood of pure service to the Divine.
Hanuman saw God and then thought that he would help. His love was instant and pure. He thought that maybe Rama and Lakshmana could benefit from meeting Sugriva. The leader was living in fear on the mountain, as his brother Vali had ousted him from the kingdom. Rama, too, was separated from His wife and kingdom. Now searching for Sita, Rama could benefit from an alliance with Sugriva.
This is what Hanuman thought, and it is why he asked the brothers to sit on his shoulders. Hanuman would then carry them up to Mount Rishyamukha by leaping. From this beautiful scene, we learn that if a person is pure enough, the Supreme Lord will extend all trust to them. The person who understands His divine nature will be qualified to carry Him. No one else will, since they will not appreciate Him. Just like with the expensive object in the house, they are liable to disrespect Him, to give a false interpretation of His standing to others.
Indeed, Hanuman is the most qualified to explain Shri Rama to others. Goswami Tulsidas has declared Hanuman to be the gatekeeper to Rama’s kingdom. Through love and respect for Hanuman, a person can understand Rama. By understanding Rama they can one day be qualified to triumphantly carry Him with them as they continue to execute devotional service, which is exclusively for His pleasure.
Expensive gift of gratitude token,
Care taken to not get broken.
Children now under orders strict,
Access to object the parents restrict.
Value in Supreme Lord most multiplied,
Not just any person to know Him qualified.
Shri Hanuman with respect carrying on back,
Trusted by Rama since no good qualities to lack.
Categories: hanuman the messenger