“O best of the Vanaras, you are mighty. You are capable. You are intelligent, for by yourself you have infiltrated this place of the Rakshasas.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.7)
vikrāntaḥ tvam samarthaḥ tvam prājñaḥ tvam vānara uttama |
yena idam rākṣasa padam tvayā ekena pradharṣitam ||
Hanuman is capable, mighty, and intelligent. For the task handed to him, the combination was required. Lacking one or many would have prevented success, which was very important. Sita Devi had gone missing. The beloved wife of Shri Rama, the daughter of King Janaka, a pious lady from the time of her birth, knew exactly what it would take for a person to singly infiltrate the land of the ogres. For this reason she certified Hanuman as “Best of the Vanaras.”
Hanuman is vikrantah, or mighty. The description fits since he leaped over the ocean, which was hundreds of miles in length. He did this through first expanding his size. When yoga is practiced perfectly, the fruit is siddhi. This Sanskrit word means “perfection,” and it relates to an amazing ability. We may not believe those abilities can exist, since they are impossible to fathom, but lack of familiarity isn’t an automatic disqualification for believability.
Hanuman used the siddhi that expands the size of the body. Originally in the form of a Vanara, or forest-dwelling monkey, Hanuman became huge in stature. He then jumped from a mountain top, with the intent of crossing the ocean and reaching the island of Lanka. His successful journey, as evidenced by his standing before Sita, proved his might.
Hanuman is samarthah, or capable. You can have might, but without ability it doesn’t mean much. The dear servant of Shri Rama was capable of searching through Lanka; a not so easy task. The Rakshasas are man-eaters. They are vile in their behavior. They would not take too kindly to a stranger entering their land and looking for someone the king had hidden away.
Hanuman is prajnah, or intelligent. You can be mighty and capable, but intelligence is required to complete a task. For example, let’s say that I need a house built. I hire people that have great strength. They know how to use different tools. But unless there is some intelligence, an overall planning process, the first abilities won’t matter much. Intelligence brings everything together.
Hanuman was wise enough to contract his form when first entering Lanka. He became the size of a cat, which allowed him to search unsuspected. Then he was smart enough to approach Sita very gently and quietly in the Ashoka grove. It took great convincing to be able to earn her trust. She was naturally skeptical, as the Rakshasas were able to change their shapes at will. How was she sure that Hanuman was not another imposter?
This right combination of abilities allowed Hanuman to succeed in the mission to find Sita. Since that time he has continued to serve the Divine couple, Sita and Rama. They are the goddess of fortune and the Supreme Lord, respectively. That great servant inspires others to be just as dedicated, and his amazing attributes give the necessary strength, capability, and intelligence to succeed in that devotion, which is the ultimate objective of a birth in the human form of body.
Just from getting his sight,
Understanding his might.
Intelligence also was there,
Of capability indeed aware.
In Hanuman combination three,
For success in mission to see.
By Sita pronounced of Vanaras the best,
Passed difficult ocean crossing test.