Glory Even Rama Wonders About

[Sugriva and Vali]“Tulsi says that with Rama’s merciful glance even someone who has no strength can become very powerful. With the enmity between Sugriva and Vali, who can tell what Hanuman did?” (Dohavali, 110)

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tulasī rāma sudī।thi teṃ nibala hota balavāna |
baira bāli sugrīva keṃ kahā kiyo hanumāna ||

The Ramayana story is well-known to those growing up in Vedic culture. The basis is the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. He is both nirguna and saguna, but these are both from the perspective of the eyes of the conditioned soul. In the nirguna feature He is practically impossible to be identified.

“For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.5)

The saguna form is further evidence of God’s kripa, or mercy. That feature has identifiable attributes. You can look and point and say, “That is God.” Of course, there is an error in the statement, as the Almighty is omnipresent. He is always around, everywhere. He is within the heart of every living being as the expansion known as Supersoul.

The Ramayana is about the life and pastimes of the saguna form known as Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. His appearance is foretold, and every feature to His transcendental body indicates uniqueness, greatness, things not ordinarily found.

Then there are His amazing deeds, which are too many to count. The Vedas are said to be endless since they continue to sing the glories of the Supreme Lord.

If taken only for the story value, there is still great significance. The triumph of good over evil is always heartwarming. Even thieves, liars and cheaters expect some kind of good behavior from others. The thief expects that the property they steal will not be stolen from them later. The liars don’t like it when they are cheated by others. In the short term, to meet their own interests, they break from good behavior, but they still benefit from others following the righteous path.

In the aftermath of Rama’s victory, He has a discussion with the celebrated and powerful sage known as Agastya. Bhagavan is never alone. His close associates are always with Him, and they are ready to do amazing things. In Rama’s case there was the servant Shri Hanuman, who was unique both because of his deeds and his form. Hanuman met Rama in the forest of Kishkindha, where the monkey-king Sugriva was living in exile on Mount Rishyamukha. Hanuman, also in a monkey body, was Sugriva’s chief minister.

Later on, after many great struggles were successfully overcome, Rama wondered why Hanuman had not done more to help the situation prior to their meeting. Sugriva was in exile because his brother Vali pushed him out of the kingdom. Vali was superior in strength. There was no resolving this dispute through peaceful means.

As the great minister he is, Hanuman arranged for a friendship between Rama and Sugriva. That ultimately led to Vali’s demise and Sugriva’s reclaiming the kingdom. The weaker person became more powerful, and it was due solely to Rama’s assistance, as the Supreme Lord shot Vali in the back while the two brothers were engaged in combat.

[Sugriva and Vali]Goswami Tulsidas references this incident in his Dohavali. He asks what Hanuman did in that struggle. The meaning can be twofold. One is that Hanuman certainly brought Rama into the picture. He brought Sugriva the much-needed help, and so he should be celebrated.

The other meaning is that without Rama’s merciful glance, sudithi, the situation couldn’t be resolved. Ample evidence would arrive later on that Hanuman had amazing strength, enough to have won back the kingdom for Sugriva. But Hanuman did not intervene. He did not insert himself into the conflict.

Hanuman is so amazing that even Rama and His wife Sita take great pleasure in hearing his glories. The explanation is that Hanuman did not know about his amazing abilities until he met Rama. Prior to that he considered himself to be just a minister, not strong enough to fight an entire army singlehandedly for the benefit of Sugriva.

[Shri Hanuman]The idea is that the strength in man descends from the strongest person, Shri Rama. With His help even the weakest person can become very strong. His help is for practicing devotional service, which automatically reduces the influence of evil elements. Thus the increase in strength that is due to Rama’s mercy is beneficial for everyone involved. It is even seen that a person who had no prior willingness to work hard at anything, no focus and no direction, can suddenly chant the holy names in total bliss, with faith, attention and love, performing the best welfare activity, aided completely by their sincerity and the subsequent merciful glance of Bhagavan: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Shri Rama to Agastya to ask,

That why not for Hanuman the task.

When previously conflicting brothers,

And help not arriving from others.

Not until Supreme Lord Himself came,

That Sugriva the kingdom to reclaim.

Reason that only in God’s grace lies,

Power for own strength to realize.

Categories: dohavali 81-120

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