Four People In Distress That Hanuman Helped

[Shri Hanuman]“O very powerful one, I depend on your might. As you are the best of the monkeys, O son of the wind, do you exert yourself in such a way that by using your extraordinary strength and bravery, O Hanuman, the daughter of Janaka may be found.” (Shri Rama speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 44.17)

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Life can be stressful. An adult-aged person does not need further explanation, as through accumulated life experiences the reality of uncertainty sets in. No one knows for sure what is going to occur in the future. This means that nothing can be counted on; there are no certain situations around which to make plans.

A byproduct of this uncertainty is distress. Lamentation. Worry. What will happen? Will everything work out? Death is assured, but when exactly will it arrive? Should I keep an eye on it, like watching water boil? Or should I pretend that it won’t happen, using ignorance as a coping mechanism?

Shastra is there for guidance in the present and the future. That is to say the Vedic tradition, passed on through a descending chain of self-realized souls, is for removing fear and uncertainty, and in the process creating the best future.

History is described in the Vedas, as well, and there is one particular historical personality who was relied upon by several important and capable people. They looked to him when they were in distress, and that same person happens to still be available to help today.

1. Sugriva

He was the king of the Vanaras in a forest area called Kishkindha. There was an unfortunate disagreement with the brother Vali that escalated to an emergency. The brothers could no longer live together. One of them would have to die. Since Vali was more powerful, Sugriva fled.

The trusted minister came with him. Known as Hanuman, he was actually powerful enough to defeat Vali in battle. The puzzling nature of the events would be raised many years later by the incarnation of the Supreme Lord known as Rama. The basic question was, “Why didn’t Hanuman intervene?”

At the time he was not aware of his strength, but Hanuman was valuable to Sugriva nonetheless. From his zone of safety on top of Mount Rishyamukha, Sugriva one time saw two warrior-like men approaching. He asked Hanuman to descend the mountain and see what was going on.

2. Shri Rama

The distressed Sugriva, separated from his wife, sent the minister Hanuman to meet the men, who were the brothers Rama and Lakshmana. The elder Rama was also separated from His wife, in great distress, and in need of help.

[Hanuman carrying brothers]Hanuman learned the situation and quickly realized that Rama and Sugriva should meet. They could form an alliance and thereby help each other. Taking the brothers on his back, Hanuman brought them to the top of the mountain.

3. Angada

Rama indeed helped Sugriva win the kingdom back. Next was Sugriva’s turn. He sent his massive Vanara army to search the world for Sita Devi, who had been taken away from Rama’s side in secret. She was the dharma-patni, the devoted wife in all righteousness, to Shri Rama.

The Vanaras divided into groups, but there was a hunch from the leaders that the party with Hanuman would end up succeeding. It looked to be that way when Angada and his group learned of Sita’s location. Their elation quickly turned to lamentation, however. Sita was on the island of Lanka, which was across the vast ocean.

[Shri Hanuman]Angada and company then relied upon Hanuman, who learned of his amazing abilities after being reminded by Jambavan. Expanding his form, Hanuman took a giant leap from a mountain top and flew across the ocean.

4. Sita Devi

He reached Lanka, and from there the difficulties continued. Hanuman had no one to call for help. He had to go it alone in an enemy territory. He relied on his love for Rama, a person he had only recently met. He risked his life for the Lord’s pleasure, and receiving guidance from within Hanuman would find success.

Finally meeting Sita, Hanuman calmed her worries. He assured her that Rama would soon arrive in Lanka and rescue her. Of all the people he had met, Sita was likely in the most distress, as she was living amidst the enemy. There were no friends; only wicked characters who intentionally harassed her day and night.

The conditioned soul distressed by the material existence can look to the same Hanuman for rescue. He is the gatekeeper to the spiritual kingdom where Shri Rama and family live. Through honoring him, through remembering him, and through following in his example of pure devotion the valuable human life can be made successful.

In Closing:

Despite capability in search party each,

Only Hanuman the destination to reach.

Sugriva the trusted minister taking,

Who first assessment of brothers making.

From him that alliance made,

Benefit to both sides paid.

That same person today can call,

To raise from material world’s fall.

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