“My dear lady, on the journey leaving from this place, none of the residents from Lanka have the power to be able to follow me.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.26)
As Shri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita, there are some people who think that this world came together randomly. Not much intelligence behind the amazing nature, with intrinsic properties so exact that they can be studied and relied upon. Rather, the mental speculation is that sex desire, kama, was the lone cause.
“They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire, and has no cause other than lust.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 16.8)
The body is a bag of chemicals; there is no difference between a living one and a dead one, except in the area of ability. Since the belief is that no one was guiding the creation, then certainly no one is watching what goes on subsequent to that time period.
A person who subscribed to this philosophy found out that reactions to actions surely do arrive. Someone is taking note of the sinful deeds of man, and the higher the severity of the violation, the more unwelcome the consequences in the aftermath. Ravana, the king of Lanka, had the good fortune of seeing some of this payback firsthand in the form of a Divinely inspired and empowered monkey named Hanuman.
1. A flight over an ocean
Take an inanimate object like a knife. No judgment on it initially. There is a wide range of usage. If the knife is utilized for cutting vegetables to be cooked in a soup to be fed to the hungry, then it has tremendous value. In smaller portions the vegetables are easier to consume and subsequently digest than if they were offered in the whole form.
The same knife can be used to attack an innocent person. It turns into a lethal weapon. The sinful are aided in their ways by the object, which is not to blame in the crime.
Ravana’s flight over the ocean to reach the forest of Lanka was not sinful by itself. A person is allowed to travel. That is how to go from one destination to another. The papa here was in the intent. The flight was to steal another man’s wife. The plan ended up working.
Hanuman returned the favor by crossing the ocean himself. He was on a mission to find the missing wife. She was named Sita and her husband was Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. The notable difference here was that Hanuman didn’t require the Pushpaka that Ravana used. There was no aerial car to help. A leap off a mountaintop sufficed.
2. A clandestine mission
After arriving in Dandaka, Ravana masked his shape. His true rupa was a Rakshasa. This is like a man-eating ogre, generally drawn to sinful behavior. Ravana was special in that he had ten heads and twenty arms. A long story, but know that such things are certainly possible, as the body is simply a combination of material elements, which can be combined in different proportions.
The payback for Ravana was a secret mission from Hanuman. The devoted servant of Rama successfully crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. He had to then make sure no one detected him. He shrunk his size to that of a cat. Ravana had changed his shape to look like an innocent saintly man, parivrajaka. This way he wouldn’t be immediately threatening to Sita Devi when visiting her hermitage. Hanuman similarly was not discovered by anyone while searching through Lanka and its many palaces.
3. An attack on his home
Ravana’s plan was to attack. He used violence to drag the princess of Videha away. He was too afraid to encounter Rama one-on-one, as a chivalrous ruler should. Ravana had his advisor Maricha create a diversion, thereby leaving Sita by herself. This was an attack on Rama’s home.
The Supreme Lord’s servant returned the favor by attacking Lanka. This was indirectly caused by Ravana, in more ways than one. The initial spark was the sinful deed itself and the secondary cause the setting of Hanuman’s tail on fire. The son of the wind quickly escaped from the ropes around him and instead of putting out the fire on his tail, he used the situation to his advantage. He went around Lanka and set fire to this place and that. This was the ominous sign that Ravana was too blinded by lust to detect. Full destruction was on the horizon, soon to arrive from the arrows of Rama.
Karma is real. Action and reaction, applying to the future development of the body. There is always a future since that is the nature of time. Change is the constant for the material, and lack of change for the spiritual. The spirit soul is unaffected by the travels through different bodies, marked by various stages of life and also repeat birth and death. Those who are devoted to Rama in the manner of Hanuman escape that cycle. Karma no longer applies to them, as God gives His personal protection.
Karma something real,
Which king of Lanka to feel.
Just as sinful deeds done,
Similar payback to come.
Like Hanuman crossing ocean over,
And in Lanka a clandestine rover.
As Ravana on Rama’s home had attacked,
Vanara now with fiery tail backed.
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