“He speaks clearly, joyfully, and with a pleasing glow on his face. The heroic Hanuman, son of the wind-god, does not appear to speak anything that is false.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama about Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.32)
प्रसन्नमुखवर्णश्च व्यक्तं हृष्टश्च भाषते |
नानृतं वक्ष्यते वीरो हनुमान्मारुतात्मजः ||
prasannamukhavarṇaśca vyaktaṃ hṛṣṭaśca bhāṣate |
nānṛtaṃ vakṣyate vīro hanumānmārutātmajaḥ ||
Friend1: I heard an interesting incident from Chaitanya-lila the other day. These are the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His preacher manifestation. Appearing on this earth during the medieval period in India, the golden avatara to teach the highest rasa of the bhakti path.
Friend2: Madhurya. Beyond awe and reverence. Bhakti goes past the God-fearing posture. Then once you get into devotion, there are different levels.
Friend1: Rasas, which are like conjugal mellows. I’ve heard that one is not necessarily better than another.
Friend2: It is something like one person preferring to eat pizza and another wanting ice cream. Neither one is wrong. It is a matter of preference. Still, the acharyas, especially in the line of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, teach that madhurya brings the most enjoyment. The most intimate way to interact with the Supreme Lord.
Friend1: Exemplified by Shrimati Radharani, the eternal consort of God. Anyway, in this pastime there is a visiting pandita who can compose Sanskrit verses on a whim.
Friend2: You mean without writing a rough draft, editing and then publishing?
Friend1: Exactly. As you and I both know, Sanskrit is the oldest and purest language.
Friend2: The corresponding script is Devanagari, which translates to “city of the gods.”
Friend1: Just to write correct Sanskrit is difficult. In this case, we are talking about context. An appropriate object of worship. This pandita could recite the verses and Mahaprabhu could remember everything after hearing just a single time.
Friend2: Pretty amazing stuff.
Friend1: Especially if you juxtapose with the modern day. In my childhood, we would have so many phone numbers memorized. This was a necessity. Today, I hardly know anyone’s number.
Friend2: Because they are stored in the smartphone. It is part of the contact list.
Friend1: Would that explain how someone could previously speak extemporaneously in Sanskrit?
Friend2: It explains so many things. People could solve complex math equations without outside assistance. They could memorize and recite important verses from shastra. They did not have an online search engine handy.
Friend1: The incident reminds me of the first meeting of Hanuman with Rama.
Friend2: From the Ramayana?
Friend1: Yes. Hanuman’s mission was to find out who these two brothers were. Rama and Lakshmana were approaching the forest area in Kishkindha where the Vanara-king Sugriva was staying.
Friend2: And Sugriva was apprehensive that perhaps these warrior-featured men were sent by a rival to cause harm.
Friend1: Hanuman accepted the task to do reconnaissance. He put on a false guise and welcomed the two brothers. Yet he could not maintain the ruse for long. He began to praise Rama in the best poetry. The words were so impressive that Rama noted that only a high scholar could speak in such a way.
Friend2: Absolutely. Just another qualification to add to Hanuman’s many credentials.
Friend1: How was he able to do it, though?
Friend2: Umm, didn’t you just bring up the pandita during Mahaprabhu’s time? It shouldn’t surprise you that Hanuman can glorify God in such a way. Where there is a desire, there is the object of worship to fulfill. That is why we should choose the bhakti path. We get help. Bhagavan is an active participant, not a disinterested observer. He appreciates any effort we make, especially in the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
An active participant willing,
In bhakti process thrilling.
So that amazing ability to see,
Like Sanskrit scholar is he.
Hanuman when brothers meeting,
With extemporaneous greeting.
Chance for me through love in the heart,
Where perpetual fool made to look smart.