Mission Impossible

[Shri Hanuman]“Deliberating on it further, if I am killed I do not see any monkey who can leap over the great ocean, which is one hundred yojanas long.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 30.33)

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विमृशंश्च न पश्यामि यो हते मयि वानरः।।
शतयोजनविस्तीर्णं लङ्घयेत महोदधिम्।

vimṛśaṃśca na paśyāmi yo hate mayi vānaraḥ।।
śatayojanavistīrṇaṃ laṅghayeta mahodadhim।

Friend1: Have you ever been in a situation where you had to deliver?

Friend2: Deliver what? Am I fulfilling orders for pizza?

Friend1: You have to come through.

Friend2: What are the consequences if I don’t?

Friend1: Okay, that is a good place to start. Imagine the consequences are dire.

Friend2: As in, someone might not live unless I succeed?

Friend1: Try many people. Worldwide calamity. The last try at a specific task. The consequences are dire to you.

Friend2: Oh, okay. I might lose my job if I fail. I might not be able to make the rent payment if I lose my job. I might not ever get another job if word gets out about my failure.

Friend1: There you go.

Friend2: What brings about this question?

Friend1: I contemplate it every now and then. If there is a problem at the office, I have to remote in and get everything working in a timely manner.

Friend2: First-responders face a similar situation.

[first responders]Friend1: They have to provide treatment in time for the ailing person to heal. They have to act. There is no time to waste.

Friend2: Sadly, that is the way life goes. There is danger at every step, as Shrimad Bhagavatam explains:

“In material existence there is danger at every step. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.58) it is said: padam padam yad vipadam na tesham. This material world is not actually a place of residence for an intelligent person or a devotee because here there is danger at every step. Vaikuntha is the real home for the devotee, for there is no anxiety and no danger.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.26.16 Purport)

Friend1: Transition for a moment and contemplate the crisis that Shri Hanuman faced. While in Lanka, there was no one to support him.

Friend2: What was he doing there?

Friend1: Looking for Sita Devi, the missing wife of Shri Rama. The descriptions of the events are in the Ramayana.

Friend2: An ancient Sanskrit work from Maharishi Valmiki.

Friend1: I just can’t imagine the pressure Hanuman faced. It was literally him against the world. There was no second option, as he saw it.

Friend2: Why is that?

Friend1: Because Hanuman had already accomplished the amazing in leaping over the ocean. That is how he reached Lanka.

Friend2: Others could not do the same?

Friend1: There were other Vanaras in Hanuman’s search party. They could not leap over the ocean. It’s not something every person can do.

Friend2: Practically no one can do it.

Friend1: Hanuman against powerful man-eating ogres. Known as Rakshasas, it is not like they would welcome a stranger to their midst.

Friend2: Especially someone looking to correct the atrocity of Ravana stealing Sita Devi.

Friend1: It was like a Mission Impossible situation. Like trying to deactivate a bomb, with mere moments remaining. An all or nothing proposition. Pass or fail, as in the grading style for a university course.

Friend2: It is yet another reason to glorify the dedicated servant of Shri Rama. Hanuman is amazing, both in terms of ability and implementation. He does not allow the mind to turn into an enemy.

उद्धरेद् आत्मनात्मानं
नात्मानम् अवसादयेत्
आत्मैव ह्य् आत्मनो बन्धुर्
आत्मैव रिपुर् आत्मनः

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ
nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur
ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

“A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.5)

Friend1: I might have lost it. I would have done something crazy. The pressure would get to me.

Friend2: Fortunately, the same Hanuman is ready to offer assistance. He works without commission in his service to Rama. He is not a miser. He will not keep all the glory for himself.

Friend1: But he deserves all the glory in the world.

[Shri Hanuman]Friend2: And so we can spend this lifetime and many others glorifying him, in return. He will help us cross the ocean of nescience, finding success against the debilitating influence of time, which gradually shortens our stay in this human form of enhanced vitality and cleared consciousness.

In Closing:

Of ticking time aware,
Without anyone there.

The moment never or now,
Contemplating success how.

After ocean crossing already,
But critical to remain steady.

That servant despite difficulty to find,
Success keeping Rama in mind.

Categories: conversations

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