“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)
विमृशंश्च न पश्यामि यो हते मयि वानरः।।
शतयोजनविस्तीर्णं लङ्घयेत महोदधिम्।
vimṛśaṃśca na paśyāmi yo hate mayi vānaraḥ।।
śatayojanavistīrṇaṃ laṅghayeta mahodadhim।
1. He works without commission in his service to Rama
Imagine the situation of buying a new house. You finally made the leap. You are not like most of your friends, in that you had no desire to own something. You were fine with renting. At least other people took care of the maintenance. You didn’t have to figure anything out on your own.
Then things changed. Life circumstances warranted the purchase of a home. You try your best with the small stuff. You can change a light bulb. The smoke detector batteries are really annoying. The chirping seems to start at the worst possible time, such as in the middle of the night.
For larger tasks, you need help. But finding it is not easy. You are willing to pay the money. It is not that you are a miser. The issue is that no one is willing to step forward. A friend tells you that unless you have a large project, such as a full renovation of a particular room, not many people will be interested.
From the Ramayana history, we have the example of Shri Hanuman. His official role, if you can give him one, is chief minister to the Vanara leader known as Sugriva. There is an eventual alliance between Sugriva and Rama, the exiled prince from Ayodhya. This alliance is due to Hanuman’s efforts, using intelligence in a way that would be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Hanuman later takes on the role of servant to Rama. Hanuman goes on a daring mission, to find Rama’s missing wife, Sita Devi. There is no payment. There is no contract to sign. There is no warranty. There is no payment schedule. There is no risk of default or bankruptcy.
Hanuman either fails or succeeds. There is a risk of getting killed. The perpetrators in Lanka will not take too kindly to a Vanara showing up in their midst, who is aligned with Rama. Hanuman continues anyway, even when the outlook is bleak. He will not take payment for his services.
2. He is not a miser
With a home improvement project, to protect both the homeowner and the contractor there are terms agreed upon prior to the job starting. The homeowner then knows what to expect. The contractor will not be tricked into working on something else, without proper payment.
Hanuman is so liberal in his service that he will continue forward. If at some point in time the next step requires leaping over an ocean, he is ready to proceed. If he has to force his way past a female guard unwilling to listen to reason, there is no problem.
If Hanuman has to peep into rooms inside of palaces, searching amongst sleeping women, he will take the hit for any accidental adharma. In essence, he will accept an unlimited amount of suffering in order to please the eldest son of King Dasharatha.
3. He will not keep all the glory to himself
Today, Hanuman is famous for his many achievements. There are countless temples dedicated to him throughout the world. There are the depictions of his most well-known moments, such as leaping over the ocean and carrying a huge mountain in his hand.
Though he has the most over which to be proud, Hanuman does not boast. In front of Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana, he is small and in a humble stature. Through yogic siddhis, Hanuman can expand himself to a large size, but this is not the form he walks around with.
In a later meeting with Bhima, from the Pandava family, Hanuman was asked to show that large form which was used for crossing the ocean. Hanuman was reluctant to show it. He gave excuses in the beginning. Only after Bhima insisted did Hanuman relent.
Though he deserves all the glory, Hanuman gives glory to others. He is always engaged in worshiping the Supreme Lord and His wife. He is most dear to Sita and Rama, and anyone favored by him is truly blessed in this world.
Considered truly blessed,
When favored by servant the best.
Who once over ocean leapt,
And true to mission kept.
Despite hope sometimes lost,
To locate Sita whatever the cost.
Not surprising many temples dedicated,
Through his favor one elevated.
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