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On the occasion of Hanuma Jayanti

A verse in praise of Hanuman says-
Buddhir balam yasho dhairyam nirbhayatvam arogataa |
ajaadyam vaakpatutvam ca hanumadsmaranaadbhavet  ||
By meditating on Hanuman one gains intelligence, strength, success, courage, fearlessness, good health, smartness and oratory skills.
This verse implies that Hanuman is a treasure of all these virtues. Apart form being a beloved god head of Hindus, Hanuman is an ideal for all the best virtues too. He is indeed a role model for the ‘Complete man’. The personality of Hanuman in Valmiki’s Ramayanam is dignified and indeed as grand as that of Sri Rama! He is a born prince who sacrificed his throne to serve the noble Sugreeva.
Valmiki Ramayanam’s Kishkindha-kanda gives a beautiful introduction to Hanuman’s glorious personality. When Rama and Lakshmana see him for the first time and hears his words, they are wonderstruck by his poise and oratory skills. Rama utters words of appreciation in recognition of Hanuman’s worth. In Rama’s own words we infer that Hanuman was a great scholar of the Vedas, grammar, prosody, poetics, statesmanship, fine arts and many other arts and sciences. He was the best political ambassador and diplomat ever. His oratory skills were cultured by truth, diligence, natural talent, repeated study of scriptures and experience such that even an enemy would stand impressed when he spoke!
There are many fascinating noble aspects in Hanuman’s personality. His humility, devotion to Rama, purity, generosity and benevolent nature won hearts all the way. He was ever ready to help anyone in crisis even if it meant the deadliest of risks for him. He dared to venture out to search for Seeta in the dangerous Ravana’s kingdom for the sake of Rama. He also brought the great Sanjeevani hill from Himalayas to Lanka to revive the dying Lakshmana. It was he who saved Sugreeva from the wrath of the terrible Vali till the end for which he even renounced his royal powers.
Hanuman was an achiever through out and yet humble and unassuming. His extraordinary cleverness, diligence, foresightedness and tact in all actions ensured him success all the way. The style in which he fulfilled his mission in searching Seeta explains it all. In a stranger’s land, amongst enemies, he scanned for Seeta unnoticed by anyone, won the confidence of Seeta who had never seen him before and consoled and assured her of safe release. The manner in which he fetched justice to his beloved friend Sugreeva through Rama, the strategy through which he materialized the reunion of Seeta and Rama and the might with which he vanquished a great part of Ravana’s army and many more instances speak loads about the great achievements of Hanuman.
Here is a small example for his cleverness as seen in the Sundarakandam. The gods and sages wanted to see how Hanuman would manage a sudden crisis in his path while he leapt across the ocean to Lanka. They ordered Surasa, the mother of Gods to assume the form of a demons and test his strength and manliness. They wanted to see whether he would escape strategically or accept defeat and grieve. Surasa assumed the form of a deadly monster and obstructed the path of Hanuman and told him- “You have been sent as my food by the Gods. So enter my mouth so that I can eat you”. But although surprised, Hanuman was least perturbed by this sudden attack of the giant. With a pleasant face he answered- “Ravana of Lanka, by crooked means abducted Seeta, the wife of Rama, while they were camping in the forest of Dandakaranya. As an emissary of Rama I am going there to search for her. I request you to help me in finding her as you are familiar with this land. If you so insist, I shall ofcourse enter your mouth, but only after finding Seeta and reporting the same to Rama. I promise I shall not go back on my words” But Surasa refused saying he could not escape entering her mouth whatever be the case. Hanuman faced her challenge and said- “Ok then, open your mouth big enough to gobble me, if you can”. So saying he grew as big as Surasa herself. Surasa accepted the challenge and opened her mouth double the size of Hanuman. But the clever Hanuman grew still bigger. Surasa in turn widened her mouth to a size bigger than the gigantic Hanuman. Hanuman grew bigger than that and again challenged her. This went on and on till Surasa’s monstrous mouth with a long tongue, was wide open as of it were the entrance to hell. Now the witty Hanuman suddenly shrunk himself to the size of a thumb and swiftly charged into her mouth and flew out as quickly. Before Surasa could realize what happened Hanuman had fulfilled his promise of ‘entering her mouth’ and escaped unharmed! The amused Surasa revealed her true form and blessed him. The celestials and sages who witnessed all this were wonderstruck by his courage, wit and determination and showered praises on him.
Lanka was one of the finest cities in all the worlds and Ravana rejoiced in all glory there. Ravana was proud of his riches, power and kingdom. Hanuman, as a true diplomat studied the enemies power and weaknesses. After finding Seeta and assuring her of freedom soon, he did not simply return to Rama. He rather wanted to teach a lesson to Ravana. He created havoc all over the city by uprooting the beautiful gardens and monuments. With ease, he vanquished all the demon warriors who tried to capture him. Intending to damage the pride of Ravana and also show him a taste of the strength of Rama’s battalion, he burnt half the city of Lanka. Ravana was indeed shocked that all his mighty forces could not control a mere monkey. His pride and confidence was badly damaged by Hanuman who thus had already won half the battle!
This is just a glimpse into the great achievements of the Heroic Hanuman. In every sense he is verily the Ramayana-maha-mala-ratnam (precious gem in the garland of Ramayanam). It is physical, mental and spiritual strength that is very necessary for human beings. So let us contemplate on this aspect of Hanuman and acquire the same by his grace.
The very contemplation of the divine Hanuman inspires strength, courage purity and a sense of fulfillment in us. Let us salute the great Hanuman again and again.

|| Om Ham Hanumate namah  ||

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