In praise of Hunuman - Hanumastuti - Part 1

"Vikrantastvam samardhastvam" says Sita .

"Kritam Hanumata karyam" says Sri R ama.

"Tvayyeva Hanuman asti balam buddhi parakramah" says Sugriva.

Such is the awe inspiring part played by Hanuman!

From the time he steps into the story counseling Sugriva not to be concerned about the two Naras - Raama and Lakshmana -who entered their area in the forest , to the time he takes leave of Sri Raama as a confirmed Raamabhaktha, devotee of Sri Raama, his exploits are surely mind boggling and in fact more so in Sundarakaanda. No wonder that the popular adage goes: 'Sundare Sundara Kapih', and it summarizes the inner beauty of Hanuman with all the accomplishments that beautify his inherent character in Sundarakaanda.

In the very first meeting with Sri Rama, whom Hanuman approaches in the guise of a recluse, Sri Rama instantly recognizes the greatness of Hanuman. Sri Rama says to Laxmana :

"To converse in the way he (Hanuman) does is impossible, unless he studied Rigveda thoroughly, memorized Yajurveda along with meanings, and acquired knowledge of Samaveda. Surely the entire range of grammer has been studied by him in many ways, as is clear from the fact that nothing has been wrongly worded, even though he has voluminously spoken a great deal "

The very first impressions so created by Hanuman is maintained throughout the great epic -- Ramayana -- as reflected in his marvelous articulation either in addressing others or himself (or in fact the reader!). Steadfast devotion to his duty, and the confidence he projects in his handling of any task, however arduous, can be noticed in all his actions.

Right from the beginning to the end, this impression of a wise and knowledgeable Hanuman is reflected in several situations like when he consoles bereaved Tara, when he informs Swayamprabha of the search party's mission, when he attempts to dissuade Angada from fasting to death, or when advises Raavana to do the right thing. Very rightly for the task of searching for Sita, Sugriva says "There is no one equal to Hanuman!"

Continuing further Sugriva says :

 "In you alone O' Hanuman reside the three qualities — strength, wisdom and prowess!"

Even with all these inherent qualities, it does seem that Hanuman himself is unaware of his capabilities, and needs to be prodded to undertake the impossible!. This is evident when Jaambavan addresses Hanuman to undertake the arduous task of crossing the ocean. Indeed there is a hidden Hanuman in every body who needs to be prodded, to make him take up those seemingly impossible tasks.

Sundarakaanda starts with Hanuman all set for the arduous task of jumping across the ocean in search of Sita. Hanuman announces his determination in no uncertain terms:

"In every way I shall complete my task and come back with Sita or otherwise I shall uproot Lanka with Raavana and carry it all the way here '. Proclaiming his goals, Hanuman proceeds to accomplish the same.

In crossing the ocean Hanuman displays the three qualities "Balam, Buddhi, and Parakramah" as stated by venerable Sugriva.

The first arduous task was that of jumping across the ocean. As he proceeds across the sky, Valmiki says ...

"The sun god does not scorch him ... the wind god ministers him with gentle and soothing breeze ..."

Actually for Hanuman who was so steadfast on completing the task assigned by Sri Rama , "Raamakaryardha Siddhaye", neither the sun nor the wind could detract him from his goals. This is clearly reflected in his response, when Mainaka invites him to rest for a while:

To this, Hanuman's answer focuses on his own determined goals  "I have taken a vow not to stop in the middle of my task". A determination that can only be emulated!

At the next obstacle Suarasa ,Valmiki says about Hanuman:

The emphasis is on "Vayuputrah subudhiman", namely Hanuman the intelligent. He overcomes Surasa, sent by Devas to test him, with his intelligence.

However while dealing with the next obstacle of Simhika , a demon , he uses his well known prowess to kill her .

Much in line with the first impression of Sri Rama about Hanuman as a man of great knowledge and speech, one sees Hanuman go through a thoughtful reflection at every stage like his thoughtful entrance into the fortress Lanka ,-

While searching for Sita he mistakenly thinks of Mandodari as Sita for a while . But then he quickly corrects himself.

"In separation from Rama, Sita is not likely to sleep, eat, wear ornaments or drink..."

Many a time we see Hanuman swing between moods despondency and of strong self-belief. The moral is 'we may go through seas of desperation, and yet one must strive and continue to achieve the ultimate goals'.

When he fails to find Sita anywhere, Hanuman goes through a train of thoughts. Then he works out his course of his action:

"I ought not yield to despair ...I must continue the search ... Whatever happens, I must not give up the hopes of success." Worthy of emulation, is his mantra for success ...

When he approaches Sita in Lanka, his thinking process was on the crescendo; and in his speech , it was always the right words in the right place:

"Must speak in the language of the common man," apt to the situations. Otherwise, one may suspect a monkey speaking the language of Brahmans.

As he engages himself in convincing Sita about his bonafides , Sita asks him to describe Rama. In his answer, the eloquence of Hanuman shines through:

"He (Rama) is the protector of all beings, of his people, of Dharma, and of good conduct" . In fact the lines he speaks of Rama essentially reflect the attributes required in a man entrusted with Governance.

When he proposes to carry Sita on his shoulders back to Rama, looking at his small monkey frame, Sita says :

"Your proposal is precisely monkey-like!" This insult does not put off Hanuman and he proceeds to show here the true dimensions of his real self and wins her confidence. Small people with smaller minds and larger egos too often get diverted from their real goals when confronted with even minor affronts. Hanuman demonstrates that perseverance is the hallmark of a person focused on his goal.

Om Tat Sat