Once there was a debate in Kailasa : whether Rama’s incomparable strength and might is greater OR the power and glory of Rama Nama is greater. Nobody could arrive at any conclusion. Sage Narada who also happened to be there decided on a plan to solve the problem.
Narada took the help of Maya – the Lord’s power of illusion. She created rakshasic creatures and sent them to create havoc in the kingdom of Kashi, whose king was a great devotee of Lord Rama. Seeing his people in trouble, the king set out to destroy the demonic forces. The terrible creatures started to flee and he pursued them. One of them assumed the form of an ashramite and entered Sage Vishwamitra’s ashram. The king discharged an arrow which hit this illusory form. Sage Vishwamitra became very angry on seeing an innocent ashramite being targeted. However much the king tried to convince the sage that this was a rakshasic form, he would not listen. He walked off warning the king that he will have to indeed pay for his wrong doings.
Viswamitra reached Ayodhya. He narrated what had happened in his ashram and asked Sri Rama to punish the wrong-doer with death. Rama agreed. When He heard that it was the king of Kashi, His devotee, Rama was taken aback, but He had given His word to the Sage.
On the other side, the worried king was going back when he met Sage Narada. On being questioned, he narrated everything to Narada. Narada asked him not to worry and sent him to Anjanadevi, the mother of Lord Hanuman for protection. Anjanadevi immediately granted the King protection. When Hanuman came, Anjanadevi told him all that had happened and to keep up his mother’s words, he too readily granted his protection to the king. The king happily stayed with Hanuman. Neither the king, nor Hanuman or his mother knew that Rama had given his word to Viswamitra to punish the king.
Narada came along and told Hanuman and his mother that it was Rama who had promised Sage Vishwamitra to punish the king. Hanuman was shocked and sad. It meant that he had to encounter none other than Lord Rama, His dear Lord and Master. In the meantime, Rama also came to know under whose protection the king was. He too was not happy. Rama and Hanuman, both of them had given their words and both of them were very firm on keeping up their words! It meant a conflict between the two of them!
Lord Rama came equipped with His bow, Kodanda to where Hanuman was and asked him to surrender the king to Him. Hanuman refused to do so, saying that he had learnt to keep up his words from Rama Himself! Words were exchanged – in the beginning soft and gentle, but slowly they became hard and firm.
Finally, Rama decided to use His strength and might against Hanuman. Hanuman on the other side was very clear. He was not going to fight the Lord; how could he? He asked the king to hide behind him, sat down facing Rama; closed his eyes and started chanting RAMA…RAMA…..RAMA. Rama very reluctantly released arrow after arrow towards Hanuman. Those arrows which never turned back, but always sure hit the target, could not even touch Hanuman! In front of the power of Rama Nama, they simply lost their power and paled into insignificance! All the devatas assembled in the sky to watch this unique battle between RAMA-SHAKTI and RAMA-BHAKTI!
Finally, Rama decided to use His Brahmastra to shake Hanuman out of his samadhi. By then everyone had understood the POWER and GLORY of RAMA NAMA. Narada immediately brought Sage Vishwamitra, and Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva also came there. Viswamitra then told Rama about the play of maya to prove to the whole world the power, glory and supremacy of the Lord’s name: SRI RAMA. Nothing can…..NOTHING CAN equal or stand in comparison to RAMA NAMA!
Hanuman woke up from his samadhi, prostrated to the Lord and asked for forgiveness for having stood against Him to keep up his mother’s words. The king of Kashi was overjoyed to have a glorious darshan of the Lord-of-his-heart and he offered his prayerful prostrations unto the Lord. Everyone went back to their divine destination. Sage Narada also went on his way supremely happy, singing the Lord’s glories.
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]
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