Category Archives: Ramayana

Hanuman: The Music Maestro!

Sage Narada was a great musician. And he also played the veena beautifully. He became proud of his talent and thought he was the best musician in all the three worlds.

One day, as Narada was moving across the skies singing the Lord’s glory, Hanuman and his mother Anjana Devi saw him. She pointed out to Hanuman and said, “there goes Narada who is the best exponent of music!” Narada heard this and became even more proud of his talent. Hanuman came to know of Narada’s pride. The Sage’s ego had to be destroyed. Hanuman jumped into the sky, caught hold of Narada’s feet and pleaded with him to bless him. Narada replied back saying that there was no blessing that Hanuman did not have, because all the devatas had bestowed upon him their grace and blessings as requested by his father Vayu, the wind God. However, when Hanuman insisted, Narada said that since no one had blessed him with the gift of music, he, Narada – the great musician, would bless him to be one of the best musicians.

Narada had no idea that Hanuman was already an accomplished musician. After showering his blessings, Narada decided to move ahead, but Hanuman would not leave him. He told Narada that since he had now been blessed with the gift of music, he would sing and Narada had to hear and judge him. Narada was reluctant. He thought he would be wasting his time listening to and judging a novice. But Hanuman would not let him go. Finally Narada agreed. He sat down comfortably, placed his divine veena on a rock in front of him and asked Hanuman to sing. Hanuman sat in front of Narada, closed his eyes, invoked the Lord and started singing. He sang so beautifully that all the devatas stationed themselves in the sky above him to hear his music!

Even Narada was overwhelmed with the flow of naada. The rock on which the veena was placed started to melt with Hanuman’s music. And the veena started to sink into the liquid rock. After some time, Narada who was listening with closed eyes asked Hanuman to stop so that he can now proceed further. The moment Hanuman stopped singing, the rock froze and became solid. Narada got up and tried to collect his veena, but it would not move – it had got stuck in the rock. Narada had already realized the glory of Hanuman’s music, but he was astonished to see that his music had even melted inert stones! Narada’s ego was crushed – he was totally humbled. He realized that he was after all not the best musician. Narada also realized that it is devotion that ultimately adds beauty and divinity to music. He pleaded with Hanuman to sing once again. This time when Hanuman sang, the rock melted, and Narada collected his veena. He acknowledged and praised Hanuman as the best musician in all the three worlds and with a pure heart devoid of ego and filled with devotion, he went his way singing the Lord’s glory.
Hanuman is Kavya – Nataka – Sangeeta – Naada – Paripoorna!! 

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Lord Rama and Kevat

Sri Rama started on his fourteen years of exile to the forest along with Seeta and Lakshmana, to keep up his father Dasaratha’s promise to Kaikeyi. He met Guha, the tribal chieftain and asked him to arrange for a boatsman (Kevat) to take them across the river Ganga. Guha sent for the Kevat and asked him to take them across the river. But the Kevat refused saying that unless Rama let him personally wash His feet, he would not allow them to enter the boat. Guha angrily asked him why. The Kevat told him that he had heard that by the touch of the dust of the Lord’s feet, an inert and hard stone had transformed into a woman. His boat was made of softer material and if it comes in contact with the dust of Rama’s feet, surely and definitely it would also get transformed into a woman. Not only he would lose the boat which helped in his livelihood, but he would also have to look after another woman along with maintaining his family! That would not be possible for him at all. Guha was wonderstruck at his innocence. Lord Rama smiled and agreed to His feet being washed.

The Kevat brought a small plate and asked the Lord to place His feet in them. The Lord put His right foot on the plate. There wasn’t much space for His left foot in the plate. The Lord looked at the Kevat. It would be difficult for Him to balance Himself with both His feet in the small plate! The Kevat looked up and asked the Lord to place His hand on his head, and then place His left foot in the plate. In doing so, He would be able to maintain His balance! The Lord understood the humble and simple desire of the boatsman. All that he wanted was Bhagavan’s hand on his head as a sign of blessing. Rama placed His hand on Kevat’s head and put both His feet on the plate. Kevat was overwhelmed, and with eyes brimming with tears, he lovingly washed the Lord’s feet using the waters from Ganges. When the Lord was about to place His feet on the ground and enter the boat, Kevat stretched out his hand for the Lord to place His feet on his palm, and then enter the boat! What a great devotee and what a blessing!

Rama, Seeta and Lakshmana got into the boat and the Kevat took them across the river onto the other side. They stepped out of the boat and the Lord had to give him something for rowing them across. The Lord looked at Seeta and she removed her ring from her finger and gave it to Rama. Rama offered the ring to Kevat for taking them across the river. Kevat politely declined the offer saying that there is no “give and take” between two people in the same profession! The Lord was surprised and asked him how both of them were in the same profession?

The Kevat very beautifully told the Lord, “I ferry people across the river. You ferry people across the ocean of samsara! Are we both not in the same profession?”

Every one there was surprised and amazed at the Kevat’s knowledge and devotion. He requested the Lord that on his return journey back from the forest after fourteen years, he should be again given the fortune of rowing them back to this side which the Lord promised.

 
The Kevat had ferried the Lord to and fro across the river. It was now the responsibility of the Lord to ferry the Kevat across the river of life!!

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Krishna visits Ayodhya on Sri Ramanavami to meet Hanuman!

When the purpose of His avatar in Treta Yuga was over, Lord Rama returned back to his abode – Vaikunta. Before folding back His manifestation, the Lord consoled and promised Hanuman that He would Himself come and give him darshan in Dwapara-Yuga.

To remove the burden of Mother Earth, to protect the virtuous, to annihilate the wicked and to re-establish dharma once again on the surface of the earth, the Lord once again manifested in Dwapara-Yuga as Vasudeva Krishna. The Sage Narada once paid a visit to Dwaraka to meet the Lord and His consort Sri Rukmini. He told Sri Krishna that Hanuman spent all his time meditating on a mountain and was waiting for the Lord to give him darshan. Narada even mentioned that he met Hanuman and told him to go Dwaraka and have darshan of Lord Krishna. Hanuman very well knew that the Lord who was Rama in Treta-Yuga had now manifested as Sri Krishna. Hanuman told Narada that he was only a humble servant of the Lord and it would be inappropriate to meet the Lord without the Lord Himself calling him, and he would wait till he gets a call from his Lord.

When Krishna heard these words from Narada, He decided to fulfill the wish of His dear devotee Hanuman. Sri Ramanavami was approaching. On this auspicious day every year, Hanuman would visit Ayodhya in disguise as a brahmana, offer puja to the Lord and would himself serve prasad (food) to all. Lord Krishna decided to visit Ayodhya to meet His dear devotee Hanuman. Narada had a doubt if Hanuman would recognize the Lord as He was Krishna in this birth. The Lord smiled and asked Narada to accompany Him and check for himself.

On the auspicious day of Sri Ramanavami, Krishna and Narada disguised as ordinary citizens went to Ayodhya to witness the grandeur of Ramanavami celebrations. They saw Hanuman disguised as a brahmana offering his puja and prayers to Lord Rama. He completed his puja, and it was time to distribute prasad (food). Hanuman asked all the devotees to sit in a line, and started serving food to all. In the midst of the devotees was Lord Krishna and Narada disguised as ordinary citizens. When Hanuman bent down to serve food to Lord Krishna, he saw the Lord’s feet and for a moment forgot everything and became motionless. Even though the Lord was in disguise, there was no mistaking – he for sure recognized his Beloved Lord’s feet! With tears rolling down his eyes he fell at the Lord’s feet.

He asked the Lord what mistake he had done that the Lord Himself had taken the trouble to come to Ayodhya. The Lord now gave darshan to Hanuman as Lord Rama. Rama said that it was Hanuman’s bhakti which drew him to Ayodhya. Indeed, the Lord had kept up the promise He had given to His devotee!

A true devotee in his Supreme Love recognises everything as the play of the "Lord-of-his-heart".... everything is to him sacred and divine. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Ravana seeks help from Bali Chakravarti to fight Rama!

Lord Rama along with his vanara army crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. What followed was a fierce battle. Everyday Ravana’s army and his prominent chieftains suffered defeat. Worried, Ravana decided to seek help from Bali Chakravarti – the grandson of Prahlada who was pushed to paatala (the lower world) by Lord Vamana. Bali Chakravarti was the King of patala and was ruling there.

Ravana reached paatala and tried to get into Bali’s kingdom, but was stopped by a guard. Everytime he tried to enter, he was stopped by the mighty power of the guard who was protecting Bali’s kingdom. The guard was none other than the Lord Vamana himself. Unable to overpower Vamana, Ravana became invisible and tried to enter, but nothing was invisible to the Lord and Ravana was stopped. Ravana now reduced his form and tried to enter very quickly but Vamana stopped him and placed his foot on Ravana. Unable to bear the pain of the Lords’s feet on him, Ravana lied down there gasping for breath. The Lord could have crushed him, but Ravana was destined to be killed by Lord Rama. Since Ravana came in contact with the Lord’s feet, Ravana’s body became pure enough to receive Lord Rama’s divine arrow! Finally Vamana released Ravana, and Ravana entered the kingdom of Bali.

He met Bali and requested him to help him in his fight with Lord Rama. Bali was aware of all that had happened in Lanka and also knew that it was the Lord who was born as Rama to kill Ravana. Since Ravana had come requesting for help, it was the duty of a king (Bali) to help all those who come seeking for help. Bali said that he would help Ravana on one condition. He took Ravana to an open land where there was a huge mountain made of gold and studded with diamonds with a perfectly circular base. Bali said that he wanted to gift this rare and precious mountain to Ravana , and if he could lift it and take it with him, then he would consider helping Ravana.

Ravana tried lifting it, but could not move it even by an inch. Now Bali asked him to step back and look at it. Wonder of wonders! The entire mountain looked like an ear-ring. Bali said that this was the ear-ring of Hiranyakashipu. During the fight between Lord Narasimha and Hiranyakashipu, his ear-ring had fallen down to the the nether world. Bali told Ravana that in his previous birth he was Hiranyakashipu, and now in this birth he could not even lift his own ear-ring which he used to wear. Where was Ravana’s might and strength? Bali warned Ravana that it was Lord Vishnu Himself who had come down as Lord Rama, and He would surely defeat and kill Ravana.

Having heard this, Ravana left the nether world and came back to Lanka. Though warned by Bali Chakravarti, he never realized his mistake and continued the battle only to be killed by the Lord.

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