Tag Archives: Rama Sethu

Arjuna and Hanuman

Arjuna, one of the five Pandavas was on a pilgrimage. He reached Rameswaram. After the darshan of Sri Ramanatheswara, he was curious to see the Rama Setu, the bridge that was built with rocks and trees by the vanaras. Looking at the bridge, he exclaimed loudly, “all the monkeys wasted their time and energy creating a bridge with rocks and trees. If I were there, I would have created a bridge of arrows within minutes”.

A small old monkey sitting over there heard him, and said that a bridge made of arrows would never have been able to withstand the strength of Sugreeva, Angada, and the whole army of mighty monkeys. Why all of them, it wouldn’t even withstand its own weight said the monkey. Arjuna took it as a challenge and said that he would create a bridge with arrows and the monkey can safely move and jump about on the bridge and it would not collapse. If the bridge collapsed, Arjuna vowed to burn himself alive. The monkey accepted the challenge.

Arjuna created a sturdy bridge with his arrrows. No sooner the monkey touched it with its tail, it collapsed. Arjuna was stunned, but made another attempt and created a more stronger bridge with arrows. Again it collapsed under the weight of the monkey. Defeated, Arjuna decided to enter into fire. Just then a young brahmana came along and seeing Arjuna making arrangements to enter into fire asked for the reason. They told him what had happened. The brahamana said that when anyone takes on a vow, there should be a witness. Now he will be the witness and the challenge should be taken up again in his presence. Arjuna agreed and made a very strong bridge with his arrrows. The monkey jumped on to the bridge. This time the bridge did not collapse!

Arjuna was surprised! The monkey too was surprised, and tried with all its might and strength again and again, but the bridge did not collapse. Finally the monkey assumed its own huge, full form: he was none other than Hanuman. Arjuna was surprised and felt guilty for having entered into a challenge with Sri Hanuman. The bridge did not break down even under the strength of Hanuman. Hanuman was surprised and when he looked under the bridge he found the brahmana who was none other than Lord Vishnu supporting the bridge on His shoulders. Both Arjuna and Hanuman prostrated to the Lord.

The Lord then told them that He alone was Rama and Krishna. Both Hanuman and Arjuna are dear to Him and this challenge was uncalled for. The Lord had come to stop Arjuna from entering into fire. Hanuman was very sad and upset that the Lord had shouldered the entire burden of the bridge along with his own weight. How could he make the Lord, who was his Master shoulder his weight. The Lord then consoled Hanuman saying that in Rama Avatar, he had carried Him (Rama) and Lakshmana on his shoulders and He was ever indebted to him. Carrying the weight of His devotee was the only way He could reciprocate His love for His devotee! Hanuman then promised Arjuna that during the kurukshetra war, when the Lord Himself will be driving his chariot, he would adorn his chariot flag-post and protect him from all danger and lead him to victory. 

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

For daily updates of posts on Telegram you can join the group : https://t.me/BharateeyaSamskruti

On whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ce7yZ5yAAq3C3k9pYHsA7T

Squirrel’s Seva in building Rama Setu!

Lord Rama, Lakshmana and the Vanara army reached the shores of the ocean. They had to cross the ocean to reach Lanka and vanquish Ravana. Rama prayed to the lord of the ocean who in turn suggested that they build a bridge across the ocean, and he would help hold the rocks together.

Building a bridge with rocks! The rocks will sink in water! Jambavan, the chief of the bears suggested that if Hanuman can cross the ocean with the strength of the name of the Lord – RAMA, surely rocks with Rama Nama written on them would float!

All the mighty and strong vanaras engaged themselves in building the long bridge with the help of rocks and trees. They would bring huge rocks and Hanuman would write RAMA on them, and then they would toss it into the waters. Sure the rocks floated!

A little squirrel was observing all this. Everyone was engaged in the service of Lord Rama. It also wanted to serve the Lord. But how could a tiny little creature like the squirrel help in carrying huge rocks. It did not know what to do. The bushy-tailed squirrel sat down thinking very seriously in what way it can help. 

Suddenly its little eyes were filled with tears. It stood up on its hind legs and held its fore limbs across its chest and exclaimed, “the hard rocks with pointed edges will sure hurt my beloved Lord’s delicate and soft feet. And inbetween the rocks, there are gaping holes which are not at all comfortable to walk on. And the rough bark of the trees will surely hurt the Lord’s feet”.

After a few minutes of thought, the squirrel suddenly knew what to do! It scurried along quickly across the shore, dipped itself in water, came back and rolled itself over in the sand. Then it ran quickly on to the bridge and shook its body so vigorously that all the sand fell on the rocks. Again and again it repeated this process.

As it was darting to and fro, running here and there, it almost got crushed when it came under feet of a Vanara. Angrily, the Vanara shouted at the squirrel to stay away from them all, otherwise it would lose its life. The squirrel looked up and told them that it also wanted to serve Lord Rama in building the bridge. “Please do not deprive me of this sacred seva to the Lord, brother vanara,” implored the squirrel. Hearing this, the Vanaras laughed. How could a little squirrel help in building the huge bridge across the ocean? One of the Vanaras picked it up and tossed it a few yards away so that it would again not cross their path. The squirrel cried, “Rama!” The Lord heard its cry, got up and stretched His hand out. The squirrel came and softly landed on the Lord’s palm. It was safe in His hands! 

The Lord realized what had happened. He advised the Vanaras never to underestimate the service of anyone – big or small. It is the attitude or bhava which ultimately decides the nobility and beauty of the work executed. It was infact the grains of sand that cemented the rocks and held them together, and rendered the surface more comfortable to walk on.

In recognition of its seva, and acknowledging the same, the Lord held the squirrel in His palm and softly ran His three fingers on the furry back of the squirrel. Lo! there were three white stripes on the back of the squirrel! To this day the three white stripes seen on the back of squirrels is attributed to Lord Sri Rama as a reminder that no seva is insignificant!

For daily updates of posts on your WhatsApp u can join the group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ce7yZ5yAAq3C3k9pYHsA7T

Sankat Mochan Hanuman

Ravana, the King of Lanka was an erudite scholar, an accomplished musician, and a great astrologer. He had waged a war on the devatas and brought all the nine planets with him to Lanka. To show his might and power, he made the nine planets lie down face downwards, and used them as steps to ascend to his throne daily. When his son, Meghanatha was about to be born, he decided to put all the nine planets in their favourable houses and positions so that his son would become powerful and invincible. The devatas got worried and sought the help of Sage Narada. On their request, Narada came to Ravana’s assembly. He saw the planets lying face-down. Narada immediately glorified Ravana and told him that he should not be walking on their backs but should step on and walk on their chest — that would prove to the Gods, to the Navagrahas and to everyone around how mighty and powerful he, the King of Lanka was! Ravana got carried away by Narada’s words and turned all the planets around, face upwards, so that he could walk on their chest. As he very happily walked over them, Lord Shani’s (Saturn) gaze fell on him. It is said that if the gaze of Shani falls on anyone, the result would be endless trouble and misfortunes. Shani’s gaze had fallen on Ravana! His troubles were to start!! 

Narada walked away happily. Ravana however saw through the plan of the devatas. He was furious. He tied up and confined Shani in a remote dark room where nobody could find him. 
Shani who gives trouble (sankat) to everyone with a mere glance was confined and kept in the dark. He himself was now in “sankat”. Years passed by. When Hanuman came in search of Seeta and was moving around in Ravana’s palace, he heard a noise from one of the rooms. He opened the room and went in. He found Shani tied up there. Hanuman untied him and set him free. Shani’s gaze had fallen on Hanuman! Shani was happy, but he said that, since his gaze had fallen on Hanuman, he now would give trouble to Hanuman – that was his inherent nature. Hanuman asked him to wait till he searched for, met Seeta and went back and gave the news to Lord Rama. Shani waited….

Hanuman discovered Seeta, went back and gave the news to Rama. Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and the whole army of vanaras reached the tip of Bharat. They started building a bridge with rocks and trees to cross the ocean. At that time, Shani came and decided to trouble Hanuman. Hanuman said he was very busy and if Shani wanted to trouble him, he could sit on his head. Shani comfortably sat on Hanuman’s head. Hanuman on the other hand was busy helping the Vanaras build the bridge. He lifted huge rocks and boulders and carried them on his head. Shani who was sitting on Hanuman’s head directly started feeling the weight and burden of the rocks. When the pain caused by the heavy rocks on his head became unbearable, Shani came down. He now realized that no one could trouble Hanuman who is always chanting the Lord’s name and is ever engaged in service of the Lord. 

Lord Shani stopped troubling Hanuman and told him that he was very pleased with Hanuman’s devotion and service, and in future he will not trouble anyone who devotedly worships Hanuman on Saturday – the day attributed to Shanidev.
And Lord Shani further said that in future Hanuman will be worshipped as “Sankat Mochan Hanuman” – the Lord who removes (Mochan) our troubles (Sankat). Hanuman is the One who removed the “sankat” of Shani who causes “sankat” for everyone else!!

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

For daily updates of posts on your Telegram you can join the group : https://t.me/BharateeyaSamskruti

Hanuman and the Pearl Necklace

The city of Ayodhya wore a festive look, and the people were all rejoicing on the occasion of Sri Rama Pattabhishekam. The Devatas and Sages also took part in this grand and divine celebration.

After the Pattabhishekam was over, the Gods presented to Sri Rama divine heavenly gifts. Lord Indra gave the Lord a beautiful pearl necklace. Sri Rama in turn gave it to Seeta and told her that she could give it to anyone whom she thought was deserving. Seeta looked around and there was Hanuman kneeling down below at His Lord’s feet lost in contemplation! She lovingly called him and gave the pearl necklace to Hanuman. Every one was silently thinking how fortunate Hanuman was to receive this divine gift from the Mother of the Universe Herself! Can there be a blessing greater than this!

Hanuman received the necklace with utmost devotion and in all humility. He walked away to a corner of the assembly with the necklace in his hands. After a few minutes what the assembly saw was shocking — they were horrified. Hanuman had broken the necklace. He was picking up each pearl, putting it in his mouth, biting into it, chewing it and spitting it out. 

Every one was now angry with him. Did he not know the worth of the priceless gift and that too when it came from Seeta? Sugreeva, the king of the monkeys almost charged at him, but Rama stopped him, and said that Hanuman never ever commits a mistake, and also never does anything without a reason. The Lord called Hanuman to His side and asked him to explain his actions which according to everyone there was unworthy of him. Full of devotion and eyes filled with tears, Hanuman said, “Lord, when anything comes from You or Janaki Mata, it is indeed very precious and special. I expected a glimpse of You in it. I LOOKED at the pearls very intensely but did not see you in them. I brought it to my ears but did not HEAR your name reverberating in them. I did not get a whiff of the FRAGRANCE of the tulasi and chandan that adorn you when I brought it to my nose. My fingers did not feel the SOFT TOUCH of your feet in the pearls. Lastly, I put each pearl in my mouth and chewed on them to see if I could experience the TASTE, the rasa or the essence of your sweet name, but was thoroughly disappointed. That which cannot bring to the five sense-organs anything related to You is useless to me however valuable it may be, and therefore I discarded them.”

The entire assembly was surprised to hear this. Sugreeva got up and asked Hanuman as to what made him think that he can find Rama in pearls which are but inert objects. Hanuman turned to him and said, “If Lord Rama and Seeta can take up their abode in this body made up of bones, flesh, blood and skin, why not in the beautiful priceless pearls!”

To endorse his statement, Hanuman then, with his hands tore open his chest and there in the inner kingdom of his heart, seated on the throne of devotion, everyone had a glimpse of Sri Rama and Seeta. This was the real Pattabhishekam! This was absolute fulfilment!! The whole assembly stood speechless. Lord Rama came up to Hanuman and told him that there was nothing in all the worlds that He could give to Hanuman in return for all his devotion and service. All that He could give was HIMSELF. And the Lord held Hanuman in a tight embrace — an embrace that defies plurality and leads one to the State of Absolute Oneness!!

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]