Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Srimati Radharani is the Supreme Goddess. She is most always seen with Lord Krishna. It is described that She is the chief associate and devotee of Lord Krishna, and topmost of all goddesses. Her name means that She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. However, She is also an expansion of the Lord's energy. Since She is also an extension of Krishna, She is the feminine aspect of God. Thus, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, God is both male and female. They are one, but Krishna expands into two, Himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes. If They remained as one, then there is no relationship, there are no pastimes, and there can be no dynamic exchange of love.

In the Brihad-Gautamiya Tantra, Radharani is described as follows: "The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord."

Radharani has many names according to Her qualities and characteristics. Some of the names that Radharani is known by include:

Govinda-anandini--She who gives pleasure to Govinda [Krishna];

Govinda-mohini--She who mystifies Govinda;

Govinda-sarvasa--the all-in-all of Lord Govinda;

Shiromani Sarva-kanta--the crown jewel of all the Lord's consorts; and...

Krishnamayi--the one who sees Krishna both within and without.

She is also known as Sarva-kanti, which indicates that all beauty and luster rest in Her body, and all the Lakshmis derive their beauty from Her. Sarva-kanti also means that all the desires of Lord Krishna rest in Srimati Radharani. As Lord Krishna enchants the world with His beauty and charm, Sri Radha enchants Him. Therefore She is the Supreme Goddess. Sri Radha is the full power, and Lord Krishna is the possessor of full power. (Cc.Adi-lila, 4.82, 84, 87-96) Thus, the two are non-different, as the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun, or as the energy is non-different from the energetic or source of energy.

Srimati Radharani is the source of the other goddesses. Just as Lord Krishna is the source of all other manifestations and incarnations of God, Radharani is the source of all expansions of the energies of God - the shaktis, or other goddesses. Thus, Vishnu, Rama, even Shiva are all expansions of the one Supreme Being, Krishna, and similarly Lakshmi, Sita, and even Durga are all expansions of this Supreme Feminine form of God, Radharani.

It is explained that the beloved consorts of Lord Krishna are of three kinds, namely the goddesses of fortune or Lakshmis, His queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja called the gopis. All of them proceed from Radharani. The Lakshmis are partial manifestations, or plenary portions, of Srimati Radharani, while the queens in Vaikuntha and in Dvaraka are reflections of Her image. The Vraja-devis or gopis are Her expansions and assist in the increase of rasa, or the divine loving pastimes. Among them there are many groups that have various sentiments and moods, which help Lord Krishna taste the sweetness of the rasa dance and other pastimes. (Cc.Adi-lila. 4. 75-81)

In this way, without Radha there is no meaning to Krishna and without Krishna there is no meaning to Radha. Because of this, in the Vaishnava tradition we always pay respects first to the Lord's internal energy in the form of Radha, and then to the Lord. Thus They are referred to as Radha-Krishna, or in other names as Sita-Rama, Lakshmi-Narayana, and so on. In this way, Radha and Krishna are one, but when Lord Krishna wants to enjoy, He manifests Himself as Radharani. Otherwise, there is no energy in which Krishna can attain pleasure outside Himself.

The descriptions of the beauty of Radharani are wonderfully poetic and descriptive. Actually, the residents of Vrindavana care more for Radharani than they do for Lord Krishna. They know that Krishna can be influenced through Radharani. They know that Radha can bring one to Krishna. She is also the compassionate nature of the Lord, and thus more easily approached than trying to reach Lord Krishna directly. And when we read these descriptions of Radha, it is no wonder why they are devoted to Her. For example, it is explained that Srimati Radharani has unlimited transcendental qualities, of which twenty-five are principal.

The Hare Krishna mantra directs one's attention and devotion to Radha as well as Krishna. Radha is also known as Mother Hara, which is the name Hare in the vocative form within the mantra. So in chanting Hare Krishna, we are first approaching the Lord's internal potency and asking Radha to please engage us in the service of Lord Krishna. Concentrating on Krishna through His names is one form of that service. In other words, it is through Radha that one more easily attains Krishna and service to Krishna. This is the advantage of approaching Lord Krishna through Radharani.

To understand Himself through the agency of Radha, the Lord manifests Himself as Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Krishna but with the super-excellent emotions of Radharani's love toward Lord Krishna. To fully taste His own sweetness, the Lord accepts the position and emotions of a devotee. Appearing 500 years ago in Bengal, India, Lord Chaitanya propagated the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra as the only means to experience Radha's love for Krishna.
These include:

1) She is very sweet.

2) She is always freshly youthful.

3) Her eyes are restless.

4) She smiles brightly.

5) She has beautiful, auspicious lines.

6) She makes Krishna happy with Her bodily aroma.

7) She is very expert in singing.

8) Her speech is charming.

9) She is very expert in joking and speaking pleasantly.

10) She is very humble and meek.

11) She is always full of mercy.

12) She is cunning.

13) She is expert in executing Her duties.

14) She is shy.

15) She is always respectful.

16) She is always calm.

17) She is always grave.

18) She is expert in enjoying life.

19) She is situated in the topmost level of ecstatic love.

20) She is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula.

21) She is the most famous of submissive devotees.

22) She is very affectionate to elderly people.

23) She is very submissive to the love of Her friends.

24) She is the chief gopi.

25) She always keeps Krishna under Her control.

In short, She possesses unlimited transcendental qualities, just as Lord Krishna does. (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri-radha-prakarana 11-15)

In describing Srimati Radharani, it is also said in the Vidagdha-madhava (1.32) by Rupa Gosvami, "The beauty of Srimati Radharani's eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold in a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening Vrindavana."

"Although the effulgence of the moon is brilliant initially at night, in the daytime it fades away. Similarly, although the lotus is beautiful during the daytime, at night it closes. But, O My friend, the face of My most dear Srimati Radharani is always bright and beautiful, both day and night. Therefore, to what can Her face be compared?" (Vidagdha-madhava 5.20)

"When Srimati Radharani smiles, waves of joy overtake Her cheeks, and Her arched eyebrows dance like the bow of Cupid. Her glance is so enchanting that it is like a dancing bumblebee, moving unsteadily due to intoxication. That bee has bitten the whorl of My heart." (Vidagdha-madhava 2.51)
The spiritual exchange of divine love between Radha and Krishna is the display of the internal energy of the Lord, and is very confidential and difficult to understand. No materialist can begin to understand this topic of the relationship between Radharani and Lord Krishna. But the more we awaken our dormant love for God, which is natural state of being for a fully awakened soul, then the more we can comprehend and actually enter into such spiritual loving exchanges.

When people pray to God, sometimes doubts may arise as to whether and how the Lord will respond. Such doubts arose even in the mind of Radha. But all doubts disappeared when she realised that the whole Universe was the mansion of God and there was no need to keep any door open or closed. All that was needed was complete surrender to God. The mystic significance of the songs of the saints and devotees like Radha and Meera should be rightly understood.

Radha was like a leader of the gopikas. It was not as if Radha wanted to be the leader but the other gopikas chose her as their leader. Whenever there was difficulty they would go up and tell her.

Radha should not convey to you the picture of the kind you see in cinemas and dramas today. She was the kind of person who was always in the thought of Krishna and her name itself conveys her greatness and sacredness. If you start with ‘R’ you get Radha, if you start with ‘A’ you get Adhar, if you start with ‘D’ you get dhara and if you read backwards, you get Aradh’. This means that the very basis of Radha is the Aradhana (Adoration) of Krishna.

She was sent to one of the villages, and in agony she sang, "There is trouble in the village and there is not a shade where I can take shelter! So I have come and I am maintaining this life breath in myself for your sake. Show Yourself atleast in my dream. My mind can not rest even for a moment if I cannot see You. You are like my eye ball within myself, if I am to describe You. But if I have to see You, You are like a small baby who is outside me. But if I have no eyeball in me, then I can not even look at this small baby. You are the One who shows and You are the One whom I aspire to see. In your gross human form, will you show yourself to me atleast once?" At that time Krishna was in Mathura. In the prayer of Radha we notice that even though there was no place for her to take shelter, yet she was maintaining her life breath solely for the sake of Krishna. While she was engaging herself in this kind of introspection, it looked to her as if her companions were playing some games. One group of gopikas were singing and saying that Gopala has returned. As soon as she heard that song, she thought that Gopala had really returned and she jumped out of the bamboo thicket into the hot sand and she was running forward to meet Gopala, not minding the heat of the sand.

Radha’s bhakti was such that she was always on the banks of river Yamuna, both in the heat and in the cold. In the heat, her body was getting scorched, but she never bothered.

When she was asked what she wanted from the Lord, she answered that she was content when she had Him and did not seek anything else from Him. She was singing to the Lord praying that He should come to her with the jingling of the anklets which He used to wear at the time of killing of the great serpent. She was singing in ecstasy and addressing her Lord, asking Him to come to her. In such ecstasy she dropped dead.

You can understand Radha only if you can fathom the depth of that thirst. Radha believed that Krishna is the Adhar (Basis) and she did Aradh (worship) to Krishna in a continuous Dhara (stream). In fact she is dhara or nature which is another form of the Lord or Purusha Himself. Prakrithi is dhara. Think of it always. Pine for dhara, dhara and you find that you are pining for Radha, Radha. So Radha is the becoming and Krishna is the being.

There is a story about Radha and her faith in Krishna. The elders in Brindavan who revelled in scandalising Krishna set an ordeal for Radha to test her virtue. She was given a mud pot with hundred holes and was asked to bring water in that pot from Yamuna to her house! She was so full of Krishna consciousness that she never knew the condition of the pot. She immersed it in the river repeating the name of Krishna as usual with every intake of the breath and every exhalation. Everytime the name Krishna was uttered, a hole was covered, so that by the time the pot was full, it was whole! That was the measure of her faith. Faith can affect even the inanimate objects.

Bhava Sankeerthana was illustrated by Radha alone, who expressed her feelings towards God and identified herself with the Divine in every mode of devotion. She expressed her devotion in five forms viz Shanta (Serenity), Sakhya (Friendliness), Vatsalya (Maternal Love), Anurag (Affection) and Madhura (Sweetness).

The Radha tathwam is also a deep, inscrutable one as she was ever in the contemplation of the Lord and his glory. She too saw the child Krishna as a Divine manifestation, separate from the human form. Yashoda one day was searching for Krishna, who had strayed away. She sought almost everywhere and at last she went to the house of Radha and asked for help. Radha just closed her eyes, meditated on Krishna for a while and when she called "Krishna," Krishna was there. Then, Yashoda shed tears of joy. She said, "I Love Krishna as a mother, I have a sense of egoism in me that he is my son and that I must save him from harm and give him guidance and protection. But Prema is pure and it has no egoism prompting it...

Monday, April 25, 2011


The story of Ajamila occurs in the sixth skanda of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Parikshit asks Shukacharya how to avoid naraka (hell) and the horrid experiences of hell that Shukacharya narrated in the fifth skanda. Shuka says the practice of spiritual discipline is the remedy. By means oif austerity, celibacy, control of the mind and the senses one can overcome great sins. Some rare persons however, by the path of devotion, eradicate sins entirely like the sun clearing off the mist :

Kecit kevalyA bhaktyA vAsudeva-parAyaNAH /
aghaM dhunvanti kArtsnyena nIhAramiva bhAskaraH // VI – 1 – 15

If a man, with a feeling of passionate attachment, unites his mind with Krishna’s feet even once, he will not see Yama or his emissaries with noose in hand, even in dreaM (VI – 1 – 19):

sakRRin-manaH kRRishhNa-padAravindayoH niveshitaM tad-guNa-rAgi yairiha /
na te yamaM pAsha-bhRitashca tad-bhaTAn svapne-pi pashyanti hi chIrNa-nishhkRRitAH //

And, sparked by this statement of himself Shukacharya narrates the story of Ajamila.

Ajamila was once a very noble brahmin, performing his duties and prescribed rituals most sincerely and was also a good husband, good son and good father. Once when he was in the forest to gather the fuel-wood for his rituals, he fell for a woman, heart and soul. Actually the woman was one of very low morals. From that time onwards he lived with her, abandoned his family and his own parents. He got ten children by her, made a living and supported this large family by blackmailing rich people, by cheating, fraud and gambling. He was particularly fond of the youngest child, Narayana, by name. The attachment to the child was so pronounced that whether he was eating, drinking, relaxing or working, he would always want Narayana to be by his side and partake of his food or participate in his enjoyment. When finally the call from Yama, the God of Death, came, it came suddenly and in his agony he called his child to his side and cried: O Narayana. He called aloud with great fear, *plAvitena svareNa ucchaiH* (VI – 1 – 29) says Shuka.

The messengers of Yama who almost got him in their noose suddenly found from within his heart four well-clad beautiful angel-like figures, each with four hands, preventing the messengers of Yama from discharging their duty. An intense conversation ensued between the messengers of Yama on the one side and the messengers of Narayana - because that is what they were - on the other side. They asked: You are the emissaries of Dharma-raja; then you should know what dharma is and what rules apply for punishment. The messengers of Yama replied: (VI – 1 -40 to 68):

What is declared by the Vedas is dharma. What is prohibited by Vedas is adharma. The one God who has created this entire world and who has allotted the different duties to varnas and ashramas is Lord Narayana. He has ordained that our Lord Yama take the lives of people when their time is over and punish them according to sins committed by them. There are several witnesses to whatever a man does in his life. They are:

sUryo’gniH khaM marud-gAvaH somaH sandhyA-hanI dishaH /
kam kuH kAlO dharma iti hyete daihyasya sAkshhiNaH // (VI – 1 – 42)

They are the Sun, Agni the Fire-God, Space, the Wind-God, Animals, the Moon, the God of SandhyA the twilight, Day, Night, the eight quarters, Water, Earth, Time and the God of Dharma, who is Yama himself. Nothing can be hidden from any of these. Sitting there in the town of Samyamini, our Lord Yama knows every action of Man by his mental powers, knows all their previous lives, and their future lives. Man thinks that what he has before him, namely his body and mind, is his personality. He has no idea of what went before this life and what is going to come after. He experiences good and bad, performs meritorious as well as sinful actions, by means of his five organs of action and five organs of perception, through which he experiences the five objects of perception, namely, sound touch, smell, form and taste. The sixteenth is his mind and with himself as the seventeenth, he goes through all his experiences, actions and thoughts. His subtle body has these sixteen components. This subtle body is ours once his time is up. We are doing our duty ordained by our boss.

Back came a pretty long rejoinder from the messengers of Vishnu: Your Master who must show to the world what right action is, has sent messengers like you who do not seem toi know the rules! This Ajamila, though he has forgotten his real divine nature, has pronounced the four-syllabled name of God Narayana at the time of death and by that very action has done the prAyascitta (repentance act) for all his sins.

A thief of gold, a drinker of wine, a betrayer of a friend, a killer of a brahmin, one who commits adultery with the wife of his Guru, a killer of a woman or of a king, or of a cow or of his father -- all these worst sinners have been declared to be absolved by the recitation of God's name because by that very act he becomes God's protege and deserves to be under His care.

Not all the penitence-rituals of the scriptures can wash a man's sins off as much as the name Narayana can. The repentance acts only purify past sins; they do not guarantee the non-commission of future sins or the non-repetition of the same acts for which the atonement-ritual was done. But taking God's name on the tongue will eradicate the vAsanAs that are the causes of sinful acts and so the future actions and his entire character will change. There are rituals and rituals (for atonement and purification) of different degrees -- easy ones for elementary sins and difficult ones for deeper sins. But as far as taking the Lord's name is concerned it is only one. The one name of God absolves and purifies sins of all kinds, small or large. Even when he has uttered the name without really intending to call the Supreme Lord, it purifies him just as wood is burnt by fire, irrespective of the intent.

After all this explanation by the messengers of Vishnu the messengers of Yama felt overpowered and they went back to their overlord. In the meantime Ajamila came back to his senses and remembered all the conversation that went on in the presence of his subtle body between the messengers. He was about to say something, when the messengers of Vishnu also disappeared. It was quite a while before he could take stock of the situation. Here he was. alive and kicking, by the mercy of God Narayana, whose name he had just taken on the point of death, not in remembrance of the Lord but in passionate affection of his child. If this single act of the utterance of a four-syllable word Narayana can make such a difference to life after death, what larger worlds of fullness and majesty he may not conquer by really leading a noble life of Dharma in the memory of the Lord? -- so thought Ajamila. And that very moment he renounced everything to which he was attached, went to Benares and engaged himself in austerities and meditation and in due time reached the abode of the Lord.

According to Ajamila Charitra in Srimad Bhagavatam, the practice of chanting the Divine Names would uproot all inherent Vasanas, carried over from previous lives, cleanse our mind and take us to the right path. The mind that is pure and free from all negative thoughts would then be able to concentrate on Krishna, the divine Power. The supreme Good that one is able to realize through meditation can now be easily achieved through the means of Nama Sangeerthana.

"Kalau Kalmasha chittaanaam Paapa Dravyopajeevinaam
Vidhi Kriya viheenaanaam gathir Govinda keertanam"

The scriptures say that the practice of Nama Sangeerthanam would liberate us from past karmas (consequences arising out of past actions) and help us to attain spiritual fulfillment There is a misconception that the people of Kali Yuga are unfortunate because at this age only we witness a general decline in religious and moral values. The Vishnu Purana refutes this belief and says that the people of Kali Yuga are fortunate because they can achieve God Realization (Ishwara Sakshathkaram) through simple means of Nama Sangeerthanam whereas devotees of bygone ages had to undergo extreme hardship and struggle to attain the same end.

---------------------------- In other Words ---------------------------------------

Ajamila was a man from the far antiquity. He fell to urges of sense gratification, and then was saved by chanting the name of God. His story is found in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.1-6.3).

Ajamila was born to devout Brahmin parents from Kanyakubja (known today Kannauj, a city in central Uttar Pradesh). At one time, Kannauj was a center of Vedic learning, today, it is more known for its attar industry. Some attars are worn as fragrance, like rose attar (rose petal distillate mixed in sandalwood oil), others are used to flavor foods (rose water, kewra water etc). Coming back to our story, Ajamila did not possess Brahmin-like sense of honor and strength of character, but he had studied some parts of the Vedas. His parents recognized his character flaws, and so, they married him to a beautiful, virtuous girl. They hoped that such a wife would be able to keep him straight, particularly after they pass away. For a while, it worked according to plan.

Then one day, Ajamila’s father sent him to the forest to collect fruits, flowers and samidh (fallen dry sticks of yajna-dumur plants, a type of fig tree) for worship. Samidh is used as firewood in yajnas.

Ajamila picked these things for the better part of the day. Then, he headed for home. He was almost to the edge of the forest, and there, he saw something. Two people were making out in the open. A loutish guy was tickling a young forest woman, who was intoxicated from drinking maireya madhu (according to the Amarakosha, sweet juice of sugarcane, probably not too fresh; according to the Charaka-samhita, it is made from rice). The two did not particularly care to keep their clothing in place. They were singing crude songs to each other and laughing out of their bellies. Even though they saw Ajamila approaching, they did not bother to control themselves. Instead, seeing Ajamila come, the guy decided to wrap his arms around her. It was gross exhibitionism.

Such public display of passion is not acceptable behavior in traditional India. However, some forest people have always lived for the passions of life, like the Gond tribe in central India and the Dang tribe in Gujarat. They live exuberantly, and intoxicate themselves by drinking Mohua flower distillate (honey tree flower, Madhuca longifolia). At one time, we had many Mohua forests all over India. The British decided that we should get rid of them and instead, plant teakwood. They had no use for Mohua, they had their own real alcohol. They just wanted to use the land to make money.

Let’s get back to the story. When Ajamila got there, the young woman glanced at him enchantingly. He was instantly hooked. He tried to control himself for one moment, but gave in to lust. He dropped his load of samidh and joined them. In one moment, he forgot all about his home, his beautiful and pious wife and his parents. Lust is one of our six prime ripus (enemies). It is a mighty enemy. Sages have warned us to not become servants of the genital and the belly (shishnodara-paraayana).

Unfortunately, Ajamila was a person of weak character. When the other guy left, he decided that he would stay back. He decided that he’d rather spend his life drinking and making wild love with the forest woman than go back to the sedate and structured life at home. He was a closet sex addict, and she was his ticket to explore his desires. So, he stayed with her, and later, married her. He needed money to support his new life and to buy gifts for her and her relatives, but he wasn’t going to spend time in finding honest work. He became a thief. You’d think that his upbringing and his Vedic education would have stopped him. But no, that was not Ajamila. He never ever thought about atoning or going back home.

Ajamila grew old, but continued having children with his forest wife. He was in his late seventies when they had their tenth and final child. It was a boy. They named him Narayana. Narayana, as we know, is one the names of God. Now, why should a couple, not too interested in Spiritual life name their child after God? The Bhaktamala grantha describes this part of the story.

When Ajamila’s wife was carrying this child, a saint visited their house. He took pity on their situation and said to Ajamila’s wife, “I am very pleased with your hospitality. Now you must do me a great favor. Your tenth child will be a boy, name him Narayana.” She agreed with a smile. They did not realize that the saint had planted a seed of holiness in their home.

Narayana grew up to be a very affectionate and kind-hearted boy. His parents loved him very much. He was their child of their old age, and was around them all the time, unlike his older siblings. Ajamila was not strong enough any more to go out and play with Narayana, but he enjoyed watching Narayana frolic in the yard. He also came to depend upon Narayana for getting his little chores done.

When Ajamila was 88 years of age, his health started failing him. He lay in bed most of the time. He was resting one morning, when he saw three fierce-looking Yamadutas (agents of Lord Yama) approaching him. They had twisted faces and hairy bodies. They carried the feared noose to tie his jiva in the subtle body and take to afterlife. Ajamila was scared, he wanted to be helped. Narayana was playing with his toys a little far away, Ajamila called out for him, “Narayana! Narayana! Come here!”

Suddenly, four agents of Lord Vishnu appeared there. They were pleasant-looking, had eyes as beautiful as lotus petals, wore yellow silk and a crown on their heads, wore ear-rings and flower garlands. They had four arms and carried a bow, a quiver, a sword, a mace, a conch, a chakra-disc and a lotus flower. They came because they had heard Ajamila cry out for Narayana, which is a name of Lord Vishnu. They asked the Yamadutas to release the jiva of Ajamila.

It is said that three agents of Lord Yama came, because Ajamila had sinned with his body, mind and speech; and four agents of Lord Vishnu came because there are four letters in the word Narayana.

The Yamadutas were extremely surprised. They asked the Vishnudutas why they should not take a sinner like Ajamila. The Vishnudutas answered with a question, “Why do you consider Ajamila a sinner? Do you really understand the finer points of dharma? Do you know how to decide which man is and which man is not to be taken to hell?” The Yamadutas were not scholars, so they said, “Well, we have heard that dharma comes from the Vedas, originating from the breath of Lord Narayana. He is the One who remains without change, while creating the universe. A man’s karma is witnessed by the fire, the sun, the sky, the wind, the moon, the day and the night, the directions, the waters, and above all, by Lord Yama. We know who is a sinner and who is not from the evidence given by these witnesses. People enjoy or suffer in afterlife according to their karmas. Since karmas done over many lifetimes dictate a person’s birth, just by looking at the activities in the current birth, it is possible to judge whether a person has been a sinner all along. Our Lord Yama can see everything people do. Ajamila had a sinful life, so we came to take him to our Lord. We know that Yama will send Ajamila’s jiva to suffer in hell, and that suffering will pay for his sins.”

The Vishnudutas replied, “What a calamity! Don’t you know that by chanting the name of Lord Hari (Narayana), Ajamila has already paid for all his sins? Now, if you take him to suffer in hell, will it not be a miscarriage of justice? In his last moment, Ajamila had said “Narayana come here.” Even though he only meant to call his son, the power of the name of the Lord has paid for his sins.”

The word Hari means ‘One who takes away all our blemishes and bad situations’.

They said further, “Chanting the name of the Lord is better payment of sins than all the rituals for atonement prescribed by the lawgiver sages. Furthermore, by chanting, a person also gets to know the redeeming qualities of the Lord. Conducting atoning rituals is rarely enough, for the tainted mind (sanskaara) can still make a person do bad deeds again. Chanting atones and cleanses a person, because it engages the mind in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord.”

In the Gita, Sri Krishna confirmed that He purifies a person that thoroughly. He declared that by even if the worst offender comes to worship Him whole-heartedly, he quickly becomes a pure person, and we should consider him so (a dharmatma, a sadhu 9.30-31).

The Vishnudutas continued, “The power of the name of the Lord is such that even if one says it indirectly (a sanket, like Ajamila did), or in jest, or to add it to a lyric for rhyming, or even dismissively, it will instantly pay for all sins. Even when a person subconsciously says the name of the Lord while falling down from above, or tripping on the street, beaten by someone, or bitten by a snake, or as an exclamation from worldly suffering, he does not have to suffer. The Lord’s name is like fire, if it catches a wood, it will burn it to ashes. Chanting the name of the Lord works like a powerful medicine, acting in people who unknowingly take them.”

Indeed, the name of the Lord is all-powerful, and very unique. It can be understood in this way. Consider that our mouths do not feel sweet if we say “sugar, sugar” or our bellies become full by saying “food, food” because, those are mere words, just powerless sounds. Those words are not fundamentally one with the objects they describe. Not so the name of the Lord. The Lord’s names are empowerd words. It is often said that “naam” (the name of the Lord) and “naami” (the Lord) are one. Like other Spiritual truths, this cannot be known by rational thought, it needs to be realized through revelation. And it can be done, and it has been done by many. We know the story of sage Valmiki. He was a robber and his name was Ratnaakar. He was so sinful, that he was asked to chant “mara, mara” (which when said quickly, becomes Rama). By doing that chanting, Ratnakar became the pure sage Valmiki. No wonder in the Gita, Sri Krishna said that of all yajnas, chanting is the most special (10. 25).

God has two kinds of names: guna-names (those which describe His qualities) and karma-names (those which describe His work). God has three qualities: satya (truth), jnana (knowledge) and ananta (infinite). His works are many: visarga-karma (creation-maintenance-dissolution of matter, creation of consciousness and evolution, Gita 8.3, 9.8 etc.), hita-karma (doing good to us, Gita 10.1) such as changing the hearts of bad people (Gita 9.30, 31), liberating devotees (Gita 12.6, 7), as well as His endless lila (sportive activities).

The Yamadutas had no answer. They returned to Lord Yama to complain about the Vishnudutas. When Lord Yama heard the story, He got up and bowed for Lord Hari and was instantly filled with devotion and said to them, “All my authorities come from Lord Hari. He is the Supreme Lord. Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are his emanations. I have dominion over only the sinners, but I am not independent, I merely serve the Lord. Only twelve personalities, myself included, know dharma well. You do not know dharma in all its subtleties; therefore, you did not understand the actions of the Vishnudutas. They were absolutely correct in releasing Ajamila. Let it be a lesson that you should never bring a devotee to suffer in hell.” Saying so, Lord Yama prayed for forgiveness to Lord Hari on behalf of himself and his agents.

Meanwhile, Ajamila had revived. Having heard the conversation between Yamadutas and Vishnudutas about him, he started thinking. For the first time after leaving his home, he felt sorry for himself. He repented for his bad deeds. And decided that he will not be involved in sinful activities again. He took vanaprastha (left home) as indicated in Hindu law. He came to Haridwar (today spelt Hardwar) in north India (modern Uttarakhand). There, he devoted himself entirely to worship and finally, died in the river Ganga. The Vishnudutas came again and took him away.

There could be some questions from this narration. Ajamila must have called for his son Narayana many times before, was he not already purified from that? Commentators do agree. They say that indeed Ajamila atoned by calling for his son earlier. In fact, it had created a new mindset (sanskaar) in him. Only that he did not recognize it himself. Why else when the Yamadutas came, he would think of calling his 10-year old kid? He could not have really expected him to help him at that point. Strange are the secrets of the Spiritual world and how we exist in it. Another question is, did the Yamadutas come for Ajamila earlier than they should have? This question has not been addressed by the major commentators. Clearly, it was not his time to die. It is possible that the Yamadutas might have reasoned that the sins of Ajamila should shorten his lifetime. I leave that for you to decide.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Sudhama@Kuselan - Krishna Bhaktha

In His childhood Krishna had got a friend Sudama. He was from a poor brahman family. Krishna and Sudama studied together at the same teacher Sandipani. Sudama loved Krishna very much.

Once Krishna and Sudama went together to the forest to pick up brushwood. It happened that they stayed in the forest quite a long time and Krishna got hungry, Sudama, meanwhile, had some food. Though Krishna told that he was hungry many times, Sudama felt very shy to propose Him his scanty food. “How can I offer my food to the king’s son? Anyhow, he is from a very rich family and is not accustomed to such ordinary food,” thought he. And when Krishna asked him once more “Sudama, you maybe have at least something,” Sudama answered, “Krishna, I have got nothing.”

Sudama was also hungry. And now when Krishna went aside for a short time, he began to eat stealthily and Krishna noticed it, but he said nothing. Having finished with the brushwood they went apart for homes. Some time passed, studies came to the end. Sudama got married and Krishna took up his king’s throne. Years passed. Sudama got very poor, but he continued loving Krishna very much.

In the same country there lived one petty knight who arduously hated Krishna. Krishna had got a lot of foes who hated him because of the love which multitude of people felt towards Krishna: these were noble men and commoners, men and women. So the enmity towards Krishna especially was directed to the commoners - Krishna’s bhaktas.

The same happened with Sudama. That knight was indignant that Sudama loved Krishna so much and all the time chanted His name. Once he told Sudama, “Repeat my name and I will give you wealth, money, whatever you wish.” But Sudama answered, “No, never will I chant your name. Whatever poor I am staying, I will chant only Krishna’s name.”

Soon it came to the state that Sudama didn’t have any clothes to put on. Children cried of hunger and there were no food to feed them on. Every day wife invoked to Sudama, “You have got so good a friend Krishna. Go to Him and ask for help.” But Sudama answered, “No, He is God, He knows everything. What for shall I go to Him and beg? It is all clear to him anyway!” But his wife insisted, “Still, go and ask Him. It’s even ridiculous, you have got such a friend –the very king, and meanwhile we are so poor. Besides, this knight demands to chant his name and threatens with many troubles. Why do we have to chant his name?”

And really all Sudama’s family loved Krishna dearly. The wife was also his bhakt and chanted his name all the time “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.”

Having seen at last that his threats don’t work, the knight decided to punish Sudama. He came to his house and hit him.

At this very time Krishna was sitting in His palace together with Rukmini, Sattyabhama and other relatives. Suddenly he felt the pain in the place on which the knight hit Sudama.

Krishna knew everything that happened to Sudama and his family, but he kept silence and did nothing. He needed that Sudama’s soul responded and opened to meet him. And it was necessary to help Sudama get rid of any shyness.

The knight hit Sudama again, just that very moment Krishna perceived the blow and exclaimed, “O-o-o!” Everybody got exited. His wives in agitation began asking, “What happened?!” And nevertheless, Krishna kept silence.

But Sudama even after the punishments of the knight couldn’t come to Krishna and thought as before, that He knows it anyhow and understands everything.

After this event Sudama’s life became unbearable at all. His wife didn’t know what to undertake, and Sudama didn’t want to obey the knight and proceeded to sing bhajans about Krishna.

The knight on seeing such steadfast revering Krishna still more got in rage and vent on punishing Sudama. And when Sudama was being punished, Krishna in his kingdom in Dwaraka was also bad.

At last Sudama’s wife broke down and told, “If you don’t go to Krishna, I myself will go to Krishna to ask for help.” Sudams protested, but the wife was adamant.

And then Sudama brought himself to go, but there appeared another problem. It is not appropriate to go to a friend empty-handed. But in Sudama’s family there were nothing. “I cannot go to my friend empty-handed,’ said Sudama to his wife, ‘and we haven’t got any money so that to buy something.” Then his wife asked for some rice at their neighbours and simply boiled it. This was the same rice as it was formely in the forest at Sudama. He took it and in his plane clothes, singing as usual bhajans of Krishna went to Dvaraka where his great friend reigned.

Krishna’s palace was magnificent. It raptured anyone who has ever seen it by its noble delineation, the subtle stone carving and precious mosaic. Shady gardens and parks with a multitude of blooming lanes and fountains surrounded the palace.

And now Sudama, poor commoner, comes to Dvaraka and finds himself among all this splendour.

Mighty guards met Sudama at the palace gates and barred the way.

“Wait, where are you going?” asked they.

“I want to meet Krishna.”

“Do you want to meet Krishna?” laughed the guards critically looking over his garment.

. “But who are you? Krishna doesn’t meet with such ones.”

“I don’t have other clothes,” answered Sudama modestly, “go and announce Krishna that the friend of his childhood Sudama came,” asked he.

In those times guards understood that if a man speaks so sincerely, it means that it really is the truth and he is trustworthy. They conveyed everything to Krishna.

Krishna knew that Sudama would come. All this time he was waiting that Sudama would stop being shy and venture to meet him. And here came Sudama.

When he entered the palace, Krishna was sitting with Rukmini and other wives and His court circle. On seeing Sudama he swiftly jumped from the throne and dashed to him. “Sudama came!” Enormous joy gripped Krishna. All his wives, the court, friends and guards were astounded by such Krishna’s behavior, “What happened? Who came? A common poor man came, but Krishna is so glad to him,” they were at a loss. He took him for shoulders and told in emotion, “Sudama! I am so glad to see you! How I was waiting for you! How I love you.” They were embracing each other and were both crying.

Then Krishna took Sudama’s hand and held not releasing it. All His wives, all the princesses who were there and saw it were so touched that they began throwing flowers to Sudama’s feet and asked the permission to rub them with expensive oils and incense.

Krishna took Sudama forward, set him in his throne and he himself sat at his feet and asked to bring water: “I myself will wash his feet,” said Krishna. And all those around stood in full perplexity: the Very Krishna washes Sudama’s feet.

Then Sudama had a rest and Krishna served at his feet: Sudama was dreaming and the very Krishna from one side and Rukmini from another, the very Lakshmi and Narayan served at Sudama’s feet.

When Sudama woke up, Krishna asked, “Tell me, Sudama, didn’t your wife give anything for me?” And Sudama again felt embarrassed, but Krishna told, “That’s all, Sudama. If I took your hand into mine, you shouldn’t be shy any more.” Then Sudama passed the rice cooked by his wife. And Krishna, though the most dainty dishes had been served up to his meals, took that rice and ate it. And as soon as he took small handful into his mouth, the situation in Sudama’s home changed immediately. With each handful of rice something changed, as if the old life was finishing and the new one started.

Look, at his childhood Sudama felt shy to offer Krishna his poor meal and then he had been living in distress for many years.

Krishna understood all Sudama’s life circumstances. He even sensed the hit on the back. But for the connection of the soul with the Great Soul there must all the bars be obliterated between them. Otherwise, there will be no connection, and until this there will be no moksh, no realization.

And when the two who love each other so dearly meet, then there isn’t one, isn’t another – both become One (a single). And with such love there is always realization

That is why Krishna told everybody who loved Him, “We are the one. There isn’t the two. There is one”.

And Sudama was the same, - united with Krishna. But in their childhood it happened so, that Krishna sat hungry and Sudama did not share his food with him. He was not greedy, he wanted to share his food with Krishna, but he felt very shy because of his poverty…

When Sudama returned home, the wellbeing lost by him in the past was restored in his family.

In fact, the Lord is so merciful, that even if we pray to Him to develop our faith in Him, to plant that seed of devotion in us, He does. All we have to do is ask.

Just ask. Just pray. Just chant. Just surrender. Just love. Just take shelter of His lotus feet and everything will be fine.....

Gajendra Moksham...

Devotion to God is not the forte of men alone. Animals are known to be endowed with keen sense of emotions and faith and devotion are the greatest among these. Tales of pachyderm devotees are common in Kerala and are retold to children to inculcate a religious inclination from a very young age. Gajendra Moksham and Guruvayoor Keshavan are two famous legends of the land. Gajendra and Guruvayoor Keshavan are examples of illustrious devotee elephants whose devotion and reverence to the Lord outdo the human veneration.

Gajendra Moksham:

Gajendra Moksham is the take of a celebrated elephant whose cries for help brought down the Lord Vishnu from his celestial abode. Although the story is set in the Tamil Nadu temple of Kapisthalam, the episode is the theme of many famed Kerala mural paintings and hence is popular in the households of the state. The most famous among these is the mural at the Krishnapuram Palace, on the way from Alleppey to Kollam, at a place known as at Kayamkulam. This is a spectacular, huge mural belonging to the 18th century and is the oldest in the region.

The Pandya King Indradyumnan is believed to have worshiped Lord Narayana or Vishnu with a fervor that far supersedes ordinary men. Unfortunately, for some reason the king earned the displeasure of Sage Druvasa. The Maharishi cursed the king to be born into the class of animals. Upon hearing this monarch was reduced to tears and beseeched the sage to revoke his curse because as an animal his daily prayers to the lord Vishnu would remain unfulfilled. The king held his prayers and offerings to his deity dearer than his own life. Moved by such piety, the sage blessed King Indradyumnan with life as an elephant and promised that his devotion would remain in such an animal incarnation too. He also promised that the king would receive deliverance through the blessings of the Lord himself.

A demi-god, Huhu, similarly invited the wrath of Maha rishi Devalar and was cursed to be reborn as a crocodile. It is believed that the sages of ancient India were extremely benevolent. Having cursed another human being, their wrath would immediately be replaced by regret of having given way to the sin of anger. Rishi Devalar too repaired this curse soon by assuring Huhu that he would be liberated from his cursed life as a crocodile by Lord Vishnu’s grace.

Indradyumnan was reborn as the elephant Gajendra and yet did not lose his devotion. Every morning he would pluck a lotus from a water tank and offer it to the lord. Gajendra was a benevolent elephant king and his herd accompanied him every morning in this ritual. One such dawn as Gajendra entered the sacred tank to bathe and pick a pink blossom that would be his day’s offering to his deity, a crocodile gripped his foot and slowly Gajendra was dragged into the waters. The herd joined in their efforts to extricate their king from the peril at hand but the crocodile proved to be too powerful for them all. It is believed that the crocodile with such virile strength was none other than Huhu reborn.

After a long and enfeebling struggle, Gajendra’s strength ebbed and faced with impending death he sought his favorite god’s aid. “Adi Moolam”, Gajendra is said to have cried. This call refers to the Lord as the ancient, beginning less source of the universe. To respond to his ardent devotees cries, Lord Vishnu mounted his vehicle, the mighty Garuda and approached the site. The wicked crocodile was slain by the Lord’s discus (chakra) and the lord blessed Gajendra back into his human form. Thus both the prophecies of Gajendra’s liberation (Gajendra Moksha) and Huhu’s redemption came true.

The famous Hindu epic Srimad Bhagavatham also narrates this episode and holds Gajendra to have composed verses in the Lord’s praise in his moments of crisis. It is believed that all those who narrate this episode of the Bhagavatham and pray to the God are liberated of sufferings and sins just as Gajendra was relieved of his woes. The moral of the legend lies in the powers of faith and devotion towards the Lord. At a very young age such awe and trust in the Divine is ingrained into the child’s mind.

The prayer recited by the Elephant king before attaining salvation is so called as the Gajendra Moksha Sthotra…

1.Om namo bhagawathe thasmai yathayetha chidhathmakam,
Purushaa yaadhi bheejaaya paresayaabhi dheemahi.

Salutations to the all powerful divine God denoted by “OM”,
Due to whom the body and mind are made conscious,
And he also exists within them in the form of the seed for the spirit.

2.Yasmin idham yatha schedham tyenedham ya idham swayam,
Yoasmath parasamacha parastham prapadhye swayambhuvam.

I surrender to that God in whom this universe
Was born, exists in essence and was made in to thedivine,
Who becomes all the world that we see,
And who is different from it in his physical and spiritual form.

3.Ya swathmaneedham nija mayayaa arpitham,
Kwachid vibhatham kwa cha thath thirohitham,
Aviddha druk saksha yubhayam thadheekshathe sa,
Aathma moolo avathu maam parathpara.

May I be protected by the God who revealed himself,
Who reveals himself as the universe at times of creation,
Who keeps the universe as an illusion at the times of deluge,
Thus revealing himself sometimes and hiding himself at other times,
And who sees them as a witness in both these states.

4.Kaalena panchathwamitheshu kruthsnasao,
Lokeshu paleshu cha sarva hethushu,
Thamas thadha aaseed gahanam gabheeram,
Yasthasya parebhi virajathe Vibhu.

5.Na yasya devaa rishaya padam vidhu,
Janthu puna ko arhathi ganthu meerithum,
Yadhaa natasya aakruthibhir vicheshtatho,
Durathya anukramana sa maavathu.

Over time when all the worlds and their guardians,
Are reduced to the five elements and all their causes,
Only Impenetrable and fathomless darkness , remains,
Coming out of that darkness , the divine Lord shines from within that.
And his form thus exhibited is not understood even by the devas and sages,
Like the actual form of the actor in a drama is not known to the spectator,
And definitely the ordinary beings is at a loss to describe it,
Thus making his actions unfathomable and let that God protect me.

6.Dhidrukshavo yasya padam su mangalam,
Vimuktha sanghaa munaya susaadhava,
Charanthya loka Vrutha mavranam vane,
Bhoothama bhoothaa shrudh sa may gathi.

He whose auspicious feet is desired even by,
The great sages who are bereft of any attachments ,
Who have benevolent feeling towards all beings,
And observe penance and sacred vows in the forest,
Is the divine one who is in all beings ,
And is my only source of support.

7.Na vidhyathe yasya cha janma karma vaa,
Na naama roope guna dosha yeva vaa,
Thadhapi lokaapya ya sambhavaya ya,
Swa mayaya thaanyunukala mruchathi.

He does not have either birth or Karmas,
He does not have any name or properties,
And he does not have any faults as he is beyond nature,
And in spite of that he assumes several forms,
At different times to carry out the creation and upkeep of the world.

8.Thasmai nama paresaaya Brahmane anatha shakthaye,
Aroopyo roopaya nama aascharya karmane.

Salutations to him who does wonderful acts,
Who is beyond birth and death and theBrahman,
The one without endless power and one who ,
Neither has a form or is formless.

9.Nama aathma pradheepaya sakshine paramathmane,
Namo giraam vidhooraya maanasa schethasam api.

My salutations to him who shines within himself,
Who is the witness for all, who is the divine soul,
My salutations to him who is far, far away,
From the activities of the mind and its faculties.

10.Sathvena prathi labhyaya naishkarmyena vipaschitha,
Nama kaivalya nadhaya nirvana sukha samvidhe.
Salutations to him who gives us Kaivalya ,
And who makes us realize the infinite joy of salvation,
And one who can be seen by the real sages with purity of mind,
By the constant practice of detached activity .
11.Nama santhaya ghoraya , moodaaya guna dharmine,
Nirviseshaya samyaya namo Jnana ganaya cha.

Salutations to the one who appears to be serene , ferocious and foolish ,
But really the one who is devoid of any qualities and is always alike.
Salutations to the great treasure of wisdom.

12.Kshethragnaya namasthubhyam Sarvadhyakshaya sakshine ,
Purushaa yaathma moolaya moola prakruthaye nama.

Salutations to one who knows the form ,
Who is lord and witness of everything,
Who is the Purusha and who is the seed of every being,
And salutations to the basic nature which exists.

13.Sarvendrye guna drushte sarva prathyaya hethave ,
Asathaa cchaya yokthaya sadaa basaaya they nama.

Salutations to one who watches the health of all senses,
And also the objectives of all such senses,
And to him who is the one who activates,
The immobile nature that follows you like a shadow.

14.Namol namasthe akhila kaaranaya nish kaaranaaya adbhutha kaaranaya,
Sarvaa gamaamnaya maharnavaya namo apavargaya parayanaya.

Salutations fo him who is the cause of everything,
To him who is not caused by anything and also,
The wonderful cause which does not become what it causes,
Salutations to him who is the ocean of Thanthras,
To the personification of saintliness and refuge of the great.

15.Gunarani cchanna chidooshmapaaya,
Thathkshobha visphoorjitha manasaya,
Naishkarmya bhavena vivarjithagama,
Swayam prakasaya namaskaromi.

Salutations to him who hides similar to the fire of consciousness,
That is hid in a piece of wood of qualities and characters ,
Whose creative mind is aroused when the characters are disturbed,
Who comes shining before those who do detached actions.

16. Madruk prapanna pasu pasa vimokshanaya,
Mukthaaya bhoori karunaya namo aalayaaya,
Swaamsena sarva thanu brun manasi pratheetha,
Prathyag druse bhagwathe bruhathe namasthe.

Salutations to the God of boundless compassion,
Who frees those ignorant beings from the ties of this world,
As soon as they surrender to him though ,
He himself is ever free and is endowed to the great mercy,
And he also shines in the minds of all as their own soul,
Though he himself is the limitless Para Brahman.

17.Athma athmajaaptha Gruha vitha janeshu saakthai,
Dush praapaanaaya guna sanghaa vivarjithaaya,
Nukthaathmabhi swahrudaye pari bhavithaya,
Jnanathmane bhagwathe nama Ishwaraya.

Salutations to that God ,who is not attainable to those,
Who are attached to themselves, their sons, house , wealth and friends,
Who himself is completely free of all attachments to senses,
And who is brought in to their own hearts by his devotees,

18. Yam dharma kama artha vimukthi kaama,
Bhajantha ishtaam gathi mapnuvanthi,
Kim thwaasisho rathyapi deha mavyayam,
Karothu may adha brudhayo vimokshanam.

Whosoever prays you for Dharma,
Desire , wealth or salvation,
They get their desires fulfilled,
And even when your devotees ,
Do not ask anything from you,
You give them an imperishable body ,
And I request from you salvation for me.

19.Yekanthino yasya na kanchanarrdhaa,
Vanchasnthi ye vai Bhagawat prapanna,
Athyadbhutham thaccharitham sumangalam,
Gayantha AAnanda samudhra magnaa.

Those devotees who in lonliness , pray you ,
Without wanting gold or similar things,
And are not even desirous of salvation,
And sing your wonderful story,
Drown themselves in the ocean of bliss.

20.Thamaksharam brahma param paresam,
Avyaktha madhyathmika yoga gamyam,
Athheendriyam sookshma mivathi dhooram,
Anantha maadhyam paripoorna meede.

I sauté that complete God who never dies,
Who is the divine God much beyond Lord Brahma,
Who is not clear and is available for spiritual seekers,
Who is beyond senses like the very micro things,
And who does not have an end and is primeval.

21.Yasya Brahmadayo deva loka scharachara,
Nama roopa vibheedheena phalgvyaa cha kalaya krutha.

I salute him from whose very micro form are created.
Brahma and others, devas, all worlds , all moving and stable beings,
Assuming very different names and bear fruit.

22.Yadharchisho agne savithur gabhasthayo,
Niryanthi samyaanthya sakruth swarochisha,
Thadhaa yathoyam guna sampravaho,
Budhir mana kaani sareera sargaa.

Similar to the heat generating from the fire,
And rays generating from Sun ,ultimately ,
Merges in to the form from where they came ,
Wisdom, mind , senses and the body,
Originate from you and merge in you.

23.Sa vain a devaa asura marthaya thiryang,
Na Sthree na shando na puman na janthu,
Naayam guna karma na sanna na chasath,
Nishedha sesho jayathad asesha.

He is not god , asura or man or animal,
He is not woman, eunuch or man or animal,
He is not characteristic, nor mobile or immobile,
And he is what is remaining after all these negations.

24.Jeejee vishe naaha mihaamuyaa kim, Anthar bahi schavrutha ye bhayonyaa,
Icchami kalena na yasya viplava, Thasya aathma loka varanasya moksham.

I do not desire to survive for what I have to do here,
As an elephant enveloped inside out , by ignorance,
I do desire that this veil of ignorance is lifted,
And I get salvation from this world as an elephant.

25.Soham viswa srujam visamam aviswam Viswa vedhasam ,
Vishwathamanam ajam Brahma pranathosmi param padam.

I salute that God who created the universe ,
Who is the universe but is different from it,
Who knows the universe, who is the soul of the universe,
Who is devoid of birth and is the divine Brahmam.

26.Yoga randhitha karmaano , Hrudhi yoga Vibhavithe,
Yogino yam prapasyanthi, Yogesam tham nathosyam aham

I worship that God of Yoga,
Whom only the Yogis who have burnt their Karma,
Can visualize by their heart,
And see him by the practice of yoga.

27.Namo namasthubhyam asahya veda Shakthi thrayaya akhiladhi gunaaya,
Prapanna paalaya durantha shakthaye kadheendriyaanamana vapya vaathmane.

Salutations to him whose three fold power is unstoppable ,
Who has all the characteristics , Who protects those who surrender to him,
And who cannot be attained by those who have not won over their senses.

28.Nayam Veda swamaathmaanam yacchakthyaa hamdhiyaa hatham,
Tham durathyaya maahatmyam bhagawantha mitho asmyaham.

I am searching that God, whose power can never be surpassed,
And due to the illusion of ego created by him , people think that ,
Their body is their soul and are not able to understand their real soul.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Siriya Thiruvadi - Sri Hanuman

The glories of Hanuman

Ramayana is an epic portraying exemplary characters. Rama is the ideal king, Sita the perfect wife and Hanuman the perfect devotee. The character of Hanuman exemplifies how devotional service is practiced in its perfection, how a pure devotee relates with his worshippable Lord and how the Lord reciprocates. He is also called as the Siriya Thiruvadi by the Vaishnavas...

Origin of Hanuman

In Hindu mythology, Shri Hanuman is regarded as the God of power, strength and knowledge. He is known as the ‘parama bhakta’ of lord Rama and is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He was born to Kesari and Anjanai on the Chaitra Shukla Purnima (Chaitra Shukla Purnima is the Full Moon Day on the Hindu Calendar Month of Chaitra) that is why, he is known as ‘KESERI NANDAN’ and ‘ANJANEYA’. The philosophy of epic Ramayana is incomplete without the understanding of the unfathomable devotion of Lord for Shri Rama. As Hindu Mythology says, He was the incarnation of Lord Shiva the God of Destruction, the Third god of Hindu trinity (All this universe is in the glory of God, of Shiva, the God of Love. The heads and faces of men are His own and He is in the hearts of all - Yajur Veda).

Lord HANUMAN is regarded to be the son of Hindu deity ‘VAYU’ (the wind). He was taken by 'Vayu' to Lord Sun to gain Vedic, shastra's and moral knowledge. He gained his whole knowledge from Lord Sun, as he was considered as omniscient on the planet earth.

As per the mythology, Hanuman is invincible and blessed to be immortal. The supremacy possessed by him is very beautifully described in Ramayana, during the Ramayana war of Lord Rama against the mighty Ravana. The Sundara Kanda, the fifth book in the Ramayana, focuses mainly on the adventures of Shri Hanuman.

When Ravana had become invincible by the boons he had obtained from Brahma, he became a terror to even the powerful demigods. With Lord Brahma at their head, they prayed to the omniscient Lord Vishnu for help. In response, Lord Vishnu confirmed that He would descend as Rama, the son of King Dasaratha. He also ordered the demigods as follows, "Soon My advent on earth will occur. Assisted by all of you I will crush the despicable Ravana. The evil one did not ask for immunity from humans and animals. As promised I will descend as a human. Without leaving your posts as the controllers of the universe, you are capable of expanding yourselves. You should therefore appear on the earth as monkeys." In accordance to the wish of Lord Vishnu, Indra, the king of the demigods, expanded into Vali, Surya, the sun-god, into Sugriva, Vishwakarma, the celestial architect, into Nala and the Ashwini twins into Mainda and Dvivida. Vayu, the wind-god, expanded into the mighty Hanuman.

When appraised of their role in assisting Lord Vishnu, both Kesari and Anjanai became exceedingly grateful and were soon blessed with the birth of an effulgent and powerful progeny they called Bali, one who is extremely powerful. He was also called Bajrang Bali, Kesari-nandana (son of Kesari), Anjanai-putra and Anjaneya (son of Anjanai).

Hanuman as a child:

As a child once Hanuman thought the rising Sun in the sky to be an apple and quickly flew up in the sky desiring to eat it. Indra alarmed at the sight of some one approaching to swallow the Sun, quickly deployed his weapon the Vajra. Struck by this powerful weapon, the child Hanuman fell down unconscious. When Vayu-deva witnessed this he became extremely angry and withdrew himself from the universe. When the winds in the sky and the very life-airs became suspended, there was great anguish in the three worlds. All the demigods, headed by Brahma implored Vayu-deva to give up his anger.

Vayu-deva finally gave up his anger and resumed his function in the universe and the grateful demigods showered many benedictions on Hanuman. Indra gave him the boon of being able to die only when he desired, Brahma gave his protection from his powerful weapon the brahma-astra and the other demigods showered him with many mystic powers and weapons. Since the weapon of Indra and struck and broken the jaw of Hanuman, he got the name by which he would be most famous. Hanuman which means "one with a broken jaw."

Hanuman accepted the very same Sun god he had tried to swallow as his guru and learned from him the Vedic scriptures and science of war. Later on, Hanuman on several occasions displayed his impeccable grasp on Vedic scriptures, when trying to convince Ravana to give up Sita, when counseling Sugriva and by strictly following the codes of battle in the war against the rakshasas. His strength and skills as a warrior are matched by his keen intellect, knowledge of the scriptures and a deep compassion for all living entities.

Hanuman looses his powers

As a young child Hanuman could not control his great powers and in childish exuberance caused much disturbance to the peaceful sages in the forests. Much disturbed by his excessive energy and indefatigable powers, the rishis finally cursed him to loose all his powers. However by their mystic vision they realized that Hanuman would play a vital role in later assisting Lord Rama in His pastimes. They therefore decreed that when some one would remind Hanuman of his powers the effect of the curse would be lifted and Hanuman would get complete recollection of his great powers.

Meeting with Lord Rama:

While living in exile with Sugriva, Hanuman first encountered Rama and Lakshmana as they searched for Sita. Hanuman on the orders of Sugriva had disguised himself as a Brahman to try and find out if the two mighty bowmen were sent by Vali, the vengeful brother of Sugriva. However on seeing them, all doubts were immediately wiped from the mind of Hanuman who immediately revealed his true form.

From this time, Hanuman became completely absorbed in one and only one thing, the service of Rama. Later when Hanuman and his troop of monkeys were stuck on the southern shore of the country, separated from Lanka by the ocean, Jambavana reminds Hanuman of his great powers. The duration of the curse thus ends and a greatly powerful Hanuman jumps across the ocean to wreak havoc in the golden city of Ravana.

Hanuman the perfect devotee

The relationship between Rama and Hanuman demonstrates the perfection of devotion in the mood of service (dasya-rasa). In an almost classical manner Hanuman demonstrated the symptoms of pure devotional service. Everything that he did was only for the pleasure of Lord Rama, whether it was building bridges, fighting rakshasas or flying across the country to fetch life saving herbs, his constant meditation was how to best serve Rama. When he sought out Sita in Ravana's Lanka, he was not merely satisfied at delivering to her the message of Lord Rama. He also destroyed the forest, killed many rakshasas and burnt down half of Lanka. That is the mood of a pure devotee. To consciously cultivate everything that is positive to the service of the Lord and reject everything that is not.

Even though Lord Rama reciprocated very sweetly with gratitude, praise or benedictions for Hanuman, he never had any expectation for them. Hanuman often presented himself as a simple ignorant monkey in front of Rama. When Hanuman returned from Lanka with news of Sita, an overjoyed Rama embraced him tightly. However a clearly uncomfortable Hanuman stated that his position could only be at the feet of his Lord. The highest reward for him was to serve Lord Rama. Service to Rama was the most exalted destination for Hanuman, and he constantly endeavored to perfect himself in this respect.

Glories to Hanuman

Even though Hanuman appeared in the Treta-yuga, millions of years later he made an appearance again in the Dwapara-yuga to help his younger brother Bhima. In order to serve Krishna, in the battle of Mahabharata, Hanuman personally resided in the flag on the chariot of Arjuna. During the battle, the fierce cries of Hanuman struck terror in the hearts of the opposition and greatly encouraged the Pandavas warriors.

Devotees pray to Hanuman to protect them from material obstacles in the path of devotional service and engage them in the service of the Supreme Lord Rama.

In the Treta Yuga Sri Vayudev came in his expansion as a special kind of Vanara (monkey), and was known to all as Hanuman. Sri Hanuman took his birth as the child to Anjanai the monkey Queen and Keshari her husband, according to Madhwa Vijaya (1:10.). There are several stories from different Puranas and parts of the Ramayana that give reference to Hanuman's appearance in this world. From the Kambha Ramayana Purvakhanda, Hanuman's mother Anjanai tells her story of how she was previously a maidservant of Brhaspati called Punjikasthala. Once in the forest picking flowers, she saw some other women engaged in amorous activities with their mates. Being disturbed by this, which invoked lusty feelings in her mind, she returned to Brhaspati and threw herself at him, covering him with amorous kisses. Brhaspati the high priest of the demigods, was so furious that he immediately cursed Punjikasthala to become a monkey, but out of concern he also added that after some time the son of the wind god Vayu, with the vitality of Lord Shiva, would come as her child and release her from this curse. At that time she would return to him as Punjikasthala, his maidservant.

The Lead Up To Hanuman's Birth:

Once Lord Shiva wished to see the most beautiful form of a woman, that being the temporary incarnation of Lord Vishnu called Mohini Murti. Lord Shiva knew that he could not be agitated by any so-called beautiful woman. He thought, "The Daityas may have been bewildered but the demigods could not be agitated, what to speak of me who am the best of all the demigods? I will certainly remain unaffected by seeing Her." Because Lord Shiva wanted to see Lord Vishnu's form as a woman, Lord Vishnu decided to appear as a woman and show him a form that would immediately put him in an ocean of lusty desires. In effect therefore, Lord Vishnu told Lord Shiva, "I will show you my form as a woman, and if you become agitated and lusty, don't blame Me."

The following is taken from Srimad Bhagavatam (8:12:18-34.), and Bhaja Madhwesam (26.).

"Thereafter, in a nice forest nearby, full of trees with reddish-pink leaves and varieties of flowers, Lord Siva saw a beautiful woman playing with a ball. Her hips were covered with a shining 'sari' and ornamented with a belt. Because the ball was falling down and bouncing up, as She played with it Her breasts trembled, and because of the weight of those breasts and Her heavy flower garlands, Her waist appeared to be all but breaking at every step, as Her two soft feet, which were reddish like coral, moved here and there. The woman's face was decorated by broad, beautiful restless eyes, which moved as the ball bounced here and there from Her hand. The two brilliant earrings on Her ears decorated Her shining cheeks like bluish reflections, and the hair scattered on Her face made Her even more beautiful to see. As she played with the ball, the 'sari' covering Her body became loose, and Her hair scattered. She tried to bind Her hair with her right hand. This was so attractive that the Supreme Lord, by His internal potency, in this way captivated everyone.

"While Lord Shiva observed the beautiful woman playing with the ball, She sometimes glanced at him and slightly smiled in bashfulness. As he looked at the beautiful woman and She watched him, he forgot both himself and Uma, his most beautiful wife, as well as his associates nearby. When the ball leaped from Her hand and fell at a distance, the woman began to follow it, but as Lord Shiva observed these activities, a breeze suddenly blew away the fine dress and belt that covered Her. Thus Lord Shiva saw the woman, every part of whose body was beautifully formed, and the beautiful woman also looked at him. Therefore, thinking that She was attracted to him, Lord Shiva became very much attracted to Her. Lord Shiva, his good sense taken away by the woman because of lusty desires to enjoy with Her, became so mad for Her that even in the presence of Bhawani (his wife) he did not hesitate to approach Her. The beautiful woman was already naked, and when She saw Lord Shiva coming toward Her, She became extremely bashful. Thus She kept smiling, but She hid Herself among the trees and did not stand in one place. His senses being agitated, Lord Shiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant. After following Her with great speed, Lord Shiva caught Her by the braid of Her hair and dragged Her near him. Although She was unwilling, he embraced Her with his arms. Being embraced by Lord Shiva like a female elephant embraced by a male, the woman whose hair was scattered, swirled like a snake. O King, this woman, who had large, high hips, was a woman of Yoga Maya presented by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She released Herself somehow or other from the fond embrace of Lord Shiva's arms and ran away. As if harassed by an enemy in the form of lusty desires, Lord Shiva followed the path of Lord Vishnu, Who acts very wonderfully and who had taken the form of Mohini. Just as a maddened bull elephant follows a female elephant who is able to conceive pregnancy, Lord Shiva followed the beautiful woman and discharged semen, even though his discharge of semen never goes in vain. O King, whosesoever on the surface of the globe fell the semen of the great personality of Lord Shiva, mines of gold and silver later appeared. Following Mohini, Lord Shiva went everywhere - near the shores of the rivers and lakes, near the mountains, near the forests, near the gardens, and wherever there lived great sages."(Srimad Bhagavatam 8:12:18-34.)

Some of the semen was carried carefully by Vayu, the wind-god and impregnated into the ear of the monkey Queen Anjanai, and thus Hanuman was conceived, by Vayu. (Shiva Purana, Satarudrasamhita).

This story of Shiva becoming lusty and following Lord Vishnu in the temporary form of Srimati Mohini Murti is to be found also in the Bhagavatam (8:12. adh.), of Sripad Madhwacarya, and the Shiva Purana, Satarudrasamhita.

There is another story from the Ananda Ramayana which is also found in the Bhavishya Purana, Pratisagar parva relates how King Dasaratha, who had at that time no children, performed the 'Putrakamesti Yajna'. From that 'Yajna' some 'prasadam' ('payasam'-'caru') was to be given to Dasaratha's wives so that they could be blessed with sons. However, just as King Dasaratha was going to administer the sweet to his wives, a large kite-like bird snatched some of the prasadam in its beak and flew off into the forest. In the forest was the monkey queen who was sitting performing austerities to return to the service of Brhaspati. As the kite-bird flew over some of the 'payasam' fell from its beak landing on the fingers of Anjanai. When Anjanai finished her austerities she put her fingers to her mouth, and thus eating some of the 'payasam' from the 'Putrakamesti Yajna'. Soon after that by the Lord's divine plan Keshari and Anjanai tried to conceive a child. At that time a fierce aspect of Lord Shiva entered Keshari, and then Vayu entered the ear of Anjanai. Anjanai gave birth to a small baby monkey who was so ugly that in disgust, and angry at Shiva and Vayu, Anjanai wanted to throw him into the Tungabhadra River from the top of their mountain, but Vayu deva appeared on the scene and pacified her saying. "This monkey son of yours in not ordinary. He is actually my son and is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Rama."

As soon as Hanuman was born, Anjanai was released from the curse of Brhaspati and she wanted to return to her former service.

The monkey child's first questions to his mother after being born were what was there to eat, what his future was, and how he would maintain himself. Anjanai told the boy not to worry, that he would never be destroyed or die, and that fruits were his food, ripened by the sun. She pointed to the sun, and the monkey child jumped up and tried to reach the sun to eat it, thinking it a fruit. Jumping for the sun and caught it in his mouth, then he saw Rahu, so he jumped at him to eat him, for he was bigger than the sun. Then as he flew through the sky he saw Lord Indra's elephant Airavata and tried to eat him too. Indra, seeing this, threw his mighty thunderbolt at the monkey which hit his chin and he fell to the earth wounded.

Sri Vayu deva carried him off and comforted and glorified him. Due to the scar made by Indra's Vajrayudha weapon on his chin ('hanu'), the demigods and Lord Vishnu named him Hanuman. Everyone blessed him. Lord Vishnu said: "May you live all your life as my greatest devotee." Indra said: "No weapon of any kind will wound or hit your body." Agni said: "Fire will never affect or disturb you." Kala (time personified) said: "May death never come to find you." Vayu blessed him to have more speed than air. Brahma said: "He will have more strength than even Garuda."

Sri Brahmaji said, "Don't worry; I will use my mystic powers." And he read Hanuman's mind. Sri Hanuman was thinking "Why is there is no fruit in this world, all I wanted was something to eat?" Brhaspati came to know of his desire and he came forward and said, "Hanuman, I will give you all the fruits in this world, and I will give you the knowledge of Ayurveda by which you will know all the fruits, all the plants, and all the trees. Any plant in the creation, you will know it, what is the proper use of it, and how to apply it. You will know all these things, and what is the medicinal effect of it you will also know. This is my benediction to you." Then Lord Dhanvantari spoke, "I will be at your command. Whatever medicine that you put on anyone they will revive from their ailment and again become alive." So then Hanuman opened his mouth, and the Sun-god was there, he came out and the demigods ('devas') were very much satisfied.

Sri Hanuman is known as the best of the monkeys and is surrendered to the lotus feet of Lord Rama. Upon their meeting Lord Ramachandra glorified Hanuman for his having studied all the Vedic literatures, knowing perfect presentation of philosophy and grammar, with never any faulty expression. Lord Rama said that Hanuman had captured the essence of all the Vedic studies yet still he remained humble rendering menial service to Lord Rama.

Hanuman still wasn't sure how he would recognize his worshipful Lord in the pastimes yet to come. So Brahma gave him a diamond necklace, and told him, "This is the highest benediction you can get. You will be always remain the eternal servant of the eternal Lord, and only you’re Lord will be able to recognize this necklace. That means you will be recognized by him, and he will be recognized by you as the one who recognized the necklace."

Later on when Lord Ramachandra asked the beggar, "What kind of a beggar are you? You have a wonderful necklace on your neck." Then Hanuman immediately recognized that this is my worshippable Lord. And he immediately surrendered to Him...

Sri Hanuman had so many other exploits too, some we have included when he was a small boy. After the sun-swallowing pastime there were so many other pastimes. He used to take elephants and tigers and play with them. One day he caught hold of a very wise elephant. He was holding it by the tusk, and he was also holding a tiger by the tail, and swinging them around. They were making some sounds. This was the innocent nature of Hanuman's fun. As he played like this with the animals he saw an ashram. The sage who lived here had never gotten angry in his life. He was known for his sense control. Hanuman thought to himself, "Now we will test his sense control." So he put the tiger and the elephant tied up together in front of his ashram. This was early in the morning, during the 'brahma-muhurta' time. So the 'rishi' slowly opened the door and took his 'lota' for taking bath. Then to his surprise as he looked out he saw this tiger, so he immediately ran back inside and closed the door. Up to that time he had constipation, but when he saw this tiger suddenly and by the grace of God, he felt nature calling. But what could he do, there was a tiger outside his door? He looked out the door again, and this time he saw the elephant as well, so he quickly shut the door again. He had to pass. But how could he pass inside? He then had some inspiration to climb out of the window, there was a tree outside of the window, and looking up he saw Hanuman at the top of the tree. Seeing him there the rishi said, "Ah! So you are the cause of this mischief. Come here!" Hanuman thought, "He's becoming angry. I must go." So he came down from the tree, and using his mystic siddhis he became very small and entered the window. The 'rishi' then cursed Hanuman that would limit his strength. "Why did you curse me like this?" Hanuman asked. "This is only for you own good. Your strength has been controlled so that you can use it only for the Lord's service, no more of these pranks. And when it is time for you to render service to Lord Rama, the Lord will arrange for someone to remind you." So then Hanuman said, "I will never tie an elephant to a tiger any more. And I will certainly not put it in front of your ashram." Then he came back to his home, and he didn't go out to play for a whole week. Keshari was asking, "Hanuman, how come there have been no complaints from anyone for a whole week? Have you become a good boy?" Hanuman said, "I don't want to give trouble to anyone." Then they heard a sound, a very nice sound. Keshari said, "What is this? It sounds like the great Narada Muni coming!" Hanuman asked, "Who is this person?" Keshari replied, "He is a very great devotee. He doesn't need any introduction. You just go to him and you will find out his greatness." Immediately Hanuman jumped up just as Narada was on his way past their place, going to see some 'rishis', so Hanuman jumped in his path and paid 'pranams', obeisance’s unto you great sage. "Narada Muni, I heard that you are a very great person, so you must bless me. Without blessing me, you are not allowed to go." Narada said, "What blessing do you want?" Hanuman said, "Already the demigods have given me so many blessings. I cannot think of anything else, so you think of a blessing, and you give it to me." Narada thought, "What blessing does Hanuman not have?" And so Narada said, "You will become expert in music." That was the only benediction left to give. So then Hanuman duly received that benediction, and Narada Muni said, "So I have given you the benediction as you requested, and now I am going." Hanuman said, "One minute, one minute." "What do you want now?" Narada asked. "How will I know that I am the most expert in music?" Hanuman inquired. "My father told me that you are the most expert in music, so you must do me a favour today. Give me the benediction that I will be more expert than you." So Narada said, "All right, I will sit somewhere and listen to you." "Shall I start singing?" Hanuman asked. "Yes." Narada Muni put his 'vina' on a rock, and he sat down on the ground. So Hanuman selected a tune, simply by his singing all wondrous things began to happen. His singing changed the nature of things like the rock on which Narada Muni had rested his 'vina'. The rock melted in ecstasy, and then the 'vina' was there sitting in the liquid. He was singing and singing, and the 'vina' was floating in the liquid rock. Narada was closing his eyes and enjoying, and he said, "All right Hanuman, you are the best musician you even surpass me. You can stop singing now." Hanuman said, "You open your eyes and tell me if I should I stop singing." Narada said, "What, how do you mean?" Hanuman replied, "You open your eyes." So Narada opened his eyes and looked around. He didn't notice the vina floating in the 'rock pool'. "Yes, you can stop singing." So then Hanuman stopped singing, and the liquid stone became again rock, and the 'vina' became stuck. Narada said, "I am going," and he went to take his vina, but it wouldn't move. "What did you do, Hanuman?" Hanuman said, "I only sung a song. You told me to sing a song, and you also gave me the ability. Now why are you complaining? I have been a good boy for a whole week?" Narada said, "One week of doing nothing means that before that week you did too much." And then Hanuman told him all about what he had done, swallowing the sun etc, and Narada became very pleased. Then he said, "Now whatever it was, you please sing the tune again, so I can get my vina out." Hanuman said, "Well, I don't know...." Narada Muni said, "Please do it!" "No I won't", Hanuman said, and he jumped up and ran inside the palace. Narada Muni came in there and called out, "Hanuman, come and get my 'vina' out of the rock! I have to go." Just then Keshari came out, and when he saw Narada Muni he touched his feet. "What is my son doing, he is giving you some trouble?" Narada said, "Oh no, no trouble, just that he got my vina stuck in the rock." Shriman Keshari said, "Oh no, he has started his mischief again. Hanuman, get Narada's 'vina' out of the rock!" Then Hanuman said, "I want Narada Muni's feet to touch every room in this palace that is why I was doing this. Now he has touched all the rooms, I will release his 'vina'. The dust from his lotus feet is so rare that what is the use of just having it in one part of our kingdom? We should have it all over." Narada said, "You are already blessed, because you are Lord Rama's eternal servant."

Sri Hanuman went and sung for Narada, who quickly took his 'vina' and left. In this way, Hanuman had so many wonderful pastimes. Then he told Keshari, "I want to begin my education. I have so many benedictions, but I need some education too, I need 'Vidhya'. I am very much hankering for 'Vidhya'." Keshari thought out loud and said, "But who could give you 'Vidhya'? You have so many benedictions, but you also have this uncontrollable behavior. I can't find a 'guru' for you, because you are so strong and so naughty also." Hanuman said, "This means that you are not going to perform the duty of the father. You're not giving me the necessary education." Keshari said, "I have to give you education, but I would like you to do one thing. You go to the Sun-god. He is the most powerful. Some time ago he was suppressed by you, but I can't think of anyone else He is most learned. So you go and approach him." Hanuman went to see the Sun-god, and when the Sun-god saw Hanuman coming, he thought, "It's Hanuman again. What is he here for? He's grown up now, so hopefully he would have stopped playing his mischievous deeds."

Sri Hanuman had changed; he came up and paid his obeisance’s very respectfully. The Sun-god said, "What are you here for now? Whom are you going to swallow?" Hanuman objected, "No, no, all that was because I was a small child in ignorance. I still have so much ignorance, but I want to get some knowledge. I've heard that you are a great 'pandit', so please teach me. I've come to join your 'guru Kula'." So then the Sun-god looked down. He has a big sitting place in the front of his chariot. There, we can understand from 'shastra' that there are six million 'rishis' sitting, and they are constantly reciting Yajur-Veda, Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda and Atharva-veda to the Sun-god. So he looked to see if there was any vacant seat, but the whole place was filled up, so he said, "Sorry, there is no room for admission...” Hanuman said, "If there is no seat then I will stand and learn from you." The Sun-god said, "But I have to keep moving. If you stand in front of me then I won't be able to move and then the various seasons won't be there on time. I will be in trouble, I have my service too." Hanuman said, "Then I will move and learn." The Sun-god said, "All right. But you have to face me and move backwards. In this way you have to listen to me, and whatever I say you have to learn. I won't repeat it." So Hanuman was there in front of the Sun-god, and he was walking backwards. He was so sense-controlled that he could join the orbit of the sun. In 60 orbits he learnt everything, Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva, the Upanishads, Puranas everything. As the Sun-god spoke it, Hanuman heard it and immediately he remembered and realized it. The Sun-god said, "Very good, but you have to give me some dakshina." Hanuman said, "Well what do you want? Do you want Indra's crown? You tell me anything that you want and I will get it for you in a second." The Sun-god said, "No, I don't want anything of that nature. Only one 'guru-dakshina' I need from you. I have a monkey friend. You must become his minister. You must always protect his life." Hanuman said, "Oh? This is only glory for me. I will do it; I will protect him as I would my own life."

The Sun-god told him who that monkey is. It was Sugriva, and actually he is the son of the Sun-god. How Sugriva became the Sun-god's son in relation to this is in itself a wonderful story. There was one lady who was known as Narayani, and her husband was called Ugra-tapas. That means one who performs "ferocious austerities," but in actuality he never did any austerities. He was only engaged in sense gratification. Due to living a life like that he became so diseased and paralyzed that he had to be carried in a basket. Narayani would carry him in a basket so that he could go to different places and get sense gratification. Ugra-tapas told Narayani, "You must take me to such and such prostitute today." So she was carrying him. While Ugra-tapas was in the basket and Narayani was carrying him, there was one 'rishi' whose name was Bishmanda Rishi, and he had been put on a trident by a king because of some misunderstanding, and was suffering in that condition. He had 'tri-kala-jnan', knowledge of past, present and future, and when he saw Ugra-tapas he knew he was going to a prostitute's place, and even despite the fact that he was crippled and being carried by his wife. So naturally the 'Rishi' got so upset, amazed at this mans stupidity and forgot about his pain. He called out, "Hey Ugra-tapas, what are you doing? Your name is Ugra-tapas, and what is your life like? And now you are asking your wife to carry you to a prostitute's when you are paralyzed. What kind of a person are you? You should die immediately. In fact let me assist. When the sun rises tomorrow you will die." When Narayani heard this she said, "When the sun rises tomorrow my husband will die? Then I curse by my austerity of chastity that the sun will not rise." The sun then became motionless. The Sun-god's charioteer Aruna was getting ready, packing the horses etc., for a normal daily journey of the sun. But then he looked back and saw the sun had become static. "Oh? Is this a vacation for me? I never got any holiday before, because there was never any chance. Let me have some fun." So he went and asked the sages that sit on the Sun-god's chariot, "How come the sun is not moving any more?" "This is the curse of a chaste lady," they replied. "How long will this curse last?" Aruna asked. "At least one day." "That's good," Aruna said. "One day is good enough. I can enjoy nicely in that time." So Aruna got one day's holiday. He was thinking, "How can I enjoy this day? It never happened in the creation before, and it will probably never happen again. The sun never goes on holiday. I only have one day, so I must make the most of this and get the highest enjoyment." So he took a book, like a tourist guide for the heavenly planets, and he found out that Indra was having a special feast banquet and dinner in respect of some great personality, and Menaka the heavenly society girl was dancing at that festival. "Oh I must go and see that," he said. But in this party, only the invited guests were allowed. You had to bring an invitation, and you had to be dressed in a special way. It was known that only Indra's close personal friends were invited. So he was wondering, "How will I go? I know, I will also become a dancer." So he turned himself temporarily into a woman, Aruna became Aruni. This Aruni was so beautiful, because he always sat with the sun and he was shining so brightly. He came in front of Indra's palace. The gateman asked, "Who are you?" "I am Menaka's make-up assistant," she said. Menaka forgot to put one line on her face, so I have to do it. I am the only one who is expert enough." "All right, you may enter." So then Aruni entered the assembly. Menaka was dancing on one side and Aruni was hiding on the other watching. Indra was looking through the crowd, and suddenly he saw Aruni. "She is more beautiful than Menaka," he said. Indra thought that it has been a wonderful party everyone has had a great time, so now we can say that it’s all over, and he immediately wound up the party, and started showing everyone out. Aruni was also going to leave, but Indra caught hold of her affectionately and said, "Wait a minute! Who are you, beautiful celestial maiden?" Aruni said, "I am Menaka's make-up assistant. Please leave me alone! I am going now the party is over." "No you are not going fair maiden, you are staying here with me," Indra said. "I'm staying where?" The beauty recoiled. "With me, I want to enjoy your beauty." Indra said. "No, I am not staying with you. I know your history; you have done this so many times." Aruni said. Indra said, "No, no, I will keep you next to Indrani." Aruni objected, "Even if you keep me more than Indrani, I cannot be here because actually I am a man." Indra said, "Don't play these games with me, I know you are a woman, I can see the alluring shape of your form." Aruni said again, but with much emphasis, "No I am not a woman! I am a man! I just turned myself into this form to come to the party." Indra said, "Even if that is the case, still you are the most beautiful woman that I have seen and I want to enjoy you anyway." Aruni said, "If you were to make me conceive, then who would bring up the child? I am the charioteer of the Sun-god." Indra said, "Whatever or whoever you are, and whatever will come out of it, I don't care, I'm going to enjoy you." Aruni was then overpowered by the lusty desires of Indra, 'she' had little choice but to agree, immediately there was a conception, and a demigod was born. Aruni then ran and shed that illusory feminine beauty, and assumed his normal form, because it was getting late already, and the Sun-god was slowly getting his movement back... At the last possible moment Aruna jumped on the chariot and grabbed the reins. The Sun-god said, "Where did you go?" "Oh, nowhere," Aruna answered. "Tell me!" "Oh, I went to Indra's planet." "Did you meet him? What did he say to you?" the Sun-god asked. "More than say. He seduced me and gave me a child." "How did he give you a child, Arun?" Aruna said, "It's getting late now, we only have a few moments." The Sun-god said, "A few moments is all right. It needs only one moment. Tell me how this came about and what beautiful form captivated the mind of Indra. Show it to me. Let me see that beautiful form." Aruna objected, "No, no. This will only cause more trouble; I don't want to go through all that again." "No, I must see," said the Sun-god. "You are my servant." "All right," said Aruna, and he became Aruni again. In the next moment Surya was also over come by lust, and there was another conception. It is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana that anyone who hears this story loses the attraction for going to the heavenly planets. Anyway. So now two babies were crying. This was not usually the way that birth happened in the heavenly planets, normally they didn't have to undergo this screaming stage as they are usually born full grown, so this time all the demigods were disturbed in their sense gratification. They all went to Brahma, and Brahma approached Indra, saying, "You are the cause of this problem. It is up to you settle this problem down." "I can't have babies crying in the heavenly planets, it’s just not conducive for either meditation or sense gratification" Indra said. "We'll have to give them to someone." Then he remembered the king of Vanaras, Riksharaja, who had no children. Moreover he was performing austerities to please Indra so he could get a son. It’s not unusual to find through history that these kinds of "benedictions" from the demigods are usually something that demigods don't want disturbing them in the heavenly planets, so they give it away. So Riksharaja was standing on one leg to get some children, and Indra came and said, "Your rigid austerities are now fruitful? Here are two babies you can have." So Riksharaja and his queen had two sons, Vali and Sugriva. Vali was the son of Indra, and Sugriva was the son of the Sun-god. And the Sun-god got the benediction of 'guru-dakshina' from Hanuman that he would always protect Sugriva. In this way, when Vali was anointed the king after Riksharaja, Sugriva became his minister, and Hanuman became the minister of Sugriva.

Sri Hanuman, without haughty thoughts, simply serving his Lord, he jumped across the sea to Lanka to reclaim Sita Devi (Lord Rama's consort) from the wicked King of the Rakshasas, who, like a dog, steals food from his master's house, stole away Srimati Sita Devi by deceit after tricking the loyal Lakshmana away from Her. In the form of a mendicant, the unscrupulous Ravana approached and took the chastest lady to Lanka, his island of gold. The faithful Hanuman searched the city of Lanka and found Sita in the Ashoka grove. Pure, chaste and in separation from Sri Rama, she waited like a beautiful white lotus surrounded by cruel thorny Rakshasas. Hanuman gave Sita Rama's finger-ring to win her confidence, then allowing his own capture by the Nagastra, snake-rope weapon of Indrajit, then caused havoc to the demons in Lanka by jumping from roof top to roof top, his tail acting as a giant fire lighter. When the whole of Lanka was ablaze he sped back to his Lord.

The Vanaras and bears celebrated Hanuman's return by visiting the honey grove and became intoxicated from the honey. When Sri Rama heard about this, he understood that Hanuman had been successful in finding Sita Devi.

The war that followed is described as a big 'Yajna', or fire sacrifice - Hanuman as the 'adhvaryu' (the runner who sets things up), and Lakshmana as the 'pratiprasthatri' or first assistant to the 'adhvaryu' (Hanuman). One of the 'pratiprasthatri' special functions is to lead the wife of the sacrificer and to guide her. Knowing the events of the story that took place, we can see that the celebrate Lakshmana the 'brahmachari', carried out his particular sacrificial duties without saying very much. Sri Rama was the form of fire, Sugriva, the King of the monkeys, was the 'yajuman' (the beneficiary), and Angada and the other monkeys were the 'Ritviks' (assistants).

Hanuman lifting the mountain:

A Setu, bridge of floating stones was placed on the sea and the army advanced quickly towards Lanka. Sri Hanuman carried Rama on his shoulders and Angada carried Lakshmana. Hanuman was the pride of all creatures that came to help Sri Rama retrieve Sita from the demon Ravana. After Lakshmana killed Ravana's son Indrajit, Ravana became extremely angry and personally came to attack Sri Rama and the Vanara army. At the sight of this ferocious demon, many of the Vanaras ran, but not Hanuman. Ravana first tried to kill Vibhisana, his pious brother and friend of Sri Rama, but Lakshmana saved his life.
Ravana turned on Lakshmana and knocked him unconscious. Sushena, the great physician, was sent for, to restore Laksmana's life, the sun had not many more hours in the sky, and the Vanaras had to act fast. According to the pastime, if the sun rose the next day without the Vishalya Karani herb brought from the Gandhamadana Mountain in the Himalayas, Lakshmana would die. Sri Hanuman, being blessed by Vayu to move faster than the wind, leaped into the sky and headed north to look for the golden creeper with blue flowers. Ravana saw Hanuman cross the sky and sent for the magician Kalanemi to trick him. Taking the form of a hermit in the Himalayas, Kalanemi tried to have Hanuman eaten by a crocodile, but Hanuman killed the crocodile, freeing an Apsara who had been cursed to remain in that form until Hanuman came. Hanuman then killed Kalanemi and threw him back to Lanka with a flick of his tail. The powerful Ravana, mad with anger summoned the sun god. He ordered him to appear in the sky, even though it was not yet his scheduled time for him to rise. When the sun god mounted his chariot to rise early, Hanuman expanded himself larger than the largest and captured the sun god, chariot, horses and all, and placed them under his arm pit.

As he still hadn't found the herb 'sanjivani', and out of deep attachment, affectionate desperation to save Lakshmana he lifted the whole of Gandhamadana Mountain effortlessly with one hand whilst keeping the sun still locked safely under his other arm, and with a single jump flew through the sky and returned to his Lord Rama. Sushena quickly climbed the mountain found the herb and revived Lakshmana by holding it under his nose. Sri Hanuman then flew with the mountain back to the Himalayas and replaced it where he had found it. The sun still had not risen and everyone was confused. Then Hanuman returned, and resuming his normal size, freed the sun god from under his arm to rise into the sky to start the final day for Ravana. Lord Sri Rama killed Ravana that day, and Ravana's pious brother Vibhisana brought Sita from the Ashoka Grove. She was thin and weak, but in her usual natural elegant beauty, and was now free to join her Rama. Everyone was in ecstasy.

Lord Rama told Hanuman, his greatest devotee, that They Sita and Rama would always stay in his heart, and Hanuman will remain as long as the Ramayana is told.

yavad ramakatham vira srosye 'ham prthivitale
tavat sarire vatsyantu mama prana na samsayah

Hanuman vowed, "O My Lord Rama, O Valiant King, as long as I hear your story told, I will remain in this body for you."

As stated in the Puranas, Hanuman perfected his life in servitude to his Lord and to this day constantly worships Sri Ramachandra in Kimpurusha varsha, Hanumans' 'eternal' abode.

After the Ramayana:

After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his heavenly abode. Many of Rama's entourage, including Vanaras like Sugriva decided to depart with him. Shunning the heavens, Hanuman however, requested to remain on earth as long as Rama's name was venerated by people. Sita accorded Hanuman that desire, and granted that his image would be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama's name. He is one of the Chiranjeevi of Hinduism.

Prayer to Hanuman - for help:

Hanuman Kripa mantra:

Asaadhya Saadhaka Swaamin Asaadhyam Thava Kim Vadha /
Sri Raama Dhootha Krupaa Sindhoh Muth Kaaryam Saadhaya Prabhoh //

"Oh! SrI RAma dhootha! (Hanuman) You are the one who can accomplish the impossible. Come! Tell me! Is there anything that by the mercy of RAma, you cannot accomplish? Oh! Ocean of mercy! My Lord! Kindly make my wishes come true"

Prayer to Hanuman - to find lost things:




TO GAIN ITS SIDDHI ONE SHOULD CHANT THIS MANTRA FOR ONE LAKHA OF TIMES. (When chanting mantras for attaining fruit, it is imperative that one is familiar with the mantra, it's essence / purpose, and meter - so that one may concentrate upon what one wants to achieve.)



If it is to be found He will find it!!!

Sri Hanumat Staavam:

atulita-bala-dhaaman hema shilabha deham
danujavana-krsnam janina-mgraganyam
sakalagunaa-nidhaanam vaanaranaa-madhiisam
raghupati-priya-bhaktam vataa jaatam namaami

I salute the son of the Wind God (Hanuman), the leader of the monkeys and the messenger of Rama, whose strength in matchless, whose body is like a hill of gold, who burns up the forest of asuras (demons) like a jungle fire, who towers among the spiritually illumined ones, and who is a treasure-house of all virtues.

ramaayana-mahaamala-ratnam vande-nilaatmajam

Salutation to the son of the Wind God (Hanuman), who crossed the ocean as if it were a puddle in the hoof-marks of a calf, who squashed the Rakshasas as if they were mosquitoes, and who by his deeds shines like the central gem in the necklace of the Ramayana.

Anjanai nandanam viram janaki-soka naashanam
kapisha maksahan taaram vande lanka-bhayankaram

I salute the heroic Hanuman, the leader of the monkeys and the son of Anjanai, who is the slayer of (Ravan’s son) Akshkumara, who was a terror to the inhabitants of Lanka, and who assuaged the grief of Sita.

ullanghya sindhoh salilam salilam
yaah shoka vahanim janakat majayah
adayaa tenaiva dadahaa lankam
namaami tam pranjalir-anjaneyam

With palms joined in reverence, I prostrate to the son of Anjanai who leaped across the sea as in sport, removing the fire from Sita’s mind and burning Lanka with that very fire.

manojavam maruta tulyavegam
jitendriyam budhimaatam varishitam
vaatmajam vanaraayutha mukhyam
srirama dhuutam sharanam prapadhye

I bow my head to hanuman, the Wind God’s Son, Messenger of Rama, Leader of the Monkey Army, who is fast as the wind and quick as the mind, who is the master of his senses and most distinguished and wise.

anjaneya mati patalaananam
kanchanadri kamaniya-vigraham
parijata tarumula-vasinam
bhavayaami paavamana-nananam

I meditate on the son of the Wind God and Anjanai, whose face is deep red in complexion, whose body is as fascinating as a mountain of gold, and whose favorite resort is the base of the Parijata tree.

yatra yatra raghunaatha-kirtanam
tatra tatra krta masta kaanjalim
baspa vaari paripurna-locanam
maarutim naamata rakshas-antakam


Being part of the online group of Jaishrihanuman.org, we should strive to live in a way that reflects our devotion to Lord Hanuman.

Following are a few suggestions you can follow.
• Remember Him always

• Read Hanuman Chalisa Everyday. Suggested times: As soon as you wake up, during prayer time, before going to sleep

• Visit Hanuman Temple at least once a week. Suggested days: Tuesday, Saturday or any other day as per your convenience

• Pray to Lord Sriram. Nothing pleases Lord Hanuman more than a prayer to Lord Sriram.

• Offer Bananas after prayer as Prasad.

• Offer Tulasi leaves while doing Archana

• Offer a garland made out of Betel leaves to Lord Hanuman

• Offer Vadas once in a while

• Read Hanuman Chalisa 100 times as suggested by Saint Tulsidas when you want your desires to be fulfilled.

• Understand meaning of Hanuman Chalisa word for word and remember it while chanting

• Teach Hanuman Chalisa to children

• Make donations to Hanuman temples so that they can be maintained well and more devotees can find solace.

• Form a group of devotees if possible and chant Hanuman Chalisa in a house or at temple

• Focus on one form of God till your faith becomes ripe. Do not waver from one form of God to another. Pray to Lord Hanuman till He blesses you with His Grace.

• Fast on Tuesdays or eat less on Tuesdays

• Practice “Silence”: Suggested frequency: Once a month

• Print or Distribute booklets of Hanuman Chalisa

• Donate audio or video material of Hanuman to others when opportunity comes

• Make donations to needy and thank God for giving an opportunity to serve the needy.

• Read Sundarakanda

• Read Ramayana

• Wear a ring or necklace of Lord Hanuman.

• Be a devoted devotee of Lord Hanuman

• Be good and do well. Aim to practice values embodied by Lord Hanuman. When in doubt pray to Him for guidance.

• Develop mutual respect for others. Show tolerance to people who pray to other forms of God or practice other religions.

• Keep cleanliness

• Be Thankful for what you have and try to be content with what you possess.

• Remember He is always protecting you.

People should rejoice being in your company. That is a reflection of your spiritual progress and that you are devoted to Lord Hanuman.

Above all Lord Hanuman will be there in close proximity once we chant HIS beloved hymn: Sri Ramajeyam ;

Jai Sri Ram.........