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Friday Review » Faith

Updated: July 27, 2010 21:16 IST

How to serve the Lord

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At Rama's coronation, Sita gives Hanuman Her string of pearls, for Hanuman has a special place in the annals of service to the Divine Couple, Kidambi Narayanan said in a discourse.

Hanuman is entrusted with the task of finding Sita. When Hanuman goes looking for Sita, Rama gives him His ring as a means of identifying the messenger when he meets Her. All that Hanuman has to do is find Sita and talk to Her. But Hanuman does much more than this.

There are different categories of messengers. There are those who do not even carry out the instructions that their masters give them. There are those who carry out the instructions, but do nothing beyond that.

But there is another kind of messenger who not only does what he has been asked to, but goes beyond the call of duty. He not only executes the task assigned to him, but anticipates what is needed at that hour and does it without being asked to.

He is so meticulous and careful in gathering information and doing what will be of use to his master later on, that there can be none superior to him as a messenger. No one can ask for a better messenger than this. Hanuman belongs to this category.

When he goes to Lanka looking for Sita, he looks around and takes in all the details about Ravana's palace and about the topography of the land. Only after this does he meet Sita.

So when he returns to Rama, he goes back not only with the satisfaction of having met Sita but also with the knowledge of the enemy's country.

Hanuman therefore is an example of the best type of messenger anyone can hope for.

Lakshmana is an example of one who serves the Lord in as many ways as possible, without being given instructions about how to do it, or what he needs to do.

When Rama asks him to build a hut for Him in the forest, Lakshmana remembers to provide a place where Rama and Sita can have some privacy.

Rama has not asked him to make such a provision, but Lakshmana does it of his own accord. Thus he too does more than was asked, just as Hanuman does.

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