In praise of Hanuman

Valmiki Ramayana has six kandas, but not one of them is named after the hero or heroine. In fact, no kanda is named after any character in the epic, except Sundara Kanda. Sundara was the name of Hanuman. Thus Hanuman is the only one after whom a kanda takes its name in the Ramayana, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. It was Hanuman who found and consoled Sita, and brought back to Rama the glad tidings that he had found Sita. Thus he brought joy to both the hero and the heroine of the epic. When the time came for Rama to end His avatara, Hanuman refused to go to Sri Vaikuntha, but chose to stay back on Earth. He had a reason for this. In Sri Vaikuntha, the Lord is not worshipped as Rama, but Hanuman’s heart was full of love for Rama.

Although Rama was none other than the Supreme One, Hanuman still wanted to see Him as Rama, and he wanted to hear Rama’s name being chanted. That is why wherever the Ramayana is narrated, a special seat is provided, for it is believed that Hanuman will be present there to listen to Rama’s story being told.

There is a sloka about Hanuman which says: Goshpadi krita vaareesam masaki krita rakshasam Ramayana mahaa maalaa ratnam vande anilatmajam. Here the Ramayana is spoken of as a garland, and the ratnam (gem) that adds to the splendour of this garland is anilatmajam — the son of anila, that is Vayu. He crossed the ocean easily, as if it were nothing more than the water contained in an animal’s hoof. He crushed demons as if they were mosquitoes. Salutations are offered to Hanuman, as the one whose face is red and who is seated under the Parijatha tree. Another sloka says Hanuman narrated the Ramayana to Rama, Sita, and Rama’s brothers, and that Rama explained Ramayana tattva.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:05:10 PM |

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