Yesterday we celebrated Hanuman Jayanti. Hanuman is one hero of the Ramayana whom people do not completely understand. He was not a monkey, as many people call him. He was a Vaanara, naro va (in Sanskrit) – Is he a human being or someone similar or different? Vaanara-s are probably species of human-like beings who inhabited the earth at the time of Ramayana. So, keeping that in mind, one has to look at him. People consider him as a great bhakta, a devotee. But his bhakti was not only in terms of singing the glories of the Lord, it expressed itself as seva in action in doing what was necessary. He was also a great scholar of the Scriptures and an ambassador for Sugriva and Rama, who delivered much more than what was requested of him. Like, he was asked to find Sita in Lanka. He not only found Sita after crossing miles across the ocean but put courage into her heart assuring her that Sri Rama would come to Lanka. He put fear into the heart of the Rakshasas by destroying some of their finest warriors and halved their fortifications. Even Ravana felt an icy hand of fear when he thought of half a dozen Vaanaras like Hanuman, in Lanka. Not only that, Hanuman was a wise spiritual master. At the end of Ramayana, when Sri Rama asks Hanuman, ‘How do you relate to me?’ he sums up the three schools of Vedanta in three lines.
From the standpoint of the body, you are the Lord. I am your servant. (Dvaita, Duality)
From the standpoint of me as an individual, a jiva, you are the whole and I am a part of you. (Vishishta-advaita, qualified monism)
On the basis of reality, you and I are one and the same. There's no difference. (Advaita, Non duality)
So, you see that Hanuman was not just a monkey god. Please don't refer to him as that any more. Words are not enough to speak of his glories. Just by remembering Hanuman, one becomes intelligent and courageous. Jai Hanuman l Jai Sri Ram l
The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com