tau parijñāta tattva arthau mayā prīti samanvitau |
pṛṣṭham āropya tam deśam prāpitau puruṣa ṛṣabhau ||
Unless you are just ill-motivated in general, you will be pleased to meet Shri Hanuman. Unless you are always looking to exploit others for your personal gain, the chance encounter with the minister to the Vanara-king Sugriva will be something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Unless you’re so cruel of heart that you just hate every single person and every single living thing, you’ll be delighted at hearing the choice words prepared and presented so nicely by the son of the wind.
“One cannot speak this way without having been well-trained in the Rig Veda, memorized the Yajur Veda, and thoroughly understood the Sama Veda.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana about Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 3.28)
In this verse from the Ramayana, Shri Hanuman is merely describing events as they actually occurred. He was there in that meeting. It was he who went to greet the two princes from Ayodhya, who had stumbled into an area that didn’t typically see princes carrying the best of weapons and wearing bark for clothes. Sugriva trusted Hanuman to find out the truth of the situation, as there was every chance that the rival brother Vali had sent people to finally do in Sugriva.
When Hanuman met Rama and Lakshmana, he told them the truth of what was going on. This is the effect of meeting the Supreme Lord with a pure heart. God in His transcendental form is known as manohara. The literal meaning to this Sanskrit word is “taking away the mind.” It comes to mean “enchanting” because of the literal definition.
God is enchanting because every aspect to Him is attractive. The pious souls have the necessary qualification to recognize the Divinity in Him and also appreciate His attractiveness. Hanuman descended from Mount Rishyamukha with an objective. He was to decipher the reason for the two brothers being in that area. To help in that mission, Hanuman took on a false guise. He appeared before them as a brahmana, or one in the priestly order.
“A person who does not express his mind to everyone, or whose mental activity and plan of action are very difficult to understand, is called grave.” (Shrila Prabhupada, The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 26)
In the Nectar of Devotion, which is a translation and commentary on the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, we learn that one of the traits of the Supreme Lord is that He is grave. The meaning given by Rupa Gosvami is that God’s face is such that you can never tell what He is thinking. Hanuman saw the Supreme Lord face to face in the incarnation of Rama. While speaking, Hanuman could not tell what Rama was thinking. Eventually, Hanuman gave up the cover. He told the entire truth, as manohara had melted his heart.
The feelings were mutual. Rama and Lakshmana appreciated Hanuman as well. The person who is today famously known as Rama’s greatest devotee made the best first impression when meeting the Lord in the Kishkindha forest. Hanuman is honest, trustworthy, intelligent, and very strong. After receiving the affection from the two brothers, Hanuman placed them on his back. He carried them up to the mountain to meet Sugriva.
The brothers had met other new people prior to this. Most of those meetings didn’t go so well. There were many ill-motivated creatures roaming the forests. Rama and Lakshmana had to kill them. When the brothers were still youths, they protected the sages and their sacrifices from night-ranging ogres who attacked strategically when it was dark. Those ogres did not impress the brothers, and neither were they trying to.
In the quintessential devotional spirit, Hanuman was seeking the welfare of the Supreme Lord. He was not looking to exploit the situation for his personal gain. He could have made a condition for the meeting.
“You are a wealthy prince. If you promise me and my leader some land, then perhaps something can be arranged. I will allow you to meet Sugriva as long as you give me something first.”
Such requests would have been understandable. In general business affairs, this is known as good negotiating. When not educated in the spiritual science man doesn’t know any better. They seek personal gain by default, and so when approaching someone who has it all the natural inclination is to ask for bigger and better things.
At the root meaning dharma is service. The spirit soul is meant to serve. Since this is the constitutional position, it is what brings the most happiness. Hanuman serves without motivation and without interruption. He recognizes God the person and the servitor-God when he gets the opportunity to meet them. His life does not stop there. In fact, the darshana of the Supreme Lord sparks the journey that features some of his most well-known devotional acts.
Any person who gets to see Shri Hanuman and is fortunate enough to understand him gets blessed with the vision of a pure devotee, who carries the name, qualities, forms and pastimes of Shri Rama with him. Goswami Tulsidas declares Hanuman to be the gatekeeper to Shri Rama’s kingdom, and that gatekeeper is kind and benevolent, looking for only one thing from those wishing to enter: love for God.
The false guise taken renouncing,
His name and intentions pronouncing.
By Divine vision the mind seized,
From Hanuman’s words Rama pleased.
Friendship now, formalities forsaken,
From there to mountaintop taken.
In first meeting, Hanuman immediately trusted,
Today as kingdom’s guard with duty entrusted.