Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hanuman Is Light

[Sita Devi]“The beautiful face of that large-eyed Sita, whose eyes are coppery red, spotless and long, was like that of the moon released from Rahu.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.86)

cāru tac ca ānanam tasyāḥ tāmra śukla āyata īkṣaṇam |
aśobhata viśāla akṣyā rāhu mukta iva uḍu rāṭ ||

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There are so many aspects to the dedicated servant of Shri Rama known as Hanuman. He is a factual person, not a fictitious creation of an imaginative mind. Though those who lack faith in the impeccable authority and teachings of the Vedas will try to look for only symbolism in the character of Hanuman, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t symbolic aspects to that real-life person. In this verse from the Ramayana, we see that Hanuman is light, among many other things.

Is he the sun? Does he carry an electrical charge with him? Is he like a lamp? Actually, the darkness he dissipates is much stronger. That darkness is like a cloud that turns an otherwise bright day into a dreary one. The darkness removes the hope of reuniting with the eternal friend that is the Supreme Lord. That darkness is so strong that it looks like it will never go away.

Indeed, who hasn’t suffered doom and gloom? It’s difficult to have patience in the tough moments. This is because time can’t change the situation soon enough. The sober minded person realizes that time will operate. It already does so through the changing of bodies. There is boyhood, youth, old age, and then death. These changes are effected through time.

dehino 'smin yathā dehe

kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā

tathā dehāntara-prāptir

dhīras tatra na muhyati

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)

Happiness and sadness are like the two sides of a coin. The fate on a certain day depends on where the tossed coin lands. The pair represents duality as well. Happiness for one person may mean sadness for another. With birth there is death. With heat there is cold. With up there is down. Each side is defined in relation to the other. If there were no cold, heat would have no meaning. The definition of death is based on the event known as birth.

In the situation referenced above, the darkness is very strong and it relates to more than just the duality of the material world. This darkness is the influence of the Rakshasas in Lanka preventing Sita Devi from being with her husband, Shri Rama. The king of that city is stopping Sita from serving her beloved. That service wasn’t hurting anyone, either. It was taking place far away, in the forest of Dandaka. Ravana had his own enjoyment available in Lanka. Why did he have to bother Sita?

The darkness of ignorance gets stronger the more a person tries to appease kama, which is material desire or lust. Ravana was fully under the control of his senses, instead of the other way around. That is why he thought he could not live without Sita, a person whose beauty he had heard about from his sister.

We see here that from hearing the words of Hanuman, Sita’s countenance changed. Her face became like the moon just released from Rahu. In Vedic astrology it is the influence of Rahu that causes eclipses. The moon right after the eclipse is very bright. In the same way, Shri Hanuman’s influence has removed the Rahu that was Ravana and the people serving him.

[Shri Hanuman]Hanuman carries the light of the Divine. He brings the message of Godhead. He is not God Himself; despite what those who favor him strongly out of sentiment may say. Hanuman is equal to God in the sense that the interest is always the same. Hanuman is never in kama. He is always in bhakti, which is devotion. He uses his amazing potency to help others return to bhakti. He does this by removing the darkness of the negative influence of aggressors like Ravana. He is time’s agent to help the devotee regain the light of devotion.

In Closing:

When to leave this misery of mine?

Can’t move fast enough endurable time.


Like with birth then death a certainty,

Material world full of duality.


The darkness in Lanka even stronger,

Separation from Rama for Sita growing longer.


Hanuman with him carrying a light,

Happiness Sita’s face turned bright.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Tear Fest

[Sita Devi]“Janaki obtained unequaled happiness. With great delight she shed tears of joy from her curved eye-lashes.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.85)

atulam ca gatā harṣam praharṣeṇa tu jānakī |
netrābhyām vakra pakṣmābhyām mumoca ānandajam jalam ||

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The characters of the Ramayana are so amazing that it’s inevitable for tears to be shed at regular intervals. They are mostly tears of joy, as related in the above referenced verse. The word used is praharsha. A variation of the same word is used to describe Sita’s reaction to the words of Hanuman. Harsha, which means “happiness” or “delight”, is the response of the saintly person to interacting with Shri Hanuman.

Others may cry different kinds of tears. For instance, there was the gate-keeper of Lanka. She stood in the way of Hanuman entering the city. He didn’t have a visa. There was no letter of recommendation or certificate of verification. Hanuman looked out of place in the city, too. The place was inhabited by Rakshasas, which are like man-eating ogres. Hanuman was a Vanara, which is a monkey-like creature.

Not letting anything get in the way of his service to the Supreme Lord Rama, Hanuman literally fought his way into the city. Soon there would be screams of terror. Hanuman found Sita Devi, Rama’s wife, after a long and difficult search. On his way back to Rama, while leaving the city, he set fire to it. It is not in Hanuman’s nature to cause senseless destruction. Being a wise soul, he understands the importance of private property and how much work goes into maintaining life in the material world.

Rather, the wicked king of Lanka set fire to Hanuman’s tail as a way to embarrass him. They bound up Hanuman, with his burning tail, and he was paraded around the town, as a way to dissuade others from making a similar attempt. Ravana had taken Rama’s wife and now he had embarrassed Rama’s messenger. This was in line with Ravana’s character, as he was staunchly against God.

Hanuman easily released himself and then used the burning tail to his advantage. He set fire to the city, and the people started screaming in terror. They wondered if the sinful deeds of Ravana had finally come home to roost, so to speak. They thought that maybe Hanuman was the messenger of death. At that moment, they couldn’t see his kind nature.

Sita did because she is herself kind. She always walks the righteous path. One time Rama was pleased with her and praised her for being a sadharma-charini. This is the true position of the wife. She should be the partner in the attention given to dharma, which is religiosity or religion. The wife is the better half in this sense, and she shares all the rewards that come with virtue.

“My dear beautiful wife, what you have said is befitting the occasion and also indicative of the greatness of your family heritage. You are dearer to Me than My life, for you are My companion in the performance of religious duties.” (Lord Rama speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 10.21)

Some reward she received later on, as Ravana forcibly dragged her away from the peaceful situation of life with her husband to the dreaded one in Lanka. Unequaled happiness later came to her anyway, through the words of Hanuman. He is expert at Rama-katha, or giving discourses about the Supreme Lord in His incarnation known as Rama.

[Sita Devi]It should be understood that Hanuman is capable of delivering the same unequaled happiness to anyone. The happiness is described as such because nothing can compare to the Supreme Lord. He is anupama, or without comparison. He is adhokshaja, or beyond the measurement of any instruments. The same qualities descend to the words that describe him, and Hanuman is one person who carries those descriptions with him wherever he goes. As a result of this happiness, it is natural to shed tears of joy. So many moments in the Ramayana there are that elicit the shedding of tears in a pleasant mood that the work alone suffices for delivering people from the cycle of birth and death and the ups and downs in emotion that come in between.

In Closing:

After lengthy Ramayana work read,

Natural that tears of joy were shed.


To the saintly characters entirely due,

Sita, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman too.


Despite the virtual path to tread,

Into horrible Lanka Sita was led.


Still unequaled happiness in spite of fear,

When Hanuman’s words of Rama to hear.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Emaciated By Grief

[Shri Hanuman]“Thus inspired with faith by the reasons given and the marks shown, Sita, who was emaciated due to grief, believed him to be the messenger of her husband.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.84)

evam viśvāsitā sītā hetubhiḥ śoka karśitā |
upapannaiḥ abhijñānaiḥ dūtam tam avagacchati ||

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The category of miseries known as adhyatmika includes both mental and physical ailments. The “atma” reference within the name typically relates to soul, which is spirit. Atma can also relate to the body or the mind. In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana we see an instance where a person was emaciated due to grief. The mental condition resulted in the physical.

Eat right. Go to sleep on time. Don’t put your body through too much stress. Stay away from high inflammation foods. You want to keep the body in a perfect equilibrium. If there is a strong imbalance, try something like yoga. This regulates the flow of air within the body. All physical diseases are due to disruptions in the flow of air. The controversial healer in late eighteenth century France, Franz Mesmer, speculated that diseases were due to a disruption in the flow of certain fluids. His methods proved to have little value other than the placebo effect, but his fame did give birth to the often used word of “mesmerize.”

Shoka, or grief, can also lead to disruption. If I am too worried throughout the day, I won’t eat right. I won’t be able to sleep properly, either. I need that timely escape from the gross body to the subtle body in order to properly rest the body. Without real sleep, it is difficult to maintain good health.

Sita Devi was overcome by shoka, and the duration was long. She was without her husband Rama. Rama was everything to her. That is one way to define pure devotion. You love something so much that separation from it causes you tremendous grief. Sita wanted nothing from her husband. She just wanted to offer service in the mood of love. The King of Lanka, Ravana, took that away from her.

Indeed, so many Ravana-like creatures there are in the world. They try to dispirit the devotees, who firmly believe in God and try to maintain His association at all times. When separated from devotional service, bhakti-yoga, the devotees become like a fish out of water. They cannot survive.

“O Rama, You should know that just as fish cannot survive when taken out of water, neither Sita nor I can live without You for even a moment.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 53.31)

Ravana and his descendants try to kill the devotional spirit in as many people as possible. They bring shoka by first claiming that there is no God. “Religion is just a fairytale. Everything we see now evolved from a single cell. After death, there is nothing. Just deal with it.” Of course they have no good qualities to establish themselves as authority figures. It’s not like they have done anything special to warrant faith being extended. They put forward these theories as a way to exploit the material nature, to continue in their pursuit to become God.

[Shri Hanuman]Hanuman had certain qualities. He gave reasons for his coming to Lanka. He had certain characteristics. From these Sita developed faith in him. She knew Hanuman to be a messenger sent by her husband Rama. Though she was emaciated by grief, things turned around by meeting a friend, albeit a new one. For the devotees harassed by the Ravana-like fiends of the world, association of like-minded people becomes all the more important. Sadhu-sanga, the association of saintly people, is one of the pillars of disciplined devotional service. Sita and Hanuman are both like sadhus, and their meeting was a source of great delight.

In Closing:

Ravana and like him always to depress trying,

On mental speculation and false theories relying.


Sita emaciated by grief,

Feeling pain of separation beyond belief.


Since husband Rama was not there,

But from Hanuman of situation made aware.


Sadhu-sanga, like-minded together meeting,

Through this power the demoniac defeating.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


[Sita-Rama]“O Vaidehi, to inspire faith in you I have spoken of the glories of your husband. O sinless devi, without doubt Rama will soon come here to take you.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.83)

viśvāsārtham tu vaidehi bharturuktā mayā guṇāḥ |
viśvāsa artham tu vaidehi bhartuḥ uktā mayā guṇāḥ ||

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Here Shri Hanuman gives the reason for his detailed review of the glories of the husband of Sita. The Sanskrit word is guna, and it has several meanings. When in the context of the living entities and the types of bodies they assume in the material world, guna means a particular quality. Put together in a certain way and combined with a living spirit, jiva, the result is a varna, or color.

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ


tasya kartāram api māṁ

viddhy akartāram avyayam

“According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.13)

In the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna says that the four varnas and the four ashramas come from Him, with the divisions based on guna and karma. The specific combination of material qualities determines a person’s designation in life. This designation typically corresponds with an occupation, which is the ideal work performed by people with those gunas.

Hanuman’s use of the word guna is for “glories.” It can only be this way because the object of the description is Shri Rama. He is nirguna, or without material qualities. This is one way to understand the Absolute Truth. Look around you. There are gunas everywhere. Indeed, because of certain gunas the human being has the ability to see. Gunas facilitate the proper identification of gunas.

The Absolute Truth is that which is never bound to the material world. No material quality can be placed on it; otherwise it would be part of the material creation. The supreme object that is beyond illusion and doubt, above the cycle of birth and death, and completely independent in its functioning is always without gunas.

The word means “glories” when applied to the Supreme Lord. These glories relate to qualities and actions. The contradiction is resolved through knowing the saguna feature of the Absolute Truth. This is where His qualities can be distinguished. He is always above any conception of duality, so nirguna and saguna are for our understanding only.

Hanuman reviewed the glories of Shri Rama in order to establish faith from Sita. She is meeting Hanuman for the first time. She has no idea whether he is trustworthy or not. Appearances can be deceiving. The serial philanderer is expert at hiding his true intent, speaking flattering words and sometimes even promising a long term commitment. Meanwhile the goal is to enjoy quickly.

Hanuman is in the form of a monkey, so it’s not like he automatically inspires trust. He speaks words, but then again anyone can say anything. How is Sita supposed to have vishvasa, or faith, in the messenger sent from Kishkindha?

The glories of Rama always unite saintly people. One devotee meeting another, the two understand their mutual interest through the glorification of Rama and the pleasure received from hearing that glorification. Hanuman assures Sita that Rama will come to rescue her soon.

In an age where there are many cheaters and participants willing to be cheated, it is difficult to find genuine spiritual life. The atheist says that God is a fairytale, along the lines of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. The preachers of a certain religion rely on dogmatic insistence, and then others who seem genuine describe God to be impersonal, saying that all religions are the same.

[Sita-Rama]The way to establish vishvasa is to see who actually glorifies God. Do they know that He has gunas? Are they familiar with those glories? Do they speak them to establish trust in others, to bring out the devotion that already exists in seed form within the heart? Do they follow the same devotion as Hanuman, who knows that God is a personality originally? If so, they are trustworthy. If not, there is some hidden motive, a desire to enjoy separately from the Supreme Lord.

In Closing:

For Sita Devi vishvasa a must,

In Hanuman a need to have trust.


But a monkey standing before her now,

To believe he’s not a deceiving ogre how?


From glorification of Rama to unite,

Through sound alone coming the divine sight.


To identify pretenders roaming the world today,

Do they love God, do they follow Hanuman’s way?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Legacy And Merit

[Shri Hanuman]“O Vaidehi, there is a mountain named Malyavan, which is the best among mountains. From there, a monkey named Kesari went to the mountain called Gokarna. As directed by the gods and sages, my father, the great monkey, killed a demon named Shambasadana at the holy place on the seashore. Through the grace of the wind-god I took birth in the wife of that monkey, O Maithili. I am Hanuman and am well known throughout the world because of my own actions.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.80-82)

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kaurajo nāma vaidehi girīṇām uttamo giriḥ |
tato gacchati go karṇam parvatam kesarī hariḥ ||
sa ca deva ṛṣibhiḥ dṛṣṭaḥ pitā mama mahākapiḥ |
tīrthe nadī pateḥ puṇye śamba sādanam uddharat ||
tasya aham hariṇaḥ kṣetre jāto vātena maithili |
hanūmān iti vikhyāto loke svena eva karmaṇā ||

A topic of discussion in the news in recent times in America is the admissions process at colleges. Since they accept federal funds to help students pay for tuition, the academic institutions are under government regulations. One of those regulations is that a certain portion of their students should come from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The debate is over the criteria for entry. Certain students are automatically granted admission due to family ties. This is known as legacy. Perhaps a father or grandfather went to the school. After graduating, they gave substantial contributions to the college. The issue is that those with the proper merits are automatically discriminated against. After all, a college can only admit a certain number of students each year. Shouldn’t merit be given greater weight than legacy? Is race a more important factor than someone’s link to a past alum?The people coming before did increase the prestige and value of the institution. Shouldn’t they get rewarded by keeping the family tradition going?

In the above referenced verses from the Ramayana, Shri Hanuman gives his qualification to Sita Devi, and it is based on both legacy and merit. In times past, it was quite common to identify oneself based on family. “I am the son of so and so. My mother is such and such person.” In the modern world, these distinctions don’t hold as much value. In a country like America, which grants freedom through the Constitution, a person from any background can make it big. They can make a name for themselves on merits alone.

Shri Hanuman came from a good family. His father was a kapi, or monkey, but not of the kind with which we’re familiar. The Vedas divide the time in between population and destruction into four periods. In the beginning stages, the species are more advanced. The species are nothing more than a combination of the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. There is an intelligent designer, who goes by names such as Brahma and Chaturanana. He takes the three ingredients and uses them on his canvas known as the material world. The species come to life when a living spark, also known as a soul, is placed inside of the resultant piece of art.

In times past the human beings were larger and more adept. Memory was so sharp that a person could remember a lengthy work in Sanskrit after hearing it just one time. The monkeys in the forest, known as Vanaras, could speak and follow some aspects of civilized life. The kapi named Kesari did some work for the devas and the rishis. These are the demigods and the saints. Kesari killed a bad character and earned pious credits as a result. Through the union with his wife Anjana, he begot a son. That union took place through the aid of both the wind-god, Vayu, and the destroyer, Lord Shiva.

Hanuman came from a good family, but he references his merits as well. He says that he is well-known for his own deeds, karmana. He wasn’t claiming privilege based on his family. That would mean honor descends, which it doesn’t. Honor from past generations gives an opportunity for reaching a high stature, but the deeds are the determining factor. When there is good character and high achievements, the honor ascends, i.e. it goes back up the chain of ancestry.

Identifying himself as such was important because in the particular situation a monkey was out of place. Sita Devi was held in Lanka against her will, and the place was inhabited by Rakshasas. These are man-eating ogres. They were categorized as such based both on their ancestry and their qualities. The leader of the Rakshasas, Ravana, actually had a saintly character for a father. Vishrava united with a female Rakshasa, and since Ravana had all bad qualities shown through his deeds, he was not considered a brahmana.

[Shri Hanuman]Hanuman, despite being a monkey, is highly exalted. He was well known prior to meeting Shri Rama. He acted as the chief minister to the monkey-king Sugriva. His stature increased infinitely after engaging in devotional service directly for Rama, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead appearing on earth in an incarnation form, or avatara. From Hanuman we see that legacy or species isn’t even so important. A lack of good family heritage can be overcome through the grace of the Supreme Lord, as can all impediments to success in life.

In Closing:

From good family stock coming,

And through merit respected becoming.


Thus credible on sides both,

Hanuman of good qualities a host.


Despite in Lanka being out of place,

There to help Sita of lovely face.


Means that even in body of monkey can see,

The glorious Supreme Lord, Shri Rama is He.

Monday, July 25, 2016


[Sita-Rama]“And the highly valiant Rama shall soon obtain you, having killed Ravana, the king of the Rakshasas, along with his friends and family.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.79)

rāghavaḥ ca mahāvīryaḥ kṣipram tvām abhipatsyate |
samitra bāndhavam hatvā rāvaṇam rākṣasa adhipam ||

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Shri Hanuman has many names. This is because he has done many amazing things. Also, his qualities are unbelievable. His being in the body of a forest-dwelling monkey is not the most amazing thing about him. His spotless devotion is what stands out. It is at a level unimaginable. The above quoted verse from the Ramayana is a perfect illustration.

One of Hanuman’s other names is Mahavira. This means “a great hero.” Hanuman earned this name through his journey to Lanka, in search of Sita Devi. She is the eternal consort of the Supreme Lord Rama. “Wife” is not entirely befitting her role. She certainly follows the dharma of service to her husband, which apparently starts at the time of the marriage ceremony in Tirahuta.

Sita Devi does not need any formality to be devoted to Rama. She always remains in contemplation of Him, thinking of ways to serve Him as well. She is interested only in His pleasure. That interest continues in every world, beyond the manifest one. She lives in the unmanifest realm with Him through her form of Lakshmi Devi, who is the goddess of fortune. Rama is with her in His form of Narayana, who is the source of all men.

Hanuman serves the beloved couple. That service is not limited to meditation. Dhyana, or deep contemplation, on God qualifies as bhakti-yoga, which is devotional service. Chanting the holy names is also a kind of dhyana. A person who recites the maha-mantra, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” on a regular basis is actually engaged in a kind of meditation. Regular hearing of the holy name also qualifies as bhakti-yoga. The idea is to find some way to connect with the Supreme Lord in a mood of love.

Hanuman is Mahavira because sometimes his service involves danger. The world is full of people of different persuasions. Not everyone is nice. Not everyone is kind. There are aggressors. There are violators of etiquette and the rule of law. Not everyone is equipped to deal with the aggressors, as sometimes it is easier to simply steer clear of them.

Nevertheless, without a section of brave people in society, the aggressors would dominate. Shri Hanuman had the difficult task of crossing over an ocean in search of Sita. She was taken one time against her will by the king of Rakshasas, Ravana. A Rakshasa is like a man-eating ogre. It’s a human-like species, but the people occupying that body type tend to have bad qualities.

Mahavira heroically reached Lanka and searched through it undetected, until he finally found Sita. In this verse from the Ramayana, he assures her that her husband, a descendant of King Raghu, will soon obtain her again. This will happen after Rama will kill Ravana. The friends and family of the Rakshasa king won’t be spared. Sadly, that is the result of having a wicked leader. The dependents share in the punishment received by the offender.

[Sita-Rama]Hanuman is confident of this future because Rama is mahavirya. This means “highly valiant” or “very powerful.” Hanuman, as a servant of God, is His energy. Sita Devi is also His energy. Indeed, all living entities are sprung from the Supreme Lord, and so they represent His shakti, or potency. Rama is shaktiman, or the possessor of all potency. He is the energetic; hence the name mahavirya. Mahavira serves Mahavirya. Hanuman does so heroically, since he has full confidence that the highly valiant Rama will always protect him.

In Closing:

Hanuman with name of Mahavira so,

Since heroically to Lanka to go.


Mahavirya his object of service is known,

Great strength many a time by Him shown.


The energy of God working without fail,

Knowing that Rama’s side always to prevail.


Ideal use of whatever potency in me,

That Supreme Lord’s welfare to see.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fame Through Sound

[Shri Hanuman]“O Devi, by my good fortune my passing over the ocean has not gone in vain. By my good fortune I shall get this fame of having had your vision.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.78)

diṣṭyā hi na mama vyartham devi sāgara langhanam |
prāpsyāmi aham idam diṣṭyā tvat darśana kṛtam yaśaḥ ||

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You’re on vacation. You planned this trip a while back, and you’ve been looking forward to it ever since. It’s not easy to break out of the daily routine, but sometimes it’s good for you. It brings a different perspective. It recharges the batteries, so to speak.

On this vacation you’re at a foreign destination. Naturally, you want to check out some of the historical landmarks. At each site, you take a picture with yourself in the shot. Known as a selfie, it’s a way for your friends online to see what you are doing. You become famous, in a sense, through a picture. “Look where I am.” “See what I found.”

A long time back, a dedicated servant to the Supreme Lord Rama made an amazing discovery. He hadn’t necessarily visited a famous site. The discovery was made in Lanka, which at the time was more infamous than famous. The place inherited the qualities of its leader. It is for this reason that in Vedic culture the importance of the leader is stressed.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas

tat tad evetaro janaḥ

sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute

lokas tad anuvartate

“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.21)

[Benjamin Franklin fur hat]What the well-known person does, others follow. The leader can create a new fashion even. When Benjamin Franklin visited Paris during the Revolutionary War period in America, he wore a certain fur hat. It gave him a look that presented a certain idea about Americans. It added to the fame that he already had in the country due to his prior discoveries in the field of electricity. Soon the hat came into fashion in France.

In Lanka, the leader was overtaken by his senses. This characteristic is known as ajita-indriya. Ravana got his name due to his terrifying scream. He literally terrorized others with his amazing powers, which came to him through worship of demigods. He was against the real God, however. He didn’t realize that for any demigod to grant a benediction, the sanction from the Supreme Lord must be there first.

The area itself wasn’t famous, but Hanuman found someone who had gone missing. She was so important that a massive army of monkeys was looking for her. They were searching the entire world, in fact. Hanuman made the discovery after a difficult journey. There were many obstacles along the way, and there was the time factor as well. Success hadn’t come, even after a great leap over the ocean.

In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, Hanuman is speaking to Sita Devi, the princess he has discovered in an ashoka grove. He remarks that now the leap over the ocean did not go in vain. By his good fortune, the effort paid off. Also, it was his good fortune to earn the fame of having found Sita.

At the time, no one knew. After all, he couldn’t very well reveal his presence to everyone. It was an enemy territory. Ravana had taken Sita away in secret. Prior she was living happily with her husband Rama in the forest of Dandaka. The people in Lanka did not help her. On the contrary, they were on orders from Ravana to try to scare her into submitting to becoming the chief queen.

“Yashah, fame, should be according to Lord Chaitanya, who said that a man is famous when he is known as a great devotee. That is real fame.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 10.4-5 Purport)

[Shri Hanuman]Hanuman knew he would become famous, and that the fame would come through sound. Simply by telling the monkey-party about his success, the news would spread. The fame would increase through the predicted march of Rama towards Lanka, to rescue Sita. Indeed, that’s what would happen. Any work done for the Supreme Lord automatically rewards the servant accordingly. There need not be a separate endeavor made for everyone to become informed. Lord Chaitanya says that yasha, or fame, should be associated with God. In this respect, Shri Hanuman shows the ideal example of fame.

In Closing:

By example the great leader showing,

In their footsteps others going.


When success for Hanuman came,

Known that to lead to great fame.


Rama’s missing wife he found,

News to travel through sound.


Through Ramayana to continue to this day,

For fame’s proper role look Hanuman’s way.