May 6: Glory of Hanumanji – 2

6 May

The first week of May’11 is of great importance since the Lord’s two incarnations Varaha and Parasurama Avatars’s Jayanthi were celebrated last week. The Lord VarahaMurthy is an epitome of Jnana, the one who safeguarded the Mother Earth and the Vedas. The Jayanthi of Parasurama denotes the destruction of Rajasika Guna and it is seen from his life-history that he obliterated the   entire Kshatriya clan for twenty-one generations. What can one infer from this? When the Tamas qualities are dominant, then one goes in the inertia mode and there will be no activities, since all activities are governed by the Rajas qualities. When the Rajasika qualities gain momentum, it forces the negative qualities in one and so Lord Prasurama had to incarnate to destroy the negative qualities that the mind gets into. The reason he abrogated the entire Kshatriya clan for twenty one years is verily because they were corrupt people and were not correctly discharging their duties. After Parasurama extirpated the Kshatirya clan and cleaned the mess, then the Lord incarnated as Rama Avatar and Dharma was established. Parasurama’s Jayanthi was on the Akshaya Thritiya day.

The weekend also had a lot of significance. The Saturday marked the Jayanthi of Ramanujacharya, who was one of the proponents of Bhakti and Bhagavatha Dharma on the earth. The Sunday marked the Jayanthi of Adi Shankara who showed the path of Jnana and Bhakti. Even though people bicker on the philosophies propounded by these two Mahatmas, they share almost the same Jayanthi. It is said that Lord Parameshwara imparted his teachings entirely in silence as Dakshinamoorthy. His disciples, the Sanakadis, who were seated in front of him, were so smart that Lord Shiva could inculcate them in silent mode. He wanted this knowledge to go on and destroy the faiths that were against the natural truths and so he decided to incarnate as Adi Shankara. Our Guru Maharaj talks about a beautiful term in Rudram – “Namah kapardinecha Vyuptakaeshaaya”. The Namakam section of Sri Rudram talks about various different things and sees Lord Parameshwara in all these different things.  The term ‘Kapardinah’ refers to one with matted locks, which suits Lord Shiva quite well. But it then addresses Lord Shiva as “vyuptakeshaayah”- the one who has completely tonsured his head. This form of Shiva with shaven head is not true. In order to make the “vyuptakeshah” form of Lord Shiva true, Lord Shiva incarnated as Adi Shankara, a sanyasi. Adi Shanakara came down as an incarnation of Dakshinamoorthy to transfer the knowledge to general populace due to his immense compassion.

Our Guru Maharaj in his Kirtan on Adi Sankara, sings, “Muralidhara Guru Mandala gurum” where the term Guru connotes “big”. After having praised Adi Sankara’s Krishna Bhakti in the Kirtan, our Guru Maharaj concludes by prostrating to Sankara, the greatest among all the galaxy of Gurus.

Another connotation of this verse – Sri Bodendra Swamigal, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal – our Guru Maharaj reveres and respects these great Mahatmas of the Sankara Parampara in the Guru Sthaana and Adi Shankara is indeed the Guru of these great Mahatmas as well – the Guru of Gurus.

Sri Ramanuja himself considered as a ‘poornavathara’ of Lord Vishnu himself. The Azhwars were born as different entities that the Lord holds in his hand namely the Shanka [conch], discus, gada, as lotus and Ramanujacharya was a complete incarnation can be said as the greatest of the Acharyas. He was attested by Lord Ranganatha as Udayavar- the one who possess the keys to Vaikunta. The divine consort of Lord Vishnu, Mahalakshmi Thayar gave the keys of Vaikunta to Ramanuja saying that if one surrenders unto the holy feet of Ramanuja, they will be liberated. She told Ramanuja that whoever is let to enter Vaikunta by Ramanuja is sure to get Moksha. Above all, he showed the path of Prapati and totally simplified the path of surrender.

A Sri Vaishnava is akin to “Chandana Thambooladi”. Just like how Chandan (sandalwood paste) and Thamboolam (betel leaves and nuts, taken after a meal) abide verbatim to the person consuming them, they have no desire of their own. A Vaishnava is akin to “Chandana Thambooladi” since he has completely surrendered to the Lord and has no sankalpa of his own. Sri Ramanuja showed the path of Prappati. Our Guru Maharaj in one of his compositions on Ramanuja, sings – “Prappati Margam Prakashitam Bhasyakaram”. Here Bhashyakaram connotes one who has done “Bhasyam” of the Brahmasutras and Lordess Saraswathi herself recognized his Bhashyas and conferred the name ‘Bhasyakara’.  It is believed that even though Ramanuja delivered a great commentary on all the scriptures, he showed a simple and pragmatic path- the path of Prapatti – the path of total surrender unto the holy feet of the Lord.

 

Following a short round of introductions, Sri Narayanaswamyji from Seattle continued on Lord Hanuman’s prabhava. He embarked in his lecture stating the significance of Akshaya Tritiya day. It is on this day that Mother Ganges came down to the earth and the Treta Yuga began on this day. Out of seven Chirajeevis mentioned in the scriptures, Hanumanji is one of them and continues to incessantly recite the Rama Nama in Hemakoota peak in Kimpurusha Varsha even today.  Once, when Lord Shiva and Parvati were enjoying the Mridanga concert by Nandikeshwara in Kailash, Lord Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi visited them and told them about His next incarnation – one destined to destroy the rakashas who were causing havoc on the Earth.  He had come to seek Shiva’s permission for this, as the Rakshasa – Ravana was Shiva’s ardent devotee.  The Lord also confided in Lord Shiva about his incarnation as a human who will impart the precept to the people that despite facing impediments in life will still follow the path of dharma and that this Avatar is a personification of Dharma.  Overjoyed hearing this, Shiva wished to descend at the same time, to enjoy the Lord’s avatara – and hence descended as a ‘vanara’ (simian) – thus Hanumanji has ‘Shivaaamsa’ as well.

When the milk of ocean was being churned by Asuras and Devas, the Amrutha was collected and Lord Shiva requested the Saptha Rishis to go and pour this in the ear of Anjana Devi was doing penance praying for a child. The Rishis did as told by Lord Shiva and Hanuman who had an Amsa of Lord Shiva was born to Anjana and Lord Vayu.

There are many explanations given to support the fact that Hanumanji is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. There was a dialogue between Ravana and Vibishana when Hanuman set ablaze the Lanka. Vibhisana requested Ravana to go and surrender unto Lord Rama and that Hanumanji was a personification of Lord Shiva. After hearing this from Vibhishana, Ravana asked how a devotee of Lord Shiva can attack another such devotee. Ravana himself answered his own question saying that Rudras are eleven in number and that he has ten Rudras [ten heads worshipping ten rudras]  and the eleventh Rudra has come in the form of Hanuumanji who has come to create trouble!

When Rama and Lakshmana reached Sethu to embark in their journey to Sri Lanka to bring back Sita Devi, who was in the clutches of Ravana, there were myriad of Vanaras who had assembled and Lord Rama was curious to know how Lord Hanuman had control over all of them. Hanumanji beautifully replied that it was verily the Rama Nama  that enabled the Vanaras to be in tranquil state and thus put their strength to best use. The Vanaras were bestowed with the ability to pick any stone of any size to help build the bridge for Lord Rama and Lakshmana to cross the ocean and reach Sri Lanka. Lord Rama then posed another question to Hanumanji as to how the Vanaras are being fed. Hanumanji, mentioned that there were some Rishis with ‘Anima’ Siddhi who had the unique benediction of getting food whenever they desired and so thus fed the Vanaras. These Rishis were invisible to others but were able to see everyone. When Hanumanji stepped aside to attend to the Vanaras clan, Lord Rama and Lakshmana began to reminisce about Hanumanji.  Lord Rama extolled the greatness of Hanumanji who was constantly running errands for them. Lakshmana seconded Rama’s remark and mentioned that he was verily the incarnation of Lord Shiva who had desired to take this birth as a Vanara and help out Lord Rama.

Lord Rama was quite disturbed by Sita Devi’s separation and wanted to perform Pooja to Lord Shiva in the form of ‘Baana Linga’.  Hanuman then asked why, if Lord Kashi Vishwanatha (Shiva) Himself was chanting the Rama Nama, why would Lord Rama worship Shiva!  Rama replied  that he was ‘vishwanatha’ – the Lord of the world and hence fit for worship.  And Hanumanji went to Kailash to get the ‘Baana Linga’ for worship – which today stands as ‘Raama Naatha Linga’ in Rameshwaram.

The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.

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