CROSSES THE OCEAN
order to get to Lanka, where Sita was held prisoner by Ravana, it was necessary
to cross the ocean.
accomplish such a feat, everyone felt that only Hanuman was capable.
believe that one of the great impediments in the spiritual journey of an
aspirant is his attachment towards material objects.
attachments and subsequent desires are like a great ocean one has to traverse to
get to one’s spiritual goal.
crossing the ocean to get to Sita is symbolic of crossing over one’s
attachments and desires to reach ‘Devotion Incarnate’ Sita.
is said that when Hanuman was about to cross the ocean he became big in stature.
Though big, he was light in weight.
requires great knowledge and wisdom when one is required to do an important act.
is the symbolism of the great stature of Hanuman.
even though one may have to do an act of importance, one must be light, that is,
one must be devoid of the ego. Humility is one of the most important requisites
of the spiritual aspirant’s personality.
is said that the stalk on which a ripe fruit rests bends or bows in humility.
the stalk has not learned the art of bowing, it breaks.
Hanuman crossed over the ocean different demonesses came across his path.
demonesses that crossed the path of Hanuman are the obstacles that one
encounters on the spiritual path.
first encounter was with a golden mountain. The lord of the golden mountain
asked Hanuman to rest, before he continued the journey.
golden mountain is symbolic of material temptation.
did not want to rest even on a golden mountain before his mission was completed,
that is before he got to Sita.
won over the first tempting encounter.
next encounter was with a demoness who wanted to devour him. However just as the
demoness’s mouth opened Hanuman became larger than the mouth.
an aspirant moves on the spiritual path, he comes across people who want to
threaten his progress. They may do so by criticising him or by trying to cut
down his faith with their ridicule.
second encounter of Hanuman indicates that one should not argue or fight with
such people. Instead one should polish one’s personality to such an extent
that one becomes bigger than one’s adversary.
The third encounter of Hanuman
was with a demoness who lived in the ocean. This demoness attacked the shadows
of her victims. She was only interested in attacking those who flew high.
This demoness is symbolic of
jealousy and arises from within the aspirant.
When an aspirant reaches a
certain elevated position, he is attacked by jealousy. He may become jealous
of anyone who may seem to be soaring higher than him.
Hanuman killed this adversary
with a mighty blow.
The only solution to an
encounter with jealousy is to kill it. Otherwise this enemy is capable of
devouring one and that would be the end to one’s spiritual advancement.
Hanuman moved ahead undaunted by
perils. He had defeated each enemy he had encountered on the way. He had not
succumbed to temptation, he had not cowed under criticism, had not been
influenced by controversies and had not given in to jealousy.
All Hanuman wanted was to
accomplish the task entrusted to him. He wanted to get to Sita. For his services
all he wanted was that Rama and Sita remain enthroned in his heart.
LANKA AND LANKINI
Hanuman arrived in Lanka after
defeating many foes. Yet another enemy awaited him in the Golden City.
She was the mighty demoness
Lankini who guarded the impregnable gates of the City.
This demoness claimed that she
only ate robbers. Hanuman wondered if Lankini’s meal consisted of only
robbers, how come she had not eaten her Master Ravana who was the biggest thief.
After all he had abducted Sita through foul means.
Lankini was not really evil.
Because she had lived in Lanka for such a long time under the influence of other
demons, her mind seemed to be deluded.
She was not able to observe for
herself that, though she claimed that her meal consisted of only robbers, she
was letting Ravana get away scot-free.
Hanuman gave Lankini a mighty
blow. She fainted, later repented and soon died.
Lankini is symbolic of delusion
of the mind.
A spiritual aspirant has often
to battle with the delusion of his own mind.
At this stage he requires a
great amount of awareness so that he may see situations and people as they truly
are. For that the help of a Guru (Saint) is essential.
This Guru must be evolved enough
to inflict a mighty blow to this delusion.
(Lankini came in contact of a
Saint (Guru) in the form of Hanuman.)
Under this blow, the delusion
becomes weaker and weaker until it dies a natural death, leaving the road free
for the aspirant to continue his journey ahead towards perfection.
It was time for Hanuman to find
Ravana had a brother by the name
of Vibhishana. He was a devotee of Rama and strongly disapproved of Ravana’s
abduction of Sita. He directed Hanuman to Ashok Vatika where Sita was held a
Now, Hanuman assumed a small
form. That is, he became small in stature by the magical powers that he
This is symbolic -
whenever one is about to meet a
personality more evolved spiritually than one is, it is essential to be in a
small form, that is a form of total humility, then is one able to receive the
Hanuman reached the Ashok Vatika
and hid among the branches of a tree. Under that tree Sita sat dejected. She was
starting to lose faith. She wondered whether Rama would ever be able to find
her and rescue her from her plight.
Hanuman dropped the ring that
Rama had given him to show to Sita.
Sita recognised the ring and
welcomed Hanuman as a messenger from Rama.
She wondered how Rama could have
ever forgotten her.
Hanuman told Sita that Rama was
as unhappy without her as she was without him.
Hanuman reassured her that as
soon as he would go back and tell Rama about Sita’s whereabouts, he would come
to relieve Sita from the clutches of Ravana.
Sita’s faith was restored.
The part that Hanuman plays here
is that of a sage whose words act as a balm to a sagging spirit.
There are times, in the path of
devotion where one loses all hope of meeting one’s beloved. If one is only
receptive, then help comes in the form of a sage’s entrance and reassurance
that God is ever concerned and never far.