Episode 263 –“Sharanaagathi Dharma” – Significance of the term “Anjali”!!!


In the preivous episode we had witnessed that Vibhishana (Ravana’s brother) is abandoned by Ravana and sets off from Lanka to reach the place where Rama and Lakshmana are at the moment. As Vibhishana approaches the other end of the ocean from Lanka, the Vaanaraas including Sugriva, Angadha, etc. spot him coming along with four other Raakshasaas. Immediately Sugriva and Co. conclude that Vibhishana is coming forward to kill Rama and Lakshamana and thus alerts the entire Vaanara army to be up on their feet.

In due course we also commenced an important discussion about “Sharanaagathi Dharma”, which is nothing but “Unconditional surrender to the Lord’s feet”. We had initially witnessed two important points to explain “Sharanaagathi Dharma”. Today we shall include more points to this important explanation.

Moving on, as mentioned above, Sugriva initially was under the impression that Vibhishana was coming to attack Rama. However, Sugriva is now observing the way in which Vibhishana is holding his “Gadha” (A weapon which was used during those days for warfare). Looking at the way in which Vibhishana is holding his Gadha, it does not seem as if he has come to attack Rama. Instead, Vibhishana is holding the Gadha in a respectful manner so as to bow down and pay tributes.

Here is another important message with regards to Sharanaagathi Dharma”As devotees, how do we take on and “defeat” Bhagawan? It is not through weapons and warfare! There is a unique “weapon” that can defeat Bhagawan and bring tears of love towards us!! What is that “weapon”? It is nothing but “Anjali”.

Now what is this word “Anjali” mean? Even if Bhagawan is terribly angry upon us for all our innumerable wrongdoings and sins, the moment we fold our hands and bow down to him with complete surrender, His heart melts and he stands defeated to our unconditional surrender! This is called “Anjali”! It is said that,

“Anjalih paramaa mudhraa kshipram devah prasaadhini!!”

This is a common saying in Sanskrit that means, “Anjali” is the only weapon that we can possess in us, so as to melt Bhagawan’s heart! If Bhagawan tries to use the weapon of “Anger” against us to punish our wrongdoings, we should retaliate him with our weapon called “Anjali” to defeat Him! 🙂

Now the next question comes: How do we exhibit this “Anjali” towards Bhagawan? When we go to a temple and in front of Bhagwan, we fold our hands and pray to him, isn’t it? This “folding our hands and praying” is an exhibition of “Anjali”.

It is very interesting to look at the structure of the word “Anjali” (in Sanskrit):

Anjali”: Am – Jalayatheethi – Anjalihi

The letter “Aha” means “Vishnu Vaachakaha”, or in English, it denotes Bhagawan himself. Thus, the conjunction “Am” means “Towards Bhagawan”. Now the next component – “Jalayatheethi” – This means “Melting down Bhagawan” (like how ice melts into water). Thus the word “Anjali” in Sanskrit means, “The process of melting down Bhagawan into tears of love and compassion towards us!” 🙂

Thus, Sugriva sees that, instead of exhibiting signs of waging a war against Rama, Vibhishana is trying to exhibit “Anjali” towards Lord Rama! Thus, Sugriva becomes confused – Is Vibhishana coming here to fight with Rama or to surrender to him, or is Vibhishana trying to fool Rama by exhibiting “Anjali” initially, and then fight him down? Hence, it is for this reason that Sugriva alerts all the Vaanaraas to be up on their feet to take on this Vibhishana and not let him go near Rama.

Thus all the Vaanaraas are getting ready as per Sugriva’s order. Vaalmiki Maharishi gives a comical and a fascinating explanation on this – Some monkeys uproot huge trees and carry them in their hands as weapons! Some of them uproot huge rocks from the nearby mountains and cliffs, so as to use these rocks as weapons! All the monkeys did not even wait for Sugriva to finish dictating the order – The moment they heard the word “Alert” and “Fight”, the Vaanaraas were getting ready! It is to be noted that Vibhishana has not even landed on the shore! Look at the speed in which the Vaanaraas (monkeys) are operating! 🙂

As Vibhishana nears the coast, he sees all these monkeys coming towards him with their “weapons”! He gets puzzled for a moment! What happens next? Did Vibhishana manage to meet Rama? What did Rama say? The action continues in the next episode! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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