In the previous episode, we had witnessed the next aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit, called “Aasyam”. This means that we should be ardent servants of Bhagawan at all times. When we use the word “servant” it doesn’t imply “slavery”. It simply explains that we should be ready to commit ourselves to all the ways and means prescribed by Bhagawan, under the category of “Dharma”. We should constantly be of service selflessly to Bhagawan and His Bhaagawathas all times. We’ve witnessed this during our Ramayana project as well, wherein Bhagawan Rama’s brothers, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shathrugna stood tall as epitomes of this “Dharma”. While Lakshmana and Bharata was unperturbed in his service to Bhagawan Rama 24*7, Shathrugna was devoted to the service to his elder brother Bharata, who was Bhagawan’s ardent devotee (Bhaagawatha).
Similarly, Hanuman was yet another epitome of this “Dharma” called “Aasyam”. We might even discard the argument of Lakshmana and Co. being devoted to Bhagawan Rama, as all four of them were brothers, but Hanuman was simply outstanding in whatever service He offered to his Bhagawan! For Hanuman, Bhagawan Rama was everything in this world! It is worth to paint a beautiful explanation to this aspect of “Dharma” with some excerpts from Hanuman’s life.
As we’ve witnessed during the Ramayana episodes, the moment Hanuman meets Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana, He comes to know immediately that it is none other than Bhagawan Rama who is the Supreme Lord of the whole universe. From that moment onwards, Hanuman’s exemplary service to Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita is just a treat for all of us to admire! Amongst all the “Vaanaras”, it was Hanuman who came forward to cross the mighty ocean to reach Lanka, search for Mother Sita amidst the nook and corner of Lanka and only to find her amidst Ravana’s “Ashoka Vana”. Although Hanuman found out the whereabouts of Mother Sita thus, He decided not to end His pursuit there. He decided to strike a conversation with Her, explain Bhagawan Rama’s condition and exuded confidence and motivation that all is not over yet. Hanuman assured Mother Sita that Her beloved husband is on His way to destroy Ravana and Co., thereby taking Her back to Ayodhya! Even after this, Hanuman wasn’t done yet! He decided to teach Ravana a lesson, and thus started waging a “preliminary war” with Ravana’s close associates! Whomever Ravana sent to capture Hanuman ended up being killed in His hands! Finally it was Indrajith who somehow succeeded in capturing Hanuman and bringing Him to Ravana.
As Ravana enquires about the whereabouts of this “treacherous monkey”, Hanuman again explained the significance of Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita and warned Ravana of imminent danger for his heinous crime of abducting Mother Sita! As Ravana didn’t pay heed, Hanuman’s tail was set ablaze! With that fire, Hanuman quickly emerged out of Ravana’s palace and thus burnt the entire city of Lanka within minutes! Thus ends Hanuman’s “Lanka visit” and finally returns back to Kishkinta and conveys all that conspired in Lanka to Bhagawan Rama! As Hanuman narrates the whereabouts of Mother Sita, Bhagawan Rama couldn’t hold back His tears! He immediately hugs Hanuman with Him and exudes thus, “Oh Hanuman! Today you’ve proved to be an epitome of selfless service! You’ve undergone innumerable trials and challenges all along the path, and you’ve finally achieved what you were supposed to! Had I been the king of Ayodhya by now, I would have given you a great reward for your remarkable achievement! But here I am, roaming in the forest without anything. At this moment, all that I can offer you is myself and my generous and heart-felt hug!” Saying thus, Bhagawan Rama hugs Hanuman amidst His tears of joy! Hanuman on His part replies to His Bhagawan thus, “Oh Rama! I offered my services not with an expectation of any kind of reward from you! This is my contribution of “Seva” to you! I’ve always thought how fortunate are Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna, who always have the opportunity to be with you all the time! Now that you’re amidst the Vaanaras and myself, I should thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve you!”
Such was Hanuman’s exemplary service to Bhagawan Rama and this is real “Aasyam”. In fact, this is what prompted Bhagawan Rama to transfer all of His powers to Hanuman when He decided to leave for Vaikunta too! We might be knowing this episode of the Ramayana – When Bhagawan Rama was preparing to leave for Vaikunta after all His duties were over, He remembered that He had to meet Hanuman before He left. As Bhagawan Rama meets Hanuman for one last time, He offered Hanuman to join Him to transcend to Vaikunta! However, Hanuman wasn’t ready! Hanuman replies thus, “Wherever there is ‘Rama-Naama-Japa, I shall always be there and would meticulously keep thinking about you! Even though I’m not near you from now onwards, I don’t mind! I shall live the rest of my life with your divine thoughts!” Hearing thus, Bhagawan Rama was so moved that He transferred all His divine powers to Hanuman before He transcended to Vaikunta!
Thus, from this narration, we should understand the significance of this important “Dharma” called “Aasyam”. When we say that we should be Bhagawan’s servant, we should immediately recollect Hanuman’s contribution, and through that we should learn to devote ourselves to the selfless service towards Bhagawan and His Bhaagawathas! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya! Stay tuned! 😊