* Jai Sri. Hanuman *

A moral story from Rāmāyaṇa

Before and After

Rāmāyaṇa happened in Treta Yuga(त्रेता युग), that is several thousands of years. We are reading Rāmāyaṇa literature since then in one or other form. We know that Sri. Rāma is God. We honor him with Pūjā. We pray him with bhakti(devotion and love) and we celebrate his victory over Rāvanā's Lankhā. And also celebrate his return from Lankā war with joy and festival. Let me ask a question, would you do the same if the Lankā war never happened? Oh... we never thought about that. Let us find an answer from the Rāmāyaṇa story itself.

Sri. Hanuman recognized Sri. Rāma as God before Lankā war happened. And also the victory was not yet achieved when Sri. Hanuman met Rāmā and recognized him as God. It is easy for Sri. Hanuman because he himself is God. We believe God knows everything even before the story begins. But it is very difficult to identify for normal people. We can’t find an answer from Sri. Hanuman because he is an avatar of God. Let us go to Shabari to find. Her Guru Mātaṅga told her to wait for God who will come as Sri. Rāma. And Shabari also knew that as a result, she will attain Mahasamadhi. Now we know that with her bhakti and service to Sri. Rāma, everything happened as she is being told by Guru Mātaṅga. So far we did not get the answer, the only person left to look is Vibhīṣaṇa.

Vibhīṣaṇa is a brother of King Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa known as the king of the richest kingdom called Lankā at that time. He was a great musician of the Veena. He had ten heads, each known for the expert in a different skill set. And also each of his head represents scholarship in Shastra and Veda. Whereas as Sri. Rāma is one who is wandering the n jungle to jungle with bare foot. Sri. Rāma gave up his kingdom and all the royal luxurious comforts to keep his father’s promise. Do you think, Vibhīṣaṇa will think that Sri. Rāma is match his brother Rāvaṇa before Lankā war? Vibhīṣaṇa asked only one boon to Lord Brahmā that his mind and head must remain to the lotus feet of God. This represents his sattvic characteristics. Humans can attain sattvic characteristics by doing Sakarma during daily life. Vibhīṣaṇa is the only person who understood Sri. Rāma before Sri. Rāma attained a victory. Today we must appreciate Vibhīṣaṇa for his intelligence, good character and intelligence to predict the future. Vibhīṣaṇa could have ridiculed Sri. Rāma when compared to his brother, but he did not.

Today how many of us ridicule younger people in our family when they have not yet achieved anything? How many of us laugh when someone falls by thinking I did not fall. Now we are so blind until someone from outside recognizes one's talent, we never appreciate them even  though we live with them daily. Many noble prize winners or highly honored award winners had a past miserable life, even they have to been ridiculed by some of their own people.

Remember today, on this Rāmanavami, think what we can learn from Vibhīṣaṇa.

           8-Apr-2014                                                                                                  - Pithamber