On the completion of his education, Hanuman prayed his mother to advise him on his future course of action. She was pleased with her son’s good intentions. She said: “Son! I am the daughter of Ahalya and sage Gowtama. My mother who was duped by Indra and Surya bore two sons. My father, who knew the truth, threw the children into a river and cursed them to be monkey shaped. The cursed duos are Vali and Sugriva. Vali is born due to Indra and Sugriva is born due to Surya. Both are my brothers. Sugriva is pious. Vali has misunderstood Sugriva and took away Sugriva’s wife. Vali is following an evil path and he is intending to kill Sugriva. You go to Sugriva and be his minister and saviour. Even though my two brothers are at logger heads, you don’t fight with Vali”. She added further: “My child! In your call of duty, you would meet your Lord. You would recognize him at once, as his very sight would induce inexplicable feeling in you. You serve him and fulfill your life mission”.
Devoted son that he was, Hanuman prostrated at the feet of his mother and sought her blessings to succeed in his future endeavours. Anjana bade a tearful but resolute fare well to her son.
Anjana’s advice set Anjaneya on his own mission, the mission of his Lord and the mission of his teacher Surya. Since Sugriva was Surya’s progeny, serving Sugriva was like serving his Guru. As advised by his mother, Anjaneya became Sugriva’s minister.
Ravana abducted Sita. Sri Rama and Lakshmana set in search of her. They saw Jatayu, who was about to die. Jatayu told them of Ravana’s misdeed. He informed that Ravana traveled south. Accordingly Sri Rama and Lakshmana traveled south and reached the banks of river Pampa. It was than Sugriva saw them. He thought: “were they sent by Vali?” He was worried. He shared his worry with Hanuman. Hanuman tried to reason with Sugriva. He said: “They do not appear to be dangerous. Further Vali or his followers cannot come to our place. You are suffering from the ever wavering attitude peculiar to the monkey race”. Sugriva was restless. He wanted Hanuman to go to the two strangers, in the guise of a mendicant.
The strangers Sri Rama and Lakshmana were GRUHASTHAS (married men). Hanuman was in the guise of a mendicant. As per established practice, the married men must pay respects to a mendicant, but not other wise. Contrary to tradition, Hanuman, who was in the guise of mendicant paid his respects to Sri Rama and Lakshmana, by folding his hands in a NAMASKARA.
The very sight of Sri Rama made Hanuman very happy. He was experiencing strange feelings of devotion. He at once recalled his mother’s words. Hanuman recognized his Lord in Sri Rama.
He started to speak: “Great men! You are dressed like sages, but wear swords, bows and arrows. Your shoulders suggest that they deserve royal insignia. Please tell me who are you. I am born to a Vanara Veera by name Kesari and his wife Anjana through the blessings of Vayu Deva, the wind god. My name is Hanumantha. I am a follower of Sugriva”. After telling everything about himself, Hanuman proclaims: “I have spoken so much and you don’t respond”.
Hanuman’s words astonish Sri Rama. He shares his astonishment with Lakshmana when he says: “Lakshmana, only a person well versed in four Vedas alone can talk like this. He could not have spoken so well, if he were not a scholar in the nine types of grammar. Who is this great person?”
Thus Sri Rama praises Hanuman’s capabilities in their very first meeting. That is why Anjaneya gained popularity as ATHI VAKRA NIPOORNAHA KAPIHI - the kapi who is the great exponent of speech.
Beginning the service of Sri Rama
<span> </span>Hanuman listened to the Sri Rama in rapt attention. When he knew that Sri Rama came in search of Sita, Hanuman thought that Sugriva should forge a friendship with Sri Rama. He carried Sri Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders and reached RUSHYAMUKA PARVATA, the hill abode of Sugriva. He made them seated comfortably and went to Sugriva. He told Sugriva everything he learnt about Sri Rama. Sugriva accepted Hanuman’s advice. He went to Sri Rama and politely welcomed him. Hanuman made proper seating arrangements for them with leaves and branches of trees.
Sri Rama and Sugriva exchanged notes. Sugriva offered to serve Sri Rama. He said: “Sri Rama, from now you will be my master and the master of my followers. All of us would search for your wife”. Sri Rama assured Sugriva that he would help the latter. Hanuman churned the fire sticks and started a fire. Sri Rama and Sugriva entered into a bond of friendship with fire god as witness. Thus the NARADHIPA (The king of men) and the VANARADHIPA (The king of monkeys) were brought together by Hanuman.
As he was talking to Sri Rama, Sugriva remembered of a bundle of ornaments, which fell before the Vanaras, a few days earlier. Hanuman shows the bundle to Sri Rama and Lakshmana. They recognize the ornaments as belonging to Sita. Sri Rama’s anguish increases. Sugriva assures Sri Rama that he would search for Sita and unite her with the Lord.
Sri Rama, the epitome of Dharma slew Vali as per his promise. Tara, Vali’s wife was greatly dedicated to her husband. She was bitterly crying for her husband. Hanuman did not want Tara to curse Sugriva, to ensure that the purpose of Dharma was not defeated. He endeavors to pacify Tara. With great foresight, he gains her confidence and advises her to act with fortitude for the sake of her son Angada. Tara relents. With his great ability of precise speech, Hanuman saves Vanaras.
Sugriva was crowned as the king of Vanaras. As he was bound by his filial dictate of residing in the forests, Sri Rama did not attend the coronation of Sugriva. He stays in a cave in the PRASRAVANA hills. Sugriva, who had a very difficult time when Vali was alive, was tempted to taste the pleasures of life. As it was rainy season, Sri Rama allowed Sugriva to enjoy. Even after the rainy season, Sugriva continued to be indifferent to his promise to Sri Rama. Hanuman was
disturbed. He went to Sugriva to advise. He said: “Sri Rama fulfilled his promise to kill Vali. You have forgotten his help. You cannot be indifferent. If Sri Rama gets angry, no one can save us”.
Hanuman’s advice prompted Sugriva to call Neela. He ordered Neela to send word to Vanaras from all over. Having ordered Neela, Sugriva continued to indulge in pleasures.
The indifference of Sugriva vanished the moment he learnt of the visit of Lakshmana, sent by Sri Rama to remind Sugriva. Lakshmana was seething with anger. Sugriva humbly submitted to forgive his folly. He went to Sri Rama along with his followers and promised him of immediate action.
The Vanaras from all over congregated at KISHKINDA. Sugriva drew plans to search for Sita. It was decided that Hanuman should go south along with Angada, Neela and Jambavanta. Sugriva provided description of different areas to his followers. He had a special advice for Anjaneya: “Hanuman, you are bestowed with great physical strength and rare intellect. You know how to behave properly in different situations. You are also very virtuous. You would definitely achieve the mission.”
Sri Rama was assessing the capabilities of Hanuman ever since he met the latter. He observed Sugriva praise Hanuman. Since Ravana traveled southwards, Lanka was certainly in that direction. Sri Rama recognized Hanuman’s ability to achieve. He handed over his ring, which was imprinted, with his name to Hanuman. Hanuman took Sri Rama’s ring with great reverence. He took leave from Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva and departed to search Sita.