Friday, 19 August 2011

Lord Hanuman & Bharath

This is the story - Bharata was waiting anxiously for Lord Rama to return, once the 14 years were complete. But Lord Rama, being in Lanka, couldn't reach Ayodhya in time. Hence, Bharata was on the verge of fulfilling his vow and decided to seek death. However, this is where Lord Hanuman played yet another great role.

Lord Rama asked Lord Hanuman to fly to Ayodhya and convey the news to Bharata that He would come soon. Lord Hanuman, being extremely swift, could easily reach Ayodhya. Upon arriving though, Lord Hanuman had second thoughts about his mission - What if Bharata, being in a state of great trauma and sadness, did not believe him (Lord Hanuman) to be Lord Rama's messenger and jumped to unwanted conclusions? So Lord Hanuman hid himself from Bharata, but started singing a song that praised the glory of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman also sang about how Lord Rama had defeated Ravana and was returning home in victory. Bharata was astounded on hearing this divinely beautiful song, and searched to see who was singing it.

Then, Lord Hanuman revealed himself. Since he had already sung about Lord Rama's exploits, Bharata recognised him as a Devotee of the Lord and thus, was saved. Both of them waited for the arrival of Lord Rama, Mother Sita and Sri Lakshmana.

Note this though - Lord Rama is the Supreme Lord of the Universe. If He wanted, He could have come to Ayodhya in an instant without travelling. He could also have killed Ravana with a snap of His fingers without going to all this trouble. But He did none of these things for 2 reasons: 1) He wanted His devotees to be given the chance to serve Him, 2) He had taken a vow to act like a Human in this Avatar and perform His work without using His powers. This represents the desire of the Lord to lower Himself to our level, so that we are given a chance to raise ourselves to His level.

And it may noteworthy to mention that Sri Bharata was none other than the avatar of the Conch of Lord Vishnu. Sri Lakshmana was the avatar of Adi Sesha and Lord Hanuman was the Shakti Avatar of Shiva. Mother Sita, of course, was the avatar of Maha Lakshmi.

Sri Lakshmana, by rendering service to Lord Rama, represented the devotee who loves to be close to the Lord and derives great pleasure for himself by doing things for Him. Sri Bharata represents the devotee who, although not close to the Lord, is always thinking of Him and his thoughts never stray from Him. This devotee does not think about the pleasure he gets by serving the Lord, but rather, focuses on serving Him only.

Lord Hanuman was a devotee who showed a bit of both those characteristics. Some of his actions were service to the Lord selflessly, and in other cases, he derived great pleasure in performing some tasks for the Lord.

Sri Shatrughna, brother of Sri Bharata, represents a Devotee, who does not care about the Lord, and is not interested in serving Him. But he is one of the greatest of devotees in the sense that he enjoys serving the Devotees of the Lord more than the Lord Himself. This pleases the Lord very much. Sri Shatrughna was always the greatest devotee of his brother Sri Bharata, who in turn was a devotee of Lord Rama, the avatar of the Supreme Lord Vishnu.

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