Episode 204 – Hanuman encounters the real enemy!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed very important points pertaining to modern day leadership, with respect to the Hanuman-Surasa episode. We witnessed three important points – Firstly, leaders should strive to outsmart their opponents while facing tricky situations. Secondly, leaders should be able to handle different situations, different people and different conditions in the appropriate manner to gain success. Thirdly, leaders should keep themselves calm and composed in any situation. If leaders start panicking, it should be remembered that the entire team goes into panic mode and the mission goes into a threat of undergoing failure.

Now moving on, we shall see the next important event that is going to take place as Hanuman continues his journey towards Lanka. As Hanuman flies past, he admires the beauty of the sky and the water. Valmiki Maharishi presents various beautiful poetic comparisons to explain the natural beauty. As Hanuman keeps flying, he comes across the third obstacle – This time, the real enemy comes in front of him! So far, it should be remembered that the first obstacle in the form of Mainaaka was Hanuman’s well-wisher and a friend. The second obstacle in the form of Surasa was actually a friend, but in the form of an enemy so as to test Hanuman’s strength and capabilities. Now, the third obstacle comes in the form of the real enemy. Who is this real enemy? She is none other than the demoness “Simhika”! If someone flies over her through the skies, this Simhika has a unique capability of pulling the shadow of that person and reducing their speed of flying! What a unique power! Thus, as Hanuman was flying through, Simhika pulls up Hanuman’s shadow that falls on the water and restricts his movement forward!

“That thritheeyam hanumatho dristva karma sudushkaram!

Saadhusadhrithi bhoothaani prasasamchuhtathaa harim!!

Vejenvaram niraalambham pakshayukthamivaadhiraat!

Plavamaanam tu tham drishtvaa simhikaa naama raakshasi!!”

Thus, Valmiki Maharishi describes how all the celestial beings celebrate Hanuman’s second success as he moves forward. Now he has to encounter the third obstacle in the form of the demoness by name Simhika. As Hanuman finds her lying beneath the ocean floor pulling his shadow towards her, he recollects that this is the demoness that Sugriva was referring to when he was guiding through the path to reach Lanka! Thus, getting the sense of the situation, Hanuman realizes that this Simhika poses a huge threat to mankind! Hence he decides to take her on and kill her before moving forward!

“Kapi raagnyaa yathaa raagnyam sathva akrutha darshanam!

Chaayaa graahi mahaaveeryam thravidham naathra samshayaaha!!”

Thus as Hanuman decides to take her on, he starts growing in size! As Hanuman starts growing in size, Simhika opens her mouth wide open so as to swallow him up! Hanuman continues to grow into an enormous size of about 100 yojanas! Simhika accordingly opens her mouth to a few yojanas more than Hanuman’s size! However, little did she know that Hanuman is shrewd and smart and can alter his size within the wink of an eye! Thus, Hanuman quickly reduces his size to that of an ant and enters Simhika’s huge and wide-open mouth! Now, Simhika starts to close her mouth as Hanuman has gone inside. However, once he goes within her mouth, he again starts growing in size, breaks up her throat and her voice chord with his sharp nails and comes out of her mouth even before it closes completely! All this happens within fraction of seconds! Unable to bear the pain that Hanuman has inflicted on her, Simhika falls into the water, dead!

Upon seeing Hanuman’s third miraculous act, all the Devas and Celestial Beings congratulate him for his huge success! They were relieved that Simhika was finally killed by Hanuman and thus blessed him with all success in his mission. As the Devas and Celestial beings talk with each other, there is an important message that they convey amongst themselves. This message can be very important to us for our learning too! What is that message? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 🙂

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Episode 203 – Successful Leaders “outsmart” their opponents!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important event wherein Hanuman encounters Surasa on his way who comes in the form of a huge demoness. Surasa is actually a kind-hearted and a good woman but she wants to test Hanuman’s strength and his ability to handle obstructions successfully. Hanuman decides within himself that he has to win over her with his smartness and not with his strength and thus, enters into Surasa’s wide-open mouth and comes out through her ears! Upon realizing that Hanuman had outsmarted her, Surasa takes her original normal form and blesses Hanuman with all the success in his mission of finding Sita.

What are some important implications for modern-day managers and leaders from this important episode? There are three key aspects to be discussed as follows:

The first important point is that leaders and managers should know how to deal differently with different people and with different situations. As per the famous proverb coined by Mr. Shiv Khera, author of the famous book “You Can Win”, Winners do not do different things! They do things differently! It is important to note that if we’ve to be a winner, we should think different and act different! This is exactly what Hanuman has done here – The moment he realizes that he is under test by Surasa, he quickly makes a decision as to how to handle her without using his physical strength. Of course, for modern day managers and leaders, this comes with lot of experience. However, to stay competitive and relevant in the market in the modern day, irrespective of any industry, it is very important to think differently and out of the box everytime. This is one way how good leaders are differentiated from others.

The second important point under discussion today is that, leaders should be able to outsmart others with their unique decisions. This might be seen as a continuation of the previous point, wherein, leaders are expected to be smart when it comes to handling tricky situations. In the modern day we see quite a few exceptional leaders who demonstrate this important characteristic – Both in the industry as well as in other areas such as sports. Many of us might be familiar with Mr. Mahendra Singh Dhoni – former captain of the Indian cricket team. Why is Mr. Dhoni revered as one of the most successful captains, Indian cricket has ever seen? It is because of his unique ability to outsmart the opposition with his game tactics. This is an extremely important but often not much discussed quality of a leader. This is exactly Hanuman has also exhibited here – The way he outsmarted Surasa is definitely an important lesson to be observed and learnt by modern day leaders.

The third most important point to be discussed as part of the Hanuman-Surasa episode is that, leaders should keep themselves calm and composed at any situation. Here we can see that, the moment Surasa erupted from the ocean with the huge demoness form, Hanuman never panicked. Instead, he was focusing on how to handle her effectively and move on. Similarly, leaders should never panic under any situation. It should be remembered here that the entire team looks up at the leader if there is a catastrophic situation that arises. At this point, the trust of the team is on the leader and the team members have the confidence that their leader would be able to handle this complexity and come out of it. But, if the leader panics and shows it on his/her face, the team members would start looking down and will start losing their confidence. This is why we would see Mr. Dhoni always keeping calm on the field, even if India is at the verge of losing a game! None of the team members should have the slightest doubt that the leader is panicking. Instead, they should always have the feeling that their leader still has some ideas running in his mind so as to bring the team out of the brink! This is exactly what we see in Hanuman as well – Given any complex and tricky situation he never panics. Rather, he makes a plan how to handle the situation smartly and come out of it with success! It should be remembered that if panic creeps in, the entire mission would crumble down within minutes!

Thus, Hanuman comes out through the ears of Surasa, outsmarting her completely and making her look foolish in front of him. He now talks to Surasa,

“Pravishtosmi trithe vakthram daakshaayani namosthuthe!”

Hanuman says, “Oh Daakshaayani!! I’m offering you a big salute! I’ve fulfilled your boon from Lord Brahma! Let me go now!” Thus, Hanuman moves on with the blessings of Surasa. What happened next? The action continues in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode 202 – Hanuman encounters the second obstacle!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Hanuman is proceeding further south after the interaction with Mainaaka. In due course, we also witnessed how Hanuman is considered to be an epitome of Buddhi (Knowledge), Balam (Strength), Yashas (Shrewdness) and Dhairyam (Courage and Confidence). These are very important lessons for our modern day life in order to be successful in whatever mission we undertake!

Now moving on, as Hanuman was proceeding further, all the Devas (Celestial beings) started getting jealous about Hanuman’s strength and shrewdness in undertaking the complex mission. Hence they wanted to test Hanuman one more time to see if he really manages obstacles well. Thus all the celestial beings go to Surasa (Mother of all the serpents) and request her to block Hanuman’s way by frightening him.

“Tvaam videshyasthupaayena vishaadham vaa gamishyathi!

Mama bhaksha prathishtathvam ami aishwara vaanara rishabaha!!

Aham tvaam bhaksha ishyaami pravishetham mamaananam!”

Thus as Hanuman proceeds further, Surasa stands in front of him with a huge form of a demon! (It is to be remembered here that Surasa is actually a friend and not an enemy to Hanuman. It is just to test his strength and shrewdness that Surasa is taking the form of a huge demon.) As Hanuman sees a huge form arising out of the ocean he thinks within himself, “Oh! Now who is this second obstacle? Why is she standing like this with this ugly form? Last time it was a male who obstructed me and now a female is obstructing me! What’s going on?” Thinking thus, Hanuman is proceeding further.

As Hanuman nears Surasa, she speaks to him in a loud voice: “Oh Vaanara with a huge form! I’m Surasa, mother of all serpents! I’ve got a boon from Lord Brahma – Whoever passes by this route, I shall have the power to eat them! Hence, if you have the guts to proceed further, enter into my mouth first!”

Upon which, Hanuman replies back:

“Yeva mukthasthu surasayaa prahrishta vadanobraveeth!

Raamo daasharathir naama pravishto dhandakaa vanam!!

Lakshmanena sahah braathraa vaidehyaachaabhi bhaaryayaa!”

Here too we can see that Hanuman is honest and straightforward in his answer. He says, “Oh Surasa! Let me tell you what happened – Rama is the son of the great king Dasharata! He is suffering because of the separation from his dear wife Sita. I’m going on a mission to Lanka to find out Sita and bring back Rama’s happiness. It is upon the instruction of Lord Rama that I’m preceding to Lanka. Please do not interrupt me.

“Asya kaarya vishaktasya baddha vairasya raakshasaihi!

Tasya seethapithaa bhaaryaa raavanena yashashvini!!”

Hearing this from Hanuman, Surasa was not convinced! She replies back with fury, “Oh Hanuman! You go for whatever mission! I don’t care! According to Lord Brahma’s boon to me, you need to enter my mouth first! Please don’t waste my time in giving lectures!”

Hearing this from Surasa, Hanuman quickly realises that he is under test! Hence he decides, “Okay! Since I’m under test, I should try and win over her with my smartness, rather than fighting her!” Hanuman replies back, “Oh Surasa! You want me to enter into your mouth right? Fine! Open your mouth in such a way that you’ll be able to swallow me!” Saying thus, Hanuman starts to enlarge his form!

“Dasha yojana visthaaraha hanuman abhavaktathaa!”

Thus, Hanuman grew as huge as 10 yojanas in size!

“Chakaara surasaapyaasam vimsath yojanamaayasam!”

Thus, as Hanuman grows on and on, Surasa opens her mouth to match Hanuman’s enormous size! At one stage, Hanuman sees an opportunityWithin just a wink of an eye Hanuman suddenly reduces his size to that of a small ant, enters Surasa’s huge open mouth and comes out through her ears! Thus Hanuman stands in front of her and says, “Oh Surasa! I’ve fulfilled your boon from Lord Brahma! As instructed by you, I’ve entered your mouth and come back! Now let me proceed further!” Upon hearing this, Surasa was overwhelmed and blesses Hanuman with all the success in his mission!

Thus Hanuman encounters the second obstacle successfully. There are a few management lessons to be learnt from this episode. Let’s wait till the next episode to find them out! 🙂

Episode 201 – “Buddhir Balam Yasho Dhairyam…”

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In the previous couple of episodes we had witnessed how Hanuman smartly manages to cross through the Mainaaka Mountain, without stopping and resting. In due course we also witnessed certain important management and leadership lessons from the Hanuman-Mainaaka episode. In that, we understood two important lessons – The art of smart decision-making and the art of effective communication.

Now moving on further, Hanuman proceeds towards Lanka and increases his speed and altitude once again. He is happy that Mainaaka and Samudra Raaja had blessed him success in his mission.

“Jagaama aakaashamaavishya veeryavaan prahasanniva!

Tath dvitheeyam hanumatho drishtva karma sudushkaram!!”

Thus, as Hanuman regains his velocity and altitude to fly, the celestial beings above were surprised and amazed at the way Hanuman handled Mainaaka! They were talking within themselves, “Oh! All of us thought that Hanuman would become tired after a certain distance and might fall into the ocean, however, his strength knows no bounds! He’s flying with almost zero tiredness! What a miracle! Moreover, how smart is this Hanuman! It’s amazing with the way Hanuman handles any kind of tricky situations!”

Here again, Valmiki Maharishi brings out the immense smartness and shrewdness that Hanuman possesses. This is why we often chant the very famous sloka in the praise of Hanuman:

“Buddhir balam yasho dhairyam! Nirbhayathvam arogatha!

Ajaatyam vaakpadudhvamsa Hanumadh smaranaath bhaveth!!”

Thus, from the above sloka we can understand that Hanuman is considered to be an embodiment of “Buddhi” (Knowledge), “Balam” (Strength), “Yashas” (Smartness/Sharpness), “Dhairyam” (Courage & Confidence). In the modern day we can see that many people would have infinite physical strength, but won’t have the sharpness/shrewdness to assess the usage of the strength! Sometimes, people would have extremely good intelligence, but wouldn’t have the required physical strength or stamina to execute the actions! Even if both the “Buddhi” and “Balam” components were there, some people wouldn’t have the required confidence and motivation to execute the task! If this self-confidence is absent, what is the use of having the “Buddhi” and “Balam”? Hence, the next important lesson to be learnt by all of us from Hanuman is that, we should take efforts to simultaneously develop our “Buddhi”, “Balam”, “Yashas” and “Dhairyam”. In other words, we should make sure that we keep enriching our knowledge, at the same time, take care of our physical health and also make sure that we never lose our self-confidence and self-motivation.

When we talk about motivation, (“Utsaaham” in Sanskrit), Hanuman is seen as an epitome of this important characteristic. In the modern Organizational Behavior sciences we lay so much emphasis on “Motivation” – We even say that motivation can be extrinsic as well as intrinsic. All this clubbed together can be seen in Hanuman as a whole! The way he handles complex missions, the way he acts with absolute sharpness and shrewdness, illustrates that Hanuman’s motivational component is extremely high! We are going to see subsequent instances wherein Hanuman is going to exhibit this important characteristic to all of us!

With respect to this concept, we are in the process of witnessing three different instances – The first instance we’ve already seen, which is nothing but the Mainaaka instance, wherein Mainaaka is a true friend who comes in front of Hanuman. The second instance, which we are going to witness, is about “Surasa” who is considered to be the mother of serpents (Naaga Maatha). She is actually a friend, but she adorns the form of a demon to test Hanuman. Hanuman wins over her too! The third one is a real demon, in the form of “Simhika”! Hanuman kills Simhika and proceeds further! Thus from these three important instances, we can understand how to deal with different people in life – If a friend directly comes as a friend, we can show all the love and care to that person. If a friend comes in the form of an enemy to test us, we should use our smartness to overcome and pass the test. Whereas, if the real enemy comes in front of us, we should win over the enemy and proceed!

In the subsequent epsiodes, we shall witness in detail as to how did Hanuman handle both Surasa and Simhika. Stay tuned for further action! 🙂

A “Milestone” of 200 Episodes!!!

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Dear Readers of “The Indian Dharma”,

With the divine grace of Bhagawan Shri Rama and Sita Devi, we’ve so far witnessed four  “Kaandas’ – “Baala Kaanda”, “Ayodhya Kaanda”“Aaranya Kaanda” and “Kishkinta Kaanda” of the Valmiki Ramayana text in minute detail. We are currently witnessing through the all important “Sundara Kaanda” wherein, we are enjoying the beauty and significance of Hanuman – The “Aachaarya” or the “Guru”.

Today is an important day as we reach a milestone of 200 episodes as we’re looking into minute details of the Valmiki Ramayana text, in relevance with the modern-day life and also a few Management concepts that can be derived from this great Indian epic. So far, you readers have been gracious enough to spend your valuable time and effort to read and comment on the episodes that are being published regularly. My humble and sincere thanks to all of you!

Of course there were lot of challenges during the course of this blog reaching such a milestone – Of late I had been travelling, had become sick, had to be hospitalised, etc. However, with the infinite grace of Goddess Sita and Lord Rama, we are still chugging along despite the challenges and of course with all the love, support and encouragement from you readers! Thank you for everything that you’ve given me so far!

Also, there had been a number of queries put forward to me by many of our readers as to how to get access to all the archived episodes of our blog. Just for an information, all our previous episodes are archived at the “Home Page”of this blog site – “The Indian Dharma”. For your convenience, here is the link that you can directly access to:

 http://www.theindiandharma.wordpress.com

If you are an active Facebook user, you can visit the Facebook Page titled “The Indian Dharma” and all the 200 episodes published so far are archived there! You can Like/Follow the page and get the access! For your convenience, I’m sharing the link to the Facebook page below:

https://www.facebook.com/ManagementconceptsfromRamayana/

Once again, thank you all for your valuable support and encouragement! I look forward for more of it as we progress further!

With Regards,

Dr. Jeayaram Subramanian.

Episode 200 – Important Management/Leadership lessons from Hanuman – Mainaaka Episode!!!

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Today’s is a very important episode in terms of what can we learn for the modern day life from Hanuman’s actions in the Ramayana. We are of course getting to learn innumerable lessons for the modern day from various aspects of the Ramayana, right from the commencement of this blog, however, there are going to be innumerable modern-day lessons especially in terms of modern day management and leadership from Hanuman’s life. Today we are going to discuss some important take-aways from the Hanuman-Mainaaka episode that we were discussing yesterday.

In the yesterday’s episode we had witnessed that the Mainaaka Mountain, which rose up from the water, intercepted Hanuman as he was passing by. Initially Hanuman saw Mainaaka as a huge obstacle coming in front of him and later realized that he was a great soul and is related closely to his father, Vaayu Bhagawan (Lord of the Wind). We also saw how Hanuman accepted his hospitality, but at the same time proceeded towards Lanka without resting himself.

Here is a couple of important management lessons – The first lesson that can be learnt from this episode is the art of “smart” decision making and the second lesson to be learnt is the art of “effective” communication. Today we shall elaborate on both of these two important lessons.

When we talk about “Decision Making”, all of us know that it is that unique capability of a person that can distinguish himself/herself as a leader. It is of prime importance for a leader to take the right decision at the right time. If we look at this particular Hanuman-Mainaaka episode, we can clearly witness this quality in Hanuman – When Mainaaka requested Hanuman to rest for a while, nourish himself with good and tasty food, accept his hospitality and then proceed towards Lanka, the offer seemed quite tempting! Anybody could have fallen for such kind and loving words, however, Hanuman didn’t! He was completely focused on his mission and had pledged in front of all the other Vaanaras that he wouldn’t rest or eat anything unless and until he finds the whereabouts of Sita. Thus, Hanuman had to reject Mainaaka’s offer of hospitality and not let his focus to dilute. Moreover, it is normal psychology that if our body starts taking rest, it would want more and more rest only and the task in hand goes for a toss! Hence it is important to note here that rest can be taken only after the completion of the task in hand. Thus, knowing all this, Hanuman politely rejects the hospitality offer of Mainaaka. He is very clear with his mission and his approach and this is the primary learning that modern day leaders and management professionals need to admire in Hanuman!

Now that Hanuman has to reject Mainaaka’s hospitality, how does he communicate that to Mainaaka? Here comes the importance of “Communication”. Modern day leaders and Management professionals talk a lot about “effective business communication” today. Here we can see from this episode, how Hanuman exhibited clear and effective communication techniques to pacify Mainaaka and proceed further towards Lanka. What did he say? If we can recall from the previous episode, Hanuman says to Mainaaka, “Oh dear Mainaaka! Thank you so much for your hospitality and your kind words! I’m so overwhelmed with joy upon meeting you and hearing from you! This itself is the greatest hospitality that you can provide to me! You should remember that I’m on an urgent mission to Lanka and at the moment I’m running short of time to reach there. Hence, I’m currently not in a position to stay here and rest. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not accepting or recognizing your kind hospitality. I request you to understand my situation!” Saying thus, Hanuman touches Mainaaka with his two hands with a smile and moves on!

As modern day leaders and Management professionals we can learn from this episode, the art of conveying a negative message! How does Hanuman convey the negative message of his inability to stay there with Mainaaka? He conveys an appreciation and a recognition message at the beginning and then “sandwiches” the negative message of his inability in the middle and finally concludes with another positive message of recognizing Mainaaka’s hospitality! This is how a negative message is to be conveyed! If the negative message is conveyed directly to a person, it might hurt him or her. Instead, if the negative message is sandwiched between two positive messages while conveying, it reaches the other person more effectively. Hanuman knew this technique and thus has employed it to Mainaaka! We can see this communication technique being employed in modern day marketing communication techniques by big corporates across the world. But it is amazing to note that these techniques already existed some 5,000 years back! 🙂

Thus today we learnt two important management lessons from Hanuman’s actions. We shall learn more such lessons as we proceed further. What happened next? Whom did Hanuman encounter after Mainaaka? The action continues in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 199 – Hanuman manages Mainaaka with his smartness!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that as Hanuman flies over the ocean, he encounters the first obstacle in the form of the Mainaaka Parvatha. According to the instruction of “Samudra-Raaja” (King of the ocean), the Mainaaka mountain gets up and stands tall as Hanuman approaches with his immense speed. Upon seeing a huge mountain getting up all of a sudden from the ocean waters, Hanuman thinks that this is an obstacle planned by some enemies to destroy his mission. Hence he decides to act swiftly and on his way, hits the big mountain with his strong fists. With this hit, the mountain breaks into pieces. Mainaaka takes a human form and appears in front of Hanuman and talks with him with love and affection – “Oh Hanuman! Oh Mahaanubhaava! (Another name for a great spiritual master) I’m Mainaaka! I’m not an enemy to obstruct your path as you think! Samudra Raaja and myself are so overwhelmed with your great mission and we would also like to be a part of this great service to Lord Rama! Hence I request you to rest for some minutes in my mountain peaks, which is full of medicinal herbs and plants. By this, you can get rid of your tiredness and then proceed forward towards Lanka. Oh Hanuman! You are our esteemed guest. Please accept our hospitality and bless both of us!”

“Raaghavasya kule jaathaihi udharif pari varthithaha!

Kritesha prathi karthavyam yesha dharmaha sanaathanaha!!”

From the above sloka, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out Mainaaka’s request to Hanuman. He further adds, “Oh Hanuman! As a human being in this world, everybody should be of service to the Lord in some way or the other! Thus, please give me a small opportunity to be of service to our Lord Rama! This would be a great help for myself and also for Samudra Raaja!”

Mainaaka continues to explain further.. “Oh Hanuman! You know what? Both of us are also related to each other in some way! Let me tell you how!” As Mainaaka continues to talk on and on, Hanuman looks at him with awe and at the same time, he’s getting late to reach Lanka. He thinks within himself, “Oh! Who is this Mainaaka? He is coming in front of me when I’m on an urgent mission! He doesn’t seem to understand my urgency and is keeping on talking! 🙂 What is the relation between you and me?” Upon which Mainaaka explains the full history of the relationship – “Once upon a time, all mountains in this world were having wings! Thus they used to fly here and there and many of them started landing over cities and destroying them! Seeing this, Lord Indra (Leader of the Celestial beings) got angry and started to cut away the wings of all the mountains with his “Vajraayudha” (A type of weapon). When Indra was rushing towards me, your father (Vaayu Bhagawan – The Lord of Wind) blew me away and pushed me under this ocean. By that, he protected my wings from being cut down by Indra. Such is the relationship between you and me! Your father saved my life the other day and hence I’m obliged to return my gratitude to him. Now you’ve come as the son of Vaayu Bhagawan and you are the right person to whom I can exhibit my gratitude in the form of hospitality! Hence, Oh Hanuman! Please accept my hospitality and make me happy!”

At this stage, Hanuman was perplexed! He realized the fact that this Mainaaka is not an enemy but a great soul! Hence he couldn’t kill or destroy him and proceed further! At the same time, Mainaaka is treating him as a guest! If someone treats us as a guest, it is a “Dharma” to accept the hospitality provided by that person and not to reject him or her. Hanuman was thus puzzled as to how to handle this tricky situation – He should accept the hospitality, but at the same time he has a deadline to reach Lanka. What can he do?

Here is Hanuman’s smartness – He looks at Mainaaka, smiles at him and touches his peaks with his hands and replies,

“Yeva mukthah kapissreshtaha tam nagokthamam abraveeth!

Preethosmi krithamaathitham manyureshopaneeyathaam!!”

Hanuman thus says, “Oh Mainaaka! I’m so overwhelmed by your kind words and the request you’ve made for your wonderful hospitality! For me, this in itself is like giving me a great hospitality! Since I’m on a very urgent mission currently, I’m not in a position to stay here for long! However, you shouldn’t get angry that I’m not staying here as per your request! I’ve to see Sita within today evening and that is my target. Thus if I rest here for sometime, my body will start asking for more and more rest! Hence I don’t want to give space for laziness to take over!” Saying thus, he touches Mainaaka’s mountain peak with love and care and proceeds further!

Upon seeing this, Mainaaka was surprised and at the same time, amazed with the reply of Hanuman! He blesses Hanuman to successfully finish the mission! There are a few modern-day managerial implications from this episode. What are they? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

Episode 198 – Hanuman encounters the “first obstacle”!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed how Hanuman motivates and assures his colleagues who were cheering him from the ground. Hanuman says with full confidence that he would definitely find out Sita and accomplish this mission with ease! Every leader should give such a kind of motivation to his or her subordinatesespecially when the task is complex and at a time when the team members are losing hope and confidence, it is the duty of the leader to chip in occasionally and keep motivating them! Moving on further, we also saw some interesting and beautiful slokas of Valmiki Maharishi that describes Hanuman crossing the ocean. We are seeing many slokas for the past few episodes and we can understand from that as to how much of significance Valmiki Maharishi has placed for this particular event in the Ramayana.

As Hanuman is flying across and climbing in altitude, all the celestial beings including the Devas, Dhaanavas, Gandharvas, etc. heap praise on him and wish him all the best for his mission. As Hanuman was advancing in height, the Sun God (Lord Surya) was observing this keenly and at a point, started to feel afraid for the second time! It should be remembered by all of us that Lord Surya was afraid even on day one of Hanuman’s birth because Hanuman started flying towards the sun, thinking that it is a fruit and wanted to pluck and eat it! Now again when Hanuman is in the air, Lord Surya is afraid once more, whether he is in trouble today or not. Moreover today, Hanuman also has the power of “Raam-Naama” in him! All these made Lord Surya trembling with fear! However, Lord Surya sees that Hanuman is keeping on flying without even noticing anything on his way. Then he concludes within himself, “Oh! Hanuman is not coming towards us! He is going on pursuit of finding Sita and being of service to Lord Rama! Hence let me reduce my intensity of heat! Let me be of some service to Hanuman and Lord Rama by this way!”

“Shisheva satathaa vaayu raama kaaryaartha siddhaye!

Rishayas thushtu varschainam plavamaanam vihaayasa!!”

Thus, as Hanuman keeps flying in the air, all the Maharishis from the ground bless him for the successful completion of his mission.

“Tasmin plavaga shaardhoole bhavamaane hanumathi!

Ikshvaaku kulamaavaakthi chinthayaamaasa saagaraha!!”

It is only at this time the king of the oceans, “Samudra Raaja” thinks within himself, “Oh! I should be offering my service to the great Ikshvaaku Dynasty in some way, owing to the innumerable good things that I had received from its great rulers! Here is Hanuman, who is the messenger of one of the greatest princes of the Ikshvaaku Dynasty! So I should be of some help to Hanuman!” Thinking thus, he approaches the “Mainaaka Mountain” that is under the sea floor. Upon seeing the Mainaaka Mountain, Samudra Raaja says, “Oh Mainaaka! Please get up from the sea floor. Hanuman is coming by your way. You be of some help to him by asking him to rest on your mountains for a while. By that, Hanuman would get rid of his tiredness, as he has to go a long way across. Therefore, Mainaaka! Please get up immediately and stand in front of Hanuman as he approaches towards you!”

“Tathaamayaa vidhaagavyam visrametha yathaa kapi!

Hiranya naabham mainaakham uvaacha giri sapthamam!!

Tvamihaasura sanghaanaa vyavaraagnyaa mahaathmanaa!

Paathaala nilayaanaam hi dhariha sannivesathaha!!”

Thus from the above slokas, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully describes the conversation between Samudra-Raaja and Mainaaka Mountain. According to Samudra Raaja’s request, the Mainaaka mountain starts to get up from the sea floor with all its dazzling mountain ranges and rises above the water. As Hanuman was fast approaching, the Mainaaka Mountain stands in front of him with all his beauty and shine! Upon seeing a huge mountain getting up from nowhere, Hanuman thought that he was being tricked into something! He thought that this was his first obstacle and was thinking as to how to handle this!

What did Hanuman do to tackle the “first obstacle”? Did Hanuman succeed? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 🙂

Episode 197 – Hanuman assures the Vaanaras of success!!!

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Till now in the “Sundara Kaanda” we had witnessed that Hanuman, with the due motivation from Jaambhavaan sets off towards Lanka. He gradually grows in size to everyone’s utter amazement and pushes himself forward to start flying over the huge ocean. Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out the event of Hanuman’s departure to Lanka with a slew of slokas along with some beautiful comparisons and meanings.

Thus as proceeding further, Hanuman thinks within himself that he should not stop anywhere in the middle for anybody or anything until he finds Sita, comes back and informs the matter to the Vaanaras and Rama – Just like how Lord Rama’s arrow goes to it’s destination, finishes the assigned task and comes back to Rama’s bow!

“Padbhyaam dhrida-avasthaana krithvaa cha kapi kunjaraha!

Gacchethath gamishyaami lankaam raavana paalithaam!!”

At this point, Hanuman turns back for a moment towards his fellow Vaanara colleagues and gives them the much-needed assurance. He says, “Oh friends! With this speed and motivation I shall directly go to Lanka, search for Sita and somehow find her! If I’m unable to find Sita in Lanka, I’ll go and search the other worlds (Underground, Sky, etc.) until I find Sita. Even if I’m unable to find her anywhere, I shall defeat Ravana, tie him up and bring him to the feet of Lord Rama! As a last option, I shall even lift the entire Lanka Island in my hands and bring it to Lord Rama’s feet!” Saying thus, Hanuman proceeds further. As the entire Vaanara army cheers Hanuman, he flies off to a greater altitude.

As Hanuman flies further, there is a beautiful scene in the sky. Here we can see different colour combinations as explained by Valmiki Maharishi – The sky is blue in color. Hanuman who is flying across the sky is greenish in color! His face and cheeks are reddish in color! His mouth is constantly chanting the “Raama-Naama” (Divine name of Lord Rama) every passing minute! His eyes were shining like brilliant stars in the night sky! On one side there was the sun with all his glory! Hanuman was so bright and shining that for a moment everybody who was looking from the ground were confused as to who is the real sunHanuman or the Sun God himself? Thus everybody is in awe upon witnessing the divine happening in the sky!

As Hanuman was flying his way through the sky, the “Aakasha” (Another name for the Sky) was so happy and praises Hanuman! He says, “Oh Hanuman! I’m so happy that I got to see you so close to me today! It’s because, you didn’t walk nor swim across the water. Instead, you chose to fly across, wherein I also have got this divine opportunity to be of some small service to our Lord Rama!”

Here, Vaalmiki Maharishi interestingly says that as Hanuman is flying over the waters, his shadow is spotted down on the sea, which is 10 yojanas in length! He says,

“Ambarastham vibhuggraaje saradhabbhva vibhaa gatham!

Dasha yojana vistheernaa krimshadyojana maayathaa!!”

In one of our previous episodes, I’ve given a detailed explanation as to how to convert this “Yojana” into our modern day measurement scale. It is believed that 1 Yojana equals almost 13.2 kilometers! Hence, if we’ve to calculate the size of Hanuman’s shadow, it should be around 132 kilometers in length! If such is the length of just the shadow, we can imagine what would have been the size of Hanuman while he was flying! Of course, we can infer from many ancient anecdodes that the average height of a human being was much higher than what we are today! We can be sure that in those days of the Ramayana, the height of a human being would have been enormous as compared to today!

Thus Hanuman motivates his colleagues as he moves forward! Is he going to be able to keep up his words of not stopping even for a moment till he reaches Lanka? Let’s wait and find out in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 196 – Hanuman advances towards Lanka!!!

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In the previous episode we were witnessing that Hanuman is commencing his journey towards Lanka and he leaps across the ocean to commence his long travel. Upon seeing Hanuman leaping across the mighty ocean, all the other Vaanaras, the Devas and other celestial beings are looking at Hanuman in awe! As Hanuman was leaping across, he drags all the trees, flowers, plants, some small animals along with him in the air! It is with this immense force that Hanuman leaps across into the air – Just like a jet blast while an aircraft is taking off the ground!

“Baahu samsthambhayaamaasa mahaa pariah sannibhau!

Aasakaasa kapih khattyaam sharanau sankuchokachaa!!”

As Hanuman was moving forward, he makes a loud and a deafeaning sound and with that, the entire earth surface shakes for a moment! It was as if there was a loud thunder amidst heavy bunches of rain-bearing clouds. Hanuman’s appearance is so gigantic that it looked like a huge eagle grabbing a long snake in its mouth and flying!

“Samyakthicha bhukou shreemaan taschaivacha shiro dharaam!

Tejassathvam tathaa veeryam aaviveshacha veeryavaan!!”

Here, Vaalmiki Maharishi beautifully explains Hanuman’s ambitious travel – As he increases his speed and velocity, he stretches both his hands in the forward direction and as he does that, he dissipates all the clouds that are hanging above the surface! As he increases his speed further and tears apart the air, his father, Vaayu Bhagawan (The God of Wind) is so happy that his son is advancing towards him! As Hanuman was advancing further, all the clouds represent themselves in front of Indra – Leader of the Celestial beings. They ask Indra, “Oh! For how long are we going to bare this discomfort with Hanuman?” Indra replies to them, “Yes! I understand your concern! But all of us should remember that Rama is bearing so much of discomfort of losing Sita, wandering about in the dense forest, to destroy Ravana! We should remember that only upon our request, did he take birth in this world and taking up all this pain and suffering! Hence, we should tolerate this short-term discomfort caused by Hanuman!”

Thus as Indra, Varuna and other Celestial Beings talk with each other, Hanuman advances further into the ocean with his immense power. Here is a beautiful “Paasuram” from the Kamba Ramayanam in Tamil that describes Hanuman’s journey to Lanka:

“Aindhile ondru pettraan! Aindile ondrai thaavi!

Aindhile ondru aaraaga – Aariyarkkaaga yeigi!!

Aindhile ondru pettra anangaikkandu – Ayalaan ooril!!

Aindhile ondru vaithaan – Avan nammai alithukkaappaan!!”

Here, Kamba Naadar beautifully explains that in this “Sundara Kaanda” we can see that Hanuman had the connection of the five important elements of life in this world (Pancha-Bhoothas)Earth, fire, wind, water and sky! He says in the above sloka, ““Aindhile ondru pettraan!” which means, “Hanuman is the son of Vaayu Bhagawan (God of Wind). Next, he says, “Aindile ondrai thaavi!” which means, “Hanuman is crossing the water”. Subsequently he says, “Aindhile ondru aaraaga”. Here the word “Aaru” means “Way” – Hanuman is using the sky as his way, since he is flying across! Next he says, “Aindhile ondru pettra anangaikkandu!” which means that “Hanuman is going across to meet Sita, who was born from the earth surface (Bhooma Devi). Towards the end he says, “Aindhile ondru vaithaan!” which means, Hanuman burnt Lanka towards the end of his visit, which directly signifies the importance of “Fire”! Thus in this one sloka we can see that all the five elements of life – Earth, Sky, Fire, Wind and Water were in service to Hanuman in pursuit of Sita!

Thus Hanuman advances forward towards Lanka with all his energy focused only on one objective – To be of service to his Lord Rama and making him happy by finding the whereabouts of his beloved wife Sita! From the next episode and in subsequent episodes, we shall witness how Hanuman is considered to be an epitome of various modern-day Management concepts such as Motivation, “Never-give-up attitude”, how to act smart to come out of tough situations, positive thinking, etc. Stay tuned! 🙂