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 opportunity – Within 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! 🙂