Episode 214 – Hanuman demonstrates the importance of “Self-Motivation” & “Mending our Mind”!!!

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Till now we’ve witnessed Hanuman’s search for Sita in Lanka in detail. We’ve seen that Hanuman enters Lanka after defeating Lankini and starts to search through various locations in the city. Finally after searching here and there, Hanuman reaches Ravana’s magnificent palace wherein he searches place after place. He searches through the “Pushpaka Vimana”, then comes to the chambers of different ministers and chiefs of Ravana, comes to Ravana’s own chamber, sees him fast asleep, searches through the women who were sleeping around him. Finally in the previous episode we witnessed Hanuman’s search in Ravana’s “Paanaga Shaala” wherein he was able to see different kinds of juices and drinks stored in different kinds of vessels. Even there, he was able to see innumerable women sleeping in a half drunk or fully drunk state. They didn’t know what they were doing! Some women were extremely talented in impressing Ravana with their skills on playing different instruments. Hanuman was searching his way through all these women, thinking if someone among these could be Sita! However, his search was completely in vein! His efforts turned futile!

At this point in time, Hanuman started having doubts in his mind. They started creeping inside slowly one after the other. The first doubt that Hanuman had within himself was that, since he is searching his way among various women, what would happen to his austerity of being a “Brahmachaari”? Normally, a person who is a “Naishtika Brahmachaari” never goes near a woman or never indulges in any kind of relationships with women. But here, Hanuman feels that he is crossing his limits! However he consoles himself because of the fact that since Sita is a woman, he obviously has to search a woman only amongst women! He cannot search for a woman amidst men! Hence that doubt is cleared now. Moreover, although he sees lot of beautiful women, their beauty never carries Hanuman away. Rather, he is focused completely on his mission and his mind knew nothing other than that.

This is an important lesson to learn for leaders and managersIf a mission is undertaken, external disturbances that might hinder our progress shouldn’t carry us away. Rather, our focus should only be on the task in hand and the mission in the mind. Valmiki Maharishi beautifully explains this lesson for us in the following sloka:

“Manohi hethuhu sarveshaam indriyaanaam pravarthane!

Na thubhe manasaa kinchith vaikrithyam upapadhyathe!!”

Here, Valmiki Maharishi clearly explains that our mind is the one, which is responsible for all the actions that we perform. If our mind is not in a proper mood, we would not be able to accomplish anything in life! At all times, we should ensure that we keep our mood bright and cheerful. In other words, we should keep motivating ourselves every now and then. Here comes the importance of self-motivaiton. If the mind is cheerful, even tough tasks would become a cake walk! If the mind is not cheerful, even the easiest task would seem too tough to finish! Lord Krishna too gives lot of emphasis on how to mend our mind and keep it in good shape. He says,

“Manayevahi manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoho!”

Here, Lord Krishna says, “Oh Arjuna! Please realize that it is this mind that is responsible for you attaining “Moksha” or “Salvation”. He continues saying,

“Aathmaivahi aathmano bandhuhu aathmaiva ripuraathmanaha!!”

Lord Krishna continues, “Oh Arjuna! Please realize that your mind can be both your friend as well as your enemy! If your mind is detached from all worldly affairs, your mind is the best friend of yours! Whereas, if you get carried away by all the worldly pleasures, your mind can become your worst enemy!”

Hence from both the Ramayana and the Bhagawad Gita, it is important for all of us to learn that our mind is the root cause for our happiness as well as sadness, and we should keep constantly motivating our mind to progress forward in our mission. It is for this reason, Hanuman checks if his mind is in proper shape. He is trying to motivate himself to progress further in his mission of finding Sita.

Thus moving on, Hauman completes the search at the “Paanaga Shaala”. By now Hanuman has searched nook and corner of Ravana’s palace. He has seen various women from various places, castes and communities, except Sita! He has even seen the wives of the Devas being imprisoned by Ravana. He was torturing them. However, amidst all of these women, Hanuman was never able to spot or trace the whereabouts of Sita!

Now, Hanuman starts getting worried. Lot of questions start running through his mind at this point. He now goes to one corner of the “Paanaga Shaala” and sits down for a moment. He thinks within himself, “Should I continue this futile attempt of searching or not? However I search, I’m unable to find Sita! How can this be possible? Should I give it up at this point and return back?”

Thinking thus, Hanuman is now having some serious concerns. His first concern was that, has Ravana killed Sita because she shouldn’t have paid heed to his request of marrying him. If that is not the case, has Sita killed herself unable to bare the torture of these Raakshasas? Anyway now I’m not able to find Sita. What would happen if I go back to Kishkinta with this bad news? If I’m going to stay back in Lanka for some more days, what would happen if I do not return to Mahendra Giri within the stipulated time as promised?

Such were the questions that Hanuman has in his mind now. Did he find answers to all these questions? What did he do next? Did he proceed with his search or did he give it up? Let’s wait to witness all the action in the next episode!!

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Episode 213 – Hanuman searches Ravana’s “Paanaga – Shaala”!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman is searching his way through different areas of Ravana’s magnificent palace. He initially started with the “Pushpaka Vimana”, moved on to the different chambers of Ravana’s ministers and chiefs, the came down to the central courtyard, then moved on to the chamber where Ravana himself was fast asleep and searching through Ravana’s “Anthah-Pura” wherein all his wives were fast asleep! Eventually, Hanuman also sees Ravana’s most beloved wife, Mandodari who was shining like a brilliant light amongst all other women sleeping there! Upon seeing Mandodari Hanuman was taken aback for a moment and wondered if she might be Sita. But after a few minutes, Hanuman realizes that if this woman is in Ravana’s bed enjoying all the luxuries, then surely she wouldn’t be Sita! Hanuman knows the “Pathi-Vratha” nature of Goddess Sita and decides that this woman in Ravana’s chamber is someone else and not Sita.

“Taasaam ekanthabhinyasmai shayaanaam shayane shubhe!

Mukthaamani samaayukthaihi bhushanischa vibhushithaam!!

Gaureem kanaka varnaabhaam ishtaam anthah pureshvareem!!”

Thus, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully explains how Hanuman gets to see Mandodhari. He describes Mandodhari as “Gaureem kanaka varnaabhaam ishtaam anthah pureshvareem”, Which means that Mandodhari was the leader for all the women in Ravana’s “Anthah-Pura” and she was glittering like gold!

Thus as Hanuman finishes searching the entire “Anthah-Pura”, he next sees a huge kitchen and a “Paanaga-Shaala” attached to it.  Normally “Paanaga-Shaala” is the place where different kinds of drinks are prepared and served. As Hanuman moves towards the “Paanaga-Shaala” he’s able to smell the sweet aroma emanating from all the drinks that were stored there. Here, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully describes this place – He says that the aroma emanating from the place is inviting Hanuman to come towards it!

Hanuman accepts the invitation and goes into the “Paanaga-Shaala”. Here he is able to see various men and women lying down in a drunken state! Hanuman starts to check out each woman lying there, to see if any one of them would be Sita! As he searches on, he is able to witness some fascinating scenes here – Valmiki Maharishi gives a beautiful accord of the scene. He explains how different women tried to please Ravana differently so as to earn his love and care – For instance; there was one woman who tried to impress Ravana with her dancing skills. She was dressed beautifully with all the costumes and was sleeping with all those on her body! There was another woman who was an expert in playing an instrument called “Mattooham” (An instrument mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana but I do not know if this instrument still exists today!) Another woman was an expert in playing the veena and out of tiredness, was fast asleep by hugging the veena along with her! Another woman was an expert in playing the mridangam (A famous percussion instrument, which is prominently in use for modern-day Carnatic music concerts) and tried to impress Ravana with her skills. Eventually she too was tired and kept the mridangam as her pillow as she dozed off! In this way, Hanuman was able to see various women who were experts in their own domains and tried to impress Ravana with their expertise.

All these women are lying beside each other and out of their extreme tiredness, were in a state of deep sleep. During their sleep, they were in imagination that Ravana is sleeping beside them. As a result, they turn towards each other, hug and kiss each other as if they were doing it to Ravana. Thus, Hanuman was seeing all this as he was searching for Sita!

As he was checking each woman there, Hanuman also sees different kinds of juices and drinks kept at one corner of the room. Valmiki Maharishi again gives a detailed accord on the kitchen – He says that the drinks contained the essence of various items such as the meat of animals, some birds, etc. mixed with the essences of fruits and vegetables. The juices and drinks were of seven different tastes (Shad-Rasas) including sweet, sour, bitter, etc. In one corner, these drinks were present in beautifully made cups. Some of the cups were full with drinks, whereas some were half-full and the rest were emptied! At one corner, all the raw materials that were used to prepare various food items were stored. Another corner contained all the used vessels that were unwashed. Another corner had some utensils that were unused and broken.

Thus, Hanuman passes through all this and the search operation for Sita is become more and more strenuous by the moment. Amidst all these women, Hanuman was not able to find even a trace of Sita in any of them! He was able to see different women from different origins, except Sita! At this point, after undertaking extensive searches in almost all possible places, Hanuman starts having doubts in his mind. He is getting worried and starts to panic.

What were the doubts that he started to have? Can a person of Hanuman’s stature panic down? Why did he do so? Did he give up the search operation? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode!

Episode 212 – Hanuman searches Ravana’s “Anthah-Pura”!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman has reached Ravana’s mighty palace, by crossing over numerous points. In the meanwhile, Hanuman also searches his way through the “Pushpaka Vimana” of Ravana, the houses of all his ministers and chiefs to find if Sita was kept hidden somewhere in any of these places. However, Hanuman failed to find Sita anywhere.

Now Hanuman comes back to the main courtyard of Ravana’s magnificent palace. He now goes into the place where Ravana himself was sleeping! Valmiki Maharishi goes on to describe the exorbitant beauty of Ravana’s inner courtroom where he was asleep! The cot on which Ravana was sleeping was made with gold of the highest quality and purity! It was adorned with several pearls and gems that were extremely expensive and abnormal in nature. Adorning Ravana, there were innumerable lamps that added to the beauty of the entire place.

Amdist all this, Hanuman sees Ravana sleeping on this beautiful cot! He has a closer look at Ravana now. At one moment he was awestruck with Ravana’s charisma that reflected on his face while sleeping – If there was one king in this world who deserved to be praised and worshipped for what he is, it was Ravana! However, although Hanuman was admiring Ravana, he knows that this same Ravana had committed the biggest ever crime in this world by abducting Sita! So he has an angry look at him. Moreover, since Ravana was wicked, his bad “aura” was radiating all around him and this pushed Hanuman to take a step back! Hanuman thinks within himself “Oh my goodness! At the beginning of the search I was thinking that I could find Sita easily in this Lanka city, however, I’m still unable to find Sita, but I’m seeing this wicked Ravana first! What a pity!”

Thinking thus, he takes a step backwards and enters Ravana’s bedroom from a different window. Now he is able to see numerous women sleeping around Ravana’s cot! Each woman had her own beauty and it was indescribable! Hanuman thinks within himself, “Oh my God! While looking at all these women, I think this Ravana is a womanizer! He had defeated various kings all over the world and has abducted all their wives!”

“Yaahi vaishravane lakshmeehi yaa chandre hari vaahane!

Yaa cha raagnyah kuberasya yamasya varunasya cha!!

Taadvisheethadh vishishtaavaa vrudhi rakshomireshgruha!

Adhyaktham chaktha manasaha raavanovaa varah sthriayaha!!

Yuddha kaamenakaa sarvaa raavanena hithaah sthriyaha!!”

Thus Valmiki Maharishi describes the innumerable women who were sleeping around Ravana. Hanuman thinks within himself, “This Ravana has imprisoned all these innocent women in his palace! I should somehow release all of them!” As Hanuman was thinking thus, he commences his search for Sita. He starts going near each of the women and checks if this woman would perhaps be Sita! As Hanuman goes near each woman, he is not even getting a clue that she would be Sita! It is to be remembered that Hanuman had once seen a glimpse of Sita from Kishkinta, when Ravana was abducting her! Having that glimpse in his mind, Hanuman is searching for Sita amidst all the women! However, he wasn’t able to match Sita’s form in his mind with any of those women! Moreover, Hanuman thinks within himself as he searches on, “Oh! Sita is a unique woman who is completely devoted to her husband! Will she even think in her wildest dreams to share a bed with Ravana?”

“Tathra divyopamam mukhyam sphaatikam rathna bhooshitham!”

As Hanuman searches on amidst the “Anthah-Pura” of Ravana, he is unable to find Sita anywhere! Normally, it is to be noted that in those days, every king had the practice of having an “Anthah-Pura”, which is solely dedicated to his wife (or wives). Of course it should also be remembered that in olden days, it was a common practice for kings to have more than one wife!

As Hanuman searches on, he comes to a place where he finds a cot that is made of pure gold and diamonds adorned all over it! Upon this cot was sleeping a woman who was extraordinarily beautiful! She was none other than one of Ravana’s beloved wives, Mandodhari. Upon seeing Mandodhari, Hanuman initially thinks that she might be Sita! Hence he is happy for a moment that he had at last found Sita after an exorbitant search operation! However, the next moment he realizes that this woman is not Sita but someone else! How can Sita share a bed with a wicked king like Ravana? Hanuman realizes that this doesn’t fit Sita’s high stature as a “Pathi-vratha!” (Completely devoted towards husband). Hence he understood that this woman was not Sita!

Now, Hanuman has completely searched the “Anthah-pura” of Ravana. He was able to find innumerable women, but not Sita! He was able to find wives of different kings from various kingdoms, but not Sita! He was even able to find the wives of Devas (Celestial beings), but not Sita! As Hanuman feels demotivated and depressed, he looks at other places where he could extend the search operation. Where does he go next? Whom does he find there? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

Episode 211 – Hanuman searches Ravana’s palace!!!

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In the previous episode we’ve witnessed that Hanuman finally commences his search operation in Lanka city after defeating the final obstacle, Lankini. He enters into the city and to his delight, found it to be vibrant and charming! Hanuman moves around, searching through different rows of houses, gardens, forests, etc. that came on his way. Finally after roaming around a lot of places, Hanuman reaches the city center wherein Ravana’s palace was located. He was astonished with the beauty of Ravana’s palace and wondered if there was another palace in the entire world that can equal this one in beauty and majesty!

As Hanuman moves into the palace, he passes through the security guards who are protecting the place round the clock with all their dangerous weapons. He enters inside and gets even more astounded with the beauty and architecture of the palace! Also, Hanuman was surprised by the richness and wealth Ravana possessed! It was truly like heaven or a paradise on earth! Such was the nature of Ravana’s palace. Amidst everything, Hanuman sees the “Pushpaka Vimana”, which Ravana had used to abduct Sita. Hanuman was overjoyed by its extraordinary beauty, but at the same time, his anger knew no bounds that it was in this “Vimana” that Ravana abducted Sita! Thus Hanuman enters inside the “Pushpka Vimana” to have a look! The interiors were so appealing that Hanuman was taken aback for a moment! He wondered if he’s still on earth or in heaven! As Hanuman moves around the “Pushpaka Vimana”, he comes across different rooms and chambers within it, that were specially made to suit Ravana’s interest and taste. Hanuman explores through each of the chambers and comes out. He was able to find everything except Sita!

Now, he comes down from the Vimaana and enters into the palace campus again. As Hanuman enters through a different entrance now, he is able to see a beautiful row of chambers, which house all of Ravana’s ministers.

“Keelaa gruhaani chaanyaani dhaaru parvatha kaanicha!

Dadarsha raakshasendrasya raavansya nivesane!!

Samandhara samah prakhyam mayurasthaana sankulam!”

Thus, Hanuman crosses over and comes to the chambers of different ministers, army chiefs, etc. Hanuman wonders if Sita would be kept in any of these chambers. Hence he starts searching one after the other!

“Chachaara hanumaanstathra raavanascha sameepathaha!

Brihastasya mahaapaarshvasya kumbakarna niveshanam!!

Bhubluve mahaapathihi mahodharashya vidhujjihvasya!

Vijjyunmaalehe bahudharmstrasya sukhasya mahaaveshaha!!

Saaranasya dheemaha sa indrajith veshma!

Jambumaalehe sumaalescha vachrakaayasya rashmikethoscha!!”

Thus, Vaalmiki Maharishi gives an account of all the names of the Raakshasaas who were Ravana’s ministers. Thus Hanuman searches his way through each of these Raakshasaas’ chambers! He was astonished to see the amount of wealth and richness each of them were possessing. Although Hanuman searches through the nooks and corners of each of these chambers, he was unable to find Sita! Thus he again backtracks through to the place where the Pushpaka Vimana was kept. Now he goes to a different direction and finally enters into Ravana’s own chamber!

As Hanuman crosses through the Pushpaka Vimana again, he remembers the history of it. Originally the Pushpaka Vimana was gifted by Lord Brahma to Kubera (The Lord of all wealth). As Ravana came to know the significance of this Vimaana, he fights over Kubera, defeats him and abducted the Vimana from him. Hence Hanuman recollects this history and realizes that it is this same Vimana that Ravana had abducted.

Now Hanuman comes inside Ravana’s chamber and sees him sleeping! He searches through Ravana’s chamber and finds innumerable women sleeping around him! Hanuman checks through each of the women, thinking if one of them might be Sita! Atlast, Hanuman thought for a moment that finally he had reached the right place to search for Sita! Was Hanuman able to find Sita atleast here? Did the search mission come to an end? The action continues in the next episode!! 🙂

Episode 210 – Hanuman enters and explores Lanka city!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Hanuman successfully defeats Lankini who is the presiding deity of the city of Lanka. She was protecting Lanka from all the directions and to check if any intruders are entering the city from any corner. While Hanuman was successfully defeating her, we learnt a very important leadership lesson that leaders at ay situation should remain calm and composed. If leaders get angry and panicked, it might be a morale booster for the opposition and can easily be able to defeat them. This is exactly the strategy that Hanuman followed. He tries to irritate Lankini to the maximum, thus making her angry to the core! The moment her anger went out of control, it was very easy for Hanuman to defeat her – With just one blow on her head!

As Lankini was defeated, she blesses him of success in his mission of searching for Sita in Lanka. Boosted with confidence, Hanuman now enters into Lanka. He was simply unstoppable at that moment and his self-confidence knew no bounds! His motivation levels were extremely high too. He was very confident that he would be able to find Sita quite easily. Was the search mission as easy as he thought? Let’s find out from today!

As Hanuman enters Lanka, he was astonished with the huge and vibrant city! He was astounded with the innumerable number of forts, palaces, houses, roads, gardens, lakes, forests, etc. For a moment he was perplexed as to where to begin the search operation! Thus, Hanuman starts going into each of the houses, palaces, etc. one by one in search of Sita. As mentioned before, Hanuman is searching the city in such a way that he goes unnoticed by anyone!

“Sadadaa tathgruham drushtvaa mahaa hataka thoranam!

Praakaramrutha marthyantham dadarshacha mahaa kapihi!!”

Thus, Hanuman starts to search each fort, each palace, each house, each road, each garden… Wherever he goes, he is able to see the amount of richness and wealth that the citizens of Lanka were enjoying. He was surprised with all of that and proceeds with his search. He was able to see the Raakshasaas enjoying their nighttime with drinks, with women and with all other things that would give immense joy. The entire city was full of vibrance and joy on all four directions.

Crossing all of this, Hanuman comes up to the all-important palace of the great king Raavana. It was a huge and an unimaginable palace by human beings with all its beauty and shine. Innumerable Raakshasaas guarded it heavily on all sides. Hanuman was thinking as to how to enter inside the palace. As he enters successfully inside the palace, he starts searching each and every room and every garden. He was astonished with the amount of richness the palace possessed! He was sure that no other palace in the world was as rich as Ravana’s.

“Sa ni kaamam vimaaneshu vicharam kaama roopadhrik!

Sachaara hanumaanstathra raavanasya sameepathaha!!”

As Hanuman passes through the length and breadth of the palace, Hanuman spots a very beautiful “Vimaana” (An object that can fly in the air). He soon realized that this was the “Pushpaka Vimaana” that Ravana used to abduct Sita from Panchavati. Hence he has a look at the Vimaana angrily and starts to search further!

For Hanuman, now it is proving that the search operation was not as easy as he thought initially! As he searches on and on, he slowly has lot of doubts in his mind. What were the doubts? How did he handle them? Did he continue the search further, or did he give it up mid-way? The action continues in the next episode, with few extremely important lessons for modern-day leadership and management! 🙂

Episode 209 – Hanuman defeats Lankini!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed an interesting event wherein Hanuman tries to enter into the city of Lanka. He precautiously enters during the wee hours of the night, thinking that he can go unnoticed! However, Hanuman was proved wrong! As he tries to enter inside through a gap in the compound wall, Lankini, the deity that protects the city of Lanka as per the instruction of King Ravana, quickly noticed him. She is protecting the city in all four sides, preventing any intruders to get in! As Lankini stops Hanuman with a huge form of a demoness, Hanuman thinks of how to cheat her and enter inside! 🙂

Lankini asks Hanuman of his whereabouts but Hanuman is careful not to reveal any! There is a big argument that is brewing on between Lankini and Hanuman. As Hanuman says that he is just a wayside traveller and a tourist who likes to visit many places, Lankini was not convinced with Hanuman’s answer! She demands that he defeats her if he can, so as to enter Lanka! Hanuman still tries to convince her calmly and says,

“Drakshyaami nagareem lankaam shaatah praakaara thoranam!

Vanaam yupa vanaanneeha lankaayaah kaananaanicha!!”

Hanuman thus says to Lankini, “Oh woman! I’ve heard that this city has beautiful forts, buildings and forests! I’ve heard that this Lanka is full of natural scenic beauty! I’m so eager to enjoy all this and hence I’ve come here. Moreover, if someone appreciates that your city is very good, you need to acknowledge it, rather than fighting with that person!”

“Tasya tath vachanam shruthvaa lankaa saa kaama roopini!

Bhooya yeva punar vaakyam prabhaashe parushaaksharam!!”

As Hanuman keeps talking on and on, Lankini is losing her patience! Hanuman exactly wants that to happen – He’s trying to make her angrier by the moment! The strategy here is that, if the opponent gets way too angry, he/she loses composure and hence it becomes very easy to defeat them! This is a very important lesson for modern day leaders – Here is an illustration to prove that if we lose our cool, it would be extremely easy for the opposition to capture our weakness! This is exactly happening in this Hanuman-Lankini episode as well! Hanuman never loses his calm, but the opponent does! Hanuman captures the right moment. Let us see how he does.

Getting furious, Lankini replies back, “Oh monkey! Don’t you understand what I’m saying? You cannot enter this city without defeating me!” Hanuman still keeps himself calm and replies, “Oh is it? If that is the case, then I’ve to defeat you and enter inside! What else can I do? Anyways, I’ve come so long and I can’t go back without entering Lanka! So if you are an obstacle to my entry, I shall very well defeat you and proceed!” Hanuman says the above words softly and calmly! This irritated Lankini even more! 🙂

“Tathah krithvaa mahaa naadham saavai lankaa bhayankaraam!

Drishtvaa pureem imam bhadre punarvyasye yathaa gatham!!”

As Lankini reiterates her stand with more fury, Hanuman makes her even more furious! 🙂 He says further, “Oh Lankini! You stay here only! I’ll go inside, have a glance and come out within minutes! I assure you of it! Please give me one chance!” Lankini is now on top of her fury! She replies, “I’m not giving you even one chance! Get out of this place immcdiately!”

Saying thus, she comes towards Hanuman and gives him a blow with her fists! Now both of them realize that there is no use arguing further. Hanuman now wants to teach Lankini a lesson. He grows in size quickly and gives her one strong blow on her face with his ultra-strong fist!

“Tathhah samvarthayaamaasa vaamahasyascha somgulihi!”

As Hanuman is a saintly person, he knows the Dharma that hitting women with the right fist is not allowed, he hits her with his left fist. Unable to bear the pain of Hanuman’s blow, Lankini falls on the ground! She was stunned that she stood defeated with just one blow from a monkey! She coulnd’t believe what was happening!

“Mushtinaa vijakaanenaam hanuman krodha moorchithaa!

Sthreechethi manyamaanena naabhih krodhaha svayam kruthaha!!”

Hanuman says to Lankini now, “Oh woman! I’ll leave you with this one blow! I do not want to hurt you further!” Lankini is now in fear of Hanuman’s strength and asks back, “Why? Don’t you want to kill me? I stand defeated!” Hanuman replies back, “You are a woman! My Dharma is not to kill women, how bad they are! Hence I’m leaving you! With this one blow itself you would have experienced hell, isn’t it?” Lankini now replies, “Oh Hanuman! I’ve already experienced hell with just one blow! You needn’t kill me further! Now I’m never going to stop you from entering Lanka! You are free to go and do whatever you want!”

Lankini continues further, “Oh Hanuman! Now I remember Lord Brahma’s boon, which he had given me long back! He has said that when a monkey comes and defeats me, from that day onwards there is going to be a huge threat to Lanka and the Raakshasaas! Oh Hanuman! I know for what reason you’ve come here! Please go inside Lanka and search for Sita! I can foresee that Ravana is going to die because of his unwanted desire on Sita! Please go and re-establish the Dharma in this world!”

“Praseedhasu mahaabaaho dhraayasya hari sapthama!

Samaye soumya thisthanthi sathvavantho mahaabalaaha!!”

Saying thus, Lankini blesses Hanuman with success! As Hanuman wins over Lankini, the fourth obstacle, he is all set to enter Lanka now! How did he enter? What did he see inside the city? Did he find Sita straightaway? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 208 – Hanuman encounters the fourth obstacle – Lankini!!!

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So far we’ve seen that Hanuman has landed at Lanka, undefeated by any obstacle till now. He strategizes his search mission in Lanka, sitting on top of the Lamba Mountain. He decides that the search operation should be executed without being noticed by anybody. Thus Hanuman comes to the conclusion that he would enter the city during the wee hours of the night when the visibility would be less. Moreover, he has a “Plan B” too – If at all someone spots him and tries to catch him red-handed, the only methodology to employ with them is “Dhandam”, that is, to attack them back and kill them on the spot!

Thinking thus, Hanuman slowly makes his way towards the city as darkness sets in. He nears the compound walls that adorn the city. To enable the search operation, Hanuman reduces his size to that of a small kitten so as to go unnoticed! As Hanuman nears the city, he is able to hear more sounds emanating from there. He was surprised and taken aback by the vibrance of the city. Seeing all this around him, Hanuman nears the compound wall, which seemed so high for him! It should be remembered that he has shrunk his form to that of a small cat! Hanuman lifts his head up and takes a look at the wall, thinking how to cross over!

“Raavanasya pureem raathrou pravishya suduraasadhaan!

Vrishakamshaka maathroda babhoova adbhudha darshanaha!!”

Thus, Valmiki Maharishi gives an accord of Hanuman taking a small form and trying to enter into Lanka. As Hanuman was taking a step forward to cross over the wall, there was somebody who noticed this intruder! She was none other than “Lankini” – the deity which presided over the city of Lanka and protected it from all four sides!

Pradosha kaale hanuman poornamuthpathya veeryavaan!

Pravivesha pureem ramyaam pravibhaktha mahaadatham!!”

At that moment when Hanuman was about to cross over, Lankini spots him and comes in front of him. She was having a huge sword in her hand and looked so fearful. Hanuman has a look at this huge demoness and was surprised as to how he was noticed so keenly! As Hanuman tries to escape away from her looks, Lankini caught him red-handed! She says in her fearful tone, “Stop! Who are you? Where are you going?” Upon hearing this from Lankini, Hanuman replies back, “Who are you to stop me like this?” Now the demoness replies back, “I’m Lankini! The presiding deity of Lanka city! Nobody can cross over into the city without my knowledge! Now I’m going to kill you for trying to intrude into Lanka!”

“Vismayaa vishta hridayaha pureemaalokya sarvathaha!

Jaambooraka maythvaaraihi vaidoorya kritha vedikaihi!!

“Saadham harivaram drushtvaa lankaa raavana paalithaam!

Svayameva ucchithaa thathra vikruthaanana darshanaa!!”

Thus, Valmiki Maharishi describes the significance of this Lankini. She again asks Hanuman with an angry tone, “Oh monkey! Rather than being in the forest, what are you doing in a city?”

“Kathayasayeha yath thathvam vyaabaghraana vyapanthithe!

Nashakyma kalviyam lankaam praveshtum vaanarathvayaa!!”

Lankini continues in her angry tone: “Oh monkey! You cannot enter into Lanka as easily as you think! I demand you to tell me the reason of your entry!” Upon hearing this from Lankini, Hanuman thinks for a moment and decides that he should never tell her the real reason of his visit. Thus he smartly lies to her:

“Kaarthvam viroopa nayanaa purathvaare avathistase!

Kimarthvamthaasi maam krodhaam vibharthayasi thaarune!!”

Hanuman replies, “Oh demoness with crooked eyes! (Viroopa Nayanaa!) Why are you seeing at me like that?” Upon hearing this “compliment” called “Viroopa Nayane” from Hanuman, Lankini gets even more furious! (Perhaps she was thinking within herself that she was a beautiful woman standing in front of him!) 🙂 And Hanuman was continuing further without stopping too! This irritated her even more!

“Hanumad vachanam shruthvaa lankaam thaam kaama roopini!

Uvaacha vachanam kruddhaa parusham pavanaathmajam!!”

Hanuman continues, “Oh Viroopa Nayanaa! I’ve never even known you till yesterday! We don’t have any kind of enemity within us! I’ve just come here as a traveller and as a tourister to enjoy the beauty of this city! If you let me go inside, I shall visit this beautiful city within a few minutes and come out! Is this the way how you treat a tourist who comes to your city?” 🙂 

However, Lankini is not ready to listen to all these stories that Hanuman is telling her! She is determined to punish Hanuman for trying to intrude inside! Hence she musters up all her courage and hits Hanuman with her sword! Upon hitting Hanuman, Lankini replies him, “Oh monkey! Upon King Ravana’s instruction, I’m protecting the city from all sides! Even air or germs cannot enter the city getting unnoticed by me! I’m going to now kill you for the offence that you’ve committed!”

Upon hearing this, Hanuman gets angry finally and decides to teach her a lesson! How did he react to Lankini? Did he kill her or did he defeat her? What happened next? The action continues in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 207 – Hanuman enters Lanka during the night!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman has landed in Lanka over the Lamba Mountain. He has a closer look at Lanka city from the top of the mountain. In due course of time, Hanuman starts to strategise his ways and means of entering Lanka and searching the whereabouts of Sita. He thinks of various ways to enter inside but however he gets lot of doubts in his mind. However, he finally concludes that he would not enter Lanka during the daytime, since the possibility of being caught is high! It should be remembered that Hanuman intends to search Sita in the Lanka city, without being noticed by anyone! He plans to execute his mission like a secret spy. Hence he is to be extra careful here. Thus, after lot of deliberations, Hanuman decides finally that he would enter Lanka during the night. The main logic behind this decision is that, it might be difficult for anybody to spot him in amidst the darkness.

Thus, Hanuman waits till darkness sets in. In the meanwhile, he once again takes a closer look of Lanka city from the Lamba Mountain. Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings it out with the following sloka:

“Samaa saadhyacha lakshmeevaan lankaam raavana paalithaam!

Paanduraabhih prathee lobihi ucchaabhirabhi samvruthaam!!”

Valmiki Maharishi brings out the beauty of LankaThe city ruled by the great Raakshasa king, Ravana. The city is adorned with huge compound walls guarded by security men with dangerous weapons, 24*7. Moreover, the city comprises of tall and beautifully built buildings like towers, apartments, forts, etc. Also, there were places within the city, which were adorned by tall trees and rich forests with streams and lakes in between! Hanuman observes all this from the top of the Lamba Mountain.

“Paalithaam raakshasendrena nirmithaam vishwakarmanaa!

Vapra praakaara jaghanaam vipulaambu varaambaraam!!”

Moreover, Vaalmiki Maharishi mentions here that Vishwakarma, the great builder of those times, built the city of Lanka. The city was full of Raakshasaas (Demons) who were roaming around here and there with weapons in their hands, to ensure that nobody intrudes into the city easily.

As Hanuman is busy observing all this, time flies away! Darkness slowly sets in and it’s almost 10 PM at night. Now Hanuman decides to enter Lanka as planned! However, he has one more problem – I’ve already mentioned in one of our earlier episodes that Raakshasaas are also called “Rajaneecharaas”, which means that these people are more active during the night than during the day! While strategising his plan, Hanuman unfortunately didn’t consider this important factor! The entire city of Lanka comes to life during the nighttime. (Today we of course talk about “Nightlife” in various important cities around the world. It’s interesting to note that Valmiki Maharishi has already spoken about this “Nightlife” in his Ramayana text while describing Lanka!) However, Hanuman decides to proceed further because he doesn’t have sufficient time in hand to wait. Anyway, planning such minute things is beyond one’s control. However, although the Raakshasaas are awake during the night and roaming here and there, darkness is darkness! Visibility would not be as easy as it is during the day! Hence, Hanuman decides to proceed further.

“Imaam tva vishamaam lankaam durgaam raavana paalithaam!

Chathur naamevahi dhathihi vaanaraanam tarasvinaam!!”

Now as Hanuman starts from the Lamba Mountain he plans few more things: “What if someone stops me or catches me? How do I deal with them?” In Sanskrit, it is a common saying that we should deal with people in either of four different ways – “Saama”, “Dhaana”, “Bedha” and “Dhanda”. Hanuman now thinks which of the four methods to use while dealing with Raakshasas. “Saama” (means, dealing with people calmly with peace and friendship) is not a good way to deal with Raakshasas, since they are violent people! “Dhaana(Means, dealing with people by giving away wealth or donating something to them to bring them under control) is also not a good methodology because, giving “Dhaana” to Raakshasas is considered to be a sin! “Bheda” (Means, inflicting some fight between the enemy, so that they fight within themselves and eventually lose) cannot be a good methodology again, since Raakshasas are very united amongst themselves and hence it’s not that easy to encourage them to fight amongst themselves. Hence the only remaining method to deal with the Raakshasas is “Dhanda” (Means, fighting the enemy back and killing them, if they come for a fight). Hence Hanuman decides once and for all, “If somebody comes in front of me and tries to catch me, I’m going to attack them and kill them! Be it anyone!” Thus, it can be interestingly noted that Hanuman executed this “Dhanda” methodology right from the beginning till the end of his stay in Lanka! In subsequent episodes we are going to see where and how did he employ this method.

Thus Hanuman moves closer to Lanka during the night! Did he enter Lanka straightaway or did someone notice his suspicious movement? Let’s wait till the next episode to witness the action! 🙂

Episode 206 – Hanuman strategises the search operation in Lanka!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman has reached the shores of Lanka finally. As he was flying through, he sees a big land mass engulfed with beautiful mountains and trees. In the middle of all these is the city of Lanka that is being ruled by the Raakshasa King, Ravaneshwara! Hanuman choses the Lamba Mountain range for his landing. During the time of his landing, he reduces his enormous size into that of a small monkey and sets foot on the Lamba Mountain, without being noticed by anyone.

“Vichithra koote nipapaatha koote! Saketha kolaahala naarikele!

Mahaa trikoota prathipo mahaathmaa! Sasaagaram dhaanava pannagaayudham!!”

Thus, from the above sloka Valmiki Maharishi beautifully describes the view of Lanka that Hanuman is seeing from the sky! Nowadays we talk about “Aerial views” of cities. It’s very interesting to note that such aerial views were known even during the Ramayana period! Thus, even has Hanuman nears Lanka, he observes the city keenly with all it’s entrance and exit points, who is guarding which point, etc.

As Hanuman lands over the Lamba Mountain, Hanuman observes Lanka more closely. He was astounded beyond words! He was overwhelmed with the beauty of the city! He thinks within himself, “Oh wow!! What a beautiful city! This is a real paradise on earth! Is Lanka just an ordinary place? Never! I really wish I can live the rest of my life in this place itself!” Thinking thus, for a moment Hanuman himself was carried away by the beauty of the place! It is to be noted that it was this same Hanuman who said to Lord Rama that he doesn’t need Vaikunta and that he would stay in this world only, chanting Rama’s name! As Rama was departing for Vaikunta at the end of the Rama-Avatar, he invites Hanuman to accompany him. But Hanuman replies, “After seeing my Lord Rama, these eyes wouldn’t like to see anything else! I prefer to be here in this world itself, remembering my Rama in my heart!” It is this same Hanuman who, after seeing Lanka’s beauty was a bit carried away for a moment!

Thus after landing, Hanuman now thinks of ways and strategies as to how and when to enter Lanka. His idea was to undertake the search mission without being noticed by anybody. Hanuman’s first doubt was that, he is a monkey – If he goes with this same form of a monkey, he wasn’t sure if there are monkeys in the city and that he would be an alien if there were no monkeys there! Thus, there is every possibility that he would get caught! Thus Hanuman decides that he wouldn’t enter Lanka during the daytime! Anyway, by the time he reached Lanka it was late evening. So he decides to wait till sunset. Thus Hanuman spots a cave amidst the mountain and sits there till darkness sets in.

After darkness reigns in, Hanuman slowly gets up and decides to enter the city.

“Thrikootasya thate lankaam chithas swastho dadarshaha!

Tathaf paadaba mukthena pushpa varshani veeryavaan!!

Anishvasan kapih tathra na glaanim athi gacchathi!!”

As Hanuman prepares himself to enter Lanka, he suddenly has a thought within himself, “Oh wow! What a miracle is this! Even after crossing such a huge ocean and after facing so many obstacles on the way, my body is never feeling tired! I’m as fresh as I started from Kishkinta! What significance does this ‘Rama-Naama’ has! What significance does the precious ring of Lord Rama possesses! With this ring in hand, any monkey would have easily crossed the ocean and fulfilled this mission! For some reason, Rama has selected me for this mission!” Thinking thus, he salutes his Lord Rama from there and prays to him for a moment!

Here is another important lesson for all of us – Although we might have immense shrewdness, sharpness and physical strength with innumerable capabilities, our humility should never decrease! Hanuman is the best example here for the important characteristic of “Humility”. Even though he was extremely capable of accomplishing anything in this world, his devotion and humility towards Lord Rama was impeccable and thus differentiates him clearly from others! Thus it is important to note that leaders, no matter what their power or influence might be, should have the humility and be “down-to-earth”!

Thus, Hanuman prepares a strategy and tries to enter Lanka. Was his journey smooth after this? Did he encounter more obstacles? Was his search mission going as per his strategy? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 🙂

Episode 205 – Four important characteristics of a successful leader as discussed by Valmiki Maharishi!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed how Hanuman handles the third obstacle – In the form of the real enemy, Simhika! As the real enemy is coming in front, Hanuman decides that there is no use of showing smartness and shrewdness to win over – The best way is to kill her and proceed further! Accordingly Hanuman kills Simhika and proves that he is an embodiment of smart and apt decision making. Valmiki Maharishi once more brings out the significance of Hanuman with the following sloka:

“Taam tu drishtaacha nruthyaacha daakshinyena nihaagrasaha!

Taam hataam vaanareshaam dhruthihi drishtihi mathihi daakshyam sa karmasu na seedhathi!!”

In this above sloka, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out four important characteristics of Hanuman that differentiates him from others. They are, “Dhruthihi”, Drishtihi”, “Mathihi” and “Daakshyam”. We shall see each of them in brief detail. Of course we’ve discussed most of these characteristics in our previous episodes, but it is of importance that we discuss these once more.

“Dhruthihi” means “Courage”The boldness in undertaking any complex mission and having the confidence that we can accomplish it successfully. “Dristhihi” indicates the art of planning for the future and taking appropriate decisions at the right time (Also called “Dheerga Darshanam”). This is also a very important requirement while undertaking complex missions. “Mathihi” means the art of executing the required actions immediately at the right time. In the modern day we talk about “Short-term planning” and “Long-term planning”. For instance, if we plan something for the next five to ten years, we need to simultaneously execute certain actions and tasks that would enable us to complete the mission or project within the stipulated five years. Rather, if we only keep planning for the next five years and do not perform immediate tasks at this instance, then the entire mission would go for a toss! Hence, “Mathihi” or the art of executing the right tasks at the right time is of prime importance. Finally, “Daakshyam” means, standing firmly by the decisions that are being taken, without backtracking. If there is any obstacle or a mishap that happens in the middle, many of us tend to give up the entire mission due to various pressures. This should not be the case when it comes to important projects. As successful leaders, we should stand by our decisions, come what may happen in the middle. This is very important.

Thus, modern day leaders should primarily try and develop these four important qualities, that is, “Dhruthihi” (Courage to face any catastrophic situation), “Drishtihi” (Art of long-term planning), “Mathihi” (The capability of executing the right actions at the right time) and “Daakshyam” (The will power to stick to our decisions firmly irrespective of any adversity).

Moving on further, as Hanuman kills Simhika, he proceeds further towards Lanka. Now at last, he is able to see a huge landmass that is approaching in front of him. He is able to see the shores at the end of the ocean. As Hanuman nears the shores, he is also able to see beautiful mountain ranges and a huge city built amidst those mountains. Hanuman realizes that he is nearing Lanka finally! He is happy that he has reached Lanka as per his schedule and also undefeated by anybody on his way! Amidst the various mountains that adorn Lanka, Hanuman spots the “Lamba Mountains” and chooses this spot to land. Accordingly Hanuman makes his landing at Lamba Mountains, which are adorned by tall and beautiful trees and shrubs. He looks around carefully if someone is around as a spy of Ravana.

Thus Hanuman makes a careful landing at Lanka. We shall wait till Hanuman takes a breath and relaxes himself a little bit. What does Hanuman do in Lanka? How does he plan to search Sita? Does he enter Lanka city during the day or during the night? The action will continue further in the next episode! 🙂