Radhanath Swami narrates the story Mother Sita Reunites With Lord Ram, 2014 Yatra, Hampi, Day 4 , Evening
Hare Krishna, very grateful to be with all of you this evening. Shesa prabhu, will you be with us in Udupi? What time? After I speak, if you can give a nice lesson to all the devotees. So I am just giving you a little warning. Thank you for being with us.
Yesterday we spoke at Pampa Sarovar about the past times of Ram, Laxman residing here where we sit (Kishikinda Kshetra) along with the Vanaras headed by Sugriva, Hanuman, Jambavan. When Hanuman returned from Sri Lanka and presented to Lord Ram the jewel that was given to him by Sita and her message of love in separation, Lord Sri Ram embraced Hanuman and in doing so fulfilled all of Hanuman’s deepest desires. Just as Srila Prabhupad writes in Sri Chaitaya Charitamrita: that Krishna doesn’t see the thing that is offered, but he sees the intention.
patram puspam phalam toyam
Radhanath Swami on the Logic of Opulent Worship
In Udupi, where we will be going tomorrow, one Palimar Mutt Swami, the late acharya of that Mutt, he offered Krishna, during his Paryaya (or the time when he was worshiping the deity of Lord Krishna), a crown that was made completely of diamonds. And some media people were criticizing him, “Why don’t you give that money to poor people? Why don’t you use it to feed the poor, give medicine to the poor, give clothes to the poor?” And he explained, “Anywhere a leader of a nation goes, every day how much do they spend?” Not long ago I was at a very small event for the President where I met the United States. And as I was approaching this home, there were so many police cars all around. And then when I came to the home, there was so much security that was set up at this somebody’s home. And after going through the security, which was very simple because only a few people were invited, even though there were only few people there, all around the house there were these people with suits and ties, the little things in their ears and sunglasses and they always have their hand somewhere hidden where you couldn’t see what they were holding. Sometimes– and they were everywhere and they didn’t talk to anybody, they were just watching. So many, so I went to one of them and just asked him, “Who are you and how are you doing?” and he didn’t know what to do because nobody ever talks to these people. So he didn’t look at me and he didn’t say anything. I didn’t see what he was looking at because he had sunglasses on. So I kept talking to him, and finally he said, “Talk to him.” So I went to another person and they took me to the supervisor of all these secret agents, or agents, whatever they were, security. And he was really nice to me, he was telling me about how many people and he was telling was telling me about the security how many police cars there were around. And behind the house, there was an ocean. He and he showed me there were four boats, two were police boats and two were like FBI or, not FBI, but Secret Service boats and then there was a helicopter up above and he said, “What you don’t see is right there–” And he pointed to the water, he said, “There’s an armed submarine.” So I was thinking, so much security, and the president was only going to be there for two hours! And he had three events that day, so that means all that security is going to be at every event he goes to. That means there is literally millions of dollars spent every day, just on security purposes. So Palimar Mutt Swami said, “Anyone, anywhere a president or prime minister goes, they spend millions of dollars of day just on arrangements and security.” When President Clinton came to Mumbai, they gave him an entire floor of a five-star hotel, how much is that worth, what to speak of the security and they closed the main road of the whole town for a whole day. So he said, “Krishna, he’s not just the president or prime minister of one nation, he is the Supreme Lord of all the countries, of the entire world, of all the planets, of the entire universe, of all the innumerable universes in the cosmic manifestation! So if once, in 12 years, we give him a nice crown, why are you complaining?
“You see when we offer to Krishna, it is like offering water to the root of the tree. If Krishna is satisfied he can make everything and everyone happy but whether we offer Krishna a diamond crown or a chickpea, if it’s offered with love and devotion, Krishna is happy because he accepts our intent and for the devotee everything in this world is just that.” –Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami on the Value of Intent
“The only value anything in this world has is to the extent we could use it to please Krishna. Arts, music, intelligence, architecture, strength, things, all of these things, if we understand that there Krishna is energy, and they’re seeing as a facility to use for Krishna, they all have eternal value.” –Radhanath Swami
Srila Prabhupad was speaking in a microphone, he said, “This is spiritual energy. This microphone is beyond any price when we use it to please Krishna by speaking his glories and sharing them with others. Otherwise it’s just a piece of metal, which really has no value whatsoever for the eternal soul.
“So the way we speak, the way we smile, the way we look, the way we talk, the way we utilize whatever we may have, if our consciousness is to please Krishna, every single detail is so precious. –Radhanath Swami
And similarly Krishna embraced Hanuman. What is an embrace, putting your arms around someone, it only lasts a couple seconds but it was the intent. That embrace was a gesture of Krishna to his devotee that I am satisfied with you, I am so pleased with you, I am your property. And for Hanuman, his jumping across the ocean, his burning Sri Lanka, his mighty roar, it wasn’t just a show of strength, it was all just his ways of expressing his gratitude and his love and his will to serve Lord Ram. This is bhakti.
“Everything of this world has its potential sacredness if we understand the truth of why it’s created. It’s not created for us to enjoy, it’s created for us to utilize for service and through the association of the devotees, through our sadhana, through our prayer and through our practice we develop this view of the world.” –Radhanath Swami
Hanumanji then explained to Ram all the details about the layout of Sri Lanka and how the military was organized because there was going to be a great war. And although Sri Ramchandra, he is the source of the Virat Rupa, he could easily just manifest this universal form and just, with one glance, burn Sri Lanka to ashes. But that’s not going to melt our hearts with love for him the same way as when he performs his t. And although he’s all-powerful, his opulence of renunciation or detachment is he accepts a position like a human being and he facilitates depending on Hanuman and the Vanaras to assist him.
Radhanath Swami on the Greatest Power
So Ram jumped on Hanuman’s shoulder, Laxman jumped on Angada’s shoulder and Hanuman and Angada jumped to the shore of the Southern Ocean. Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, just recently, Hanuman had burned a major part of the whole city and before he left he roared his message, “Return Sita or millions of monkeys as powerful as me along with Ram and Laxman, from whom we gain all our powers, are going to come to destroy your whole dynasty” So Ravana called a very serious assembly of all of his leaders, his ministers, relatives, generals and he told them that “We see that what this one monkey has done to Sri Lanka. Now there’s going to be millions of them marching along with Ram and Laxman and they are demanding that I give Sita back, but I will not give Sita. I have already given my heart to her and I will not take it back— She will be mine. I will never give up and succumb to anyone’s demands.” Srila Prabhupad give so many nice instructions in Srimad Bhagvatam, he says, “Even the greatest conquerors, they go out and conquer lands and empires and they come home and they’re conquered by their mind and senses for lustful enjoyment.” That is why in the Vedic culture, for a real spiritual culture, people who can control their senses are considered to be real conquerors and they are offered respect.
“We see how Dasrath Maharaj bowed his head to Viswamitra Muni, and throughout the great Puranas, Mahabharta, Ramayan, we find even kings, how they bow down to those sages, rishis and Vaishnavas who have no selfish desires. That’s the greatest power. Because that power of humble service conquers the ego and ultimately conquers the heart of the Supreme soul.” –Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami on the Exchanges Between Ravana and the Rakshasas
But Ravana, he was so proud, so arrogant, he proclaimed “I am willing to fight to death, but I will not give up Sita. So now let us plan how we are going to fight this war.” One of the generals said, “Why don’t you just forcibly enjoy Sita? Why you’re harassing her and waiting and waiting and waiting?” Ram told them all a lie. He said, “Sita promised me after one year she would surrender to me and accept me as her husband. But Ram wants to come before that year is expired— there is only one month left.” [The general replied] “So why don’t force her.” Ravana said, “I can’t.” because years before, he disclosed a secret that very few people knew about, there was an Apsara named Rambha and Ravana went to violate her chastity. And that caused so much pain to her husband, Nalakuvera, that he was cursed and that curse came from such a pained place in her husband’s heart that even Lord Brahma confirmed the curse, that if ever he tried to enjoy a woman against her will, he would immediately die. So he explained, “We will fight this war to the end and we will be victorious.”
So all the generals, they were so clouded in illusion and they just wanted to tell Ravana what Ravana wanted to hear. Prahastha was the commander in chief, he said, “I could single-handedly destroy every monkey including Hanuman, what to speak of Ram and Laxman, just order me and I’ll go and devastate them all immediately right now, I have my bow in my hand just give me the order! He said, the only reason why Hanuman was able to do what he did is because we were not expecting him, he took us by surprise. If we were prepared, I would have single-handedly destroy that useless monkey in a moment. Just give me the order!” He was roaring. And then another of the great generals, Mahodadhy, stood up and he said the same thing, “Ravana you have defeated Indra! You have nothing to fear, no one can stand before you in battle, you are the supreme ultimate strength in this universe and with your powers just give me the order I will single-handedly wipe them all out.” Ravana was becoming really excited to hear all these people speaking. Then Kumbhakarana spoke, Kumbhakarana was Ravana’s very big little brother. When he spoke he roared, he was gigantic, he said, “Ravana, why are you asking our advice now? Why didn’t you ask our advice before you kidnapped Sita? Don’t you know it’s completely against religious principles to steal another man’s wife when he’s not around the way you did? You don’t have any of the strength of dharma behind you. Because of the weakness of your mind and senses you did this, why didn’t you ask us before? What you did is a condemned deed, you deserve to suffer! But because I am your brother, whatever you’ve done in the past, however wicked and wrong it was, I will destroy them.” So Ravana was insulted, but very happy. And then all of them were standing up and telling how great they were, and how powerful they were and how Ravana was undefeatable and there was nothing to worry about, “Let the armies come of the monkeys, we are prepared!” and sitting on the other side of Ravana from Kumbhakarana, was Vibhisana, the youngest brother, and he stood up. He said, “All these people who are speaking Ravana, they don’t know anything about truth. They are just totally infatuated and intoxicated by their false egos and therefore they cannot see what’s before them. One monkey has destroyed our kingdom. Ravana is the supreme Lord Vishnu! Just by his glance, he can destroy you! You took his pleasure potency, Sita! He is going to destroy you! Give back Sita! I love my relatives, Ravana you’re my brother, I love you. I am telling you the truth with passion and compassion give back Sita or everything we value in life is going to be lost.” But all these generals, they are all speaking what you want them to speak because of their arrogance and because their fear of you and because you give them so many favors. But real love is to speak the truth even when it’s unpalatable for the welfare of another.” Ravana was very upset.
Indrajit, the eldest son of Ravana, he was furious, he started screaming at his uncle Vibhisana. [He said,] “How could you call yourself a rakshasa? Rakshasas are known for their heroism and valor and fearlessness. You are coward, you’ve taken shelter of the enemy. My father, he has nothing to fear from these humans or monkeys. I myself with my arrow and my clubs and javelins can destroy them all. Shame on you, you’re not fit to be my uncle, you’re not to be fit in this family, you’re simply a coward.” Vibhisan told Indrajit, “You are a fool. So young and so ignorant and so arrogant, you don’t know, you call yourself the son of your father but you are his worst enemy. Ravana, Sita is like a poisonous snake that you have wrapped around your own neck, and the beauty of Sita is the poison that’s going to kill you. She belongs to Ram, give her back.”
Ravana was so upset. He stood up from his elegant throne and screamed, roared at Vibhisan, “You, although my brother, have taken the side of my enemy. Therefore, you are to be killed. I would kill you at this moment but because you’re my brother, I will not do that. But I reject you. Everything you have, I have given you. I have ruled over the kingdom that you have resided in your whole life with valor and bravery, and look what I have done from all the citizens, but you have no gratitude. Out of fear, you have taken shelter of my enemy. Therefore I reject you.” He spoke so harshly to Vibhisan. Vibhisan’s heart was broken because he really cared, but there was just nothing he could do. So by his own mystic powers his body rose, and four of his associates rose with him. Vibhisan, he said, “With a very broken and sad heart, I leave you Ravana. You will be destroyed because of your own arrogance and lust and greed.” And then he said a loving but compassionate goodbye to Ravana and he and his four assistants crossed over the ocean.
Vibhisan Joins Lord Ram
The monkeys they saw these five gigantic rakshasas in the sky and Vibhisan said, “Bring me your leader.” Sugriva came with Hanuman, he looked up and Vibhisan said, “I am the brother of Ravana. I have instructed him, I have pleaded with him to give Sita back but he will not. I have come to take shelter of Ram, bring me to Ram.” Sugriva ran to Ram and said, “There’s is these five rakshasas who have come, one is the brother of Ravana. He says he wants to take shelter of you, he wants to join us! We should kill him, we can’t trust him— he is a rakshasa. We should punish him, we should imprison him or we should kill him, but he must be rejected. Because after all, if we put any confidence in him, he could cause it havoc to our whole army.” Ram asked the opinion of some of the other monkey leaders and they all had more or less the same opinion as Sugriva, [Sugriva said,] “He should be at the most, killed, at the least he should be imprisoned, punished and rejected.
Hanuman was quiet, Ram asked Hanuman, “What do you think?” Hanuman said, “I saw Vibhisan’s face, and I heard the tone of his voice, I have complete trust in his sincerity. He’s come to take shelter of you, we should accept him as one of our brothers in our family and put our full faith in him. I saw, when I was face to face with Ravana, Ravana was about to kill me and Vibhisan argued like fire— to spare my life. He is your devotee, he has come to surrender, give him your mercy.” Ram said, “Yes, bring Vibhisan; I will give him my full shelter.” Sugriva was really upset, because after all he’s the Commander-in-Chief, he’s in charge of all the armies, he has to deal with everything. We have seen sometimes the people who actually manage projects, they become very disturbed when a leader gives some instructions that are very difficult to- the leader goes away but they have to deal with it. So Sugriva said, “No this is insane, What are you saying!? Hanuman, Ram, he is Ravana’s brother! They have the same blood, they are the sons of the Visravas! He might have got in a family quarrel with Ravana now, and he is angry and he is serious, but when it really comes to the point of you dying or Ravana dying, he is going to take the side of his brother! We can’t trust him. And that is when Ram proclaimed that, “This is my solemn vow, that anyone who, even once with a sincere heart, says ‘My dear Lord, I am yours’ I will give that person complete shelter and protection for the rest of eternity. Even if Ravana were to come before me today to seek shelter, I would accept him. Bring Vibhisan now.”
Vibhisan came down to the ground with tears of humility in his eyes and he bowed down at the feet of Lord Sri Ramchandra and he expressed his heart, “I am your devote. I have seen the misery and suffering that my brother has put your eternal consort, your loving wife Sita in, and I begged him and pleaded with him. But he is so obsessed with his arrogant ways he will not listen to anyone. I am with you Ram, I know everything about the rakshasas, I know all their strengths and all their weaknesses. I will tell you everything.” Ram was so pleased. He picked up Vibhisan and embraced him. Then he told Lakshman, “Go get water from the sea” And with that water, on Ram’s command, Lakshman performed an abhisek and consecrated Vibhisan as the king of Sri Lanka.
After Vibhisan was telling Ram all very, very crucial information about Ravana’s army and about his fortress, they looked out at the sea— and in those days what we now call the Indian Ocean, it was a massive sea, it was 800 miles, a 100 yogjanas to Sri Lanka and there were huge waves— Ram asked Vibhisan, “How should we cross the ocean with all of our armies?” Vibishan told Ram that “Your family, the Ikshavaku or solar dynasty, has a very special connection with the Lord of the ocean, perform meditation on the sea shore and ask the god of the sea himself how you could cross it.” Lord Ram, who is Parameshwar, the supreme controller of all controllers, out of humility to respect and honor the position of Samudra, the Lord of the sea, he put a kusha grass mat down in the sand and sat in meditation and prayer for three days fasting.
After three days, Sri Ram manifested disappointment and anger. Disappointment that he was, according to dharma, with humble respect trying to give honor to the Lord of the sea even though he didn’t have to. But his anger was to teach Samudra and all the rest of us a good lesson. The Lord’s anger is not like our anger. When the Lord becomes angry, it’s out of love, it’s out of compassion, it’s to make a very strong statement for everyone’s benefit. Ram turned to Lakshman and said, “I have been patient, I have been humble, I have been very respectful and Samudra, because he’s such a big big demigod with such wealth all the sea and everything else, he is not giving any attention to me. In this world, where people are so selfish, so much in bodily and mental conceptions of life, they consider humility and respect and good manners to be a sign of weakness. When people are harsh and haughty and pushy, that’s considered a strong person. If this is the only language that he understands, then see what I will do.” And Ram’s eyes became red like coals. And it appeared that just by his glance he was going to burn the universe to ashes, and then he took an arrow to his bow, it became many arrows and they were flaming and they entered into the ocean, and they were so empowered with heat that the whole ocean started boiling. There were massive gigantic waves and whales and timingla fish and all kinds of other creatures were screaming and jumping trying to get out of the ocean and coming back and jumping out. And at that point, Samudra Dev, the personified deity of the ocean, he came out with folded palms and beautiful jewels to offer to Ram and said, “Please forgive me but it’s my nature, you know how oceans are, we are very uncrossable.
“Even these great demigods, yesterday we spoke about Indra, Samudra, they are great great personalities, they’re great devotees, but the power of material nature is it can distract us and cause us to forget. And that forgetfulness is when we think that I am the doer, I am the proprietor. And the great devotees of the Lord, when they offer prayers, that’s their prayer that they never fall victim to being the enjoyer, the proprietor, the doer. Their prayer is always to be the servant of the servant of the servant which means to recognize our true position.” –Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami on the Building of the Bridge
But Lord Ram, for these great great personalities like Samudra, knows what he has to do to remind them. Samudra told Ram that, “I will facilitate building a bridge across my ocean. Nala and Nila, two of your great monkey generals, they are the sons of Vishwakarma, and Nala especially, he’s empowered by his father with the same abilities. Put him as the chief engineer for this project and there will be no impediment.” So when Nala this order from Ram, he became very enthusiastic, and he started giving all these orders to all the other monkeys in the army, to get stones and to get trees and to get vines to tie them all together to build a bridge. And everyone was so enthusiastic, because time was the essence. So they were jumping all over the world getting rocks and mountains and they were piling them up all at the seashore. And meanwhile, Ravana, he had spies disguising themselves like monkeys going over and see what was happening, they were coming back and reporting to him. They were taking— according to each of their capacity, they were all helping to build the bridge. About 1/5 of the bridge was built in the first day. Its 800 miles across, it took five days to build the bridge. And as they were building it, Hanuman, it was his inspiration that Ram is non-different than his name, because yogis are always performing the recitation of mantras, especially the mystics, and if we see even in the Puranic times, or those of Ramayan, even the great warriors they chant special mantras to invoke certain powers.
Hanumanji, he had total faith that the supreme mantra is the name of God, just the name Ram is perfect and complete in itself, everything is included. Put the name of Ram, whether it’s on a little stone or a massive mountain peak, it will float. But it’s not only floating, because the ocean has all these giant waves and everything, so how to keep them all together, even if they are floating? They’re getting huge vines from all over the areas and they were trying to tie it all together, tie all the rocks together. But Hanuman’s wisdom, the name of Ram, if we make that the center then it unites all of us. So all of the stones floated and all of the stones were united in the name of Ram.
It is one interesting story when Ram, in his humility, “Just see the power of my name”, it’s not a small thing, a bridge made out of rocks and stones and mountain peaks and trees and everything else you can think of, that’s a 80 miles wide and 800 miles long, and was built in five days. In Mumbai, that one little bridge that goes from Worli to— where is it? — to Bandra, took about 10 years, it’s only about 5 miles! And nothing floats, it’s over the sea but they had to build all kinds of foundations and everything else, and there’s only 8 lanes, this is 80 miles wide. So Ram, “If my name has this power, what powers I must have!” And he went to a secluded place and threw a stone in the sea, and it sank! And Hanuman was behind him and Hanumanji said, “My Lord, whoever takes shelter of you, and you accept within your hands, they never fall, they never sink. But people who, by their own free will, want to leave you and they leave from the shelter of your hands, immediately they will sink. So when you let go of these stones, they sank but because you’re not different than your name, wherever your name is chanted with sincerity, you will never let your devotees fall.” So Ram was very happy.
And there is that famous story of the little squirrel, some say spider, maybe there were both. But the squirrel jumped out of the water, he was all wet and he rolled in the sand and then he came out and he shook his hairs and was putting little grains of sand on the rocks— that was his contribution. Hanumanji was holding mountain peaks! And he [the squirrel] was giving a grain of sand. And Ram told Hanuman, to Hanuman’s great happiness, he said “The squirrel is doing as much as you. To me, a grain of sand and a mountain, there’s no difference. It’s the devotion. He is doing the best he could do.
“This is the beautiful thing about bhakti. We see in this material world, there are so many categories of skills and intelligence and wealth and abilities and all of these things that create such inequality. But in bhakti, it’s not at all dependent on what we know or what we can do or what we have. It’s dependent on our sincerity to please Krishna.” –Radhanath Swami
Srila Prabhupad, he tells a story about that old Bengali widow, actually in November there is going to be a very auspicious event at Radha Gopinath temple. I think it’s on the 14th or 16th, its is on a Sunday but our very dear God sister and one of the most beloved disciples of Srila Prabhupad, Yamuna devi, Srila Prabhupad took her physically from the world a few years ago, but before she passed from this world, she wrote a book of her memories of Srila Prabhupad. And her very dear associates Dinatarini Devi, Kartamasha Prabhu and others helped to complete this book. And it’s going to be released at Radha Gopinath Temple in November. And she talks about this old Bengali widow, because she was there. Srila Prabhupad spoke about her and some of his lectures that Yamuna Devi used to talk to her, she was good friends with her. She was a very simple lady, she didn’t have much education, she had no money, she was very old, she was not very healthy, but every morning she would come with a pot of water that she would personally collect from the river Yamuna and just present it to the pujaris to use for Radha Damodar’s service. Early every morning, she didn’t make any introduction to herself, she would just quietly come and put the pot of water down and leave. Nobody knew she existed— except Radha Damodar. And Srila Prabhupad, from his room, used to see her coming just put the water down. And it moved him so much, he used her as an example of a true saint. She was doing what she could do for Krishna’s pleasure.
“So whether you’re Hanuman or whether you’re squirrel, we all have equal opportunity to attain the perfection of life. And we shouldn’t get bewildered by the false ego and start comparing ourselves to others on the basis of material results, because then we become depressed or become envious or we become arrogant. To actually see that quality in ourselves and see that quality in others, it’s our humility, our sincerity and our will to please the Lord and follow the Lord in our guru’s teachings, with an earnest heart, that’s all-important.” –Radhanath Swami
So all the monkeys, and Hanumanji was so intelligent, he even got the fish, he engaged them all in Ram’s service! Underneath the ocean, even the little fish they were contributing things to the bridge so that everyone could go back home back to God! It’s not that Hanumanji was thinking, look at me what I’m doing, he was doing everything he could do, but he was appreciating the squirrel, he was appreciating the fish who was under the rocks just pushing it up.
“Ram doesn’t need the fish, Ram doesn’t need Hanuman but we need to serve and Ram makes it that he needs that little squirrel and Hanuman because that’s the nature of his spirit to appreciate. And this is very important, that we learn to appreciate. Its a great virtue. And when we appreciate people’s spiritual qualities, and when we appreciate whatever efforts they’re making sincerely to serve, that appreciation is actually an expression of our will to love Krishna and Krishna will reciprocate.” –Radhanath Swami
Anyone can criticize but to appreciate, Srila Prabhupad appreciated even people who had no Dharma or anything, if they just had the slightest desire to connect with Krishna in any way, he would appreciate that so much, and by doing that he would bring the best out in everyone.
Radhanath Swami on the Mood of the Monkey Soldiers
After the bridge was complete, Hanuman welcomed Ram on his shoulder, Angad welcomed Laxman and they very quickly marched across the ocean, what a site that was! The monkeys were really enthusiastic. They were jumping, they were leaping, they were howling in ecstasy because they were about to fight for Ram, didn’t matter if they lived or died, they were going to fight for Ram, to bring Sita back to Ram! They all saw the pains of Ram’s heart, they all heard from Hanuman, the pains in Sita’s heart. Their only purpose in life was to reunite Sita Ram and they were so enthusiastic with the challenge, what was gonna to happen, what kind of war, They had heard from Vibhisan about the unbelievable, incredible armies of Ravana. In Srimad Bhagvatam, there is a purport where Srila Prabhupad explains Ravana had millions and millions of soldiers, they were trained warriors, they were mystic yogis and they had the most highly sophisticated weapons to fight with. And in Ram’s army, in the whole army there were only two weapons. Ram and Lakshman, both had bows and arrows, none of the monkeys had anything. Doesn’t even say in Ramayan, as far as I remember, that Hanuman even had his club there. They were just picking up trees and rocks and throwing, and their teeth, and their nails, and their fists, and their knees but they were fearless! Here they were, they were confronting the most powerful army and arsenal in the entire universe that conquered Indra and they were fearless and all they had was their enthusiasm to serve! And Srila Prabhupad wrote that this was Ram’s arrangement, he wanted to show,
“Even if you make all the best possible material arrangements, if you are not on the side of dharma, if you’re not on the side of Ram, it’s just the matter of time till you lose everything.” –Radhanath Swami
The monkeys had that faith and when they reached over to Sri Lanka, they were ready. and Ravana was ready, and the battle began.
Radhanath Swami on the Battle Between Ram and Ravana
I would just like to cite one or two very well-known incidents of Hanumanji’s incredible devotion. Throughout the battle of Sri Lanka, Hanuman was always right there. His enthusiasm to serve everywhere, everyone. But at one time, Prahastha was killed, the commander-in-chief, by Nala who just threw a rock on his head. Prahasta has chariots and horses and charioteers and armies all over him and shooting weapons and chanting mantras and has javelins and clubs and all kinds of nuclear things and Nala just takes a rock and throws it on his head. Ravana was shocked. And so many others, same thing was happening, and finally, it was getting so bad that Ravana said, “Wake up Kumbhakarana.”
Now in one sense this was a very good thing but another, it was a mistake because Kumbhakarana— the demigods approached Brahma when he was given giving benedictions to Ravana and Suparnakha and Vibhisan and Ravana and Ravana was getting all kinds of powers where he couldn’t be killed by anybody who could possibly be a threat to him but he didn’t say humans or monkeys because they were below his dignity to even mention their names. And he was getting all the yogic siddhis, and he was getting long lives, cut off his head it grows back, cut off his arms it grows back, he was getting all these incredible boons from Brahma that he could conquer the universe. And Vibhisan, he performed tapasya also and the only blessing he asked for, is to always remember his beloved Lord and to always please his beloved Ram by being the servant of the servant of the servant of his servants, that is the only blessing. Vibhisan could have asked for the same things as Ravana, but he was self-satisfied. He was a devotee. Brahma asked Kumbhakarana, “What benedictions do you want?” because they did thousands of years of severe tapasya. And the demigods went to Brahma and said, “Even without any benedictions, he is so giant and so cruel, he just eats everything and everyone. If he has any blessings, if you just leave him as he is, he will exterminate all life in the universe by eating everything!” So Brahma arranged for goddess Saraswati to come into his mouth, and Brahma said, “What benediction would you like?” and Saraswati spoke through his mouth, “Sleep.” Brahma said, “So be it.” Kumbhakaran said, “I didn’t mean to say that!” It was too late. So he would sleep for six months and then he’d be awake for one day. And in that one day, he would eat what people can’t eat in thousands of years, then he would go to sleep. But in that one day, he was totally indestructible and undefeatable. But the day of his being awake, he already chastised Ravana, that was the day when he held his court. But now it was an emergency so Ravana said, “Wake-up Kumbhakarana.” And there is a whole story in Valmiki Ramayan of how they had to wake him up but eventually he woke up. But, he was vulnerable because it was his sleeping time and ultimately Ram vanquished Kumbhakarana. Ravana could not believe this. He sent some of his other sons, who were really great heroes, and they were vanquished.
So now Ravana is really becoming depressed, and his own wife Mandodri saying, “Just give back Sita, look at all of our children are being killed, your brothers being killed, your other brothers betrayed, just give back!” Ravana could not listen. It was really becoming depressed. But then Indrajit, the most powerful of everyone in Sri Lanka, he spoke with such confidence that “Today I will destroy Ram and Sita will be yours.” and Ravana said “Yes” He had great confidence in Indrajit.
Radhanath Swami Tells of Indrajit’s Secret Weapon
Indrajit went to a temple where he performed his puja. It’s very interesting, even in those days, these demons, these demons were really powerful, even if they hated God, they got their power from demigods. In other words, in those days, all of them, they all had the sense that there is higher personal powers than ourselves, and by pleasing these personal powers, we can get these powers. So Indrajit went to perform yagna to Agni dev and he was an extremely intense personality. He was performing this yagna, he already had such incredible supernatural powers and he somehow got the favor of Brahma and he was given a special Brahmastra, a weapon of Brahma that had to be victorious and could not be counteracted. And he came into the battlefield, and by his supernatural yogic abilities, Indrajit was invisible, and his weapons were invisible, and they were the weapons of Agni and the weapons of Brahma! And he had massive armies around him and armies were fighting and all the monkeys were fighting with the army of Indrajit but there were these arrows and clubs and axes and javelins and everything showering down and they couldn’t see Indrajit to fight back and they couldn’t even see the weapons to counteract them and they were just, they were being crushed. Jambavan was unconscious, laying on the ground. Angada was practically dead; Sugriva was laying, then Nala and Nila. Within a short amount of time, the monkeys, they were just trying to look, “Where is this, where the weapons coming from, we can’t even see the weapons, we can’t even see the person, how do you fight somebody like this?” It was impossible. After some time, the entire army of the monkeys was laying unconscious, totally covered with Indrajit’s weapons, he was just laughing. And then he attacked Rama and Laxman. They were were being covered by these arrows. And Ram told Laxman, “We have to honor Lord Brahma. Brahma gave them benediction, Indrajit, that his weapon would not fail, that it would be victorious, that nothing could counteract it, so let us just tolerate.” And soon Rama and Lakshman were covered by arrows and were laying on the battlefield— unconscious. Indrajit looked down, there were just few monkeys left, they were just the foot soldiers, he didn’t care about them. All the generals, all the powerful people and Rama and Lakshman, as far as he could see, they were all dead.
Radhanath Swami on Jambavan’s Instruction to Hanuman
So he took his invisible chariot and he went back to the place where he was going to continue his worship to get even greater powers. But first, he went and told Ravana, “My dear father, the work is done, enjoy Sita. Rama and Laxman are and that crazy monkey is dead.” And Ravana was so happy, and he reported to Sita, “You see, they are all dead.” Sita was in pain. One of the Rakshasi women, Srijata, and Vibhisan’s wife, Sarala, informed Sita, “Actually they’re not dead, they are just sleeping for some time.”
But anyways Hanuman and Vibhisan, they were wounded but Hanuman couldn’t be killed. Vibhisan, Indrajit, because Indrajit is Vibhisan’s brother, he just like threw this javelin through his shoulder and he was laying there with wrapped pain but he didn’t die, but he was looking for Hanuman as he knew Hanuman couldn’t be killed. And he found Hanuman and Vibhisan said, “We have to go find Jambavan” And it’s night, so they had torch and they’re going through the battlefield somehow or other looking for Jambavan and there’s millions. I think, according to Valmiki Ramayan, I think that night Indrajit defeated 67 crores of monkeys. He was a powerful warrior. They were laying there, they all seemed dead.
And they’re going through all these bodies and finally they came to Jambavan. And Jambavan, he was old and he was covered with these javlins and axes and arrows of Indrajit, he was in so much pain, he was laying there and Vibhisan said, “Jambavan, we were searching for you.” And Jambavan said, “I am in so much pain, I can’t even see but I can hear your voice, but just tell me one thing: Where is Hanuman?” Vibhisan was really surprised by that question. He said, “Why are you asking about Hanuman, why you’re not asking about Ram? You are not asking about Ram, why you are asking Hanuman? Jambavan said, “Because if Hanuman is alive, whoever is dead with us will come alive; But if Hanuman is dead, we will all die. Bring Hanuman. But Hanuman was standing right there and Hanumanji is so humble to his superior Jambavan, Hanuman fell at Jambavan’s feet and put his feet on his head. And Hanuman said to Jambavan, “How may I serve? Jambavan said, “You are the only one who could save us. Rama has empowered you, it is his will. Rama and Laxman are not dead, they are just honoring Brahma’s weapon, but they are unconscious.” and when Ram came to consciousness and saw Laxman laying there, he was crying. Jambavan told Hanumanji that “You have to go immediately to the Himalayas. There is a mountain in the Himalayas called Rishabh and from the peak of the Rishabh mountain you will see Mount Kailash, in between, there is an incredible mountain that has light like fire. There it’s endowed with supernatural healing herbs. From that mountain, you must get four herbs: the Sanjivani karana, Vishalya karana. Sanjivani karana can bring dead people back to life. Vishalya karani can heal any type of wound in a body. The Suvarna karani can restore the body to its full strength and vigor. And the Sandani can heal and join all bones that are broken and dislocated. He said, “You must get these four herbs and bring them back, and not only Rama and Laxman, but the entire monkey army will come back to life and have full strength. But you have to do it immediately, by tomorrow it will be too late.”
Hanuman Sets Our for the Herbs
So Hanumanji went to the top of Trikuta Mountain and cried out “Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram!” He jumped, jumped across the ocean, he went past Kishkinta Kshetra, the Vindhya Mountains, Dandakaranya Forest, he was going over and he came to the highest peaks of the Himalayas. And there on Rishab hill, Rishabh Mountain, he saw Kailash, the abode of Shiva, and between was often called the Gandamadana Mountain.
He went to get the herbs but somehow or other all the herbs entered into the mountain. They were all being hidden. So Hanuman couldn’t find them, and he didn’t have time to really start digging and searching, because time was the essence. So Hanumanji, nothing could impede his devotional service, that was the power of his enthusiasm.
“In the material sense, there’s a saying, ‘where there is a will there is a way’, but in devotional service, when we take shelter of the Lord with the determined enthusiasm to serve, Krishna can empower us to do incredible things.”-Radhanath Swami
One time my dear God brother Vishnujana Swami Maharaj, he asked Srila Prabhupad that, “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he could’ve spread the holy name into every town and village, that’s what Nityananda— and he predicted, and Bhaktivinod Thakur, he was such a great saint, he could’ve spread the holy name to every town and village, why didn’t they do it? They had all powers!” Srila Prabhupad, very humble, he said, “Because they saved that service for me.” And Srila Prabhupad never took credit for anything. If you want to understand what is the essence of Srimad Bhagvatam, what is the essence of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita in a practical way in which we could have the consciousness of living in this world, we just study the simple prayer that Prabhupad wrote on Jaladuta, “Krishna, if you like you can give me the power to speak to convince them of your message. They are so much, all these people in the western world and in India and everywhere else, are so much under the influence of the modes and passion and ignorance, how they will understand? But if you give me the words, by your grace they will be happy. Just make me your puppet and let me dance as you want me to dance.” That’s the spirit of Hanuman. He had such determination; there was nothing impossible. Prabhupad used to say, “Impossible is a word in a fool’s dictionary.”
Hanuman Delivers the Herbs
That was Hanuman’s way of seeing the world. What has to be done has to be done because it’s for Ram, “I can’t find the herbs, Jambavan has already given me the instruction, I must get it back immediately.” So Hanuman shook the mountain and took the peak off the mountain, gigantic peak, probably weighed millions and millions of tons. And he lifted it up and jumped back to Sri Lanka. And he came to Vibhisan and Jambavan, and they called Sisena. Jambavan took those herbs— Sisena was the doctor of the monkeys— he took the herbs and put them near the nose of Rama and Laxman, and they opened their eyes and they stood up and Ram embraced Hanumanji. Every single one of the monkeys, they all woke up and all their wounds were healed, and their health was completely restored, and every single monkey that was killed was brought back to life.
Ramayan explains that so many of Ravana’s soldiers died, why they didn’t come back to life, every single monkey that was killed came back to life because of this herbs that Hanumanji brought from the Himalayas. Because Ravana didn’t want the monkeys to think that he was losing, so any rakshasa that died, other rakshasas were ordered to throw them in the ocean, so nobody would see that there was any deaths, so that the monkeys would not feel encouraged that they were making any progress. But you see his psychology worked against him, they went back to life, they were in the ocean. Hanumanji ki Jai.
On another occasion, Ravana was fighting against Lakshman and threw a special javelin that was endowed with supernatural powers, and it struck Lakshman’s chest. And he appeared to be dead, Ram was crying and Hanuman went back to the Himalayas to bring back that same mountain with the same herbs to bring Lakshman back to life.
Hanuman Relieves Sita
Eventually Lord Sri Ramchandra, defeated Ravana and was victorious. Ram told Vibhisan to perform the last rites for his brother. Vibishan said, “How could I do that, he was such a demon! I am your devotee and he was your enemy, why should I perform the last rites for him and try to elevate his soul?” Ram said, “Any enmity between us is all only on the physical platform and mental platform. Now that he’s dead it’s all gone. Liberate his soul, perform the last rites, forgive him.” After the last rites of Ravana, Ram told Hanuman, “Because of you, we are victorious in this battle. Go and give Sita the message that I will soon be sending Vibhisan to bring her, to reunite with me.” Hanuman was so excited. He entered into Sri Lanka, he met with Sita and gave her the news, “Ravana is slain; Ram is victorious, he is waiting for you.” Sita began to cry in such ecstasy. For almost 12 months, about 11 months, she was a prisoner of Ravana, 24 hours a day yearning to be reconnected with Ram. Every day he was threatening to kill her if she didn’t surrender. Her heart was over-flooding with gratitude, she was praising Hanumanji, “Because you have facilitated my beloved Lord to win this great war, and because you have come on behalf of my Lord to give me this news, I shower all my blessings upon you, that your devotion, your love, your heroism will live forever in the hearts of all devotees. I give you my heart, I give you my life Hanuman. Please tell Ram that I am waiting, waiting for that moment to see him again.” So Hanuman jumped over the wall and gave Ram her message.
Radhanath Swami on Sita and Ram’s Reunion
Then Ram told Vibhisan that, “You and your wife should have her take a nice bath, [because she didn’t bathe the whole time] and put on beautiful ornaments and clothes and put her in the palanquin to come to see me.” Vibhisan and Sarla, they gave the news to Sita, she said “I don’t want to take a bath; I just want to see Ram.” They said, “No no, this is his order, you must do.” So they did an abhisek for her and they put beautiful garments and jewels and placed her in a palanquin, and brought her to where Ram was standing. And to everyone’s great surprise, it was said that maybe everyone should go away so that Ram and Sita could meet privately, and Ram was just looking down very indifferently, he said, “No everyone should stay.” And Sita came down, Ram didn’t even look at her, he was looking at the ground, and he looked not happy at all. And Sita’s heart was bursting for the desire to serve, to please and to be loved by Ram once again, but Ram showed no emotion externally. And while looking at the ground he said, “Sita you have been touched by another man, living with him for 11 months, I cannot take you back now. You could go anywhere you like.” Sita burst into tears, Ram wouldn’t even look at her. She said, “Ram, 24 hours a day I was only crying in separation, my heart was completely chaste, pure and faithful to you at every moment. How is it possible that you could have any doubt in me? If you tell me, I can go anywhere I want, I will enter fire. If I in any way have displeased you even for a moment then I don’t want to live. And she told Lakshman, “Build a pyre and I will enter into the fire.” Everyone was looking at Ram and everyone was heartbroken. Everyone was seeing Sita crying and everyone was crying except Ram, even Lakshman was angry with Ram. But everyone was afraid to say anything to him because he looked so grave. Ram just indicated to Lakshman, make the fire. Lakshman is crying, his heart is breaking, he is taking wood, he builds a fire. Sita circumambulates Ram, her whole body is trembling, her heart is totally broken. […] And Hanuman, Sugriva, Angad, Vibhisan, they don’t know what to say, they don’t know what to do.
Sita Enters the Fire
Sita tells Rama that, “If for a single fraction of a moment, I ever forgot you, or I ever considered to do anything but to please you, then let this body burn me. But if I have been for this entire 11 months completely chaste and pure and faithful for your pleasure and your service with my love for you, then this fire cannot burn me.” The fire was blazing. She circumambulated the fire three times and then, with folded hands, she entered the fire. Ram was concealing his own emotions. His heart was totally breaking, when she entered the fire, even beyond his ability to restrain, tears started pouring from his eyes. And as she was in the fire, blaze surrounded by flames, Lord Brahma appeared on his carrier in the sky and proclaimed that, “Sita is completely pure, her chastity is the supreme emblem of her character, there should be no doubt.” And suddenly, her body glowed, brighter than the fire, and Agni, the fire God, escorted her out and told Sri Ram that, “Her heart and her love for you is pure.”
Ram Expresses His Heart to Sita
And Ram and Sita held hands, and then Ram, for the first time, looked in Sita’s eyes; and Sita looked at Ram’s eyes. And the total love of both of their hearts poured from each other’s eyes into each other’s hearts. And they stood silently and Ram told Sita, “Not for a moment did I have any doubts in you. Do you think if I had any questions I would’ve built that bridge across the ocean, I would’ve traveled across the length and breadth of most of India searching for you, crying for you, yearning for you, longing for you, would I have sent Hanuman to jump off of the sea and risk his life? But I had to do this, because for all time to come, people should always know that your love is completely pure. And that even living in such a place as Sri Lanka, being harassed threatened, intimidated, seduced and tempted by the greatest riches and the greatest powers in all the universe, not for a moment did you ever consider anything except how to please me with your love— there can be no doubt ever.” When Ram was saying this to Sita, it was breaking his heart more than hers to say it, harsh words but he did it, so that she would be glorified for all eternity.
Hanuman is Sent to Nandigram
Then it was time for Sita and Ram to return to Ayodhaya and Ram again turned to Hanumanji. He said, “my brother Bharat, for the last 14 years, has been ruling over Ayodhaya. He is living as a hermit in Nandigram, he’s put my wooden shoes on the throne, but still he has the power over Ayodhaya even though he’s living in such a simple way as an ascetic. And in this world, on a subtle level, having power, having influence it affects people they get attached to it. I love my brother Bharat if he has even the slightest inclination to keep that position, then I will remain in the forest or I will be his assistant, but I don’t want to take it away from him. Hanuman, you are expert at judging a person’s heart, go to an Nandigram and tell Bharat that Sita and myself are reunited, and were coming back to Ayodhaya. And if you sense even the slightest trace of sadness in his heart that he’s good to lose what he has, then come back and tell me and I will not return.” So Hanuman, with a loud roar of happiness, he cried out, “Jai Sri Ram!” and he jumped to Nandigram, which is on the outskirts of Ayodhaya, it’s a forest.
And there was Bharat, dressed in tree bark, eating roots and herbs, living in a little straw hut just like the one, even simpler than the one he saw Ram and Lakshman and Sita living in Chitrakoot. And every day Bharat would come and give his report to the sandals of Ram that were sitting on the throne of Ayodhaya. Hanuman gave the message to Bharat, that Ram has been victorious in a battle with Ravana, he’s reunited with Sita, the 14 years of his exile is over today. He is returning. Bharat, his eyes flooded with tears, his heart was dancing, he embraced Hanumanji. He said, “Every moment of every day for the past 14 years, I have only been yearning for this moment to come when Ram would return.” Hanuman could see that he was genuinely sincere.
Seeing the purity of Bharat’s love, which is equal to the purity and chastity of Sita’s love, Hanuman rejoiced. Hanuman embraced Bharat, they were embracing each other and Bharat was saying, “Where is he, where is he?!” and Hanuman said, “He is coming, any moment he will be coming from that direction” And a few seconds later, Bharat said, “I don’t see him, where is he?” Hanuman said, “He is coming, he is coming.” After a few minutes, [Bharat said,] “When is he coming? Are you sure he is coming?!” Hanuman said, “He is coming, he is coming!” and Bharat, every moment was like a yuga in his anticipation to see Ram again. Kaushalya, Satrugna, even Kaikiya after she was purified of her illusion, everyone in Ayodhaya was simply breathing, their hearts were only beating with the expectation for Ram to return. [Bharat said] “Where is he? Are you sure he is coming?” Hanuman said, “Bharat, look in the horizon! The Pushpaka! Ram has come!” and they danced together, weeping in ecstasy chanting the holy names
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
The Purshpaka came down to the simple hermitage of Bharat. Ram stepped down, still with his matted hair and tree bark, and Bharat ran over to him to fall at Ram’s feet but Ram picked him up and the two brothers embraced. After fourteen years of loving separation, they embraced. And Satrugna embraced his brother Lakshman. And the citizens of Ayodhaya, so many of them had come to Nandigram to greet Ram. And in a little quiet corner, Kaushalya, Ram’s loving mother, was just watching Ram interacting with Bharat, Satrugna and the citizens of Ayodhaya, crying in ecstasy. Ram ran over to her and touched her lotus feet and she picked him up and embraced.