Journey to Spiritual Places with Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on the birth of Hanuman, 2014 Yatra, Hampi, Day 1, Morning

on December 8, 2014 in Humpi-Udupi Yatra 2014 with 16 Comments

Hare Krishna,

Radhanath Swami and Chandramauli Swami

Radhanath Swami Welcomes Chandramauli Swami in the Yatra

In my heart I am personally greeting each and every one of you individually. But for scheduling purposes my body is sitting here. We are very grateful to each and every one of you for being with us today. Special gratitude to His Holiness Chandramauli Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Varaha Swami Maharaj, His Grace Shesa prabhu, Her Grace Mandakini Mataji, Her Grace Nartiki Mataji, Her Grace Kamagiri Mataji and to two dear friends Jules and Hatchi, and to all of you.

Srila Rupa Goswami tells us in Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu: one of the five most important practices of bhakti is to go to holy places for pilgrimage. It is said that if we go to a holy place to bathe in the holy rivers or see the spots without satsang, associating or hearing from holy people, then it is not really a pilgrimage at all. In Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita it is said on many occasions that those people who carry Krishna, the Supreme Lord, within their heart, all the holy places are present there. So when we come to a holy place in the association of devotees who are like-minded, who share the same essential purpose, and we come to hear about the Lord and his devotees, to chant the holy names in kirtan and japa, to offer our prayers, then it truly is a place of pilgrimage. Then Krishna reveals himself to us in such an atmosphere. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami elaborates on Pure Devotional Service

Pilgrims listening to Radhanath Swami

Pilgrims listening to Radhanath Swami in rapt attention


In the path of bhakti we pray for pure devotional service. anyabhilasa sunyam. Rupa Goswami tells us that pure bhakti is uncompromised by the desire for liberation, by the desire for mystic powers, by the desire for heavenly pleasures. Pure devotional service is simply to awaken our love, with a will to serve with love. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when describing bhakti to Sanatan Goswami built his most incredible teachings on the foundation of a single verse:

jiver swarup hoy krishner nitya-das: we are all eternally the servants of Krishna.

nitya-siddha krsna-prema sadya kabu noy, sravanadi shuddha chitte koroya udoy: within the heart of every living being is love for Krishna, and by associating with Krishna’s devotees, chanting Krishna’s names, practicing the principles of devotional service, that love is awakened.

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki twayi

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this prayer: ‘I do not want the pleasures of this world: wealth, sexual pleasures, sensual pleasures. I do not want the prestige and fame of being great or learned or advance spiritually. I do not want the mystic powers that people spend lifetimes trying to achieve. I do not even want liberation from birth and death. My only prayer is to serve you unconditionally with love forever.’ That is the aspiration of those who follow the path of bhakti as it has been handed down by great acharyas from the very beginning of creation.

In the Srimad Bhagvatam, Prahalad Maharaj tells there are nine processes within this bhakti path – sravana, kirtana, smarana, vandana, pada-sevana, dasya, pujana, sakhijana, atma-nivedana – beginning with hearing about the Lord and chanting his holy names and always remembering him. Each of these paths of bhakti is specially personified by a particular person.

mahajano yena gatah sa panthah: the path of perfection is to follow in the footsteps of great souls.

Parikshit Maharaj attained perfection simply by hearing about Krishna, his various avatars and his teachings. Sukudeva Goswami attained perfection simply by kirtanam, by chanting and describing the names and their glories; little Prahalad by always remembering Krishna in any and every situation. Kunti Devi, the great queen and the mother of the Pandavas, in the spirit of Prahalad, she prayed to Krishna, “Let challenges and difficulties come upon me, because in that situation I am helpless and I have no one else to turn to. And I remember you with a whole heart, and in remembering you I am taken beyond danger and beyond fear.” Devotees of the Lord understand this principle that this material world has been created to facilitate every living being to ultimately attain his or her own spiritual perfection.

If it wasn’t for time, in getting old and these three fold miseries – adhiatmika , adhibhautika , adhidaivika, miseries caused by our own body and mind, miseries caused by other people or other beings, miseries caused by natural disturbances – then we will be just complacent to just be happy in this world. But the eternal soul is sat-chit-ananda, it is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. And the ananda, the bliss of the soul is to feel unlimited love of bhagvan, for Krishna, and to love Krishna. That exchange of love is the only true happiness for the eternal soul. When we see the soul from the perspective of eternity, then the situations that come in this tiny little flash of lifetime can be seen in its proper perspective. Sometimes we see our troubles being so difficult. ‘ Why, why is this happening?’ But when we see from the perspective of eternity we understand that whatever troubles are there, ultimately are there to help us to reconnect with our true essence, with Krishna. – Radhanath Swami

Hanuman is the personification of seva. He perfected his life through selfless service to Sri Ram. It is seen that practically all the various spiritual paths of India unanimously have great honor for Hanumanji. Whether you go to Kashi or Vrindavan or any holy place, whether you go to any temple of any of the various (forms of the) Supreme Absolute Truth or the devas, Hanuman is always there to welcome us. Even the Jains and the Buddhists in various places worship Hanuman. His universal attraction is based on his incredible, unique, unconditional loving service to Sri Ram and his compassion. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami explains Viraha Bhava, love in separation, of Lord Ram

When Sita was abducted and separated from Ram by Ravana, here in Kishkinda Kshetra where we sit, Ram manifested his deep feelings of Virahabhav or separation .We will all go to a place; in Ramayan it is called Prashravana. It is also known as Maalyavanta; there was a mountain close to where we sit, where there is a cave. After Ram made alliance with Sugriva, the monsoon rain started pouring down. That was pouring so hard, it was impossible to search for Sita at that time. So Ram, who was playing the role of human, he told Sugriva and his prime minister Hanuman, “After the monsoon we will search for Sita.” But those four months Ramchandra and his brother Laxman remained in that cave. Twenty four hours a day, day after day, week after week, month after month, Lord Sri Ram was totally immersed in separation from Sita. There is a murthi of Sri Ramchandra sitting in a lotus posture with beads in his right hand, and his left hand touching his heart, because there throughout the day he was chanting the name of Sita and meditating upon her within his heart. Far away, in the distant land of Sri Lanka, Ashok grove, Sita being harassed, tormented by Ravana and the rakshasas and rakshashis, was chanting Ram’s name constantly, meditating on Ram within the core of her heart. In this way, the deepest union of love was manifested in their separation for each other. When Krishna left Vrindavan to Mathura and later to Dwarka, in Brihad Bhagavatamrita by Sanatan Goswami it is
explained how the gopis and gopas, they lived twenty four hours a day only breathing with the expectation that Krishna would return that day. The gopis cried for the rest of their lives in separation from Krishna, and they would make garlands for him, make wonderful arrangements in every way, and cook his favorite food expecting him to return that day.

In Chaitanaya Charitamrita – during the Rathyatra – it is explained, Lord Chaitanya’s mood of Sri Radha in separation from Krishna and Krishna’s mood in separation from Brijwasis. Kirshna revealed that all day, every day. He was simply remembering the residents of Vrindavan and the residents of Vrindavan were always immersed in remembering him. Sanatan Goswami reveals Krishna’s mind. The depth of their love in separation is so deep – the union of their hearts – that it is the highest revelation of prema. In a similar way Ram and Sita were experiencing that Viraha Bhav. And Kishikinda Kshetra, where we sit today, very much personifies that revelation. It is here that Ram cried for four months in separation from Sita, the ultimate beloved. – Radhanath Swami

The jiva, every living being, who is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, has, as its deepest potential and its very essence, love for Krishna, love for Ram. That love, that prema, is the energy, part and parcel of Sri Radha’s or Sri Sita’s love. But due to the ego, the ahankara – the misconception that ‘I am this body and all of its designations and whatever is in relationship to this body is mine’ – we have forgotten that love. We are constantly being distracted by those things that perpetuate this material conception of life. Bhakti is the process of reconnecting us to our true nature, and in doing so, reconnecting in our relationship with the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. In this sense, Sita represents love of Krishna, love of Ram, the jiva’s (the soul’s) love for God. Ram is the Paramatma; Ravana is the ahankara. Ravana is that power that separates our love for the Supreme. Bhakti is what reconnects us with the Supreme.

Hanuman’s unique position

It was Hanuman that delivered the message to Sita after discovering her, then delivered Sita’s message back to Ram. It was Hanuman who was prominent in building the bridge across the ocean to reconnect Ram and Sita. It was Hanumanji who was the most instrumental person to fight the battle against the Rakshasas and assist Ram in overcoming Ravana. And it was Hanuman who was sent by Ram after the great war of Sri Lanka to bring Sita back to be reunited with him. Hanuman, all of the incredible pastimes that he performed, he never took credit for anything. He was constantly chanting the holy names of the Lord and he gave all credit to God’s grace, who was always present within the holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This chanting of Krishna’s names, Ram’s names wakes us up, because in this age of kali people are so soundly sleeping. The loud chanting of the holy name is required.

Radhanath Swami describes the histories of Hampi

The place where we are sitting is very ancient holy place. There are many, many histories to explain. I will speak just a few.

Hampi – the place where Shiva and Parvati performed tapasya and were reunited

We read in Srimad Bhagvatam and other puranas about Daksha Yagna. Daksha, he was such an extraordinary person. His physical beauty was incomparable. His knowledge of scriptures and of every other science and subject matter was incredible. He had such power, such fame. When he came to an assembly, the rishis, the sages and even the devas would stand up to greet him. But despite having all these qualities, he had a great disqualification, which is the basic anartha or unwanted quality that separates everyone from the Supreme, from Krishna, and that is ahankara or ego. As soon as we think anything we have is our own, we fall into illusion.

prakrite kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah ahankara…

Krishna tells in Gita: bewildered souls think themselves to be the doers of their activities, but actually everything we have is a gift. To have a grateful heart is to be humble and acknowledge the power of the persons who are giving us these gifts. Without air, we cannot breathe, we cannot digest our food, we cannot live for more than a few minutes. Vayu is the lord of the air. On behalf of Supreme, Bhagvan, he is providing. Where there is ego, the natural evolution it creates is envy – we want to be great, we want to be proprietor, we want to be enjoyer. – Radhanath Swami

Daksha, who had so much, was envious of his own son-in-law Shiva. And due to that envy he said so many terrible things against Shiva. It’s a beautiful and incredible story, but eventually his own wife Sati ended her life because she could not tolerate it.

She took her next birth; one of her names was Pampadevi. She came to this place to perform tapasya to get Shiva as her husband, and Shiva also was here doing tapasya to once again get Sati as his wife. While he was engrossed in tapasya in deep, deep meditation, the asuras were attacking the devas. So the devas wanted to wake up Shiva, because they needed a son from him to be their general. But Shiva was in such deep Samadhi that nothing could wake him. So the devas appointed Kamdeva , who is the predominating personality, the power over the desire to enjoy – kama. So he came and created such an unbelievable environment. It was right here, where we are close to, and he created the most pleasing season, weather. There were flowers with magnificent fragrances blooming. Everything was just so nice, and he created amazing apsaras and dancing ladies, singing with celestial voices and dancing around Lord Shiva, as he sat in meditation; nothing fazed him. Every single material power that Kamadeva had, he used, and Shiva was not to be disturbed. So finally he took his own arrow with all his potencies and directed it towards Shankar. Lord Shiva opened his eyes, and when he saw Kamdeva there, he opened the third eye. Kamdeva was burnt to ashes. The place where that happened is Manmat, it’s a kund, very close to here. It represents param drishtva nivartate.

If we want to overcome desires, distractions that are so powerful and beyond us…

daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya

Krishna tells in Gita: this material nature consisting of goodness, passion and ignorance –rajaguna , tamoguna, satvaguna – is very difficult to overcome, but one who takes shelter of me and experiences the higher taste, the higher experience of my grace, only then can we overcome the challenges and distraction of material life.

The devas explained the reasons, and Shiva in this place, he pardoned Kamdeva and gave him a body without a body, ananga, and then he came together with Pampadevi, whose another name is Parvati. So in Virupaksha Temple we find the murthi of Pampadevi and the murthi of Lord Shiva. It is here that they performed tapasya to reunite with each other. It was here that they were reunited. – Radhanath Swami

Hampi – the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire

Radhanath Swami walking through the ruins of Vijayanagar Empire

Radhanath Swami walking through the ruins of Vijayanagar Empire

Hampi is famous throughout the world for many reasons. Many, many people come here, some because it is one of the most beautiful, natural places of scenery where there are rivers and mountains and rock formations. Others come here because some of the most important historical ancient ruins are here. Around the year 1336 Vijaynagar Empire was established. At that time the Mughals were conquering all of North India and conquering so much of South India. And there were various South Indian Hindu kingdoms that were fighting, and ultimately they were losing. So the kings came together as one kingdom, Vijaynagar.

Srila Prabhupad gave example that when we are united we can stand together to overcome great challenges. Maya is extremely strong. Srila Prabhupad gave example that if you take little sticks and bind them together, then the unity is their strength; it cannot be broken. And if you take a stick out, it can easily be broken. So when we are united for that common higher purpose of devotional service, it gives us great strength. So cooperation, respect for each other, is not just a cultural expression, but it’s actually a need for our spiritual survival. – Radhanath Swami

So these various kingdoms were brought together by the kings of Vijaynagar and ultimately they ruled over practically the whole of South India for about 250 years. All the various religions and all the various cultures lived happily together here.

The great architectural achievements over two centuries were quiet destroyed when they were destroyed, but the ruins have become one of the very archaeologically most attractive places in the world. So you see some of these places, but that’s not why we came here.

Radhanath Swami glorifies Hampi as the birthplace of Hanumanji

Radhanath Swami at Anjanadri, birth place of Hanuman

Radhanath Swami at Anjanadri, birth place of Hanuman

So now I will begin my talk! So many great acharyas came here – not to see archaeological ruins.

Ramanujacharya came here, Sankaracharya came here, Vallabhacharya came here, Madhavacharya, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu. It is described in our great histories: they all came to receive blessings of this place and to teach us the importance of coming to these places on pilgrimage. – Radhanath Swami

In Sri Ramayan this is Kishkinda Kshetra. It is specially a place where people come – and we have come – to offer our prayers to Sri Hanuman. Sri Ramchandra appears in this world in Treta Yuga – in various kalpas – and Hanuman, his eternal servant, comes with him. So in the different puranas it is described, different ways in which Sri Hanumanji took his birth within this world. I would like to speak just a few of them.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Hanuman’s birth from Ananda Ramayana

In the Ananda Ramayan, it explains how Bhumi Devi and the various devas approached Brahma because Ravana and his associates were terrorizing the world. And Lord Vishnu was worshipped by them, and he promised to appear. He told the demigods, the devas, to appear within Vaanara community, amongst celestial monkeys, and how he would appear as the son of Dasrath and Kausalya. King Dasrath was the emperor of the Kaushal dynasty whose capital was Ayodhya. Valmiki explains in his Ramayan that Ayodhaya was full of all prosperity. Everyone treated each other with love and respect. There was no poverty. There was no hunger. There was no thirst. There was no suffering. Everything was just so nice. Dasrath, although having everything and being incredibly so popular, loved and successful, could not find any true happiness because he wanted a son. (So that) When he retired to dedicate his entirety of life to the service of the Supreme Lord, he could entrust the responsibilities of the kingdom to his son. Years passed and ultimately he performed, on the instruction of Vasishta Muni – a special yagna. The head priest was Rishia Sringa. The culmination of that yagna was a chanting of a mantra, an oblation. From that oblation in the sacred fire, a divine personality emerged. He was holding a golden pot of celestial payasam or nectar. He gave that to Dasrath and told him to share it amongst his three wives – Kaushalya, Kaikayi and Sumitra. We know from Ramayan, after three of them drank that paysam, they became pregnant. Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Satrughna were to be born.

As that divine person gave a portion to Sumitra, Vayu appeared. Vayu is the lord of air, the lord of the wind. He came in the form of a huge bird. He came down and took a portion of that paysam and flew into the air to here. And there Anjana, the wife of Kesari, she had worshipped Lord Shiva for a son, and Lord Shiva appeared to her and told her, “You perform tapasya and hold your palms up.” Vayu put the payasam in Anjana’s hands and she drank it and became pregnant. After sometime, Hanuman was born. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Hanuman’s birth from Shiva Purana

In the Shiva purana, there is another story. We read in Srimad Bhagvatam also of how the devas and the asuras churned the ocean of milk for the purpose of getting nectar, amrit. Dhanvantri appeared at the very conclusion of this incredible pastime with this pot of nectar. Demigods and the demons were fighting over it, and ultimately demons snatched it. Devas were in a completely helpless state. So they prayed to Lord Vishnu, and Lord Vishnu appeared as the most beautiful woman anyone could imagine. Her name was Mohini. She went right before the demons, the asuras, and glanced at them. Each of them was thinking that ‘she loves me and she spoke so sweetly’ and each of them surrendered to her because they thought ‘she loves only me’ and they said… You know, there was a dispute. What happened is, after the asuras took all the nectar, they were fighting over who is to take it first. They would not let any of each other take it. Even if they were going to share it, each of them thought, “I should have the honor of having it first.” So as the asuras were fighting over it, the demigods were sitting there completely bereft and Mohini appeared and all the demons they said, “Mohini, you take this full pot of this nectar and you distribute it as you want.” And each one of them was convinced that ‘she is going to give it to me only.’ Such was her beauty. She took it and gave it all to the demigods.

So Lord Shiva met Lord Vishnu and he said, “I have heard about this Mohini Murthi. I want to see this form.” Lord Vishnu said, “I don’t think you want to see this form.”

“No! No! I want to see this form.”

So then Lord Vishnu said, “All right,” and he left. Lord Shiva was sitting and suddenly Mohini Murthi appeared. She was playing with a ball and she was so beautiful. Lord Shiva was so attracted to her. He started running to catch her and she was running away. But she was running in such a way that she didn’t even seem to be running. She would just glance at him and then look somewhere else and glance at him.

Parvati was sitting next to Shiva, and he left Parvati. Mohini, she ran to these hermitages where Shiva’s devotees, all sadhus and babas, were performing severe austerities. They were brahmacharis, they were sanyasis, they were doing all this to worship Shiva. They were all chanting his names and performing yagnas. Suddenly the most beautiful woman comes running right through their hermitage, and they looked down and turned their heads away, because they did not want to displease Lord Shiva by looking at her. But then the next thing that happened is that they saw Lord Shiva, and he was running after her and they didn’t know what to do. Then ultimately she came to a special place and she allowed Lord Shiva to touch her, and then she disappeared. When he touched her, his potency, his seed came out from his body. The power of Lord Shiva was there.

Lord Shiva’s own identity was in that seed and that was entrusted to the Saptarishis, the seven great sages. Lord Shiva explains to them, “You should take this and give it to Vayu.” Lord Vayu, he took that seed and brought it to Anjana. Lord Shiva’s potency and identity was in that seed and Vayu, he invested his own personality and his own potencies within that seed, and Vayu as the wind placed it within Anajana, through her ear – different explanations – and Hanuman was born. – Radhanath Swami

It is explained that when Ravana was conquering the world and creating so much cry – Ravana means the one who makes people cry – the demigods appealed to Vishnu. Ravana, so many of his powers he got from the benedictions of Brahma, and also benedictions of Shiva. At Gokarna Ravana performed severe tapasya and Lord Shiva gave him so many benedictions. So Lord Vishnu did not want to kill a devotee of Shiva, and Shiva did not want to kill his own devotee. But Ravana after getting these powers became so arrogant. He thought he could do anything. He was committing so many offences. It was decided he must be killed.

So Lord Shiva, he told Vishnu and devas, “He is my devotee and I manifested myself as eleven rudras. In his tapasya he cut ten of his heads to pacify me and get my favor, but not an eleventh. So I will manifest myself, expand myself as the eleventh rudra, Sri Hanumanji and assist you to liberate the world from Ravana. – Radhanath Swami

So one day Shiva was immersed in great emotion in chanting the names of Ram. Parvati asked, “Why are you doing like this?” Lord Shiva told Parvati Devi, “The name of Ram is the complete presence of the absolute truth. The Supreme Lord of all creations is within the name and that same Ram is going to appear within the world to satisfy the devas by liberating Ravana. I want to come; I am going to incarnate in the world to serve Ram, my beloved eternal master in the form of a monkey.” She said, “Why do you want to come in the form of monkey? He said, “Because monkeys are completely detached, they have no caste, they can do anything. Nothing will obstruct my service to Ram in this form. Actually I will become Hanuman. Hanuman is ansha, a plenary portion of me.” Then Parvati said, “I want to come with you. I want to assist you. I will come as your tail, because just like I am your ornament as your wife, the tail is the ornament of monkey; most beautiful tail, which will be full of all of your potencies.” So Lord Shiva agreed.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Hanuman’s birth from Valmiki Ramayana

Radhanath Swami sitting on Anjanadri

Radhanath Swami sitting on Anjanadri

It is described in the Valmiki Ramayan that in the heavenly world there was an apsara named Punjikastala. When she was a young child, Brahaspathi the guru for all demigods brought her to his own ashram and accepted her as his own daughter. In the forest hermitage where they lived, it was the abode of peace where all of these great sages and rishis who were living with Brahaspathi, the topmost of all Brahmans, were absorbed in puja, yagna, meditation and chanting the holy names of the Lord. Punjikastala was brought up from her early childhood in that environment. She did not know anything about material desires because they just didn’t exist there. When she was about seventeen years old, she was collecting fragrant flowers to bring back to Brahaspathi, her guru who was like her own father. She came out of the boundaries of the ashram unknowingly, and there she wandered to a place where some Gandharvas, very heavenly people, they were taking their baths and they were enjoying in so many materialistic ways. She became attracted. Brahaspathi was waiting for her and waiting for her. Finally he came out, saw her and understood the situation. He told her, “Because you still have these material desires and you want to enjoy independently, let you be free from these desires. You will be born in earth in the family of monkeys.”

She became very sober after hearing this. Punjikastala fell at the feet of Brahaspati and begged, “Why are you giving me this curse?” He said, “This is not a curse; it’s a blessing. There is a purpose behind it. Vayu and Shiva will incarnate as your son Hanuman. He will be the greatest of the devotees, the very symbol of bhakti. After you give birth to him, then you can return here, completely liberated and free.” So Punjikastala took birth as the daughter of Kundala who was the chief of the vanaras of the monkey tribe, and her name was Anjana. Anjana had such divine qualities. When she was young, she just wanted to love God and she had this innate desire for a child also, which was the will of the Lord. She went into the forest just to be undisturbed in her devotion. At that time, there was a rakshasa Sambasadhana. He saw her and he fell in love with her; he wanted to enjoy her. She ran away, but he chased after her. Eventually she ran to a place of great sages and Rishis in a hermitage, and expressed her condition. They said, “This Sambasadhana is such a powerful Rakshasa, such an Asura, that he is constantly harassing us and there is nothing we could do about it. But there is one great vanara, a monkey warrior named Kesari, and he is the one who can slay him.”

Sambasadhana, he attacked the hermitage, started destroying everything that the sages were doing, and went to abduct Anjana. She prayed to Lord Shiva to save her. At that time Kesari, he appeared and he challenged Sambasadhana. It was an incredible fight. They were battling one another. Sambasadhana, by his mystic powers became a gigantic elephant and he was destroying everything in sight. Kesari, there was nothing he could do to stop him. So ultimately he took a small form and jumped right on the forehead, which is the weakest part of the elephant, and started beating on him, beating on him. He was so small, but his fist was very strong. Elephant could not do anything because he could not reach him. Eventually he had to give up the form of an elephant to become the Rakshasa again. They were fighting and fighting and fighting and neither one could defeat the other. Meanwhile Anjana was praying to Shiva and Shiva appeared to her and said, “The only way by which this Rakshasa could be killed is by his own blood.”

So she used her imagination and she saw some of his blood that was spilled, and she took an arrow and covered it with that blood. She gave it to Kesari and said, “Shoot this into the Rakshasa!” And the Rakshasa died. So all the rishis and sages were coming to Kesari and congratulating him. He said, “It’s actually Anjana. She is the one who taught me how to do it. Otherwise, I could not have done it.” So they were expressing their gratitude and the sages requested Anjana and Kesari to marry. So they married and many years passed. Although they both wanted a child – that was an innate desire that God had put in their heart – no child was born. So they prayed and they both did tapasya for years and years.
At one time Lord Shiva and Parvati, they took the form of a male and female monkey and Kesari wanted to chase them away. But Anjana said, “No! No! No! That is Shiva and Parvati, I know.” And after honoring them, they heard a voice – this is another story – and they were blessed. Ultimately, the seed that was given… In this particular story, Shiva tells, “In the forest there is an incredible mango tree and a particular mango from that tree will give you a child that you pray for.” So they went into the forest and found this mango tree, performed prayers and tapasya and worship, and after seven days a divine personality appeared from the tree with a beautiful effulgent mango. He said, “I am Vayu. Within this mango is the potency of Shiva and I have put my own potency in this.” He gave it to Kesari to give it to Anajana. Kesari put all of his potencies in that mango and Anjana ate it and became pregnant with a child. – Radhanath Swami

It was here at Anajana Parvat that Anjana gave birth to Hanuman. He is the son of Vayu. He is the son of Shiva. He is the son of Kesari. And he is the son of Anjana, Anjaneya.

Radhanath Swami describes Hanumanji’s childhood

It is described that while he was in the womb of his mother, Bali was the king of the vanaras, unrivalled. He had heard that the child within Anjana’s womb is going to be extremely powerful. So he was unsecured thinking, “If he is so extremely powerful, he may conquer me.” So he took a particular weapon, a subtle weapon made out of five metals – gold, silver, copper, tin, iron – and he sent that weapon into the womb of Anjana to kill the baby. But because he had the power of Shiva and Vayu, the weapon melted and formed into the gold earrings that Hanuman put on his ears.

So when Hanuman was born, he had these beautiful earrings. But nobody could see them, because they were divine. He was also born with crown and with jewels and with saffron cloth covering himself. When he was a little baby, just an infant baby, he was so beautiful. Anjana did not want to go to the heavenly world because she had this most wonderful son. So she remained as his mother. She was so proud. – Radhanath Swami

Hanuman trying to eat the sun

One day little Hanuman, very small child – famous story – he was hungry. And his mother was not present at that time. The sun was rising and he saw the sun to be a piece of fruit. So he jumped to eat the fruit. Little baby Hanuman was jumping, and he was soaring through the air and going to outer space towards the sun. When he was just about to approach the sun, Surya who was the sun himself, he understood the greatness of Hanuman. So he was recognizing that, and Vayu, the father of Hanuman, was protecting little Hanuman with air to make sure that Hanuman didn’t get burnt by the rays of the sun. Just like, some of you are sitting in the sun and you probably will get sunburn even though sun is so many millions of miles away. Hanuman was right next to the sun, but because of Vayu’s grace he was not getting burnt.

But that particular day happened to be the schedule for an eclipse; Rahu was about to get the sun. Hanuman saw Rahu. So Hanuman chased after Rahu. Just kind of threw him away. Rahu was so disturbed; he went to Indira and said, “This is my appointed time; you have to protect me.” So Indra got on Airavata, his elephant carrier, and charged along with Rahu. Little baby Hanuman saw Airavata, massive elephant, and he wanted to play with him. So he jumped towards Airavata, grabbed him by the trunk and then jumped on his back to ride on him. Here Indra sitting on Airavata and little baby Hanuman was behind him! So Indra understood, “I have to do something about this child.” And Vayu said, “No, he is my child. Don’t do anything.” So Indra sent his vajra, his thunderbolt, to hit the chin of this little baby child Anjaneya. The baby fell unconscious.

Vayu saw that he is hardly breathing. So Vayu took the little baby in his arms and brought him to a cave. But in order to teach devas a good lesson he exerted his own powers. He had a higher purpose in mind – ultimately to bless his son. Vayu is the in-charge of the wind, the air. Nothing can survive without air. He withdrew all the air of the universe. Certainly all humans, all insects, all birds, all fish, all reptiles, and all the demigods they were suffocating. Not only do we breathe air, but we can’t move without air. Just like our joints, if there is no air within our joints we can’t move our arms, our fingers or even our eyes. So everything became paralyzed. And not only that, but without air you can’t digest food. Neither you can digest it, nor can you remove it. So everyone became constipated. Everyone got incredible indigestion. Nobody could move and nobody could breath – power of vayu. Where does he get his powers from? from Vishnu, from Krishna, the Supreme. So all the devas on the verge of death and all the rishis and the sages they approached Brahma, and Brahma said, “What do you expect? You caused harm to the son of Vayu.” So all the devas went to Vayu in the cave and Brahma touched the little child; for the first time little boy opened his eyes and he was fine. They all offered to give benedictions to the child. Now his name became Hanuman, which means ‘one who is injured in his chin.’
Indira offered the benediction in order to atone for their offence to this little boy and to please Vayu.

All the great devas were giving their choicest benedictions to this child, but ultimately it was because the child was the greatest of devotees, so that he could use all these benedictions in the loving service of Sri Ram. – Radhanath Swami

Indra promised, “Every one of your limbs will be stronger than my thunderbolt, my vajra, and nothing could harm you.” Agni gave the benediction, “Fire could never cause you any pain or harm.” Surya, lord of the sun, offered the benediction, “One hundredth of my effulgence you will have, and when you will come of age, I will be your guru and teach you all knowledge of all subjects.” Lord Brhama gave the benediction, “Nothing could kill you and no one could kill you. You will live as long as I live.” Mahavishnu gave the benediction, “You will be greatest of all great devotees.” Kala gave him the benediction, “Even time will not be able to overcome you.” So this little baby had so many benedictions.

Sages bless Hanuman with a curse

Then all the devas, they left. Vayu entrusted little Hanuman again to Anjana and Kesari and explained about all the benedictions that was given to him. Hanuman was aware of all of them, so he became very mischievous, as a little child. Who could do anything to him?! All the demigods gave all their greatest powers to him. So sometimes near the banks of the rivers, and in the holy forests, sages would be performing their tapasya, their worship. Hanuman would come; he would jump on their backs. He would go in the river when they would be bathing and he would spit on them with the river waters. Sometimes they would wear tree barks and they would hang it up after washing and he would tear it in shreds. Other time he would jump on their scriptures. He was always causing innocent, but nice disturbances to them. So they reported to Kesari and Anjana, and they said, “There is nothing we can do about it, because he has all these benedictions. he doesn’t listen to us.”

So they all came together to make a plan and the plan was, sages were going to bless him with a curse, by Lord’s will, that he will forget all his benedictions and think himself ordinary – unless someone reminded him. So then he became such a well- mannered and helpful. He was carrying the waters for the sages, helping to wash their clothes, dry them and doing everything nice, and none of them ever reminded Hanuman. For many years nobody reminded him. So we will continue our story tomorrow. Sri Hanumanji ki Jai!

Radhanath Swami compares Srila Prabhupada’s accomplishments to that of Hanuman

I would like to end with one small thought. In the coming narrations we will hear about Hanuman meeting with Ram and the incredible services he rendered to Ram. In order to bring Sita back to Ram he crossed over oceans. Hanuman represents pure devotional service, bhakti. Our beloved Srila Prabhupad, our guru, in order to bring the souls back to the lotus feet of Krishna or Ram, to restore that pure devotion, he also crossed many oceans. This is the principle of bhakti. It is expressed through compassion. Hanuman was the very embodiment of compassion to all beings. Our Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupad, he represented that same compassion to all beings. To the body and the mind and ultimately the soul, the highest compassion is to reunite the souls of others with the supreme soul. – Radhanath Swami

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he took the very essence of all Vedic knowledge: Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Namaiva Kevalam. In this age of kali one can restore that love that is within our heart and reconnect us to the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the chanting of the holy names. Hanumanji, he was the personification of constant chanting of the holy name. Srila Prabhupad crossed oceans. When he came to the western world – kind of like Hanuman when he was in Srilanka – he said, “I knew that I have the blessing for my guru and I have the holy names of Sri Krishna.” So he had no fear.

So we have come here to this very holy place to revive that love within our own hearts, and to pray for the power to revive that love within the hearts of others. – Radhanath Swami

Paro upkar – the greatest compassion is to awaken that love for God within the hearts of others, to give people the understanding of their own true identity beyond birth, beyond death and beyond all suffering, and to give people the experience of the highest happiness, the happiness that is beyond all the inebrieties of this material existence, the taste of Krishna’s love. And for that reason we have come: to offer prayers, to serve one another. While on this pilgrimage, we should perform some tapasya. If there are any inconveniences, take them as blessings. Trying to move around with over four thousand and five hundred people could be an inconvenience, but it’s a blessing. Some inconveniences… that so many people could share the same opportunity as us should bring us joy. While here on this pilgrimage let us not discuss any gossip or mundane subjects. Let us really immerse ourselves in a prayerful mood, praying for pure devotion, eager to serve one another.

samsidhir hari tosanam

Lord Hari is especially pleased when we become the servants of the servants of his servants. So let us really try to live in that Vaikuntha consciousness. Actually we should be like this for our whole life, but we can especially focus on it when we are here on pilgrimage, because we don’t have anything else to do. When we go home, we have so many duties and so many distractions. But here we have the opportunity to completely absorb ourselves. That’s why we come, absorb ourselves in chanting Krishna’s names, Ram’s names, absorb ourselves in prayers, in seva.
Thank you very much

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