One of the main characters of the epic Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is considered to be the greatest devotee ever born on earth. His devotion to Lord Rama is unique, exemplary, and unconditional. His character, strength, and ability are something to be admired and followed in everyday life even today. Even today he is believed to be present anywhere Lord Rama’s name is chanted or mentioned. No wonder besides Ramayana, and Bhagwat Gita there are references to his deeds in some early texts of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
According to Hindu mythology, Hanuman is blessed to be “Chiranjivi” — eternal – someone who lives forever and never dies. He is endowed with miraculous and superhuman powers that make him one of the most powerful beings known to mankind. He can expand or contract his body and lift heavy weights whenever he wants or needs to do so and can fly long distances, even across the planets to the Sun and back. Son of wind God Kesari and Anjana Devi – Hanuman was born with many supernatural powers but cursed to forget his supernatural abilities till someone reminded him of his powers for a just cause. One of the most popular Hindu deities, Hanuman is an embodiment of service (Seva), devotion (Bhakti) and surrender (samarpan, egolessness).
Here are some of the qualities why every organization – even in today’s age and time would love to have people like him on their staff:
Devotion to duty:
Hanuman carrying a mountain in his hand to make no excuse and anyhow carry out the task given by his master, Lord Rama to save Lakshmana wounded in the fight with Ravana’s son Indrajit. Hanuman was tasked to fetch the Sanjeevani booti before sunrise.
Even though he was unable to recognise the herb, he lifted the entire mountain and increased his size several times bigger than his original size to stop the sun from rising before he reached the place where Lord Rama was waiting for him.
Also Read: Lesser known facts about Lord Hanuman #1
Opening his chest to show there is nothing other than Rama and Sita in his heart shows his unconditional loyalty and surrender to his lord. He is fiercely loyal and accompanies Lord Rama always and every time.
There is an interesting story of how Hanuman once asked Sita why she applied sindoor on her forehead. Sita replied that since she was Lord Rama’s wife and companion – she applied sindoor as a sign of her unconditional love and respect. The next moment Hanuman covered his whole body with sindoor to prove his love for Lord Rama. Lord Rama was so impressed that he granted a boon that those who worshipped Hanuman with sindoor would see all their difficulties go away.
Hanuman embodies and teaches perseverance by example. As they say, if you really want and pursue it seriously, the entire universe conspires to make it a reality. Hanuman overcame several hurdles to reach Lanka and ultimately managed to find Sita. Having finished his task he set Lanka on fire with his tail. The lesson learned is that we need to prioritize and adapt to the need of the hour. Hanuman teaches to be multi-faceted and act according to the situation.
Hanuman presents the perfect example of selflessness. He did not boast of his extraordinary deeds when he returned from Lanka with the message of Sita’s well-being.
Even otherwise, his humble presence at the feet of his boss Lord Rama in Rama-darbar shows how he is always ready to serve Rama without any ego or show-off of his abilities.
He is fearless and has courage as well as physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength – hence the name Mahavir. According to the Hanuman Chalisa, even ghosts, demons, and evil spirits run away from the place where anyone utters Hanuman’s name. Even devils or any negative energies are afraid to come near us. Hence, his devotees need not be afraid because Hanuman- the protector or saviour is more powerful and strong than any tormentor.
Knowledge (Gyaan Gun Sagar)
According to Tulasidas and others Hanuman had learned the Vedas, and was a poet, polymath, grammarian, singer and musician par excellence. It is said that Hanuman is like an ocean of knowledge, wisdom and intellect (vidya).
“Ashta siddhi nava nidhi ke dātā, asa bara dīnha jānakī mātā -Verse 31 of Hanuman Chalisa.
He was blessed with 8 supernatural powers (siddhis) and 9 Niddhis (divine treasures) by Sita.
Asht siddhis are as follows
- Istiva = Ability to have lordship over the creation
- Anima = Ability to decrease the height
- Mahima = Ability to become bigger than the biggest
- Garima = Ability to increase weight to infinity
- Laghima = Ability to become lightest than the lightest
- Prapti = Capacity to be omnipresent
- Prakamya = Ability to perceive desires of others
- Vastva = Having control over natural forces
The Nav Niddhis are
- Mahapadma = Great lotus flower
- Padma = Lotus a Himalayan lake with treasures
- Shanka = conch shell (sacred emblem of Lord Vishnu )
- Makara = crocodile (vehicle of goddess Ganga and sea god Varuna )
- Mukunda = Quicksilver
- Kunda = Jasmine/ Arsenic
- Kachchhapa = Tortoise/ turtle shell
- Nila = sapphire / Antimony
- Kharva = cups, vessels baked in the fire
Hanuman never lost his cool and maintained his sense of humour even in the most testing of times. For example, he intentionally got himself captured by Ravana’s son, Indrajit, only to gauge his strength. Likewise when his tail was set on fire and he kept increasing its length to set Lanka on fire.
Hanuman never gave up on any task. He always seemed to believe in the adage – either find a way or make one. He also proved that you don’t have to find God. God lives in every devotee’s heart, and you don’t have to go places to find God. You just need to surrender to the God within you.
It is believed that Hanuman is a trouble-shooter who has a solution for every problem which is why Lord Rama selected him to find Lanka at any cost. There is a story that while flying across the sea to find Lanka a female demon called Sursa tried to obstruct Hanuman’s path and wanted to eat him. So Hanuman increased his size. When Sursa opened her mouth wide enough to fit Hanuman’s huge size, Hanuman assumed a tiny form. As a result, Sursa kept waiting with her mouth wide open to gulp the huge Hanuman but he smartly flew out of her mouth, unharmed.
He is always seen with folded hands and is very humble despite his supernatural abilities. These qualities make Hanuman the most renowned devotee to ever have existed.
A friend in need:
Hanuman proved to be a friend in need and always helped Lord Rama, without expecting anything in return from him. He also helped Sugreeva, the king of monkeys to make friends with Lord Rama and with his support defeat Bali. Likewise, there is a saying that Hanuman does not let his devotees and anyone who remembers him in distress — down.
Jo sat bār paṭh kare kohi Chutehi bandhi mahā sukh hohi
Jo yaḥ paḍhe Hanumān Chalisa Hoye siddhi sakhi Gaurīsa.
Lord Hanuman will set anyone who recites Hanuman Chalisa one hundred times free from the bondage of life and death and grant the highest bliss.
Respect for women:
Hanuman respected women and treated Mata Sita as his mother.