Hari Om and Suprabhatam, Muruganji!
Thank you for asking me to clarify, it helped me too first of all, your paraphrasing Pujya Guruji's
Knowledge (Rama), Bhakti (Sita) and Vairaagyam(Lakshmana) components of Hanumanji as Jnana, Upasana and Karma Yoga was a very pleasant one for me, because -- and this is how strange the unformed human mind is --- I had not seen that connection at all!
So that has now made my Hanumanji took even bigger, even brighter, even glorious so that he is verily now Yoga incarnate!2nd: You asked me about the nine bhaktis according to Valmikiji
Well this is from Valmikiji's Ramayana, and this is what Lord Rama says to Shabari -- here they are:
In Valmiki's Ramayana, Rama describes the path as ninefold (nava-vidha bhakti):
Such pure devotion is expressed in nine ways, .
First is satsang or association with love-intoxicated devotees.
The second is to develop a taste for hearing my nectar-like stories.
The third is service to the guru (...)
Fourth is to sing my kirtan (communal chorus) (...)
Japa or repetition of my Holy name and chanting my bhajans are the fifth expression (...)
To follow scriptural injunctions always, to practice control of the senses, nobility of character and selfless service, these are expressions of the sixth mode of bhakti.
Seeing me manifested everywhere in this world and worshipping my saints more than myself is the seventh mode of bhakti.
To find no fault with anyone and to be contented with one's lot is the eighth mode of bhakti.
Unreserved surrender with total faith in my strength is the ninth and highest stage. Shabari, anyone who practices one of these nine modes of my bhakti pleases me most and reaches me without fail.3rd, you asked about the others who are exemplified as bhaktas under the other 8 categories of bhakti, here they are:
These are the 9 characters in the Ramayana whose bhakti has been upheld as exemplary of the nava vidhis.1. Sravana Bhakti: Hanuman
– the very symbolisation of Hanuman with hands folded, tears flowing, everytime he HEARS Ram naam, is the epitome of sravana bhakti!2. Keerthanam Bhakti:
Vaalmiki ji sang, taught and every word of his was Raam naam bhakti. The 24000 slokas he composed as Ramayanam fills any and every listener, reader, knower with untold bhakti and joy...3. Smaranaa Bhakti:
Sita-ma, who ever remained engrossed and immersed in the smaranam of her Lord, Rama, in Ashokvan.
The poet describes this figuratively thus: Riding on the chariot of her mind and
holding the reins of thoughts (of Rama) as horses, she seemed mentally
racing towards Her Lord. Her mind was constantly filled with the one thought
of uniting with her Lord remembering his long hands touching His knees, his
face exuding compassion on all beings at all times.4. Paada sevanam : Bharata.
On returning from Kekaya desham, when he realised what had happened, he swore he would bring back Rama, and if he did not succeed, he would himself stay in the forest, worshipping Rama’s feet. But when Rama forbade him to do so, Bharata, took the Lord’s padukas on his head and walked all the way back thus, and then installed the Lord’s paadukas on the throne. He himself stayed in Nandigram outside the city, worshipping the Lord’s feet mentally. 5. Archana Bhakti: Sabari.
Sabariji daily plucked fruit for Matangi rishi and his disciples and left it there for them in secrecy. When the sage found out that it was she who performed this seva, he was very touched and invited her to stay at his hermitage. Before the sage took Samadhi, he told her to await Rama. She did and during the waiting period, she daily plucked fruit to serve the Lord. And when Rama came to her doorstep, she offered him various fruits which she had plucked and preserved for His visit. Rama was very taken in by her Archanam and granted her the boon to join her Acharya (Matangi rishi) in heaven.6. Vandana Bhakti : Vibheesana
When he could no more live in Lanka in the palace of his brother Ravana, when all pleas had failed, Vibheesahana left Lanka and took refuge at the holy feet of the Lord Rama. This saranagati is presented as the highest form of vandana bhakti where Vibheesana should the spiritual strength to give up his own to bow to the Lord.7. Daasya Bhakti: Lakshmana
He willingly took a 14 year separation from his wife and spent those 14 years serving his brother Rama in the forest, obeying simultaneously his mother Sumitra who had bade him farewell with the words, “Serve Rama the utmost and take all dangers upon yourself.” (In the Kamba Ramayanam this is presented in the most touching words a brave mother, a value led mother can ever ever ever give her son/child. Everytime one reads those words, tears well up for knowing courage as it should be!)
Lakshmana served Rama in every way. I am trying to describe his services but it does not make sense, he has done so much! But Morari Bapu has painted the loveliest loveliest picture of Lakshmana in his discourses. Bapuji says, Tulsidasji has described Lakshmana’s feet as the most beautiful and devotees wonder what is the meaning of this! Truth is Lakshmana always walked in front of Rama so that his own feet would experience the ground (the stones, the thorns and whatnot) before his brother and Lord’s feet would touch them. In Bapuji’s words, “If such feet are not called beautiful (despite the hundreds of cuts and bruises it bore) then how will people be inspired to become bhaktas? Log bhakti ko hi chhod denge! People will give up bhakt itself!”
This explanation always moves me...8. Saakhya Bhakti: Sugriva
Saakhyam has been defined as affection, love, friendship and respect between equals. A vaishnava has quoted the simile used by TiruvaLLuvar -- just like the hands of a person whose
garment has loosened automatically proceeds to tighten it up even before the
person realizes it, a true friend is one who rushes to help his friend when
needed even without being asked for.
No doubt Sugriva sought out Rama first to get help for his own safety from Vali. But Rama was God and destroying Vali was not difficult or threatening for Him (even if He was in manava avatar); but for Sugriv the monkey God, who having lived in an isolated cave fearing for his life, stakes that very life to help Rama find Sita.... it is this ironical twist we see in Sugriv that sets him apart as a great friend of Rama. Kamban even portrays the friendship being forged with agni as saakshi...The Treta Yuga was an amazing era of truth and honesty...!! Cannot see friendships like that anymore...!9. Aatma Nivedana Bhakti: Jataayu
Words won’t be adequate to describe this bhakti. When the Lord and Sita-ma and Lakshmana were moving to Panchavati Jataayu offered his help. This promise he executes when he espies Ravana flying away with Sita...Jataayu fought Ravana utterly bravely even though it may have been clear that he had no chance of surviving against the 20-handed Ravana. Jatayu tore his chariot to pieces, chopped of his 10 hands that kidnapped Sita-ma, and so on. A bleeding Ravan cut off Jatayu’s wings and legs and the half dead Jatayu fell and lay in a heap – very like Bhishma pita – refusing to let his life leave his body till Rama arrived and he could give him the clue to what had happened to Sita-ma. Why? Because a crying Sita pleaded to him, ‘Go Jataayu, go tell Rama about my plight!’ How can anyone, friend or foe not heed those pitiful cries of a woman in distress? So Jatayu lay there holding his breath for Rama.
And Rama’s gratitude cannot be expressed. His mere stroking of Jataayu helped release the beautiful brave bird’s breath and lifted it to the highest state of moksha.
Trust this clarifies, Muruganji...more than that, I hope you enjoyed these...the Ramayana is so glorious...every character is pure joy!