राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे होत ना आज्ञा बिनु पैसारे || (21)
सब सुख लहै तुम्हारी सरना तुम रक्षक काहू को डरना || (22)
räma duäre tuma rakhaväre |
hota na äjïä binu paisäre ||
saba sukha lahai tumhäré saranä |
tuma racchaka kähü ko dara nä ||
You guard the door (entry) to Lord Rama’s palace where none dare to enter (or go out) without your permission.
All those who seek refuge in you enjoy every kind of happiness. Why should one be afraid of anything when you are there to protect?
In other words, all we need to do is hang on to Hanuman and he will lead us to Bhagawan, provided we remain consistent with our faith.
Extremely thoughtprovoking all this is. Does this mean that Hanumanji stops us from entering Rama’s chambers?
Yet in the previous verse Tulsidasji says of Hanuman, “ sugama anugraha tumhare tete“ – which meant that wherever Hanumanji is worshipped or accepted or loved or received... the devotee automatically receives the grace of Bhagawan Rama. Anugraha is a step above ‘graha’ which is To Hold. But when the person we hold on to holds us in return, that is anugraha! Reciprocated.
Now if we worship Hanumanji and we love him, his ideals, his values, and by definition we have Ram-ji’s anugraha, can we take the above verse to mean that Hanumanji can stop us from entering the gates to Lord Rama?
On the contrary.
Ram dwaare, tum rakhvaare means you Hanumanji, stand at His door and draw people to Him. You are His ambassador and when you see your bhaktas in distress, you pull them to Rama!
Pujya Guruji says in his commentary, “(Pulling devotees to Rama) That is his job. Due to this very reason, Sri Hanuman is dearer to Lord Rama than even Lakshmana. Lord Rama said, “By his devotion Sri Hanuman inspires others to love me and come towards me.’
The entire Ramayan is filled with instances of how Hanumanji led lost devotees to Rama, or changed the course of life for those who were lost, by showing them the worship of Rama...
Four key examples are:
*Hanuman leading his master Sugriva to Rama
*Hanuman leading Vibhishan to firmly establish himself in Ram bhakti
*Hanuman revealing Rama to Sita, thus re-establishing Rama thought in her mind which was until then filled with despair.
*Hanuman doing his duty towards an erring soul like Ravana, by recounting to him the glory of Rama and the merit in abandoning his ways.
*Hanuman rekindling the Rama thought in Bharat at a time when he had given up hope of ama returning.
Sugriv:In the Kishkinda Kaand, we see how Sugriva sat frightened and holed up in a cave in the Rshyamookha hilly region, frightened of being captured by Vali his brother. So much so that Sugriva doubted every footstep and every rustling leaf of the tree atop which he sat. Hanuman being his loyal minister, stood guard and awaited orders, no matter what they be.
From atop the tree, Sugriva saw two men dressed in bark, come towards his tree and he panicked. He told Hanuman to go see who they were for he fearerd they were men sent by Vali to kill him.
Examine the situation: Fear, anger, doubt, lack of widom/intelligence, despair all these are what cloud the mind and block out the light of Bhagawan from entering our heart. When we are so caught in the sway of these emotions, we remain in them, grappling with them, trapped by them so that the thought of divinity is kept out. As a result we remain in the world of duality and subsist on power, glory, wealth etc and get further ensnared in the quicksand of samsara even as it looks enticing and preferable!
This is what happens to the one deluded and conscious abidance in Hanuman frees us from these delusions.
Any person can accomplish anything by chanting Sri Hanuman’s name that will make one fearless and brave, full of devotion, faith and powerful.
So another interpretation would be that in the face of delusion, confusion, sorrow, abiding in Hanuman will open the door of Bhagawan for us.
Vibhishan: The next time we see Hanuman ‘leading a deluded to Rama’ is when he meets Vibhishan. Hanuman was looking for Sita and scoured Lanka. He found Vibhishan’s house with a Tulsi outside and prayers to the Lord emanating from within. Vibhishan was a devout, satwik person caught in the throes of confused emotions. While he did not subscribe to brother Raavan’s ways, his inhibition over walking out was his major most obstacle on his spiritual path.
Hanumanji -- to be sure that he was standing on the portico of a Ram bhakt, called out Rama! Rama! Vibhisan came running to the door and stood there transfixed by the image of Hanuman and unable to understand his feelings asked, “My heart is filled with love just seeing you; Are you a devotee of the Lord or the Lord Himself?”
This is the joy that one feels when one reaches Hanuman, because the mind throbs in the sensation of proximity to the divinity and anticipation of reaching the Lord. Then Hanumanji introduced himself and told Vibhisana the story of Rama and His glories.....Imagine! Living in Lanka, Vibhisana had only had opportunity to hear of Raavan...he was now overjoyed! Thus regardless of where you are – and not necessarily geographically, although that too will hold good ; it can also refer to our mental state of trouble, sorrow, etc...if in such a situation we call Hanuman to mind, he will lead us to Rama. That is the meaning I take.
Listening to the glories of Rama, Vibhishan’s heart melts and he is transfixed on Rama, tears flowing down his cheeks, as he mentally surrenders to Rama.
But I extract here from Pujya Guruji’s commentary on Vibhisana Saranagati, where Vibhisana, overcome with emotion and bhakti asks Hanuman, “Why should the Lord shower His grace on someone like me? On the other hand I feel that He has already done so. How could I ever have got your darshan and satsang without his grace? You came to Lanka, and to my house, on your own accord. You narrated to me Sri Rama’s glories. All that is evidence of the Lord’s grace.”
This is how Hanuman opens the door of Rama to Vibhishan or leads Vibhishan to open the door of Rama himself! His faith strengthened, Vibhishan experienced greater power of the divinity within, greater sattwa so that the tamas within that was causing him to hesitate to abandon Raavan, now reduced even more and conviction and faith was established, so that when in the court of Ravana, when Raavan asked his people to kill Hanuman, it was Vibhisana who for the first time stood up for righteousness and dissuaded his brother from killing the messenger. Guruji says this happened because Vibhishan’s faith in Bhagawan was growing in leaps and bounds.
In Sunderkaand Verse 38, we see the episode where Raavna is asking his people what he should do if Rama comes to Lanka, and the demons say they will destroy Him. But this was another occasion where Vibhishan opened his mouth and spoke to Ravana wisely, saying it is not right to set one’s heart or eyes upon another man’s wife and that Ravana’s good lay in returning Sita to her husband.... and he goes on to extol the virtues and glories and greatness of Rama .... so not only had Vibhisan found the door to Rama, he was able to ‘’show the way” to Rama to another wayward person, in this case his own brother! This is the glory of Hanuman’s servitude to Rama.
Hanuman then went looking for Sita and found her hopeless, sitting under a tree in Ashokvan, unable to bear the taunts and lewd talk of the demonesses in Raavan's gardens. Going upto her Hanumanji asked her who she was and she gave her background ending it all with, "A period of two months of survival-benefit has been given to me by him (Raavan). For that reason, after the said two months, I shall give up my life."
Hearing this, Hanumanji decided he must reveal who he is and said,
aham raamasya samdeshaat devi duutaH tava aagataH |
vaidehi kushalii raamaH tvaam ca kaushalam abraviit || 5-34-2 (VR)
I have come here as your messenger on Rama's directions. The virtuous Rama enquired about your welfare too, O Seetha, daughter of the king of Videha Kingdom!
And then.... "O Divine Lady! Rama the son of Dasaratha, who is excellent among the knowers of Veda and who knows Brahma's missile (a mythical weapon which deals infallible destruction) and Vedas the sacred knowledge, enquired about your welfare."
This can be seen as diverting the (Sita’s) mind from agony and anxiety to turn towards Bhagawan. All agony thoughts stop and the mind rises into Ram thoughts...and this is how Hanumanji opens the door of the Lord in Sita ma’s mind. Thus,
राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे होत ना आज्ञा बिनु पैसारे
सब सुख लहै तुम्हारी सरना, तुम रक्षक काहूको डरना
Tumhari sarana, (in your protection/care/shelter) here can also mean, in the shadow of your prescriptions; so, obedience to Hanuman, staying in his worship. Hanumanji has taken it upon himself to lead mankind to Rama. All we need to do is study Hanumanji’s conduct and be a good devotee like him, so that later we will be told by Tulsidasji, और देवता चित्त ना धरई हनुमत सेई सर्व सुख करई
You don’t need to propitiate any other devata or do any ritual, all that you need to cross this ocean of samsara is available at the feet of Hanuman, the most learned scholar, bhakta and servant of the Lord.
So Sita needed to only ‘hear’ Hanuman...although in her state of agony she could have told him to go away and not bother her, for after all, she did not know Hanuman at all.
It is worth a detour to add here that if Sita was alert enough in that state to allow herself to listen to this small monkey, who she did not know at all, it was because Hanumanji followed some essential tenets of propriety, good conduct, careful speech and politeness, both in words and in body language. Quoting Valmikiji,
so.avatiirya drumaattasmaadvidrumapratimaananaH |
viniitaveSaH kR^ipaNaH praNipatyopasR^itya cha || 5-33-1
taam abraviin mahaatejaa hanuumaan maaruta aatmajaH |
shirasi a~njalim aadhaaya siitaam madhurayaa giraa || 5-33-2
That Hanuma, with coral-coloured face, very bright, the son of wind-god, wearing a humble and feeble look, approached Seetha by stepping down from the tree and offered her his salutation by keeping his joined palms on his head and spoke the following sweet words:
Note ‘wearing a humble and feeble look’; ‘offered her his salutation by keeping his joined palms on his head’ ; and this too: ‘spoke the following sweet words’;
Even if we are there to help another, humility and gentleness prepares the other to give us their attention. And assimilation is good as well.
रावण त्रास दयी सिया को सब राक्षसी सो कही सोक निवारो,
ताहि समय हनुमान महाप्रभु, जाय महा रजनीचर मारो
चाहत सिय असोक सो आगि सुं दैय प्रभु मुद्रिका सोक निवारो
को नहीं जानत है जग में कापी संकट मोचन नाम तिहारो ||
Raavan Traas Dai Siya Ko Sab Raakshashi So Kahi Sok Nivaaro l
Taahi Samay Hanuman Mahaprabhu Jaaya Maha Rajnichar Maaro l
Chahat Siya Asok So Aagi Su Dai Prabhu Mudrika Sok Nivaaro l
Ko Nahi Jaanat Hai JagMein Kapi Sankatmochan Naam Tihaaro ll4ll
Even as the demonesses under instruction from Raavan hurled abuses at Sita-ma, to frighten her, scare her, using verbal abuse and talk to shatter her mind... Hanuman, unable to bear to see Rama’s wife in such pain, acted wisely even in the face of such anxiety. Knowing that the root of this was Raavan, and not ever wishing to harm women, Hanuman deciding that bringing Sita relief was more important, cast a cloud of delusion, a dream as it were on the demonesses, so that they forgot what they had to do, forgot their allegiance to Raavn and they fell into a swoon.
But Sita was so pained and hopeless, she sought fire from the Ashovan trees to immolate herself....and at that very single moment Hanuman revealed himself to her, and sang the song of Rama and showed her His ring....
So a mind that was sunk deep in hopelessness, sorrow, despair, suffering, agonised and fed up, such a mind was instantly healed and restored as it were, by the mere sound of Ram naam from Hanuman’s mouth, by the mere sigting of the ring of the Lord, which reminded the bhakta Sita of her Real union with the Lord, and urging her to recall His glory, His immanence and His great compassion....
Hanuman's name as Sankat Mochan would therefore mean, he who leads one from despair to Divinity. That travel itself is the dissolution of sorrow.
This is our lesson: When the mind is distracted from divinity, from its essential nature, and slips into sorrow, fear, anger, hatred, jealousy, frustration, hopelessness....any duality, whatever it be other than the Lord, the sound of Ram Naam is the instant restorative and for this we need Hanuman.
Same for Sita ma too; instantly, shocked, surprised, taken aback by the sight of Rama’s ring and the sound of His name from Hanuman, she was restored... all she needed was Rama, the Ram thought, the Ram naam, the abidance in Bhagawan and this is how Hanumanji opened the door to “Rama so that all other thoughts were replaced by Rama, and she did not yield to her hopelessness...
Raavan: Taking leave of Sita with a promise to rescue her, Hanuman wreaks havoc on Lanka, is captured and taken to Ravan’s court. Here an unbelieving Raavan asks him who he is, as the damage caused by a seemingly small monkey was disproportionate. Hanuman introduces himself through his King Sugriva and his Master Rama. In doing so he narrates the whole story of Rama, how He lost Sita and how Sugriva offered to help find Sita and how Hanuman was here looking for her and found her in Raavan’s palace gardens. Hanuman tells Raavan what the duty of a King is and requests him to return Sita to her lawful husband. What we see through this ‘reflection’ on Rama sitting in the court of Raavan, tied and in captivity, Hanuman is still trying to lead Raavan to Rama (bhakti).
Bharata: Rama had assured Bharat that immediately after his 14 years’ exile is completed, He will return to Ayodhya. But Bharat too, immersing himself in bhakti and devlotion, stayed in Nandigram, worshipping Bhagawan and contemplating the Lord, even as he looked after Ayodhya. When the war ended, Rama feared he would not reach Ayodhya on the appointed hour and feared that Bharat, losing hope would immolate himself as he had vowed to. Rama then asked Hanumanji to fly swift as the wind, reach Bharat and give him news of the abduction of Sita, the war, the defeat of Raavan and that now Rama was on His way.... When Hanuman flew over Nandigram, he was shocked to see the state of Bharata.
Quoting from Valmiki Ramayan:
At a distance of two miles from Ayodhya Hanuama saw Bharata, living in a hermitage, with the bark trees and the skin of a black antelope wrapped round his waist, looking miserable and emaciated, wearing matted locks on his head, his limbs coated with dirt, afflicted through separation from Rama his elder brother, subsisting on roots and fruits, with his senses subdued, engaged in austerities, protecting virtue, with a very high head of matted hair, covering his body with the bark of trees and a deer skin, disciplined, whose thoughts were fixed on the Supreme Spirit, with a splendour equalling that of a Brahmanical sage, ruling the earth after placing the wooden sandals before him, protecting the people belonging to all the four grades (viz. Brahmans Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras) from all peril and attended by the upright ministers, priests and by clever troop-commanders, all clad in saffron robes.
This was Bharat’s tapasya to attain the Lord, and when Hanuman goes to him and shares all news, his opening line was,
vasantaM daNDakAraNye yaM tvaM chIrajaTAdharam || 6-125-36
anushochasi kAkutsthaM sa tvA kushalamabravIt |
"Rama, for whom you are repenting residing as he was in the forest of Dandaka wearing the bark of trees and matted locks, has enquired about your welfare."...... and added, "O Lord! I am telling you a pleasant news. Give up this dreadful anguish. Within a while, you will be meeting Rama, your elder brother."
And hearing the sound of Ram naam, Bharat fainted with joy. On regaining his consciousness, he said in unbearable delight, “O the gentle one! Are you a divine being or a human being, who have come here out of compassion?”
Such is the relief that one feels when the world of despair, sorrow and confusion is removed and in its place is experienced the unchanging peace of divinity.
Such is the divinity that Hanumanji assures. In Pujya Guruji’s words, “Any person can accomplish anything by chanting Sri Hanuman’s name that will make one brave and fearless, full of devotion, faith and powerful. Surrender to Sri Hanuman and you will get all his qualities. Also, Sri Hanuman will take you to Lord Rama (the Lord Himself) which is the greatest goal of all human beings."
So the Hanuman Chalisa is not to be seen ordinarily as a remover of difficulties, but the path to Bhagawan.