BHAKTI - Part 2: The Stories of Arjuna and Hanuman

Krishna and Arjuna


Arjuna's Sakhya Bhakti

Next is Sakhya Bhakti, the companionship devotion. Arjuna had been a consistent companion of Krishna and he believed that there was no one else in this world who was as good a friend as Krishna. So, he was immersed in Krishna consciousness, by the way of friendship with Him. He addressed Krishna as ‘brother-in-law’, lest the world might question his attachment to Krishna. Krishna was not for such relationships. But since Arjuna called Him brother-in-law, though He was not, He wanted to provide a justification to his words. Therefore, Krishna gave His own sister Subhadra, in marriage to Arjuna. He personally performed their wedding, and thus became entitled to the relationship. Now, Arjuna could truly call Him his brother-in-law. Krishna did not want him to use meaningless words, so He did all this. This is true purity, inherent in God’s character. 

Krishna with Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra
In good and bad times, in success and in failure, even during the exile, Arjuna considered Krishna as his best friend and well-wisher. This is true companionship. Blaming the other in difficulties and praising him in happiness, is not a mark of true friendship. Arjuna clung to Krishna with faith; “I have none else but You, come what may”. Krishna and Arjuna were two bodies, but one life. This is true friendship. Thus, Arjuna safeguarded his friendship with Krishna.

Hanuman's Dasya Bhakti
 
Hanuman and Lord Rama
We have Hanuman as the ideal for Dasya Bhakti, devotion through service. He would always look up to Rama as his Master and consider himself as Rama’s servant. Once, when Hanuman had not been to Lanka yet, all were lying down in the open on a moon lit night. Sri Rama too was reclining. How? There were no beds there, only sand, Rama was in the guise of a Yatri, with matted locks etc. While Lakshmana sat down, Rama’s head was resting on his lap. Rama, in the course of conversation, put a question to each one present around Him. He asked Sugreeva, “Sugreeva, do you see the dark spot in the moon? What do you think it is?” Sugreeva replied that he did not know. Rama next asked Jambavan. Jambavan explained that the dark spot was the shadow of some mountains and craters existing on moon’s surface. Jambavan was well versed in Astrology, Ecology and Geography. Rama continued putting the question to the remaining, one by one. When it was the turn of Lakshmana, he replied, “Brother! It looks like a deer or some animal like that”. Hanuman, who was massaging the legs of Rama, was asked as to what he saw in the moon; He said, “Rama! I see nothing strange there. As You lie down here, Your face is reflected in the clear moon. So, it is the image of Your face in the mirror of the moon that I see.” Thus, Hanuman saw Sri Rama’s name and form in everything. At all times, he was engaged in Rama’s service undistracted. He was very strong, very virtuous and a picture of perfect peace. Hanuman went to Lanka and destroyed it. 

When Ravana questioned who he was, he did not display an iota of pride or ego. “Dasoham Kosalendrasya” (I am Sri Ramachandra’s servant), he declared and added, “O Ravana! Think for yourself as to what the Master’s strength is, based on His humble servant’s display of strength”. There is no better ideal than Hanuman, who always thought of himself as a servant of Lord Rama.
 
Rama complimented ‘Bharat’ as the native land of gratitude. Devoid of gratitude, humanness is non-existent. Jatayu lost his life in the attempt to defend Sita, when she was being abducted. Consequently, Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu, in gratitude towards his sacrifice. 

Lord Rama's gift to Hanuman
In the case of Hanuman too, Rama expressed His gratitude thus: “Hanuman! I do not know how to thank you. You are the one who carried the message of My well being, from Kishkindha, all the way to Ashoka Vana, where Sita was. You are the one who brought Me the news about Sita, who lay aggrieved in Ashoka Vana. In fact, you ventured into the jungles and crossed oceans, to locate Sita. You broke the greatest good news, that Sita is alive. You carried My ring for Sita and brought her crest-jewel in return. O Hanuman! You fulfilled My mission. How can I thank you? I have nothing to give you. So, I give Myself to you. Please accept.” It was Rama’s name that gave Hanuman the power to cross the ocean. So, you can realise the enormous power of God’s name. Hanuman exemplified true meaning of servility. Once he surrendered and offered himself, he remained so for the rest of his life. That is true Dasya Bhakti.

Continued in Part 3...


1 comment:

  1. Our testy food for our soul is only our religious thoughts which we we need every time in our present life for achieving divine knowledge.

    ReplyDelete

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