RAMA MEETS HANUMAN AND SUGRIVA
Rama and Lakshmana proceeded through the forest and at last reached the Rishyamukha mountain range, where Sugriva lived. Sugriva lived in fear of his brother Vali. When he saw the two brothers approaching, he was surprised as they looked divine. He wanted to know their identity. So he sent Hanuman* to enquire about them, disguised as an ascetic. When Hanuman met the brothers, his heart filled with joy and he guessed them to be the Divine pair Nara-Narayana, come down on earth.
[*Gurus to teach the sloka Manojavam, explain the meaning of the sloka which highlights Hanuman’s attributes and narrate the story of Hanuman to children emphasizing his great knowledge and power, humility, devotion, selfless service etc]
Rama explained that they were sons of Dasaratha and that they came in search of Sita, His wife, whom Ravana had captured from Panchavati. Rama then wanted to know about Hanuman. Hanuman’s eyes were filled with tears, he said ‘I desire to make a declaration, for which my Lord is witness. I know no other activity than adoring my lord.’ Rama embraced Hanuman and said, ‘You are as dear to me as Lakshmana is!’ Rama said, ‘Hanuman, I shower my love on those who serve me and who deem that service is the highest means of liberation.’
Gurus should tell children how they can do small acts of service and please the Lord, as a true servant of the Lord serves humanity. Values imbibed: Service to man is Service to God / Please God, Please man
Hanuman told Rama that Sugriva was the ruler of the Vanara hordes and that his elder brother Vali treated him as an enemy and had driven out Sugriva from the Kingdom and taken his wife away from him. Hanuman said that Sugriva was leader of the monkeys and would send hundreds of monkeys in all directions to search of Sita. Then he took Rama and Lakshmana to Sugriva. Sugriva welcomed Rama and their vow of friendship was solemnized with Fire as witness. Sugriva said that he had seen a Pushpak Chariot flying, from where a bundle of jewellery was thrown down. When Rama asked Lakshmana if he could recognize any of the jewels, Lakshmana said that as he only saw Sita’s feet, he could recognize only her toe rings. Thus it was confirmed that Ravana had carried away Sita in the chariot. Sugriva promised to render all help to Rama. Rama promised to kill Vali and restore the kingdom to Sugriva.
As directed by Rama, Sugriva set out to fight Vali the next day and challenged Vali to fight. Vali soon defeated Sugriva and Sugriva returned with remorse to Rama. Rama took some wild flowers, made a garland and put it round the neck of Sugriva and asked him to challenge Vali to fight once again. Rama and Lakshmana hid behind a tree and when Sugriva prayed for help, he shot an arrow straight into the heart of Vali. Vali shed tears of joy at being granted the Divine vision of Rama. Rama explained to Vali that all that he did was heinous. Vali understood his act was wrong. He called his son Angada, requested Rama to take care of him and left the mortal coil. Rama told Sugriva to bring up Angada with love and care. Sugriva then became the king of Kishkinda.
[Given below, for the purpose of Gurus’ reference: are extracts from: The Sunday Talk Given by Prof. Anil Kumar “Sai Baba’s Revelations about the Ramayana” April 14, 2011
Rama killed Vali, as you know. At the time of Vali’s death, before he left his body, Rama went close to him. There was an argument between Vali and Rama. Swami explained it beautifully. Vali said, “Rama, You are a king, and I am a monkey. Are You justified in killing me like this?” Rama said, “Oh, Vali, you know you are a monkey, good! I am a king. Understand that kings hunt, and we kill animals. You are a monkey, so I can kill you. There is nothing wrong with that, since kings hunt regularly.” Vali lost the first argument.
Then he made a second argument. “Rama, You are not the king now. Your brother Bharat is the king. You are here in the forest with us now. How can You kill me?” Rama replied, “No, Vali, this forest comes under the jurisdiction of our kingdom. Therefore, since My brother is the king, it is My duty to uphold the dharma, the code of conduct. Therefore, I killed you.”
Then Vali made his third point. He said, “Rama, You sought the help of my brother Sugriva to attack Ravana. You wanted his help, so You decided to kill me. Rama, You are not intelligent at all. My brother Sugriva is a weak fellow. I have hurt him several times. He will run away with the very mention of my name. Sugriva is such a coward and You wanted his help. How foolish You are, Rama! You could have asked me to help You. I am more powerful. In fact, Your enemy Ravana is also afraid of me. I rolled him like a mat, kept him under my armpit, and gave him a bath in the holy ocean a number of times. Ravana is afraid of me, because he is aware of my strength. You could have asked for my help.” Rama replied, “I wanted your brother Sugriva’s help, because Sugriva and I are comrades in distress. Both of us lost our kingdom, and are suffering due to separation from our wives. You have kidnapped your brother’s wife; Ravana has abducted mine. So I know his suffering. Therefore, I am helping him, and wanted his help. Not that I do not know that you are more powerful. Your brother knows what suffering is. This is about friendship.” Vali lost that argument.
Then, he came up with another argument. “Ramachandra, is it proper on Your part to shoot the arrow while standing behind a tree. Why couldn’t You stand in front and kill me. Why did You hide? Is that valour; is that chivalry?” Rama replied, “Look here, Vali! I am aware that the necklace of pearls around your neck was given to you by Brahma in response to your penance. I know that no one can fight with you standing in front of you, as long as you are wearing that necklace. I wanted to honour the boon granted by Brahma, so I had to shoot you standing behind the tree. It is not that I don’t know this much about dharma in a battle.”]
Soon Sugriva sent the monkeys in different directions in search of Sita. At last they came to the sea-shore, when a huge aged bird hopped upto the shore, in order to perform the last rites of his dead brother. He was Sampathi, the brother of Jatayu. He informed that Sita was in Asokavana in Lanka. Then they were faced with the problem of crossing the mighty ocean. Hanuman agreed to fly over the ocean to reach Lanka. On the way, he had to cross numerous obstacles.
Gurus to explain to children that although Hanuman was very strong physically, he was never proud of his physical strength; he totally surrendered to Lord Rama and prayed to Him to help him in his mission. Also he used his intelligence to cross over all the hurdles that presented before him while crossing the ocean. Values to be imbibed: Significance of prayer and surrender. / Never misuse your physical prowess and hurt others. Smart work is as important as hard work and hence we must think well, plan properly and execute our actions.