Just about everyone in India knows the story of Ramayana – one of the two greatest epics from ancient India. The Lord Hanuman is a central character in the epic and his tales are renowned for their ability to inspire its readers to face ordeals and conquer obstructions in their own lives. Pause for a moment and think of some of the great deeds accomplished by the Lord Hanuman. He crossed the ocean with a single leap to bring hope and secret messages to the captive Sita. In the Battle of Lanka he single-handedly killed many demons (including Lankini, champion of the demons) and then set fire to the entire city with his tail. He outsmarted the sorcerer Mahiravana who was attempting to sacrifice Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana to the Goddess Kali thereby earning her eternal respect of Kali (she appointed him as as her doorkeeper and today many of her temples are seen to have a monkey guarding their doorways). The Lord Hanuman lifted an entire mountain and even stopped the Sun from rising. There are time times that even seems to be more “hero-like” than anyone else in the epic. Yet, he is not the hero of the epic. The most heroic figure in the Ramayana is the Lord Rama himself.
Ever wondered why?
Spiritual Conductivity or Sharanagati
Master Choa Kok Sui often said, “Do not look at the finger; focus on the essence of the word. Focus on what the finger is pointing at!” Often, hidden in stories, lie very profound spiritual teachings. The objective of this article is to understand the spiritual lessons from the story of about Lord Hanuman.
Firstly, the word Hanuman itself means “one with a broken jaw”. Hanuman isn’t his real name, but a nick-name (his real name was Anjaneya). The broken-jaw symbolizes someone who has broken his pride. Secondly, the Lord Hanuman is depicted as a monkey. Do you think an ordinary monkey can perform feats as the ones we read in the Ramayana? In his book The Inner Teachings of Hinduism Revealed, MCKS says:
“The question you should ask is, whether Lord Hanuman was really a monkey. Do you really believe that a group of monkeys built a bridge? If not, then the question is why was a monkey used as a symbol? A monkey has a tremendous capacity to observe and imitate. If a monkey takes something from you, to get the money to drop what it has taken, just pick up something and throw it down. When the monkey sees you throwing something down, it will throw down what it is holding. A monkey observes and imitates. This is what the disciple is supposed to do. A disciple is supposed to keep looking at the Sat Guru and follow the Sat Guru’s inner qualities, not the physical qualities. That is what the symbol of a monkey was used, not because Hanuman was really a monkey.”
So let’s try and put these points together. But before that it might make sense to review what is called the Ohm’s Law in physics. The Ohm’s law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage across the two points and is inversely proportional to the resistance of the wire carrying the electric current. This means that the lesser the resistance of a wire, the more current would be able to flow through.
Now let’s dig deeper. Why do we need a Guru or a spiritual teacher? One of the key reasons is that to receive divine energy and divine blessings, we need a medium or a connector. God’s energy is very powerful. It is not possible for everyone to receive it directly. So to bring down the intensity of such great and powerful energy, we need a Guru. Ultimately it is the Guru who is the bridge. Connecting to the Guru is like connecting an electronic device to an electrical outlet for power. No matter how sophisticated the hardware is, it will not function without power.
It was likewise with the Lord Hanuman. He did great things… but the power came through the Lord Rama (his Guru). The Lord Hanuman acted like a monkey – always observing, leaning and copying what his Guru did. Hanuman did not have pride and was extremely humble. What makes him the ideal disciple or chela? Who he had on his mind while looking for the herb that was needed to heal Lakshmana? What gave him the strength to pick up the entire mountain? Every minute of his life, before and after every activity, he had the Lord Rama on his mind and his name on his lips. Hanuman is therefore ultimate example of devotion and faith. He got the courage and strength to cross an entire ocean with one jump. He alone would have been able to rescue Sita if she had given him the permission. Devoting ourselves to our spiritual teacher means removing the inner resistance. By removing the resistance, we become more conductive. In the same way electricity does not flow through bad conductors, the spiritual energy from the Guru and All the Great Ones cannot flow through us. The Lord Hanuman was spiritually very conductive and hence the spiritual energy and blessings from his Guru could flow through him without any resistance; and thus the Lord Hanuman was able to move mountains!
Holy Bible also speaks of the power of Spiritual Conductivity in the book of Matthew (17:20):
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
… and in the book of Philippians (4:13):
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Faith (and devotion) is another word for Spiritual Conductivity. In Sanskrit the term for Spiritual Conductivity is Sharanagati (which is often incorrectly translated as ‘surrender’).
The Right Role Model
MCKS in his book Inner Teachings of Hinduism Revealed states:
“Nowadays, people are like Hanuman. But they are the wrong kind of Hanuman. Instead of meditating on the Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or their Sat Guru, they regularly meditate on the ‘rock stars’, actors and actresses. These people are not exactly the best role models. If you look at them, you do not get spiritual empowerment. This is using the wrong role model. Who you meditate on you become.”
Hence it is really important to pick the right role model. MCKS said that through Sharanagati we can “do a lot of things; not everything, but a lot of things”.
You can read a lot more about Sharanagati in Master Choa’s book Inner Teachings of Hinduism Revealed.