Category: Vanara Gita

Vanara Gita 3: Dhyana shloka

To the hymn Vānara Gita, Agastya Maharishi is the Rishi, the meter (chandas) is Jagati; Hanuman is the presiding deity; ‘Maarutātmaja’ is the seed letter (beejam); ‘anjanā sūnuhu’ is the shakti (energy); ‘vāyu putraḥ’ is the kīlakam. This hymn is being recited so as to procure the grace of Lord Hanuman. It should be recited with this intent.

Hymns are not some ordinary poetic compositions, composed by eminent saints, for their pastime, sitting idly under the shade of trees while birds chirped away and water droplets fell on them from the sky. They are the greatest of mantras that flow in full force like the waters of Ganga, from the face of eminent saints, who are masters in yogic science and who have within them tremendous power of penance. It can be emphatically stated that they are statements from the Vedas.

All such compositions are for the welfare of the world; to uplift those living beings who are drowning in the ocean called repeated births and deaths (samsara). They are meant to alleviate the sorrow of the people in distress. They grant liberation. For this reason, whenever a hymn is recited, its composer (rishi), its presiding deity (Devata), its shakti (energy) etc. should all be recollected and recited. Reciting thus will ensure that the recitation will bear fruit quickly. Also, it reflects our gratitude towards the composers and others. Hence there should be no lapse in such recitation.

In this Vānara Gita, Agastya Maharishi has composed the dhyana shloka (meditation verses). From a proper understanding of this dhyana shloka, we can understand that this Vanara Gita is a supreme mantra. Any hymn that is preceded by the dhyana shloka as well as by the anganyasa and karanyasa is a great hymn.

The meaning of the dhyana shloka is as follows:

May He, who has retained the left hand on His left leg, placed the right hand in the position of Chin-mudra, who is praised profusely by all eminent saints, who has reached the pinnacle of all forms of knowledge, who is seated in the garden of plantain trees upon a gem-studded throne, who radiates with the luster of crores of Suns and who eternally meditates upon the Supreme Lord, grant me the purity of mind!

Hanuman should be contemplated upon with all these above stated points in mind. It grants purity of mind.

 

Om namo Hanumate namaha.

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/episode-3-dhyana-shloka-of-vanara-gita/

Vanara Gita 2: Maharishi Agastya initiates Lord Indra in Vānara Gita

If Lord Rama himself glorified Hanuman then how great would Hanuman truly be? Mahatmas never seek that others should praise them; they too never shower unnecessary praise on others. It is wrong to even expect that others should shower praise upon us. Mahatmas are over and above such wants. Hanuman too likewise never expects that his praises should be sung and that He should rescue devotees in distress only after they have praised him. The truth is that He guards the sincere devotees of Lord Rama, as an eyelid guards the eye.

All the Devatas profusely praised Lord Hanuman simply because they were in awe of Him but not with some expectation of being rewarded. Agastya Maharishi initiated Lord Indra into all these praises and compositions that glorify Lord Hanuman. This initiation by Maharishi Agastya to Lord Indra is found in sacred text Parāśara samhita.

Maharishi Parāśara said to Maharishi Maitreya,“O Maharishi! The greatest among the Vānaras praised Lord Hanuman in various different ways. All their praises are compiled together and are known as Vānara Gita.

Stotram sarvottamam caiva hanuma tattva darsana

Sarva māya hara caiva ādhi vyādhi vināśana.

Meaning- This hymn is the greatest among all hymns. It depicts the nature (tattva) of Hanuman. It dispels illusion in totality. It destroys all physical and mental illnesses that trouble the person.

In the congregation of the Gods in the presence of all saints and Gods Lord Indra addressed Maharishi Agastya and prayed, “O compassionate Maharishi! This samsara (repeated cycle of re-births) is an ocean that is impossible to cross over. Could you please enlighten me as to how the living beings, impure as they are, who are bound to this samsara due to their senses, will cross it over?”

To this Maharishi Agastya replied, “O Lord Indra, listen! The Vānaras who were absolutely pure in every aspect composed hymns on Lord Hanuman. These hymns are known as Vānara Gita. He who fixes the mind completely on Lord Hanuman and recites these hymns, will easily cross over this ocean of repeated re-births (samsara). In addition, they will reach the abode of Hanuman.

Ayuh keertir yashas caiva labhante naatra samshayaha  – those who listen, understand or recite this Vānara Gita will be blessed with longevity. Furthermore fame (keerti) will come to them. This is undoubtedly true.

Thus Maharishi Agastya began his initiation (upadesa) to Lord Indra, beginning with the phala śruti (results or fruits of recitation of the hymn). The normal practice is to conclude a hymn with the benefits that it accords (phala śruti). Contrary to this, here the phala śruti is extolled even before beginning the hymn.

 

Om namo Hanumate namaha.

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/episode-2-maharishi-agastya-begins-to-initiate-lord-indra-in-vanara-gita/

Vanara Gita 1: Introduction

From today we are going to speak about Vānara Gita. However much a person may sing the praises of Lord Hanuman, the hero of Vanaras, it is always insufficient and inadequate. Even the greatest Gods themselves took on the form of Vānaras and sang the praises of this Pranadeva (Lord of life-force) Lord Hanuman. Lord Indra and other Devatas too have praised this Lord in many great ways.

Although Lord Hanuman is in the form of wind (vayu roopa), He is the image of Lord Sadashiva himself. Also, Hanuman is to be the Brahma (creator) for the forthcoming period.

With such divinity within Him, how much ever He is praised it always falls short.

We often hear that when Hanuman is praised profusely He begins to show his universal form and comes to the rescue of the devotee. Yes, it is true. But what should be understood here is that Hanuman does not ‘need’ any praise. What is implied is that His hymn should be sung and that He should be glorified. Satiated with this, He will come immediately to the rescue of his devotee who is in distress.

References to such great Lord Hanuman can be found in all the sacred Puranas as well as in the holy text Parāśara samhita. Ramayana contains references to this Lord in many various places. Let us briefly discuss about the Vānara Gita that refers to this great Lord.

This ardent devotee of Lord Rama is an ideal example (adarsha purusha) for one and all. He is an erudite scholar. As He has achieved mastery in the nine forms of devotion (nava vidha bhakti) it can be aptly said that He has reached the pinnacles of devotion. There is nothing that escapes His eye, as He is master of Yoga. Moreover He is to be the future Lord of this creation (Brahma). Yet, He chooses to sit at the feet of His master Lord Rama, in all humility, feigning ignorance.

Hanuman gazing intently at Lord Rama symbolizes that buddhi (intellect) is merging into manas (mind). Such a Lord is eternally seated with complete concentration (ekagrata) fixed upon the Supreme Lord. This is to teach that the focus of every living being should be eternally fixed on that Lord alone! Only when the action oriented intellect (karma roopa buddhi) is channeled towards the Supreme Lord, spiritual enlightenment will arise upon the person. It is impossible otherwise.

It is this humility with which He seats himself at the feet of His Lord that has rewarded him with such greatness. Neither in the presence of Devatas, nor in the presence of his devotees has He ever displayed or publicized his knowledge. Being egoistic is unknown to Him. It has taken him to the state wherein even the greatest among the great, felt the need to praise Him! Every composition refers to his immense devotion (bhakti) and extreme humility (vinaya).

Yet, He behaves in a manner that is easily understood by everyone. He displays great maturity of mind in all his actions. Very tactfully he handled the war with demons. While pardoning, forgiving them and teaching them the methods of saving themselves, He went about with the destruction. With his skill (yukti) He ensured that they were blessed with liberation. His greatness can be understood from the very fact that His master Lord Rama sang His praises! Sita devi too praised Him and beseeched Him to complete her task (of re-uniting her with Lord Rama) in all earnest. She prayed-

tvamasmin kārya niryoge pramāṇa hari sattama

Hanuman yatna māsthāya dukha kaya karo bhava 

Likewise, Hanuman too begs Sita devi to show him Her universal form. Hanuman is a Lord that every other Lord and every incarnation of the Lord have praised. Such praises are all compiled in the text Vānara Gita. Let us with full devotion and interest listen to Vanara Gita.

 

Om Namo Hanumate namaha.

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/episode-1-introduction-to-vanara-gita/

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