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.

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