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.

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