Vanara Gita 9: Gandhamādhana’s hymn; What is true worship?

The merit that is earned by giving away billions of mountains of gold and that which is earned through gifting away billions of cows can be achieved merely by having the darshan of Lord Hanuman, says Sugriva, the King of Vānaras!

Swamiji is going one step further- “I am saying that this same merit will be earned by chanting or writing the mantra ‘Om namo Hanumate namaha’ in all earnest”. This is your Guru’s order. Every true disciple should just abide by your Guru’s order. Laziness is unacceptable in this regard.

It should not be misinterpreted to understand that those who have had the darshan of Lord Hanuman could stop all their acts of charity. On the contrary, it means that by having the darshan of this Lord Hanuman, a person is blessed with the prosperity that is needed to conduct such charity. More importantly, he is blessed with the good intellect (buddhi) that is critical to undertake deeds of charity. Even reciting the mantra ‘Om Namo Hanumate Namaha’ bestows the same fruit.

Let us now move on to the second hymn in this Vanara Gita.

Gandhamādhana, the most superior among all the Vānaras, states-

Hanumann ithi may snānam Hanumann ithi may japaha

Hanumann ithi may dhyānam Hanumat keertana sadaa.

Reciting the name ‘Hanuman’ is my bath, ‘Hanuman’ is itself my penance, Hanuman is the Lord on whom I meditate, eternally I seek to hear and sing the glory of Lord Hanuman (keertana). This itself is my liberation.

Some people always rush for river baths as they grant immense merit. Even when the Supreme Lord is seated directly in front of them, they plan trips to sacred temple towns. What to say to such people? Ok, let us suppose they travel to that temple town. Are they at peace in this town? No. They worry endlessly about their belongings and home. A pilgrimage that is devoid of devotion and dedication is not a pilgrimage at all! 

What is the use of a river bath if faith is missing? What is the use of visiting temple towns when dedication towards them is missing?

Here Gandhamādhana states that chanting the name ‘Hanuman’ is itself a sacred river bath! It is my japam! It is my meditation! I only want to think of Hanuman all the time!

In this hymn, Gandhamādana highlights the method of worshipping (upāsana) Lord Hanuman. What does upasana mean? The devotee should, in every action of his, perceive the presence of his most loved deity!  Witnessing the mantra received from the Guru in every deed and in every moment is itself upasana. The mantra received from our Guru should ring in our ears at all times. If we have received initiation into the mantra ‘Om Namo Hanumate Namaha’ then it should ring in our ears at all times!

Om Namo Hanumate Namaha.

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