Vanara Gita 48: What is true devotion?

We have understood that having the firm belief that it is God who performs the good deeds and inspires us to perform it is true devotion.

Nā ham bhokta– is a Vedic verse which means, I am not the one who is enjoying the fruits of the action. Attaining this realization is said to be of utmost importance in philosophy of non-dualism (advaita). ‘I am only the performer of the action. It is the Supreme Lord who enjoys of the resultant fruit of this good action” is the meaning implied in this verse. As discussed before, this is applicable for good deeds alone.

What is the difference between a demon and a true devotee? A true devotee attributes everything in entirety to God. He sees God in every action performed by Him. He believes that it is God who has performed the action, that God triggered him to perform that action and that it is God who will deliver the result for that action. He sees himself as a part and parcel of that God.

‘I too belong to Him. This body of mine also belongs to that Lord’- such will be his deep-rooted belief. He will say, ‘O Lord, it is you who have bestowed me with everything in life. You have given me this prosperity. You are the force behind my intellect (buddhi), my body, my sense organs (indriyas) and everything else’. It is only true devotion that leads the person to develop such thoughts. It is impossible to have such feelings otherwise.

A demon (rakshasa), on the other hand attributes everything to his inherent greatness. He will say, “I am everything. This world belongs to me. I will do only as I wish”.

“Everything belongs to you. Did I ever think that I would get birth in such a good family? You have made it happen. Could I ever come to You with my own efforts? You have attracted and pulled me. This world consists of billions of people. Out of them, you have mercifully, motivated and pulled me to come to You. Why have you given this faith to me which is missing in others? There is some definite reason; some specific purpose. Therefore, with feelings of complete surrender, I offer my services to you”. Such thoughts should prevail in the minds of true devotees.

The Lord has drawn us towards Him. It is His wish whether our problems are to be resolved or not. Within the mind there should be the deep faith that ‘He’ is the giver of the problems and that it is ‘He’ who resolves them. With this faith, everything should be left to His discretion. All the results also should be surrendered to Him. When such feelings are practised, where is the question of separateness? Where is the place for concepts such as ‘Yours’ and ‘mine’?

Hanuman has this kind of faith. He inculcates such faith in us. Hanuman is liberated soul (jeevanmukta). A jeevanmukta is eternally free from any doubts, he is unaffected by praise or insult, has no ego and no sense of separate identity.  The one who truly seeks this type of liberation (jeevanmukti) will consider himself as having merged into that Lord. He will not entertain thoughts of self-pride and egoism. Where a person has self-pride, it means that he considers himself as separate from God.

A true devotee of Hanuman will practice equal-mindedness; will be eternally free from any form of doubts; will enjoy the supreme bliss and will be form of the self.

Being Self-realized, Hanuman is distressed whenever He sees any devotee in distress. This is because He sees himself in everybody. Where the devotee is happy, Hanuman is happy. He identifies the pure-minded persons and showers upon them ever-lasting contentment and happiness. He makes sure that while such people interact within the external visible world in the routine normalcy, internally they experience divine bliss, peace and purity. Such is his greatness!

The bliss and purity here have been compared to the all-pervading space. Further, He blesses them with broadmindedness and with the feeling that they are seeing themselves everywhere; as existing in all beings.

True worship of Hanuman takes the devotee not only to the pinnacle of devotion but also helps them scale the highest peaks in charity! True worship of Hanuman creates in the person an incessant drive to make the world a better place to live; it causes the person to think about the measures that would truly make it a better place and strive endlessly towards making this happen.

It increases the feelings of collective harmony within the devotee. By instilling good qualities in the person, this worship of Hanuman, gradually takes the person to the experience of sat (eternal, undying truth), cit (supreme consciousness) and ananda (everlasting bliss).

Hanuman is all pervading. It is He who has enveloped all the animate and inanimate objects in this universe. Worship of this Lord helps us recognize Him everywhere and in everything. This is the message that Vanara by the name Pruthuvu is passing on to us through this hymn.


Om Namo Hanumate Namah

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