Vanara Gita 59: Father Kesari seeks refuge in Hanuman

The following is the hymn composed by Kesari-

Tvatonya saraṇam nāsti tva meva mama rakshakaḥ

Ato mayī kṛpa dṛṣṭyā hanuman rakśa mām sadā.

Meaning- O Hanuman! There is no one apart from You, who can provide me refuge. You alone are my protector. Hence with feelings of complete compassion, kindly protect me at all times.

Who is Kesari who offers such a fervent prayer to Hanuman? He is none other than the father of Hanuman and husband of Anjana Devi!

How are we to be sure that Kesari, the composer of this hymn, was none other than the father of Hanuman? Was he the only Vanara with this name in the entire Vanara tribe? Let us assume here that the father of Hanuman was the only Vanara with this name Kesari. Even if this were to be acceptable, is it right on the part of a father to pray to his own son? This is a doubt entertained by many.

Mahatmas do not have feelings such as ‘I am the father; he is the son’ or ‘I am elder, he is younger’.  They solely praise and glorify the great traits when they have recognized them in the other!

Ordinary people normally feel- ‘Oh, what is this? Should I worship my own son? Should I praise and glorify him? I can love my son but I cannot pray to him’. Here, what people overlook is that fact that the son has surpassed the father in acquiring good traits. The wonderful traits of the son have brought the father great renown. Hence such traits in the son should necessarily be praised and worshipped.

Didn’t Maharishi Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, the first couple of this universe, worship their own son Vamana, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu? Don’t we all know that Vasudeva and Devaki, the parents of Lord Krishna, as well as Nanda and Yashoda, His foster parents, worshipped and praised Krishna profusely? Time and again they recollected His wonderful transcendental qualities. Did Devahuti not compose hymns and worship her son Kapila Maharishi?

Guru Sandipani eulogized and prayed to his own disciple Krishna. You may probably wonder as to how a Guru can worship his own disciple? But what is wrong in it? There are innumerable stories wherein the Gurus have glorified, profusely praised and sung hymns about the magnificent traits of their disciples.

It is the disciple’s personal choice to let such praise either increase his ego and self-pride or to enhance the traits of humility and modesty. The disciple should reflect for himself- ‘My parents as well as my Guru are praising me. Upon hearing this, should I further increase those good traits or should I increase my self-pride which is nothing but destructive in nature?’ We can understand the strength of the disciple’s samskaras (deep mental impressions of the earlier actions, including those of earlier births) from his decision and resultant behavior.

In this instance, Kesari recognized not only the good traits but also the divinity within his son and hence he sung hymns in praise of his son. Here the father emphasizes that there is no one apart from his son, who can give him refuge.

It is said that one should never beg. If at all one has to beg, then he should beg only from Him who is supreme and who is the giver of everything. The Supreme Lord undoubtedly bestows everything upon us. Kesari therefore prays to his son, Hanuman, realizing that He is none other than the Supreme Lord who bestows us with everything that we need. Kesari seeks eternal protection and refuge from such Lord. ‘Oh Hanuman, I will not pray to anyone apart from you. You are the Supreme Lord. Apart from You there is no one who can protect me. You are the most supreme. The capacity to listen to my prayers and to grant me the suitable boon rests purely with You’, prayed Kesari.

The Supreme Lord eternally protects every being every second, right from the time it enters its mother’s womb. It is the Lord who graces us with birth. He is worshipped as the Trinity. As a creator He is worshipped as Brahma; for protecting this entire creation He is glorified as Vishnu and in the end, for absorbing us back unto Himself , He is worshipped as Shiva.

Hanuman is the form of the Trinity and hence offering protection is one of His duties.  Although he is aware of this, Kesari does not display a careless attitude and say- “Ah, as it is the Lord’s duty to protect, He will anyway protect me’. Instead he fervently prays, ‘Oh Lord, through your limitless compassion kindly protect me at all times’. Thus, through his behaviour he teaches that one should approach the divinity with all humility.


Om Namo Hanumate Namaha

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