Lord Hanuman had to enter the inner apartments of Ravana’s palace as a part of his search for Mother Sita. Here, He had to face a test. He witnessed many ugly scenes that should not be witnessed. With this, Hanuman began to ponder, “With the intent of undertaking a meritorious task, I came here in search of Mother Sita. Unfortunately I have seen those scenes that should not be seen. Due to this, did I commit any sin? Oh my God, what did I do? Perhaps some trace of sin would have attached to me.”
Through this, Hanuman taught the world some important lessons of life. He teaches that every being in this world should constantly reflect about the right and wrong results of his/her actions.
In such a situation, the intellect (buddhi) firmly resolves and gives its final judgment to the mind whether the deed is virtuous or sinful in nature and hence whether it should be taken up or not! The mind will get its instructions- ‘Do this’ or ‘Don’t get into this’.
No sin or virtue can attach to anyone merely because he has seen or heard something. On the other hand when the mind is inclined towards sinning, sins attach to the person irrespective of whether he has physically seen the deed with his eyes or not. Likewise, where the mind is inclined towards meritorious deeds, virtues automatically accrue to the person.
In other words, where the mind is attached towards good deeds, virtues accrue and where the mind has a longing towards evil and sinful thinking, sins accrue. For this reason, it is imperative to control the wavering mind.
These mental evildoings are several times more sinful than the physical offences! Mentally we commit innumerable offences at all times. For example, we crave for everything in this universe. We think about many unnecessary and useless topics. We criticize and comment upon others. We find faults in their speech. All of these are wasteful activities that should be forcibly controlled. There is absolutely no need to think about all these. The mind should be reined to think only good at all times.
The king (ruler) of the land punishes the person for the mistakes committed physically, however, it is Yama, the Lord of death, who punishes the being for the mental sins committed- antaḥ prachchanna pāpānām shāsta vaivasvato yamah.
It is easy to inflict punishment upon the body. The ruler of the land takes up this responsibility. The body can be tied and beaten for its mistakes. But who will take up the responsibility of imposing punishment for the sins mentally committed? No person or ruler can issue punishment for such sins. Who will then take the responsibility of punishing such sinners? The Supreme Lord inflicts punishment for mental sins as He is the witness.
Had Hanuman decided that what he had seen was really sinful in nature and with this conclusion had he given up searching for Sita, then can we imagine what would have happened? If he had to sit remorsefully thinking- ‘Oh my God, I have sinned. Now what should I do? How should I atone for these sins? What have I done?’ then He would have not made any progress.
Instead, he wisely decided that his Lord knew whether his actions were sinful in nature or not. Hence he left the net result in the hands of the Lord. He decisively reined in his mind, continued his search for Mother Sita and emerged victorious.
Likewise, the living beings while living in this visible external world, should completely restrain the mind and emerge victorious. Have we not discussed earlier that mental wrongdoings are far more sinful than physical sins? It is very important therefore to restrain the mind. Even when living in this world and even when experiencing the resultant joys and sorrows, the being should continue his righteous activities. Under no circumstances, should he take his focus away from God. There should be the in-depth realization that ‘He’ is the only saviour of one and all.
Mareecha the Vanara, has passed on to this world such an important lesson through his hymn. This is a lesson that periodically everyone should recollect.
When we evince interest and ponder over the life of true devotees; their methods of worship; the mental penance and the harsh physical penance that they performed, we too develop a desire to emulate them and live in that manner.