He was the son of the wind-god himself born by accident to a monkey woman. She delivered him in a cave in the mountains of Kishkinda forest. But the potential revealed itself instantaneously. When he opened his eyes and felt hungry, he did not cry for mother's milk as is usual for any infant. He saw the solar disc in the zenith and for him it appeared to be a ripe and juicy fruity. He jumped to catch it and eat it and his speed was supersonic. The world trembles. The gods were terrified of a catastrophe. No one knew what exactly he should do. The child was racing towards the sun and even at the distance of about three hundred miles it could feel no strain or exhaustion due to the heat. He was opening his mouth wide to gobble up the red fruit that was the sun. Then Indra did a funny thing. He hurled his thunderbolt at the child, and since the weapon was blessed it did its work and the baby was hit on his chin and fell unconscious . The hit of the thunderbolt distorted one chin of the hero slightly, and so He gained the name Hanuman.
The god of wind was enraged. Someone had hit his darling son. Immediately he went out of circulation. The entire universe including gods choked. The world was on the brim of asphyxiation. Then all the gods led by Brahmadeva approached windgod and tried to appease him. The child was revived. He was granted the boon on immortality. All the Gods including brahmadeva promised that their weapons and arrows in their names would never proved fatal to the child. The sungod took upon himself the duty of educating the child. Thus the child grew into one, who had the speed of mind, the energy equal to the wind, the winner of all his organs, the best among the wisest person, and also the chief of the army of the monkeys.
But as luck would have it, a virulent child, and the son of a monkey (aanjaneya the son of Anjana), he was very naughty and played some pranks on some hermits doing penance in the caves of Kishkinda. In turn they cursed him that he would never remember his extreme valour unless he is reminded of it by a proper person.
It is to this Hanuman that Jambavan the elderly boar, and a great hero himself, addressed the following words.
अनेकशतसाहस्रीं विषण्णां हरिवाहिनीं जांबवान् समुदेक्ष्यैवं हनुमन्तमदाब्रवीत्।
वीर वानरलोकस्य सर्वशस्त्रविशारद तूष्णीमेकान्तमाश्रित्य हनुमन् किं न जल्पसि॥
हुनुमन् हरिरजस्य सुग्रीवस्य समो ह्यसि। रामलक्ष्मणयोश्चापि तेजसा च बलेन च॥
अरिष्टनेमिनः पुत्रो वैनतेयो महाबलः। गरुत्मानिति विख्यातः उत्तमः सर्वपक्षिणां।
बहुशो हि मया दृष्टो सागरे स महाबलः। भुजङ्गानुद्धरन्पक्षी महावेगो महायशाः।
पक्षयोर्यद्बलं तस्य तावद्भुजबलं तव। विक्रमश्चापि वेगश्च न ते तेनावहीयते॥
बलं बुद्धिश्च तेजश्च सत्त्वं ते हरिसत्तम। विशिष्टं सर्वभूतेषु किमात्मानं न बुद्ध्यसे॥
श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे किष्किन्दाकाण्डे सर्गं ६६ श्लोकाः १—७
anekashatasaahasriiM viSaNNaaM harivaahiniiM jaaMbavaan samudeekSyaivaM hanumantamadaabraviit.
viira vaanaralokasya sarvashastravishaarada tuuSNiimekaantamaashritya hanuman kiM na jalpasi..
hunuman harirajasya sugriivasya samo hyasi. raamalakSmaNayoshchaapi tejasaa cha balena cha..
ariSTaneminaH putro vainateyo mahaabalaH. garutmaaniti vikhyaataH uttamaH sarvapakSiNaaM.
bahusho hi mayaa dR^iSTo saagare sa mahaabalaH. bhuja~NgaanuddharanpakSii mahaavego mahaayashaaH.
pakSayoryadbalaM tasya taavadbhujabalaM tava. vikramashchaapi vegashcha na te tenaavahiiyate..
balaM buddhishcha tejashcha sattwaM te harisattama. vishiSTaM sarvabhuuteSu kimaatmaanaM na buddhyase..
shriimadvaalmiikiraamaayaNe kiSkindaakaaNDe sargaM 66 shlokaaH 1—7
The backdrop is this. Hanuman the great monkey is serving as a minister to an obscure Monkey king in exile Sugriiva, and Sri Rama along with Seetha and Lakshmana had arrived at the forest to fulfill a vow. By some stealthy ruse, the king of demons, Ravaneshwara had abducted Sita to Lanka and while wandering in the precincts of Rishyamooka mountains, the brothers had become friendly with Sugriva, and Rama had won back to Sugriva the lost kingdom from the latter's arrogant brother Vaali, after killing Vaali, and in return the army of monkeys had been sent all over the continent of Asia in search of Sita. The major battalion, headed by the crown prince Angada, had reached the south-eastern tip of India abutting the Bay of Bengal from where there lied the Vast oceans and Srilanka at the other end. The monkeys had enough evidence to presume that Ravana would have taken Sita to Lanka..
The monkey's were at their tether's end. To reach Lanka and see if Sita was there one had to cross the sea, and the only conceivable mode for a monkey would be to jump the distance and the distance was not at all small.. it was one hundred yojanas of that time ( there are different views about the exact measure of a Yojana by todays standards..varying from one hundred kilometres to about four hundred kilometres.) The monkeys had a day-long assembly as to who could do this. Jambavan, one of the leaders was the main speaker. No one was sure about himself and his capability of covering such a distance over water and keep his life.
As luck would have it they had the minister Hanuman also in the team. He was never conscious of his valour. He was always playing the role of the intellectual in the court of Sugriva. Since the present assembly was for the physically valorous, Hanumanji kept himself aloof, though he had the physical fitness and shape, as he never knew the unadulterated energy was seething inside him.
But there was the ancient Patriarach Jambavan available right on hand, and He knew the history of Hanuman.
So Jambavan addresses Hanumanji..
I quote from Valmikiramayanam .." Seeing hundreds of thousands of monkeys standing there miserably at their wits end, Jambavana proceeded to Hanuman, and addressed him like this, " You Hanuman, the most valourous one of the monkey clan, you the ultimate scholar of all the scriptures, why are you sitting aloof and not speaking anything?
You Hanuman, you are equal in all respects to Sugriva the king of monkeys. You are also equal to Rama and Lakshmana in strength and valour.
I have seen one great bird by name Gautman (Garuda), son of Aristanemi (Kashyapa). He flies over the ocean swinging his powerful wings and lifts very big and heavy snakes and serpants and flies off with ease. You are not inferior to him either in strength or ingenuity. Your hands are as strong and dexterous as the wings of Gaurda. You are the best, wisest, and most powerful among all the living creatures, and why are you not realizing your own hidden energy?"
The talk of Jambavan must have been the best model for any talk for encouraging some person who has a temporary burnout, but is in fact of immense value to any organisation. We find such persons in plenty everywhere. The unorganized energy, the lack of sense of achievement, a feeling of hollowness about life as a whole, and lack of self-assurance. If the leader with sufficient authority could motivate such persons into proper and channelized activity, the results can be spectacular beyond expectations.
This happened in the case of Hanuman. When he was reminded of His glory, he rose up like a lion, roared like a lion and that roar was the death-knell of Ravaneshwara. The rest is History.
The lessons we have to learn from Garuda, Hanuman and even Ravana will be dealt with in articles following this.....