When Hanuman Met Rama

Every rendition of the Ramayana one theme that is so precious, is the loyalty and devotion of Hanuman to Rama and the bond they share. Talking of the Ramayana, one cannot ignore the relationship between Lord Rama and his able devotee Lord Hanuman. In fact, it will be fair to say that the battles that Lord Rama won effortlessly had a major role that was played by Lord Hanuman. Such was the dedication of Lord Hanuman towards his master that he would often put himself in trouble to protect the dignity of his master and his wife.

Hanuman first meets Rama in the last year if his 14 years exile. According to the Valmiki Ramayana their first meeting is in Kishkinda-Kanda. When Rama and Lakshmana were walking in the forests of Rushyamukha parvata near river Pampa in search of Sita, Sugriva saw them and was terrified seeing two princely charmed youngsters armed with bows and arrows. Sugriva thought that Vaali (Sugriva’s brother) sent them to kill him. So he jumped and ran away at once to his Ministers. Seeing his king running, Hanuman stopped him and inquired.

When Sugriva explained what he saw, Hanuman calmed him down and reminds him that "A king should not be frightened on the sight of two warriors. A good king is the one who observes the state of others and their essence in a conversation, understand it and, act accordingly that benefits his subjects. Vaali and his people can never approach this mountain or the forests due to a curse. Even if he attempts to act so, he will be dead. So these warriors aren't allies of Vaali."

Sugriva then replied "These two warriors appear to have no fear, and seem confident. They are armed and look very strong. You seem to be more convinced about them not being allies of Vaali. So please do me a favour. Leave this Kapi (monkey) form and disguise as a sannyasi. Talk to them and inquire about their intentions, analyse their conversation and decide if they are potential friends or foes. While you converse, ensure that you face me so that we can get a gist of your conversation and bring them here if they are willing to be friends with us."

Then Hanuman disguised as a Saint and approached Rama and Lakshmana. He said " You look like Rajarshis and Taapasis but are armed with swords, bows and arrows. Animals in this jungle are frightened due to your presence. Your eyes look like petals of lotus and you have a broad chest. You seem to be unbeatable in a fight and look like the saviour of the lives of many. But you seem to be gods disguised as humans. These contradicting observations surprise me."

He continued "I am Hanuman, Minister of Sugriva. He was banished by Vaali, the King of Kishkinda and elder brother of Sugriva. Sugriva is a righteous person and is seeking your friendship. I want to hear a reply from you." After this, Hanuman gave up his Sanyaas form and took up his original  monkey form.

Rama after listening to Hanuman, said to Lakshmana "Lakshmana, Did you observe how eloquent Hanuman was! There is nothing impossible for a king who has a minister like him. Even an enemy who came to kill them cannot act after he listens to Hanuman. A king is so lucky to have a minister like him, by analysing his words he seems to be well acknowledged with Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Vyakaran (Grammar) and essence of the Upanishads. One can never talk like this without that knowledge. His eyebrows and forehead didn't move unnecessarily. His voice was neither too loud nor like mutter or whisper. He started, continued and completed his words in a single tone. He particularly knows how to spell each and every syllable. Sugriva is very lucky to have Hanuman as his minister. Convey him our purpose of presence in this forest."

Lakshman delighted by his brother's words described the history of Rama and the purpose of their search in this forest. He also informed that Kabandha when turned into ashes took his original form of Dhanuvu and insisted on meeting Sugriva seeking friendship. When Hanuman heard this, his happiness knew no bounds and took Rama and Lakshmana on his back to meet Sugriva. When Hanuman informed Sugriva about the intentions of Rama, he happily welcomed them. Sugriva and Rama then swore an oath of friendship in presence of Agni.

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