Hanuman – The True Role Model for You(th)


  • By Shravan Dantu

Today is one of the most auspicious days for the followers of Sanathana Dharma. Today is Hanuman Jayanthi – The birth day of Lord Hanuman!  When you visit devalayas or public gatherings today, I am sure that you will hear the following verse:

buddhihīna tanu jānikai sumirau pavanakumāra।
bala budhi bidyā dehu mohi harahu kalesa bikāra॥

This is the second doha in Hanuman Chalisa. I have transliterated it in English as that has, unfortunately, become the common language for communication. But many of us might still not understand what the above words actually mean, so, here is a simple translation in English.

Knowing my body to be devoid of intelligence, I remember Hanuman, the son of Vāyu. Give me strength, intelligence and knowledge and remove all ailments (kalesa) and impurities 

There will not be a single one from today’s youth, who, in their childhood, would not have prayed to Hanuman. When, as a child, you were scared and alone, you asked him to give you strength and company. And he did. During exams time, when you were tensed and wanted a self-assurance that “all is well” and will be well, you prayed to Hanuman and all tuned out to be well. When you were not focused on studies or the tasks that your parents wanted you to be focused on, the local devalaya purohit, gave you a Hanuman locket to wear and whenever you had to complete an important task, you kissed that locket… and lo!,  that important task was done.

Ah! Those were the days of childhood. You did many things without knowing why you should do them, but you did and you are now a confident, successful young person, ready to take on more responsibilities.  And it was in those days that when your uncle or aunty asked you who you admired the most, you inadvertently said that you wanted to be  like Hanuman – Strong, Fearless, Successful and yes, Playful and Lovable also.

Your Role Model was Hanuman.

But alas! Now that you have grown up, your role model may have changed. It could now be a Hollywood or Bollywood Hero/ Heroine or a cricketer. It is not wrong to admire your Bollywood star or a cricketer, for they, have achieved that success with a lot of hard work and that is why, they are popular in their field. But “in their field” is very important to note.  So, they are not, cannot and should not be a role model, when you are molding your entire life.

So, on this auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanthi, I think it is the right time to re-learn and really learn on why Hanuman is one of the apt historical characters who has walked (and continues) to walk this land of vedas, to be the Role Model for you.  I will talk about 5 (a handful) qualities that you and I can imbibe, to start with.

  • Like who you are and be what you are!

When Hanuman leapt to catch the Sun, thinking that it is a red apple, Indra struck him with his Vajra. Baby Hanuman fell and his Jaw got disfigured. And that is one of the reasons that he came to know as Hanu-man. So, it was this disfigured face that gave Hanuman, a name and a unique distinction. He did not try to change it. He did not try to hide it. He was what he was!

This is a very important thing to learn. You need not be perfect. No one is. Do not be cowed down by bullies who accuse you of being short or fat or tall or thin. Especially, in this stage of your life, you have to face extreme peer pressure. So, just be yourself and figure out how you can make that perceived shortcoming, a strength for yourself and may be, make a name out of it, literally.

Be focused on the task at hand and do not waver till that is done!

When Hanuman was crossing the ocean to find Sita Mata, a mountain king wanted him to rest on his peak. Hanuman politely declined and moved on without wasting time.  A rakshasi stopped his flight and challenged him to a duel. Hanuman only humored her by decreasing his body size so that he can enter via mouth and exit via her ear so that the rakshasi understood his strength. But he did not stop his flight to engage her and waste time.

This is another very important thing to learn. When we are studying hard, we face numerous distractions like movies, friends, games, etc. But there is a time for those and now is the time for you to focus on the task at hand, which is to study. Little wonder that Hanuman Jayanti comes during our exam times, I guess, so that we learn this great quality from Hanuman himself.

  • Understand the larger picture and work towards solving the bigger task!

When Hanuman was trying to search for Sanjeevini herb, he was confused as he could not identify the right herb. The bigger task at hand was to save Lakshmana and the only knowledge that he had, was that he was at the right mountain which had the herb. He did not spend any more time for research but used all his strength to carry the entire mountain so that the lifesaving medicinal herb could be reached to Lakshamana in time.

What you can learn from here is that while exams and marks are important, exams are only a means to the end. The end is what you make out of what you have learnt and how you can use it to contribute to the larger society and your country, which has given you all that you needed.

  • Communicate clearly, knowing what the other party knows what they need to know!

When Hanuman returned from Lanka after finding Sita Mata, the first person that he saw was Jambavan. When Jambavan, who was his grandfather’s age, asked him about his exploits, like a little kid, speaking to his grandfather, he narrated all things that he had done – how he destroyed the Ashoka Vanam with his extra-ordinary strength; how he escaped right under the nose of mighty Ravana and set his beautiful Lanka on fire, etc. Just like you would take your sweet time to talk about your escapades with your friends or family.  But when he was before  Sri Rama, the King, he shared only what Rama wanted to know, in brief and crisp sentences, saying that he found Sita Mata, that although she was sad before he met her, she was now happy knowing that Rama would come and teach Ravana a lesson and that that she would be united with her Swami.

It is important that you should know what to speak, when to speak, why to speak and who you are speaking to, so that you mould your message accordingly.

I think there are several other qualities like his humility, strength, wisdom that we can learn from Hanuman but I will come back to point 4 and elaborate further, since we Indians often lack in clear communication.

  • Communicate so that your purpose is achieved!

When Hanuman finally came across Sita Mata in the Ashoka Vanam, he had hardly a few minutes to convince her that he was Sri Rama Doota. Sita Mata was in an enemy land, she already was witness to several mayavi tricks from Ravana, she was hoping against hope (but with firm belief) that Sri Rama will come to save her, but nevertheless, in such situations, it would be extremely difficult to convince her that he was not another maya/trick of the Rakshasa, but a genuine soldier of Sri Rama and that the times would now really change for the good.

What you need to learn is that you do not always have the luxury of time. Now that you will be completing studies and interview for jobs, you have to learn how you to package your communication so that your purpose is served  – which is that the interviewer knows who you are and what you can do.

I think that is a lot of moral lessons for now. But do realize that each festival in our sanathana dharma is celebrated so that we can remind ourselves of our great historical giants and learn something from them.  And what better day to remind ourselves that Hanuman is the best Role Model that we can have, during this Hanuman Jayanthi.

Since I started with a doha from Hanuman Chalisa, let me also end with one. One which tell us more about science – the distance between Earth and Sun, in a simple, easy way to understand.

juga sahasra jojana para bhānū।
līlyo tāhi madhura phala jānū॥ 

Jai Shri Ram!!!




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