Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hanuman Lists Beauty of Rama In Sundarakanda | 28 Qualities of Lord Rama's Body

Rama's name itself means "One who attracts and pleases the hearts of his viewers" through his beauty.

Hanuman, during his conversation with Sita in the Ashoka Vatika of Lanka, narrates the great qualities and virtues of Rama along with a full description of his entire body to please her and to ascertain her that he (Hanuman) is not a demon in the shape of a monkey.

While doing so, he takes the help of the Samudrika Shastra to enlist all the 28 qualities as prescribed by that astrological science of the body for defining the beauty of Rama.

You can find the entire narration in the 35th sarga of Sundarakanda of the great epic Ramayana that was composed by Valmiki.

This 35th sarga starts with a general introduction of the beauty of Rama (stanza 8 to 16) and, thereafter, lists the qualities according to that body-science (stanza 17 to 20) and, again, carries on further to describe some more enchanting attributes of Lord Rama in stanza 21st. The rest (stanza 22 to 79) is the story of what happened till her abduction and his visit to Lanka.

Hanuman tells Sita that Rama is extremely beautiful with his lotus-like eyes that captivate the hearts of even the animals and the birds. He is supremely handsome, kind, and full of virtuous qualities. His splendor is equal to that of Sun, endurance to Earth, intelligence to Brihaspati, and fame to that of Indra.

Rama is an abode of boundless love and forgiveness. He is the protector of all beings. He is the creator and the creation itself. He is the controller of all universe and, at the same time, a well-disciplined prince himself protecting and caring for his people.

Rama is respected and worshiped by all alike. His character is blemishless. He is an abode of all Vedas and well-versed in all rituals of life. He respects all ascetics and seers. He is loved by all the people of his kingdom.

Hanuman tells that Rama has a large and wide upper-back region with long shoulders. He has a conch-shaped neck, an auspicious face, possesses a sound voice, and a shining body.

28 Norms for Beauty of Body as Mentioned by Samudrika Shastra

Samudrika Shastra (the astrologically specified science of reading a human body) defined some special attributes or norms for evaluating the beauty of a person.

Hanuman describes Rama's beauty taking the help of this samudrika Shastra as narrated in the stanzas 17 to 20 of the sarga 35 of Sundarakanda that is reproduced below.

tristhiraha, tripralambahscha, trisamaha, triSucha unnataha |
tritaamrah, triSucha snighdaha, gambhiirah triSu nityashaha || (17)

trivaliivaan, travyanataha, chaturvyangaha, trishiirSavaan |
chatuSkalaha, chaturlEkhah, chatuS kiSkuh, chatussamaha || (18)

chaturdasha samadvandvaha, chaturdanStrah, chaturgatihi |
mahoSTam hanunaasascha, pancha snighdhah, aSTavanshavaan || (19)

dashapadmah, dashabrihat, tribhirvyaapto, dvishuklavaan |
Sadunnatah, navatanuh, tribhih vyaapnoti Raghavaha || (20)

In the above lines, each quality is separated by a comma.

The first four qualities are that of a king in this long list of the 28 qualities.

  1. Rama is firm in three limbs (chest, wrist, and the fists).
  2. He is long in three (the eye-brows, arms, and soles).
  3. He is equally aligned in three (the hair, testicles, and knees).
  4. Elevated in three (his breast, naval area, and abdomen).
  5. Coppery in three (eye rims, nails, and palms).
  6. Soft in three (foot-lines, hair, and membrum virile).
  7. Deep in three (his voice, gait, and the navel).
  8. Has three folds in his belly.
  9. Has three sunken areas (in the midst of soles, the nipples, and the lines on his soles).
  10. Has compact-sized back, shanks, neck, and virile membrane.
  11. Has three spirals in his head.
  12. He possesses four lines at the root of his thumb (a scholar of four Vedas).
  13. He bears four lines on his forehead, feet, and palms.
  14. He is of eight feet high (4 cubits or 96 inches = 8 feet).
  15. He has four equal pairs (arms, shanks, knees, and cheeks).
  16. He has 14 equally developed parts (eyes, eyebrows, nostrils, ears, lips, nipples, arms, elbows, wrists, loins, hips, knees, testicles, and feet).
  17. He possesses four large, sharp teeth at both ends of his jaws.
  18. His walk is of four gaits (that of a lion, tiger, elephant, and the bull).
  19. He is gifted with splendid lips, cheek, and nose.
  20. He has five smoothy shining parts (hair, eyes, teeth, skin, and soles).
  21. Has eight long limbs (eyes, nose, ears, arms, legs, spinal chord, fingers, toes).
  22. Rama possesses ten lotus-like limbs(the face, eyes, lips, mouth, tongue, cheeks, breasts, nails, hands, and the feet).
  23. He has ten large limbs (the head, forehead, ears, the chest, heart, neck, the belly, the back, the arms, and the feet).
  24. He is spread unlimited by three qualities (the fame, splendor, and honor).
  25. He is pure by two ( by his father's qualities and by his mother's qualities).
  26. Elevated in six (by his forehead, nose, shoulders, the chest, abdomen, and the back).
  27. He is fine and sharp in nine things (the hair, mustache, skin, the hair on the skin, finger joints, nails, virile membrane, perception, and intellect).
  28. He pursues virtuous conduct in all the three time periods of the forenoon, the midday, and the afternoon. 
Rama is a follower of the path of truth and righteousness. He shows affection towards all. He knows how to manage time and circumstances. He welcomes people cordially and rewards them always. He is in abundance of all great qualities.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hanuman: 12 Interesting Facts About Lord Hanuman

Do you know why Hanuman is one of the most popularly worshiped forms of God in India and other South East Asian countries?

He is worshiped for obtaining protection from the daily obstacles and all evil forces of life. It is also believed that one who worships Hanuman automatically gets the blessings from Lord Rama also. So, he is the most cherished God for most people.

Here are some interesting and lesser known facts of Hanuman's Life.

1) Hanuman an Incarnation of Shiva

He is the son of Anjana Devi, an angel of Brahmaloka, born in the shape of a monkey due to some curse by a sage. His father was Kesari, the monkey king.

It is believed that Anjana Devi was worshiping Lord Shiva for a son so that she can get released from her present form and return to Brahmaloka. Lord Shiva, pleased with her sincerity and devotion, gifted her a child with the help of the Wind God.

King Dasaratha of Ramayan was performing a yajna for children and he got blessed with some nectar that is to be offered to his queens so that they can conceive babies. But, a small portion of that nectar was said to have been stolen by a kite bird that was fleeing in the skies. As per Lord Shiva's hints, the Vayu God made that nectar fall into the hands of Anjana Devi who was on penance. She consumed it as the gift of Lord Shiva and, as a result, Hanuman was born to her.

Another version states that Lord Shiva directly gifted Anjana with a child by parting with some of his energy taking Vayu's help who carried that energy to Anjana.

2) Hanuman a Problem to Rishis During His Childhood

As Hanuman was an incarnation of Lord Shiva, he was blessed with many supernatural powers.

But, as a child, he was a headache to the nearby sages and others creating troubles in their daily rituals.

He used to play on trees with his friends and the branches used to break and fell into their yajna kund (the sacred fire that is ignited for offerings of ghee and grains to Gods).

Anjana had to save Hanuman frequently from their wrath.

3) Hanuman Tried to Swallow The Sun

Hanuman used to be fond of food always. So, everything seemed to be a food item for him. Whenever he looked at the Rising Sun, he used to think of it as a nice fruit. So, one day, he reached to the Sun and tried to swallow him.

4) Hanuman's Jaws Hit By Indra's Vajrayudha (the Diamond Weapon)

All the angels got frightened by the act of Hanuman and Indra also not knowing what to do,  immediately uses his weapon to prevent Hanuman from swallowing the Sun. The weapon hits Hanuman on his jaws which become affected due to the force of the weapon.

That is how the name Hanuman was conferred on him. Hanuman means one with deformed or disfigured jaws. Prior to that, he was simply referred to as Anjaniputra.

5) The Sun God was Teacher of Hanuman

Later, all angels become aware of Hanuman's innocence and ignorance. All Gods and angels gift him with some power or knowledge.

The Sun God accepted him as his disciple and provided him with a complete knowledge of all the branches of education.

Hanuman also received the secret knowledge of the wonderful powers of Ashta Siddhi (eight supernatural possessions) that are not taught to anybody. It is because of his great devotion and due to his special incarnation purpose that he was provided with all those powers and wisdom. (The purpose of his incarnation was to help Rama overcome all his problems.)

6) Hanuman and Shani God 

According to a great TV serial titled "KarmaPhal daata Shani", it is mentioned that Hanuman was a friend of Shani Devata. Shani is shown as the incarnation of the three energies of Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Shani has been an instrument in removing the ignorance and developing the knowledge of Hanuman so that he could become a great character in the ensuing Ramayan epic.

7) Hanuman Flew Over the Ocean Covering a Distance of 1200 km to Reach Lanka

After getting associated with Rama, Hanuman goes in search of Sita who was kidnapped by Ravana.

It is believed that Hanuman flew in the sky over the ocean to reach Lanka (the abode of Ravana) covering a distance of 100 Yojana which was equal to 1200 km without resting even for a while.

It was believed that Lanka was of that much distance from the southern tip of India in the ancient periods of Ramayana age. The distances shrank later due to the expansion of lands.

8) Hanuman Body and Red Vermillion (Sindhoor)

Once, he came to know the importance of applying sindoor on the forehead and in the middle of the hairline by women. It is applied as a symbol of one's love and her true care for her family. So, Hanuman applied the vermillion all over his body to show his enormous love and care for his God, Sri Rama.

9) Hanuman's son Makaradhwaja

It is said that when Hanuman was flying over the ocean, his sweat fell into the ocean. A drop of that sweat directly fell into the mouth of a crocodile. By consuming that drop, the crocodile gave birth to Makaradhwaja whose form is a half-ape and half-crocodile.

10) Panchamukhi Hanuman or Five-Headed Hanuman Kills Ahiravan

Ahiravan was the brother of Ravana whose help was taken by Ravana during the battle with Rama (after the death of Indrajit). Ahiravan also was known as Mahiravan. He carries Rama and Lakshman to his Patal Loka while they were sleeping to offer them as a sacrifice to Goddess Chandi. Hanuman reaches Patala and with the help of Ahiravan's wife, who was good-natured, comes to know that Ahiravana could be killed only by blowing all the five oil lamps simultaneously which were placed there in different directions.

So, Hanuman takes the form of Panchamukhi Hanuman and blows off all of them simultaneously. Thus, he saves Rama and Lakshmana. Before returning, he crowns Makardhwaja as the king of Patala on Rama's advice.

11) Hanuman Rejected a Gift from Sita

After killing Ravana, when Rama and Sita return to Ayodhya, Sita offers a garland of pearls to Hanuman as her gift to him. Hanuman breaks open each one of those pearls and throws away after finding nothing in it. Sita enquires why he did so. Then, he informs her that he was searching for Rama in each one of those pearls. As he was not found inside them, he threw them away. He tells her that he could not accept anything that does not contain his Rama in it. Thereafter, he shows that his Rama is within his heart by split-opening his chest.   

12) Bhima of Mahabharat was Humiliated by Hanuman

Arjuna went to the Himalayas on the advice of Sri Krishna to procure more powerful weapons so as to face Bhishma and other great warriors in the ensuing battle. At that time, other Pandavas were staying near Badrikashrama (or Narayanashrama). One day, a fragrant flower fell near Draupadi and she was much pleased with it. She wanted some more flowers like that (they were probably Saugandhika flowers) and sent Bhima to procure them. On the way, Bhima found a huge monkey resting blocking the whole path. When Bhima tried to lift the tail of it as per the request of that monkey, he was unable to move it even a bit. Bhima uses all his force and fails. Then, he realizes it to be the great Hanuman (his own brother) and begs pardon for not recognizing him. Hanuman only wanted to destroy the pride in Bhima. So, he blesses him with more energy and tells him that he will be there in the battle of Mahabharat as an emblem on the flag of Arjuna's chariot.