Seeking the Sun – Baby Hanuman’s Hunger for Knowledge
A Hanuman-Jayanti Special, Inspired by the teachings of Pujya Bhaishri
āñjaneya mati pāṭalāṇanaṃ
kānchaṇādrī kamaṇīya vigrahaṃ
pārijāta taru mūla vāsīnaṃ
bhāvayāmi pava māna nandadaṃ
I bow before the darling son of the God of wind,
Who is the son of Añjanā,
Who is great among killers of ogres,
Who is like a golden mountain,
Who is handsome to look at,
And who lives near the roots of the celestial pārijāta tree
When one talks about or discusses Śrī Hanumānajī character (caritra), one encounters the motif of him seeking the Sun as a delicious fruit in His very childhood, showcasing His fearless valor.
Why does he eagerly leap towards the Sun? What is the significance of this? Pujya Bhaishri delves into this, and other popular verses surrounding Hanumanta Caritra, in his message to us all for this year’s Hanumāna Jayantī.
Rudra-Avatar and Form of Guru
The son of the Wind God, Śrī Hanumānajī, is an incarnation of Lord Śiva (‘Rudra-Avatāra’), who is the primordial protector (pati) and granter of all Knowledge (Vidyā). Thus, without worshipping Lord Śiva, one cannot attain or realise Knowledge. This is also why it is especially beneficial for all students to worship Lord Śiva and Hanumāna to gain knowledge.
Śrī Hanumānajī is an incarnation of Lord Śiva who is the spiritual master of all three worlds; thus, we also worship Lord Hanuman in the form of the Sadguru.
श्रीगुरु चरन सरोज रज, निज मनु मुकुरु सुधारि।
बरनऊं रघुबर बिमल जसु, जो दायकु फल चारि।।
śrīguru carana saroja raja, nija manu mukuru sudhāri।
baranaū raghubara bimala jasu, jo dāyaku phala cāri।।
Doha 1। Hanumāna Calisa
Cleansing the mirror of my mind with the dust from the lotus feet of the revered Guru, I sing Śrī Rāma’s untarnished glory, that bestows the four rewards of human life.
Shri Hanumanji’s Hunger for the Sun:
Ever since his childhood, Śrī Hanumānajī is seen seeking to consume the bright Sun.
बाल समय रबि भक्षि लियो‘
bāla samaya ravi bakśa liyo
This Sun (Sūryanārāyaṇa Deva) is the deity that illumines our intellect (buddhi); it represents Knowledge, which Śrī Hanumānajī is hungry for. To be hungry for the Sun, means to be hungry for light—for learning, for the highest form of Knowledge (ātmā-vidyā; Parā vidyā). This hunger for knowledge is known as ‘jigyāsā’ which is key to realisation.
Establishing a Guru-Shishya Relationship is the only method to receive Knowledge
As a child, Śrī Hanumānajī was struck down with a thunderbolt, after which He received benedictions of immeasurable powers by all the various Gods to appease his father, the Wind God. Thus, every episode of benedictions—or curses—are all transformed into fortuitous events for one who is sincere in his quest. Ultimately, Hanumānajī becomes a true disciple, and humbly approaches the Sun to accept him and impart knowledge, out of His grace.
As the Sun God is the first disciple of Lord Krṣṇa in the science of Karma Yoga, He is always on the move without a break—working without expectations, discrimination or vacation. How then, could Hanumānajī learn from Him? Undeterred and determined to learn, Hanumānajī humbly faced the brilliant Sun seated in his chariot (driven by Aruṇa, Garuḍa’s brother), throughout his travels and imbibed from him whilst moving in this manner.
The Guru when pleased grants the Lord
Greatly pleased with his ideal disciple, the Sun God sends Hanumāna to serve His son, Sugrīva, where He would ultimately meet His Beloved Lord Ram, the crest jewel of the Solar Lineage. When God is pleased, He grants initiation into the spiritual (ātmika) relationship of disciple and spiritual master and when the Guru is pleased, He grants the spiritual realisation of God/the Self.
Who is the Sun?
The Sun is not merely the bright light seen in space, but rather the source of infinite Suns in multiple galaxies. Pujya Bhaishri elaborates upon the significance of the Sun by explaining the deity worshipped in the Gayatrī Mantra, ‘savitā’, to be That Highest Reality.
tat savitur vareṇyaṃ, bhargo devasya dhīmahī, dhiyoh yo naḥ pracodayāt
‘The one who illumines/inspires our intellect (dhīh; buddhi) is the Sun God (Sūryanārāyaṇa Bhagavāna), who is a form of the Ultimate Reality (Parambrahma Svarūpa).’
Thus, Pujya Bhaishri encourages every child to seek inspiration from Śrī Hanumānajī. Watch more here – ‘Gayatri’ series by Pujya Bhaishri.
Invoking the Two-fold Grace of Shri Hanumanji
At the beginning of the Hanumāna Cālisā, we first pay our obeisance to Śrī Hanumanājī, who is in the form of a revered Guru. In the verse after that, we ask him to bless us with three things:
1) Great strength (bala),
2) Knowledge of the world (skilled interactions; vyāvahārika kuśalatā), and
3) Knowledge of the Self (ātmā-vidyā)
Pujya Bhaishri highlights that if one does not have 1) great strength (bala), then all else is useless.
‘nāyam ātma bala hi naiṇa labyaḥ’
One meaning of ‘ātmā’ is Bliss (ānanda); thus, one whose body does not have strength, does not have bliss or enthusiasm in their lives. However, if one has great strength, and thus, enthusiasm, but does not have 2) skilled interactions (buddhi), then one will not be successful. This is why we ask Śrī Hanumānajī to also grant us buddhi.
And the third thing we ask Śrī Hanumānajī for is 3) Knowledge (Vidyā).
What is the difference between Buddhi and Vidyā?
Pujya Bhaishri emphasises that one should have both forms of Knowledge—parā and aparā.
Thus, we need all three—bala, buddhi and vidyā—in order to live a purposeful and blissful life.
Alongisde these, we also pray to Śrī Hanumānaji to take away from us two things:
1. Our suffering (kleśa)—which we have to face all types of, in our lives; and
2. Vices (vikāra)—which our minds are filled with so many of; such as destructive desires (kāma), anger (krodha), greed (lobha). It is as important to be freed of such vices.
Pujya Bhaishri ends with prayers to the Guru-form deity who alleviates us of our suffering (kaṣṭa-bhaṇjan-Deva), Śrī Hanumānajī, to bless all with auspiciousness; such that he free us from this pandemic, as well as all other diseases. May he also free us from emotional and mental illness (bhava-roga) through Knowledge of the Self.
Nase roga hare sab pīrā, japat niraṃtara hanumanta bīrā || 25 || Hanumāna Cālisā |
Jai Shri Ram!
Felicitations to all on the auspicious occasion of Hanuman Jayanti!