Chapter Title Page
The Preface i
I Sri Hanuman 1
II Sri Vikraman Swami 66
III World Prophecies 89
IV Thus Spake Swami 100
The Ramayana is not just the story of Sri Rama; it is as well the story of His devotees. The story of Sri Krishna is the history of all those closely associated with Him. Similarly, the story of Jesus Christ is the experience recorded by His disciples. They recorded and wrote the accounts not to seek glory for themselves but to glorify God. As John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ, "He must become more important, while I become less important." John 3:30.
Truth can neither be created nor altered, it is eternal. Avatars like Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Jesus Christ, and Sri Budha never invented any new truths of their own, rather they came to reestablish dharma and reiterate the eternal truth. A cursory glance at the history of nations would reveal that the birth of Jesus Christ, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Prophet Mohammed, Sri Budha, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans and others in their respective periods and countries were a historical necessity. Events in history do not happen by themselves. There are great men behind them who make our lives sublime, influence the course of history, religions, politics, society, economy, culture and even science. They took birth to deflate false dogmas, puncture erroneous presumptions, eliminate hideous forms of worship and animal sacrifice, root out obnoxious cults, and save the people from the social morass of their times.
Today, again, we are standing on the brink of a great cyclical change. The twilight has already set in and one can not dismiss the rumbles of a distant but imminent thunder. Obviously, the night will be the darkest before the dawn. As Socrates once said there seems nothing to be done except to crouch behind a wall until the storm passes by. As posterity would record it, it is not without any divine ordinance and grace that this volume is being released at this juncture.
This is not a religious publication. Nor is this just another narration of the life of Sri Hanuman. His life finds a brief mention for the benefit of those who do not know about Him. This is not a documentation of history; rather it carries a message for the future generations. Neither is this an attempt to canonise anyone, to initiate and form a new cult (we have had too many of them), nor to introduce a new dogma. On the contrary, this is an attempt to record the marvels of a great divine person as a token of appreciation of the devotees benefited by Him. His life and spiritual work is enough proof that we are not alone in this world and that we are always under the gaze of an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Super Conscious Power in whose hands our beloved Swamiji is an instrument.
This volume is the culmination of our efforts to spread the message of love, compassion, tolerance, and brotherhood across the world as mentioned by Swamiji. Truth demands deep devotion and personal experience before realisation. Some may dabble with it for pastime or light intellectual deliberations. However, even that could well be the beginning of a gradual transfiguration of a mind cluttered and soiled by its own impressions.
Devotees, thousands in number, from all over the world have had miraculous experiences. While most devotees have not recorded their experiences, some have found it difficult to express their experiences adequately. The incidents included in this volume were recorded by devotees themselves. However, being culled out from memory and translated into English from their native tongues minor discrepancies would have crept in during transliteration. Max Muller, in Ramakrishna His Life and Sayings, mentions about a dialogic process wherein the truth gets exaggerated out of attachment to a divine person and events get miraculised. Care has, therefore, been taken to present the experiences of devotees as realistic as possible and without exaggeration.
The devotees of Sri Vikraman Swamiji are grateful to the meticulous and devout efforts of Shri G Krishnamurthy, an ardent devotee of Swamiji in the USA. But for the website hosted by him on Swamiji the publication of this volume would have been rendered very difficult. A number of other kindhearted and devout persons have contributed in giving shape to this publication. More than anything else, we consider this volume as the grace and gift from Lord Anjaneya and Sri Vikraman Swamiji. We deserve the credit for the imperfections only. We will consider our effforts amply rewarded if this volume could offer a shade of hope to atleast a few tormented and distressed souls, a ray of light to those confused by the perplexities of life, a message of love and compassion to the unfortunate and unloved, and shades of truth to those in its search. This is our first step towards a world of one race the human race, one religion the religion of compassion, one caste the caste of brotherhood, and one language the language of love. We dedicate this volume at the holy feet of our beloved Sri Vikraman Swamiji.
Let noble thoughts surround us from all directions
Sage Valmiki's Ramayana hailed as the Adikavya has inspired many saints and poets to recreate this immortal epic. The Ramacharitamanas by Saint Tulsidas, Kamba Ramayanam, the Ananda Ramayana, the Adbhuta Ramayana, the Adhyatma Ramayanam, and the innumerable songs by Saint Tyagaraja, Arunachala Kavi, Samartha Ramadas and Purandara Dasa were inspired by this great epic.
Sri Ramachandra or Sri Rama as He is fondly called, the seventh incarnation of Sri Vishnu, was born as the eldest son of King Dasaratha and Kausalya. He is the hero of the Ramayana that took place during Treta Yuga. He hailed from the Surya Vamsa (the Solar dynasty), also known as Kakutstha dynasty, of King Ikshwaku, the forefather of the Raghu dynasty of King Raghu. Hence, Sri Rama is also known as Raghupati. When quite a boy, Sri Rama, along with his younger brother Lakshmana, was taken by Viswamitra (Kausika), to his hermitage to protect his rituals from the demons that obstructed them. Sri Rama killed the demons for which Sage Kausika rewarded them with several powerful and miraculous missiles. Sri Rama and Lakshmana then accompanied Viswamitra to the city of Mithila, the capital of King Janaka, where He married his daughter Sita Devi after performing the superhuman feat of bending Siva's bow (Siva Dhanus). Lakshmana was married to the other daughter Urmila. Ravana, one of the unsuccessful contenders, left the venue with envy.
In Her previous life, Sita Devi was named Kusha, the daughter of a forest-dweller. Men from many worlds approached Her father Kushadvaj for his daughter's hand in marriage. The father was slain by a jealous suitor, and the mother died of grief. She was left alone at a young age to fend for Herself in the forest. But she acquired great mystic powers through yogic practices.
Ravana saw Her on one of his missions to conquer the universe and grabbed Her by the hair intending to kidnap Her. She transformed Her arm into a sword and cut Her hair off. She then built a funeral pyre and entered the fire and was instantly reborn from a giant lotus from the flames. Ravana again took Her and this time managed to bring Her to Lanka where one of his ministers warned him that she would prove to be his destroyer. Ravana threw Her into the sea, but Her body drifted to the shore of the kingdom of Janaka, a good and pious king. Her spirit, now in the form of a young child, was unearthed from the ground and adopted by Janaka as his daughter and named Sita.
Dasaratha, realizing that Sri Rama was qualified to rule the kingdom of Ayodhya, resolved to install him as his heir-apparent. But, on the eve of the coronation, his favorite wife Kaikeyi, instigated by her wicked maid Manthara, asked Dasaratha to fulfil the two boons he had granted her earlier. By one boon, she demanded the banishment of Sri Rama for fourteen years into the jungle Dandakaranya, and, by the other, the installation of her own son Bharatha as the heir-apparent. Dasaratha had to oblige her and Sri Rama left for the forest accompanied by Sita Devi and Lakshmana.
Ravana, in his previous life, was one of two gatekeepers who guarded the palace of Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta, the spiritual world. Sages known as the four Kumaras approached for an audience with Vishnu, but the gatekeepers Jay and Vijay suspecting them to be demons in disguise, did not permit them. The Kumaras felt offended and cursed the gatekeepers to leave the spiritual world. Vishnu heard the disturbance, and modified the curse that the gatekeepers could choose to either spend six lives as pure souls in the material world, or three lives as demons. They chose to spend the shorter period so that they could rejoin their beloved Lord sooner. In one lifetime, one of the gatekeepers became King Kamsa, who wanted to annihilate child Krishna during his life in Vrindavan. In the second, he was born as Hiranyakasipu, the demonic father of Saint Prahlad. Lord Narasimha, the half-man/half-lion incarnation of Vishnu killed him. In the third life, he became Ravana. The other gatekeeper incarnated as brother to each of these demons.
Ravana means one who makes the universe scream. According to the 1st canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, in his war for control of the universe, Ravana attempted to deploy forces to higher planets such as the abode of Indra, King of the demigods. He is the greatest antihero in the entire Vedic writings. When Ravana died, Sri Hanuman remarked that were it not for his pride he would have been a protector of the entire universe.
Ravana resolved to punish Sri Rama by kidnapping Sita Devi in order to avenge the insults Lakshmana had heaped on his sister. In this successful effort, he was assisted by his uncle Mareecha. Ravana knew he could not win the battle with Sri Rama. His own advisors had warned him that fighting Sri Rama would mean the end of the demon race. But his obsession with achieving god-hood was implacable.
The Rama Ravana War
Sri Rama and Lakshmana, during their search operations, met Sri Hanuman in the city of Kishkindha, who informed them that Sita Devi was in Lanka. Sri Hanuman leapt over to Lanka, met Sita Devi, warned Ravana, killed his son, partially burnt down Lanka, killed many demons, and returned to inform Sri Rama about Sita Devi. The army of monkeys, under the leadership of their king Sugriva, built a bridge across the ocean to enable Sri Rama to access Lanka with His troops. The bridge between the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka referred to as Ramasetu is now called the Adam's bridge.
Sri Rama conquered Lanka, killed Ravana along with his whole hoard of demons, and installed Vibheeshana as the king of Lanka. Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya along with Sita Devi, and others where He was installed as king by Sage Vasishta. His son Kus succeeded him.
The story of the great epic Ramayana is also the story of Sri Anjaneya, who strides throughout the epic like a colossus. Ha means Isvara, Supreme Consciousness; Nu means that which pervades; Man means the manifested. Hanuman, thus, means the manifested existence of the Supreme Consciousness which pervades all.
When Lord Siva learnt that Vishnu had taken birth upon the earth, He desired to participate in the divine drama which was to unfold. Therefore as the eleventh incarnation of Rudra, as one who takes away the tears, He manifested as Sri Hanuman, in which form He could act as the perfect servant of the Lord.
Punjikasthala, an attendant of Brihaspathi, the teacher of the demigods, was once cursed to become a monkey and the curse was to be removed when she gave birth to an incarnation of Lord Siva. She was born in the vanara race as Anjana who married Kesari. The vanaras were an intelligent race of monkeys. Pleased with her devotion, Lord Siva granted a boon that He would be born to her.
Meanwhile King Dasaratha of Ayodhya performed the Puthrakameshti Yagam to have progeny. The sacred pudding which he got from the ritual was to be shared among his four wives. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a portion of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana Devi was in worship. Vayu Dev, the deity of wind, delivered the sacred pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana Devi, who swallowed it immediately. Anjaneya was thus born to Anjana Devi. Since Vayu Dev delivered the sacred pudding to her Anjaneya is considered to be his progeny and is called Pavana Thanaya, Pavana Sutha or Vayu Thanaya. Since He was brought up by Kesari, Anjaneya is also called Kesari Nandan. Since He is born of Anjana Devi He is called Anjaneya. Sri Anjaneya is the eleventh reincarnation of Lord Siva.
He leapt 16,000 miles towards the Sun mistaking it for a sweet fruit. Rahu, who alone has the power to eclipse the Sun, cautioned Indra, the king of gods. Indra struck Him with thunderbolt wounding His chin. Anjaneya fell down and Vayu Dev carried Him to the nether regions.
Absence of Vayu Dev threatened annihilation of life on the earth and the gods started appeasing Vayu Dev by showering boons after boons on Anjaneya. Varuna Dev, the deity of the sea, blessed Him with immortality. Yama Dev, the deity of death, blessed Him that He would not be affected by Yamadand, his weapon. Kubera, the deity of wealth, blessed Him that mace would not inflict Him. Lord Brahma blessed that the powerful Brahmadand or Brahmaastra would not affect him. Lord Siva blessed Him that He would not face any threat from the invincible trisul or the Paasupathastram. Brihaspathi, the teacher of the demigods, blessed Him that no weapon would affect Him. These boons rendered Anjaneya invincible. Since His chin was wounded He came to be called Hanuman. Hanu in Sanskrit means the chin. His name suggests the one with a Broken Jaw.
Hanuman mastered all scriptures from Surya, the Sun God. The Sun God insisted that he could not stop his constant appointed rounds. Hanuman consequently followed him across the universe during his years of schooling. Sri Hanuman learned quickly and was a good student who developed many fine qualities. Sri Hanuman traversed the sky at the same speed of Surya, facing him while concentrating on His studies. The Sun God was pleased by His accomplishment. However, when Sri Hanuman insisted on giving Dakhshina (tuition fees) Surya asked Him to advise and protect his son Sugriva, who was living at Kishkindha. Vayu Dev taught Him how to fly and avoid obstacles while flying. Lord Siva taught him martial arts, mantra, tantra, and philosophy. He was taught music by Goddess Saraswati.
Subsequently, Sugriva and his brother Vali (also called Bali) fell apart due to a misunderstanding and Sugriva fled along with his ministers to Rishyamukha Mountain, where Vali would not enter due to a curse. Meanwhile Sri Rama and Lakshmana came to Rishyamukha in search of Sita Devi who was abducted by the demon king Ravana. Suspecting the brothers to be foes Sugriva sent Sri Hanuman, who approached them in the guise of a Brahmin. Sri Rama was extremely impressed by the behaviour and conduct of Sri Hanuman in the Brahmin guise that He revealed His identity. Sri Hanuman prostrated before Him and Sri Rama embraced Him. In the subsequent developments, Sri Hanuman introduced Sri Rama to Sugriva, initiated the search for Sita Devi, discovered Her in Ashoka Van in Lanka, consoled Her, destroyed the city, killed many demons, returned to Lanka with Sri Rama, saved the life of Lakshmana, and played a prominent role in the war.
A Perfect Gentleman
Sri Hanuman won Sri Rama's admiration by his civil manners and elegant use of language. He always behaved in a gentlemanly way offering proper respect with folded hands. He is courteous to friends and foes alike, to the point of inquiring about Ravana's welfare before delivering Sri Rama's challenge of war. Sri Hanuman's statements were filled with elegant phrases.
Even in war He remained a gentleman respectful of the codes of warfare. For example, in the final battle with Ravana, Sri Hanuman was struck by Ravana. He retaliated with a blow of his own. Ravana could withstand Sri Hanumans blow but remarked, "You are a worthy enemy." Sri Hanuman replied, "I do not care for your compliments. I am ashamed that after my blow you are still alive." Ravana turned to fight Nila, another monkey warrior. Sri Hanuman, however, did not interfere, as it was against warrior codes to interrupt another persons battle. He was a perfect warrior-gentleman.
A Great Jnani
Once Sri Rama asked Sri Anjaneya how He considered Him. Sri Anjaneya replied, "When I identify myself with the body, O Lord, I am Thy creature, eternally separate from Thee. When I identify myself with the Soul, I am a spark of that Divine Fire which Thou art. But when I identify myself with the Atma, I and Thou art one."
An Eternal Servitor
When Sri Rama expressed His gratitude for the many services Sri Hanuman had rendered saying that He felt much indebted that His own life was not enough compensation for all that Sri Hanuman had done for Him. For Him, Sri Rama was the means as well as the goal. For Him no position is nobler than being called a servant of Sri Rama. His life scintillates with unqualified obedience to Sri Rama, strict observance of celibacy, courage, absolute and total faith in the name of Sri Rama. For all His services to Sri Rama He asked for only one thing in life. "Please give me the blessing that my affection for you should never diminish. Do not allow me to think of anything else. I want to live as long as your name is preserved among the sons of men. Let me be forever and forever be your devotee."
A Self Surrendered Servent
The life of a man is bound to be full of problems and difficulties and the task before him is to learn to cope with them. The way shown by Sri Hanuman is to hand over oneself to the Lord who will then help to surmount them. This handing over is called surrender.
A Great Musician, Grammarian & Scriptural Authority
Sri Hanuman is an accomplished musician. Vedic texts describe that He daily sings songs of Sri Rama and is able to discourse on ragas and other traditional musical motifs. Valmiki also describes Him as a Sanskrit grammarian, a learned linguist, and a scholar capable of quoting scriptural law to Ravana in an effort to convince him to release Sita Devi.
When Sri Hanuman saw Sri Rama grieving over the loss of Sita Devi, He offered well chosen words of consolation. At one point, in great humility, He said that an ordinary monkey like Him could do nothing except jumping from one tree to another. Sri Rama embraced him out of gratitude, but Sri Hanuman was embarassed and said that He did not deserve such high praise.
A Master Strategist
Sri Hanuman is extremely perceptive, noting places and events which would be useful in the forthcoming battle. He studied every nook and cranny of the city in His pre-battle reconnaissance and returned to give Sri Rama a vivid account of everything. Sri Hanuman allowed Himself to be paraded through the city, as this afforded Him the chance to assess the enemy's strengths. Only then did He escape, transformed Himself into a giant, killed the captors, set fire to the city, and flew back to Sri Rama.
A Powerful Warrior
Sage Valmiki frequently refers to Sri Hanuman's powerful warrior aspect such as: His roaring in eagerness, the sound of His tail striking the ground, His ability to outdo even 1,000 demons. It is His sensitivity and kindness, however, which make Him such a memorable character.
A Highly Sensitive and Intelligent Emissary
He was deeply distressed at the sight of the suffering of Sita Devi and yet at the same time delighted to have found Her. His first worry was how to properly introduce Himself to Sita Devi so that He could convince Her, without scaring Her, that He was a messenger from Sri Rama. With the presence of the ogresses around Her, Sri Hanuman had to be cautious also, since He had to accomplish the mission without arousing any suspicion. He reasoned that He should speak to Her in a manner that will be convincing to Her, for beholding His monkey form and human speech, Sita Devi should not be terrorised further. Sri Hanuman's intelligence comes to the fore in this context. He was extremely overwhelmed on finding Sita Devi, yet He was anxious that His mission should not end up in vain. With foresight He planned a strategy which would at once bring cheer to Sita Devi without arousing the suspicion of the ogresses. In a low voice which only She could hear, Sri Hanuman narrated the glory of Sri Rama from His birth up to the mission of locating Her.
The frequent alternation between depression and enthusiasm, the occasional loss of control over His own enthusiasm while retaining a logical progression of thought, are balanced with His ability to pick Himself up and set out again against the strongest currents. These are some of the qualities that have contributed to His image as a profoundly noble as well as a super hero.
A Symbol of Diplomacy and Tact
He is considered the symbol of diplomacy and tact which He demonstrated on several occasions. When Sri Rama and Lakshmana came to the Rishyamukha Mountain, Sugriva suspected them to be foes and sent Sri Hanuman in the guise of a Brahmin. Sri Rama was extremely impressed by the behaviour and conduct of Sri Hanuman and remarked, "None can speak thus without mastering the Vedas and their branches. Nor is their any defect in his countenance, eyes, forehead, brows, or any of his limbs. His accents are captivating. Even an enemy who has his sword uplifted will be moved. Indeed, success awaits the king whose emissaries are so accomplished."
He tried to persuade Ravana to free Sita Devi, knowing well that Ravana would not do that. But He wanted to perform His duty as the messenger of Sri Rama. Similarly, it was His advice to accept Vibheeshana, who had left his brother Ravana during the war. It was His strategy to provoke Indrajit, son of Ravana, to shoot the dangerous missile Brahmastra against Him so that Indrajit would not use it again against Sri Rama or anybody else during the war.
A Committed Servent
Vali before dying had told Sri Rama that even if He should forego Sugriva's help in the mission of finding Sita Devi, He should not think of rejecting Sri Hanuman's help. True to his prediction, Sugriva who was asked to start the search for Sita Devi after the rainy season was over and given a respite to enjoy his new found happiness forgot all about the job entrusted to him. It was Sri Hanuman who gave sane counsel to Sugriva pointing out his duty exhorting him to assemble his Vanara army to fulfil the task entrusted to him. After assigning different tasks to his commanders to search in all directions, Sugriva expressed the confidence he had in Hanuman by telling Sri Rama that He alone would succeed in locating Sita Devi.
When Sri Hanuman was entrusted with the task of finding Sita Devi He went about with full commitment because it was the Lord's mission. He overcame all hurdles with sagacity and succeeded in locating Sita Devi kept in captivity in the Ashoka grove and convinced Her that He was the envoy of Her Lord.
A Trustworthy Emissary
Sri Rama had full trust in the fidelity and ability of Sri Hanuman that He entrusted His signet-ring to Him with the words, "Take this ring. I am full of hope that you will discover Sita Devi. This ring will tell Her that you are my messenger. Dear Hanuman, may you bring Sita Devi and Me together again!"
An Ego Blaster
Sri Hanuman is an embodiment of humility. He was instrumental in blasting the ego of Bheema, Ravana, Vali, Arjun and many others.
Among the seven cantos, Sage Valmiki has gone to the extent of naming a canto after Him, the Sundara Kandam, a tribute he does not give to any other person. The Sundara Kandam, the fifth canto in the Ramayana, which narrates the exploits and valour of Sri Hanuman is considered to be the most prominent chapter. A regular rendering of this chapter is believed to bestow immense peace to the reader.
As the name suggests, this canto is simply beautiful and it has been described as the piece de resistance of the Ramayana. There are many interpretations to the name of this canto. Many scholars feel that the word Sundara refers to Sri Hanuman. Sundara means a vanara or a messenger or an intermediary between the hero and heroine. In all these aspects this refers to Sri Hanuman. It is also said that Sage Valmiki considered that this canto was his best effort in terms of literary excellence and hence decided to call it Sundara Kandam. It is also Sundara because this canto lightens the heart of the readers because Sita Devi and Sri Rama had relief to some extent. Sundara also means the recovery of something lost. The rediscovery of Sita Devi finds narration in this canto and hence the name.
Sundara Kandam deals almost entirely about the achievements of Sri Hanuman in one night, as He searched for Sita Devi. Roused by Jambhavan, Hanuman assumes a gigantic size. Sri Hanuman prayed to Lord Rama and the Gods of all quarters before embarking on His flight. In spite of being very powerful, He is the embodiment of humility which was revealed in all his actions. Sage Valmiki has provided a detailed description of His leap to Lanka. Hanuman swelled His body, shook His bodily hairs, roared loudly, whirled His tail, contracted His waist, and just before leaping off the mountain He sank down, drew in His arms and neck, flattened his ears, and filled Himself with concentrated power and energy focused on the lower part of the body. He scanned the sky in order to see a clear path for Himself, arrested the vital air (prana) in His heart, and leapt. The mountain at this moment shook, its rocks and trees shot forth, and the animals residing there leapt off in terror. Water and minerals were released, and snakes sprang from the ground! It was a unique sight and only a unique person could have achieved it.
The lord of the oceans wanted to help Sri Hanuman, the messenger of Sri Rama, the scion of the Ikshvaku race. He summoned the submerged mountain Mainaka, the offspring of Mena. Mainaka which had the power to become big or small immediately grew as tall as the sky and came in the path of Sri Hanuman. Sri Hanuman mistook it as an obstacle and pushed it away with his chest. The mountain then took a form and told Him that it was not an obstacle, but had come in the way only to offer Him a place to rest. Sri Hanuman replied that He would not rest till His mission was accomplished. Such was His commitment to duty!
As He continued his journey, the demigods wanted to test His commitment. They urged the serpent Surasa to take up the form of a big ogress and obstruct Hanuman. She told Hanuman that she had been granted a boon by Brahma that no one could pass her without entering her mouth. Hanuman pleaded with her but it was of no avail. He then assumed a gigantic form and asked her to open her mouth wide enough to accommodate Him. When her mouth was wide open, He made himself as small as a fly and entered her mouth and came out in a split second. He then spoke to her humbly that He had not denied Brahmas boon and requested her permission to leave. Surasa was pleased and blessed Him.
Hanuman continued His flight. As He was passing by, Simhika, another ogress who desired to eat Him grabbed His shadow. He killed her with a single blow.
He then continued His flight and as He neared Lanka, having covered hundred yojanas, He decided to contract himself so as not to draw attention. He looked at the beautiful city of Lanka, which seemed heavenly in appearance. He decided to wait till it was night time and then entered the city. As He attempted to enter, the guardian goddess of Lanka, Lanka Lakshmi or Lankini confronted Him. He spoke humbly to her, but she was aggressive and asked Him to fight her and defeat her, thinking He was only a monkey. Hanuman hit her on her face and she fell down. This was in spite of the fact that He did not use power since He did not want to use power against a female. She was immediately subdued and informed Him about a boon by Brahma that she would be invincible until she was conquered by a monkey, which would signify the end of the demons. Saying thus, she let Him enter the city and vanished from the city forever.
Entering on His left foot, He walked through the city and took in the sights and sounds of Lanka. He waited till late night and then started looking for Sita Devi.
He had looked everywhere, but since He was not able to see Sita Devi, He was gripped with fear, wondering if Sita Devi was alive. However, He had Sri Ramas blessing and continued His search when He spotted the Ashoka Van. In the Ashoka Van, He saw Sita Devi beneath a big Simshupa tree. Continuous fasting had made Her weak. Her clothes were worn out and tear stained. Surrounded by ugly and horrid ogresses, she was calling out to Sri Rama.
As He watched Her, Ravana entered and tried to coerce Sita Devi to marry him. Sita Devi treated him with contempt as though he was not equal to even a blade of grass. He was angered and he gave her an ultimatum of two months and left. She was then coerced and persecuted by the ogresses. However an elderly woman Trijata, intervened and warned them saying that she had a dream that Sri Rama would come and destroy them.
Hanuman who had watched enough, started singing softly about Sri Rama. Cleverly, Hanuman had aroused Her curiosity without alarming Her. He then met Her and narrated all the events and how Sri Rama spent every waking and sleeping minute in Her thought. He also gave Her the signet ring from Sri Rama. She was overjoyed and thrilled to hear about Sri Rama and wanted Hanuman to repeat the stories over and over again.
Hanuman was so joyous on seeing Her that He immediately offered to save Her and take Her away. When He told this to Sita Devi, she smiled and wondered how a little monkey could achieve this. Hanuman then revealed His huge form and Sita Devi was convinced of His power. She however told Him that she would want Her Lord to come and save Her and only that would be creditable to His bravery. Hanuman was overawed and humbled by Her chastity and devotion to Lord Rama. She then gave Hanuman Her crest jewel, which was Her wedding present, as a token of remembrance and to authenticate Hanumans meeting. She also narrated some incidents which only she and Sri Rama knew about.
Once, when Sita Devi and Sri Rama were resting together, Indras son came as a crow and pecked and hurt Her. Sri Rama was so incensed that he invoked the powerful Brahmastra. The crow was followed by a ball of fire, wherever he went and finally, he fell at Sri Ramas feet and begged for mercy. Sri Rama spared him, but since the Brahmastra cannot go waste, He took his eye. Sita Devi wanted to remind Sri Rama that when a mere crow had angered Him so much, how much more punishment Ravana deserved for having imprisoned and persecuted Her! Hanuman then left with tears in His eyes and determination in His heart.
Hanumans mission was to find Sita Devi and this was accomplished. Nevertheless, He had the foresight not to stop with this. He wanted to survey the real strength of the enemy so that He could inform Sri Rama accordingly. In order to draw attention, He started destroying Ravanas prided Ashoka Van. Sri Hanuman let His monkey qualities take over and wrecked the place, enjoying every moment of it sparing only the Simshupa tree under which Sita Devi was seated.
Ravana sent troops, sons of ministers, his army chiefs and even his favorite son Akshakumara. When all of them failed, Ravana was puzzled and grieved. Indrajit, Ravanas son who had defeated Indra himself, then set forth to fight Sri Hanuman. Indrajit used the Brahmastra. Hanuman had Brahmas boon and so, was unaffected. In order to meet Ravana, Hanuman pretended to be bound by the missile and fell on the ground and remained motionless. The demons in their haste tied Him with ropes. Indrajit regretted their hasty move since he knew that the Brahmaastra would become useless.
Ravana was astonished when Sri Hanuman was brought before him. How was a mere monkey able to gain entrance to his capital city, guarded as it was by demons armed with powerful weapons? In Ravanas court, Ravana treated Sri Hanuman rudely. Ravana did not even offer Him a seat but He made a seat with his tail, which was so high that Ravana was forced to look up to Him! Sri Hanuman warned Ravana that he should return Sita Devi or be prepared to face destruction of the entire tribe. Sri Hanuman warned Ravana that his boon of invincibility at the hands of all beings excluded men and monkeys. Ravana was so upset that he ordered the execution of Sri Hanuman. Killing the messenger instead of the originator of the message is an unpardonable crime and Vibhishana reasoned with Ravana and pacified him. Instead, Ravana ordered setting fire to Sri Hanumans tail.
The demons wrapped the tail with cloth and Sri Hanuman grew in size. They then set fire to His tail. Sri Hanuman let Himself be dragged through the city. When Sita Devi was informed of this, she invoked Agni, the deity of fire, and requested him that Sri Hanuman should not feel the heat.
Sri Hanuman was not one bit affected by the heat. He was however burning with anger and leapt into the air and set fire to Lanka, house after house, mansion after mansion. When he had completed destroying the city, He stood on top of the Trikuta hill and suddenly remembered that He had acted impulsively without thinking of Sita Devis welfare and was filled with remorse. He then consoled that when He, a mere messenger of the Lord had been untouched by fire, surely the very embodiment of virtues cannot be burnt. However, He went back and confirmed that Sita Devi was safe and then set forth on his return flight.
The return flight seemed much easier, since His mission was accomplished and He reached the Mahendra Mountain and roared with joy. His roar sounded like thunder and the vanaras realized that He had succeeded in His mission. He then narrated the story to them and they hurried towards Kishkindha. Upon reaching Kishkindha, they set foot in Sugrivas treasured Madhuvan. With Prince Angadas permission they started feasting in the Madhuvan. This would normally have invoked Sugrivas anger, but when Sugriva was informed, he was happy because he realized that the vanaras would not have dared such a thing unless their mission was a success.
Sri Hanuman then met Sri Rama and debriefed Him on His visit to Lanka. He gave the crest jewel of Sita Devi and narrated the incidents she had told Sri Hanuman. After this Sri Rama and the vanara leaders planned their campaign to fight Ravana.
Sundara Kandam mentions about two outstandingly brave people who are portrayed in totally opposite ways. Sri Hanuman is vividly described as an embodiment of strength and physical valor. Sita Devi is portrayed as a soft person who is unparalleled in courage, faith and heroism. She is passive and yet in defiance of Ravana, stood up to all persecution without a physical display of courage. She epitomizes feminine courage and both the characters have a common source of inspiration, Sri Rama.
Hanuman's leap across the ocean to Lanka is an archetypal journey into darkness. This leap, His first remembrance of suppressed superhuman abilities, is a crucial turning point in the development of His character.
The spiritual significance of Sundara Kandam is the most important. The quest of Sri Hanuman is the quest of an awakened spiritual aspirant to cross over the ocean of Samsara (transmigratory existence) and seek the divine spirit. Sri Hanuman is the awakened soul or intelligence endowed with Sattva. Jambhavan is His enlightened spiritual teacher. The vast ocean is the Samsara sagara. The ogresses Surasa, Simhika, and Lankini represent the various obstacles. Even the fact that Sri Hanuman searched in the night, illustrates the Sloka from the Bhagavad Gita which says, "That which is night for all people is when the self controlled sage is awake." Lanka with all its forts, gardens and palaces represents the various koshas, sheaths, in a mans mind which have to be penetrated. The search is difficult as was with Sri Hanuman but will succeed with faith in Lord.
Sundara Kandam is a tresure trove of power, reading which devotees can gain mental strength and spiritual support in difficult worldly situations. Its recital with faith is believed to give courage to face and overcome obstacles in life.
SriHanuman finds a prominent place in the Mahabharatha War as well. He positioned Himself on the flag of Arjunas chariot stabilising and protecting it. He is a chiranjeevi, one who lives eternally. One of the boons He had sought from Sri Rama was that He wished to chant the name of Sri Rama as long as the world existed. He is considered an eternal servitor of Sri Rama.
He served Sri Rama as His messenger (dootha), servant (daasa), and disciple (sishya). He symbolises physical power, will power, devotion, intelligence, knowledge, and He delights in listening to the glories of Sri Rama.
According to Sage Yagnavalkya, Sri Narayana, Sri Mahadeva, and Sri Hanuman are one and the same. Sri Narayana Paramatma is the same as the Rudravatara Hanuman. Vayu Puranam and Sri Agastya Samhita also state that Sri Hanuman is the incarnation of Sri Parameshwara. As per Narada Puranam, Sri Hanuman is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient capable of creation, maintenance of order, and destruction and is none other than Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara.
He is the only character that appears in two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, which are set apart by several milleniums.
According to Sri Agastya Samhita, Sri Anjaneya was born on a Tuesday in Karthika month (November-December), Mesha Lagna, on Krishna Chaturdasi and in Swathi constellation. However, the common belief is that Sri Hanuman was born in Makara month (January-February) in Moola constellation. Abhishekam is therefore performed on days ruled by ether Swathi or Moola constellation.
Features of Sri Hanuman
According to Saint Tulsidas, Sri Hanuman is bestowed with golden colour, beautiful curly hair, wears a sacred thread made of sacred grass, and shining earrings. He is very learned, adept in all scriptures including astrology and the Vedas, extremely intelligent, virtuous, and a great lover of music. Since He has a body as strong as the thunderbolt, He is also called Bajrangbali. Bajrang means thunderbolt.
According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Anjaneya has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and ten weapons. The five faces are that of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda. There is a belief that one of the faces is that of Sri Vinayaka. The idol of Adyanta Maha Prabhu depicts a figure of half Anjaneya and half Vinayaka.
He is a great yogi (mystic) having transcended the five senses (Pancha Indriyas).
In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number five is beautifully narrated as follows: The son of one of the five (son of wind that is Pavana Thanaya), crossed one of the five (water the ocean), through one of the five (sky), met daughter of one of the five (daughter of the earth Sita Devi), burnt down Lanka by one of the five (fire). Here five means the five elements.
Sundara Kandam, which highlights the heroic exploits of Lord Hanuman at Lanka is the fifth canto in the Ramayana. Therefore, it is considered auspicious to go around His idol 5 times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 times or with such numbers the digits of which add to five.
His Prowess and Greatness
He was blessed by Sita Devi with the ashta maha sidhis, the eight supernatural powers, and the nine wealth. The eight supernatural powers are:
Anima : the power to reduce the body to the size of an atom
Mahima : the power to expand ones body to infinitely large size
Garima : the power to become infinitely heavy
Laghima : the power to become infinitely light
Prapti : the power of unrestricted access to any place
Prakamya : the power to realise any desire
Isitva : the power of absolute lordship
Vasitva : the power of subjugating all
The nine wealth are the nine types of devotion namely, daasya bhakthi, sravana bhakthi, vandana bhakthi, smarana bhakthi, paada sevana bhakthi, sakhya bhakthi, keertana bhakthi, aatma nivedana bhakthi, and archana bhakthi. Scholars, however, exemplify Anjaneya for His daasya bhakthi.
Sri Hanuman is the embodiment of the four yogas. His will, emotions, intellect and actions were perfectly refined and rooted in spirituality. The character of Sri Hanuman is relevant to our contemporary world. He has taught us how to be a perfect servant, a perfect messenger and a perfect devotee.
In Rama Rahasya Upanishad, Anjaneya says, "Take refuge in the auspicious Raam naam to free oneself from the ills of the materialistic world. By His grace you can fulfil your desires. Whenever the infliction becomes unbearable, think of me, the eternal servitor of Sri Rama."
His manasa mantra is:
Rama aeva param brahma
Rama aeva param tapah
Rama aeva param tatvam
Sri Ramo brahma tarakam.
That is, Sri Rama is the Absolute Brahman and the Absolute Reality.
The greatness of Sri Hanuman lies in His boundless love for His Lord Sri Rama and His dedication to Sri Rama. He derived all strength by His devotion to Sri Rama. He is always in meditation chanting the holy name of Sri Rama. While He was blessed with an incredible physical prowess, it was His spiritual prowess and total identification with His Lord Sri Rama that made Him real invincible and great. There is none equal to Him in valour, zeal, intelligence, dignity, character, charm, fair-mindedness, glory, tact, and audacity. His physical prowess, total identification with Sri Rama, absolute faith in Sri Rama, obeisance to Sri Rama, intellectual humility, dedication to work, desire to help those in trouble, and the power to fulfill the genuine wish of the devotees make Him not only a God to be worshiped but also a model to be cherished and followed by individuals in their life.
Weapons of Sri Hanuman
According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, the weapons of Sri Hanuman are mace, sword, rope, ankusam (goad), trisul (trident), stambham, tree, khadvankam, mountain, and fist. As per Naradapurana, He uses nail (nakhayudha) and teeth (danddhayudha) as weapons. However, the mace is considered His principal weapon.
He used His fist against Ravana and Kumbakarna. He used a tree to destroy the chariot and the eight horses of Akshakumara. He killed Dhrumraksha, a demon, with a mountain. He killed another demon Akambanan with a tree. On many occasions Anjaneya used His tail as a powerful weapon. He could use virtually anything as weapon.
Roar of Sri Hanuman
In Vanaparva in the Mahabharatha, it is mentioned that when Bheema met Sri Hanuman in the Kadalivana in Gandhamadana Mountain (believed to be in Orissa), he solicited His help in the impending Mahabharatha War. Sri Hanuman replied that positioning Himself on the flag on the chariot of Arjun, He would roar hearing which the enemies would faint or flee and that the Pandavas could easily annihilate a scared enemy. Tulsidas describes that hearing His roar, many enemy soldiers fainted and died. Such was His roar that Bhishma, the great grand father of the Pandavas and Kauravas, remarked that only Sri Hanuman could roar like an angry ocean. For the demons, the roar of Anjaneya portended danger and disaster.
The Anegondi village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River is considered to be the Kishkindha mentioned in the Ramayana. There is a cave near the place where it is believed that Sri Rama and Lakshmana took rest after killing Bali. Behind the cave there is a mountain peak known as Hanuman Mountain. According to local legend, Anjaneya visits the mountain peak on Chitra Pournami and special days and many people have reportedly heard the roar of Anjaneya from this peak.
Carrier of Sri Hanuman
Scholars opine that Anjaneya is His own carrier as none can bear His weight.
His Heroic Exploits
When a baby, He leapt 16,000 miles towards the rising Sun mistaking it for a sweet fruit. He crossed the ocean in just one leap, and landed in Lanka. He assumed an awesome form and scared and destroyed many demons of Lanka. He assumed a subtle form and appeared before Sita Devi in the Ashoka Van and consoled Her. He made extensive damage to Lanka single handedly. He leapt from the battle field in Lanka to the Himalayas and brought on His palm a mount full of Sanjivini herb, the medicinal-herb that saved the life of Lakshmana.
Some Interesting Anecdotes
It is said that when Lord Siva decided to take birth as Anjaneya His cohort Goddess Parvati expressed Her wish to accompany Him. Lord Siva conceded and asked Her to accompany Him as His tail when He took birth as Sri Anjaneya. Devotees worship Anjaneya by smearing sindoor on the tail of Anjaneyas idol because the tail of Anjaneya is regarded as Goddess Parvati. The extra ordinary power of Anjaneyas tail is attributed to the presence of Goddess Parvati.
Anjaneya An Exemplification of Devotion
It may seem paradox to some that what was the need for Sri Rama to seek the services of Sri Anjaneya, Sugriva, and others when He himself could have single handedly annihilated Ravana. But for Anjaneya the essence of devotion and its importance could not have been portrayed. It may be noted that the events that take place in our life have deeper significance than what is understood by us. When a man named Lazarus was reported to be sick, Jesus said, "The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened to bring glory to God, and will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory." John 11:4.
Anjaneya Gets Angry with Lord Rama
After the war, Sri Rama returned to Rameswaram and wanted to worship Lord Siva. He asked Anjaneya to bring a sivling from Kailas. The auspicious time fixed for the consecration of the sivling was getting over and Sri Rama made a sivling out of sand and consecrated it. When Anjaneya returned from Kailas He was angry that Sri Rama did not wait for Him. However, Sri Rama asked Him to remove the sivling and install the sivling from Kailas in its place. Anjaneya tried to remove the sivling with the help of His tail. Not only that He failed to do so but also His tail got wounded in the process. Then He realised that the power He enjoyed was due to the blessings of Sri Rama and prostrated before Sri Rama.
Rendezvous of Anjaneya and Bheema
Once Bheema set out in search of Sougandhikam, a rare flower desired by his wife Droupadi. On the way he found an old monkey lying across the road blocking the path. Bheema ordered the monkey to make way for him. The monkey replied that it was too old and tired to move and that he could lift his tail and make way for himself. Bheema, credited with the strength of thousand elephants, could not even lift the tail of the monkey. When he realised that it was no ordinary monkey, Bheema prostrated and requested it to display its real form. Anjaneya obliged by assuming his real form and blessed his brother. Vayu, the deity of wind, sired Bheema whereas Vayu is considered the stepfather of Anjaneya.
Rendezvous of Anjaneya and Arjuna
Arjuna was advised to do penance for obtaining Paasupathastram, the sacred weapon, from Lord Siva. As a precursor to the penance, he set on a pilgrimage and reached Rameswaram where he visited the sethu bridge (sethu bandhanam) constructed by Sri Rama with the help of the monkey battalion. Seeing the bridge he wondered why Sri Rama, an adept in archery, could not make a bridge using arrows instead of stones. Meanwhile he was being watched by Anjaneya, but they did not recognise each other. Arjuna asked Anjaneya why Sri Rama could not do so. Anjaneya replied that such a bridge could not have sustained even His weight. Arjuna said it was possible for him to make such a bridge which Anjaneya did not agree to. Arjuna challenged Anjaneya on condition that if the bridge made by him turned out to be strong enough He should become his slave. Both accepted the challenge. Arjuna made a bridge of arrows and the moment Anjaneya stepped on the bridge it collapsed. A bewildered Arjuna fervently prayed to Lord Krishna who came in the disguise of an old Brahmin and suggested that such a wager should be undertaken only in the presence of a mediator. Both Arjuna and Anjaneya accepted the suggestion and repeated the contest under the mediation of the Brahmin. This time the bridge did not collapse. Anjaneya made a fervent prayer to Sri Rama to save Him from the situation when the Brahmin revealed the form of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna told Anjaneya that it was a defeat neither for Arjuna nor for Anjaneya as it was a ploy made by Him to introduce Anjaneya and Arjuna to each other because He wanted Anjaneya to be present on Arjunas chariot during the Mahabharatha War. It was only then that both Arjuna and Anjaneya recognised each other.
Anjaneya Protects Arjunas Chariot
Arjuna requested Anjaneya to seat Himself on the flag of his chariot. It was due to the presence of Anjaneya and Lord Krishna on the chariot of Arjuna, the prince devotee of Sri Krishna, that the Mahabharatha War ended in favour of the Pandavas. After the war, Anjaneya left the chariot and Sri Krishna asked Arjuna to alight from it. It was customary for the charioteer to alight first. But Arjuna obeyed Sri Krishna. When Sri Krishna also alighted from the chariot, it broke into pieces. It was the presence of Sri Krishna and Anjaneya that protected the chariot from the deadly weapons used against them by the Kauravas.
Sri Krishna Gives Darshan as Sri Rama
In Treta Yuga, after the Rama Ravana War, Sri Rama had promised Anjaneya that He would grant Him darshan in the Dwapara Yuga. His elder brother Balram took pride in that he was elder to Sri Krishna and that he was an expert in handling weapons, particularly mace and plough. Satyabhama, wife of Sri Krishna, thought high of her beauty and believed that it was her beauty that lured Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna had wanted to put an end to the pride of both Balram and Satyabhama.
He sent Sage Narada and Balram to invite Anjaneya to His abode. When Balram introduced him as Balram (which means a strong Ram), Anjaneya became angry because no Ram was greater than His Lord Sri Ram. Balram was beaten by Anjaneya very badly. Balram ran away from Anjaneya but returned with an army only to be beaten up again by Anjaneya. He again ran away from Anjaneya. This time Sri Krishna asked Balram to go to Anjaneya and inform Him that Sri Rama wanted to meet Him. Hearing the name of Sri Rama, Anjaneya hugged Balram and asked for pardon for all the trouble given to him. He took Balram on His shoulders and proceeded to Dwaraka.
At Dwaraka, Sri Krishna asked Satyabhama to dress up as Sita Devi and be ready to meet Anjaneya. She dressed up adoring all kinds of ornaments but Sri Krishna, not satisfied, sent her back. He then asked Rukmini to give darshan to Anjaneya as Sita Devi. Hearing the name of Anjaneya, Rukmini became very happy. In her enthusiasm to meet Anjaneya, she did not wear any ornaments except for a kumkum tilak on her forehead. Anjaneya entered the room and found Sri Rama and Sita Devi in place of Sri Krishna and Rukmini.
The moral is that divinity occupies the heart of those who are simple, devout, and non-egoistic.
Sani and Anjaneya
As per Indian astrology, the seven and half year period (refereerd to as the ezhara sani, ezharattu sani or sade sathi) during which Saturn moves through the 12th, 1st, and 2nd from the natal moon as well as the period when it moves through the 4th, 7th, and 10th from the natal moon are bound to be very bad for the individual. The period when Saturn becomes retrograde is also considered inauspicious. Astrologers suggest, among other remedial measures, praying to Anjaneya during such periods. It is said that even gods have to undergo its evil spell at the prescribed periods.
According to a legend, when Sani approached Anjaneya to bring Him under his spell, Anjaneya caught him by the hair, dangled him in the air, and blew air on him. Anjaneya let him go only after a promise from him that he would never harm Him or those who pray to Him.
Symbolism in the Ramayana
Scholars have offered different symbolic interpretations to the Ramayana. Sri Rama represents the embodiment of virtues. He acted His role as a dedicated son, a husband, a king, brother, a model citizen, and a good friend to perfection whereas Ravana represented the rajasic thamasic qualities in a person. According to one interpretation, when the animal instincts represented by Ravana concealed the consciousness represented by Sita Devi, the jivatma represented by Sri Rama, lost the goal of His life, Ayodhya. The two were brought together by wisdom, devotion and faith represented by Sri Anjaneya.
In another interpretation, Sri Rama represents pure consciousness or the paramatma and Sita Devi represents nature. According to Sankhya philosophy (Sankhya Darsana) propounded by Sage Kapila, nature is made up of three gunas (modes) which are in equilibrium. Guna means quality, but it is in the nature of energy. The three gunas are tamas (inertia, lassitude, and delusion), rajas (desires, passion, and action), and satwa (peace and knowledge). When this equilibrium is disturbed, the universe manifests itself, and the budhi (intelligence) and other evolutes manifest in man. When wordly desires arise he becomes rajasic. When he finds that these are futile, he craves for peace and knowledge, and becomes satwic. At a higher satwic state he comes by supernatural powers. When he transcends this satwic stage also the Great Insight dawns. Saints are those who have transcended the satwic state. The three gunas will be in varying proportions in different people. The proportions, however, can be altered by well-directed and conscious efforts.
When mind interacts with nature, the pure consciousness can not live in its source, represented by Ayodhya. It is forced to go to forest represented by the mundane life. It becomes extroverted and is diverted from Sri Rama (pure consciousness) to materialistic pleasures (the golden deer) represented by Mareecha, a close relative of Ravana (the ten senses). The paramatmas greatness is forgotten for a while and the demoniac instincts are mistaken for the inner voice of the paramatma. By illusion, the mind worries about the safety of Sri Rama. Sita Devi (nature) asks tapasakti represented by Lakshmana to rescue Sri Rama. Tapasakthi draws a line cautioning the mind not to cross the limit. But when the tapasakti left, the mind represented by Sita Devi crossed the limit and was hijacked by the ten senses (the five pancha indriyas and the five karma indriyas) represented by the ten headed Ravana. The mind started wandering in the forest represented by Lanka. Lanka represents a rajas dominated mind.
Sita Devi became remorse and kept on contemplating on paramatma chanting the name of Sri Rama. Sri Rama sent His emissary Sri Hanuman as a token of assurance that divine intervention was forthcoming soon. Thus, Anjaneya represents the guru whose services are essential for self realisation. It also reveals that when the disciple is ready the teacher would arrive!
Yet another interpretation is that the union of jivatma and paramatma is possible only by meditation and breath control. Here breath is represented by Sri Hanuman, the son of Vayu, the deity of wind.
Kousalya represents icha sakthi, kaikeyi represents kriya sakthi and Sumitra represents jnana sakthi. The path of karma proceeds from icha (desire), through kriya (action) and ends with jnana (knowledge). Action represented by Kaikeyi grows to become instincts represented by Manthara, the servant maid. It becomes the cause for the prabdha. One should be very careful about such instincts.
Surpanakha represents the carnal urges in human beings. She was the sister of Ravana and both represented rajas. Kama esha krodha esha rajo guna samudh bhava: Bhagavad Gita - III-37. Desires often appear wearing a legitimate or attractive mask. Sri Rama rejected them and had to pay a heavy price in return but He won ultimately.
Sabari represents devotion. Ahalya represents a rocklike mind which was made sublime by a touch of divine consciousness.
The ogress that pulled Anjaneya by His shadow represents the materialistic memories from the past that people normally entertain. Anjaneya removed her by one blow. It means that one should remove such thoughts then and there in one stroke as they become obstacles to ones spiritual progress.
Tataka, an ogress who was killed by Sri Rama while he was in forest with Sri Viswamithra, represents the initial obstacles a devotee/sadhaka would have during his/her spiritual pursuit.
The Ramayana depicts a human being (Sri Rama) appreciating a person born in a demon clan (Vibheeshana). It is a masterpiece of unity in diversity. Throughout the epic, Sri Rama moves shoulder to shoulder with Sabari (a low caste woman), Guha (a low caste boatman), Hanuman and Sugriva (monkey race), Jatayu and Sambathi (birds), and Jambavan (a bear).
Jatayu, who fought with Ravana and lost his life, became great by devotion to Sri Rama. Ego and arrogance represent the two wings of ignorance. Sambathi lost both his wings in the presence of Sun, representing jnana. The name of Jatayu became the cause for Sambathis enlightenment when he lost his wings of ego and arrogance.
Master and Servant
Sri Anjaneya crossed the ocean with the power of Sri Ramas name. It was the same power that made it possible for Him to do all the heroic deeds. In reality, the devout devotee who has broken all barriers between him and his lord are not different. Upasaka and Upasya are not different. Maruti and Maruthi Dasa are not different. In the absolute sense, Sri Anjaneya and Sri Vikraman Swami are not different.
In reality, the tamasic, rajasic, and satwic levels in an ordinary person would change from hour to hour and day to day. It is therefore necessary to balance them with personal efforts and the grace and advice of a guru. An ordinary teacher assumes the responsibility of merely informing the student whereas the guru takes up on himself the task of reforming him. As symbolised by Lord Anjaneyas arrival in Lanka, when the disciple is ready (matured), that is, when the disciple has a genuine thirst for knowledge the guru would appear. We have today amidst us a sadguru Sri Vikraman Swamiji who is none other than the personification of the very same Anjaneya. His eyes are the eyes through which Sri Anjaneya sees you. His words are the advice from Anjaneya. His blessings are the blessings from Anjaneya that carry the power of Thaaraka Mantra. His sankalpa is the will and wish of Anjaneya. It is our fortune that we are all Vikramadasas.
Popular Names of Sri Hanuman
Anjaneya : son of Anjana
Maruti : son of Marut, the deity of wind
Hanuman : the one with a double chin
Pavana Thanaya : son of Vayu, the deity of wind
Pavana Suth : son of Vayu
Pavana Puthra : son of Vayu
Vayu Puthra : son of Vayu
Vayu Thanaya : son of Vayu
Kesari Nandan : son of Kesari
Bajrangbali : one with a body as strong as the thunderbolt
Ramadas : servant of Sri Rama
Ramadooth : messenger of Sri Rama
Ramabhakth : disciple of Sri Rama
Ramnaam Vaala : one who is known by the name of Sri Rama
Kapishresht : the great monkey
Akshakumaranthaka : the killer of demon Aksha, son of Ravana
Partha Dwajaay : one who positioned on Arjunas chariot flag
Laanguli : the one with a tail
Lanka Mardhana : the one who destroyed Lanka
Mahaveer : the great hero of exceptional valour
Atmaram : the one whose soul is merged with Sri Rama
Vanaraveer : the valiant monkey
Vikram : the one of exceptional valour
Worship of Sri Hanuman
By worship of Sri Hanuman, the servant of the Lord, we can rechannel our self-serving interests to become a selfless servant, and teach our consciousness to witness the movie of the divine lila, the drama of every day life with the similar conviction and strength as displayed by Sri Hanuman in all his endeavours. Hanuman puja, the worship of the blessed servant of the Lord, will fill our monkey minds with divinity. The orthodox system of Hanuman puja includes worship of Ganesha, Guru, Navagrahas, Siva, Durga and Sri Rama. The text includes the Hanuman Chalisa, Hanumath Badavanala Stotram, Sree Sankashta Mochana Stotram, Homa and offerings.
Mantras and Popular Songs
Mantras work on the theory of physical and emotional resonance. When one string of the guitar is plucked the next string will also vibrate due to physical resonance. Emotional resonance means that music influences feelings which in turn affects the health. All diseases are psychosomatic. Edgar Cayce has claimed that sound would be the medicine of the future. Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicines, refers to crystallization around muscle fibers due to stress which corresponds to unresolved emotional conditions. Specific pieces of music can resonate the crystallization patterns, thereby loosening them.
Man means profound meditation and tra means to expand or illuminate. Mantras were revealed to the sages in states of supreme consciousness or samadhi. It is said that there are 108 psychic centres in the human body with 108 wave lengths projecting from the brain. Perhaps this is the reason why mantras are repeated 108 times. Correct invocation of a mantra would effect an energy charge in the psyche which is transmitted to the body. It produces not only sound waves but also thought waves. Several muscles must operate to produce a sound. The main function of the mantra is to provide adequate exercise to the entire nervous system. When each phonetic sound activates the corresponding region of the body the mantra leads to the rhythmic pulsation of the nervous system.
There have been many such devotees, who have attained liberation through single-minded devotion and singing Gods glory. They include Azhwars, Nayanmars, Haridasas of Karnataka (Srinivasa Naik/Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Vijaya Dasa), Jnanadev, Namadev, Ekanath, Tukaram, Samartha Ramdas, Narasimha Mehta, Mirabai, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Akho, Kabir, Tulsidas, Raidas, Daadu, Sankaradeva of Assam, Bhadrachala Ramadas, Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshithar, Sridhara Iyaaval of Thiruvisanallur, Upanishadh Brahmam of Kanchi, and many others. Sanath Kumara, Vyasa, Sukha Brahmam, Uddhava, Aruni, Maha Bali, Sri Hanuman, and Vibhishana followed the path of surrender.
About the Gopis (the cow maidens) of Vrindavan, the Srimad Bhagavatham says that, "They never learnt the Vedas; they never served any teacher; they practised no austerity; but by association with holiness, they attained Me." - Bhagavatham XI: 12-7 & 8. In an earlier canto, the Srimad Bhagavatham has revealed the different ways of attaining Gods grace. "The Gopis through desire, Kamsa through enimity, the Vrishnis through clannishness, the Pandavas through affection and the sages through devotion attained Him." - Bhagavatham VII:1-30.
Naama sankeerthan is said to be the most efficacious method of realising God in this Kali Yuga, where righteousness is on the decline. Words have tremendous power; they are potent forces that bring up great reserves of strength and wisdom. The present age is described in the scriptures as very conducive to Liberation for, while in past Ages, rigorous penance was prescribed as the means, the present Kali Age requires only Namasmarana to win Liberation. When the name of the Lord is remembered with all the glory that is associated with it, a great flood of happiness wells up in the mind. The Lord is full of bliss and in fact He is Bliss itself. All this bliss is to be experienced through the name.
Sage Vyasa remarked, "How fortunate are those destined to be born in the Kali Yuga! It is so easy to win the grace of God by namasmarana in the Kali Age." When questioned whether it was Ramanama that enabled Sri Hanuman to cross the ocean, Sri Rama replied that since His Body was called Sri Rama, the name that combines the Bijaaksharas of both Siva and Vishnu, He Himself was able to conquer Ravana and his hordes. Sankirtan (holy chanting) is the essence of the Vedas. The four Vedas originated from sound. There are four kinds of sound, namely, Vaikhari (vocal), Madhyama (from the throat), Pasyanti (from the heart) and Para (from the navel). Sound originates from the navel. The Vedas also originated from the navel. Sankirtan and the Vedas are born from the same source. Nama and Nami are inseparable. Nama means the name of God and Nami means that which is denoted by the Nama or Name. Nama is greater than the Nami; Nama is nothing but Chaitanya.
Importance of Thaaraka Mantra
Anjaneya crossed the ocean with the power of Thaaraka Mantra. Valmiki rose from the level of a savage to a great sage with this mantra. Ahalya, Swayam Prabha, and Sabari got liberation with the mantra. The mantra protected Sita Devi from Ravanas advances. Saint Tyagaraja is believed to have recited the Thaaraka Naamam of Sri Rama ninety six crore times and had the fortune of darshan of Sri Rama with Sita Devi, Lakshmana and Sri Anjaneya.
This is a hymn to the Sun God advised to Sri Rama by Sage Agastya. It forms part of the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana. During the battle, Ravana was whisked away by his charioteer to avoid being killed by Sri Rama. Sri Rama was aware of His divinity, but He wanted to assert only His human form and wanted to fulfil His missssion as an incarnation. It was in this situation that Sage Agastya gave this powerful mantra founded on the Vedic truth: Jivo brahmaiva naparah That is, the individual self is identical with the Universal Self and is not different from it. Sri Rama killed Ravana after chanting this famous mantra.
Saint Tulsidas wrote this in Bhojpuri dialect in the sixteenth century. Light a ghee lamp, offer incense, and meditate on Sri Hanuman. This should be chanted eleven times on Tuesdays and/or Saturdays in a temple or in a clean room at home. This may as well be chanted one hundred times going round the peepul tree.
The other popular songs and mantras are:
Sankaracharya Swami Maheswarananda Saraswathi
Offerings to Sri Hanuman
It is part of the worship to offer flowers, fruits, foods etc to the deity. In the Bhagavad Gita (IX 26), Sri Krishna says, "I accept a leaf, flower, fruit, or water or whatever is offered with devotion." Sri Kanchi Paramacharya in an interview said, "We first offer to Him all that He has given to us, in the shape of food, clothing, jewels, music, flowers, lights, incense, and son on, with the grateful consciousness that they are His gifts to us; and we receive them back from Him as His prasada." The Jagadguru
A notable feature is that only items of satwic nature (that is, items which are of cohesively positive nature) are offered and some of these items possess healing power. Tulsi and turmeric have excellent antiseptic properties. Sandal paste used for smearing on foreheads has medicinal properties besides the power to cool the body. The water kept in a copper bowl distributed as tirth has the power to stabilise the electromagnetic vibrations in the body. Even the colour and fragrance of flowers used for worship contribute to curing psychosomatic disorders. The chanting of mantras which create a charge in the psychic field augments the worship.
This is a delicacy made of urud dal (black gram dal-Vigna Mungo) made into a garland. The story goes that Sri Hanuman who is always in meditation on Sri Rama gets disturbed by the Vada Maala and bestows any boon asked by the devotee so that He would not be disturbed again by the devotee. According to another legend, Anjaneya was given a very big vada by His mother on the eve of His departure to Lanka for the war so that He could eat out of it little by little whenever He felt hungry. Incidentally, Urud dal, the chief ingredient, is offered to appease Rahu, the significator of abnormal fears and snake curse etc.
Soondal: Cooked Bengal gram (cicer arietinum) added with salt, with or without coconut gratings
Butter: Butter is offered to Anjaneya especially when devotees undergo the adverse period of Saturn.
Curd Rice: Cooked rice added with curd
Beaten Rice: Also called aval, this is offered by adding sugar or jaggery, and coconut gratings.
Kesari: A delicacy made of rava, ghee, sugar, cashew nut, raisin, kesari powder etc.
Pongal: Cooked rice sweetened with jaggery.
Paanakam: A drink made of dry ginger, sugar etc. this should be offered on Swathi or Moola star days. This is a herbal drink.
Fruits and Nuts: Pine apple, Guava, dried grapes and malavaazha pazham, puvan pazham (two categories of plantain native to South India musa paradisiace), and cashew nut. Cashew nut is rich in proteins and vitamin B and is an ingredient in many Sidha medicines.
Curd Rice: This is a good remedy for stomach ulcer. It is said that those desirous of issues should offer curd rice on five Thursdays or five Tuesdays. Persons with complaints of sugar and blood pressure should offer curd rice without salt and without seasoning it. This is an excellent food for those living in tropical countries, particularly for those with stomach disorders.
The significance of abhishekam to any deity is as follows:
Sandal Paste : for developing a cool mind and mental peace
Turmeric : for healing, recovery from diseases, and matrimony
Coconut : for curing asthma
Curd Rice : for curing ulcer etc
Cows Milk : for progeny, to ward off snake curse etc
Honey : for developing a good voice
Gold : for prosperity
Turmeric in the form of condiments is carminative, antiseptic, anti-flatulent, blood purifier and expectorant. It is used in pharmacy and confectionery. It contains carbohydrate, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin B2.
Flowers Offered to Sri Hanuman
Garland Made of Betel Leaves
The story goes that when Sri Hanuman conveyed the message from Sri Rama, Sita Devi garlanded Sri Hanuman with a betel vine as a token of Her joy and appreciation, as she could not find any flowers nearby. Betel leaves should be made into a garland with a piece of arecanut in each leaf.
Anjaneya may be worshipped with jasmine flowers or tulsi on Thursdays.
It is believed that Sri Hanuman prefers to frequent places where this beautiful and fragrant flower abounds.
Tulsi, ocimum sanctum, is a herb extensively used for worship in temples and homes. Also called Holy Basil and Hoary Basil it has several medicinal properties. Tulsi is used in temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, Sri Rama, and Sri Hanuman.
Lotus is dear to Sri Rama. In the only temple dedicated to Bharatha, the younger brother of Sri Rama, in Irinjalakuda in Kerala too, garlands made of lotus are used. Sri Rama had equal affection for his brother Bharatha and Sri Hanuman. Lotus is also used for worship in Vishnu temples. Lord Krishna is also called the lotus eyed (Pankajaaksh).
The petals of lotus symbolise ripples on water surface representing action based on knowledge. When viewed from above, its petals would resemble the small ripples caused by throwing a stone into water. It also suggests that like lotus grown in slush, representing the mundane world, the human soul has to evolve into its eternal relation with God.
Importance of Sindoor
It is believed that when Sri Hanuman conveyed the message from Sri Rama, Sita Devi applied sindoor on Her head. Seeing it, Anjaneya became extremely happy and started rolling in sindoor. Sindoor is considered as a sign of victory. It is believed that the forehead of Sri Hanuman always shines with sindoor.
The days significant for worshipping Sri Hanuman are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Persons running the seven and half period of Saturn, the period of ashtama sani (Saturn in the eight from the natal moon) or kandaka sani (Saturn in the fourth, seventh or the tenth from the natal moon), are advised to worship Sri Hanuman on Saturdays. Others may worship Him on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Sri Ramnavami is celebrated on the ninth day in March/April to commemorate the birth of Rama who is remembered for his preperous and righteous reign. Celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning. At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed. The main attraction is a procession by a decorated chariot in which four persons are dressed up as Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Sita Devi, and Sri Hanuman. Several other persons dressed up as Sri Ramas soldiers accompany the chariot.
Sri Ramnavami occurs at the beginning of summer when the Sun becomes closer to the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun is considered the progenitor of Rama's dynasty which is called the Sun dynasty. It is significant that the Sun is overhead and at its maximum brilliance at the hour chosen for the observance of His birth. In some Hindu sects, prayers on Ramnavami day start not with an invocation to Sri Rama but to the Sun.
Beliefs and Myths
As happens in the life of great heroes, many legends, beliefs, and local stories got associated with Sri Hanuman also.
Some believe that Sri Hanuman should not be worshipped at home because He is a celibate (Brahmachari). Then there is a belief that the picture depicting Sri Hanuman flying with the Sanjivini Mount should not be kept in homes because it would imply sickness. Then there is another belief that the picture of Sri Hanuman with the mace in right hand should not be kept in homes. Ideally, according to some, the best picture for keeping at home is the one with folded palms. These beliefs are borne out of wild imagination and being symbolic in nature do not entail fortune or misfortune. These beliefs are contrary to reality. For instance, it was Sri Hanuman, a brahmachari, who facilitated the rejoining of Sita Devi and Sri Rama. According to Sri Vikraman Swami one may keep any picture provided he has absolute faith. One need not worry about such matters unnecessarily.
Temples and Places Associated with Sri Hanuman
Millions of people have heard of Sri Hanuman, the eternal servitor of Lord Rama. He is celebrated in many cultures, and different versions of His story appear in many languages. In China, He is known as Shun Wu Kong, the Wind Monkey. In Thailand, He is a central character in the Ramakiya, Thailand's most popular folktale. People know His history, and where He came from or how He came to have wonderful powers. There are many stories associated with Sri Hanuman but these millennia-old texts reveal His extraordinary life in bits and pieces. When the pieces are brought together they convey the story of a timeless superhero.
Pictures and idols of Anjaneya are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, China, Mauritius, Thailand, Burma, and Bali. In Cambodia, the story of Sri Rama is popular as Ramakirthi. The story of Anjaneya is enacted in Thailand. However, there are some minor differences in the folklore in these countries. In India separate Hanuman shrines are found in most temples dedicated to Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and Sri Vishnu.
Rishyamooka Mountain - This is situated near Hampi on the Bellary Highway. The mountain is visible a little away from the Sri Virupaksha Temple situated at the middle of Hampi. According to legend, Sugriva stayed here along with Anjaneya out of fear of his brother Vali. It was here that Anjaneya introduced Sri Rama to Sugriva. The Tungabhadra River flows here in the shape of a bow. At Chakratheertha there is a temple devoted to Sri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana, and Anjaneya.
Kishkindha - The Anegondi village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River is considered to be the Kishkindha mentioned in the Ramayana. It is believed that Sri Rama killed Bali on his battle with Sugriva on the other side of the river. There is a cave near the place where it is believed that Sri Rama and Lakshmana took rest after killing Bali. Behind the cave there is a mountain peak known as Hanuman Mountain. It is also believed that Anjaneya visits the mountain peak on Chitra Pournami and special days and many people have reportedly heard the roar of Anjaneya from this peak. Near this mountain peak there are three other peaks known after Sugriva, Thara, and Angada.
There is yet another belief that Hampi in Karnataka, the 14th century capital of Vijayanagara kingdom in the Deccan heartland was the Kishkindha. It is notable that this place is inhabited by large number of monkeys.
Anjaneya Shrine in Sri Seetharamachandra Swamy Temple at Bhadrachalam in Khammam District. The temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is situated on the left bank of the Godavari River. The uniqueness of the temple is that the deity here is a combination of both incarnations - Sri Rama with kodandam (bow) and Vishnu with his shanku (conch shell) and chakra (discus, as a symbol of destruction of evil). Also, unlike in other temples Sita Devi is seated on Sri Rama's lap. This shrine was visited by Kabir. This temple is called the Kaliyuga Vaikuntam.
The temple is associated with puranic and historic facts. According to a legend, a sage named Bhadra did intense penance until Treta Yuga was over and Lord Rama, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was back to his original avatar. Pleased by Bhadra's devotion, He as Lord Rama as per Bhadra's wishes granted him liberation. This precisely explains the above mentioned description of the deity at Bhadrachalam. The hillock on which Bhadra Maharishi did penance and attained liberation got the name Bhadragiri or Bhadrachalam.
A few kilometers away from the temple is the Ushnagundam. It is said that from here Lakshmana had brought hot water for Sita Devi to bathe. Legend has it that Sri Rama's hermitage in exile was situated here at Bhadrachalam. Parnasala, 32 kms from Bhadrachalam is said to be the site of the hut where Sri Rama, Sita Devi and Lakshmana lived in exile and where Sita Devi was abducted by Ravana. This temple underwent renovation in the 17th century.
Koormakshetram located 14 kms from Srikakulam has Sri Varahamoorthy as the main deity. It is believed that Adi Sankara, Ramanuja, and Madhwacharya visited this temple. There are eight ponds around the temple of which the third one by name Chakratheertha is believed to be the place from where the second avatar of Vishnu, as Varaha appeared. On the banks of this pond there is a separate temple for Veera Hanuman.
Guthenadeevi Temple at Mumbhidivaram Taluk on the banks of Godavari River in the East Godavari District initially had only an Anjaneya idol. It is believed that the walls of the temple started shaking as Anjaneya used to dance. After astrological consultations, some twenty-five years back, idols of Sita Devi and Sri Rama were also installed after which Anjaneya became calm. It is believed that the temple was consecrated by Sage Gautama.
Suparihanuman Temple in Aurangabad. The East facing Anjaneya idol here is swayambhu (uncreated or self-formed) and is believed to be growing.
Malyavan Mountain - This mountain is located northeast of the Srivirupaksha Temple. It is believed that Anjaneya handed over the Choodamani gem given by Sita Devi to Sri Rama at Pravarshanagiri, a place located on this mountain.
The towering statue of Sri Anjaneya on the Tirumala Hills
Veera Anjaneya Ganddi Kshetram, Chakrayapettah, Vemballi Via, Cuddappah
Sri Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Pannamgadu Village, Tada Mandalam, Nellore District
The 62 feet statue at the outskirts of Samalkote
The idol at Mangalagiri with Lord Narasimha
At Kamalapuram near Hospet, there is a village by name Madhuvan which is believed to be associated with Sugriva.
Sanghi Temple - Located about 25 kms from the heart of Hyderabad city is located the picturesque Sanghi Nagar, an industrial suburb. Seen from several kilometers away is the Sanghi Temple complex with its 15 feet tall sacred Raja Gopuram. This beautiful temple complex atop the hillock Paramanand Giri exudes an aura of divinity and provides a panoramic and breathtaking view. At the foot of the hillock there are three Gopurams towering into the blue sky. Before ascending to the temple complex on top is the Shrine of Lord Anjaneya, red-faced. Lord Venkateswara, known as the bestower of piety and plenty, is the presiding deity of the complex. The nine and half feet tall idol of the deity is a true replica of the one at Tirumala and resides in the imposing sanctum sanctorum in the center of the complex. There are shrines dedicated to Goddess Padmavathy, Lord Siva, Goddess Aadilakshmi, Goddess Durga, Lord Karthikeya,Lord Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshman, Sri Hanuman, Lord Vijayganapathi, and Navagrahas.
Veera Mangala Anjaneya Temple at Nallattur, Tiruttani Taluk.The site is located 99 kms from Madras and 13 kms from Tiruttani. This is believed to be one of the 732 Anjaneya idols consecrated by Vyasaraya Tirtha, guru of King Krishna Devaraya in different parts of the country when he went on a padayatra. The idol, in the form of a child, is unique in many respects. The tail has a bell, the left palm holds a Sougandhigam flower, and the right hand is in a blessing posture. The neck is adored with a navaratnamala, the legs with the neck and the head carries the name Sri Rama. The background depicts the dasavatharas. It is understood that there is a similar idol in the Sreekatu Hanumantharaya Swami Temple at Dharapuram in Karur, Tamilnadu.
Sri Rama Temple in Kondapur near Madhapur Village in Hyderabad. The temple has a Chaturbhuja Rama idol. That is, Sri Rama with four hands with conch and disc in two hands, and bow and arrow in the other two, with Sita Devi on His left lap (Vamangasthitha Janaki) and Lakshmana as He appeared to Sage Bhadra at Bhadrachalam. Hanuman is placed in an aestheically built Hampi-style chariot facing the main deity in a standing posture with hands folded. This temple is hailed as the Bhadrachalam of Hyderabad.
Anjaneya Temple in Bhimapur District in Assam
The Aanjana village in Ranchi is believed to be the place where Anjana Devi lived. It is believed that she gave birth to Anjaneya in a cave five kilometres from the village. Devotees worship idols of Bala Hanuman and Anjana Devi in that cave. A tribe by name Uraamva living in the village claim that they are the descendents of Sri Hanuman.
There is a Lakshmikara idol of Hanuman in Hanuman Nagar in Janakpur.
Anjaneya Shrine at Kalighat in Calcutta
Anjaneya Shrine at Alipore in Calcutta
Anjaneya temple in Hanuman Gali near Harrison Road in Calcutta. This temple is also called the Sidhapeetham.
Anjaneya Temple at Connaught Place in New Delhi
A modern temple has been built on Hanumantharayanagudda (Hanumanthnagar) which has imposing statues of Sri Rama and Hanuman locked in an embrace atop the shrine.
Hanuman Temple at Tekal near Kolar
Hanuman Temple at Annigeri near Hubli
Ragigudda Anjaneya Temple
Anjaneya Temple at Mahalakshmi Layout in Bangalore
Hanuman Temple at Seshadripuram, Bangalore
Anjaneya Shrine in Sri Balkrishna Temple in Udipi consecrated by Sri Madhawacharya
Anjaneya Shrine in Mookambigai Temple
Anjaneya Temple at Tulsigiri in Bijapur District. The trayodasi festival in November December is important.
Hanuman Temple at Dharwad
Panchamukha Anjaneya idol (swayambhu) at Mantralayam consecrated by Sri Raghavendra Swami
Anjaneya Temple at Palaguru on the Sholapur Hubli Railway line near the Alamatti Railway Station
In Nanjudeswara Temple at Nanjangud, the idol of Sri Hanuman on a pillar is believed to be growing over the years.
Sri Rama Temple at Triprayar in Thrissur District. The idol of Sri Rama is believed to be the one worshiped by Lord Krishna.
Sri Ramadasa Ashram, Chengottukonam, Trivandrum
Anjaneya Shrine in Thiruvilvamala on the banks of Bharathapuzha near Lakkidi Railway Station
Bhaktha Anjaneya Shrine in Thiruvangad Temple near Tellicherry
Anjaneya Shrine in Pampa on the way to the Sabarimala Tmple
Anjaneya Temple at Konathukunnu, near Irinjalakuda in Trichur District
Anjaneya Shrine at Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple nearly one kilometre from the Narasimha Swami Temple at Thuravur in Shertalai Taluk in Alleppey District. Devotees pray here for curing diseases and mental imbalances.
Hanuman Temple at Kumbharbawadi is the family deity of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.
Anjaneya Temple at Rahata, five kilometres west of Shirdi where Sri Shirdi Sai Baba appeared as Sri Hanuman to a devotee.
Anjaneya Shrine at Sri Venkateswara Balaji Temple at Walkeshwar in Bombay
Anjaneya Shrine in Mahabali Ashram in Manipur
Anjaneya has five shrines in Jagnnathpuri Temple. At the main entrance is the Makaradhwaja Hanuman Shrine. According to a legend, Kamdev entered the temple without the permission of Anjaneya and when he was stopped by Anjaneya, Kamdev engaged Him in a battle. Kamdev was defeated and had to flee from the place. The idol depicts a sword in the right hand and the left palm displays a victory sign.
The shrine to the east of the temple depicts Hanuman as Bhaktha Hanuman, the shrine to the west of the temple as Veera Hanuman, and as Jnana Hanuman in the shrine north of the temple.
Hanuman is considered the caretaker of the garden in Puri Temple. Anjaneya here is known as Suranga Hanuman. It is believed that Lord Jaganath visits the garden on akshaya trithiya day with the permission of Sri Hanuman.
Hanuman Temple in Bauda District
Gandhamadana Hills, 74 kms from Bolangir, is believed to be a part fallen from the Sanjivini Mount carried by Sri Hanuman. The Hill is abundant with herbs.
Bharath Anjaneya Mandap, Sadachar Mandir, Pilani
Hanuman Temple at Bhangarh near Alwar
Sri Vikraman Swami Puja Mandiram, Nanganallur, Madras
Yoga Anjaneya Temple at Kadikachalam, Sholinganallur. This is a rare idol of Anjaneya with four hands holding the Conch, Disc, and weapons. According to legend, Lord Vishnu deputed Anjaneya with His Conch and Disc to help King Indradyumna in his battle with the Kalakeya demons. The Sundays in Vrischika month (November-December) is of special importance here. Persons afflicted by evil spirits get cured by praying at this temple. There are over 300 steps to this temple. Facing the temple is the Yoga Narasimhar Temple situated on another hill just opposite.
Aadhivyadhihara Bhaktha Anjaneya Temple at Nanganallur, Madras. The granite idol is 32 feet tall and weighs over 90 tonnes. The base has a Panchamukha Anjaneya yantra. Aadhivyadhihara means one who destroys diseases.
Anjaneya Temple at Alwarpet, Madras
Anjaneya Temple at Royapettah, Madras
Anjaneya Temple at Triplicane, Madras
Aadyantha Maha Prabhu idol depicting half Vinayaka and half Anjaneya at the Madhya Kailas Temple in Adyar, Madras
Anjaneya Shrine at Vadapalani Temple, Madras
12 feet Anjaneya Temple at 53rd Street, Ashok Nagar, Madras
The South facing Anjaneya Shrine in Mallikeshwarar Temple, inside the Police Training College campus, Ashok Nagar, Madras
Panchamukha Anjaneya Shrine in West Mambalam, Madras
Anjaneya Shrine at Siva Vishnu Temple, T.Nagar, Madras
Anjaneya figure carved on a pillar (depicting Anjaneya sitting on a seat made of His tail) near the entrance at the Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane, Madras
Anjaneya figure carved on a pillar near the shrine of Azhagiasingar inside the Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane, Madras
Anjaneya Temple at Valsaravakkam, Madras
Anjaneya Shrine in front of the Parthasarathy Shrine, Triplicane, Madras
Anjaneya figure carved on a pillar near the entrance to the Tiruvatteswaran Temple, Triplicane, Madras
Anjaneya Temple, Mosque street and Perumal Koil street junction, Saidapet, Madras
Sri Ramanjaneyar Temple on GST Road, Tambaram Sanatorium, Madras
Anjaneya Temple, Masudi street, Mylapore, Madras
Bhaktha Anjaneya Temple at Korattur, Madras
The Satya Hanuman idol on the Chengelpet Fort wall
Anjaneya Temple at Padappa on Vandalur-Sriperumpudur Road
Anjaneya Shrine facing Kailasanathar, Kanchipuram
Sri Rama Bhaktha Veera Anjaneya Temple, Road around the Arunachala Hill, Thiruvannamalai
Anjaneya idol, in child form, near the Navagraha Shrine in Sri Arunachala Temple, Thiruvannamalai
Anjaneya Shrine at Srimushna, North West of Varahaswami Temple in South Arcot District. Here Anjaneya appears reading the Ramayana.
Anjaneya idol in Sri Rama Temple at Kumbakonam in a sitting posture on a pedestal made of His tail
Hanuman Temple at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli
Sreekatu Hanumantharaya Swami Temple at Dharapuram near Karur
Anjaneya Temple at Hanumanthapuram six miles east of Sri Narasimha Swami Temple, Chengelpet
Sri Anjaneya Sthanumalayaswami Temple at Suchindram near Kanyakumari which has an idol 16 feet tall.
Sri Sundaravaradaraja Perumal Temple at Uttaramerur, 85 kms from Madras, dedicated to Lord Vishnu has Sundaravaradaraja (also known as Soundarya Varadaraja) Perumal as the presiding deity. The shrine of Sri Veera Anjaneya is right opposite. The idols of ulsavamurthis placed in front of the presiding deity include that of Sri Hanuman. Bhrigu, according to legend, had performed his tapas in Uttaramerur. There are two Dwarapalikakals instead of Dwarapalakas found usually in temples which symbolise the Ganges River and the Yamuna River. Just as the Prayag in Allahabad in the north, Uttaramerur is called Dakshina Prayag.
The Anjaneya idol carrying Sanjivini Mount at the entrance of the Kanyakumari Temple
The Anjaneya Temple at the foot of the Marutuamala Mount on Trivandrum Kanyakumari Road. It is believed that this mount was formed when a portion of Rishabadri carried by Anjaneya fell down. The holy fire lighted here on the Karthika day in Vrischika month (November-December) is very famous.
Anjaneya Temple, Kallukuzhi, Trichy
Veera Anjaneya Temple on Putlur Road, Kakkalur
The 18 feet Anjaneya Temple at Namakkal, Salem
Anjaneya Shrine in Balaji Temple located 7 kms from Valparai - 64 kms from Pollachi.
Anjaneya Shrine in the Ramanathar Temple at Rameswaram. The idol, eight feet below the sea and eight feet above the sea, is believed to be a swayambhu (uncreated or self-formed). The temple is one of the twelve sacred Jyotir Linga sites located throughout the sub-continent of India, where Lord Siva is said to have manifested as a towering column of fire. Unlike the other eleven Jyotir Linga sites, Rameshvaram has two sacred Lingas instead of just one. Following a terrific battle on the island of Lanka in which Sri Rama killed Ravana, Sita Devi and Sri Rama returned to India. At the site where they landed, Sri Rama decided to install a Siva Ling to absolve him of the sin of destroying Ravana who was a Brahmin by birth. Lord Rama sent Hanuman to Mount Kailash to get a lingam from Lord Siva. Hanuman's journey took longer than expected however, and as the auspicious time of worship neared, Sita Devi quickly fashioned a lingam out of sand. When Hanuman arrived with a lingam from Kailash He was disappointed to find another lingam already installed. To please Hanuman, Sri Rama installed the stone lingam beside the sand one and ordered that all worship should henceforth be given first to the Visvalingam brought by Hanuman, and only then to the Ramalinga made by Sita Devi.
The temple, near the seashore, has 100-feet towers, and is renowned for its magnificent corridors with massive stone pillars. It is understood that more than ten thousand pilgrims visit the temple daily, making it one of the most visited sacred sites in Asia.
Jaya Veera Anjaneya Temple at Sethukkarai, Ramnad District
Anjaneya Shrine in Sankara Math near the sea shore at Rameswaram
Saakshi Hanuman Temple at Ram Jharokha, on the way to Ramarpadam at Rameswaram is open 24 hours where soondal (cooked black gram) is given as prasad (food sanctified by offering to the deity) 24 hours. According to legend, it was here that Lord Hanuman informed Sri Rama that He met Sita Devi at Lanka. Hence the name of the temple. Saakshi means witness.
Adi Jagannatha Temple at Tiruppullani near Ramanathapuram in Ramnad District forms a part of the Sethusthalam associated with the Ramayana and it enshrines Sri Rama in a reclining pose on a bed of darba grass. Its praise has been sung by Saint Tirumangai Alwar. Adjacent to the idol of Sri Rama is a beautiful idol of Anjaneya.
Thallakulam Anjaneyar Shrine in the Prasanna Venkateswara Temple in Ramanad District
Near Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, there is an oblong stone which is believed to be and worshiped as Sri Hanumans tail. It is believed that it was here that He kept His tail on the path of Bheema.
Three faced idol of four feet high at Anantamangalam in Tanjore
Panchamukha Hanuman in Chakrapani Temple in Tanjore
Anjaneya Temple at Santhaveli near Valangaiman, about 20 kms from Kumbakonam in Tanjore District
The eight feet idol of Sri Hanuman at Dharapuram, with His tail facing up
Hanuman Ghat Anjaneya Temple at Ayodhya on the banks of the Sarayu River. There are two mounts named after Sugriva and Angada south of the temple.
Jnana Hanuman Temple at Hanuman Baug
The swayambhu (uncreated or self-formed) Anjaneya idol in the temple near Triveni Sangam at Prayag.
Sri Hanuman Guffa at Tulsi Mandir, Tulsi Ghat
Sankatamochana Hanuman Temple near the South Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya in Varanasi. Chitra Pournami is observed as a significant day here.
Hanuman Temple near the Sri Vinayaka Temple in Badrinath
Bala Hanuman Temple, known as Hanuman Pathak, on a mount North West in Varanasi. The temple is believed to be consecrated by Sant Tulsidas.
Five kilometres from Koditheertham is Hanumandhara (also called Patala Ganga Theertham) at Chitrakutam in the midst of mountain ranges. Water flows down the mountain, fills two ponds and falls over an idol of Sri Anjaneya, hence the name Hanumandhara. According to a legend Sri Rama asked Anjaneya to cool his tail in Chitrakutam which was still hot after He burnt down Lanka.
Anjaneya Mela at Aligarh in Lucknow. Lucknow was originally called Lakshman Puri. Hindus and Muslims participate in the Mela. According to a local legend, the temple was built by Muhammed Ali who ruled Lucknow as a mark of gratitude for being blessed with a child. The ruler who did not have a child was advised by his spiritual mendicant, Sri Baba Swami, to pray to Anjaneya.
Anjaneya Temple at Sri Simhapuram at Vrindavan. It is said that when Aurangazeb ordered demolition of the temple, Govindadevaji, the person in charge of the temple, prayed to Anjaneya and scores of monkeys appeared on the walls of the temple. The soldiers ran away scared and Aurangazeb not only withdrew the order but also gave assistance for the development of the temple.
Ayodhya Allahabad Chitrakoot Bithur is called the Ram Van Vaas route.
According to Swamiji, it is the same supreme power that is worshiped in different names and forms. Temples, churches and mosques are but places set up by people for congregational worship. Be it a church or a mosque or a temple the objective is to pray to the same supreme power. Some of the reputed churches, mosques, and other places of worship in India are mentioned below.
Some Reputed Churches in India
Medak Church, Medak
The Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chhota Nagpur
Se Cathedral, Old Goa
Basilica of Born Jesus, housing the mortal remains of St.Francis Xavier
Church & Convent of Santa Monica, Old Goa
Reis Magos Church at Verem, Betim
St.Jeronas Church of Mapusa Church of Our Lady of Miracles
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panaji
El-Bethel Tabernacle, Bangalore
Gospel Prayer Hall, Bangalore
The First Assembly of God Church, Bangalore
Banaswadi Bible Church, Bangalore
St.Marys Cathedral, Bangalore
St.Marks Cathedral, Bangalore
St.Johns Church, Bangalore
St.Patricks Church, Bangalore
Ebenezer Marthoma Church, Bangalore.
The Marthoma Church, Bangalore
St.Aloysious College Chapel, Mangalore
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Shimoga
St.Josephs Cathedral, Chikmagalur
All Saints Church, Dharwad
Niranam Church, Tiruvalla (associated with apostle St.Thomas)
St.Marys Church, Kottayam
Bharananganam Church housing the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa
St.Francis Church, Cochin The oldest European Church in India
Santa Cruz Cathedral, Cochin
Malayattur Church, Malayattur
Koratti Church, Koratti
Marthoma Church, Pune
St. Thomas Marthoma Syrian Church, Santacruz, Mumbai
Marthoma Church, Nagpur, India.
New Jerusalem Church, Mumbai
Don Bosco Church, Matunga, Mumbai
The Agnes Ashram, Bandra, Mumbai
St.Michaels Church (Our Lady of Perpetual Help), Mahim, Mumbai
Karol Bagh Marthoma Church, New Delhi.
St. Peter's Marthoma Church, Delhi
Jerusalem Marthoma Church, New Delhi
San Thome Cathedral Basilica, St.Thomas Mount, Madras
Our Lady of Health Church, Little Mount, Madras
St.Georges Cathedral, Cathedral Road, Madras
St.Marys Cathedral, Armenian Street, Madras
St.Marys Church, Fort St.George, the oldest Anglican Church in the East
St.Andrews Church, Egmore, Madras
Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar, Madras
Velankanni Shrine, 90 kms from Tanjore
Schwartz Church, Tanjore
The Church of Zion, Chidambaram
Kandal Cross Shrine at Ooty, also known as the Calvery of Tamilnadu Annual festival on 3rd May
Church of England, Landour, Mussoorie
St.Pauls Cathedral, Calcutta
St.Johns Church, Calcutta
St.Andrews Church, Calcutta
St.Thomas Church, Calcutta
Mosques and Dargahs
Jama Masjid, Adoni, Kurnool District
The Safa Mosque, Belgaum
Jama Masjid, Bijapur
Jama Masjid, Gulbarga
Ek-Minarki Masjid, Raichur
Madayi Mosque, Kannur
Jama-at Mosque, Malappuram
Jama Masjid, Sanguem
Namazgarh facing Bicholim town
Dargah of Syed Malani, Mangalore
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, Gulbarga
Dargah of Peer Shan Shamsuddin Kharobat, a Baghdadi Saint
Jumma Masjid, Mangalore
Jumma Masjid, Bijapur
Jumma Masjid, Gulbarga
Haji Ali Dargha, near Mahalaxmi Temple, Mumbai
Jama Masjid, built by Shajahan in 1658, is the largest mosque in India.
Nizam-Ud-Din Shrine, a tomb of Sufi saint Nizam-Ud-Din Auliya
Quadam-i-Rasool, Cuttack, with three mosques is a pilgrim centre for Hindus and Muslims.
Dargah Sharif at Ajmer, the shrine of the Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, better known as Gharib-Nawaz. In 1256 AD at the age of 114, the saint entered his cell to pray in seclusion for six days, at the end of which he passed away. The Urs fair is held to commemorate these six days. Pilgrims of all faiths come from the world over to attend the Urs, since the shrine is considered a place of wish-fulfillment for those who pray with a pure heart.
Nagore Dargah, 88 kms from Tanjore, the tomb of Hazarat Meeras Sultan Syed Shahabdul Hameed, also known as Hazarat Mian. Annual festival in August/September.
Hamid Aulia Dargah, Kanchipuram
Hazarathsa Burhana Aulia Dargah, Kanchipuram
Tombs of Sufi saints Syed Ali Fathima and Hazarat Shaik Mohamed at Athankarai Pallivasal, 30 kms from Valliyur on Tiruchendur- Kanyakumari Coast Road in Tirunelveli District.
Dargha of Hazarat Syed Moosa Sha Khaderi, Mount Road, Madras
The Big Mosque, Wallajah, Triplicane, Madras
Thousand Lights Mosque, Mount Road, Madras
Periamet Mosque, Sydenhams Road, Madras
Mothi Baba Dargha, Egmore, Madras
Nakhoda Mosque, Calcutta
Jama Masjid, Lucknow
Jama Masjid, Kulri Bazar, Mussoorie
Jama Masjid, Landour Bazar, Mussoorie
Masjid Nalapani, Dhobighat, Mussoorie
Dargah of Hazarat Chisti, Agra
Some Important Places of Worships of Other Faiths
Jewish Synagogue, Cochin
Bahai Temple, Delhi
Udwada, near Dahanu, housing the sacred fire of Parsis
There are hundreds of temples, mosques, churches, synagogues, and other centres of worship dotted across the length and breadth of the country. Only few of these important centres are mentioned here for obvious reasons. However, it is not to be construed that those not mentioned here are less important than those that are mentioned. Any information from readers in this regard would be welcomed.
Famous Anjaneya Devotees
Sri Vyasaraya Tirtha, Sant Tulsidas, Sri Raghavendra Swami, Bhadrachala Ramadas, Samartha Ramadas, Chatrapathi Sivaji, Saint Tyagaraja, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans, Swami Vivekanand, and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba were great devotees of Sri Anjaneya. Sri Madhwacharya is considered the third incarnation of Vayu.
Sri Vyasaraya Tirtha (1447 - 1539)
Dvaita, the philosophy propounded by Sri Madhwacharya, has been graced by several divine personalities. Vyasaraya was a prominent figure in what is considered as the golden-age of Karnataka. He was born at Bannur on the banks of the Kaveri River in Karnataka in 1447. The baby grew up under the care of Bramhanya Tirtha and later, he was sent to Sripadaraya Swami, a great saint, for further training in philosophy. He is regarded as the incarnation of Prahlada. Devotees also believe that he re-incarnated as Sri Raghavendra Swamy.
He was the Royal Pontiff to the emperors of Vijaynagar; Sri Krishnadevaraya, the great emperor of Vijayanagar was his staunch devotee. Once, Vyasaraya foresaw that the emperor would come under the bad influence of planets known as Kuha Yoga. The king sought guidance from his spiritual mentor, who advised him to give away the kingdom to him during the specific period. To protect his devotee, and the empire, he himself ascended the throne during those evil moments. The king obeyed and the saint occupied the throne. The upper garment of Sri Vyasaraya caught fire and he threw it away. The ill effect of the planets was thus warded off and the king was saved from the clutches of death. Hence in recognition of this gesture, even today a court is being held daily in the evenings in the Math established by the saint. Later, he handed the empire back to the emperor.
He cast off his mortal body in 1539, at the ripe old age of 92 years. His resting place is Nava-Vrindavana, located on an island in the Tungabhadra River, near Anegondi, very close to Hampi.
He wrote Pranava Nodirai, Mukya Prana Padirai, and Sadguna Charita on Sri Hanuman. He has also given 732 instances (prana prathikas) like Varijavadana samiraja kapi nrupa dvijana bhavi ajana explaining the three manifestations of Sri Madhwacharya. He went on a padayatra (pilgrimage on foot) and installed 732 idols of Sri Anjaneya in different parts of the country. The Anjaneya Temple at Nallattur in Tiruttani Taluk in Andhra Pradesh is one such temple. He blessed Sri Purandara Dasa and Sri Kanaka Dasa and made Dvaita philosophy to spread all over through Kannada language.
Saint Tulsidas (1532 1623)
Tulsidas was born in 1532 to a Brahmin family in the town of Rajapur. His father Atmaram was an official in the ministry of Akbar, the mughal ruler. He suffered separation from his parents at a very young age and was not taken care of by relatives. He met some saints who advised him to surrender to Lord Rama. He got associated with a Hanuman temple and ate whatever was given to him. He got married to a woman named Ratnavali. Once his wife went to stay with her parents for a while. Tulsi, unable to bear the separation, hurried to meet her. Ratnavali admonished him that he should have loved Sri Rama with the same fervour instead of being lured by flesh. Tulsi contemplated on this remark and left all connections with the family life.
While seeking alms, he came to the house where his wife and father-in-law lived, but he could not recognize them. Recognising him, his wife food. When she insisted that he partake spices like pepper, salt etc, he replied that he had spices in his possession. Early next morning, when Tulsidas was preparing to leave the house, his wife requested him to take her with him. But he said that he had renounced family life. Ratnavali remarked in anguish that he was a strange renunciate who carried spices with him but not his own wife. He recognized the folly of being attached to food, and threw away all possessions and migrated to Kashi.
Scholars opine that the Ramacharitamanas would never have been written but for Ratnavali's remarks. Atlast he had the vision of Sri Hanuman and Sri Rama along with Sita Devi, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Satrughna. Sri Rama advised Tulsidas to narrate His story with the help of Sri Anjaneya. He wrote the famous Ramacharitamanas, also known as the Tulsi Ramayan, and Hanuman Chalisa.
Nabhaji, the author of Bhaktamala, writes that Tulsidas was an incarnation of Sage Valmiki born again to explain the Ramayana in the vernacular language. The Ramacharitamanas and the Ramayana are both biographies of Lord Rama and naturally, there should not be major differences between the two. Tulsi is an independent poet who created a world using metaphors and similies which though overall consistent with Valmiki's rendition differs considerably in many places.
Sri Raghavendra Swami (1595 1671)
He belongs to the Dvaita tradition established by Sri Madhwacharya. He was the head of the Math during 1623-1671 and was a prolific writer on the scriptures and works of the Dvaita school. He is believed to be the reincarnation of Sankukarna who offered flowers for Brahma's worship of Lord Narayana in His divine abode. The Lord willed that the glory of this faithful devotee be known to the world. In the Krita Yuga he was born as Prahlada, in Treta Yuga as Vibhishana and in the Dwapara as king Bagaliga. In Kali Yuga, he was born as Vyasaraya first and then as Raghavendra. Named as Venkatanatha by his parents, he joined the service of the Math when Sudindra Theertha was the pontiff. He became known as Raghavendra Swami and entered Jiva samadhi on the banks of the Tungabhadra River at Mantralayam in 1671. The Panchamukha Anjaneya idol at Mantralayam was consecrated by him.
Bhadrachala Ramadas (1620 1688)
It is said that Lord Rama once appeared in the dream of a woman called Pokala Sammakka and informed her about the existence of idols on Bhadragiri. To her astonishment, the idols were found on the hill and she got a modest structure built at the place. The temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is situated on the left bank of the Godavari River at Bhadrachalam in Khammam District. The uniqueness of the temple is that the deity here is a combination of two incarnations - Sri Rama with kodandam (bow) and Vishnu with his shanku (conch shell) and chakra (discus, a symbol of destruction of evil).
Later, Gopanna, a Tahsildar in the court of Abdul Hassan Tana Shah, spent the tax revenues lavishly to renovate the temple to its present form. He was a fervent devotee of Lord Rama. In order to embellish the temple, Gopanna used the money from the royal treasury. As a punishment, he was arrested and confined to a dark cell in the Golconda Fort. Even in solitude, Gopanna's devotion to Lord Rama was undeterred. It is believed that his prayers were soon answered when Lord Rama appeared in Tana Shah's dream and repaid the money taken from the royal treasury. The king was awestruck and released Gopanna from prison and also restored his position as Tahsildar. Tana Shah also announced annual grants to the temple. Some of the jewels which Gopanna adorned the deities with can be seen at the temple. He became famous by the name Bhaktha Ramadas and Bhadrachala Ramadas.
Saint Tyagaraja adopted Sri Ramadas as his role model and admired the latter for his devotion to Sri Rama and efforts to propagate Rama Nama Siddhaantha. Saint Tyagaraja referred to himself as the servant of Ramadas.
Samartha Ramadas (1608 1681)
Saints played a prominent role in Maharashtra and they had a large following. Prominent among the followers are the Varkari sect, who worship Vishnu in the form of Vittal, the Dattatreya, who worship a combination of Vishnu and Siva, and the Samarth, founded by Ramadas (a devotee of Sri Rama). Ramadas gave special importance to Sri Hanuman. A religious teacher of Chatrapathi Sivaji, he encouraged gymnastics and the martial arts among his devotees and wrote many religious treatises.
Chatrapathi Sivaji (1627 1680)
Chatrapathi Sivaji, the great Maratha warrior, who fought the Mughals, Turks of Bijapur, the Portuguese, the English, the Dutch, and the French was an ardent devotee of Sri Hanuman. His teacher was Samartha Ramadas another ardent devotee of Sri Hanuman. Sivaji is characterised as adventurous, intrepid, polite, magnanimous, intelligent, ambitious, disciplined, an expert strategist, a good organiser, and far sighted.
Saint Tyagaraja (1767 1847)
Saint Tyagaraja was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama. It is believed that he recited the Thaaraka Naamam of Sri Rama ninety six crore times and had the fortune of darshan of Sri Rama with Sita Devi, Lakshmana, and Sri Anjaneya in front of his house on the Thirumanjana Street in Thiruvaiyaru.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans (1836 1886)
Born in a rural village outside Calcutta, Sri Ramakrishna was attracted to spiritual life even as a boy. When he became a temple priest, he was seized by an unquenchable thirst for God realisation, and he immersed himself in intense meditation and spiritual practices. He was constantly absorbed in the thought of God. He would often go into high spiritual states and would merge with the Infinite Reality. For him, the vedantic teaching of unity of all existence was more than theory; he literally saw, and knew, this to be true. His life was a testament to truth, universality, love, and purity.
In his thirst for the divine, Sri Ramakrishna followed different religious paths including Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, and experienced the same divine Reality. He concluded, based on his direct experience that all religions lead to the same goal. His exposure to Sikhism and Buddhism further confirmed his experience of the universality of spiritual truth. He often said that human beings were the highest manifestations of God. His disciples saw this love firsthand, and the monastic order inspired by him achieved the distinction of being the first order in India to serve humanity.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans has stated that at the peak of his devotion he identified so closely with Sri Anjaneya that his vertebra almost started growing as if to form a tail.
Swami Vivekanand (1863 1902)
Swami Vivekanand was the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and a world spokesperson for Vedanta. His lectures, writings, letters, and poems are published as The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanand. He represented Hinduism at the first World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, and subsequently he was invited to speak all over America and Europe. He was a man with a great spiritual presence and great intellect. After his first visit to the West, Swami Vivekanand returned to India and founded the Ramakrishna Order in 1898.
Swami Vivekanand used to inspire his disciples and audience with the story of Sri Anjaneya. Anjaneya was his childhood idol and hero. Once he happen to attend a discourse on the Ramayana during the course of which the narrator said that Anjaneya was fond of plantain and that He frequents places where plantain abounds. He returned home and visited a plantain grove nearby and waited there hoping that Anjaneya would visit the grove! He advised his disciple Saratchandra Chakraborty to follow the ideals of Sri Anjaneya in life.
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba (1838 - 1918)
Akkalkot Swami, considered as an incarnation of Dattatreya, reincarnated as Sri Shirdi Baba in Pathri, 16 kms from Manmad Railway Station in Maharashtra. According to a biography, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba was born in the Bhusari family whose family deity was Sri Hanuman of Kumbharbawadi, on the outskirts of Pathri. It is recorded that Baba had great admiration and respect for Sri Rama and Sri Hanuman. There is atleast one recorded instance of Sri Shirdi Baba appearing as Sri Hanuman to a devotee.
Sri Madhwacharya (1238 - 1317)
Among the philosophers of the Vedantic tradition, Madhwacharya propounded the Dvaita system of philosophy. He took to a life of recluse at a very young age and established eight Maths in Udipi. The icon of Sri Krishna in Udipi installed by him is believed to be the one worshipped in Dwaraka. Madhwacharya was born in 1238. It is believed that Sri Hanuman, Bheema and Madhwa are the three manifestations of the Wind God, Vayu. As Anjaneya, He was present on the flag of Arjuna in the Kurukshetra battlefield and listened to the Lord's sermon, the Bhagavad Gita. According to him, Lord Hari is the Supreme Reality; the universe is absolutely real; the groups of souls are His servants; moksha is liberation from rebirths and the enjoyment of inherent bliss; pure devotion is the means to secure salvation and the Lord can be known only through scriptures.
Three Forms of Mukhya Prana
According to the Balitthaa Sukta, Vishnu is the inner controller of Mukhya Prana, the guardian of the life principle. Vayu or Mukhya Prana sustains the universe not only by being the guardian deity of the life principle, but by supporting its existence even in the physical plane as Vayu Kurma. The three forms of Vayu which have the auspicious qualities of kreeda (sporting) are well described in the Vedic texts as being of the essence of strength (bala) and full of pious knowledge (jnana). They protect the world, impart divine knowledge, and are sacred. The first form, as Sri Hanuman, carried the words of Sri Rama to Sita Devi. He also taught the precious and auspicious knowledge from the Moola Ramayana to the disciples. The second form, as Bheema, was the main destroyer of evil forces of the Kauravas and others. The third form, as Madhwa, composed the treatise on Brihadaaranyaka.
Sri Vikraman Swami
The period of Chandragupta Maurya is considered the golden period in Indian history. Subsequently, the country witnessed a chain of aggressions from the Mughals, the Portuguese, the French, and the British. Chaos, lawlessness, superstitions, social evils, obnoxious cults, famines, wars, and such calamities marked this period.
However, it is also true that great saviours appeared almost at regular intervals to guide and offer solace to the millions. Sri Adi Sankara Acharya revived Hinduism from obnoxious cults and superstitions in the 6th century. Saint Basaweshwara preached equality, liberty and fraternity as far back in the 12th century. The 13th and 14th centuries witnessed the brilliance of Sri Madhwacharya, Sant Jnaneswar, and Namdev. Sant Tulsidas, Janardan Swami, his disciple Eknath, Sri Vyasaraya, and Purandara Dasa arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Tukaram, Samartha Ramadas, Sri Raghavendra Swami, and Bhadrachala Ramadas sanctified the 17th century. Saint Tyagaraja, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans, and Swami Vivekanand dominated the 18th and 19th centuries. Sri Aurobindo and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba energised the 20th century. Meanwhile Sufi saints arrived on the scene all over the country preaching compassion and universal brotherhood.
Kerala is one of the federal States of the Indian Union in the South West corner of the country. Legend has it that Lord Parasurama, the eighth avatar of Sri Vishnu created it, by throwing his axe from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari. Anthropologists opine that the basic culture of Kerala is Dravidian and Aryan culture spread over by the fifth century. Budhism and Jainism also had roots in the State, but these faiths declined with the revival of Hinduism by Adi Sankara. The Romans, Chinese, Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese and British have left their imprint on the socio-economic and cultural fabric of the State. The State has an interesting confluence of diverse religions, castes and cultural streams.
The State was blessed with the birth of spiritual masters like Adi Sankara Acharya, Swami Ramdas of Kanjangad, Thunchath Ezhuthachan who wrote the Adhyatma Ramayanam, Sree Narayana Guru (born at Chembazhanthi and attained samadhi at Sivagiri), Chattambi Swami (born at Kannammoola and attained samadhi at Panmana), Sister Alphonsa (Bharananganam), Sri Neelakanta Gurupadar of Chenkottukonam in Thiruvananthapuram, his disciple Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Sri Ramadasa Ashram), and Matha Amrithananda Mayi (born at Vallikkavu in Kollam District). Sri Vikraman Swami was born in Thazhava in Kollam District.
Kollam, the erstwhile Quilon, was a seaport town as far back in the 9th century and traders from all over the world had contacts with this flourishing mercantile hub since ancient times. The city finds mention in the travelogues of visitors particularly that of Marco Polo. Today, Kollam, situated 71 kms from Thiruvananthapuram (the erstwhile Trivandrum), is the centre of cashew processing and trading and an important fishing and processing centre. The District gifted with lakes, seas, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters and forests is a veritable miniature of the State. It has many famous temples such as the Sastha Temples at Ariankavu and Sasthankotta, and the Parabrahma Temple at Ochira. The famous Sabarimala Shrine is located in the nearby Pathanamthitta District.
Sri Vikraman Swami was born when the country was on the threshold of independence. It was also a period of great political change with the formation of the State of Travancore - Cochin in 1949 and finally the State of Kerala in 1956. The eve of His birth was marked by patriotic fervour, social inequalities, untouchability, economic backwardness, superstitions, and illiteracy. The history of Sri Rama, Lord Krishna, Sri Budha, Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Adi Sankara, Sri Madhwacharya, Sant Tulsidas, Sri Raghavendra Swami, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekanand, and others reveals that it is not by accident that great souls appear during such critical periods.
He was born of Smt. Thankamma and Shri. Narayanan. The family consisted of three sons and three daughters. He is the eldest among the six children. He had his school education in Kollam.
His parents were told by astrologers that their son would be a divine child. True to their prediction, the child was born on 20th March 1950 when the Sun was in Mesha Rasi (Aries) and the Moon was in the Moola constellation (in Sagittarius). There are two notable facts. The Moola constellation is also the birth constellation of Sri Hanuman. The word moola in Sanskrit means the origin, the root, the reference, the reason or the cause. This constellation is regarded as the centre of the cosmos. In the tantra concept of the physical body, roughly the same location of Moola at 240 degrees is treated as the source of Kundalini and is known as Mooladhara. Moola belongs to the remote antiquity of the Rigveda. When the child was named Vikraman His parents were not aware of the divine powers of the child. By divine ordinance as it may seem, Vikraman is one of the many names of Sri Hanuman which means a person of great valour. Thus the birth signifies a divine nature.
The Formative Years
When He was in the eleventh standard, a classmate by name Peethambaran asked Him to read his palm while the class was on. The class was on physics by a teacher by name Sukumaran. "Initially I did not oblige him on the pretext that I did no know palmistry. But when he persisted, I told him that he would take up a military job in future."
The teacher got disturbed and asked, "Stand up! what are you doing?"
"Sir, he wanted me to read his palm." He replied.
"What! do you know palmistry?"
"No sir." The teacher, being a friendly person, did not trouble them however.
To quote Him, "Years passed. One morning my sister came and announced the arrival of some visitors for me. When I came out I found it was my classmate Peethambaran with few others. As predicted by me in the class room, he had joined the military and was on leave. He had bloated beyond recognition. After exchange of few pleasantries, he invited me to a tea shop nearby. We all went there and had tea and snacks. Hardly had I washed my hands they started showing their palms. I was a little bewildered because it was not expected. Then my friend said, "Whatever you had predicted that day has happened exactly. Now tell us more about our future." I told them that I did not know palmistry and whatever had happened could be mere coincidence."
"That does not matter. You just say something, that is enough." The friend persisted. That day He had no other option but to make more predictions for them. With the passage of time it so happened that whatever He had told them had materialised. "Word got spread that I was an excellent palmist where as in reality I did not know even the basics of palmistry! As a matter of fact I got scared about myself because it was true that my predictions were coming true."
He took to reading Cheiros book on palmistry to give an impression that the predictions were based on palmistry. Little did they know that there was a different astrology not based on the dynamics of the planets and constellation, but based on the eternal truth that every creature is part of the Creator. The ordinary mortals see the physical form and mystics with profound vision see the entire world as a harmonious cosmic web. The world is built on truth. The Hindu scriptures declare that persons who are truthful in life develop the power of materialisation of his words. What commands they utter from their heart come to pass: Yoga Sutras 2:36. It is not just a case of anticipation, wishing, imagination or visualisation; but it is the power of sankalpa based on karmasudhi and chittasudhi which leads to such miraculous materialisation.
Subsequently He came to Madras. He had earlier made a visit to Madras and returned after a short stint. He stayed at Tambaram, from where He moved to Kellys, Royapuram, Triplicane, Saidapet, Anna Nagar, and finally to Nanaganallur. He had a few friends by name Jayaraj, Unni (Nathan), Valsan, Babu, Pradeep, and Sudhakar. Once His friend Unni introduced Him to a Muslim gentleman Mr. Samad who asked for predictions. He predicted that he would have a love marriage. He was later introduced to another Muslim family. The head of the family insisted that He should make some prediction for his daughter. He predicted that she would have a love marriage. Hearing this, the Muslim gentleman became very angry. He, however, pacified him that He had made a casual prediction for the heck of it and that he should not take it very serious. Later He happened to meet both the families frequently and an intuition dawned on Him that the Muslim gentleman and the Muslim girl would get married. One day He told the girl that she would get married to the Muslim boy. She was taken by surprise and said, "How do you know it? I had told him not to reveal this to anyone!"
It was a tough time for Him for three reasons. First of all, He had to pretend that the predictions were based on palmistry. Secondly, He found it difficult to engage in active employment because people would crowd around Him for predictions. As a result, He could not carry out His work properly. Thirdly, He did not charge any money and it was financially difficult for Him. Thus, it was like a man carrying a fortune on his head not knowing what it was while others were trying to take whatever they could! To quote Him, "I was afraid of myself because I did not know who I was."
He got a job as manager in an ice factory. Someone mentioned to Him about a lady by name Kalpana in West Mambalam who was an Anjaneya Upasaka. She would look at the flame of a lamp and make predictions for devotees. She would identify people by their name, birth star or such signs. She used to call Him ice factory or Moolam star. One day she told Him in Tamil, "Unnae naan orunaal ukkaara veppaen." (I will make you sit one day). That day He did not understand what she had meant by that.
He had a quota of bitter experiences too. He used to visit his friend Shri. Sundaram who was doing business in Ashok Nagar. There he met a person for whom He made some predictions. One day the man came and took Him to his office, a well furnished room with air conditioner and all that. He made Him sit on the chair and said, "Henceforth do not worry about anything. We will charge a small fee for every palmistry consultation and I will give you a share of the collections!" Literally He ran away from the scene.
Meanwhile the number of people visiting Him started swelling and it was difficult for Him to devote every day for such purposes. Wherever He went people would not let Him free. Under the circumstances, as an alternative arrangement, He fixed Sunday for meeting people for consultations. Those days it was free for all. As a result, people would crowd around Him for hours out of idle curiosity and people from distant places found it difficult to meet Him. Some devotees, one Shri. Deenadayalan in particular, suggested issuing tokens to the devotees. Initially, He did not respond to the idea. One day they placed a bunch of tokens in the puja room requesting Him to introduce the token system. He was in a dilemma when all of a sudden a tulsi garland fell from an Anjaneya picture. Taking it as a sign of consent from Lord Anjaneya He agreed to the token system. Later He introduced the system of having a separate queue for namaskaram (prostration in obeisance) so that people could meet Him without having to wait for long.
"Whatever I undertook was not planned by me. It was all divinely ordained. Even the pictures you see in the Puja Mandiram were not purchased by me. Many of the pictures and the Anjaneya idol were brought to me by devotees who were instructed in dreams." He narrated certain incidents in this context.
Once a lady by name Lakshmi residing at Velachery planned to build a temple for Lord Vinayaka. The idol of Vinayaka was also ready. One day she had a dream instructing her to buy an Anjaneya idol. She neglected the dream because she had wanted to build a temple for Vinayaka and not for Anjaneya. The dream repeated but she did not take it serious. Once more the dream repeated. This time she got bewildered, went to Mahabalipuram, and bought an idol depicting Anjaneya with the Sanjivini Mount on His left palm. She just kept it at her house.
Meanwhile one of His devotees who is related to the lady at Velachery happened to visit her. When she saw the Anjaneya idol she asked why she was keeping the idol. Then she narrated the dreams she had which led her to buy the idol. It so happened that she too had a dream asking her to get an idol of Lord Anjaneya and give it to the puja room. Then and there they placed the idol in a car and rushed to Nanganallur. Both of them stood in the queue waiting to seek His consent. Meanwhile He called her by name. She came inside the puja room and narrated the sequence of events and asked for His permission to bring in the idol. He agreed to it. They carried the idol inside the room kept it before Him and the lady swooned. This is the history of the idol kept in the Puja Mandiram.
On another occasion, He asked a devotee whether he had a decorated Picture at his house depicting Anjaneya in a blessing posture. He was astonished because it was true. Later he had a dream asking him to hand over the picture to the puja room. That was the first picture of Lord Anjaneya that came to the puja room. The picture had nice decorations that when it was brought in His wife Indira remarked, "See, Anjaneya will bring back the ornament Archana (their daughter) had lost while playing."
A few devotees working in Abu Dhabi requested Him to visit them. They wrote four letters to which He did not respond. When the fifth letter came He replied in the affirmative and they sent Him the visa promptly. But He did not know what to do and how to do. To quote Him, "Even today I do not prepare my speeches. It is all Gods grace and His will. I am only an instrument in His hands. Whatever He wants to convey He speaks through me."
At the terminal He found to His astonishment that He had lost the flight ticket. He immediately rushed to the waiting lounge to find a man reading out His name from a flight ticket. He visited Abu Dhabi for the first time and there were around hundred devotees. On subsequent visits abroad, the number of devotees increased to 200, 400, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and so on. Thus His overseas puja also began not on His own volition but by Gods grace and will.
"When I hear the experiences of devotees I could realise that a divine power was operating through me. Experience is my guru. The story of Vikraman Swami is the experience of his devotees."
Swamiji is settled in Madras, now called Chennai, for the last two decades. Madras is a modern metropolis which retains its old-world charm. Relatively uninfluenced by foreign invaders, much of ancient India survives in its purest form in this glorified village. Swami conducts puja at a Prayer Hall popular as the Sri Vikraman Swami Puja Mandiram situated in Nanganallur, in Madras in the State of Tamilnadu in South India. It is not an ashram in the conventional sense because there are no sanyasis, priests, or disciples. People come and pray at the Puja Mandiram cutting across all caste, religious, linguistic, ethnic, professional, and social barriers.
A Man of Miracles
In common parlance, a miracle is an event that defies scientific explanation to the empiric scientists and rationalists. However, to the mystic who is attuned to the Cosmic Mind or Super Consciousness there is no such thing as a miracle. In yet another sense, everything including life is a miracle. History of Jesus Christ, Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, and Budha are replete with phenomenal miracles. Jesus Christ fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, walked on water, healed the blind and lame, cured the lame, brought the dead back to life, and resurrected after his crucifixion. All other mystics performed similar miracles but selectively. The saga of such miracles continues through the life of mystics like Sri Sai Baba, Sri Vikraman Swamiji, and many others.
As per Newtons Law of Motion, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is, action and reaction are exactly equal. In other words, there is always a pair of forces equal and opposite. Thus, electrons and protons are electrical opposites, the earth has negative and positive magnetic poles, night is followed by day, seasons keep changing from spring to winter, and the world and individual lives appear to be operating on this principle of duality or polarity. Scriptures call it maya or illusion. Mystics who have surmounted this polarity or illusion and able to perceive the Cosmic Operator are not bound by the law of polarity. He plays with the dimensions of time and space like a child playing with its Barbie doll.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant says in his Critique of Pure Reason, "Time is nothing but the form of our internal intuition. Take away the peculiar condition of our sensibility, and the idea of time vanishes, because it is not inherent in the objects, but in the subject only that perceives them." Stephen W. Hawking, the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein, asks in his A Brief History of Time, "Where does this difference between the past and the future come from? Why do we remember the past but not the future?" The consciousness of a mystic is identified not with the rigidities of his body but with the cosmic structure and he is not bound by the confines of time and space. Time has no absolute existence. It is only a form of knowledge of our nature, as related to the experience of nature outside. It is regarded as an appearance as an effect of ignorance or illusion or maya. It has merely an empirical reality, but is obliterated or negated in the ultimate reality. Therefore, in the domain of the mystic, there are no space time barriers.
Scriptures, Hindu and Christian, refer to Divine Light, Divine Flame, Kindly Light, and so on. It is said that the essence of creation is light and a mystic who has the knowledge of the theory of light can perform miracles. Gods first command was "Let there be light. And there was light." Genesis 1:3. Devotees who had visions of God explain them as flames and light. "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Mathew 6:22. "I am the light of the world. Whoever folows me will have the light of life and will never walk in the darkness." John 8:12. The importance of the tradition of lighting the lamp in prayer rooms and temples is significant in this context. Hindu scriptures describe God as Jyothi Swaroopa.
A true mystic is a medium of the Supreme Universal Spirit who is omnipotent. He is not a slave of the time and space concepts, rather he is a master of them. Thus, he becomes a trikala jnani and he can appear in more than one place. The feat of appearing in more than one place, the phenomenon of bilocation, is a mystic power mentioned in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Thus, in the absolute sense, there is nothing like a miracle. In a relative sense, an apple falling down is a miracle, the sun rising in the East at the appointed hour is a miracle, the rotation of the earth with out losing its velocity is a miracle, and life itself is a miracle! No mystic performs miracles for his own sake, they do so as part of their mission. When Christ was asked by a nobleman to heal his dying son, he said, "Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe. Go thy way; thy son liveth." John 4:46 - 54. "None of you will even believe unless you see great and wonderful works." John 4:48. When a man named Lazarus was reported to be sick, Jesus said, "The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened to bring glory to God, and will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory." John 11:4.
The purpose of human birth is to transcend this veil of illusion. Those who do so become mystics and those who accept this illusion as real gets swayed by the torments of contrasts such as pain and pleasure, birth and death, good and evil, and what not. Sri Vikraman Swamiji belongs to the genre of mystics who have attuned himself with the Super Consciousness.
To the countless devotees He is a man of miracles. Every devotee would have some miracle to remember. Some of these experiences recorded by them are included in a separate chapter in this volume. On two occasions atleast, in the U.A.E., He sat in puja for more than 36 hours without break. Even otherwise the pujas normally would extend beyond midnight, regardless of His personal comforts.
His Prayer Sessions
Open, Simple, and Exciting
His pujas (sessons of prayer and divine prophecies) are conducted openly and there would not be any air of mystery or secrecy. There would be no priest, any havans or rituals. Devotees and even first time vistors are called in by unique identification marks. It could be their name, pet name, birth star, birthplace, place of work, parents name, friends name, relatives name, vehicle number, vehicle model, or materials such as pictures of saints in the wallet or pocket. Sometimes they are called in by their seating position in the waiting hall or even the entrance. The manner in which He identifies and calls in visitors to the puja room would be baffling and amusing and even bewildering to even a diehard non-believer.
Reminiscing Swamijis tour of the United States in 1998, Ms.Kalyani Giri wrote in her article Swamis Phenomenal Prophecies in the Indo - American News in April 1998, "With approachability, with the innocent eyes of a child and with an ever-present smile adorning his face, the swami advised the curious, calmed the troubled and cajoled the sceptics all with the grace of his divine gift The human apprehension of the future was somewhat mitigated by the swami giving everyone something positive to look forward to in their lives. There were glimpses of humour many an excruciating details came to light, which if further expounded on may have proven entertaining to all except those involved! But with graciousness and diplomacy, the swami steered the conversational ship into calmer waters."
Incredible and Amusing
Truly, there would not be an end to the amusement for the devotees until they come out after their sessions. They would have witnessed Swamijis wonderful revelations of their childhood experiences, problems at home, the way the puja room was being maintained, about lighting lamp in the prayer room, the condition of the vehicles, pictures rolled up and kept on a loft, a defective mixer grinder, a trouble giving TV, sweets in the refrigerator, a damaged shoe or footwear, a damaged tyre, sticker on the car or two wheeler, pieces of jewellery, or a stollen jewellery, 500 rupee currency notes or dollars in the wallet or the bureau, an unfitting shirt, a camera, a gift, wrist watches, and just about any thing.
Once He asked a devotee, "How is your two wheeler?"
The devotee replied that it was all right.
"Is the horn all right?"
"It is so feeble that even Anjaneya found it difficult to hear. Is the rear wheel all right?
"Is the brake all right?"
"What happened to the seat?"
"It is torn."
"What about the headlight?"
"It is not working."
The devotee finally confessed that the vehicle was not road worthy at all.
His Sense of Justice
Once a woman told Him that she was contemplating divorce. Swamiji asked, "Do you light the lamp in your prayer room reguarly?"
She said, "Yes, Swamiji. Even this morning I lighted the lamp."
"Then tell me which picture is kept on the extreme right?"
She could not answer. Then Swamiji told her which picture was there on the right. Needless to say she was astounded and overcome by the feeling that someone was really watching her! This is the first stage that Swamiji takes the devotees to. He strives to instill in them faith in God and in what He prophesies because it is essential for the confidence of the devotees.
Then Swamiji asked her, "Do you really want a divorce?"
She said, "Yes."
"Why do you want divorce?"
"He quarrels with me always."
"I have heard you shouting at him quite often. You should also compromise in your life. Life is like a drama. This is the court of Anjaneya. Justice alone would be done. You are given a role which you have to play to perfection."
A Music Lover
None other than Goddess Saraswathi taught Sri Anjaneya music and He is a great lover of music. Swami exhibits the same trait of Anjaneya. Bhajans such as Jai Ganesha, Manasa Bhajarae, Pyarae Nandalaal, Jai Nandalala, Kanulamundu Kadhalade, Anajanisuth, and Prema Muditha Manasae Kaho are some of His favourite bhajans. He would sing a bhajan several times even if He is physically exhausted. He gets fully involved with whichever bhajan He renders.
In 1997, a person visited Swamiji for the first time. He was called in after a long waiting. When Swamiji asked him about a surgery he had, he could not recollect. But as soon as he returned home he could recollect a minor surgery he had undergone not very long ago. He immediately wrote a letter to Swamiji apologising for the lapse.
To another devotee He asked what was wrong with his shoe. The shoe, being a new one presented by his friend he replied curtly and confidently that there was no problem with it. Swamiji asked a friend of the devotee to check the shoe after the session was over. They checked the shoe after the session and to their amusement they found out that the sole of the shoe was damaged!
In October 1998, He asked a devotee about his diary. The devotee confidently replied that it was intact in his briefcase which he had with him then. Swamiji again asked what was there in the diary. The devotee replied that the dairy contained pictures of gods and saints. The devotee again said that everything was in the briefcase. On reaching home, he found to his bewilderment that the dairy was missing!
It is almost routine for Him to mention the breakfast the devotees had that day, the dress that they had initially wanted to wear that day, the number of times a food item was tasted while being prepared, the excess of salt or sugar, and so on. He would even mention the hotel in which they took food, the quality of food they had, a recent pilgrimage they had, about the refusal of an auto driver to take them, how the dress caught fire, an accident, a death in the family, a diseased person in the family, the persons the devotee met enroute, and just about anything.
In most of the cases, the devotees would be able to recollect things, names, events, etc and answer Him correctly. However, almost every devotee would have some surprises when they come out of the session or when they reach their homes. To a few, it would happen after a while, may be after a few days or a few weeks or even months. For instance, in 1995, He asked a devotee about her Westar watch, which she was not aware of. A couple of days later, her neighbour asked for time. When she looked at her own watch for the time, to her amusement she noticed that it was a Westar watch!
His Sense of Humour
Sometimes He would render the puja session very humorous by small acts of comedy. His ways are unique. He would ask a volunteer to count the number of persons waiting to meet Him. He would count and give a figure. Then he would ask another volunteer to count again. He would count and give another figure. This would go on and each one would give a different figure. Finally, Swami would reveal why the figures did not tally. In most cases they would not have counted persons sitting on the staircase or they would not have counted a child carried by its mother!
A Man of Wit and Wisdom
None can win over Him by argument. Answer would come even before the question is completed. Once Swami told a youth that he did not have faith in holy men. The youth replied that he believed in God alone. Then Swami asked him, "Have you seen God?"
"Where is God?"
"How do you believe in a God you have not seen and whose whereabouts is not known to you? How do you think God will communicate with you if He wants to communicate with you?"
The youth had reached his wits end.
His Compassion and Concern
A few years back, on a Saturday, a devotee had brought a Vada Maala prepared by him at his home. He wanted to offer it during the puja that day. However, Swami, knowing that it was not prepared with due sanctity refused to accept it. The man, after the puja session, was about to leave the room with the Vada Maala. Just then Swamiji again called him and took the Vada Maala saying, "This time I will accept it, next time do it properly."
If anything could upset him, it is dishonesty. On many an occasion, devotees would not answer His questions honestly. He would, normally, give two or three chances to answer correctly. He would even tell them, "Think and answer me correctly. If your memory does not serve you properly or if you are unable to answer accurately, leave it. But do not give wrong answers." Yet some would answer wrongly and without proper thinking. Then there are persons who come just to test Him. Obviously Swami would be aware of their intentions. Most of such persons are sent out of the room. However, few are called in again out of His compassion and concern to help them.
As is the usual practice, the puja sessons would go on for hours and it is natural that some devotees would be worried about reaching home during late hours in the night. Swami would instantly tell the devotee, "Dont worry, you would reach home safe." Invariably, the devotee would reach home safe with the help of other devotees or divine grace. Once a devotee wanted to leave the puja room because she wanted to take the last train from Palavanthangal, which would leave around midnight. However, Swamiji told her that she would get the train. By the time she came out of the puja room, it was well past midnight by which time the train would have normally left. When she reached the railway station, she was amused to find that the train could not leave because of a power failure. The train moved after she boarded it.
He even knows the predicament of the devotees who are unable to narrate their problems. On a Thursday bhajan in a devotees residence in T.Nagar in Madras in 1998, a woman had come to meet Swamiji for the first time. She had written her problems on a piece of paper sothat Swamiji could read it and advise her accordingly without letting others know her predicament. During the course of the bhajan, Swamiji told her, "You have mentioned three problems on a paper. I know your predicament; you are unable to even express your situation. Dont worry. You need not tell me about them. The first problem mentioned on the paper would be solved immediately, the second problem after a while, and the third one after a delay." Thus, the woman was able to converse with Swami about her personal problems in public without the slightest hint to anyone. This is the way of Swami. He knows whom to talk to, when to talk, how to talk, and what to talk. Diplomacy, tact, compassion, and humour are the hallmarks of His personality.
Begining of Transformation
Even the very first visit one would get an evidence for the existence of what is called the Super Consciousness that is omniscient. Consequently, the visitor would be left with a mixed bag of guilt for the past misdeeds, solace, and excitement. Harsh non-believers become unsure of their own beliefs and the grounds on which they have been trying to disprove the existence of God. Thus, the person is initiated into a process of introspection because Swami has seen through the innermost recesses of his mental courtyard. The self-assured privacy gets shattered and an urge for a turnaround in life from self-inflicted beliefs, habits, and practices sets in. Swami takes the devotee to this next stage.
He speaks to persons openly without any air of secrecy because in most cases the devotees would have common problems so that the counseling for one individual may be helpful to the others also. This would help atleast some of them to realise that their suffering is insignificant as compared to the trauma and misfortune of others. The devotees not only undergo their period of sufferings with a renewed confidence but also develop an attitude of empathy and goodwill for those suffering in the society. Moreover, the newcomers would have an opportunity to hear the first hand accounts of the miraculous experiences of regular devotees and how they faced problems in almost similar situations.
He knows when to say what and how to say it so as to help the devotees in their personal life as well as spiritual pursuit. He often advises that one should wait patiently till his/her wish is fulfilled. There is a time for every event in life; one should carry out his/her duty with faith in God.
Numerous are such anecdotes. Hundreds of devotees all over the world are witnessing such incidents everyday. Some of them are very incredible. Nevertheless, they go mostly unrecorded. It is only very recently that people have started recording their experiences. Nevertheless, devotees come across a practical difficulty. Devotees do not observe the events in their life carefully and hence fail to notice the miraculous element in their day to day life. They would only sense that certain events had happened as told by Swami without realising the underlying twists and turns that destiny would have imposed by divine grace. Then there are those who would like to record the miracles they have experienced but are unable to express them adequately.
As Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans said, on the tree of the Absolute Truth there hang innumerable bunches of Ramas, Krishnas, Budhas, Christs, etc. Out of these, one or two now and then come down into this world and produce mighty changes and revolution. In an interview of Kanchi Paramacharya by Paul Brunton he said, "... The turmoil among nations, the moral wickedness among people and the sufferings of miserable millions will provoke, as a reaction, some great divinely inspired man to come to the rescue. .... The process works like a law of physics. The greater the wretchedness caused by spiritual ignorance, materialism, the greater will be the man who will arise to help the world..." - A Search in Secret India: Dr.Paul Brunton
In an interview to Arthur Koestler, author of Darkness at Noon, Paramacharya said, "... The state of hallucination is a temporary one. A person should learn to control his mind. What comes after such mental discipline is mystic experience. What appear in the uncontrolled state of mind are hallucinations. The wishes and fears of the ego cause these. The mystics mind is a blank, his experience is shapeless and without object..." - The Jagadguru- Interview by Arthur Koestler on 10.01-1959. The above description suits Him because He is a great mystic of our times and whatever He narrates to us is done so in a state of Super Consciousness that is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
In the last verse of Bhagavad Gita 18:78, Lord Krishna is addressed as yogeswar, which means the master of all mystics. Here the word mystic connotes a yogi, a person whose senses are well under control and whose consciousness is merged with God. A mystic is a person who has transcended both pleasures and pain. A mystic is always immersed in bliss because happiness or sorrow never affects him.
As per Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishna Kaviraja, "The avatara or reincarnation of Godhead, descends from the Kingdom of God for material manifestation. And the particular form of the personality of Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or avatara. Such incarnations are situated in the spiritual world, the Kingdom of God. When they descend to the material creation, they assume the name avatara." Scholars have classified avataras into amsa avataras, avesa avataras, yuga avataras, manvantara avataras, purna avataras, guna avataras, lila avataras, and so on. It is said that Lord Narasimha and Lord Parasu Rama were avesa avataras who came for a limited purpose. Lord Krishna was a purna avatara, while Sri Rama is classified as a maya manusha avatara because he underwent all the turmoils of a normal human being. Let us not venture into an academic exercise on incarnations, suffice it to say that Sri Vikraman Swamiji is a divine incarnation who is admired, extolled, and perceived and worshipped by His devotees as the personification of the spirit of Lord Anjaneya.
Every century, every country and every religion has produced seers and mystics who could transcend time and space and guide believers by way of their divine prophecies. Mysticism is not alien to any religion. Ever since man wanted to know the secrets of life and ever since he began his search for solutions for his miseries mystics have appeared on the planet. There is hardly any great historical figure Alexander, Cleopatra, Caesar, Akbar whose names were not associated with mysticism and mystics. However, there always have been doubting Thomases and atheists.
Every century had produced its saviors. Our beloved Swami is such a great soul full of divine virtues and blessed are those who had the opportunity to meet Him. It is impossible to understand and assess such divine souls. As mentioned by Lord Krishna, self alone knows the self. We can only gauge their mission through our experience and what they do. Their lives sum up their mission and character. However, no two divine souls are alike. Therefore, comparisons will be out of place and irrelevant.
Beyond All Barriers
A mystic is not confined by distinctions of caste, creed, culture, language, profession, tradition and scripture. In higher religion, there is neither caste nor creed. Cobblers, weavers, and untouchables had become saints. There is no real difference between a Christian mystic and a Hindu saint. Their sayings never contradict and their messages are essentially the same. Yet they may differ in their conduct. Sri Vasishta was a Karmakandi; he did Havans and sacrifices. King Janaka ruled his dominion and enjoyed regal pleasures. Sri Dattatreya was a wanderer and an Avadhuta, a naked Fakir. Sages like Dattatreya and Jadabharata roamed about happily. They had no possession, not even clothing. They did not work for the well-being of the world like King Janaka and Adi Sankara. However, their mere presence elevated people. Yet both were on the same level.
What endear Swami to thousands of devotees like us are his simplicity, discipline, and compassion. He treats everybody alike without any prejudice whatsoever. He does not differentiate people on caste, creed, language, profession or religion. Rich and poor make no difference to Him. Even a few hours spent with Him would be a life time experience and a turning point in life. He does not degrade any other godly person; in fact, He holds many of them in high esteem. His advice to devotees is that God can assume and appear in any form and guide them. He sings that Allah, Jesus, and Hanuman represents the same divinity. To us He is the guru, a well wisher, and the divine spirit of Lord Anjaneya personified.
It takes time to understand a person and when the person happens to be a colossus like Sri Vikraman Swami, it would depend upon your fortune to know Him completely. One has to understand Him through experience because it is experience alone that reinforces the personal convictions and faith of devotees. Swami says that He is an instrument in the hands of God and it is His mission to instill faith in the hearts of the devotees and offer solace to them. He is like a father to some, a well-wisher to many, a brother to several, a guru to many, and yet to few He is the spirit of Lord Anjaneya personified. One may accept Him as they choose as long as the devotee has faith in that particular role or form.
The Company of Mystics
The presence of mystics has a tremendous transforming effect on the lives of seekers. Almost all emperors and kings sought the company and advice of mystics. Chatrapathi Sivaji had Samartha Ramadas as his adviser, King Dasaratha had Sage Vasishta, Sugriva had Sri Hanuman, and Sage Sandhipani taught Sri Krishna. Sage Agastya, Sage Vasishta, and Sage Viswamitra advised Sri Rama.
Swami Sivananda who established the Divine Life Society says, "Only a sage can know a sage. He will sometimes appear like a Sarvajna, an all knower. He will sometimes appear like an Ajnani, an ignorant man. He knows when to act like a Brahma-nishtha and when to behave like a fool. Do not judge him. If you approach him with the proper Bhava, with faith, devotion and spiritual thirst, he will impart the highest knowledge to you. If you approach him with a bad motive, he will behave like a lunatic and you will be deceived. Great will be your loss then."
To benefit from the company of mystics, one may approach them with out any preconceived notion. Approach them with humility, respect, an open mind, and without any expectation. Assimilate whatever teachings that appeal to you, if some of their teachings do not appeal to you do not form a hasty opinion.
When you go before a sage, do not ask him questions out of mere inquisitiveness. Listen to him without prejudice. Ask him questions about which you really need clarifications. Do not draw him into politics or public bickering. Meditate in the presence of a sage. You will get Inner Light which will clear your doubts.
When You Visit Sri Vikraman Swami
During the last few years, Swami had made a few divine prophecies regarding certain epoch making events. The prophecies were made at different points of time and no records are available about the dates on which they were made. It is possible that some of these prophecies were also made earlier but not noted down by anyone. The important world prophecies by Swami during the four to five years are briefly mentioned below. It may be noted that some of these prophecies have already materialised.
The Internet A Decade Old Prophecy
Swami had prophesied more than a decade ago that his life history and mission would get propagated through a system of telephone cables and computers. When this prophecy was made home computers were a rarity and no one had even dreamt of something like Internet and none could have visualized what He was actually referring to.
He has recently prophesied that Hanumanth Jayanthi Celebrations could be watched live on the Internet all over the world. This prophecy was fulfilled on 1st, 2nd and 3rd January, 1999 during the 11th Hanumanth Jayanthi celebrations. A total of over 27 hours of live telecast was logged during the celebrations.
The 5 Day Ordeal
Swami mentioned about a phenomenal change in the world towards the end of the century. On 14th March 1998, He again prophesied that the world was heading towards a crisis. Before the turn of the century that is, between 1999 and 2000, the world will undergo a terrible calamity that will be most excruciating for five days. The crisis, which would last five days, would occur in two stages. During these five days people all over the world would neither take food nor sleep out of fear. But the worst thing would not happen as feared by people. The tension that would be caused by the crisis would create immense faith in God and would leave the people more god fearing and virtuous.
Water and Glycerin on the Moon
He had prophesied that water and glycerin would be discovered on the moon.
Ever since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969, it was regarded as an arid place devoid of a life-supporting atmosphere. They could have discovered the presence of ice had they landed in the Polar Regions. However, the latest discovery about the presence of ice on the moon by Dr. Ala Binder, Chief Investigator for the NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), imparts a quantum leap to our knowledge. For more details regarding the recent discovery of ice on the moon, you may refer the Hindu newspaper dated 9th March 1998.
We shall now await the discovery of glycerin too.
The 10th Planet
Swami had prophesied a couple of years ago that a new planet would be discovered.
Since October 1995, astronomers at San Francisco State University and elsewhere have detected eight planets orbiting sunlike stars. On 25th April 1997 a group of astronomers reported that they had detected another new planet orbiting the G0V sun-like star Rho Corona Borealis. The planet orbits once every 39 days, at a distance of 0.23 Astronomical Units closer than Mercury, and with a mass above 1.1 times that of Jupiter. Astronomers at the Smithsonian Institution's Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado; and the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania, have also found evidence for the planet. Swiss astronomers of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland have also reported finding a planet. Further details on new planets can be obtained from the San Francisco State University.
We have to wait and see whether this is the planet that Swami had prophesied about. Swami had also indicated that following this discovery; our astrologers would get confused as their predictions are normally based on nine planets (navagraha system). He, however, mentioned that a solution would be arrived at to dispel the confusion.
Places of Worship on Mars
Some four years ago Swami had prophesied that man would inhabit planet Mars and that a temple, a church and a mosque would come up on Mars.
To ascertain the probability of a human settlement on planet Mars, the following details were obtained from Internet. Scientists at the Ivy League University and NASA research centers have searched for decades to find the best way to colonization of Mars. Their research has already produced working plans for a number of colony types. Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, metals and solar energy are required for settlement on Mars. Carbon dioxide is found in abundance in the Martian atmosphere. It can be used to fuel plants that will convert it into oxygen for life support. Recent studies with potato plants have found the plants can support respiratory needs and nutrition for extended periods of time. However, there are problems of cost, solar radiation, absence of ozone layer like protection against ultraviolet rays etc. But according to Arthur C. Clarke, the problems of vegetation, surface water, climate change and even the creation of an ozone layer can be solved, leaving gravity as the only remaining problem for life on Mars. It is understood that NASA is envisaging settlement on Mars sometime in the late 21st century. Thus, in the current scenario it may sound like fiction but going by the enthusiasm evinced by scientists it would materialise atleast in the distant future, if not during our lifetime.
The Heading Monster
During a Saturday puja in 1996, Swami said that a monster was heading towards the earth.
According to the International Astronomical Union a huge asteroid, a one-mile-wide object, capable of destroying the civilization may hit the earth at 6.30 p.m. on 26th October 2028. The asteroid codenamed 1997 XF 11 is likely to zoom past the earth at a distance of 30,000 miles. It may collide with the earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour and explode with the energy of almost two million Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. Even after spotting the asteroid and tracking its path, astronomers, as usual, differ on the chance of a collision with the earth. However, people need not worry about it, as it would not lead to the annihilation of civilization on our planet. The point is that what the astronomers have discovered through powerful telescopes our Swami had long back seen in His cosmic consciousness. For more details about the asteroid, you may refer the Hindu newspaper dated 14th March 1998 or contact the Telegraph Group Ltd., London.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind A Reality
Swami made this prophecy some three years back. He had said that nearly one and half light years (one light year is equivalent to 9.5 trillion kms) away from the earth there is a planet inhabited by beings more intelligent than the earthmen. Their heads are larger than normal size, eyes are on the sides of the head, ears are like that of the elephant, and have long arms and short legs. They had already visited the earth and two scientists who were aware of it were already researching on this. As mentioned already astronomers are detecting new extra solar planets and scientists do not rule out the possibility of life on some of them.
Around 30 UFO (unidentified flying objects) sightings have been reported between 1917 and 1990. In ancient roman times, chariots flying in the sky were reported and then later in the 1880-90s witnesses reported seeing airships. Now witnesses report seeing super sleek discoid objects. It is claimed that there are two types of aliens, the Tall Blondes and the Grey types, which are both humanlike. The Greys have large heads, small fragile bodies, small nose and ears and longer fingers. Probably there are other types of aliens, and we have to wait and see which alien Swami had referred to.
The truth about alien landings is hidden from public gaze probably because scientists are yet to unravel the mystery of the alien technology or for military or political reasons. Many people (Bob Lazar being the most prominent) have claimed that the US government indeed possesses this alien technology and are trying to reverse engineer it. There have also been several claims that the US government actually possesses an alien spacecraft although not fully understanding the propulsion technology behind it.
A Sun Crack
He prophesied many a time that the Sun had cracked. It may not cause any major problems on the earth; however, minor problems like electricity failure have already occurred in parts of the earth.
Relegation of Religion
According to Swami, after the turn of the century, religion will get relegated to the background, as people would lose faith in religious practices and religious leaders. People would ignore religion and become more God fearing and virtuous.
Discovery of Herbs
Swami had prophesied that certain life-giving and vital herbs would be revealed to a devotee in Madras who has reportedly noted down the names of herbs revealed to him through dreams. It is understood that he has even collected some of these herbs and is awaiting further revelation. This prophecy has special significance because it was Lord Anjaneya who brought the Sanjivini herb to save Lakshmana.
During June August, 1998 Swami made a few more world prophecies.
Construction on Moon
Swami has prophesied that construction work on Moon would be undertaken in the not distant future.
Drive Slow on Moon
Due to gravitational problems, it would be difficult to travel at high speeds on Moon. A moving car on Moon would fly off the road if it exceeds a certain speed limit. This would call for additional equipment to prevent such an eventuality. However, scientists are not very knowledgeable about the problems associated with motoring on Moon.
Life on Mars
Swami again mentioned that life existed on Mars in the form of tiny creatures. Oxygen could be manufactured on the planet itself and the earth people could start settling down on Mars in future. Mars would be more comfortable for inhabitation than Moon.
Resources on Mars
Mars has deposits of water, glycerin, rock, gold, and diamond.
Where Eagles Dare
Swami said that people could soon fly about with artificial wings.
Our dream to fly would, thus, materialise soon. Imagine men and women going for shopping with attached wings, avoiding traffic jam putting our two winged friends to shame. So parents better beware! Your children would demand flycycles instead of bicycles. Better lock your balconies because enterprising flycyclists can enter your apartments unnoticed and render you poorer. Of course, there would be no traffic jam nor any constable to book offenders! Next time when you hear someone calling you better look up as well; it could be your friend on wings.
Communication between the Earth, the Moon, the Mars, the Jupiter and the Venus is going to be frequent and easier in the forthcoming years.
The Magnificent Eight
Eight countries, including one from Asia, would become highly advanced and prosperous in the next century.
The Real Millenium Bug
The whole world, particularly the corporates and our computer whiz kids are engrossed in dealing with the notorious Y2K millenium bug unaware of a bigger bug staring at them. Little do they know that this bug would appear in 1999 and threaten our very existence! No software package would come handy to rescue the world from its clutches. The 23rd July, 1998 turned out to be a special day because He spoke at length on the importance of God realisation, and touched events that are likely to change the course of the world by the turn of the century. Already there are scary stories of how computers would fail at the dawn of the millenium causing extensive economic damage. Military computer systems designed with two-digit dates would read 1900 instead of 2000. Military systems that command weapons use more than a million chips and would be vulnerable to malfunction at the dawn of the new millenium. It is reported that Israel will have no effective air defence on 1st January 2000 unless remedial measures were taken.
Banks and financial institutions would also suffer. Thus computers are expected to conk out atleast temporarily causing civil emergencies as well as military myopia.
Swami has said that towards the end of the century the world would have to face problems on three fronts.
Computers world over would fail or become ineffective.
There would be wars, however, it would not lead to the annihilation of the world as feared by many. Rather there would be incidents involving massive destruction of life and property.
The third would be that some planets would swerve from their usual orbit.
The problems would begin by 13th/14th of October 1999 and would extend up to March 2000. People would neither eat nor sleep but keep praying for the survival of the world as there would be no apparent solution. But with divine intervention, solution would come in nine hours. When the worst is over, people all over the world would heave a sigh of relief and realise that it was divine intervention alone that saved the world.
Most of the problems in the world are due to the fact that the major religions are running like parallel cables never completing the circuit at any point. If the situation continues, there would not be any peace of mind in the world despite all advancements in science and technology even after centuries. " ..The world is heading for a terrible crisis and it is high time that the people realised that it is the same supreme power that is worshipped by different religious groups in different names. It is high time that these parallel cables are brought to the point of realisation that God is one. The supreme power that protects the world will intervene once again. I am one of the instruments at the hands of God to bring about this change. It is when I hear your experiences that I realise that there is a divine power operating through me." on 23rd July 1998
Rare Medical Breakthrough
On 13th August 1998 Swami again said that researchers would have a rare breakthrough in the field of medicines. Medicines for curing major diseases will be found both in allopathic and native medicine systems. There are certain herbs which could cure a range of diseases. Already researchers are working on it and they are close to a breakthrough.
Years ago He had mentioned about aliens. He repeated that an alien spacecraft would land in a Gulf country and it would be trapped.
New Solar System
He also said that a new solar system and three more planets will be discovered.
Unique Puja Through Telephones
Another prophecy is that He will conduct a unique puja attended by devotees in different countries over telephone. That is, devotees will assemble themselves at specific centres in different countries. In each centre, there will be a person attending to the telephone. Swami will give His divine counselling to those assembled through this person at each centre over the telephone.
Significance of Swamis Prophecies
The prophecies of Swami assume special significance in the wake of failure of forecasts by the scientific community. For instance, even after landing on the moon it was declared that there was no chance of finding water on it. Similarly, the probability of the asteroid hitting the earth varies from zero to one in 1000, which is as good as saying nothing about it. In the past too scientists have reversed their considered opinion several times and what they failed to explain were dismissed as paranormal phenomena. Thus the credibility of scientific opinion is at stake.
The life and history of mystics in India and other countries suggests that there is a divine purpose behind creation and that there are truths beyond the comprehension of scientific exploration. It is a fact that the fundamental truth or principles of life can not be explained but have to be experienced. Can anyone explain the colour of a rose flower to a blind man? Can anyone explain the fragrance of jasmine? Can anyone explain the taste of a new fruit to a person who has never tasted it? Similarly, the eternal truths about life are something to be experienced and not to be explained. Subtle forces are more powerful than the gross forces. For instance, wind and electricity though less tangible than the fire and the earth elements are relatively more powerful. The forces that govern life being the most subtle and hence the most powerful, are nevertheless less tangible. Thus, the matters that come under the purview of scientific scrutiny do not necessarily narrate the fundamental truths or eternal principles. The position of a mystic is also the same; he would initiate and take us to a state where the truth has to be experienced by us with our own effort.
Every century and religion has produced seers and mystics who could transcend time and space and guide believers by way of their divine prophecies. It is also true that the so-called rationalists viewed them with skepticism and contempt. Whether or not you believe in the power of the Sun it would continue to shine in all its glory and would burn anything that comes near it. Similarly, the nature of truth will not alter just because you do not have faith in it. Whether you are convinced or not truth will continue to shine forth, as truth is its own evidence.
Once He said, "Today the religions are like parallel cables never touching at any point. Most of the problems in the world may be attributed to it. If they continue like this, even after centuries there would not be any peace of mind in the world despite all advancement in science and technology. The world is heading for a terrible crisis and it is high time that the people realised that it is the same supreme power that is worshipped in different names by different religious groups. It is high time that these parallel cables are brought to this point of realisation that God is one. I am one of the instruments in the hands of God to bring about this change. It is when I hear your experiences that I realise that there is a divine power operating through me."
The world is on the brink of a crisis and a change is imminent and He is one of the instruments in the hands of God to bring about this change. One of the prerequisites for surviving the impending crisis and the change thereafter would be faith in God. His mission is to instill faith and love towards fellow beings in a materialist world with the help of the miraculous Super Consciousness that He is born with. His extra ordinary powers are Gods gift for us.
As He said once, "If Lord Vishnu were to appear before us, some would even ask for His identity card. That is the kind of faith people have today."
Jesus once told Philip, "For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I have spoken to you, do not come from me. The Father, who remains in me does his own words." John 14:9. A week after Resurrection, when Thomas doubted him, Jesus said, "Do you believe because you see Me? How happy are those who believe without seeing Me." John 20:29.
God promised Abraham and his descendents that the world would belong to him. This promise was made, not because Abraham obeyed the law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God. "For if what God promised is to be given to those who obey the Law, then mans faith means nothing and Gods promise is worthless." Romans 4:13 14.
The mission of Sri Vikraman Swamiji is also none other than to instill faith in a Supreme power and to encourage people to worship that power in any form or name.
Thus Spake Swami
This sounds very much like what Jesus said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John 1:18. After displaying His cosmic form to Arjuna, Sri Krishna told, "No one else in the world is able to see this form by either ceremonial Vedic recitations, or by offerings in fire, penance or gifts presented therein just as was seen by you, oh the hero of the Kurus! "- Bhagavad Gita - 1:48.
God is One
Swamiji keeps harping on the fact that God is One. This is the underlying truth in all scriptures - Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and others. In the Brahma Samhita 5:33, it is stated that the Lord has many, many forms and incarnations: advaitam achyntyam anadim ananta rupam. Although there are many transcendental forms of the Lord, they are still one and the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Rig-Veda proclaims, "There is only one truth, only men describe it in different ways." God is nameless and timeless, but there is nothing wrong to worship a God with name and form (nama-roopa), since man cannot conceive anything without a name and form. One has to understand this fact with conviction, although it is incomprehensible to mundane scholars and empiric philosophers.
As stated in Purusha Bodhini Upanishad, "The one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many, many transcendental forms in relationships with His unalloyed devotees." The Bible too reveals the same truth. "God is one and He will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and the Gentiles right through their faith." Romans 3:30.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans stated, "Every man should follow his own religion. A Christian should follow Christianity, a Mohammedan should follow Mohammedanism, and so on. For the Hindus the ancient path, the path of the Aryan Rishis, is the best."
The first commandment according to the Old Testament is that one shall, "Worship the Lord God alone, and Him only should you serve." It is written that, "The Lord our God is One Lord." - Mark 12:29. It is the foundation of all religions, singling out God Almighty alone for worship.
Every sage, Buddha, Lao-Tse, Adi Sankara, Jesus, and others taught the same fundamental doctrines.
The World One Family
This sounds like the statement in the New Testament, "There are many rooms in my Fathers house, and I am going to prepare a place for you." John 14:2.
The great sages all over the world have taught that every human being is a child of the universe and the universe is his home. The sojourn on the earth is like erecting a camp for a day. Each one of us is a child and an inseparable part of the universe, and we would remain so for an endless duration.
Sage Narada in his 72nd Bhakthi Sutra explains that there are no distinctions of caste, culture, beauty, kulam, prosperity or profession among ideal devotees. As per Srimad Bhagavatham, the highest type of devotee is one, who sees the glory of the God reflected in all beings, high and low, and perceives all beings as dwelling in Him. The lives of mystics reveal that God is beyond distinctions like religion, caste, culture, family, wealth or profession. Jesus was a carpenter, Prophet Mohammed belonged to a trader community, Kanaka Dasa was a shepherd by birth, and Vijaya Dasa was a Brahmin. Nama Dev was a tailor, Ekanath was a Sanskrit scholar, Tukaram was a farmer, Gurunanak was a farmer, Gora was a potter, and Kabir was a weaver. Tulsidas was a Brahmin, Daadu was a cotton cleaner, and Raidas was a cobbler. Sree Narayana Guru belonged to a backward community, and Thunjath Ezhuthachan who wrote the Adhyatma Ramayanam also belonged to a backward community.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahans once said,"Different people call on God by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Siva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it jal, others at another place and call it pani, and still others at a third place and call it water. The Hindus call it jal, the Christians water, and the Moslems pani. But it is one and the same thing." He remarked that,"All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole."
A mystic is not confined by distinctions of caste, creed, culture, language, profession, tradition and scripture. In higher religion, there is neither caste nor creed. Cobblers, traders, farmers, weavers, and untouchables had become saints. There is no real difference between a Christian mystic and a Hindu saint. Their sayings never contradict and their messages are essentially the same. Yet they may differ in their conduct. Sri Vasishta was a karmakandi; he did Havans and sacrifices. King Janaka ruled his dominion and enjoyed regal pleasures. Sri Dattatreya was a wanderer and an avadhuta, a naked fakir. Sages like Dattatreya and Jadabharata roamed about happily. They had no possession, not even clothing. They did not work for the well-being of the world like King Janaka and Adi Sankara. However, their mere presence elevated people. Yet they were on the same level. The life of Prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ further exemplify this truth.
Mohammed, known as the Prophet of Islam, was born of the esteemed Qoreish tribes in Mecca. He led a life of simplicity and poverty. His house, built of mud walls and thatched with date-palm leaves, often remained dark for want of oil for the lamp. There were occasions when he did not have even the flour to prepare bread. Mohammed's father was Abdullah. He died while returning from a journey to Medina. His mother, Amna died six years later, leaving Mohammed in the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. Mohammed was illiterate but from an early age he showed a remarkable aptitude for concentration. He was a serious child and never showed childish pranks or frolic. Because he was trustworthy, he became known as Al-Amin. One day, Mohammed accompanied his uncle to Syria on business. On the journey he met Bahera, a Christian monk, who immediately recognized in the young boy a future prophet. When Mohammed was twenty-five old he married Khadija, a rich widow of spotless character.
Mohammed frequently went to a cave in the desert five kilometres from Mecca, where he spent months in prayer and meditation. One morning, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said: "Rise, for thou art the Prophet of God. Go forth and preach in the name of thy Lord. Your God is merciful." A voice was heard addressed to him which he recorded and became the text of the Holy Koran. The Holy Koran is not a literary work of Mohammed, it is a direct revelation of the Lord.
When he returned from the cave, Mohammed was filled with divine ecstasy. When he told his wife about the vision he had, she said, "You are faithful and never utter an untruth. Therefore, you may obey the call and follow the voice." Khadija was the first disciple to profess faith in the him. Mohammed delivered public sermons on his faith to a large number of people, proclaiming the unity of God.
Once, he went to the Kaaba and proclaimed that there was no God but Allah. The worshippers of idols looked upon this as a great insult and attacked him, but he was rescued by his disciples. He was abused and insulted frequently in public. He did not hold any debates nor did he challenge anyone to controversies and discussions. He silently converted people to his faith through his strong personality, charming demeanor and force of divine virtues. He bore with patience the persecution of his tormentors. His characteristics as well as the power of the verses of the Holy Koran captivated the hearts of people.
Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD when he learned that the Qoreish tribe planned to murder him. The Muslim calendar begins on the day of this flight, known as the Hijra. The people of Medina accepted Mohammed's faith readily because it was plain, simple and direct. With their help and with an army of men he returned to Mecca, where he succeeded in converting his relatives and fellowmen. He then sent missionaries to other parts of Arabia in order to convert the entire peninsula to the new faith.
Mohammed had great compassion and love. He served the widows and orphans, the poor, sick, aged, and the homeless. He worked along with others like an ordinary labourer during the construction of the first mosque at Medina. He mended his own shoes, milked the cows, swept the house, purchased provisions, tethered and fed the camels. He never laughed loudly but simply smiled.
Tenets of Islam
Islam, meaning resignation to the Will of God, bears marked similarity to the Semitic religion of Judaism. It emphasizes the principle of brotherhood and equality of man, and is based on austere, simple living.
The main injunctions of Islam are fasting, prayer, pilgrimage, charity and firm belief in the oneness of God and His prophets, particularly Mohammed. The Holy Koran, divided into more than one hundred chapters, opens and ends with the subject of the unity of God. The religion of Islam is essentially a religion of peace, for Mohammed was a lover of peace and non-violence. Selflessness and service to suffering humanity are the watchwords of Islam.
While Mohammed was serving a sick slave, the latter asked, "Has my master sent you to look after me ?" "Yes," said Mohammed, "the master of masters has sent me to serve you."
One day, a dying dog approached a follower of Mohammed. Noticing a small pool of muddy water in the vicinity, he tore his shirt, soaked it in the water, placed the dog in his lap and moistened its mouth with the wet cloth. Another Arab who saw this told the Prophet, "One of your followers has touched a filthy animal, and should therefore not be allowed back here again."
Mohammed questioned, "What was he doing to the dog ?"
"I do not know, but I saw him moistening its mouth with a torn piece of cloth dipped in muddy water." He replied.
"He is a better Muslim than you are, because he is kind to animals." Replied the Prophet.
When Mohammed was in Mecca once, a poor shepherd from the hills came to worship in the mosque. He worshipped in his own simple way, performing the necessary ablution, and bowing before the sacred spot. Tears flowed from his eyes as he prayed: "O adorable Lord of love, show me thy face. Let me be thy servant. Let me mend thy shoes, apply oil to thy hair, wash thy soiled clothes and bring thee daily the milk of my goat. Let me kiss thy hand and shampoo thy sacred Feet. Let me sweep thy room." Such simple words offended the priests who said, "What blasphemy is this ? There is no need of such gifts for the omnipotent Lord." They were about to drive him out of the place, when the Prophet asked them, "When you are in distant lands, in which direction do you turn your faces ?"
"We turn our faces to Mecca," they answered.
He further asked, "When you are within this sacred walls, in which direction do you turn your faces ?"
"All is holy here, it does not matter which way we turn."
The Prophet then said, "Your answer is beautiful indeed. Within the mosque it does not matter how you pray, as long as you have love and reverence. This poor shepherd's simple prayer entered directly into the ears of Allah more clearly than yours, as it was uttered from his heart with intense love, faith, sincerity and reverence. Make room for God's poor lover near me. Let no one be ashamed to have his company. He is humble, pure and an exalted soul."
Mary, a peasant woman, was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they were married it was found that she was going to have a child by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, a righteous man, did not want to expose her to public disgrace, but wanted to break the engagement secretly. An angel of the Lord told him in a dream, "Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Joseph took Mary as his wife. She gave birth to a son Bethlehem in Judea and the baby was named Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the time of King Herod. Magi, some wise men from the east, came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed. He called together the chief priests and teachers of the law and found out where Christ was to be born. He found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and instructed them to search for the child and report to him.
They were guided by a star to locate the house, where they saw the child with Mary. They worshiped him and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. They returned to their country by another route because they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. Meanwhile Joseph was asked by an angel in a dream to run away to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. Herod gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
After Herod died, Joseph took the child and the mother to Israel as advised by an angel in a dream. They went and lived in a town called Nazareth in Galilee. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Oneday Jesus journeyed from Nazareth to the Jordan River in the company of other Jews to receive John's baptism. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. The Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. Jesus overcame Satan.
He was an itinerant preacher. People from all over Palestine came to hear Him. They were drawn to Him by His sense of peace, words of encouragement, and the promise of a new kind of liberation. He was able to restore to them a closeness to God which none could provide. He was perfect in character, open, unprejudiced, simple, humble and free from fear. He was able to replace fear and anxiety with love and faith. Jesus always had time to be with those who came looking for Him even when He was exhausted from traveling and teaching. He loved the sick, the lame, the poor, and the wealthy. He judged them by what was in their hearts. Even lepers came to Him; He would touch them, and heal them.
He chose twelve of His disciples as apostles. They were Simon (whom he also named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the Patriot), Judas (the son of James), and Judas Iscariot (who became the traitor).
Jesus spoke the word of God with authority. When He spoke to the Storm it was calmed, at His command the dead were raised back to life, at His touch the blind were given new sight. When He commanded the evil spirits to leave someone they obeyed and fled away screaming. When the sick were brought to Him they were healed and those who were troubled in spirit were set at rest. Anyone who came to Him changed forever. Jesus had that kind of effect on people. He treated even the non-Jews with love. He broke the Sabbath on many occasions to heal the sick or to help others much to the anger of the priesthood.
He cleansed the temple from the profiteers who had turned it into a den of thieves. He declared that His body was the true temple of God. He said that He was the true Lamb of God. He declared, "Those who have seen me have seen the father." Jesus knew who He was and who His father was and what their relationship was all about. He called God ABBA, a word that means father. The chief priests and some Jewish elders met together in the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, plotted a plan to arrest Jesus and put Him to death. One of the twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot, agreed to betray Jesus for thirty silver coins. The tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them, Peter, even denied Him. He was turned over to enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. When those who were against Him took and tortured Him, and nailed Him to the cross, He cried out to God and asked for their forgiveness. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He had on the earth. On the third day morning He resurrected and appeared to Mary Magdalene and in the evening to eleven of His disciples on a hill in Galilee. Centuries have come and gone, and today He is one of the central figures of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the Kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.
He did not consider equality with God, rather He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient to death. God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name at the mention of which every head bows.
Back to Our True Home
There are three categories of people: Those who have no knowledge, but do not accept that they do not know. Others normally shun them. Then there are those who have no knowledge, but accept that they do not know. They have to be taught. Then there are those have the knowledge and know that they really know. Others follow them because they are the masters. The lives of these great masters lend hope to the tormented, render our existence meaningful, and make our life sublime. These masters spoke the same truth, and spread the same message of love, compassion, simple living, faith in one God, duty, and dharma. Sri Vikraman Swamiji with His Super Consciousness knows our past, present, and future; and He knows why we are here and when we would get back, after our transmigratory existence here, to our True Home! Lucky are those who have had the chance to meet and converse with Him, because there are many who could not meet Him despite several attempts. Fortunate are those living within His radiance, and still more fortunate are those who have not seen Him at all but believe in Him. As Jesus told Thomas after the Resurrection, "Do you believe because you see Me? How happy are those who believe without seeing Me." John 20:29. As Swamiji says, One day we all will meet in our True Home. Let noble thoughts surround us from all directions till then.
Sri Rama Jayam
Back to Main Page