After Sri Rama’s return to his kingdom from exile, some sages started arguing about the superiority of The Lord’s Name over The Lord Himself.
Different sages gave different opinions , yet they were not able to come to any decisive conclusion, so they as usual approached Sage Narada.
Sage Narada did not solve the confusion immediately and requested the sages to meet him after few days time to give his wisdom on arriving at an answer to their question.
Sage Narada felt it would be best to approach Lord Hanumanji and ask his help in solving the problem. He went to Hanumanji and requested Him to assist him in the task, to which Hanumanji happily agreed.
Sage Narada wanted to play a trick, in his own way as usual and said to Hanuman, “Make some mischief that will make Lord Rama’s Guru, Vishwamitra angry so much that He will force Lord Rama to punish You. Then leave the rest to Me.”
Hanumanji immediately started working on this task. As expected, Lord Rama’s Guru – Vishwamitra became very angry at Hanumanji and told Lord Rama, “Tomorrow morning You must punish Hanuman for the wrong that He has committed. In front of the sages and all the people of the town, you will attack Hanuman with your powerful arrows aiming at Him, so that all will come to know by learning a lesson, about what happens when one annoys the Guru.”
Lord Rama Himself was surprised at His devoted servitor Hanuman’s behavior. But he was a very obedient disciple of His Guru, so He accepted the Guru’s instruction and went back to His palace with a heavy heart. In the meantime, Sage Narada instructed Hanumanji to chant Lord Rama’s Name whenever Lord Rama was aiming the arrows at Him.
The next day morning all the sages and all people from different walks of life of the kingdom gathered next to the river to witness the punishment that would be given to Hanumanji. Lord Rama with a very heavy heart aimed at Hanuman and let go His first arrow. The arrow headed straight towards Hanumanji but changed its direction at the very last moment, and fell to the ground without touching Him.
Hanumanji was standing with his eyes closed, deeply chanting Lord Rama’s Name with utmost devotion. All the arrows that Lord Rama aimed at Hanuman missed Him and went in different directions.
When all arrows were exhausted, Lord Rama looked at His Guru for his directive. Sage Vishwamitra asked Lord Rama to use the divine weapon (Brahmaastra) which would not miss its target.
Sage Narada, at this point, interrupted and convinced the Guru, “O great sage, You are greatest of all the Gurus. By forgiving Hanuman You could give the best example of a loving and compassionate Guru.” The Guru listened to Sage Narada’s advice and forgave Hanuman.
After this incident, Sage Narada approached all the sages gathered at the river. They had got their answer through this divine incident and unanimously agreed on the power of The Lord’s Name.
Moral derived from this story:
This story brings out the power of God’s Name. It also shows Lord Hanumanji’s devotion to Lord Rama and obedience. Devotees can be protected completely as Lord Hanuman was, by chanting (repeating) the all-powerful Name of God with utmost devotion.
From Srimad Bhagavatam:
āpannaḥ saḿsṛtiḿ ghorāḿ
yan-nāma vivaśo gṛṇan
tataḥ sadyo vimucyeta
yad bibheti svayaḿ bhayam
Living beings who are enmeshed in the complicated cycles of birth and death can be liberated immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of the Lord, which is feared by fear personified.
From Sri Siksastakam:
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
In Vishnu Sahasranamam, Lord Siva instructs Parvati to chant the Rama Nama always. A good teacher is the one who puts into practice what he preaches. It is a fact that Lord Siva, being the Supreme Guru, (Jagadguru) Himself chants the Rama Nama. Children also follow what parents do nobly. Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga also chant the Rama Nama always. That is verily their ‘Kula Mantra’. This explains the power of the name of Lord Rama.
By chanting mindfully and regularly, the divine name(s) of the Lord, we continuously burn our bad karmas and empower our free-will to take right decisions needed for right and trouble-free living.