Hanuman burning dead bodies at Lanka

Hari Om

Throughout history and all the great stories, Hanumanji is spoken about with great admiration as an unparalleled Rama-Premi (devotee/fan). Lord Hanuman’s name is identical with the complete absorption in the love of his Guru and God, Lord Rama. He is known as the eternal servant of Lord Rama.

Despite all of this, once, Narada Muni met with Hanuman and confronted him by saying, “You are not a devotee!”

 Narada muni said this to instigate Lord Hanuman and not with any intentions of malice as he was a pure devotee himself. However, he wanted to reveal the true devotion of Hanuman from Lord Hanuman himself.

Hanuman was startled by this accusation and asked him as to what made him come to this decision.

Narada muni then replied, “According to Vedic scriptures there are six kinds of aggressors. One of them is a person who sets fire to another person’s house. Killing such people doesn’t result in any sins at all. Such is the gravity of the sins accumulated by one who sets fire to other’s house. When you went to find Goddess Sita in Lanka, you set fire to the houses of the Raksasas on your return. How can I call you a devotee of the Lord after these actions?”

Lord Hanuman understood the true meaning behind the hurtful word of Narada Muni, smiled and said, “My dear Naradji, one of the most significant duties of a Rama bhakta (devotee) is to take charge of unclaimed dead bodies and perform final rites for them, so that they will attain a better life in their subsequent birth.

 During my visit to Lanka, I was shocked to discover that no one was chanting the names of the Lord. As stated in the shastras, those who do not chant or take the holy names and fame of the Lord are seen as mere dead bodies. Since they are already dead, in order to release them from their most wretched existence, I burnt all of them along with their palaces. However, there was only one palace, Vibheeshana, from where I could hear the names of Lord Rama’s being chanted and hence I left that house alone untouched.”

Lord Hanuman, later made a loud roar which frightened all the resident rakshasas of Lanka. Hearing that fierce roar, many pregnant rakshasi’s womb were aborted. By doing this, Hanuman made sure the rakshasas do not appear in Lanka and create commotion even in the future.

On hearing Lord Hanuman’s response, Narada muni was very happy and content. He immediately hugged and praised him for his unsurpassable devotion to his Master Rama.

MORAL Thoughts from this story

This beautiful conversation between Sage Narada Muni and Hanumanji brings out a very interesting and important thought that we all have to keep in mind eternally. Without chanting the names of the Lord and remembering him and his glorious presence we are all similar to dead bodies.

This point is very beautifully defined in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 10.38.12. Spoken by Akrura, while he travels from Mathura to Vrindavan in order to bring Lord Krishna and Lord Balaram to Mathura at the behest of Kamsa.

This verse reveals five unique transcendental qualities of the words describing the glories of the Lord and also reveals the result of those who are bereft of them.

yasyaakhilaameeva habhih sumangalaih

vaaco vimishraa guna-karma-janmabhih

praananti shumbanti punanti vai jagad

yaas tad-viraktaah shava-shobhanaa mataah

“All sins are destroyed and all good fortune is created by the Supreme Lord’s qualities, activities and appearances, and words that describe these three things animate, beautify and purify the world. On the other hand, words bereft of His glories are like the decorations on a corpse.”

The following are the unique positive results when we chant the holy name, fame, qualities, activities and appearance of the Lord:

1. akhila ameeva habhih – It destroys all the sins of the entire world. There are other processes which may destroy some of the sins but chanting of the Lord’s glories is the only process that can destroy all the sins.

2. sumangalaih – It creates auspiciousness and good fortune all over world.

3. praananti – It animates/brings life to the otherwise dead beings of this world.

4. shumbanti – It beautifies the entire world. (spiritual masters would say that without performing devotional service, our faces look like rotten bananas. If we perform devotional service our faces will become bubbly like water melon).

5. punanti – It purifies the entire world. (Even Narada muni says the same thing to Vyasadev -jagat pavitram, it sanctifies the entire universe).

Whereas those words that do not translate into the glories of the Lord are considered as “shava shobhanaa mataah” – decoration on a dead body. Those who are attracted to the words devoid of the glories of the Lord are the same as dead bodies. Let us therefore make a sincere attempt to follow the transcendental instructions of Acharyas and scriptures to rejuvenate our dead life.

By regular chanting of Lord’s name meticulously and mindfully, one burns his bad karmas and also acquires peace and tranquillity.

GF’ Blessings.