The attributes of a Vanara
Vaa in Sanskrit means “or” in English so vaa nara means nara human being or monkey, or some pasu. So when you look at a monkey that’s how it is, when Prabhupada was in Vrindavan and the monkey took away Prabhupad’s shoe and one devotee took a stick to beat that monkey and Prabhupada said no no, not this way, Prabhupada took a banana and showed to the monkey, the monkey showed the shoe, Prabhupada took the banana closer then finally monkey snatched the banana and kept the shoe. So that means although it is pasu still has human-like tricks. He is doing the negotiation. So therefore it is called vanara because it shows the qualities like human beings, looks sometimes human beings and sometimes pasu, monkey, so you may get confused it has the capacity to confuse you as to its real identity. Therefore, it is called vanara, nara human being or animal. Similarly, a devotee of the Lord, a vaishnava who is in touch with the divine, who is in touch with the Lord is also called vaa nara because he also looks like a human being, he looks to be a human but he is displaying 26 qualities which are all emanating from the spiritual world
maitraù karuëa eva ca”
he is displaying non-envy, compassion, gratitude, self-control, sense control, devotion, uninterrupted service, all of these qualities make a person stop and take a look and see is this person human, nara, va, or is he godly, divine, therefore a transcendental vaishnava personality is also called vanara, therefore Ramayana represents the Lord alone cannot go and retrieve the soul, the Lord only approaches to retrieve the soul he needs the help of an entire army, and that is the army of the vaishnavas, the association of the vaishnavas only those association of vaishnavas can go and help retrieve the soul back. Therefore, the leader among such vaishnavas is the spiritual master. And that spiritual master is represented by this tatva. So what this army of vaishnavas do, they carry the message of Lord Rama, so the message of Lord Rama is in the form of his knowledge, his transcendental knowledge.
The chronicles of Lord Hanuman’s idiosyncrasies
When the pastimes of the Lord ends in Lanka and when the Lord comes back to Ayodhya, all the vanara sena comes along with the Lord. And at that time Lord Rama wants to reward the Hanuman Ji. And he speaks to Hanuman ji,
“sneho me paramo räjaàs tvayi nityaà pratiñöhitaù
bhaktiç ca niyatä véra bhävo nänyatra gacchati”
so Lord Rama is asking Hanuman Ji, what do you want in return for this wonderful service which you have rendered to me? So at that point Hanuman Ji spoke this that “My dear lord”
“sneho me paramo räjaàs tvayi nityaà pratiñöhitaù”
“Let me always have love and affection for you, let me also be affectionate towards you, that is all I want.
Lord Ramachandra himself on occasion says to Hanumant,
“Sesasya iha upkaranam
Bhavanu rinrinino vayam”
so what to speak of after I end my past time and you continue to live and offer all the different services you are going to perform I don’t know how is it possible for me to ever repay the debt to you.
Hanuman has selflessly done innumerable upakaras just as described for the quality of a true Vaishnava. He is the epitome of pure devotional service. Similarly, Krishna also in the Bhagavatam tells the copies, “It is not possible for me to repay the debt. I cannot pay you salary”, that is the record of Krishna that is the greatest devotee, that is the record of Lord Rama with his greatest devotee. We can’t compensate you sufficiently. Forget it. Even if I sell myself completely still I cannot because services are making me bankrupt, so this is the reciprocation of the Lord and the devotee.
- Non Envy
As Hanuman Ji was proceeding forward he was, saw one demon who came right in front, she opened her mouth. Her name was Surasa, and she said I have received a benediction from Brahma Ji that whoever comes has to enter my mouth. So Hanuman Ji becomes small entered inside and came out, so clarify your goals to those who pose impediments, even a hard-hearted person becomes soft when they see humility. What does it mean? Hanuman Ji didn’t carry that confrontation, he understood that these are their expectations, Surasa wants somebody should come and enter so ok, I will decrease my size go in and come out, you are satisfied and my mission continuous. He loses his power, does not get affected by envy, goes deep inside her throat and crushes her completely, so that envy has to be destroyed.
- Self control
After Hanumanji enters Lanka in size of a cat, and then he goes into the inner chambers of Ravana. And Hanuman Ji being brahmachari, he starts seeing all the wives of Ravana, sleeping in different conditions of undress.
“kämaà dåñövä mayä sarvä viçvastä rävaëastriyaù
na tu me manasaù kià cid vaikåtyam upapadyate”
Hanuman ji was thinking what am I doing, as a brahmachari I am seeing all these wives of Ravana, is it right, what am I doing, is it correct, is it proper, so at this point, he realizes I am searching for Sita who is a queen where will I search, where other queens are. So what am I doing is the right track, it is not that I have just come to see them. Even though he was unaffected by lust, he refocused on his mission.
After Hanumanji returns after his long pursuit of adventures and selfless service in the form of dedicated commitment because he had promised Lord Rama that he would find mother Sita and he was so committed to keeping his promise. So when he returned lord Rama embraces Hanuman Ji and that is the theme that Hanuman Ji is declared as the best servant
“eña sarvasvabhütas tu pariñvaìgo hanümataù
mayä kälam imaà präpya dattas tasya mahätmanaù”
Ram Chandra ji says “My dear Hanuman ji for what you have done I am in exile I don’t have anything to award you”
“eña sarvasvabhütas tu pariñvaìgo hanümataù”
pariñvaìgo means to embrace. “The only thing I can give you is my embrace dear Hanuman Ji please accept my embrace
“mayä kälam imaà präpya dattas tasya mahätmanaù”
I am just offering myself unto you as a reward for that service” and that is what the guru wants. That’s what the spiritual master wants, that is the commission a devotee gets for being a messenger of Krishna. Everyone is eager for commission what will you get as a commission, Lord’s pleasure, Lord’s embrace, and that’s basically the theme of Ramayana. It can be understood at various levels, it is mystical, it is penetrating, it is intellectually stimulating, it is spiritually enlivening. At all levels you can appreciate, understand Ramayana and get absorbed completely in this literature, it is just an ocean of ecstasy and several oceans have been created in this land of Bharata.