Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Untold stories from Ramayan-part 9


When the monkeys were looking for Sita, they were going to commit suicide on account of their not being able to find her. Angada was putting the kusa grass, and he said, "I'm going to die. I can't find Sita." The other monkeys said, "No, no, there is a nice secure place where we can go to live." Hanuman chastised them. "This is illusion," he said. Hanuman got so upset, and he was chastising Angada and the rest of the monkeys. "What are you trying to do? Do you want to end your life in a prestigious way, or do you want to go for some `security'?" They were on a mission for Ramacandra. They had to find Sita and then come back with that information. Thirty thousand monkeys went on that mission. That was only in the south. In the north there were eighty thousand monkeys. And because east and west were not so important, there was only ten thousand in those places. The greatest corporals and generals of Sugriva were ordained to go, and they were told not to come back until they found Sita. Unfortunately all the other groups came back. The north, the east and the west. But the southern party was still going. Hanuman, Jambavan, Angada and Nila were the greatest leaders of that group. We have discussed Hanuman's appearance already. Now we will discuss Jambavan. Jambavan is the oldest created being in the universe, apart from Brahma. When Brahma was thinking of making the creation and he had the vision of the Lord, the Lord shook hands with him and gave him the information of Bhagavatam, aham evasya evagre. "I am before everything and after everything." Brahma was contemplating to create, and he was thinking, "How great is this creation, and how am I going to do it?" In the meantime, the Garbhodakasayi Visnu was laying down on the snake, and from both of his ears, two drops of sweat came out. One  drop became Madhu, a great demon, and the other became Kaitava, another great demon. Madhu and Kaitava came and met, and shook hands. They looked back and said, "We must finish this." This is a demon. You take shelter of something, and then when you are done with it you destroy it. This Rakshasa mentality of Madhu and Kaitava created a bad atmosphere and Brahma started sweating. The sweat came from hisfour faces. Lord Visnu got up and looked at Madhu and Kaitava and said, "O great personalities Madhu and Kaitava, please give me a benediction." They said, "This is easy! He is surrendering to us. Do you know who we are?" they addressed him. "Oh, you are the great Madhu and Kaitava, supremely powerful persons." They said, "What benediction do you want, Visnu?" Visnu said, "You give me a benediction that I can fight with you." "Oh, you want a fight?" they said. "That is what we are expecting too. Now it is more prestigious for us, because it is our benediction. Yes you can fight with us, but one thing. If ever you think that you want to kill us, you can only kill us in a place where there is no earth, no water, no air, no fire, no ether, no mind, no intelligence and no false ego. You can kill us in that spot." That means that they cannot be killed anywhere in the universe, that was what they were thinking. They didn't know anything beyond the universe, because they were demons.
Then Visnu started fighting with them, and it went on for a long time. While the fight was going on, Brahma was sweating again because of the whole evil atmosphere created by Madhu and Kaitava. This time with the sweat came a small entity, and it was there on his cheek. It was moving around there. Brahma said, "What is this?" and he looked at it. It started growing, so he threw it on the floor. It grew more, and it was a bear. No species were present at that time. "What is this?" Brahma said. Black bear with so much hair on the body, and it grew and grew and became so strong. It spoke in Sanskrit. He spoke to Brahma, "You have created me, so where shall I go?" Brahma said, "I created something without my knowledge. You go to Jambunada." That was one piece of land in the water of dissolution, Jambunada-ksetra. So immediately he entered Jambunada, and he sat down there and was looking around. What he saw was Madhu and Kaitava fighting. He was clapping his hands and whistling, and he called out, "Wonderful! Hit him on the head!" He was the audience. Visnu was going up into the sky and picking them up and throwing them. They were so strong, coming from the ear of Visnu, so they were giving a good fight. Garbhodakasayi Visnu was laying down on Sesa naga for a long time, so he wanted to have some pastime. He wanted to have some entertainment, so he created somebody and started fighting. He took Madhu and Kaitava on his lap, and then with his hand he crushed them. They were finished, because there was no earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence or false ego. His was a transcendental body. Jambavan jumped up and down and said, "Wonderful, wonderful fight! Can I see more?"
Visnu said, "You wait for the creation to start. Then there will be so many fights." So creation started, and the Manvantaras came one by one. There was a great dissolution, and Satyavrata was on the boat, and a golden fish came, a huge big fish with a horn. With Vasuki, the snake, they tied the fish's horn yo that boat. The sapta-rishis were there and Jambavan was sitting there looking. "Aah, what a nice fish," he said, and he circumambulated the fish. The fish was circumambulating the whole universe. In this way Jambavan had a good engagement at that time. Jambavan will not die, he is a ciranjiva. He was getting old, but he was quite strong. Then Kurma-avatar came, and Jambavan witnessed that also. He also was there when Varaha-avatar slapped Hiranyaksa. Hiranyaksa was slapped and he went up circling around, and while he was circling around his eyes came out of his sockets, and Jambavan was playing with them. "What a wonderful fight!" That was finished, and he saw Nrsimhadeva also. And then Vamanadeva appeared. When Vamanadeva grew into a huge big figure lifting his leg and piercing the universe from the top, Jambavan, in six moments, circled this great form of Trivikrama eighteen times. That was the speed of Jambavan. He was in ecstasy, "Oh! What a beautiful form!" He was going around and around, eighteen times in six moments. When he was coming back down he was in so much ecstasy, and he scratched Mount Meru with his toe-nails. Meru got upset. Meru came in person and said, "Hey, you dirty bear! What are you doing to me? You are touching me with your foot. Even the sapta-rishis don't do this, they float over me. They don't set foot on me. You are doing this, so you become old. Because you are young and so fast, you have offended me. You become old and weak." He cursed him. So Jambavan became very old. Meru told him, "Although you are old, when the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra come, you will do a lot of service for him."
This was Jambavan. And Jambavan was called by Sugriva, who said to him, "Jambavan, you are the oldest. There is nothing that you don't know. There is no demigod that you don't know. There is no avatar that you haven't seen. There is no ocean that you don't know. You know everything in this creation. So you must help Angada, the son of Bali. Find out where Sita is." Jambavan agreed, and he told Angada, "Don't worry. I cannot fly like before, but I know every place. I can be your guide in this area of south India. Somehow we will find Mother Sita." Then there was Nila. Nila was also a Brahma-putra, a mental son of Brahma, and he was an engineer, a chemist and a scientist. He was also a bear, a bear scientist. So this scientist could float stones, reduce and increase the density of stone, he was such a physicist and chemist that he could take different things, mix them up and create diverse effects of colour, smell, and various feelings. He could change feelings by chemical combination. He could take something and mix with something else, and you would feel miserable. By another combination he could make you feel happy. He could make you feel angry and even change someone's mind by chemicals, without that person having to take it, unlike the drugs of today. He constructed a kingdom in Kishkinda which was so strong. It was complete stone, no cement or concrete. Just stone on top of stone. It was constructed so each stone was holding another, and it was a huge big palace, very strong. This is Nila. Hanuman, Jambavan, Nila and Angada set forward with thirty thousand vanaras. They looked everywhere, but couldn't find anything. Then they came to the Vindhya mountains. By the time they had crossed the forest, which had no leaves (big trees are there, but they are only branches because one rishi's son cursed the forest, "You will become barren"). So many trees are there but there are no leaves. No leaves means no flowers, and no flowers means no fruit, so all the monkeys were hungry. Already they had been about three weeks with no water and no food. They didn't know what to do. They saw a black cave in front of the Vindhya mountains. Hanuman said to Angada, "We are great warriors, so we must have some thrill. Let us enter this cave." All the monkeys said, "No, no, we are not going inside this cave. Already there is no water, no food, and if you go inside this cave there will be no light. And if you go deeper there will be no air, and we will all die."
So Hanuman said, "Whoever wants to go, raise their hand." So Jambavan, Angada, Nila and of course Hanuman, and a few other monkeys, they all raised their hands. Hanuman said, "All right, hold my tail." So Angada was holding his tail, and Nila was holding Angada's tail. Jambavan was in the middle, because he was old and they didn't want to lose him, and there were other monkeys and all of them started walking into this cave. The only symptoms that they saw was some birds coming from inside, and their wings were wet. Hanuman said, "Look, their wings are wet. That means some water is there. And if the birds are coming from inside the cave that means some people must be living there. It must be a nice place, so everyone should come." He was preaching like this, and the monkeys were one by one joining. A few were standing there and wondering what to do. They thought, "Hanuman, Jambavan and everyone else are all going, and we are standing here. There is no water here, and they are the only protection for us. If they are gone, what will we do?" So they also decided to go. All the monkeys joined, they all went into the cave. Every five minutes Jambavan was shouting the names of all the different monkeys, just to check that everyone was there, because it was so dark, you couldn't see anything. And after crossing eighty miles in complete darkness, finally there was a glimmer of light coming. Hanuman shouted, "Rama! Rama! Rama! There is light here. Maybe there are some people and we can get some food. We are hungry monkeys." So they all went towards the light and discovered a beautiful city inside the cave. And so many mansions were there. These mansions were all made with gold and rubies and diamonds, they couldn't believe their eyes. There was lakes and lotus flowers, nice creepers and fruits. Angada said, "Don't believe this. It may be the work of some demon, that as soon as we go in he will swallow us. Don't touch anything. Keep leaping." They were leaping from one place to another, and then they leaped into a mansion. Without making any sound they were inside and looking around. They found one woman who was dressed in tiger skin, with matted locks of hair. She had a trident in her hand. "What is this?" they said. "She looks like a babaji, and she is in this wonderful palace." Hanuman went in front, and he folded his hands. Hanuman is very good in talking. He gave a smile. He said, "Please tell us who you are. You look like a very spiritually advanced person." Flattery. "I hope you are not a demoness. But you don't look like one, you look very pious. So you must tell us who you are." She said, "First you tell me who you are. How did you get inside this place? This is a mystic place, and human beings, gandharvas, vanaras, can never come here. Only celestials can come here." Jambavan was mumbling, "Yes, yes, they are all celestials. They only look like monkeys."Angada asked him, "What did you say?" "No, no," Jambavan replied. "I am just telling something old." Jambavan had been in Rama-lila before, and every time they had gone in search of Sita, and every time they had gone into this cave also. Every time he saw something like that, he would say, because he has seen it so many times. They were seeing it for the first time, because demigods keep  changing, but Jambavan is the same Jambavan. Hanuman said, "We are all servants of Lord Ramacandra, the son ofDasaratha." Then she said, "This Ramacandra, I don't think he's the son of an earthly king, because otherwise how just by chanting his name could you cross that dark cave. It is not possible for anyone to do that. This must be an incarnation of Visnu." Jambavan said, "She also knows so much.
I know that he is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and I also know who will find Sita." Some monkeys said, "What did you say?" Jambavan said, "Don't listen to me. I'm just an old bear, and old people always mumble like this." Hanuman and this lady got into a good conversation. Hanuman pleased her, and she told her identity. She was a friend of Hema, and Hema was the daughter of Mount Meru. This Hema was once being kept captive in that city by one great demon called Mayasura. He was a great magician. Indra came, and he sent his vajra, and he finished this demon Maya. He took charge of Hema, and she became Indra's wife. Hema was alone in that huge big magical city, so Indra requested Meru to send his daughter so they could have some association. Hema had gone out somewhere, so that is why this lady was there. She was an ascetic, and she believed in worship of impersonal Brahman, and mukti. She was there with tiger skin and trident. This was the story. Hanuman said, "We are very hungry, and we are monkeys. Please give us something to eat." "No problem," she said. "You just go into this garden and you can eat plenty of fruits, fill your stomachs." So the whole army went into this beautiful garden of Mayasura, and they ate stomachs full. They came to drink water, and after drinking water she supplied them with wine which they also took. They took a little wine. The wine back then was just a drink, not an intoxicant. In this way they enjoyed nicely, and they asked her, "You please tell us how we can now get out of the cave."She said, "Get out of this cave? No, you can never get out of this cave."They said, "What? You've fed us nicely, you've given us so much nice drink, and now you're going to keep us in prison?" Hanuman took his club and said, "You want to see this?" She said, "Wait a minute, you just ate in my house. You can't fight with me. I said, `You can't get out of the cave'. I never said that you won't go out of the cave. All of you, close your eyes." They all closed their eyes. And then she said, "Now open your eyes." And when they opened their eyes they were not there. In front of them was a huge big ocean, Mahodadhi.... to be continued
[In the last part, Hanuman and the monkey army had just left the cave of Mayasura and were transported to the ocean, Mahodadhi.]
Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima in Sridham Mayapura

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