Friday, 22 May 2015

Untold Stories from Ramayan-part 8


In this way, Hanuman had so many wonderful pastimes. Then he told Ketari, "I want to get education. I have so many benedictions, but I need some education too, I need vidya. I am very much hankering for vidya." Ketari said, "But who could give you vidya? You have so many benedictions, but you also have uncontrollable behaviour. I can't find a guru for you, because you are so strong, and so naughty also." Hanuman said, "This means that you are not going to perform the duty of the father. You're not giving me any education." Ketari said, "I have to give you education, but you do one thing. You go to the Sun-god. He is the most powerful. Some time ago he was suppressed by you, but I can't think of anyone else. So you go to him." Hanuman went to see the Sun-god, and when the Sun-god saw Hanuman coming, he said, "It's Hanuman again. What is he here for? He's grown up now, so he must have stopped playing his mischief." Hanuman came up and paid his obeisances. The Sun-god said, "What are you here for now? Whom are you going to swallow?" Hanuman objected, "No, no, all that was because I was in ignorance. I still have so much ignorance, but I want to get some knowledge. I've heard that you are a great pandit, so please teach me. I've come to join your gurukula." So then the Sun-god looked down. He has a big sitting place in the front of his chariot.
There, there are six million rishis sitting, and they are constantly reciting Yajur-veda, Rg-veda, Sama-veda and Atharva-veda to the Sun-god. So he looked to see if there was any vacant seat, but the whole place was filled up, so he said, "Sorry, but no admission." Hanuman said, "If there is no seat then I will stand and learn from you." The Sun-god said, "But I have to keep moving. If you stand in front of me then I won't be able to move and the seasons won't be there. I will be in trouble."Hanuman said, "Then I will move and learn." The Sun-god said, "All right. But you have to face me and move backwards. In this way you have to listen to me, and whatever I say you have to learn. I won't repeat it." So Hanuman was there in front of the Sun-god, and he was walking backwards. He was so sense-controlled that he could join the orbit of the sun. In 60 orbits he learnt everything, Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The Sun-god spoke it, he heard it and immediately he knew it. And then he said, "Now I have finished. Everything you have said I have heard and I remember it." The Sun-god said, "Very good, but you have to give me some dakshina." Hanuman said, "Well what do you want? Do you want Indra's crown? You tell me anything and I will get it for you in a second." The Sun-god said, "No, I don't want any of that. Only one guru-dakshina I need from you. I have a monkey friend. You must become his minister. You must always protect his life." Hanuman said, "Oh? You have a monkey friend, and I should protect him? This is only glory for me. I will do it, I will protect him as my life." And then the Sun-god told him who was that monkey. It was Sugriva, and he is the son of the Sun-god. How Sugriva became the Sun-god's son is a wonderful story.
There was one lady who was known as Narayani, and her husband was called ugra-tapas. That means "ferocious austerities," but he never did any austerities. He was only engaged in sense gratification. He became so diseased and paralysed that he had to be carried in a basket. Narayani would carry him in a basket so that he could go to different places and get sense gratification. Ugra-tapas told Narayani, "You must take me to such and such prostitute today." So she was carrying him. While Ugra-tapas was in the basket and Narayani was carrying him, there was one rishi whose name was Bishmanda Rishi, and he had been put on a trident by a king because of some misunderstanding, and was suffering in that condition. He had tri-kala-jnah, knowledge of past, present and future, and when he saw Ugra-tapas he knew he was going to a prostitute's place, and that he was crippled and being carried by his wife. So he got so upset, and forgot about his pain. He called out, "Hey Ugra-tapas, what are you doing? Your name is Ugra-tapas, and what is your life like? And now you are asking your wife to carry you to a prostitute's when you are paralysed. What kind of a person are you? You should die immediately. When the sun rises tomorrow you will die." When Narayani heard this she said, "When the sun rises tomorrow my husband will die? Then I curse that the sun will not rise." She cursed the sun. So the sun became motionless. The Sun-god's charioteer Aruna was getting ready, packing the horses etc, and then he looked back and saw the sun had become static. "Oh? It is a vacation for me. I never got any holiday, because there was never any chance. Let me have some fun."
So he went and asked the sages that sit on the Sun-god's chariot, "How come the sun is not moving any more?""This is the curse of a chaste lady," they replied. "How long will this curse last?" Aruna asked."At least one day." "That's good," Aruna said. "One day is good. I can enjoy nicely." So Aruna got one day's holiday. He was thinking, "How can I enjoy this day? It never happened in the creation before, and it will probably never happen again. The sun never goes on holiday. I only have one day, so I must get the highest enjoyment." So he took a book, like a tourist guide for the heavenly planets, and he found out that Indra was having a special feast and dinner in respect of some great personality, and Menaka was dancing at that festival. "Oh I must go and see that," he said. But in this party, only the invited guests were allowed. You had to bring an invitation, and you had to be dressed in a special design. It was only Indra's close friends. So he was wondering, "How will I go? I know, I will also become a dancer." So he turned into a woman, Aruna became Aruni. And this Aruni was so beautiful, because he always sat with the sun and he was shining so brightly. He came in front of Indra's palace.  The gateman said, "Hey, who are you?" "I am Menaka's make—up assistant," she said.
She forgot to put one line on her face, so I have to do it. I am the only one who is expert enough." "All right, you may come." So then Aruni entered. Menaka was dancing on one side and Aruni was hiding. And then Indra was looking through the crowd, and suddenly he saw Aruni. "She is more beautiful that Menaka," he said. So he immediately cancelled the party, and started showing everyone out. Aruni was going to leave, but Indra caught hold of her and said, "Wait a minute! Who are you?" Aruni said, "I am Menaka's make-up assistant. Leave me alone! I am going." "No you are not going, you are staying," Indra said."I'm staying where?" "With me," Indra said. "No, I am not staying with you. I know your history," Aruni said. Indra said, "No, no, I will keep you next to Indrani." Aruni objected, "Even if you keep me more than Indrani, I cannot be here because I am a man." Indra said, "Don't play these games with me, I know you are a woman." Aruni said, "No I am not a woman! I am a man! I just turned myself into this form." Indra said, "Even then, you are the most beautiful woman that I have seen." Aruni said, "If you were to give me a conception, who would bring up the child? I am the charioteer of the Sun-god." Indra said, "Whatever or whoever you are, and whatever will come out of it, I'm going to enjoy you." Aruni agreed, and immediately there was a conception, and a demigod was born.
And then Aruni ran, because it was getting late already, and the Sun-god was slowly getting his movement back. At the last moment Aruna jumped on the chariot and grabbed the reins. The Sun-god said, "You're sure cutting it fine. Where did you go?""Oh, no where," Aruna answered. "Tell me!""Oh, I went to Indra's planet." "What did he do to you?" the Sun-god asked."He gave me a conception." "How did he give you a conception?" Aruna said, "It's getting late now, we only have a few moments." The Sun-god said, "A few moments is alright. It needs only one moment. Let me see that beautiful form." Aruna objected, "No, no. This will only cause more trouble." "No, I must see," said the Sun-god. "You are my servant." "Alright," said Aruna, and he became Aruni. In the next moment there was another conception. So this is demigod life. Only a very few of them are thinking of Visnu. The bulk of them think of Visnu only when the demons come, and then when the demons leave they go back to their sense gratification. It is mentioned in the Visnu Purana that one who hears this story loses the attraction for going to the heavenly planets. So now two babies were crying. This was not usually the way that birth happened in the heavenly planets, so all the demigods were disturbed in their sense gratification.
They all went to Brahma and Brahma approached Indra, saying, "You are the cause of this problem. You settle this down." "I can't have babies in the heavenly planets," Indra said. "We'll have to give them to someone." Then he remembered the king of Varanasa, Riksharaja, who had no children. He was performing austerities to please Indra so he could get a son. A benediction from the demigods is usually something that demigods don't want in the heavenly planets, so they give it away. So Riksharaja was standing on one leg to get some children, and Indra came and said, "Why are you standing on one leg? Here are two babies you can have." So they had two sons, Bali and Sugriva. Bali was the son of Indra, and Sugriva was the son of the Sun-god. And the Sun-god got the benediction of guru-dakshina from Hanuman that he would always protect Sugriva. In this way, when Bali was anointed the king after Riksharaja, Sugriva became his minister, and Hanuman became the counsellor or minister of Sugriva.
Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima in Sridham Mayapura