Tulsidasa and Lord Hanumana
“चित्रकूट के घाट पर लगी सन्तन की भीड़
तुलसीदास चंदन घिसें तिलक करें रघुवीर।”
This was one of those rhymes people at our home were taught during childhood. The context was a story of Tulsidasa and Lord Hanumana. Tulsidasa, as many of us would know, is the writer of “Ramacharimanasa“, that’s the story of Lord Rama written in Awadhi language. (For the uninformed, this is different from Ramayana, which was written in Sanskrit by Saint Valmiki, who was supposed to be a comtemporary of Lord Rama himself.)
The story goes like this. While coming back from his abulations every morning, Tulsidasa used to pour the water that remained in his mug at the root of a tree. A ghost used to live on that tree and the water poured by Tulsidasa used to fulfill his needs. He got really pleased with him and once came before him. He asked him to ask for something as blessing. Tulsidasa, a devout of Lord Rama, had only one wish. He wanted to meet Lord Rama.. The ghost himself could not have helped him with that, but he gave him a hint. He said that the only one who could help Tulsidasa with his purpose was Lord Hanumana. He told him about a temple where everyday the story of Lord Rama was recited. Lord Hanumana used to come to hear the recital without fail, disguised as a leprosy patient. He would be the first one to come and the last one to leave. Tulsidasa should approach him. Tulsidasa did the same. He fell on the feet on Lord Hanumana one day and would not let him go untill He told him a way of meeting Lord Rama. Lord Hanumana had to, ultimately, give in to the strength of the inner desire of Tulsidasa to meet Lord Rama. He told him of a certain date when Lord Rama will pass throug the particular part of river’s bank called Chatrakoot Ghaat. Tulsidasa was ecstatic, but how would he know when they come. Lord Hanumana assuerd him that He would give him the hint when it happens. When the day came, Lord Rama, along with his yonger brother Lakshmana, came to the place. They indeed went to Tulsidasa to get blessed with a tilak of the sandal paste. (Tilak is the the mark put on the forehead with sandal paste or a red powder used in Hindu rituals.). While this was happening Lord Hanumana recited the couplet I gave at the beginning of this post. The approximate literal translation (its so difficult to find the exact words) of it is given below -
On the bank of river at Chitrakoot, there is a crowd of saints. Tulsidasa is preparing his sandal paste and Lord Rama is getting a Tilak.
On hearing this, Tulsidasa knew that he was actually meeting Lord Rama. He immediately fell on His feet and prayed to Him.He was blessed by his worshipped Lord.
There is an interesting piece of information about the character of Lord Hanumana, especially in the light of stereotype the bollywood movies have made out of him. He is considered to be the God of bachelors (ब्रह्मचारी). Well, this is true that he had practiced celibacy. But he is not the God of only the bachelors or those practising celibacy. In fact, he was blessed with immortality on earth, the only divine figure supposed to be living on earth even in the present age of sins that is kaliyuga (कलियुग). He is the only one to whom the prayers of the people born in kaliyuga can reach. He is like the messenger for all our prayers to all the Gods in this age. He is to be worshipped by everyone. (From Hanuman Chalisa – और देवता चित्त न धरई, हनुमत सेई सर्ब सुख करई)
If you take things I write about in this blog (and particularly in this series) too seriously, you know whom to route through your prayers from now on :D
Though I do not think you are wondering about it but just in case you are, what prompted this post was that I happen to hear Hanumana Chalisa and a “brahmachari” song of Mukesh almost next to each other :D