Seeking the blessing of Lord Hanuman Ji on his Jayanti
Sudhir Bisht recalls how he was saved from death by drowning in Atlantic ocean by invoking the name of his favourite God, Hanuman Ji, several years ago
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Tuesday that just went past us was a special day for all the followers of Hanuman ji. It was Hanuman Jayanti on 11th April and my Whatsapp app was busy since morning as all my friends and well wishers were sending me the message of Hanuman Jayanti, nonstop. As a practising Hindu, I say my prayers every day and I seek favours from all the Gods and Goddesses all the time. Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Vishnu the preserver and Bhagwan Shankar, the creative-destroyer are my prime Gods and I am always invoke their names in my prayers but my favourite God, or should I say God’s avatar, is Hanuman Ji.
I outgrew the Ramlila craze once I went to college but my fascination for Hanuman Ji never ebbed one bit.
Hanuman anchors my life. If ever I need to be comforted, I close my eyes and he immediately lifts me on his index finger and taps me gently and I feel comforted. If I am afraid, I only have to imagine the mighty Hanuman flying above the mountains and carrying the Dronagiri hill on his outstretched palm of his raised left hand. What am I, if not just a tiny shrub on the mountain that rests in the palm of my God?
I think that it is not only me who is attracted so much towards Hanuman but all men and women of my generation who have watched the Ramlilas that were so popular in North India during the seventies and the eighties. My uncle was a member of the organising committee of one such Ramlila and I used to always take part in the Ramlila. It gave me greatest joy to wear the monkey make up and act as one of the tiny monkeys that comprised the vaanar-sena of the mighty Hanuman.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he actor playing Hanuman was always the one with impressive height and solid muscles. He needed to be a non smoker. That was the strict rule laid down by the Ramlila committee and the actor had to shun consuming alcohol and meat during the days he donned the role of Hanuman. The actor who used to act that part in our Ramlila was a strong fellow, a stern looking man. The actor seldom smiled in real life but once he was in the getup of Hanuman Ji, a ready smile would start to play on his lips. He would become gentle in manners and would often pat his vaanar sena members on their backs.
I was living in Lagos and we had gone to an Indian temple in the Lekki peninsula where I prayed before the deity of Hanuman. I felt a sense of remorse for having forgotten him and I sought his forgiveness. Everyone knows that Hanuman is a very lenient God. He forgives his bhakts easily and never punishes them for their indifference towards him.
I remember the actor being very fond of drinking tea and in between his stage appearances he would gulp one or two cups of tea. Many of us used to vie with one another to be able to serve our Boss, the mighty Hanuman Ji, his cup of tea.
I outgrew the Ramlila craze once I went to college but my fascination for Hanuman Ji never ebbed one bit. Whether it was about getting a score commensurate to my efforts or it was about winning the college debates, Hanuman was the only God that I went to, praying for help. I received his Blessings many a times and if he chose not to favour me, I would pray to him to help me get over the sorrow of failure.
Somewhere during the late nineties, when I had become a householder, I started to forget Hanuman Ji. For many years, I didn’t remember him but in the early part of 2005, when I had gone to live in a foreign land, away from my family. I started to remember him again.
I was living in Lagos and we had gone to an Indian temple in the Lekki peninsula where I prayed before the deity of Hanuman. I felt a sense of remorse for having forgotten him and I sought his forgiveness. Everyone knows that Hanuman is a very lenient God. He forgives his bhakts easily and never punishes them for their indifference towards him. It is said that Hanuman keeps a record of how many times you prayed for him but never keeps a track of the times when you forget him.
That day at the temple, I rediscovered my reverence for Hanuman Ji and I promised to say my Hanuman Chaalisa more often. I think he understood and looking at the majestic deity, I knew that he said, “Okay my son, you are forgiven. But do keep in touch.”
That evening we had plans to go to the Atlantic Ocean to watch the sunset. The temple priest gave me a cap on which it was written ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ I wore the cap and set out for the beach with my friends.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he beach we chose to go to had very few tourists at that time. The waves were rushing in towards the shore and going away immediately in a series of high and low tides. Everyone started to go into the sea, but only up to a safe distance. I think in my over enthusiasm or may be out of foolhardiness, I went a bit deeper into the sea. Giving me company were some of my local friends but I learnt later that they were all expert swimmers who enjoyed deep-sea swimming. And I was not even a swimming pool swimmer. And I was showing a sense of valour that far exceeded my capabilities.
And lo! Suddenly one very, very violent sea wave carried me into the ocean. Within a few seconds, my entire life went past my mind like a movie on a cassette that has been put on a fast-forward mode. I could feel life slipping away. A small tide pushed me towards the shore but a much bigger tide drew me deeper into the sea. I remember losing my mental balance and I shouted to Hanuman for help. I was mumbling, “Hanuman Ji. Take away any other treasure but spare my life.”
Suddenly a very strong wave pushed me very rapidly towards the shore and my Indian friend, a strong man by the name of Vishal caught hold of my hair and when the reverse wave came, he sunk in his feet hard in the sand and pulled me towards himself. We then ran towards safety, Vishal leading me by holding my right hand and running hurriedly.
Later Vishal told me that he could catch me by my hair because my cap had just fallen off and he could get hold of my long hair.
Hanuman Ji had taken away my cap on which it was inscribed, ‘jai Shri Ram’
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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