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Report: Sri Hanuman Jayanti 2024

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Sri Hanuman Jayanti was celebrated at all Sivanandashrams of Divine Life Society of South Africa on Tuesday 23 April 2024. At Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, the Sri Hanuman Jayanti Satsang was preceded by chanting of the Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram Mantra from 4 to 4.30pm and Havan at 4.30pm, being the culmination of the 41-Day Recital of the Sri Hanuman Chalisa. Ganga Arati was at 5.30pm, followed by Satsang. The Satsang programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, the Sri Hanuman Arati and a reading, "Sri Hanuman Meets His Divine Master" from the Shree Ramacharitmanasa, as well as a poem entitled "Sri Hanuman" from "Great Men and Women" by Sri Swami Sivananda.

The Sri Hanuman Arati extolled the virtues of Sri Hanuman. The English translation of the initial Sloka of the Sri Hanuman Arati captures the essence of the Arati, namely, "Sing the Arati of Lord Hanuman, the destroyer of all that is wicked, an exalted hero in Sri Rama's sportive play on earth. His massive power makes even mountains shake. Neither sickness nor impurities can come close to His devotees".

The reading, "Sri Hanuman Meets His Divine Master" aptly and vividly captured the emotionally charged first meeting between Sri Hanuman and Lord Rama. Excerpts appear below:

"Taking the form of a Brahmana, Sri Hanuman went up to the two brothers and bowing his head accosted them thus, 'Who are you, heroes - one of dark complexion, the other fair-that roam the woods disguised as Kshatriyas? Treading the hard ground with your tender feet, wherefore are you wandering in the forest, my masters? Though possessed of delicate, charming and beautiful limbs, how is it that you have exposed yourself to the scorching sun and stormy winds of these wild regions? Are you of the Trinity (namely, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the three worlds), or are you the twin divine sages Nara and Narayana?'
"'Or, are you the Prime Cause of the world and the Master of all the spheres, manifested in human form, to bridge the ocean of mundane existence and relieve the burden of the earth'?"

Lord Rama and Lakshmana explained their lineage and reason for being in the forest. The reading continued as follows, "Now Sri Hanuman recognized his Lord and prostrating, clasped His Feet. That joy was more than could be described. A thrill ran through his body and no words came to his lips as he gazed on the lovely style of their dress. The joy that Sri Hanuman experienced was more than could be described in words. This first meeting was electric. Then recovering, he sang His praises and was glad at heart to have found his Master".

Acknowledging his own weaknesses and faults, Sri Hanuman said, "Although, my Lord, I have many faults, let not the servant be cast into oblivion by the Master. The Jeeva (ego), O Lord, is deluded by your Maya and can be redeemed only by your Grace. On top of it, I swear by the hero of Raghu's lineage, I know neither adoration, nor any other means of pleasing you. A servant depends on his master and a child on its mother and both remain free from anxiety; for a master must take care of his servant.

"Thus speaking, he fell at the Lord's Feet much agitated; his heart was overwhelmed with love and he manifested his own (monkey) form. The Lord of Raghus then lifted and clasped him to his bosom and soothed him by wetting him with the tears of his eyes." The Lord reassured Sri Hanuman thus, "Listen, O Hanuman, be not depressed at heart; you are twice as dear to Me as Lakshmana. Everyone says that I look upon all with the same eye; but a devotee is particularly dear to Me, because he too, depends on none but Me."
Sri Hanuman, having found his Master so gracious to him, rejoiced at heart and all his agony disappeared.
The reading was followed by a beautiful poem entitled "Sri Hanuman" by Sri Swami Sivananda. It reads....

Great Men and Women by Sri Swami Sivananda

Sri Hanuman was born of Anjana
And Pavana, the Wind God.
He is known as 'Mahaveer'
Balibim and Maruti.
He was the greatest hero.
He is one of the seven Chiranjivis.
He is the only Navavyakarana Pundit.
He is the personification of Brahmacharya.
He is the wisest of the wise.
He had the power to assume
Any form he liked.
He was the chosen messenger of Lord Rama.
He was the greatest Karma Yogi.
He was highly devoted to Sri Ram.
He crossed the sea
And gave Sri Rama's ring to Sita.
He brought back Sita's Chudamani to Lord Rama.
He burnt the whole of Lanka,
He brought Sanjeevini from the Himalayas
To make Lakshmana come back to consciousness.
Glory to Sri Hanuman.
My prostrations unto Him.

May the blessings of Sri Hanuman be upon us all.

Last modified on Sunday, 28 April 2024 12:23
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