A few years ago, Divine Life Society of S.A. youth girls prepared a power-point and audio presentation on the Ramayana and the "Sri Hanuman Ashtak" which we gladly included into our programme. The "Sri Hanuman Ashtak" was written by Tulsidas. These eight verses, sung in praise of Lord Hanuman, ends with a Doha. "The Hanuman Ashtak" is chanted for general well-being and for the removal of obstacles. It also aids one in the pursuit of educational ideals and helps devotees to aspire for higher spiritual goals.
Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda wrote the following, "Hanuman was the embodiment of humility and pure devotion. He was recognised as a great Karma Yogi and the ideal Brahmachari. It was the power of Brahmacharya that gave him enormous strength and courage. Within a second, he could become as big as a mountain or as small as a thumb-nail. In spite of all the super human deeds that Sri Hanuman performed, he remained humble and always replied that everything was accomplished 'By the Grace of Lord Rama'. He never boasted of his bravery and intelligence. He said to Ravana, 'I am a humble messenger of Sri Rama. I have come here to serve Sri Rama, to do His work. By the command of Sri Rama, I have come here. I am fearless by the Grace of Sri Rama. I am not afraid of death. I welcome it if it comes while serving Sri Rama.'
"See how humble Hanuman was! How deep was his devotion to Sri Rama! He never said, 'I am the brave Hanuman. I can do anything and everything.' Sri Rama Himself said to Hanuman, 'I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero. You did marvellous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. Sugriva has his kingdom restored to him. Angada has been made the crown prince. Vibhishana has become king of Lanka. But you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita. How can I repay My debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you. I give you the boon of ever¬lasting life. All will honour and worship you like Myself. Your idol will be placed at the door of My temple and you will be worshipped and honoured first. Whenever My stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before Mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!'
"Thus, did Sri Rama praise Hanuman when the latter returned to Him after finding Sita in Lanka. Hanuman was not a bit elated. He fell in prostration at the holy Feet of Sri Rama. Sri Rama asked him, 'O mighty hero, how did you cross the ocean?' Hanuman humbly replied, 'By the power and glory of Thy Name, my Lord.' Again, Sri Rama asked, 'How did you burn Lanka? How did you save yourself?' And Hanuman replied, 'By Thy Grace, my Lord.' What profound humility Hanuman embodied in himself"!
Our Master concludes with fitting advice to all Sadhaks and our present-day leaders, "There are many who want wealth in return for their services. Some do not want wealth, but they cannot resist name and fame. Others do not want any of these, but they want approbation. Still others want nothing, but they boast of their deeds. Hanuman was above all these. That is why he is recognised as an ideal Karma Yogi and an unsurpassed adept in Bhakti. His life is full of object lessons. Everyone should try his best to follow the noble example of Hanuman. His birthday falls on Chaitra Shukla Purnima—the March-April full moon day. On this holy day worship Sri Hanuman. Fast on this day. Read the Sri Hanuman Chalisa. Spend the whole day in the Japa of Ram-Nam. Hanuman will be highly pleased and will bless you with success in all your undertakings. Glory to Hanuman! Glory to his Lord, Sri Rama"!