april 2023 krishnaarchana 39 block. He let out such a loud cry at birth that it was a sonic boom which shattered the clouds. He was aptly named Meghanada. Meghanada did fantastic Tapas and acquired many boons. He wanted to test his powers and went and conquered Indra. Then he earned the honorific Indrajit. Sri Rama’s war in Lanka could not have been won if Indrajit had survived. The credit for killing him went to the fearless Lakshmana who empowered the fatal arrow with his devotion to Sri Rama and Sri Rama’s divine glory and that arrow killed Indrajit. Two warriors that Ravana could not defeat were Kartiviryarjuna and Vali. Sage Agastya narrated how Vali defeated Ravana and compelled him to make a truce. After hearing so many wonderful stories about all these warriors, Sri Rama fell into a reverie. Then Sri Rama said something very significant, bowing his head and with folded hands out of reverence to all the sages. न त्वेताभ्यां हनूमता समं त्विति मतिर्मम “Sir, although they were great, I don’t think Vali or Ravana came anywhere near Hanuman in real prowess. Let me explain why I say so.” शौर्यं दाक्ष्यं बलं धैर्यं प्राज्ञता नयसाधनम् । विक्रमश्च प्रभावश्च हनूमति कृतालयः ॥ सीदन्तीं कपिवाहिनीं समाश्वास्य योजनानां शतं प्लुतः। धर्षयित्वा लङ्कां सम्भाषिता ह्याश्वासिता सीता॥ सेनाग्रगा मन्त्रिसुताः एकेन विनिपातिताः। भूयो बन्धाद्विमुक्तेन भाषयित्वा दशाननं लङ्कां भस्मीकृता ॥ न कालस्य न शक्रस्य न विष्णोर्वित्तपस्य च कर्माणि तानि श्रूयन्ते यानि युद्धे हनूमतः ॥ एतस्य बाहुवीर्येण लङ्का सीता च लक्ष्मणः प्राप्ता मया जयश्चैव राज्यं मित्राणि बान्धवाः ॥ (lines extracted from Sarga 35, Uttara Kanda). “Revered sage! Valour, competency, physical prowess, courage, intelligence, diplomacy, incredible feats of daredevilry, and the ability to decisively influence the course of events - all these qualities have made their home in Hanuman! When the vanaras were about to give up their lives after their failed search for Sita, Hanuman instilled hope in them, took off and crossed the ocean. He broke into the impregnable Lanka, found Sita, and gave her much-needed hope and a breath of confidence. Single-handedly, he finished off many warriors and sons of Ravana! He freed himself from the binds of Brahmastra and the many ropes that rakshasas tied him up with. He met and spoke sternly to Ravana. Finally, he burnt down Lanka!” “I have not heard of any such incredible feats performed by either Yama, Indra, Vishnu, or Kubera equal to Hanuman’s feats. It is only by the power of Hanuman’s arms that I was able to get victory over Lanka, get Sita back, get Lakshmana back to life, and get back to my kingdom and my near and dear ones!” With exemplary brevity, Sri Rama painted a complete picture of Mahaveera Hanuman. Sage Agastya enthusiastically concurred with Sri Rama. He also told him the story of Hanuman’s birth as the son of Vayu, how he was blessed by Brahma, Indra and other gods with boons, and how all his powers were held in abeyance and were fully manifested only when he had an opportunity to serve Sri Rama. Sage Agastya concluded by saying: “Prowess, enthusiasm, extreme valour, great character, gentleness, diplomacy and softness, dignity and decorum, intelligence and problemsolving, physical might used well to serve what is good, and courageous in every circumstance - these qualities are in Hanuman more than in any other being in creation.” Repository of all scriptures “Hanuman studied Sanskrit grammar thoroughly under Surya after seeking him with all diligence. He became the repository of all scriptures. He mastered all the rules and corollaries of Sanskrit and the meanings of all words in existence. There is no one comparable to Hanuman in this regard. He is also the past master in syntax and prosody.” “Even so, he is supreme in asceticism. In fact, Hanuman is a worthy rival to Brihaspati, the preceptor of gods. Hanuman was the first to master the nine forms of Sanskrit grammar. Even Lord Brahma was proud of him.” “In powers, Hanuman is like the ocean who can flood anything. He is like the fire which can burn anything down. He is like Yama, who has the power to end anyone’s life. No one should dare to confront Hanuman.” This was high praise for Hanuman from Sage Agastya, who was in a way a Guru to Sri Rama, bestowing boons and divine weapons and ornaments on him at crucial points in the story of Ramayana. Indeed, just before the final battle with Ravana, Sri Rama was motivated by Sage Agastya by teaching him the Sri Aditya Hridayam.