Hanuman as a motivating leader

“sa vegavaan vegasamaahitatma haipraveerah paraveerahanta manah samaadhaaya mahanubhavo jagaam lankaam manasa manasvi”.

The translation is: ‘He focused his entire mind on speed alone and immersed himself with the thought of Lanka alone’.

These are the last two lines of ‘Kishkindakanda’ of Valmiki Ramayana. Valmiki,in this epic,makes no secret of his admiration for Hanuman. These lines brilliantly depict Hanuman’s state of mind before he undertakes to leap across the sea in search of Sita. The mental preparation he makes and the manner in which he motivates his colleagues before the all important mission is something to emulate for all of us. Before I explain these lines,let me give a short prelude and background to this.
As part of a mission to find Sita,a group of monkeys (including Hanuman) led by Angada were dispatched by Sugriva to explore in the southern direction. During their search,they ended up in a cave inhabited by a mysterious woman meditating all by herself. As she got disturbed by the arrival of the monkeys,she told them categorically that as per the mysterious powers bestowed on her,whoever entered the cave would not get out alive. However,as a special consideration she agreed to let them out unharmed. As they were about to make a ‘U’- turn,Angada realized that they had exceeded the time limit set by Sugriva for completing the search for Sita. He was also aware that Sugriva was not going to spare them if they came back empty handed after the deadline without any success. Therefore he exhorted the monkeys gathered over there to stay inside the cave and fast unto death,since in any case Sugriva would not be sparing their lives. Hanuman,though, was not convinced.
He used his skills,created rift among the followers of Angada and made sure that the latter was isolated on the issue of staying back in the cave fasting unto death. In order to achieve his noble purpose,he did not hesitate to pick up an argument with Angada. He supported Sugriva even as Angada started to abuse Sugriva as a guy without scruples,gratitude and any character whatsoever. Hanuman handled the situation quite cleverly and tactfully and convinced Angada. Finally,he managed to rally forces around his all important cause of crossing over to Lanka.(Earlier,they happened to learn about the whereabouts Sita through the bird Sampati).
As the monkeys arrived at the final spot where they would be required to cross the ocean,each monkey was asked to state his capacity for jumping across. And it turned out,the capacity of each monkey was falling short of the target needed to be achieved. Hanuman,though, remained silent throughout.
At this point,Jambavan took the initiative and reminded Hanuman of his great pedigree and capacity. That gentle reminder of his unlimited prowess was enough to ignite his mind instantly. Hanuman realized his potential and spontaneously delivered a wonderful speech,which turned the gloomy situation into one of joy. He spelt out his powers very clearly and removed the sorrow of all his monkey colleagues including that of Angada.
Here is a brief translation of his speech:
“I am a proud descendant of the powerful Wind-God,who is capable of smashing mountain peaks and who is unmatched in speed and rapidity. Therefore,I can go around Meru Mountain several times without any exhaustion. I am even capable of overtaking the Sun. Only Garuda,the celestial bird and the Wind-God can equal me in pace. As I take my stride in space,I will resemble the Lord Trivikrama taking a measure of the universe. So,I have no doubt that I will be able to find Sita”.

This speech elevated the spirits of every one around him instantly.
Having generated enthusiasm and excitement all around,Hanuman knew that it was important to focus his mind next on the job at hand. That is what is described eloquently by Valmiki in the last two lines of Kishkinda kanda reproduced above at the beginning of this post. To reproduce the translation once again – ‘He focused his entire mind on speed alone and immersed himself with the thought of Lanka alone’.

This is an excellent illustration of elevating oneself and others with confidence and enthusiasm before undertaking an important mission which calls for extraordinary mental skills and physical strength. And then,when the moment of action arrived,Hanuman knew it was time to concentrate and focus his entire mind completely on the task on hand.

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Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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