Hari - the Remover of Pride


Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Lord Kishna is famous for destroying the pride of his devotees. He was aware that Sudarshan and Garuda has become proud of their close association with Him. They both  started thinking that the Lord was protected by and dependent upon them. And His divine consort Satyabhama too harboured the thought that she was the most favourite of the Lord.

Krishna rode on the king of birds Garuda, flew to the heavens, defeated the king of the demi-gods Indra with his brilliant Sudarshan chakra, uprooted the Parijat tree and presented it to his wife Satyabhama.

All of them were overjoyed. However, the ugly form of pride and ego made their appearance. Satyabhama thought herself as the most beautiful among all of Krishna’s queens. “Why did you take so much of trouble to roam around the forest for Sita when she was not as beautiful as me?”,Satyabhama asked.  Sudarshan thought himself to be the most powerful weapon in the universe as all important tasks were being performed by him. Garuda thought of himself as the fastest flying bird in all of creation in addition to his enormous power which Krishna used on many occasions.

To settle issues, Krishna invoked Hanuman, the wise, self-effacing supreme devotee of the Lord in the mood of a servant – daasa. Hanuman arrived at the Dwarka’s royal garden and immediately started his trademark activities, jumping from tree to tree, plucking and eating fruits, breaking twigs and uprooting trees.

The royal guards and gardeners ran away in fear and informed Krishna. He summoned Garuda at once and told him to proceed with all the force of the Kingdom to catch the monkey. Garuda was incredulous and somewhat hurt. “Why all the soldiers, my lord, am I not enough for a mere monkey?” He prayed. “Yes, well, whatever it is, just bring that monkey to me”, Krishna ordered.

Garuda told Hanuman to surrender immediately and accompany him to meet with Krishna. “Why should I surrender? What have I done? It is my monkey nature to jump from tree to tree, eat fruits and break twigs. I have not done anything wrong. Further I am a devotee of Sri Rama. So I cannot meet Krishna.”, Hanuman replied emphatically.

“Rama and Krishna are same. Further you don't who I am. I am the king of birds - the all-powerful Garuda. I have defeated and killed many powerful demons and demi-gods with my needle sharp beak and talons. I fly the fastest and generate huge hurricanes with the force of my wings. Just surrender and save your life.”, Garuda said haughtily.

“I agree with you that Rama and Krishna are the same. But I prefer the form of Sri Rama only. I have seen many insignificant birds (khechar) like you in my life. Don’t try to impress me. Save your life from me and better get inside some strong cage”, Hanuman replied.

In the battle that ensued, Hanuman didn’t want to hit at Garuda hard. He just gently pushed Garuda and left for a mountain Malayachala in the South. But Garuda felt as if a powerful hurricane has hit him. He lost control and was tossed into the ocean. He remained unconscious for a long time and finally returned to Krishna dazed and wet. “What happened? You seem to be returning after a good bath in the sea.”, Krishna remarked. Garuda narrated the tremendous strength of Hanuman. Krishna told Garuda to meet Hanuman again, this time at the far away southern mountain and tell him that his Lord Rama wants to meet him.

Garuda went, apologized humbly to Hanuman and conveyed the Lord’s message. Hanuman was very pleased that his lord Rama has called him. He told Garuda to go back. “I will reach Rama soon.”, Hanuman said. Garuda wanted to offer his flying services but could not muster his courage. He flew at great speed wondering how long Hanuman would take to reach Dwarka.

Garuda landed safely at Dwarka, perspiring from the long tiring flight. But a surprise was in store for him. Hanuman has already arrived. His pride of speed and power vanished.

Here Sri Krishna donned Rama’s dress, arrow and bow in hand and asked Satyabhama to be dressed like Sita. She did as told. Krishna asked Sudarshan to guard the palace and not allow anyone to enter. Sudarshan whirled around the palace with all his might and dazzling splendour.

Hanuman was just entering the palace. Surdarshan whirled close around him preventing his entry. Thinking that he could not be late for the Lord’s summons, Hanuman captured the fiery discus and put it inside his mouth. He went in.

Hanuman fell at Rama’s feet. Rama embraced him. Hanuman brought out Sudarshan from his mouth and released it in the air. “He was delaying my meeting with you. So I put it in my mouth.” Hanuman said and looked around as if in search of someone dear. “I meet my Lord Rama in you. But where is my mother Sita? And why have you given so much of honour to an ordinary maid-servant here in place of my mother Sita?”, questioned  a distressed Hanuman.

Satyabhama, Sudarshan and Garuda all understood the lila of the Lord in destroying their false pride and ego. They all gratefully praised Him for taking the trouble to help the devotees when they become blind with pride and ego. They also appreciated Hanuman, the humble servitor of Lord Rama and the greatest icon of the selfless devotee around.

Of all the qualities in His devotees that are dear to the Lord, humility is the most dear.


Hari bol !

Jai Sri Radhey!