Following is a humble offering at the lotus feet Nitai Lakshmanchandra which I had written during Hanuman Jayanti. Nitai’s form as Lakshman is very dear to this fallen soul’s heart because it shatters my stone heart just remembering His unparalleled service and unconditional love for His brother- Gaur Ramchandra. Gaurhari is eternally bound by this service. Nitai always enacts this pastime with His beloved sakhas and Banka Raya in Lakshmangoria in Ekachakra…..this lila is very very dear and special to Nitaichand…..therefore begging His mercy…I share a small feeble attempt to glorify Gaur Krishna’s love for Nitai Balaram by trying to describe this lila.
On this auspicious tithi of Hanuman Jayanti, I would like to humbly make this offering at the lotus feet of Sri Rambhakta Shiromani Hanuman and Sri Ramchandra Anuja Lakshman (Nitaichandra). One of the most heart wrenching pastimes of all time is the Shaktisheela lila. Just the mere remembrance of this pastime causes the hearts of all devotees to start trembling. Dharanidhar Lakshman, the one who holds up all the millions of universes upon his head is lying on the ground unconscious. What a universal crisis! This is the time when Dhira Gambhira Raghunath (the sober, grave and always equipoised Sri Ram), who is eternally calm and steady, even that Supreme Lord had lost all His patience and fallen into a great ocean of despair and hopelessness. The one whose mere remembrance causes all the living entities to get a new ray of hope, He is sitting there in utter hopelessness lamenting bitterly. Oh Providence, what a heart breaking scene is this? Raghunath is sitting on the ground of the battlefield with Lakshman’s body resting on His lap. One moment He cries so loud and bitterly that the three worlds are submerged in those cries, the next moment He smiles at His Brother Lakshman who is lying there lifeless on His lap trying to force Him to speak, just to hear the words “Bhaiyya Bhaiyya” once from His lotus mouth. When His Brother does not rise even after hearing His soulful pleas, He lovingly complains to Him for not getting up.
“Oh my dearest Brother, you did not come to the forest with me to stake your life like this! How will I continue my pastimes if my Lakshman is not there? You have come from the spiritual world with me to save this world, how can you leave without me? Your life is my property, you cannot end it like this. You become agitated if your Brother is even slightly morose and immediately think of how to remove my sorrow, then why are you giving me this unbearable pain right now ripping my hear apart? You appear before me to serve even before I call out to you, now I am calling again and again…still why do you not rise?”
In this way, Ramchandra beseeches His beloved Lakshman. Still when His Brother does not rise…He again starts to cry and clasps His Lakshman to His chest kissing His forehead again and again. As each moment passes, Lakshman’s life is going. But it is actually not so, Lord Lakshman Nitai’s life is in the service of His Praner Bhrata Ramchandra Gaurhari. He intentionally took the shakti weapon on His own body so that His Lord Ram or Ram’s devotees would not have to deal with it’s painful attack. Then who is the real one suffering? It is Lakshman’s Ram. It is Ram who is enduring the unbearable pain of separation from His Brother, it is His life which is going with each sinking heart beat of Lakshman.
This pastime is the ultimate manifestation of the Supreme Lord Gauranga Krishna’s love for His Brother. Lord Nitai Himself goes into impenetrable trance in His eternal abode of pastimes in Ekachakra while enacting this lila. Ram became so morose and mad in grief that He forgot He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was lamenting in such a pitiful way that the three worlds-demigods, gandharvas, saints, patal loka residents, even rakshasas hearts began trembling as they watched on in awe…no one had seen the Lord this hopeless before. Oh who can understand what Lakshman Nitai means to Ram Gauranga?! Lakshman is not His Brother, Lakshman IS His life…anyone who doubts this even for a moment should hear this pastime again and again. Ram and Lakshman are two bodies and one soul- inseparable at any cost.
Even when Sita Mata, the Lord’s eternal consort, was taken away…Ram was not so unsteady or shattered. Why? Because Lakshman was there every second to console Him and to constantly ignite the flames of hope by His determined words, “Oh Bhaiyya, where ever Mata is in the three worlds, where ever Ravan may have taken her…we will surely find her or else your Lakshman will destroy this whole creation and bring her to You, then no power will be able to stop me. You are the Lord of the whole world, who has the power to confront You? Ravan is no more than an insect. Very soon we will find him and the whole world will glorify You as the vanquisher of Lankesh.”
How would have the Lord endured separation from His eternal consort for so many days? It was Lakshman’s association and encouragement which provided Him with spiritual strength and firm conviction to kill Ravan. Lakshman was even more eager than Ram to bring Sita Mata back to His Brother Ram. Ram had given Sugriva 4 months after killing Bali to rest and enjoy, they would find Sita after that. Lakshman could not bear this. He went into a fit of rage when Sugriva delayed a bit more than 4 months and compelled Sugriva to come to Ram’s service immediately with the monkey army. Ram is Bhaktavatsal, He is concerned only with the pleasure of His devotees. But Lakshman is sold out to His Brother, all He is concerned with is Ram’s pain, Ram’s pleasure, Ram’s service, Ram’s happiness and everything connected to His Ram. If anyone neglects Ram’s service, then there is no one more fierce than Lakshman (or Lord Balaram). He is the source and storehouse of all strength for His Brother. This another meaning of Balaram, of whom Lakshman is an incarnation. Bala, not only means the supplier of strength for all living entities, it means the one who who is spiritual strength storehouse even for the Supreme Lord due to His deep and unfathomable love. Ram- the one who is the source of all happiness for Sri Gauranga Krishna, always concerned with how to please His Brother and Master. Lakshman is the perfect example of this.
So when Ram’s strength and pleasure personified is lying there motionless before Him, what must be the state of His heart? Who can console Him? Who even has the courage to go before Ram right now? No one. The monkey associates didn’t either. Vibhishan ji, Jambvant ji, Sugriva, Angad and all the other prominent associates fearing the whole world will go into darkness if the Lord remains in this state tried with all their abilities to revive Ram’s broken heart but with no success. They told the Lord,
“Oh Lord, if You remain like this then what will happen to all the living entities who are dependent on You? You are the remover of everyone’s sorrow. If You remain drowned in this grief like this then what will be the state of Your part and parcels? Your devotees are ready to accomplish even the most impossible tasks by Your inspiration. If You remain hopeless like this, then how will they be able to bear this oh Ayodhya Nath?”
Ram did not hear any of this pleas. He simply replied,”Which Ram? Which Supreme Lord? What Ayodhya? If anything happens to my Lakshman, then you all will not see Ram alive either. Maharaj Sugriva, Jambvant, Nal, Neel…you all have staked your own life to fight for me but if my death is writ mourning for my Brother then who can avert that. Vibhishan ji, I had promised to make you the king of Lanka. Please forgive me, I will no longer be able to keep this promise. I cannot fight anymore. Let Ravan do what he must. I will not remain in this world even for a moment longer if my Brother leaves. I too will return back to the spiritual world.”
(This shows how the Lord needs nothing else in the absence of His Brother Sri Nityananda Ram. If Nitai is not there, then the Supreme Lord Gauranga does not care for anything else.)
Then the Lord would speak again to His brother. “Oh what a useless Brother I am, the shakti weapon hit my Lakshman’s body even while I was here. If I am unable to make my Lakshman rise today, then may no one ever take my name in this world ever again!”
(Sushen vaidya had told Ram it is possible to revive Lakshman only by sanjivani herb, but even Ram thought it was impossible to bring that herb from the other side of the world before the night is over.)
At this time, when the ten directions were mourning seeing Ram’s despair, Hanuman, the Lord’s true servant came to the rescue!!!! Without worrying about the obstacles or consequences, Hanuman vowed to bring sanjivani herb to Sri Lakshman before the night was over or never show his face to Ram ever again. Sevak sewa karne se pehle sochta nahi, bus sewa mein rath ho hai. 🙂 Then simply by taking Ram’s name, he accomplished this impossible task without any difficulty. See the power of the holy names that even when Ram Himself is hopeless at the moment, still His name never fails to accomplish the task. And a servant who has faith in His name is a true servant. Hari se bada hai Hari ka nam. And see the faith of a pure devotee! The Lord has lost hope, but the eagerness of the servant to serve his Master is still unaffected and increasing even more!
Hanuman’s name is Ram jivana data, bestower of Ram’s life. Lakshman is Ram’s life and Ram is Hanuman saved Lakshman’s life. The whole cosmic manifestation would have been in calamity if Hanuman did not save the day. If Lakshman were not there, Ram would give up His life. If Ram gives up His life, then Mother Sita sitting in Ravan’s courtyard would also give up her life. When this would happen, all the Lord’s associates would give up their life. If this happens, then the whole universe would be in a horrible crisis. So see, everyone’s life and soul rests within Nityananda even in the pastimes.
This is why Hanuman is so dear to Sri Ram. Hanuman sama sevak na hoi. Service is the highest and most pleasing to the Lord when there is an urgent need of it. When we serve the Supreme Lord, it is wholeheartedly accepted by Him but at the same time, He is not dependent nor in need of that service. But this is a time when even the Lord is in great need of help and is helplessly putting Himself before the favor of His devotee. Just like in Kurukshetra, service to Srimati Radharani is even higher than service to Her in Vrindavan because she is in most need of it that time (due to unbearable pain of seeing Krishna and still not being able to unite with Him). Similarly, Ram is in desperate need of help right now. Hanuman has done an unparalleled service by bringing Saumitra Lakshman back to life.
This is also proves that we become the dearest and greatest of the greatest servants of Sri Gauranga Krishna by serving His dearmost Sevak, Sri Nityananda Ram. This is why Gauranga says,
“Worship of my devotees is even greater than My worship.”
Ram’s happiness when Lakshman sprung back to life cannot be described for as long as the universe exists! Ram was sooo inexplicably pleased with Hanuman that He could not even speak or say a single word to him. He simply gazed at Hanuman with rajiv lochana filled with tears showering upon Hanuman ALL His blessings and merciful glance. When He was finally able to do anything, He clasped Hanuman to His chest and drowned him in His tears. Then He said in a choking voice, “Oh Hanuman, from this day on I am your chir-reeni (eternally indebted). You have purchased me. This Ram is yours.”
Laye Sanjivan Lakhan Jiyaye
Shri Raghuvir Harashi ur laye
You brought Sanjivan (A herb that revives life) and restored Lakshman back to life, Shri Raghuvir (Shri Ram) cheerfully embraced you with his heart full of joy.
This is how indebted Gaurhari becomes to anyone who serves Nitai with their mind, heart, body and words. He becomes speechless. All He can do is clasp that jiva to His heart and give Himself to them. This is why Nitai sevaks are the greatest Gaur sevaks!!! Ram had never hugged anyone is His life apart from Sitadevi…in this incarnation He rarely ever does. Hanuman got that mercy though! Why? Because He served Lakshman Nitai! One who performs special services for Nitai, gets special treats from Gaurhari. 😉 Hanuman had done the herculean sewa of bringing news of Sita devi from Lanka before, for which Ram affectionately caressed His head…but this was just rare mercy! Does anything else need to be said in glorification of Bajrang Bali Hanuman? It would simply be my audacity to even try and perceive a speck of His glories. By his blessings, may we all remain steadfast in the Lord’s service come what may following in his footsteps. Jaya Hanuman Jayanti!