• Vijeta Gawdi

Storyteller: Ram v/s Hanuman


So, this happened last week. Daddy dearest came home from work. Yes, he runs an essential commodities business and to be honest, his schedule gives me a sense of normalcy in this current situation. So coming back, the girls are playing with their dolls and having a pretend tea party, when daddy decides to poke fun at them. This is his way of unwinding after a day's work.

The 8 year old does not take things lying down:) and so stage 1- tell him to stop, stage 2- start to get visibly irritated, stage 3- after the incessant, oh so hurtful remarks from Daddy dearest about speaking in an American accent whilst pretending it's the doll speaking, bursts out in a fit of rage.

As amusing as this whole charade is, the 6 month old has gone down for a nap and my heart is palpitating at the thought of losing my chance of a peaceful dinner from all the screaming.

Now my 3 year old exhibits the senility of saints sometimes. She is quick to reprimand the 8 year old with a heart-melting, "Tsk! Tsk! You should not talk to Daddy like that, Kaavya!" Very cheekily she decides to turn the situation in her favour and hugs Daddy dearest, this is her chance to be Beti No 1."What's the matter, Daddy? Why are you so sad?" she asks meekly. Quite naturally, the 8 year old feels cheated, she has lost a member from her team to the opposition party. This is treachery! So she makes her disdain and disappointment heard with a, "What's the matter?! Daddy is the matter! What else could the matter be?" My husband and I burst out laughing at her defiance. She is growing up so fast.

This is just the beginning of the so many fights and arguments, we as parents are destined to have with her. There comes a time in the child's life, where briefly, the parent is the nemesis of the child. I am guilty of the same with my parents. We fight with the very people who love us the most. Sometimes out of guilt and at times because there really is no choice.

Today's story is about- When Hanuman had to fight Bhagwan Sri Ram.

Once upon a time, the king of Kasi, Yayati had incurred the wrath of the sage Vishwamitra. Now, Vishwamitra was known for his bad temperament. In a fit of rage, he called upon his disciple Sri Ram and ordered him to bring Yayati's head at his feet by dusk. Bhagwan Sri Ram, dutifully set out to fight the King. When Yayati learnt of this, he was petrified. Bhagwan Shri Ram's reputation preceded him. If he had made a vow to his teacher, he sure would not rest until it was fulfilled.

Yayati approached Narada for help. Narada saw this as an opportunity to conduct an experiment for kicks. He wanted to see what was more powerful, The Lord Sri Ram himself or Sri Ram's name. So he guided Yayati to approach Anjani, Hanumanji's mother for help. Anjani was moved by Yayati's plight and promised to him, her son's protection. She was completely oblivious of the fact that it was Sri Ram who Hanuman had to protect Yayati from. Now, a promise was a promise. As it was the rule during the Raghuvanshi Raaj, the time of Lord Shri Ram- प्राण जाए पर वचंन् ना जाए। So as devastated as Hanumanji was, he started preparing for the battle that was to ensue.

When Sri Ram stood against Hanumanji, the latter pleaded with him for Yayati's life and begged him for forgiveness. A dejected Sri Ram told him that, just as it was most important for him to fulfil his promise to his teacher, so also Hanumanji should not deter in fulfilling his promise to Yayati. Hanumanji bowed before Sri Ram and said, "My Lord! Grant me the boon, that whosoever will chant your name, will always have your protection." Hanumanji was already at Sri Ram's feet and so Sri Ram had to grant him the blessing.

The battle began. Hanumanji coiled his tail around Yayati into a mountain and asked him to chant Sri Ram's name as long as it took for the battle to end. Hanumanji then grew ten folds in size and stood in front of Sri Ram, preventing him from reaching Yayati. Sri Ram started flinging an array of arrows at Hanumanji but since the latter was chanting The Lord's name, the arrows turned into flowers upon hitting him. Yayati too remained unharmed because he was also chanting the Lord's name.

Vishwamitra was privy to this debacle and felt guilty at having to pit a devotee against his Lord. He ordered Sri Ram to stop the battle and get Yayati to simply bow his head at his feet, an action that would result in the order to be fulfilled. The battle stopped, Yayati touched his head to Vishwamitra's feet and asked for forgiveness. Narada arrived at the spot and concluded, it is Bhagwan Sri Ram's name that will resolve and absolve all the problems of the many generations of mankind.

जय श्री राम! To all the trials and tribulations that we will have to face with our children. In the fight to protect them from the vices and evils of the world, we may sometimes be the Yayati of their lives and earn their resent doing the same. In due time the storm of adolescence will pass and this beautiful relation of a parent and child will be one that is unbreakable and unshakeable.

Bracing for the Terrible Teens.

Vijeta Gawdi:)

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