Hearing about Lord Rama - Part 8

Hearing about Lord Rama - Part 8

Narahari Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Hearing about Lord Rama", wherein we saw that Hanuman wanted a long life on earth to hear about Lord Rama. Now let us meditate further on this topic.

8. Hearing is higher than heavenly pleasureHanuman remembered the benediction offered by Sita voluntarily during coronation that all enjoyable things and enjoyable association will come to him automatically. He wanted to dovetail those enjoyments in the service of hearing about the Lord so that Her blessings does not go in vain. So he asked the next benediction as follows(Valmiki Ramayana 7.30.17, 18).

yatcha etas charitam divyam kathaa te raghunandana
tan mama apsaraso' raama shraavayeyu nararishaba
tat shrutva aham tato veera tava charyamritam prabho
utkantaamtaam harishyaami meghalekham iva anilah

"O Rama, the best among human beings, let the heavenly damsels(apsaras) recount to me the Your transcendental activities, O descendant of Raghu dynasty. My Heroic Lord, imbibing with my ears the nectar of Your transcendental activities, I can dispel the pain of Your separation just like the wind disperses a line of clouds."

People in general are desirous of attaining heavenly planets because we hear from the scriptures that heavenly planets have beautiful gardens, palaces and also full of beautiful women called apsaras and one can have life of great enjoyment. But here Hanumanji is praying that he wants the heavenly damsels to sing Ramalila and hear from them rather than enjoying the heavenly pleasures in their company. The bhagavata purana (3.15.48) also states as follows.

na atyantikam viganayanty api te prasaadam
kimv anyad arpita-bhayam bhruva unnayais te
ye ’nga tvad-anghri-sharanaa bhavatah kathaayaah
keertanya-teertha-yashasah kushalaa rasa-jnaah

"Persons who are very expert and most intelligent in understanding things as they are engage in hearing narrations of the auspicious activities and pastimes of the Lord, which are worth chanting and worth hearing. Such persons do not care even for the highest material benediction, namely liberation, to say nothing of other less important benedictions like the material happiness of the heavenly kingdom."

Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport that "The transcendental bliss enjoyed by the devotees of the Lord is completely different from the material happiness enjoyed by less intelligent persons. Materialistic persons aspire for the sense enjoyment of heavenly pleasure in the heavenly kingdom, but devotees reject such material pleasure at once. The devotee does not even care for the post of Indra. A devotee knows that any pleasurable material position is subject to be annihilated at a certain point." By this benediction, Hanuman illustrates that hearing about the Lord is more attractive than even heavenly enjoyment and gives eternal happiness.

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das