Understanding the Lord's Actions - Part 9

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, "Understanding the Lord's Actions". We will continue to meditate on the Lord Rama's strength and valour and the other wonderful reasons why Lord Rama and Lakshmana allowed themselves to be bound by the nāgastras of Indrajit. We saw that the first reason was to make the boons of Lord Brahma true.

2. To bring out the glory of His devotees:- Garuda and Hanuman are special devotees of the Lord and compared to the Lord's lotus feet in some Vaishnava traditions. This is because they never the allow the Lord to walk and they always carry the Lord on their shoulders (they serve the Lord's lotus feet). Garuda is famous for carrying the Lord on his shoulders and one of the Lord's names is Garudadhvaja. To acknowledge this great service the Lord wanted to bring out Garuda's glory. Also in the Rama lila, all the devatas and associates of the Lord were given a role to serve the Lord. But Garuda was not given any service to render Lord Rama and He did not participate in the Rama lila anywhere else. So in order to give Garuda an opportunity to serve Him in Rama lila, Lord Rama allowed Himself to be stuck by Indrajit's nā-astra and was saved by Garuda.

In Ramayana we find that before meeting Hanuman, Lord Rama walked in the forests and city. But after He met Hanuman, He seldom walked as Hanumanji always carried Him on his shoulders. During the war in Lanka also, Hanumanji carried Lord Rama on his shoulders when Rama did not have a chariot. Also Hanumanji served Lord Rama in an unparalleled way. To bring out the glory of Hanumanji, the Lord allowed Himself to be hit by Brahmastra of Indrajit and gave a chance to Hanuman to save Him. Also in this section the full glory of Hanuman is brought out. When the entire army was struck by Brahmastra and everyone was wounded, Jambavan asked Vibheeshana, "Is Hanuman the son of Vayu doing fine?" Vibheeshana was shocked by this and asked Jambavan, "Why you're not asking about the welfare of Lord Rama and Lakshmana. Why you ask if Hanuman is fine?" To this Jambavan replied, "If Hanuman is fine, then he can recover all of us and the entire army. But if he is hurt and even all of us are fine, there is no use. We are just living dead." By these statements and pastime the Lord wanted to show that His devotee is more glorious than Himself and greatness of His dear devotee Hanuman.

This pastime shows that the Lord is even willing to be defeated by the demons and hit by the them to make His devotees glorious. Generally people pray to God for protection considering Him to be the All protector. But an advanced devotee thinks that He should always protect the Lord and the Lord puts Himself in the mercy of His devotees. This pastime exemplifies this fact.

3. To teach lessons to the people:- In this lila though Rama and Lakshmana were stuck by the weapons and appeared to be defeated, finally they were saved. Though Indrajit appeared to win in these situations, finally he was destroyed. By this, the Lord taught the lesson that when one is engaged in devotional service, he may face lot of troubles due to various reasons. But if one persistently engages in the spiritual path, he will be helped by the Lord's devotees who will protect him for all downfalls and help him achieve the desired success which is pure love of God. At the same time, a person with no tinge of devotional service may appear to be successful in this world due to his previous good karma for some time, but he will not be able to cross over the ocean of birth and death and will be defeated by time.

Krishna willing, let us meditate further in the subsequent offering.

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