Its a great blessing to experience the love of grandparents. Love of grandparents is unique(just like the love of spouse,parents,mentors,Guru etc).They pamper , adore, love grandchildren endlessly. This is about grandparents who are human. If a human grandparent can love so much, what about the love of divine grandparent? This blog is about our experience with our divine grandfather – Lord Hanuman.
Lord Hanuman is a very well known Indian God and every other street in India almost has a temple dedicated to him. Such is the love of Indians for Hanuman. In my childhood, I went to Hanuman temple with my mother and there someone told me to never ever touch the feet of Lord Hanuman. They said – if a girl or lady touches the feet of Hanuman, her head will be cut. This sentence frightened me and I stayed distant from Lord Hanuman since then.
Time passed. I explored many Gods and Goddesses. The form of God changed but my attitude was formal towards God. I went to temple thinking God will remove my problems and somewhere in my mind, I also had a fear that if I don’t worship God, God will punish me. So I read all ashtotras and sahasranamas of various Gods and Goddesses without understanding the meaning. When I was in my intermediate, I read Hanuman Chalisa 40 times in one sitting as someone told me this will remove problems in life. I did fastings, bhajans like a serious believer in God. Some of my problems were removed and some were not. When some miracle happened, I became a firm believer temporarily and when things did not go as I expected, I became atheist temporarily (like those dramatic serials and movies show the heroine who gives up her belief in God). Thus my journey continued with God till 2009.
In 2009, I did Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga courses and something changed in me after this. Many things I was doing in my life did not make sense to me and I stopped them. I stopped reading ashtotras and sahasranams. I stopped going to temples. I stopped fasting(even on Shivarathri). I stopped following rituals. My mother thought I became a total atheist now. I still believed in God but I could not do anything which did not appeal to my heart and mind.
Now, with the entry of Guru in my life, I lost the fear of not worshipping God. I understood God is a kind being and he/she will not punish me if I dont worship him/her. So, I stopped following anything blindly and decided to do something only if it makes sense to me.This attitude continued for many years and some of my friends, relatives thought I became atheist. During this time, I became closer to my Guru and I started seeing my Guru as God. I felt I worshipped God whenever I lived as per the teachings of my Guru. I am happy with my Guru and did not feel the need to invest my time in God.
In 2014, I was searching for my life partner and was doing meditations given by my Guru seriously. In one meditation, Lord Hanuman appeared in my vision and told me not to worry about life partner. He said that its his responsibility to bring my life partner. I was amazed because I was not worshiping Lord Hanuman in any way and I did not expect his entry in my meditation. And really , after some months, I met my husband. This was amazing to me and made me take my meditation experience with Lord Hanuman seriously.
My husband does not know my meditation experience with Lord Hanuman and coincidentally gifted me Sundarakanda book(this is one section of Ramayanam which talks about Hanuman and his adventures). I read it and I liked Lord Hanuman. My husband and I used to discuss about Sundarakanda and felt happy talking about Lord Hanuman. We started calling him fondly as our Grandfather.After our marriage, my husband and I used to go to temple of Lord Rama as I really liked Lord Hanuman because of of his virtues described in Sundarakanda book. More than Lord Rama, I felt greater devotion, respect, love for Lord Hanuman. We used to meditate for some time in the temple and this temple became part of our life.
After multiple readings of Sundarakanda, we both felt we should read or listen to entire Ramayana.So we listened to Chaganti’s Ramayanam(Changanti Koteswar Rao Garu is a famous Telugu speaker who gave enchanting discourses on various Gods and Goddesses. His website – http://english.srichaganti.net/) and we felt its brilliant. Chaganti’s words opened my heart and for the first time, I understood why I should worship Lord Rama and Maa Sita. Thus started my journey with Lord Rama and Maa Sita . After listening to Ramayanam, I also connected more with Lord Hanuman and he became my role model.
A recent meditation experience made me start reading Hanuman Chalisa again and when I did google search, I found its meaning very beautiful.The peace and joy of chanting Hanuman Chalisa is amazing. I felt like reading more about Hanuman Chalisa and landed upon Devdutt Patnaik’s book – My Hanuman Chalisa (https://www.amazon.in/My-Hanuman-Chalisa-Devdutt-Pattanaik/dp/8129147955) . Its a good read which helped me understand the meaning of Hanuman Chalisa better. A little girl named Soorya Gayatri sang Hanuman Chalisa. Her voice made it much more divine and magical (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANk4fmRNyuE)
My Guru says -“What you meditate on, you become! Meditate on the guru and the higher beings.” In this way, Lord Hanuman became part of our lives and my husband and I started loving him like our own grand father and started meditating on him with the help of Hanuman Chalisa. My journey with him transformed from fear to love. My husband and I both aspire to become like him – physically strong, mentally strong, full of devotion, humble, focused, wise, kind, compassionate, fearless, hard-working, smart etc. Our grandfather is part of of our meditations, food, travel, conversations, jokes and everything about our life. He is in our thoughts deeply and hope one day we can meet him physically.
This journey became possible only because of practicing the teachings of my Guru(I practiced only 10% of what my Guru taught. I wonder what happens if I practice 100%). Thanks to my Guru, I experienced divinity and started seeing meaning in the rituals and processes followed in Hinduism. My Guru’s teachings helped me become a better Hindu. I thought such divine experiences like interacting with Lord Hanuman are possible only for great people but my Guru and his teachings made it possible for an ordinary, imperfect person like me as well.
Truly, Guru can do anything. Guru can pick up garbage and transform it into gold. Guru can convert a desert into beautiful garden filled with sweet mangoes and cool water. Guru can create a way where there is no way.
Jai Sri Ram! Jai Hanuman!