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Rama Prepares to Invade Lanka
|by Dr. C.S. Shah|
Hanuman flew by aerial route and reached his friends Angad, Jambuwanta, Sugreeva and others who were eagerly waiting for his return. The news of Sita was received with jubilation. Immediately they all started off to inform Rama and Laxmana about their discovery so that future plans could be drawn to seek her release.
In Southern India at the base camp, Rama, Laxmana, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Jambuwanta, Angad and others met to chalk out their plan of action to seek release of Sita, now that the whereabouts of Sita were known. It was sure that Ravana was adamant and would not release Sita without force. It was imperative wage the war against mighty army of Ravana to achieve their goal.
But Rama and Laxmana had no army of their own, hence Hanuman appealed to all monkey leaders to rally behind Rama in this noble war of righteousness. A huge army of monkeys and bears was thus formed and Angad was chosen its leader. Rama and Laxmana had divine and supernatural powers. They could have easily defeated Ravana and his army, but the lord Rama wanted to unite various clans into one unified people. The division of society into lower and higher caste and superior and inferior races was a taboo that Rama wanted to erase from the face of Bharata -ancient India. Therefore, he sought help of monkeys and bears (lower clans) in his mission.
All the well-wishers, full of enthusiasm, participated in the noble cause lead by Rama. The monkey brigade marched on towards Lanka. They once again reached the southern tip of India and faced the mighty sea ahead! It stood as a mighty obstacle in their march ahead. Only Hanuman was able to cross it, but it was not possible for others to do the same. How could the whole army reach the shores of Lankan kingdom.
This almost impossible task forced Rama to over the solution, but none was in sight! Everyone became depressed and despondent. The enthusiasm of having found the whereabouts of Sita was lost in their inability to rescue her.
Bridge Over The Sea
Hanuman was restless. Constantly thinking of Rama and Sita, his mind was immersed in the depths of contemplation. He was sure that solution to this problem must be available as Rama was with them. But what would be the solution! He did not yet know. Can they all swim across the sea, no. Can they all fly over the sea, no. Engrossed in such deep thoughts and constantly taking the holy name of Rama, he threw a stone in the water in front of him. To his utter disbelief he saw that the stone was floating over the water!!!
He threw another stone and was puzzled that it sank down in the water, it did not float. He could not fathom the secret of this peculiarity: One stone staying afloat and the other sinking! He tried many times but in vain, all the stones subsequently sank down to the bottom of sea. He brought this peculiarity to the notice of his associates. But nobody could explain why one particular stone was floating when it should also have sunk. Angad, Sugreeva, Jambuwanta all tried but no stone remained afloat.
Then Hanuman took the name of Rama and also threw a stone, unintentionally though. And it stayed afloat! The mystery opened up its secret in the intelligent mind of Hanuman. "Oh, I see" shouted Hanuman in ecstasy, "Look brothers, when I throw a stone after taking the name of Rama it floats, and when I throw it without taking his holy name it sinks."
Everyone tried the same thing. And to their joy they all found stones remaining afloat when thrown in the name of Rama. Soon they decided to construct a floating bridge over the sea from Indian coast to the shore of Lanka. Rama also decided to contribute his share of labor. Therefore he threw a stone after taking his own name, but to his amazement the stone he threw did not float. Hanuman was watching this mysterious play of the Lord with great amusement. He came to Rama, bowed down in reverence, and said,
"O Rama, how can the one survive whom you reject? You are throwing this stone away, how can it float! it is surely doomed and would sink down and down. There is no liberation for any person (as well as non-living thing) who is denied your grace. Without your support nobody becomes fit to cross this ocean of worldliness! Taking your name is, However, sufficient to prevent drowning of mortals like us"
Story of Tiny Squirrel
A tiny squirrel was watching this divine play from a nearby tree. She also came down, rolled over the sand of sea shore, and then went over the bridge of stones. There she released the particles of sand in the name of Rama. This she continued for days together, oblivious to hunger and thirst. This was the most sincere contribution of a small animal for the noble cause. Thus every Indian takes pride in contributing, in whatever small way he/she can, in the noble spiritual mission.
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