Hanuman – the curse and the cure

Saint Sri Tulsidasji
Saint Sri Tulsidasji

A devotee Samiksha Panday from Pietermaritzburg has sent me these selected lines from the KISHKINDHA KAND of SHRI RAMCHARITMANAS by Goswami Sri Tulsidas to be read BEFORE the Hanuman Chalisa is recited to dispel the curse placed upon him by the rishis. Between Doha no. 29 and Doha no. 30







Pawanasuta Hanumani ki Jai ! - courtesy Sri Sunil Parthab
Pawanasuta Hanumani ki Jai ! – courtesy Sri Sunil Partab


Hanuman on to Lanka

Hanuman, Angada, Jambavan and others went towards the South in search of Sita. Sugreeva had given them only a month\’s time to find her. They wandered far and wide and grew utterly weary.  At last they came to the sea. They stood before the vast, roaring sea.

The period granted by Sugreeva was over.  So what were they to do?  The brave soldiers of Sugreeva sat bewildered. If they returned to Kishkindha, Sugreeva would certainly punish them. So, Angada suggested that they should fast to death on the seashore. But Hanuman replied, \”Angada, that would not be right. Surely Sugreeva will not punish us if we return.\” He tried to persuade them in many ways. But the others in their pessimism would not listen to him. All of them spread some darbha grass and lay down on it, determined to die.

Just then Sampathi came there. From him they learnt that Sita was Ravana\’s prisoner in Lanka. Their joy knew no bounds. They danced about shouting, \”Oh! Now we know about Sita!  \”With great enthusiasm, they turned to the sea. But who could cross the ocean?\”

One of them said, \”I can jump across ten yojanas.\” (The \’yojana\’ was the old unit of measurement of distance.) Another said, \”I can jump twenty yojanas.\” Jambavan was a mighty warrior, but now old.  He said, \’When I was young, 1 could leap over any distance. Now I am old, and can leap ninety yojanas. But this is a hundred\”.  Angada went further – I can cross a hundred yojanas, and reach Lanka.  But I do not know if 1 will have strength left to come back.\”

The old Jambavan consoled them all and said, \”Hanuman is the only great hero who can leap over the sea to Lanka and come back.  Let me go and cheer him up and encourage him.\” Hanuman was sitting apart from the others and silently gazing on the sea.

The Celebrated Curse

Some sages had pronounced a curse upon Hanuman, when he was a young boy – which he would not be aware of his own strength unless others told him of it. As a child Hanuman flew about freely and was quite mischievous.  In fun, he leapt over trees and peaks of mountains, uprooted trees, hurled them on wild elephants and lions, entered heritages of sages, broke away their utensils, uprooted and snatched their beards, disturbed their mediation and committed sportive exploits which troubled sages very deeply. Even his parents were at a fix and could not realise what to do with him. Finally the sages anathematised (pronounced a curse) Hanuman in these words \”O Hanuman! you will forget all those powers and boons that have been bestowed upon you.  You will regain your vigour and vitality only when some one eulogises your greatness and glory.\” The anathema made Hanuman staid and tranquil. Hence, Hanuman would never know how powerful and strong he was. Others would have to explain to him his strength.  Only then would he be realizing it.

Jambavan now praised Hanuman\’s strength and ability. He said, \”No other living creature has your strength, wisdom and radiance. -Why are you sitting quiet, not knowing yourself.? You can certainly jump over the ocean.\”

cimg6146As Hanuman became aware of his own powers, being reminded, great enthusiasm welled up in him.  He stood up and after glancing at them and began to grow.  His companions were astonished. As they went on praising him, his stature grew.  He grew so tall that he could jump across the sea. Still he was very modest.  He bowed to the elders and said, \”I am the son of the Wind God who can move in the skies without touching the earth.  If need be, I can throw skyward all the water of this ocean and make the three worlds float on water. I will go like lightning and surely find Sitadevi.\”