Hanuman is the personification of dasya bhava the attitude of the servant. He started his life serving Sugriva, son of Surya (the God of the son) and the ruler of the monkey kingdom. Later in his life he became the humble servant of Rama.
It is said that this form of bhakti destroys the ego. Hanuman always performed his duties modestly, humbly, and with great devotion. He even chose not to marry so he could devote himself entirely to the service of Rama.
Today I am going to share with you a story where Hanuman actually did feel some pride for helping his beloved Rama. After saving Sita Hanuman had received praise from Sita and a letter from Brahma (the God of creation) to Ram outlining all of Hanuman’s success. After this even Hanuman felt a little twinge of self-gratification for his accomplishments.
After saving Sita, Hanuman decided to return to Rama. He went to the highest peak of Lanka, grew in size, repeated the mantra Rama, and took a flying leap, and flew across the sky over the sea.
When he reached the mainland he was very thirsty so he decided to land close to an ashram with a lake beside it. He approached a sage sitting beside the lake in meditation and asked if he may drink from the lake. The sage said yes. Hanuman carefully put down Rama’s ring and went to drink from the water.
While Hanuman was drinking from the water one of the monkeys came out of the forest, took Rama’s ring and placed it in the Sage’s water pot. When Hanuman returned he asked the sage what had happened to Rama’s ring. The sage didn’t murmur a word, but simply pointed to the water pot.
When Hanuman looked inside the water pot he was shocked to find that it was filled with rings that were exact replicas of Rama’s! Hanuman asked the sage to tell him which one belonged to Rama. The sage broke his silence and told him that they all belonged to Rama.
Hanuman was confused, so the sage explained. In each of the eons known as Treta, Hanuman would come and drink water from his lake and a monkey would drop a ring in his water pot. Hanuman was dumbfounded and asked how many rings there were. The sage simply smiled and told him to count for himself. Hanuman quickly saw that there were too many to count.
Hanuman then realized that he was not unique. In all of creation, one age follows another. Many others had come before him and many others would come after him. This experience was enough for Hanuman to release any pride he had in his achievement.
Later when Hanuman saw Rama, Rama already had his ring on his finger. Rama explained that he had taken the form of the sage to help take away even the smallest bit of pride. Hanuman begged Rama to never let him fall prey to pride again and Rama granted him this boon.
Resource: Hanuman: The Devotion and Power of the Monkey God by Vanamali
Props Needed: Blocks, Bolster, Yoga Strap, Chair, Blanket
Yoga Asana/Postures: Chest Opener with Bolster, Setu Bandhasana/Bridge Pose, Anjaneyasana/Lunge pose, Adho Mukha Savasaha/Downward Facing Dog, Utkatasana/Chair Pose, Virabhadrasana/Warrior One, Humble Warrior, Viparita Karani/Legs up the Wall, Prone Twist with a bolster, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana with Chair/Revolved Head to Knee Pose with Chair