Popular Hindu Epic, Ramayana is all about the stories around Lord Rama and Devi Sita. Everyone who knows the stories of Ramayana cannot forget the Leela of Lord Hanuman performed to serve his Lord, Sri Rama.
According to the Puranas, it was all planned by Trinity Gods – Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara. As advised by Lord Brahman to defeat Ravana, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi took a human avatar as Rama and Sita. While Lord Shiva as Hanuman and Shesha Naag (Serpent bed of Vishnu) as Lakshmana.
Rama meets Hanuman
While it was all divine intervention (even to this date today), let us see what Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana talks about the first meeting of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman.
Sri Rama and His brother Lakshmana were walking in the forests of Rushyamukha Parvata near river Pampa. Sugriva saw two youngsters armed with bows and arrows, he was terrified because he thought his brother Vali sent them to kill him. Sugriva ran away from there to see his Ministers, one of them was Hanuman. Hanuman stopped the Vanara King, Sugriva from running and asked him.
“Let all banish fear of Vali! There is nothing to inspire terror on this, the highest of mountains. I do not see any sign here of that cruel Bali of evil aspect, who has filled you with apprehension and caused your flight, O Bull among Monkeys. That cunning creature whom you fearest, your wicked elder brother, is not here, O Friend: I see no cause for thine apprehension. It is evident, O Plavamgama, that your simian nature is asserting itself, since, by giving way to distraction of mind, you are not able to see clearly. You are intelligent, experienced, able to read the expression of others and fully prepared for any eventuality, but a prince who gives way to agitation is not able to forestall any.”
Sugriva explains what he saw near the river Pampa to Hanuman, one of his closest Ministers. Hanuman asked him to calm down and reminds him that “A King should not be terrified on the sight of two young warriors”. He further added, A good king is the one who observes the state of others and their essence in a conversation, understands it, acts accordingly that benefits his subjects. Vali and his soldiers can never approach this mountain nor the forests. Even if he attempts to act so, he will be dead due to a curse. So these warriors aren’t messengers of Vali.”
“Seeing those two long-armed warriors of large eyes, armed with bows and swords, resembling the offspring of the Gods, who would not be afraid? I deem these two powerful heroes to be the messengers of Vali. Kings have many friends, and I do not feel able to trust them. Those who are cautious invariably find the weak spot in those who are over-confident. Vali is crafty in every enterprise. Those monarchs who are well-informed are able to overcome their enemies and should spy out their actions with the help of ordinary men.
“Go, O Plavamgama, in the guise of a sanyasi, and find out the intentions of these two strangers. Study their gestures, their manners, and their speech; observe their attitude and how they are disposed.
“By praise and repeated courtesies inspire them with confidence. Interrogate those two archers in my name, O Bull amongst Monkeys, and enquire of them for what reason they have come to these woods. Discover if their purpose be honest, O Plavamgama; their speech and manner will betray them if they are ill-intentioned.”
Then Sugriva replied “These two warriors appear to have no fear, and are full in confidence. They are armed and look very Godly. You seem to be more confident about them not being allies of Vali but I feel they are messengers of Vali. So please leave this monkey form and disguise it as a sanyasi. Go to them and inquire about their intentions. Analyze their conversation and decide if they are friends or foes. While you converse, ensure that you face me so that we can get a picture of your conversation and bring them here if they are willing to be friends with us.”
Then Hanuman disguised as a sanyasi and approached those two heroes, Rama and Lakshman. He spoke graciously ” You look like Rajarshis and Taapasis but are armed with swords, bows, and arrows. Animals in this jungle are frightened in your presence. Your eyes look like petals of lotus and you have a broad chest. You seem to be unbeatable in a fight and look like the savior of the lives of many. But you seem to be gods disguised as humans. These contradictory observations wonder me a lot.”
O Valiant Strangers, who are you, whose skin gleams like gold and who are clad in robes of bark, possessing strong arms, you who are sighing deeply and whose sight inspires fear in all beings? You have the air of lions or warriors who are full of courage and heroism, armed as you are with bows, resembling Indra’s, the Destroyers of your Foes?
He continued “I am Hanuman, Minister of Sugriva. He was banished by his elder brother Vali, the King of Kishkinda. Sugriva is a righteous person and is seeking your friendship. I want to hear a reply from you.” On seeing Rama, Hanuman gave up his Sanyaas form and took up his original form.
Rama after listening to Hanuman, said to Lakshmana “Lakshmana, Did you observe how to articulate Hanuma spoke! There is nothing impossible to a king who has a minister like him. Even a foe who came to kill the cannot act after he listens to Hanuman. A king is so lucky to have a minister like him. By analyzing his words he seems to be well acknowledged with Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Vyakaran (Grammar), and the essence of Upanishads. One can never talk like this without that knowledge. His eyebrows and forehead didn’t move unnecessarily. His voice was neither too loud nor like mutter or whisper. He started, continued, and completed his words in a single tone. He particularly knows how to spell each and every syllable. Sugriva is very lucky to have Hanuma as his minister. Convey him our purpose of presence in this forest.”
When he heard this gracious speech, that monkey, born of Pavana, who wished nothing more than that Sugriva should triumph, resolved to bring about a friendly alliance between Rama and his King.