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Rama Praises His Devotees
by Dr. CS Shah

Turning to Vibhishana, Rama said, "Dear friend, you have set forth an example of loyalty to truth in face of immense adversity. Against all odds you stood behind me. As an acknowledgment of you steadfastness and devotion I would like you to take the throne of Lanka. Rule with honesty, justice, simplicity and fear of God. May you and your people prosper ever hereafter."

But Vibhishana protested. He said, "O lord, a devotee has no value for the riches, wealth, wine and woman. Let me serve your holy feet; do not burden me with this duty of a king." Rama pacified the upsurge of these noble thoughts and said to Vibhishana, "No, you are the fit person to rule your people. They have already suffered a lot. Moreover, let me show to the world through you, that my devotee can be rewarded both with love and material comfort. You will have best of both the worlds."

Then turning to Sugreeva, Rama praised his friendship and cooperation. Sugreeva was also given warm send off and was told to rule Kishkindha for the welfare of monkey clan.

Lord Praises Hanuman

Hanuman was standing with his eyes focused at the holy feet of Rama. He was modesty, humility, and devotion personified. Rama turned to him and lovingly said,

"O my greatest devotee, what should I offer you! Your devotion for me cannot be described in words nor can it be compared with any other. Your superhuman efforts in locating Sita and your great feat to bring the whole mountain to save life of Laxmana will be remembered for ages to come. Your intelligence, strength, and devotion will inspire many to worship you as their Ideal God. I bless you and offer a boon that you shall have a permanent seat wherever my story is recited, heard, told, read or written. You will be known as Veer (powerful) Hanuman. O son of wind, whosoever takes your name, seeks your help, prays for assistance, whosoever remembers you in distress or difficulty or calamity, that person with your blessings will become free from the trouble. Therefore you will also be known as Sankat-Vimochak, waiver of disaster and distress."

Humbly Hanuman bowed down to Rama's feet and took the dust to his head.

(Yes, many Indians believe that when I am writing this to you and when you are reading, Hanuman is always present in the room.)

14-Mar-2011
 
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