Scene 2

(Rama is looking for the man. Finally he sees him at a distance. He gives chase, and the man runs for his life.)

RAMA: Ah, I see he is entering into my Hanuman’s house. The rogue is caught! He does not know that the house belongs to Hanuman, my dearest devotee. (Shouts) Hanuman! Hanuman!

(Enter Hanuman’s mother.)

HANUMAN’S MOTHER: O Rama, you have come. I am so grateful to you. Your presence has sanctified my home. O Rama, please wait for a few minutes. Hanuman will be coming immediately. He is getting ready to see you.

(Exit Hanuman’s mother. Enter Hanuman with folded hands.)

HANUMAN: Please tell me what I can do for you, my Lord.

RAMA: Hanuman, where has he gone? Where is that rascal? Bring him out! He has insulted my Guru, Vashishtha. He sat on Vashishtha’s seat. Vashishtha wants me to kill him. I have to fulfil Vashishtha’s desire. Bring him out and I shall kill him.

HANUMAN: O Rama, I am sorry but I cannot bring him out.

RAMA: I can’t believe my ears! Is this you, Hanuman, my dearest disciple? I was under the impression that you were ready to give your life for me at any moment.

HANUMAN: That is true. I will give my life for you. But this is not my life. It is somebody else’s life.

RAMA: That means you won’t listen to me, to my request, my demand, my command?

HANUMAN: I am sorry. Forgive me. My mother has given him shelter. Janani janmabhumishcha swargadapi gariyasi. “Mother and Mother Earth are superior to Heaven itself.”

RAMA: But I am your Lord. Am I not superior to everything in your life?

HANUMAN: That is true, but how am I going to break my mother’s promise?

RAMA: If you want to fulfil your mother’s promise, then you are no longer my dearest disciple. I must come first in your life, Hanuman.

HANUMAN: Yes, you do come first in my life. I have to break my mother’s promise. I am prepared. To please you is to please God. Rama, how are you going to kill this man?

RAMA: I am going to kill him with my arrows. Vashishtha has allowed me three attempts. He made me promise to try three times and then give up. But it will be a real disgrace if I cannot kill a human being in three attempts.

HANUMAN: Please wait here. I shall bring the culprit right to you.

(Exit Hanuman.)

RAMA (to himself): I knew. The moment I saw the culprit entering into Hanuman’s house, I knew it was his end. He could not escape me. The human emotions created some problem for my Hanuman; that is why he took his mother’s side. But the divine in him is so strong, so powerful, that it has to come forward, and it did come forward. That is why he is bringing the culprit to me.

(Hanuman brings the culprit before Rama.)

HANUMAN: He is ready, Rama. You can satisfy yourself now.

(Rama aims at the culprit and shoots. The arrow drops without piercing his heart. Rama is wonder-struck.)

RAMA: What? How can this be? I killed Ravana, the most powerful demon on earth, and now my arrow fails. Let me try a second time. (The same thing happens the second time.) Only one more chance is left! Let me make my third attempt. (The same thing happens the third time.)

HANUMAN: Lord, you have to keep your promise now. You have three times tried to kill him, and three times you have failed. Now you can’t try any more.

RAMA: No, I can’t. I won’t. But Hanuman, tell me: how could all this happen? I am the King of Kings, and my arrow fails today so miserably for the first time.

HANUMAN: I shall tell you the secret. I told the man to begin repeating in silence, the moment you drew back your bow, “Victory to Lord Rama.” And the second time you drew it back, I asked him to repeat, “Victory to the consort of Sita.” The third time, “Victory to Dasharatha’s eldest son.” So each time he prayed for your victory. Now if someone sincerely prays for your own victory, how can you kill that person? Your soul’s divinity was pleased with him because he was praying for your victory. It was your vital and your mind that wanted to kill him. Naturally your soul’s will shall always conquer the will of your vital and mind. You are the Lord of the gods. He prayed to you for your victory. Naturally your soul gave him protection, even though your mind and vital were begging for his destruction. The power of your soul is infinitely greater than the power of your vital desire.

RAMA: My dearest disciple, I accept my defeat with deepest joy and blessingful pride. I accept my defeat by you, my dearest devotee. You have taught me a lesson. My soul’s will shall always conquer my vital and mental craving. I have failed in my outer attempt. But my body’s failure is my soul’s success. The success of my soul over my body is infinitely more meaningful and fruitful than my outer success.

HANUMAN: This knowledge that I have offered to you was granted to me by you. Is there anything I have that has not come from you? My knowledge, my power, everything that I have, everything that I am, has all come from you. In order to glorify me, in order to immortalise me, you are acting like my student. But I know that I am your eternal student. I know you are my eternal teacher.

(Hanuman sings.)

Janar age tomai ami henechhi
pabar age tomai ami jenechhi
debar age tomai ami peyechhi
taito tomai mor amire sanpechhi

(Before I knew You, I struck You.
Before I received You, I knew You.
Before I gave myself to You,
I received You.
Therefore to You I have offered,
sacrificed and surrendered
my ego-reality’s existence.)

Sri Chinmoy, Supreme sacrifice, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973