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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Hanuman smeared himself with vermilion 01-14

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Why Hanuman smeared himself with vermilion

The scene

The scene is from an instance when Lord Rama had returned home after killing Ravana. Hanuman was still living with Lord Rama in Ayodhya.

Change is needed

On a particular Tuesday morning Hanuman felt very hungry. “No, these fruits are tasteless. I have been eating these for a longtime now. I need some cooked food for a change”, thought Hanuman and rushed to meet Sita.

Sita was going somewhere

She was about to leave for morning bath. “Alright, Hanuman, I will be back in a minute. You be here.”, Sita said and went for a bath.

Hanuman is puzzled

After bath, she applied a vermilion line in the parting of her hair as per normal practice. “Mother, why are you applying red vermilion mark.”, Hanuman asked as a puzzled child would do.

Why vermilion

“This vermilion mark increases the lifespan of the Lord”, remarked Sita as she brought an assortment of sweets for Hanuman.

Vermilion it is

Hanuman kept on thinking for a longtime. He had never thought about the life-span of Lord Rama on earth. Neither has he done anything to improve that. After thinking various options he applied oil throughout his body and smeared red vermillion from his feet to head profusely. Layers upon layers of vermilion. Bathed in vermilion. Satisfied, he picked up his mace and proceeded to the court of Rama.

The red Hanuman

On the Ayodhya roads, people were taken aback. Red Hanuman (sindoor-maya hari). This was the sight to behold. As he entered the royal court, there was stunned silence initially. Then everybody laughed aloud. Even Shri Rama smiled.

Rama is curious

“Hanuman, Why did you apply vermilion coat on your entire body today?”, Rama queried.

An innocent reply of a devotee

Hanuman folded his hands in utmost devotion and said, “My Lord, Mother Sita puts a small dot of vermilion on her head which increases your life-span. But a small dot can only do so much. Learning about this, I have started to apply full coat of vermilion on my entire body to significantly improve your life-span.”

God is pleased

Lord Rama was pleased with the simplicity and deep devotional feeling of Hanuman. He embraced Hanuman, became somewhat red with vermilion and declared, “Today is Tuesday. Whoever applies vermilion and oil on Hanuman on this day will get happiness and all his desires fulfilled.”

Tuesday becomes auspicious

From that day the practice of smearing oil and red vermilion on Hanuman started. You might have seen this in temples everywhere, red Hanuman glowing like a just-risen sun ever keen to increase life-span of his Lord.

Moral of the story

It simply shows how even a small act done out of pure devotion can endear you to God.

Pomp and show might not work

Don't trouble yourself with wealthy decorations and paraphernalia. God always overlook them. He checks your heart and the feeling behind the action that you do.

What we should do

So, if we really want to please God, we should do every act with devotion. We might not be even aware what might catch His eyes!

Share your thoughts

Share your thoughts and experiences when simple acts might have scored God's grace for you.

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