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Swami Vivekananda on Hanuman and his Nishta

There is a story of Hanuman, who was a great worshipper of Rama; just as the Christians worship Christ as his incarnation of God, so the Hindus worship many incarnations of God; according to them, God came nine times in India, and will come once more.

When he came as Rama this Hanuman was His great worshipper. Hanuman lived very long, and was a great Yogi, and during his lifetime Rama came again as Krishna, and he, being a great Yogi, knew that the same God had come back again as Krishna.

He came and served Krishna, but he said to Him, ‘I want to see that Rama form of yours’.
Krishna said ‘Is not this form enough? I am this Krishna; I am this Rama; all these forms are mine’.

Hanuman said, ‘I know that, but the Rama form is for me. The Lord of Janaki and the Lord of Sri are the same; they are both the incarnations of the Supreme Self; yet the Lotus-eyed Rama is my all in all’.

This is Nishta; knowing that all these different forms of worship are right, yet sticking to one, and rejecting the others. We must not worship the others at all. We must not hate or criticize them, but respect them. The elephant has two teeth coming out from his mouth. These are only for show; he cannot eat with them; but the teeth that are inside are those with which' he chews his food. So mix with all states, say yea, yea to all, but join none. Stick to your own ideal of worship.

(Nishta means deep faith or a committed life-style)


Hanuman represents the ideal of service – Swami Vivekananda 

You have now to make the character of Mahavira (Hanuman) your ideal. See how at the command of Ramachandra he crossed the ocean. He had no care for life or death! He was a perfect master of his senses and wonderfully sagacious. You have now to build your lie on this great ideal of personal service. Through that, all the other ideals will gradually manifest in life.

Obedience to the guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya – this is the secret of success.

As on the one hand Hanuman represents the ideal of service, so on the other he represents lion’s courage, striking the whole world with awe.

He has not the least hesitation in sacrificing his life for the good of Rama. A supreme indifference to everything except the service of Rama. Only the carrying out of Shri Rama’s behest is the one vow of his life! Such whole-hearted devotion is wanted.



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