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The Story of Rama Yawning and Hanuman Snapping Fingers

In the kingdom of Ayodhya, Hanuman, the devoted servant of Rama, diligently took care of all Rama's needs. Hanuman’s unwavering devotion often led him to attend to Rama's every little requirement, earning him admiration from many, but also offending some within the royal household, including Sita, Lakshman, Bharata, and Shatrughna. They felt that Hanuman's constant presence and involvement in Rama’s life left them little room to serve Rama themselves.

To address this, they convened and created a comprehensive list of chores and responsibilities necessary to care for Rama. They divided these tasks amongst themselves, meticulously ensuring that each one of them had a role to play in Rama's daily life. However, they purposefully excluded Hanuman from this division of labor, hoping to minimize his omnipresence around Rama.

When Hanuman reviewed the list, he noticed a crucial task missing: snapping fingers when Rama yawned. In the cultural beliefs of the time, it was held that if someone didn't snap their fingers while yawning, malevolent spirits might enter their body, causing diseases. Recognizing this oversight, Hanuman took it upon himself to fill this gap, as his devotion wouldn't allow him to neglect any aspect of Rama's well-being.

From that moment on, Hanuman followed Rama everywhere, attentively snapping his fingers every time Rama yawned. His dedication ensured that no harmful spirits could come near Rama. However, the nighttime posed a challenge for Hanuman since he did not enter Rama's private chambers. Concerned that he might miss a yawn while Rama slept, Hanuman decided to station himself outside the chamber, continuously snapping his fingers through the night.

This unwavering commitment led to an unexpected situation. Every time Hanuman snapped his fingers, Rama, out of his deep affection and respect for Hanuman’s dedication, would start to yawn. Rama did this to ensure Hanuman's efforts were not in vain. Consequently, instead of sleeping, Rama spent the night yawning repeatedly, keeping both himself and Hanuman awake.

Sita and Rama's brothers quickly noticed the situation. They realized that while they could assign tasks and try to manage Rama's care themselves, Hanuman's devotion was unparalleled and all-encompassing. It became evident that separating Hanuman from his duties to Rama was futile because Hanuman's devotion was beyond mere duty—it was an intrinsic part of his being.

This charming story, part of the rich oral tradition, beautifully illustrates the deep, unbreakable bond between Hanuman and Rama. It reflects the profound love and dedication Hanuman had for Rama, a love so intense that it transcended ordinary service and entered the realm of the divine, teaching us about loyalty, devotion, and the sacred relationship between the servant and the divine.