When Valmiki completed his Ramayana, Narada wasn’t impressed. ‘It is good, but Hanuman’s is better’, he said. ‘Hanuman has written the Ramayana too!’, Valmiki didn’t like this at all, and wondered whose Ramayana was better. So he set out to find Hanuman. In Kadali-vana, grove of plantains, he found Ramayana inscribed on seven broad leaves of a banana tree. He read it and found it to be perfect. The most exquisite choice of grammar and vocabulary, metre and melody. He couldn’t help himself. He started to cry. ‘Is it so bad?’ asked Hanuman ‘No, it is so good’, said Valmiki ‘Then why are you crying?’ asked Hanuman. ‘Because after reading your Ramayana no one will read my Ramayana,’ replied Valmiki. Hearing this Hanuman simply tore up the seven banana leaves stating ” Now no one will ever read Hanuman’s Ramayana.'”
Hanuman said, ‘You need your Ramayana more than I need mine. You wrote your Ramayana so that the world remembers Valmiki; I wrote my Ramayana so that I remember Ram.’ At that moment he realized how he had been consumed by the desire for validation through his work. He had not used the work to liberate himself from the fear of invalidation. He had not appreciated the essence of Ram’s tale to unknot his mind. His Ramayana was a product of ambition; but Hanuman’s Ramayana was a product of affection. That’s why Hanuman’s Ramayana sounded so much better. Valmiki realized that “Greater than Ram….. is the name of Ram!!!! ” ( राम से बड़ा राम का नाम ). There are people like Hanuman who don’t want to be famous. They just do their jobs and fulfill their purpose.
There are many unsung “Hanumans” too…in our life…your spouse, mother, father, friends….let’s remember them and be grateful to all….
Points for reflection
- Which area of your life are you seeking validation
- Who are you seeking validation from
- Know that you are complete and perfect with all your imperfections