Lord Rama and Sugriva’s friendship

Friendship between Lord Rama and Sugriva | Lord Rama angry with Sugriva | Sugriva aur Vibhishana- Part 3 | Ram Kinkar Upadhyay

Lord Rama approaches Sugriva

Hanumanji tells Sri Rama to follow him to Sugriva’s place since it is a physician who meets a patient. Hanumanji presents a logic before Shri Rama. He says “If Sugriva had the power of Sadhana, I wouldn’t’ have requested you to come. But Sugriva is a jeeva who has no strength of Sadhana, he is utterly incapable. So, you have to be merciful upon the soul and personally come to assuage his misery.”

This means that not only the capable even the incapable people can attain Bhagavan.

But the condition is – ‘Are you aware of your incapability. Do you approach Bhagavan for help?’ It is essential for this realization to dawn. If you find yourself capable, use your capabilities for a good cause while the incapable ones can request Bhagavan to come and end their sorrow.

If you have a pot full of water, distribute the water amongst the needy, while if your pot is empty, request Bhagavan to fill it for you.

Sugriva attains Bhagavan’s mercy

The Kripa Marga or the way of mercy is solely meant for people who lack the strength of Sadhana.

Who are utterly destitute and don’t have the strength of Sadhana to guide them. The life sketch of Sugriva is a whole tale of failure and the state of lacking. However, even being in such a destitute state he had ultimately attained Bhagavan. Vibhishana sacrificed the royal comforts of Lanka and approached Lord Rama. But what did Sugriva sacrifice. He didn’t have anything to sacrifice, yet Bhagavan himself came to him.

There is an event in the Ramcharitamanas where Hanumanji to find a cure for Lakshmana approaches the royal physician Sushen. Sushen was sleeping at that time. At ordinary circumstances, Hanumanji should have woken him up and brought him along with him. But Hanumanji neither woke him up nor did he carry him along in the sleeping condition. Instead, He carried his entire home along with him. Similarly, what is the need for Sugriva to sacrifice his home? Since Sri Rama had approached him, he doesn’t expect Sugriva to abandon anything.

Hanumanji glorifies Sugriva

Sugriva was in a destitute state. However no one can be compared to Hanumanji in his immaculate adherence to Spiritual tenets. Hanumanji was endowed with unsurpassable strength of Sadhana. Being such a crest gem amongst the spiritualists, Hanumanji repeatedly paid his respects at the feet of Sugriva, who was a typical materialist. With this act of Hanumanji, the conventional standards of spiritual understanding have been falsified. Here, a siddha is bowing before a Vishayi. Hanumanji bows before Sugriva- तब सुग्रीव चरण गहि नाना | भांति बिनय कीन्हे हनुमाना ||

Sri Rama grew inquisitive at this conduct of Hanumanji. He asked Hanumanji “Why do you bow before Sugriva”

Then Hanumanji replied “Oh Prabhu, I find Sugriva more fortunate than me in all respects. Why do your devotees love you? I have heard that you are most forgetful.

4 things that Sri Rama forgets

You keep forgetting these four things-

1)निज कृत हित | You always forget what good you have done to others
2)आरी कृत अनिहतउ | You forget all the bad qualities of your enemies
3)दास दोष | You forget the faults of your servants
4)सुरति चित रहति न किए दान की | You forget what you have donated to others

Only Sugriva was successful in bringing a change in your nature. You have never changed for us. Even in my case, when I approached you for the first time as a Brahmin you kept me at a distance until I revealed my original form to you. Then you hugged me and then only did you enquire who I am. But it is indeed a wonder. Sugriva had forgotten you. He indulged in materialistic ways, he didn’t remember you but you remembered him. So who is greater, the one who remembers you or the one whom you remember?

I have never seen you speak in terms of ‘See, I have done this for you, I have done that for you.’ But it was Sugriva who has brought a change in your otherwise calm and equipoised nature. Everybody knows that you are all forgiving and of the peaceful nature but when you get angry your anger is also so generous. If a tiny Jeeva forgets you, what are you going to lose? Who is Sugriva? You never needed him, but still because of him that anger which came in your mind, that concern that you felt for him, I started to feel- ‘Oh Prabhu, how much you care for Sugriva, how much closeness you show for him.”

Sri Rama angry with Sugriva

Hanumanji continues- “I have never seen you display such anger and say- See, I did this for him, I did that for him and for a moment you forgot your calmness and immediately told Lakshmana- ‘Lakshmana, It’s been 4 months, Sugriva didn’t come?’

Now, When Shri Rama asked Lakshmana, Lakshmana replied: “No wonder, He has behaved like this. He has taken you nature for granted. It is you who told Him to go and rule, so now he is ruling, he is enjoying himself.”

सुग्रीवहुँ सुधि मोरि बिसारी | पावा राज कोस पुर नारी ||

If someone gives you a gift, you can always enjoy that gift, but should you forget the person who has lovingly given you that present. Instead, your love and gratitude should increase towards him.

Bhagavan gives us so much. Even on accepting so much, we shamelessly forget him- Then Bhagavan says- “Aree, Even Sugriva has forgotten me? What did I not do for him?”

He told Lakshmana- जेहिं सायक मारा मैं बाली | तेहिं सर हतौं मूढ़ कहँ काली ||

“I will attack Sugriva tomorrow.” Lakshmanji was happy to hear Lord Rama speak like this, but on hearing the word tomorrow his happiness reduced. Because if fighting was the real intention, he wouldn’t postpone it to tomorrow.

Then Lakshmanji said- “Now, do we again have to gather an army for this. It is a small task of killing him. And why should you take the pains? I am always there, I will go right away and kill him.”

Now Sri Rama’s pretense of anger was exposed. The love and mercy hidden in that anger became evident. Sri Rama was perturbed to see Lakshmana go towards his friend. And he immediately held his hand. Shri Rama said- “Sugriva is a frightful cat. After Vali was killed, he has forgotten all fear and now he has forgotten me. So you go and scare him once more, but make sure you scare him, don’t kill him.”

Even here Lord Rama follows Maryada or decorum. You should frighten the person to the extent he can take the fear. He shouldn’t end up running in fright. Scare him such that he comes back to me, he shouldn’t go running elsewhere. By scaring the Jiva, he should come back to Bhagavan and not move away from Him. तब अनुजहि समुझावा रघुपति करुणा सींव| भाव देखाई लै आवहु तात सखा सुग्रीव ||
Sri Rama says- “Sugriva is my friend, he is my own, and my anger shows my love for him, it is to call him back to me.”

A Lesson for Sadhaka

When Hanumanji noticed such a great drift in Sri Rama’s nature he thought that sometimes Sadhakas get deluded and feel that ‘Oh I have attained Bhagavan and it is purely through my endeavors (Sadhana) that I have been able to attract Bhagavan.’ The Sadhaka thus becomes proud of his Sadhana. But, if one takes a look at the way Bhagavan responds to Sugriva there shall be no room for such pride. Any sadhaka who is proud of his spiritual achievements should learn from this pastime.