ONCE Hanuman went on a pilgrimage to the holy places consecrated to his beloved Rama, seeking a vision of his Lord. Whilst on his journey he entered a forest in Krishna’s kingdom of Dwarka. Krishna, knowing that Hanuman had arrived, wanted to see again the greatest of his devotees from his former incarnation. He therefore asked his disciple Garuda to find Hanuman and tell him that King Balarama wished to meet him. Unfortunately, Garuda had become very proud of his immense strength and felt insulted that he should be called upon to give a message to a mere monkey. “Lord, please assign me an errand more befitting my position”, he pleaded.
“I have chosen you for this talk as it is of great importance”, replied Krishna, hoping also to reach Garuda a lesson.
Garuda finally found a great monkey sitting with eyes closed, lost in deep meditation. He shouted, ” O Monkey, King Balarama wishes to meet you.” When Hanuman did not respond, Garuda went closer and roared the message into his ears. But Hanuman was so absorbed in meditating upon his Lord that he mistook Garuda’s voice for the buzzing of an insect and flipped his hand across his ear to shoo it away. So powerful was his movement that it caught Garuda squarely on the face, knocking him so far into the air that he landed in the middle of the palace courtyard several miles away.
“O Garuda,” Krishna said, ” I told you he was a very great being. Now go again and this time merely say gently, ‘Rama is calling you.”
Reluctantly Garuda again approached Hanuman and standing at a safe distance, he whispered softly, “Rama is calling you.”
Leaping into the air, Hanuman cried out, “Where is Rama? Where can I see him?”
And so he was led tot he palace, where Krishna, assuming the form of Rama, rewarded Hanuman’s devotion with the darshan for which he had been yearning.
An Indian Tale