The story of Hanuman and Valmiki
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.
At 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, precise and melodious. He couldn’t help himself and 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 mine,’ replied Valmiki.
Hearing this Hanuman simply tore up the seven banana leaves stating, ‘Now no one will ever read Hanuman’s Ramayana.’
Hanuman also said, ‘You need your Ramayana more than I need mine. You wrote yours so that the world remembers Valmiki; I wrote my Ramayana so that I remember Ram.’
At that moment Valmiki 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 was a product of pure love & devotion. 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 many people like Hanuman who don’t care for name or fame. They just do whatever needs to be done and fulfil their purpose. In fact, we have many unsung ‘Hanumans’ in our lives too.. mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents, spouse, friends.. let’s remember them and be grateful to them all.“`
(Contributed by Balasunder)