Hanuman is in Lanka, looking for mother Seetha.
At this moment, he was not in a very good mood. He has searched every nook and corner of this large city using all the tricks he knew. But Seetha was nowhere to be found.
Finally, Hanuman entered the palace of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. He started searching for Seetha in every room. After few minutes, He reached the decorated bedchamber of Ravana.
There he is! Sleeping as if he is an innocent, common man!
Hanuman had to try really hard to control his anger. This demon has kidnapped mother Seetha by force, brought her to Lanka, causing great grief to Sri Rama and everybody else.
'May be, I should kill this fellow here itself', thought Hanuman, 'Why waste time in searching for Seetha, bringing an army and rescuing her? If I kill Ravana now, it will be a suitable punishment for his errors, and I can immediately take back mother Seetha to Sri Rama.'
But, Hanuman didn't want to do that, mainly because Rama's instructions to him were different, 'Search for Seetha, when you find her, hand over this ring and tell Seetha I will return and rescue her soon.'
Rama didn't mention anything about killing Ravana.
This means, Hanuman is here as a messenger, he is not supposed to get into a fight against the enemy, without the explicit permission from his lord.
Later, after finding Seetha and giving her the confidence that Rama will be here any moment, Hanuman willingly started a battle with Ravana's men. But, he had a different reason for that.
As a messenger, Hanuman wanted to meet Ravana directly and tell him Rama is on a rescue mission. This will give him a last chance to correct his mistakes and send Seetha back, if he respects his life.
But, no one in Lanka could see Hanuman. Not even once he was caught or enquired by Ravana's staff.
So, Hanuman had to do something to attract their attention. He decided to destroy Ravana's garden and his army men, so that they will take him to Ravana and he can speak to the demon directly.
Hanuman also wanted to prove to the Lankan army that Rama's army is equally strong, if not better. They would think, 'if a single monkey can create so much of damage, imagine an army of monkeys that Rama is going to bring!'
As planned, Ravana's men took Hanuman in front of their king. Ravana laughed at his appearance, 'who are you, little monkey?'
'I am the messenger of Lord Sri Rama', answered Hanuman.
But Ravana didn't listen to him. He continued to insult Hanuman, without even providing him a seat.
Hanuman decided to take things in his control. He grew his tail long, and created an "Instant chair", at par with Ravana.
Now, Hanuman once again had the strong urge to kill Ravana. But he controlled it with this thought process:
- If I kill Ravana, it will be an insult to Rama's might. It is his wife who is kidnapped, and ideally he would like to punish Ravana directly for that
- Also, Rama has promised many sages that he will personally kill Ravana and save them all. I shouldn't intervene in that process
- Moreover, Ravana is a powerful king. It won't be easy for any common person to win him; it takes someone like Sri Rama to take his life
- If I start fighting with Ravana now, I can't kill him immediately. Most likely he will give a tough fight and we will be hitting each other for many days, even weeks, months
- Mother Seetha has given only few weeks of time for her rescue. Why waste that time in fighting this demon? Instead I should be flying back to Sri Rama so that he can start for Lanka immediately, along with the Monkey Army
Hence, Hanuman decided not to start an unnecessary fight with Ravana, saving it for the future.
But what about the anger left in him? He may be a messenger now, but he is a brave warrior too, he should prove his might to Ravana and the Lankans, who may be assuming him as a simple monkey.
Hanuman found a way to do that too. He destroyed Lankan army and the city of Lanka with fire. This not only showed Ravana what is in store for him in future, but also spread fear among his supporters that may be they are on a wrong side after all.
These Adventures of Hanuman at Lanka provide great lessons in terms of swift decision making. He even provides a detailed process for us: Collecting data, thinking of options, evaluating them, choosing the best one, creating small wins, while retaining the overall success in mind, not taking an insult and calmly getting the respect he deserves... all these performced with excellent emotional intelligence, and completed in a short time frame, within the role / responsibility given to him (messenger).
About the author:
N. Chokkan is the Co-Founder & Director at CRMIT, Bengaluru. He was previously the director at InFact Infotech before which he was the principle Consultant at BroadVision. He blogs at http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/ (English) and http://nchokkan.wordpress.com/ (Tamil).
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