Along the journey to search Sita, Hanuman realizes his strength, thanks to Jambavan. Motivated by his team, Hanuman leaps across the sea to reach Lanka. He reaches the top most part of the hill they were in and grows in size before taking the leap. He offers his prayers to Lord Rama and flies off with a thud.
A mountain – Mainaka on the seabed recognizes Hanuman as devotee of Rama, on a journey to Lanka in His service. He felt Hanuman must be tired and mounts in size to provide him rest for a while before proceeding with the journey. He introduces himself as a devotee of Rama and offers his service to Hanuman for rest.
Having known the whereabouts of Sita in Lanka, Hanuman has no time left even for rest and is in a hurry to find Sita. However, he cannot refuse the help offered by the friendly mountain. Now there is a challenge – he has to please the mountain who lends a helping hand, but at the same time needs to move forward in his journey. Being wise, Hanuman quickly finds a solution. He simply places his feet on the mountain, as a token of accepting the friendly offer. Without wasting much time, he immediately leaps forward thanking Mainaka for the gesture. Thus he obliged a friend, but did not waste time along the journey.
As Hanuman almost nears the coast on the other side, a huge demon ‘Surasa’ blocks his way. She says “you cannot move forward without defeating me”. Again Hanuman has no time to waste fighting the demon, but he is aware he cannot move forward without crossing her. Hanuman cleverly strikes a deal – “if he can get into the demon’s mouth and come out safely, then the demon should not stand in his way”.
As soon as the demon agrees to the deal, Hanuman increases in size. The demon, with a competitive attitude, also grows in size throwing her mouth wide open. Hanuman again increases his size. The demon’s ego is affected and it also grows its mouth wider. This continues for a couple of more times. As the demon’s attention is diverted to their relative sizes and satisfying ego, in a fraction of second, Hanuman becomes smaller, flies into the demon’s mouth and comes out even before the demon could realize what has happened. Accepting defeat, Surasa gives way to Hanuman.
Crossing both the distractions, Hanuman comes across another obstacle, this time in the form of Simhika another demon. Hanuman knew, unlike the previous two, which are mere distractions Simhika is a real obstacle. As it was about to dawn soon, he did not want to waste much time and enters into a dual with her and kills her. Thus having overcome all the three obstacles, Hanuman enters Lanka safely.
Similar to Hanuman’s leap across the ocean, is the journey of any successful person. All along the path of success, one is faced three kinds of obstacles – pleasurable distractions, mirage obstacles and real obstacles.
We need to first identify if an obstacle is just a mirage or real. A mirage gives hope of water and makes us move in a wrong direction. Similarly, when we face an obstacle, we need to ask one simple question – “How relevant is this obstacle to my real goal?” If that has no relevance to our main goal, we need not waste time on that. We simply move on.
- Settling scores with a friend or neighbor or relative… How relevant is this in the overall journey of our life. We generally do this more to satisfy our ego and skip into the side track, only to repent later.
- Your best friend or closest relative or loved one moving away to another place or this world… It is always good to have our near and dear close to us and share our joys and sorrows. But, each has their priorities and goals. Physical distance need not necessarily translate into real distance and take away our life energy. In the technological world, we can still be in touch and support each other. When the time comes, one moves on from this world as well. It is easier said than understood. As we meditate on these facts when all is going well, it becomes easier when the real situation arises.
If that is a real obstacle, we can get on to find ways and strategies to overcome. Many a time, it will be like developing our abilities, skills and working on our strengths. This will make the weaknesses fall apart. Working on our SWAN is a good strategy.
Everybody is busy with their own goals. No one has time to put obstacles on our path. Many a time others’ path may crisscross ours. All we need in that case is to be aware of and find ways to go around towards our goal not turn around and head back. As one develops awareness, overcoming real obstacles is more a journey, than a challenge.
However seldom is one aware of the pleasurable distractions that keep them away from their goal. The mountains posed to us are very tempting to resist and too sticky to overcome.
- Your favourite sport – say cricket world cup final happening the day before your final exams. Where does your attention go?
- You have made all plans for that long awaited family vacation. Here comes the news about a close friend or important relative’s marriage. What do you do?
- You are in a cross roads situation in life. That important meeting which can advance you to the next level in career coincides with an unavoidable function in the family. Where does your attention go?
- You may ultimately do what you have to do, but how easily are you able to let go of the pleasurable distraction and move towards your goal? Do you miss the pleasurable experience you had skip and regret, or do you happily move towards the goal absolutely convinced of doing the right thing?
Such distractions are easier to be aware of and can be worked upon easily. There are some other pleasurable distractions that are more difficult to overcome or even be aware of…
- Snoozing your alarm in the morning for an additional 10 minutes sleep at the cost of your morning yoga session?
- Saying “No” at the right time, when a tasty sumptuous buffet dinner is offered during your close friend’s wedding at the cost of your health and good night’s sleep?
- Forgetting to make that important call, while engrossed in your favourite TV program?
Such small pleasures can pull you down more than the obvious ones…
Being conscious of the goal and aware of distractions, successful people leap forward like Hanuman, cleverly maneuvering through all the three kinds of obstacles – pleasurable, mirage and real.