The Ramayana is one of the two main Sanskrit epics of ancient India, written by sage Valmiki c.500BC-100 BC. The 24,000 verses recount the tales of Rama, the benevolent king of Ayodhya, and among the central characters is Hanuman, the monkey lord who is completely devoted to Rama. Although he is blessed with many astonishing powers, such as limitless strength, Hanuman’s only desire is to please Rama.
In one story Hanuman is tasked with fetching a herb for Rama, to heal his brother Lakshmana. When Hanuman goes to the mountain he cannot find the herb and so in his earnestness to fulfil his duty he lifts up the whole mountain and brings it to Rama. Despite not being able to initially complete his task, Hanuman wastes no time getting frustrated or worrying. Instead, his attention goes immediately to an alternative solution and he acts swiftly and spontaneously, lead only by the desire in his heart to do the right thing.
While the story may seem abstract compared with modern life, it is true that all of us meet obstacles when we are trying to carry out everyday tasks. We often become annoyed when things don’t go according to our plans, wasting time and energy and lowering our levels of joy. Inspired by Hanuman’s pure attention on the present moment we can detach from all of our planning and act spontaneously according to the current situation, reducing our thoughts and allowing us to remain calm and joyful.