Whenever Yamraj, the Lord of Death attempted to meet Lord Rama, to tell him about, the amount of time, he had, in his human form, Hanuman would refuse entry to him. Yamraj was aware of Hanuman’s strength and the boon of immortality granted to him, so he did not wish to cross him.
Rama, however, understood, that a human life has to complete the cycle of birth and death. He knew Hanuman was trying to protect him from his death by avoiding his meeting with Yamaraj. But Rama knew at some point in time he has to meet Yamaraj. But he realised that it was not possible to do so with Hanuman around.
One day Rama and Hanuman went out for a walk. Rama took off his ring and began playing with it. He then discreetly dropped it into a small crack on the ground, and then requested Hanuman, ‘I have dropped my ring somewhere. Will you please retrieve it for me.?’
Hanuman nodded. He then transformed his body into a miniature so that he could easily get into the crack on the ground. But the closer he got to the ring, the more, the ring fell below and below. He had no choice but to follow it.
After sometime the ring reached Patala Lok. There Hanuman met Nagaraja, the king of the serpents. Hanuman said, ‘Dear Sir, Rama’s ring has fallen somewhere here. Will you please give it back to me? I must return it to him. Nagaraja replied.
‘I have a room full of rings. Everything that falls from the earth is kept there. You can go to the room and search for it yourself.’
Hanuman acquiesced and entered the room, where he saw hundreds of rings on display. He kept searching until he found the ring that he was looking for. It seemed to take barely a few minutes. Hanuman thanked Nagaraja and made his way back to Ayodhya. But time takes on a different meaning in Patala Lok. A second there is worth many years on earth. By the time Hanuman reached the city, a lot of time had already passed, and Rama had already left his mortal body and achieved Nirvana.
To his dismay, Hanuman realized that he had missed seeing Lord Rama exit the earth. Hanuman felt miserable but knew that Lord Rama wanted things to play out in that manner.
Even today, Hanuman continues to live on our planet. There is a strong belief that whenever there are prayers for Rama. Hanuman appears in his invisible form to bless the devotees.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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