Surasa, the mother of all serpents, she appeared from under the waters, she appeared in a massive Rakshasi like form. Hanuman saw her. They looked at each other and Surasa in a very thunderous voice, She was very powerful. She roared, “Today the gods have bestowed nice food for me. O monkey I am very fond of eating your flesh and drinking your blood. Today you will be my lunch.”
Hanuman said, “Lord Ramacandra is my master. I must deliver his message to Sitadevi, His beloved consort. That’s all. Just let me by and I promise you after I perform my service I will come back and then you can eat me.” Surasa said, “Since when does anyone put faith in the promise of a monkey? I am hungry now. I am the mother of the snakes and you know how snakes are. When we want something to eat, we eat. We have such appetite that nothing can delay us from seizing our dinner.” So she said, “At this very moment I will devour you.” Hanuman became very big. He actually became one yojana in size. One yojana is approximately 8 miles which is many kilometers. Surasa became ten yojanas. Hanuman became 20 yojanas. Surasa became 30 yojanas. Hanumanji became 40 yojanas in size. Soon Surasa was 70 yojanas. Hanumanji became 80 yojanas. Surasa became 90 yojanas size. And her mouth seemed to be devouring the entire creation.
Can you imagine a rakshasi mouth with big fangs, ninety yojanas in size? So Hanumanji understood enough with this competition. *Because actually this false pride of being bigger than somebody else is a great obstacle on the path of bhakti.* Surasa was an embodiment of pride. She was just puffing herself up bigger bigger bigger bigger bigger, so competitive.
Srila Prabhupada said spiritual competition is good. *Spiritual competition is healthy but spiritual competition means, “I will try to do more than you so that you will be inspired to do more than me and then I will be more inspired to do more from you and in the end together we do the most possible service for guru and Krishna. That is spiritual competition and everyone is glorifying the enthusiastic efforts of everyone else. But material competition is self-centered, ‘Let me get the credit, let me get the glory. I am better than you, I am bigger than you.”* Look at material civilization. As they say, “Dog eat dog world.” Jévo jévasya jévanam, bigger beings eat little beings, food for other beings. How to overcome that tendency? By humility. By practicing humility and that’s what Hanuman did. When Surasa became 90 yojana mouth. Now some people think that their wives have big mouths and also some wives think their husbands have big mouths. But this Surasa had a big mouth.
So Hanumanji all of a sudden he became so tiny small very little tiny size, very humble. Like a little streak of light he just flew right into her mouth and went all the way down into her throat and he actually had like a tour inside of Surasa’s body. And then he came out, little tiny size, nobody could even see him. Then he resumed his original size. And said to Surasa, “You have been given the benediction of Brahma that no one could pass you without being devoured by you. I have honored that benediction. You ate me, I went into your mouth, I went into your stomach, I didn’t get by you without being devoured by you. So now please let me do my service to Rama.” And Surasa she was actually conquered by Hanuman’s humility and his good intelligence and she blessed him.
Assuming her original form she said, “Hanumanji, I bless you that you will be successful in your mission of travelling to Sri Lanka and delivering the message to Sita.” So with that blessing he continued. So *we must like Hanuman take a very humble position in our devotional service. But Hanuman’s humility was very very interesting to analyze. He was humble, he gave all credit to Rama, took nothing for himself, he even was even willing to take small position but he never ever ever gave up. If we think we are useless, if we think we have no qualification, if we give up in the mission of the Lord that is not humility. That is just another type of unfulfilled false ego. A humble devotee will use whatever means to somehow or other fulfill the mission of the Lord but take no credit.
Not being materially competitive to be bigger bigger bigger, bigger but will be whatever we have to be either 80 yojanas or the size of the tip of a thumb we would be whatever we have to be to perform the service of the Lord and give all glory to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.*