Sampati was an old eagle. He lived alone on a rock on the southern seashore. One day, he noticed that the beach was crowded with monkeys. He asked the monkeys what had brought them to the seashore. Where were they from? Jambuvan, an elderly bear, spoke, “Rama, the prince of Ayodhya was living in the forest with his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshmana. When the two brothers were away from their cottage, someone carried away Sita. Our king, Sugriva, is a friend of Rama. He has sent us in search of Sita.”
An old bird remembered having seen a woman being carried away by Ravana, a Rakshasa King.
“So, that woman was Rama’s wife, Sita!” exclaimed the old eagle.
“Ravana took her to his island fortress of Lanka,” said the old bird. “Lanka is on the other side of this sea - hundreds of miles away.”
“Let’s jump across the sea,” said a monkey.
“Wait,” said the monkey commander. “Tell me first, what is your potential?” he asked.
The monkey blinked. “What do you mean by potential?” he asked.
“What is your capacity to jump? I mean, how far do you think you can jump?” asked the monkey commander.
The monkey thought it over and said, “20 feet.”
“Then you will fall right into the sea,” screamed a little monkey and everybody laughed.
“Silence!” shouted the commander.
Another monkey could jump 100 feet, another 200 feet and so on. But no monkey thought he could jump hundreds of miles to reach Lanka.
“There is one hero among us who can leap to Lanka” wise Jambuvan said, pointing out to a monkey who was sitting all alone.
“You mean Hanuman?” asked the commander, “But he is not even talking. He is so quiet.”
“That is because Hanuman does not know his own potential,” said Jambuvan. “Let us surround him and chant a mantra, which will make him discover his capability.”
So, all the monkeys surrounded Hanuman and started chanting the mantra, “Hanuman, you can! Hanuman, you can! You can do it, Hanuman!”
The monkeys chanted louder, “HANUMAN, YOU CAN! HANUMAN, YOU CAN!”
As the monkeys chanted, Hanuman started growing in size. He grew bigger and bigger. He stood up, stretched his hands and took one giant leap across the sea as the chant continued: “Hanuman, you can. Hanuman you can!”
Hanuman landed in Lanka, where he found Sita, and gave her Rama’s message. He brought Sita’s message to Rama.
Hanuman thanked his friends for helping him discover his potential.