Hanuman is the foremost devotee of Shri Ram, but this honorary position comes by serving the one who is the dearest to Lord Ram! Hanuman’s name is Ram jivana data, bestower of Ram’s life. Lakshman is Ram’s life and Hanuman saved Lakshman’s life by bringing the sanjeevani herb when He was struck by the shaktisheela. The whole cosmic manifestation would have been in calamity if Hanuman did not save the day. If Lakshman were not there, Ram would give up His life. If Ram gives up His life, then Mother Sita sitting in Ravan’s courtyard would also give up her life. When this would happen, all the Lord’s associates would give up their life. If this happens, then the whole universe would be in a horrible crisis. So see, everyone’s life and soul rests within Nityananda even in the pastimes.
This is why Hanuman is so dear to Sri Ram. Hanuman sama sevak na hoi. Service is the highest and most pleasing to the Lord when there is an urgent need of it. When we serve the Supreme Lord, it is wholeheartedly accepted by Him but at the same time, He is not dependent nor in need of that service. But this is a time when even the Lord is in great need of help and is helplessly putting Himself before the favor of His devotee. Just like in Kurukshetra, service to Srimati Radharani is even higher than service to Her in Vrindavan because she is in most need of it that time (due to unbearable pain of seeing Krishna and still not being able to unite with Him). Similarly, Ram is in desperate need of help right now. Hanuman has done an unparalleled service by bringing Saumitra Lakshman back to life.
This also proves that we become the dearest and greatest of the greatest servants of Sri Gauranga Krishna by serving His dearmost Sevak, Sri Nityananda Ram. This is why Gauranga says,
“Worship of my devotees is even greater than My worship.”
Ram’s happiness when Lakshman sprung back to life cannot be described for as long as the universe exists!
When Lakshman Nitai finally comes to consciousness, Ram declares Hanuman to be dear to Him as Lakshman. Behold! Such is the glory of serving our master Lakshman Nitai…that the soul who does so becomes just as dear to the Lord as His beloved Nitai (simply by serving Nitai!!!). Ha! Who can imagine?! One who serves the Lord’s intimate devotees becomes just as dear to the Lord as those devotees! Lakshman Nitai is the most intimate Servitor and devotee of the Lord, indeed He is nondifferent from Lord Gaur Ramchandra.