Hanuman

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Hanuman is a Hindu god, an ardent devotee of Rama. He is a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and its various versions. He also finds mention in several other texts, including Mahabharata, the various Puranas and some Jain texts. A vanara (one who lives in forest i.e. 'vana'), Hanuman participated in Rama's war against the demon king Ravana. Several texts also present him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is the son of Vayu, who according to several stories, played a role in his birth.

Quotes[edit]

Do you know about Hanuman, sir? He was the faithful servant of the god Rama, and we worship him in our temples because he is a shining example of how to serve your masters with absolute fidelity, love, and devotion...
Hanuman, the well-known monkey god, can be seen in temples throughout the country. In some temples his image is set up alone standing with a mace in the right hand or sitting in a devotional posture before the images of Rama and Sita. He is considered to be the god of power and strength, who remained a celibate through his whole life. He is worshipped as being the greatest of Ram, who loves Hanuman the most. - Suresh Chandra
  • Lord Hanuman escorted me into the inner palace, where I gazed on Lord Rama in human form. Hanuman approached the Lord, on whose left side Lakshmana was present. I saw that Hanuman, while chanting the Lord’s praises, sometimes rotated the royal fly-whisk over him sometimes stood before him and recited spontaneous hymns, sometimes held a white umbrella over him, and sometimes massaged his feet. And sometimes he did all these things at once.
  • Hanuman’s other names are Hanumat and pavana-Sut. He is the son of Vayu, the Lord of winds and Anjana, the female seduced by Vayu. Along with Ram, Hanuman is usually worshipped and he is the most favoured of wrestlers and grapplers. Tuesday is the sacred day on which lacs [hundred thousands] of Hindus worship and pray to him for strength and prosperity.
    • Suresh Chandra in: "Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses", p. 116.
  • This god is described as having a short thick neck, a round red face, sharp white fangs, a mane like Ashoka flowers, a tail like Indra's banner and ability to expand until he could be as large as a mountain or to contract until he could become as small as a fly.
    • Suresh Chandra in: "Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses", p. 116.
  • Hanuman attends Rama, one of the incarnations of Vishnu, and personifies the ideal and faithful servant. He is the son of Pavana, the god of winds, and is noted for his speed and agility in which context he is often worshipped by young men and athletes. He leads a mythical forest army of monkeys, and is depicted as a monkey with a long tail. He takes a major role in the Ramayana epic searching for, rescuing the goddess Sita who has been captured by the demon Ravana.
    • Suresh Chandra in: "Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses", p. 115.
  • It is said that the sure antidote of Saturn or Shanee's evil effect is the worship of Lord Hanuman. Scriptures say that when Saturn warned Lord Hanuman about his onset of the Seven and Half Years (w:Sade SatiSaade Saati) [period of bad times], the Monkey Lord accepted the challenge and allowed Saturn to have his play. When the planet dwelled on his head, the Monkey Lord ‘headed’ heavy rocks so viciously that the planet was almost crushed. Similar agony he faced when he tried to dwell on the Monkey Lord’ body and legs. Then the planet had to bow before the Lord, saying that whosoever worshipped Lord Hanuman shall be beyond the evil effect of the planet.
    • Suresh Chandra in: "Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses", p. 302
A less-common form of Hanuman is the Panchmukhi—that which has five heads or faces. Each head represents an animal. The five animals are the monkey (Vanar), the horse (Hay-griv), the lion (Narasimh), the boar (Varah) and the eagle. Some of these are incarnations of Vishnu... - Parvez Dewan.
  • A less-common form of Hanuman is the Panchmukhi—that which has five heads or faces. Each head represents an animal. The five animals are the monkey (Vanar), the horse (Hay-griv), the lion (Narasimh), the boar (Varah) and the eagle. Some of these are incarnations of Vishnu. There is also an eleven headed Hanuman (ekadash-mukhi) Hanuman. These two forms are the result of the popularity of the tantric cults during the medieval era. The five-headed Hanuman may have as many pairs of arms, or just one pair. The eleven-headed Hanuman normally has ten pairs of arms.
...He was able to fly and is a conspicuous figure in the Ramayana, ...Hanuman leaped from India to Ceylon in one bound; tore trees, carried away the Himalayas, seized the clouds and performed many other wonderful exploits... - John Dowson.
  • HANUMAN, HANUMAT, HANÜMAT. A celebrated monkey chief. He was able to fly and is a conspicuous figure in the Ramayana, ...Hanuman leaped from India to Ceylon in one bound; tore trees, carried away the Himalayas, seized the clouds and performed many other wonderful exploits... Among his other accomplishments, Hanuman was a grammarian; and the Ramayana says: “The chief of monkeys is perfect; no one equals him in the sastras, in learning, and in ascertaining the sense of the scriptures (or in moving at will). It is well known that Hanuman was the ninth author of grammar.
  • For some it is primarily a story of devotion centering on the monkey-god Hanuman, who is something of a trickster but who is completely at the service of Rama, saving his life and rescuing his wife from the evil demons.
    • Mark Epstein in: "Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught", p. 22.
  • Hanuman, the embodiment of devotion, brings Sita's jewels to Rama and then takes a gold ring back to her as a symbol of Rama's unflagging love, a ring given to him by Sita's father at the time of their marriage. Sita welcomes Hanuman, takes the ring and gives him one more jewel, a pearl mounted on a gold leaf that her father had tied to her hair on the day of the wedding. She refuses Hanuman’s offer to fly back to Rama, insisting he come to free her himself...Rama is able to free Sita only by securing the help of Hanuman. Hanuman, the monkey-god, son of the wind, is the bridge between the two lovers, the vehicle that helps them.
    • Mark Epstein in: "Open to Desire: The Truth About What the Buddha Taught", p. 25
...After leaping to Lanka Hanuman discovers the captive Sita surrounded by rakshasas in the Ashoka grove, but she insists on being rescued by her husband...Kirsti Evans.
The divine name Rama was not only on the lips of Hanuman; He was enthroned in his heart. Rama gave Hanuman exhaustless strength... - Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The divine name Rama was not only on the lips of Hanuman; He was enthroned in his heart. Rama gave Hanuman exhaustless strength. In Rama's strength Hanuman lifted the mountain and crossed the ocean. It is faith that steers us through the stormy seas, faith that moves mountains, and faith that jumps across the ocean. That faith is nothing but a living, wide-awake consciousness of God within. He who has achieved that faith wants nothing.
...Hanuman is mentioned as an avatar of Shiva or Rudra in the Sanskrit texts and was the son of Anjana, an Apsara cursed to be born as a monkey and Kesari, after the couple performed intense prayers to Shiva to get a child. According to a story, when Anjana, was worshipping Shiva, king Dasharatha of Ayodhya was also performing penances for having children. The prasad (portion of the offerings) he received was to be shared by his three wives. A kite snatched a part of the Prasad and dropped it near Anjana. Vayu, the Hindu deity, caught it before it fell to the ground and delivered into the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it leading to the birth of Hanuman... - Ashok Kumar Jha
  • Son of the wind the epithet refers to Hauman a Hindu deity, who was an ardent devotee of Rama. Hanuman is mentioned as an avatar of Shiva or Rudra in the Sanskrit texts and was the son of Anjana, an Apsara cursed to be born as a monkey and Kesari, after the couple performed intense prayers to Shiva to get a child. According to a story, when Anjana, was worshipping Shiva, king Dasharatha of Ayodhya was also performing penances for having children. The prasad (portion of the offerings) he received was to be shared by his three wives. A kite snatched a part of the Prasad and dropped it near Anjana. Vayu, the Hindu deity, caught it before it fell to the ground and delivered into the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it leading to the birth of Hanuman. So he is also called the son of vayu, while still being considered as an incarnation of Rudra (Shiva). He is a central character in the epic Ramayana and also finds mention in several other texts, including Mahabharata, the various Puranas and some Jain texts. Hanuman is worshipped by villagers as a boundary guardian, by Shaiva ascetics as a yogi, and by wrestler for his strength.
After his birth the infant Hanuman is continuously hungry, and one day he attempts to eat the sun. Indra, the king of gods and ruler of heaven, is incensed at Hanuman’s action and strikes the infant with a thunderbolt, breaking his jaw (hanu)... -James G. Lochtefeld.
Watercolour painting on paper of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa meeting Hanumān at Rishyamukha, the residence of Sugriva. Rāma and Laksmana are shown wearing dhoti’s with animal skins covering their shoulders. They hold bow and arrows in their hands and have their hair tied in a top knot on their heads... -British Museum.
  • Watercolour painting on paper of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa meeting Hanumān at Rishyamukha, the residence of Sugriva. Rāma and Laksmana are shown wearing dhoti’s with animal skins covering their shoulders. They hold bow and arrows in their hands and have their hair tied in a top knot on their heads. They face towards a male figure wearing a pink dhoti with a green shawl. He has a shaven head and raises his hands in anjali mudra. Behind the three figures is a staircase which leads up to a city on top of a mountain, Rishyamukha. On the edges of the staircase kneel monkeys wearing golden hats. In the centre of the city is a large building with a golden roof and a large red flag flying. The painting is surrounded by a black border.
... describing his visit to the grove of the palace of Rāvana. He compares its rhetoric to a page of indecipherable calligraphy and thinks: the difference between human writing and divine consists in the fact that the number of signs of the former is limited, whereas that of the latter is infinite; hence the universe is a meaningless text, one which even the gods find illegible... - Octavio Paz.
  • The Great Monkey closes his eyes, scratches himself again and muses: before the sun has become completely hidden — it is now fleeing amid the tall bamboo trees like an animal pursued by shadows — I shall succeed in reducing this grove of trees to a catalogue. A page of tangled plant calligraphy. A thicket of signs: how to read it, how to clear a path through this denseness? Hanumān smiles with pleasure at the analogy that has just occurred to him: calligraphy and vegetation, a grove of trees and writing, reading and a path. Following a path: reading a stretch of ground, deciphering a fragment of world. Reading considered as a path toward... The path as a reading: an interpretation of the natural world? He closes his eyes once more and sees himself, in another age, writing (on a piece of paper or on a rock, with a pen or with a chisel?) the act in the Mahanātaka describing his visit to the grove of the palace of Rāvana. He compares its rhetoric to a page of indecipherable calligraphy and thinks: the difference between human writing and divine consists in the fact that the number of signs of the former is limited, whereas that of the latter is infinite; hence the universe is a meaningless text, one which even the gods find illegible. The critique of the universe (and that of the gods) is called grammar... Disturbed by this strange thought, Hanumān leaps down from the wall, remains for a moment in a squatting position, then stands erect, scrutinizes the four points of the compass, and resolutely makes his way into the thicket.
  • Devanagari:
    यत्र यत्र रघुनाथकीर्तनं तत्र तत्र कृतमस्तकाञ्जलिम् ।
    बाष्पवारिपरिपूर्णलोचनं मारुतिं नमत राक्षसान्तकम् ॥
  • Hunterian:
    yatra yatra raghunāthakīrtanaṃ tatra tatra kṛta mastakāñjalim ।
    bāṣpavāriparipūrṇalocanaṃ mārutiṃ namata rākṣasāntakam ॥
  • English translation:
    Bow down to Hanumān, who is the slayer of demons, and who is present with head bowed and
    eyes full of flowing tears wherever the fame of Rāma is sung.
  • Indeed, I hadn’t dared to think of that, but yes, indeed, when you read the Ramayana you’ll come across the story of Hanuman on which I built my version of that very old myth...I love Friend Monkey. I love the story of Hanuman. For many years, it remained in my very blood because he’s someone who loves too much and can’t help it. I don’t know where I first heard of him, but the story remained with me and I knew it would come out of me somehow or other. But I didn’t know what shape it would take.
Lord Ram gave Hanuman a quizzical look and said, "What are you, a monkey or a man?" Hanuman bowed his head reverently, folded his hands and said, "When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One". - Tulsidas.
...With the dust of guru’s lotus feet having,
I cleanse the mirror of my soul sparkling,
Raghuvar’s spotless glory I be singing,
The four fruits of life it ever is giving. - Tulsidas.
  • Lord Ram gave Hanuman a quizzical look and said, "What are you, a monkey or a man?" Hanuman bowed his head reverently, folded his hands and said, "When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One".
  • Poem from Hanuman Chalisa in Devanagari:
    ॥दोहा॥
    श्रीगुरु चरन सरोज रज, निज मनु मुकुरु सुधारि।
    बरनउँ रघुबर बिमल जसु, जो दायकु फल चारि॥
  • English translation:
    Doha:
    With the dust of guru’s lotus feet having,
    I cleanse the mirror of my soul sparkling,
    Raghuvar’s spotless glory I be singing,
    The four fruits of life it ever is giving.
  • Poem from Hanuman Chalisa in Devanagari:
    ॥दोहा॥
    बाल समय रबि भक्षि लियो तब तीनहुँ लोक भयो अँधियारो।
    ताहि सों त्रास भयो जग को यह संकट काहु सों जात न टारो।
    देवन आनि करी बिनती तब छाँड़ि दियो रबि कष्ट निवारो।
    को नहिं जानत है जग में कपि संकटमोचन नाम तिहारो॥१॥
  • English translation:
    Doha:
    When as a child you lapped the sun, darkness on triple world fell,
    The worlds so got into trouble and a crisis that none could dispel,
    Gods then prayed to you to spare the sun and you did so quell,
    Who doesn’t know in this world your name `Problem Solver’ bells?
    • Tulsidas in: Munindra Misra "Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme"
Eka-Nishtha or devotion to one ideal is absolutely necessary for the beginner in the practice of religious devotion. He must say with Hanuman in the Râmâyana, though I know that the Lord of Shri and the Lord of Jânaki are both manifestations of the same Supreme Being, yet my all in all is the lotus-eyed Râma. -Swami Vivekananda.
  • There is a story of Hanumân, who was a great worshipper of Râma. Just as the Christians worship Christ as the incarnation of God, so the Hindus worship many incarnations of God. According to them, God came nine times in India and will come once more. When he came as Rama, this Hanuman was his great worshipper. Hanuman lived very long and was a great Yogi. During his lifetime, Rama came again as Krishna; and Hanuman, being a great Yogi, knew that the same God had come back again as Krishna. He came and served Krishna, but he said to him, "I want to see that Rama form of yours". Krishna said, "Is not this form enough? I am this Krishna; I am this Rama. All these forms are mine". Hanuman said, "I know that, but the Rama form is for me. The Lord of Jânaki (Janaki is a name of Sitâ.) and the Lord of Shri Shri is a name of Laksmi.) are the same. They are both the incarnations of the Supreme Self. Yet the lotus-eyed Rama is my all in all". This is Nishtha — knowing that all these different forms of worship are right, yet sticking to one and rejecting the others. We must not worship the others at all; we must not hate or criticize them, but respect them.

External links[edit]

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