“H” for Hanuman मुद्रण ई-मेल
Indian literature, especially from ancient history, is full of miracles and magic. It is said that to retain philosophy for centuries it is necessary to weave stories around the philosophical concepts. Indian literature has done exactly that. In the way rituals are important for cultural thoughts to survive, in the same way stories are important for difficult philosophies to survive. One needs to read the story of Hanuman with a similar mindset. The story of Hanuman is full of miracles and awe inspiring acts. One has to read deeper into the lines to understand the values that his great life portrays.

Hanuman is probably at the pinnacle when it comes to remembering devotees of God  and is one of the most important characters in the Indian epic Ramayan. He is considered by some to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and is also the most powerful and wisest amongst divine beings. Hanuman is worshiped as a symbol of physical strength, intellect, perseverance and devotion.

According to legend, Hanuman was born to Anjanadevi and Kesari through the blessings of the Wind God, Vaayu. Hanuman was extraordinary from the time he was born. There are many interesting stories about him as a child. Once when Hanuman was hungry, he saw something bright and red in the East direction and leapt into the sky to snatch it thinking that it was some fruit. What was a child's whim became a serious matter as he was flying high in the direction of the sun. Lord Indra was worried that he would catch hold of the sun. To prevent him, Lord Indra hit him with his thunderbolt, which struck him hard on his jaw and he fell to the ground. Hanuman's godfather Vaayu was angry and carried him away to the netherworld. Soon, there was no air to breathe on Earth, and all the gods had to plead to Vaayu to return. In order to appease him, they offered several boons and blessings, which made Hanuman very powerful, invincible and immortal. Also, as his chin was swollen, he got the name Hanuman, which means "swollen chin."

Hanuman's tale in the epic Ramayan is known for its astounding ability to inspire and equip a person with all the ingredients needed to face ordeals and conquer obstacles in one's life. Hanuman was a great devotee of Lord Ram and assisted Lord Ram in his expedition against the evil forces of Ravan, the demon King of Lanka. He meets Lord Ram during Ram's exile in the forest and promises to help him locate his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravan. In his search of Sita, Hanuman leaps over the mighty ocean, faces various obstacles and challenges while crossing the ocean, and reaches Lanka. Upon finding Sita, he reassures her that Ram has been desperately looking for her, and offers to carry her back to Lord Ram. However, Sita refuses saying that it would be an insult to Ram's honour. It was also necessary to free the common man from oppressive and misguided rule of Ravan. Before leaving Lanka, Hanuman demonstrates Ram's might to Ravan by setting Lanka on fire. Later, during the war against Ravan, when Laxman was severely wounded, Hanuman brings back the whole mountain, Dhronagiri to find the herb that would cure Laxman, Such was the dedication and love of Hanuman for Lord Ram. There are many such inspiring incidents from life of Hanuman.

The character of Hanuman teaches us of the unlimited power that lies unused within each one of us. Hanuman directed all his energies towards the work and worship of Lord Ram, and dedicated his life in propagating the work of Lord Ram. Hanuman exemplifies 'Dasya bhakti' or devotion through service of God, which is one of the nine types of Bhakti that bonds the devotee to God.

It is hard to find such a great character that is at once so powerful, learned, wise, humble and pleasing !

What would I like to learn from Hanuman?

a)     Well defined priorities towards goal in life

b)     Strength and courage to overcome all obstacles

c)      Presence of mind and Wise thinking in critical situations

d)     Devotion, love and dedication to God


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