Deity in a flying pose, at Neem Karoli Baba temple in Taos (New Mexico)
Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
nine devotional process and how, by each process, one becomes perfect, just like
Pariksit Maharaja, simply hearing, and Sukadeva Gosvami, simply chanting, reciting
Bhagavatam. So both of them got salvation. Laksmi, she is simply pada-sevanam,
giving massage to the lotus feet of the Lord. Arjuna simply made friendship with
Krsna. Hanuman simply worked as a hard servant. He doesn't know what He is...
"Lord Ramacandra wants it." Then it is done. Jump over. He does not
know any philosophy. He has got bodily strength, so whatever Ramacandra says,
he'll do. He was asked to bring that medicine for Laksmana. He did not know where
to find it. "Take this whole mountain." (laughter) He was not intelligent.
"Fight! We have to fight with Ravana. Then block his whole city by throwing
stones and trees and dirt." Everything became blocked. They could not move.
So in one side he is born of animal life, he had no higher intelligence, but his
staunch desire, that "I shall serve Lord Ramacandra..." By that... Only
this desire made him perfect."
Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation,
Left Photo: Hanuman meets with Lord Ramachandra.
Right Photo: Hanuman
conquers Ahiravana. Here
Hanuman is carrying Rama and Lakshmana while rescuing them from the demon Ahiravana
(also known as Mahiravana). This story does not appear in early Ramayana versions,
but is so well-known that has become part of the "story." Ahiravana
was a demon magician, who was called by Ravana (his father) for help in the struggle
against Rama's army. Ahiravana kidnaps Rama and Lakshmana, whom he intends to
offer as human sacrifices to the Goddess. The divine brothers wait passively to
be rescued by Hanuman, who is this story's real hero.
This story points to Hanuman's
growing role in popular piety, and also his popularity as an intercessory deity
for the majestic but all-too-distant Rama.
I am indebted to Philip
Lutgendorf for this identification. For more on the Ahiravana story, see his "Hanuman's
Adventures Underground: The Narrative Logic of a Ramayana Interpolation,"
in Mandakranta Bose's The Ramayana Revisited (Oxford U. Press, 2004).
"In the same Hayasirsa-pancaratra,
after Nrsimhadeva wanted to give benedictions to Prahlada Maharaja, Prahlada did
not accept any material benediction and simply asked the favor of the Lord to
remain His eternal devotee. In this connection, Prahlada Maharaja cited the example
of Hanuman, the eternal servitor of Lord Ramacandra, who also set an example by
never asking any material favor from the Lord. He always remained engaged in the
Lord's service. That is the ideal character of Hanuman, for which he is still
worshiped by all devotees. Prahlada Maharaja also offered his respectful obeisances
unto Hanuman. There is a well-known verse spoken by Hanuman in which he says,
"My dear Lord, if You like You can give me salvation from this material existence,
or the privilege of merging into Your existence, but I do not wish any of these
things. I do not want anything which diminishes my relationship with You as servant
to master, even after liberation."
Nectar of Devotion, Chapter
"After rising from
bed the next morning, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the local temple, where
there was a deity of Hanuman. After offering him obeisances, the Lord departed
for South India.
Purport: In almost all the
cities and towns of India there are temples of Hanumanji, the eternal servant
of Lord Ramacandra. There is even a temple of Hanuman near Govindaji temple in
Vrndavana. Formerly this temple was in front of the Gopalaji temple, but that
Deity Gopalaji went to Orissa to remain as Saksi-gopala. Being the eternal servant
of Lord Ramacandra, Hanumanji has been respectfully worshiped for many hundreds
and thousands of years. Here even Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu set the example
in showing how one should offer respects to Hanumanji."
"Devotees also offer
their respects to Hanuman, who always remained a servant of Lord Rama. The great
devotee Hanuman prayed:
sprhayami na muktaye
bhavan prabhur aham dasa
iti yatra vilupyate
"I do not wish to take
liberation or to merge in the Brahman effulgence, where the conception of being
a servant of the Lord is completely lost."
Left Photo: Hanuman Tearing Open His Heart. This is an extremely common image
in modern India, and to the best of my knowledge is not found in the Ramayana
but reflects popular piety. According to the story, Hanuman was having an argument
with someone that Sita and Ram were everywhere (as we can see from the forms behind
him). When his adversary challenged him to show how Sita and Ram were inside him,
Hanuman tore open his chest, to reveal the divine couple in his heart. This is
an image of Hanuman as the model devotee, who is so devoted that the deities have
literally found a home in his heart.
Right Photo: Hanuman leading Kirtan. This image also shows Hanuman as a
devotee, holding the hand cymbals that are used during kirtan as rhythm instruments;
Rama and Sita are seen outlined on his chest, indicating his total devotion. This
peaceful, devotional image stands in marked contrast other martial images, and
Hanuman's personality has this complex mix of power and devotion.
This is another extremely
common contemporary image, and one that also reflects popular piety. According
to popular tradition, Hanuman is not only the greatest devotee in terms of loving
Rama, but also the greatest in worshipping him, particularly in the devotional
chanting known as kirtan. According to popular belief, Hanuman is present wherever
Rama's name is sung, since taking part in this is his highest bliss.
Hanuman seen in the Himalayas?
IS STRANGER THAN FICTION
The picture was purportedly
taken of Hanuman in a cave at Manasarovar Lake (Kailash) in the Himalayas during
1998 summer. When on Sunday the 9th May, 1999, I saw this strange picture of Hanuman
reading the Ramayana, in the house of Sri V. Srinivasan at Rohini in North-West
Delhi, I was awe-struck. I had never seen this picture before.
This is what I have got
from a person who says it is one of the few originals
of the Hanuman photos. The government of India every
year during the summer "before the onslaught of
monsoon", gives permissions after medical check
up, to selected individuals and send them in groups
to Manasarovar Lake near Kailash. Such groups necessarily
consist of different nationalities, and different people
from different regions of India.
group of people went to Manasarovar for a piligrimage
is said that person taking the picture saw a light inside
a cave, photoed that light and died there on spot for
reasons not known (this part every one is confirming
who went along). Later the friends developed the roll
from the camera and got this print!.
It is not sure how much
it is true but many people are believing it. It is a fact that Hanuman does exist
in flesh and blood because he is a Chiranjeevi (immortal).
The photo is as thrilling
as the anecdote."
Jay Sri Ram