Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hanuman Ji History In Mahavira An Ideal

Lord Hanuman is well known for his extreme devotion to Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman is always depicted in the Indian folklaire as an icon of true devotion and a symbol of the power of true devotion and chastity.
Lord Hanuman's devotion to Lord Rama is symbolic of the devotion of the enlightened individual soul towards the supreme soul.
Many stories from the Indian literature tell the tales of Lord Hanuman protecting devotees of Lord Rama and helping those who seek his either spiritually or otherwise. Swami Tulasidas has written these lines in respect of Lord Hanuman's great character, in praise of his powers and also devotion.

Hanuman Ji History In Mahavira An Ideal:

Two pictures of Hanuman come to our mind, almost simultaneously. In one, we see him ‘with hands folded together in the anjali pose, expression on the face one of humility and devotion, kneeling on one leg as if receiving benediction from his lord and master, Rama’;[40]and the other: colossus like, with mace in one hand and the Sanjivani hill in the other, striding across the heavens. In Rajasthani paintings, artists celebrate ‘his humanness, devotion, and humility’ [41]; in Mughal art, ‘his deeds marked him as heroic, intelligent, dauntless, enterprising, kind, humble and devout servitor … The most enchanting and dynamic representation of Hanuman is to be seen in folk style illustrations in small-size manuscripts’ [42].

The mighty Hanuman with phenomenal physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual powers—is yet a picture of humility in Rama’s presence. In the words of Sri Ramakrishna, he is established in the belief that ‘as long as I have the feeling of “I”, I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part; Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, O Rāma, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I realize that Thou art I, and I am Thou.’ [43] This is not just an abstract or intellectual realization. For Ramakrishna, who, taking Hanuman as his ideal, had himself practiced dāsya sādhanā—spiritual practice with the attitude of a servant—Hanuman lives this realization in his practical life. Ramakrishna says, ‘Hanuman kept the “servant ego” after realizing God in both His Personal and His Impersonal aspects. He thought of himself as the servant of God.’ This is the ‘ego of Devotion’ (500). Though having all the siddhis or supernatural powers in his possession, he uses them only to accomplish rāma-kārya, Rama’s mission.

Swami Vivekananda says: As on the one hand Hanuman represents the ideal of service, so on the other he represents leonine courage, striking the whole world with awe. He has not the least hesitation in sacrificing his life for the good of Rama. A supreme indifference to everything except the service of Rama, even to the attainment of the status of Brahma and Shiva, the great World-gods! Only the carrying out of Sri Rama’s behest is the one vow of his life! Such whole hearted devotion is wanted.[44]

And then, Vivekananda adds: ‘The Damaru and horn have to be sounded, drums are to be beaten so as to raise the deep and martial notes, and with “Mahavira [Hanuman]” “Mahavira” on your lips … the quarters are to be reverberated’ [45].

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If, as Vivekananda wanted, our young men must possess ‘muscles of iron and nerves of steel’, there could be no better role-model than Hanuman, the Vajranga (or Bajranga): having a frame as hard as the thunderbolt.

Hanuman is also the epitome of wisdom, both mundane and spiritual. As Rama’s messenger, Hanuman also believes that the best envoy is one who, after having accomplished the assigned mission, does an extra task, not contrary to the original assignment.[46] Thus, while in Lanka, not only does he trace Sita’s whereabouts, he also warns Ravana and tries to persuade him to give up his evil designs, discovers Vibhishana as a potential ally, and inflicts considerable damage on the lives, property, and morale of the rakshasas.

In the role of Sugriva’s minister, Hanuman tries diplomatically to bring him back to his senses when, drunk with power and passion, he forgets his duty to Rama. It was Hanuman who, in the frst place, introduced Sugriva to Rama. He counselled Vibhishana as a friend and, in the face of opposition from Sugriva and others, facilitated Vibhishana’s refuge in Rama. In doing so, Hanuman acts as both Sugriva’s and Vibhishana’s guru.

Vivekananda says: Shri Rama was the Paramatman. Sita was the Jivatman, and each man’s or woman’s body was the Lanka. Sita, thus imprisoned and trying to unite with her Lord, receives a visit from Hanuman, the Guru or divine teacher, who shows her the Lord’s ring, which is Brahma-Jnana, the supreme wisdom that destroys all illusions; and thus Sita finds the way to be at one with Shri Rama, or in other words, the Jivatman finds itself one with the Paramatman [47].

Though Hanuman is content with remaining a servant, he has become a cult fgure. Today he is the most celebrated ‘devotee-deity’ of India. Sita had blessed him thus: ‘People will worship your image to get out of trouble—in towns, gardens, cities, villages, homes, cow-sheds, pathways, temples, forests, and places of pilgrimage; on hills, near rivers and ponds; in orchards and basil-clusters, under bo and banyan trees. Just by remembering your name, they would succeed in warding off evil spirits.’ [48]

It is well known that Tulsidas would recite the Hanuman Bahuka to cure himself of his serious arm ailment; and to ward off calamities, he would chant the ‘Sankata-mochana-stotra’. Today, these and the Hanuman Chalisa are chanted in temples and the homes of millions of people, every morning and evening. ‘Hanuman, the monkey god and devotee of Rama, grants us the power of higher life-force (Prana) that elevates the mind and increases our devotion.’ [49]

The worship of Hanuman cuts across sects and communities: ‘Śrī Vaishnavas worship Garuda and Hanumān alike as the mounts of Vishnu. Hanumān is also a manifestation of śakti (śaktirūpa). The tāntrikas worship one-headed, five-headed and eleven-headed Hanumān for spiritual attainment.’ [50]. He is worshiped by the Shaivas as an incarnation of Shiva or the eleventh Rudra. Madhvacharya, the founder of the Dvaita school of Vaishnava philosophy, called himself the incarnation of Hanuman. ‘His [Hanuman’s] image can be seen repeated in stone carvings, masks, ballet performances and the minor arts of Bali, Java, Thailand etc. where the Ramayana is a living force till today’ [51][52].

‘The worship of the deities—primarily Ganeśa, Skanda, Sarasvati, the Mothers as also Bhairon and Hanumān—has got so much importance in the Jainism of today that the cult of the Tīrthankaras has strongly receded behind it.’ [53]

‘It is certain, at all events, that none of the larger villages of India is without its image of the monkey-king Hanuman and that monkeys are swarming in many temples and are treated with great forbearance and love.’ [54]

This article is concluded by an excerpt from an episode from the ‘Yuddha Kanda’:

Ramachandra gave Sita a pearl necklace, glittering like the moonbeams, along with bright garments and beautiful ornaments. Sita looked at them, and then gave them to Hanuman. Next, removing her own necklace, she looked repeatedly at the assembled vanaras as well as at her husband. Rama, understanding her intent, told her to give that to the one with whom she was most pleased. Sita gave the necklace to Pavanaputra, who was possessed of [such ‘pearl-like’ attributes as] energy, fortitude, glory, dexterity, efficacy, humility, statesmanship, valour, prowess, and discernment. Hanuman wore the necklace and shone like a mountain lighted up by the moonbeams.’ [55]