Tuesday, 13 September 2011

What is the significance of various forms of Lord Hanuman? - Part 1

1. Science behind the idol
1.1 Colour
‘One comes across varied information regarding Hanuman’s form. His complexion is mostly red and rarely black. A red Hanuman is one smeared with a saffron coloured powder called sindur. Perhaps His black complexion is due to the influence of Saturn (Shani). Hanuman is famous as an incarnation or as a son of Lord Rudra. Since Rudra’s complexion is red, Hanuman too must have derived His complexion from Him. After He acquired a red complexion stories regarding His love for sindur were told.
  • Once after bathing Sita made a red spot (tila) with sindur on Her forehead. When Hanuman asked for an explanation Sita replied, “It is because of this that Your Master’s life is prolonged”. When He heard this, Hanuman smeared sindur all over His body !
  • Once when Hanuman was proceeding to Lanka with the Dronagiri hills Bharat struck Him with an arrow and wounded His leg. The wound healed with a mixture of sindur and oil. Hence sindur and oil are Hanuman’s favourites.’
1.2 Form
Look at the two figures given below. Decide with which figure you feel more pleasant and then read further.

Figure A
Figure B
At one of our workshops in Mumbai twenty-five out of thirty-six seekers who participated in this experiment gave their answers. The average spiritual level of the seekers was 35%. During a satsang (spiritual meeting) at times the spiritual level of a seeker can even become 40-50%. The spiritual level of an average person is 20% while that of one who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. If average individuals participate in the experiment, they do not perceive anything. Hence in such experiments everyone does not get spiritual experiences. Only those who have attained a spiritual level of 35% and above and are able to perceive something of the subtle dimension are able to give answers. Sixteen out of twenty-five seekers experienced serenity (shanti) with figure ‘A’ and the rest with figure ‘B’.
Figure ‘A’ depicts the tail of Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and figure ‘B’ the tail of Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti). One must have realised how without even looking at the entire form of Maruti merely by looking at His tail, energy or divine consciousness (chaitanya) in His form is manifested. Energy manifests from Maruti as the courageous one and divine consciousness from Maruti as the servitor since the latter is merged into Lord Rama.
  • Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti): Hanuman has two forms namely Maruti as the servitor and Maruti as the courageous one. The servitor form is the one in which Hanuman stands in front of Rama with His hands folded in obeisance, His tail resting on the ground. The stance of Maruti as the courageous one is that of one ready for battle. His tail is upright and His right hand is turned towards His head. Sometimes even a demon crushed under His feet is depicted. To overcome problems of possession, black magic, etc. Maruti as the courageous one is worshipped.
  • Maruti with five faces (Panchmukhi Maruti):
Panchmukhi Hanuman
One finds quite a few idols of the five-faced Maruti. The five faces are of an eagle (garud), a boar (varaha), a hayagriv, a lion and a monkey. The idol has ten arms wielding a flag, a sword, a noose, etc. One explanation for the five faces of a deity is that the deity keeps vigilance and has control over the five directions - north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith.
 Maruti facing the south (Dakshinmukhi Maruti): Here the word south (dakshin) has two meanings - one is the south direction and second, the right side.
South in context to the direction: Here since Maruti faces the south He is named so. Black magic like jaran, maran, etc. are done primarily in front of this idol of Maruti. Such idols of Maruti are found in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, etc. in Maharashtra and in Basavgudi in the district of Karnataka in India.
South in context to the right side: This Maruti has His face turned towards the right. What do you feel after looking at the following two figures? First decide with which you experience more energy and only then read the following section.
Figure A
Figure B
 At a workshop in Mumbai twelve out of thirty-six seekers gave answers. Nine out of these twelve experienced energy with figure ‘B’ and only 3 experienced energy with figure ‘A’. In figure ‘B’ (facing the right) since the sun channel (surya nadi) of Maruti is active more energy was felt by most seekers looking at it. In figure ‘A’ the moon channel (chandra nadi) of Maruti is operational hence people felt less energy. Just like Ganapati with the trunk towards the right the Maruti facing the right is a powerful deity. He is worshipped to overcome problems due to distressing energy. The sushumna channel (nadi) of Ganapati and Maruti are continuously operational but with the transformation in Their forms the sun or moon channels too become operational to a small extent.
2. Shani (Saturn) and Maruti
‘Although there is close association between Shani and Hanuman prevailing in our society its explanation is equally complicated and incomprehensible.
2.1 Similarities
  • 1. In the verse with a thousand Names of Hanuman (Hanumansahasranam stotra) Shani is one of the Names of Hanuman.
  • 2. In the Surya Sanhita it is said that Hanuman was born on a Saturday (Shanivar).
  • 3. It is given in holy texts that Rudra is one of the ten names of Shani.
  • 4. Just like Shani one occasionally comes across Hanuman with a dark complexion.
  • 5. Since Shani is popular in the Gadhval region Hanuman is also seen sporting an iron whip akin to Shani. As a result unknowingly a relationship between Shani and Hanuman must have been established and Hanuman’s worship on Saturdays and His inclusion in the vowed observance of worshipping Saturday (Shanivarvrat) must have commenced.
2.2 Differences
The differences between Shani and Hanuman are more than their similarities.
  • 1. Shani is the son of the Sun deity hence is born from the tej (absolute fire) element whereas Hanuman is the son of Vayu hence is born from the vayu (absolute air) element.
  • 2. There is discord between Shani and the sun whereas Hanuman is a devotee of the Sun deity. He has learnt all the skills from the Sun deity who has imparted a hundredth portion of His radiance to Him. Due to the conflict between Shani and the Sun deity the latter helped Hanuman, the enemy of His enemy (Shani). At that time the vayu element and energy had not manifested completely in Hanuman.
  • 3. Shani is slow whereas Hanuman is swift like the eagle.
  • 4. Shani is an evil planet while Hanuman is definitely not so.
  • 5. It is said that one should not sell oil on Saturdays yet it is customary to offer oil to Hanuman on that day.
3. Demigods (yakshas) and Maruti
Brave and miraculous are adjectives used to describe the demigods. In the Valmiki Ramayan Hanuman is referred to as the miraculous one. Mahavir (the courageous one) is Hanuman’s popular Name. This indicates the relationship between Hanuman and the worship of the demigods. Hanuman is included in the fifty-two brave ones (virs) by the name of Kapilumbir. In Maharashtra, India in the month of Phalgun of the Hindu lunar calendar people dressed as warriors (virs) dance in a procession on their way to a Maruti temple.’
4. Ganapati and Maruti
Both of Them have a red complexion (like sindur) and both of Them possess the eight supernatural powers (ashtamahasiddhis).
5. Importance of Maruti as described by saints
Saint Ramdas Swami has said “Hanumant is our deity”. He is a symbol of energy, ingenuity and devotion. Hence Samarth Ramdas began worshipping Him. Eleven idols of Maruti installed by Him are famous. In North India too saint Tulsidas erected a number of temples and strengthened the worship of Maruti. Madhvacharya is considered as an incarnation of Maruti. Various other saints have also placed Maruti as the ideal through Their various compositions.
6. Worship
6.1 Objectives
Since the manifest energy in Maruti (70%) is much more in comparison to other deities (10%), Maruti is worshipped in the context of energy for the following reasons.
  • To overcome distressing energy: To overcome problems due to spirits, black magic, ancestors’ subtle bodies, suffering due to Shani, etc.
  • To control pleasant energy: If there is any obstacle in the pathway of the activated kundalini (spiritual energy) then to overcome it and channelise it appropriately.
6.2 Ritualistic worship (puja)
Popular worship: In Maharashtra on the full moon day (pournima) of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra Hanuman’s birthday (jayanti) is celebrated. In Maharashtra Saturday is considered as an auspicious day for His worship. In the rest of India Saturday and Tuesday both are considered as auspicious days for His worship. On these days people offer Him sindur and oil. In some places coconuts are offered. To make spiritual progress worship of Vamamukhi (facing the left) Maruti or Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) is used. The reasons for offering oil, sindur, leaves of the coral (rui) plant are given in ‘Why are tulsi leaves offered to Vishnu?’.
Influence of Shani and worship of Maruti: The relationship between Shani and Maruti has been explained earlier in point ‘Shani and Maruti’. Hence when there is an influence of Shani, to reduce the resultant/resulting suffering Maruti is worshipped. The ritual should be performed as follows: Take some oil in a cup (vati), put fourteen bengal gram grains (udid) in it and then look at the reflection of one’s face in it. Only then offer it to Maruti. If one is unable to visit the temple due to illness one may worship Maruti in this way. (Information on why bengal gram is used is described in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 20 - Chapter 43 - Possession, Black magic and Manifestation’.)
A real oil vendor will never sell oil on Saturday because the distressing energy for which a person is offering oil to Maruti may start troubling the oil vendor itself. Hence instead of buying oil from oil vendors seated outside the temple one should carry oil for the offering, from home.
Maruti Gayatri
Om Anjanisutaya VidmaheVayuputraya Dhimahi
Tanno Marutih Prachodayat

Meaning: We are quite familiar with Maruti, the son of Anjani. We meditate on that Maruti, the son of Vayu. May that courageous Maruti inspire our intellect benevolently.
7. Maruti in our lives
If Maruti is in our breath then Rama [the embodied soul doing spiritual practice (jivatma) or atmaram] is within us.
|| Shri Marutaye namaha ||

Hanuman is the Eleventh Rudra or Manifestation of Lord Shiva and has his healing and glorious powers expounded with great depth in the Ramcharitmanas or Holy Ramayan for centuries now. Hindus and even non Hindus seek Hanumanji usually in three situations of life; commonly once a year for their “yearly Hanuman puja”, worship at Hanuman Jayanti annually as will be this year on Monday April 2 nd, 2007 or thirdly during situations of crisis when all else seem to be failing such as in Sickness, a dying situation or in actual death, after which usually as with most forms of worship when we get results, we shelf the deity who brought us that happiness for the next year, or sometimes forever. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to honor, worship and glorify our Patron Saint, the Lord of Virtue, Strength, Success and Vigor to bring happiness, richness and peace to our lives.
Hanuman Jayanti literally means the day of observation of this manifestation without beginning or end but present forever. Hanumanji’s glories have been explored, studied and research for centuries around the world by scholars of all backgrounds, races and religions and yet no one ever has been able to truly understand the power, strength and effectiveness of this Avatar of Hinduism. On this day Hanuman Puja is done honoring him with special baths, items, clothes, jewels etc. After this initial puja, the Chanting or recitation of 108 Hanuman Chaleesas are done again in his celebration. “Prashad”, “Parsad” or “Prashadam”, the spiritual offering of food made during his prayers are offered, with “Roat”, a special must have for Hanumanji Puja, which is made of milk, sugar, flour, etc and deep fried in ghee or clarified butter. Some people offer 108 “roats: one for each chaleesa which is sung.
Special Malas and Flowers usually RED, to really celebrate Hanumanji on this day is very common. Worship is done with the offering of coconuts which is believed to take away their pains, troubles, distress and misery. Some people relate this day as the Birthday of Hanumanji also and treat him very special for his guidance over them during the year. Hanumanji is the living avatar or deity in this age, the dark age or “Kali” re; “Kaliyuga”, as Hindus refer to it. His glories as we know have taken up one entire section of the Ramayan called “Sundar Kaand”, the beautiful section. Hanumanji is no stranger to Hindus or seekers of curiosity from other religions. His worship has been met with challenge, doubt, ridicule, frustration and criticism by many, some Hindus and non Hindus alike. The worship of Hanumanji is easy to entertain and reach but the rewards of Hanumanji are very difficult to achieve. Many people go with the theory that Hanumanji will take care of all your problems, just do a puja, and pray to him then and the rest is history. My dear friends, he will take care of you, always have and always will. BUT how you get your rewards, depends on your dedication and the service you render to him; it is that simple as 1, 2,3 with no rocket science or special knowledge required. As you sow, so shall you reap….give a lot, get a lot. Give a little; well you get the idea….yes, get a little.
Many have sought Hanumanji to save their troubles only after everything else have failed. There is still time and he is the most compassionate Lord who will welcome you with open arms. Hanumanji is a “Chiranjeev” which means he is living and will live here on earth until this Kalpa or cycle is dissolved and the new cycle starts.
Hanuman (Sanskrit: हनुमत् Hanumat; nominative singular हनुमान् Hanumān), known also as 'Anjaneya' (son of Anjana), is one of the most popular concepts of servants of God (bhakti) (devotion to God) in Hinduism and one of the most important personalities in the Indian epic, the Ramayana. His most famous feat, as described in the Hindu epic scripture the Ramayana, was leading a monkey army to fight the demon King Ravana.
Hanuman was born to 'Anjana', a female vanara in present day Aanjan village in Gumla, Jharkhand. Anjana was actually an apsara or a celestial being, named 'Punjikasthala', who, due to a curse, was born on the earth as a female vanara. The curse was to be removed upon her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.[1] It is also said that Hanuman was born on Anjaneya Hill, in Hampi, Karnataka, near the Rsyamukha mountain on the banks of the Pampa, where Sugreeva and Sri Rama met. There is a temple that marks the spot.
Along with Kesari, Anjana performed intense prayers to Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought.[2] The Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda states that Kesari is the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama's side in the war against Ravana.
Different stories are told as to Hanuman's birth. One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding, and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in worship. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result. [3]
Being Anjana's son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya (pronounced Aanjanèya), which literally means "arising from Anjani".
Hanuman, in one interpretation, is also considered as the incarnation of Shiva or reflection of Shiva. Others, such as followers of Dvaita consider Hanuman to be the son of Vayu or a manifestation of Vayu, the god of wind. When Ravana tried to enter the Himalayas (the abode of Shiva) Nandi stopped him and Ravana called Nandi a monkey. Nandi in return cursed Ravana: monkeys would help destroy him. In the process word monkey along with panchaksram "Om Namashivaya" hit Shiva. Shiva, to give respect to his devotee, took the form of a vanara, Hanuman.
References to Hanuman in classical literature could be found as early as those of 5th to 1st century BC in Panini's Astadhyayi, Abhiseka Nataka, Pratima Nataka and Raghuvamsa (Kalidasa).
Childhood, education, and curse
As a child, assuming the sun to be a ripe mango, he once took flight to catch hold of it to eat.[4] Indra, the king of devas observed this. He hurled his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman, which struck his jaw. He fell back down to the earth and became unconscious. Upset, Vayu went into seclusion, taking the atmosphere with him. As living beings began to get asphyxiated, to pacify Vayu, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, and the devas revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons.[5] However, a permanent mark was left on his chin (hanuhH in Sanskrit).
The Yuddhakanda of Valmiki Ramayana tells a simpler story. Hanuman, jumped up towards the sun and fell down, thus breaking his jaw.
On ascertaining Surya, the Hindu deity of the sun to be an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested that Surya accept him as a student. But Surya refused, claiming that as he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn effectively. Undeterred by Surya's refusal, Hanuman enlarged his body; he placed one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges and with his face turned toward the sun, made his request again. Pleased by his persistence, Surya accepted. Hanuman then moved (backwards, to remain facing Surya) continuously with his teacher, and learned all of the latter's knowledge. When Hanuman then requested Surya to quote his "guru-dakshina" (teacher's fee), the latter refused, saying that the pleasure of teaching one as dedicated as him was the fee in itself. But Hanuman insisted, and it was then that Surya asked him to help his (Surya's) spiritual son Sugriva.[6] Hanuman's choice of Surya as his teacher is said to signify Surya as a Karma Saakshi, an eternal witness of all deeds.
Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages in the forests by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics unbearable, but realising that Hanuman was but a child, (albeit invincible), the sages placed a mild curse on him. By this curse Hanuman forgot his own prowess, and recollects it only when others reminded him about his strength and capabilities. It is hypothesised that without this curse, the entire course of the Ramayana war might have been different, for he demonstrated phenomenal abilities during the war, despite the curse. The curse is highlighted in Kishkindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda when Jambavantha reminds (the quietly wondering) Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita. The specific verse that is recited by Jambavantha is “ You are as powerful as the wind (Hanumanji was the son of Pawan, God of wind) You are intelligent, illustrious & an inventor There is nothing in this world that’s too difficult for you Whenever stuck, you are the one who can help.”

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