Hanuman

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  • Hanuman is often worshipped with Rama and Sita, but also alone.
  • He is the patron deity of wrestlers, other sportsmen and soldiers.
  • Hanuman embodies courage and physical strength, and simultaneously humility and devotion to duty. He can assume any form at will and can leap great distances.
  • Hanuman is one of the main heroes of the Ramayana, and it is he who found Sita on the Island of Shri Lanka after her kidnap by Ravana.
  • Hanuman is usually depicted kneeling before Sita, Rama and Lakshman as part of the Rama Parivar (Rama’s family). He is also often shown effortlessly carrying a mountain as he flies through the air. Another famous picture illustrates an incident in which he ripped open his chest to prove that Sita-Rama were indeed present within his heart’
  • Hanuman’s symbol is the mace.
  • In his murti form, he is often a bright orange colour.
  • According to some sources, Hanuman was actually born of Shiva and Parvati but was adopted by the wind-god (Vayu). He is therefore called Pavanasuta (son of air). He was later fostered by King Keshari and Queen Anjana. He is therefore called Anjaneya (Son of Anjana).
  • Hanuman is a lifelong brahmachari (celibate), and therefore has no consort.
  • The main festival in honour of Hanuman is his birthday, Hanuman Jayanti, celebrated in the month of Chaitra and falling sometime in April. Worshippers offer sweets and fruit (especially bananas) to the deity and listen to recitations of the Hanuman Chalisa. Games such as wrestling are popular.
  • Stories:
    • “Anjaneya eats the sun” STO-315
    • “Hanuman carries the mountain”, and others from the Ramayan
  • Hanuman is often identified with the planet Mars, and is especially worshipped (for example by fasting) on Tuesdays.
  • Further references: