Hanuman – Hindu Monkey God and Hero of the Ramayana

Hanuman is possibly one of the most fascinating characters of the Ramayana….

He is represented as a monkey because that is a symbolism for the always agitated human mind. Ramayana shows how the agitated mind can be transformed to conquer our kingdom within !!!

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The devotion of Hanuman towards Rama is second to none.

Hanuman is a Vanara (Monkey) and is said to be the son of Vayu (Wind). He was born to Anjana and Kesari,

Like most others characters in Ramayana, there is a deep symbolism associated with Lord hanuman as well. Let us look at the symbolism…

Analogical interpretation of Hanuman

Hanuman represents the human mind, seeking self knowledge (Ravana represents a mind driven and infested with multi headed desires for the mundane)

Nature of Mind

  • Hanuman is said to be the Son of Vayu… subtlest of all material elements (Space and Air)
    • Mind is born out of subtility is us and so like vayu is always in motion with gusts of thoughts and storms of passion
  • Hanuman is a Vanara.. always excited and unable to focus on his own
    • The Mind cannot focus by itself on one thing for too long

The Self Introspection Process

  • Hanuman first approached Rama in the form of a Brahmin.
    • The first approach of the mind to the divine starts with performance of rituals or mere recitation… this is the beginning of the process… not the goal
  • During their search for Sita, a group of Vanaras reaches the southern seashore. Upon encountering the vast ocean, every vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other vanaras and the wise bear Jambavantha begin to extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body, and flies across the ocean.
    • Jambavan represents intellect which makes us aware of our true potential
    • The ocean of Ignorance can be crossed only when we become aware of our potential divinity
    • As we realise the divine nature, the mind grows big, encompassing and accepting all, and realises the power within to cross the ocean of ignorance
  • Hanuman reaches Lanka and explores the Island of Lanka

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The island reveals the source of all desires (Lanka ruled by multi headed Ravana), It represents the deep subconscious which contains the wealth of Sanchita Karma, which may make us wealthy), but also deter us from knowing the true nature of the self. The mind cannot destroy the burden of millions of birth only the Divine Grace can

  • Hanuman Discovers Sita in Ashoka Vatika
    • A part of divinity can be discovered by the mind, but the mind alone cannot make the part whole…

Self Realisation – Realisation of our true Nature

  • Hanuman approaches Rama with the news of Sita in Lanka
    • The mind now knows that the divine alone can destroy the island of sanchita Karma
  • Rama crosses the ocean with an army of vanaras and destroys the demon king Ravana
    • The divine with the army of grace and devotion destroys the source of desires, freeing you from the bondage of desires.
  • Hanuman picked flew with the Dunagiri Mountains to lanka so that Lakshmana could be revived with the herb Sanjeevani
    • The Mind can move mountains, when inspired by the divine, There will be challenges in the self introspection process, but the mind will overcome all by the sanjeevani sheer devotion growing on the mountain of mumukshutva.
  • Hanuman always remains by Rama’s side, and Rama residues in Hanuman’s heart
    • Once the Mind has discovered the divine… the divine graces us and the mind focuses and is made of the divine only

Let us discover the Hanuman within us and self introspection to discover our true divine nature !!!

Written By: Vivek Ravindranath

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