In Sanskrit literature, the general term for amulets is kavacha, from which comes the Hindi word kavach (shield). In different locations an amulet is known by various names, among which are mandaliya, phul deota, patri, and kathla.
Central to the use of a two-dimensional plaque amulet representing a deity is the idea that every Hindu god and goddess is believed to possess divine powers that, upon request from a devotee, they will dispense. Such an amulet is a visible indication of the wearer's commitment to the particular deity, who pleased by this show of faith, is favorably disposed to comply with requests for assistance.
Here the deity shown is Hanuman. He is represented in an archaic posture: head in right-facing profile, body frontal, arms frontal, and legs apart with the feet in right-facing profile. On his head is a crown.
Hanuman the celebrated celestial monkey chief and devoted follower of Rama, is held in great veneration all over India. Devotees believe that his worship imbues them with physical energy, fearlessness and mental enlightenment. Like Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva, he is also worshipped as the remover of obstacles, which in Hindu mythology, he never failed to overcome.
Hanuman in this amulet is housed in a pentagon, a symbol of the temple. Amulets such as this, prepared in Rajasthan, come in several shapes all of which have symbolic significance. Some examples include the square shape (symbol of the house); circle (mandala); and cartouche (shield), and of course the pentagon.
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