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Books > Hindu > Ramayana > Hanuman > The Book Of Hanuman
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The Book Of Hanuman
The Book Of Hanuman
Description
About The Book

Hanuman is an outstanding scholar, a fearless warrior and the ideal lieutenant: intelligent, totally committed to his master, selfless and humble. Born into the Vanar tribe, a clan of the upa devatas (demi deities), he represents the four best-known divine attributes—akhand brahmacharya (lifelong celibacy), immense physical prowess, a command of the scriptures and unquestioning dasya bhakti (worship by serving the Lord). While Hanuman is a positive force in the life of Ram, stepping in when his fortunes are at their lowest, Ram, with his enormous powers, helps his loyal follower realize his true potential. Ram thus becomes the goal, and Hanuman, the path to attaining the goal.

The Book of Hon union recounts the story of Hanuman as the greatest devotee—the most obedient servant of Ram. The book is divided into two sections. The first section traces the story of Hanuman from his meeting with Rain at Lake Pampa till the time when Ram returns to his divine form, and the second details the attributes of Hanuman, his varied representations in Hindu iconography, and rituals and prayers associated with his worship. Drawing upon stories from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Parvez Dewan weaves an engrossing narrative that captures the significance of Hanuman, perhaps the most accessible deity in the Hindu pantheon.

About The Author

Parvez Dewan is an officer of the Indian Administrative Service. His previous books include The Hanuman Chalisa of Goswami Tulasi Das, The Names of Allah and Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh: Travel, Trekking, Art, Culture and Society.

Introduction

When demons overran the world, tyrannizing mankind, Lord Vishnu came down to Earth in the form of Ram, a human. Ram was destined to live the life of an ordinary mortal, with all the attendant suffering and pain. It was when Ram’s fortunes were at their lowest that Hanuman came into his life. Swami Chinmayananda writes, ‘From the moment Anjaneya [Hanuman] meets with Rama, [the] Ramayana distinctly reveals a mysterious [unfolding] of great powers, an explosion of inconceivable merits and beauties.’ In other words, the epic takes a new turn and becomes a saga of success and hope after Hanuman steps in.

Hanuman was born into the Vanar tribe, a clan of semi-deities, the males of which wore monkey-like tails as an ornament’. There are many and varied accounts given of Hanuman’s birth in different sacred texts of Hinduism, but they all agree that he was endowed, even it birth, with extraordinary valour, wisdom and steadfastness. However, it was only when Ram found him, years later, that he could realize his true potential. Till he met Ram, Hanuman had been one of the highest-ranking advisors of the Vanar-king Sugriv. But Sugriv .id never been able to tap Hanuman’s enormous potential. Only Ram had it in him to bring out Hanuman’s divine powers. In turn, Hanuman helped Ram fulfil his mission on earth; he was the ideal lieutenant: brave, intelligent, totally committed to his master, selfless and humble.

After the battle of Lanka had been won, and Ram and Sita had returned to Ayodhya, Ram’s brothers, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn said to Hanuman, ‘Clearly you are not a monkey. You wear the sacred thread. Your clothes and jewellery, your religious rituals and mansions in Kishkindha, they are identical to those of men. You are an expert in all the scriptures. You know all the natural sciences. Monkeys don’t do all this. Then what kind of a people are you Vanars?’ ‘I am an upadevata (demi-deity),’ Hanuman replied. ‘I rank below the devatas (deities) but not above humans. How can I rank higher than the human form that Ram is in?’

Worshippers through centuries have not made such subtle distinctions. To them, Hanuman is both an all- powerful god and the greatest devotee and there is no contradiction in this. Even those who maintain that Lord Ram is the goal and Hanuman the path to that goal, believe that the worship of Ram is incomplete till prayers are offered to Hanuman as well. On the other hand, when Hanuman is worshipped independently and alone, as he often is, devotees celebrate all the acts that he performed for Ram. (There are also several Shaivites who do not give Lord Ram quite the same importance as they do to Lord Shiva. They worship Hanuman as the eleventh Rudr, or aspect, of Shiva.)

To his worshippers, Hanuman epitomizes piety, duty, discipline, strength, chastity, modesty, altruism, scholarship and simplicity. He is in many ways the most reliable, the most accessible and the least controversial of all the deities of Hinduism. Above all, he is the keeper of Ram’s gates. Not only does he guard the Lord’s temples and home, he also controls access to Him. This book is a humble attempt to take the reader closer to Hanuman—and thus to the goal to which he is the path.

This book consists of two parts. The first part is the story of Hanuman. It is followed by a brief look at the Hanuman phenomenon.

The story of Hanuman as told in the first part of the book is a faithful condensation of the account contained in the Ramayana of Valmiki, except where stated otherwise. The spellings of proper names, on the other hand, have sometimes been changed to the more popularly accepted usage found in the Ram-chant Manas of Tulasi Das. For instance, we have employed the spelling Bali instead of Valin. Similarly, we have used the names Sita instead of Janaki and Meghnad instead of Indr-jit. The book concentrates only on such passages in the Ramayana as feature Hanuman, or are needed to link one part of the story with another. No important incident that concerns Hanuman has been left out.

The second section, about the Hanuman cult, tries to answer three questions: i)Why do people worship Hanuman and how ? ii) What does this deity represent? Iii) How is Hanuman depicted in sculpture and painting? This section tries to seek answers from Valmiki’s Ramayana, from later texts like the various regional versions of the Ramayana, Vedanta literature and Vaishnav commentaries and from actual religions and artistic practices.

Hopefully the two sections together will give the reader the essence of the story as well as significance of Hanuman.

Contents

Introduction1
The Story
Hanuman Meets Ram7
Sugriv in Kishkindha17
The Search for Sita25
The Journey across the Sea33
Lanka, at Last39
Hanuman Meets Sita47
Provoking the Rakshases59
The Burning of Lanka71
Hanuman Completes His Mission83
Preparing for the War91
War Begins101
The Reunion129
Back to Ayodhya135
Epilogue143
The Deity149
Notes167
Bibliography168

The Book Of Hanuman

Item Code:
NAE502
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2009
Publisher:
ISBN:
9780143067597
Language:
English
Size:
7.0 inch X 4.5 inch
Pages:
166 (15 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 119 gms
Price:
$15.00   Shipping Free
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About The Book

Hanuman is an outstanding scholar, a fearless warrior and the ideal lieutenant: intelligent, totally committed to his master, selfless and humble. Born into the Vanar tribe, a clan of the upa devatas (demi deities), he represents the four best-known divine attributes—akhand brahmacharya (lifelong celibacy), immense physical prowess, a command of the scriptures and unquestioning dasya bhakti (worship by serving the Lord). While Hanuman is a positive force in the life of Ram, stepping in when his fortunes are at their lowest, Ram, with his enormous powers, helps his loyal follower realize his true potential. Ram thus becomes the goal, and Hanuman, the path to attaining the goal.

The Book of Hon union recounts the story of Hanuman as the greatest devotee—the most obedient servant of Ram. The book is divided into two sections. The first section traces the story of Hanuman from his meeting with Rain at Lake Pampa till the time when Ram returns to his divine form, and the second details the attributes of Hanuman, his varied representations in Hindu iconography, and rituals and prayers associated with his worship. Drawing upon stories from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Parvez Dewan weaves an engrossing narrative that captures the significance of Hanuman, perhaps the most accessible deity in the Hindu pantheon.

About The Author

Parvez Dewan is an officer of the Indian Administrative Service. His previous books include The Hanuman Chalisa of Goswami Tulasi Das, The Names of Allah and Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh: Travel, Trekking, Art, Culture and Society.

Introduction

When demons overran the world, tyrannizing mankind, Lord Vishnu came down to Earth in the form of Ram, a human. Ram was destined to live the life of an ordinary mortal, with all the attendant suffering and pain. It was when Ram’s fortunes were at their lowest that Hanuman came into his life. Swami Chinmayananda writes, ‘From the moment Anjaneya [Hanuman] meets with Rama, [the] Ramayana distinctly reveals a mysterious [unfolding] of great powers, an explosion of inconceivable merits and beauties.’ In other words, the epic takes a new turn and becomes a saga of success and hope after Hanuman steps in.

Hanuman was born into the Vanar tribe, a clan of semi-deities, the males of which wore monkey-like tails as an ornament’. There are many and varied accounts given of Hanuman’s birth in different sacred texts of Hinduism, but they all agree that he was endowed, even it birth, with extraordinary valour, wisdom and steadfastness. However, it was only when Ram found him, years later, that he could realize his true potential. Till he met Ram, Hanuman had been one of the highest-ranking advisors of the Vanar-king Sugriv. But Sugriv .id never been able to tap Hanuman’s enormous potential. Only Ram had it in him to bring out Hanuman’s divine powers. In turn, Hanuman helped Ram fulfil his mission on earth; he was the ideal lieutenant: brave, intelligent, totally committed to his master, selfless and humble.

After the battle of Lanka had been won, and Ram and Sita had returned to Ayodhya, Ram’s brothers, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn said to Hanuman, ‘Clearly you are not a monkey. You wear the sacred thread. Your clothes and jewellery, your religious rituals and mansions in Kishkindha, they are identical to those of men. You are an expert in all the scriptures. You know all the natural sciences. Monkeys don’t do all this. Then what kind of a people are you Vanars?’ ‘I am an upadevata (demi-deity),’ Hanuman replied. ‘I rank below the devatas (deities) but not above humans. How can I rank higher than the human form that Ram is in?’

Worshippers through centuries have not made such subtle distinctions. To them, Hanuman is both an all- powerful god and the greatest devotee and there is no contradiction in this. Even those who maintain that Lord Ram is the goal and Hanuman the path to that goal, believe that the worship of Ram is incomplete till prayers are offered to Hanuman as well. On the other hand, when Hanuman is worshipped independently and alone, as he often is, devotees celebrate all the acts that he performed for Ram. (There are also several Shaivites who do not give Lord Ram quite the same importance as they do to Lord Shiva. They worship Hanuman as the eleventh Rudr, or aspect, of Shiva.)

To his worshippers, Hanuman epitomizes piety, duty, discipline, strength, chastity, modesty, altruism, scholarship and simplicity. He is in many ways the most reliable, the most accessible and the least controversial of all the deities of Hinduism. Above all, he is the keeper of Ram’s gates. Not only does he guard the Lord’s temples and home, he also controls access to Him. This book is a humble attempt to take the reader closer to Hanuman—and thus to the goal to which he is the path.

This book consists of two parts. The first part is the story of Hanuman. It is followed by a brief look at the Hanuman phenomenon.

The story of Hanuman as told in the first part of the book is a faithful condensation of the account contained in the Ramayana of Valmiki, except where stated otherwise. The spellings of proper names, on the other hand, have sometimes been changed to the more popularly accepted usage found in the Ram-chant Manas of Tulasi Das. For instance, we have employed the spelling Bali instead of Valin. Similarly, we have used the names Sita instead of Janaki and Meghnad instead of Indr-jit. The book concentrates only on such passages in the Ramayana as feature Hanuman, or are needed to link one part of the story with another. No important incident that concerns Hanuman has been left out.

The second section, about the Hanuman cult, tries to answer three questions: i)Why do people worship Hanuman and how ? ii) What does this deity represent? Iii) How is Hanuman depicted in sculpture and painting? This section tries to seek answers from Valmiki’s Ramayana, from later texts like the various regional versions of the Ramayana, Vedanta literature and Vaishnav commentaries and from actual religions and artistic practices.

Hopefully the two sections together will give the reader the essence of the story as well as significance of Hanuman.

Contents

Introduction1
The Story
Hanuman Meets Ram7
Sugriv in Kishkindha17
The Search for Sita25
The Journey across the Sea33
Lanka, at Last39
Hanuman Meets Sita47
Provoking the Rakshases59
The Burning of Lanka71
Hanuman Completes His Mission83
Preparing for the War91
War Begins101
The Reunion129
Back to Ayodhya135
Epilogue143
The Deity149
Notes167
Bibliography168
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