Amazing Stories Of Lord Hanuman

YOU MUST KNOW # 31

Attributes; Kurūp and Sundar 

He is described in Hindu texts as kurūp (ugly) on the outside, but divinely Sundar (beautiful inside). The Hanuman Chalisa describes him as handsome with a complexion of molten gold (kanchana barana birāja subesā).

Gods, it is said, can assume any shape or many shapes

at one time. Our mythological Hanuman, the monkey god of the epic Ramayan, conforms to this omniscience. A combination of the rhesus monkey, the langur, and man, it cannot be said to belong to any single species.

I find this kind of synergy is common for portrayals of mythological characters which are usually portrayed as composite formalized mosaics of two or more beings. Their actual features are embellished or overlaid by ascribed attributes drawn from characters that are either similar or familiar. The traditional depiction of Hanuman is in keeping with this.

The question that strikes me concerning Hanuman is: why is this mix-up between two simian species? Obviously, the most striking or appealing features from different species have been taken — the highly arching tail of the langur, the pinkish face with the more pronounced and powerful muzzle of the Bandar, and the stance of a human being; the features of only one species were inadequate to portray such a valiant character as Hanuman.

He seems to have the head and face of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) because of the lack of a mane and crown tuft and a pink face. The similarity does not end here. Hanuman also has a prominent, prognathous (protruding or long-jawed) muzzle and hair along the side of the jaws like sideburns. These are in sharp contrast to langurs which are maned and darker, with flatter features.

Artists have evidently found it difficult to draw Hanuman. The upright stance of the monkey god is quite contrary to the natural horizontal stance of both the species from which it has drawn its characteristics. This also explains why the northern form of the langur’s tail carriage has never been depicted.

It looks to me that the artists would have had an easier time, and could have done a better job, had they not been required to combine these three different strains. For example, in the typical monkey stance, the tail could have been easily drawn with an artistic flourish, looping either gracefully forward or backward.

Imagine translating the forward loop in the context of the upright human stance — the appendage would have to be drawn arched over the head or shoulders and would dip awkwardly in front of the monkey god’s face. This kind of illustration would look very odd and could be made aesthetically appealing only with great difficulty. The ancient artists, therefore, consciously or not, ignored the direction of the loop that, even if natural, might offend artistic sensibilities.

Hanuman was fondly called ‘Sundara’ meaning a charming one by his mother Anjani and Sage Valmiki chose this name over others as the Sundara Kanda is about Hanuman’s journey to Lanka.

Jai Bajrang Bali Ji 🙏🙏

Published by Anita Vij

A caring mother of 2. A loving wife. An aspiring individual who wishes to share her life-long learnings with the rest of the world.

7 thoughts on “Amazing Stories Of Lord Hanuman

  1. Thank you, Priti. We all are hardcore devotees of Lord Hanuman and we love to read His stories. Thank you for reading and commenting. Got your comment after a long time. How are you doing?😊🌹

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  2. Vanara, personally I really do not feel that he should be recognised as a monkey god because, if we discern Vanara, it comes closest to, vana-naras or even vishesh naras. We are taking around 7-12 thousand years ago, around the neanderthals times roaming in the Jungles. But anyways, its the best speculative mystery of the Indian texts and thus I better like calling them legendary than mythical.

    Thank you for sharing Anita.
    Narayan x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are many stories about HanumanJi. I started researching about Veer Hanuman in Valmiki Ramayana . I was surprised to learn about the reality. I am putting forward my analysis for the readers.
      Hanuman ji belonged to Vanara community. The famous meaning of the word Vanara is Monkey but the literal meaning is one who dwells in the forest and lives on that food that grows in a forest. So, instead of considering him as a monkey why cannot we consider him as a forest dweller? It seems that the word Vanara is misinterpreted. We can also understand this logic with the help of another example. Another name of mountain is Giri and the persons living on the mountain are called as Girijan. So, if Girijan can be mountain dwellers than why cannot Vanara be forest dwellers? Thus, Hanuman ji was Human not a monkey living in forest.
      Apart from Hanuman ji Sugariv, Bali all others are portrayed as monkey with a tail. While their wives are portrayed as common women without any tail and monkey like facial appearance. Isn’t it strange that all males of Vanara community resembles monkey while all females resemble Human being. We do not find any species in the whole world with such difference between males and females of same species. So, depicting Hanuman as monkey seems to be a mere imagination of an artist. This, Hanuman ji was a Human not a monkey.
      After meeting Hanuman on Rishimukh mountain in Kishkindha Kand of Ramayana Hanuman is depicted by Shri Rama to Lakshmana.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, even the word hanuman came after a mishap, an accident on his hanu(chin). Bharat was/still is the land of light, throughout history recent and ancient we get to learn of hundreds and thousands of Yogis living in their own strange Yogic ways to attain what not through their lives.

        Lovely to strike this conversation Anita. thank you. Narayan x

        Liked by 1 person

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