“Abandoning his beggar form and reassuming his monkey form, the elephant among monkeys [Hanuman] placed those two heroes on his back and departed.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.34)
भिक्षुरूपं परित्यज्य वानरं रूपमास्थितः।
पृष्ठमारोप्य तौ वीरौ जगाम कपिकुञ्जरः||
bhikṣurūpaṃ parityajya vānaraṃ rūpamāsthitaḥ।
pṛṣṭhamāropya tau vīrau jagāma kapikuñjaraḥ ||
1. His legs
The famous character described in the Ramayana and other sacred texts of the Vedic tradition, the wise know him to be a real, non-fictitious personality. Although he appears in the peculiar rupa of a Vanara, which is something like a forest-dwelling monkey, the qualities from within are divine in every way.
Shri Hanuman is strong, and the source of that strength is devotion to the Supreme Lord. He exhibits this feature in practically everything that he does, and there are extraordinary characteristics as a result. This extends to the physical body itself, which is amazingly strong.
In one incident, Hanuman expands his size and then jumps from a mountaintop. This is to reach the other side of the ocean, landing on the island of Lanka. Moments prior, Hanuman is unaware of this amazing ability. A curse placed on him during childhood created near perpetual forgetfulness of these amazing abilities.
Hanuman’s leap was sufficient. He made it across the ocean, though there were obstacles along the way. None of the other Vanaras in the group could ever dream of attempting something so daring. Jambavan was the wise counselor, and he shares some of the credit for that amazing journey in search of Sita Devi, the missing wife of Shri Rama.
2. His arms
The Vanaras from Kishkindha were a kind of makeshift army for Rama. Due to conditions of a punishment placed upon Him, Rama could not return to the kingdom of Ayodhya and use the royal army for suitable purposes. Sita went missing in the forest, and so Rama was completely justified in using a military brigade to perform a rescue mission.
It turns out that there was friendship made with Sugriva, the king of the Vanaras in Kishkindha. Hanuman was Sugriva’s chief minister, and so he ended up playing a vital role in an armed conflict that was to take place later.
On many occasions, Hanuman showed the amazing strength of his arms. In one of them he is known to carry a club. In common depictions of a famous incident, we see Hanuman carrying a mountain in the other hand. This is not an exaggeration; the transfer occurred in truth.
3. His shoulders
Hanuman was responsible for the alliance between Rama and Sugriva. Rama was wandering through the forests with His younger brother Lakshmana. They were looking for Sita, and Sugriva noticed the brothers from afar. Sugriva was high atop the mountain of Rishyamukha. He then asked Hanuman to descend the mountain and meet the brothers.
Rama was impressed greatly by Hanuman’s words in that first meeting. Although the Vanara minister assumed a disguise, he could not hold back words of praise. He was meeting God face-to-face, in the avatara of Rama.
The meeting went so well that Hanuman thought it a good idea for Rama and Sugriva to talk. He placed the brothers on his shoulders and jumped back to the top of the mountain. This obviously required great strength, but also trust from two people whose opinion matters.
4. His tail
In one incident Hanuman gets captured by the Rakshasa leader named Ravana. It is an indication of respect to the creator, Lord Brahma. Though bound by ropes, Hanuman was not in any real danger. This occurred after he finally met Sita and was on his way back from Lanka.
Ravana decided to embarrass the messenger to Rama by lighting his tail on fire. Due to the grace of Sita Devi, the fire felt like ice for Hanuman and soon he was free of the shackles. Hanuman used his amazing tail to burn the entire Lanka to the ground, in a fit of rage. He extinguished the fire in the ocean just prior to returning to home base.
5. His heart
Another famous depiction shows Hanuman opening his heart and revealing Sita and Rama inside. This is true both figuratively and literally. That Divine couple is his entire reason for living, and they are never lost to him. They follow Hanuman wherever he goes, providing support, encouragement and appreciation. That same amazing servant is forever our inspiration, kindly sharing some of his strength and wisdom in our endeavor to be devoted to the same Supreme Lord.
Crossing over ocean’s length,
In those legs tremendous strength.
In his hand a mountain taking,
His shoulders a carriage making.
Revealed that in his heart,
Never from them apart.
Sita and Rama his reason to live,
Inspiration to countless to give.
Categories: the five