Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.
Hanumān: Who was He?
Hanumān is called “monkey god”. But was He a monkey really? It is important to think. Some thoughts.
Even upto some 200 years ago, when there was no transport system. people had strange ideas and vague concepts about distant lands. By distant lands, even northern and southern regions are understood. With this background, let us think for some moments about Hanumān.
1. His father was vāyu, that is, a divine being, a God, a superior soul. [Even considering him to be some official of a higher order], are monkeys born of human parents? Is this possible?
2. Rama and Lakshmana left their home as children. They lived in the forest, learning and studying. Did they not see monkeys at all? And wouldn’t monkeys not speak to them? Why?
3. Monkeys live on trees. Why did Sugriva and others live in caves on Rishyamuka mountain?
4. Vālmiki uses several words, “hari”, “kapi”, “shākhāmriga”, “plavangama” and so on. However, when he speaks of Hanumān, there is something special. Sugriva is afraid seeing Rama and Lakshmana. He thinks his brother has sent people to attack him. He asks Hanumān to go in his natural form “prākritena rupena” [Vālmiki Rāmāyana 4.2.24]. This is a very important issue. Vital issue. Why? We can hide our true forms and pretend to be others before everyone else. But can we hide before God? He sees everything. So, Hanuman showed his true form before Rama, that of a human being, a mendicant.
5. Rāmāyana [4.3.2] says that Hanumān assumed the form of a human being. What is more, he assumed the form of a mendicant. He appeared before the brothers in this form. This is important.
6. Next, standing before Rama and Lakshmana, Hanuman gives a long discourse. Both, however, are silent. Hanumān wonders as to why Sri Rama is not talking. Then Rama tells lakshmana something, which is amazing:
न अ-ऋग्वेद-विनीतस्य, न अ-यजुर्वेद-धारिणः
न असामवेद विदुषः शक्यम् एवम् विभाषितुम्
na an-rigveda vinîtasya, na a-yajurveda dhāriṇaḥ
na asāmaveda viduṣaḥ śakyam evam vibhāṣitum [Vālmiki, 4.3.28]
That is, ‘Without the knowledge of all the Vedas, it is impossible to speak like this.’ Rama clearly understood, within seconds, that the person standing before him was a great great pundit and spiritual person. A surgeon will talk to another surgeon and within minutes understands that he is talking to a surgeon.
Sri Rama himself was a great scholar and the incarnation. For an avatara, we living beings are like glass cases. They can see an individual and judge him in seconds. Such a Rama says that Hanuman is definitely a very highly learned Brahmin. He adds that without the knowledge of all Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Atharva and Sama Vedas, nobody can speak like this.
7. Govindaraja, a commentator on Ramayana, says that Rama appeared with his Vishnu form before Hanuman that day. Therefore Hanuman clearly uses plural suddenly when addressing Rama. So Rama showed His true form that very moment to his Hanuman.
8. Later on, when Hanuman appears before Mother Sita in Lanka, he appears as a human being first. That was his true form. A Brahmin scholar. He invariably showed his natural form first to the supreme Lord and Mother.
9. So what is this Vānara business? Sugriva and his clan did not hang on to trees. They lived on the mountains. So what or who were they?
Vānara, Nara, Kinnara. These are the three races of human beings. Maybe geographical, may be physical. May be something else. We can never say for sure.
The Kinnaras are said to have lived in the Himalayan region. The Naras lived all over India. The Vanaras lived in the mountains of southern India. This is the idea given. According to scholars, what was known then. Pampā is supposed to be Hampā or Hampi. In Hampi, they had discovered some plates etc also. Anyway, there were three races or several races or people living in different regions. Vānara race was in the South. Kinnaras were supposed to be having “horse” features and they lived in the Himalayan regions. Nara or the normal humans. All come from the root “nr”.
10. The previous incarnation, Parashurama, was on to a devastating act. He was butchering all kshatriyas. This incarnation probably united the whole of the huge subcontinent.
11. They imagine that Kinnaras have horse-like faces and are great musicians. So also, they could imagine Vānaras to be with tail etc. We can never know if there were ever people with horse faces. Nothing is certain. People change. We can see so many changes in ourselves down the centuries.
Since the Vānara race, living in the southern regions lived in mountains etc, they could have made friends forest animals and monkeys could have joined in the war. The greatness of Rama was that he fought and won against a highly scientific and technological army of Ravana, his camouflaging son Indrajit, etc,, using just simple humans.
12. So far as outer features are concerned, they apparently keep changing. If you look at pictures of your ancestors 200 years ago, they had huge turbans and strange dress. What to speak of peoples of 7000 years ago?
13. Personalities like Hanuman had special powers. They could grow huge or be normal, They could change forms and become others—all was possible because Hanuman was a great yogi. Remember, please! Rama himself said that Hanuman is well-versed in all the sciences, called Vedas.
14. We could never have believed that using yogic powers we can change our forms, had we not known the glorious life of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna. He could grow huge, become normal, change forms. all was seen to happen.
Conclusion: When we worship Hanumān, the son of Vāyu and Anjanā Devi, we are not worshipping a monkey at all. This wrong idea should go. We are worshipping a glorious divine personality of extreme powers, a great Brahmin, a great scholar of nine types of grammar and all Vedic sciences, a tapasvi, a bhakta, a right-hand servant of the Avatara Himself! The ideal of Hanuman is seva. He is the ideal of purity and service.