Hanuman

Hanuman, the widely-popular Hindu God, looks like a monkey He is revered as the embodiment of resourcefulness, devotion, elocutionary skills, cunning intelligence, and ascetic powers. Shrines honoring Hanuman are foundacross the length and breadth of India.

 

We often see statues of Hanuman, in an attitude of meekness and hushed awe. It is this attitude which overtakes him whenever he finds himself in the presence of Rama, his lord. Often to express this feeling of veneration, the sculptures show his right hand raised in the direction of his nose and mouth-as if to insure that his unworthy breath may not taint the unsullied purity of Him before whom he stands.

The upward-pointing gesture also suggests the supremacy of the Other while, in contrast, his left hand is dropped to mark his own lower status in the creaturely order of existence. The tail, as in most delineations of Hanuman which express this attitude of humility, falls deferentially behind him. Artworks very often show Hanuman in a dhoti, pulled up above his knees to indicate his readiness for an active role upon demand.

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