Hanuman is symbolic of all the ideals a noble man would seek to attain--mental strength to realise the Self, physical prowess, devotion and wisdom. That is why he is revered as God, though all along his role is that of a most devoted bhakta. He is the most majestic and inspiring figure in the Ramcryana.
Adi Sankaracharya, in his appealing sloka, Sri Hanumat Pancharatnam, refers to his freedom from desire for all sense objects, his glances filled with the nectar of compassion, his strength of mind which is beyond the reach of Kamadeva's arrows, his dispelling the misfortune of Sita, proclaiming the glory of Sri Rama, his protection of the afflicted beings, and says he who worships Hanuman becomes endowed with devotion to Sri Rama.
His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, the 33rd Acharya of Sri Sharada Peetham, has rendered another sloka, Sri Hanumat Chaturvimsati, which also alludes to Hanuman's divine might, supreme wisdom, immense strength, fearlessness and valour. He eulogises Hanuman's sincerity in conveying the message of Sita to Rama without any omission, superb strength in giving a staggering blow to Ravana which made him swoon, and his agility in flying over the sky swiftly to bring the mountain of herbs to save Lakshmana. It is in the fitness of things that Tattvaloka, which is always endeavouring to spread the splendour of truth, has thought it fit to bring out an enchantingly illustrated book, Jai Hanuman, which analyses his greatness from various angles. It highlights the esteem in which Hanuman is held in different parts of the country, and also South-east Asia. It is profusely illustrated, depicting Hanuman in various art forms and various media. In short, it provides absorbing reading for all, irrespective of age.
His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji has blessed all those connected with the endeavour of bringing out this magnificient work.
Keshav R. Betgeri, Bangalore, an ardent devotee of Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri, has sponsored the reprint of this book for the benefit of Hanuman devotees all over the world. His ready response and earnestness in supporting our cause has also received the blessings of His Holiness.
With the blessings of His Holiness Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswarniji of Sringeri Sharada Peetham, we have brought out this book on Hanuman, one of the most popular deities of the Hindu pantheon. Long time readers of Tattvaloka would remember the thematic issue on Hanuman (February-March 1995). The contents of this book include articles from that issue, with additions from new sources as well. New photographs have also been included, whlich give the book an enriching look.
The glory of Hanuman is so great that any number of books is not sufficient to bring out all aspects of his greatness. The Siva Mabapurana, 5 kanda Pur ana} Mahabharata and Bbasisbya Purana explicitly mention Hanuman as an amsa avatar (partial incarnation) of Siva as well as Rudravatar. Rudra is the Vedie counterpart of Siva. In due course, Rudra came to be identified with Siva, whose 11 th manifestation he is. Hanuman is addressed as Ekadasa Rudra in Tantnc literature.
The articles in this collection take a look at various aspects of this multi-faceted personality, who is a small monkey figure kneeling at the feet of Sri Rama, yet endowed with the strength to cross a mighty ocean in a trice and carry a huge mountain in his palm effortlessly, compassionate yet fierce, and capable of removing obstacles and bestowing prosperity.
Several photographs of Hanuman, as seen in India and South-east Asia, have been featured in this book. We owe much of this coverage to Rekha Prakashan, New Delhi, who have recently published the second edition of their book, Hanuman--Art; Mythology and Folklore, authored by K C. Aryan and Subhasini Aryan. This book is a rich treat for any reader to refer to.
The articles are the contributions by Swami Sivananda; Swami Jyotirmayananda, Director, Yoga Research Foundation, Florida, USA; Yogananda Saraswati, Paris; Dr. Varadachari Sadagopan, a keen student of Vedie literature residing in the US; Dr. N. B. Patil and Dr. Vanamala Parthasarathy of the Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute, Mumbai; M.V.B.S. Sarma, a writer on philosophy and religion; Sumitra M. Gautama, a teacher at The School, Krishnamurti Foundation of India; Dr. S. Ramaratnam of Vivekananda College; P. Gopalakrishnan and R. Asha, Department of Sanskrit, University of Madras; Prof. K. R. Rajagopalan, formerly of Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Chennai; Lalita Ramakrishna, a popular writer on music; Dr. T. S. Narayana Swamy and C. R. Subramanian, both of Tattvaloka.
I profusely thank my friend, Dr. S. Raghavan, (formerly Professor of Mathematics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) who, with his proficiency in Sanskrit, offered suggestions for re-ordering the contents of the text.
The different writers who contributed the articles have approached the subject from their chosen aspects in which references to certain overlapping contents could only be avoided at the risk of weakening the articles. Hence we have allowed them to remain in the hope that the reader will find it only rewarding to be reminded about the strength of Hanuman in more ways than one.
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