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(Hindu Deity)HANUMAN

Also known as ANJANEYA

Son of Vayu the wind God and Anjana, previously known as Punjikastala, who was turned into a monkey by a curse.

Anjana was busy doing austerities to gain a son when out of nowhere a foetus landed in her womb. Plop. Apparently Vayu had been given it by Parvati after her monkeying around in the woods with Vishnu resulted in an accidental pregnancy.

As a young monkey Hanuman had a bit of an appetite and his attempt at taking a bite out of the huge orange in the sky caused offence when it turned out to be the sun. Before he knew what was what Indra had smacked him in the face with a thunderbolt and sent him crashing to earth.

A terribly upset Vayu went into hiding and took the atmosphere with him, and Indra was happy to call his bluff until all living things began to die. We're not all immortal! Indra was forced to do a u-turn, revive hanuman and fix his broken jaw though he still bares the scars.

Hanuman liked nothing more than getting right up the Rishi's noses - teasing them, disturbing their meditation, pissing on their sacred fire and wiping his arse on their well arranged song sheets. But being a child they only put a mild curse on him and as a result he would often forget that he was powerful not to mention indestructible, and had to be poked and reminded of these facts before he could open a can of whupp-ass.

When Ravana tried to enter the Himalayas to hassle Shiva he was stopped dead in his tracks by Nandi so the demon called him a smelly monkey. This insult would come back to haunt him as he was cursed : monkeys would chip-in to his downfall.

Hanuman is considered the brother of Bhima, and gave him a lesson in humility and manners when he blocked the giant Pandavas path with his tail and he couldn't lift it, and also had dealings with Arjuna who couldn't understand why Rama would put his trust in a bunch of monkeys rather than build a bridge of arrows to Lanka. Hanuman appeared as a tiny talking monkey and showed the Pandava brother exactly why as he destroyed every bridge he built with minimum effort. Arjuna was left deperessed and suicidal but Vishnu arrived just in the nick of time to chide Arjuna for his vanity, and Hanuman for making the accomplished warrior feel incompetent. By way of apology a remorsful Hanuman became a mechanic extraordinare, stabilising and strengthening Arjuna's chariot and in return Arjuna flew the flag of the masterful simian during the great battle of Kurukshetra.

Bumping into the exiled Rama, depressed and distraught at the kidknapp of his beloved Sita by Ravana, Hanuman offerered to help and took on a cosmic manifestation to make a single leap right smack bang into the middle of the demons court on Lanka.

Finding Sita looking all shabby in the palace garden was heartbreaking but Hanuman lifted her spirits by telling her Rama was on his way before wreaking havoc, killing rakshasas left right and centre and destroying everything in sight.

Ravana's son Indrajit used the awesome Brahmastra and although indestructable and immune to any kind of harm Hanuman allowed himself to be captured, you know, as a mark of respect to Brahma who created the weapon. Besides, allowing the demon generals to parade him as a prisoner would give him a chance to check out exactly how much fire power Ravana had at his disposal.

Hanuman was now in the zone and had obvioulsy forgotten all about his curse as he demanded the release of Sita. Unfortunately this only enraged Ravana who ordered Hanuman's execution. It would have been interesting to see how the stupid demons would have tried to kill an indestructible monkey, but we are robbed of the chance by the intervention of Vibheeshana...

'Hey, don't shoot the messenger, it's just not cricket!'

Ravana's forces attempted to wrap a cloth around Hanumans tail so they could set it alight but he led them a merrry dance, making it grow to silly lengths so they never had enough cloth to make ends meet. Fun over, he allowed them to light it before giving his captors the slip and leaping around like a monkey with his tail on fire as he set huge chunks of the demons kingdom ablaze before reporting the whereabouts of Sita to Rama.

During the course of the ensuing battle Hanuman was everywhere doing everything. In between organizing his monkey troops and smacking up tons of demons with embaressing ease he still found time to take on a five faced form of Vishnu to extinguish five lamps as part of a test to release Rama and Lakshmana from the underworld, and when Lakshmana has been singled out for special treatment once again, Hanuman couldn't find the life-restoring herb which grew in the Himilayas so he ripped up the whole mountain range and carried it back to lanka so those in the know could point it out.

Much hugging ensued as Rama declared him as dear as his beloved brother Bharat, who was just about to kill himself as the 14 years were almost up and there just wasn't enough time for Rama to make it to Ayodhama to stop his brother from following through on his immmolation promise. Guess who sped there and saved the day?

Such heroics should be rewarded handsomely but the only gift Haniman would accept was a necklace of jewels worn by sita, which he promptly dismantled. Far from losing his marbles Hanuman explained that he was peeking inside the jewels because if Sita and Rama weren't inside of them they were worthless to him. A few were stupid enough to mock him and challenge his seemingly insane commitment at which point he ripped open his chest to reveal Sita and Rama in his heart. Howz that for commitment?

It had been quite an adventure, so much so that Maharishi Valmiki painstakingly wrote down every detail. It took him quite some time so you can imagine his disappointment when he arrived in the Himilayas to find that Hanuman had already scratched a far superior version into the mountains with his fingernail ages ago. Valmiki was on the verge of suicide having seen his dream of fame and fortune go up in smoke, but sensing his disapointment Hanuman tore up the whole mountain and chucked it into the sea. Obviously this was the only one in existence so if you are looking for a copy of the Hanumad Ramayana you're out of luck, though one tablet is rumoured to have floated ashore during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa and hung at a public place to be deciphered by scholars, but as it is written in a extinct text i wouldn't hold your breath if i was you.

Valmiki's version went on to be a best seller, probably because he re-wrote his first version which shamefully brushed over Hanuman as a stupid monkey.

With the time for Rama and the boys to depart to heaven fast approaching Hanuman requested to remain on earth as long as Rama's name was venerated by people. Sita onliged and ordered his image to be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama's name.
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'HANUMAN' - Indian entry : 06 May 2007
Page last modified on 21 May 2008
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