Hanuman (In the Ramayana of Valimiki and the Ramacharitamanasa of Tulasidasa)


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About the Book

The monkey-god Hanuman, one of contemporary Hinduism's most popular deities, has a long history in Indian art and literature. This study traces Hanuman's gradual evolution from his role as helper and messenger of Rama in the Valmiki Ramayana in the 3rd century B. C. E. to his more dominant function in Tulsidas Dasa's Ramacaritamanasa, written circa 1575 C. E.

The study begins with a concentrated overview of Hanuman's non-Aryan origins and later associations. It then illustrates and elucidates the growth of his character from Valmiki to Tulsi Dasa through several intermediary stages. The grater part of the book comprises a careful scene-by-scene comparative textual analysis of the Sanskrit and the Avadhi versions of the Rama legend which has been so immensely influential in Hindu culture. In the course of time, Hanuman changes from a perfect messenger to the ideal devotee who becomes an embodiment of his master in his complete surrender to Raghupati.


The opportunity to spend so much of my time in the last years with Hanuman has been a wonderful experience, a precious gift, and a blessing. My work has been a labour of love, even in the most tedious and minutely technical of moments. Though I was originally drawn to the Hanuman of Tulasi Dasa's Ramacaritamanasa, a love of the Sanskrit language and an interest in the Valmiki Ramayana led me to a comparative study of the two texts. I began to discover Anjaneya's fascinating multi-faceted character, who, despite his popularity, is the subject of less than a handful of studies. Clearly, my intention was not to remedy completely this neglect, for it would take more than a lifetime to cover adequately such an enormous and seemingly boundless subject, but simply to offer whatever I could within a limited scope. I this, I was aided by Professor Stella Sandahl, my academic supervisor at the University of Toronto, where my work was originally submitted. She always to read the Ramacaritamanasa in the original Avadhi, and her linguistic ability in both Sanskrit and Hindi was a great asset to me. I was also helped by Swami Tejomayananda, whose lectures on the Ramacaritamanasa and whose chanting of the text I was fortunate enough to attend, and who himself was always ready to answer my questions. His perceptive comments, and perhaps more importantly, his expression and communication of the spiritual of Tulasi's work deeply moved me. Furthermore, I owe a very profound debt of gratitude to Swami Chinmayananda, who is responsible for awakening in me the love of things spiritual and things India, and whose inspiration and teaching are every with me. Last but certainly not least, I have been blessed with a wonderful mother and friend, who has been an endless source of support, a dedicated typist, and a meticulous reader of every word I wrote.

About the Author

Catherine Ludvik is a promising young scholar who studied Sanskrit and Hindi at the University of Toronto (B. A.), where she also completed an M. A. in Religious Studies (Hinduism). Her interest in Hinduism dates from 1981 when she became interested in Vedanta. She brings to the study of the ingenious monkey-god Hanuman a deep empathy and understanding combined with penetrating scholarship. She is presently working on the Mahanataka.




  Preface ix
  Abbreviations xi
  Note on Editions and Transliteration xiii
1 Introduction 1
  The Monkeys 2
  Hanuman's Origins and Associations 3
  The Development of Hanuman's Character from the ValR to the RCM 6
2 Comparative Analysis 23
3 The First Meeting between Hanuman and the Raghavas 25
4 The Consolation of Tara 33
5 Hanuman's Reminder to Sugriva 37
6 Laksmana's Arrival in Kishindha 43
7 The Singling Out of Hanuman 47
8 Hanuman's Persuasion of Angada 53
9 The Coaxing of Hanuman 59
10 The Leap across the Ocean 67
  The Life-off 67
  The Obstacles 71
  Mainaka 71
  Surasa 72
  Simhika 75
11 The Search for Sita 79
  The Entry into Lanka 79
  The Search through Lanka 82
  The Recognition of Sita 86
  The Interview with Sita 91
  Observation and Deliberation 91
  The Winning of Sita's Confidence 94
  The Comforting of Sita 99
13 The Destruction of the Asoka Grove 107
14 The Interview with Ravana 113
15 The Burning of Lanka 121
16 Hanuman's Report to Rama 125
17 The Bringing of the Medicinal Herbs 131
18 Final Reflections 135
  Bibliography 141
  Index 151

Sample Pages