MONKEY WEDDING 100 YEARS AGO! (Post No.4093)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 18 July 2017


Time uploaded in London-16-23


Post No. 4093


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

There are some interesting stories about Hanuman in 100 year old books written by foreigners!

 

For anyone familiar with the adventures of Hanuman, comic books such as Superman, Spiderman, Phantom are all just imitations. The adventures of hanuman are true stories. Hindus call him the Great Hero – Mahaa Veer! Hanuman was called the Monkey God by foreigners; but for Hindus he is a god like any other god. Westerners could only look at his face and tail whereas Hindus can look at his great qualities! Foreigners couldn’t understand Hinduism even today because they look at it superficially.

 

Hanuman is described in the Ramayana as a man possessed of great learning. He was a master of grammar. he had the gift of the gab. he was a great orator. “The chief of the monkeys is perfect; no one equals him in the sastras, in learning and in ascertaining the sense of the scriptures. In all sciences, in the rules of austerity, he rivals the preceptor of the Gods.

In North India he is a village god. His image smeared with oil and vermillion, meets one’s gaze in many villages. He is often the guardian deity, and is considered the embodiment of virile strength, the conqueror of evil spirits, while women implore his aid as the giver of off spring.

 

Hanuman does not often rise to the dignity of a separate temple devoted to his honour (100 years ago), but in Rama’s birth place Ayodhya, the greatest temple is the Hanumangarhi. It is a fortress temple rising solidly from the surrounding plain, and is provided with a regular priesthood f ascetics.

 

One of the main reasons why this god is so widely worshipped over a large part of India is that he is regarded as the type and model of faithful, unselfish and devoted service.

At the Dasara, one of the most popular Hindu festivals, Hanuman, clothed in gorgeous attire, marches along the stage at the head of his army of monkeys and bears and plays his part valiantly in the assault of Lanka.

 

Living monkeys too are honoured and worshipped as Hanuman’s representatives, and the feeding of monkeys is part of the regular ritual at some temples, notably at the Durga temple in Varanasi, often called for this reason ‘the Monkey Temple’. There is a king of monkeys there who is treated with much respect. It is remarkable with what impunity monkeys are allowed to steal grain and fruits and sweets from shops on the main roads. Very little resentment is shown, and as for killing them would be a sacrilege, no matter how great the mischief and harm caused.

In fact, General Sleeman tells a story of a Muhammedan Nawab of Oudh (Ayodhya) who died of fever, the result, it was said, of his father killing a monky. “Mumtaz ud daula might have been King of Oudh, said his informant, had his father not shot that monkey” (Ref. Sleeman’s book Journey through Oudh)

Monkey Wedding

W.Ward ( in his book Hindoos) tells a remarkable story of the Raja of Nadiya who spent a lac of rupees (10,000 pounds in those days) in marrying two monkeys. There was a magnificent parade. In the procession were seen elephants, camels, horses, all richly caparisoned; palanquins carried the guests whose path was lit by torches and fairy lamps. The male monkey was fastened in his palanquin with a silver chain. he wore a golden crown on his head and servants stood o either side to fan him with punkahs (fans). There followed numbers of dancing girls in carriages. Every kind of musical instrument was pressed into use to celebrate the occasion, and at the time of marriage no less than twelve learned Brahmins were employed to read the Sastras.

–Subham–

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Hanuman has been a popular Deity with young and old alike. His popularity is also due to the simplicity of his worship. Like Vinayaka, Hanuman can be installed anywhere, and worshipped by everyone, with the minimum of rituals.

    Hanuman worship received a shot in the arm in the middle ages when Hindus were under the threat of conversion from Muslim rulers, Tulsidas and Samartha Ramdas united the Hindus, in the North and Maharashtra, respectively, with a simple plan centred on the worship of Hanuman. When the local Muslim rulers did not allow the construction of new temples, Samartha Ramdas established Bhajan mandalis and initiated worship of Hanuman. In the previous century, the Madhwa Acharya Vyasaraja installed 732 murtis of Hanuman in different parts of the South under Vijayanagar rulers ( many in Tamil Nad too) for people to worship in a simple manner, to make them feel united, and fearless.. These were open for worship to all communities without distinction. So, Hanuman was sought out for special protection under trying circumstances. Such installations still keep coming to light.

    In the North, people believe that Hanuman worship will ward off the troubles due to adverse planetary changes or combinations, as Hanuman is gifted with power over the Navagrahas. Especially is his refuge sought against the bad effects of Shani. People’s devotion to Hanuman in the North is to be seen to be believed. In the South, the worship is based on rituals. In the North, it is based on popular practices , like the Aarti. Hanuman Chalisa and Aarti are extremely popular.

    Late Sri Swaminatha Atreyan has, in his Tamil book,” Jaya Jaya Hanuman” , related many recent instances of devotees’ experiences. Interestingly, he has also related how even some Muslim rulers and their family members prayed to Hanuman and obtained relief, or got their wishes fulfilled.

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