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What is the skin Colour of Hanuman?

What is the skin Colour of Hanuman?

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Parvati the wife of Shiva said,
Narada Purana III.79.220-5 “The garland of hellish things is your ornament for the chest. The poisonous serpents viz. Vasuki and Sesa are your bangles. Your garments are the quarters (i.e. you are naked); the matted hair is what you have by way of your tresses. The white ash constitutes your unguent, the great bull is your vehicle. Your Gotra (spiritual lineage) and the family are not known. Your parents are unknown, your body is rendered ugly with hideous eyes.’ Even as the daughter of the mountain was saying this Visnu spoke to her angrily. ‘O goddess, why do you censure our lord of the universe, the lord of Devas. O gentle lady due to your nature of not controlling yourself you were not his beloved. You are like the evil vital breaths. O gentle lady, it is my vow that I shall die where Isa is censured.’ After saying this, Hari attempted to cut off his head. Mahesa caught hold of his hand and said, ‘Do not indulge in a risky venture. Everything that Parvati said is pleasing to me, not displeasing.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Daksa the father in law of Shiva said,
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.2.12-15 He has eyes like a monkey’s, yet he has married my daughter, whose eyes are just like those of a deer cub. Nevertheless he did not stand up to receive me, nor did he think it fit to welcome me with sweet words. Shiva lives in filthy places like crematoriums, and his companions are the ghosts and demons. Naked like a madman, sometimes laughing and sometimes crying, he (shiva) smears crematorium ashes all over his body. He (shiva) does not bath regularly, and he ornaments his body with a garland of skulls and bones” Tr. Swami Prabhupada

Linga Purana 31.28-32 ”The lord had vulgar traits. He was stark nude. He had smeared his limbs with ashes. His hands were engaged in whirling a firebrand. His eyes were red and tawny. Sometimes he laughed boisterously, sometimes he sang surprisingly. Sometimes he danced amorously and sometimes he cried repeatedly. He roamed round the hermitages and begged for alms. He assumed forms of his choice by his Maya…” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Matsya Purana 154.329-341 ”Hearing those words the sages controlling their mind and realizing her object said:- ”Daughter! There are two kinds of comforts in the world and the first one is the gratification of the body; the second is the peace of mind. Lord Siva is, by nature naked, ferocious, Dweller of the cremation ground, the carrier of skulls, a hermit, statue like in action, a begger, mad, fond of collecting ugly and terrible things, and inauspiciousness incarnate. What advantage will you get in having him as your husband…” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, Edited by B.D. Basu

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Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda 2, Sarga 34, Verse 1 “Thereafter, the lotus-eyes Rama, who was dark-brown in complexion and great beyond compare, spoke thus to the charioteer, “Tell about me to my father.” Tr. K.M.K. Murthy

Hanuman describes physical traits of Rama to Sita,
Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Khanda 5, Sarga 35, Verse 16 “He has a voice like the sound of a kettle-drum. He has a shining skin. He is full of splendour. He is square-built. His limbs are built symmetrically. He is endowed with a dark-brown complexion.” Tr. K.M.K. Murthy
Having dark or black color is nothing wrong. Having dark complexion doesn’t define our character. But it surely exposes the racist mindset of Hindus. Though Rama was dark/blue complexioned but he is depicted as a person with light brown complexion which is not true. Why should Hindus be ashamed to describe the dark complexion of their god?


Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Khanda 5, Sarga 32, Verses 1-9 “Then, seeing Hanuma, who was tawny coloured like a series of flashing thunderbolts wrapped up in a white cloth and hiding behind the branches of a tree, Seetha had her mind shaken …Seetha got a great surprise and thought (as follows): “Alas! This monkey is hard to be approached, fearful and difficult to be looked at .” Thus thinking, she was bewildered again. The splendid woman Seetha, bewildered by fear and afflicted with grief, lamented most piteously saying “O, Rama! O, Rama! and “O Lakshmana!”. Seetha wept faintly in a low voice in many ways. Seeing that excellent monkey appraching humbly, that splendid woman Seetha thought it as a dream… As soon as seeing Hanuma Seetha lost her consciousness very much and became seemingly lifeless. Regaining her consciousness after a long time the wide eyed Seetha moreover thought (as follows), Today, I saw an ugly monkey in my dream, which is forbidden according to a body of scriptures. May it be well with Rama together with Lakshmana and with my father, King Janaka.” Tr. K.M.K. Murthy

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What is the significance of various forms of Hanuman?


One comes across varied information about Hanuman’s true form. He is mostly red and rarely black. ‘Red’ Hanuman is one who is smeared with sindur (vermilion). Saturn’s (Shani’s) influence may have resulted in His black complexion. Hanuman is popular as an incarnation of Rudra or as the son of Rudra. The red complexioned Rudra has perhaps influenced Hanuman’s complexion too. When Hanuman became red in complexion, tales of His love for sindur gained popularity.

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1. Once after bathing, Sita applied a red circular mark in the centre of Her forehead with sindur. When Hanuman asked Her the reason for it, She replied, “It prolongs the life of your Master.” This influenced Hanuman so greatly that He smeared sindur over His entire body !


Once when Hanuman was proceeding to Lanka with the Dronagiri hills Bharat struck Him with an arrow and wounded His leg. The wound healed with a mixture of sindur and oil. Hence sindur and oil are Hanuman’s favourites.’

1.2 Form

Look at the two figures given below. Decide with which figure you feel more pleasant and then read further.

Figure A

Figure B

At one of our workshops in Mumbai twenty-five out of thirty-six seekers who participated in this experiment gave their answers. The average spiritual level of the seekers was 35%. During a satsang (spiritual meeting) at times the spiritual level of a seeker can even become 40-50%. The spiritual level of an average person is 20% while that of one who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. If average individuals participate in the experiment, they do not perceive anything. Hence in such experiments everyone does not get spiritual experiences. Only those who have attained a spiritual level of 35% and above and are able to perceive something of the subtle dimension are able to give answers. Sixteen out of twenty-five seekers experienced serenity (shanti) with figure ‘A’ and the rest with figure ‘B’.

Figure ‘A’ depicts the tail of Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and figure ‘B’ the tail of Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti). One must have realised how without even looking at the entire form of Maruti merely by looking at His tail, energy or divine consciousness (chaitanya) in His form is manifested. Energy manifests from Maruti as the courageous one and divine consciousness from Maruti as the servitor since the latter is merged into Lord Rama.

Forms of Hanuman : Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti)

Hanuman has two forms namely Maruti as the servitor and Maruti as the courageous one. The servitor form is the one in which Hanuman stands in front of Rama with His hands folded in obeisance, His tail resting on the ground. The stance of Maruti as the courageous one is that of one ready for battle. His tail is upright and His right hand is turned towards His head. Sometimes even a demon crushed under His feet is depicted. To overcome problems of possession, black magic, etc. Maruti as the courageous one is worshipped.


Forms of Hanuman : Maruti with five faces (Panchmukhi Maruti)

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Panchamukhi Hanuman

One finds quite a few idols of the five-faced Maruti. These five faces are those of the eagle (garud), boar (varah), horse (hayagriva), the lion (sinha) and the monkey (kapi).This idol has ten arms, wields a flag, a human head, a sword and other weapons. A five faced Deity implies that it maintains vigilance and controls the five directions – North, South, East, West and the upward direction. Hanuman facing the south : Here, ‘south’ means the south direction and the right side.

Forms of Hanuman : Maruti facing the south (Dakshinmukhi Maruti)

The face of the idol is towards the south, hence it is known as dakshinamukhi (dakshin = south, mukhi = face). One finds such Hanuman idols in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, etc. in the state of Maharashtra and Basavgudi in Karnataka. Hanuman facing the right side is aggressive (emits energy), akin to Ganapati with His trunk pointing towards the right. Both these are worshipped in order to overcome the adverse effects of distressing energies. The sushumna nadi is always active in Deity Ganapati and Hanuman; but once Their form is changed, there are slight variations and accordingly either the surya or chandra nadi gets activated to some extent.

Hanuman facing the left-sideHanuman facing south

2. Shani (Saturn) and Maruti

Although there is a firm belief among people about the relationship between Shani and Hanuman, its explanation is equally mysterious and beyond comprehension.

2.1 Similarities

1. In the Hanumantsahasranam stotra, Shani is mentioned as one of the thousand names of Hanumant.

2. The Suryasanhita mentions that Hanuman was born on a Saturday (Shanivar).

3. Rudra is one of Shani’s ten names.

4. Like Shani, Hanuman too is occasionally depicted as dark complexioned.

5. In Garhval where Shani is popular, Hanuman too is depicted as wielding an iron whip. Hence, unknowingly a similarity must have been established between Shani and Hanuman. Thus leading to worship of Hanuman on Saturday and the incorporation of this worship in the vowed observance on Saturday.

2.2 Differences

1. Shani is the son of the Sun Deity (fire element), whereas Hanuman is the son of the Wind Deity (air element).

2. There is discord between Shani and the Sun, whereas Hanuman is a devotee of the Sun. Hanuman has acquired all His knowledge from the Sun. The Sun has also imparted a hundredth fraction of its radiance to Hanuman. Due to discord between Shani and the Sun, the Sun helped Hanuman, who is considered to be Shani’s enemy. At that time, the air element and energy had not manifested completely in Hanuman.

3. Shani is slow, whereas Hanuman is swift like the eagle.

4. Shani is considered to be an evil planet. Hanuman is certainly not evil.

5. There is a custom of not selling oil on Saturdays, whereas there is a tradition of offering oil to Hanuman on Saturdays.

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3. Demigods (Yakshas) and Maruti

The Yakshas are described as brave and invisible. In the Valmiki Ramayan, Hanumant is addressed as the ‘invisible one’. Mahavir (The great valiant) is one of the well known names of Hanuman. It indicates the relationship between Hanuman and the worship of Yaksha. Hanumant finds a mention in the list of the fifty-two valiants, as Kapilumbir. At many places in Maharashtra, in the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun, processions of ‘valiants’ are on their way to worship Virmaruti.

4. Ganapati and Maruti

Both are red in colour. Both possess ashtamahasiddhi (The eight great supernatural powers).

5. Importance of Maruti as described by saints

Samarth Ramdas Swami has said, ‘Hanumant is our Deity’. Hanuman represents energy, skill and devotion. Hence, Saint Ramdas initiated the worship of Hanuman. The eleven Hanuman idols installed by Him are well known. In North India too, Saint Tulsidas established temples and gave importance to worship of Hanuman. Madhavacharya (founder of the Brahma sect, propounding duality) is considered to be an incarnation of Hanuman. Several other saints have also glorified Hanuman through Their compositions to set an example for society.

Reference : Sanatan’s booklet ‘Maruti (Spiritual knowledge) Part 1’


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.


French historian Michelet described Ramayana as “ a great poem, as vast as the Indian Ocean, a book of divine harmony. A serene peace reigns in it, in the midst of conflict, an infinite sweetness, a boundless fraternity which spreads over all living beings, an ocean of love, of pity, of clemency” (from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India)

Ramayana is very popular in Thailand. It is called Ramkien. Scholars believe that is the changed form of Ramakiirti or Ramaakhyaana.

During a particular period, Kings called themselves Rama and their capital was Ayuththaya (Ayodhya of Ramayana)

The original name of Siam is Shyama desa. During the commercial contacts, Indian business men called this region Swarnabhumi (Land of Gold).

We know for sure the Indo-Thai contact began at least 2300 years ago when Emperor Asoka sent two Buddhist emissaries to spread the message of Buddha. The reason he sent those people to Thailand was that the people of the country are known to India.

Ramayana was introduced in art forms in the thirteenth century.

Though Ramayana was known to Thais for a very long period, King Rama I only gave it a shape. Takshin the Great , King of Thonburi wrote some verses of Ramakien and Rama I (1782-1880) produced a voluminous work of 10,000 stanzas. King Rama II (1809-1820) developed it into a drama.

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Before this literary master piece was composed the firs Ramayana literature for the mask came about in 1349 CE. Only solitary evens from Ramayana were used. But long before the stage drama, certain kind of play known as Hnang (hide or skin) was shown. Ramayana characters were painted in different colours. Rama is green, Lakshmana is golden, Hanuman is in purple and Ravana is in dark colours. When they were staged, they were similar to marionettes, but instead of strings, characters were controlled by hands. Hnang was introduced from Java (Indonesia) and it is an adaptation of the Sanskrit Chayanataka.

The Thai version was adapted to reflect Thai sentiments. Thai dressing, colouring was used. Even the story was changed from Valmiki’s original Sanskrit version. Here is a strange story which is not found in Indian versions of Ramayana.

Hanuman Ruled from Lavapuri in Thailand!

After the victory over Ravana Rama decided to reward all his allies who had helped him. He gave the Kingdom of Lanka to Vibhisana, Kishkinda to Sugreeva, Paatalaa to Jhambavat, Buriram (Rama Puri) to Guha and so on. Last came the turn of Hanuman. He told Hanuman that he would shoot an arrow and hanuman should follow it. Wherever it falls that area would be his. Hanuman also faithfully followed Rama’s arrow. The arrow fell at Lopburi.

(Lava Puri= Lop Buri; Lava was one of the two sons of Rama. it is 150 kilometres from Bangkok) .

A lot of towns will have Buri suffix; it is the changed form of Puri which means a town or city in Sanskrit.

Lopburi was very uneven and Hanuman levelled it with his tail to make it habitable. Visvakarma helped Hanuman to build a beautiful city and Hanuman ruled from there.

An account of the story made the people to pick up mementoes from that place and ultimately government has to declare it a protected monument. The story was that the land was scorched by the falling arrow of Rama but a green patch was left where Rama’s arrow touched the ground. This account made the people to take everything from the green patch area as sacred objects. Then government introduced measures to protect it. In fact, Lopburi is abound in chalk and it is exported.

A lot of places in Thailand are associated with Ramayana as if Ramayana episodes took place in that country. The people have absorbed the story completely and believed Rama walked the length and breadth of Thailand!!

Source book: Studies in Sanskrit and Indian Culture in Thailand with my inputs.

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