Hanuman's Tale: The Messages of a Divine Monkey

Hanuman's Tale: The Messages of a Divine Monkey

by Philip Lutgendorf
     
 

Hanuman, the devoted monkey helper of Rama and Sita, has long been recognized as a popular character in India's ancient Ramayana epic. But more recently he has also become one of the most beloved and worshiped gods in the Hindu pantheon-enshrined in majestic new temples, but equally present in poster art, advertising, and mass media. Drawing on Sanskrit and vernacular… See more details below

Overview

Hanuman, the devoted monkey helper of Rama and Sita, has long been recognized as a popular character in India's ancient Ramayana epic. But more recently he has also become one of the most beloved and worshiped gods in the Hindu pantheon-enshrined in majestic new temples, but equally present in poster art, advertising, and mass media. Drawing on Sanskrit and vernacular texts, classical iconography and modern television serials, and extensive fieldwork and interviews, Philip Lutgendorf challenges the academic cliche of Hanuman as a "minor" or "folk" deity by exploring his complex and growing role in South Asian religion and culture. This wide-ranging study examines the historical evolution of Hanuman's worship, his close association with Shiva and goddesses, his invocation in tantric ritual, his physical immortality and enduring presence in sacred sites, and his appeal to devotees who include scholars, wrestlers, healers, politicians, and middle-class urbanites. Lutgendorf also offers a rich array of entertaining stories not previously available in English: an expanding epic cycle that he christens the "Hanumayana." Arguing that Hanuman's role as cosmic "middle man" is intimately linked to his embodiment in a charming and provocative simian form, Lutgendorf moves beyond the Indian subcontinent to interrogate the wider human fascination with anthropoid primates as boundary beings and as potent signifies of both Self and Other.

About the Author:
Philip Lutgendorf is Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195309218
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/11/2007
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


On Transliteration, Vocabulary, and Style     xiii
Major and Minor: Hanuman in Hindu Life and Scholarly Discourse     3
A Long and Winding Tail: Hanuman in History and Historiography     35
Prayers, Recipes, Memoirs: Hanuman in Hindi Popular Literature     89
The Hanumayana: Forty Tales of Hanuman     115
A Reader's Guide to the Hanumayana     177
Sitings and Sightings: Hanuman in the Cultural Landscape     237
Like Mother, Like Son: Hanuman, Goddesses, and Women     299
Monkey in the Middle: Hanuman and His Kin in Transcultural Discourse     333
Two Poems in Praise of Hanuman     397
Glossary     403
Bibliography
Principal Hanumayana Sources by Author     407
Other Sources     408
Index     425

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