Hanuman — a divine monkey
Today is Hanuman Jayanti — birthday of a Hindu deity Hanuman. Strong, energetic, huge, fierce, unbeatable warrior are the popular attributes of this figure.
There are several stories which depict his stature — incomparable strength and fearlessness. Once he lifted an entire mountain to get healing herbs for his wounded army. At another time, he put fire over complete Lanka(a kingdom of the demon king Ravana) by jumping all over the kingdom with his burning tail. Some stories also say that he had a boon that no astra or weapon could ever beat him to death. And, of course Ramayan is incomplete without Hanuman.
But, among all these, he was a worshiper of Lord Ram — from the time he first met him, he was already an ardent devotee. Recently, this made me wonder. Hanuman’s complete submissive nature towards Lord Ram. Of course, Ram was such a figure — anyone would worship. But, Hanuman is one of the devotees, where Ram himself would aspire for Hanuman being his worshiper. One of the examples, where Lord finds his devotee and not the other way round. Stories even say, Hanuman is immortal — he is still alive, meditating somewhere in the Himalayas with the chantings of Ram.
I believe, today, being submissive is seen as weakness. Rather, letting off one’s ego and accepting the greatness of the person needs inner strength to accept. It requires a huge amount of courage to admire. I believe, Hanuman was a fearless warrior because he had the ability to admire the greatness of Ram and respected through devotion — even though he was quite aware of his own strength & capabilities. And true strength comes from humility.
One thing which I can take from stories of Hanuman, is learn to admire & respect.