The Immortal Primate
Inspired by Angry Hanuman and Stoic Rama by Karan Acharya.
The Transcontinental Courier
This is legit my most sketched drawing during childhood, after the scenery, of course. The Ramayana book we had, had this picture on the back of the cover. I used to sketch this as a kid every time we had a guest over at a house and present it to them.
“When Ravana’s son Indrajit hurls a powerful weapon at Lakshmana, Lakshmana is badly wounded and is nearly killed. Hanuman is called upon to fetch the Sanjeevani herb from Mount Dronagiri in the Himalayas. Upon reaching Dronagiri, Hanuman cannot identify the herb and lifts the whole mountain and brings it to the battlefield.”
Five Face Fear
“During the war, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed, Ravana calls his brother Ahiravana for help. Saint Agastya informs Rama’s camp about a possible ambush during the night. Hanuman is put on guard and told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. Ahiravana makes several attempts at entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman. Finally, Ahiravana takes the form of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Ahiravan quickly enters and abducts the sleeping Rama and Lakshmana.
When Hanuman finds he has been tricked by Ahiravana, he vows to find Rama and Lakshmana, and kill Ahiravana. Hanuman enters Patala (the Underworld), where he finds Ahiravana’s massive palace, that is heavily guarded on all sides. Hanuman makes his way into the palace and learns that the only way to kill Ahiravana is to extinguish the 5 different lamps in different directions. This is when Hanuman assumes this form here. As per most texts, Hanuman assumes the form of 5 faces and carries 10 weapons. The five faces here are those of monkey facing east, lion facing south, eagle facing west, wild boar facing north, and horse facing upwards. He assumes this form to blow out the 5 lamps, and then kill Ahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered unconscious by a demonic spell.”
The first thing you will notice is the mood and colours getting lighter, as Hanuman grew older, wiser and generally better. Even Gods are human on Earth, and I imagine Hanuman matured over the course of the war. At first (I), he was this immortal primate with unlimited raw, brute strength and no control over temper, emotion or strength. He simply sought revenge for his best friend’s misery. Over time, in Rama’s company, he grew. By the time he was called to make his first real contribution to the war (II), he was a being who was aware of his powers. He flew solo across the subcontinent and brought back an entire mountain that helped his side’s medicinal supplies. Towards the end of the war (III), he was able to single-handedly save his friends from hell. The transformation of a being who looks like a monkey to someone who would be looked upon as the patron god of martial arts as well as meditation and diligent scholarship; who would symbolize the human excellences of inner self-control, faith and service to a cause, for millennia to come, was complete.
Now you know why Hanuman is my favourite character in Indian mythology.