Hanumanasana Mythology

Hanuman is also known as Maha Vira. Vira means courage and Maha means great. So he is the great courages one.

Hanuman was born Anjaneya, the son of Anjana, his mortal mother, and Vayu, his father, Lord of the Winds. Hanuman was a mischievous child and, unaware of his true nature and his powers, he often got himself into trouble.

One morning, Hanuman awoke and saw what he thought was a gigantic, ripe, juicy mango in the sky. Hanuman loved mangoes, so with a great leap he rushed towards it, ready to take bite.

Unfortunately for Hanuman, what he thought was a mango was actually the sun. As Surya, the sun god, saw Hanuman rushing towards him, he struck the playful demigod down with a lightning bolt, which hit Anjaneya in the jaw and killed him instantly.

In a rage, Vayu took a deep breath and sucked all the air from the earth, beginning to suffocate all its inhabitants. The gods called an emergency meeting and, in an effort to placate both Surya, who was concerned about this child running around causing trouble, and Vayu, who demanded that his son be allowed to live, they agreed to revive Anjaneya on one condition: he was to be cursed with memory loss so that he would remain unaware of his demigod status.

As a mother’s job is to teach her child how special and powerful they are, Anjaneya was removed from his mother’s care and entrusted to Sugriya, the monkey god. He was renamed Hanuman and given the form of a monkey to better fit into his new family.

One day, Hanuman met King Rama wandering through the forest. Their connection was instantaneous and they became best friends. When Rama’s wife, Sita, was kidnapped by the ten-headed demon king, Ravana, Hanuman was the only being with the strength to leap across the ocean to the accursed isle of Lanka where Sita was being held.

Oblivious to his divine origins, Hanuman called upon his devotion to Rama for courage and to give him the strength to make the leap. In doing so, he discovered his hidden greatness and his true nature.

On his leap Hanuman faced 3 obstacles.

The first obstacle was a mountain who invited Hanuman to stop for some food and tea. The mountain called to Hanuman “Come have some food and tea, Your father helped me long ago and I want to repay the favour.” Hanuman didn’t want to be rude so he stopped and had some food and chai. The mountain represents the obstacle we face when stepping into our greatness. When we first feel called it can be tempting to stay cosy and comfortable and get complacent. We want to stay in the familiar and secure. But as Hanuman realised we are born for greatness not mediocrity. We must let go of comfort and soar to our greatness.

The second obstacle Hanuman faced was Suryasa, a giant serpent who offers him sweetness. Hanuman refuses but she opens her mouth to swallow him, Hanuman with his revived powers makes himself bigger and bigger but Suryasa keeps doing the same. Hanuman realises that in order to move forward he needs to change his perspective. So he makes himself as small as possible and enters Suryasa’s mouth and zooms all around. Suryasa lets him pass.

His final obstacle appears in the form of Simhasa, the Lion demon. As he’s leaping over the ocean Hanuman’s tail and shadow is flying out behind him and Simhasa gabs his tail tugging on Hanuman. It reminds us that as we close in on our greatness there will be resistance. it symbolises the light and darkness within us and the need to honour both, we can’t ignore the darkness. As we get closer to our goal we need to look deeper and as we look deeper we destroy the demons  within.

So often, we forget who we really are. Self-doubt, fear, and negativity cause us to contract and shrink and lose touch with our divinity. When we bring ourselves back to love, we are reminded of the inviolability of our hearts, and the impossible suddenly becomes possible.

Hanuman’s courageous leap shows us that with a leap of faith we have the ability to y whereas before we could only walk. Hanumanasana teaches us that in moments of challenge or discomfort we can connect to our breath and turn inward to our heart centres. With love and devotion we can rise to any challenge.

To help cultivate the courage of Hanuman into your life by repeating this mantra.

Om Hanumate Namah

Click here to read more on Finding Courage 

Read 5 Steps to Letting Go of Fear

Or to learn more about the anatomy of the splits read How to do the Splits