By Philip Lutgendorf
Hanuman, the dedicated monkey helper of Rama and Sita, has lengthy been famous as a favored personality in India's old Ramayana epic. yet extra lately he has additionally turn into some of the most cherished and worshiped gods within the Hindu pantheon - enshrined in majestic new temples, yet both found in poster artwork, ads, and mass media. Drawing on Sanskrit and vernacular texts, classical iconography and glossy television serials, and huge fieldwork and interviews, Philip Lutgendorf demanding situations the tutorial cliché of Hanuman as a "minor" or "folk" deity through exploring his complicated and starting to be function in South Asian faith and tradition. This wide-ranging research examines the historic evolution of Hanuman's worship, his shut organization with Shiva and goddesses, his invocation in tantric ritual, his actual immortality and enduring presence in sacred websites, and his attract devotees who comprise students, wrestlers, healers, politicians, and middle-class urbanites.
Lutgendorf additionally deals a wealthy array of unique tales no longer formerly to be had in English: an increasing epic cycle that he christens the "Hanumayana." Arguing that Hanuman's function as cosmic "middle guy" is in detail associated with his embodiment in a captivating and provocative simian shape, Lutgendorf strikes past the Indian subcontinent to interrogate the broader human fascination with anthropoid primates as boundary beings and as effective signifiers of either Self and Other.
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