Why do Indians worship a God in the form of a monkey – Hanumanji?
Hanumanji is our mind. Mind is unstable. That is the face of a monkey. Monkeys are famous for their instability. They keep jumping from tree to tree, branch to branch, restless and represent the mind. The body is very strong, and the mind is very strong. Mind cannot be controlled. But mind is influenced by what it is associated with. So Hanumanji represents supreme devotion to his Guru, Lord Ram. When devotion becomes supreme, the monkey becomes powerful. Our mind becomes powerful.
When the connection is with Ram, you have the ashta siddhis or the eight siddhis and nava nidhis or the nine wealths, which are all great powers. Therefore, Hanumanji is an epitome of a supreme power because of his connection with Ram. Ram is stability. Ram is eternity. Hanumanji, the mind, was connected and fully occupied with the Ram, that is, stability, eternity and that gave Hanumanji supreme powers. Very powerful. This is why we worship Hanumanji – as a reminder that whatever you are connected to, you become that. If the mind is connected to something negative, you become negative or your mind becomes contaminated. If mind is connected to something positive, mind becomes powerful. So Hanumanji represents the possibilities of the mind, the highest power.
When Hanumanji reached the edge of India and realised that Sita is sitting on an island which is disconnected by the ocean in between, he lost all hope. He said, “I can’t do it.” Mind is like that. Mind gives up. Because if mind is not rooted in stability, it gives up. This is a sign. At that point in time he stopped thinking that it is Ram’s strength, not his strength that will take him across to the other shore. He lost all hope, “I won’t be able to do that anymore.” That’s the time when all the others told him that he had superhuman strength because of his dedication to Lord Ram. When he was born, when his mind was not in control and was weak, he jumped to catch the Sun thinking it’s fruit. He went quite a lot of way, quite a long distance, before Indra brought him down. So, Indra explained to him that he has done so many feats just because he had surrendered to Ram, that was enough for him. Once again, he surrendered his mind, gained his stability, Ram, gained all the strength and jumped across the ocean. And reached the other shore!
All this says that it is where the mind is parked, that’s what you are. This is something which you have to understand, that is why we worship Hanumanji. Because Hanumanji is a very powerful representation of our own mind. Where you park your mind, that is where you are. You park your thoughts with negative thoughts, fears, anxieties, negative people, negative ideas, then you will become negative, you’ll become weaker. If you park your mind with positive people, positive ideas, positive visions, then you’re connected to a positive personality or if your mind is occupied with God, or a powerful Guru, you become very powerful. That symbolises Hanumanji. His face (that of a monkey) is symbolic. He is a powerful personality anyway. The monkey’s face is given so that you understand that mind by nature is unstable and we are stability. So, our mind is unstable, but the body is stable, our system is stable, everything is stable except the mind. The moment you park your mind with a powerful personality or a powerful person, then everything changes. Then you become completely different. You will have superhuman strengths. That’s what is represented by Hanumanji. That’s why we worship Hanumanji.
Every God and deity in Hindu tradition has a value, a deeper meaning and is not what it seems to be. It is much deeper. Otherwise they could have created a character with a normal face. Then you wouldn’t know the story. Then you will think it is you. But the face automatically makes you wonder why does a man have a monkey’s face? Is he actually a monkey?