Lessons to learn from Hanuman

- April 30, 2024


By Krithika Nair

Hanuman, the vanara son of Kesari and Anjana, is a beloved deity from the Ramayana. He is a lot of things – a chiranjeevi, a poet, a singer, a yogi, and so much more, but he is best known for being Rama’s most ardent devotee. His might and cleverness have no match, but there are many more qualities of Hanuman that one can learn from. 

Humble 
Illustration: M.N. Nangare

Humility came to Hanuman in the form of a curse. After he was blessed by the gods with many powers as a child, Hanuman started using them to prank and trouble people. Once, he disturbed the penance of some sages at a hermitage. Wrathful, a sage cursed Hanuman to forget his powers until someone reminded him of them. 

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While the curse was unfortunate, it went on to show that even without his powers, Hanuman was beloved by all. Even after he was reminded of his powers, Hanuman never prided himself on them thereafter. In the Mahabharata, we see Hanuman teach the same lesson of humility to his brother, Bheema. 

Devoted 

Among the many blessings he received, one was that Surya, the Sun God, became Hanuman’s guru. Even though he is famous for his strength, Hanuman was equally brilliant at studies. After completing his education, Hanuman asked Surya what he wanted as Guru Dakshina. To this, the sun god asked Hanuman to take care of his son, Sugreeva. 

Illustration: Ram Waeerkar; Script: Anant Pai

Hanuman agreed, and soon became a close aide of Sugreeva. Through good and bad times, he was always there beside Surya’s beloved son, and later became the chief minister of Sugreeva’s court. While we remember Hanuman as the greatest devotee of Rama, he was just as devoted to his parents, his guru, and his friends.

Observant 

When he reached Lanka, Hanuman had to find Sita, whom he had never seen before. He shapeshifted to not be noticed and went around looking for a woman that matched the description he had heard from Rama. At some point, he found a very beautiful woman, who was sleeping in royal robes inside the palace. 

While the woman’s beauty was beyond words, Hanuman realised that Rama’s Sita would never be comfortable or sleep peacefully in Ravana’s palace. He kept searching until he found Sita in the Ashoka Vatika, looking distraught and tired, surrounded by guards. 

Respectful 

Had it been up to him, Hanuman could have brought Sita back from Lanka in a heartbeat. But he realised that this was not his battle, it was Rama’s. Sita wished to be rescued by her husband, and he could not disrespect her wishes or go against his lord’s instructions to find Sita and relay his message. 

Illustration: Durgesh Velhal

In a modern world, one might wonder if Hanuman could have prevented a war had he gone against everyone’s wishes and rescued Sita himself. But Hanuman trusted his lord to do the right thing and respected Sita’s wishes, even though that meant watching her suffer. 

Strong 

Hanuman is considered to be the god of self-discipline and strength. He is supremely strong, being able to uproot mountains and jump high and far. He is the deity worshipped at akhadas and gymnasiums, by wrestlers and bodybuilders across India. But it is not just physical strength that Hanuman is famous for. 

After giving Rama’s message to Sita, Hanuman gets caught by Lanka’s guards. He fearlessly faces the asura king Ravana, and breaks their morale by setting their city on fire. He does not lose heart when Rama’s army realises that the asura army is stronger in numbers. He is quick to think on his feet and brings the entire mountain instead of trying to find the Sanjeevani herb to save Lakshmana. 

He is a yogi, a singer, a musician, and is well-versed in martial arts. Hanuman truly embodies that strength comes not just from your body, but also your mind and knowledge. 

Hanuman is an exemplary son, friend, brother, student and devotee. These lessons from his life are timeless, just like the tale of Ramayana, where Hanuman’s heroism finds no match.

For more such beautiful lessons from Indian mythology, get ACK’s Ramayana collection or read it on the ACK Comics app!

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M.S. Subbulakshmi

M.S. Subbulakshmi was born to sing. Her unchallenged position in the realm of Carnatic music was the result of great talent combined with hours of practice and utter devotion. Subbulakshmi began her formal training in music when she was five. Her first stage performance was at the age of eight. It is said that the young Subbulakshmi would practice her ragas even between household chores, keeping time to the most intricate and complex beats of Carnatic music. M.S. Subbulakshmi used music as an instrument to motivate people, especially during the freedom movement. Her music inspired all those who heard it and she was celebrated and acclaimed wherever she went. In this graphic biography, Amar Chitra Katha pays tribute to the legend and her invaluable contribution to the world of music.

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