What is the significance of various forms of Lord Hanuman?

Lord Hanuman 
Lord Hanuman


1. Science behind the idol

1.1 Colour

‘One comes across varied information regarding Hanuman’s form. His complexion is mostly red and rarely black. A red Hanuman is one smeared with a saffron coloured powder called sindur. Perhaps His black complexion is due to the influence of Saturn (Shani). Hanuman is famous as an incarnation or as a son of Lord Rudra. Since Rudra’s complexion is red, Hanuman too must have derived His complexion from Him. After He acquired a red complexion stories regarding His love for sindur were told.

  • Once after bathing Sita made a red spot (tila) with sindur on Her forehead. When Hanuman asked for an explanation Sita replied, “It is because of this that Your Master’s life is prolonged”. When He heard this, Hanuman smeared sindur all over His body !
  • Once when Hanuman was proceeding to Lanka with the Dronagiri hills Bharat struck Him with an arrow and wounded His leg. The wound healed with a mixture of sindur and oil. Hence sindur and oil are Hanuman’s favourites.’

1.2 Form

Look at the two figures given below. Decide with which figure you feel more pleasant and then read further.

Figure A

Figure B

Figure A Figure B

At one of our workshops in Mumbai twenty-five out of thirty-six seekers who participated in this experiment gave their answers. The average spiritual level of the seekers was 35%. During a satsang (spiritual meeting) at times the spiritual level of a seeker can even become 40-50%. The spiritual level of an average person is 20% while that of one who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. If average individuals participate in the experiment, they do not perceive anything. Hence in such experiments everyone does not get spiritual experiences. Only those who have attained a spiritual level of 35% and above and are able to perceive something of the subtle dimension are able to give answers. Sixteen out of twenty-five seekers experienced serenity (shanti) with figure ‘A’ and the rest with figure ‘B’.

Figure ‘A’ depicts the tail of Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and figure ‘B’ the tail of Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti). One must have realised how without even looking at the entire form of Maruti merely by looking at His tail, energy or divine consciousness (chaitanya) in His form is manifested. Energy manifests from Maruti as the courageous one and divine consciousness from Maruti as the servitor since the latter is merged into Lord Rama.

  • Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) and Maruti as the courageous one (Virmaruti): Hanuman has two forms namely Maruti as the servitor and Maruti as the courageous one. The servitor form is the one in which Hanuman stands in front of Rama with His hands folded in obeisance, His tail resting on the ground. The stance of Maruti as the courageous one is that of one ready for battle. His tail is upright and His right hand is turned towards His head. Sometimes even a demon crushed under His feet is depicted. To overcome problems of possession, black magic, etc. Maruti as the courageous one is worshipped.
  • Maruti with five faces (Panchmukhi Maruti):

    Panchmukhi Hanuman

    Panchmukhi Hanuman

    One finds quite a few idols of the five-faced Maruti. The five faces are of an eagle (garud), a boar (varaha), a hayagriv, a lion and a monkey. The idol has ten arms wielding a flag, a sword, a noose, etc. One explanation for the five faces of a deity is that the deity keeps vigilance and has control over the five directions – north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith.

  • Maruti facing the south (Dakshinmukhi Maruti): Here the word south (dakshin) has two meanings – one is the south direction and second, the right side.

    South in context to the direction: Here since Maruti faces the south He is named so. Black magic like jaran, maran, etc. are done primarily in front of this idol of Maruti. Such idols of Maruti are found in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, etc. in Maharashtra and in Basavgudi in the district of Karnataka in India.

    South in context to the right side: This Maruti has His face turned towards the right. What do you feel after looking at the following two figures? First decide with which you experience more energy and only then read the following section.

Figure A

Figure A

Figure B

Figure B














At a workshop in Mumbai twelve out of thirty-six seekers gave answers. Nine out of these twelve experienced energy with figure ‘B’ and only 3 experienced energy with figure ‘A’. In figure ‘B’ (facing the right) since the sun channel (surya nadi) of Maruti is active more energy was felt by most seekers looking at it. In figure ‘A’ the moon channel (chandra nadi) of Maruti is operational hence people felt less energy. Just like Ganapati with the trunk towards the right the Maruti facing the right is a powerful deity. He is worshipped to overcome problems due to distressing energy. The sushumna channel (nadi) of Ganapati and Maruti are continuously operational but with the transformation in Their forms the sun or moon channels too become operational to a small extent.

2. Shani (Saturn) and Maruti

‘Although there is close association between Shani and Hanuman prevailing in our society its explanation is equally complicated and incomprehensible.

2.1 Similarities

  • 1. In the verse with a thousand Names of Hanuman (Hanumansahasranam stotra) Shani is one of the Names of Hanuman.
  • 2. In the Surya Sanhita it is said that Hanuman was born on a Saturday (Shanivar).
  • 3. It is given in holy texts that Rudra is one of the ten names of Shani.
  • 4. Just like Shani one occasionally comes across Hanuman with a dark complexion.
  • 5. Since Shani is popular in the Gadhval region Hanuman is also seen sporting an iron whip akin to Shani. As a result unknowingly a relationship between Shani and Hanuman must have been established and Hanuman’s worship on Saturdays and His inclusion in the vowed observance of worshipping Saturday (Shanivarvrat) must have commenced.

2.2 Differences

The differences between Shani and Hanuman are more than their similarities.

  • 1. Shani is the son of the Sun deity hence is born from the tej (absolute fire) element whereas Hanuman is the son of Vayu hence is born from the vayu (absolute air) element.
  • 2. There is discord between Shani and the sun whereas Hanuman is a devotee of the Sun deity. He has learnt all the skills from the Sun deity who has imparted a hundredth portion of His radiance to Him. Due to the conflict between Shani and the Sun deity the latter helped Hanuman, the enemy of His enemy (Shani). At that time the vayu element and energy had not manifested completely in Hanuman.
  • 3. Shani is slow whereas Hanuman is swift like the eagle.
  • 4. Shani is an evil planet while Hanuman is definitely not so.
  • 5. It is said that one should not sell oil on Saturdays yet it is customary to offer oil to Hanuman on that day.

3. Demigods (yakshas) and Maruti

Brave and miraculous are adjectives used to describe the demigods. In the Valmiki Ramayan Hanuman is referred to as the miraculous one. Mahavir (the courageous one) is Hanuman’s popular Name. This indicates the relationship between Hanuman and the worship of the demigods. Hanuman is included in the fifty-two brave ones (virs) by the name of Kapilumbir. In Maharashtra, India in the month of Phalgun of the Hindu lunar calendar people dressed as warriors (virs) dance in a procession on their way to a Maruti temple.’

4. Ganapati and Maruti

Both of Them have a red complexion (like sindur) and both of Them possess the eight supernatural powers (ashtamahasiddhis).

5. Importance of Maruti as described by saints

Saint Ramdas Swami has said “Hanumant is our deity”. He is a symbol of energy, ingenuity and devotion. Hence Samarth Ramdas began worshipping Him. Eleven idols of Maruti installed by Him are famous. In North India too saint Tulsidas erected a number of temples and strengthened the worship of Maruti. Madhvacharya is considered as an incarnation of Maruti. Various other saints have also placed Maruti as the ideal through Their various compositions.

6. Worship

6.1 Objectives

Since the manifest energy in Maruti (70%) is much more in comparison to other deities (10%), Maruti is worshipped in the context of energy for the following reasons.

  • To overcome distressing energy: To overcome problems due to spirits, black magic, ancestors’ subtle bodies, suffering due to Shani, etc.
  • To control pleasant energy: If there is any obstacle in the pathway of the activated kundalini (spiritual energy) then to overcome it and channelise it appropriately.

6.2 Ritualistic worship (puja)

Popular worship: In Maharashtra on the full moon day (pournima) of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra Hanuman’s birthday (jayanti) is celebrated. In Maharashtra Saturday is considered as an auspicious day for His worship. In the rest of India Saturday and Tuesday both are considered as auspicious days for His worship. On these days people offer Him sindur and oil. In some places coconuts are offered. To make spiritual progress worship of Vamamukhi (facing the left) Maruti or Maruti as the servitor (Dasmaruti) is used. The reasons for offering oil, sindur, leaves of the coral (rui) plant are given in ‘Why are tulsi leaves offered to Vishnu?’.

Influence of Shani and worship of Maruti: The relationship between Shani and Maruti has been explained earlier in point ‘Shani and Maruti’. Hence when there is an influence of Shani, to reduce the resultant/resulting suffering Maruti is worshipped. The ritual should be performed as follows: Take some oil in a cup (vati), put fourteen bengal gram grains (udid) in it and then look at the reflection of one’s face in it. Only then offer it to Maruti. If one is unable to visit the temple due to illness one may worship Maruti in this way. (Information on why bengal gram is used is described in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 20 – Chapter 43 – Possession, Black magic and Manifestation’.)

A real oil vendor will never sell oil on Saturday because the distressing energy for which a person is offering oil to Maruti may start troubling the oil vendor itself. Hence instead of buying oil from oil vendors seated outside the temple one should carry oil for the offering, from home.

Maruti Gayatri

आंजनेयाय विद्महे । वायुपुत्राय धीमहि ।
तन्‍नो वीर: प्रचोदयात्‌ ।।

Meaning: We are quite familiar with Maruti, the son of Anjani. We meditate on that Maruti, the son of Vayu. May that courageous Maruti inspire our intellect benevolently.

7. Maruti in our lives

If Maruti is in our breath then Rama [the embodied soul doing spiritual practice (jivatma) or atmaram] is within us.

|| Shri Marutaye namaha ||


How did Sri Maruti acquire the name Hanuman?



1. History and some other Names

‘There is no mention of Hanuman made anywhere in Vedic literature. Researchers feel that “Hanumant” must be the Sanskrut form of a Tamil word. When translating Dravidian words into Sanskrut there is a practice of mostly prefixing the alphabet “h” to the word, for instance Idumbika (proud woman) becomes Hidimba, so also Anmandi (an meaning monkey and mandi meaning man) when translated to Sanskrut becomes Hanuman. Hanuman is also known as “Anumandan” in South India. This implies that “h” from the Sanskrut word has been omitted here.’ The story behind the birth of Hanuman is given in Valmiki Ramayan (Kishkindhakand, sarga 66) as follows: Anjani gave birth to Hanuman. After birth, thinking that the rising sun was a golden fruit He leapt into the sky for it. That day being a solar eclipse (parvatithi) Rahu (the dragon’s head) had come to engulf the sun. Thinking that Hanuman was another Rahu Sri Indra attacked Him with His thunderbolt. It struck Hanuman’s chin (hanuvati) which got cut and developed a cleft. Thus he acquired the name Hanuman.

In a way Maruti also becomes Rama’s brother because along with the queens of King Dasharath, Anjani who was also performing austerities received the sweet (payas) from the sacrificial fire (yadnya) and it was because of this that Maruti was born. It was the full moon (pournima) day of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra. This is celebrated as the birthday of Hanuman (Hanuman jayanti).

‘Hanumant is also known as Maruti. In the Mahabharat He is referred to as Marutatmaja. The word Maruti has originated from the word Marut. There are many schools of thought regarding Maruti and Rudra.

Maruts are the sons of Rudra and so is Maruti.’

‘There are eleven rudras. Since Hanuman too is a rudra He is included in these eleven. Bhim is one of the Names of the eleven rudras. Hanuman has also been referred to as “Bhimrupi Maharudra”. It is believed that probably Hanumant’s five faced idols have been derived due to the influence of the five-faced idol of Rudrashiva.

Hanuman is considered an incarnation of Sri Rudra. Researchers opine that the relationship between Hanuman and Rudra must have originated in the era of the Purans. In the story from the Ramayan narrating Hanuman’s birth, Vayu (generated from absolute air) is referred to as His father. Later due to His innate qualities He became an incarnation of Sri Rudra. The relationship between Hanuman and Sri Rudra has been clearly illustrated in the Skand Puran, Brahmavaivarta Puran, Narad Puran, Shiva Puran, Bhavishya Puran, Mahabharat Puran, etc.’

2. Mission and special features

2.1 Omnipotent

Among all deities only Maruti cannot be troubled by distressing energies. In Lanka there were lakhs of demons yet they could not do anything to Maruti. There is a tale which says that Maruti leapt to devour the sun as soon as He was born. From this it is obvious that Maruti, son of Vayu [generated from vayu (absolute air)] was one who could win over the sun [tej (absolute fire) element]. Of the pruthvi (absolute earth), apa (absolute water), tej (absolute fire), vayu (absolute air) and akash (absolute ether) elements the vayu element is the most subtle and therefore more powerful than the tej element.

  • Spirits and Maruti: Maruti is considered as the master of spirits. Hence when someone is possessed by a spirit he is taken to Hanuman’s temple or verses (stotras) of Maruti are recited.

2.2 Devotee

Even today the best example to illustrate devotion as a servant (dasyabhakti) is that of Maruti towards Rama. He was ever-ready to sacrifice even His life for the sake of His Sri. Before the service of His Sri even attainment of Liberation (Moksha) was worthless to Him. Hanuman is a combination of a servitor and a soldier!

2.3 Constant vigilance and spiritual practice

As the battle continued Maruti would sit aside and meditate for sometime. However even at that time He would remain alert, with His tail resting on His mace.

2.4 Intelligent

‘None could match Maruti in grammar rules, as an instructor and director, an envoy, a commentator and a compiler.’ (Uttarramacharita, 36.44-46) Maruti is referred to as the eleventh proponent of grammar.

2.5 A great psychologist and an expert politician

In many instances not only Sugriva, the king of monkeys but even Rama has heeded Maruti’s advice. When several lieutenants opposed the move of giving refuge to Bibhishan who had deserted Ravan’s army camp, Maruti was the only one who opined that he should be taken onto their side and Rama accepted His counsel. His intelligence and expertise in psychology is clearly illustrated in several instances like when He generated trust in Sita at Their very first meeting in Lanka, His setting Lanka ablaze to demoralise the enemy camp; His being chosen by Rama to see Bharat’s response to Rama’s arrival, etc.

2.6 Mastery over the senses (jitendriya)

Hanuman’s mental state when in search of Sita in Ravan’s haven illustrates His noble character. At that time He says to Himself “Although I saw Ravan’s wives lying about carefree, I was not at all tempted by lust.” – Valmiki Ramayan, Sundarkand 11.42- 43. Several saints too have ritualistically worshipped this Hanuman who had mastery over His senses and placed Him as an icon before society.

2.7 Expert in literature, philosophy and the art of oratory

2.8 Founder of the science of Music

Maruti is considered a prominent founder of music. His connection with Rudra is probably the reason why He is called so. Rudra is a form of Sri Shiva. Since sound originated from Shiva’s small hourglass shaped drum (Damaru) Shiva is thought to be the founder of music. It is only after realising the musical talent in Maruti that Samarth Ramdas Swami conferred the title ‘Sangitdnyanmahanta’ meaning the great knower of music, upon Him.

2.9 Founder of the Dhvajanath sect

The Nath sect has twelve sub-sects and Hanuman is considered to be the founder of the Dhvajanath sect among them. The followers of this sect are devotees of Hanuman.

2.10 One who responds to the vows of devotees

Even today several men and women circumambulate Hanuman’s idol daily as a vowed observance due to the belief that this deity responds to one’s vows. Some people find it amazing that girls whose marriages do not materialise are advised to worship the celibate Hanuman. Based on psychology some erroneously jump to the conclusion that girls who wish to marry a robust man worship Maruti. However the real reasons for the worship are as follows.

  • 30% of those who remain unmarried are so because of the influence of spirits, black magic and other distressing energies. By worshipping Maruti these obstacles are overcome and they are able to get married. (10% of people remain unmarried due to high expectations about the bride or groom. Once these expectations are reduced they can get married. 50% remain unmarried due to destiny. If the destiny is mild or moderate then by worshipping the family deity this can be overcome. However if the destiny is severe then it is only with a saint’s grace that marriage can occur. The remaining 10% remain unmarried due to other spiritual causes and for that, the treatment depends on the cause.)
  • Among deities of the highest level there are no differences between celibates and married ones. Also since they are born by a mere resolve (not born through the vaginal route) there are no gender differences among them. These differences are created by man. A female deity is but a representation of a deity’s energy.

2.11 Immortal

Each time Sri Rama incarnates He is one and the same but in each incarnation Maruti is different. Although He is one of the seven immortal beings (saptachiranjivas) these beings attain the Final Liberation (Moksha) at the end of the four eras (yugs). They are then replaced by seven very highly evolved beings.

2.12 Principle, ability and manifest energy

  • Principle: Vishnu principle 70%, Shiva principle 10% (Vishnu / Shiva / God = 100% principle). Although Maruti is an incarnation of Sri Shiva due to worship of Sri Rama the Vishnu principle in Him is greater than the Shiva principle.
  • Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 70% and dissolution 20%.
  • Manifest energy: 70%