Hanuman : The Monkey God

It’s the weekend, you haven’t planned out anything and all you’re doing is idly sitting in your crib, bored and uninterested. What would you do? I walk πŸ˜› Yeah, you heard me right. I walk. But hey, you don’t just go anyyyy-where. You at least plan out before you go somewhere, right? Nope, I just keep walking! Unplanned and clueless πŸ˜€ I like to walk, and I like to travel to new directions and explore new places. By the way fellas, what do you do? I am sure, you don’t just WALK or graze away somewhere unknown! {like a cow does πŸ˜€ }

So last weekend, I started in the direction of the main road hoping to find an interesting place. Everyday I come through this same road, but due to the hustle-bustle of the daily life, its quite humane to miss out on interesting things along the way. So after walking for about half an hour, I saw this really beautiful and colourful temple. I knew, it was my day to explore this place of beauty. By the way, I had also added this picture in my very first post.

When I reached the gates of the temple, I found some ice-cream wallahs sitting beside a big banyan tree sheltering from the heat of the late afternoon. For all those who don’t know, ‘ice-cream wallahs’ is the Indian derivative of the coloured Popsicle vendors. I was dismayed to hear from them that the temple gates opened only at 1900 hrs in the early evening, and that meant I had to wait for about two and half hours [which obviously I wouldn’t do πŸ˜› ]. I found another small gate, which probably was meant for only staff members of the temple. I found no one to object me, and so I took my chance and sneaked in. Wow! It was beautiful. It was a Hanuman temple. Hanuman is the Indian monkey God. I took a close picture of Lord Hanuman doodled on the wall.

Many of you might be wondering who are those two people in his chest. Well, they aren’t people, they are Gods too – Lord Ram and Sita. Sounds funny, ehh? Gods inside Gods! πŸ˜€ Kinda like the Hollywood movie Inception, huh? πŸ˜€ Yeah man! India is full of these beautiful stories, and I personally believe it has tremendous potential of inspiring Hollywood with many of its legends πŸ˜‰ Jokes apart, let me tell you this wonderful story. But, before I quote the story, I am certain it would be quintessential to also tell you who Ram and Sita are, isn’t it? So look, Ram or Rama is this Indian Superstar, the equivalent to Chuck Norris πŸ˜€Β  … whoa … whoa … whoa … are you kiddin’ me??Β  … C’mon! Are you serious, you think I will be able to explain to you the whole world of the Indian legends?? No way!! Ahh anyway, for the records Ram is the avatar of the Indian God Vishnu {Now stop complaining, I already warned you there are thousands of Indian Gods πŸ˜‰ } and Sita is his wife. Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen …. please welcome another God … Hanuman!! πŸ˜€ And, so Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Ram. Below I exactly quote the story of Hanuman tearing his chest.

Once Sita, the wife of Lord Rama gave Hanuman a necklace of pearls. After a while, the residents of the city observed him breaking the necklace and inspecting each pearl minutely. Intrigued, they asked him the reason. “I am looking for Rama and Sita”, replied Hanuman. Laughing at his apparent naivety the spectators pointed out to him that the royal couple was at the moment seated on the imperial throne. “But Rama and Sita are everywhere, including my heart” wondered aloud the true bhakta. Not understanding the depth of his devotion, they further teased him : “So Sita and Rama live in your heart, can you show them to us ?” Unhesitatingly, Hanuman stood up and with his sharp talons tore upon his chest. There, within his throbbing heart, the astonished audience were taken aback to find enshrined an image of Rama and Sita. Never again did anyone make fun of Hanuman’s devotion.

So that was the brilliant story of devotion of Lord Hanuman. I wonder, what would happen if I did the same. Certainly a heart and the aorta and some veins maybe, I can guarantee that, haha πŸ˜€ So that was the story of Lord Hanuman. In case, you are interested to read more amazing stories about Hanuman, you can click here. And for all those of you very religiously-hearted, you know I was kiddin’ all along. So just in case, you’re offended, I whole-heartedly apologise for that!

And finally, I had my day and after sitting in the beautiful garden beside the temple for some time, I strolled back to home hoping that Lord Hanuman didn’t come and punish me at night! πŸ˜€

The Journey Begins !!

… laces tied … bags packed … and I am ready for the ultimate hop … and as Β Neil Armstrong would say β€œOne small step for a Man, a giant leap for Mankind”.

Namaste πŸ™‚ and a very warm welcome to Hopping Across Cultures. I know that my brothers and sisters in Europe and the Americas would be smiling, as my warm’nessΒ  is doing rather too less a thing to prevent the cold waves from hitting, but you get me. πŸ˜‰ And at the same time, I thank you from the core of my heart for accompanying me in this journey, and I hope you enjoy every moment of it.

This being the first post, let me begin by saying what β€˜Namaste’ really is! You will be shocked that most of my fellow-men use the word everyday, but don’t really know its deeper meaning πŸ˜€ It goes something like this : β€œThe divinity within me salutes the divinity within you”. In other words, it meansΒ  bringing the palms and fingers of your hands together, and bowing to the God in the other. The syllables β€˜Na’ and β€˜Ma’ means β€œNot Me” and β€˜Te’ means β€œThee or God”. So, β€˜Na’ and β€˜Ma’ refers to the ego that steps back in reverence to the God. So β€œNamaste” also reminds us that we should all treat each other with love and respect because that same God is in all.

Here, watch this :

Now, that you have watched the funny video by Pastor Smith, I welcome you once again. Namaste!

Being from India, and the World knowing India as a peaceful country with lots of colours and traditions, my first image is of a beautiful temple from Hyderabad. I will talk about it in a later post. Till then, I wish you the very best. Happy Journey!! πŸ™‚