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About This Legend

The Hindu tradition has a vast collection of legends derived from the folklore of the various regions of India. While many of these stories are incorporated into the classical literature of Hinduism, a rich oral tradition persists so that we find many versions of these tales highlighted according to sectarian emphasis.

Hanuman – son of vayu the wind- is a favourite amongst Hindus, young and old, and like Ganesha, his popularity transcends sectarian bounds. In Hindu imagery, the money signifies the restless human mind, which when disciplined is capable of moving mountains. Hanuman symbolizes this strength of mind and is the epitome of humility, courage, and unwavering faith and devotion to Lord Rama – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Hanuman is also the patron deity of yoga. This is only appropriate for he is the son of Vayu, who in another form is prana – a central concept in yoga. Prana not only sustains the body but also sways the mind. Through breath control, yogis can discipline a restless mind and train it to focus.

The adventures of Hanuman form a prominent part of the epic Ramayana, where he aided Lord Rama in rescuing Princess Sita from the rakshasa Ravana. Also popular in Indonesia, he is believed by some scholars to be a source for the Chinese character Sun Wukong.

According to some legends, Hanuman is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The goddess Parvati cursed Hanuman’s mother, the apsara Anjana, to live amongst the vanaras. Lord Shiva granted that the curse would be nullifie if she gave birth to his incarnation. He then gave Vayu a fruit containing his essence. Vayu gave the fruit to Anjana, who ate it and became with child. This Hanuman was born.

The mythologies of all cultures contain a fair share of bloodshed and sexual innuendo. This is because they were basically intended for grown-ups, and children were told watered down versions. Following this tradition, I have also included the yogic teachings of non-violence, honour, and truth. I hope these ideas will leave a lasting impression on children who read this book.

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