- 1. Science behind the idol
- 2. Shani (Saturn) and Maruti
- 3 Demigods (yakshas) and Maruti
- 4 Ganapati and Maruti
- 5 Importance of Maruti as described by saints
- 6. Worship
- 7. Maruti in our lives
‘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.’
Look at the two figures given below and then read further.
|Figure A||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).
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.
Maruti with five faces (Panchmukhi Maruti):
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.
South in context to the right side: This Maruti has His face turned towards the right.
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. As mentioned in Maruti Stotra, 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.
‘Although there is close association between Shani and Hanuman prevailing in our society its explanation is equally complicated and incomprehensible.
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.
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 said to be of evil nature 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.
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.’
Both of Them have a red complexion (like sindur) and both of them possess the eight supernatural powers (ashtamahasiddhis).
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.
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. as in various Maruti Stotras.
To control kundalini.
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.
Influence of Shani and worship of Maruti: The relationship between Shani and Maruti has been explained earlier in point ‘Shani and Maruti’. Traditionally, the ritual is performed as follows: Some oil in a cup (vati) is taken and fourteen bengal gram grains (udid) are put in it and then one looks at the reflection of own face in it and then offered to Maruti. If one is unable to visit the temple due to illness one may worship Maruti in this way.
Many oil vendors do not sell oil on Saturday. Hence instead of buying oil from oil vendors seated outside the temple one may carry oil for the offering, from home.
If Maruti is in our breath then Rama [the embodied soul doing spiritual practice (jivatma) or atmaram] is within us.