Definition - What does Hanuman mean?

Hanuman is the Hindu monkey god and commander of a monkey army. He is known for his power, courage and selfless service. Also called Bajrangbali or Mahavira, this deity is a deeply devoted follower of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu.

Hanuman's name originates from the Sanskrit hanu, meaning “jaw,” and man, meaning “prominent” or “disfigured.” Legend claims he received his name in childhood when Indra, the king of the gods, struck him in the jaw for attempting to leap up and grab the sun.

Hanuman also lends his name to an advanced seated yoga asana called hanumanasana.

Yogapedia explains Hanuman

In the epic poem, "Ramayana," Hanuman is a central figure who fights in Rama's war against Ravana, the demon king, who had abducted Rama's wife, Sita. Hanuman is also mentioned in texts such as the "Mahabharata" and the "Puranas." In some texts, he is an incarnation of the god, Shiva.

In Hindu temples, he is worshipped as Bhaktha ("beloved") Hanuman and Veera ("courageous") Hanuman. His worshippers are believed to be blessed with wisdom, courage and enlightenment.

Hanumanasana is an asana which represents the leap Hanuman made from the southern tip of India, as described in "Ramayana." The pose requires flexibility in the hips, groin and legs: particularly the hamstrings and quadriceps. In the full expression of the pose, the legs are in a front split position, with one leg extended in front of the torso and the other behind the torso. The hands and arms may be placed in prayer position or stretched to the sky.

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