Hanuman (with large jaws) is the Hindu monkey god who attends Rama, one of the incarnations of Vishnu, mentioned in Vedic and Puranic texts. He personifies the ideal and faithful servant. Son of Pavana, god of the winds, he is known for his speed and agility for which young men and athletes often worship him. Depicted as a monkey having a long tail, he leads a mythical forest of monkeys. His major role in Ramayana is to search for and rescue the goddess Sati who was captured by the demon Ravana. He may appear trampling on the goddess of Lankra (Sri Lanka). He is worshipped particularly in southeastern India, and especially in villages. His color is red, and attributes are bow, club, mane, rock, and staff. He may appear five-headed. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 94