A Hanuman Story for Ram Dass 1.13.22
A HANUMAN STORY FOR RAM DASS
Several years ago I met Ram Dass at a small gathering in the San Francisco area and told him this story. He said he had never heard it before and asked me to send it to him. This book is the fulfillment of that promise.
The ePUB book includes the printed and illustrated version of that story as well as other tales that embroider and enrich the original. For illustrations, I drew from the vast amount of art that surrounds the Ramayana: Indian Miniature Paintings including Mughal, Indian Devotional Art, and old Poster Art from India.
'A Hanuman Story for Ram Dass' rises out of the Ramayana, one of the two great spiritual epics of India; the other being the Mahabharata. While the story of the Ramayana speaks of Lord Rama, the abduction of his wife Sita by the demon king Ravana and the great adventure and battles of winning her back; this particular tale tells of Rama's gift to Hanuman of a ring. After examining the gift of a ring and finding it to be without the name of Rama inscribed upon it, Hanuman tosses it off the Pushpaka chariot where it falls into the ocean below. Rama asks Hanuman to bring it back and the chariot is halted in the air and Hanuman dives into the ocean. What Hanuman discovers beneath the ocean is the mind-transcending Mystery of reincarnation and life.
Although the Ramayana is literally the Story of Lord Rama, what many people remember most about it is the character of Hanuman. In the various versions of the Ramayana, from North to South India, from Valmiki to Tulsidas, stories and images of Hanuman abound. Hanuman embodies the ideal of how to relate to God; he is the greatest of all the devotees of Rama. And, he is also a Monkey. We find in him the extremes of a wild, simple, exceptionally strong, jungle animal and a great Bhakti, or lover of God. These disparate qualities have made Hanuman attractive to children and adults for thousands of years, and these qualities are wonderfully dramatized in this story.
Taken from the oral tradition of India, as far as I know, this story has not been written down before and is but a small part of Hanuman's adventures in the Ramayana. It presents the nature of an individual’s life in the wider context of reincarnation and is a wonderful story for children as well as adults.
The book is written in such a way that it explores individuals, philosophies, and terms of the Indian tradition of Religion and spirituality along with the Ramayana, Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba.
The ePub is 400 pages in length and full of pictures from the Indian tradition of art surrounding the Ramayana. It has picture galleries, audio stories, including the Hanuman Chalisa and other kirtans. There are (2) Video/Books, as well as links to many other online articles and videos.
The large Glossary offers stories about the main story, where just like the Puranas, the main tale is enhanced using other stories and this Glossary is full of stories. Hundreds of words are underlined and hyperlinked; by clicking on any one of them you will be taken to a wider world of meaning. Click in the center of many pictures and you will be taken to a story about that picture. In the back of the book is a "Picture Index" of all the pictures in the book; just touch any picture you will be taken to the page of the story where that picture resides.
But you can forget all of the above and just enjoy the story; consider it simply a gift given back to the giver.
- Peter Malakoff