Devotion: The Heart of Hanuman

Rama and Sita in Hanuman's Heart. 

Hanuman is the monkey god, a vanara, and one of the most popular characters in Hindu mythology, showing up as a main character in Valmiki's classic Ramayana. I love these stories because they are vivid, colorful, powerful and insightful. Like Jesus, Hindu deities are not perfect, but perfectly carry out their aim and purpose. Here's a brief explanation of the story behind this picture of Hanuman showing Rama and Sita deep within his heart: Hanuman has retrieved Rama's love, Sita, from the grips of Lord Ravana, as well as served to facilitate the victory of Rama and his forces over Ravana.
Sita, is graciously handing out valuable gifts to those who have served Rama and brought about this great win. Hanuman is handed a necklace of glittering gemstones (or pearls depending on the storyteller), looks at it, then puts the stones in his mouth, chews them up, then spits them out. He says that he has no need of those jewels because Rama in not in them and all he needs is Rama. 
Those around him begin to taunt him, calling him ungrateful, and questioning why he wouldn't want to wear something of Rama's on his body. 
"Rama is IN my body! My heart is full!” And he tears open his heart to reveal the image of Rama and Sita there, representations of transcendent, divine love, and the union and balance of the masculine and feminine within us all.

Do you know the yoga pose that is named after Hanuman? If so, let me know! Send a photo of you or someone you know through text or tag @jennifer_jennette_ or @livinginleela

Jai Hanuman!