Chapter

Hanumān's Adventures Underground

Mandakranta Bose

in The Ramayana Revisited

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195168327
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835362 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168321.003.0007
 Hanumān's Adventures Underground

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This chapter focuses on Hanumān and his influence on the devotees of Rāma in South and Southeast Asia and in the diaspora. The role of the Rāmāyanaa in mirroring and reinforcing dominant ethical ideals is examined, tracing the idealization of Hanumān in South and Southeast Asian societies, in textual as well as performance formats such as wrestling. It is argued that although Hanumān is idolized as the perfect devotee in view of his celibacy, the misogyny inherent in male celibacy is recognized in these folk retellings. It is shown how this recognition is countered in Southeast Asian folklore by placing Hanumān into a household in which the human and the simian norms meet, and Hanumān is endowed with a piscine female as a wife, and a son.

Keywords: Hanumān; gender roles; identities; Rāmāyana

Chapter.  7082 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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