Book Review: Rediscovering Hanuman, the evergreen hero


By M.R. Narayan Swamy

Title: The Chronicles of Hanuman; Author: Shubha Vilas; Publisher: Om Books International; Pages: 278; Price: Rs 350

While the West keeps searching for new heroes every few years, the East is happy with the plethora of already existing ones. And this book is a story of the most dynamic among them – – “the evergreen, original superhero Hanuman”.

Hanuman’s saga is, of course, all too well known. Hanuman tales have entertained and educated civilisations for centuries. But author Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, feels there has been no attempt to present the Hanuman stories in a contemporary way, without deviating from the original traditional narrative.

“The Chronicles of Hanuman” is a sincere attempt to bring together the many tales of Hanuman that have existed in Indian mythology and folklore for thousands of years. But it also carries some stories most people would have probably never heard of.

Starting from his divine birth to his most heroic acts, the engrossing book is packed with any number of short Hanuman stories from the Vedic times. Each story ends with what one can learn from Hanuman’s exploits in Lord Rama’s war against Ravana.

The book also has a rich section on prominent Hanuman temples spread across the country. As devotees know, Rama may be the hero of Ramayana but there probably are more Hanuman temples than Rama’s. The reason is not difficult to seek.

Hanuman was a hero who combined strength with sweetness, humour with gravity, sharp intellect with childlike innocence, sensitivity with power, traditional wisdom with innovative spirit, and fierce determination with gentle humility. Indeed, as the author underlines, Hanuman is one’s original hero — and will remain so. (IANS)


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