Hanuman's Tale: The Messages of a Divine Monkey

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Hanuman, the Hindu monkey-god, is best known in the west for his role in the epic Ramayana, in which, as the devoted servant of Rama, the tale's hero, he leads a ferocious monkey army to help defeat the evil Ravana and rescue Rama's wife Sita. Philip Lutgendorf examines Hindu popular literature, art, and ritual, and shows that Hanuman is perhaps the most beloved deity in the Hindu pantheon. Drawing on an enormous treasure trove of previously untapped sources that he has gathered through years of fieldwork, as well as on interviews with devotees, he traces the history of Hanuman's character, teases out the many variations on the story, and examines the sources of his enormous appeal.