Large Size Hanuman Carrying Mount Dron
34.0" X 25.0" X 8"
The monkey-god Hanuman, one of the most loved Indian deitiesworshipped alike by followers of widely different sects, carrying hisfavourite mace in his right hand, and Mount Dron, in the left, a formthat this brass statue represents, is Hanuman’s most popular image inpeople’s minds, perhaps because in it reflect two most significantaspects of his being as a divinity. The mount Dron, a Himalayan hillin lower Shivalika range, the seat of life-saving Sanjivini herb,symbolises Hanuman’s power to redeem from any deadly calamity oruntoward situation and his mace assures protection against any enemy,however powerful. The image also portrays his readiness to act andquickness to attend to a crisis. A deep concern, coupled with as deepanger against those who engineered its cause and determination todefeat the crisis, effectively reveals in his eyes and on his face.Different from most of his images : painted, sculpted or cast, thatseek more and more refinement and sophistication in his appearance,this statue of Hanuman, a little rough and uncouth, reveals an ethniclook and seems to revive his image as it was used in the basic cult ofHanuman worship, when the deity and the devotee were in closeraffinity and were informally linked and interacted. In earlysculptures emphasis is on representing him as ‘Kapi’ – monkey, thoughin human role. It seems that after his images began enshrining thealtars of nobility, rich and elite, his images were refined on formallines to suit the taste of this new class of devotees. Obviously, suchimages were more and more humanized, abounded in great sophisticationand were lavishly ornamented and its monkey aspect was only nominal.Unlike such formal image in this statue his appearance is morelifelike and close to his ethnic image, in physiognomy, body-colour,expressions on the face and in discovering each of his body-hair. Ason a monkey’s body, the statue has been conceived with body hair onevery part, arms, legs, chest, belly ... Even his face containedwithin the body-hair’s oval frame is more liker a monkey-face. Thisethnic character reveals in other features also. Most of the ornamentson his body consisting mostly of large beads, heavy and flat,especially the large rough-tough ‘kundalas’ – ear-ornaments, banglesand breast-ornaments, have great ethnic touch. His hair seems to havebeen braided to substitute his headgear. His ensemble consists of aloincloth and a sash, both having the appearance of thickly woventextiles adorned with simple geometrical flat patterns. He has aroundhis waist a rough ‘pataka’ – waistband, tied as would a rustic. Withroughly modeled legs, feet, hands, neck and face even the anatomy ofhis figure reveals the deity’s primitive character. Even the Vaishnava‘tilaka’ mark on the forehead, obviously a formal element, lackssophistication.This form of Hanuman’s image is based on one the most significantevents in the Rama-katha. The war between Rama and Ravana was in itsdecisive phase. In its course Lakshmana, Rama’s younger brother, wasseriously injured by the ‘shakti’ – a divine weapon of Meghanatha, theRavana’s eldest son. Under its effect Lakshmana swooned. An aggrievedRama declared that he too would end his life with Lakshmana. Consolinghim Vibhishana, Ravana’s younger brother who had joined Rama’s camp,revealed that Ravana’s personal physician Susena alone could cureLakshmana of the effect of ‘shakti’ but living in Ravana’s palace zonehe could not be brought. However, Hanuman decided to go and withinminutes brought Susena along with his cot he was sleeping on. Afterexamining Lakshmana Susena told that he could be cured if ‘Sanjivini’,a herb growing on mount Dron, was applied to his wound before sunrisefor in the light of the sun the poison of the weapon would incurablyspread. Taking his Master’s permission Hanuman set out to fetch‘Sanjivini’. He reached mount Dron but when looking for the herb thatradiated like a star, as Susena had specified, Hanuman was bewilderedto see that the whole mountain was glistening like the moon. When notable to identify the herb he uprooted the entire mountain and carriedit to Rama’s camp and the life of Lakshmana was saved.This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.