Hanuman Bearing the Mountaintop with Medicinal Herbs
Ink and opaque watercolor on cloth
This devotional image of Hanuman celebrates his most famous heroic feat—carrying the Mount Sanjeevini to Rama and Lakshmana, who, gravely wounded in combat, were in desperate need of the medicinal herbs that grow on its upper slopes. Unsure which plants to gather, Hanuman breaks off the entire peak and carries it through the sky back to Rama. On his shoulder is a diminutive image of his Lord. Hanuman's mighty tail carries his army, which encircles the monkey general and Rama, emblematic of the strategic importance of Hanuman's alliance to Rama's victory against Ravana on Lanka. This painting is a reminder of the significant cult devoted to Hanuman that emerged in later periods; his supernatural strength, military prowess, and above all loyalty were qualities much admired, especially by the Rajputs.
Text and image credit:
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art