Hanuman is the monkey commander of the primate army. He appears in the form of a monkey with a red face, snowy fur, and stands erect like a human. For his service to Rama, Hanuman is upheld as a model for all human devotion.

While still a baby, Hanuman, the child of a nymph by the wind god, tried to fly up and grab the sun, which he mistook for a fruit. This resulted in Hanuman clashing with Rahu, a Vedic planet, only to be thrashed by the monkey and went to take the sun in his mouth.

Rahu approached Indra, the king of the gods, and complained that a monkey child stopped him from taking on Sun, preventing the scheduled eclipse. Enraged, Indra struck Hanuman with a thunderbolt on the jaw, known as the hanu, thus inspiring the name. When Hanuman continued to misbehave, powerful sages cursed him to forget his magic powers, such as the ability to fly or to become infinitely large, until he was reminded of them.

Hanuman led the monkeys to help Rama, an avatar, or incarnation, of the god Vishnu, recover Rama’s wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana, king of Lanka. Having been reminded of his powers by Jambavan, the king of the bears, Hanuman crossed the strait between India and Lanka in one leap, despite the efforts of watery demonesses to stop him by swallowing him or his shadow.

He was discovered in Lanka, and his tail was set on fire, but he used that fire to burn down Lanka. Hanuman also flew to the Himalayas and returned with a mountain full of medicinal herbs to restore the wounded in Rama’s army.

It is said that Hanuman serves as an inspiration for the Monkey King, Sun Wukong. However, this later turned into spectulation where it is believed that both Hanuman and Sun Wukong are connected somehow, and going beyond inspiration itself. This spectulation has gone to the point where both Hanuman and Sun Wukong could possibly even be related to one another, although there is no definite proof to confirm this. Although, on one side of the spectrum, Hanuman and Sun Wukong could even be the same entity.

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