|New Moon (Amāvāsyā)|
|Waxing Crescent – Light Fortnight|
|First Quarter (Aṣṭamī) – Light Fortnight|
|Waxing Gibbous – Light Fortnight|
|Full Moon (Pūrṇimā) = Mark of Hare (Śaśāńka)|
|Disseminating Moon – Dark Fortnight|
|Last Quarter (Aṣṭamī) – Dark Fortnight|
|Balsamic Moon – Dark Fortnight|
|New Moon (Amāvāsyā)|
The proliferation of pop culture iconography is all about promoting a favourable, recognizable brand to capture the mainstream audience of cultural and societal sensibilities.
The celebration of Hanumān in pop culture is an example of iconography of the übermensch (“overman”). In contrast to the concept of an Absolute Reality, the übermensch represents the concept of a personal demigod or hero, who embodies an ascetic code of honour and delivers local justice. The iconography of the übermensch offers a universal appeal and a demonstrable capacity for adoption by foreign cultures across national boundaries.
My article briefly remarks on the socio-politic connected to the dissemination of metanarratives about the pop culture iconography.
Jean-François Lyotard (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, 1979) articulated metanarratives as false appeals to universal, rational, scientific criteria.
- Spiritual dialectics;
- Truth and justice;
- Economic rationalism or liberalism.
These are evident in the following examples.
Sun Wukong (derivative of Hanumān)
Changes in Chinese culture affected the narratives about the fictional character, Sun Wukong.
“Sun” implies the monkey origin, and “Wukong” means aware of emptiness.
Mao Zedong, 1893–1976, founder of the People’s Republic of China, used Sun Wukong as a role model, citing “his fearlessness in thinking, doing work, striving for the objective and extricating China from poverty”.
The sovereign Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574) of the Florentine Republic was fixated on Herculean iconography to shape the ducal political imagery.
The marriage of Francesco I to Johanna of Austria led to several impressive sculptures in Austria.
The Man of Steel
Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster drew inspiration from heroes such as Samson, Hercules and Moses to create the comic book incarnation of the übermensch in 1933, buoyed by the socio-politic of the vision for space exploration, as well as the rise to power of the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler. During World War II, the iconography of the übermensch was used as a tool of propaganda to present the metanarratives of truth, justice and liberty.
Fans can choose, if they wish, to adorn themselves with the trademarked symbol that represents those ideals.
You do not have far to look for iconography of Hanumān, whose bare footprints leave deep traces across wide stretches of cultures, bridging them as one unity. This is a dedication to the supernatural vānara and folk hero named Hanumān, son of Āñjana and the wind.
Āñjaneyāya vidhmahe (May we realise the son of Āñjana)
Vāyu-putrāya dhīmahi (Let us meditate on the son of the wind)
Tanno hanumat pračodayāt (Through that, may Hanumān illumine us)
Hanumān wields a mace (gada) in an āsana of devotional servitude (dasya-rasa) to Lord Rama and the kingdom of Ayodhyā.
Hanumān (a.k.a. the “monkey”) represents the discipline of taming the mind (čitta-vritti).
Have you seen the venerated hirsute post-war veteran? Please report sightings of Śrī Hanumān to the Yoga community. You may earn +1,000 karma points.
Namaste to this unidentified distant relative:
The Hanumān Festival is celebrated on April 25, 2013.
On April 25, 2015 the lunar eclipse (čandra grahan) occurs in the bright half of the čaitra month on full moon day (pūrṇimā), in the svati constellation (Libra).
The following series of Hanumān postures may be used as part of a full practice with twists and lateral bends to bring vitality to the back, knees, piriformis, hamstrings and hips. Collectively, I label my system of progressions “viniyoga-hanumān vyāyam”, which forms part of the foundation of my own regular personal practice.
Use this preparatory pose to stabilize the core (Pilates method). Find the neutral spine by tucking in the pelvis and sucking in the abdomen.
Half Frog Pose (Ardha bhekāsana)
Stretches the piriformis. A safer alternative to the Hero Pose.
Reclining Hero Pose (Supta virāsana)
Stretches the piriformis from a supine position. Cushions assist relaxation.
Hero Pose (Virāsana)
Stretches the piriformis. Kneeling is a pose of noble servitude, and only one fighter in Hindu mythology bears this association: Hanumān.
Lizard Pose Variation A (Utthan priśthāsana)
Press hands on the mat, lift the back heel but keep the back leg straight. Hold. Use the supports to allow the back hamstring to stretch.
Crescent Moon Lunge (Añjeyarāsana)
Rest your back knee on the mat (or cushion). Square the hips towards the front of the mat. Lean forward slightly to open the hips. Inhale, engage the core and bend backwards.
Lizard Pose Variation B (Utthan priśthāsana)
Bring both of your elbows to rest on the mat. Hold. Lift the back knee off the mat and straighten the back leg. Use this preparatory pose to loosen the hips before taking kauṇḍinyāsana and/or ekapada bakāsana.
Keep the foot slightly flexed and gently straighten the leg like a pistol. This step (sthiti) follows a crescent moon lunge to loosen the hamstring, preparing for seated splits. Use tracking to test the stability of the patellofemoral joint.
Rest your back knee on the mat (or cushion). Keeping that knee on the mat, raise the foot. Reach the opposite hand behind and hold onto your raised foot.
Lizard Pose Variation C (Godha-pīṭham)
Stretches the iliotibial band and the piriformis, and opens the hips. Bend your front knee and rest the leg on its side. Square the hips towards the front of the mat, and extend the back leg as far back as possible. Extend your back and walk your hands forward. The pose that brings the crown of the head to the back of the foot is called ekapada rajakāpotāsana.
Seated Splits (Hanumānāsana)
Mark of Hare Pose (Śaśankāsana)
The moon signifies healing and rejuvenation. On April 25, 2015 the lunar eclipse (čandra grahan) occurs in the bright half of the čaitra month on full moon day (pūrṇimā), in the svati constellation (Libra).
The Mark of Hare signifies the auspicious full moon. The birthday of Hanumān falls on the full moon at the March Equinox. Thus, the Mark of Hare Pose (Śaśankāsana) is often called Baby Pose (Bālāsana) or Child Pose.
Flying Knee Strike
The flying knee strike (hanuman thayam) in Muay Thai is performed by rotating the body so that the side of the knee strikes the opponent.
Gāyatrī is the name of a poetical meter (çhanda) that contains three lines of eight syllables each.
bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ: alluding to the first three of seven vyahritis respectively representing physical plane (bhūr loka), astral plane (bhuvaḥ loka), and celestial plane (svaḥ loka), which may be reached in meditation by a yogi
auṃ: pranava (The eternal vibration that binds the physical plane, astral plane, and celestial plane)
tat savitur vareṇyaṁ: that, the One God (tat), solar (savitā), venerable (vareṇyaṁ)
bhargo devasya dhīmahi: Let us meditate (dhīmahi) upon the effulgence (bhargo) of the deity (deva)
dhiyo yo naḥ pračodayāt: may our wisdom (dhiyaḥ), who (yaḥ), of us (naḥ), be inspired (pračodayāt)
I received these in the post today…
Theme Weaver by Michelle Berman Marchildon is a new book about weaving effective, likable narratives, in a format that is easy to use. Recommended.
21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics & Practice edited by Carol Horton and Roseanne Harvey is a compilation of essays by various authors about the contemporary yoga subculture and the narcissistic fixation with the Body Beautiful. Essential reading for those interested in the implanted transmogrification of Yoga in modern society and culture.
Mahā-lakṣmī ča vidhmahe (May we realise Lakṣmī)
Viṣṇu-patni ča dhīmahi (Let us meditate on that spouse of Viṣṇu)
Tanno lakṣmī pračodayāt (Through that, may Lakṣmī illumine us)
Vedāṅga disciplines comprise of phonetics, rituals, grammar, etymology, prosody and astronomy. The study of Vedic prosody is called çhandaḥ (छन्दः).
The metrical unit of verse is the foot or pāda (पद).
- Gāyatrī: 3 padas of 8 syllables containing 24 syllables in each stanza
- Virāj: 4 padas of 10 syllables
- Kākubh: 3 padas (8+12+8) containing 28 syllables in each stanza
- Uṣṇiḥ: 3 padas (8+8+12) containing 28 syllables in each stanza
- Anuṣṭubh: 4 padas of 8 syllables containing 32 syllables in each stanza
- Bṛhatī: 4 padas (8+8+12+8) containing 36 syllables in each stanza
- Sato-bṛhatī: 4 padas (12+8+12+8)
- Upáriṣṭād-bṛhatī: 4 padas (8+8+8+12) containing 36 syllables in each stanza
- Pańkti: 4 padas (sometimes 5 padas) containing 40 syllables in each stanza
- Triṣṭubh: 4 padas of 11 syllables containing 44 syllabes in each stanza
- Jagatī: 4 padas of 12 syllables containing 48 syllables in each stanza
- Atyaṣṭi: 7 padas (12+12+8+8+8+12+8) containing 68 syllables in each stanza