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How Hanumanji being a monkey learned the Vedas?

Sudras are not supposed to read the vedas...in that case how he got the sacred thread and had access to the vedas? In fact from that perspective, almost all prominent Vanara kings during Satya Yuga seemed to have access to Vedas. Are we supposed to conclude that rules pertaining to Vedas and sacred thread came into being much later? For that matter Ravana too was a brahmin, and also belonged to Rakshas.

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    the rule that sudras are not supposed to read vedas always existed. my question is - who said that Hanuman was a Sudra ? every Jati has 4 varnas - just as rakshasas have brahmana & shudra, vanara could also have brahmana & shudra. Kshatriyas are allowed to learn vedas, so vanara kings, being kshatriyas, are allowed. – ram Mar 2 at 19:16
  • Hanuman is an incarnation of Vayu, and he is an "intelligent" creature. – Ikshvaku Mar 2 at 19:21
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    "Sudras are not supposed to read the vedas" - he was a monkey not a shudra. What are you talking about? – Ikshvaku Mar 2 at 20:23
  • Kindly replace monkey with exact Samakrita word vanara unless you are sure today's monkey is same as treta Yug vanara. – Lokesh Mar 3 at 11:02
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Your question is really interesting. But if you could believe that Hanumanji being a monkey could speak in sanskrit as the Valmiki Ramayana reads, you can easily believe that He was learned in the Vedas.

Dharma-Sastras or Smriti-Sastras are applicable to the human beings only so far as I know. Hanumanji was a'Kim-purusha' as per Srimad-Bhagavataam. And I do not think Hanumanji's character is available in details in any of our famous scriptures.

On the one hand, saints like Tulsidasji, Vitaraag Baba, Sri Ramakrishna and Neev Kariri Baba got His darshan is enough proof to believers for His existence. On the otherhand, reading scriptures being a monkey or even speaking sanskrit for that matter is impossible in this plane. So may be all these happened in a different plane that is accessible to the yogis only.

This is how I reconcile the possible and the impossible.Other learned members will surely be able to enrich you in this regard.

You could refer my answer to this question to know about the status of Hanumanji in hinduism: Is worship of Lord Hanuman associated with Vaishnavism or Shaivism?

In Brahmanda-Puran also, we get Sri-Hanumat-Kabacham which shows Sri Ramachandra as Rishi and Sri Hanuman as Devata Who can give 'Sakala-karya-siddhi' ie success in each endeavour. His dhyana- mantra is also available there.(Reference: Stavananjali, Ramakrishna Math Nagpur, page 222)

Thanks for your good question.

  • Can you please cite the exact source for Hanuman being a kim-purusha? Thanks. – Prakash K Sep 3 at 15:06
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It will be a mistake for you to consider Hanuman as a monkey or as any other being.

We have different classes of beings in Hinduism like - Deva (divine beings), Rishi (Seers, the celestial beings), MAnava (human beings) and Pashu Yonis (animals, birds etc).

And, among these categories, Hanuman belongs to the Deva category.

From, Tantra SArah's Hanumata Kalpa section, we get the following dialogue between Goddess PArvati and Lord Shiva:

DevyuvAcha:

ShaivAni gAnapatyAni shAkAni vaishnavAni cha |
SAdhnAni cha saurAni chAnyAni yAni tAni cha ||
ShrutAni tAni devesha tvad vaktrAni nihsritAni cha |
Kinchitdanyattu devAnAm sAdhanam yadi kathyatAm ||

Goddess says - O Deveswara, I have heard from you the procedures of various Sadhanas -- like those related to Shiva, to Ganapaty, to Shakti, to Vishnu and to Surya. Now, I want to hear the procedures of SAdhanas of various other deities.

Point to note is Goddess is asking for procedures of worship for anya devA-s i.e. for other deities.

To this request, Lord Shiva replies thus:

Srinu devi pravakshyAmi sAvadhAnAva dhArraya |
Hanumat sAdhAnam punyam mahApAtak nAshanam ...

O Goddess, I will reveal the procedure of Hanumatkalpa, please listen carefully. This practice is the giver of great merits and the destroyer of great sins..

So, this shows that Hanuman is a DevatA in Hinduism.

One mantra for him is "Ham pavan nandanAya swAha", which mentions him as the son of the Vedic deity VAyu.

So, the rules like "Sudras can not recite Vedas etc" are not applicable here as we are talking about a god.

  • Even Nandi is a Vrisha, does that mean he is just a bull? He is also a divine being ... I think we need to emphasize here the fact that Hanuman belongs to the Deva category @Partha – Rickross Mar 3 at 8:25
  • "rules like 'Sudras can not recite Vedas etc' are not applicable here as we are talking about a god" - so if a god is born as a shudra or woman, they can chant mantras or read Vedas because they are "god"? – sv. Mar 4 at 18:15
  • god is born of sudra - i'm not sure how is this possible? god is born as a woman - then u are talking about a goddess? @sv. – Rickross Mar 5 at 5:19
  • 'god is born of sudra - i'm not sure how is this possible?' - Vidura is an incarnation of god of Dharma and yet he could not study Vedas/Vedanta. So I think your explanation "Hanuman is god, so rules of shudras don't apply to him" doesn't work when you are talking about Hanuman, the vanara. Hanuman became a god later, he's first a vanara according to Valmiki Ramayana. It's like saying Vivekananda or Ramakrishna is an incarnation of some god (according to their followers) so normal rules for humans don't apply to them. – sv. Mar 6 at 0:37
  • No Vidura was a human being .. he was not a god .. so he was treated as a Shudra.. no problems with that ... Hanuman, on the other hand, is a god (divine being) .. he is worshipped as per scriptures .. It does not matter what VR says, it is not the only scripture, Hanuman is a god, Vivekananda etc and Vidura were definitely human beings.. My argument works because Ketu, who also has the status of a Deva (among Navagrahs), wears the sacred thread, but his caste is Shudra (outcaste as per some) .. so the rules applicable to human Shudras are not applicable to gods @sv. – Rickross Mar 6 at 5:52

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