|Rama Bhata Hanuman getwallpapers.com|
More often we have seen Hanuman portrayed as a strong semi-ape and semi-man holding a gada (mace) which is a sign of bravery and having a picture of Lord Rama on his chest; the latter being his sign of devotion to Lord Rama.
His devotion to Lord Rama was so deep and unalloyed that the lord blessed him with immortality (Chiranjeevi). As long as the worship of Rama continues, so long Hanuman will live with the humanity and bless the people, according to many Hindu seers. Worship of Rama will be incomplete without worship of Hanuman. There is hardly any Rama temple in India which does not have an idol - metal or stone image of Sri Hanuman. That he is the epitome of true devotion and dedication to God Rama is a universal truth and hence his devotees go to his shrine to overcome impediments in their lives.
Absence of archaeological evidences as to the worship of Hanuman in the past centuries is a subject of wide debate and according to one American Indologist Philip Lutgendorf who did intense research on Hanuman, devotional and theological significance gained currency about 1,000 years after the compilation of the Ramayana in the 2nd millennium CE following the advent of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent. In its wake, the Bhakti movement headed by saints like Samarth Ramdas recognized Hanuman as a symbol of courage and resistance to religious persecution by foreign invaders and one can see his idols - stone or otherwise in many temples dedicated to God Vishnu.
In the last century or so there occur a number of shrines exclusively dedicated to God Hanuman. Devout Hindus across India look upon Hanuman as a source of strength and mental prowess, an ideal symbol of courage, dedication, assertiveness and true devotion to his personal guide Lord Rama. In some later literature we see him as a patron god of martial arts, wisdom and loyal to a cause, besides self control. He symbolizes the human excellencies of inner self-control and determination. Hence Hanuman combines two of the most important traits in the Hindu bhakti-shakti worship traditions.
God Hanuman's name has different interpretations and its origin is not clear. One version says that he has a prominent jaw (hanu: jaw). When he was a kid, he mistook the Sun for an orange and tried to grab it, hence he got the dented jaw. The other interpretation means destroyer of pride; Han means destroyed or killed; mana means pride. The implication here is ''one whose pride is destroyed''. His emotional attachment to God Rama brings out his humility. The third version, as found in Jain religious texts, is that Hanuman spent most of his childhood on an island called Hanuruha.