Walking to the Pancha Karma house one morning early last month, the winds were
blowing wildly as a sudden, unexpected storm descended upon Albuquerque, New
Mexico. Dry leaves were slapping my face and branches and twigs were crashing
against the doors and walls of the neighboring homes. Already in a reflective state from
the Ayurvedic treatments I’d been receiving, my mind went to the Son of the Wind God,
that great monkey, Hanuman….

A very wise and respected elder once told me “Hanuman is the life force, the vital
energy or Prana. He lives six inches in front of our noses and moves in and out of our
bodies with our breath.” Another great scholar and Tantrika wrote that Hanuman is the
heart chakra of Ram, the manifestation of God’s love. Other explanatory texts say that
Hanuman represents devotion in action, pure service to God.

These esoteric explanations of the divine are fascinating and thought provoking; well
worth exploring and studying. But, for me, the approach is much simpler; perhaps I’m
just a little bit simple minded, or should I say simple-hearted. To me, Hanuman is my
protector and my savior. This big furry beautiful Monkey God is the one who has been
taking care of me life after life, birth after birth. He is none other than my Guru, Baba
Neem Karoli. And as we sing in the ‘Hanuman Chaleesa,’ He stands at the doorway to
Ram and none can enter without His grace. How can we even dream of becoming
‘Bhaktas’ without the blessings of the greatest devotee of all! And how abundant is His
grace, we need only think of Him and He is here!

Well, this sounds kinda crazy, doesn’t it? But think for just a minute. Why not a divine
monkey who can fly, change forms, become a giant and then a teensy, tiny simian
beast? Why wouldn’t the Lord of Destruction, Shiva Mahadeva, manifest as a furry
creature to serve His eternal Lord, Ram? Why set a limit on what we can believe?
Think of the thousands of things in our life that we take for granted: iPhones, televisions,
airplanes, so many amazing inventions….. The normal person of five hundred years ago
would have been locked up for even imagining these things! And just recently, NASA
space photography revealed the existence of the remnants of an ancient stone bridge
connecting the southern tip of India with Sri Lanka, the very same bridge that was built
yugas ago by Hanuman and the monkey army in order to cross the ocean, defeat
Ravana, and rescue Mother Sita!

Ok, I don’t always find myself in a total heart-space of belief and innocence. I can be as
jaded and cynical as the next guy. But I do remind myself and my friends to try and keep
the door of belief open just a tiny crack, to hold on to an iota of possibility, just a slight
molecule of “well, maybe, just maybe.” My experience has shown me that one percent
of belief is vastly stronger than ninety-nine percent of close-minded disbelief; that the
smallest bit of ‘maybe’ is enough to propel us, like children, into the divine mystery.
So, as I was saying, “Hanuman, please take care of me today and forever, and please
take care of my loved ones and please bless me with devotion, faith, love and the desire
to serve.”

Happy holidays everyone!

Lots of love,