Sun Wukong [Common Meter]

The Monkey King with magic staff
outmatched monsters and gods,
defying the Jade Emperor's
edicts against all odds.

He erased himself from out of 
The Book of Life and Death,
and lived through the Crucible --
nearly holding his breath.

Finally, the gods called Buddha,
though some had their qualms,
but the one thing Monkey couldn't do
was leap from Buddha's palm.

DAILY PHOTO: Hanuman

Taken November 2, 2013 at Hampi.

Taken November 2, 2013 at Hampi.

Among the many devotees of this Hindu deity are wrestlers, who admire the monkey-god for his reputed strength. In Rama’s war against Ravana, he was said to have picked up a mountain and carried it a great distance, which is pretty strong.

He’s not whimsical and mischievous like Sun Wukong, the Taoist monkey-king (who also has god-like powers), but some believe that Sun Wukong’s myth was partially influenced by Hanuman’s myth. (Of course, the more irreverent and anti-authoritarian Taoists had a different take than the caste-conscious Hindus. (Whimsicality and mischievousness are considered more virtuous among the former than the latter.)

This Hanuman temple is a small, stone-block affair abutting a giant boulder on the trail from Hampi Bazaar to Achyutaraya temple. As you can see, it still has local devotees.