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How hanuman flew at the speed of 660 km per hr
Posted By Sarin on Mar 17, 2013     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
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In Hinduism, Some of the deities had the super natural power of flying in air. Of all of them, hanuman is said to be the fastest and valiant one. He not only knew the art of flying but also the art of increasing or decreasing his body size. You may find this topic to be very disgusting since I am talking about man flying in air or to be very precise, monkey flying, which is scientifically not possible. What if I say “flying in the air is certainly possible through yoga and meditation”? Few decades ago, even healing diseases through yoga and meditation was considered as unscientific but today, even scientists do yoga and consider it as the best way of living life. I will first narrate the story of hanuman flight and then I will explain how humans can fly in air
  
What the ancient sages says?
Various ancient scholars like Maheshwara Teertha, Govindaraja, Nagoji Bhatta and Madhava Yogendra painstakingly went through all the verses of Ramayana, especially the events related to war of lanka and did meticulous calculation of lunar calendar to derive the speed of lord hanuman. Some of the events used for this calculation were his flight to the Himalayas to bring Sanjeevani Booti, his flight from Rameshwaram to kingdom of lanka, his flight from earth to sun etc.

Hanuman flying with Sanjeevani boti
Some of the scholars came to the magical figure of 660km/hr which is 30 % higher than the highest speed of wind ever recorded. 

Story of lord Hanuman
Since he was the son of Vayu(Deity of wind), he had the power of flying since his birth. Now the following story will explain how he got the speed faster than speed of wind.
Hanuman ate sun and thrashed Rahu
Once upon a time in his childhood days, when Maruti(Hanuman childhood name) looked out of the window, he saw glowing yellow mango surrounded by leaves of mango tree. In reality, what he thought as mango was the sun piercing through the gaps left by leaves of mango tree. He immediately got the desire of eating this mango and flew in the air toward the glowing mango. Very soon, he was out of the mango tree, still flying in the sky toward the glowing sun and then gradually, gulped sun in his mouth.  

Hanuman flying toward sun  

By the time hanuman reached sun, it was the time for solar eclipse.  Poor Rahu(An invisible Demon), was expecting to finish off his fast by swallowing the sun for some time. Seeing the sun inside hanuman mouth, he became extremely furious and had a valiant fight with hanuman. Hanuman, blessed with power and strength, thrashed Rahu very hard.  
Indra Strike Hanuman and made him unconscious
Rahu ran to Indra (Lord of heaven) crying “Help!! Help!!” He said to Indra, “It is by your command that I satisfy my hunger by swallowing the sun, but I find that you have gifted the sun to another Rahu(Hanuman) who has also come to swallow the sun.”
Amazed by rahu explanation, wasting no time, he sat on his elephant airavat and went toward kingdom of sun. No wonder Rahu reached there before Indra. Seeing Rahu, hanuman decided him to teach a lesson and tried to eat him like another fruit.
Terrified by hanuman action, Rahu began to cry aloud “Help!! Help!!”. “Don't be afraid, I will kill this child at once,” said Indra.
 
Hanuman eating sun and thrashing demon Rahu

Turning his head toward Indra, hanuman noticed extremely beautiful white head of ‘Airavata’.  As soon as he went toward Airavata to catch him, Indra fired his powerful weapon vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman. Strike of Vajra is so powerful that anyone will die immediately but hanuman, being an avatar of lord Shiva, didn’t die but became unconscious and fell down on earth. Hanuman felled on a rock and broke his Hanu(Jaw), hence the name ‘hanuman’.  
Father Vayu Created havoc and destruction
Upset over Indra attack on innocent child, his father Vayu (the deity of wind) went into seclusion mode withdrawing all the air of the universe which made all the living beings asphyxiate. All the deities approached Lord Brahma and pleaded him to ask Indra to withdraw the effect of his weapon ‘Vajra’. Brahma did as they pleaded and asked Indra to withdraw the effect immediately. Indra cannot deny the order of Brahma and he withdrew the effect of his weapon ‘Vajra’. Hanuman became conscious again but his father Vayu was not happy since his child suffered pain and broke his jaw. All the deities then blessed hanuman with powerful powers to appease deity Vayu.
  
Hanuman was blessed with many boons
Brahma caressed hanuman and cured all his pain. Bahma then requested vayu to release air back to the atmosphere. Pleased by Brahma, Vayu relieved the world of its sufferings. Brahma then ordered all the deities to bless this little child. Brahma started by giving hanuman the boon of ‘not getting killed by any weapon in war’.  Brahma also gave the power of removing fear in friends, influencing fear in enemies, and ability to vary his form and structure as per his will. Lord Shiva gifted him scriptural wisdom, prolonged life and power of flying across the ocean. Indra blessed baby hanuman body to become stronger than his powerful weapon Vajra so that Vajra no longer affects his body. Deity Varuna(Water) blessed Hanuman of remaining protected from water. Deity Agni (Fire) blessed hanuman of immunity against fire. Deity Yama, God of Death blessed him of immunity against his weapon  danda. Diety Kubera (God of wealth) blessed hanuman to remain happy and contented. Surya gifted hanuman with two yogic siddhis "laghima" and "garima" because of which he would change his body to smallest or biggest form. Vishwakarma celestial architect, blessed Hanuman to be protected from all materialistic objects or weapons.Kamdev , Goddess of love or passion, blessed him to be free of lust and sexual desires.  
 
All deities giving boon to baby hanuman 

This is the reason, why hanuman was never attracted to woman and lived like a Brahmachari (Celibate) all his life. The last boon gifted to hanuman, which is the topic of this article, was by his father Vayu, deity of wind. He blessed hanuman to travel faster than air.  

Can Humans Fly?
Certainly we can. I can’t prove but I can explain how it is possible. First let us see what makes bird fly?
  
  1)    Light feathers, no body hair and skin resulting in less body weight.
2)    No muscles in wings  
3)    No muscles in wings but heavy muscles across chest which generates the power of flapping wings at a high speed.
4)    Higher heart beat rate
5)    Less body Weight
    
Now let us see why it is very difficult or almost impossible for humans to fly
  1)    Heavy Arms instead of lighter wings
2)    Inability of flapping arms at a speed equivalent to flapping wings of birds
3)    Heavy Muscles in arms instead of chest
4)    Heartbeat rate of 72 per minute very less compared to bird heartbeat rate of 420 times per minute which hampers our body capability to produce sufficient energy to make us fly.
    
How to fly in air?
To fly in air, energy from your body driving up must be greater than gravitational force (Your body mass*9.81).
If your mass is 50 kg then you must generate a thrust greater than 50*9.81=490. This is what happens when you jump in the air. When you push your feet onto the ground, Earth provides an equal and opposite reaction, forcing the body upward. Secondly, to sustain flight, you need to push air at the speed greater than (Your body mass*gravitational force) and that too at a faster rate. Either you have to push small amount of air at a faster rate or large amount of air at a comparatively less faster rate. For this, you need tremendous amount of power which is possible only through strong muscles.
In short, if you add more muscles in your body and flaps your arms and legs at a very fast rate, flying is indeed possible.  

I am not a yoga guru but you go and ask any authentic yoga guru if the above things are possible using yoga and consciousness (Meditation). There are yoga exercises to reduce arm muscles and increase chest muscles. You must have seen the flexibility in body of various yogis and athletes. There are yogic exercises to increase heart beat rate. Yoga is all about controlling the body mentally as well as physically. We have the potential of devouring the true energy present within and flying is not an impossible task.

What historians say about this?
Commenting on the speed of hanuman, Robert P Goldman, Sanskrit professor in University of California said “Sanskrit scholars, who lived between 1200 and 1800 AD, were not prepared to swallow anything. They did scientific research on every verse of ancient scriptures.”  
When asked about “How fast do monkeys fly?” Goldman said “It was a matter of scholarly reasoning for the commentators. Many have predicted to be roughly 660 km an hour considering Hanuman first brought the mountain to Lanka and then flew back all the way to put it back in its place." Adding humor, Goldman said "Hanuman was quite ecologically conscious."     

Hanuman, the ecologically conscious deity
Highest speed ever recorded is 486 km/hr
Speed of wind is affected by number of factors. Some of the main factors are:
  1)    Pressure gradient - the difference in air pressure between two different points on earth or atmosphere. Greater the difference in pressure, faster is the speed of wind to balance out the high or low pressure.
2)    Frictional forces - Object on earth opposing the flow of wind; e.g. buildings, trees, mountains, etc.
3)    Local weather conditions-Formation of hurricanes, monsoon, cyclones from opposite direction.
4)    Coriolis Effect - Earth’s rotation resulting in deflection of wind from right in the Northern Hemisphere to left in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Highest surface wind ever recorded is 372 km/hr on 12 april 1934 at Mount Washington, new hamsphire, US. On May 3, 1999, F5 tornado in bridge creek, okhalama, broke this record by registering a figure of 486 km/hr, though it was not recorded at ground level.


Conclusion:
If you have read Ramayana, then you must have read how Hanuman was blessed with strong muscles and tremendous power. Further, it is said he flapped his legs to fly in the air. Also, as said in the story above, he was blessed with many super natural powers all of which contributed to his art of flying in air. It is still difficult to believe that humans can fly but like I explained above scientifically, flying is not an impossible task and some people of ancient times were blessed with body suited for flying.  



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