Monkey Puzzle

Mani Rao

Excerpted from Gods R Us, Anomalous Press Chapbook Contest Notable

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Large as the sky stands on a leaf
Small as a thorn on Ravana’s seat
Try telling him
The sun’s not a peach

Can’t find an herb  uproot the mountain
Ocean’s vast  so is devotion

Somewhat out of proportion Hanuman
A heart so precise it
Only has room for Ram



As a child, Hanuman leaps up and reaches for the sun thinking it edible. At the end of this incident, he receives the power to become as large or as small when he pleases. When Lakshmana is injured in the battle with Ravana, Hanuman is sent to fetch a healing herb; he cannot find it, and not wanting to waste time, returns with the entire mountain instead. Hanuman proves his ardent devotion to Rama by tearing open his chest to show who lives in his heart.

Mani Rao is the author of seven books of poetry and a translation of the Bhagavad Gita. has links to her publications.