Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Obama's Hanuman pocket Charm

Guess the charms finally worked. Time magazine informed us that American President elect Barack Obama during the election campaign carried in his pocket:
  • A U.S. soldier’s bracelet (currently deployed in Iraq)
  • A gambler’s “lucky chit”
  • A “Madonna and Child” charm
  • “A tiny monkey god”
  • And three or four other unidentified items, among which seems to be a slug, an angel coin, yet another Virgin Mary charm, and some other coin-y detritus.
At another campaign event, he reached into his pocket and out came some more charms:  an eagle given to him by a Native American woman, a lucky poker chip given to him by another voter who met him on the campaign trail, something resembling a guitar key chain and many other such.

“A tiny monkey god” was reported in India, quite obviously, as Hanuman. 'Obviously' because these papers had already widely reported Indian well wishers Hanuman Idol gift to Obama (no, I don't think they were trying to convert him to be a Bajrang Dali).

The thing is: in India we don't have a “A tiny monkey god” with four tiny arms. Four armed Hanuman would be an oddity in India. Multiple armed Gods and Goddesses are certainly common in India - Vishu, Brahma, Durga and so on - but, many armed Hanuman is not common, is almost unheard, in India.

Four armed Hanuman belongs to Thailand and is found their version of Ramayan (known as Ramakien). Four armed Hanuman pendants are also common in Thailand and quite popular with the tourists.


Photo credit : Time

“A tiny monkey god” isn't the only thing that one can see in this photograph. I heard that some Indian news channels are hiring people to read those palms of the would be American President and predict the future of US (and by default of the world) under his tenure.


  1. This was quite surprising to hear. Obviously we Indians have odd habit of rendering anything that looks like Indian as "Indian". Moreover our so called responsible News Channels are handling this responsibility well.

    Hope to find some info on charms used by Soap Queen Ekta Kapoor.

  2. A friend of mine was disappointed with this post and he shot off an email to me saying:

    "Just to let you know, my family being big time devotee of Hanuman, i have seen these kind of idols before. I have been to a very big temple somewhere in Rajasthan where the idol has many hands and five faces (only one is monkey and others are what u usually find on Vishnu and other demi gods) and the temple is famously called Panchmukhi Hanuman. But you are right in the sense that its not an Indian Hanuman coz he got this from some south eastern country (maybe Cambodia or Thailand). "

    My response: Panchmukhi Hanuman has five heads and naturally ten hands. The five faces are of an eagle (Garud), a boar (Varaha), a hayagriv(Horse), a lion (Narasimha) and a monkey. The first four being avatar of Vishnu and Hanuman, of course being the avatar of Shiva. Hanuman takes on this form to kill Mahiravana (son of Ravan and a powerful king of the Nether world) in the Ramayan.

    Right till now. But in that post above, I am talking about one headed Hanuman with many hands (like the one found in Obama's pocket) that's certainly not common in India.


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