Have you ever visited Lord Hanuman temples and wondered why his murtis or idols are painted in red or saffron colour?
Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and a central character in Ramayana (ancient Indian epic). He is recognized as an epitome of devotion, faith, valour and selfless love.
Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and a central character in Ramayana (ancient Indian epic). One day he asks Sita about the red mark on her forehead.
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The story of Hanuman and why his idol is covered with vermillion (red in colour):
One day Hanuman asks Sita (wife of Rama) about the red mark on her forehead. Seeing his curiosity, she tells him that she applies sindoor or vermilion (red in colour) on her forehead to ensure the long life of her husband.
Knowing that applying sindoor will ensure the long life of Rama, he immediately took the vermilion powder and applied it all over his body.
When Rama and Sita ask him about it, he says that since Sita is a goddess, a small amount of sindoor will work for her, but he, a mere monkey, needs more of it.
He knows that Rama is God. He is the supreme being. But out of his pure love and devotion towards him, he applied sindoor on his whole body. That’s why traditional idols of Lord Hanuman are covered with sindoor.
It is believed that if you offer Sindoor to Hanuman or smear it on his body, he grants you whatever you have wished for. But only men are allowed to do this.
Since Hanuman is a Bal Brahmachari (unmarried / celibate), only men are allowed to worship and touch the idol. Women can worship him but should not touch the idol.
Nowadays his idols are covered with saffron (Kesar). Saffron colour is mostly associated with Brahmacharya (bachelorhood). Since he is a Bal Brahmachari (unmarried / celibate), his idols are smeared with saffron.