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Were Hanuman, Surgriva etc. monkeys?

Q. Were Hanuman, Surgriva etc. monkeys?
A. They were human beings and they belonged to the hill and jungle tribes of south India who were called Vanara. Even now, we have people with surnames of Naga (snake) in Bengal, Bhalla (bear) in Punjab and Singh (lion) in northen India. People of the Vanara tribe in South India used to tie a rope around their waists. Many learned warriors like Hanuman and Sugriva belonged to this tribe. Monkeys do not speak or read scriptures of fight wars.These Vanara heroes have been described as monkeys only in a legendary form in epics and not literally. To call Hanuman – a great general, a celibate from birth and a philanthropist – monkey is an insult to the Indian heritage.
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