(Last Updated on : 21/04/2018)
Lord Hanuman is the son of Vayu
, the Hindu God
of Wind. He was a devotee of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman plays an important role in Ramayana
, the Indian epic. Hanuman is considered to be an avatar (incarnation) of Lord Shiva
. His mother was Anjana, a female monkey and thus Hanuman is also called as Anjaneya. His others names are Manojava
, Bajrangbali and Sankatmochan. In Ramayana, Hanuman aided Lord Rama
in rescuing his wife Sita from the Rakshasa king Ravana
Birth of Lord Hanuman
Hanuman was born in the Treta Yuga
. There are several stories in regard to his birth. Anjana was an apsara
named Punjikasthala, who was cursed to be born on earth as a female monkey. She could only be redeemed of her curse if she gave birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva
. Anjana was doing a penance to Lord Shiva to have a child. Shiva was pleased and gave her the boon that she would give birth to a son.
Another story states that when Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, King Dasharatha
, the ruler of Ayodhya
was performing Putrakama Yagna nearby. After the Yagna
ended, Dasharatha received some sacred pudding, which was to be shared by his three wives, who later gave birth to Rama, Bharata
, Lakshmana and Shatrughna
. By divine regulation, a kite snatched the part of the pudding and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in austerity. Vayu, the Hindu deity of wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. After the completion of the penance Anjana met Vayu, who was charmed by her beauty. After knowing her destiny, Vayu made love with Anjana. As a result Hanuman was born. He is also called Pavanputra as the son of Pavan or Vayu or the wind-God.
Legends of Lord Hanuman
Hanuman is also considered as the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is said that when Ravana once tried to enter Shivas abode in Himalayas
, Nandi stopped him and Ravana mocked him as monkey, Nandi
cursed Ravana that he will meet his end due to Monkey.
Hanuman wanted to have Lord Surya
as his teacher. To do so, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the Sun
and requested Surya to accept him as a student. Lord Surya refused first time saying that he had to move in his chariot all the time so Hanuman could not learn anything effectively. But Hanuman was determined in his mission and enlarged his body. He placed one leg on the eastern ranges
and the other legs on the western ranges
with his face turned towards the Sun and made the request again. Surya was pleased by his persistence and granted his prayers.
Lord Hanuman in Ramayana
Meeting of Hanuman with Rama is an important episode in the epic "Ramayana", as from then on Hanuman was a great follower of Rama. At the latter part of the 14 years exile
, Rama and his brother Lakshmana
were in search for Sita
, who had been abducted by the Rakshasa
emperor Ravana. They came near the mountain
Rishyamukha where Sugriva
and his followers along with Hanuman were hiding from his elder brother Bali
, who had cast him out of the kingdom and kept his wife captive.
Sugriva sent Hanuman when he saw Rama and Lakshmana coming to ascertain their identities. Hanuman approached to them in the guise of a Brahmin
and talked to them in such a way that Rama was very impressed. When Rama introduced himself, Hanuman revealed his own identity and fell prostrate before Ramas feet. Rama embraced him warmly and then after Hanumans life was interwoven intimately with that of Rama. Hanuman introduced Rama with Sugriva and they committed for a friendship. He helped Sugriva to defeat Bali in battle and regain his kingdom. Sugriva with his monkey army assisted Rama to rescue Sita.
When time came for Rama to set his journey for heavenly abode, many of his followers including Sugriva wanted to follow him. But Hanuman requested to remain on earth as long as people would venerate the name of Rama. Sita granted his prayer. Thus Hanuman is one of the Chiranjeevis (immortals) in Hinduism