Hanuman, the known as a monkey god, can be observed in temples everywhere the country. In some temples, his picture is set up alone standing with a mace in the right hand or sitting in a holy posture before the images of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. He is supposed to be the god of power and strength, who remained a continent through his whole life. He is celebrated as being the largest devotee of Lord Rama who loves Hanuman the maximum.
Hanuman’s different names are HANUMAT and PAVAN-SUTA. He is the son of VAYU, the lord of winds and ARIJANA, the female. Along with Rama, Hanuman is regularly prayed and he is the most favored deity of wrestlers and grapplers. Tuesday is the divine day on which lakhs of Hindus worship Hanuman and pray to him for strength and prosperity.
Hanuman’s deeds of bravery and feats of valor are related in great detail in the Ramayana and also scantily in a few other religious books like Mahabharata and Agni Purana. This god is depicted as having a short thick neck, a round red face, sharp white fangs, a mane like Ashoka flowers, a tail like Indra’ s standard and ability to expand until he could be as big as a mountain or to contract until he could be as small as a fly.
So many unusual myths surround this god. Hanuman, when quite young, saw the growing sun; he thought it to be a ripe fruit, jumped up to it and seizing it put the sun into his mouth. All the gods and goddesses, for fear that if eaten the sun the whole world would perish, prayed to him to spit out the sun. Hanuman allowed and the world was saved from complete darkness. When only ten years old, Hanuman could lift the hills sixteen or twenty miles in circuit and throw these like stones. Once swallowed by a monster, he expanded his body and the dragon had to vomit this god out.
On different occasion when one dragon put Hanuman in his mouth, this god changed himself into a very small figure and emerged out of this monster’s big ear. This story runs thus: When Hanuman was on his flight to RAVANA’S Lanka on his job selected by lord Rama, a female demon named SURASA saw that this monkey was going to injure her near relative, Ravana. So in an exercise to save her cousin she swallowed Hanuman bodily. To avoid this Hanuman continued expanding his body, while she continued stretching her mouth till it was a hundred leagues wide. Suddenly Hanuman shrank his body and within seconds he became thumb-sized. Taking the female demon by shock he darted forward and came out through her right ear.
The inscriptions state that ‘his form is as vast as a mountain’ and as tall as a gigantic tower. His complexion is yellow and glowing like molten gold. His face is as red as the sparkling ruby while his enormous tail spreads out to an interminable length. He stands on a lofty rock and roars like thunder. He leaps into the air and flies amongst the clouds with a rushing noise, while the ocean waves are roaring and splattering below. Ramayana further says, The chief of monkeys is a perfect being. No one can equal him in learning of SHASTRAS and in understanding the meaning and sense of scriptures. In all sciences and in the rules of austerity, he rivals the preceptor of the gods. Hanuman is the ninth author of grammar
Hanuman became the greatest and the most dedicated helper of Rama in his campaign against Ravana. When sent as Rama’s envoy Hanuman was given a ring to prove Sita that he was truly her husband’s messenger. With a formidable leap he crossing the seas and reached Lanka. He succeeded in meeting Sita and returned her news back to Rama.
Ravana’s guards, while he was in Lanka, had arrived in catching Hanuman, who was then brought to the demon king’s court. At Ravana’s command his tail was set on fire and with his fiery tail Hanuman created a great havoc in Lanka. When Rama’s younger brother was lying unconscious in the resting and the herb that could cure him was not available, he came forward to bring that herb from the Himalayas. In the hurry when Hanuman could not trace that magical herb he lifted the complete hill and flew to bring the same to the battlefield. The arrow that had scraped Lakshmana was blessed in the way that whoever was wounded in the night with it could not recover if the cure was not obtained before daylight.
Hanuman knew this and was determined to bring it before the sun rose. The powerful Ravana constrained the sun to arise on the mountain at midnight. Hanuman being enraged at this connivance, leaped up and seizing sun’s chariot placed the blazing god under his arm and put the mountain on his head. Only after the application of the aspired herb on the wound of Lakshmana, Hanuman permitted the sun to depart.
Hanuman followed God Rama on his return to Ayodhya and God Rama gave him the blessings of everlasting youth and deathless existence. He was so intensely devoted to God Rama and Goddess Sita that once he even tore up his chest with claws and explained that images of God Rama and Sita were in his heart.
Shree Hanuman is understood to have received a boon from God Rama to become immortal for His sheer acts of devotions and it is said that Shri Hanuman is always at an arm’s length for anyone who seeks Him with the truest faith and sincere feeling. Hanuman has always been connected with protection and welfare of our health especially for children and His fabulous life-saving act of carrying the mountain that contained the miraculous herb Sanjivani that cured Lakshman is remembered even today.
How Hanuman tried to consume the Sun
Lord Shiva was born into this world as Hanuman, the monkey god. His progenitors were Pawan, the Wind God, and his wife Anjana. Hanuman was a package of mischief when he was a child. He was very active. So he had a very healthy appetite too. Most of the time he was hungry. He was ready to eat something that was tasty and within his reach.
Every day, an hour before dawn, Devi Anjana went out to assemble some flowers and fruits. Normally Hanuman was asleep then. So she would leave him at home. And she would answer before he woke up.
One day, she was held up on her way back. God Hanuman woke up at the usual time. He was terribly hungry. He called out to his mother, “Ma I am hungry”. He helped for his mother to run to him. That did not happen. Where are you, Ma? He said plainly. Still there was no reply. He waited a while; then called again. “Where has Ma gone so early in the morning? I am so hungry,” fussed God Hanuman.
When he discovered no sign of Anjani he resolved to find food on his own. He went into the kitchen. There was nothingness there that he could eat. All the pots and pans and containers were empty. Child Hanuman was getting famished and hungrier every minute.
Why should not I go out and get fruits to at?” he thought. He ran down the rounds of his home. Then he marked a red ball to the east. It was at some distance. It was the sun rising.
Hanuman watched the sight. It was beautiful. The whole sky was aglow with morning twilight; the sun looked like a big juicy fruit. Hanuman assumed it was a big red ripe watermelon. & yumm… I have never eaten this fruit. Ma has never got it for me. I shall get it by personally. It is very big and I am sure it is exactly what I need now. I can’t stay starving some more.
Hanuman took a big leap. That took him close to the sun. He stretched out for it. He almost had grabbed it. But he missed it.
He looked around. He marked Rahu. Rahu hated the Sun. And if soever he got a chance, he reached the sun in its shadow. That was what he did now. This was what he had been doing since the time primeval.
Today, he too touched out to cast his shadow on the sun. But Hanuman beat him to it. He held the son securely in his hands. Rahu was furious. He tried to seize the sun from Hanuman. But he failed.
Angrily he ran to Lord Indra the lord of all the Gods and mourned, Oh! Lord! You gave me encouragement to cast darkness on the sun, at will. Today, I wanted to do that. But a young monkey jerked it from under my nose in the nick of the time” Lord Indra thundered, & “who is this rascal? Who is this little monkey that has tried to send you back. I shall teach him a lesson,”
Lord Indira went with Rahu. The two soon became to where Hanuman was holding the sun.
Hanuman was trying to absorb the sun. Indra got enraged. He drew his weapon, the Vajrayudh, and flung at Hangman. It hit him below the chin. He blacked out and fell on the earth with a big thud.
Pawan, the wind god, saw him hurt. & “Who have done this to my son?& “he grumbled and turned. He saw the weapon turning to Lord Indra. He lost his temper. He screamed at Lord Indra, “How dare you hit my son? He picked up Hanuman and ran into a big cave. He gathered all the wind rivers blowing in the universe and kept with him. The universe became empty airless. Not a whiff of wind moved wind everywhere. Soon it was impossible to breathe. All living things started to die. It looked as if all creations would come to an end.
“What brings you to me?” asked Brahma.
“You know Lord,” said the Gods with closed hands.
“Yes I know. Didn’t you know, Indra that Hanuman is none else but Lord Shiva in monkey form? He has gone to the earth to help Lord Rama in the battle upon the demon Ravana. How can you hurt him?”
“I didn’t know, Oh lord. What should we do now?” asked Indra.
“Go to Lord Hanuman and ask for absolution. Also, grant him some of your divine powers. Then Pawan will be happy,” Lord Brahma advised.
The Gods realized their folly. “Oh! We were fools to annoy Lord Shiva and Pawan Dev.” They bustled to the cave where Lord Hanuman and Pawan Dev were.
Lord Indra complained some mantras and drew back the effect of the Vajrayudh that still held Hanuman ignorant. Hanuman woke up. He found the gods standing with folded arms. They sang his praise. One by one, they gifted enormous power to him.
This made Pawan Dev happy. He released the air streams and life renewed again on earth.
Gods returned to Heaven. Lord Hanuman ran back home. He found his mother, holding a basket full of fruits. He experienced the fruits while Pawan told Anjani,”Know what? Your son has become very great. All the gods came and gifted him some of their hidden powers.
Does he need anything from others? Is he not Lord Shiva himself?” Anjani grinned. Pawan Dev bit his tongue and said, & Deva. I forgot. I always forget. I think of Hanuman as our small boy. My mistake.”
Hanuman heard nothing. He was busy eating the last fruit in the box.