Hanuman Jayanti is the pious day on which Shri Hanuman descended on earth in order to serve the purpose of his eternal master, Lord Ram. Lord Hanuman was the eleventh incarnation of Lord Shiva. The loyalty and strength of Hanuman is inscribed in the Ramayana. He is worshipped as a symbol pf power, strength, perseverance, and devotion.
Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival of Hindus. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated all over India. It marks the birthday of Lord Hanuman. It falls on the full of Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar.
On this day, devotees visit Hanuman temples to worship him and offer sweets and other delicacies and sindoor is a must. The devotees visit temples and apply tilak or sindoor to their forehead from Hanuman’s idol itself as Hanuman himself was full of sindoor. Hanuman has various names: Pawan Putra, Baarang Bali, Anjaneya
Birth of Lord Hanuman
There is a story behind the birth of Lord Hanuman. One day, Mother Anjana, the wife of Lord of monkeys, Vanaraja Kesari was standing on the top of a mountain. She had been cursed by Vishwamitra Muni that she will get married to a monkey and give birth to a monkey in her next life as she disturbed him during his meditation.
After her avid prayers, he gave her a blessing that her son would be an incarnation of Lord Shiva and a great devotee of a particular form of Lord Vishnu.
In her next birth, she was very beautiful and charming and was married to Vanaraja Kesari. As she was standing on the top of a mountain, Vayu Deva, watched her and was attracted to her, assuming a mystic form, he mated with her and hence, Pawan Putra (Hanuman) was born as intended by the divine arrangements.
Story behind Hanuman’s Name
Hanuman was a very naughty child from his birth. He used to stroll around in the forest and playing with wild animals and plucking fruits from the trees. Once in the morning, Hanuman saw rising sun in the sky shining like an orange fruit. He leaped quickly in the sky and attempted to gulp the sun to pacify his hunger. This was witnessed by Lord Indra, he rose to action it stop the universe from falling apart.
Indra threw his weapon, Vajra Ayud (thunderbolt) aiming at Hanuman which struck him on his cheeks. Thus, Hanuman’s cheek got disfigured and he fell unconscious and did not get up for a long time. Seeing this, Vayu Deva was distressed and stopped his movement, which suffocated all the beings.
Indra approached Vayu deva to request to resume his movement in order to save everyone. Vayu said he would resume only if Hanuman was given his life back. Then, Hanuman finally got up in all his vivacity and vigour once again. However, he had a disfigured jaw due to the blow of the thunderbolt. Thus, the name “Hanuman” supervened from the root words of Sasnkrit “Hanu” means “cheek” and “man” means “prominent or disfigured”.
Why Hanuman is coated with Sindoor?
We see the idol of Hanuman in every temple is covered with either a saffron coloured cloth or coated with orange colour sindoor. There is definitely an interesting story behind the sindoor and Hanumanji.
One day Sita mata, wife of Lord Rama was wearing sindoor in the parting of her hair. Hanuman was curious about this reddish coloured powdered hence, he asked Sita what was that powder she was wearing. Sita replies, “This is called sindoor. Sindoor makes Lord Rama pleased and would bless him with a long and flourishing life”. Listening to this Hanuman disappeared and upon his return, his body was fully covered with sindoor. Seeing this, Lord Rama asked Hanuman as why did he cover his body with full of sindoor? Hanuman replied, “I thought Sita mata applies a pinch of sindoor for your well-being so I was wondering what will happen if I cover myself with full of sindoor”. Thus, Lord Rama gave a boon to all his devotees that those who apply sindoor to Hanuman would be blessed with a long and happy life.
So, this is the reason sindoor is mixed in sesame oil and applied to the entire body of Lord Hanuman.
A tale from Ramayana: Ahiravana and Lord Hanuman’s five faces
A lesser known tale from the Ramayana is that of Ahiravana and how he was defeated by Lord Hanuman. Ahiravana was the king of Pataal Lok and the “Master of Magic”.
Ahiravana wanted to take Rama and Lakshman to his kingdom and sacrifice them before Goddess Mahamya. Vibhishina heard about this and conveyed the message to Rama and Lakshman and asked Hanuman to keep an eye on Ahiravana.
As a master of illusion, he tried many disguises to reach Ram and Lakshman but failed as they were guarded by Lord Hanuman. Finally, he disguises himself as Vibhishina and takes Rama and Lakshman to Pataal Lok.
When Hanuman knew about it, he reached Ahiravana’s palace and realized that the only way to kill Ahiravana is to extinguish five different lamps at the same time, even though the lamps are placed in five different directions. It was then that Lord Hanuman took the form of Panchmukhi Anjaneya (Hanuman with five faces) wherein Hanuman, Varaha, Garuda, and Narsimha face East, South, West, and North and the fifth face, “Hayagriya” faces upwards. So, with this Lord Hanuman extinguished five lamps at different direction at the same time and killed Ahiravana.
Each of the five faces of Hanuman is worshipped with great devotion. As Hanuman faces east, kit bestows the human mind with purity and brings success in all endeavours. Narsimha, which faces south, stands for fearlessness and victory, Garuda, faces west, helps to overcome negativity in all forms. Varaha, faces north, it showers life with prosperity and Hargriya, faces upwards, signifies potency and is worshipped when a couple intends to bear children.
In essence, the five faces of Lord Hanuman holds deep spiritual significance and it is through these five faces that Lord Hanuman reveals true knowledge to a devotee while meditating or worshipping.
Lord Hanuman encounter with Bhima and Arjuna in Mahabharata
We are all familiar with Lord Hanuman’s significant role and his power and strength in Ramayana but only few of us know about Hanuman’s appearance in Mahabharata.
The first mention of Lord Hanuman in Mahabharata comes when he meets Bhima during the Pandavas exile and the second time when Hanuman protected the chariot of Arjuna throughout the battle of Kurukshetra by residing in Arjuna’s flag.
Bhima’s encounter with Hanuman: Once Draupadi asked Bhima to get Saugandhika flowers for her. Bhima went on to search for the flowers. On his way, he came across a huge monkey taking rest. Bhima asked the monkey to clear his path but the monkey requested him that he is very old and cannot move so Bhima needs to push his tail aside. Bhima, the, tried to push the monkey’s tail with his mace but his tail did not move even an inch. After trying a lot, Bhima realised this was no ordinary monkey. Thus, Bhima gave up and asked pardon. Hence, Lord Hanuman came in his original form and blessed Bhima.
Arjuna encounter with Lord Hanuman: Once Arjuna saw the bridge built to Lanka by Lord Ram, Arjuna expressed his wonder as to why Lord Ram needed the help of monkeys to build the bridge. Arjuna thought he would have built the bridge himself with arrows. Hanuman, in the form monkey, criticised Arjuna Hanuman, in the form of monkey criticised Arjuna that the bridge built with arrows would not suffice and will not bear the weight of even one person. Arjuna took that challenge and vowed that if the bridge did not suffice, he will jump into the fire.
So, Arjuna built a bridge with his arrows but as soon as Hanuman stepped on it, the bridge collapsed. Arjuna was dumbfounded and decided to jump into the fire but then Lord Krishna appeared and with this divine touch, re-built the bridge. When Hanuman stepped on it, the bridge remained the same. Thus, Hanuman came in his original form and promised Arjuna to help him in the war. As such when the war of Kurukshetra commenced, Lord Hanuman hovered on the flag of the chariot of Arjuna and stayed till the end of the war.
Hanuman and his strength
As everyone know Hanuman was very mischievous and used to ponder around forests disturbing sages when meditating. But Brahmins and sages kept quiet and didn’t say a word to Hanuman.
One day the great sages named Bhrigu and Angira who never lost their temper became furious and cursed Hanuman that until he was reminded of his powers, he would forget about the powers that he has and would lead a normal life.
It happened in Ramayana that Hanuman was reminded of his powers while building the bridge to Lanka and eventually led to the destruction of Ravana’s Lanka