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A Brief History of Lord Hanuman
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A Brief History of Lord Hanuman

Hanuman is one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, known for his strength, loyalty, and commitment towards Lord Ram. There are many certain things and interesting facts associated with different aspects of Lord Hanuman’s life and this blog will help you learn about it all. So, keep reading.

Birth and Childhood

Birth and Childhood

According to Hindu mythology, Anjana, a celestial nymph, was cursed to be born as a monkey due to a curse. She prayed to Lord Shiva for a remedy, and he blessed her with a son who would be an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself. Hanuman was born to Anjana and Kesari, the king of the monkeys, hence his name "Hanuman," which means "disfigured jaw" in Sanskrit, referring to his monkey-like face. As a child, Hanuman was mischievous and playful but also displayed remarkable strength and intelligence.

Role in the Ramayana

Role in the Ramayana

In the epic Ramayana, Hanuman's devotion to Lord Rama is central to the narrative. When Rama's wife, Sita, was abducted by the demon king Ravana, Hanuman played a pivotal role in the search for her. He crossed the ocean, found Sita in Lanka, delivered Rama's message to her, and burnt down a part of Lanka with his tail before returning to Rama with information about Sita's whereabouts. Hanuman single-handedly defeated many powerful demons and played an important role in Rama's victory over Ravana. His unwavering loyalty, bravery,  and selfless service in finding Sita and aiding Rama in battle make him the most admired figure in the epic.

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Devotion to Lord Rama

Devotion to Lord Rama

Hanuman's devotion to Lord Rama is beyond imagination. He considered himself a humble servant of Rama and always acted in Rama's best interests. Hanuman's devotion can be clearly felt in his famous words to Rama, "When I forget you, may I cease to exist." This selfless devotion and willingness to serve without seeking anything in return are highly revered in Hinduism.

Powers and Abilities of Hanuman 

Powers and Abilities of Hanuman

Hanuman is blessed with numerous powers and abilities. He can change his size at will, which he uses to shrink to the size of a mosquito to enter Lanka unnoticed. He can fly at incredible speeds, which he uses to carry the Sanjeevani herb to heal Lakshmana during the battle. Hanuman's strength is such that he can lift mountains with ease, as depicted when he carries the entire Dronagiri mountain to bring the life-saving herb.

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Symbolism 

Hanuman symbolizes several virtues and qualities. His unwavering devotion to Rama represents the ideal devotee's relationship with God. His strength and courage symbolize the ability to overcome obstacles and challenges in life. Hanuman's humility and selflessness serve as an inspiration for devotees to lead a life of service and devotion.

Worship and Festivals Associated with Lord Hanuman

Hanuman is widely worshipped across India and in many parts of the world. Devotees often visit Hanuman temples and offer prayers and offerings of flowers, fruits, and sweets. Tuesday is considered auspicious for Hanuman worship, and devotees often observe fasts and recite the Hanuman Chalisa on this day. Hanuman Jayanti, the celebration of Hanuman's birth, is a major festival celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm.

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Iconography

Hanuman is typically depicted as a monkey-faced deity with a strong and muscular body. He is often portrayed as Bahubali Hanuman, wherein he stands standing in a heroic pose, symbolizing his strength and courage. More often than not, you can even see him depicted holding a mace (gada) or a mountain in his hands, representing his physical prowess.

Significance of Lord Hanuman in Hindu Mythology

Hanuman holds immense significance in Hinduism for his exemplary character and devotion. He is believed to protect his devotees from evil and provide them with strength and courage to face life's challenges. Hanuman's story serves as a source of inspiration for millions of people, teaching them the values of devotion, loyalty, and selflessness.

Here are a few things you must know about might Hanuman:

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1. He is the Personified as a Symbol of Loyalty and Devotion

Hanuman embodies dedication and devotion, making him one of the most revered figures in Hindu mythology. His story has transcended cultures and time, with its roots in the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana, attributed to the sage Valmiki.

The Ramayana narrates the journey of Prince Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, who ventures across the ocean to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of the demon king Ravana. In this epic quest, Rama is aided by his loyal brother Lakshman and an army of intelligent monkey warriors called Vanaras, among whom Hanuman stands out.

Throughout the epic, Hanuman displays remarkable abilities such as speed, strength, courage, and wisdom, endearing himself to Rama. However, his true strength lies in his unwavering loyalty and devotion to Rama. This devotion is often depicted in art and literature, showing Hanuman kneeling before Rama, Sita, and Lakshman, or revealing an image of them in his chest, symbolizing his heart's dedication to them.

Balancing strength, intelligence, and wisdom, Hanuman exemplifies the ideal of bhakti yoga, the path of loving devotion. His character teaches us the power of using our talents and gifts fearlessly to connect with the Divine through sincere service and devotion.

2. He is the son of Vayu Dev - the wind god

Hanuman's birth is narrated in various versions, but a common story revolves around a Vanara named Anjana who prayed to Shiva for a son. Pleased with her devotion, Shiva sent his divine power and blessing through Vayu, the wind god, into Anjana's womb.

This unique conception has led to Hanuman being known as the son of Vayu. Some also believe he is an incarnation of Shiva. While this belief is not universal among all Hindu traditions, Hanuman is widely revered as a perfected yogi, possessing eight siddhis, or "mystic perfections."

These siddhis include the ability to become smaller than the smallest (anima), infinitely large (mahima), lighter than air (laghima), and to travel anywhere instantly (prapti). He also has the ability to achieve whatever he desires (prakamya), create or destroy anything at will (isitva), control the elements of nature (vasitva), and assume any form he wishes (kamavasayita).

Despite possessing these extraordinary powers, Hanuman uses them not for his own gratification but in the service of the divine Rama. His mastery of these abilities is a testament to his status as a perfect yogi, whose ultimate goal is to connect with the Divine.

3. He Was Cursed for His Mischievous Antics

Long ago, Hanuman, known for his mischief as a youth, would play pranks on temple priests and sages, disrupting their sacred rituals. Fed up with his antics, they cast a curse upon him, stripping away his powers until someone reminded him of them.

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Years later, during Rama's quest to find Sita, Hanuman's powers were rekindled. Upon learning of Sita's captivity in Sri Lanka, the Vanaras, a group of forest-dwelling beings, pondered who could cross the ocean to reach her.

Jambavan, a wise bear king aiding the Vanaras, revealed Hanuman's true potential, breaking the curse with his words. With newfound strength surging within him, Hanuman embraced his divine heritage and accepted the daunting task. Enlarging his form and summoning boundless energy, he leaped across the vast ocean.

Today, Hanuman's vigor inspires practitioners of Kushti, traditional Hindu wrestling, and his legendary leap is honored in yoga through Hanumanasana, the splits posture.

Beyond his extraordinary feats, Hanuman's true power lies in his connection to the Divine. Similarly, we can tap into such potency by deepening our spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, and selfless service.

4. Hanuman is Immortal

The most interesting fact that you must know is that Hanuman was granted the boon of being immortal which means he will be alive in all 4 yugas. 

But how did Hanuman become immortal? Well, there are many different stories regarding that.

One story says that when Goddess Sita was captured by Ravana (during the period of exile), Hanuman crossed miles to deliver Lord Ram’s message to her.  Truly overwhelmed by Hanuman’s loyalty and commitment, Goddess Sita granted him the boon of immortality as a reward for delivering a message from Lord Ram.

Another prominent story is when Hanuman tore his chest open to prove to everyone that Lord Ram and Sita truly reside in his heart. Pleased by Hanuman’s devotion, Lord Ram blessed him with the boon of being immortal. However, according to the legends, Hanuman generously 

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refused to take Shree Ram’s offer and rather touched his feet seeking his blessings. He even expressed how he wanted to spend the rest of his life beside the divine feet of Lord Ram.

At the time of Lord Ram leaving for heaven, he ordered Hanuman to remain back on earth and protect it against any evil forces. He even ensured Hanuman that he’d be called back when the time was right.

Besides this, it is also believed that Hanuman himself wanted to remain back on earth until there was Ram naam echoing on the earth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What are the 12 names of Hanuman?
A.
The 12 names of Lord Hanuman are listed as under:

Anjani Suta
Vayu Putra
Mahabal
Raamesht
Phalgun Sakh
Pingaksh
Amit Vikram
Uddhikraman
Sita Shok Vinashan
Laxman Praan Daata
Dasgreev Darpha
Q. Who are the brothers of Hanuman?
A.
Matiman, Shrutiman, Ketuman, Gatiman, and Dhritiman are the brothers of Hanuman.
Q. What are the 5 avatars of Hanuman?
A.
Hanuman did not have any avatars. However, he is often associated with Lord Vishnu and hence is depicted as Panchamukha Anjaneya where he possesses five faces each facing cardinal directions.
Q. Who is the son of Hanuman?
A.
Makardhawaja is the son of Lord Hanuman who is said to be born out of his sweat.
Q. Who is Hanuman's wife?
A.
According to various traditional folks and tales, Lord Hanuman was married to Suvarchala Devi who is portrayed as the daughter of Lord Surya (sun).
Q. Where is Hanuman Ji now?
A.
It is believed that Hanuman visits his descendants who are said to be living in the jungles of Piduru mountain in Sri Lanka. This community of tribals remains all disconnected from the modern world but shares a special relationship with Hanuman.

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