Hanuman is a popular Indian deity who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is known for his utmost dedication to Lord Rama and his wife Sita Mata.
He mostly appears in the epic Ramayana where he is seen as a devotee of Lord Rama who stays with the reverent couple to ease their journey.
Hanuman is particularly famous for playing a key role in the war that was aimed at bringing demon king Ravana down for his sin of abducting Sita Mata.
He also burnt down a portion of Ravana’s Lanka and managed to return back safely.
Hanuman as a Symbol
When people are particularly afraid of anything or they are seeking strength to deal with something, they seek the blessings of Hanuman as he symbolizes physical strength, devotion, and perseverance.
It is believed that when one seeks the blessings of Hanuman, the person succeeds in conquering all his fears and develops the strength to get over any sort of tough ordeal. Hanuman is the wisest, strongest and swiftest of all the apes.
Vrihaspati had an assistant who was cursed to take the form of a female monkey. She was known as Punjikasthala. To get rid of the curse, she needed to give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
She was reborn as Anjana and performed intense austerities so that Lord Shiva could be pleased. He was impressed by her devotion and offered her the boon to get rid of the curse.
Agni, the god of fire gave a bowl of sacred dessert to Dasharath, the king of Ayodhya. The dessert was meant to be given to Dasharath’s wives so that they give birth to divine children.
When the dessert was being distributed, an eagle snatched it and dropped in at the place where Anjana was meditating. Pavana, the god of wind ensured that a drop of the dessert fell on the outstretched hand of Anjana.
After having the dessert, Anjana gave birth to Hanuman and Lord Shiva was incarnated as a Monkey. Due to Pavana’s role in the happenings that took place, he is considered as Hanuman’s godfather.
Sometime after Hanuman’s birth, Anjana was returning to heaven. When Hanuman asked her what will happen to him, she said that fruits as ripe as the sun would be his food and he would never die.
Hanuman mistakenly considered the actual sun to be his food and tried to eat it. This irked Indira Devta who struck him with a bolt. Lord Pavana saved him and requested Lord Brahma to make him whole again.
Lord Brahma gave Hanuman loads of boons and blessings which made him immortal, super powerful and invincible.
Hanuman was educated by Lord Surya. As Hanuman concentrated hard, he learned all the scriptures in just 60 days.
As Gurudakshina, (fees for the Guru or teacher) Hanuman promised to assist Surya’s son Sugriva by being his compatriot and minister.
Helping Lord Rama
Hanuman is particularly known for serving as an envoy of Lord Rama who wanted to warn Ravana to return Sita Mata without a battle.
When Ravana tried to capture Hanuman, he became massive and set fire to the Lanka. He is also known for getting Sanjivani Booti from the Himalayas to save the life of Lakshman who was grievously injured during the battle.
Many people keep a fast on Tuesdays and Saturdays to honor Hanuman. Some people also avoid non-vegetarian foods on Tuesday to honor this god.
It is also believed that if a person reads Hanuman Chalisa (his hymn) or says Bajrangbali Ki Jai during tough times, all his or troubles will vanish.
Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of April, Hindu month of Chaitra to commemorate his birth. Hanuman Mandirs (temples) can be found in almost every street of India.
What We Can Learn from Him
Lord Hanuman teaches us total devotion. He was so dedicated to Lord Rama that he was willing to do everything for him.
He also teaches us to keep faith during tough times and helps us to be strong in every situation.
If you are strong enough, you will have the capacity to deal with any and all problems in life. Just keep your faith in you and believe in yourself.