Life of Lord Hanuman
Origin of Deity Hanumān
Deity Hanumān was born as the son of Vanar rāj (king) Kesari (father) and Anjani (mother). He belonged to the monkey (vanar) race and was very powerful.
He is also known as Bajarang Bali. It consists of two words: Bajarang and Bali. Bajarang means with a strong iron-like body. Bali means all powerful.
Other names of Deity Hanumān are Pavan-Putra (meaning son of Vāyu or wind), Māruti, Kesari-nandana (son of Kesari), Anjani-putra and Anjaneya (son of Anjani).
Deity Hanumān is the incarnation of Deity Shiva. Deity Shiva took birth in the form of Hanumān to serve Shrīrāmā and destroy Ravan, the demon king of Lanka.
Deity Hanumān was very strong, intelligent and kind to all the living beings. He was a worshipper and devotee of Shrīrāmā. He believed in devotion and sacrifice.
Deity Hanumān's birthday (Hanumān Jayantī) is on the full moon day (Pourṇimā) of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra.
Meeting with Shrīrāmā
When Deity Hanumān grew up he became a minister at the court of Sugreeva, the King of Kishkindha. Vali was the elder brother of Sugreeva. Once Vali, who was fighting with a rakshasa (demon), entered a cave with his opponent; he did not come out for a long time. Blood began to flow from the cave, so Sugreeva thought that Vali was dead. He returned to Kishkindha and became its king. But a little later, Vali returned and drove out Sugreeva. Sugreeva and his ministers hid themselves in the Malaya mountains; Vali could not enter this region.
When Shrīrāmā, His wife Deity Sītā and His brother Lakshman were in the forest, a rakshasa (demon) by name of Ravan took Deity Sītā away by force. Shrīrāmā was in great grief. He was wandering the forests in search of her when He came to the Malaya mountains. Sugreeva saw Him there with Lakshman. Sugreeva and his companions were very fearful that Vali had sent Shrīrāmā and Lakshman to kill them. So Sugreeva was very anxious to know who those handsome young men were. Whom should he send to talk to Them? Finally he chose Deity Hanumān.
Deity Hanumān, on the orders of Sugreeva, had masked himself as a Brāhmaṇ to try and find out if the two mighty bowmen had really been sent by Vali, the vengeful brother of Sugreeva. However on seeing Them, all doubts were immediately wiped from the mind of Deity Hanumān. He immediately revealed his true form.
Deity Hanumān was an excellent ambassador. He could easily understand the nature of other people. As soon as he saw Shrīrāmā and Lakshman, he realised that they were not deceivers but noble persons. In soft and pleasing words he asked them who they were and told them about himself. Shrīrāmā was very happy when He heard the words of Deity Hanumān. He said to Lakshman, "Did you hear his words? Even an enemy with his sword drawn would be pacified by such words. If a ruler has such a messenger, his efforts will always be successful."
Deity Hanumān took Shrīrāmā and Lakshman to Sugreeva. He had hopes that these brave young men would make Sugreeva king again.
Powerful Deity Hanumān
Shrīrāmā and Sugreeva promised to help each other. One of the things Sugreeva did was to send Deity Hanumān to look for Deity Sītā. When Deity Hanumān was searching for Deity Sītā he met Sampati who was brother of Jatayu. Jatayu was killed while he was trying to stop Deity Sītā from being kidnapped by Ravan. Sampati told Hanumān that he had seen Deity Sītā being kept prisoner in the Ashokvatika in Lanka.
When Deity Hanumān reached Lanka and met Ravan, Ravan did not offer Deity Hanumān a chair to sit on.
So Deity Hanumān created his own throne by extending his tail, coiling it under him and then sitting on top of it, in front of Ravan.
Ravan was shocked to see this and called on his demons to set Deity Hanumān's tail on fire. Ravan's soldiers started tying rags to Deity Hanumān's tail to set it on fire. As they did that, Deity Hanumān made his tail longer and longer. The exhausted demons stopped trying to tie more rags and set fire to his tail.
Now it was Deity Hanumān's turn. With his tail on fire, he jumped all over Lanka, setting the entire city ablaze.
When the battle between Ravan and Shrīrāmā was being fought, Lakshman got hit with an arrow. The vaidya (doctor) told Shrīrāmā that if Lakshman smelled a shrub called 'Sanjivani' from the mountain 'Gandhamadan' he will recover. Hanumān went to the mountain but as he could not recognize the shrub, he uprooted the entire mountain and brought it to the doctor.
Deity Hanumān the perfect devotee
Deity Hanumān is a pure devotee and a prefect servant of Shrīrāmā. Everything that he did was only to please Shrīrāmā, whether it was building bridges, fighting demons or flying across the country to fetch life saving herbs. When he saw Deity Sītā in Ravan's Lanka, he not only delivered the message of Shrīrāmā to her but also destroyed the forest, killed many demons and burnt down half of Lanka. Deity Hanumān never expected anything in return from Shrīrāmā.
Deity Hanumān had a special place in the heart of Shrīrāmā. Deity Hanumān's devotion to Shrīrāmā was profound. Anything and everything, without Him, seemed futile to Deity Hanumān. Once, when Deity Sītā presented a pearl necklace to him, he tried to find Shrīrāmā in each pearl. When he couldn't, he was disappointed and he tore it apart and threw it away.
She was surprised and asked for an explanation. In reply, Deity Hanumān tore open his chest with his nails and showed everyone the word 'Shrīrāmā' engraved on his heart.
Even today the idol of Deity Hanumān, the god of protection, is found in the temples of Shrīrāmā.
Deity Hanumān's devotion and obedience to Shrīrāmā
Once, after Shrīrāmā returned to His kingdom from exile, a group of Sages started arguing about the superiority of The Gods Name over The God Himself. Many opinions were given, yet they were not able to come to any conclusion, so they approached Sage Nārada. Sage Nārada requested a few days' time to give an answer to this question.
Sage Nārada thought it best to seek Deity Hanumān's help in solving the problem. He approached Deity Hanumān and requested his assistance. Deity Hanumān agreed. Sage Nārada told Deity Hanumān, "Make some mischief that will enrage Shrīrāmā's Guru so much that He will order Shrīrāmā to punish you. Then leave the rest to me."
Deity Hanumān at once started working on this task. As expected, Shrīrāmā's Guru became very angry at Deity Hanumān and told Shrīrāmā, "Tomorrow morning You must punish Deity Hanumān for the wrong that he has done. In front of the Sages and all the townspeople, You will aim Your powerful arrows at him so that all will witness and learn a lesson about what happens when one annoys the Guru." Shrīrāmā was surprised at His devoted servitor's behaviour. But, He had complete obedience unto His Guru, so He accepted the Guru's instruction and went back to His palace with a heavy heart. In the meantime Sage Nārada told Deity Hanumān to chant Shrīrāmā's Name when Shrīrāmā shot the arrows at him.
The next day dawned and all the Sages and townspeople gathered next to the river to witness the punishment that would be given to Deity Hanumān. Shrīrāmā with a very heavy heart aimed His first arrow at Deity Hanumān and let go. The arrow headed straight for Deity Hanumān but changed direction at the last moment and fell to the ground without touching him. Deity Hanumān was standing with his eyes closed, chanting Shrīrāmā's Name deeply. All the arrows that Shrīrāmā aimed at Deity Hanumān missed him and went in different directions.
When the arrows were exhausted,Shrīrāmā looked at His Guru, Who then asked Shrīrāmā to use the Divine weapon (Brahmāstra) that would not miss Its target. At that point Sage Nārada interrupted and convinced the Guru, "O great Sage, You are great among the Gurus. By forgiving Hanumān, You could give the best example of being a loving and compassionate Guru." The Guru listened to Sage Nārada's advice and forgave Hanumān.
When the incident was over, Sage Nārada approached all the Sages gathered at the river. They had got their answer through this incident and unanimously agreed on the power of The God's Name.
Moral: This story shows the power of God's Name. It also shows Deity Hanumān's devotion to Shrīrāmā and his obedience. We too can be protected completely as Deity Hanumān was, by chanting the all-powerful Name of God with devotion and by developing obedience through listening to our elders.
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