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"Hanuman Jayanthi" - Jai Hanuman
 

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"Hanuman Jayanthi" - Jai Hanuman

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Yatra yatra raghunatha kirtanam;
Tatra tatra kritha masthakanjalim;
Bhaspavaari paripurna lochanam;
Maarutim namata raakshasanthakam

   Meaning : "We bow to Maruti, Sri Hanuman, who stands with his palms folded above his forehead, with a torrent of tears flowing down his eyes wherever the Names of Lord Rama are sung".

Chiranjivi
Hanumanji is said to be Chiranjivi (immortal) and is present in the world even today. He is the link between the devotees and God, for, as instructed by the Lord, he serves, protects and inspires the servants of God. Saints like Tulasidas had the darshan (divine vision) of the Lord through the grace of Hanumanji.

 

The Power of Devotion
The character of Hanuman teaches us of the unlimited power that lies unused within each one of us. Hanuman directed all his energies towards the worship of Lord Rama, and his undying devotion made him such that he became free from all physical fatigue. And Hanuman's only desire was to go on serving Rama. Hanuman perfectly exemplifies "Dasyabhava" devotion one of the nine types of devotions that bonds the master and the servant. His greatness lies in his complete merger with his Lord, which also formed the base of his genial qualities.


In order to aid Rama, Lord Brahma commanded some gods and goddesses to take the avatar of "Vanaras" (or monkeys). Indra was reincarnated as Bali, Surya as Sugriva, Vrihaspati as Tara, and Pavana, the god of wind was reborn as Hanuman, the wisest, swiftest and strongest of all apes.

The Birth of Hanuman
The story of the birth of Hanuman goes thus: Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the gods, had an attendant called Punjikasthala. She was cursed to assume the form of a female monkey a curse that could only be nullified if she would give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Reborn as Anjana, she performed intense austerities to please Shiva, who finally granted her the boon that would cure her of the curse.

When Agni, the god of fire gave Dasharath, the king of Ayodhya, a bowl of sacred sweet food to share among his wives so that they may have divine children, an eagle snatched a part of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Pavana, the god of wind delivered the drop to her outstretched hands. After she took the divine dessert, she gave birth to Hanuman. Thus Lord Shiva incarnated as a monkey, and was born as Hanuman to Anjana, by the blessings of Pavana, who thus became Hanuman's godfather.

Hanuman's Childhood
The birth of Hanuman released Anjana from the curse. Before she returned to Heaven, Hanuman asked his mother about his life ahead. She assured him that he would never die, and said that fruits as ripe as the rising sun would be his food. Mistaking the glowing sun as his food, the divine baby leapt for it. Indra, the king of heavens struck him with his thunderbolt and hurled him down to earth. But Hanuman's godfather Pavana carried him to the nether world ("Patala"). As he departed from the earth, all life panted for air, and Brahma had to beg him to return. In order to appease him they conferred a lot of boons and blessings on his foster child that made Hanuman invincible, immortal and super powerful.

Hanuman's Education
Hanuman selected Surya, the sun god as his preceptor, and approached him with the request to teach the scriptures. Surya agreed and Hanuman became his disciple, but had to face his constantly moving guru by traversing the sky backwards at equal pace, while taking his lessons. Hanuman's phenomenal concentration took him only 60 hours to master the scriptures. Surya considered the manner in which Hanuman accomplished his studies as his tuition fees, but when Hanuman requested him to accept something more than that, the sun god asked Hanuman to assist his son Sugriva, by being his minister and compatriot.

It is hard to find a mythical character who is at once so powerful, learned, philosophic, humble and amusing! Hanuman features prominently in the great epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Hanuman Meets Rama
Hanuman met Rama and his brother Lakshmana while Rama was in exile in the jungle, and searching for his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravana. Their quest brought them near Pampa Lake at the foot of Mount Risyamukha, where the monkey king Sugriva and his ministers were hiding. Sugriva, who was being persecuted by his brother Bali, suspected that Rama and Lakshmana might have been sent by Bali to slay him. To find out the facts, Hanuman approached them in the guise of a Brahmin.

In Service of Rama
Hanuman's initial words highly impressed Rama, and made him comment: "None can talk this way without mastering the Vedas. He has such a flawless countenance, a wonderful accent, and a captivating way of speaking. He has the ability to move even an enemy..." After he revealed his identity as the prince of Ayodhya, Hanuman fell prostrate before him in respect of the Lord. Rama picked him up and embraced him. There began the story of Hanuman, which is inextricably interwoven with Rama, and dealt with in detail in Valmiki's Ramayana and the Tulsidas' Ramacharitamanas.

Exciting Exploits!
To cut the long story of Hanuman short, he then introduced Rama to Sugriva, and began his massive search for Sita. Finding out her whereabouts, he consoled Sita, and burnt down the city of Lanka. Hanuman then brought Rama to Lanka, fought the battle against Ravana with his simian army, and vanquished the demons. Hanuman's greatest feat was saving the life of Lakshmana by fetching the life-giving herb "Sanjivani" from the Himalayas. He flew fast towards the Himalayas, but unable to recognise the right herb, picked up the whole mountain on his hand and flew back to Lanka, just in time to save Lakshmana. Thereafter Hanuman served Rama forever.

Hanuman and the Pandavas
The venerable ape also features in the great epic Mahabharata. How Hanuman met the valiant Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers is itself a marvelous tale. He recognized Bhima as his spiritual brother, since both were born with the blessings of Pavana, the Wind God, and promised to aid the Pandavas in the big battle of Kurukshetra. Hanuman positioned himself in the flag of Arjuna's chariot to secure and stabilize the war-craft. The triangular saffron flag of Hanuman stands for stability and equilibrium, sense-control and mind-control, and a sure sign of victory over all that is base and evil.

Jaya Siya Ram Jaya, Jaya Siya Ram
Jaya Hanuman Jaya, Jaya Hanuman

The Glories of Hanuman


Ramayana is an epic portraying exemplary characters. Rama is the ideal king, Sita the perfect wife and Hanuman the perfect devotee. The character of Hanuman exemplifies how devotional service is practiced in its perfection, how a pure devotee relates with his worshippable Lord and how the Lord reciprocates.

Origin of Hanuman

Hanuman was born the son of Kesari and Anjani. His mother Anjani was previously an Apsara (celestial lady) named Punjikasthala who took birth in the monkey race as a result of a curse. Despite this her beauty was unrivalled and once attracted Vayu, the powerful god of the winds. Hanuman was born as a result of the union of Anjani and Vayu-deva, but as Vayu-deva revealed that this was not a sinful activity since the appearance of Hanuman was ordained by the great Lord Vishnu Himself.

When Ravana had become invincible by the boons he had obtained from Brahma, he became a terror to even the powerful demigods. With Lord Brahma at their head, they prayed to the omniscient Lord Vishnu for help. In response, Lord Vishnu confirmed that He would descend as Rama, the son of King Dasaratha. He alsoordered the demigods as follows, "Soon My advent on earth will occur. Assisted by all of you I will crush the despicable Ravana. The evil one did not ask for immunity from humans and animals. As promised I will descend as a human. Without leaving your posts as the controllers of the universe, you are capable of expanding yourselves. You should therefore appear on the earth as monkeys."  In accordance to the wish of Lord Vishnu, Indra, the king of the demigods, expanded into Vali, Surya, the sun-god, into Sugriva, Vishwakarma, the celestial architect, into Nala and the Ashwini twins into Mainda and Dvivida. Vayu, the wind-god, expanded into the mighty Hanuman. When appraised of their role in assisting Lord Vishnu, both Kesari and Anjani became exceedingly grateful and were soon blessed with the birth of an effulgent and powerful progeny they called Bali, one who is extremely powerful. He was also called Bajrang Bali, Kesari-nandana (son of Kesari), Anjani-putra and Anjaneya (son of Anjani).

Hanuman tries to swallow the Sun

As a child once Hanuman thought the rising Sun in the sky to be an apple and quickly flew up in the sky desiring to eat it. Indra alarmed at the sight of some one approaching to swallow the Sun, quickly deployed his weapon the Vajra. Struck by this powerful weapon, the child Hanuman fell down unconscious.When Vayu-deva witnessed this he became extremely angry and withdrew himself from the universe. When the winds in the sky and the very life-airs became
> suspended, there was great anguish in the three worlds. All the demigods, headed by Brahma implored Vayu-deva to give up his anger. Vayu-deva finally gave up his anger and resumed his function in the universe and the grateful demigods showered many benedictions on Hanuman. Indra gave him the boon of being able to die only when he desired, Brahma gave his protection from his powerful weapon the brahma-astra and the other demigods showered him with many mystic powers and weapons. Since the weapon of Indra and struck and broken the jaw of Hanuman, he got the name by which he would be most famous. Hanuman which means "one with a broken jaw." Hanuman accepted the very same Sun god he had tried to swallow as his guru and learned from him the Vedic scriptures and science of war. Later on, Hanuman on several occasions displayed his impeccable grasp on Vedic scriptures, when trying to convince Ravana to give up Sita, when counseling Sugriva and by strictly following the codes of battle in the war against the rakshasas. His strength and skills as a warrior are matched by his keen intellect, knowledge of the scriptures and a deep compassion for all living entities.

Hanuman looses his powers

As a young child Hanuman could not control his great powers and in childish exuberance caused much disturbance to the peaceful sages in the forests. Much disturbed by his excessive energy and indefatigable powers, the rishis finally cursed him to loose all his powers. However by their mystic vision they realized that Hanuman would play a vital role in later assisting Lord Rama in His pastimes. They therefore decreed that when some one would remind Hanuman of his powers the effect of the curse would be lifted and Hanuman would get complete recollection of his great powers.

Meeting with Lord Rama

While living in exile with Sugriva, Hanuman first encountered Rama and Lakshmana as they searched for Sita. Hanuman on the orders of Sugriva had disguised himself as a Brahman to try and find out if the two mighty bowmen were sent by Vali, the vengeful brother of Sugriva. However on seeing Them, all doubts were immediately wiped from the mind of Hanuman who immediately revealed his true form. From this time, Hanuman became completely absorbed in one and only one thing, the service of Rama. Later when Hanuman and his troop of monkeys were stuck on the southern shore of the country, separated from Lanka by the ocean, Jambavana reminds Hanuman of his great powers. The duration of the curse thus ends and a greatly powerful Hanuman jumps across the ocean to wreak havoc in the golden city of Ravana.

Hanuman the perfect devotee

The relationship between Rama and Hanuman demonstrates the perfection of devotion in the mood of service (dasya-rasa). In an almost classical manner Hanuman demonstrated the symptoms of pure devotional service. Everything that he did was only for the pleasure of Lord Rama, whether it was building bridges, fighting rakshasas or flying across the country to fetch life saving herbs, his constant meditation was how to best serve Rama. When he sought out Sita in Ravana's Lanka, he was not merely satisfied at delivering to her the message of Lord Rama. He also destroyed the forest, killed many rakshasas and burnt down half of Lanka. That is the mood of a pure devotee. To consciously cultivate everything that is positive to the service of the Lord and reject everything that is not. Even though Lord Rama reciprocated very sweetly with gratitude, praise or benedictions for Hanuman, he never had any expectation for them. Hanuman
often presented himself as a simple ignorant monkey in front of Rama. When Hanuman returned from Lanka with news of Sita, an overjoyed Rama embraced him tightly. However a clearly uncomfortable Hanuman stated that his position could only be at the feet of his Lord. The highest reward for him was to serve Lord Rama. Service to Rama was the most exalted destination for Hanuman, and he constantly endeavored to perfect himself in this respect.

Glories to Hanuman

After ruling for eleven thousand years when the time came for Lord Rama to return to His eternal abode, most of His close associates, including Sugriva, accompanied Him. However Lord Rama ordered Hanuman to stay back, to protect and inspire His future devotees. Lord Rama gave Hanuman the benediction that he would live for as long as His glories would be sung in any corner of the world.

 Even though Hanuman appeared in the Treta-yuga, millions of years later he made an appearance again in the Dwapara-yuga to help his younger brother Bhima. In order to serve Krishna, in the battle of Mahabharata, Hanuman personally resided in the flag on the chariot of Arjuna. During the battle, the fierce cries of Hanuman struck terror in the hearts of the opposition and greatly encouraged the Pandava warriors.
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Devotees pray to Hanuman to protect them from material obstacles in the path of devotional service and engage them in the service of the Supreme Lord Rama.

JAYA HANUMAN!!

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