Hanuman Jayanti is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Hanuman, an ardent devotee of Lord Ram. He is known to have Ram and Sita in his heart. He is worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs in India, and also by people of many Asian countries including Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Hanuman Jayanti is a festival that reminds us to learn all the good qualities from him. The Hanuman Jayanti date varies every year. The festival falls on the Chaitra Suddha Pournami (Full moon of Chaitra Month) of the Indian Lunar Calendar. The date of Hanuman Jayanti 2021 is 27 April in South India.
Why do we celebrate Hanuman Jayanti?
Hanuman Jayanthi marks the birth of Hanuman, one of the most powerful Hindu gods. He is a vanara – an ape, and not a monkey. If you have been in touch with human evolution, you will know by now that Humans evolved from Monkeys. Wherein, the second stage of human evolution after apes is Vanaras. Thus, Hanuman is a vanara – with the highest intelligence, discipline, and willpower than any other monkey.
How was Hanuman born?
Hanuman is the child of Mother Anjana Devi and Kesari, the King of Vanaras.
- This is why Hanuman is called Anjanisuta or Aanjaneya– meaning the Son of Maa Anjana.
- This is also why Hanuman is called Kesarinandan – meaning the lovable child of King Kesari.
Interestingly, Hanuman is born by the power of the Wind God – Vayu.
- This is why Hanuman is called Pavan Putra or Pawana Tanaya – meaning the Son of Pavan (Air God- Vayu).
The story goes like this:
In Treta Yuga, King Dasaratha was performing Putrakameshti Yaga for children. He was offering prayers to the Fire God. Pleased with his devotion, the Agni Deva (the Fire God) appeared from the Holy Fire. He presented a big vessel of kheer to King Dasaratha and suggested he share with his wives and drink it.
In this process, a white-tailed kite happened to take a little of the kheer and flew away. While it was flying in the sky, it left the kheer drop midway. Noticing the power of this kheer drop, the wind god Vayu immediately caught it.
He dropped this kheer drop into the hands of Anjana Devi who was praying to God for children. Then, soon she gave birth to Hanuman.
Even Bhima – one among the Pandavas, was the Son of Vayu. Hence Bhima was called Vayunandan too. But in Mahabharata, Kunti Devi prayed to Lord Vayu for the child. Thus, he blessed her with Bhima.
But in Ramayana, Hanuman was born without any special request of Maa Anjana to Wind God Vayu. Thus, Bhima is the son as per fate, while Hanuman is born out of destiny for a divine reason.
Why is Hanuman special to Rama?
You may get a doubt here: Even Lakshmana and Sita were also accompanying him in the forest and everywhere, what makes Hanuman so special to Rama?
Sita Mata is the wife of Lord Rama. It is her dharma or by law, she has to abide by her husband’s words and go wherever he goes. It is for the same reason she goes into fire or forest when Rama orders her to prove her sanctity.
The main reason is – she has to stand by Dharma, which was utmost in the Treta Yuga. Even Lord Ram knew that Sita Mata is pure like fire even when she was abducted by Ravana. But as a King, he has to prove to his people that their claims are false. It is his Dharma as a King. Hence, he orders Sita Mata to go for a fire test. Thus, whatever Sita and Rama did is solely in the lines of Dharma.
Now, Lakshman is the brother of Lord Rama. He must save his brother and sister-in-law every time. Hence, he accompanies them to the forest and takes care of them. Even in this scenario, Lakshman is purely performing his Dharma as a devoted brother.
But when it comes to the devotion and service that Hanuman does to Rama, there is no Dharma that defines him. Hanuman recognizing the greatness and the Dharma following the nature of Rama became his ardent servant. He sacrificed his entire life for Rama. Lord Rama never asked Hanuman to serve him. It was Hanuman who chose Rama as his Master and did everything. Thus, the relation between Rama and Hanuman is purely divine and destined.
Why is Hanuman so powerful?
Hanuman is a child born with the powers of Vayu. Thus, he has immense physical power and can even fly in the sky with ease.
Being the son of Kesari, the King of Vanaras, Hanuman is intensely strong and well-respected. He had great physical power with which he even lifted mountains or killed demons with one single blow.
From his mother Anjana Devi who is a Human, Hanuman obtained patience and intelligence. Thus, Hanuman contains a mix of powers of Vayu (God) – Kesari (Vanara)- Maa Anjana (Human). This imparts him incomparable powers when compared with any other God of Hinduism.
Hanuman is also blessed by all-powerful Gods:
- Lord Surya (Sun) blessed him with knowledge and education. Sun God is the teacher of Hanuman. He learned education from the Sun.
- The King of Gods Indra blessed Hanuman that no weapon can do anything to him, including his own Vajrayudha. This is the reason why Hanuman is called Bajrangbali. This means, even Bajrang (vajrayutha) cannot do anything to Hanuman.
- The God of Fire, Agni grants a boon that fire will never cause any harm to Hanuman.
- Similarly, Vayu gives him a power that Hanuman can move as fast as Wind and nothing can stop him.
- The God of Rain, Varuna offers a boon that no rain or water will harm Hanuman.
- Interestingly, the Gada, or the weapon of Hanuman that he carries on his shoulders all the time and uses to fight with the demons, is gifted by Lord Vishnu himself.
- Likewise, Lord Brahma also gives a boon to Hanuman that he can move to any place of his wish and no one will stop him.
Thus, all these boons give remarkable power to Hanuman and make him Immortal.
Why is Hanuman called Hanuman?
The meaning of Hanuman relates to a beautiful story:
It was when Hanuman was little, he felt very hungry. He saw the reddish-orange sun rising freshly in the morning. He assumes him as fruit and leaps to the sky to eat the fruit.
Looking at this, Lord Indra assumes that that little vanara boy is coming to Heaven to occupy his position. He immediately throws his Vajrayudha (thunderbolt) towards him, which hits him in his jaw and deforms it.
Jaw in Sanskrit is called Hanuvu. Since that time, Aanjaneya has come to be called Hanuman.
Why is Hanuman called Panchmukh Hanuman?
During the fight with Ravana’s army to get back Sita Mata, Ahiravana the king of the Underground or Patala Loka, kidnaps Rama at Ravana’s request. He hides him in a secret place.
Anjaneya then comes to know about this. He comes to patala loka to kill Ahiravana, and saves Rama. But to kill Ahiravana, one needs to blow off five oil lamps at once which hide the life of Ahiravana. Thus, he dons the Panchamukha Avatar – with five faces. He then blows all the lamps at once, thus kills Ahiravana and saves Rama.
The five faces of Panchamukha Hanuman and the blessings that devotees by praying Panchamukha Hanuman are:
- Garuda: Gifts magical skills and protects from snake bites
- Narasimha: Gives fearlessness
- Varaha: Gives health and protects from exorcism
- Hayagreeva: Gives victory over enemies
- Hanuman: Blesses with courage and strength
Why is Hanuman called Sankat Mochan?
Devotees call Hanuman Sankat Mochan. There is an interesting story behind this name.
Ravana is so powerful that he captured all the nine planets and hid them under his throne. With this, he became invincible and there were no malefic effects of any planet on him.
When Hanuman entered Ravana’s court for the first time to talk with him, he observed Shani hiding under the throne. Without a second notice, Hanuman pulls out Lord Shani with his tail and frees him from the actions of Ravana. Thus, pleased with his help, Lord Shani blessed Hanuman that he will never trouble his devotees.
Lord Shani is known to cause intense troubles and testing times for human beings. Sankat in Hindi means troubles. Thus, Hanuman is called Sankat Mochan by his devotees as his devotees can stay trouble-free forever. This is also why devotees offer jalebi or WADA made of a black gram to Hanuman. Black gram symbolizes Saturn as per astrology. Thus, offering Black-gram-made items to Anjaneya means getting peace from the troubles of Saturn.
Why is Hanuman applied with Sindoor?
Hanuman is always covered in sindoor – the orange pigment. The reason is:
Once Sita Mata was applying Sindoor on her head in the middle of hair on her forehead. Hanuman who was witnessing this asks her with immense respect – “Maa, why are you applying Sindoor in the middle of your hair on the forehead?” Then Sita Maata replies,“ Applying a dot of Sindoor on my forehead will prolong the life of my husband Shri Ram.”
Listening to this, Hanuman jumps right away and starts applying sindoor to his whole body in the belief that it will give Rama a happy and long life forever. Thus, Hanuman loves to apply Sindoor on his body all the time.
It is also a custom to worship Hanuman with betel leaves. When Hanuman entered Ashoka Vana and convinced Sita Mata by showing Rama’s ring, she became extremely happy. Instantly, she makes a garland with betel leaves and showers her thanks to Hanuman. This is why Hanuman likes betel leaves and garlands made out of them.
Another interesting observation is Hanuman likes Tuesday. This is because he saw Sita Mata first in the Ashoka forest in Lanka on Tuesday. Hence, Tuesday is favorite for him. Also, he is worshipped on Saturday. As mentioned, his devotees won’t have any effect of Shani. Hence the ritual.
Hanuman Jayanti Puja
On the day of Hanuman Jayanti, people wake up before sunrise. They take a head bath and wear clean clothes. They worship the idol of Hanuman either in the home or in the temple. Special prayers and bhajans take place throughout the day. Temples also distribute food to the devotees and the needy.
Devotees chant Hanuman Chalisa 40 times, Hanuman Dandaka, and other hymns in praise of Hanuman. They wear saffron-colored clothes in the symbolism of the sindoor color that Hanuman likes very much. Devotees also organize rallies with orange-colored flags and preaching the greatness of Hanuman.
Hanuman Qualities Which We Should Learn
Hanuman is extremely powerful yet highly obedient. There are many beautiful qualities in Hanuman which we should learn and implement in daily life.
Talk less and use correct words: When he comes to Rama after seeing Sita Mata in Lanka, Hanuman heads straight away to Rama and says, “I saw Mother Sita, she is doing fine.” He knows what Rama needs and just tells what he needs to listen and get respite. He never shares how the journey to Lanka happened or how he fought demons on the way, or how Lanka and Ravan looked like, etc. So, always speak what should be spoken and use good words.
Humble and obedient: Hanuman is extremely intelligent. He knows everything and can do anything. Yet, he is very humble, always with folded hands towards elders and Rama and Sita. Thus, despite having knowledge or money or power, one should always remain humble and obedient to enjoy success forever. Else, pride will be the stepping stone to one’s fall.
Focus and attention: At the onset of his journey to Lanka in the air, Hanuman never takes rest nor stops in the way. He sees many Golden mountains, attractions, and other distractions. But he never loses his focus. He is on a mission to accomplish the whereabouts of Sita Mata. Thus, he never diverts his focus. Thus, we should never be distracted from the goal we have despite many attractions luring us.
Why is Hanuman called Chiranjeevi?
Hanuman is immortal. He has boons from all Gods including Lord Shiva, that no one can do anything to him. This makes Hanuman immortal.
One can also see many monkeys near any Hanuman mandir. This is never a coincidence. Many staunch devotees always felt his presence near them. He has been present from the Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and now KaliYuga too. Believers believe that he is still living in the Himalayas mountains in the invisible form in a place where no human can reach. All such things prove that Anjaneya lives forever!
Children should read Hanuman Chalisa and Dandaka daily once during morning or evening. This will give them immense strength, knowledge, and remove all fears and worries.
Hanuman is so great, sometimes even more than Rama. Tulsidas, the great poet who wrote Ram Charita Manas, says: “Greater than Rama is Ram’s Servant.”
On the other hand, Anjaneya loves to hear Ram’s name more than his. Where devotees sing Ram naam – Jai Shree Ram, Anjaneya stands in the corner with folded hands teary eyed. He breathes and lives on the name of Ram. Thus both of them are inseparable, one cannot live or have meaning without the other. No Ram no Hanuman, and No Hanuman no Ram!
|| Pavana Tanaya Sankata Harana Mangal Moorti Roop
Rama Lakhana Sita Sahita Hrudya Basahu Surabhoop ||
Praise to the Son of Pavan, Remover of Obstacles, Who is the most beautiful
Who has Ram and Sita in his Heart, Oh Hanuman, always please bless me!!
Jai Bajrangbali!! Jai Shree Ram!!!
About the Author:
Swetha Prasanna Gangavarapu is enthused with the beauty of Hinduism. She is also an avid traveler and loves exploring the tranquillity of temples as and when possible. She is a Content Strategist & Senior Freelance Content Writer and can be reached on LinkedIn.