This story is about pavanputra Hanuman- the monkey god, also known as Bajarangbali. Bajarang meaning one with a strong iron-like body and Bali means all powerful. He is also worshiped under another name, Maruti, meaning son of Vayu (wind). READ ABOUT HANUMAN JAYANTI.
STORY BEFORE HANUMANJI’S BIRTH
Hanuman was the son of Anjana, an apsara cursed to take the form of a monkey, who married Vanar (monkey) king Kesari. Birth story of Lord Hanuman is very fascinating, for that let’s first read the story of Mother Anjana long before Lord Hanuman’s birth.
Lord Brahmaji’s palace was a heavenly abode and beautiful apsaras lived in that palace. Among them was a beautiful apsara named Anjana. Happy with her services Brahmaji decided to reward her. He asked Anjana her desire and she replied hesitatingly”Lord please remove my curse which was placed on me by a Rishi Agnirasa(sage).
Brahmaji asked her to tell him about her curse and assured her that he will try to help her. Anjana started narrating her story, “When I was a child I used to get bored of my luxurious lifestyle and in search of amusement one day I came down to earth to play with earth’s strange creatures. As I was wandering around to look for some friends, I saw a monkey meditating in a forest.
Little did I know about this monkey, I started laughing and making fun of that monkey because he was seated with folded legs just like a lotus. Seeing that monkey pose like a human sage, I threw some pebbles and fruits at him.
Since I was a small child the Sage tried to ignore my foolishness at first but eventually he lost his temper. Soon his eyes opened and I could see anger in his eyes. He was not an ordinary monkey. He was a powerful sage who had disguised himself as a monkey to do his tapasya. My mischief had disturbed his meditation and in his thundering voice he said,” Young apsara, you have committed a sin and you should be punished for that. Since you mocked me of being a monkey, I curse you that whenever you fall in love with someone you will turn into a monkey.”
I begged and cried in front of him. But sage Agnirasa said that the curse could not be changed but said that besides my monkey face someone will fall in love with me.” Anjana said to Lord Brahma, ” This is my curse story, O Lord! please save me from this curse.”
After hearing her story Brahmaji felt sad for her and uttered,” I think I can help you in removing this curse. As per the curse go and live your life on earth, get married and you’ll remain this way until you give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.”
Anjana was happy to learn that and followed Brahma’s advice. Soon she took birth on earth and lived in Kunjar family – one who dwells in forest. One day while returning home from forest she saw a man fighting a mighty lion. She stood there and watched that brave man fought. She looked at that man with love and admiration and after killing the lion when that man turned he saw Anjana standing there. The moment he looked at her,because of the curse Anjana turned into a monkey as she was in love with that man!
On seeing this transformation, Anjana covered her face and started to cry. Seeing her crying the man rushed towards her and inquired what the matter was.
“Talk to me, O beautiful lady, face me,” said the man.
“Oh brave man, how can I you. I am cursed and as per the curse if I fall in love I will change into a monkey and I have, so please leave me alone and go, ” said Anjana.
That man said smiling,”Look at me lady, I am not human but as per a boon from Lord Shiva I can take any form I want.” Peeking through her fingers Anjana saw a monkey- faced man standing in front of her. She was surprised. The man said,” I am Kapiraj Kesari of Mount Sumeru, the king of monkeys. On seeing you I fell in love with you, I ask your hand in marriage – will you marry me?”Anjana accepted his proposal and thought that the Sage’s words came true. This man is willing to marry me besides my appearance.Later both of them got married in the forest.
But Anjana still wanted to get out of monkey body, she was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and she started performing intense meditation to please Lord Shiva.After seeing her devotion Lord Shiva appeared and asked what she desired. Anjana requested Lord Shiva to be born as her son and free her from Sage’s curse. So pleased with her bhakti; Lord Shiva granted her, her wish.
At that same time King Dasharath was also performing the ritual of Putra-kamana yagna (spiritual ritual in order to have children) in Ayodhya. As a result of that yagna, he received a sacred pudding (Kheer) to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Lord Ram, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughna. While Dasarath was giving that prasad to his wife,a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding, flew over the forest and dropped it where Anjana was engaged in meditation. This all happened because of Lord Shiva’s boon.
Lord Shiva commanded Vayu to deliver that prasad to Anjana. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling prasad to the outstretched hands of Maa Anjana. Thinking it to be prasad from Lord Shiva, Anjana consumed it with delight. As a result,Hanuman was born to her and she was free from the curse of Sage Agnirasa. Kesari and Anjana were was very happy to see their monkey- faced baby boy. He was named as Anjaneya or the son of Anjana. Hanuman was very intelligent and proficient in grammar and music. He was a ardent worshiper and devotee of Ram and believed in devotion and sacrifice.
Exciting events from Hanuman’s life are presented here in simple and lucid language for children. As Hanuman was a child of both Shiva and Vayu, he had immense power and was very strong from other monkey children. As compared to other monkey kids Hanuman was very curious and very mischievous. We would like to share some of his childhood stories.
HOW ANJANEYA CAME TO BE KNOWN AS HANUMAN ?
When he was a child, his mother, Anjana, had assured him that he would never be destroyed and whenever he feels hungry he can have fruits as red and ripe as the rising sun. There is a story behind it and a phrase from Hanuman Chalisa – “Bal samay rabi bhakhshi liyo” meaning- In his childhood Hanuman swallowed the sun; describes it well.
One day mother Anjana stepped out after putting Hanuman to sleep. Soon he woke up and started feeling very hungry,he started looking around for his mother and when he saw the bright red sun in the sky he remembered his mother’s word and thinking that the glowing sun was a delicious red fruit he mistook it as an apple and leaped towards it.
Hanumanji was a divine child and being born to Anjana and Kesari he inherited their magical powers and because of that he leaped towards the sky at the speed of wind and the severe heat of the SUN had no effect on him. He caught hold of the sun and kept it inside his mouth. It was a day of solar eclipse and Rahu was coming to posses Sun. Seeing Rahu, Hanumanji thought that this is some kind of a black fruit and he ran towards Rahu, and Rahu rushed to seek help from Lord Indra.
Rahu said,”Lord, who is this other Rahu who has come to posses Surya? I ran away from there as that thing leaped toward me.” Indra was surprised to hear this and on his consort Airavata (Indra’s white elephant) he left to solve the situation. He saw a monkey faced kid playing in the sky with sun in his mouth. On seeing Indra’s elephant Hanumanji thought, it’s a yummy white fruit and tried to attack him. Seeing this attempt of that valorous monkey, Indra got angry and used his thunderbolt (vajrayudha) which hit the child’s chin and hurled him to the earth. As a result of this hit Hanumanji’s mouth remained open.
Vayu, the Wind god, rushed towards his sun Hanuman. With affection he carried him in his arms and took him to Paatal lok. Seeing his condition his mother Anjana started crying. Due to anger Vayu, the wind stopped flowing and due to this life on earth came to a standstill in the absence of air. Living beings felt breathless and started to faint. All the three worlds were in a tough situation. Worried Brahmaji along with Indra and other devtas approached Vayu, the wind god. They requested Vayu to start blowing again but seeing his son condition Vayu refused.
Brahma blessed the monkey child with immortality, invulnerability, enduring devotion to God, and prowess (bravery). Agni blessed him, Saying, “Fire will never burn you.” Kaal was no less generous, “May not death overcome you.” Vayu blessed him with more speed than he himself had. Indra said, “No weapon of any kind shall wound you or hit your body and since your chin(Hanu) was broken as a result of my hit so from today on you will be known as HANUMAN – one with the broken jaw.”
All the gods,blessed him saying that, “None will ever equal you in strength and speed.” Surya gave him two siddhis of yoga namely “laghima” and “garima”. With “laghima” he could attain the smallest form and with “garima” he could attain the biggest form of life.It is from this event that Anjana’s monkey son came to be known as Hanuman. After this Vayu, wind god started flowing like before and life in all three worlds were back to normal.
HOW HANUMAN LOST HIS POWERS
Hanuman’s childhood was full of mischief and pranks. He was full of great energy and used his great powers to play pranks on meditating rishis. Hanuman disturbed them by pulling on their hairs, disturbing them in their puja and taking away their puja things. At first the rishis tried to ignore him but later they were very tired of his powers and decided to punish him by placing a small curse on Hanuman.
With their powerful vision the rishis knew that Hanuman is a divine child and later in his life he would assist Lord Ram in his quest to bring back Mother Sita from Lanka.They cursed him that for a short while Hanumann will loose all his powers and would remember only if someone would remind him of it. The effect of curse was lifted when a wise monkey named Jambhvant reminded Hanuman of his powers and this is when Hanuman recollected all his great powers and took a big jump to Lanka to find Mother Sita.
HOW HANUMAN MEETS SUGRIV?
As Hanuman grew up he completed his studies under the guidance of Sun god. On completion of his studies Surya god asked him to help and guide Sugriv (who belonged to Surya god’s family) throughtout his lifetime.Hanuman promised his guru that he will always accompany Sugriv and protect him from all harms. After seeking blessings from his guru Hanuman returned home to his parents. Later in his life Hanuman’s father King Kesari asked Hanuman to go to Pampapur to attain political knowledge, this is where Hanuman met Sugriv, the younger brother of Bali. They became good friends and later Hanuman assisted Sugriv during his tough days when Bali,his older brother had banished Sugriv from his kingdom.