Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saving Lakshman

anjaneya swami with lord rama and lakshman
Lord Hanuman contributed immensely during the battle of Ramayan. His contributions in defeats of Kumbhakaran and Lankini were praised by all the gods. All the great and fierce warriors on the side of Ravana were dealt death blows. Soon it started becoming apparent that Lord Rama assisted by Vir Hanuman was a great force and was not going to be easy to defeat. As a final frontier, Ravana asked his son Meghnad to take to the battle. Meghnad had worshipped Lord Indra and obtained Vajrastra, the deadliest weapon, from him. Lakshman, Lord Rama's younger brother took the field against Meghnad. Meghnad used Vajrastra on Lakshman and Lakshman lost consciousness. It was suggested that only a herb named Sanjeevani found in Himalayas could revive him. The task of fetching the magical herb was given to Vir Anjaneya. He flew from Lanka to the himalayas. There, Lord Indra confused him and Hanuman could not find the right herb easily. In order to avoid confusion, he uprooted the whole mountain and flew along with it to Lanka. The herb was administered well in time to Lakshmana. Thus Vir Anjaneya, Pawan Putra Hanuman was responsible for saving the life of Lakshman,

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Lanka Dahan

anjaneya swami lanka dahan, burning away lanka
After reaching Lanka, Hanuman looked everywhere and finally reached Ashok Vatika, or Ashok Garden. There he saw Ravana pestering Devi Sita to marry him. He waited for Ravana to leave. Later, he met Sita and identified himself as Ramdoot, or ambassador of Ram. He consoled her and made her aware of Lord Rama's plans of invading Lanka. He delivered Lord Rama's Ring as token of proof to Sita. Upon accomplishing this, Vir Anjaneya was elated and decided to spend a while in Lanka to test the preparedness and strength of Ravana. He thus created a ruckus in the Ashok Vatika and fought and deafeated demons sent to arrest him. As all methods failed, Meghnad, son of Ravana, came to arrest him. Sankat Mochan Hanuman gave him a tough fight and in the end gave himself as a prisoner because he wanted to see the trappings inside the court of Ravana. He was taken to the darbar of Ravana tied with ropes. On seeing him and hearing all the loss caused by him, Ravana was enraged and decided to kill him. Vibheeshan, his younger brother, advised him that it was not wise to kill an ambassador. So, in order to punish him, Ravana gave the order to burn the tail of Hanumana, The Monkey God. Hanuman kept growing the length of his tail so that the kingdom ran short of cloth to wrap around his tail for burning. When all seemed to be lost, Hanuman, stopped growing his tail. His tail was then set on fire. On this, Lord Hanuman quickly broke free from the ropes he was tied in and started burning the kingdom itself.

Journey To Lanka

At the time of the Ramayana, Lord Rama sent Vir Anjaneya as an advance spy to Lanka to search for Sita. Endowed with powers of Vayu, The Wind God, he soared high and easily bridged the distance between Lanka and India. Veer Hanuman was chosen for this task as others were just not capable of flying or soaring for such a long distance. Even Lord Maruti was not aware of his powers. It was Jambwant who reminded him of his powers and thus Sri Hanuman was able to recognise his powers and agreed to go to Lanka as advance spy, searching for Sita. His journey to Lanka was full of adventures. As the myth goes, the sea was inhabited by Sursa, who had been given a boon that everyone crossing the sea had to go into her mouth. She thus faced Hanuman Ji and wanted him to enter her mouth. Vir Hanuman, not wanting to insult the boon given to Sursa, grew himself larger and larger in size. To acommodate his size, Sursa kept opening her mouth to match his size. After reaching a huge towering size, Anjaneya Swami, in a flash grew smaller than a fly, went into Sursa's mouth and came out before Sursa could close her open mouth. Thus the boon to Sursa was not nullified and Anjaneya Swami could complete his journey to Lanka.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shree Hanuman

As a young monkey god, Hanuman was quite naughty. He was also quite unaware of his powers and stature. This made him use his powers to pester the saints living nearby. There are lots of Hanuman Photos available that show Lord Hanuman using his powers to  create whirlwind with his breath, pulling a supporting stick with his tail, pulling a beard and dousing a sacred fire. With passage of time, Hanuman became very naughty and all the saints and gods grew vary of his tantrums. In order to rid themselves of the naughty troubles of Lord Hanuman, they petitioned Lord Brahma to find a solution.  Thus a curse was created to protect the world from the mischief that young Hanuman created, by removing his knowledge of his powers.
This curse made Lord Hanuman forget about his powers and thus he did not trouble people anymore. The Power of Hanuman - of which becoming big is just one example - only became available again when Jambavant, King of the bears, reminded Hanuman that he has that power.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Learning Everything

On being accepted as a student, Hanuman always stayed with Surya. He always remained facing the sun and moved backwards so as to absorb all pearls of wisdom. Thus he learned all Surya had to teach. On completion of education, as per the Guru Shishya tradition, Hanuman asked Surya what he could offer as Guru Dakshina (teacher's fee). To this, the Sun god refused, saying that the pleasure of teaching one as dedicated as him was the fee in itself. But Hanuman insisted. Thus Surya asked anuman to help Sugriva. Sugriva, another Vanar king, was the spiritual son of Surya. And thus Hanuman promised Surya to protect Sugriva.

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Finding a Teacher

Although as a child Hanuman tried to swallow the sun, on growing up, he sought out the Sun god for education. He ascertained that Surya, as Sun is known in the Sanskrit texts, was the all encompassing teacher with immense levels of knowledge. Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested that Surya accept him as a student. Surya was not easily to be cajoled into accepting anyone as a student. Thus he refused, claiming that as he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn effectively. This did not deter Hanuman's zest for a good teacher. In order to impress his teacher, Hanuman enlarged his body; he placed one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges and with his face turned toward the sun, made his request again. This pleased Surya no end. He was very impressed by the persistence and respect shown by this young student. He thus accepted him as a student.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Swallowing Sun

As a child, Hanuman was inmmensely naughty. He was not aware of powers vested into him. He would take any chance to entertain himself and nothing was impossible for him. Once he wondered at the brightness of the sun and assuming the sun to be a ripe fruit, he once took flight to catch hold of it to eat. Being son of Vayu, he was able to leap great heights and flow with the wind. So he reached the sun and tried to swallow it as a child would swallow fruit. Indra, the king of gods observed this. He hurled his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman, which struck his jaw. He fell back down to the earth and became unconscious. This upset his father Vayu greatly. To mourn his son's hurt, Vayu went into seclusion taking along with him all the atmosphere and the constituents of it. This caused a lot of peril to the living beings dependent upon air and oxygen. As living beings began to get asphyxiated, to pacify Vayu, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, and the devas revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons. However, a permanent mark was left on his chin (hanuhH in Sanskrit).

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Saturday, December 15, 2007


The story of Hanuman's birth goes thus. Hanuman was born in the Treta Yuga. His mother was the queen of Vanars, a species of monkeys. Her name was  Anjana. Now the myth is that Anjana was actually an apsaras or a celestial being, named Punjikasthala. She was cursed to be boen amongst Vanars and was to be set free from the curse upon her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. She was married to Kesari, the Vanar King .

Along with Kesari, Anjana performed intense prayers to Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought.

There is no one story that goes to the birth of Lord Hanuman. There are different stories regarding his incarnation to the earth. One story relates to the penance of Anjana. When she was offering prayers to Lord Shiva, separated by geography, elsewhere, Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. Dasaratha, with his Yagna, received some sacred pudding, which was to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding, and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in penance. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.

The other story is that shortly after the completion of her penance, Anjana encountered the wind god Vayu. Taken by her charms, and knowing of her destiny, he made love to her, fathering Hanuman with her consent.

Being Anjana's son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya (pronounced Aanjanèya), which literally means "arising from Anjani".

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