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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