Hindu dharma is Polytheist at the same time it is Monotheist, one can have a belief in one major God and also worship other subsidiary Gods. Each Hindu god and goddess represents some characteristics or aspects to enlighten our mind, our dynamic soul, and knowledge. One of them is the mighty Lord Hanuman, the minister of Sugriva (Monkey King) during the period of Ramayana, who portrays the self-example of the divine power and strength one can get by their devotional heart with discipline.
Said to be the avatar/incarnation of Lord Shiva, Hanuman is the most famous devotee and follower of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman’s shraddha (devotion) towards Sri Rama was beyond doubt, and without any selfishness. The hero of the epic Ramayana, Hanuman, has been described as the one with enormous strength, supreme knowledge and a faithful ally who would even carry a hill, and sacrifice his own life for his master.
Here are the 10 Lord Hanuman Facts, who is not only personified in Hinduism but also traced in Jainism and Buddhism.
1. An incarnation of Lord Shiva
As mentioned in Shiva Purana, Hanuman is an avatar of Lord Shiva. When it was predetermined for Lord Vishnu to take birth as Rama in a mortal realm to defeat Ravana, Lord Shiva also decided to take the form of Hanuman, and serve Rama throughout his journey. Why? Because it’s said that Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva complete each other’s existence. They are the divine form of the same cosmic energy and so work together in multiple forms. Thus, Lord Shiva was aroused by Lord Vishnu (as Mohini), and caused the birth of Hanuman, who later helps Rama (incarnation of Lord Vishnu) to find Sita.
2. Born to a cursed celestial fairy
Mother of Hanuman, Devi Anjana, is said to be a cursed celestial fairy named Punjikasthala. Because of her immature act, she was cursed by a sage to be a monkey princess. It was said that her curse would be revoked only when she gives birth to the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Later, Anjana was married to Kesari, a monkey chief, and gave birth to the divine child, Hanuman. Being the son of Anjana and Kesari, Hanuman was named as, Anjaneya and Kesari Nandan. Legend further states that Vayu Deva, the wind god, also plays a major role in the birth of Hanuman, and that’s why Hanuman is also known as Vayuputra.
3. Dis-figured Jaw: Hanuman
The actual meaning of the name Hanuman in Sanskrit is Disfigured Jaw, where Hanu means ‘Jaw’ and Man means ‘Disfigured’. He got this name after the incident with the Sun and the Lord Indra. Hanuman once tried to eat the sun mistaking it as his fruit. When Indra saw this, he tried to stop him from consuming Sun by attacking him with his weapon (Vajrayudha), which hurt Anjaneya and made a dent on his jaw. That’s why, since this incident, Anjaneya was known as someone with a disfigured jaw “Hanuman”.
4. Immortal Hanuman
Hanuman was severely hurt and became unconscious after being attacked by Indra (continuing from the incident of Disfigured Jaw). Vayu (Wind God) got infuriated seeing his son’s condition, thus stopped circulating wind throughout the triad of the world, making every suffering with breathlessness. Seeing this, the majority of gods went to the spot and pleaded Wind God to perform his duty. Lord Brahma made Indra apologize for his mistake and revived Hanuman from his unconsciousness. Then all major gods blessed Hanuman with several boons, among which one was the boon to be Immortal i.e. his death would occur only by his own volition.
5. Cursed to forget his power
Mischievous Hanuman continued with his childish act even after his jaw breaking accident. His activities would sooner or later range from fun to somewhat destructive. Being irritated and furious by his disturbance, Matang Muni, a sage, cursed Hanuman to forget all his divine powers, until and unless he is reminded of it by someone.
6. Death Penalty by Sri Rama
Once in the palace of Sri Rama, the great scholars and sages were present for some events. Narada Muni brainwashed Hanuman to greet all the sages except Vishwamitra, and Hanuman eventually did so. Being provoked by Narada Muni, Vishwamitra got furious and asked Sri Rama to punish Hanuman with the death penalty, for disrespecting him. Since Vishwamitra was Rama’s guru (teacher) he could not deny his orders.
Following day, in the field, Rama shoots arrows to cut off Hanuman’s head, but surprisingly none could harm him. It was because Hanuman was continuously chanting Rama’s Name as “Sri Rama”. Seeing this, Narada confessed his deed, saying he wanted the World to see that the name “Rama” is more powerful than Rama himself.
7. Sinduri Hanuman
One day, out of curiosity, Hanuman asked Mata Sita about the sindoor (red color) of her forehead. ‘Applying sindoor prolongs the life of my husband and your master’, Sita replied. Hanuman was so influenced by this. Since his love for Rama was indescribable, he also applied sindoor all over this body for the long and happy life of his lord. Hence, Hanuman idols are always coated with Sindoor.
8. Bramhachari god with a son
Though Hanuman was a bachelor (Bramhachari), he had a son named Makardhwaja, who was born from a fish. Legend has many versions behind the birth of Makardhwaja. However, the most popular one says that, after burning Lanka, Hanuman took a dip in the sea to cool him down. Because of massive heat, some of his sweat droplets fell into the mouth of a giant reptile-like fish, thus, impregnating it. King of Patal (subterranean realm), Makardhwaja has interesting tales, right from his birth to be the ruler of a realm.
9. Bhima (from Mahabharata) meets Hanuman
As mentioned in Mahabharata, Hanuman from the period of Ramayana had an interesting meeting with Bhima, before the war of Mahabharata. Once Bhima went in search of the celestial flower named Saugandhika, on request of his beloved wife Draupadi. On his way, Bhima found a monkey resting on a tree, whose tail was blocking the walkway. Bhima shouted the monkey to move away from his path, and tried to scare him, but couldn’t succeed.
In the reply, the monkey asked Bhima to move the tail on his own if he had such strength. Bhima tried a lot but could not even move it a bit. Bhima, at that point, realized that the monkey was not an ordinary monkey and requested him to introduce himself. A monkey came to his real form as Hanuman and blessed him. He also explained that they were brothers (both were the son of the Wind God), and taught Bhima to never be insolent because of his strength and powers.
Hanuman also assured Bhima to help him on the battlefield, saying ‘my voice will join yours when you roar on the battlefield, which will terrorize your enemies.’
10. Hanuman wouldn’t allow Yamaraj to take Rama’s life
When Rama realized that the time to leave his mortal-self had come, he called Yamaraj (king of death) to take away his life. But he also knew that Hanuman wouldn’t allow Rama to leave his earthly body, so he ordered Hanuman to find his ring which had fallen in Patal Lok (subterranean realm). Hanuman in search of the ring met Vasuki (King of Serpents) and requested him to assist him in his mission. Vasuki then led him towards the mountain of the rings.
This trick was all to distract Hanuman so that Yamaraj could easily take Rama’s body.(Last Updated On: November 23, 2020)