Hanuman the eleventh avatar of lord Shiva is one of the central characters in the great epic Ramayana written by sage Valmiki. Popularly known as the Bajarang Bali, Pavanputra, Hanumat and Anjaniputra , Hanuman was an ardent devotee of Lord Ram. Although there are various versions about Hanuman’s birth, according to the popular belief Hanuman was born to Vanaras Anjana and Kesari. Anjana had worshipped lord Shiva for a son. Pleased by Anjana’s devotion and penance Lord Shiva sent his blessings and divine powers to Anjana’s womb through the God of wind Vayu in a way making him Hanuman’s Godfather. Discover the exquisite blend of uniquely curated fragrances with The House of Ram’s premium scented candle collection. The collection draws inspiration from the timeless epic of Ramayana.
Hanuman in Ramayana
According to the legend as a young child Hanuman was hungry and mistook the sun to be a red coloured ripe fruit and leapt forward to eat it. Threatened by his power, King of the heaven Indra intervened and struck Hanuman down with his thunderbolt. The impact of the blow was such that Hanuman fell to the ground with a broken jaw. Angered by the sight of his son lying lifeless on the ground Hanuman’s father Vayu withdrew all the air from earth creating a vacuum and leading to the suffocation of all living beings. To prevent this cosmic disaster Lord Shiva intervened and resuscitated Hanuman, pacifying Vayu and prompting him to return to earth. To make up for his mistake Lord Indra along with other deities granted Hanuman with unique powers that are seen in his adventures in adulthood particularly during Ramayana. Agni the God of fire blessed him with immunity to fire. Surya the God of sun gave him powers to change the size of his body. Yama blessed him with immortality. Kubera blessed him with happiness and contentment in his life. Vishkarma the maker of divine weapons blessed him with immunity from objects of his creation and Lord Indra blessed him with great strength making him invincible. This incident is also thought to be the origin of his name as Hanu signifies jaw and man means broken.
During the Ramayana, Hanuman played a vital role in helping Shri Ram in rescuing Sita from the clutches of the power-hungry King of Lanka, Ravana. Harnessing his extraordinary abilities, Hanuman crossed the vast oceans and reached Lanka in order to rescue Sita. This ultimately led to Ravana's defeat at the hands of Shri Ram. However, this heroic feat wouldn't have been possible without the intervention of Jambavan, the bear King who reminded Hanuman of his true powers thereby ending the sage’s curse.
In his childhood, Hanuman had a mischievous streak, often causing disruptions during the rituals of sages and priests. Angered by Hanuman’s behaviour they cursed him to forget his powers until someone else reminded him of them. Years later, as the Vanaras (monkey warriors) assisted Shri Ram in his quest to find Sita, they learned that she was held captive in Lanka by Ravana. However, the challenge they faced was finding a way to cross the vast ocean and reach Lanka. It was during this moment that Jambavan, who was aware of Hanuman's childhood, began narrating his true powers to everyone, thus reminding Hanuman of his extraordinary abilities.
Hanuman in Mahabharata
Centuries after the events of Ramayana, Hanuman continued to live in the forests and reappeared at the time of Mahabharata. It was when the Pandavas were in exile and Draupadi asked Bhima to get Saugandhika flowers for her. As Bhima ventured into the forest in search of the flower he came across a frail monkey lying on his way. Annoyed by the obstruction Bhima asked the monkey to move aside but the monkey refused saying that he was too old and weak to do so. Instead the elderly monkey requested Bhima to lift his tail and keep it aside if he wanted to pass. Bhima, renowned for his immense strength, attempted to move the monkey's tail, but failed. Soon he realised that it was no ordinary monkey and surrendered. He requested the deity to reveal himself. Hanuman accepted Bhima’s request and assumed his true form. He embraced Bhima who was also his spiritual brother as they both were sons of the God of wind, Vayu.
It was also at this time that Hanuman promised to protect the Pandavas in their war against the Kauravas that was going to take place in Kurukshetra. This is why Hanuman was seen on the flag placed on Arjuna’s chariot which was driven by Lord Krishna. Lord Hanuman protected Arjuna’s chariot from all the celestial weapons used during the Mahabharata war. This highlights the true devotion of Hanuman towards Shri Ram who reincarnated as Lord Krishna in the Dwapara yuga during Mahabharta.