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Hanuman Jayanthi Katha
April 21st, 2013 by Sowmya

In some parts of India, Hanuman Jayanthi is being celebrated on Thursday, the 26th of April. On this occasion, we are happy to present the Katha that is to be read as part of the Hanuman Jayanthi Puja which is already available at our site – Here

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Hanuman was born to Anjana, a female vanara, and Kesari, a male vanara, in Anjana Giri Mountain. His mother was an apsara who was born on Earth as a female vanara due to a curse. She would be redeemed from this curse on her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is also known as Rudra, and endowed with the Supreme Power of exalted devotion to Bhagwan Hari. Hanuman is endowed with 28 transcendental divine opulences, with perfection in each. Anjana, along with her husband Kesari, performed intense prayers to Lord Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them their desired wish. Hence, Hanuman is also known as “Maharudra” because he was born of the boon given to Anjana by Shiva.

The Valmiki Ramayana states that Kesari is the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama’s side in the war against Ravana.

When Agni, the god of fire, gave Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, a bowl of sacred pudding (payasam) to share among his wives so they may have divine children, an eagle snatched a part of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Vayu, the god of wind delivered the drop to her outstretched hands. After she took the divine pudding, she gave birth to Hanuman. Thus Lord Shiva incarnated as a monkey, and was born as Hanuman to Anjana, by the blessings of Vayu, who thus became Hanuman’s godfather.

The birth of Hanuman released Anjana from the curse. Before she returned to heaven, Hanuman asked his mother about his life ahead. She assured him that he would never die, and said that fruits as ripe as the rising sun would be his food. Mistaking the glowing sun as his food, the divine baby leapt for it. Indra struck him with his thunderbolt and hurled him down to earth. A permanent mark was left on his chin (हनुः hanuḥ “jaw” in Sanskrit), due to impact of Vajra, explaining his name. Hanuman’s godfather, Vayu who was enraged by this, carried him to the nether world or ‘Patala’. As he departed from the earth, all life gasped for air, and Brahma had to beg him to return. In order to pacify him they conferred a lot of boons and blessings on his foster child that made Hanuman invincible, immortal and super powerful.

While growing up, Hanuman ascertained Surya to be an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested to Surya to accept him as a student. Surya refused and explained claiming that he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn well. Undeterred, Hanuman enlarged his form, with one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges, and facing Surya again pleaded. Pleased by his persistence, Surya agreed. Hanuman then learned all of the latter’s knowledge. When Hanuman then requested Surya to quote his “guru-dakshina” (teacher’s fee), the latter refused, saying that the pleasure of teaching one as dedicated as him was the fee in itself. Hanuman insisted, whereupon Surya asked him to help his (Surya’s) spiritual son Sugriva. Hanuman’s choice of Surya as his teacher is said to signify Surya as a Karma Saakshi, an eternal witness of all deeds. Hanuman later became Sugriva’s minister.

Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages in the forests by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics unbearable, but realizing that Hanuman was but a child, (albeit invincible), the sages placed a mild curse on him by which he became unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person. The curse is highlighted in Kishkindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda, when Jambavantha reminds Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita.

In the Ramayana, Hanuman is said to have rescued Shani, from the clutches of Ravana. In gratitude, Shani promised Hanuman that those who prayed him (Hanuman) would be rescued from the painful effects of Saturn, which in Hindu astrology, is said to produce malefic effects on one’s life when one is afflicted “negatively” with Saturn.

Hanuman assumed Panchmukha or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana, during the Ramayana war. Ahiravana, brother of Ravana, had taken Lord Rama and Lakshmana to netherworld as captive, and the only way to kill him was to extinguish five lamps burning in different directions, all at the same instant. Hanuman assumed His Panchamukha form and accomplished the task, thus killing the rakshasa, and freeing Rama and Lakshmana. These faces show there is nothing in the world which does not come under the influence of any of the five faces, symbolic of his all around security to all devotees. This also signifies vigilance and control over the five directions – north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith. There are five ways of prayer, Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces depict these five forms. Lord Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Ram. He also begged (yachanam) Sri Rama to bless him the undivided love.

In fact it is believed that Hanuman is present wherever the Ramayana is read.
yatra yatra raghunāthakīrtanaṃ tatra tatra kṛta mastakāñjalim ।
bāṣpavāriparipūrṇalocanaṃ mārutiṃ namata rākṣasāntakam ॥

“Bow down to Hanumān, who is the slayer of demons, and who is present with head bowed and eyes full of flowing tears wherever the fame of Rāma is sung.”

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