Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hanuman Ji History

Lord Hanuman is well known for his extreme devotion to Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman is always depicted in the Indian folklaire as an icon of true devotion and a symbol of the power of true devotion and chastity.
Lord Hanuman's devotion to Lord Rama is symbolic of the devotion of the enlightened individual soul towards the supreme soul.
Many stories from the Indian literature tell the tales of Lord Hanuman protecting devotees of Lord Rama and helping those who seek his either spiritually or otherwise. Swami Tulasidas has written these lines in respect of Lord Hanuman's great character, in praise of his powers and also devotion.

Hanuman Ji History:

There is no village or town in Bharat without a temple dedicated to Hanuman. An unforgettable character in the great epic, the Ramayan, he has become a symbol of courage, loyalty and mature wisdom.

Men and women, the young and the old, people of all ages and of all professions worship Hanuman.

Students pray to him for intelligence and soldiers for strength. In olden days there used to be temples of Hanuman at the gates of forts. The gymnasiums of wrestlers invariably have his picture.

Every human being has good qualities and bad qualities. Our ancestors have taught that every one should develop his/her good qualities and go nearer God. Divinity is only being full of noble qualities. In our country some men and women have later come to be honored as divine beings, winning the reverence, the devotion and the love of the common people. Hanuman is one such great soul.

According to legend, Hanuman is the son of the Wind God. Air sustains all living beings. One can exist without food, spend days without water; but it is impossible to exist even for a short time without air. Air is life. Therefore, Hanuman is also called 'Pranadeva' or the God of Life. 

Hanuman was a master of music. He was also an expert in dance and drama. So, he is worshipped with love and devotion by musicians and actors. He was also a great yogi or mystic. 

Hanuman was born to Anjanadevi and Vaayu, the wind God. Hanuman is also called 'Aanjaneya', son of Anjana. Hanuman was extraordinary from the very moment of his birth. There are many very interesting stories about his childhood.

When he was small, Hanuman felt very hungry. Looking up he saw in the east something red. Hanuman thought that the red sun was a fruit and flew up to snatch it. What was a child's whim became something serious. Though the sun's heat burnt his face, Hanuman was determined and continued to fly towards the sun. Indra, the Lord of Heaven, feared that the sun might be caught. So he hit at Hanuman with his terrible weapon Vajrayudha. Hanuman fell down and was hurt. His cheeks became swollen.

(This is why he came to be called Hanuman. 'Hanu' in Sanskrit means the cheek.)

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Now, Hanuman's father, the Wind God became very angry. So he would not move at all. In all the three worlds there was no air to breathe. Then all the gods came and consoled the Wind God. Each god conferred a boon upon the little Hanuman. Brahma and Creator said, "No weapon will be able to kill this boy." Indra said to the boy, "You will be a 'Chiranjeevi' (immortal)." 

Blessed thus by the gods, Hanuman grew up to be as strong as his father. He flew about as freely and was quite mischievous. The Rishis, who were troubled by his mischief, pronounced a curse on him. Hence, Hanuman would never know how powerful and strong he was. Others will have to remind him about his strength. Only then he would realize it.

Meeting With Shri Rama And Lakshmana

When Hanuman grew up he became the minister of Sugreeva, the King of Kishkindha. Vali was the elder brother of Sugreeva. Once Vali, who was fighting with a rakshasa, entered a cave with his opponent; he did not come out for a long time. Blood began to flow from the cave, so Sugreeva thought that Vali was dead. He returned to Kishkindha and became its king. But a little later, Vali returned and drove out Sugreeva. Sugreeva and his ministers hid themselves in the Malaya mountains; Vali could not enter this region. 

When Shri Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana were in the forest, a rakshasa by name Ravana took away Sita by force. Rama was in great grief. He was wandering in the forests and came to Kishkindha. Sugreeva saw him when he came with Lakshmana to the Malaya mountains. Sugreeva and his companions were full of fear that Vali had sent Shri Rama and Lakshmana to kill them. But Hanuman asked them not to be afraid. Sugreeva was also very anxious to know who those handsome young men were. Whom should he send to talk to them? Finally he choose Hanuman. 

Hanuman was an excellent ambassador. He could easily understand the nature of other people. As soon as he saw Rama and Lakshmana, he realized that they were not deceivers, but noble persons. In soft and pleasing words he asked them who they were, and told them about himself. Rama was very happy when he heard the words of Hanuman. He said to Lakshmana, "Did you hear his words? Even an enemy with his sword drawn would be pacified by such words. If a ruler has such a messenger, his efforts will always be successful." 

Hanuman took Rama and Lakshmana to Sugreeva. He had hopes that these brave young men would make Sugreeva king again.

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Sugreeva's Minister, Rama's Messenger 

Rama and Sugreeva became friends very soon. When Sugreeva challenged Vali to a fight, Rama helped his friend by killing Vali with an arrow. 

When she heard this sad news, Vali's wife, Thara was full of grief. She fell on his body, weeping. Hanuman prostrated before her and said, "Revered lady, Vali came to this condition because of his evil deeds, his own actions. Sugreeva was only the means. Please do not think that Sugreeva killed Vali. No one can live for all times in this world. Look at your son Angada and console yourself."

Sugreeva then became king. All his troubles were over. The kingdom was his. He forgot his promise to Rama that he would immediately send servants to search for Sita and find her. He left the responsibilities of the state to his ministers; he forgot everything in his pleasures. 

Hanuman warned him. He did his duty as a minister, saying the right thing at the right time. He said to Sugreeva, "O King, the kingdom and the fame which you desired are now yours. If you do not help your friends at the right time, even the greatest help you offer later will be totally useless. Though Rama is very anxious to find Sita, he is waiting for you. It is already late, but he is a patient man. Please send your army at once to search for Sita."

Sugreeva sent Neela, one of his commanders, to find out where Sita was. And he returned to his pleasures. 

The rainy season was over. It was now autumn. Rama's mind was always filled with thoughts of Sita's sufferings and sorrows, and he was miserable. He revealed his misery to Lakshmana. Hot blooded Lakshmana was very angry with Sugreeva. He went to see Sugreeva. His anger made Sugreeva's subjects shiver with fear. Sugreeva himself was so terrified, he did not know what to do. 

Again it was Hanuman who gave wise counsel. He said to Sugreeva, "Shri Rama may not really be angry with you. Perhaps he was sent Lakshmana to you as his work has been delayed. When those who are more powerful than we are enraged, it is not wise for us to become angry. Our anger will only heighten their rage. At such times we should seek to pacify the mighty. Besides, Shri Rama has helped you and therefore you should behave respectfully towards him." 

This time advice was effective. Sugreeva pacified Lakshmana, and with his entire army went to Rama. He sent the army in all the four directions to find out where Sita was. Vast as the ocean, the army set off with shouts of enthusiasm. The deafening noise seemed to make the earth Shiver. Shri Rama removed a ring from his finger and giving it to Hanuman, said: "When Sita sees you, she may be afraid of you, or may not believe your words. If that happens, show her this ring. We depend entirely on your strength." 

Hanuman prostrated before Rama and set off.

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The Vast Sea Before Them 

Hanuman, Angada, Jambavantha and others went towards the south in search of Sita. Sugreeva had given them only a month's time to find her. They wandered far and wide and grew utterly weary. At last they came to the sea. They stood before the vast, roaring sea. 

The period granted by Sugreeva was over. So what were they to do? The brave soldiers of Sugreeva sat bewildered. If they returned to Kishkindha, Sugreeva would certainly punish them. So, Angada suggested that they should fast to death on the sea-shore. But Hanuman replied, "Angada, that would not be right. Surely Sugreeva will not punish us if we return." He tried to persuade them in many ways. But the others in their pessimism would not listen to him. All of them spread some grass and lay down on it, determined to die.

Just then a person by name Sampathi came there. From him they learnt that Sita was Ravana's prisoner in Lanka. Their joy knew no bounds. They danced about shouting, "Oh! Now we know about Sita!" With great enthusiasm, they turned to the sea. But who could cross the ocean?

One of them said, "I can jump across ten yojanas." (The 'yojana' was the old unit of measurement of distance.) Another said, "I can jump twenty yojanas." Jambavantha was a mighty warrior, but now old. He said, "When I was young, I could leap over any distance. Now I am old, and can leap ninety yojanas. But this is a hundred." 

Angada went further can cross a hundred yojanas, and reach Lanka. But I do not know if I will have strength left to come back."

The old Jambavantha consoled them all and said, "Hanuman is the only great hero who can leap over the sea to Lanka and come back. Let me go and cheer him up and encourage him."

Hanuman was sitting away from others and silently gazing at the sea.

You remember that some sages had pronounced a curse upon Hanuman, when he was a young boy - that he would not be aware of his own strength unless others told him of it. Jambavantha now praised Hanuman's strength and ability. He said, "No other living creature has your strength, wisdom and radiance. Why are you sitting quiet, not knowing yourself? You can certainly jump over the ocean." 

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