April 27, 2021
Watch Amma’s New Video Message for Hanuman Jayanthi!
Hanuman Jayanthi celebrates the birth of Lord Hanuman. Hanuman was the son of Anjana, a female spirit of the clouds and waters, and Desari, the chief of the vanara, a group of powerful monkey people who lived in the forests. The wind god Vayu also played a role in the conception and birth of Hanuman. Some texts identify Hanuman as an incarnation of Shiva, but Hanuman is best known for his role in the epic poem and sacred text the Lord Ramayana, “Lord Rama’s Journey.”
The Ramayana tells the story of the divine prince Lord Rama. Lord Rama was sent into exile unjustly by his stepmother, Kaikeyi. While in exile, Lord Rama’s wife, Sita, is abducted by the demon Ravana. Much of the epic poem is devoted to Lord Rama’s determined quest to rescue Sita from Ravana. Lord Rama successfully recovers Sita and kills Ravana with the help of the vanara. Lord Rama and Sita return to the kingdom of Ayodhya and usher in a golden age of humanity. Lord Rama, the titular character of the Lord Ramayana, is identified as an incarnation, or avatara, of the god Vishnu.
Hanuman plays a central role in the Lord Ramayana, and his stories are nearly always tied to those of Prince Lord Rama, also called Lord Ram. Even before Hanuman’s birth, it was predicted that he would be a devotee of Lord Ram. After he was born, Hanuman was a trouble maker who, among other feats of mischief, tried to grab the sun from the sky. In response, powerful sages cursed Hanuman and made him forget his magic powers. Hanuman became a loyal servant to Lord Rama and a commander of Lord Rama’s legions of monkeys. The memory of his powers was restored to Hanuman by Jambavan, the king of the bears, and as a result, Hanuman made a giant leap across the strait that lies between India and Sri Lanka to steal the medicinal herbs necessary to heal the wounded in Lord Rama’s army. When Hanuman struggled to identify the herbs, he picked up the entire mountain and brought that back to India. Before Hanuman left Sri Lanka, his tail was set on fire. Hanuman, however, used this fire to burn Sri Lanka to the ground.
Hanuman is held up as the embodiment of loyalty and devotion. These admirable traits are recognized year round at temples dedicated to Hanuman and given special attention during Hanuman Jayanthi.
Hanuman Jayanthi celebrates the coexistence of humanity and nature’s creatures, as represented by Lord Rama and Hanuman. Hanuman is also celebrated as a symbol of devotion, strength, magical powers and energy and also as the 11th Rudra avatara of the great god Shiva. Many devotees pray to Hanuman to be blessed with bravery, intelligence and loyalty like that which Hanuman displayed.
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