Hanuman: 3 Different stories on his Birth

Hanuman was born to ‘Anjana’, a female vanara on the Anjaneri hill in the Brahmagiri hills near Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra. According to the legend, Anjana was an apsara or a celestial being, named ‘Punjikasthala’, who, due to a curse, was born on the earth as a female vanara. The curse was to be removed upon her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.It is also said that Hanuman was born on Anjaneya Hill, in Hampi, Karnataka, near the Risyamukha mountain on the banks of the Pampa, where Sugreeva and Sri Rama met. There is a temple that marks the spot. One more place associated with birth of Hanuman is Aanjan.

Aanjan is a small village about 18 km away from Gumla via Toto. The name of the village has been derived from the name of goddess Anjani, mother of Mahaveer Hanuman. Aanjani Gufa(cave) is at 4 km from the village upon a hill. Here mother Anjani used to live. Many objects of archeological importance obtained from this place has been placed at Patna Museum. There is an idol of mother Anjani with Hanuman in her lap near Anjani Gufa.

Along with Kesari, her husband, Anjana performed intense prayers to Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought. Hence, the Hanuman is also known as “Maharudra” because he was born out of the boon given to Anjana by the Shiva who is also known as Rudra. The Valmiki Ramayana, (Yuddha Kanda) states that Kesari is the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama’s side in the war against Ravana.

Different stories are told explaining Hanuman’s birth.

One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, payasam, to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in worship. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.

 Being Anjana’s son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya (pronounced Aanjanèya), which literally means “arising from Anjani”.

Sri Aurobindo states that “vanara” does not refer to “monkey”: “Prajapati manifests as Vishnu Upendra incarnate in the animal or Pashu in whom the four Manus have already manifested themselves, and the first human creature who appears is, in this Kalpa, the Vanara, not the animal Ape, but man with the Ape nature”, i.e. primitive man such as Homo erectus.

Hanuman, in one interpretation, is also considered as the incarnation of Shiva or reflection of Shiva also known as Rudra. Others, such as followers of Dvaita consider Hanuman to be the son of Vayu or a manifestation of Vayu, the god of wind. When Ravana tried to enter the Kailash (the abode of Shiva) called Lord Shiva “a monkey”. Lord Shiva in return cursed Ravana that a monkey would burn his Lanka. Shiva took the form of Hanuman.

References to Hanuman in classical literature could be found as early as those of 5th to 1st century BC in Panini’s Astadhyayi, Abhiseka Nataka, Pratima Nataka, and Raghuvamsa (Kālidāsa).

One thought on “Hanuman: 3 Different stories on his Birth

  1. Hardik says:

    According to one story…….

    The demon named Bhasmasura was given a boon that on whoever he puts his hand would burn to ashes. Thus, he created a great terror in all of the Gods and also wanted to scare Lord Shiva.He went to Mt. Kailasha and told Lord Shiva that he will burn him.Seeing him coming, Lord Shiva ran away. Lord Shiva took the form of monkey and hid himself on tree to save himself. He prayed to Lord Vishnu to help him. Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respected each other a lot. Lord Vishnu promised to help Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu, thus took the appearance of a very beautiful woman name ‘ Mohini’, and went to Bhasmasura to attract or lure him. She was so beautiful that the demon was immediately attracted towards her. Mohini, then started dancing and told the demon to follow her steps. The dance was so enchanting that Bhasmasura copied all the moves by Mohini. Mohini now confident that he will copy all her moves put her hand on her head. The demon followed same and put his hand on his own head. As soon as he did this he was burnt to ashes from his own boon. Meanwhile, the seductive dance made Lord Shiva so attracted to Mohini that he lost his senses and ejaculated. The semen which was ejaculated was very powerful and thus had to be disposed off immediately. Mata Anjana was doing a tapasya for a child. She was doing the tapasya by burying her whole body except her head into the soil. The semen was thus entered into her body through her ears. Lord Shiva promised Lord Vishnu that as he has saved his life, he would help him in his incarnation as Lord Rama. The story of Narada cursing Lord Vishnu for turning his face into a monkey also has a connection to this. Narada, after realizing his mistake told Lord Vishnu that in his incarnation as Lord Rama he will have to take help from Monkeys.

    Lord Hanuman was thus born to Mata Anjana. He is referred as “Rudra Avatara” and he is mentioned as “Shankar Suvana” in Hanuman Chalisa.

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