Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival for Hindus. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Hanumanji.
He is recognized as the Vanara God, and widely venerated throughout the world as the symbol of strength and energy. He is a true devotee of Lord Rama and teaches us pure devotion.
OM SRI ANJENEYAYA VIDMAHE, VAYUPUTHRAYAA DHIMAHI, TANNO HANUMANTH PRACHODAYAT
Meaning: Om, Let me meditate on the son of Anjana, Oh,very strong one, give me higher intellect, And let Hanuman illuminate my mind
Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the 15th day of the Shukla Paksha, during the month of Chaitra (the Chaitra Pournima) on the full moon day (pūrnima). Sri Hanumanji is an ardent devotee of Sri Rama, and is worshipped for his unflinching devotion unto Him.
Sri Hanuman, is a dedicated disciple of Lord Rama, is worshipped all over the world by the Hindu people. From early morning, devotees flock to the Hanuman temples to perform various cultural and traditional prayers and listen to spiritual discourses.
People worship Sri Hanuman as a symbol of devotion, magical powers, strength and energy. People also recite the Hanuman Chalisa because of its ability to conquer evil spirits and provide peace to the mind. Devotees apply red tilak (vermillion) to the foreheads of the Hanuman idol (murthee) , read the Hanuman Chalisa, offer Prasad of laddoo and sweet bread, perform hawan, chanting mantras and sing bhajans (songs). The festivities conclude with the Arthi and the parsad is distributed to everybody.
The Hanuman avatar is the 11th Rudra avatar of Lord Siva. All the Gods blessed Sri Hanuman when he was just a year old and was bestowed with the power of immortality, great strength, beauty and power. Sri Hanuman is the epitome of great devotion, strength, knowledge, divine power, bravery, intelligence, spirit for selfless service, humility and courage.
He has devoted his life only for to the service of Sri Rama and Mata Sita and never shows his bravery, strength and intelligence without any purpose. The devotees of Sri Hanuman strive to posses the same characteristic as Him.
Devotees read the Hanuman Chalisa 108 times and recite the Holy name of Lord Rama and chant…
“Bajrangbali Ki Jai” — “Victory to thy thunderbolt strength”.
THE BIRTH OF HANUMAN
The story of the birth of Hanuman goes thus: Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the Gods, had an attendant called Punjikasthala. She was cursed to assume the form of a female Vanara (monkey-like); a curse that could only be nullified if she would give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Reborn as Anjana, she performed intense austerities to please Shiva, who finally granted her the boon that would cure her of the curse.
When Agni, the God of Fire gave Dasaratha, the King of Ayodhya, a bowl of sacred sweet food to share among his wives so that they may have divine children, an eagle snatched a part of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Vaiyu, the God of Wind delivered the drop to her outstretched hands. After she took the divine dessert, she gave birth to Hanuman. Thus Lord Shiva incarnated, and was born as Hanuman to Anjana, by the blessings of Vaiyu (God of Wind / Air), Vaiyu is Hanuman’s God Father.
MOST POPULAR LEGENDS OF LORD HANUMAN
Hanuman applies Sindoor to His body.
On the day of Hanuman Jayanti devotees apply sindoor to the deity of Hanuman. There is very popular legend behind this. This story is mentioned in the Ramayana:
One day mother Sita was applying sindoor on her forehead. Hanuman asked her what is that she is applying and what is its significance. Sita answered that it is sindoor which is applied to show one’s attachment to her Lord and Master – Her Husband Lord Rama.
This also ensures long life of her husband. Seeing this Hanuman thought, “If a pinch of sindoor can please Lord Rama so much then how much it will be pleasing if I apply sindoor on my entire body.”
So Hanuman went and took a lot of sindoor and smeared it over His entire body and went before Lord Rama. When asked, Hanuman replied, “It is only to please you my Lord.” Lord Rama was very pleased with Hanuman and by seeing this devotion, he declared that whoever applies sindoor on the body of Hanuman will receive His eternal loving devotion and protection.
Hanuman’s insatiable appetite
Another story tells of Mother Sita pampering Lord Hanuman, by preparing a meal for Him. She offered this duty as a token of appreciation of His undying devotion and strength towards Lord Rama.
Hanuman ate all that was prepared for him, and continued until all the food in the Palace was finished. But He was not done, He wanted more. Fearful that there will be no food left, Mother Sita approached Lord Rama and asked for His help.
The great Lord said that even with His food, Hanuman offers it to Rama first and then partakes of it. Since Lord Rama reside within Hanuman and He cannot get enough of Rama, his devotion is so great, that he wants to continue to offer Parsadham (holy food). Lord Rama asked Mother Sita to present a Thulisi leaf to Hanuman. With that Hanuman was satisfied.