Good afternoon all! I hope that you are all well. The semester is coming to an end and I am really looking forward to it being over. This year has been wonderful but also so overwhelming and exhausting. I have learned more about myself than I ever have in my life and have grown more than I give myself credit for. I hope that you have all come out of your semesters stronger, happier, and more grateful.
Today I am going to talk about an important Hindu festival called Hanuman Jayanti. The story behind the deity Hanuman is beautiful and one of my absolute favorites, enjoy!
Hanuman Jayanti celebrates the birthday of Hanuman and fell on Saturday, April 16th this year. Hanuman was the son of Kesari and Anjana. He was well-known for his unwavering selflessness, service, and devotion to Lord Rama and his family, thinking of nothing else but their comfort and well-being.
Once upon a time, in the mountains of Meru, there was the great sage named Gautam. A monkey-couple, Kesari and Anjana lived nearby the ashram. Anjana was once a heavenly maiden, who was cursed and transformed into a monkey woman. She would be freed from this curse only if she gave birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Anjana was cursed one day when she was wandering the earth. She saw a monkey meditating deeply in a forest, like a holy sage. At the extraordinary sight, Anjana was unable to control her laughter. She made fun of the monkey and threw stones at it until the holy monkey lost his patience. He opened his eyes that sparkled with anger. He was a powerful holy sage who had transformed into a monkey to do his spiritual meditation. With ferocious voice he cursed her that she was to take the form of a monkey and that she will be relieved from the curse only if she gives birth to a mighty son, an incarnation of Shiva.
Anjana’s dedicated prayers and meditation to Shiva without any food or water soon gave her fruitful results. Lord Shiva was impressed with her prayers and wished to bless her with an immortal son.
In a kingdom far far away, King Dasaratha was performing a religious service to have children who would be blessed with a divine sweet by Lord Agni, the lord of fire, that was to be shared among his three wives. And Vayu, the Wind God, under the instruction of Lord Shiva carried a portion of the sweet and gave it to Anjana and blessed her. Anjana soon ate the divine sweet and instantly felt the blessing of Shiva. Vayu told her that she would soon be a mother of a son who would possess intelligence, courage, tremendous strength, speed and the power to fly. Anjana was overwhelmed with joy.
Soon Anjana gave birth to a beautiful monkey-faced child named Anjaneya (meaning ‘son of Anjana’). In that moment, Anjana was released from her curse and returned back to heaven. Hanuman’s father took care of Anjaneya and he grew up to become a strong but mischievous young boy. Anjaneya has been called by many names such as Hanuman, Maruti, Pawanputra and more. He played an important role in Ramayana, the greatest epic in Hindu Mythology.
Hanuman Jayanti celebrates the incredible Hanuman, his endless devotion, and marvelous qualities.
As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out, or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!
Looking forward to next Sunday!
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