The Eternal Hanuman
SriRam Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram
Sri Hanuman is eternal. He is an epitome of selfless devotion. He is virtuous and saviour of the virtuous. He continues to guide and protect His devotees. SrimadRamayana provides us the story of Sri Hanuman in brief. Sri Hanuman is mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas as well.
Dharma is not just an ideal. It has to be a way of life. Sri Hanuman is the greatest guide to practice Dharma.
Sri Hanuman is the personification of all that is divine. As per the puranas Sri Hanuman is the son of Anjana and Kesari. In Treta yuga, there lived a monkey-warrior (vanara veera) named Kunjara. His wife was Vindhyaavali. The couple were yearning for progeny. Kunjara performed penance, seeking progeny by meditating upon Lord Siva. Siva appeared before Kunjara and told that while Kunjara was not destined to have children, his clan would be blessed by the progeny of a foster daughter. Kunjara and Vindhyaavali were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their foster daughter.
Gautama the sage and his wife Ahalya had two children, a son named Satananda and a daughter by name Anjana. Gautama cursed Ahalya as she was duped by Indra and Surya. Having cursed his wife Gautama was worried regarding his children’s upbringing. As advised by Sage Narada, Gautama sent his son Satananda to king Janaka so that Satananda could be groomed to be the state priest of the king and Anjana to Kunjara, the monkey warrior. Anjana was fondly welcomed by Kunjara and his wife. In due course she became a beautiful maiden.
There was a Monkey warrior of great valour in those days, named Kesari. He has been helpful to the Gods and sages. He was leading a life of celibacy. The Gods and sages thought that Anjana would be the ideal wife for Kesari. Thus Anjana married Kesari and they were living happily. As years went by the couple were worried as they were not blessed with children. Anjana sought her husband’s permission to perform penance seeking progeny. Kesari agreed. Sage Matanga advised Anjana to perform her penance at Vrishabhaadri (the present Tirumala hills). Anjana used to bathe in Akasa teertha and do penance with great devotion and determination. Vayu, the wind God used to give her a fruit every day. One day he dropped a very special fruit into her hands. It was indeed a very special fruit for it contained the essence of the aspects of the Gods and was given by Lord Siva to His consort Parvathi , who in turn gave it to the fire God, Agni from whom Vayu got it.
Unaware of the special nature of the divine fruit, Anjana ate it, as has been her practice with the fruit given by Vayu. She became alarmed to find herself pregnant. She was worried as a devoted wife of her husband. A divine voice told Anjana thus: “O Anjana, fear not. Your sanctity is intact. By the grace of the Almighty you are going to be blessed with a great child”. Reaffirmed, Anjana narrated her experience to Kesari and they were eagerly waiting for the child.
THE BIRTH OF HANUMAN
Sri Hanuman, the divine child was an incarnation of all the Gods, especially Lord Siva. He took birth at a very auspicious time. He was born on the tenth tithi (Dasami) of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the lunar month of Vaisakha corresponding to the star Poorvabhaadra in Vaidhriti yoga during after noon, in Karkataka lagna, indeed a very auspicious time.
THE BIRTH PLACE OF SRI HANUMAN IS THE PRESENT DAY TIRUMALA
While there are differences of opinion regarding the birth day of Sri Hanuman, there need be no doubt about the birth place of Lord Hanuman. Puranas and Parasara samhitha clearly indicate that the Tirumala hill is the birth place of Sri Hanuman. The Teertha Khandam of Brahmanda Purana says:” O Anjana, you have performed penance on SESHADRI and got your son. The hill shall therefore be known by your name as ANJANACHALA.” Even today ANJANADRI IS RECKONED AS ONE OF THE SEVEN HILLS THAT FORM THE ABODE OF LORD SRIVENKATESWARA. ANJANEYA was naughty as a child and Anjana used to put him in shackles. WE CAN SEE LORD ANJANEYA IN SHACKLES IN THE TEMPLE OPPOSITE THE MAIN TEMPLE OF SRIVENKATESWARA and HANUMAN is denoted as BEDI ANJANEYASWAMI, bedi in Telugu meaning shackles.
JABALI (JAPALI) KSHETRAM IS HANUMAN’S BIRTH PLACE
Sage Jabali performed penance at the very place where Hanuman took birth. There is a Svayambhu Hanuman temple at the place. As books mention it as the place where Sri Hanumaddeeksha is to be concluded, lot of devotees visit the place. Even though it is better accessible compared to the past, the approach to the temple is still a difficult one.
THE SPECIAL NATURE OF THE PLACE AS THE BIRTH PLACE OF SRI HANUMAN NEEDS TO BE RECOGNISED. WHILE MANY VISIT THE PLACE, ITS UNIQUENESS AND SANCTITY HAVE TO BE UNDERSTOOD. THE DIVINE SPOT NEEDS TO BE GIVEN ITS PLACE OF EMINENCE.
MAY LORD HANUMAN BLESS US ALL!