25 Shocking facts about Lord Hanuman no one knows
The Sanskrit texts mention several legends about how Shri Hanuman got his name. One legend is that Indra, the king of the deities, struck Shri Hanuman’s jaw during his childhood (see below). The child received his name from the Sanskrit words Hanu (“jaw”) and -man (or -mant, “prominent” or “disfigured”). The name thus means “one with prominent or disfigured jaw”. Another theory says the name derives from the Sanskrit words Han (“killed” or “destroyed”) and maana (pride); the name implies “one whose pride was destroyed”. Some Jain texts mention that Shri Hanuman spent his childhood on an island called Hanuruha, which is the origin of his name.
According to one theory, the name “Hanuman” derives from the proto-Dravidian word for male monkey (ana-mandi), which was later Sanskritized to “Hanuman” (see historical development below). Linguistic variations of “Hanuman” include Hanumat, Anuman (Tamil), Anoman (Indonesian), Andoman (Malay) and Hunlaman (Lao).
Other names of Shri Hanuman include: Anjaneya,Hanumanta, Anjaneya, Anjaniputra or Anjaneyudu or Hanumanthudu (Telugu), all meaning “the son of Anjana”. Anjaneyar, used widely by rural Tamilians. Kesari Nandan (“son of Kesari”) Maruti (“son of Marut”) or Pavanputra (“son of wind”); these names derive from the various names of Vayu, the deity who carried Hanuman to Anjana’s womb Bajrang Bali, “the strong one (bali), who had limbs (anga) as hard as a vajra (bajra)”; this name is widely used in rural North India. Bajrang Bali also implies “the strong one (bali), who is orange (Baj) or saffron colored Sang Kera Pemuja Dewa Rama, Hanuman, the Indonesian for “The mighty devotee ape of Rama, Hanuman”
In the 3rd chapter of Kishkindha Kaanda of Valmiki Ramayana, Rama describes many attributes of Hanuman’s personality. Summarized as follows: Ablest sentence maker. Know-er of all Vedas and Scriptures. Scholar in nine schools of grammars. Possessing faultless speech and facial features
The word “Vrsakapi” or “Vrishakapi”, later used as an epithet for Hanuman, is mentioned in Rigveda (X:96). Some writers, such as Nilakantha (author of Mantra Ramayana) believe that the Vrishakapi of Rigveda alludes to Hanuman. However, other scholars believe that Hanuman is not mentioned in the Vedic mythology: the “Vrsakapi” of Rigveda refers to another deity or is a common name for the monkeys.
F.E. Pargiter (1852-1927) theorized that Hanuman was a proto-Dravidian deity, and the name “Hanuman” was a Sanskritization of the Old Tamil word Aan-mandhi (“male monkey”). The Hindi writer Ray Govindchandra (1976) endorsed this view, and stated that the proto-Indo-Aryans must have invented a Sanskrit etymology for the deity’s name, after they accepted Hanuman in their pantheon. Murray Emeneau disagrees with this theory, and states that the word mandi, as attested in Sangam literature, can refer only to a female monkey, and therefore, the word ana-mandi makes no semantic sense. Camille Bulcke, in his Ramkatha: Utpatti Aur Vikas (“The tale of Rama: its origin and development”), traces the origins of Hanuman worship to the pre-Indo-Aryan, pre-Dravidian aboriginal tribes of Central India. According to him, Valmiki’s Ramayana was based on older tribal ballads.
Hanuman came to be regarded as an avatar (incarnation) of Shiva by the 10th century CE (this development possibly started as early as in the 8th century CE). Hanuman is mentioned as an avatar of Shiva or Rudra in the Sanskrit texts like Mahabhagvata Purana, Skanda Purana, Brhaddharma Purana and Mahanataka among others. This development might have been a result of the Shavite attempts to insert their ishta devata (cherished deity) in the Vaishnavite texts, which were gaining popularity. The 17th century Oriya work Rasavinoda by Divakrsnadasa goes on to mention that the three gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – combined take to the form of Hanuman.
Hanuman became more important in the medieval period, and came to be portrayed as the ideal devotee (bhakta) of Rama. His characterization as a lifelong brahmachari (celibate) was another important development during this period. The belief that Hanuman’s celibacy is the source of his strength became popular among the wrestlers in India. The celibacy or brahmacharya aspect of Hanuman is not mentioned in the original Ramayana.
Hanuman was born to the vanaras. His mother Anjana was an apsara who was born on earth due to a curse. She was redeemed from this curse on her giving birth to a son. The Valmiki Ramayana states that his father Kesari was the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama’s side in the war against Ravana. Anjana and Kesari performed intense prayers to Shiva to get a child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought. Hanuman, in another interpretation, is the incarnation or reflection of Shiva himself.
Hanuman is often called the son of the deity Vayu; several different traditions account for the Vayu’s role in Hanuman’s birth. One story mentioned in Eknath’s Bhavartha Ramayana (16th century CE) states that when Anjana was worshiping Shiva, the King Dasharatha of Ayodhya was also performing the ritual of 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. Another tradition says that Anjana and her husband Kesari prayed Shiva for a child. By Shiva’s direction, Vayu transferred his male energy to Anjana’s womb. Accordingly, Hanuman is identified as the son of the Vayu.
Another story of Hanuman’s origins is derived from the Vishnu Purana and Naradeya Purana. Narada, infatuated with a princess, went to his lord Vishnu, to make him look like Vishnu, so that the princess would garland him at swayamvara (husband-choosing ceremony). He asked for hari mukh (Hari is another name of Vishnu, and mukh means face). Vishnu instead bestowed him with the face of a vanara. Unaware of this, Narada went to the princess, who burst into laughter at the sight of his ape-like face before all the king’s court. Narada, unable to bear the humiliation, cursed Vishnu, that Vishnu would one day be dependent upon a vanara. Vishnu replied that what he had done was for Narada’s own good, as he would have undermined his own powers if he were to enter matrimony. Vishnu also noted that Hari has the dual Sanskrit meaning of vanara. Upon hearing this, Narada repented for cursing his idol. But Vishnu told him not repent as the curse would act as a boon, for it would lead to the birth of Hanuman, an avatar of Shiva, without whose help Rama (Vishnu’s avatar) could not kill Ravana.
Multiple places in India are claimed as the birthplace of Hanuman. According to one theory, Hanuman was born on ‘Anjaneya Hill’, in Hampi, Karnataka. This is located near the Risyamukha mountain on the banks of the Pampa, where Sugreeva and Rama are said to have met in Valmiki Ramayana’s Kishkinda Kanda. There is a temple that marks the spot. Kishkinda itself is identified with the modern Anegundi taluk (near Hampi) in Bellary district of Karnataka.
Anjan, a small village about 18 km away from Gumla, houses “Anjan Dham”, which is said to be the birthplace of Hanuman. The name of the village is derived from the name of the goddess Anjani, the mother of Hanuman. Aanjani Guha (cave), 4 km from the village, is believed to be the place where Anjani once lived. Many objects of archaeological importance obtained from this site are now held at the Patna Museum.
The Anjaneri (or Anjneri) mountain, located 7 km from Trimbakeshwar in the Nasik district, is also claimed as the birthplace of Hanuman.
According to Anjan Dham, Hanuman was born on Lakshka Hill near Sujangarh in Churu district, Rajasthan.
As a child, believing the sun to be a ripe mango, Hanuman pursued it in order to eat it. Rahu, a Vedic planet corresponding to an eclipse, was at that time seeking out the sun as well, and he clashed with Hanuman. Hanuman thrashed Rahu and went to take sun in his mouth. Rahu approached Indra, king of devas, and complained that a monkey child stopped him from taking on Sun, preventing the scheduled eclipse. This enraged Indra, who responded by throwing the Vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman, which struck his jaw. He fell back down to the earth and became unconscious. A permanent mark was left on his chin (हनुः hanuḥ “jaw” in Sanskrit), due to impact of Vajra, explaining his name. Upset over the attack, Hanuman’s father figure Vayu deva (the deity of air) went into seclusion, withdrawing air along with him. As living beings began to asphyxiate, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt. The devas then revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons to appease Vayu.
Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages in the forests by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics unbearable, but realizing that Hanuman was but a child, (albeit invincible), the sages placed a mild curse on him by which he became unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person. The curse is highlighted in Kishkindha Kanda and he was relieved from the curse by the end of Kishkindha Kanda when Jambavantha reminds Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita and in Sundara Kanda he used his supernatural powers at his best.
Hanuman meets Rama during the Rama’s 14-year exile. With his brother Lakshmana, Rama is searching for his wife Sita who had been abducted by Ravana. Their search brings them to the vicinity of the mountain Rishyamukha, where Sugriva, along with his followers and friends, are in hiding from his older brother Vali.
In the Ramayana Hanuman changes shape several times. For example, while he searches for the kidnapped Sita in Ravana’s palaces on Lanka, he contracts himself to the size of a cat, so that he will not be detected by the enemy. Later on, he takes on the size of a mountain, blazing with radiance, to show his true power to Sita.
Also he enlarges & immediately afterwards contracts his body to out-wit Surasa, the she-demon, who blocked his path while crossing the sea to reach Lanka. Again, he turns his body microscopically small to enter Lanka before killing Lankini, the she-demon guarding the gates of Lanka. He achieved this shape-shifting by the powers of two siddhis; Anima and Garima bestowed upon him in his childhood by Sun-God, Surya.
When Lakshmana is severely wounded during the battle against Ravana, Hanuman is sent to fetch the Sanjivani, a powerful life-restoring herb, from Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas, to revive him. Ravana realises that if Lakshmana dies, a distraught Rama would probably give up, and so he dispatches the sorcerer Kalanemi to intercept Hanuman. Kalanemi, in the guise of a sage, deceives Hanuman, but Hanuman uncovers his plot with the help of an apsara, whom he rescues from her accursed state as a crocodile. Ravana, upon learning that Kalanemi has been slain by Hanuman, summons Surya to rise before its appointed time because the physician Sushena had said that Lakshmana would perish if untreated by daybreak. Hanuman realizes the danger, however, and, becoming many times his normal size, detains the Sun God to prevent the break of day. He then resumes his search for the precious herb, but, when he finds himself unable to identify which herb it is, he lifts the entire mountain and delivers it to the battlefield in Lanka. Sushena then identifies and administers the herb, and Lakshmana is saved. Rama embraces Hanuman, declaring him as dear to him as his own brother. Hanuman releases Surya from his grip, and asks forgiveness, as the Sun was also his Guru.
In another incident during the war, Rama and Lakshmana are captured by the rakshasa Mahiravana and Ahiravan), brother of Ravana, who held them captive in their palace in Patala (or Patalpuri) –the netherworld. Mahiravana keeps them as offerings to his deity. Searching for them, Hanuman reaches Patala, the gates of which are guarded by a young creature called Makardhwaja (known also as Makar-Dhwaja or Magar Dhwaja), who is part reptile and part Vanara. The story of Makardhwaja’s birth is said to be that when Hanuman extinguished his burning tail in the ocean, a drop of his sweat fell into the waters, eventually becoming Makardhwaja, who perceives Hanuman as his father. When Hanuman introduces himself to Makardhwaja, the latter asks his blessings. Hanuman enters Patala. Upon entering Patala, Hanuman discovers that to kill Mahiravana, he must simultaneously extinguish five lamps burning in different directions. Hanuman assumes the Panchamukha or five-faced form of Shri Varaha facing north, Shri Narasimha facing south, Shri Garuda facing west, Shri Hayagriva facing the sky and his own facing the east, and blows out the lamps. Hanuman then rescues Rama and Lakshmana. Afterwards, Rama asks Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja king of Patala. Hanuman then instructs Makardhwaja to rule Patala with justice and wisdom. To date Chandraloak Devpuri mandir is located at Dugana a small village 17 km from Laharpur,Sitapur district,Uttar Pradesh. A divine place where Chakleswar Mahadev situated.
Shortly after he is crowned Emperor upon his return to Ayodhya, Rama decides to ceremoniously reward all his well-wishers. At a grand ceremony in his court, all his friends and allies take turns being honoured at the throne. Hanuman approaches without desiring a reward. Seeing Hanuman come up to him, an emotionally overwhelmed Rama embraces him warmly, declaring that he could never adequately honour or repay Hanuman for the help and services he received from the noble Vanara. Sita, however, insists that Hanuman deserved honour more than anyone else, and Sita gives him a necklace of precious stones adorning her neck. When he receives it, Hanuman immediately takes it apart, and peers into each stone. Taken aback, many of those present demand to know why he is destroying the precious gift. Hanuman answers that he was looking into the stones to make sure that Rama and Sita are in them, because if they are not, the necklace is of no value to him. At this, a few mock Hanuman, saying his reverence and love for Rama and Sita could not possibly be as deep as he implies. In response, Hanuman tears his chest open, and everyone is stunned to see Rama and Sita literally in his heart.
After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his supreme abode Vaikuntha. Many of Rama’s entourage, including Sugriva, decided to depart with him. Hanuman, however, requested from Rama that he will remain on earth as long as Rama’s name was venerated by people. Sita accorded Hanuman that desire, and granted that his image would be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama’s name. He is one of the immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hinduism.
Shri Hanuman assumed Panchamukha or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war. Ahiravana, brother of Ravana, had taken Lord Rama and Lakshmana to netherworld as captive, and the only way to kill him was to extinguish five lamps burning in different directions, all at the same instant. Shri Hanuman assumed His Panchamukha form and accomplished the task, thus killing the rakshasa, and freeing Rama and Lakshmana.