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From The Mahabharata
Upamanyu said: (Mahadeva) Thou art the mighty ape
Valmiki Ramayana, Sundar Kanda, Canto 3
Addressing Ram and Lakshmana
Sent by that high-minded Sugriva, king of the leaders of monkeys, I, a monkey, Hanuman by name, have sought you. The said pious minded Sugriva actually seeks your friendship. Know me to be his minister, a monkey sprung from the loins of the wind-god and arrived here from Rsyamuk (mountain) in order to oblige Sugriva and disguised in the form of a recluse (Brahmin), capable as I am of going wherever I please and acting as I please.
Having spoken thus to the aforesaid heroes, Sri Ram and Lakshmana, Hanuman, for his part, who understood the true meaning of words and was an adept in expression, said nothing further.
Hearing the foregoing speech of Hanuman, the glorious Rama, who wore a most cheerful countenance, spoke (as follows) to his (half) brother Lakshamana, standing by his side:
Sri Rama said:
He who has arrived here in my presence is a minister of Sugriva, the high-minded chief of monkeys, whom alone (Sugriva) I was seeking. Answering in sweet words with affection the aforesaid monkey (Hanuman), who is a minister of Sugriva, knows how to speak and is a true tamer of foes, O Lakshmana!
To speak in the way he has done is not possible for one who has not studied Rgveda with an eye to its meaning, (who has) not memorized Yajurveda and has no knowledge of Samveda either. Surely the entire range of (Sanskrit) grammar has been studied by him in many ways, as is clear from the fact that nothing has been wrongly worded by him (even) though speaking a good deal. No fault of expression was noticed anywhere in his face nor even in his eyes, nor again in his forehead nor in his eyebrows nor in any one of his other limbs.
The speech from his bosom and articulated by his throat is marked by absence of prolixity (too great length; tedious length of speech), is unambiguous and unfaltering and does not make a grating impression (on one’s ears), uttered as it is in a modulated tone. He utters a wholesome, distinct and remarkable speech, that is grammatically correct, fluent and delightful to the mind.
Whose mind will not be rendered favourable by this wonderful speech, which has its seat in the three articulating organs (viz., the bosom, throat and head)? (To say nothing of others) the mind even of an enemy with his sword uplifted will be made friendly thereby. How can the progress of undertakings of a king in whose service no such envoy exists actually meet with success, O sinless brother? By the very pleading of an envoy, all the objects of a sovereign in whose service there happen to be agents adorned with hosts of such virtues are (surely) accomplished.
Brihaspati (the preceptor of the gods) had an attendant by the name of Punjikasthala who was cursed to assume the body of a female monkey. The curse was to be removed on her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Siva. Accordingly, she was born as Anjana and, together with her husband Kesari (so named on account of his being as brave as a lion), lived a life of chastity and purity. She performed intense Tapasya (austerities) for a great many years, during which period she worshipped Lord Siva who being pleased with her granted her a boon. She asked that He (Lord Siva) be born to her so that she may be freed from the curse.
When Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya was given the sacred payasa (pudding) by Agnideva to share among his wives so that they may have divine children (Ram, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna), by divine ordinance, a bird (kite) snatched a fragment of that pudding and, whilst flying over the forest, dropped it where Anjana was engaged in worship. Pavandev (the deity presiding over the wind) delivered that fragment of pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana who immediately swallowed it. With that grace, she, in due course, gave birth to Hanumanji. Thus we find that Lord Siva incarnated as Hanumanji in the bodily form of a monkey through the grace and blessings of his god-father Pavandev, with Anjana and Kesari as his earthly parents.
As soon as Hanumanji was born, Anjana was released from the curse and wished to return to Heaven. Hanumanji asked his mother what his future would be and how he was to earn his living. She assured him that he would never be destroyed, and said that fruits as ripe as the rising sun would form his food. Thinking that the glowing and glittering sun was food to be eaten by him, the baby Hanumanji being divine in nature, made just one leap for it. He was 1600 miles from the sun when Rahu, who was exclusively enabled to harass the sun (thus causing eclipses or obstacles to the sun) complained to Indra (king of the gods in heaven) of this new threat to his power. Indra struck Hanumanji with his thunderbolt, wounding his chin and causing him to fall down to earth.
The god-father Pavandev carried Hanumanji to Patala (the nether regions) and as he departed from the earth, all life was endangered. Brahma and all the other gods went to Patala and begged Pavandev to return. In order to appease him they conferred great boons on the baby Hanumanji. The blessings of all the gods made Hanumanji invincible and more powerful than any other being, divine or ordinary. Thus Hanumanji is an embodiment of the powers of all the gods and goddesses.
In this way Hanumanji enabled Surya to perform his duty and to impart knowledge at the
same time. Within a short period of 60 hours, Hanumanji mastered all the scriptures. Surya
considered the manner in which Hanumanji accomplished his studies as sufficient dakshina
(tuition fees), but Hanumanji pressed him to accept more. Surya then asked Hanumanji to
assist his son Sugriva, who was living in Kishkindha, by being his minister and constant
Seeing you badly hurt, the wind-god, the wafter of fragrance, himself felt extremely enraged and the wind now ceased to visit the three worlds. All the three worlds being agitated (for want of air), all the gods felt perplexed. The rulers of the world (Brahma and others) proceeded to pacify the infuriated wind-god. The wind-god thus being placated, Brahma granted to you a boon in the form of invulnerability in combat, O dear child of unfailing prowess!
In the Service of Sri Rama
When Lord Rama revealed his identity, Hanumanji fell prostrate before Him and Lord Rama picked him up and clasped him to His bosom. Sri Rama reveals His identity as the son of Dasaratha and prince of Ayodhya, but Hanumanji perceives Him to be the Lord of the universe and prostrates.
Thereafter the story of Hanumanji is inextricably interwoven with that of Lord Rama, and is exhaustively dealt with in the Ramayana of Valmiki and the Ramacharitamanasa of Goswami Tulasidas.
To summarise in a few words: Hanumanji introduces Lord Rama to Sugriva; goes off in search of Sita; discovers and consoles Sita in Lanka; Burns the city of Lanka and kills many demons; brings together Vibhishana and Lord Rama; returns to Lanka with Lord Rama, and features very prominently in the battle that ensues between Lord Rama and Ravana; saves the life of Lakshmana by bringing the Sanjivani (life giving herb) from the Himalayas; and served Lord Rama for as long as He lived a human life on earth.
Service to the Pandavas
Hanumanji is said to be Chiranjivi (immortal) and is present in the world even today. He is the link between the devotees and God, for, as instructed by the Lord, he serves, protects and inspires the servants of God. Saints like Tulasidas had the darshan (divine vision) of the Lord through the grace of Hanumanji.
In the epics of no other country is there a character so powerful, learned and philosophic as Hanumanji.
May we always proclaim, "Bajrangbally Ki Jai", victory to Hanumanji who has
the strength of the thunderbolt.