Lord Hanuman, the most celebrated devotee of Lord Rama, the most significant character of Ramayana and one of the most innocent devotees worshiped in the Hindu tradition is not only the favorite of children, but of the elders as well. He is known for the utter devotion he had for Lord Rama.
There are many facts that we already know which signify the innocence of his heart, one among them is the story detailing how he started applying vermilion on his body as a dedication to his Swami, Sri Rama. However, there are other such small stories as well which are even more interesting. We have brought to you another such amazing story, about the birth of Hanuman, who is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Take a look.
Mata Anjana is known as the mother of Hanuman. According to one story, in her previous life she was an apsara (nymph), named Punjikasthala, in the court of Lord Indra. She once, saw a monkey sitting deeply in mediation. Amused by it, she started throwing some flowers at the monkey, not knowing that the monkey was actually a divine Saint. Enraged, he cursed Punjikasthala, to become a monkey in her next life. Hearing the curse, she appealed to him to forgive her. His heart melted and the sage blessed her, that she would be a glorious monkey and would give birth to a divine monkey as her child.
Later again, when Lord Indra was to give her a blessing, she asked him to give her a solution for the curse of the sage. Indra told that she would have to go to the Earth where she would meet a man, with whom she would give birth to a monkey. This monkey would be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. After this, she would be liberated from the curse.
In her next life, Punjikasthala took birth as a woman with the face of a monkey, was named Anjana, and after growing up, she started living as a hunter. While hunting in a forest, once, she saw a man, fighting with a lion. She was so impressed, that she kept looking at him mesmerized. When the man noticed her, she hid her face with her hands and tears started rolling down her eyes. This made the man come near to her and ask for the reason, as to why she was weeping. As the man came closer, she realized that he too, had the face of a monkey. He was actually, the Vanaraja Kesari.
Vanaraj Kesari and Anajana got married. However, they did not have a child for long. With this problem, she met Rishi Matanga, a famous sage of those times. He told her that she should worship Lord Shiva, for twelve years, in order to be blessed with a child.
She followed his instructions and sat on a penance to worship Shiva. It is believed that during those years, once, King Dasharatha had undertaken a holy yagna. The saint performing the yagna gave the king a bowl of kheer. Kheer is a sweet dish, made with milk and rice, often offered as a prasad. The sage told the king to give the kheer to his three queens so that they are blessed with baby boys.
It is said that a bird happened to pass from there, who took a bite from the kheer and flew away. The bird carried the kheer in its beak and mistakenly dropped it where Anjana was worshiping Shiva. Anjana, thought it was a blessing in the form of prasad from Lord Shiva. Therefore, she ate it.
Even, while in meditation, she saw Shiva, who told her that she would soon become the mother of a divine child.
Very soon, Anjana gave birth to the boy Hanuman, whom we worship as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and as an utter devotee of Lord Rama. Therefore, the boy became known both as a deity as well as a devotee, and liberated his mother from the curse.
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