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Hanuman, the deity who is himself a devotee, is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He too, just as Shiva, is considered an innocent-hearted deity. But ever wondered why vermilion which is never offered to Shiva, is one of the most important offerings done to Lord Hanuman?
The idols of Hanuman in the temples are often seen covered with vermilion all over them. What can be the reason behind it? Here is an interesting story, which tells you why vermilion is offered to Lord Hanuman. Let us see the story unfold.
How Hanuman Applied Vermilion All Over His Body
Once Goddess Sita was applying Sindoor on her forehead. Hanuman, sitting near her, had been observing the Goddess very keenly. When he could not control his curiousness, he asked - 'Matey (Mother)! Why do you wear that Sindoor on your forehead?'
Impressed by his inquisitiveness, the Goddess smiled. She told him, ''the Sindoor is worn as a symbol of marriage. Its energy protects a woman's husband. It is a mark of devotion to one's husband. Since a husband is everything for a woman, she wears Sindoor as a mark of love for him, and as an ordeal to protect her husband.''
Impressed by the philosophy behind the wearing of vermilion as a mark of devotion, Lord Hanuman declared that he would also wear vermilion for Shri Ram, who is his Lord.
It is said that, he wore vermilion not only on his forehead, but applied it all over his body. When asked by Lord Rama, he gave the reason that since Sita Maiya was a Goddess, she needed only a small mark. A small mark on his body would not be as effective. Therefore, he would apply it on his whole body.
Moreover, he thought that, since it signified the devotion towards one's lord, why not apply it to the whole body!
Lord Rama smiled at his innocence and blessed Hanuman that he would be offered vermilion whenever he's being worshiped. And that was how vermilion became one of the chief offerings to Lord Hanuman.
Dearness Of 'Rama-Nama' To Lord Hanuman
It is believed that offering vermilion to the deity pleases Lord Hanuman so much that he fulfills all the desires of his devotees. Whenever questioned, what is the dearest to Hanuman, the answer is never a food item, but it is the name of Shri Rama.
'Rama nama' (the name of Lord Rama) is what he loves the most. In many of his depictions, Lord Hanuman is shown with his body covered with the word -''Rama'' written all over it.
This is done to emphasize the importance of Lord Rama to Hanuman. It is believed in some societies that women should never touch the idol of Hanuman. He was a Bal brahmachari (a celibate). Hence, women do not touch his body (his idol) in many communities. Whereas, in yet others, the unmarried girls are especially advised to worship Lord Hanuman.
Who Should Worship Hanuman
Tuesdays are considered the most auspicious days to offer one's prayers to Lord Hanuman. His worship helps overcome the Graha Dosha, which becomes a barrier in marriage. Hence, those whose marriage is getting delayed are advised to worship Lord Hanuman.
That is why, unmarried girls, in some communities, are advised to offer their prayers to Lord Hanuman.
His worship is also recommended in case one is trapped in negative energies, such as terrible nightmares, fear of ghosts and the fear of evil spirits. People also worship this deity in order to defeat their enemies.
Students are also advised to worship him because Lord Hanuman helps to defeat all the obstacles arising in the way of acquiring knowledge. Moreover, he protects the students from evil thoughts and helps increase concentration.