Hanuman Jayanti is a sacred Hindu festival. It celebrates the birthday of Lord Hanuman, one of the prominent heroes of the ancient Indian super epic, Ramayana. The festival is celebrated on different days in different parts of India. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on full moon day during Chaitra Purnima in most of the North Indian states. It overlaps in the months of March and April. The Hanuman Jayanti date for 2019 is 19th April. In Andhra Pradesh, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated for 41-days which starts on Chaitra Purnima and ends on the tenth day during Krishna Paksha in Vaishakha month. In Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is known as Hanumath Jayanti and observed during Margashirsha Amavasya. In Gregorian calendar Hanuman Jayanti falls in January or December. In Karnataka, the Hanuman birthday is observed on Shukla Paksha Trayodashi during Margashirsha month. The day is popularly known as Hanuman Vratam.
History of Hanuman Jayanti
Lord Hanuman was born on the Anjaneri Mountain. His mother Anjana was a celestial nymph who was born on earth after a curse from a saint, Angira. She could only get rid from this curse on giving birth to a son. Hanuman’s father, Kesari was the son of Brihaspati, the King of Sumeru. Anjana performed intense prayers lasting 12 long years to Lord Shiva to get a child. Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva granted them the son they sought. Lord Shiva disguised himself as a saint and he came to bless Hanuman on his birth and give him the name “Maruti”. It meant the son of wind god who was also another father to Lord Hanuman.
The childhood of Hanuman are filled with stories of bravery and wisdom. He was said to be witty and charming and he could win over anyone with his innocence. For example, one morning, he saw the sun rising and thought it was a great yellow ball. He decided to get hold of it so that he could play with it. Indra, the king of gods, saw Hanuman leap into the sky and wanted to stop him. He threw his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) at the child Hanuman. Hanuman fell to earth, wounded. The sight of his lifeless son infuriated the wind god. Out of fury he sucked all the air from all the cosmos. There was a lot of panic and the life of all creatures fell in crisis. The Gods, realizing their folly went in unison to ask Pavan (Vayu) for forgiveness and granted Hanuman with blessings and power.
During his adulthood he met Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu and told him he had waited all his life to meet and serve him. He helped Lord Rama rescue Mother Sita (Rama’s wife) from the clutches of Ravana, the King of Lanka. Hanuman remained a constant and devoted companion to Lord Rama all his life. It is said that if you want Lord Rama to help you gets rid of one’s sorrows; one can reach Him only through Hanuman. He is immensely powerful and an absolute devotee of Lord Rama. He is the granter of happiness and destroyer of problems. He is also mentioned in other Indian epics and comes across in other religions too.
Hanuman Jayanti Festival
It is said that Lord Hanuman was born at sunrise, so celebrations for Hanuman’s birthday start from sunrise only. A holy bath of the idol of Hanuman with milk, oil and honey takes place and red vermillion is applied on the idol. Perfumed garlands and flowers are offered to the god. It is followed by the Hanuman Jayanti Puja. Hanuman Chalisa is read and laddoo’s are offered as Prasad. A lot of aarti’s and mantras are chanted for Lord Hanuman. A lot of people fast on this day to show their devotion to one of the strongest gods in the realm. In this way, people perform Hanuman Jayanti Puja at home.
Significance of Hanuman Jayanti
The Hanuman Jayanti celebration indicates the balanced coexistence of the whole human fraternity with the nature’s incredible creature, Lord Hanuman. People from the Hindu religion worship Lord Hanuman as a divine creature. The celebration has a lot of importance to a lot of people from other various religions too. The Brahmachari’s, wrestlers and bodybuilders are specially inclined towards this celebration. There are many names through which Lord Hanuman is famous among his devotees like Bajrangabali, Pavanasuta, Pavankumar, Mahavira, Balibima, Marutsuta, Anjanisut, Sankat Mochan, Anjaneya, Maruti, Rudra and many more.
Hanuman avatar is considered as the 11th Rudra avatar of the Lord Shiva who has been blessed with great devotion, strength, knowledge, divine power, bravery, intelligence, spirit for selfless service etc. He has devoted his life only for his Lord Rama and Mother Sita and never shows his bravery and intelligence without any purpose. Lord Hanuman’s devotees always pray to him for getting his blessings for their bright future. He is worshipped in many ways by his devotees; some meditates by repeating his name many times to get power, fame, success and etc in the life whereas some read the Hanuman Chalisa to get the same.