Author: Mahandra Mital
Translator(s)/ Edito: Mahandra Mital
Publisher: Manoj Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788131004760
Hanuman was born in the Treta Yuga, to Anjana, a female vanara.
Different stories are told as to Hanuman's birth. One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Lord 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.
As a child, assuming the sun to be a ripe fruit, he once took flight to catch hold of it to eat. Indra, the king of devas observed this. He hurled his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman, who fell back down to the earth, broke his chin and became unconscious. Upset, Vayu went into seclusion, taking the atmosphere with him. As living beings began to get asphyxiated, to pacify Vayu, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, and the devas revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons. However, a permanent mark was left on his chin.
Hanuman meets Rama during the latter is 14-year exile in the forest. With his brother Lakshmana, Rama is searching for his wife Sita who had been abducted by the rakshasa emperor Ravana.
Hanuman continues to play an indispensable role in the war.
In their search for Sita, a group of Vanaras reaches the southern seashore. Upon encountering the vast ocean, every vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other vanaras, and especially the wise bear Jambavantha begin to extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body and flies across the ocean. On his way, he encounters a mountain that rises from the sea, proclaims that it owed his father a debt and asks him to rest a while before proceeding. Not wanting to waste any time, Hanuman thanks the mountain and carries on. He then encounters a sea-monster who challenges him to enter her mouth. When Hanuman outwits her, she admits that it was merely a test of his courage. Finally on killing Simhika, a shadow-eater rakshasa he reached Lanka.
When the war ends, Rama's 14-year exile has almost elapsed. Rama then remembers Bharata's vow to immolate himself if Rama does not return to rule Ayodhya immediately, on completion of the stipulated period. Realising that it would be a little later than the last day of the 14 years when he would reach Ayodhya, Rama is anxious to prevent Bharata from giving up his life. Once again, Hanuman comes to the rescue – he speeds to Ayodhya to inform Bharata that Rama is on his way back.
After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his heavenly abode. Many of Rama's entourage, including vanaras like Sugriva decided to depart with him. Shunning the heavens, Hanuman however, requested to 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 chiranjeevis (immortals) in Hinduism.