Hanuman Jayanti marks the birth of Lord Hanuman and will be celebrated on 8th April , 2020. India is a land of mystical mythology, giving abode to the diverse of the diverse culture, religion, history, and lifestyle. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions n the world and is regarded to be a way of life in the Indian subcontinent over a period of thousands of years.
One of the oldest text ever to be documented is Ramayana where we learn about the supreme lord Vishnu taking avatar as Ram to teach the humankind, the ultimate and ideal way of life. In this lies the story of the devotion of Lord Hanuman to Ram. With his unique, monkey-like appearance, he is considered to be the most powerful being to ever have existed on earth. Not only is he known for his strength but also the kind heart which he ripped apart to show the existence of his God Ram at the centre of his universe.
Story of Hanuman
There are two stories about the birth of Hanuman:
Hanuman was born to Anjana and Vanaraj Kesari who is also called as the King of Monkeys. Once, Anjana was cursed by Rishimuni Vishwamitra, for disturbing his Tapasya, to give birth to a monkey. To get rid of the curse, Anjana worshipped Lord Shiva and asked him to be part of her son. Hence lord Hanuman is also believed to be the incarnation of Shiva.
Another story goes that King Dasharath had conducted a huge yagna, sacred act, to bless his clan with the sons. A small portion of his blessed payasam after yagna was snatched by a kite and the lord of wind, Pavan Dev, gifted it to Anjana and Lord Hanuman was born. It is due to this tale that Hanuman is also regarded as ‘Pawan Putra’.
Lord Hanuman is worshipped across the country today but the story of his existence dates back to almost 2.59 million years ago. He is described in Ramayana to have the power to transform into any form. One story that describes his strength is of him lifting the whole mountain when he could not identify the life-saving Sanjivani plant for Lakshman, the dear brother of Lord Ram.
Significance of Hanuman Jayanti
Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Hanuman. It is celebrated on Purnima (full moon day) of Chaitra month of Hindu calendar. This year, the auspicious day falls on 8th April 2020 of the English calendar. Many tend to confuse Hanuman Jayanti with Hanuman Utsav, the latter marks the occasion when Lord Hanuman met Lord Ram.
Lord Hanuman is regarded to be the ideal and favourite devotee of Lord Ram and it is believed that if you want Lord Ram to take away your sorrows, you can reach him through worshipping Lord Hanuman.
Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated as a grand festival by Hindu devotees across India. Devotees wake up early, take bath and chant Hanuman Chalisa. The idol of Hanuman is showered with oil, vermilion and flowers like rose and marigold. Laddu, halwa, fruits are offered as Prasad at home and in the temple. The celebration is held in Hanuman temples across India with devotees singing and dancing to the tunes of various songs praising the almighty lord Hanuman.
Hanuman Jayanti Puja Timings:
Following are the timings of Hanuman Jayanti 2020 according to Dirk Panchang, Purnima tithi begins at 12:01 pm on 7th April and ends at 8:04 pm on 8th April.
Hanuman Jayanti Celebrations across India
Devotees visit the temple and apply sindoor on the forehead of the idol. The story behind this ritual is believed to be that once Hanuman saw Ma Sita applying sindoor on her forehead and when he inquired out of curiosity, the reason behind the act, she told him that by doing so, she ensured longer life for her husband Ram. Then lord Hanuman smeared his entire body with sindoor, such was his devotion.
In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated from new moon of Hindu calendar month of Margazhi to the full moon day of Chaitra. Some of the famous Hanuman temples in these states include Nanganallur, Namakkal, and Suchindram.
In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated for 41 days starting from the Poornima of Chaitra lasting till the tenth day during Krishna paksha in Vaishaka.
In Maharashtra, the occasion is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar cycle of Chitra. Spiritual discourse is organized in Hindu temples.
Some of the pathas or the verses read on this auspicious day include:
- Shri Ramcharitmanas Akhand Patha
- Srimad Bhagavad Gita
- Srimad Bhagavad Purana Patha
- Shrimad Vishnu Purana Patha
- Vishnu Sahasranam
- Ram Nam Mantra ashtjam
Hanuman Chalisa is a Hindu devotional hymn, traditionally believed to be written by sixteenth-century poet, Tulsidas, in Awadhi language, consisting of forty verses. It is considered to be one of the most popular hymns amongst the devotees of the Lord Hanuman.
Some of the other mantras for the day include:
दनुजवनकृशानुं ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यम् ।
रघुपतिप्रियभक्तं वातजातं नमामि ।
II ॐ हं हनुमते नमः ॥
Meaning of Hanuman Mantra
I adore Lord Hanuman, who is the abode of incomparable strength, who shines like a mountain of gold, who is the fire unto the forest of demons and who is the beloved devotee of Lord Ram. I pay you my respects.
Even though Hanuman Jayanti, is one of the most celebrated festivals of India, these are also times of concern with corona pandemic on the rise. Hence, the temples across the country are shut and the devotees are requested to offer the prayers from home.