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HomeEditors Pick : Top StoriesLesser known facts about Lord Hanuman #2

Lesser known facts about Lord Hanuman #2

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“Lord Ram gave Hanuman a quizzical look and said, “What are you, a monkey or a man?” Hanuman bowed his head reverently, folded his hands and said, “When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One”Tulsidas, Ramcharitmanas

Pawanputra Hanuman is considered to be the 11th incarnation of Lord Shiva. Millions of Hindus recite the Hanuman Chalisa every day. But how many of them know the significance behind the five heads of Panchamukhi Hanuman? Even apart from this, there are many things about Lord Hanuman which remain a mystery. For instance, how many people know about sage Durvasa’s curse which led to his birth as a vanara or that he had a son called Makardhwaja.

Here are some such lesser-known facts about Lord Hanuman: 

Panchamukhi Hanuman

The legend of Panchamukhi Hanuman dates back to Ramayana where Ravana sought the help of Ahiravana, the king of Patala to harm Rama and Lakshmana. Hanuman, formed a fortress with his tail to protect Lord Rama and Lakshmana. But Ahiravana took the form of Vibhishana, the noble brother of Ravana, and took Lord Rama and Lakshman to Patala Loka

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Hanuman who entered Patala Loka to search for Rama and Lakshmana came to know that Ahiravana could only be killed if all the five lamps placed in different directions were extinguished at the same time. So Hanuman assumed the form of Panchamukhi Hanuman which has five faces -Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda and Varaha and blew out all the lamps thereby killing Ahiravana. 

Even today it is considered auspicious to circle the Hanuman idol five times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 times, or any number of digits that add to five. The Panchamukhi Hanuman is a rare idol of Hanuman. Panchamukhi Hanuman has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and ten weapons.

Panchamukhi can be interpreted as the five ways of praying to God in Hindu philosophy. These five ways are known as naman, smaran, keerthanam, yaachanam, and arpanam. Each of the five faces of Panchamuka depicts one of these five forms of worship. Hanuman always used to naman, smaran and keerthanam of Rama. He surrendered (arpanam) to Rama. He also begged (yachanam) Rama to bless him with undivided love. Each of his faces represents these five divine qualities or elements – the east-facing Hanuman face (Anjaneya) grants purity of mind and success, the south-facing man-lion face (Karala Ugraveera Narasimha) grants victory and fearlessness, the west-facing Garuda face (Mahaveera Garuda) grants protection from black magic and poisons, north-facing Boar face (Lakshmi Varaha) grants prosperity and wealth while horse face (Hayagriva) facing towards the sky (upwards) grants knowledge and good children. 

Hanuman married Suvarchala and had a son called Makardhwaja

There are many contradictory stories about whether Hanuman was married or a bachelor. Though in the Ramayana and most of the Puranas, Hanuman is described to be celibate some say that Hanuman married Suvarchala, the daughter of Surya (Sun-God). It is said that Surya Dev asked Hanuman to marry her as his Guru Dakshina. However, he gave Hanuman a boon that he would continue to be a bachelor and maintain his celibacy after marriage.

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Likewise, it is said that when Hanuman fathered a son called Makardhwaja. The story goes that when Hanuman was flying across the sea after setting fire to Lanka, a drop of his sweat fell in the mouth of a crocodile. It turned into a baby who was retrieved by Ahiravana who named him Makardhwaja and appointed him to guard the gates of Patala. In course of time when Hanuman came to rescue Rama and Lakshmana from Ahiravana, he faced Makardhwaja in battle and defeated him in combat. Later, when Lord Rama saw Makardhwaja tied to Hanuman’s tail, he ordered Hanuman to release him and make him the king of Patala.

Relation with Goddess Kali

The Bengali version of the Ramayana, written by Krittibash mentions how Hanuman and Goddess Kali met in the Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana. This incident is known as ‘Mahirabonerpala’. It is believed that Goddess Kali was so pleased with Hanuman’s conduct that she offered him to be her dwara-paal or gatekeeper after the Ram Avatar comes to an end. It is believed that since Hanuman is a Chiranjeevi (eternal), he continues to live on earth guarding Goddess Kali temples. This is why it is a common sight to see Bhairava and Hanuman on either side of the entrance of Goddess Kali temples.

Also Read:

Lesser known facts about Lord Hanuman #1

What makes Lord Hanuman a role-model even today?

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Birthplace of Hanuman 

Multiple places in India are claimed to be the birthplace of Hanuman. According to one theory, Hanuman was born on Anjaneya Hill, near the Risyamukha mountain on the banks of river Pampa in Karnataka. This is where Monkey King Sugreeva and Lord Rama are said to have met in Ramayana Legend. According to another version Anjan, a small village about 18 km away from Gumla, Bihar is said to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. The name of the village is derived from the name of the goddess Anjani, the mother of Hanuman. Anjani Cave, 4 km from the village, is believed to be the place where Mata Anjani once lived. Many objects and items of archaeological importance obtained from this site are now held at the Patna Museum. The Anjaneri (or Anjneri) mountain, located 8 km from Trimbakeshwar in the Nasik district, is also claimed as the birthplace of Hanuman. One has to trek around 6 km up from the base of the trek to reach the birthplace. Likewise, a cave on a hill near Gokarna, one of the oldest temple towns in India, is also said to be the birthplace of Hanuman. This cave has had a Hanuman temple for a long time. Gokarna, situated on the west coast of Karnataka, is known for the Atma Linga of Shiva, installed by Ganapathi to save it from the hands of Ravana long before Ramayana’s days.

Sage Durvasa’s curse 

According to legend, Lord Hanuman’s mother Anjana was a beautiful Apsara called Punjikastala in the court of Lord Brahma in her previous birth. She was cursed by sage Durvasa, but Lord Bramha tried to ease her suffering by blessing her that she would be redeemed from this curse after giving birth to a son. So she was born on earth as a vanara princess and married Kesari, a vanara chief. Both Anjana and Kesari performed intense prayers to Shiva to get a child. Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva granted them a son called Hanuman — the incarnation or reflection of Shiva himself.

(To be continued)

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Ankit Mahajan
Ankit Mahajan
Ankit Mahajan the dynamic Chief of Bureau of Taazakhabar News is like a fire and forget missile that is sure to hit the target. A meticulous planner with an eye for detail, he never gives up and makes his presence felt in everything he does.



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