Hanuman Jayanti - Tuesday 11th April
Hanuman Jayanti - Chaitra Sud Purnima
Hanuman is a very important demigod of Hindu mythology. He is one of Chiranjivi (ever living). He is the foremost devotee of Bhagwan Ram. Though he served two other Avatars of Bhagwan (Bhagwan Shree Krishna and Shree Swaminarayan) since then, his life remains dedicated to his Ishtadev Bhagwan Ram. Shree Hari has extolled this virtue in the Vachanamrut.
He was born to father Kesari and Mother Anjani by the boon from the god of wind, Vayu on Chaitra Sud Purnima. Therefore his other name is Pavanputra (son of wind). There are many legends related to his birth. Some scriptures mention that when King Dasharath was distributing offertory of Putreyshti Yagna to his three wives, a crow took a morsel in his beak and dropped in the lap of Anjani meditating upon Shiva. She became pregnant as a result of eating that offertory. Another legend says that his mother was an ardent devotees of Shiva. She pleased Shiva by her severe austerity and in return asked for a son from Shiva. Therefore, he is considered as a partial manifestation of Shiva himself. In both of above cases, Vayu Dev became a carrier to plant the seed in her womb. Whatever the reasons, he was very powerful, yet mischievous since his birth. As a small child, he mistook the Sun as a fruit and grabbed and gulped the Sun. the whole world was plunged into the darkness. No one was strong enough to battle with baby Hanuman. Eventually, Indra, the king of Devtas, used his most potent weapon, Vajra upon him to free the Sun from Hanuman's mouth. When he became unconscious as a result, Vayu Dev withdrew wind from the universe and once again, the universe was turned chaotic. Vayu dev relented only when all the Devtas agreed to give a part of their potency to Hanuman. This made Hanuman as the most powerful entity in the whole universe. To protect the universe coming to any harm by his mischievous ways, it was stipulated that he will not become aware of his power unless someone reminds him of his abilities. It is mentioned in the Ramayan, that Bhagwan Shree Ram reminded him of his potency when assigned to locate Sita.
He helped Bhagwan Ram in the battle of Lanka. He is said to have swam the sea on his way to Lanka. Once during the battle Laxman was injured by the arrows. Only the special kind of botanical medicine could save Laxman. These plants only grew on a mountain, Dronachal. Hanuman brought the whole mountain from hundreds of miles away. While bringing back the mountain above the sky of Ayodhya, Bharat, mistaking him for an adversary of Bhagwan Ram, fired an arrow towards him, which struck him in his knee. This made Hanuman limp for the rest of his life. After the battle of Lanka, he accompanied Bhagwan Shree Ram to Ayodhya. When Bhagwan Ram began rewarding everybody with granting them their wishes, Hanuman refused to accept any of the gifts. Instead he asked for a simple boon. He asked to remain present whenever and wherever the name of Lord Ram is chanted. As the world is still reciting Bhagwan Ram's name, Hanuman lives on even today. To celebrate his rebirth as a true devotee, instead of celebrating his proper birthday in spring, Hindus perform his Puja on Kali Chaudas, the day before Diwali. Hanuman protects from all evil. Hundreds of Hanuman temples are dotted all over . In every Swaminarayan temple, Hanuman is installed as one of the guardian of the temple. One has to bow to this devotee even before seeing Bhagwan Himself.