The meaning or the origin of word Hanuman is unclear. In the Hindu pantheon, deities typically have many synonymous names, each based on the noble characteristic or attribute or reminder of that deity's mythical deed. Hanuman has many names like Maruti, Pawansuta, Bajrangbali, Mangalmurti but these names are rarely used.
Semi-ape and semi-man
Hanuman is the common name of the Vaanar, which means a semi-ape and a semi-man god. One interpretation of the term is that it means one having a jaw 'Hanu' that is prominent 'Mant'. This version is supported by a Puranic legend wherein baby Hanuman mistakes the sun for a fruit, attempts to heroically reach it, is wounded and gets a disfigured jaw. In Hinduism, Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Rama. Lord Hanuman, known as the Lord of Celibacy was an ideal Brahmachari or called Naistika Brahmachari in Sanskrit and is one of the central characters of the Indian Epic Ramayana. As one of the Chiranjivi, he is also mentioned in several other texts, such as the Mahabharata and the various Puranas. Hanuman is the son of Anjani and Kesari and is also son of the wind-god Pawan also known as 'Vayu', who according to several stories, played a role in his figure. If yoga is the ability to control one's mind then Hanuman is the quintessential yogi having a perfect mastery over his senses, achieved through a disciplined lifestyle tempered by the twin streams of celibacy and selfless devotion also know as Bhakti. In fact, Hanuman is the ideal Brahmachari, which means one who follows the path of Brahma, if ever there was one. He is also a perfect karma yogi since he performs his actions with detachment, acting as an instrument of destiny rather than being impelled by any selfish motive.
"While Hanuman is one of the central characters in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, the evidence of devotional worship to him is missing in the texts and archeological sites of ancient and most of the medieval period"
Inner self-control and devotion by monkey god
Hanuman as a symbol of nationalism and resistance to persecution. In the modern era, his iconography and temples have been increasingly common. He is viewed as the ideal combination of strength, heroic initiative and assertive excellence and loving, emotional devotion to his personal god Rama. He symbolizes the human excellences of inner self-control, faith and service to a cause, hidden behind the first impressions of a being who looks like an ape-man Vanara. According to Valmiki's Ramayana, one morning in his, childhood, Hanuman was hungry and saw the rising red colored sun. Mistaking it for a ripe fruit, he leapt up to eat it, so child Hanuman reaches for the Sun thinking it is a fruit. In one version of the Hindu legend, the king of gods Indra intervened and struck his thunderbolt. It hit Hanuman on his jaw, and he fell to the earth as dead with a broken jaw. His father, Vayu which means air, states Ramayana, became upset and withdrew. The lack of air created immense suffering to all living beings. This led lord Shiva, to intervene and resuscitate Hanuman, which in turn prompted Vayu to return to the living beings. As the mistake done by god Indra, he grants Hanuman a wish that his body would be as strong as Indra's Vajra, where as his Vajra can also not harm him. Along with Indra other gods have also granted him wishes such as God Agni granted Hanuman a wish that fire will not harm him, God Varuna granted a wish for Hanuman that water will not harm him, God Vayu granted a wish for Hanuman that he will be as fast as wind and the wind will not harm him. Lord Brahma has also granted Hanuman a wish that he can move at any place where he cannot be stopped at anywhere, Lord Vishnu also grants Hanuman a weapon which is named as 'Gada'. Hence these wishes make Hanuman an immortal, who has unique powers and strength. Hanuman is often worshipped along with Rama and Sita of Vaishnavism, sometimes independently. There are numerous statues to celebrate or temples to worship Hanuman all over India. In some regions, he is considered as an avatar of Shiva, the focus of Shaivism. Some people state that the earliest Hanuman murtis appeared in the eight century, but verifiable evidence of Hanuman images and inscriptions appear in the tenth century in Indian monasteries in central and north India.
Hanuman has many attributes:
Remover of obctacles
Hanuman temple in Narnaul
Driving through different locations in Haryana the photographer made a stop about five kilometers to the west of the Narnaul region. Here is the Hanuman Temple Complex Raghunath Pura located, which is a popular pilgrim place and where special pujas are aartis are held every tuesday, that are attended by devotees in large numbers. There is a statue of Lord Hanuman, about 63 feet high and was installed in twenty years ago by a merchant. People of the region believe that this temple has mystical healing powers. The temple and statue of Lord Hanuman is situated on the top of a hill surrounded by mountains and greenery near Narnaul in India. The temple is a popular pilgrim place that are attended by devotees in large numbers and people of the region believe that this temple has mystical healing powers. Narnaul is a city, a municipal Corporation and the location of headquarters of the Mahendragarh district in the Indian state of Haryana.
'Hanumanji', 'Jai Hanuman Ji' and 'Hanuman Ji Maharaj Ki Jai' are all expressions one can hear as a traveler in India. 'Ji' is a gender-neutral honorific used as a suffix in many languages of the Indian subcontinent, such as Hindi and Punjabi languages and their dialects prevalent in northern India, north-west and central India. It is also commonly used to show respect to the individual, in formal address in Nepal. Ji is gender-neutral and can be used for as a term of respect for person, relationships or inanimate objects as well.
Celebration of the monkey god of India
Hanuman Jayanti is a Hindu religious festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Sri Hanuman, who is immensely venerated throughout India and Nepal. This festival is celebrated on different days in different parts of India. In most states of India, the festival is observed either in Chaitra usually on the day of Chaitra Pournimaa or in Vaishakha. On this auspicious day, devotees of Lord Hanuman celebrate him and seek his protection and blessings. They flock to temples to worship him and present religious offerings. In return, The devotees receive Prasad by the temple priests as sweets, flowers, coconuts, tilak, Udi which is sacred ash and Ganga jal which is holy water. People also celebrate him on this day by reciting various devotional hyms and prayers like the Hanuman Chalisa and reading holy scriptures like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Hinduism, the word 'Bhakti' refers to devotion to and love for a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.
"- For Hanuman Bhakt's I believe it is a must visit place no matter where you come from and is thronged by lot of followers as well there is a jubilant celebration on the ocassion of Hanuman Jayanti", the Photographer says.
Read also: Hindu temples of India