Chanting the Hymn of Strength: Celebrating Hanuman Jayanti

Hanuman Jayanti

Falling on the full moon (Purnima) day in the Hindu month of Chaitra (usually April-May), Hanuman Jayanti is a vibrant festival celebrated with immense devotion across India and the world. The monkey god Lord Hanuman, who is admired for his extraordinary strength, steadfast loyalty, and selfless service, was born on this day in history.

The Mighty Vanara

One of the most treasured texts in Hinduism, the Ramayana, has an epic tale known as the saga of Hanuman. Born to Anjana and Kesari, Hanuman is believed to be the eleventh Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. From a young age, Hanuman displayed immense strength and a playful spirit. The stories of his childhood are full of wonder – mistaking the rising sun for a giant fruit and leaping towards it, or learning every scripture and branch of knowledge known to mankind.

The epitome of Devotion

However, Hanuman’s true purpose is revealed when he encounters Lord Rama, the exiled prince of Ayodhya. Hanuman becomes Rama’s most ardent devotee, his dedication unparalleled. When Rama’s wife Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana, Hanuman embarks on a perilous journey to Lanka, Ravana’s island kingdom. His fiery tail burns Lanka, he faces innumerable perils, and at last he discovers Sita, turning into a ray of hope for Rama and his sibling Lakshmana.

Lessons from the Life of Hanuman

There’s more to Hanuman Jayanti than just honouring a mythological character. It’s a day to reflect on the profound lessons his life imparts:
• Unwavering Devotion: Hanuman’s love for Rama is absolute and unconditional. He demonstrates to us the importance of unwavering devotion in all areas of life, not just spiritual pursuits.
• Strength and Courage: Hanuman embodies immense physical and mental strength. He inspires us to face challenges head-on and overcome them.

• Selfless Service: Always putting Rama’s needs before his own, Hanuman exemplifies the virtue of selfless service. He acts as a prompt to prioritise the well-being of others and to act with love and compassion.
• Humility: Despite his immense power, Hanuman remains grounded. He instills in us the virtues of appreciating other people and humility.
• Knowledge and Wisdom: Learned and wise, Hanuman embodies the pursuit of knowledge. He encourages us to approach life with knowledge and to be lifelong learners.

Celebrating Hanuman Jayanti

Hanuman Jayanti is a joyous occasion marked by various traditions across India. Devotees throng temples dedicated to Hanuman, offering prayers, chanting hymns like the Hanuman Chalisa, and performing aartis (worship rituals). Special pujas (prayers) are held, often with offerings of red vermillion paste (sindoor) and sacred sweets like laddus.
Some devotees observe a complete fast on this day, seeking blessings for strength, courage, and the removal of obstacles. In some regions, religious dramas (Ram Leelas) depicting scenes from the Ramayana are performed, keeping the stories of Hanuman alive for generations.

A Timeless Legacy

Hanuman Jayanti is a celebration not just of Lord Hanuman’s birth, but of the ideals he represents. Hanuman is a beacon of strength, devotion, and service in a world that can be confusing at times. So this Hanuman Jayanti, let us chant the hymn of strength, embrace the values Hanuman embodies, and strive to become better versions of ourselves.

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