Hanuman’s Son Makar Dhwaja was born to a mighty fish of the same name when Hanuman after burning the entire Lanka with his tail had dipped in the sea to cool off his body. It is said that his sweat was swallowed by the fish and thus was Makar Dhwaja conceived. The fish was caught by Ravana’s step brother Ahiravana who ruled Patal, the nether world. When Makar Dhwaja grew up, Ahiravana was impressed by his strength and virility. He then made him his soldier.
During Rams’s quest to free Sita from the clutches of Ravana it was Hanuman who flew across the sea to reach the demons king’s palace and discovered the whereabouts of Sita. When Ravan became aware of Hanuman’s presence in his palace, he ordered his soldiers to capture and kill the petty monkey. In order to crush Ravan’s ego, Hanuman set about destroying Lanka with his tail that was set ablaze by Ravan’s soldiers. In this commotion he found Lord Shani imprisoned in the palace’s basement, who was cursed by Brahma to remain in captivity till an incarnation of Shiva frees him. Hanuman released him from the confinement. Delighted, Lord Shani helped Hanuman in his pursuit to destroy Lanka and even granted him a boon. Hanuman who always wished well for his followers, asked Lord Shani not to cause trouble for the devotees who worshiped Hanuman.
A beautiful apsara in court of Lord Brahma was cursed by a sage that, the moment she fell in love her face would transform to that of a monkey. Lord Brahma thought of helping her and she took birth on Earth. Later, Anjana fell in love with Kesari, the monkey king and they both married each other. Being a passionate devotee of Lord Shiva, she continued with her tapasya to please the God. Lord Shiva was impressed and she wished him to be her son so that she would be freed from the curse of the sage.
Few days later, King Dashrath was performing a yagna after which the sage gave him kheer to feed all his wives. A portion of Kaushlya, his eldest wife, was snatched by a kite who flew all the way
where Anjana was meditating. Lord Vayu on the signal of Lord Shiva kept the khee are in Anjana’s hand.Thinking it as Lord Shiva’s Prasad, Anjana ate it and thus gave birth to his incarnation – Pawan Putra Hanuman , the son of the Lord of the Winds.
Considering Myself as Ignorant, I Meditate on You, O Pavan Kumar (Hanuman).
Bestow on me Strength, Wisdom and Knowledge, and Remove my Afflictions and Blemishes.
Lord Hanuman is highly adored with butter and betel leaves while performing the puja ceremony. Let’s explore the significance behind these offerings.
They are specially offered to Lord Hanuman as once Mata Sita expressed her gratitude and and blessings to Him by showering the betel leaves upon him. It is said that the betel leaves were the token of appreciation and blessings of Lord Rama and Mata Sita for Hanuman, after winning over Ravana.
Moreover betel leaves are known to be offered to the intellectual one who is well versed with the sacred knowledge of Vedas and shastras. Thus the huge bank of knowledge of Hanuman and his intellect to use that knowledge in every difficulty made him get respect and love from Rama and Sita ji.
At the time of battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, both were trying their best to defeat each other. Unlike the huge chariot of Ravana, Lord Rama was being carried by Hanuman ji. When all the tactics of Ravana failed he thought to attack Hanuman instead of Lord Rama.
As soon as the arrow hit Hanuman ji and wounded him, Lord Rama was unable to see his devotees’s plight and fought vigorously with Ravana. The situation became worse for Ravana and he had to give up. When Lord Rama and Hanuman returned to their camp, Lord Rama himself applied cool butter on Hanuman ji’s wound to cool down his burning wounds.
Following the age old traditions began by Lord Rama and Mata Sita, betel leaves garland and butter are still offered to Lord Hanuman by his devotees, to express their love and respect for Him.
Though every character mentioned in our mythological text hold their unique significance, yet few of them capture our attention and become eternal. They become the epitome and inspiration of our daily life and also provide us the strength to connect with Supreme power. Shabari was one such character who is still known for her innocence, immense devotion and shraddha and saburi. Oblivious to the customs and traditions of the high society, she spent her entire life in the forest wandering and waiting for her Shri Rama.
To appreciate and adore the faith of this divine lady, Shabari Jayanti is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Saptami in the month of Phalguna, as per the north Indian lunar calendar. The day holds great significance among the Kol Community.
The day Lord Rama reached the doors of Shabari, she was overwhelmed with joy and tears rolled down her cheeks. She couldn’t believe that her Rama was there to meet her after years of patience and faith in the Lord. In her innocence and bounty of love, she started tasting the fruits before offering them to lord Rama. She never wanted to offer any sour or poisonous fruits to him.
Shri Rama happily accepted the half eaten fruits and proved that it is not the condition or value of the offering that matters but devotion of the devotee who offers it. When Sri Rama asked her, “Shabari what boon would you like“? Shabari says, “With my Guru’s blessing I was blessed to have your darshan today. I do not desire anything else now. Please give me the permission to give up my mortal body and attain salvation.”
1st March 2016 is celebrated as Shabari Jayanti this year to remember her love and devotion towards her guru. This day inspires the devotees to be faithful and true towards the lord and focus more on the devotion rather than the offerings.