Young World

Soaring towards the sun

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar   | Photo Credit: sreejith r.kumar

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The monkey god, Hanuman, is known to be invincible and immortal. How did he get these powers?

You’ve all heard of Hanuman, the devotee of Lord Rama. Here is a tale about the monkey god as a baby.

Hanuman was the son of Vayu, the god of the wind, and Anjana, a celestial nymph. You’re probably wondering how the son of the wind god and a nymph turned out to be a monkey. The answer is that Anjana once angered a sage who cursed her to be born as a monkey. When the nymph begged for pardon, the sage calmed down and said that she would regain her original form after she bore a son who would win great renown.

Even as a child, Hanuman had great powers. One morning, he saw the sun rising and thought it was a great yellow ball. He decided to get hold of it so that he could play with it. Indra, the king of gods, saw Hanuman leap into the sky and wanted to stop him. And how did he do that? He threw his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) at the child. Hanuman fell to earth, wounded.

Life without air

Hanuman’s enraged father decided to go on a strike until the one who hurt his child was punished. Imagine if there is no wind on earth! How would it be? No gentle cooling breeze when the sun blazes down. No power to move the rain-bearing clouds. Why, after a point, both humans and animals couldn’t breathe. Vayu’s strike made life on earth difficult.

The gods knew they had to placate Vayu. So, they offered the baby a multitude of boons. Brahma said that no weapon would ever hurt Hanuman and that he would be able to change his form at will and travel wherever he chose. Indra’s boon was that the Vajra would no longer hurt the child and that his body would be stronger than the weapon. Varuna, the god of the ocean, offered him protection from water.

Agni, the god of fire, blessed him with immunity to fire. Surya, the sun god, gave him the power to change the size of his body. Yama blessed him with good health and immortality. Vishwakarma, the divine architect, offered a boon that Hanuman would be safe from all objects of his creation.

With all these boons, Hanuman became a great warrior who played a crucial role in the Ramayan. But that story is for another time.

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Printable version | Apr 26, 2019 3:05:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/a-story-about-hanuman-the-monkey-god/article8336448.ece

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