Hanuman: The Mighty Monkey God

Hanuman, the revered monkey god in Hindu mythology, is a central figure in the epic Ramayana and is prominent in various other Hindu scriptures. In Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is portrayed as a symbol of unwavering strength, unparalleled devotion, and remarkable concentration. His life is characterized by the practice of ‘Brahmacharya’—a life long celibacy. Hanuman’s exemplary love and profound respect for Lord Rama are woven intricately into the fabric of the epic.

Regarded as one of the Ashta Chiranjivi (eight immortal beings), Hanuman is celebrated for his unwavering devotion, unparalleled strength, and pivotal roles in the narratives of ancient Indian epics. This overview covers Hanuman’s family, life, major roles, interesting stories associated with him, and some of his notable sayings.

Birth of Hanuman

Hanuman is considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva and Anjana was his mother. As per the legend version, Anjana was an apsara (celestial nymph) named Punjikasthala, who was born as a Vanara (monkey) princess on earth due to a curse. She married Kesari, a Vanara (monkey) king. The God of Wind, Vayu, carried the divine power of Shiva to Anjana’s womb. Thus, Hanuman was born as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Purana states that Anjana was the daughter of Gautama Maharishi and Ahalya.

Born with divine blessings and a boon of immortality, Hanuman exhibited extraordinary strength and devotion from an early age. Legend has it that as a child, Hanuman mistook the sun for a ripe fruit and attempted to grab it, prompting a divine intervention where Indra’s thunderbolt struck him. In response, Lord Brahma granted him immunity from any celestial weapon.

Various Names of Lord Hanuman

In Hindu Scripture, Lord Hanuman is known by several names , each holding significance and often derived from his qualities, exploits, or associations. Some familiar names include:

Hanuman: The name “Hanuman” itself is believed to be a combination of two Sanskrit words – “Hanu” (jaw) and “man” (disfigured). According to mythology, as a child, Hanuman was hungry and looking for the sun, mistaking it for a ripe fruit. When he attempted to swallow the sun, Lord Indra, the king of gods, struck him on the jaw, disfiguring it and giving him the name Hanuman.

Maruti: This name is derived from “Marut,” which means wind. Lord Hanuman is considered the son of the wind god Vayu and is often referred to as Maruti.

Pavanputra: Meaning “son of the wind,” this name highlights Hanuman’s divine lineage, as he is the offspring of the wind god Vayu.

Anjaneya: Hanuman, also known as Anjaneya, refers to his mother, Anjana, a celestial nymph. The term “Anjaneya” signifies that he was born of Anjana.

Kesarinandan: This name refers to Hanuman as the son of Kesari, a Vanara king, and a symbol of courage. “Kesarinandan” translates to “son of Kesari.”

Mahavira: Meaning “great hero” or “mighty warrior,” Mahavira reflects Hanuman’s exceptional strength and bravery, especially in the Ramayana.

Bajrangbali: “Bajrang” means thunderbolt, and “Bali” means strong. This name emphasizes Hanuman’s incredible strength, comparing it to a thunderbolt.

These names signify various aspects of Lord Hanuman’s character and exploits and reflect the rich symbolism and mythology embedded in Hindu scriptures.

Major Roles in Hindu Epics

Ramayana – Search for Sita:

One of Hanuman’s most significant roles is found in the Ramayana. When Lord Rama’s wife, Sita, was abducted by the demon king Ravana, Hanuman played a crucial part in the search for her. With his immense strength and ability to fly, Hanuman leaped across the ocean to reach Lanka, Ravana’s kingdom. There, he discovered Sita in captivity and conveyed Rama’s message of reassurance to her.

Building the Ram Setu:

In the Ramayana, after locating Sita, Hanuman returned to Rama and shared the information about her whereabouts. In the war against Ravana, Hanuman also played a vital role in building the bridge, known as Ram Setu, to connect the mainland of India with Lanka.

Read more: Ram Setu (Bridge): Fact or Reality?

Battle in Lanka:

Hanuman displayed unparalleled valor in the battle against Ravana’s forces. His strength, agility, and unwavering dedication to Lord Rama contributed significantly to the victory of good over evil.

Ram and Hanuman

Devotion to Lord Rama:

Hanuman’s devotion to Lord Rama is legendary. He considered Rama the Supreme Being and embodied selfless devotion and surrender. His loyalty and love for Rama are celebrated in various hymns and texts.

Hanuman Chalisa:

The Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional hymn composed by the saint Tulsidas, is dedicated to Hanuman. Millions of devotees recite this forty-verse prayer to seek Hanuman’s blessings and protection. It narrates Hanuman’s divine exploits, virtues, and role in the Ramayana.

Interesting Short Stories Associated with Hanuman:

Hanuman and the Sun:

One story involves a youthful Hanuman who mistakes the sun for a ripe fruit. Eager to possess it, he soared into the sky to grab the sun. His audacity caught the gods’ attention, leading Indra to hurl his thunderbolt at Hanuman. Unharmed by the attack, Hanuman was blessed with immunity from celestial weapons.

Hanuman and the Flying Mountain:

During the Ramayana, when the herb Sanjeevani was required to revive Lakshmana, Hanuman flew to the Himalayas to fetch it. Unable to identify the specific herb, he lifted the entire mountain and brought it to the battlefield, saving Lakshmana’s life.

Hanuman and Bhima’s Encounter:

In the Mahabharata, Hanuman encountered Bhima, one of the Pandavas, in the form of a monkey blocking his path. The ensuing confrontation showcased Hanuman’s strength, revealing his divine identity to Bhima. Hanuman played a crucial role in supporting the Pandavas throughout their journey.

Sayings of Hanuman:

“When I do not know who I am, I serve You, and when I do know who I am, You and I are One.”

This saying reflects the essence of Hanuman’s devotion and the concept of oneness with the divine. It emphasizes the dissolution of the ego in the service of the Supreme.

“Anyone who calls on me with love in their heart shall not go unanswered,”

Hanuman assures that sincere devotion and love will never be in vain, and he responds to the heartfelt calls of his devotees.

“A true devotee is not one who only fasts and prays, but who serves with selfless love and seeks nothing in return.”

Hanuman’s definition of true devotion emphasizes selfless service and love, transcending mere rituals.

Legacy and Worship:

Hanuman’s legacy extends beyond the Hindu epics, influencing various cultures and traditions. He is revered in India and many Southeast Asian countries where the Ramayana has left a cultural imprint.

Temples dedicated to Hanuman, such as the Hanuman Temple in Varanasi, the Shri Hanuman Mandir in Delhi, and the Hampi Anjaneya Temple, attract millions of devotees annually. Tuesday is considered an auspicious day for Hanuman worship, and Hanuman Jayanti, his birthday, is a widely celebrated festival.


Hanuman, the epitome of devotion, strength, and selfless service, remains an enduring symbol of unwavering faith in Hindu mythology. His multifaceted role in the epics, fascinating stories, and profound sayings have made him a beloved deity for millions. Whether as the mighty warrior in the Ramayana or the devoted disciple in the Mahabharata, Hanuman’s character exemplifies timeless virtues that continue to inspire and resonate with people across generations.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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