Is Lord Hanuman An Incarnation Of Lord Shiva?


Lord Hanuman is a Hindu God who is one of the central characters in Ramayana and whose immense devotion for Lord Rama is unmatched. He was the chief aid to Lord Rama in the war against demon king Ravana. Lord Hanuman is the son of Anjana and Kesari and has also been described as the son of God of Wind (Vayudev). Lord Hanuman was named after the incident where Lord Indra’s thunderbolt (vajra) struck his jaw while he was still a child. The child then received the name combining Sanskrit words ‘Hanu’ means jaw and ‘man’ means disfigured. Lord Hanuman is also known as Anjaneya, Anjaniputra, Kesarinandan, Marutinandan, Pavanputra, Bajrang Bali, etc.

Lord Hanuman Lord Shiva

How Lord Shiva & Lord Hanuman Are Related?

In many ancient scriptures, it has been stated that when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Rama on earth and Lord Shiva took the form of Lord Hanuman to serve Lord Rama in Treta Yuga. In puranas it is also said that Lord Shiva was in a dilemma as to in which form he must incarnate to serve his master. It was not considered good to incarnate in the same human form as Lord Rama because a human requires to cook food, seek shelter and wear clothes and ornaments. Lord Shiva, therefore decided to take a lower form of monkey who can adapt to any condition for his master without any demands.

It is known that Lord Hanuman is the 11th rudra avatar of Lord Shiva and since Lord Shiva is known as the destructor of evil, Lord Hanuman is known as the destructor of troubles (sankat mochan). As per the Valmiki Ramayana, it is said that Anjana performed intense prayers for 12 long years and pleased Lord Shiva to get the blessing for a child. Lord Hanuman is therefore, a result of Lord Shiva’s blessing. But Lord Hanuman is also known as Pavanputra or Vayuputra. There are two different notions about his birth where the Lord of Winds had a role to play:-

* When Anjana was praying to Lord Shiva for a child, King Dashratha of Ayodhya was performing a Putrakama Yagna to have children. After the yagna, the sacred pudding was the prasadam that was to be distributed amongst his three wives. But by some divine power, a kite snatched a part of the pudding and the wind took the kite towards Anjana in the forest she was praying in. Anjana took the pudding delivered to her by Vayudev and consumed it, due to which Lord Hanuman was born.

* In another version, it is said that Anjana and Kesari prayed to Lord Shiva for a child and by Lord Shiva’s instructions, Vayudev transferred his male energy into Anjana’s womb. Hence, Lord Hanuman is known as Vayuputra and an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

Being an avatar of Lord Shiva on earth, Lord Hanuman was blessed to be immortal and he was even witnessed by many sages during the beginning of Kaliyuga. Even today, people have belief that Lord Hanuman lives in India because there is no mention of his death in any of the scriptures. You will be astonished to know these 10 lesser known facts about Lord Hanuman that will compel you to believe in his existence as the most ardent devotee ever:

1. Lord Hanuman Fought Lord Rama In A Battle & Won

In an instance, sage Vishwamitra ordered Lord Rama to kill Yayati and on knowing this, Yayati asked Lord Hanuman’s help. Lord Hanuman promised to protect her life. Without using any weapon on physical force, Lord Hanuman stood chanting Lord Rama’s name in the war field. The arrows that Lord Rama directed towards Lord Hanuman were ineffective and seeing this Lord Rama accepted his defeat. After seeing such love and devotion for Lord Rama, sage Vishwamitra relieved Lord Rama from the task of killing Yayati.

2. Lord Hanuman’s Insatiable Hunger Was Satisfied By A Tulsi Leaf

Once Lord Hanuman visited Sita Maa in sage Valmiki’s hut and asked to have food cooked by her. Overwhelmed with his desire, Sita Maa cooked numerous dishes and started serving Lord Hanuman. He loved the food cooked by Sita Maa so much that the food was unable to satisfy his hunger. Gradually all the groceries were about to finish and still he was hungry. Seeing this, Sita Maa prayed to Lord Rama to help her. Lord Rama suggested her to serve a morsel of food with a tulsi leaf. Sita Maa did as advised and eventually, Lord Hanuman’s hunger was satisfied.

3. Panch-Mukhi Hanuman Defeated Ahiravana

Lord Hanuman appeared in the form of panch-mukhi (five headed) Hanuman only once and that too for a special purpose. He assumed it to kill Ravana’s brother, Ahiravana who ruled the Nether world (patal lok). Ahiravana had kidnapped Lord Rama and Lakshmana and to free them from the shackles of Ahiravana, Lord Hanuman had to extinguish 5 lamps in 5 different locations at the same time to kill him. He therefore, assumed this panch-mukhi form, where apart from himself, the faces were of Narasimha, Varaha, Hayagriva and Garuda.

4. Lord Hanuman Was Cursed

Lord Hanuman has been known for his many mischiefs during his childhood. He didn’t know how to control his powers and being immature, he used to tease or make fun of the sages praying in the forest. But on one occasion, the furious sages were unable to bear the interference and knowing that he is a child, they gave a mild curse that he will forget about all his powers and abilities and will be able to remember it once someone reminds him.

5. Lord Hanuman In Mahabharata

Arjuna met Lord Hanumana, who appeared as a small talking monkey at Rameshwaram, where the Rama setu was built. Arjuna wondered why Lord Rama took help of monkeys instead of building the bridge using arrows. Upon hearing him, Lord Hanuman challenged Arjuna to build such a bridge on his own. Since Arjuna was unaware that the small monkey was Lord Hanuman itself, he accepted the challenge and Lord Hanuman began destroying the bridge made by Arjuna. When Arjuna started feeling depressed about his failure, Lord Vishnu appeared in front of them and scolded both for showing immaturity. Lord Hanuman apologised and promised to help Arjuna by strengthening his chariot and providing it stability and protection during the battle of Kurukshetra.

Lord Hanuman was present in the chariot in the form of a flag during the complete battle. After the battle, Lord Krishna asked Arjuna to step down from the chariot and thanked Lord Hanuman for protecting them. Lord Hanuman bowed and left the place. The chariot then immediately turned into ashes. Seeing Arjuna astonished, Lord Krishna explained that if it was not Lord Hanuman’s powers, then the chariot would have burned into ashes long back due to the continuous attack through celestial weapons.

Recommended: Miracles of reciting Hanuman Chalisa

6. Lord Hanuman Rejected Sita Maa’s Gift

Once Sita Maa gave Lord Hanuman a pearl necklace as gift. But Lord Hanuman politely refused to accept it as he accepted anything only when he could find Lord Rama’s name in it. People in the court laughed off disbelieving about the deep devotion he had for Lord Rama. To prove his love for his Lord, he ripped off his chest and everyone saw the image of Lord Rama and Sita Maa. Such was his loyalty and love towards them.

7. Women Are Not Allowed To Touch Lord Hanuman’s Feet

Hanuman Jayanti is quite popular festival and devotees apply sindoor on their foreheads and offer bananas to monkeys considering them as Lord Hanuman’s form. Most men perform fast during the day. All the prayers and puja proceedings are performed by men only. However, women are allowed to worship Lord Hanuman but they are abstained from touching his feet as Lord Hanuman is a bal brahmachari.

8. Lord Hanuman Has His Body Smeared With Sindoor

Once Sita Maa was applying sindoor on her hair and on seeing this, Lord Hanuman asked the reason for applying it. She replied that it was for long life and good health of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman thought that when a pinch of sindoor can ensure long life for Lord Rama, then it is better to apply it on the complete body. He applied sindoor all over his body and seeing his innocence and intention behind doing it, Lord Rama blessed him that whenever people will speak of devotion, his name would be taken first.

9. A Mighty Fish Gave Birth To Lord Hanuman’s Son

After burning the entire Lanka by igniting his tail, Lord Hanuman had taken a dive in the sea to cool off his body. Many scriptures have mentioned that his sweat was swallowed by a fish and then the fish conceived a son named Makar Dhwaja. The fish was captured by Ahiravana and was taken in Nether world. When Makar Dhwaja grew up, his immense strength and bravery appealed Ahiravana, who made him a soldier. Despite losing the battle with Makar Dhwaja, Lord Hanuman killed Ahiravana who had kidnapped Lord Rama and Lakshmana. He then announced his son Makar Dhwaja as the king of the Nether world.

10. Gods Blessed Lord Hanuman

Lord Brahma blessed Lord Hanuman that nobody will be able to kill him with any weapon and he was given the power to induce fear in enemies, destroy fear from innocent people and that he could change forms as per his will. Even Lord Shiva blessed him with immortality, wisdom and ability to travel easily to any location. Lord Varuna blessed him that he would never get hurt by water and Lord Agni blessed him saying that fire would never burn him. Lord of Sun blessed him that he had inbuilt two siddhis of yoga, laghima and garima, where with laghima he could obtain smallest form and with garima, he could attain the largest form of life. Lord of Winds blessed him with highest possible speed and Lord of Death (Yama) blessed him with healthy life and immortality.

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