Hanuman ji is an epitome of an ideal devotee of God. Each letter of his name symbolizes a quality of a true devotee:
H = Helpfulness (kindness)
A = Adoration (devotion)
N = Naturalness (sincerity)
U = Understanding (knowledge)
M = Modesty (humility)
A = Allegiance (loyalty)
N = Nishkama-karma (selfless work in service of God)
Who is Hanuman ji?
Hanuman ji or Lord Hanuman was born in Anjaneri (now a hilltop temple), a pilgrim village in Triambkeshwar, Nasik in the Indian State of Maharashtra. He is considered an incarnation (avatar) of Lord Shiva. He was born to Anjani and Keshari with the blessings of ‘Vayu’ the wind god.
He is one of the seven Chiranjivis and the only learned scholar who knew the nine Vyakaranas. He learned the shastras from Suryadev, the sun god. He is also well versed with the Vedas and other sacred books.
He has exhibited astonishing physical strength and worked many miracles. He is admired for his super human strength, heroism, wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures. The Ramayan describes him as the chosen messenger of Lord Rama and the minister & messenger of Sugreeva. He is believed to be the most agile and oriented god.
Hanuman ji is the symbol of Devotion and Service.
Lord Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu whose elevated character and righteous actions are designed to inspire men to divine consciousness. Hanuman ji aided Lord Ram fighting the demon king – Ravana ( a symbol of material illusion) and thus liberating Sita, Ram’s wife.
Hanuman was the chief of the armies of Lord Rama. He took a prominent part in the war against Ravana, the king of Lanka. Recognizing Lord beneath the human disguise, Hanuman ji dedicated himself wholly to service of Rama.
He is generally depicted in kneeling pose of utter devotion and humility. He symbolizes the strength and purity of the Perfect Servant. Lord Hanuman is known by many names as Anjaneya, Anjani Putra, Bajarangbali, Hanuman, Mahaveer, Marutinandan, Pavanputra etc.
In Ramayana, Hanuman ji carried Sri Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulder to Sugreeva, the king of all Vanars (monkeys) in Kishkindha. He helped them to find Goddess Sita. Prior to the war between Sri Rama and Ravana, Anjaneya visited Lanka, met Ravana, created havoc and burnt down the city of Lanka (Lanka Dahan).
Also, when Lakshmana was injured seriously during the war, Sushena, the surgeon/physician of the monkey army, dispatched Maruti nandan to bring herbal medicine, Sanjeevini, from the far-off Sumeru Mountain in the Himalayas, before sunrise. Flying over the Himalayas and unable to identify the particular herb fast, Hanuman uprooted and carried the entire mountain in time to save the life of Lakshmana along with the rest of the Vanar army. Sri Ram blessed Hanumanji with immortality (chiranjeevi) at the end of the war.
Lord Hanuman was a bachelor (brahamachari) and is worshipped in all the temples of India. Every temple of Lord Rama contains an idol of Hanuman. Worship of Lord Rama is incomplete without worship of Lord Hanuman. There are various temples dedicated solely to Lord Hanuman.
Sant Tulsidas composed the 40 stanzas of “Sri Hanuman Chalisa” in praise of Hanuman.
Hanuman symbolizes the worship of the supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord. In olden days, there used to be temples of Hanumantha, at the gates of forts. The gymnasium of wrestlers invariably have his picture. Students pray to him for intelligence and soldiers for strength.
Hanuman Jayanti is observed to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman.