Hanuman, the mighty ape that aided Lord Rama in his expedition against evil forces, is an avatar of Lord Shiva. Hanuman Ji is worshiped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance, and devotion. Hanuman's tale in the epic Ramayana, where he is assigned the responsibility to locate Rama's wife Sita abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, is known for its astounding ability to inspire and equip a reader with all the ingredients needed to face ordeals and conquer obstructions in the way of the world.
Hindus believe in ten avatars of Lord Vishnu among a multitude of gods and goddesses. One of Shri Vishnu's avatars is Lord Rama, who was created to destroy Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. In order to aid Rama, Lord Brahma commanded some gods and goddesses to take the avatar of 'Vanaras' or monkeys. Indra, the god of war and weather, was reincarnated as Bali. Surya, the sun god as Sugriva; Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the gods, as Tara, and Pavana, the god of wind, was reborn as Hanuman, the wisest, swiftest and strongest of all apes.
The story of the birth of Hanuman goes thus: Vrihaspati had an attendant called Punjikasthala, who was cursed to assume the form of a female monkey ; a curse that could only be nullified if she would give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Reborn as Anjana, she performed intense austerities to please Shiva, who finally granted her the boon that would cure her of the curse.
When Agni, the god of fire, gave Dasharath, the king of Ayodhya, a bowl of sacred dessert to share among his wives so they may have divine children, an eagle snatched a part of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Pavana, the god of wind delivered the drop to her outstretched hands.
After she took the divine dessert, she gave birth to Hanuman. Thus Lord Shiva incarnated as a monkey, and was born as Hanuman to Anjana, by the blessings of Pavana, who thus became Hanuman's godfather!
Jai Shri Ram!
@Regrann from @madi.naidu77 - .
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