Lord Hanuman

Hanuman, the Hindu deity, is the epitome of devotion and is regarded as an incarnation of Shiva. He is also known as Manager (the mighty hero) or Pavanputra (son of air) or Bajarangbali (Powerful). He is noble and valiant, particularly famous for his devotion to Rama, the epic hero of Ramayana. He has the form of a monkey holding a Gada (mace) that is a sign of might, and generally has Rama's impression tattooed on his chest. Hanuman is the provider of hope, courage, devotion and intellect.

Hanuman was born to an apsara (a celestial being) named Punjisthala, who was cursed to become Anjana, a female monkey. Vayu, the wind God, is Hanuman's father, and hence Hanuman is called Pavanputra, the son of air. Hanuman had a very naughty childhood.

Having inherited his father's qualities of quick flying, forceful travel, and mighty strength, he became a child menace, so much so that he even tried to engulf the sun thinking it to be a ripe fruit! This has given rise to the myht of Hanuman engulfing the sun, thereby causing solar eclipse.

Hanuman's deeds of bravery are described in detail in Ramayana and scantily in a few other books like Mahabharata and Agni Purana. The scriptures state that Hanuman can become as huge as a mountain or as small as a fly. He has a golden complexion, a red face and a tail of an interminable length. Hanuman is best known as an unfailing devotee of Rama. He was Rama's greatest helper in the epic battle against the demon Ravana. Hanuman met Rama and his brother Lakshmana while Rama was in exile in the jungle, and searching for his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravana. Hanuman started an immense search for Sita. Finding out her whereabouts, he consoled Sita, and burnt down the city of Lanka. Hanuman then brought Rama to Lanka, fought the battle against Ravana with his simian army, and conquered the demons.

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