Son of Vayu Deva – the god of air,
Epitome of strength you are Lord Hanuman
There in none equal to you in power, to compare.
The greatest devotee of Lord Rama
You showed the world what devotion is,
You fought a war to uphold dharma
And gave the good people, new lease.
Oh monkey god, give me courage and strength
Ages may pass and generations of people may die
Let your legend live on for infinite length,
And among gods may your place be high.
You taught us the lesson of devotion and friendship.
With respect and love, I bow to you and worship.
∼ Vikram G. Aarella
As is the case for many of India‘s gods, several stories are told explaining Hanuman’s origin. In one interpretation Shiva and Parvati decide to transform themselves into monkeys and indulge in amorous games in the forest. As a result Parvati becomes pregnant. Shiva, conscious of his godly responsibilities and desiring to conform to the laws of nature, directs the wind god Vayu to carry the offspring from Parvati’s womb to that of Anjana – an Apsara with the form of a monkey who has prayed to be granted a boy child. In another version of the story Hanuman is simply the offspring of Anjana and Vayu. In yet another version of the story, he is the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys.
Many stories are also told of Hanuman’s childhood. As the son of Shiva and a monkey, Hanuman is variously described as spirited, restless, energetic and inquisitive. One point all the major texts agree on is his mischievous nature. As a youth Hanuman often abused his powers to pester the saints and holy men living in a nearby forest, with tricks such as beard pulling and the dousing of sacred fires. However, it is as an adult that the monkey god Hanuman comes into his own.