LORD SHIVA INCARNATES AS SRI HANUMAN
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Sri Swami Shyam
On the huge pinnacle of beautiful Mount Kailasha, Lord Shiva was
sitting in samadhi under a Banyan tree. On His marvelous camphor-white
body, His reddish-brown hair was scattered artfully. On His hands,
neck and chest, rudraksa beads and snakes were hanging as ornaments,
enjoying His soothing touch.
His dear vehicle, Nandi the bull, was sitting in front of Him, and
a little further away His attendants were enjoying various love
plays. A crescent moon was decorating the top of His matted hair
as a symbol of Shiva’s mercy. The silvery current of the Holy
Ganga was visible through her coolness. His third eye was calm and
quiet. The sacred ashes pasted in three lines on His forehead were
so beautiful and captivating that it cannot be described in words.
Lord Shiva broke His samadhi by chanting “Rama, Rama”
as if a cloud had rumbled. Everybody’s eyes were full of love
and joy fully turned towards
Shiva. From one bush there appeared a beautiful maiden, Sati, the
dearest consort of Lord Shiva.
found her beloved spouse looking at her with special, graceful eyes.
She came forward and stood in front of Him with
folded hands and a heart full of love. She spoke amiably, “My Lord, my
heart swells in joy after seeing You come out of such a long samadhi.
How shall I serve You? May I do any service for you, dear? I feel that
You wish to say something.”
Lord Shiva replied, “My dear consort, a very pious and
auspicious desire is arising in My Being today. Rama, on whom I
meditate and contemplate always, whose heart-captivating pastimes I
love to narrate to you, He is coming, descending onto the earth with
all the Gods and representatives of
celestial and astral planets. They are taking birth in the semi-divine
and human races so that the Earth will receive the great fortune of His
service. I wonder why I alone should miss this
valuable holy occasion? Let me also go to the place where He is.”
The beautiful Sati, dangling between the feelings of pleasure
and pain, (since her husband’s pleasure was her pleasure, and the
separation from Him was great pain) said, “My Lord, Your desire is all
auspicious, all sublime, all natural. As I want to serve You, my
beloved spouse, so also You want to
serve Your Lord, for service is the only expression of deep love. But
my Lord, my heart is tormented by just imagining the future separation.
Please give me power so that my heart can
enjoy Your happiness in totality.
“My Lord, Your Beloved Lord Rama is descending to unburden
the Earth of a most powerful ten-headed monster, King Ravana. But, King
Ravana is your great devotee, to whom You have offered many boons, for
he has satisfied You through ten thousand years of austerity and by
sacrificing his ten heads one by one in the fire. How can You help
anyone in killing him?”
Lord Shiva laughed and said, “My dear consort, you are very
innocent. You need not be afraid of separation. I shall remain always
with you. I can manifest Myself in various forms. At times I shall be
taking you to Lord Rama, but by another form which will be the
manifestation of my eleventh expansion.
“Be aware that I divide My energy into eleven spheres or
bodies. It is the eleventh expansion that will be incarnated on earth
as Sri Hanumanji. In the past, the demon King, Ravana, insulted and
left My eleventh expansion unsatisfied. Now that eleventh expansion can
be used to fight with Ravana and serve
My Lord Rama. I have decide to take birth from the womb of Anjana by
Kesari. Are you happy?”
Sati smiled, filled with joy and love. Shiva embraced her,
and Sati embraced Shiva, and both became the very embrace itself, and
that embrace became eternal.
THE BIRTH OF SRI HANUMANJI
Anjana, who became the mother of Hanumanji, was one of the
sixteen matrikas. The matrikas are adored and worshipped women of the
celestial, astral and material planes of the Universe. Once Anjana
assumed the form of a female visitor to the planet Svah, a few million
miles beyond the Pole Star. She arrived in the assembly of Indra, the
King of Svah. Somehow, the King was attracted to her and requested that
she make love with him. She rebuked him severely and said, "Who would
like to make love with you, a fallen one with the signs of a thousand
King Indra could not bear this insult and cursing her he
said, "You are very vain because of your beauty. You will be born in
the monkey-faced Vanara race."
While Indra was cursing Anjana, Anjana's dearest friend
Adrika (out of love for Anjana), tried to insult Indra by meowing like
a cat. Indra then cursed her say, "You will become cat-faced in your
In course of time, both friends were born as the twin
daughters of Kunja, a high-ranking Vanara (the monkey-god race)
soldier. When they grew up, Keshari, a famous knight of the Vanara
race, married both of them. Then, one day while Keshari was in
meditation at the southern seashore, Maharishi Agastya bacame the
Atithi* of the soldier Keshari. Both of Keshari's wives welcomed the
unexpected guest and served him wholeheartedly. Agastya was highly
satisfied and told the wives to ask for any boon they wished.
"I want the mightiest son, who will be very bold and stong in
the world, totally devoted to universal welfare," Anjana requested.
"So be it," Maharishi Agastya approved the wish for both of
them, and in due course of time, Anjana gave birth to Sri Hanumanji who
became all powerful; and Adrika gave birth to a son, Adri by name, who
became governor of all the goblins.
Soon after he granted this boon, Maharishi Agastya realized
that Lord Shiva Himself was going to be born as the son of Anjana. He
ordered her to go to meditate on Venkatadri Hill in Vrishabhachal on
the bank of the Akashaganga. This was the most appropriate place to
materialize her desire. Thus, one day, as she was absorbed in a long
meditation, Vayu the Wind God, appeared and said, "Adorable devi, I am
very pleased with you. You will attain a mighty son, one who will not
be affected by any weapons whatsoever. I shall become your son myself.
He will be equal to me in power and speed." Thus saying, Vayu infused
his light into Mother Anjana.
*Atithi means a Holy Guest whose date of arrival is not fixed,
not known. Some Holy People constantly travel from one Holy Place to
another. (A Holy Place is a town, village or woodland where some
Enlightened Saint was born or which the Supreme Lord, during His
incarnation in human form, has sanctified by His footprints or
pastimes. Such places are plentiful in India. Meditation is
effortlessly deep and blissful in such places. You can relax very
easily.) Since the Holy Person's journey is unorganized and unplanned
they desperately need shelter. Of course, they do not pay much
attention to it, but as far as the body is concerned it has its own
requirements, and shelter in the night and food and water in the midday
is a main necessity.
Such people may arrive at any town at any time without
pre-information. They may be sitting under some tree or they may
request shelter. Holy People who are constant pilgrims to Holy Places
or constant travelers for broadcasting the wisdom of the Vedas and
tantras are known as Atithis. In Vedic civilization, to invite and
welcome an Atithi with all the warmth of one's heart, and to offer them
food and shelter was a great meritorius act, and those who did not do
that were taken as a curse or disgrace to their family. This custom was
also observed widely in Russia, Persia, Greece and other ancient