“Manojavam Maruthathulya Vegam
Jitendriyam Budhdhi Mathaam Varishtam
Vaathathmajam Vaanarayutha Mukhyam
Srirama Dootham Sharanam Prapadye”
The above sthotra/chanting, is part of the Sri Ramaraksha sthotra, and the meaning of this is as follows:
I bow to you Lord Hanuman, the one who is faster than the mind, intelligent amongst the intellectuals, conqueror of sense organs, son of Vayu/wind god, messenger of Lord Sri Rama and chieftain of the monkey troop.
Picture1- Hanuman Idol in Kurtkoti temple
Hindus revere Hanuman for his immense physical strength, knowledge and his zealous devotion and service to Lord Rama. Hanuman is a Chiranjeevi/immortal. It is believed that Lord Hanuman always presents himself to protect the persons chanting the Rama Nama (Rama’s name). He is known by different names like, Maruthi, Anjaneya, Vayuputra, Hanumantha, Bajrangabali etc., Hanuma Jayanthi is the day this phenomenal mythical character was born. He was born to the god of wind Vayu and Anjana. North Indians and South Indians celebrate this festival on different days.
South Indians celebrate Hanuman Jayanthi in the Hindu month of Agrahayana also known as Maargashirsha, December in the Gregorian calendar. This year (2015) it falls on 23rd December. The festivities are spread over 3 to 10 days. Hanuman temples are beautifully decorated and special pooja/rituals takes place every day. During this time, in some of the temples the temple authorities feed monkeys.
Picture2 – Monkey Feeding
In Bangalore, Ragi Gudda, Gali Anjaneya, Ramanjaneya and Bande Anjayneya temples celebrate this festival with special poojas thousands of devotees congregate in these temples. The ancient temple of Kote Anjaneya situated in Mysore palace, Mysore attracts a sea of devotees.
Picuture3 – Kote Anjaneya Temple, Mysore
In North India Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month Chaitra, March-April of the Gregorian calendar. This year (2016) it is on 19th April. Devotees fast on this day and recite Hanuman Chalisa and visit temples. Hanuman Chalisa is a 40-stanza prayer on Lord Hanuman written by the great poet Sri Tulsidas. It is believed that by reciting this prayer one will be blessed with good health, wealth, happiness, courage, knowledge and strength.
Rama bhakth Sri Hanumanji Ki Jai!