Jai Hanuman: Exploring Hanuman’s Strength, Devotion & Origin
Jai Hanuman means victory to Hanuman, and anytime we put a Ji behind a name, we are showing our respect. Thus, when we say God Hanuman Ji, we are showing our most profound respect to Hanuman.
Humility and devotion are two aspects of Hanuman that were called to me this past week in ceremony. Devotion is a word that I was allergic to for many decades. Devotion is the crucial ingredient that was missing from my practice. It’s a tricky concept, and I viewed it as disempowering for most of my life. I was wrong.
“Devotion” comes from the Latin word “devotio,” which means a consecration or dedication to a divine being or cause. Devotion can take many forms, such as prayer, meditation, rituals, acts of service, and the study of sacred texts.
Devotion ignited by the heart is rooted in humility. As humility wraps its beautiful tentacles around us, we realize we serve a divine power. There is nothing to gain in devotion. Devotion is an act of selflessness.
Hanuman’s Origin Story
In most tales, Jai Hanuman is the child of the wind god, Vayu, and the queen of the Vanaras, Anjani. Anjani is a devotee of Shiva, and through her prayer, she gains his blessing. Anjani asks Shiva to give her a son.
Shiva agrees, and Vayu acts as the delivery system through which Anjani conceives. Some believe that Hanuman is one of Shiva’s avatars. Hanuman is powerful from birth, as well as curious and mischievous.
When Jai Hanuman was a baby, his mother told him that his life ahead would be full of fruits as ripe as the sun. Anjani is cursed to live as a Vanaras, and in some myths, Hanuman’s birth releases her from this curse. Jai Hanuman asks his mother about his life as his mother’s getting ready to return to the heavens, her true home.
Mistaking the sun for a fruit and blessed with his father’s power, Hanuman jumped so high that he nearly touched the sun. Now, Surya, the god of the sun, saw Hanuman approach and dimmed his light so that the boy wouldn’t be scorched.
Jai Hanuman & Indra’s Epic Battle
God Hanuman Ji’s ability threatened Indra (the king of the devas), and he threw his thunderbolt at Jai Hanuman. The thunderbolt struck Hanuman on the chin and sent him plummeting down to earth. Hanuman lay unconscious, and that is how Vayu found him. Infuriated by the sight, Vayu withdrew all the winds from the world.
To solve the problem, the gods turned to Brahma for help. Brahma, who could see the great destiny laid out for Jai Hanuman, revived the child. Vayu released the winds, and the gods gave Hanuman gifts of wisdom, unsurpassed strength, weapons, immunity to disease, and immortality on Brahma’s advice. Surya, the sun god, offered to be Hanuman’s tutor when he reached the right age for one.
Hanuman’s story is a tale of remembrance, a wake-up call to our fearless hearts, and an invitation to devotion and humility. Jai Hanuman invites us to get ordinary, simplify, get real, stay humble, and leap with everything into the divine void of the unknown—to reach for the sun.
Ink on Illustration board 12 X 16