Hindu God Hanuman - The Monkey God
The Hindu God Hanuman is the monkey deity renowned for his courage, power, and faithful selfless service.
Some say Hanuman was born as the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys. To others, he is the son of Anjana, a female Apsara who had been transformed into a monkey by a curse, and Vayu, the wind god. It is also said that from his father Vayu, Hanuman received the ability to fly.
Hanuman was born with a deep hunger that his mother could not satisfy. Believing that the Sun was a megnificent fruit, Hanuman lept after it to endulge. The Sun however, took flight as Hanuman chased him as far as Indra's heaven. Indra then intervened and injured Hanuman's jaw with his thunderbolt.
Hanuman's father was quick to avenge his son and so he entered the bodies of all gods and gave them colic. Indra apologized to Vayu and agreed that Hanuman should become immortal. All of the gods then came together to bless young Hanuman in a cave.
As a young monkey god, Hanuman was quite naughty and abused his powers to pester the saints living in the nearby forest.
The gods prayed to Brahma to find a solution to Hanuman's behavior. The great Brahma cursed young Hanuman, removing his knowledge of his power and protecting the world from his mischeivous ways.
"Hanuman could easily fight an elephant for example, since he could become much bigger than the elephant at will."
The Power of Hanuman - of which becoming larger is just one example - only became available again when Jambavant, King of the bears, reminded Hanuman that he has that power. Hanuman could easily fight an elephant for example, since he could become much larger than the elephant at will.
At the time of the Ramayana, Hanuman was sent as an advanced spy to Lanka. To reach the island, he had to fly over the sea which was blocked by Sursa. She wanted to test him. She had a boon that anyone who came before her must pass through her mouth. When Sursa began to swallow Hanuman, he began to grow many sizes larger. As he grew, so did Sursa. Suddenly, Hanuman became very small and entered through her ear and came out of her mouth, thus fulfilling the boon.
In the Ashokvatika or forest of Ashoka trees on Lanka, Hanuman spied on King Ravana, who was trying in vain to press Sita into becoming his wife. Ravana captured Sita and brought her to his palace. Hanuman found Sita in the gardens of Ravana's palace, told her of the plans being made for her deliverance back to Rama and gave her Rama's signet ring as a token.
Pleased with his success, Hanuman fought the demon Meghnaath, son of Ravana, in the gardens of the palace of Lanka. He won over Meghnaath, but was finally captured by Ravana's demons.
Brought before the demon king, Ravana ordered that while as a messenger of Rama he could not be killed, his tail could be set afire with cloth and oil. Hanuman used his powers to grow his tail so large that the demons had no cloth left to cover it. While they continued to put fire to his tail, Hanuman suddenly became very small and escaped from his ropes.
Trailing his burning tail behind him, Hanuman set fire to all of Lanka and flew back to the mainland. He rejoined Rama and gave him valuable information on Ravana's forces. The army crossed a bridge to Lanka that was made by another monkey leader and master architect called Nala.
During the mighty battle that followed, Hanuman defeated the Demon Lankini, who was the principal guard of the city of Lanka.
Hanuman's greatest feat during the battle of Lanka recovering an herb that cured Lakshman from a fatal wound. He flew all the way to the Himalayas to find it. Being harassed by many demons along the way, such as Kalanemi. Indra was confusing Hanuman which stopped him from finding the herb intself. Instead, Hanuman would bring the entire mountain back to Lanka.
Ravana was ultimately defeated by Rama and Rama and Sita were crowned King and Queen of Ayodhya. Hanuman, present for the ceremony, remained Rama's favorite general and continued his life in service to him. When Rama offered him any boon that he cared to name, he asked to live for as long as men spoke of the deeds of Rama.