HINDUS in TT join followers around the world to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti tomorrow.
The festival which commemorates the birth of Hanuman has become very popular since the installation of the 85-feet tall Hanuman murti at the Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Waterloo, Carapichaima.
The Dattatreya centre was built under the guidance of Swami Ganapathi Sachchidananda of Mysore, India. Sachchidananda visits TT frequently for lectures and rituals. He joined with local contractors to build the Hanuman murti which is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. The statue was designed and constructed by Subramanian Sthapathi from Chennai, India.
Pundit Ravindra Maharaj of New Grant said in Hinduism, Hanuman is seen as the symbol of strength and energy. “It is said those who sincerely pray to Hanuman will easily complete difficult tasks in life,” Maharaj said, noting that local Hindus observe Hanuman puja on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Maharaj explained that in the Ramayan (religious text), Hanuman is seen as a zealous devotee of Lord Rama (a hero).
“Hanuman teaches us how we must carry out our duties in life,” Maharaj said, adding that whenever Hanuman is given an order he goes and delivers more than is required of him. He added that in many instances in the Ramayan, Hanuman was given tasks by Lord Rama and he went beyond the call of his duty to fulfill them. Hanuman is also known by the names Maruti, Pavanputra, Bajrangbali and Mahavira.
One of the popular stories about Hanuman is how he rescued Rama’s wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Hanuman allowed himself to be captured by Ravana who commanded his forces to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. Hanuman extended his tail out so long they did not have enough cloth and fuel to set his tail on fire. Then, he shrinks it to tease them.
In the end, he lets his tail out to its normal length and they light it on fire. As they are laughing, he uses his powers to break free of his bonds, and he leaps all around the demon kingdom using his burning tail to light everything on fire, turning their trickery against them.
On Hanuman Jayanti devotees fast, meditate and read the Hanuman Chalisa.