Today is Hanuman's birthday, 4 June, Hanuman Jayanti. It is celebrated by Hindus on the 15th day of the lunar month of Chaitra, so on the full moon day (pūrnima) of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra. Hanuman is an ardent devotee of God Rama and is worshipped for his unflinching devotion to the God. From early morning, devotees flock Hanuman temples to worship him. Yogis know Hanuman through Hanumanasana, the pose dedicated to Hanuman.
Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival for Hindus. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy and is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains, dart through the air, seize the clouds and rival Garuda in swiftness of flight. He is worshipped in folk tradition as a deity with magical powers and the ability to conquer evil spirits. The devotees will visit temples and apply tilak of sindhūr to their foreheads from Hanuman's body as there is a common belief that Lord Hanuman loves sindhur.
According to the legend Sita was applying sindhūr to her head, Hanuman questioned why was Sita applying sindhur to her forehead. In reply, Sita said that this would ensure a long life for her husband, Lord Rama. Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindhūr, in an effort to ensure Rama’s immortality. Many chant the 108 Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional song based on Lord Hanuman, on this day. Hanuman Chalisa is attributed to Tulsi Das, who wrote it during his imprisonment. When he finished it, an army of monkeys came to his aid. It is believed that chanting Hanuman Chalisa helps invoke Hanuman's divine intervention in hard times including those plagued by evil spirits.
The character of Hanuman teaches us of the unlimited power that lies unused within each one of us. Hanuman directed all this energies towards the worship of Lord Rama and his undying devotion freed him from all physical fatigue. Hanuman perfectly exemplifies Dasyabhava devotion. It is hard to find a mythical character who is at once so powerful, learned, philosophic, humble and amusing.
Om Sri Hanumate Namah!