Prayers and a monkey
Part 1
We often find ourselves in anjaneyasana in class, down on one knee as if proposing marriage or praying to the gods. Legend tells of a beautiful woman called Anjana whom desperately wished for a child and payed daily to be blessed, the wind god Vayu replied by bestowing on her the gift of rice. Surprised but knowing better than to question Vayu she gratefully ate the grains, shortly after she became pregnant and her son Anjaneya was born. Half demi god and half mortal he was a bit of a handful, one day he thought he could see a flying mango in the sky (I know, how unlikely), anyway he leaped in to the sky to take a bite. It was however the sun and Surya the sun god seeing his intentions sent a lightning bolt to stop him which, killed him and sent him hurtling to the ground.

mango

 When Vayu discovered what had happened he took a huge breath in fury, this breath was so intense and deep that he sucked up all air from earth and everything on earth began to suffocate. All the gods got together and tried to reason with Vayu however, he refused to exhale unless he could have his son back. After much discussion, an agreement was reached and Anjaneya would be renamed as Hamuman, which refers to the broken jaw he received from the lightning bolt (hanuh means jaw in Sanskrit). And so he was revived but with the course of short-term memory so that he could no remember that he was a god, in the hope that this would keep him out of mischief.  He was banished from Anjana and sent to live with the monkey king, and so he took on the form of a monkey.

 

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