Story of Anjana (Hanuman's Mother)
First of all a small intro:
Hanuman's original father : Shiva
Hanuman's spiritual father : Vaayu
Hanuman's Foster father : Kesari.
Important characters in this story:
Brihaspati: he was the son of angirasa. Angirasa was one of the manas
putras of Brahma. Brihaspati was the guru of the devas.
Panga : One of the important sages of the treta yuga.
This parable which i present below is the tale in which punjisthala (
Anjana in next life ) was cursed and how she met Kesari( hanuman's foster
father ) and how they got married.
The angel Punjikasthala was an inmate in the ashram of Sage Brihaspathi. She
was young, obedient, good natured and beautiful. The sage loved her as his
As a young girl, she too had several sweet dreams about life. One evening
she came out of the ashram and entered a lovely garden, away from the
ashram. She saw a few young and handsome boys practicing exercises on
horseback. She was attracted by the beauty and skill of these boys and she
stood there watching them, forgetting her own surroundings.
At that time the Sage Brihaspathi was passing through that way and observed
Punjikasthala totally immersed in her dreams. The Sage asked her, in a very
loud tone, to go back to the ashram. The boys who had not so far seen the
girl, heard this and looked at her. She could not tolerate the insult of
when the boys laughed at her and made fun of her.
She told the sage: 'It is true that I am supposed to obey you. But you
should not have insulted me like this. So I do not propose to come to the
The sage was angry. She was disobeying him, due to her youthful frailties!
She was now considered unfit to be in the ashram. He cursed her to become a
female monkey and live on earth.
Punjikasthala was terrified. She felt sorry for disobeying the sage. The
sage also regretted his emotional action. But the curse would not go to
waste: the sage could not withdraw it. But then he knew, through his inner
mind, that this curse would produce a good result for mankind. He told
her:'My dear daughter, you don't worry now. With the blessings of Lord Siva
and Parvathi, you will soon get a son who will be respected by everyone. He
will be full of virtues and will never face defeat. He will be the
embodiment of knowledge, fearlessness, strength and real devotion.'
With tearful eyes she bid farewell to her father. At that time, the sage
told in her ears 'Anjana , Anjana'. She knew then that her name has been
changed to Anjana and that she would be known here after only in the new
Then Anjana reached the dense forests on the earth and wandered aimlessly.
She could not get any food which she liked. Her hunger and weakness
increased and she felt like falling down. But then suddenly she saw ripe
mangos on the nearby tree. She collected a few of them and started to eat.
But she heard the following anonymous words 'Anjana, don't eat anything
before taking a bath and before worshipping Lord Siva and Parvathi. You
should worship them in the morning and evening with full devotion. They will
She looked all around but nobody was there. She thought that these words
were from a god himself and did everything as was told. Later she ate the
fruits and continued her aimless journey.
Then there was a storm. All the trees started swaying heavily. The terrified
animals ran around looking for safety. Anjana too was frightened. Was it an
earthquake or a storm? Who would save her? She closed her eyes and prayed
earnestly to Siva and Parvathi to save her.
Suddenly there was a very loud noise of laughter. In extreme fear Anjana
opened her eyes and saw a terrific sight – there was a huge demon, about to
swallow her. The demon in his frightening voice said 'Don't worry, lovely
girl. I am Sambasadan. No one in all the three worlds is capable of facing
me. If you will marry me I will protect you.' Anjana could not bear her
anguish. She simply cried. Sambasadan advanced to her, but she walked
backward. Then she fled. The demon followed her. Anjana, even while running,
was praying loudly to Siva and Parvathi.
Sambasadan was about to catch her, when suddenly she fell down. At that time
she heard the loud cry of Sambasadan. She got up and looked at him. A highly
poisonous snake had bitten him and he had fallen unconscious. The snake told
her 'Anjana, he is not dead - just unconscious only. You may escape now.' In
a moment the snake had vanished.
Anjana ran fast and reached an Asram on the top of the hill. The saints who
lived there consoled her and gave her food and water. She told them her
story in detail. She knew from them that Sambasadan was a dangerous demon
and that he was a threat for them also. They had requested that Veerakesari,
a monkey hero, kill the demon. If he succeeded all of them would be saved.
Anjana again prayed to Siva and Parvathi and slept well during night in the
safety of the Asram.
Next morning Veerakesari arrived there to protect the saint and their
religious ceremonies. Anjana saw him and felt confident that he would kill
the demon. Then suddenly there was the thundering shout of Sambasadan.
Veerakesari assured the saints and Anjana that no harm would be done to
The demon approached Anjana and pulled her to his side. She cried loudly as
the demon put her on his shoulders.
Veerakesari obstructed him by sending several arrows at the demon. Anjana
escaped when a terrific fight ensued between them. The demon was badly
injured. Then, using his magical powers, he took the form of an elephant. It
attacked the Asram and the saints. Anjana was hiding behind a huge tree.
Veerakesari reduced his size, became a small monkey and jumped on the head
of Sambasadan. He resumed his original huge shape and attacked the elephant
in different ways. Then the demon took back his original shape and threw
Veerakesari far away. Luckily he was not injured. He got up and again
attacked the demon, but he was getting weaker.
Anjana observed these and prayed to Siva and Parvathi for help in saving
Veerakesari. At that time she heard an anonymous voice: 'Sambasadan can be
killed only with his own blood. Try that'. Anjana thought of several ways.
She at last took some arrows and dipped them in the blood of Sambasadan,
which had formed a pool there. She gave these arrows secretly to
Veerakesari. He used these arrows against the demon, and as was his fate the
demon fell dead.
The saints were immensely happy as the eternal problem of the demon had been
solved once for all. They wanted to reward Veerakesari suitably. But, what
would they offer? Finally they arrived at a decision.
The sage Panga called Anjana to his side and told her:'We have decided to
give you in marriage to Veerakesari, who has saved all of us from the demon.
Do you have any objection?'
Anjana did not have any objection. On the other hand she had wished for it.
Their marriage took place on an auspicious day.
Time passed by. Anjana did not have a baby, and the couple was sad. But they
continued their usual prayers to Siva and Parvathi. They observed fasting,
prayed continuously and spent all the time in devotion of these gods. At
last, the gods were pleased. One day Siva and Parvathi came to Veerakesari's
house in the shape of monkeys and started eating the special fruits kept for
worshipping the gods. Veerakesari wished to drive away the monkeys, but
Anjana did not agree. She knew that gods may come in any shape. She started
praying. Veerakesari also joined her. In fact, the monkeys were Siva and
Parvathi, and they were pleased.
They took their real forms and told Anjana:'There is a solitary tree in the
middle of forest. You go around that tree daily. As time passes on, with the
help of Vayudeva(a god of wind) you will get a ripe mango. When Anjana eats
it, she will get a beautiful baby, who would be blessed by all gods and
would be as fast as the wind'.
They reached the centre of the forest and found the mango tree. They did
everything as advised by Siva and Parvathi, for six days. On seventh day,
while they were circling the tree praying, they heard an anonymous voice:
'Anjana , Veerakesari, the god is pleased with you. The blessed time has
arrived. You may take this divine mango fruit.'
The fruit had by now come down to their level, without anyone holding it.
They were really afraid to take it. Again the anonymous voice said: 'I am
Vayudeva ( god of wind). The mango is in my hand. It is God's will that my
power is also to be mixed with the power of Lord Siva. Therefore, the son
that is going to be born for will you will have courage, strength and
devotion. When Veerakesari gives the mango to Anjana the child will get his
Anjana ate the mango after praying to Siva and Parvathi. Shortly thereafter,
Anjana became pregnant and a male child was born in due course. Thus was
Hanuman, otherwise known as Anjaneya, born.