Lord Hanuman is referred to as “Chiranjeevi” in Hindu texts or a being who will live forever. Hindu mythology mentions eight immortals or “Ashta Chiranjeevi”, beings who have lived from one Satya Yug to another and will remain alive until the next Satya Yuga.
The Chiranjeevi finds mention in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranas. Another famous example of a Chiranjeevi is Mahabali. Lord Vishnu granted him the boon of immortality and permitted him to attend to his people once a year. The festival of Onam is held in Kerala to mark this occasion.
Recipient of numerous boons
Lord Brahma and Indra, the king of the gods, granted Hanuman this boon of immortality. Hanuman received this boon after an interesting incident during his childhood. As a child, Hanuman was a bundle of mischief, naughtiness, and a voracious eater. When he was just a year old, he had leapt towards the rising Sun, thinking it to be some fruit. An alarmed Indra stopped Hanuman by hitting him with his mighty thunderbolt. Struck in the face, Hanuman fell to Earth unconscious.
Hanuman’s godfather, the wind god Vayu, saved him. Vayu was livid with anger after seeing his godson injured, and he began removing air from the earth and heavens. The gods were terrified and approached Lord Brahma. Vayu eventually relented upon Lord Brahma’s request, but not before ensuring his godson received boons from the gods.
The Immortal Hanuman
Lord Brahma granted Hanuman the boon of never being killed by a weapon. Indra also gave him a boon, blessing Hanuman that he could summon death as and when desired. Lord Hanuman is considered an avatar of Lord Shiva, who, by nature, is immortal. Hence, when one comes to know the immortality of Lord Hanuman, the question “How many years did Lord Hanuman live?” becomes redundant. Now, the ever-curious human mind will move further and ask, “If Lord Hanuman is alive, where can he be found?”
Where can We find Lord Hanuman Today?
One popular story about Lord Hanuman’s present whereabouts is that he is usually present at Gandh Madan Parvat early in the morning, offering Lord Rama and Mother Sita lotus flowers. He meditates in the early morning hours on Lord Rama. During the day, Lord Hanuman is simultaneously present in several important religious sites. At midday, he is in Jagannath Puri in Odisha and Sri Balaji temple at Tirupati, Ayodhya, Chitrakut, Mathura, and Brindavan. Lord Rama had blessed Hanuman to have the ability to take multiple forms at the same time. Further, Lord Hanuman is believed to be present wherever the Srimad Bhagavad Katha and Sri Ram Katha are expounded.
Another belief is that Lord Hanuman is present on Earth on the orders of Lord Rama and is waiting for his Master to reincarnate as the Kalki Avatar. This avatar is believed to come to Earth during the end of the Kali Yuga. Hanuman will accompany Lord Rama in re-establishing Dharma and destroying all that is wicked and evil.
Hanuman is believed to be invisible to the naked eye. He has the darshan of Lord Rama every day and is the only being to have seen both avatars of the Supreme Godhead as men, in the forms of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. The Ramayana and Mahabharata would be incomplete without the stories of this great devotee.
Related Blog: Why Did Lord Hanuman Eat Sun?
Meeting with Tulsidas
Yet another story is about Lord Hanuman appearing in a vision to the poet-saint, Tulsidas, in the 16th century. He helped the poet compose the Ramcharitmanas, a popular retelling of the Ramayana. Lord Hanuman is said to reside in the Himalayas, where he meditates on Lord Rama. The popular belief is that he is present in all temples dedicated to Lord Rama.
Thus, devotees believe Lord Hanuman resides in:
- The Himalayas
- Temples dedicated to Lord Rama
- Devotees’ hearts, as chanting his name with devotion spurs Lord Hanuman to rush to our aid
The Omnipresent Hanuman
Lord Hanuman may be invisible to our physical eyes, but he is always present and watching over us, protecting us from harm. All we need to do is call him when we need help and guidance; he will be there for us.